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“O” is for Orangeburgh Township

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“O” is for Orangeburgh Township. Originally entitled “Edisto,” but renamed by its German-speaking Swiss inhabitants to honor William IV, Prince of Orange-Nassau, the 48,000-acre Orangeburgh Township was situated on the North Fork of the Edisto River. A few English-speaking non-German settlers were present in the area from the early 1730s, but active settlement began in 1735 when the first organized immigration of 220 German-Swiss settlers arrived. A village developed into a tightly knit, small farming community and transportation center. Charleston merchants established businesses there and in 1769 a circuit court was established in the village of Orangeburgh. Area farmers grew hemp, indigo, and rice and produced enough wheat to help South Carolina reduce its dependence on imported flour from Pennsylvania. By the eve of the Revolutionary War, Orangeburgh Township had been incorporated into St. Matthew’s Parish.

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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.