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“S” is for St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish

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“S” is for St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish. Located on the peninsula formed by the Cooper and Wando Rivers in modern Berkeley County, St. Thomas and St. Denis were created by the Church Act of 1706 and constitute colonial South Carolina’s only parish within a parish. The area was settled originally by Huguenots and later by English planters. The English-speaking majority was organized as St. Thomas Parish. However, to accommodate the French settlers, the parish of St. Denis was established “in ye middle of it.” By the mid-eighteenth century intermingling and intermarriage had made the English and French “one and the same people,” and St. Thomas and St. Denis officially became one parish in 1784. With the abolition of the parish system in 1865, St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish became part of Berkeley County.

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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.