South Carolina - First in Independence?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about one of my favorite little states, Rhode Island, declaring independence from England on May 4, 1776.

Evidently, they weren’t the only ones or the first. Hat tip to and their This Day in History post which points out that South Carolina declared independence on March 26, 1776 – a full four months before the official declaration and more than two months before Rhode Island.

If it seems odd that a state (colony) might declare independence, keep in mind that these colonies saw themselves as something akin to separate countries. They even squabbled over boundaries and threatened war against each other from time to time.

The term “United Colonies” was only about a year old and “United States” wouldn’t be used until the Declaration. Even then, under the Articles of Confederation, the states were a much looser collection of independent governments than what we think of as the United States of American today.

So, was South Carolina the first state to declare independence? Maybe. I’m still looking for a resource that gives me a definitive answer. If you know of one, let us know!


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