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With increased railroad traffic, it ceased operation around 1850.
The commissioners designed a town of 400 blocks in a 2-mile (3 km) square along the river.
State Senator John Lewis Gervais of the town of Ninety Six introduced a bill that was approved by the legislature on March 22, 1786, to create a new state capital.
Its population was nearing 1,000 shortly after the start of the 19th century.
The Congarees, a frontier fort on the west bank of the Congaree River, was the head of navigation in the Santee River system.
A ferry was established by the colonial government in 1754 to connect the fort with the growing settlements on the higher ground on the east bank.
The site was chosen as the new state capital in 1786, due to its central location in the state. After remaining under the direct government of the legislature for the first two decades of its existence, Columbia was incorporated as a village in 1805 and then as a city in 1854.
Columbia received a large stimulus to development when it was connected in a direct water route to Charleston by the Santee Canal.
In 1801, South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) was founded in Columbia. The city was chosen as the site of the institution in part to unite the citizens of the Upcountry and the Lowcountry and to discourage the youth from migrating to England for their higher education.