"I" is for Indian Trade

Oct 13, 2020

Credit SC Public Radio

"I" is for Indian Trade. The Indian trade between the colony of South Carolina and neighboring Indian tribes began in 1674 with the exchange of English manufactured goods for deerskins. And, the fur trade (as it was called) brought South Carolina its first wealth. Although damaging to native culture, the trade was prosperous for the colony. While lucrative, the Indian trade was also a contentious issue. The colonial government attempted to regulate the trade—most notably through the creation in 1707 of the Commission of Indian Trade. However, corrupt traders abused and cheated friendly tribes. By 1730 the Carolina Indian trade in skins entered a golden age of prosperity. In 1748 the colony exported 160,000 skins worth £300,000. Gradually other exports (timber and naval stores) displaced the Indian trade in both profit and prominence.