Established in the 1730s as part of Governor Robert Johnson’s broader plan to settle the South Carolina interior, New Windsor Township lay along the Savannah River in what is now Aiken County. Its boundaries ran from the mouth of Town Creek to a point seven miles above Fort Moore. Savannah Town was a trading depot on the eastern side of the Savannah across from Augusta, Georgia.
In 1734 Sebastian Zouberbuhler of Appenzell, Switzerland, landed in South Carolina to find a home for Protestant immigrants. In July 1735 he contracted with the Royal Council to transport Swiss settlers for New Windsor Township. The colony promised to survey the land without fees and to provide other necessities.
In August 1736 some 192 persons representing approximately fifty families agreed to follow the Reverend Bartholomew Zouber-buhler (Sebastian’s father) and Johannes Tobler (former governor of Appenzell) to Carolina. They arrived at Charleston in February 1737.
Surveyors laid out the town of New Windsor with Fort Moore as its northwestern corner. Most of the early surveys for the Swiss lay between that area and Silver Bluff, ten miles away. Good agricultural land was scarce in the township, which therefore linked the township’s economic viability to the Indian trade. By 1748 two groups of Chickasaws, invited by the Royal Council as a defensive buffer, were living near New Windsor.
New Windsor was among the least populous of the 1730s townships and by 1756 had an estimated population of only three hundred. Its reputation for an unhealthy climate and poor land further slowed its development. By the start of the Revolutionary War, only a few farms and a handful of original settlers remained. Many moved across the Savannah River to settle in Augusta and other parts of Georgia.
Crass, David Colin, et al. Excavations at New Windsor Township, South Carolina. Columbia: South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, 1997.
Maness, Harold S. Forgotten Outpost: Fort Moore & Savannah Town, 1685–1765. Pickens, S.C.: BPB Publications, 1986.
Meriwether, Robert L. The Expansion of South Carolina, 1729–1765. Kingsport, Tenn.: Southern Publishers, 1940.