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“W” is for Waxhaws

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“W” is for Waxhaws. The Waxhaws is an area of vague borders in the lower South Carolina Piedmont. It was named for the Waxhaws, an extinct tribe of Native Americans who once lived in the area. The center of the Waxhaws was known as the Waxhaws Settlement, consisting of the general area of Lancaster County south of Twelve Mile Creek and north of Cane Creek. The actual boundaries of the Waxhaws, however, are hard to define, but it is generally accepted that they include both Chester and Lancaster Counties. The area was settled by Scots-Irish who came from Virginia and Pennsylvania. They brought their Presbyterian faith with them and founded the Old Waxhaw Church that became a center of Presbyterian influence in the backcountry. During the Revolutionary War, the Waxhaws was a stronghold of patriot sentiment.

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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.