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Pearis established a plantation on the Reedy River called the Great Plains in present-day downtown Greenville.The American Revolution divided the South Carolina country between the Loyalists and Patriots.However, other sources say Greenville is named after General Nathanael Greene in honor of his service in the American Revolutionary War. Alston came to Greenville County in 1788 and bought 400 acres (160 ha) and a portion of Pearis' former plantation.In 1797 Alston used his land holdings to establish a village called Pleasantburg where he also built a stately mansion.Pearis supported the Loyalists and together with their allies the Cherokee attacked the Patriots.The Patriots retaliated by burning down Pearis' plantation and jailing him in Charleston.
Pearis had a child with a Cherokee woman and received about 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) from the Cherokee around 1770.
Pleasantburg boomed to around 1,000 in the 1850s due to the growth of Mc Bee's donations and the attraction of the town as a summer resort for visitors. Greenville County provided over 2,000 soldiers to the Confederate States Army.
In December 1860 Greenville supported a convention to debate the issue of secession for South Carolina. The town supplied food, clothing, and firearms to the Confederacy.
The Greenville District sent James Furman, William K. Greenville saw no action from the war until 1865 when Union troops came through the town looking for President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy who had fled south from Richmond, Virginia.
In June 1865 Andrew Johnson appointed Greenville County native Benjamin Franklin Perry as Governor of South Carolina.