"Q" is for Quakers

May 12, 2020

Credit SC Public Radio

"Q" is for Quakers. Quakerism came to South Carolina in the 1670s and a Meeting of the Society of Friends was established in Charleston in 1682. Charleston Friends held ties to London and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings and remained separate from the other South Carolina Quaker settlements, which were affiliated with the North Carolina Yearly Meeting. A group of Irish Quakers settled along the Wateree River near Camden about 1750. Bush River was by far the largest and most influential of the Piedmont meetings. Because of Quakers’ opposition to slavery, the Society of Friends’ population in South Carolina peaked in 1800 and suffered dramatic decline due to out-migration to slave-free Ohio.  In 1967, several small worship groups formed in South Carolina and by the turn of the century South Carolina Friends met annually for the Palmetto Friends Gathering.