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Sumter, city (1990 pop. 41,943), seat of Sumter co., central S.C.; founded 1785, inc. 1845. It is the commercial, processing, and shipping center of a timber and agricultural region. Chief crops are tobacco and cotton; livestock, grain, peanuts, and sorghum are also important. Industrial systems, textiles, hand tools, processed meats, and forest products are among the city's manufactures. Of interest are the tombs of Revolutionary War Gen. Thomas Sumter and of Joel Poinsett, for whom the poinsettia is named. Swan Lake Iris Gardens, with its numerous species of swans and Japanese irises, attracts many visitors. Morris College and a campus of the Univ. of South Carolina are in the city. Shaw Air Force Base is to the west. Nearby is Poinsett State Park.

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