A History of New Rochelle, South Carolina

In 1761, The Bounty Act was a direct result of the French and Indian War (1756-1759 in the colonies) and the Cherokee War (1760) in South Carolina. This Act provided cash money to anyone who brought settlers to the "upcountry" area of South Carolina - again, to serve as a deterrent against future Indian attacks on the colony. Three new "townships" were established as a result of the Bounty Act of 1761, much like the earlier townships of 1730.

Once again, these three townships did not survive into the modern era. The American Revolution brought about the factions of Loyalists (Tories) and Freedom Fighters (Patriots), and the many years of conflict during the war caused many of the new settlers to pack up and move to other parts.

Within the newly-created Hillsborough Township that was formed with 28,000 acres, New Rochelle was established within the township in 1766, two years after the town of New Bordeaux. Very little extant information is available regarding the second town, New Rochelle; most historical information that exists speaks to New Bordeaux or about Hillsborough Township in general.

The 1769 District Court Act established seven new districts, and New Rochelle was situated along the western edge of the newly-created Ninety-Six District.

Instead of living on isolated farms, the settlers lived in the village and tended small plots for vineyards, olive groves, and orchards close to town and larger, 100-acre plots for row crops further out. A full range of artisans, merchants, and professionals made the village self-sustaining.

Then came the American Revolution. In South Carolina, the war was marked by Indian-style raiding and ambushes and was particularly murderous, matching Loyalist families and neighbors against Patriot friends and cousins.

New Bordeaux and New Rochelle, whose residents were ardent Patriots and raised a militia company to fight, was repeatedly hit by Loyalists. It also lost two key leaders, first the Rev. Gibert, who died in New Bordeaux in 1773 after eating poisonous mushrooms, then St. Pierre, killed in battle during the expedition against the Cherokee in 1776.

Because of the American Revolution as well as the abandonment of silk production for more profitable and easy occupations, the towns of New Bordeaux and New Rochelle soon "passed out of existence," but the descendents of these Huguenots are found to this day in western South Carolina.

Hillsborough Township Plat 1765 - From SC State Archives - Click Here

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