South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Orangeburg City Cemetery, Orangeburg County (Bull & Windsor Sts., Orangeburg)
S1081773803301 S1081773803302 S1081773803303 S1081773803304 S1081773803305
Levy Grave Marker Johnson Whittaker
Grave Marker
Robert and
Marion Wilkinson
Grave Marker
Whaley Grave Marker

The Orangeburg City Cemetery, established in 1889 as the first non-church cemetery established for African Americans in the city is significant for its association with many leaders of Orangeburg’s, and South Carolina’s, black professional class, including several prominent educators associated with the twentieth-century growth and development of South Carolina State College. Other merchants, bankers, lawyers, doctors, and educators, forming a who’s-who of Orangeburg’s sizable and influential black community, are also buried here. The cemetery is also significant example of a late nineteenth century and early twentieth-century vernacular cemetery illustrating common African American burial customs during this period. The cemetery is a five-acre tract containing approximately three hundred to three hundred fifty plots. Grave markers are primarily granite or marble tablets, obelisks, and table-top stones. Most burials date from ca. 1890 to the 1960s. Among the people buried there is Johnson Chesnutt Whittaker, best known for an incident that occurred in 1880 while he was a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was court-martialed after he was attacked in the middle of the night by masked white cadets who slashed and beat him, then tied him to his bed and left him bleeding there. He was discharged from the Academy after authorities concluded that he had faked the attack. He returned to South Carolina and became a lawyer and later became a professor at S.C. State College. Listed in the National Register September 27, 1996.

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