Rags to Riches: the Creation and Legacy of the Carolina Colony

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

Historical archaeologists working in the South Carolina Lowcountry are continually driven to question the cultural and natural conditions that formed Charleston, the wealthiest 18th century port city in North America. Reflecting on ‘questions that count,’ this symposium addresses the advancement of regional research questions since 1999. In that year, a special SHA volume, Charleston in the Context of Trans-Atlantic Culture, grappled with the relationships between Charleston, the South Carolina backcountry, and the larger Atlantic World. Current research is investigating Charleston’s 17th and early 18th century origins to examine the dynamic relationships formed between Native American groups and Europeans, the colony of South Carolina and the Caribbean, Colonial merchants and consumers, and the transatlantic market economy. Papers in this session will examine how natural and cultural conditions influenced fortifications, churches, the city of Charleston and its plantation environs. This symposium is organized to show how these early relationships influenced the development of the elite planter class that expanded beyond Charleston in the late 18th century.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Agents, Africans and Agriculture: The Transplantation of British Nobility in Early Carolina (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Agha.

    In 1674, the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, had his most trusted colonial agents settle a fortified plantation and Indian trading post within a 12,000 acre property that defined the British frontier in Carolina. The site contained a massive cattle herd, experimental agriculture, indentured servants and enslaved Africans. This settlement, called St. Giles Kussoe, existed only until 1685. Ashley Cooper was Lord Chancellor of England, a member of the Royal Society of London,...

  • Animal Landscapes of the Lowcountry: Evidence from Drayton Hall (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jenna Carlson.

    Studying Lowcountry plantations as landscapes allows for an understanding of people’’s interactions with and negotiations of both cultural and natural elements in daily life. Animals in the Lowcountry, both wild and domesticated, contributed to this daily life and blurred the distinction between those elements which were natural and those which were cultural. Ongoing zooarchaeological analyses of the faunal remains from Drayton Hall, South Carolina, reveal the incorporation of vast local...

  • Assigning Site Function: An Archaeological Investigation of the Fickling Settlement at Dixie Plantation in Hollywood, SC (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Eva Falls.

    The College of Charleston’s Center for Environmental Research (CER) in Hollywood, SC is located 19 miles west of the College of Charleston’s main campus in downtown Charleston. The CER was formerly an 18th and 19th century rice and cotton plantation known as Dixie Plantation. A 1799 and a ca.1807 plat map of the area indicates the plantation consisted of a main house, an avenue of oaks, and an unidentified settlement simply labeled ‘Fickling’s’ on the ca. 1807 map. This settlement was...

  • Contextualizing Drayton Hall in the British Atlantic World: an Examination of the Elite Status of an 18th Century Lowcountry Home Seat (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Carter Hudgins.

    Recent research has exposed how Drayton Hall (c.1738-1750) was conceived by wealthy planter John Drayton to operate as a gentleman’’s estate at the center of his vast network of commercial plantations that stretched across South Carolina and Georgia. Drawing from extant architecture, excavated material culture and surviving documentary records, this study will further our knowledge of one of South Carolina’s greatest plantations by examining the social, economic and intellectual influences...

  • Going Up the Country: A Comparison of Elite Ceramic Consumption Patterns in Charleston and the Carolina Frontier (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rebecca Shepherd.

    The backcountry regions of colonial America are often believed to be inhabited by a population of rustic settlers who lack the behaviors and material culture associated with the genteel society present in socially competitive urban centers. Although many researchers have previously examined the differences between urban and backcountry lifeways in South Carolina, few have focused on members of the elite upper class or had the opportunity to examine both the urban and rural life of the same...

  • The Legacy of the Early-18th Century South Carolina Anglican Church (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kimberly Pyszka.

    With its establishment in 1706, the South Carolina Anglican Church became an important and influential organization in the colony. In this presentation, discussion will focus on archaeological research conducted at the site of one of the earliest Anglican churches in South Carolina, St. Paul’s Parish Church. Research at St. Paul’s provides an opportunity to discuss the larger and often unseen roles of the Anglican Church in the development of the colony, beyond its religious and political ones....

  • The Mystery of the Red Ceramics: Understanding a Unique Assemblage of Coarse Earthenware c.1680-1740 (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Stroud Clarke.

    When European colonists began to expand beyond their initial fortifications at Charles Town landing, a community of early plantations was established along the Ashley River. The land that would later become Drayton Hall plantation was inhabited as early as 1680 and the archaeological remains relating to this occupation represent some of the earliest European domestic material culture in the area. During the last quarter of the seventeenth century and the first quarter of the eighteenth, the...

  • Preliminary Results of Archaeological Data Collected at Peachtree Plantation, St. James Parish, South Carolina (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kendy Altizer.

    Peachtree Plantation, located on the Santee River in St. James Parish, South Carolina, is one of the earlier examples of plantation architecture in the South Carolina Low Country. Built in 1762, it was home to Thomas Lynch, Jr., a wealthy rice planter and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Peachtree is also significant as the first plantation to utilize a water-powered rice mill, which revolutionized rice production in the Low Country. A kitchen fire in 1840 destroyed much of the...

  • Using Diversity in Native American Pottery Assemblages to Document Population Movements in the early Carolina Indian Trade: A Preliminary View from Charleston (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jon Marcoux.

    Past research has outlined the profound effects of the Carolina Indian trade on the cultural landscape of the late seventeenth-century Southeast. This work has identified a number of historical processes (e.g., population movements, disease, endemic violence, and economic transformation) stemming from the interaction of southeastern Indian and European Colonial worlds that together defined the chaotic nature of the period. Our understanding of the Indian trade is much improved, but the crucial...

  • The Walled City of Charleston: Archaeology and Public Interpretation (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Katherine Pemberton. Martha Zierden.

    Charleston, South Carolina is the only walled city in British colonial North America. Fearing the settlement’s position “in the very chap of the Spaniard,” the English enclosed roughly sixty acres of high ground in thick walls of brick and earth. As these threats diminished and Charles Town expanded economically, the fortifications were abandoned and demolished. This defensive feature is largely invisible, in both landscape and imagination. Recently the Walled City Task Force excavated the...