The Ninety-Six Road of Orangeburgh District
Apparently the need to improve communication with the interior induced the General Assembly to authorize a direct "public road" from Orangeburgh to the trading post at NinetySix. The actual town there was called Cambridge but was colloquially better known as NinetySix or "96". Whether there was a "trading path" prior to the establishment of the public road has not yet been established, but is likely. In any event an established road was ordered in April 1770:
- "I. Be it enacted, by the Honorable William Bull, Esquire, Lieutenant Governor and the Commander-in-chief in his Majesty's Province of South Carolina, by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council , and the Commons House of Assembly of the said Province, and by the authority of the same, That John Jennings, Philip Jennings, Johannes Wolf, John Pou and Henry Young, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioners for laying out, making, and keeping in repair, and they are hereby authorized, impowered and required to lay out, make and keep in repair, a public road to lead from the north side of Orangeburgh bridge, up the country, to a place called the Indian Head. That Maurice Calleham, Aaron Sinquefield and Jesse Lott, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioners for laying out, making and keeping in repair and they are hereby authorized, empowered and required to lay out, make and keep in repair, a public road to be continued from the Indian Head aforesaid, till it falls in or intersects a road which leads from a place called the Ridge to Augusta. That James Williams, Jefferey Williams, Samuel Anderson, Dr. Nicholas Fredrick Mayor and Robert Bryan, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioners for laying out, making and keeping in repair and they are hereby authorized, empowered and required to lay out, make and keep in repair, a public road from the before mentioned road which leads from the Ridge to Augusta, to the Long Cane Creek. That William Calhoun, John Anderson, Elisha Laurence, John McKinley, William Harris, John Pickens, Jr. and Samuel Kerr, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioners for laying out, making and keeping in repair and they are hereby authorized, empowered and required to lay out, make and keep in repair, a public road to lead from the Long Cane Creek to Great Rockey Creek, near the Cherokee Indian lineŽ
- II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That a road which now leads from the plantation of Robert Goudy, at Ninety-Six, to the place called the Ridge, and from thence to the road which is hereby established to lead from the Indian Head to Long Cane Creek, be, and the same is hereby declared to be, a public road; and that Robert Goudy, John Savage, John Dooley, Benjamin Tutt and Colbert Anderson, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioner for keep the said road in repair."
Old Nienety-Six road from Orangeburg to near historic location.Several terminus roads were authorized by the Assemly, one of which lead to Ninety-Six. Green dotted path is a likely final section in Greenwood County.
Much of this road is easily identified, owing to the choice of high ground leading from Orangeburgh to the Columbia (Fridig's Ferry), Augusta road. Mapping of this road leads nearby to Cambridge (modern Ninety-Six.) The Tanner-Wilson map from 1822 shows the Old British Fort referred to by the British in the Revolution as "Ninety-Six Fort", etc. The path shown via GPS overlay shows two likely tracks after leaving Orangeburgh District and is the subject of further research. The path shown, aligned with the 1822 road, may be a later straightening of the original road. However, this is outside the current mapping area. The maps show the complete track from Orangeburg to the Ninety-Six Area, as well as blow-ups near Orangeburg where the old track across the North Fork of the Edisto River begins the Ninety-Six road, the terminus area for this mapping with the two likely continuations. The georeferencing of the Tanner-Wilson 1822 map goes a bit awry, but the end appears consistent with the Newberry County Line which itself happens to coincide with the path from Ninety Six to the upper part of the state identified with Lt. Allaire's Diary and the actions in and around Charlotte, Cowpens, King's Mountain, etc.
Road detail (left) near modern Ninety-Six and British Star Fort. Old Nient-Six was destroyed during British withdrawl in 1781. Cambridge is also gone.
Blow-up (right) of Ninety-Six Road at Orangeburg showing crossing of Edisto River aligned with modern roads and sreets. Broughton is old Charleston highway of 1737.