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“S” is for St. Mark’s Parish

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“S” is for St. Mark’s Parish. South Carolina’s first backcountry parish and by far its largest in land area, St. Mark’s was established in 1757 and included the 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.”. In the 1750s a tremendous influx of Scots-Irish settlers from Virginia and Pennsylvania poured into the back parts of Prince Frederick Parish. Soon, the older, established planters of the parish found themselves outvoted by the frontiersmen. Therefore St. Mark’s was created as much to protect established lowcountry interests as to promote those of the emerging backcountry. St. Mark’s Parish lost its status as an election district in 1785 and was divided into eleven counties.

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.