It wasn’t enough that South Carolina and other colonists were at war with formal, splendidly-uniformed soldiers of England. Upcountry settlers, still showing scars from the Cherokee War which ended in 1762, found the summer of 1776 about to take on a blood-red hue of another Indian uprising.

This time the frontier people had no British troops to call on for assistance, as they did in the earlier war. This time, for the most part, the Cherokees were pro-British, and attacks were being made at frontier settlements in the Long Canes (now Abbeville) and the Spartan Region (now Spartanburg).

In July 1776, militia from the Ninety Six area marched toward the Cherokee country under the command of Andrew Williamson. Serving with him were two young captains, Andrew Pickens and Robert Anderson.

On the morning of Aug. 1, 1776, militia attacked the Cherokee town of Essenneca, suffering some loss in an ambush but eventually beating back the Indians. One of the militia men to die was Francis Salvador, the first person of the Jewish faith to die for America, and monuments are erected to him in this country and in his native England.

The militia established Fort Rutledge at the Cherokee town and used it as a base for attack against other towns in what now is Oconee and Pickens counties. A monument to the fort stands today – at the edge of Clemson University property on Lake Hartwell.

Defeat in the campaign, which lasted through September, 1776, was so bad the Cherokees gave up their land to South Carolina and many then turned to fight for the patriot cause. Because the war continued, nothing could be done with the land at the time and it was attached to the Ninety Six District. The former Cherokee country today is Anderson, Oconee, Pickens and Greenville counties.

At war’s end, with many veterans moving into the area, it became Abbeville County of the Ninety Six District. By 1789, the legislature established a new judicial district – Washington – and created two new counties. One was named for Nathaniel Greene (Greenville County) and the other for Judge Henry Pendleton, a champion for Upcountry representation in state government.

A district courthouse was established at Pickensville, with county courthouses in the new towns of Greenville and Pendleton. Formally, Pendleton began to exist on April 8, 1790.

In 1799, county courts were abolished and the former counties became districts. Pendleton commissioners then began laying out a town and marked 51 town lots of one acre each and 43 outlots of varying size. The village green, or town square, was laid out and a new courthouse was erected there, replacing a log structure which had been built in 1790 on Tanyard Branch.

For the most part, early settlers were Scotch-Irish who had followed the classic migration route from Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and the Waxhaws and Long Canes of South Carolina. By 1800, however, South Carolina Lowcountry planters and politicians discovered Pendleton to be a great place for summer homes, and many even remained here permanently.

R. W. Simpson, writing in a later period, said, "it was quite natural that these low country gentlemen should bring with them the refined customs and manners of the French Huguenots, which took root and spread among the sturdy and cultured residents from Virginia and other contiguous states, until the very name of Pendleton became a synonym for refined and beautiful women, and for elegant high-toned and chivalrous gentlemen."

By 1810, 38 of the 51 town lots had been sold, as well as a score of the outlots. A second courthouse was erected, and a newspaper had been started.

Printer John Miller, an Englishman who left his native land in search of freedom of the press, inaugurated Miller's Weekly Messenger here in 1807. He died later in the year and the newspaper was edited by his son John Miller, and later was sold to Frederick Symmes. All indications are it was the westernmost newspaper in the nation at the time.

Andrew Pickens, who had been a founder of Pendleton, left his Hopewell home at the edge of Pendleton to live at Tamassee. A kinsman, who had visited in Pendleton often from his home in Abbeville, by 1825 had moved permanently to the area.

He purchased Clergy Hall, the residence for the pastor of Old Stone Church, and renamed it Fort Hill, as it overlooked the former site of Fort Rutledge. The newcomer was John C. Calhoun, later to become vice president of the United States. In addition to a law office at Fort Hill, which is now the Clemson University campus, he had one on Mechanic Street in Pendleton.

In 1836, plans were drawn for the construction of still a newer courthouse. Before it could be completed, the legislature divided the Pendleton District into two new ones, naming them for Revolutionary heroes who had helped establish Pendleton. The northern half was named Pickens District and the southern half was named for General Robert Anderson. The Pendleton Farmers Society bought the unfinished courthouse and completed it as the meeting hall still in use today.

As the 1850's approached, South Carolina began to see the need of a railroad connecting the state with the Midwest and the Blue Ridge Railroad was begun. The line came through Pendleton, but the road was never completed due to the granite Stumphouse Mountain in Oconee, and the War Between the States.

The line was completed between Pendleton and Anderson and many of Pendleton's young men went off to war on the train. Refugees from the Lowcountry used the train to spend the war years here.

After the war, a new railroad was constructed - bypassing Pendleton. The commerce was in Greenville, Anderson, new towns like Easley, Seneca, Belton and others which grew up along the railroad.

David U. Sloan, writing in his "Fogy Days and Now" book in 1891, had this to say:

"But the glory of the old town has long since departed - in the first place shorn of her Samson locks, robbed of her territory and capital, the great district cut up into Anderson, Pickens and Oconee; and the railroads, of which she little dreamed then, have ignored her claims, stolen away her thrift, and now the good old town stands out forlorn, gray and dilapidated in her tottering senility. But there still lingers a fragrance of intelligence and refinement in her social atmosphere that ever strikes the visitor with admiration and respect.

"Since the days of which we have been speaking, the second and third generations are passing from the stage of action, rapidly losing their grip on life, and falling off into the sea of time. Of the second, Colonel Tom Pickens, Mr. Dickson and John Sitton alone remain, Mr. William Gaillard having died but recently, and but a remnant of the third generation is left. The Clemson Agricultural College is now being erected at old Fort Hill, the John C. Calhoun place; a fine hotel is about to be built at old Pendleton, and it is thought the old town is looking up somewhat. May the Lord bless the faithful old spot, and may she become once more as she was in the days of yore, as a 'city set upon a hill.'"


Not many homes in the world can claim an occupant whose name became a common word in the English language - but Montpelier is one of them.

This was the home of Samuel Maverick, and birthplace of his son Samuel Augustus Maverick. The latter, who got a law degree from Yale University, chose to make a name for himself in the new territory of Texas rather than stay in South Carolina.

In Texas, he did make a name for himself - as a signer of the Republic of Texas Declaration of Independence, as a political leader and as a man who never branded his cattle. Unbranded cattle found on the range were immediately identified as being a "Maverick cow," hence the word "maverick" in the dictionary today.

The lawyer's father was one of the most wealthy men in America, and settled in Pendleton in 1800 after becoming a successful businessman in Charleston. His land holdings were in many states, and he was a friend of Thomas Jefferson, often corresponding regarding the culture of grapes.

The original home burned in the 1840's and the present structure was erected on the same spot, featuring floor to ceiling windows so the then-invalid Maverick could be rushed to safety in the event of another fire.

A private home retaining much of the original exterior design, Montpelier was named for the ancestral home of Maverick's grandmother, Montpellier, France.

Pendleton District Historical and Recreational Commission

Would There Be a Texas Without Pendleton?

James Butler Bonham was a close friend of William Barret Travis and both were natives of the Saluda, South Carolina area. When Travis went to the Texas territory and became commander of troops at the Alamo, he had Bonham as his second in command. When trouble began brewing in Texas, Travis had written Bonham and urged him to come. At the time, Bonham was a resident of Pendleton and had his law office in town. He went posthaste.

Thomas Jefferson Rusk was a native of Pendleton; his father had been the builder of the Old Stone Church in 1797. Rusk became a lawyer and, with John C. Calhoun and others, invested in gold mines in Dahlonega, Georgia. Trusting his two managers, he visited the mines one day and discovered they had skipped town with the gold. Rusk took after them, finally finding them in Texas, where they had gambled all the money away. By this time, Rusk was almost penniless himself, and he stayed there where he later became a friend of Sam Houston. He assisted Houston throughout the campaigns with the Mexicans and became one of the two Pendleton natives who became a signer of the declaration of independence for the Republic of Texas.

A wealthy Charlestonian went to Pendleton in 1800, liked the area and stayed there, buying up land everywhere he could while also becoming a major farmer and cattleman. His son, born in Pendleton, did not want to be a farmer or cattleman, so he went to Yale and obtained a law degree. Returning to Pendleton, he did not like the politics of the time so he struck out for Texas. He settled in San Antonio, where his son became the first white child born and raised there. He set up his law practice while getting into politics, and as was the custom in those days, people would pay him with produce and sometimes a cow or a calf. Still not wanting to be a cattleman, he let the animals roam unbranded. People who saw an unbranded cow knew whose it was, saying, "This is a Maverick cow," meaning Samuel Augustus Maverick of Pendleton, South Carolina.

James Hamilton of Pendleton was a governor of South Carolina. When his term ended, he left for Texas and became the first ambassador to Europe for the new republic.

Barnard Bee Sr. moved his family to Pendleton from Goose Creek, near Charleston. While the family remained, Bee was always running off to the new Texas republic to assist the new government in every way he could—sometimes to the distress of those in the government. He became the first secretary of war and later secretary of the treasury and also held other offices in the early days. A son, Hamilton P. Bee, had gone to Texas with him on one trip, stayed and became involved in the early legislature. He eventually became a brigadier general during the Civil War, limiting his services to western campaigns.

John C. Calhoun was secretary of war when the United States went to war with Mexico, and he was vice president of the United States when he helped annex the Republic of Texas into the Union.

There are counties in Texas named for Bee, Calhoun, Hamilton, Maverick and Rusk, and there is an Anderson County named by people who moved from Anderson County, South Carolina, of which Pendleton is a part.

And how about the Texas county of Stonewall? How does it figure into the Pendleton connection? Barnard Bee had another son, Barnard Elliot Bee, who went to West Point from Pendleton and distinguished himself in the U.S. Army, resigning when the Civil War began. He became a brigadier general in the Confederate army and at the first battle of Manassas in an attempt to rally the troops, he saw Thomas Jonathan Jackson on horseback in the distance. Bee yelled out, "There stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally around the Virginians!" Bee was mortally wounded moments later, but the name Stonewall is still with us.

Hurley E. Badders, Old Pendleton District 

Account of Samuel Maverick and Pendleton

Samuel Maverick (1772-1852), father of Samuel Augustus Maverick, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent most of his life. He was one of ten children, all the others dying, principally of Yellow Fever, which was called the West India or "Stranger's Fever." 

On account of his father's absence, fighting in the revolutionary army, and the destruction of their home by the British, his mother took the children to Providence, Rhode Island, to visit her parents, the Turpins. They were completely impoverished by the war (of the Revolution) but they returned to Charleston soon after the close of the war. They paid for a horse to pull the cart, in which they traveled part of the time, $30,000 in Continental money. 

Soon after returning to Charleston his father died, and he was thrown entirely on his own resources until quite a boy. He was apprenticed by his mother to his uncle William Turpin, a leading merchant in Charleston, with whom he remained until he was 21 years old, when he established a business for himself. In this he succeeded, and in time became the leading merchant in Charleston, making shipments to China and other foreign countries. 

He was the first to ship cotton bales from the U.S. to Europe. When he was thirty years old he married Elizabeth Anderson, daughter of General Robert Anderson, of revolutionary fame. About five years prior to that time his widowed mother had married General Robert Anderson himself. General Robert Anderson lived in Pendleton District, near the village of Pendleton, which is now in the county of Anderson, named after him. Samuel Maverick bought a place up there, where he had two famous vineyards, noted all over the country, and here he spent his summers. 

His children were Samuel A., Caroline, born 1805, Elizabeth Anderson, born 1807, Robert Anderson, born about 1810, and Lydia Ann, born 1814. Caroline and Robert Anderson died in Charleston. 

When Samuel Maverick retired from business he settle permanently in Pendleton. Mr. Maverick and I visited him there in March 1837, where he lived in a very fine house.

He used every effort in his power to persuade my husband from returning to Texas. He offered him everything he had not to go, but notwithstanding Mr. Maverick would go, and when we left October 14th, 1837, he followed us to the Tugelo River, where the old General Robert Anderson house stood and he was very much affected when we bid him good-bye, and there we named our baby boy, our first-born, Sam, after him.

Mary A. Maverick, Samuel Maverick, Texan

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