South Carolina: A Bicentennial History

By Louis B. Wright | Go to book overview

3

Diversity of People
—and Broils in Plenty

OF all the English colonies settled in the seventeenth century, only Pennsylvania exceeded Carolina in the diversity of its population—and in the controversies and quarrels that ensued. People of varied types and religions came early to Carolina, and although the great influx of non-English settlers arrived later in the eighteenth century, the advertising campaigns of the first Proprietors attracted many kinds of adventurers and land-hungry pioneers, some in search of new opportunities for prosperity, others hoping for both prosperity and freedom from religious persecution.

Pennsylvania and Carolina held out the promise of religious toleration to immigrants of all faiths, a promise having an immense appeal to persecuted minorities in Great Britain and countries across the English Channel. The Lords Proprietors of Carolina were not demonstrating a broad spirit of toleration that had come to them like a benevolent revelation; they were merely businessmen in search of profits from the sale of land and from quitrents. They knew that the quickest way to get settlers to Carolina was to offer inducements greater than they could find at home or elsewhere.

The Proprietors had no intention of encouraging heretical doctrines or even of divorcing church and state in their domin

-49-

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