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"S" is for Sullivan’s Island

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Sullivan’s Island (Charleston County; 2010 population 1,703). Sullivan’s Island was discovered in 1666 by Captain Robert Sandford and named for Captain Florence O’Sullivan, a former Irish soldier and one of South Carolina’s first colonists. In 1674 O’Sullivan was given the responsibility of manning the signal cannon on the island at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Thus began the island’s relationship with military defense as well as the name “O’Sullivan’s Island.” Throughout the history of Sullivan’s Island, military defense and summer recreation would be the two most important factors in the island’s development. Beginning in 1791, private citizen began spending summers on the island, making Sullivan’s perhaps the state’s original seaside resort. A navigation beacon or lighthouse is the only remaining defensive fixture on Sullivan’s Island from the days of Florence O’Sullivan.

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.