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Lonnie Hamilton III papers

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1096

Collection Overview

The collection includes material related to Hamilton's personal life and professional career as an educator, musician, and Charleston County Councilman. The material in the personal series includes feature articles on his life, his involvement with community organizations including Spoleto Festival, U.S.A., and political groups such as the Charleston County Democratic Party. The professional material includes programs and newspaper articles about Hamilton's career as the Band Director for Bonds-Wilson High School and his position as the Director of Adult Education. Programs, newspaper articles, and correspondence reflect his career as a Charleston County Councilman. His musical career is documented with invitations and programs from various performances by Lonnie Hamilton and the Diplomats, Lonnie Hamilton and the Ambassadors, and the Lonnie Hamilton Quintet. Materials also relate to other professional ventures, such as Lonnie's, a nightclub in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dates

  • 1950-2001

Creator

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Lonnie Hamilton (born 1927) was a musician, educator, and community leader. Notably, Hamilton was the first African American to serve on the Charleston County Council.

Lonnie Hamilton, III was born to Anna Hall Hamilton and Lonnie Hamilton, Jr. in Charleston, South Carolina. His musical career began in the 1940s as a student at Burke High School. During this time, he began playing the saxophone and was eventually invited to play with the Jenkins' Orphanage Band. Before graduating high school, Hamilton traveled for two summers with this influential band.

Hamilton received a music scholarship to attend South Carolina State College in Orangeburg and continued to play the saxophone throughout his college career; after which he held the position of Band Instructor in Union, South Carolina, and then at Bonds-Wilson High School. He taught over 3,000 students during his 20 years as an educator. As a musician, Hamilton was a member of various bands, including Lonnie Hamilton the Diplomats, and appeared for performances on numerous occasion during the Lonnie Hamilton Show, at his nightclub Lonnie's, and elsewhere.

In 1970, Hamilton became the first elected African American to serve on the Charleston County Council. He continued to serve in this position until his loss in 1994. He was twice elected to serve as Chairman of Charleston County Council, also making him the first African American to occupy the position.

In 1978, Hamilton was inducted to the Burke Hall of Fame. Other recognition includes the naming of the interchange of Interstate 26 and Interstate 526 in his honor. In 2003, former students of Bonds-Wilson High School joined together to form the charitable Lonnie Hamilton, III Foundation, which focuses on educational achievement.

Hamilton served on various committees and organizations, including Spoleto Festival, U.S.A, the American Cancer Association and the United Negro College Fund. Hamilton was also a member of the South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC). In 1982 he became the first African American president of SCAC. He is a member of Cavalry Episcopal Church.

Hamilton has been married to Clarissa Hill Hamilton since 1956. They have one daughter, Kendra.

Chronology List

1927
Lonnie Hamilton, III is born
1951
Graduates from South Carolina State College
1953-1954
Begins as Band Director for Bonds-Wilson High School
1956
Marries Clarissa Hill
1960s
Forms Lonnie and the Diplomats
1963
Appears on the Lonnie Hamilton Show
1970
Becomes the first African American elected to serve on the Charleston County Council
1974
Re-elected to Charleston County Council
1976
Elected Chairman of Charleston County Council
1977
Installed as Chairman of Charleston County Council
1978
Inducted into the Burke High School Hall of Fame.
1978
Re-Elected to Charleston County Council
1982
Re-elected to Charleston County Council
1982
Elected president of the South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC), becoming the first African American president of SCAC
1982
Opens Lonnie's
1986
Re-elected to Charleston County Council
1986
Re-elected as Chairman of Charleston County Council
1990
Re-elected to Charleston County Council
1994
Loses election for Charleston County Council
1995
Interchange named in honor of Lonnie Hamilton, III

Extent

5.0 linear feet (10 archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Lonnie Hamilton, III was a musician, educator, and community leader. Notably, Hamilton was the first African American to serve on the Charleston County Council.

The collection includes material related to Hamilton's personal life and professional career as an educator, musician, and Charleston County Councilman. The material in the personal series includes feature articles on his life, his involvement with community organizations including Spoleto Festival, U.S.A., and political groups such as the Charleston County Democratic Party. The professional material includes programs and newspaper articles about Hamilton's career as the Band Director for Bonds-Wilson High School and his position as the Director of Adult Education. Programs, newspaper articles, and correspondence reflect his career as a Charleston County Councilman. His musical career is documented with invitations and programs from various performances by Lonnie Hamilton and the Diplomats, Lonnie Hamilton and the Ambassadors, and the Lonnie Hamilton Quintet. Materials also relate to other professional ventures, such as Lonnie's, a nightclub in Charleston, South Carolina.

Collection Arrangement

1. Personal, 1950-1995

2. Professional, 1954-2001

Processing Information

Processed by Melissa Bronheim, June 2010

Encoded by Melissa Bronheim, June 2010

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

Title
Inventory of the Lonnie Hamilton III Papers, 1950 - 2001 AMN 1096
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Melissa Bronheim; machine-readable finding aid created by: Melissa Bronheim
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English
Sponsor
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608