Our Infamous History
A quick glance at the key events in shaping Edgefield, from 20,000 BC until World War II:
The earliest Indians inhabited present-day South Carolina
Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto passed through the South Carolina backcountry
The English colony of Charles Town was established
The first slaves brought to South Carolina came with a colony from Barbados
White Indian traders established a trading post at Savannah Town near present day Beech Island
The population of South Carolina was 5,000, most living within a few miles of Charleston.
The colony is divided into parishes
The Yemassee Indian War broke out in the lowcountry killing approximately 100 white settlers
Stevens Creek is named after a cow drover by the name of John Stevens
Fort Moore was erected at Savannah Town to guard the frontier
Royal government is established when the Lord Proprietors relinquish their interest in the province to the Crown and the area is divided into North and South Carolina
Governor Johnson created a township plan whereby the towns of New Windsor, Saxe Gotha, Purrysburg, and Amelia townships were established to attract more settlers into the backcountry
Colony of Georgia established
Augusta, Georgia is founded
Settlers first trickled into the area of what was to become the Old Ninety Six District
French and Indian War: A large migration begins from northern colonies down the Great Wagon Road into South Carolina.
The Cherokees ceded an estimated forty thousand acres to South Carolina
The Cherokee War terrorized the sparsely settled backcountry and four new townships were established: Boonesborough, Hillsborough, Londonborough and Belfast
The Regulator Movement began in order to suppress lawlessness in the backcountry
The District of Ninety Six is created and a Circuit Court system established.
American Revolution. Royal grants ceased.
Counties of Edgefield, Abbeville, Newberry, Laurens, Union and Spartanburg were carved out of the Old Ninety Six District
Columbia becomes the seat of government for South Carolina
President George Washington travels through South Carolina
Invention of the Cotton Gin
Migration out of South Carolina began to rise as new territories in the west opened up
The War of 1812 pushed the Native Americans even further westward, opening up the land that would become Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana
Westward migration accelerated due to a downturn in the cotton economy and eroding of lands as a result of over-planting
War for Texas Independence: A number of men from this Region died in the Alamo, including William Barret Travis and James Butler Bonham.
Second Seminole War: Large numbers from this Region were sent to fight.
16,000 Cherokee Indians were forced to leave their eastern homeland to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. On this “Trail of Tears,” at least 2,000 died.
The Mexican War: The Palmetto Regiment from Edgefield joined this conflict.
South Carolina urged southern states to secede from the Union, and the Confederate States of America was formed. Civil war raged for four terrible years.
African-Americans were freed from the bonds of slavery
A great influx from the North of federal troops, “carpetbaggers,” and opportune seekers arrived in South Carolina
Reconstruction and the Red Shirt Movement
Coming of the Railroad and the beginning of a new age of mobility
Benjamin Ryan Tillman of Edgefield became Governor and led the state in easing the struggle of small farmers
The coming of the automobile
World War I
The Boll Weevil arrived in this Region and caused widespread devastation. Huge migrations of African Americans move to northern towns to work in factories
The Great American Depression
World War II