Lincoln County, South Carolina


Years in Existence

County Seat


1785 - 1798


N/A - Abolished in 1798

First Settled

First Settled By

Significance of County Name



Unknown - See Below

A History of Lincoln County, South Carolina

In the South Carolina lowcountry, Beaufort District was formed in 1769 as one of seven original "overarching Districts." In 1785, Beaufort District was divided into four counties: Granville, Hilton, Lincoln, and Shrewsbury. These counties never became fully functional, and in 1798 these counties were abolished.

In 1868, Beaufort District was designated Beaufort County. Its county seat, the town of Beaufort, is on U.S. Highway 21, about forty miles northwest of Savannah, GA and 110 miles south of Columbia. Since the U.S. Civil War, the Marines have used Beaufort County's Parris Island as a training base. Beaufort County is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the South Carolina counties of Jasper and Colleton, and the Georgia county of Chatham.

A 1785 map shows that present-day Allendale County to have once been a portion of the northern part of Lincoln County and Shrewsbury County, both within Beaufort District at that time. These entities do not appear on the 1791 Circuit Court District map. Lincoln County was officially abolished in 1798.
From the book entitled "The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina - Volume 1, 1514-1861," by Lawrence S. Rowland, Alexander Moore, and George C. Rogers, Jr., published in 1996 by the University of South Carolina Press:

"The Act of 1785 reorganized the counties of the state and carved 'Lincoln County' out of the northern part of the Beaufort District. A separate court was established in that rural neighborhood so its citizens would not have to travel to Beaufort. When the [Beaufort] district court was moved to Coosawhatchie in 1788, the Lincoln County Court was closed at the request of its citizens."

Lincoln County was most likely named after Major General Benjamin Lincoln, the Continental Army leader who commanded the Southern Theater from late 1778 until the capture of Charlestown on May 12, 1780.


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