Richland County, South Carolina

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Richland County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The 2000 U.S. census recorded its population to be 320,677. In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that its population had reached 372,023. It is the second most populous county in South Carolina, behind only Greenville County. The county seat is Columbia,[1] the state capital. It is also the center of population of South Carolina.[2]

Richland County is part of the Columbia, South Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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History

Richland County was probably named for its "rich land." The county was formed in 1785 as part of the large Camden District. A small part of Richland later went to Kershaw County (1791). The county seat is Columbia, which is also the state capital. In 1786 the state legislature decided to move the capital from Charleston to a more central location. A site was chosen in Richland County, which is in the geographic center of the state, and a new town was laid out. Cotton from the surrounding plantations was shipped through Columbia and later manufactured into textiles there. General William T. Sherman captured Columbia during the Civil War, and his troops burned the town and parts of the county on February 17, 1865. The U. S. Army returned on more friendly terms in 1917, when Fort Jackson was established, which is now the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center in the U.S. Army.

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