Savannah Town, South Carolina
was first observed in the 1670s as a Westo
village, located on the Savannah River
below the fall line in present day Aiken County
. The Savannah
displaced the Westos in a 1679-1680 trade war, and the town bore their name on a 1685 Joel Gascoyne Plat of the Province of Carolina
(Cumming #101). Savannah Town became important to the growing colony
for its profitable Indian trade, and for frontier defense.
A thriving business developed around Indian traders who with their pack horses spread throughout the western wilderness. In 1692 the Proprietors hoped for traders to reside at "Savannah town" (McCrady p. 237). In 1698, Colonel Thomas Welch reached the Mississippi River on a trail that came to be the Upper Trading Path to the Chickasaw
homeland (Atkinson p. 25). Iron and woolen goods were offered in exchange for skins which came to be shipped by the thousands from Savannah Town via oared 'periagoe' to Charles Town
, and thence Europe. Fort Moore
was established immediately nearby in 1715 and garrisoned with perhaps twenty-five soldiers, and a cross-river ferry began service in 1740.
The restless Savannahs seem to have found Englishmen not to their taste and slowly departed. In the early 1720s Chickasaws
living in northern Mississippi were invited by the South Carolina Assembly to occupy the area. Seeking to strengthen ties with the English as a source of guns, a group led by so-called Squirrel King came to Savannah Town in... Read More