The Royal Colony of South Carolina

 The German/Swiss (Palatine) Settlers During the Royal Period (1729 to 1775)

In 1730, Governor Robert Johnson created his "township scheme" and the colony focused on introducing planned settlements of the interior for the first time. Click Here to learn more about this important historical event. Nine new townships and one large undefined tract was set aside specifically for the settlement of "hardy individuals" to help deter any future Indian attacks along the coast.

Of these planned ten townships, five were set aside for the peoples of German and Swiss origin. Purrysburg Township was established and settled in 1732 by Swiss immigrants, mostly German with a good number of French Huguenots. Amelia Township was also established in 1732 and it was settled by German Lutherans. Congarees Township was established in 1730, but it was renamed in 1735 to Saxe-Gotha Township and immediately settled by German Lutherans. Edisto Township was established in 1730, but it too was renamed in 1736, to Orangeburgh Township, and was settled by 250 Swiss immigrants, mostly German and a good number of French Huguenots. New Windsor Township was established and settled in 1737 by 200 Swiss immigrants, mostly French Huguenots and a good number of Germans.

These settlements grew quickly and by 1750 they had encompassed what are the present-day counties of Calhoun, Richland, Orangeburg, Hampton, and Aiken. In 1750, another small group of Germans settled in what is present-day York County. Later in the 1750s, the Germans and Swiss made their way down the Great Wagon Road to South Carolina and settled in what are the present-day counties of Lancaster, Newberry, and McCormick.

In 1761, the Bounty Act introduced three new "townships" in the backcountry of South Carolina, one set aside for the Swiss/Palatines. Londonborough Township was established and settled in 1765 by 300 Swiss immigrants, mostly German and a good number of French Huguenots. This settlement was located in what are the present-day counties of McCormick and Edgefield and also went by the name of Belfast Township (not used by many nor on many maps thusly).

In the first United States census of 1790 - only fifteen years after the Royal Period - South Carolina enumerated that approximately 5.0% of its total population were of German heritage. This is virtually the same as what was found in North Carolina in 1790 - 4.7% German heritage. 



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