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
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
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.