A Voice of Her Own: South Carolina Women in Politics – Native Women

They had it right in the first place!

South Carolina’s history began way before the colonies.. For thousands of years, native American tribes were the inhabitants of this area we call home today. And despite how long ago this was, Native SC Women already enjoyed a place at the table. They were valued and recognized. They considered themselves part of an ordered universe, with men and women created equally.

While Chiefs were usually, but not always, men, they rose to power through their mother’s lineage. In fact, it was the native women who chose their husbands. And it was the women who could decide to divorce if necessary… and if they did….the men had to return to their mother’s home.

The Europeans, explorers and missionaries who eventually came to this land were shocked at the freedom and power enjoyed by the native women of the Carolinas!

South Carolina Women in Leadership has proudly partnered with the South Carolina State Museum in sharing that story and the struggles of women throughout our state’s history who wanted their opinions to count and for their voices to be heard.  A Voice of Her Own is an exhibit now open at the museum.  The museum’s Curator of Cultural history, JoAnn Zeise, walks us through this empowering exhibit while sharing stories of the women, events and influences that have shaped our lives today. 

Today, the physical exhibition is limited to 100 people/day for in-person visitation.

Date of Exhibition:
Open now at SC State Museum and through at least September 2020. See more exhibits online.

Time of Exhibition
Tues. – Fri: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Sat: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Sun: 12 – 5 p.m.Masks required. 

Location of Exhibition
SC State Museum, 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Special rules for visiting the Museum during the pandemic.

Special thanks to Betsy Breckinridge, former TV talk show host and volunteer videographer who also helped write all the summaries of our vignettes. And to Joann Zeise, cultural history curator extraordinaire of the A Voice of Her Own: South Carolina Women in Politics exhibit for the SC State Museum and woman who delivers much wisdom through her understanding of history.


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