North Augusta City Council to consider creating committee to evaluate Meriwether monument options


NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) — The fate of the Meriwether Monument in John C. Calhoun Park in North Augusta could be up for debate.

City Council will vote Monday, March 18 whether or not to create a committee that would evaluate options for an additional display in John C. Calhoun Park.

The monument, in a prominent spot in North Augusta, memorializes the only white man killed in the Hamburg massacre in 1876. Some say the text is racist.

It reads in part: “In life 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 dispute between whites and a group of 38 African-Americans claimed eight lives. The monument was added 40 years after the incident.

“It’s really not about Hamberg, in my opinion, it’s more about the Jim Crow Era and white supremacy. Do nothing I find and I think most people today would find totally unacceptable,” Mayor Pettit told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk in an earlier interview. 

One of those people, Community Activist Ken Makin. “The thing that was so disconcerting to me was the fact that it said Angelo-Saxon supremacy,” he said.

After Makin challenged the Council to denounce it and everything associated with it, Mayor Bob Petit put together a committee of like-minded people. “And I used their expertise and ideas and discussions to formulate my recommendations.”

North Augusta City Council will meet at 6 p.m. for the study session and 7 p.m. for the meeting. Both meetings will take place on the third floor of the municipal building at 100 Georgia Avenue. 

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