Friday, November 20, 2015

The Port of Charleston in Colonial Days

1733 map of Charleston, South Carolina
The earliest known settlement into Charleston, South Carolina was in 1663 and from that time one was a major port city.  In the colonial days, a steady stream of traffic between Charleston, Europe, the American colonies and the West Indies flourished.  Also, Charleston had it's privateers and pirates, as reflected in the old deeds.  These pirates rode the seas from Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Cuba and New Providence Island in the West Indies.  It was a time when gold was being discovered in South America (particularly Brazil,)by the Spanish and hauled in flotas of merchant ships.  Privateers hired by foreign countries sent their ship captains into these waters to compete for the prize.  One has but to read the old last wills and testaments of the first settlers to learn how extensive this was.  As plantations were developed on Barbados from the European community, sugar cane was a major export and after the Revolutionary War, Barbados was a place of escape for Loyalists. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it exported rice and sea island cotton.  These money crops developed local economies and enriched merchants and landowners.  And, good news for the genealogist, Charleston records survived its battles. One may view old wills, estates and deeds on South Carolina Pioneers

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been to charleston a number of times. A beautiful city where you get the flavor of the past.