1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Georgetown (South Carolina)

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GEORGETOWN, a city, a port of entry and the county-seat of Georgetown county, South Carolina, U.S.A., at the head of Winyah Bay, and at the mouth of the Pedee river, about 15 m. from the Atlantic Ocean, and about 55 m. N.E. of Charleston. Pop. (1890) 2895; (1900) 4138 (2718 negroes); (1910) 5530. Georgetown is served by the Georgetown & Western railway, has steamship communication with Charleston, Wilmington, New York City and other Atlantic ports, and, by the Pedee river and its tributaries (about 1000 m. of navigable streams), has trade connexions with a large area of South Carolina and part of North Carolina. The principal public buildings are the post office and custom house. Among the city’s manufactures are lumber, foundry and machine-shop products, naval stores and oars; and there are shad and sturgeon fisheries. The growing of cotton and truck-gardening are important industries in the neighbouring region, and there is considerable trade in such products. The first settlement here was made about 1700; and the town was laid out a short time before 1734. The Winyah Indigo Society grew out of a social club organized about 1740, and was founded in 1757 by a group of planters interested in raising indigo; It long conducted a school (discontinued during the Civil War) which eventually became part of the city’s public school system. In 1780 Georgetown was occupied by a body of Loyalist troops, with whom the American troops had several skirmishes, but on the 10th of August 1781 General Francis Marion forced the evacuation of the town and took possession of it. A few days later, an American named Manson, who had joined the British forces, attacked the town from an armed vessel, and burned about forty houses, the small body of militia being unable to make an effective resistance. General Lafayette first landed on American soil at Georgetown on the 24th of April 1777. Georgetown was incorporated as a town in 1805, and was chartered as a city in 1895.