The small town of Society Hill is known around the world because of the stories of former slave Simon Brown that were successfully recorded by the Rev. Dr. William .J Faulkner. African American Lawrence Faulkner was a Society Hill postmaster, teacher and merchant. He was a successful businessman and holder of property, including his own store in Society Hill. When he passed away in 1898 his widow hired former slave, Simon Brown, to work on her farm. Brown was a gifted story-teller who shared his tales with Faulkner’s son William, who later immortalized them in Brer Rabbit and His Friends and recorded them in The Days When Animals Talked. “I collect stories the same way some people collect stamps,” noted folklorist Dr. William J. Faulkner, “and the stories of my Black ancestors have so much importance and so much beauty that I want to tell them to the world.” Brown told fascinating stories of “the animals that could walk and talk like men-folks.” His allegories were posthumously recorded by the Smithsonian Institution. A double-sided historical marker was erected on Society Hill’s Main Street by the Darlington County Historical Commission in 1989 to honor Lawrence Faulkner and Simon Brown.
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