Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Colonial and Revolutionary Period

Marker ID:  
Location: Bay St. & Charles St., Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort, SC
County: Beaufort
Coordinates: N 32° 25.833    W 080° 40.381
  32.43055    -80.67301666
Style: Mounted **


1711 - 1860

During the colonial period the Beaufort District grew and prospered. Rice was produced for exportation on the mainland, Indigo in the Sea Islands. Shipbuilding flourished. The Parish system developed as the political basis and Beaufort competed with Charleston for prestige and influence.

Until 1779, Beaufort played little part in the Revolution. Early in that year the first British attempt to take the town was repulsed by General William Moultries Militia at the Battle of Port Royal Island. The same year Beaufort was occupied by British forces. Patriots and Tories fought bitterly throughout the area to the end of 1782. Beaufort's most prominent Patriot was Thomas Heyward, Jr. signer of the Declaration of Independence. [A bust of him is in this park.]

After slow recovery from the wars depletion, the introduction of Sea Island cotton in 1893 brought a rapid increase in plantations and slaves. New wealth provided Beaufort's elegant homes, fine libraries and some of the best preparatory schools in the South between 1800 and 1860, including Beaufort College. So many men of state and national prominence were produced that anti-bellum Beaufort was describes as the "wealthiest and most aristocratic and cultivated town of its size in America." It was an economy based upon cotton, undergirded by slavery.

City of Beaufort, Beaufort County and the Beaufort Historical Society