Mary Simms Oliphant | Carolina Snaps


South Carolina historian Mary C. Simms Oliphant became the first woman to receive the Order of the Palmetto. Born in Barnwell County, Mary C. Simms Oliphant was the granddaughter of novelist and historian William Gilmore Simms.   

In 1916, only a few weeks after graduating from college, the state superintendent of education asked her to update her grandfather's state history to use as a textbook. Written in 1840, Mary had quite a bit of history to add.   

Her revisions were adopted and revised every five years until 1932 when Oliphant presented her own school textbook, The Simms History of South Carolina. For almost 65 years, various editions of Mary Simms Oliphant’s history textbooks and books were made available to South Carolina students.   

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