Hillsborough Township | South Carolina Public Radio

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“H” is for Hillsborough Township. Located on the upper Savannah River in present-day McCormick County, Hillsborough Township was named after Wills Hill, viscount of Hillsborough and president of the British Board of Trade. The settlement originated with a letter the Reverend Jean-Louis Gibert addressed to the Board of Trade in 1763 regarding a project to settle Huguenots in North America. His plan coincided with the desire of South Carolina’s government to strengthen the colony’s western frontier after the Cherokee War. In 1764, Gibert’s colonization scheme was approved and he received a 23,000-acre land grant. About 300 Huguenots and a few Swiss and Germans arrived and built a town, New Bordeaux. Plans to cultivate wine and produce silk failed and by 1770, the town was largely abandoned. Although some settlers remained in the area, the grand plan for Hillsborough Township was unsuccessful.

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