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Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States

State, Territories, Counties, Cities, Towns & Post Offices


Transcribed by Jeana Gallagher and Sandy Stutzman
for the exclusive use of Genealogy Trails

PT is post town; PV is post village; PO is post office, PB is post borough, CH is court house, T is town

South Carolina

On the United States, lies between 32°2' and 35°10' north latitude, and 78°24' and 83°30' west longitude from Greenwich; bounded north by North Carolina, southeast by Atlantic, and westerly by Georgia, from which it is separated by Savannah river.  Its superficial area is 28,000 square miles.

Physical Aspect-- This state, like North Carolina and Georgia, presents a great diversity of surface, as well as of soil and climate, and may also be physically divided into three zones.  The first bordering on the Atlantic, is that of sea sand alluvion, below the lower falls of the rivers, about 60 miles wide, and in most places penetrated by the tide.  The second commences along or near the lower falls and primitive ledge.  The sea sand zone is very nearly a dead plain, but at its interior margin hills begin to appear, springs of water become plentiful, the soil meliorates, and the whole face of nature assumes an agreeable diversity of surface.  The third, or what may be called the mountain zone, though but little of it is really mountainous, comprises the northwestern part of the state, and lies based on the Blue Ridge chain.  The first of these zones, which includes the "Sea islands," is covered with extensive tracts of pine "barrens," open plains without wood, savannas, swamps, and salt marsh, presenting the most fertile and the most sterile extremes of soil.  The second zone displays, amid a series of hills, bold, swelling, and varied in their form, a rapid succession of rich cotton lands, meadows, orchards, and fields of small grain, interluded by extensive forests, barrens, and swamps.  As we approach the mountainous zone, we are gratified by the pleasant alternation of hill and dale; the lively verdure of the hills is contrasted with the deeper tints of the forests which decorates their sides; and in the valleys, broad rivers roll their waters through the varied beauties of the luxuriant and cultivated fields.  From these delightful regions the surface still continues to rise, till we reach the western limit of the state.

Mountains-- The Blue Ridge, or Appalachian chain, traverses this state in its northwest part, of which Table mountain is the most conspicuous.  The other mountains are Olenoy, Oconee, Paris, Glassy's Hog Back and King's.

Rivers, Bays and Sounds-- The principal rivers are the Savannah, Pedee, Black, Santee, Cooper, Ashley, Stono, Edista, Ashepos, Comhahee, Coosaw, Broad and Waccamaw.  Besides Bull's and Winyaw bays, this state contains numerous estuaries and sounds, the principal of which are Port Royal and Georgetown entrances, and Tyree and St Helena sounds.

Islands-- The coast is bordered by a chain of fine islands, the most important of which are, Port Royal, St Helena, Edisto, Ladu's, Trench's, Hunting and Raccoon keys.

Climate-- The climate along the seaboard is moist, very changeable and, during the summer and autumn, is extremely unhealthy.  The middle region, particularly in winter and spring, is regarded as the most healthy part of the state.  In short, all the districts of the upper country enjoy as salubrious a climate as is found in the Union.

Productive Resources-- The principle products of this state are, horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, sugar, wax, hay, lumber, pitch, tar, turpentine, cotton, wool, silk, tobacco, rice, wheat, rye, barley, oats, sweet potatoes and Indian corn. Of the mineral and fossil resources of the state, gold is found in considerable abundance, but the "diggings" are less considerable than in Georgia and North Carolina.  Marble, limestone, granite, oil and soap stone, iron and lead ores, talc, asbestos, plumbago, pyrites, ochres used for painting, potter's clay, and fullers' earth, also occur in greater or less abundance.

Manufactures-- The manufactures of South Carolina are limited in extent.  There are about 20 cotton mills, which consume about 4,000,000 pounds of cotton annually.  There were, in 1850, over 1400 manufacturing establishments of all kinds in the state.

Railroads and Canals-- The aggregate length of railroads in operation in the state is about 300 miles, and about the same amount in process of construction.  The longest canal in the state is the Santee, from Charleston to Santee river, 22 miles.  There are several other shorter ones, amounting in the aggregate to about 30 miles.

Commerce-- The foreign commerce of South Carolina is quite large, its exports and imports amounting to about $14,000,000 annually.  The shipping owned in the state is about 40,000 tons.  Charleston is the principal port, and enjoys about nine tenths of the commerce.

Education-- There are three colleges in South Carolina.  The Charleston college, founded in 1785; the college of South Carolina, founded in 1804; and the Erskine college, in Abbeville district.  There are three theological seminaries in the state.  There is also a medical college at Charleston.  There are about 1000 public schools, and 200 academics, in various parts of the state.

Population-- In 1790 was 249,073; in 1800 was 345,591; in 1810 was 415,715; in 1820 was 502,741; in 1830 was 581,185; in 1840 was 594,398 and in 1850 was 668,507.  Number of slaves in 1790 was 107,094; in 1800 was 146,151; in 1810 was 196,365; in 1820 was 258,475; in 1830 was 315,401; in 1840 was 327,038 and in 1850 was 384,984

Government-- The governor is elected for two years, by a joint vote of both houses of the assembly.  After having served one term, he is ineligible for the next four 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 four 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 two years.  The representatives and half the senators are chosen every second year, in October.  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, 21 years of age, who has resided in the state two years immediately preceding the election, and who is possessed of a freehold of 50 acres of land, or a town lot, six months before the election; or not possessing this freehold, who shall have resided in the election district in which he offers to vote six months before the election, and have paid a tax of three shillings sterling to the support of the government, has the right of suffrage.

History-- The state of South Carolina embraces a portion of the ancient territory of Florida, as first discovered by Ponce de Leon, in 1512; as well as a part of Carolina, as colonized by Coligni with Huguenots, in 1562-65;or as part of Virginia, as granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1584.  In about the year 1630, another grant was made to Sir Robert Heath, of the tract lying between 30° and 36° north latitude, which was erected into a province, under the name of "Carolina."  As no settlements were made under this grant, the charter was declared void.  In 1663, the providence of Carolina was granted, by Charles II, to Lord Clarendon and seven others.  Two years late, the grant was enlarged, so as to comprise all the territory between 31° and 36 1/2° north latitude, extending westward from sea to sea.  In 1670, a small body of English emigrants, under William Sayle, commenced the settlement of Old Charleston, on the south side of Ashley river, which they called "Carteret County Colony," in honor of one of the proprietors.  From this place they removed in 1679, to the present site of Charleston.  In 1720, the proprietary government was thrown off, and that of the crown established.  In 1729, after much controversy and difficulty between the proprietors and the crown, seven out of the eight sold all their claims to the soil and rents in both Carolinas to the King, for £17,500, and the provinces then became royal governments, entirely unconnected under which they remained until the Revolution.  South Carolina early resisted British oppression, and was one of the confederacy in 1776.   It ratified the constitution of the United States, and was admitted into the Union as a sovereign state in 1788. Mottoes of the seal Animis Ophibusque parati: "Ever ready in spirit and achievements." Reverse-- Dum spiro spero: "While I live I hope."

1850 Districts of South Carolina

District Description Area in sq miles Courts held at Pop in 1850
Abbeville west part on Savannah River 1000 Abberville 32,318
Anderson western part, between Savannah & Saluda rivers 800 Anderson 21, 475
Barnwell in southwest part, between Edisto & Savannah rivers 1680 Barnwell 26, 608
Beaufort in southeast, Savannah river on SW & Combahee river on NE 1800 Coosawhaychee 38,805
Charleston southeast boundary, on Atlantic ocean, Santee river on NE, Cambatree river on SW 2244 Charleston 72,805
Chester northern part, between Broad & Catawba rivers 600 Chesterville 18,038
Chesterfield northern boundary, Great Pedee river & Lynch creek 750 Chesterfield Court House 10,790
Colleton southeast part, with St Helena sound & Cambahee river on southwest 2100 Waterborough 39,508
Darlington northeast part, between Great Peedee river & Lynch's creek 1050 Darlington 16,830
Edgefield southwest boundary, Savannah river on southwest 1840 Edgefield 39,262
Fairfield central part, Broad river on the west side 796 Winnsborough 21,404
Georgetown eastern boundary, Atlantic ocean on the southeast, Santee river on southwest 1040 Georgetown 20,647
Greenville northern boundary, Saluda river on southwest 705 Greenville 20,156
Horry north eastern boundary, Atlantic ocean on southeast, Little Pedee river on west 1000 Conwayborough 7,646
Kershaw toward northern part, crossed by Wateree river 792 Camden 17,473
Lancaster northern boundary, Catawba river on west 524 Lancaster 10,986
Laurens toward north western part 920 Laurenceville 23,407
Lexington central part, Broad river on northeast 900 Lexington Court House 12,930
Marion northeastern boundary, crossed by Great Pedee river 1200 Marion 17,407
Marlborough northeast corner, Great Pedee river on southwest 480 Bennettsville 10,789
Newberry western part, Broad river on east, Saluda river on south 540 Newberry 3,690
Orangeburgh central part, Congaree & Santee rivers on northeast, South Edisto on southwest 1824 Orangeburgh Court House 23,582
Pickens northwest corner, Savannah river on southwest 1050 Pickens Court House 16,904
Richland central part, Congaree river on southwest, Wateree river on east 630 Columbia 20,243
Spartansburgh northern boundary, Broad river on northeast 1050 Spartanburgh 26,400
Sumter in central part, Watree & Santee rivers on southwest 1240 Statesburgh 33,220
Union north part, Broad river on east 340 Unionville 19,852
Williamsburgh in east part, Santee river on southwest 1100 Kingstree 12,447
York on north boundary, Broad river on west, the Wateree on east 700 Yorkville 19,433

Charleston, SC

City and seat of justice of Charleston district, SC, occupies a point of land formed by the confluence of Ashley and Cooper rivers, which together enter the ocean by a spacious and deep harbor, extending seven miles below the city.  It is 120 miles southeast of Columbia, the state capital, and 540 miles from Washington.  Four channels, of different depths, afford an entrance into the harbor through a sand-bar which obstructs it.  The deepest of these admits ships with 16 feet draught.  The harbor is defended by Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan island, lying at its mouth, and by Forts Pickney and Johnson.

The city stands on ground somewhat elevated above tide-water, and may be said to resemble New York on a smaller scale.  It is constructed wth regularity and taste, and may rich and varied trees of southern climes lend their charms.  Besides the city proper, there are populous suburbs, which afford fine sites for residences, and are identified with its growth and interests.  Charleston may be considered as the metropolis of the southern Atlantic states, as New Orleans is of those on the Mexican gulf and the Mississippi.  Into this basin, flow many of the products of North Carolina and Georgia.  Its foreign commerce is extensive and valuable, as is also its coasting trade, and packets, as well as, splendid steamships, ply to New York and other Maritime cities.  The Santee canal connects Santee with Cooper river, thus opening a communication from Columbia, the state capital, to Charleston.

The public Buildings and institutions of the city, indicate the wealth, intelligence, and liberality of the people.  There are a number of banks, churches, and hotels, some of them splendid and costly.  Other prominent buildings are the customhouse, guard-house, exchange, city hall, state citadel, almshouse, orphan asylum, Jail, and the College of Charleston.  The literary and scientific institutions and libraries, are generally respectable and flourshing.  No city is more justly noted for hospitality and refinement, and its climate is more salubrious than that of most southern cities, affording a delightful and safe summer resort for planters from the low country and the West Indies, and a pleasant winter resort for people from the north.

The South Carolina railroad extends to Augusta, on the Savannah, 137 miles, where it communicates with the Georgia railroad.  At Branchtown, 62 miles from Charleston, the Columbia branch diverges to Camden and Columbia

The Population in 1790 was 16,359; in 1800 was 18,712; in 1810 was 24,711; in 1820 was 24,480; in 1830 was 30,289; in 1840 was 29,261; and in 1850 was 42,985.

Columbia, SC

A postal village and seat of justice of Richland district and capital of SC, a pleasant village, situated on the east side of Congaree river, below the confluence of its constituents, the Broad and the Saluda, 120 miles northwest of Charleston, and 506 miles from Washington.  The bank of the river gradually ascends to an elevation of about 200 feet, from which the town overlooks an extensive and interesting prospect.  The streets are remarkable for breadth and regularity, and the houses for their neat and tasteful appearance.  Here is located the College of South Carolina, a flourishing institution, which is liberally supported by the state.  A Substantial and well built bridge extends on eight stone piers across the Congaree, and the Saluda canal, making a circuit of six and a quarter miles around the falls, passes through the town.  The river affords steamboat communication with the ocean and with Charleston.  The Columbia branch railroad meets the South Carolina railroad from Charleston at Branchville. Water from springs 1 mile from the town, is forced by steam to an elevated point, whence it is conveyed to all sections of the village.

Population: in 1830 was 3,400; in 1840 was 4,340; and in 1850 was 6,060

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