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The city of Aiken, South Carolina was founded in 1835 and named after the first president of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, William Aiken. The founding commissioners of this planned town were, among others, three African-American legislators: Samuel J. Lee, the first black man to be admitted to the State Bar and speaker of the state House; Charles D. Hayne, a free black man from an elite Charleston family; and Prince Rivers, a former slave born in Beaufort, South Carolina who served in the Union Army and became a Republican delegate to the South Carolina Constitutional Convention in South Carolina during the Reconstruction.

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