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Spartanburg is the largest city in and the county seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States and is the fourth largest city (by urban population) in the state of South Carolina. Spartanburg has a municipal population of 37,013 and an urban population of 145,058 at the 2010 census. The Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area, corresponding to Spartanburg County, had a population of 284,307 as of the 2010 census.

Spartanburg is the second-largest city in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area which had a population of 1,266,995 at the 2010 census. It is part of a 10-county region of northwestern South Carolina known as "The Upstate," and is located 98 miles (158 km) northwest of Columbia, 80 miles (130 km) west of Charlotte, and about 190 miles (310 km) northeast of Atlanta. It is 61 miles north of Clemson by rail.


"A treaty struck with the Cherokee Indian nation in 1753 opened the frontier of South Carolina to white people. Elijah Clarke was the first white man known to have ventured into this area. Settlers trickled in for the next decade or so, when the pace of migration picked up.

"The district was the farthest west the white population was allowed to settle. What is now Greenville County was the international boundary between the colonies and the Cherokee Indian nation.

"When Ninety Six District was carved up in 1785, a new district was formed, roughly from the North Carolina border in the north, to the Enoree River in the west and south, to the Broad River in the northeast. It was named Spartanburg District, taking its name from the Spartan Regiment formed at the beginning of the Revolution a decade hence.


"As independent as they were, some could not see the sense in breaking away from the crown. Staunchly Loyalist settlers seethed beside neighbor Patriots. The first engagement seen by local troops involved nary a single British soldier. That winter, the Spartan Regiment was bloodied along with other Patriot troops in a fight against regional Loyalists in the Battle of the Great Cane Break, along the Reedy River.

"In July 1776, a new threat erupted. Alarmed at the news of a British fleet at Charleston, the Cherokee swept over the frontier borders in a maelstrom of violence. Whites fled to forts, but hundreds of settlers in the border areas were killed before a counterattack could be formed.

"Colonists all along the western frontier raised a large militia, which pursued the Indian army. As was often the case when European and Indian cultures clashed, many noncombatants suffered. The white militia destroyed scores of Cherokee villages and by mid-1777, Indian aggression collapsed. A treaty was signed in July 1777 forcing the Cherokee to relinquish most of their lands in the Carolinas.

1780, when they captured Charleston in May. The Redcoats began their trek inland over three main routes. Initially, the Patriots thought they were whipped. Their situation seemed hopeless, as they faced the might of the greatest military power on Earth. Many laid down their arms and surrendered.



"Kings Mountain was a great victory, but it was a merciless one. The British had not seen fit to honor their own terms of surrender. Now 760 men looked to the Rebels for compassion, but they found only hardened hearts. The prisoners were marched to the North Carolina foothills, where the Patriots held a trial and found 36 men guilty of Tory atrocities. They were sentenced to hang, though all but nine were pardoned.

"After the war, some Loyalists fled to Canada. The settlers returned to the land, having subdued both the Cherokee and British threats. More settlements grew up in the area, and the new district began to form its government. Court officers originally met at several plantations, but legislative pressure forced them to choose an official site. In January 1787, they approved the purchase of two acres of land from Thomas Williamson for five shillings. The new courthouse was smack in the middle of the county. The town of Spartanburg was born."

(The above by the staff of the Kennedy Room of Local and South Carolina History, Spartanburg County Public Libraries, 2004.

Spartanburg was incorporated in 1831. It has been the site of agricultural production (especially peaches) and extensive textile businesses. BMW gave the city a boost when it located its American production plant adjacent to Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP). From the 1870s it became known as the "Hub City" for the numerous roads and railroads that converged at this location.

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