Online Tour Stop 15 - The Jail

Ninety Six Jail
Ninety Six Jail

NPS | Steven Patricia

Living in the backcountry could be dangerous. Crimes abounded and punishment rarely enforced. Before the construction of the courthouse and jail in 1772, about 4,000 Regulators attempted to enforce justice. These self-appointed duties including chasing bandits, punishing immoral women, and expelling vagrants.

The Regulator movement was replaced by a circuit court system in 1769 and the Ninety Six District was established. The courthouse and jail brought a sense of law, order, and civilization to the backcountry of South Carolina. Cases were heard twice a year, in April and November. Ninety Six was no longer an isolated wilderness outpost.

jail site
The white posts mark the location of the Ninety Six jail.


Throughout the Revolutionary War, the courthouse and jail served as important defenses. During the 1775 and the 1781 siege, the Loyalists controlled these structures using them for protection, quarters, and storage.

David Fanning, an infamous Loyalist, was often captured and imprisoned at Ninety Six. He managed four impressive escapes from the Ninety Six jail.

Today, the exact location of the courthouse is unknown; however, archaeological remains indicate the jail site location.

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Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Ninety Six National Historic Site
1103 Hwy 248

Ninety Six, SC 29666


(864) 543-4068

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