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South Carolina

South Carolina History Timeline

  • (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

South Carolina Photographs

Robert HeathCharlestownBlackbeardRice MillEdisto IslandCharlestown courthouseThe citadelGeorge GershwinStrom ThurmanHurrican Hugo

South Carolina Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Abbeville Abbeville 864
Aiken Aiken 803
Allendale Allendale 803
Anderson Anderson 864
Bamberg Bamberg 803
Barnwell Barnwell 803
Beaufort Beaufort 843
Goose Creek Berkeley 843
Saint Matthews Calhoun 803
Charleston Charleston 843
Gaffney Cherokee 864
Chester Chester 803
Cheraw Chesterfield 843
Manning Clarendon 803
Walterboro Colleton 843
Hartsville Darlington 843
Dillon Dillon 843
Summerville Dorchester 843
North Augusta Edgefield 803
Winnsboro Fairfield 803
Florence Florence 843
Georgetown Georgetown 843
Greenville Greenville 864
Greenwood Greenwood 864
Estill Hampton 803
Myrtle Beach Horry 843
Ridgeland Jasper 843
Camden Kershaw 803
Lancaster Lancaster 803
Laurens Laurens 864
Bishopville Lee 803
Lexington Lexington 803
Marion Marion 843
Bennettsville Marlboro 843
McCormick McCormick 864
Newberry Newberry 803
Seneca Oconee 864
Orangeburg Orangeburg 803
Easley Pickens 864
Columbia Richland 803
Saluda Saluda 864
Spartanburg Spartanburg 864
Sumter Sumter 803
Union Union 864
Kingstree Williamsburg 843
Rock Hill York 803

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.