Purrysburg, South Carolina


Purrysburg, South Carolina

Purrysburg was a colonial town in Beaufort County, South Carolina. While the town itself was abandoned, the settlers were successful. The town was located on the South Carolina bank of the Savannah River.

Purrysburg was named after Jean-Pierre de Pury, from Neuchatel which during this time did not belong to Switzerland as it does today, but to the King of Prussia. Pury, a man using slave labor, led the first settlers there in 1734. Pury first delivered his plan to Lord Newcastle as a representative of the Lord Proprietors, but roused no interest. But by the time Robert Johnson became Royal Governor in 1729, it fit very nicely with his needs and instructions. He was trying to strengthen and expand frontier settlement by any European Protestants to block French and Spanish expansion.

By 1736, there were 100 houses and as many as 450 settlers in the new town. The settlers were primarily French and German speaking Swiss Protestants from Neuchatel and Geneva. But the settlement suffered from disease and an unhealthy atmosphere. The settlers also had difficulties due to overlapping land grants. Over the next few decades many of them moved on to other towns in South Carolina, or the newly developing Georgia.


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