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South Carolina

Map of South Carolina
Locator Map of South Carolina

  • (1521) First recorded Spanish expedition reached Carolina coast
  • (1524) First French ship explored Carolina coast
  • (1526) Spanish settlement, San Miguel de Guadalupe near Winvah Bay; failed within one year
  • (1562) French attempted settlement of Charlesfort on Parris Island; failed within one year
  • (1566) Spanish built coastal forts to discourage French settlements
  • (1629) King Charles I granted charter to Sir Robert Heath for all territory between 31° and 36° N (from Albemarle Sound in North Carolina to Jekyll Island off Georgia's coast)
  • (1663) King Charles II granted region of Carolina to eight Lords Proprietors
  • (1666) Capt. Robert Sanford explored, named Ashley River; took formal possession of Carolina region for England and Lords Proprietors
  • (1669) Fundamental Constitution of Carolina approved by Lords Proprietors; guaranteed religious freedom
  • (1670) First permanent England settlements and capital city, Charles Town, (Charleston) founded; City Assembly established tax-supported free library
  • (1680) First group French Huguenots arrived; Charles Town moved to Oyster Point, current site
  • (1700) Hurricane struck Charleston, 98 killed
  • (1706) French, Spanish attacked Charles Town during Queen Anne's War; colonial forces captured French vessel and crew
  • (1712) Territory of Carolina divided into North and South; each had own governor
  • (1713) Hurricane struck; heavy flooding, 70 killed
  • (1715 - 1717) Yemassee Indian Wars
  • (1718) Pirate Blackbeard sailed into Charles Town Harbor; took hostages for ransom; pirate Stede Bonnet captured, hanged in Charles Town
  • (1719) Citizens of South Carolina rebel against Lords Proprietors; James Moore elected governor
  • (1721) South Carolina became Crown Colony; General Sir Francis Nicholson appointed governor
  • (1728) Passenger, shipping service began between Charles Town and New York
  • (1729) Seven Lord Proprietors surrendered right to King George II
  • (1730) Nine townships laid out; settlers began move into interior
  • (1730 - 1739) About 20,000 enslaved Africans brought to South Carolina
  • (1739) 40 blacks, 21 whites died in Stono slave revolt
  • (1740) Fire swept through Charles Town
  • (1742) Spanish prevented from taking Charles Town in Battle of Bloody Marsh
  • (1747) Treaty signed with Choctaw Indians; treaty established trade with Choctaws for not attacking French settlements
  • (1752) Hurricane struck, 103 killed
  • (1760 - 1761) Cherokee Wars
  • (1761) Cherokee War ended; Treaty opened land for settlement; Bounty Act offered public land tax free for 10 year in Up Country, settlers began to move in
  • (1769) Nine judicial district established
  • (1774) Henry Middleton, John and Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch, Christopher Gadsden named delegates to First Continental Congress; Middleton chosen President of Continental Congress
  • (1775) Carolina's First Provincial Congress met
  • (1776) First major battle of the Revolution; 15 British warships, 1,500 troops attack Ft. Moultrie, forced away; Declaration of Independence arrived in Charles Town
  • (1777) New state government required each male citizen to denounce King, pledge loyalty to state
  • (1778) Major fire in Charles Town destroyed many building, arson suspected
  • (1779) British prepared sea and land expedition against Charles Town; General Washington ordered 1,400 Continental troops to Charles Town
  • (1780) British troops landed on Seabrook Island, warships anchored within broadside range of Charles Town, Army crossed Ashley river and established line of breastworks; encircled civilian population; siege lasted 40 days; Charles Town surrendered to British
  • (1781) Revolutionary leader, Col. Isaac Hayne, hanged by British outside Charles Town city limits; American forces retake most of South Carolina, advanced to within 15 miles of Charles Town
  • (1782) British Army defeated; left Charles Town
  • (1783) Charles Town renamed Charleston
  • 1785) General Assembly legislation laid out counties, established county courts
  • (1786) Capital moved from Charleston to Columbia
  • (1788) South Carolina became 8th state
  • (1792) Law passed - all free African-Americans between 16 - 50 to pay annual "head tax" of $2.00


  • (1804) Hurricane struck South Carolina
  • (1822) Denmark Vesey conspiracy discovered (Vesey and other slave followers planned to capture Charleston, kill most of the whites, escape to Caribbean or Africa); Vesey and 33 others hanged
  • (1830) First steam locomotive in U.S. began passenger route service between Charleston and Hamburg, South Carolina
  • (1838) Fire destroyed most of Ansonborough
  • (1843) Citadel opened for first class of cadets
  • (1860) South Carolina first state to secede from the Union prior to Civil War
  • (1861) First shots of Civil War fired by Confederate forces upon Ft. Sumter; Union forces sunk "Stone Fleet" in Charleston harbor channel
  • (1862) Confederates repulsed Union attack at Battle of Seccessionville on James Island; Battle of Simmons Bluff occurred, Union victorious
  • (1863) Federal fleet attacked by Confederate ironclads; Union sent fleet of warships to attack Ft. Sumter; Union assault on Battery Wagner at Morris Island led by all black unit; 587 day bombardment of downtown Charleston began
  • (1864) Confederate submarine sank Union's Housatonic
  • (1865) Gen. Sherman's troops reached Middleton Place Plantation, left it in ruins; burned Columbia; Civil War ended
  • (1868) South Carolina readmitted to Union; new Constitution written; Sen. B.F. Randolph murdered by radical whites in Abbeville County
  • (1869) Joseph Rainey first African-American in South Carolina to become U. S. Representative
  • (1886) Low Country struck by estimated 7.5 earthquake, 83 killed, $6 million in damages
  • (1925) New dance craze in Charleston's pubs, dance halls began, spread across nation, named "Charleston"
  • (1934) George Gershwin arrived in Charleston to write Porgy and Bess, first American opera
  • (1954) Hurricane Hazel struck Garden City, left two of 275 homes habitable; severe coastal damage ocurred
  • (1963) Rivers High School in Charleston became first racially integrated high school in South Carolina
  • (1964) Civil Rights Act passed; segregation ends
  • (1968) Orangeburg Massacre at S. C. State campus occurred; three students killed, 28 wounded
  • (1970) Angry whites overturned school bus with young black children on way to integrate local schools in Lamar; state restored order, enforced law
  • (1986) Lake City native, astronaut and physicist Ron McNair, killed in Space Shuttle Challenger explosion
  • (1989) Hurricane Hugo struck; barrier islands lost 80% of homes; Charleston suffered significant damages; total losses $2.8 billion
  • (1990) Hurricane Klaus struck; 80 bridges destroyed, 40 more damaged; secondary roads washed out
  • (1995) Divers discovered wreck of Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley in waters off Sullivan's Island
  • (2000) South Carolina removed last Confederate flag flying above U S Statehouse
  • (2002) 100 year old Sen. Strom Thurmond retires
  • (2004) Hurricane Gaston caused major flooding; damaged structures
  • (2007) Nine fire fighters killed in furniture warehouse fire in Charleston
  • (2009) Atlantic Coast Conference moved three future baseball tournaments out of state due to concerns from NAACP over state-sponsored display of Confederate flag
  • (2010) Legislation introduced mandating gold and silver to replace federal currency in the state
  • (2011) State's immigration laws challenged by 16 nations from Latin America and Caribbean

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