History of Edgefield County, South Carolina

The author of this book is a native of Edgefield District, born before it was shorn of its fair proportions, as it was in 1S17, before a part was cut off to form the County of Aiken, and long before it was further divided to form Saluda County. He was born within three miles of Saluda River on the old Charleston and Ninety-Six Road, which, in Revolutionary times, was one of the main highways leading from the low country and the Congarees to Ninety-Six. The place is now in Saluda County.

From his boyhood the author was a great reader and student of history. Nothing pleased him better than to get hold of some good book telling of the deeds of other times, and stories of Marion and his men, and others of that heroic age. Unfortunately, books that told the history of that period were too few; but he had Weems' Life of Washington and of Marion, and a book of American Biographies published in 1830, all of which were well suited to cultivate a taste for history and make the reader long for more.

With such a training in early life it is not surprising that, as he grew older, he read everything that could throw light upon the early history of his State and the formation of the Union and the rights and duties of the States in the Union. In writing this book he has faithfully sought and drawn from every source of information available. All books, of which he could get hold, giving information of the first settlers and their struggles, he has used; and individuals and friends in all parts of the Counties of Edgefield and Saluda, and some outside, have freely and gladly helped him in his work. To these, one and all, he gives his grateful and heartfelt thanks. One dear friend, who loaned him many old books, and who assisted him greatly otherwise. has only recently, 1896, left this stage of life for a better, William G. Whilden.


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Before the year 1785, Edgefield County was a part of Ninety-Six District, which then included a very extensive territory in the upper part of the State. By the Act of the Legislature of that year, March 12, 1785, Ninety-Six was divided into the Counties, afterwards called Districts, of Edgefield, Abbeville, Newberry, Laurens, Union, and Spartanburg. Augusta, as we shall see, was founded in the year 1736, and a very active and important trading post had been in existence already for some years at the place on the Savannah where Hamburg was afterwards built. Previous to its occupation by white people the greater part of the territory was in the possession of the numerous and war-like tribe of Indians, known as the Cherokees. The Southern part, lying on the Savannah River, was used by other tribes. Savannah, Creek, &c, as hunting grounds. Of these Indians, their habits, manners, customs, and traditions, it is not necessary at this time, to write, as our purpose is to give a history of Edgefield as it has been since its occupancy by Europeans and their descendants.