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.
In 1798, Washington
District was renamed to Pendleton District, and the name
Washington District was never used again in South Carolina, being
relegated only to a short history of two years. However, this
"overarching" Pendleton District was short-lived. It
too was abolished in 1800 and was redesignated as a single "district"
(county), but it retained all of its original lands except for
Greenville County (district), which would include the present-day
counties of Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson. It would be Pendleton
District (county) until it was again abolished in 1826, never
to be resurrected again in the state of South Carolina.