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“D” is for Daufuskie Island

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“D” is for Daufuskie Island. Daufuskie Island, one of the Sea Islands, is near the mouth of the Savannah River at the southern tip of Beaufort County. Eight miles square and inhabited by just 445 residents, the island is bordered by salt marshes and oyster beds that are affected daily by six- to eight-foot tides. Live oaks, palmettos, magnolias, and pines thrive in the semi-tropical climate. The name Daufuskie is attributed to a Creek Indian word meaning “land with a point.” In the eighteenth century enslaved persons produced indigo and in the nineteenth century, Sea Island cotton. Because of the island’s geographic isolation (no bridge connects Daufuskie to the mainland), native Daufuskie Islanders have maintained many of their Gullah traditions. In the 1980s developers purchased portions of Daufuskie Island and established high-income residential and resort communities.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.