The Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, known as the "Swamp Fox," was from South Carolina. Marion was a skilled guerrilla fighter who used the state's swamps and forests as cover to launch surprise attacks against the British.
Orangeburg County, located in South Carolina, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back centuries. The area was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Edisto, Santee, and Catawba, who relied on the region's fertile lands for agriculture and hunting.

In the early 18th century, European settlers began to move into the region. Orangeburg Township was established in 1730 as one of the original townships of South Carolina, named after William IV of Orange, who was then the reigning Dutch monarch. The township quickly became an important center for trade and agriculture, with plantations developed to cultivate crops such as indigo, rice, and cotton. Slavery played a significant role in the economic success of these plantations, with many African Americans forced into bondage.

During the American Revolution, Orangeburg County played a pivotal role in the fight for independence. The Battle of Williamson's Plantation, fought in 1781, took place in the county and resulted in a significant victory for the Patriots against British forces. Orangeburg also experienced considerable damage and destruction as a result of the war, and the post-war years were marked by the process of rebuilding.

The 19th and 20th centuries saw the county continue to evolve and adapt to changing times. The expansion of the railroads in the mid-19th century facilitated trade and commerce, stimulating economic growth. However, Orangeburg County also faced challenges, particularly with racial tensions during the Civil Rights Movement. Notably, the Orangeburg Massacre occurred in 1968 when three black students were killed and many others injured during protests at South Carolina State University.

Today, Orangeburg County is a vibrant and diverse community with a mix of rural and urban areas. It is known for its rich agricultural heritage, especially in the production of tobacco, soybeans, and timber. The county also boasts several higher education institutions, including Claflin University and South Carolina State University, which contribute to the cultural and intellectual life of the area.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Orangeburg County, South Carolina.

  • 1704 - Orangeburg County founded as one of the original seven counties of the Province of Carolina.
  • 1711 - Orangeburg Township established as a settlement on the banks of the North Edisto River.
  • 1730 - Orangeburg Township becomes an official town and is renamed Orangeburg.
  • 1785 - Orangeburg designated as the county seat.
  • 1865 - During the American Civil War, Orangeburg is occupied by Union forces.
  • 1888 - The South Carolina Senate establishes Claflin College in Orangeburg.
  • 1968 - Tragic incident known as the Orangeburg Massacre occurs at South Carolina State University, resulting in the deaths of three students.
  • 1995 - Santee State Park is established near Lake Marion, boosting tourism in the county.