Abbeville, SC

Adam McKee moved inland from Williamsburg County to Abbeville County. We’re not sure when, but most likely sometime around 1765-1770. There was a Thomas McKee living there. The belief is he may have been Thomas’ great-uncle or cousin, but we’ve not found definitive proof.

Abbeville County was created in 1785, with parts of the county later going to the creation of the counties of Greenwood and McCormick.

Abbeville County was settled by mostly Scotch Irish and French-Huguenot farmers in the mid-18th century.

John C. Calhoun was born in Abbeville County, SC in 1782. He was Vice President to President John Quincy Adams and President Andrew Jackson. He later became a US Senator.

Abbeville County was established in 1785 from the

splitup of the five-county area known as Old 96 District.

Abbeville County lies in the rolling foothills of the northwestern sector of the State of South Carolina.

It is bounded on the West by the State of Georgia, on the North by Anderson County,

on the East by Laurens and Greenwood Counties, and on the South by McCormick County.

The town of Abbeville developed around a spring which was set aside by General Andrew Pickens for public use. General Pickens had settled at what is now Abbeville proper prior to the American Revolution.

Dr. John de la Howe, a French Huguenot settler in Western South Carolina,

is credited with giving the county and town the name of his hometown in France.

 The first organized meeting to adopt an Ordinance of Secession was held in Abbeville on November 22, 1860.

A public assembly voted unanimously to leave the Union; that site is now called Secession Hill.

 Confederate President Jefferson Davis, on his retreat trail south from Richmond, stopped overnight at the Abbeville home of his friend, Major Armistead Burt. His home, now known as the Burt-Stark Mansion, was the last meeting place (May 2, 1865) of the Confederate war council. Davis was convinced by his generals and Cabinet that the Southern resources were exhausted and that any attempt to fight another campaign would merely bring more misery to the region. It was in this house that President Davis finally admitted, “All is indeed lost.”

Present at this meeting were Cabinet Members: Benjamin, Mallory, Reagan and Breckinridge and Brigade Commanders: Ferguson, Dibrell, Vaughn, Duke and Breckinridge. Students of the American Civil War will certainly recall all of those names.

It’s no surprise then that Abbeville is sometimes referred to as both the “birthplace” and the “deathbed” of the Confederacy.

Information provided by
The Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce
and The Abbeville Historical Society


Note:  Abbeville was voted the friendliest town in South Carolina in 1998.

This excerpt is from the Abbeville County, SC History

While this excerpt is about Greenville Presbyterian Church,

I believe that the description may very well describe what Adam,

 his children and neighbors were like in their sentiments and personalities.

It is at least a glimpse at what they may be like, and a way to see them on a more personal level.

“The Scotch-Irish who originally settled the Long Cane area were a unique people…

They knew poverty and struggle…

They Presbyterian Church was a source of their identity as a people,

and their experience confirmed and made even more rock-ribbed their Calvinist faith.

The sermon was the center of their worship and their intellectual stimulus.

They prized learning, especially the ability to read and write, but they were not intellectual.

Their experience enhanced their respect for freedom and their capacity to be responsible for their own existence.

They had little sense of humor and little appreciation for beauty, especially man-made beauty,

and they did not mention God-made beauty.

They were simple in life style and opposed to all pretense and pomp.

They had strength of character, steadfastness of purpose, and a tremendous sense of individual dignity.”

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