Courier Letters to the Editor 9-16-2015

Clearing up petroglyph story facts

Dear Editor,

Last week’s article on the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site said the Hagood Mill was built in 1826 and moved and rebuilt on the site. The cabins at the site were built in Pickens County, disassembled and rebuilt on site, but the mill has always been there. Bailey Anderson built the first mill around 1790. The Jennings family bought it from him in about 1793. The Hagoods bought it from the Jenningses in about 1825. The mill standing today was built in 1845 on the same site as the old Anderson mill.

Also, the petroglyphs were made by Native Americans. To many, that probably implies Cherokee, but these are not Cherokee. Most scholars make a distinction between the Moundbuilders and the Cherokee around 1400 A.D. Obviously, there is no definite time when the people decided they were Cherokee, but the point is these petroglyphs are not Cherokee culture in nature and predate them as an identified people. So, you could say the Mississippian or Moundbuilder cultures probably made them.

When did they arrive? Who knows? Everyone used to say about 13,000 years ago North America was peopled, but now evidence suggests the first humans came 18,000 years ago from Asia across a frozen Bering Sea. When did a person first step foot on that rock or drink from the creek or whatever water was nearby? We’ll never know.

But we do know that since the petroglyphs are there made by human hands, it was a place to be and to stay and to enjoy. It still is today.

Reed Severance

Miller, Hagood Mill


GOP getting past issues at convention

Dear Editor,

In April, the Pickens County GOP held its convention, where officers of the party were elected to two-year terms by the seated delegates at the convention. State Rep. Neal Collins protested the results of the convention to the State Party because he brought 48 people with him that night, tried to seat them as delegates, and they were not seated.

Collins’ hope was that by adding these additional delegates that night at the last-minute, he would then have enough votes to be elected county GOP chairman, along with State Rep. Gary Clary as first vice-chairman and State Rep. Davey Hiott as second vice-chairman.

The rules, which are clearly written in the State GOP handbook, state the process of verifying the eligibility of delegates must be completed by county GOP officials no less than five days before the convention. County party officials were completely unaware of these additional people until they arrived at the convention with Collins. In apparent disregard of the rules, Collins took to the floor of the convention, making arguments and motions to have his 48 people seated as voting delegates.

The local party officials and 155 properly seated delegates listened to his arguments and twice voted down adding Collins’ last-minute delegates. Collins then filed a protest with the State GOP, asking the state to overturn the convention and schedule a second convention with his 48 delegates seated.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, the State GOP heard the protest in Columbia, which was conducted like a courtroom trial. State GOP chairman Matt Moore acted as judge, and 36 members of the State GOP Executive Committee acted as the jury.

Collins and Clary were the plaintiffs and argued their case. The Pickens County GOP was the defendant, represented by chairman Phillip Bowers, Pickens County State Executive Committee Rep. Sylvia Bass and me, Rick Tate, first vice-chairman.

There were more than two hours of testimony and questioning. Both sides were heard.

You’d never know it by reading some of the local newspaper articles, but the State Party Executive Committee voted 34-2 to deny the protest of the Collins and Clary coalition, and the results of the 2015 Pickens County Republican Party Convention were upheld. Bowers was clearly vindicated in the decisions he made on the night of the convention.

Collins tried to “game” the system. This would be like walking into a polling place on Election Day and saying to the precinct manager, “You must register these people to vote, let them vote today, and by the way, they are all going to vote for me.”

It is my hope we can now put this behind us and work toward implementing our party platform.

Rick Tate

First vice-chairman

Pickens County Republican Party