Camden-Charleston PathSouth Carolina pioneer towns of Camden and Charleston. Charleston was the largest European settlement, the capital, on the King's Highway, and the start of several other trails. Camden was at a crossroad on the southwest portion of the Occaneechi Path. The southwest part of the Fall Line Road overlapped the Occaneechi Path from Camden to Augusta, Georgia. Part of the south fork of the Great Valley Road also overlapped the Occaneechi Path from Salisbury, North Carolina to Augusta, Georgia. The Camden-Charleston Path was opened to European settlers about 1732. It began in Charleston County, South Carolina and ended in Kershaw County, South Carolina. The length of the path was about 150 miles (240 km).
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.
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 Atlantic Ocean 1670
- King's Highway about 1704
- Fort Moore-Charleston Trail about 1716
- Camden-Charleston Path 1732
- Old South Carolina State Road 1747
- Charleston-Ft. Charlotte Trail about 1765
- Charleston-Savannah Trail
- Secondary Coast Road
The migration routes connecting in Camden include:
Modern parallels. The modern roads that most closely match the old Camden-Charleston Path are South Carolina State Highway
16 from Wilkesboro south to the Gaston County north border. From there a road parallel to the west side of the Catawba River such as NC State Highway 273 to South Carolina, and South Carolina State Road 274 south to Rock Hill would approximate the old route.
Settlers and Records
Most of the early colonists along the path and in Camden 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 Camden-Charleston Path are known to exist. However, local and county histories along the road may reveal that many of the first pioneer settlers arrived from the Charleston area. Later pioneers may have used other trails such as the Occaneechi Path, Fall Line Road, and Great Valley Road.
For partial lists of settlers who used the Camden-Charleston Path, see:
in Kershaw 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 Sumter County:
in Calhoun County:
in Orangeburg County:
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).