Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

History

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Marjorie J. Spruill

Abstract

Granby was a thriving village in the middle of South Carolina from 1760-1830. Most histories of the Midlands of South Carolina generally begin with the establishment of the state capital Columbia in 1786 with some mention of Native Americans and backcountry settlers before that, but do not mention Granby. The reason it has been overlooked are twofold. When Columbia was built across the Congaree River from Granby, merchants and residents moved to the new city. As Granby fell into decline, most of its buildings collapsed or were moved and Granby ceased to exist as a town. Also, most of the public records in Lexington County that would tell Granby’s story were destroyed during the Civil War.

New resources have made it possible to fill in some of the gaps in Granby’s history. The recent discovery of a pencil drawing of Granby in 1810 has given us names of families and businesses. Digitization of late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century newspapers has provided easier access to information about the people of the town. This study includes the first transcription of the recently digitized Congarees Store Account Book 1784-1786. This daily account book provides a snapshot of the people who lived and worked in Granby. To provide context for the new information that has come to light about Granby, this study presents a narrative history of Granby beginning when it was a Native American trading area known as “the Congarees” and follows it through the Saxe Gotha Township period of the first white settlers, through to its role in the American Revolution and finally its position as a center of commerce in the Early Republic.

Share

COinS