Historian Jerry Alexander's fourth book, “Antebellum Old Pickens District, S.C.” that has garnered its author the coveted Best in South Carolina local history book award in the South Carolina Genealogical Society’s statewide 2008 Publications Competition.
For Alexander, the win resulted in his second trip to accept the honors. His earlier book “The Cateechee Story” about vanishing mill villages won the honor in 2005.
Alexander is quoted as saying, “Settlers began pouring into the backcountry after the 1785 Cherokee peace treaty was signed at Andrew Pickens’ home near Clemson, and the rush never let up.
“Pickens District, now Oconee and Pickens counties, lasted for 40 years with the little courthouse village being located on the west side of Keowee River at Robertson’s Ford. After 1868 it was split into Oconee and Pickens counties as we know them today.”
The area, according to Alexander, has a secure place in history both in its own right and because it was a key “jumping off” point for the further settlement that spread to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.
“While many families went west, they left their genealogical roots — earlier generations and perhaps babies, parents, brothers and sisters — buried on our shaded, little, sacred hilltops,” Alexander said.
You can read more in the Independent Mail web site at http://www.independentmail.com/news/2008/nov/21/local-historian-wins-state-book-prize.