An American Family History


Bush River




The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.

from The State, "An Old Quaker Settlement. An Interesting Sketch of a Colony in Newberry," Columbia, South Carolina, February 8, 1897

[The Bush River Monthly Meeting] About three miles from this city, near the banks of Bush river, a small sluggish stream, is situated the old Quaker burial ground. In and about the year 1762, a few Quakers settled at this spot and in the years following many others joined them, making a settlement numbering many hundred souls. The land was laid out into small farms, they built themselves a meeting house and settled down to a life of peace and tranquility.

They worked hard, lived comfortably, were honest and very religious, owned slaves at first, but at last set their faces against slavery and on one occasion turned a man out of their church (which was a great punishment) because he would not free his slaves. They attended strictly to their own business and were very friendly, reminding one of a large family, but also very severe on evil-doers.

Between 1800 and 1804, one Zachary Dicks, a so-called preacher, passed through South Carolina. He claimed to be possessed with the "gift of prophecy," and in his exhortations he warned the Quakers of a coming conflict among the sections. The Quakers, not believing in war, and hearing of the many advantages of Ohio, nearly all emigrated to that State.

Today the fields which were once dotted with happy homes are bare, the old meeting house has long ago been torn down and nothing remains of this once prosperous settlement but the old cemetery, and it is slowly disappearing.

Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.