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Creating and Contesting Carolina

Proprietary Era Histories

Michelle LeMaster

Publication Year: 2013

The essays in Creating and Contesting Carolina shed new light on how the various peoples of the Carolinas responded to the tumultuous changes shaping the geographic space that the British called Carolina during the Proprietary period (1663–1719). In doing so, the essays focus attention on some of the most important and dramatic watersheds in the history of British colonization in the New World. These years brought challenging and dramatic changes to the region, such as the violent warfare between British and Native Americans or British and Spanish, the no-less dramatic development of the plantation system, and the decline of proprietary authority. All involved contestation, whether through violence or debate. The very idea of a place called Carolina was challenged by Native Americans, and many colonists and metropolitan authorities differed in their visions for Carolina. The stakes were high in these contests because they occurred in an early American world often characterized by brutal warfare, rigid hierarchies, enslavement, cultural dislocation, and transoceanic struggles for power. While Native Americans and colonists shed each other’s blood to define the territory on their terms, colonists and officials built their own version of Carolina on paper and in the discourse of early modern empires. But new tensions also provided a powerful incentive for political and economic creativity. The peoples of the early Carolinas reimagined places, reconceptualized cultures, realigned their loyalties, and adapted in a wide variety of ways to the New World. Three major groups of peoples—European colonists, Native Americans, and enslaved Africans—shared these experiences of change in the Carolinas, but their histories have usually been written separately. These disparate but closely related strands of scholarship must be connected to make the early Carolinas intelligible. Creating and Contesting Carolina brings together work relating to all three groups in this unique collection.

Published by: University of South Carolina Press

Series: The Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

This book emerged out of conversations between the editors while they stayed with a group of friends at a rented beach house on Oak Island, North Carolina in May 2009. Conversation threads about seafood restaurants, water temperatures, and bird watching became interwoven with conversations about historiographies and about the relations between natives and settlers. If references ...

Note on Maps

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p. x-x

List of Maps

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pp. xi-xiv


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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction: Creating and Contesting Carolina

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pp. 1-23

In the fall of 1711, six men traveled up the Neuse River in North Carolina in quest of wild grapes and to discover how far inland the river remained navigable. The adventurers—the Swiss baron and founder of the New Bern settlement, Christoph von Graffenried; the colony’s surveyor general and sometime Indian agent, John Lawson; two black slaves; and two Indians—alarmed residents ...

PART I: Backgrounds

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Defining Carolina: Cartography and Colonization in the North American Southeast, 1657–1733

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pp. 27-48

As the English colonized Carolina, claiming and settling land within its changing boundaries, maps captured the transformation of a contested imperial borderland into one of British America’s most populous and economically important regions. These images, produced over the course of eighty years that witnessed England’s implantation of provincial societies around the rim of the ...

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Venturing Out: The Barbadian Diaspora and the Carolina Colony, 1650–1685

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pp. 49-72

The Carolina colony was founded amidst a flurry of Barbadian expansion projects in the 1650s and 1660s. Nationalist approaches have situated the colony within the context of the area that eventually formed the United States. At its inception, however, South Carolina was part of a Caribbean world. Imperial rivalries and economic, demographic, and political forces in the early ...

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Dr. Henry Woodward’s Role in Early Carolina Indian Relations

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pp. 73-93

Dr. Henry Woodward played a little-known but crucial role in the success of the Carolina colony. As a go-between during the years 1666 through 1686, he was instrumental in obtaining food and intelligence from the native peoples of the region and in developing peaceful relations and commerce with several prominent nations, including the Westos, Yamasees, and Lower ...

PART II: Violence and Conflict

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The Economic Philosophies of Indian Trade Regulation Policy in Early South Carolina

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pp. 97-117

Carolina was established during an unsettled time in England’s economic history. The expansion of the market over unprecedented distances, and the emergence of a philosophy that posited that labor and not land created wealth, sparked debates about the role of government in economic affairs. Under scrutiny was the balance-of-trade theory, or mercantilism, which assumed that ...

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“Cutting one anothers throats”: British, Native, and African Violence in Early Carolina

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pp. 118-139

As the British, various native peoples, and enslaved Africans came into contact with one another in late-seventeenth-century Carolina, they exchanged a wide array of goods, diseases, and ideas. Some of these exchanges are relatively well understood: the Indian slave trade, the Muskogee-English deerskin trade, and the role of African expertise in European planters’ choice of rice as their ...

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“Before long to be good friends”: Diplomatic Perspectives of the Tuscarora War

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pp. 140-163

Understandably the Tuscarora War has been approached principally as an episode of violence.1 Beginning in September 1711 and lasting for approximately two years, a loose coalition of eastern North Carolina Indians, chief among them Tuscaroras, launched devastating attacks that wrecked European settlements along North Carolina’s Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. North Carolina settlers ...

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War, Masculinity, and Alliances on the Carolina Frontiers

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pp. 164-185

In August 1702 Governor James Moore of South Carolina led an expedition of about five hundred white men and 370 Indians in fourteen boats south from Charles Town to attack St. Augustine, Florida. Moore sent his deputy governor, Robert Daniel, with a small party of settlers and a much larger contingent of Indians to raid coastal mission villages. Meanwhile a smaller group of ...

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Histories of the “Tuscarora War”

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pp. 186-208

Any effort to come to grips with this thing we have for so long called the Tuscarora War is bound to end in confusion, a confusion, mind you, that first enveloped those events of the winters of 1712 and 1713 and that only gets more refined as generations of scholars try to locate the war’s causes and consequences. But confusion nonetheless because it can also be said that there was ...

PART III: Building Plantations, Challenging Authority

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Thomas Pollock and the Making of an Albemarle Plantation World

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pp. 211-233

In the morning hours before daybreak during a summer day in 1711, Thomas Pollock watched cannons from a brigantine in the Chowan River launch two balls toward his house. They were aimed too high and did little damage. Pollock and his allies—the governor and council of North Carolina and about sixty others—responded by firing their own cannon, also to little effect, and ...

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Diversity in the Slave Trade to the Colonial Carolinas

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pp. 234-255

When Henry Laurens scribbled his rankings of preferred African backgrounds for the South Carolina slave market, his list of alternates captured an important truth about the Atlantic slave trade.1 With high demand for labor throughout the Americas, buyers’ specific requests were mere wish lists. Plantation owners had preferences among African peoples, but they could not count on ...

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Marooned: Politics and Revolution in the Bahamas Islands and Carolina

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pp. 256-272

In the last weeks of 1719, a sizeable cabal—perhaps a majority—of influential South Carolinians executed a coup d’état, repudiating Governor Robert Johnson and the rule of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. They immediately sought British Crown recognition of their actions and petitioned the Crown to take the government of the province under direct royal authority. The rebels ...

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“The Proprietors can’t undertake for what they will do”: A Political Interpretation of the South Carolina Revolution of 1719

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pp. 273-294

In December 1719 the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly called itself a “Convention of the People,” resolved that it would “pay no further duty or obedience to the Lords Proprietors,” and petitioned the king to “extend [his] most Gracious Goodness” to his subjects in South Carolina. In other words, the assembly effectively ended proprietary rule in South Carolina and ...

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Protecting the Rights of Englishmen: The Rise and Fall of Carolina’s Piratical State

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pp. 295-317

During the late seventeenth century Charles Town was one of the most infamous pirate nests in the Atlantic World. The roots of Carolina’s piratical state can be traced back well before the colony’s foundation to Port Royal, Jamaica, during the decades following its acquisition by the English in 1655. Sea marauders of all nations fit out their vessels in its deep harbor and spent ...

PART IV: Aftermaths

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Forging Alliances: The Impact of the Tuscarora War on North Carolina’s Political Leadership

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pp. 321-342

During the winter of 1712, South Carolinian John Barnwell and his army of Indian recruits marched to Bath County, North Carolina, to help defend their northern neighbor from warring Tuscaroras and their Indian allies.1 South Carolina officials sent the troops after receiving an urgent request for aid from the North Carolina government. As South Carolina forces campaigned against ...

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“The Indians that live about Pon Pon”: John and Mary Musgrove and the Making of a Creek Indian Community in South Carolina, 1717–1732

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pp. 343-366

John and Mary Musgrove are best known as the bicultural Anglo-Creek couple who, as interpreters, diplomats, and traders to the Creek Indians, were instrumental to the establishment of the Georgia colony. What has often been overlooked is that this same couple played an important role in South Carolina’s early history as the founders of a small but strategically important community ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 367-369


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pp. 371-382

E-ISBN-13: 9781611172737
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611172720

Page Count: 400
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: The Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World