Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church – Abbeville, South Carolina


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Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church is the oldest church in Abbeville County. The original congregation was comprised of eight families who arrived from Pennsylvania in the late 1750s, but membership quickly grew. Soon Upper Long Cane Presbyterian became the largest congregation in the settlement. On February 1, 1760, Cherokee Indians attacked settlers from the congregation in what is known as the Long Canes Massacre. Twenty-three people were killed, 14 were captured, and others fled, many to the Lowcountry.

Upper Long Cane Presbyterian

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1763 those who had escaped the massacre returned to Abbeville, bringing new church members with them. Worship services resumed, and despite subsequent Cherokee attacks, Reverend William Richardson helped formally organize the church in 1764. During the American Revolution, the Reverend John Harris led the church. The Reverend Harris was a voracious member of the Whig party and often boasted of his congregation’s loyalty to the Whig cause. He is said to have preached with a gun in the pulpit and ammunition around his neck.

Upper Long Cane Session House

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The current church building was constructed in 1964, replacing one that had stood on the site since 1813. However, the Session House (seen above), where the church’s elders once met, remains on the church campus and is open for tours. Upper Long Cane Presbyterian is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PC-USA).



Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church Info


Address: 194 South Carolina Highway 20, Abbeville, SC 29620
GPS Coordinates: 34.200331,-82.388810

Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church Map



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3 Comments about Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
May 11th, 2016 at 8:22 am

Hi, Wilson. Here are two helpful sources: http://www.upperlongcane.net/history.htm and http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/hrs/id/1204 Best of luck in your research!

Wilson McElveenNo Gravatar says:
May 11th, 2016 at 8:11 am

I am very curious about the history of this church as Rev. John Harris was my 5th great grandfather, but I know very little about him. Would it be possible for you all to share some sources that were used in writing this history so that I can learn more? Thanks.

Marylyn Baskin BangertNo Gravatar says:
December 3rd, 2013 at 11:13 pm

My ancestors came to Ninety-Six, first as surveyors in the 1750s sometime and then after 1765. There are four Baskins who owned land: Widow Baskin, James, John, and a William. Are they listed as members between 1765 to 1830? There are quite a few buried in Lowdenville, but they are all 1800s family. Also, if they are, are they buried in a local cemetery that you know of? Thanks! Marylyn Baskin Bagert





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