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.