Five SC governors have come from this area, which was part of the Parish of St. Mark (1757) and Camden District (1769) before becoming Clarendon County in 1785. The county was then part of Sumter circuit court district (1799) before becoming Clarendon District (1855) and finally Clarendon County again in 1868, taking its name from the Earl of Clarendon, one of the original Lords Proprietors of Carolina.
Manning, established in 1855 as the seat of Clarendon District, was incorporated in 1861, its town limits extending ½ mile from the courthouse in all directions. In 1865, the town was partially burned by Union troops under General Edward E. Potter. About two blocks N. of here on Church St. is the grave of Pvt. Josiah B. Pratt, one of Potter's soldiers, who was killed in this foray only a few days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox.