Inventory of the Lonnie Hamilton, III Papers, 1950 - 2001

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Descriptive Summary

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.
Title: Lonnie Hamilton, III Papers, 1950 - 2001
Creator: Hamilton, Lonnie, III.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1096
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 5.0 linear feet
(10 archival boxes)

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

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.

Collection Arrangement

1. Personal, 1950-1995

2. Professional, 1954-2001



Subject Headings

  • African American band directors -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American jazz musicians -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American musicians -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American politicians -- South Carolina -- Charleston
  • African American teachers -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African Americans -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Band directors -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Bonds-Wilson High School (Charleston, S.C.).
  • Charleston County Council -- History -- 20th century.
  • Charleston (S.C.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • County council members -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Hamilton, Lonnie, III.
  • Jazz musicians -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Lonnie Hamilton and the Ambassadors (Musical group).
  • Lonnie Hamilton and the Diplomats (Musical group).
  • Lonnie Hamilton Quintet (Musical group).
  • Musicians -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Saxophonists -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Spoleto Festival U.S.A.
  • Teachers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- 20th century.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Personal, 1950-1995.

Arranged alphabetically

Education
Box 1   Folder 1
South Carolina State College: Photograph, circa 1950
Box    Folder 2
Burke High School: Program, 1987
Box 1   Folder 3
Calvary Episcopal Church: Programs, 1955-1991
Box 1   Folder 4
Correspondence, 1966-1990
Box 1   Folder 5
Immaculate Conception School: Parent Teacher Organization Programs, 1968-1969
Box 1   Folder 6
Feature Articles, 1969-1995
Civic Involvement
Community Organizations
Box 1   Folder 7
American Cancer Society, 1990-1995
Box 1   Folder 8
National Community Education Association, undated
Box 1   Folder 9
National Education Association, 1969
Box 1   Folder 10
Spoleto Festival, U.S.A., 1984-1994
Box 1   Folder 11
United Negro College Fund, 1975-1995
Box 1   Folder 12
W.O.R.K., Inc. of Charleston, 1992-1994
Fraternal Organizations
Box 1   Folder 13
Omega Psi Phi: Mu Alpha Chapter, 1970-1989
Governmental Agencies
Box 1   Folder 14-15
National Association of Counties: Correspondence, 1976-1994
Box 1   Folder 16-20
South Carolina Association of Counties: Correspondence, 1977-2001
Political Groups
Box 1   Folder 21
The Charleston County Democratic Party, 1970
Box 1   Folder 22
Democratic Party of South Carolina, 1969-1974

2. Professional, 1954-2001.

Arranged chronolgically

2.1. Educator, 1954-1990.

Bonds-Wilson High School Band Director
Box 2   Folder 23
Photographs, 1954-1976 and undated
Box 2   Folder 24
Article, 1959-1971 and undated
Box 2   Folder 25
Programs, 1959-1972 and undated
Box 2   Folder 26
Correspondence, 1970-1978
Box 2   Folder 27
Certificate, 1990
Director of Adult Education
Box 2   Folder 28
Articles, 1976-1987
Box    Folder 29
Programs, 1976-1987

2.2. Musician, 1957-2000.

Box 2   Folder 30-31
Solo Performances, 1957-2000
Includes programs, flyers, correspondence, photographs and newspaper articles.
Box 2   Folder 32
The Lonnie Hamilton Show, 1963
Box 2   Folder 33
Jenkins Orphanage Band, 1977-1990
Box 2   Folder 34
Lonnie Hamilton and the Diplomats, 1979-1999 and undated
Box 2   Folder 35
The Lonnie Hamilton Quintet, 1983 and 1993-1994
Box 2   Folder 36
Lonnie Hamilton and the Ambassadors, 1994
Box 2   Folder 37
Feature Articles, 1984-1991

2.3. Charleston County Councilman and Chairman of Charleston County Council, 1970-2001.

Box 2-3   Folder 38-41
Campaigns, 1970-1994
Includes materials relating to the operation of Hamilton's campaigns.
Box 3-4   Folder 42-49
Campaign Correspondence, 1970-1994
Includes campaign and election letters of congratulations and consolations, contributions, and thank you letters for supporting Hamilton.
Box 4   Folder 50
Campaign Ephemera, 1970
Box 4   Folder 51
Charleston County Council Member Certificate, 1970
Box 4-8   Folder 52-87
Business Correspondence, 1970-2001
Invitations and thank you letters for various engagements attended by Hamilton as well as correspondence relating to Hamilton's work as a county councilman.
Box 9   Folder 88-110
Newspaper Articles, 1970-1994
Box 9-10   Folder 111-121
Programs, 1970-2001
Box 10   Folder 122
Nametags and Badges, undated
Box 10   Folder 123
Letterhead, undated

2.4. Other

Box 10   Folder 124
Calendar: Professional Engagements, 1970
Box 10   Folder 125
Lonnie's (Nightclub)
Box 10   Folder 126
Palmetto Travel Sales and Marketing Groups and Cruises, 1984
Newspaper Articles
Certificate
Nametags and Badges


Administrative Information

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lonnie Hamilton, III, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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