"H" is for Huguenots

Aug 6, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"H" is for Huguenots. Huguenots are French Calvinists. The French Reformed church was formally founded in 1559. Because of intense religious strife in France, Jean Ribaut sponsored the short-lived (1562-1563) Huguenot settlement at Charlesfort on Parris Island. The Edict of Nantes, guaranteeing religious freedom, was revoked in 1695 and individuals had the choice of renouncing their faith or fleeing France. The Huguenot migration to South Carolina is part of a larger diaspora, traditionally known as le Refuge—some 2,500 migrated to North America, about 500 to South Carolina. In the eighteenth century additional groups of Huguenots and Swiss Calvinists settled in South Carolina—founding the townships of Purrysburg and Hillsboro [often called New Bordeaux]. Huguenots were attracted to South Carolina primarily by the promise of cheap land, commercial opportunities, and religious freedom.