King Charles II issued
a land grant to his Lord Proprietors
Carolina, as defined by the Charters
of 1663 and 1665, extended from coast to coast. North and South
Carolina did not become separate colonies until about 1710.
None of the eight original Lords
Proprietors ever visited South Carolina. The colony was governed
by representatives they appointed. Lord Ashley Cooper was the
most energetic supporter of the venture. Sir William Berkeley
never had a major role in Carolina's growth, even though he spent
35 years in America as governor of Virginia.
In October, 1669, three ships carrying 92 settlers
left England for Carolina. Storms delayed the expedition and caused
the loss of two ships. After stops in Barbados and Bermuda, the
ship Carolina finally reached the new land. After choosing a spot
on the south side of the Ashley River, the colonists quickly erected
a stockade for protection from Indians and Spaniards. Cabins were
built within the stockade, and 10-acre garden plots outside the
stockade were assigned to each household.
The Proprietors wanted the first permanent settlement built at Fort
Royal, near the site of present-day Beaufort. The colonists spent
a few weeks there in March of 1670, but chose another location.
The friendly leader of the Kiawah Indians encouraged them to pick
a spot about 80 miles north. They named it Albemarle Point. The
location was more suited to farming, had a better harbor and was
farther from the hostile Spaniards in St. Augustine.
A few years later, colonists from Barbados, who
were looking for more land, joined the English settlers. In 1680,
the first French Huguenot refugees
arrived. By then the settlement had been moved to Oyster Point,
where Charleston now stands.
As early as 1682, one English traveler reported that the settlement
had a population of at least ". . . 1000 or 1200 souls . .
. ." By the 1690's, the town was becoming an important center
for the export of deer hides and rice.
An ad from a London newspaper, The
True Protestant Mercury, (May, 1681) trying to attract settlers
"All those intend to go Passengers to Carolina, with Families
or without; or, those that desire to be entertained as Servants,
may repair with speed to the Sign of the Barbadoes in Finch Lane
near the Royal Exchange where they may be informed by the Governor,
and the Commanders of the Ships, of the conveniency for their Passage,
and the Advantage of that Healthful and Plentiful Country.