Washington District, South Carolina


Years in Existence

1st District Seat

2nd District Seat

1791 - 1798



Significant Towns Established 1791 - 1798 

Oconee Station


Click Here - To see what the Washington District looked like during its brief existence, including all known towns.

A History of the Washington District

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 Cherokee further west, not always without conflict.

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 "overarching 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. Washington District included the recently created "new counties" of Greenville County (created in 1786) and Pendleton County (created in 1789).

Washington District was not enumerated in the first United States Census of 1790, nor were any of the counties that had been previously-defined within the district prior to 1790, such as Greenville County. With the district being renamed to Pendleton District in 1798, there would be no reference to Washington District in the 1800 U.S. Census.

This Washington District is NOT to be confused with the earlier Washington County that had been established within the Charleston District in 1785 as a "new county." That Washington County never took root and never had a court house, so it was abolished in 1791, the same year and via the same Legislative Act that created this Washington District - on opposite ends of the state.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved