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"E" is for Edisto Island

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"E" is for Edisto Island [Charleston County; population 1, 558]. Located between the mouths of the North and South Edisto Rivers, Edisto is a sea island of approximately sixty-eight square miles. It is shielded from the Atlantic by Edisto Beach, a barrier island. In the sixteenth century, Spanish settlers established a short-lived Jesuit mission here.  In the 1670s, the Edisto Indians deeded the island to English settlers. Indigo was introduced in the 1740s. Sea island cotton replaced indigo and Edisto was the center of sea island cotton production until the boll weevil wiped out the crop in the 1920s. Islanders then turned to cattle, cabbages, potatoes, and tomatoes. Today, the island has become a relatively unspoiled, much-treasured country retreat for many South Carolinians. Edisto Island derives its name from the Edisto Indians, the island's original inhabitants.

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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.