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“D” is for Darlington County

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“D” is for Darlington County (561 square miles; 2020 population 62,905). Darlington County was created in 1785, out of the southern third of the colonial-era judicial district of Cheraws. Darlington lost territory in 1888 with the creation of Florence County and again in 1902 with the creation of Lee County. Although home to Sonoco Products Company—a global organization with factories all over the world, for much of its history, agriculture dominated the way of life in the county. Early settlers (many of them Welsh Baptists) grew hemp, indigo and flax and raised livestock. Then, for nearly a century, cotton was king until dethroned by flue-cured tobacco. But, by the turn of the twenty-first century, tobacco production had declined precipitously. Darlington County is home to one of the seven nuclear power plants located in South Carolina.

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.