Meriwether Monument.

Monument to a White Supremacy Martyr

Field review by the editors.

North Augusta, South Carolina

In 1876 there was a battle in South Carolina between a federal militia and a mob of about 100 men. The militia was black, the mob was white. Six blacks and one white were killed. Whites referred to it as a "riot," blacks as a "massacre."

Forty years passed. By that time segregation was firmly in place. There were no more black federal militias in South Carolina, and the state erected a monument to the one white guy who'd died, 23-year-old Tom Meriwether. After so many years, you'd think that Tom's motives for being in the mob would be hazy. Not to the monument-builders. According to its inscription, Tom was a "young hero" who died "maintaining those civic and social institutions which the men and women of his race had struggled through the centuries to establish in South Carolina."

"In life," the monument concludes, "he exemplified the highest ideal of Anglo-Saxon civilization. By his death he assured to the children of his beloved land the supremacy of that ideal."

The anachronistic (and really, crazy) monument is in a well-maintained park, but like most early 20th century obelisks, it probably goes unread by passersby.

Monument to a White Supremacy Martyr

Forrest Ave., North Augusta, SC
A mile north of the Georgia state line on US 25/Georgia Ave. On the west side of the avenue you'll see a park with the monument in the middle. Turn west onto Forrest Ave. There's a small parking lot on the right (north) side; the monument is across Forest Ave. on the left (south) side.
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In the region:
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