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MCCORMICK, S.C. – Huguenot descendants and other persons interested in French Huguenot history will gather at John de la Howe School in McCormick County on Sunday, August 3rd to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Huguenots at New Bordeaux in August 1764.
French reformer John Calvin (1509-1564), born Jean Chauvin, preached that salvation is by God’s grace alone without any merit or worthiness on man’s part and maintained that the Bible was the sole source of God’s law, and that it was man’s duty to interpret it, and to preserve the orderly world that God had ordained. The result of the Reformation was the long conflict of religious wars served by the extreme Catholic policy aimed at exterminating the Huguenots. Early in the second half of the eighteenth century, Pastor Jean Louis Gibert (1722-1773), condemned to death by the French government for his Calvinist preaching, organized the migration from France for the New Bordeaux settlement on Little River in McCormick County. Of the five Huguenot settlement sites in South Carolina, New Bordeaux is the only one in the upstate.
Registration will begin at 10:00 A.M. in the Main Building at John de la Howe School. Fred L. Lewis Jr., noted historian and Burt-Stark Mansion tour guide of Abbeville, S.C. will speak at the morning program at 11:00 A.M. in McKissick memorial Chapel.
Following the morning program, a picnic lunch will be enjoyed by all in the school cafeteria. Bring a picnic lunch and tea. Plates, cups, and ice will be provided.
During the afternoon, you are invited to tour the splendidly preserved André Guillebeau House located at Hickory Knob State Park. Guillebeau, a New Bordeaux Huguenot and a veteran of the Revolutionary War, built the house during the 1770s. Other significant sites that are conveniently accessible for visiting during the afternoon include the John de la Howe Tomb and school campus, the New Bordeaux Huguenot Place of Worship on Little River, the Pierre Moragné grave site, old Willington Cemetery, and the fascinating early twentieth century agricultural/railroad town of Willington.
The public is invited to come and join in a day of heritage appreciation, great fellowship, and genealogy swapping on August 3rd.