Exploration and Colonization

Old Exchange and Customs House

The Customs and Exchange House in Charleston, SC. (28 May 2013) Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 Dec 2017.

Discover French, Spanish, and British colonies along the coast and find out how colonists explored, settled, and lived.

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston was completed in 1771 and has been called the “Independence Hall of South Carolina.” Explore the dungeon and find out who was jailed there during the Revolutionary War.


Colonial Life


  • What is Gullah?
    Learn more about the Gullah culture and language that flourished along the coast by slaves from Africa.
  • Slavery Timeline
    Find out about African slavery in America from the earliest slaves sold in Virginia in 1619 to free blacks that fight in the Revolutionary War.

People of the Colonial Era

  • Eliza Lucas Pinckney
    Eliza Lucas Pinckney is best known for her experiments with creating blue die from indigo plants.
  • Lord Proprietors
    Can you name all eight of the original Lord Proprietors?
  • Matthew Singleton 
    Matthew Singleton traveled from Virginia to South Carolina and was responsible for settling present-day Sumter County.


  • Queen Anne’s Revenge
    Explore Blackbeard’s flagship, which underwater archaeologists have explored for artifacts and history of pirates in the Carolinas.
  • South Carolina Pirates
    Meet Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Calico Jack, and other pirates that came to South Carolina’s ports.
  • Stede Bonnet, Gentleman Pirate
    Bonnet was a moderately wealthy landowner from Barbados who turned to a life of crime. He was brought to trial and hanged in Charleston in 1718.


Flooded rice fields
Flooded rice fields at Middleton Place Plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. Rice has been grown in South Carolina since 1680. Image courtesy of flickr user Aquistbe.