Abbeville, SC is one of the first communities that is a part of the Preserve America Community Government Program that we at Mint Message talked about previously. Here, we will cover the early history of Abbeville, SC, and how it came to be before and during the American Revolution.
Abbeville's history can be traced back to the mid-18th century, when European settlers, primarily of Scotch-Irish and French Huguenot descent, began to establish the town. The region's fertile land and proximity to the Savannah River attracted settlers seeking agricultural opportunities. The town's name, derived from the French word "abbé," reflected the Huguenots' cultural and religious influence.
Throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Abbeville experienced steady growth. The establishment of a courthouse in 1785 facilitated the town's development as a center for commerce and local governance. The town's strategic location along major trade routes, including the Old Cherokee Path and the Charleston-to-Hamburg Railroad, further contributed to its economic prosperity.
Abbeville played a crucial role in the American Revolutionary War. On November 22, 1775, the town hosted the first public meeting in the South to denounce British authority. This landmark event, known as the "Abbeville Tea Party," demonstrated the town's commitment to the cause of independence. Abbeville's citizens actively participated in the war effort, providing troops and supplies to the Continental Army.
In 1780, during the pivotal Southern Campaign, Abbeville became a significant battleground. The nearby town of Calhoun's Mills witnessed the Battle of Calson's Mill, where American forces led by General Andrew Pickens successfully repelled a British attack. This victory bolstered American morale and contributed to the eventual British retreat from the region.