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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Jamestown - New Sweden - Colonial South Carolina


5/13/1607, Jamestown founded in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America. In 1608 a 2nd supply ship arrived carrying Thomas (11552). “The Second Supplie was a ship called the Mary Margett, which arrived here nine months after, about the time of Michaelmas, in her sixty persons, most gentlemen, few or no tradesmen, except some Polanders to make pitch, tarre, potashes, & etc., to be returned for perfect gaine, foe meanly likewise were there furnished forth for victualles, that in lesse than two monthes after their arrivall, want compelled us to imploye our time abroad in trading with the Indians for corne...”. (S) Colonial Records of Virginia, State Paper Office, V3, No.21-I. 

1609-1610 all but 60 of the 500 settlers died in the “Starving Winter”. In 1611 a small settlement was made as far up the north bank of the James River opposite the mouth of the Appomattox River. In 1617 the Virginia Company, hoping to expand population and agricultural production in the colony, encouraged private or voluntary associations organized on a joint stock basis to establish settlements in the area of the Company's patent. The Society of Smith's Hundred (later called Southampton Hundred) was organized in 1617. A painting based on archealogical evidence is the oldest know settlement, the Martin Hundred, depicts what these “Hundred’s” looked like. In succeeding years, small enclaves were established on the south side of the lower James River, on the northern end of The Peninsula at the mouth of the York River (then known as Charles River), and across the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore. In March of 1622 there was an Indian massacre. On the day prior to the attack, the Indians came bringing gifts of meats and fruits and shared them with the settlers, thereby disguising their intentions. The following morning they circulated freely and socialized with the settlers before suddenly seizing their own work tools to attack them. The Indians killed families in the plantation houses and them moved on to kill servants and workers in the fields. The Powhatans killed 347 settlers. The settlers immediately withdrew to the fort and to other easily defensible locations. In addition to the loss of life, the colonists also lost valuable crops and supplies necessary to survive the winter. 

During the winter of 1622-23 the colonists were forced to trade with the Indians for corn and supplies and even with these provisions many went hungry, over four hundred settlers died. News of the killings did not reach England until mid-June. The Virginia Company responded by sending more supplies and weapons. The colonists in Jamestown retaliated with treachery of their own and numerous attacks to avenge the losses. They used the massacre as an excuse to wreak havoc on Indians wherever they found them. They feigned peaceful relations, let the Indians plant their corn wherever they chose, and then, just before the crop was ready for harvest they attacked, killing as many as they could and burning their crops. English armies destroyed entire villages. Within a couple of years, they had avenged the 347 deaths many times over. By 1634, the population of the colony was slightly less than 5,000, almost all of whom, except those on the Eastern Shore, still lived within about a 30-mile radius of Jamestown. 

In 1634, the colony was divided into eight "shires," or counties, to facilitate administration. These were: Henrico, Charles City, James City [all on the Peninsula], Elizabeth City, Warwick River, Charles River, Warrosquoake [on the south side of the mouth of the James River], Accomack [on the Eastern Shore]. Hungars Parish was made soon after the county was established, and the first minister was Rev. Francis Bolton, who was succeeded by Rev. William Cotton. The first vestry was appointed in 1635. The old Hungars Episcopal Church is located about seven miles north of Eastville, on the north side of Hungars Creek.

New Sweden

In 1637, Swedish, Dutch and German stockholders formed the New Sweden Company to trade for furs and tobacco in North America. Under the command of Peter Minuit, the company's first expedition sailed from Sweden late in 1637 in two ships, Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip. Minuit had been the governor of the Dutch colony, New Netherland, centered on Manhattan Island, from 1626 to 1631. The ships reached Delaware Bay in March 1638, and the settlers began to build a fort at the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. They named it Fort Christina, in honor of Sweden's twelve-year-old queen. It was the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley. During the next seventeen years, twelve more Swedish expeditions left the homeland for New Sweden. A total of eleven vessels and some 600 Swedes and Finns reached their destination. The colony eventually consisted of farms and small settlements along both banks of the Delaware River into modern Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. New Sweden rose to its greatest heights during the governorship of Johan Printz (1643–1653). He extended settlement northward from Fort Christina along both sides of the Delaware River and improved the colony’s military and commercial prospects by building Fort Elfsborg, near present-day Salem on the New Jersey side of the river, to seal the Delaware against English and Dutch ships. Despite these steps, the Swedish and Finnish colonists lived peacefully with their Dutch and Lenni Lenape neighbors. In 1654, Printz was succeeded by the colony's last governor, Johan Rising, at a time when the Dutch capitol of New Amsterdam was ruled by the hot-tempered Peter Stuyvesant. Soon after arriving in New Sweden, Rising attempted to remove the Dutch from the colony by seizing Fort Casimir (present-day New Castle, Delaware), below Fort Christina on the western shore of the river. With no gunpowder, Fort Casimir surrendered without a shot and was re-named Fort Trinity. The furious Governor Stuyvesant had his revenge the following summer, when seven armed Dutch ships and 317 soldiers appeared on the Delaware River. Realizing that resistance would be useless, the vastly outnumbered Swedes surrendered Fort Trinity and Governor Rising surrendered Fort Christina two weeks later. 

The Swedes were farmers. Their transportation was by dugout canoe. Most Swedes owned horses and oxen, but few owned carriages or wagons. They traveled along the creeks and rivers. Overland “roads”, secondary paths, were mainly Indian trails. Thomas Paschal, a 1682 immigrant from Bristol, England noted: “most of the Sweads and Finns are ingenious people: they speak English, Swead, Finn, Dutch and the Indian.” … “have lived much at ease, having great plenty of all sorts of provisions.” … “plant but little Indian corn, nor tobacco” … “their women make the most of the linen cloth they wear; they spin and weave it and make fine linen. Many of them are curious housewives: The people generally eat rye bread, being approve of best by them.”

Colonial South Carolina

In the 1720’s the Township Act was enacted to protect the lives and investments of tidewater planters. Each negro imported was “taxed”, and the money was used to fund land grants to “free Protestant settlers”. The “poor Protestants”, required to bring a certificate of good character, on arrival at Charleston took an oath of allegiance to the British monarch, and applied to the Governor and Council for land. Even though most persons wanting to immigrate could not afford the cost of travel, original plans to settle ethnic groups together faltered as more and more immigrants arrived. In 1760 the French controlled the MS valley, LA and CAN. English settlements were restricted to the Atlantic seaboard, with only traders venturing into the Indian territories. The Cherokee nation in the East sided with the French and was constantly attacking colonial settlements. British troops and colonial militia retaliated. The Township fund was accumulating cash, and legislation was passed allowing for SC to pay the travel for immigrants. The ship agent received the money from the Governor and Council upon providing a list of passengers with ages. If an immigrant paid their own fair, the Governor and Council reimbursed the traveler. 100 acres was granted to each person in a family over 16 years of age. The family head also received 50 acres for his wife, each minor child, and for each slave or indentured servant. Indentured servants came because, once service was completed, they could receive 100 acres of their own under the Bounty Act. By 1768 the funds to pay passage were exhausted. The ship owners, expecting to be paid, bought rice to take back to Ireland. Then the ship was seized when there was no money to pay the passages of the immigrants. Eventually the money was authorized by the House of Assembly.

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