During the American Revolution, the Cherokees sided with the
British, and much to their surprise the Patriots won their independence.
Starting in 1777, the Cherokees began to cede more and more of
their territory to the newly-established state of South Carolina,
and they began to withdraw from the western portion of the state.
With this cession of Cherokee lands came new white settlers into
what had previously been considered Indian territory with only
the occassional trader outpost in the area. The new settlers
quickly grabbed as much land as they thought prudent and once
again started pushing the Cherokees further west, not always
By 1791, there were significant enough numbers of white settlers
in the previously-held Cherokee lands that the new state of South
Carolina finally decided to officially recognize that these settlements
were going to need state and local governmental supervision.
In that year, two new Districts were created in the northwestern
section of South Carolina - the Pinckney District and the Washington District. Each
had District Seats designated with courts established in those
seats. The Pinckney District was created out of parts of the
and the Camden District.
The new Pinckney District included four (4) of the thirty-four
(34) counties as created in 1785 - Chester
County, Union County,
and York County.
The Pinckney District was not enumerated within the first
United States Census of 1790, but all of its previously-defined
counties of 1785 were included separately. This is also true
for the 1800 U.S. Census, so comparisons between the first two
censuses would be fairly straightforward for each county.