The first American military victory of the Revolutionary War took place in South Carolina. In 1775, a small group of American patriots led by William Moultrie successfully defended Fort Sullivan (now Fort Moultrie) on Sullivan's Island from a British attack. The victory prevented the British from gaining control of Charleston Harbor and gave a boost to the American cause.
Clarendon County, located in the state of South Carolina, has a rich history that spans back to colonial times. The region was first explored by Europeans in the 17th century, with settlers from England arriving in the following centuries. The county was formally established in 1855, named after Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, an influential politician during the English Civil War.

The area experienced significant development during the antebellum era, primarily driven by the cultivation of cotton and the establishment of large plantations. Slavery played a crucial role in the county's economy, as enslaved African Americans were forced to work on these plantations. As tensions increased throughout the nation in the mid-19th century, Clarendon County witnessed divided loyalties during the American Civil War, with some residents supporting the Union and others backing the Confederacy.

Following the Civil War and the subsequent abolition of slavery, Clarendon County went through a period of reconstruction and recovery. The region's economy diversified from its reliance on agriculture, gradually incorporating industries such as timber, turpentine, and later, tobacco and textiles. The county also became a center for education, with the establishment of schools and colleges.

However, racial tensions persisted in Clarendon County, leading to significant events during the civil rights movement in the 20th century. In 1954, the county became a key player in the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education, when the Briggs v. Elliott lawsuit was filed to challenge racial segregation in the local education system. The case would later be combined with others into the historic Brown case, which ultimately led to the desegregation of schools nationwide.

Today, Clarendon County is a vibrant community with a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. The county's historical significance, from its colonial beginnings to its role in the civil rights movement, is celebrated through various museums, monuments, and annual events that showcase its unique heritage.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Clarendon County, South Carolina.

  • 1730: Clarendon County is first settled by European colonists.
  • 1769: The town of Manning is established as the county seat.
  • 1785: The Battle of Eutaw Springs takes place in present-day Clarendon County during the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1800s: The area is largely agricultural, with cotton plantations dominating the economy.
  • 1865: The Civil War comes to an end, leaving the county devastated and many plantations destroyed.
  • 1901: Clarendon County is officially formed from parts of Sumter and Williamsburg counties.
  • 1954: The landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which challenges racial segregation in schools, originates from Clarendon County.
  • 1969: Lake Marion, a popular recreational area, is created with the completion of the Santee Dam.
  • 2000s: Clarendon County continues to be a primarily rural area, with farming and outdoor tourism playing key roles in the local economy.