Incorporated December 20, 1828, Hamilton is the county seat of Harris County. Local wisdom has it that the city remembers James Hamilton, Jr., a governor of South Carolina. Hamilton is known for passing the Nullification Ordinance of 1832 and for leading the armed forces to defend states' rights.
In April 1969, the city opened its town square as a museum of the 1870-1920 era, and now the square is called "Hamilton on the Square."
During the late 19th century, B.F. White, who was important in the development of Sacred Heart singing, made Hamilton his home. His Sacred Heart singing, a traditional form of Christian congregational music, uses the human voice alone to provide instrumentation.