The Civil War and Reconstruction years were difficult ones for the state as a whole and particularly for the development of libraries. Despite these problems, South Carolinians began to organize in a variety of ways to provide reading materials and library services for their communities. Agricultural societies, women's clubs, literary societies and individual citizens' groups began to form associations to establish libraries. In some cases these libraries led directly to the establishment of a tax-supported public library in the community. In other communities, several private library associations and groups might come and go before a tax-supported library would eventually be founded.
Early impetus for the modern public library movement came later in the 19th century. Agricultural societies maintained libraries and numerous library associations were formed across the state. The Pendleton Agricultural Society is one of the several agricultural societies that established libraries. In Rock Hill, a citizens' group led by the Rev. James Spratt White would take the lead in establishing the library there.
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