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1785 Treaty of Hopewell subsequent Pioneers SC

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D J Thornton
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1785 Treaty of Hopewell subsequent Pioneers SC

Postby D J Thornton » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:26 pm

http://files.usgwarchives.net/sc/oconee ... s/c149.txt
Read the whole section background history

Early SC counties

It is estimated by Ramsay in his history of South Carolina (1808) that in
1755, there were not even 23 families settled between the Waxhaws on the
Catawba River and Augusta on the Savannah River. Since much of the
upcountry was Indian land, settlement had centered in the coastal
counties. Prior to 1768, the only court held in South Carolina was held at
the City of Charleston. In 1768, however, South Carolina was divided into
six judicial districts, with courts to be held in each. What is now Oconee
County was in the Ninety-Six District. At the end of the Revolutionary
War, all of present-day Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties
was Cherokee land. There was some white settlement in this area, and forts
had been erected in various places to protect the settlers. The judicial
set-up in South Carolina becomes quite fluid (and quite confusing) from
this time on until 1868. A law passed in 1783 recommended the division of
the judicial districts into counties of not more than forty square miles,
with each county to have its own courts. This was accomplished by 1785,
with the Ninety-Six District being further divided into Abbeville,
Edgefield, Newberry, Laurens, Union and Spartanburg counties. The lands of
present-day Oconee County were temporarily attached to the adjoining
counties of Laurens, Abbeville and Spartanburg.

The Indians had sided with the British during the Revolution, and were
forced to surrender their land. In 1785 a treaty was signed with the
Cherokee Indians at Hopewell, the home of Andrew Pickens; the following
year, a treaty was signed with the Choctaws at the same location. At about
this time it was estimated that the white population of the area was
9,500. By 1789, the residents of present-day Oconee County were having
difficulty with their judicial assignment, and the area was separated off
into Pendleton County. A courthouse was set up at the site of the
present-day town of Pendleton in 1790. The next year, however, the
Ninety-Six District was divided into upper and lower regions. The upper
region, composed of Pendleton and Greenville counties, was named the
Washington District; a district courthouse was set up at Pickensville near
the present-day town of Easley. In 1798 the name "county" once again
changed to "district"; Oconee County was in the Pendleton District, and
court was held in Pendleton. The population was increasing rapidly;
according to Ramsay's history, by 1800 it stood at 17,828. The area was,
however, still sparsely settled. In 1808, according to Ramsay, there was
only one acre of cleared land for every eight acres of uncleared land, and
only one inhabitant per 36 acres. Education was "at a low ebb," although
some schools had been established; one newspaper was being published, by
John Miller in Pendleton. In 1826 Pendleton District was further
subdivided into Pickens and Anderson districts. The county seat of the
Pickens District, which encompassed present-day Oconee County, was located
at Pickens Courthouse, or "Old Pickens."
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