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One Man's Fight to Reclaim a Racist South Carolina Monument

In the center of North Augusta, in front of a fountain on the lawn of the town's oldest house, there's an obelisk memorial to a white supremacist who died massacring a black town. The monument is in no way ambiguous about its purpose.

"In memory of THOMAS McKIE MERIWETHER," it reads, "Who on 8th of July 1876, gave his life that the civilization builded by his fathers might be preserved for their children's children unimpaired. In life he exemplified the highest ideal of Anglo-Saxon civilization."

The engraving thanks Meriwether for his "service" as one of the 200 white supremacists who rode into the town of Hamburg in 1876, capturing 25 to 30 people and executing six of them. To make a point about blacks participating in politics, they cut out the County Commissioner's tongue and chopped off his head. On the base of the monument, there's washed-out charcoal graffiti: "HE MURDERED."

The disappearance of Hamburg >>