McCormick County, SC

 

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McCORMICK COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORY

Settling of the Back Country of South Carolina

In the mid 1700's the main idea was to offer bounties to poor Protestants, foreign or British. They must settle between the Santee and the Savannah Rivers within forty miles of the sea during the first three years. The policy was to secure a continuous body of settlements and strengthen the coastal region. There was at that time no encouragement to those already settling the upper region. The movement to settle the back country was so strong that these policies on the Protestants was removed. The usual reason for the migration to the back country was based on Braddock's defeat in 1755, but actually the migration of Virginians was consideratly before that, as early as 1742 and the Pennsylvanians as early as 1745. This mass migration caused Governor Glen to buy the Cherokee Indian title up to Long Canes Creek in 1747, therefore freeing the lands around Ninety Six, which had been a trading place as early as 1730. In 1752 there were about forty Virginia and other northern families between Stevens Creek and Ninety-Six.

This extensive migration could be proved by the Revolutionary pension roll of about the years 1835 to 1840, which shows that the majority of the pensioners living in the low country had served in the South Carolina Continental line verses the majority of the up country had served as North Carolina, Virginia, or Pennsylvania Continental soldiers.

For the immigrants who were expected as a result of the bounty encouragement, three square-shaped townships were in 1762 laid off west of Ninety-Six: Boonesborough, 20,500 acres on the headwaters of Long Canes Creek two miles east of the present Due West; Hillsborough, 28,000 acres centering near where Long Canes enters Little River and containing the town of New Bordeaux; and Belfast (later often called Londonborough), comprising 22,000 acres and lying on both sides of Hardlabour Creek above its junction with Cuffeetown Creek. Though these townships received English, French, German and Scotch-Irish immigrants, this was mainly the Scotch-Irish era, as the 1730's and 1740's were mainly the Germans.