The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has a microfilm of the Journals of the County and Intermediate Court 1786- 1790 for Laurens county. “The County Court Act of 1785 established county courts… ‘to hear and determine all causes at the common law’… where the debt or damages did not exceed fifty pounds… all personal actions where the damages did not exceed twenty pounds… and to hear criminal cases where judgment would not call for the loss of life or corporal punishment”.1
The journal is interesting reading, providing insight into how our ancestors sought to govern themselves at the dawning of America as a nation. The Treaty of Paris had formally ended English claims on America just three years before this journal opens. The court cases have a very “English” cast, reflecting a society in transition.
An important item on the court’s agenda for 17 March 1786 was regulating “Publick Taverns”.2 Continue reading “Journals of the County and Intermediate Court 1786- 1790, Laurens County, SC”