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Home: Regional: U.S. States: South Carolina: Orangeburg County

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Re: Town of Edisto, Orangeburg County 1700-1800
Posted by: John Howell (ID *****6409) Date: November 18, 2007 at 05:59:20
In Reply to: Town of Edisto, Orangeburg County 1700-1800 by Lyndall Maxwell of 689

I think you will find the name Edisto described the area of present Orangeburg before naming it Orangeburg.

Orangeburgh was settled approximately fifty
years after the first settlement in Carolina by
venturesome men from Charles Town who desired
to penetrate the "upper country." In 1704 Henry
(George) Sterling, an Indian trader, settled on
Lyons Creek (formerly in Orangeburg County). In
1718 a so-called "fort" was built near the present
city of Columbia (then a part of Orangeburg
County). It was commanded by Captain Charles
Russell of Massachusetts, son of English parents.
The next year Richard and Mary Sterling Heatley
made their way to the Santee Section, Their son
William was the first white child known to be born
in Orangeburg County. John Hearne, around 1732,
was the first settler known to have reached a spot
within the present limits of the city of Orangeburg.
Prior to 1735 a Swiss gentleman named John
Peter Purry had tried to establish Swiss colonies in
South Carolina. He painted such a glowing picture
of the territory that many Swiss people were
persuaded to come to this El Dorado of America,'
The first shipload of Swiss settlers destined for
Orangeburgh Township arrived in July 1735 for
this land on the banks of the Edisto River. It is
popularly assumed that the township was named in
honor of the marriage of William Charles Henry
Friso, Prince of Orange, to Princess Anne, daughter
of King George II of England.2

With the third arrival of settlers in 1737 came a
Lutheran minister, the Reverend John Ulrich
Giessendanner, whose daily records furnish vital
information about the colony's births, marriages,
and deaths, The Giessendanner Record was written
in German and covered a period of twenty-four
years.:3

The early settlers were by no means limited to
natives of Switzerland. The first records mention
natives of England, Ireland, and Scotland as well,
The influence of these people on the township must
have been tremendous judging from the i'emnants
that remain of these first settlers.

The township of Orangeburgh was founded on
the banks of the Edisto River, and today there is
also an Edisto Street as well as EdistoDrive located
near the river at Edisto Gardens. The origin of the
name Edisto is that of an Indian tribe living along
the river. An early cartographer, Le Moyne, (1591),
called it Adusta.~ An old Indian legend says that
Edistowah (or Hidustah), chief official of the Creek
Indians, would prepare his warriors for the
warpath with a ceremony: "Hidustah dipped an
earthen jar into the river near the capital town,
came to the point where the warriors were gathered
together and had kindled a fire. With his hands he

sprinkled the sacred water on the ground saying,
`As I sprinkle this water on the ground, so may you
shed blood of your enemies." Thus, this river and
the streets which hear its name


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