Selections taken from Statistics
of South Carolina including a view of its natural, civil and military history,
general and particular by Robert Mills (1826):
History of the Settlement -- Origin of its name
The first settlement
was make in this district by emigrants from Pennsylvania and Virginia, about the
year 1745, and called the Waxhaws, from the name of the creek on which the
principal settlements were located (then supposed to be within the bounds of
North Carolina). These settlements were made in the neighbourhood of the
Catawbas, then a powerful and warlike tribe of Indians, whose chief town was
situate on the west side of Sugar creek, (more properly Sugaw, that being the
ancient Indian name,) just opposite to the mouth of little Sugar creek.
The site of this ancient town is now in York district, and under cultivation in
the plantation of Mr. Alderson, but not a vestige of it is to be seen.
About the year 1750,
the early settlers of the Waxhaws became, in a great measure, rid of their
powerful and dangerous neighbors, the Indians; as the smallpox broke out among
them and carried off, from the best information, three fourths of the whole
tribe. Shortly afterwards they leased most of their lands on Sugar creek,
to some of the emigrants, and removed and settled in the towns where they now
reside. The present name was given to the district, through the influence
of those settlers, who emigrated from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. It
was previously included under the name of Camden precincts.
Increasing or Decreasing
The population of this
district has been on the increase, though slowly, owing in a great measure to
emigrations from it to Alabama, Georgia &c. For the last few years,
this disposition to emigrate has considerably subsided. The census of 1820
gave 5846 whites, 4473 slaves, and 69 free blacks; total 10, 390. The
total population in 1800 was 6312. Increase, 4078 in 20 years.
Education and Literature
The progress of
literature has been very tardy in this district; more especially in the eastern
section of it, where the people are in many instances poor. In the western
parts, the people being more wealthy, have paid greater attention to
education. There has not been a grammar school of any note in this
district for many years until lately; though at one period this part of the
state could boast of having the best institution for learning in the upper
country; nay, the only one above Charleston. It was conducted with
ability, and was highly respectable. In this institution many gentlemen,
who afterwards distinguished themselves, were educated.
An academy has been
lately endowed by the munificence of the legislature of the state, who granted
for that purpose the escheated property of the district. From this fund a
very fine building has been erected in the village, of brick, two stories
high. The funds accruing from this source now amount annually to about
$2000, to which have been added about $1200 in private donations. It is
called the Franklin Academy, and is now in operation.
Under the fostering
care of the state another valuable institution for communicating knowledge has
been founded; the free-schools, where the children of poor are educated at
public expense. By means of this fund 18 private schools have been
assisted within the last two years, at the expense of $1440, where 300 pupils
received the benefits of instruction.
Number and Class of Religious
As to the religious
sects the Seceders are the most numerous. There are many Presbyterians,
some Methodists, and a few Baptists.
Lancaster was the birth
place of General Andrew Jackson. He was born near the waters of Waxhaw
creek in this district, and within a mile of the North Carolina line, which was
then the boundary of Anson county.