The Horry County Museum presents a lecture by Chief Harold Hatcher on the Waccamaw Indian People on Saturday, April 6th, at 1:00 PM. This presentation will focus on the history of the Waccamaw Indian People from ancient times to today, including their presence around the time of the Revolutionary War and in the Dimery Settlement.
Harold D. Hatcher, the eighth of nine children, was born to Ms. Kathleen C. (Altman) and Mr. Claude L. Hatcher, on May 27, 1949. Hatcher joined the United States Army at the age of eighteen and remained in the military for the following 20 years. During his military career he served over eleven years with the elite 82nd Airborne Division, including combat in the Republic of Vietnam. Among his over 21 medals and awards is a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star of Valor, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Basic Airborne Wings and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He retired from the Army in 1988 at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Third Class, educated in the field of Automotive Technology and Logistics.
Hatcher was elected as the Chief of the Waccamaw Indian Tribe in 1992 and has served for over 25 years in that position. Chief Hatcher raised two sons: Dalton, who serves on the Waccamaw Tribal Council, and Doug, who serves as the tribe’s Web Master and computer consultant. He is also very proud of his daughter, Carol who is a supervisor at Verizon. The Chief’s wife, Susan Hayes-Hatcher also serves on the Tribal Council.
In 2014, the Chief was elected for his fourth term as the Chairman of the South Carolina Indian Affairs Commission and has served in that position now for over twelve years. During his tenure as the chairman several changes to state laws were realized. These laws include regulations, criteria, and procedure for a Native entity to obtain official recognition in the state, and laws that returned to Native Chiefs and religious leaders the right to perform marriages for their own people, and the right to use game animal parts on traditional Native arts and crafts in the state. Chief Hatcher also chaired the National Coalition for Indian Equality, which consisted of over 400 Native Groups and Tribes across the country. In 1994, Chief Hatcher briefed then President William (Bill) Clinton on the plight of non-federal Indians in this country and achieved some relief in federal laws that separate non-federal Indians from other citizens of the United States. State wide, he was worked closely with every Governor of South Carolina since Honorable Carol Campbell and had been recognized by a state legislative proclamation for his work on the Native American recognition project that resulted in Native American Recognition in the state of South Carolina.
Chief Hatcher is featured in three South Carolina School Social Studies text books, At Home in South Carolina, Let’s Learn about South Carolina and South Carolina, and three state educational guides including Those Who Remain, Indians of South Carolina and Strangers in Their Own Land. Additionally, Hatcher is a primary character in the novels, Fool Me Once, The Buckskin General and How it Was.
Hatcher is sought as a speaker on Native Issues across the county and has shared a stage with presidential candidates Ross Perot, John McCain, Howard Dean and others. Hatcher was the keynote speaker for the Traveling Wall, the Vietnam Veteran Memorial when it was brought to Myrtle Beach in 2007, and was the keynote speaker for the Verizon workers conference at the Smithsonian Institute for the Native American, in Washington, DC, in 2002. On the 23rd Day of February 2018, Hatcher was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Award and shares that award with names such as Jimmy Carter, John Glenn, Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey and Condoleezza Rice. Hatcher was honored by the South Carolina National Guard in their first ever Cultural Unity Day, a tradition he hopes will continue. On the 30th of June 2019 Hatcher was selected and honored during the South Carolina 2019 Celebration of Freedom. Joining him there were Governor McMaster, Lt. Governor Evette, State Attorney General Wilson, MG McCarthy, the State Adjutant
General and his staff, LG General Beagle, the Commanding General of Fort Jackson and others. Hatcher marks this as one of the greatest honors of his career.
The program is free to the public and will be held in the Museum’s McCown Auditorium located at 805 Main Street, Conway, SC 29526. For more information, call 843-915-5320 or email The view a full list of scheduled programs, visit the museum website at