Pro-Confederate South Carolina Gubernatorial Candidate Says She Wasn't Aware Her Family Owned 66 Slaves
Catherine Templeton: "This campaign is about the future, not the past."
South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton is "proud" of her South Carolina and Confederacy roots. As one of the proponents of Confederate monuments, Templeton has said she would not "rewrite history" by tearing down the monuments should she win. However, Templeton recently worked to minimize the role slavery played in the Civil War as she mentioned her Confederate ancestors 66 slaves.
“I think it’s important to note that my family didn’t fight because we had slaves,” said Templeton according to Greenville Online. “My family fought because the federal government was trying to tell us how to live. We didn’t need them to tell us how to live way back then, and we don’t need them to tell us how to live today.”
Templeton noted during her speech that her father was named after another relative who was a wounded Confederate soldier.
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"Someone asked me tonight if I’m from South Carolina. So my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather came here in the late 1700s, and my family’s been here ever since," she said. "In fact, my father was named after Judge William Brawley, who fought for this state, fought in the Battle of Seven Pines, even lost an arm for this state."
According to census records, William Brawley's father, Hiram Clark Brawley, was a plantation owner with 66 slaves in Chester County in 1860. Slave Dwelling Project founder Joseph McGill noted the number of slaves Hiram Brawley owned was "substantial" and ranked in the top 35 of the 905 slave owners in the country at that time, per census data complied from University of Virginia Library's Historical Census Browser (currently closed) and socialexplorer.com.
The New York Post notes that those 66 slaves would have been worth about $900,000 in today's dollars.
Following her remarks on her family's slaves and the Civil War, Templeton gave a speech this past Tuesday to the Upstate Republican Women at The Poinsett Club located in Greenville, South Carolina.
She had faced criticism about her CSA remarks, and was confronted with the number of slaves her family once owned. She responded by saying she hadn't known her family owned slaves, and said, “This campaign is about the future, not about the past."