LAKE CITY, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s congressional delegation wants a post office to be named in honor of a 19th-century postmaster who was lynched because he was black and refused to resign.
The state’s entire Washington delegation co-sponsored a bill to name Lake City’s post office after Frazier B. Baker, The Post and Courier reported .
Baker was a schoolmaster in Effingham when President William McKinley named him Lake City’s postmaster in 1897.
An intimidation campaign began almost immediately, starting with letters warning him to stay out of Lake City. That summer, he was shot after refusing to appoint a white deputy to do post office business.
Democratic U.S. Rep. James Clyburn of Columbia, who introduced the bill, harkened back to the 19th century historian Alexis de Tocqueville’s statement that America’s greatness lies in its ability to repair its faults.
“I view part of my mission in the Congress to do what I can to help our country repair its faults, and this is a fault in need of repair,” Clayburn said.
His bill has passed the House. He expects it to pass the Senate.