The following are key historical events that took place in and around Summerton, 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.
The first recorded land purchase in the Summerton area was by Charles Harvin in the 1820's. He bought 69 acreas of woodland between Taw Caw and Scott's Branch river.
By the 1850's, a number of prosperous plantation owners had built lavish homes in 'Summer Town', where they took their families during the hot summer months.
The newspaper archives of the 'Sumter Banner' from December 1854 contain an advertisement for a teacher for the Summerton Academy starting in January 1855 at a salary 0f $400 per year.
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 into 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 county seat and courthouse could be built. The site that was selected is where the present courthouse stands in the nearby town of Manning.
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.
During the Civil War, citizens of Summerton and Clarendon County primarily served in one of three companies: the Manning Guards, Keel’s Company, or the Sprott Guard.
In 1865, a body of General Sherman's Union troops under command of General Potter raided Clarendon county. A large portion of the nearby town of Manning, 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.
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.
"An Historical Sketch of Summerton During the Past Half Century"; The Manning Times, June 26, 1889 - Archives
In the years following the Civil War, cotton was still king. There were over a dozen cotton gins within 5 miles of Summerton. This was to end in the early 1900's when the boll weevil pretty much wiped out cotton farmers across the South.
In May 1885, steam boat service from Charleston to Wrights Bluff just outside Summerton was reduced to just one trip per week.
On December 24, 1889, the South Carolina Assembly granted a charter officially incorporating the town of Summerton.
In 1889, the Wilson & Summerton Railroad line began operating.
In December 1889, Summerton Drugs opened for business.
In April 1890, the short-lived Summerton Star Newspaper was founded.
In the 1890's, Telegraph systems were introduced into Manning and Summerton.
The Spanish American War began in April 1898. Fortunately, the war came to a quick end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.
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