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"S" is for St. Mark's Parish

South Carolina From A to Z
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"S" is for St. Mark's Parish. In the 1730s lowcountry planters began moving inland and petitioned to have the inland area separated into a new entity—Prince Frederick Parish. Beginning in 1750, an influx of new settlers from Pennsylvania and Virginia moved into Prince Frederick and soon the frontiersmen outvoted the lowcountry planters. In 1757, St. Mark's, the colony’s first—and largest-- backcountry parish was created as much to protect established lowcountry interests as to promote those of the emerging backcountry. It included the entire country between the Great Pee Dee and Santee Rivers from the modern Clarendon-Williamsburg county line northward to North Carolina and westward as far "as it shall be inhabited by His Majesty's subjects." St. Mark's Parish lost its status as an election district in 1785 and was carved up into eleven counties.

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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.