301 Elmwood Avenue
In 1871, 19 local Black businessmen and politicians formed the Randolph Cemetery Association with the goal of creating a suitable burial ground for African Americans. They named it after former South Carolina State Senator Benjamin F. Randolph, who was assassinated in 1868. In 1872, the association purchased three acres of land from adjacent Elmwood Cemetery for $900; the group purchased an additional acre in 1899. After decades of neglect in the late 20th century, many of the cemetery's graves are now unmarked. However, restoration and survey efforts have concluded that Randolph was reinterred, likely in 1872, underneath the obelisk that bears his name, and several other Reconstruction era legislators are either confirmed or believed to be buried here as well, including:
Sen. Henry Cardozo [1830-1886] served Kershaw County from 1870-74
Sen. William Fabriel Myers [1850-1917] served Colleton County from 1874-78
Rep. Robert John Palmer [1849-1928] served Richland County from 1876
Sen. William Beverly Nash [1822-1888] served Richland County from 1868-77
Rep. William Simons [b.?-1878] served Richland County from 1868-72 & 1874-76
Rep. Samuel Benjamin Thompson 1837-1909 served Richland County from 1868-74
Rep. Charles McDuffie Wilder [d. 1902] served Richland County from 1868-70
Sen. Lucius Wimbush [1839-1872] served Chester County from 1868-72
Other notable burials include Agnes Jackson Simon, renowned educator C.A. Johnson, several presidents of Allen University and leaders in the AME Church, and George Elmore, whose 1947 lawsuit Elmore v. Rice opened the all-white Democratic Primary.
In 2007, a group of non-profits, including Historic Columbia, surveyed the entire cemetery. Individual gravestones can be found by searching this database.