Columbia, SC – Last week, Senator Darrell Jackson presented a resolution to the families of Samuel L. Duncan, a former member of the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives, and Edward Israel Cain, a former member of the House of Representatives, both of whom represented Orangeburg County (Fort Motte) during Reconstruction and played an integral role in South Carolina’s overall development.
Representative Edward Israel Cain lived from 1837 to 1892 and served as an Orderly Sergeant in Company H with the 135th United States Colored Troops in the United States Civil War. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for Orangeburg’s Fort Motte District during Reconstruction from 1868 to 1870. Cain was a member of the 1868 South Carolina Constitutional Convention, Sheriff of Orangeburg County from 1872 to 1875, and the Orangeburg District Commissioner of Education in 1871. He is buried in Fort Motte.
Samuel L. Duncan was an educator, farmer, and minister. As an advocate for his people, he campaigned for the education of African Americans in his community and throughout the State of South Carolina. He helped organize the Good Samaritan Lodge Hall, which served as a school for African Americans in the Fort Motte community until the late 1920s. He also served at the Sandy Lawn School and the Sandy Lawn Baptist Church.
During the Reconstruction Era, Samuel L. Duncan further advocated for African Americans in his community and the State during his service in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1872 to 1876 and in the South Carolina Senate from 1876 to 1880. In addition, he served as the Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party from 1874-1882. He continued service to his country when he was commissioned Captain of Company H in the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division of the National Guard on October 29, 1873.
“As members of the South Carolina Senate, my colleagues and I take great pleasure in honoring those who gave their lives for the betterment of their community and whose contributions have made the Palmetto State a far better place to live,” said Jackson. “Our state’s history is filled with many contributions from its African American citizens, and they must not be overlooked or forgotten. So, in observance of Black History Month 2023, we celebrate with the people and descendants of the Fort Motte Community and the entire Calhoun and Orangeburg Counties to honor and recognize two of their native sons”, concluded Jackson.
After the Civil War, significant progress was made in national, state, and local governments as former slaves and their descendants took their rightful seats in the highest offices of state and federal governments. Well-known author and historian Walter Edgar has noted that the South Carolina General Assembly during Reconstruction was one of the most effective bodies of government to govern in the United States. Therefore, it is a fitting and proper tribute for the South Carolina Senate to honor Samuel L. Duncan and Edward Israel Cain, who were true leaders and reformers and provided outstanding leadership during a tumultuous period in the history of our State and nation. Their many accomplishments and exemplary service to the great State of South Carolina are to be commended.
The resolution was presented to Mrs. Martha Scott Smith, Mr. Robert Scott, and Mr. Roger Scott, descendants of Senator Samuel L. Duncan, and to Adam Allard Allston and Ayden Rosalyn Allston, descendants of Representative Edward Israel Cain. Additionally, memorial stones at Lang Syne Cemetery in Fort Motte were also erected on February 25, 2023, to commemorate the life, legacy, and contributions of Senator Samuel L. Duncan and Representative Edward Israel Cain. The memorial stone dedication was coordinated by Mr. Jackie Whitmore, the family historian, who stated, “This was an awesome event. As a people, community, and state, we should never forget Senator Duncan and Representative Cain, as they were among the bridges that brought us over. We stand on the shoulders of giants”.