St. Peters Parish, South Carolina
St. Peter's Parish was created by the legislature 17 February 1746/1747 in Purrysburg at the main King's Highway crossing of the Savannah River. A clergymen had served there since the town's founding by the Swiss in 1732. However, the site was unhealthy and soils poor--the town did not thrive. In 1766 the last minister died, and was not replaced. Thereafter, services were only occasionally held by visiting clergy.
Before the American Revolution, the state church of South Carolina was the Church of England (the Anglican Church, or Protestant Episcopal Church). Besides keeping parish registers, the church kept many records of a civil nature in their vestry books. The Vestry was as much a political body as a religious one. The wardens and commissioners were responsible for the roads, education, the poor and orphans, voting and collecting taxes in addition to their church duties.
Borders: the Georgia border (Savannah River), the Atlantic Ocean, St. Helena's and Prince William parishes 1747-1767, St. Luke's Parish since 1767, and St. Matthew's Parish parish since 1768. For a map, see: Early parishes in South Carolina. An overlay of districts is available at Carolana.com.
Areas Served: St. Peter's Parish served:
- Rowland, Lawrence S. "'Alone on the River:' The Rise and Fall of the Savannah River Rice Plantations of St. Peter's Parish, South Carolina," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 88, No. 3 (Jul. 1987):121-150. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
For an early history of the parish, see Chapter 24, St. Peter's Parish, pages 385-386, in:
- Dalcho, Frederick. An Historical Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina from the First Settlement of the Province, to the War of the Revolution; with Notices of the Present State of the Church in Each Parish and Some Account of the Early Civil History of Carolina, Never Before Published. Charleston: E. Thayer, 1820. FHL Film 22657; digital versions at Google Books; Internet Archive.
- "Purrysburg" in SCGenWeb at http://www.sciway3.net/clark/beaufort/purrysburg.htm (accessed 6 July 2011) citing the History of Beaufort County, South Carolina, Rowland, Moore, and Rogers, USC Press 1996.
- Dalcho, Frederick. An Historical Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina from the First Settlement of the Province, to the War of the Revolution; with Notices of the Present State of the Church in Each Parish and Some Account of the Early Civil History of Carolina, Never Before Published. (Charleston: E. Thayer, 1820), 385-86. Digital versions at Google Books; Internet Archive. FHL Film 22657
- "The Formation of Counties in South Carolina," at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History website, accessed 21 January 2011.
- "South Carolina Counties and Parishes - 1760" [map] in Carolana at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Royal_Colony/sc_royal_colony_counties_parishes_1760.html (accessed 5 July 2011).
- "South Carolina Districts and Parishes - 1770" [map] in Carolana at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Royal_Colony/sc_royal_colony_districts_parishes_1770.html (accessed 6 July 2011).