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About South Carolina

South Carolina was settled in 1670 and is one of the thirteen original colonies. Originally known just as "Carolina," the southern portion of the state separated from the North in 1729. Extensive fighting occurred here during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. The Civil War actually began in South Carolina in 1861, as troops fired on Fort Sumter, a federal fort in Charleston Harbor. South Carolina was also the first state to secede from the Union.

Formerly a dominant agricultural state, South Carolina now generates a large portion of state revenues from its many large textile mills. Asbestos, wood, steel, machinery, clothing, and chemicals are among the other top-produced goods in the state. Peach production ranks third in the nation, and tobacco ranks fourth overall. Wadmalaw Island, south of Charleston, is the only commercial tea plantation in the United States.

Tourism is a great source of state revenue, and some favorite tourist stops are the historic city of Charleston, the Magnolia, Middleton, and Cypress Gardens in Charleston, The U.S.S. Yorktown, permanently moored in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter National Monument, Cowpens National Battlefield, and the resort island of Hilton Head.