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“T” is for Township plan

“T” is for Township plan. For the first forty years of South Carolina’s existence, almost ninety percent of settlers lived within thirty miles of Charleston. Since the colony had had a Black majority since 1706, Governor Robert Johnson proposed a plan for the orderly settlement of the Carolina frontier in an attempt to rectify the colony’s racial imbalance with mass White immigration and to provide a front line of defense against the Spaniards and Indians. The plan involved the establishment of eleven townships sixty miles north and west of Charleston, but below the fall line. These townships were located on key waterways and were to receive an initial grant of 20,000 acres each. Settlement was slow, but by 1790 the township plan had attracted between ten and fifteen thousand settlers from other colonies and Europe to South Carolina.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.