Posts Tagged ‘Orangeburgh Township’
An article appeared in the January 8, 2014 edition of The State discussing a possible location for a colonial community or landmark known as Indian Head. This article claimed that the community was located on a bluff along the North Edisto River and seemed to imply that it was in the area now known as Big Pond Branch.  As can be seen from the map at the end of this article, Big Pond Branch flows southerly into the North (Fork of the) Edisto River.
The article identifies four sources that mention Indian Head, including a 1767 Davis plat and a 1770 Act from the South Carolina Statutes. The Davis plat can now be viewed online but I first obtained a copy of it from the state archives about twelve years ago. I have been intrigued by the mention of Indian Head Branch on the plat since I first saw it.
Most plats are difficult to locate accurately on a map unless they are part of a larger group of plats. I have not yet come across any adjacent plats that mention the Davis property but had developed a theory about its location. Show below is my drawing of the plat to help clarify some of the details included on it. 
An interesting feature of the plat drawing is the semi-circular section of road or path that branched off the main road. This certainly suggests that this might have been a place to stop and rest or camp.
The plat shows the road that went from Long Cane to Charles Town via Orangeburgh. This would have been the road running between the North and South Forks of the Edisto River that has historically been known as the Ninety Six Road. The statute mentioned in the article established this as a public road in 1770. It was “An act for establishing a Road from Orangeburgh Bridge to Indian Head; a Road from the Indian Head to the Road which leads from the Ridge to Augusta; another Road from the Ridge Road to Long Cane Creek; …” 
The next two images are from William Faden’s 1780 map of South Carolina and a part of Georgia.  There are not many details of the various branches along the North and South Forks of the Edisto but the roads described in the 1770 act are shown. The red circle on this map shows where the road crosses the district line and is the same location as the red circle on the second map since I had to show the map as two images.
The portion of the 1780 map shown above shows the road leaving the central portion of Orangeburgh Township (where the town lots were located) by crossing the North Fork of the Edisto. The bridge crossing the North Edisto at this point was established in 1757.  The road then ran between the North and South Forks to the district line. I have added a red circle to highlight this point on the map sections above and below.
After the road crossed the district line it connected with the road “from the ridge to Augusta.” (Augusta is located near the bottom of the map, across the Savannah River from New Windsor Township.) After going a short distance in a south westerly direction along the ridge road the road leading to Long Cane forked off in a west, north westerly direction. (I have added the two red arrows for clarity.) The modern town of Ridge Spring is located very near the junction of the ridge road and the road coming up through the forks.
So where along the road between the forks was Indian Head Branch located? I have not yet done enough mapping work in the area to say with strong certainty but my working hypothesis is that Indian Head Branch was one of the uppermost branches of Goodland Swamp lying just east of the modern town of Perry. A detailed topographic map of the area shows the “fingers” of Goodland Swamp and a higher terrain that could have been the “camping area.” I have not studied the possible road changes in the vicinity nor worked with later plats in the area so am not yet willing to try to map the exact spot. The distance from Charleston would also be approximately correct. I have circled this area in red on the map below:
What does seem most likely to me is that Indian Head or Indian Head Branch was located between the North and South Forks of the Edisto River and not on the north side of the North Edisto River. I would be interested in hearing any thoughts or additional information from my readers.
 Joey Holleman, “Rediscovering “The Indian Head,” a special place lost to history,” The State (Columbia, South Carolina), 8 January 2014, online archives (http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/08/3196667/rediscovering-the-indian-head.html : accessed 10 January 2014).
 Richard Davis plat, 1767, Colonial Plat Books (Copy Series), 1731–1775, volume 14, page 322, item 1; Surveyor General’s Office Series S213184; South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia.
 David J. McCord, The Statutes at Large of South Carolina; Edited Under the Authority of the Legislature (Columbia: A. S. Johnston, 1841), volume 9, page 233; digital images, Google Books (http://www.Google.com/books : accessed 2 January 2008).
 A Map of South Carolina and Part of Georgia containing the Whole Sea-Coast; all the Islands, Inlets, Rivers, Creeks, Parishes, Townships, Boroughs, Roads and Bridges: As Also, Several Plantations with their proper Boundary Lines, their Names and the Names of their Proprietors. Composed from Surveys taken by The Hon. William Bull, Esq., Lieutenant Governor; Captain Gascoign; Hugh Bryan, Esq; and William De Brahm, Esqr., Surveyor General of the South’n. District of North America, Republished with considerable Additions from the Surveys made and collected by John Stuart, Esq., His Majesty’s Superintendant of Indian Affairs (Charing Cross: William Faden, 1780). (I purchased my copy of this map many years ago from the Cartographic Research Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Alabama.)
 McCord, The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 9, page 189.
Today’s posting is the fifth in what will eventually be six entries that map the plats laid out in the 20,000 acres originally reserved for Orangeburgh Township. (The postings can be reviewed collectively by clicking on the Tag for Orangeburgh Township in the right-hand column of this page. The group of fifteen plats in today’s post covers much of the modern city of Orangeburg.
Twelve of these tracts were laid out over a three day period in October 1735 by Deputy Surveyor George Haig. Two plats, laid out in 1757, were taken from the area that had been reserved as the commons for Orangeburgh Township. William Mitchell’s 1768 survey included the area of the town lots. My second book contains an entire chapter about the town lots.
Anyone studying this map in detail and comparing it with the map showing the plats along Lower Caw Caw Swamp will notice that I have shifted this group of plats very slightly to the southeast from where they should adjoin those other surveys. Again, remember that the boundary lines of these plats are not precisely accurate, due primarily to the discrepancies between the surveyor’s drawing of the plat and what he actually marked on the terrain. You will also notice a good bit of spelling idiosyncrasies regarding the names on the plats. My first book has an appendix dealing with these name variations.
For a PDF copy of this map, click here:
This posting continues showing the groups of plats that were part of the 20,000 acres first laid out for Orangeburgh Township. Because this cluster of surveys has been positioned on a topographic map based on where I located several groups of plats in my prior postings, we can see some of the challenges that appear when trying to place these plats on a topographic map.
In addition to the group of plats circled in red, above, I’ve included a few plats that were adjoining the 20,000 acres but still part of Orangeburgh Township. These four plats were all surveyed for members of the Moorer family and are included here as a followup to Lynn S. Teague’s article, “The Early Moorers: Part I” in the Fall 2011 issue of the Orangeburgh German-Swiss Newsletter.
George Haig was again the surveyor for the first thirteen of these plats. (In case you haven’t noticed, I number the plats on each drawing to correspond with the sequence in which they were laid out.) Haig showed very few landscape features on these plats, giving only a suggestion of a creek or stream on plats 1, 2, and 3. Deputy Surveyor Peter Faure was responsible for the markings on plats 14 and 15. Let’s take a look at the drawing before discussing several matters of interest regarding these plats.
The first challenge with this group of plats are the names. Between clerical errors in the original records and indexing errors in modern times, some of the names on the list above can be confusing. Chrisitan Top was actually Christian Tapp. Simon Tuger was identified as Simon Zuger on all of the adjoining plats but was indexed as Tuger. Hans Kayleman was Hans Giegleman and Henrick Stronmar should be Henry Stroman. The Mourer or Moorer surname appears twice as Moore. The plat indexed as Joseph Moore actually reads quite clearly as John Moore. More details on variations in family names can be found in the appendix of my first book.
Another thing that might not be clear from the drawing but is important to be aware of is that several plats were surveyed where earlier plats had existed. Plat 11, surveyed for Catharine Yokey, originally included the area also shown as plat 14. Yokey apparently never acquired the grant for her property so it was considered available land when Valentine Garnish had his survey done in 1753. His plat actually shows part of the Yokey tract as vacant land and part of it as belonging to “Geo. Koss.” Koss has not been identified and no plat has been located that would fit in this area.
Plat 13 was initially surveyed for John Mourer in 1737. His brother, Peter Mourer, petitioned the Council in 1754 and reported that his brother had long been deceased. Peter asked for 100 acres that would include the 50 acres surveyed for his brother as well as 50 acres for Peter’s wife. (Holcomb, Petitions for Land from the SC Council Journals, v. 4, pgs. 13-14). When Peter had his plat (number 15) surveyed in 1754 it included all of the area that was previously surveyed for his brother (number 13).
Deputy Surveyor Faure drew some features on plats 14 and 15 that give us some clues about the accuracy of these eighteenth century surveys. I draw all of these plats to scale using the exact measurements given by the surveyors, when available. There were no missing measurements on any of these township plats and they all closed properly. While it was relatively easy to draw square and rectangular plats on paper it was much harder to mark them out in the woods and swamps. Faure’s marks on these two plats suggest how much error may have come about in surveying all of the adjoining plats, beginning at the North Fork of the Edisto River. (My previous posting shows that group of plats and this group has been positioned based on that group.) The important point to remember when looking at these plat maps is that the boundaries of each plat cannot be considered precisely accurate! The plats are accurate, relative to each other, and probably were in the approximate vicinity as shown.
Click on this link for a PDF file of the plat drawing:
Orangeburgh Township Plats along Turkey Hill