American History and Genealogy Project

State of South Carolina

South Carolina, one of the southern United States, is bounded n. by North Carolina; s. e. by the Atlantic; and s. w. by Georgia, from which it is separated by the Savannah River. It is between 32° 2' and 35° 10' n. lat., and between 78° 24' and 83° 30' w. Ion., and between 1° 45' and 6° 15' w. from W. It is 200 miles long and 125 broad, containing about 25,000 square miles, or 16,000,000 acres. The population in 1790 was 240,000; in 1800, 345,591; in 1810, 415,115; in 1820, 502,741; in 1830, 581,458; in 1840, 594,393, including 327,038 slaves. Of the free population, 130,496 were white males; 128,588 do. females; 3,864 were colored males; 4,412 do. females. Employed in agriculture, 198,363; in commerce, 1,953; manufactures and trades, 10,325; navigating the ocean, 381; canals, rivers, &c, 343; learned professions, &c, 1,481.

This state is divided into 29 districts, which with their population in 1840, and their capitals, were as follows:

County, Population, Capital

Abbeville, 29,351, Abbeville Lancaster, 9,907, Lancaster C. H.
Anderson, 18,493, Anderson C. H. Laurens, 21,584, Laurensville
Barnwell, 21,471, Barnwell C. H. Lexington, 12,111, Lexington
Beaufort, 35,794, Coosawhatchie Marion, 13,932, Marion
Charleston, 82,661, Charleston Marlborough, 8,408, Bennettsville
Chester, 17,747, Chester C. H. Newberry, 18,350, Newberry C. H.
Chesterfield, 8,574, Chesterfieldville Orangeburg, 18,519, Orangeburg C. H.
Colleton, 25,548, Walterborough Pickens, 14,356, Pickens C. H.
Darlington, 14,822, Darlington C. H. Richland, 16,397, Columbia
Edgefield, 32,852, Edgefield C. H.  Spartanburg, 23,699, Spartanburg
Fairfield, 20,165, Winnsborough Sumter, 27,892, Sumterville
Georgetown, 18,274, Georgetown Union, 18,936, Unionville
Greenville, 17,839, Greenville Williamsburg, 10,327, Kingstree
Horry, 5,755, Conwaysborough  York, 18,383, Yorkville
Kershaw, 12,281, Camden ...

Columbia, on the left bank of the Congaree, immediately below the confluence of Broad and Saluda rivers, is the seat of government.

The seacoast is bordered with a fine chain of islands; between which and the shore there is a very convenient navigation. The mainland is naturally divided into the Lower and Upper country. The low country extends from 80 to 100 miles from the seacoast, and is covered with extensive forests of pitch pine, called pine-barrens, interspersed with marshes and swamps of a rich soil. The banks of the large rivers, and the creeks of this region, are bordered with a belt of excellent land, producing cotton and Indian corn in abundance. The marshes and swamps in this district make fine rice plantations.

After leaving the Low country, in proceeding into the interior, you first pass through a region of little sand-hills, which have been compared to the arrested waves of the sea in a storm. This curious country, sometimes denominated the Middle country, continues for 50 or 60 miles, till you arrive at the Ridge, or Upper country, the ascent to which, proceeding from the Atlantic, is sudden, and somewhat precipitous. The Lower falls of the river are found along this ridge. The low grounds between the sand hills in this region are suitable for agriculture and pasturage; but with these exceptions, the country below the ridge is barren, and scarcely worth cultivation. Beyond the ridge commences a beautiful and healthy country of hills and dales, and fine flowing streams of pure water. This whole region may be regarded as an elevated table land, and is generally fertile. At the distance of 220 miles n. w. from Charleston, the land is 800 feet above the level of the sea. From this the country rises gradually to the mountainous region to the w., where the great Alleghany range passes through the state, in several ridges, some of which have high peaks. Table Mountain, one of the most conspicuous of these, is 4,000 feet above the level of the sea. The staple productions of the state are cotton and rice, great quantities of which are exported. Rice was first introduced in 1693, and is raised only in the low country, where the land can be irrigated by the tide, or the overflowing of the rivers. Indigo was formerly produced in large quantities, but it has given place to the more profitable crop of cotton. The sea island cotton produced in the islands along the shore, is of a superior quality, and is in great demand.

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In 1840, there were in this state 129,921 horses and mules; 572,608 neat cattle; 232,981 sheep; 878,532 swine; poultry to the value of $396,364. There were produced 968,354 bushels of wheat; 3,967 of barley; 1,486,208 of oats; 44,738 of rye; 14,722,805 of Indian corn; 299,170 pounds of wool; 15,857 of wax; 2,698,313 bushels of potatoes; 24,618 tons of hay; 51,519 pounds of tobacco; 60,590,860 of rice; 61,710,274 of cotton; 2,080 of silk cocoons; 30,000 of sugar. The products of the dairy were valued at $577,810; of the orchard, $52,275; of lumber, $537,684.

The minerals in this state are gold, iron, various ochres, marble, limestone, and some lead, potter's clay, fuller's earth, and other useful fossils.

Charleston, at the confluence of Ashley and Cooper Rivers, is much the largest and most commercial place in the state; but its harbor is obstructed, at the entrance, by a dangerous sand bar. Georgetown, at the head of Winyaw Bay, 13 miles from the ocean, will only admit small vessels. Beaufort, on the island of Port Royal, has much the best harbor in the state, but is not a place of much trade. Besides these, Columbia, the capital, and Georgetown, are flourishing places.

The great Pedee River, 450 miles long, rises in N. Carolina, and runs through the eastern part of the state. It is navigable, for sloops, 130 miles. The San tee, formed by the junction of the Wateree and the Congaree, rises in North Carolina, and has a sloop navigation for about 130 miles. The Saluda is a branch of the Congaree. The Edisto is navigable for large boats 100 miles. The Savannah washes the whole s. w. border of the state, and is a noble stream. There are several smaller rivers, among which are Cooper, Ashley, and Combahee.

The most important literary institution in this state is the College of South Carolina, at Columbia, founded in
1804. There is a theological seminary connected with the institution. It had in 1840, 163 students. Charleston College was founded in 1785, and has about 65 students. There were in this state in 1840, 117 academies, or grammar schools, with 4,326 students; and 566 common and primary schools. There were 20,615 free white persons, over 20 years of age, who could neither read nor write.

The Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians are the most numerous religious denominations. At the commencement of 1836, the Methodists had 37,503 communicants. The Baptists had 314 churches, 226 ministers, and 36,276 communicants. The Presbyterians had 90 churches, 70 ministers. The Episcopalians had 50 churches, 1 bishop, and 43 ministers. The Lutherans had, in 1840, 24 ministers, 34 congregations, and 1,667 communicants. There are a few congregations of Roman Catholics, Unitarians, Friends, Universalists, and Jews.

At the commencement of 1840 there were 14 banks and branches in this state, with an aggregate capital of $11,584,355, and a circulation of $4,439,404. The state debt at the close of 1840, amounted to $3,764,734.

The exports of this state in 1840 were $10,036,769; and the imports were $2,058,870. There w r ere 41 commercial and 41 commission houses engaged in foreign trade, with a cap. of $3,668,050; 1,253 retail drygoods and other stores, with a capital of $6,648,736; 1,057 persons employed in the lumber trade, with a capital of $100,000; 125 persons employed in internal transportation, who, with 46 butchers, packers, &c, employed a capital of $112,900; 53 persons employed in the fisheries, with a capital of $1,617.

The amount of homemade or family manufactures was $930,703; there were 3 woolen manufactories, employing 6 persons, producing articles to the amount of $1,000, with a capital of $4,300; 15 cotton manufactories, with 16,355 spindles, employing 570 persons, producing articles to the amount of $359,000, employing a capital of $617,450; 4 furnaces, producing 1,250 tons of cast iron, and 9 forges producing 1,165 tons of bar iron, employing 248 persons, and a capital of $113,300; 5 smelting houses, employing 69 persons, producing gold to the amount of $37,418, with a capital of $40,000; 1 paper manufactory, employing 30 persons, producing articles to the amount of $20,800, with a capital of $30,000; 20 persons produced hats and caps to the amount of $3,750; 97 tanneries, employing 281 persons, and a capital of $212,020; 243 other leather manufactories, as saddleries, fac, producing articles to the amount of $109,472, employing a capital of $45,602; 8 potteries, employing 49 persons, producing articles to the amount of $19,300, with a capital of $12,950; 127 persons produced machinery to the amount of $65,561; 26 persons produced hardware and cutlery to the amount of $13,465; 420 persons produced carriages and wagons to the amount of $189,270, with a capital of $132,690; 164 flouring mills produced 58,458 barrels of flour, which with other mills employed 2,122 persons, producing articles to the amount of $1,201,678, and employing a capital of $1,668,804; 1,281 persons manufactured bricks and lime to the amount of $193,408, with a capital of $72,445; 168 persons manufactured 586,327 pounds of soap, and 68,011 pounds of tallow candles; 251 distilleries produced 102,288 gallons, employing 219 persons, and a capital of $14,342; ships and vessels were constructed to the amount of $60,000; 241 persons manufactured furniture to the amount of $28,155, with a capital of $133,600; 111 brick or stone houses, and 1,594 wooden houses were erected, employing 2,398 persons, at a cost of $1,527,576; 16 printing offices, and 7 binderies, 3 daily, 12 weekly, and 2 semi-weekly newspapers, and 4 periodicals, employed 164 persons, and a capital of $131,300. The amount of capital employed in manufac. was $3,216,970.

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The first constitution of South Carolina was formed in 1775; the present constitution was adopted in 1790. The governor is elected for 2 years by a joint vote of both houses of the assembly. After having served one term, he is ineligible for the next 4 years. A lieutenant-governor is chosen in the same manner and for the same period. The senate consists of 45 members, elected by districts for 4 years. The house of representatives consists of 124 members, apportioned among the several districts, according to the number of white inhabitants, and taxation; and are elected for 2 years. The representatives and one half the senators are chosen every second year, in October. The legislature meets annually in Columbia, on the fourth Monday of November. The chancellor and judges of the Supreme Court are chosen by the joint ballot of both houses of the assembly, and hold their offices during good behavior. Every free white male citizen of 21 years of age, who has resided in the state 2 years immediately preceding the election, and having been possessed of a freehold of 50 acres of land, or a town lot, 6 months before the election; or not possessing this freehold, who shall have resided in the election district in which he offers to vote, 6 months before the election, and have paid a tax of 3 shillings sterling to the support of the government, possesses the right of suffrage.

South Carolina has some important works of internal improvement. The Santee canal extends 22 miles from Charleston harbor to the Santee River and was finished in 1802, at a cost of $650,667. Through this canal and the improvement of the Santee and Congaree rivers, a boatable communication has been opened from Charleston to Columbia. Winyaw canal extends 71 miles from Winyaw bay to Kinlock creek, a branch of the Santee River.

The navigation of the Catawba River has been improved by 5 short canals, with an aggregate length of about 11½ miles. Saluda canal extends from the head of Saluda Shoals to Granby Ferry, 6¼ miles. Besides these, there are three other short canals to avoid obstructions of falls or shoals in rivers.

The South Carolina railroad commences at Charleston and extends 1351 miles to Hamburg. This road was commenced in 1830 and completed in 1834, at a cost of $1,750,000. It has since been sold to the Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Railroad Company for $2,400,000, paid for in the stock of the latter company. The entire length of this road from Charleston to Cincinnati will be 718 miles. The Branchville and Columbia railroad extends from Branchville, on the South Carolina railroad, 66 miles to Columbia. This is to form a part of the Charleston, Louisville, and Cincinnati railroad.

The first settlement of this state was made under Governor Sayle, at Port Royal, in 1670. The next year they settled Charleston above its present site, but 9 years after they abandoned that settlement and began to build Charleston where it now stands. In 1682 the province was divided into 3 counties. A colony of French refugees, in 1690, exiled by the revocation of the edict of Nantz, settled in Carolina; and from them many of its respectable inhabitants are descended. The Church of England was established by law, in 1703. The colonists throughout the Carolinas threw off the proprietary government in 1719, and established one for themselves. The next year the Privy Council sanctioned the proceeding, and in 1729, the parliament purchased the country of the proprietors, as mentioned in the account of North Carolina. The country was then divided and this portion received its present name of South Carolina. At different times colonies of Swiss, of Germans, and of Irish have settled in this state. In 1752, 1,600 foreign Protestants arrived in Carolina. This state early suffered much from wars with the Indians. This state was early in its resistance of the aggressions of the mother country, and bore its part in the revolutionary war. The British troops occupied Charleston and a considerable part of the state in 1780. Several battles were fought here during that and the succeeding year, the most important of which was that of the Eutaw Springs, in 1781, which in effect terminated the war in this state. In convention, May 23d, 1788, this state adopted the constitution of the United States; yeas 149, nays 73- majority 76.

Table of Contents

Source: A Complete Descriptive And Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith, 1843

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