Ninety-Six District (not "96th") is a former judicial district in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It existed as a district from July 29, 1769 to December 31, 1799. The court house and jail for Ninety-Six District were in Ninety Six, South Carolina.

Colonial period

In the colonial period, the land around the coast was divided into parishes corresponding to the parishes of the Church of England. There were also several counties that had judicial and electoral functions. As people settled the backcountry, judicial districts and additional counties were organized. This structure continued and grew after the Revolutionary War. In 1798, all counties were re-identified as "elective districts" to be effective on January 1, 1800. In 1868, the districts were converted back to counties.[1] The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has maps that show the boundaries of counties, districts, and parishes starting in 1682.[2]

Ninety-Six District was created on July 29, 1769, as the most western of the seven original districts within the Province of South Carolina. Its boundaries included the current Abbeville, McCormick, Edgefield, Saluda, Greenwood, Laurens, Union, and Spartanburg counties; much of Cherokee and Newberry counties; and small parts of Aiken and Greenville counties.

The lands further west and on the other side of the Appalachian Mountains were still Cherokee homelands, which the British Crown had tried to protect from colonial encroachment by the Royal Proclamation of 1763. They continued to allow traders or travelers in the area. The westward expansion of the borders of the Province of North Carolina and the Colony of Virginia (then including present-day Kentucky) were confirmed by the 1770 Treaty of Lochaber with the Cherokee. Some 1000 Cherokee were hosted by Alexander Cameron at Lochabar Plantation in the Ninety-Six District.[3] Due to poor surveying, Tryon County, North Carolina infringed on much of its northern boundaries through the 1770s.

The judicial capital town was Ninety Six, South Carolina; located at 34°10′24″N 82°1′18″W / 34.17333°N 82.02167°W / 34.17333; -82.02167


As a result of the 1785 Act, districts in South Carolina were further subdivided into counties. These counties were responsible for maintaining court houses, as part of the larger judicial districts from which they were formed. The Ninety-Six District was given the counties of Abbeville, Edgefield, Laurens, Newberry, Spartanburg, and Union.[4]

On February 19, 1791, the Ninety-Six District lost the land in the current Union, Spartanburg counties and the portion of Cherokee county within the district in the formation of Pinckney District.[5][6]


On January 1, 1800, Ninety-Six District was abolished and replaced by the Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenville, Laurens, and Newberry Districts.[7][8]

Notable inhabitants

Present day

The Old 96 District Tourism Commission was formed to promote tourism in five of the counties that were formed from the original district - Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, and McCormick.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Edgar, Walter, ed. The South Carolina Encyclopedia, University of South Carolina Press, 2006, pp. 230-234, ISBN 1-57003-598-9
  2. ^ South Carolina Department of Archives and History maps. Archived August 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Lochaber Plantation - Long Cane, Abbeville County, South Carolina SC".
  4. ^ "Districts and Counties, 1785". State of South Carolina. Archived from the original on April 6, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  5. ^ "Districts, 1791-1799". State of South Carolina. Archived from the original on April 6, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  6. ^ "Districts and Counties, 1791-1799". State of South Carolina. Archived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  7. ^ DenBoer, Gordon, and Thorne, Kathryn Ford, South Carolina Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1997, p. 168, ISBN 0-13-366360-4.
  8. ^ "Districts, 1800-1814". State of South Carolina. Archived from the original on July 9, 2001. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  9. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  10. ^ "Who We Are". The Old 96 District. Retrieved 21 March 2022.