Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Kershaws of South Carolina

From The History of South Carolina Under the Royal Government, 1719-1776, by Edward McCrady, pub. 1899, Macmillan & Co., Ltd.:

    Following the Indian traders, as the country became more settled, merchants began to establish themselves at the head of the navigable rivers. Among the earliest of these were the Kershaws. About the year 1755 three brothers, Joseph, William, and Eli Kershaw, came out from Great Britain to South Carolina, bringing with them considerable funds. In the year 1758 Joseph Kershaw settled at a place then called "Pine Tree," on the east side of the Wateree, at the head of navigation. John Chesnut, Duncan McRae, and Zack Cantey, each of whom were to establish a wealthy and influential family, were employed in his trading establishment there. Mr. Kershaw soon became one of the most extensive and influential proprietors in that section, and it was through his influence that the town of Camden was laid out. The county of which Camden is the seat is called Kershaw County in his honor. The land on which the town of Cheraw stands was granted to Eli Kershaw. There, at the head of the navigation of the Pee Dee, Joseph Kershaw, John Chesnut, Eli Kershaw, William Ancrum, and Aaron Lacock carried on a large mercantile business under the firm of Eli Kershaw and Company. The firm was dissolved in 1774, when they sold out the lands, stock, and negroes employed in carrying on their business.