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“K” is for King’s Highway

South Carolina A to Z

“K” is for King’s Highway. The King’s Highway was a post road that stretched from Savannah to Maine. The South Carolina section, built between 1739 and 1750, crossed the North Carolina line just above Little River on its way to Georgetown. It then skirted the Santee delta before passing through McClellanville to reach Charleston. The route to Savannah also followed the higher ground away from the coast to avoid the Edisto, Combahee, and Broad River basins and did not pass an important settlement until it reached Purrysburg on the Savannah River. Even at its best the condition of the route was seldom good. The section between Wilmington and Charleston was judged by some travelers as “the most disagreeable on the Continent.” In the twentieth century much of the King’s Highway became utilized as U.S. Highway 17.

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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.