I would like to extend congratulations and profound thanks to Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, U.S. Reps. Jim Clyburn and Mark Sanford, Port Royal Mayor Sam Murray, the City of Beaufort and Beaufort County on the historical designation by the president of the multi-site Reconstruction Era National Monument.
This is of enormous benefit to all of the citizens of our county.
Especially deserving of this recognition are those whose ancestors are the special, courageous people who experienced firsthand the day the right to be counted among the “all people” of the Declaration of Independence was boldly announced in the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Camp Saxton. Many of our own native islanders’ ancestors date back to the “freedom before freedom” found uniquely at Mitchelville.
Other work seeks to continue the momentum.
The Heritage Task Force, consisting of representatives across the county and augmented by the work of its advisory committee, headed by Andy Beall, are producing a collaborative spirit among a multitude of heritage organizations. Every historical site throughout Beaufort County has been catalogued, coded and themed, enabling a remarkable 500 years of history to be told.
Additionally, the search for the Town of Hilton Head Island-funded position of executive director for the Mitchelville Preservation Project, headed by Rex Garniewicz and Shirley Peterson, has been narrowed to two exceptionally qualified candidates. Finally, Hilton Head’s Venue Committee seeks to determine potential opportunities to tangibly showcase our rich history.
With this momentous step, progress is being made to free the story of freedom. Thanks and congratulations.
Mayor David G. Bennett
Hilton Head Island