Berkeley County was named for two of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, Lord John Berkeley (d. 1678) and Sir William Berkeley (d. 1677).The county was orginally named in 1682, and at one time it included the parishes of St. John Berkeley, St. James Goose Creek, St. James Santee, St. Stephen, andSt. Thomas and St. Denis. In 1769 this area became part of Charleston District, and it did not become a separate county again until 1882. The county seat was Mount Pleasant from 1882 until 1895, when it was moved to Moncks Corner. This area was settled in the late seventeenth century by English and French Huguenot planters and their African slaves. Many of the old rice plantations are now covered by the waters of Lake Moultrie, which was built in the 1940s as part of the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric project. Two famous Revolutionary War generals were residents of the area: William Moultrie (1730-1805) and Francis Marion (1732-1795), known as the Swamp Fox. Henry Laurens (1724-1792), president of the Continental Congress, resided at Mepkin Plantation, which many years later was purchased by publisher Henry Luce (1898-1967). Luce and his wife, writer and diplomat Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987), are buried at Mepkin, which is now a Trappist monastery.
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