Manning is a city in South Carolina and the county seat of Clarendon County in the Southeastern United States, located in the center of the county, just to the east of Interstate 95 and at the intersection of U.S. 301 and U.S. 521. The population was estimated to be 3,943 as of 2008, down 2% from its 4,025 population as of the 2000 census. It was named after South Carolina governor John Laurence Manning.
In 1855 the Legislature appointed a group of commissioners to select and purchase a tract of land for "the Village of Manning" in the newly formed Clarendon County. According to the Watchmen, a local newspaper of the time, "the Legislature (had) granted a bill of divorce between Clarendon and Claremont (Sumter)." Ignoring superstition, thirteen men were named as commissioners to select and acquire from six to sixty acres on which to lay out the new courthouse village: R. C. Baker, L. F. Rhame, J. C. Brock, W. W. Owens, Joseph Sprott, J. C. Burgess, M. T. Brogdon, J. J. Nelson, Samuel A. Burgess, J. J. McFadden, Jesse Hill, R. R. Haynsworth, and P. S. Worsham. Five other commissioners, R. I. Manning, L. F. Rhame, J. B. Brogdon, J. J. Conyers, and William A. Burgess, were named for erecting the courthouse and jail from a state appropriation of $18,000.00, plus whatever funds might be realized from the sale of lots. The site for the village was presented to the state by Captain Joseph Copley Burgess and the Plat of Manning was prepared and filed in Sumter County Courthouse. (Captain Burgess had also donated land for the courthouse and jail in Manning.) On the second Monday of the following October, the new district officers were elected, and Clarendon began its separate existence from Sumter District with Manning as its county seat.
The city is named for John Laurence Manning, who was elected to both chambers in the General Assembly, and was chosen by the Assembly to serve as governor from 1852 to 1854.