Colleton County was named for one of the Lords Proprietors, Sir John Colleton (1608-1666). The county was first created in 1682 under the proprietary government, but the designation was seldom used in the colonial period. Instead, the area was known by its parish names: St. Bartholomew, St. Paul, and St. George Dorchester. In 1769 these parishes became part of Charleston District, where they remained until Colleton District was formed in 1800. The county seat is Walterboro. A portion of the county was removed in 1897 to form Dorchester County. Several Revolutionary War skirmishes took place in Colleton County, and the state legislature met in the town of Jacksonboro in 1782 while Charleston was occupied by the British. In 1828 the first nullification meeting in the state was held in Walterboro. This part of the lowcountry was known for its extensive rice and cotton plantations. Many of the old plantations were bought by Northerners after the Civil War for use as hunting preserves; some of those lands are now being incorporated into the ACE Basin, a nature preserve bounded by the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto rivers. The Revolutionary War hero Isaac Hayne (1745-1781) was a Colleton resident, as were politicians Rawlins Lowndes (1721-1800) and William Lowndes (1782-1822).
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