Camden was settled in 1732 by a few English colonists from Charleston. It was the first inland town in South Carolina. It was built on the "fall line" of the Wateree River. The Camden-Charleston Path probably followed older Indian trails. A number of Quakers were the next to settle along the river.
As roads developed in America settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the roads provided access to markets. They could sell their products at distant markets, and buy products made far away. If an ancestor settled near a road, you may be able to trace back to a place of origin on a connecting highway.
The first European colonists settled in counties along this path (north to south) as follows:
Connecting trails. The Camden-Charleston Path links to other trails at each end. The migration pathways connecting in Charleston include:
The migration routes connecting in Camden include:
Modern parallels. The modern roads that roughly match the old Camden-Charleston Path start in Charleston. Follow I-26 north to the Orangeburg. Take State 601 north to Camden.
Settlers and Records
Most of the early colonists along the trail and near Fort Charlotte were Englishmen from Charleston. Later settlers included Quakers, and eventually immigrants from the Ulster part of Ireland.
No complete list of settlers who used the Charleston-Ft. Charlotte Trail is known to exist. However, local and county histories along the road may reveal first pioneer settlers who were candidates to have travelled the Charleston-Ft. Charlotte Trail from the Charleston area. However, it is also possible that many earlier settlers used the Savannah River, or the earlier connecting trails such as the Occaneechi Path, Fall Line Road, and Great Valley Road to reach the area.
For partial lists of early settlers who may have used the Charleston-Ft. Charlotte Trail, see:
in McCormick County:
- "Early Settlement of the Area Now Kershaw County" in Kershaw County Historical Society Blog at http://kchistory.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html (accessed 22 March 2011).
in Edgefield County:
- Anne King Gregorie, History of Sumter County, South Carolina (Sumter, S.C.: Library Board of Sumter County, 1954) (FHL Book 975.769 H2g) WorldCat entry.
- Cassie Nicholes, Historical Sketches of Sumter County (Sumter, S.C.: Sumter County Historical Commission, 1981) (FHL Book 975.769 H2n) WorldCat entry.
in Aiken County:
in Orangeburg County:
- "The First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina" in Orangeburgh German-Swiss Genealogy Society at http://www.ogsgs.org/ffam/ff-intro.htm (accessed 23 March 2011).
in Dorchester County:
- Based on the 1732 Camden settlement date and the fact that the settlers were from Charleston as cited in South Carolina - The Counties, http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/sc_counties_alphabetical_order.html (accessed 22 March 2011).
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 848. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
- South Carolina - The Counties, http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/sc_counties_alphabetical_order.html (accessed 22 March 2011).