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History: 1800's

The following are key historical events that took place in and around Clarendon County, S.C., in the 1800's:
  • The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain ended in 1814. It was essentially a stalemate, but it did reconfirm America's Independence from Great Britain.
  • On December 19, 1855, a legislative act was passed establishing the Clarendon District with the same boundaries defined in the Act of 1785. The State Constitution of 1868 would later change districts to counties.
  • Shortly after the re-establishment of Clarendon as a county in 1855, Captain Joseph C. Burgess was selected to determine the geographical center of the county so that a courthouse village could be built. The commissioners responsible for locating the county seat then decided on the site where the present courthouse now stands in Manning. Captain Burgess deeded to the state six acres, which provided sites for the courthouse and jail, in addition to streets 75 feet wide on four sides.
  • On June 25, 1856, the Clarendon county post office was officially established.
  • On April 21, 1858, the "Sumter Watchman" reported that court was held in Clarendon county courthouse for the first time with a large number of lawyers in attendance. 
  • In 1859, a weekly newspaper called the Clarendon Banner opened in Manning and began publication.
  • The town of Manning was officially chartered by an act of the state legislature on January 28, 1861. It was re-chartered by the Secretary of State, March 15, 1904.

Secession Ordinance
  An ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other states united with her under the compact entitled, "The Constitution of the United States of America".

  • The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, a key fort held by Union troops in South Carolina. Eleven states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America (CSA). South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. The war came to an end four years later with Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender to Gen. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

  • In 1865, a body of General Sherman's Union troops under command of General Potter raided Clarendon county. A large portion of the original town, including the court house, was destroyed during "Potter's Raid". The raid took place only a few days before Gen. Robert E. Lee´s surrender at Appomattox. The county recovered slowly from the Civil War.
  • Following the Civil War, the difficult Reconstruction Era of former Confederate states began, lasting from 1864 to 1877.
  • On December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, thus officially abolishing slavery in the U.S.
  • In July 1868, after the S.C. State Legislature ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the state was finally permitted to regain official representation in Congress. The amendment addressed citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws for all citizens, including former slaves.


  • In 1869, Joseph Rainey became the first African-American in South Carolina to be elected to serve as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • With the controversial election of Gov. Wade Hampton III in 1876, new state and local laws began to be passed restricting voting and civil rights of black citizens across the state. See Jim Crow Laws.
  • In 1884, The Manning Times newspaper was established. It is the oldest ongoing community newspaper in Clarendon county. See Manning Live.
  • The town of Alcolu was established in the mid-1880's by D.W. Alderman. It housed the employees of his timber company and lumber mill and their families.
  • In the 1890's, Telegraph systems were introduced into Manning and Summerton.
  • In 1890, the first public school, known as the Manning Collegiate Institute, was opened. By 1899, the school was in debt and in danger of being closed. Local farmer, merchant and civic leader, Moses Levi, bought the property, cleared the debt, and donated it to the city. The school was renamed the Moses Levi Memorial Institute, which operated from 1899-1910.
  • In 1895, a large fire spread through downtown Manning destroying numerous stores along Boyce Street across from the courthouse.
"Historical Sketch of Clarendon County", by Mr. J. H. Lesenne, September 15, 1897 - Archives of The Manning Times
  • In 1898, there were 18 townships listed in Clarendon county which included: Douglas; Sandy Grove; New Zion; Midway; Plowden Mill; Harmony; Sammy Swamp; Manning; Mt. Zion; Brewington; Calvary; Fulton; Concord; Friendship; St. Paul; St. James; Santee; and St. Mark.
  • The Spanish American War began in April 1898. Company D, 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was formed in Manning, S.C., and mustered into service May 21st, 1898. Fortunately, the war came to a quick end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The unit was mustered out of service on April 19, 1899.

Clarendon County, S.C. - 1895 Map

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Peter Groen,
Jun 14, 2015, 2:19 PM