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Edgefield’s Ten Governors

Nationwide, Edgefield County is recognized as significant in a number of ways.

In 1949 the United States Government chose Edgefield County as a proving ground for tactics and procedure for rural counties to be used in the 1950 census. Saturday Evening Post has sent representatives from its staff to study the county as an area of national significance; and soon thereafter, National Geographic Magazine addressed a frequently voiced question: “Are Edgefield’s ten governors real native sons, or men adopted to support an extravagant claim of the Chamber of Commerce?” or words to that affect. To answer this question one must delve considerably into facts that are sometimes illusive; but from the research, these ten Edgefield statesmen emerge well defined. Each has a challenging record of service rendered to South Carolina.

Office Has Stormy Launching

The office of chief executive of the Colony of South Carolina, then province, and later state, was established in 1669; and the first ten men to serve encountered stormy conditions. Four were ordered removed from office, one died, another bowed himself out of the honor by retirement, still another refused to serve at all, one was deposed by revolution, and the remaining two served only one year. Later a succession of Lowcountry Pinckneys, Moultries, Vander Horsts, Rutledges, Draytons, Middletons, and Alstons became chief executive until the tradition was broken by the 64th man to act in that capacity, Andrew Pickens, of Edgefield.

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