South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948

By David Duncan Wallace | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIX
SETTLING THE LOWER MIDDLE COUNTRY, 1732-1760

By NOVEMBER, 1732, six of the townships had been laid out. As Georgia soon absorbed the Altamaha, only nine of the eleven originally ordered were established by South Carolina: Purrysburgh, on the Great Yemassee Bluff on the Savannah, about twenty-two miles in a direct line from the mouth of the river; Orangeburg, comprising a narrow strip along the northern bank of the North Edisto almost wholly above the town; Amelia, comprising the area between Orangeburg township and the Congaree-Santee; Saxe-Gotha, comprising a good part of the present Lexington below the Saluda; New Windsor, opposite the present Augusta; Williamsburg, comprising the middle of the northwestern part of the present Williamsburg County; Kingston, within the present Horry; Queensborough, a square on the southern side of the Great Peedee; and Fredericksburg, cast of the Wateree at Camden.

Purrysburgh. --A few Swiss arrived in South Carolina between 1685 and 1691. Twenty-four Swiss (some of them the remnants of Purry's first attempt) reached South Carolina in 1726. Purry persisted, and in 1732 secured the King's promise for himself personally of 48,000 acres quitrent free for ten years on condition that he settle, at a place to serve the safety of the province, six hundred Swiss Protestant men, women, and children. The South Carolina government promised to pay him £400 sterling for bringing one hundred men and two hundred women and children in two years, to be settled together on the Savannah River, with a view to making hemp, indigo, silk, wines, cotton, etc., and affording defense on this most threatened frontier. The immigrants would be carried there from their landing place free, and be given cows, hogs, food, and ammunition. Purry selected the Great Yemassee Bluff, a narrow plateau rising from surrounding swamps, but for convenience of trade the town was located in a marsh by the river, where the Alpine mountaineers sweltered and died. By 1738 he had landed the six hundred promised the British government. The ill-located settlement never prospered. Prominent persons took up land contrary to the King's directions inside the six-mile belt ordered to be reserved around the township for expansion, thus, charged Purry's son, making it impossible for the settlers

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