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Carolina's lost colony: Stuarts Town and the struggle for survival in early South Carolina

Scottish colonies in North America
Cene Ketcham
Wikimedia Commons
Scottish colonies in North America

In his new book, Carolina's Lost Colony: Stuarts Town and the Struggle for Survival in Early South Carolina (2022, USC Press), historian Peter N. Moore examines the dual colonization of Port Royal at the end of the seventeenth century. From the east came Scottish Covenanters, who established the small outpost of Stuarts Town. Meanwhile, the Yamasee arrived from the south and west. These European and Indigenous colonizers made common cause as they sought to rival the English settlement of Charles Town to the north and the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine to the south. Also present were smaller Indigenous communities that had long populated the Atlantic sea islands. It is a global story whose particulars played out along a small piece of the Carolina coast.

However, as Moore tells Walter Edgar, religious idealism and commercial realities came to a head as the Scottish settlers made informal alliances with the Yamasee and helped to reinvigorate the Indian slave trade—setting in motion a series of events that transformed the region into a powder keg of colonial ambitions, unleashing a chain of hostilities, realignments, displacement, and destruction that forever altered the region.

- Originally broadcast 01/06/23 -

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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.