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Clarendon County, part of the Sumter Metropolitan Statistical Area, is located in the eastern Lowcountry region of South Carolina. It was named after Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, a British statesman who served as Lord Chancellor to King Charles II. Here are seven interesting facts about Clarendon County in South Carolina history:

1. Early settlements in Clarendon County date back to the late 17th century when English and Irish immigrants came to the colony of South Carolina to establish plantations. The cultivation of rice became an important industry, and many of the early settlers brought enslaved Africans to work on the plantations.

2. During the American Revolution, Clarendon County was the site of a major battle between Patriot and British forces. The Battle of Wyboo Swamp took place on August 13, 1780, and resulted in a decisive victory for the Patriot militia under the command of Francis Marion, known as the "Swamp Fox."

3. One of Clarendon County's most notable residents was Althea Gibson, who was born in the town of Silver in 1927. Gibson was the first African American to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament and was also a pioneer in professional golf.

4. In the early 20th century, Clarendon County was the site of a landmark court case that helped to lay the foundations for the Civil Rights movement. In 1948, a group of African American parents filed a lawsuit against the local school board, arguing that the county's segregated schools were unconstitutional. The case, known as Briggs v. Elliott, was eventually consolidated with other cases and became part of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954.

5. Clarendon County is home to several important African American historical sites, including the Summerton High School, which was at the center of the Briggs v. Elliott case. The school now serves as the Clarendon County Historical Society Museum and includes exhibits on local history and culture.

6. The town of Manning, the county seat of Clarendon County, was founded in 1856 and named after John Laurence Manning, a former governor of South Carolina. Manning is located at the crossroads of two major highways, US 301 and US 521, and is known for its historic downtown district and annual Rotary Club-sponsored festivals.

7. Clarendon County is also known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, with many parks, lakes, and wildlife areas for residents and visitors to enjoy. Among the popular destinations are the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Marion, and the Santee State Park, which features camping, fishing, swimming, and boating.

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