restricted access Quitting More Than Port Royal: A Political Interpretation of the Siting and Development of Charles Town, South Carolina, 1660-1680

In 1669, eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, sponsored an expedition to plant a permanent settlement on the south Atlantic coast of North America, the first step in their plan to transform the undeveloped territory between English Virginia and Spanish Florida into a prosperous agricultural colony. Based on their readings of the travel narratives of two English explorers who had recently plied the Carolina coast, the Proprietors instructed the expedition to settle at Port Royal Sound, an area they valued for its excellent harbor and accessibility to the Atlantic trading world. Upon arrival at Port Royal, however, the threat of hostile Indians and Spaniards led the colonists to perceive the low-lying and exposed land thereabouts as untenable. The colonists' decision to immediately "quitt Port Royall" and found Charles Town on Albemarle Point, a sheltered inland spot on the Ashley River, had significant political consequences both locally and nationally.