BEAUFORT, S.C. — The National Park Service on Monday announced the first eight community sites to be included in the newly established Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, and all of them are in South Carolina.
The national network, launched in March 2020, will connect sites across the country that provide education, interpretation and research for the period of Reconstruction.
The new community sites added to the network include several Historic Black Colleges and Universities created during Reconstruction, a site managed by the South Carolina State Park system which interprets the stories of freedom and tenant farming, and a school which was created shortly after the Civil War to provide education to the formerly enslaved. Specifically, they are Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Clinton College, Mather School, Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, South Carolina State University and Voorhees College.
"The Reconstruction story is a national story," said Superintendent Scott Teodorski. "It includes sites from all over the country. Some of the sites are managed by the National Park Service and many are not. The Reconstruction Era National Historic Network provides an opportunity to connect these sites and to connect visitors to their stories as part of the Reconstruction Era. We are very excited to welcome these new sites to the network and look forward to working with them."
The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed into law on March 12, 2019, outlined the creation of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network.
The network, managed by Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, includes sites and programs that are affiliated with the Reconstruction Era, but not necessarily managed by the National Park Service. This network is nationwide and works to provide opportunities for visitors to connect to the stories of Reconstruction.
"South Carolina State University is excited to partner with fellow sister institutions across the state to provide education on the Reconstruction Era of 1861-1900," said SC State President James E. Clark. "The Reconstruction Era Network is important to the history of our state and nation, and we look forward to providing the story of reconstruction through education, outreach and research."
“I commend the National Park Service for taking bold and progressive steps toward inclusive education by creating the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. It is a testament to the enduring legacy and profound importance of HBCUs,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. “I am excited that our collective stories of resilience, leadership, and education will be highlighted as a part of a national network exploring the accounts of educated African Americans during the United States Reconstruction Era.”
For more information about the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/reconstruction/network.htm.
For more information about Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ReconstructionNPS.