History of the United States of America: From the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 1

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII.
SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

To promote success in planting South Carolina, the proprietaries tempted emigrants by the offer of land at an easy quit-rent, and one hundred and fifty acres were granted for every able man-servant. "In that they meant negroes as well as Christians." Of the original thirteen states, South Carolina alone was from its origin essentially a planting state with slave labor.

In January, 1670, more than a month before the revised model was signed, a considerable number of emigrants set sail for Carolina, which, both for climate and soil, was celebrated as "the beauty and envy of North America." They were conducted by Joseph West, as commercial agent for the proprietaries; and by William Sayle, who, having more than twenty years before made himself known as leader in an attempt to plant the isles of the gulf of Florida, was constituted a proprietary governor, with jurisdiction extending as far north as Cape Carteret, as far south as the Spaniards would tolerate. Having touched at Ireland and Barbados, the ships which bore the company entered the well-known waters where the fleet of Ribault had anchored, and examined the site where the Huguenots had engraved the lilies of France and erected the fortress of Carolina. After short delay, they sailed into Ashley river, and on "the first high land convenient for tillage and pasturing," the three ship-loads of emigrants, who as yet formed the whole people of South Carolina, began their town. Few as were the settlers, no immediate danger was apprehended from the natives; epidemic sickness and sanguinary wars had left the neighboring coasts

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