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"S" is for Smith, Thomas (ca. 1648-1694)

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"S" is for Smith, Thomas (ca. 1648-1694) Governor. Born in England, Smith immigrated with his family to Carolina in 1683—likely as a member of the great Dissenter migration to the province in the 1680s. He obtained a landgrave’s grant (48,000 acres) that was known as Wiskinboo Barony. In 1688 the Proprietors named him a commissioner of customs and later, a member of the Grand Council. After he married the widowed owner of Medway plantation in 1688, Smith successfully petitioned the Proprietors to transfer the plantation to him. He then made Medway—on a tributary of the Cooper River—his primary residence. In May1693, Smith was appointed deputy governor and in November 1693 was named governor. Thomas Smith attempted to end the Indian slave trade and reduce trade with pirates, but met with limited success.

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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.