Province of South Carolina

The Province of South Carolina[1] was originally part of the Province of Carolina in British America, which was chartered by eight Lords Proprietor in 1663. The province later became the U.S. state of South Carolina.

Province of South Carolina

StatusColony (Kingdom of Great Britain)
CapitalCharles Towne
Common languagesEnglish, German, French, Catawba, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Muscogee, Yuchi, Shawnee
Church of England (Anglicanism)
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
LegislatureCommons House of Assembly
Historical eraColonial Era
CurrencySouth Carolina pound
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Province of Carolina
State of South Carolina
Today part of United States


The Carolinas were named for King Charles II of England. Derived from Latin Carolus, the colony was originally "Carolana," the spelling eventually changed to "Carolina." [Note that Carolana was also the name of a failed settlement plan in the late 1690s.] Charles Towne was the first settlement, established in 1670.

Charles II had given the land to a group of eight nobles called the Lords Proprietors; they planned for a Protestant Christian colony. Originally a single proprietary colony, the northern and southern sections grew apart over time, due partly to neglect by the (individual) legal heirs of the original Lords Proprietor. Dissent over governance of the province led to the appointment of a deputy governor to administer the northern half of the Carolina colony in 1691. The division of the Carolina Province into North Carolina and South Carolina became complete in 1712.

The Yamasee War (1715–1717) ravaged the back-country of the colony. Complaints that the proprietors had not done enough to protect the colonists against either the Indians or the neighboring Spanish, during Queen Anne's War, convinced many residents of the necessity of ending proprietary rule. A rebellion broke out against the proprietors in 1719. Acting on a petition of the residents of the colony, the British government appointed a royal governor for South Carolina in 1720. (The governor of North Carolina would continue to be appointed by the Lords Proprietor until 1729.)

After nearly a decade in which the British government sought to locate and buy out the proprietors, both North Carolina and South Carolina became British royal colonies in 1729.

Lord Charles Montagu (1741-1784) was Royal Governor of the Province of South Carolina from 1766 to 1773 until he escaped to Nova Scotia as with fellow United Empire Loyalists.


The Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas was founded c.1725, based in Charles Town (Charleston).

List of Chief Justices
Incumbent Tenure Notes
Took office Left office
Edmund Bohun16981699died in office of fever
Nicholas Trottc.17021718dismissed from office after uprising
Richard Alleyn1719
Robert Wright17301739died in office
Thomas Dale17 Oct 1739Nov 1739
Benjamin Whitaker7 Nov 17391749removed from office due to paralysis
James Graeme6 Jul 1749
Charles Pinckney17521753
Peter Leigh1753
James Michie1 Sep 175916 Jul 1760died in office, London, England
William Simpson24 Jan 1761
Charles Skinner1762
Thomas Knox Gordon13 May 1771
William Henry Drayton13 Apr 1776
John Rutledge16 Feb 17911795resigned and afterwards Chief Justice of the United States
after 1791 no further Chief Justices were appointed.

See also


  1. D.J. McCord (1839). The Statutes at Large of South Carolina. 6. A.S. Johnston. p. 616. ISBN 978-5-87571-708-6.
  2. The Statutes at Large of South Carolina. 1. A.S. Johnston. 1836. p. 439.

Further reading

  • Coclanis, Peter A., "Global Perspectives on the Early Economic History of South Carolina," South Carolina Historical Magazine, 106 (April–July 2005), 130–46.
  • Crane, Verner W. The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732 (1956)
  • Edgar, Walter. South Carolina: A History, (1998) the standard scholarly history
  • Edgar, Walter, ed. The South Carolina Encyclopedia, (University of South Carolina Press, 2006) ISBN 1-57003-598-9, the most comprehensive scholarly guide
  • Feeser, Andrea. Red, White, and Black Make Blue: Indigo in the Fabric of Colonial South Carolina Life (University of Georgia Press; 2013) 140 pages; scholarly study explains how the plant's popularity as a dye bound together local and transatlantic communities, slave and free, in the 18th century.
  • Smith, Warren B. White Servitude in Colonial South Carolina (1961)
  • Tuten, James H. Lowcountry Time and Tide: The Fall of the South Carolina Rice Kingdom (University of South Carolina Press, 2010) 178 pp.
  • Wallace, David Duncan. South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948 (1951) online standard scholarly history
  • Wright, Louis B. South Carolina: A Bicentennial History' (1976) online, popular survey
  • Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 Through the Stono Rebellion (1996)

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