Ninety-Six District, South Carolina


Years in Existence

1st District Seat

2nd District Seat

1769 - 1800



Significant Towns Established 1769 - 1800 









Click Here - To see how the Ninety-Six District evolved 1769 to 1800 - includes all the known towns and villages.

A History of the Ninety-Six District

In 1768, South Carolina eliminated all of the original counties and established seven new "overarching Districts," with governmental seats in each district. The Act creating these new districts was nullified by the British Parliament, but the re-introduction of the Act in 1769 was approved. From 1769 to 1785, these districts remained intact, however, the district seats did change some during that time-frame.

After the American Revolution in 1785, South Carolina re-established the concept of counties and thirty-four (34) "new" counties were defined and established. Each of these new counties were "subsets" of, and subordinate to, the "overarching Districts" that had been in existence since 1769. Some of the newly-defined counties were abolished between 1785 and 1800, whereas other newly-defined counties were created during that period.

In 1785, six newly-defined "counties" were created wholly within the existing Ninety-Six District - Abbeville, Edgefield, Laurens, Newberry, Spartan, and Union - but, the overarching Ninety-Six District remained intact. When the town of Ninety-Six was burned by the British in 1781, the district seat was changed to Cambridge, which was essentially a new town where Ninety-Six had been. In 1786, Greenville was added to the Ninety-Six District. In 1789, Pendleton was added to Ninety-Six District. In 1791, these two were removed from Ninety-Six District and became part of the newly-created Washington District.

In 1800, South Carolina abolished all "overarching Districts" and essentially went with the county concept from that year forward. However, in 1800, all counties were now called "districts" and would continue being called districts until after the U.S. Civil War. In 1868, South Carolina reverted back to the term "county" and this term has been used continuously since then.

The boundaries of the original Ninety-Six District remained essentially the same from inception in 1769 until 1777, when the Cherokees ceded what is today Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville counties to South Carolina, and this area was considered part of the Ninety-Six District. In 1791, the new Pinckney District was carved out of the Ninety-Six District and the Camden District and the new Washington District was created.

The first United States Census was taken in 1790 and each of the original seven "overarching Districts" were enumerated within that census. By the 1800 U.S. Census, all of the original seven "overarching Districts" had been abolished and new counties (called districts at that time) were enumerated separately in that census.

If one were to attempt to determine which of the current South Carolina counties are actually situated within the original overarching Ninety-Six District as it existed between 1769 and 1791, the best guess would have to include: all of Edgefield, Saluda, McCormick, Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, Union, and Spartanburg counties, most of Newberry and Cherokee counties, Greenville County, Pickens, Oconee, and Anderson Counties.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved