Georgetown, Famous Port City
By Jeannette Holland Austin
By 1729 the area around the City of Georgetown was already home to a busy seaport. One reason is that lucrative rice crops indigo were important exports. Indigo, particularly during the 18th century because of the blue dye which it produced. Pirates hid in nearby bays and barrier islands waiting for merchant ships weighed down with cargo to enter the sea. The local stories spin the tales of Anne Bonney, Mary Read and Calico Jack Rackham lurking around the coast.
A field of indigo.
Georgetown County Probate RecordsGeorgetown County was named for King George II of England. It was settled during the 18th century by English planters bringing their African slaves to establish large rice and indigo plantations.The local town of Georgetown, established about 1730, prospered as a busy port for the plantations.
Georgetown District was first named in 1769 and included the parishes of Prince George, All Saints, and Prince Frederick. In 1785 the district was divided into four counties: Liberty, Kingston,Williamsburg and Winyah.
During the Revolutionary War the troops of General Francis Marion were known to hide in the swamps while waging guerrilla warfare against the British.
Early settlers: Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749-1779), signer of the Declaration of Independence; Theodosia Burr Alston (1783-1813), the daughter of Aaron Burr; Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851), Congressman, secretary of war, ambassador to Mexico and Joseph Hayne Rainey (1832-1887), the first African-American elected to the U. S. House of Representatives.
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