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“C” is for Clarendon County

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  “C” is for Clarendon County [607 square miles; population 32,502]. The first Clarendon County was created in 1785, but was combined with Claremont and Salem Counties to form Sumter District in 1800. In 1855, the legislature created Clarendon District from the southern half of Sumter District. The county was named for Earl Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, one of the original Lords Proprietors. Located in east-central South Carolina, modern Clarendon County is bordered on three sides by Sumter, Florence, and Williamsburg Counties, while the Santee River—in the form of Lake Marion—forms the county’s southern boundary. The county seat is Manning, named for one of the county’s wealthiest and most distinguished families. In the 21st century, forty percent of Clarendon County was forest and one-third was dedicated to traditional agricultural products such as tobacco, cotton, corn, and soybeans.

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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.