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The Carolina-Barbados Connection That Shaped South Carolina

St Nicholas Abbey, Saint Peter, Barbados
Pontificalibus [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons
St Nicholas Abbey, Saint Peter, Barbados

It is hard to imagine what South Carolina would be today if not for the then-British colony of Barbados. From the settlement of this West Indian island in 1627 to the time of Carolina's settlement in 1670, Barbados changed from an uninhabited island to a Colony where land owners created small plantations using indentured laborers in the quest to find the most profitable cash crop and then to a mostly-clear-cut land that was planted with sugar cane, almost to the ocean's edge.

Sugar, with the introduction of enslaved African laborers, made landowners wealthy, wrecked the island's ecology, and created an economic system that would be copied in Carolina. Another thing shared by émigrés to both colonies: the desire to get rich.

Walter Edgar talks with Dr. Russell Fielding, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the HTC Honors College at Coastal Carolina University, about the history of the Carolina-Barbados connection, and it's lasting influences on both places.

News and Music Stations: Fri, Oct 16, 12 pm; Sat, Oct 17, 7 am | News & Talk Stations: Fri, Oct 16, 12 pm; Sun, Oct 18, 4 pm

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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.