Exploration and Colonization

Carolina colony map

A New Description of Carolina: A 1676 map of the Carolina colony. Wikimedia Commons.

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

Primary Documents

People & Places

  • Charles Fort
    Watch this video of archaeologists working to discover the history of Charles Fort, the earliest French settlement in America.
  • Routes of South Carolina Explorers
    This map shows the routes of 5 explorers that first came to South Carolina.
  • Francisco de Chicora
    Francisco de Chicora was an Indian slave from South Carolina who was brought back to Spain in 1521.
  • South Carolina Pirates 
    Meet Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Calico Jack, and other pirates that came to South Carolina’s ports.
  • Eighteenth Century Overseers
    Find out what archeologists have learned about life as an overseer in the 18th century.
  • The Walled City of Charleston
    Did you know that Charleston used to have a thick wall around it for protection?
  • The Goose Creek Men
    The Goose Creek Men were a group of colonists that became leaders of the early Indian trade, and by the 1690s many held important offices in the colonial government.



paintingPolly Ouldfield of Winyah, ca. 1761 by Jeremiah Theus, a Swiss-born painter who moved to South Carolina around 1735. Image from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.