The 1739 Ichnography of Charleston Town showing a detail of Half Moon Battery.
Friday, November 20, 2020 Nic Butler, Ph.D.

Charleston was a small, defenseless settlement when King William III declared war on France in 1689, and the inhabitants feared for their safety. The earliest surviving legislative discussion of fortifying the nascent port town commenced in the autumn of 1695 and continued into the following spring, motivated by the ongoing French war and a persistent fear of marauding pirates. The legislature’s 1696 plan to build a permanent waterfront fortress, flanked by militiamen “arrayd for battle,” was later substantially revised, but it forms a significant chapter in the physical evolution of South Carolina’s colonial capital.

Before we launch into the story of planning Charleston’s first permanent fortifications in the mid-1690s, let’s review the state of defenses in early Charleston. South Carolina’s provincial government was responsible for erecting and maintaining all of the defensive works built in and around the colonial capital between the 1680s and the 1780s, using tax revenue collected from the inhabitants. I’ve spent the past fifteen years pouring over the surviving government records from this era and collecting information in an effort to construct a narrative of this century-long story. The urban fortifications built in the 1680s and 1690s literally formed the foundations of later works, but the paucity of extant documents from those years makes it very difficult to understand the early landscape. In order to make sense of the surviving scraps of information, therefore, I believe it’s very important to understand the larger context in which they were created, and the continuity of the story over a longer trajectory of history.


The removal of South Carolina’s colonial capital, Charles Town (now Charleston), from Albemarle Point to Oyster Point in 1680 was undoubtedly accompanied by some discussion of defensive fortifications. The original settlers at Albemarle Point had constructed some temporary fortifications shortly after their arrival in 1670, and the government ostensibly planned to do the same at the capital’s new location. As Maurice Mathews described in a letter written in May 1680, the settlers at new Charles Town intended “to make fortifications when wee have brought our great guns from the old town whereby wee shall be able to deale with the greatest force of ane enemy that can on a sudden come upon us from [the] sea.”[1]

In the ensuing weeks, months, and years, however, there are precious few surviving documents to inform us what sort of fortifications—if any—were actually built, and when and where the cannon were mounted. In fact, the surviving evidence seems to indicate that the people of Charles Town in the 1680s continued to pursue various private interests while ignoring their collective defense. Houses were built, trade networks were established, and plantations carved out of the native wilderness. News of a Spanish force supposedly marching toward Charles Town in August 1682 inspired the Grand Council of South Carolina to order the immediate removal of twenty cannon from the “place where the town was first designed to be made” to the new town.[2] When that intelligence proved false, however, the inhabitants of Charles Town returned to their private interests and, for the remainder of the decade, ignored their defensive needs. The false alarm of 1682 apparently spurred the local government to transport eleven cannon (not twenty) from Albemarle Point to the new town site on Oyster Point, but those iron tubes apparently languished in the sand for more than a decade.

Shortly after his arrival in Charles Town in the spring of 1686, the Huguenot immigrant Jean Boyd wrote a detailed letter to his family back in England about his new home. The surviving copy of Boyd’s letter includes a small, hand-drawn map of the town—the earliest known illustration of urban Charleston in its infancy. As described in an earlier essay (see Episode No. 98), Boyd’s map, ostensibly dated 1686, depicts a connected series of rudimentary fortifications along the town’s first wharf now known as East Bay Street. Nothing is known about the chronology or the nature of these fortifications, however, owing to the loss of South Carolina’s legislative records from this era.

The Spanish invasion of the southern coast of South Carolina in the autumn of 1686 caused a panic in Charleston, but the political paralysis that accompanied Governor James Colleton’s administration prevented the community from making any real defensive preparations in 1687. Then the flight of King James II from England in late 1688 and the ascension of King William III in early 1689 triggered a new war between England and France, called King William’s War in North America. Among the English colonies, most of the action in that nine-year conflict was confined to areas adjacent to French settlements; that is, from New York to Massachusetts and parts of the Caribbean. South Carolinians of that era were certainly wary of a French invasion, but the threat of a direct assault remained low. Governor James Colleton’s reckless decision to proclaim martial law in South Carolina in February 1690 inflamed local anxieties, however, and ultimately led to his downfall.[3]

Although there was no standing parliament or legislature in South Carolina in the spring of 1690, the citizens of Charleston apparently rallied to create some sort of emergency defenses along the Cooper River waterfront. Our only knowledge of this activity stems from one sentence within a letter written in late April 1690. John Stewart, a Scotsman residing in Charleston, described to a friend back in Edinburgh the latest news from the West Indies and the state of affairs in the Carolina capital: “We expect every day to be atackt by the French corsairs and we ar about to fortifye the whole front of the town like Mr. Smith’s pallisaded breistwork [breastwork] adjoyning to his wharfe.”[4] The extent and nature of such defensive works ostensibly erected along the “front of the town” in 1690 are completely unknown, as they are not mentioned in any other known documents. It is possible, however, that they were continued and improved during the brief administration of colonial South Carolina’s most notorious governor.

Seth Sothell (also spelled Southell), the owner of a share in the Proprietorship of the Carolina colony, arrived in Charleston in the summer of 1690 and soon afterwards usurped the governor’s office. Claiming superiority over James Colleton, Sothell gathered supporters who were displeased with the sitting governor and banished Colleton from the colony. Governor Sothell’s parliament governed South Carolina from late 1690 to the spring of 1692, during which time it passed a handful of laws and ordinances that were later voided by the Lords Proprietors in England.[5] Few written records of this illegitimate administration survive, but statements made just a few years after Sothell’s departure suggest that some sort of waterfront fortification was built in Charleston during his brief tenure. It is possible that Sothell authorized or perhaps improved the emergency preparations described by John Stewart in late April 1690, but the details of a defensive work later described as “Southell’s Fort” remain a mystery at present.  

The Lords Proprietors, who owned all of Carolina, were frustrated by the factional divisions within the elected assembly that had paralyzed South Carolina’s government for several years. Political differences between conservatives and liberals were further inflamed by religious arguments between Anglicans and Dissenters, and a series of governors had failed to dispel the tension. The Proprietors were no doubt pleased when the provincial legislature finally ratified “An Act to prevent the Sea’s further encroachment on the Wharfe of Charles Towne” in June 1694 (see Episode No. 180). That law ordered the construction of a brick wall along the east side of the waterfront, which would form a significant improvement to the town’s early infrastructure. The “wharf wall,” as it became known, added security to Charleston’s original wharf (now East Bay Street), but it was not originally intended to serve a military purpose.

Concerned by the lingering danger that accompanied the long war with France, the Lords Proprietors of South Carolina wanted the provincial government to invest in some substantial and durable fortifications to defend the colony’s principal town and port against hostile attack. To break through the stubborn political stalemate in the colony, the Lords Proprietors commissioned one of their own, a wealthy Quaker named John Archdale, to be governor of the southern part of Carolina. Archdale departed from England in the summer of 1695 with a long list of instructions from his fellow Proprietors, including orders “to endeavor to gett an act of ye Assembly for the fortifyeing of Charles Towne.”[6]

Shortly before John Archdale arrived in Charleston, South Carolina’s General Assembly made a small but important step towards military readiness: they mounted several cannon along the waterfront to protect the capital. The provincial government had moved a number of iron cannon from Albemarle Point to new Charles Town in the early 1680s, and had ostensibly been collecting a public store of gunpowder since 1687, but there is no extant evidence that any of the cannon were fit for service in the early 1690s, and no evidence of a store of gunpowder or shot at that time. That situation changed in January 1694/5, however, when the legislature ratified an updated statute for creating a public store of powder. The revised law appointed William Smith to receive the powder tax from incoming vessels and to mount seventeen cannon on proper carriages and platforms in Charleston within twelve months. The preamble of the powder act of 1695 stated that it was enacted “for the better prevention of danger in these times of warr with the French King, and the dayly hostilities continually committed by the subjects of the said King, whereby this province with other of their Majesties plantations in America are in great danger.”[7]

Governor Archdale arrived in Charleston in mid-August 1695 and conversed informally with local officials before the commencement of the legislative session.[8] In early November, he wrote to the Lords Proprietors in London that the men who formed the provincial legislature seemed willing to build a fortification.[9] The Commons House of Assembly convened in Charleston in late November and immediately resolved to raise money “for the defence of the country and other publick uses.” To fund this new project, the House proposed to levy a tax or “impost” on deerskins and animal pelts exported from the colony.[10] The governor, as an agent of the Lords Proprietors, wanted the provincial government to use such tax revenue to pay the quit rents (property taxes) that were several years past due to the Proprietors. The elected representatives of the people, however, thought the immediate construction of defensive fortifications to protect Charleston was more important than the payment of quit rents to the Proprietors. The young colony’s treasury could afford to fund one or the other of these projects, but not both.

The debate about fortification funding continued through a week-long legislative session in November 1695 and continued when the assembly reconvened in late January 1695/6. At the commencement of the new session, Governor Archdale reminded the elected assembly that the Lords Proprietors had ordered him “to endeavor to gitt an act of the assembly for the fortifieing of Charles Towne.” The Commons House, in turn, asked Archdale if “he hath any other ordrs or instructions [from] the Lords Proprs for the fortifying of Charles Town and how and in what method they would have the same done.” The governor apparently did not have any such details from the Proprietors, so the gentlemen of the House proceeded to study the issue on their own.[11] In the meantime, however, they drafted and sent a petition to Governor Archdale and his Council explaining their rational for prioritizing the construction of fortifications over the payment of quit rents:

“Since now the considerable trade of Charles Towne hath gained it ye reputacon of a wealthy place which (we are crediblely informd: and have reason to believe) hath encouraged severll privateers to attempt the plundering and burning of ye same, which ca’not be prevented but by fortifyeing of itt which is now undr our consideracon, butt canot be done wthout a very great charge to the inhabitants of this their collony. . . . Therefore we humbly begg yor honors that for ye reasons afore said yor honors will be pleased to forgive the arrears of rent to ye inhabittants of this part of their province, itt will the better encourage & enable us to undrtake the great butt necessary charge of fortifieing Charles Town ye only place of trade & strength in ye whole province and which being lost will necessaryly unsettle and ruine this now thriveing collony.”[12]

On February 6th, the Commons House of Assembly resolved into a committee of the whole to consider the “ways & methods for ye fortifyeing of Charles Towne.” After a brief debate, they reached two important conclusions. First, they confirmed their resolution to fund the project by imposing a tax on the export of skins and furs rather than a general tax on the inhabitants. Second, regarding the nature of the proposed fortifications, the House resolved “that it is necessary that some thing be done at the end of the broad street fronting to Cooper River, and at the south end of Charles Towne towards the fortifying and defence of this place.”[13]

Without waiting for Governor Archdale’s response to their petition about the quit rents, the Commons House appointed a committee to draft a bill to levy a tax on exported skins and furs. The elected representatives of the people were adamant about the need to postpone the payment of quit rents to the Lords Proprietors, and they proceeded with their plans in spite of the governor’s resistance. As the bill to fund the new fortifications and other new bills continued through the legislative process that February, the members of the Commons House turned their attention to the nature of the proposed defensive works. On the afternoon of March 4th, the House ordered Mr. Gabriel Glaze, Capt. Edmund Bellinger, and Capt. George Raynor to form a committee “to consult and advise about ye forme and manner of ffortifyeing of Charles Towne, and the charge thereof and report the same to this house.” The committee members returned to the Commons House the following day and presented their recommendations. Having made “a nice scruteny into the matter,” said the report, “they beleive [it] will cost one thousand pounds at least to make a regular and defencive ffortification at the end of the Broad Streete at the place called Southells ffort.”[14]

Here I’ll pause to report that my earnest efforts to locate documentary evidence that might illuminate “Southells [or Sothell’s] Fort” have been fruitless. As the aforementioned committee report hinted in the spring of 1696, this structure apparently stood at the east end of Broad Street, approximately where the Old Exchange building stands today. Beyond that fact, nothing is known of its origins, materials, or dimensions. I can only offer a few hypotheses for your consideration. Perhaps it represented the continuation or culmination of the defensive efforts mentioned by John Stewart in late April 1690 and was named for the new governor. Perhaps Sothell was in Charleston sometime in the years 1683–1685, during his term as governor of the northern part of Carolina, and, as a Proprietor, ordered some defensive works to be built. Perhaps “Southell’s Fort” represented an expansion or rehabilitation of the fortifications depicted at this site in Jean Boyd’s map of 1686. In the absence of further information about this subject, Southell’s Fort will remain an enigma for the present.[15]

On March 6th, the day after hearing the committee recommendations about Southell’s Fort, the Commons House appointed a committee to prepare a draft of what they called “A Bill for apropriateing ye Publick money Raised and to be Raised for Building a fortification at Southells ffort.” That committee presented the draft bill to the House the next morning, and it was read and amended three times during the following week.[16] While proceeding with its plan to fund this construction project with public tax revenue, the Commons House continued to lobby Governor Archdale for a deferment of their quit rent debts. Their tactics succeeded, and Archdale finally conceded to their request. To accomplish his goal of expediting the construction of the colony’s first substantial defensive works, he agreed to defer the profits due to the Lords Proprietors.[17]

On March 16th, 1695/6, the South Carolina General Assembly ratified three acts related to the construction of the colony’s first permanent fortifications. The text of each contains important information about the development of Charleston’s fortified waterfront, most of which has never been published. In an effort to promote a better understanding of this topic, I’ll try to summarize each act in turn.

The first, identified as Act No. 129 by later compilers, included a preamble that explained the need to raise money for public defensive works: “Whereas this part of this province [of Carolina] is always in danger (by reason of the want of those necessary defensive means to secure the same) from the incurtions of pirates and privateers, and more especially at this time, the warr still continuing, and the late reports of the greate power the French king is designing for these parts; it being therefore highly necessary that some speedy and effectual care be taken herein, and that many other things for the public good of the province are now really wanting, which for want of money or a publick fund cannot be effected.” To raise a public fund to protect they colony, Act No. 129 established a tax of “one penny current money” on every animal skin and pelt of fur exported from South Carolina.[18]

The next act, identified as No. 133, articulated how the provincial government planned to spend its tax revenue. First, however, the law’s preamble offered a breathless explanation of why such appropriation was necessary: “The Commons [House] (haveing taken into the serious and deliberate consideration the great & eminent danger which this hopefull and growing collony lyes in) especially the port of Charles Towne att present the sole magazine and store house of all our most necessary supplys and residences of a great number of merchants tradesmen and others besides great numbers of impotent women and inocent children in the safety of which in a great measure the reputation prosperity and wellfare of this settlemt doth at present consist.”

For their protection, therefore, this 1696 act appropriated the sum of £1,200 collected from the tax on skins, combined with a continuing tax on imported liquors, “for the speedy and effectual carying on and building a ffortress battery or ffortification at the east end of the Broad Streete commonly called ___ Streete.” (Broad Street was called “Cooper Street” in a number of government records dating from the turn of eighteenth century). If the tax revenue didn’t arise quickly enough to fund the fortification’s timely construction, the commissioners appointed by this act were empowered to borrow money at interest to expedite the work. Referring to the 1694 act ordering the construction of a “wharf wall” along the east side of East Bay Street, the 1696 fortification act ordered the commissioners to “cause to be surveyed laid out and staked with sufficient ceader stakes the line upon which the wall mentioned in the said act is to be built,” within ten days. At the same time, the commissioners were obliged to place “two ceader stakes . . . right against the end of the Broad Street,” and this staked location was “hereby appoynted the ballast wharfe of this harbour.” All vessels wishing to discharge ballast were required to dump their stones at that site and no other, on pain of fines and forfeitures.[19] This directive marked the beginning of a long-lasting government policy of appropriating unwanted ballast stones to protect the foundations of Charleston’s waterfront fortifications.

The third noteworthy act of March 16th, 1695/6, identified as Act No. 131, was a revision of the 1694 act for the construction of a “wharf wall” (as described in Episode No. 180). That project required each of the owners of property abutting the west side of East Bay Street to enter into a bond promising to construct a portion of the wharf wall within eighteen months. The revised act of 1696 acknowledged that the construction of a new “ffortress battery or ffortification at the east end of the Broad Streete” would likely cause a shortage of bricks and bricklayers, and so the deadline for finishing their individual portions of the wall was extended by twelve months. Property owners who entered into bond with the government, then received a grant for the low-water lot in front of their town lot, but failed to build their required section of the wall, would be sued to confiscate their property. If the commissioners appointed to oversee this project disapproved of the workmanship or materials of any section of the wall, they were empowered to demolish said section and require the negligent property owner to start over.

The surviving text of the revised wharf wall act of 1696 provides several details about the brick structure that hint at the content of the lost 1694 text. The builders of the wharf wall were permitted to use stones in its foundation, for example, as long as the stones were not visible from the eastern side of the completed wall. “For the more regular carrying on of the said wall and to render the same the more strong and substantial,” the revised law also directed the builders to use bricks of a uniform size, measuring 9.5 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 2 7/8 thick.

The 1696 act did not restate the planned height or width of the finished wharf wall, but it provided two dimensions that hint at the original text. The builders of the northernmost third of the wall, extending from a point opposite the southern corner of town lot No. 17 (now No. 148 East Bay Street) to a point opposite the northern corner of lot No. 34 (now the steps of the U.S. Customs House), were authorized “not to build that part of the wharfe wall . . . more then three foote above high watter marke.” This text sounds like a concession, as if the rest of the wall might have been a bit taller. The lost 1694 text reportedly specified that the wharf wall was to be three feet thick, which measurement probably related to its base and diminished as it rose above the surface. The 1696 revision did not specify the breadth of the foundation, but stated that the entire wall should be built “of such thickness in every part thereof” as the commissioners overseeing the project direct, “soe that the said wall be not less then two bricks thick [approximately nineteen inches] upon the highest part.”

Because the wharf wall, measuring approximately 2,600 feet long, was composed of nearly two dozen segments built by individual property owners, the revised act of 1696 addressed two structural issues. If a person began building his or her portion of the wall before their neighbors commenced doing the same, then the first builder was “obliged to leave un built the end or ends of his part of the said wall with a racking back toothing equitablly proportioned both in labor and materialls as to the surface of the ffoundations in his neighbors ground.” In other words, one should omit some bricks at each end of one’s portion of the wall to leave a dentil-like “toothing” that would enable the neighboring builders to splice-in their bricks to create a seamless wall. To strengthen the intersection of every such “party wall,” the new law required builders to erect “a good buttriss” at the junction of neighboring segments “in such maner and forme as the commissioners shall direct.”

The revised act of 1696 also contained two paragraphs related to the use of the land on and around the wharf wall and new fortification ordered to be built at the east end of Broad Street. First, the provincial government empowered the owners of property along the wall to build “on and upon the said wall any house edifice or building whatsoever as to him or them shall seem meete,” as long as it did not extend farther than thirty-five feet to the east of the wharf wall. The second paragraph appropriated a buffer of public space around the “ffortress battery or ffortification” to be built “at the east end of the Broad Streete.” The street itself was approximately sixty-six feet wide, and presumably the proposed fort was intended to be the same dimension. Because that plan was “to[o] narrow” for “a sufficient number of menn” to be “drawn up and arrayd for battle as they ought to be,” the 1696 act reserved a further twenty feet of public space on both the north and south sides of the east end of Broad Street.[20]

On March 17th, 1695/6, the final day of its legislative session, the South Carolina General Assembly ordered the provincial gunner, Captain William Smith, to “mount upon caryages ye remaining great gunns” that he had been ordered to make ready one year earlier. While this directive did not articulate the number of cannon Captain Smith was to mount, it did specify their location. Smith was instructed to place the remaining great guns “at the end of the streete nere Mr: Richard Tradds till another place and a plattforme be appoynted and made for them.” This 1696 order marks the beginning of a permanent gun battery at the east end of Tradd Street, which soon evolved into the substantial brick redan that was excavated and studied by the Mayor’s Walled City Task Force in 2008 and 2009.[21]

By the dawn of spring 1696, therefore, South Carolina’s provincial government had debated and adopted a plan to fund the construction of the colony’s first substantial and permanent defensive fortification, at the east end of Broad Street in Charleston. The text of their plan did not include any details of the proposed “ffortress battery or ffortification,” but left the specifics to be determined by a body of appointed commissioners. At the same time, the assembly superimposed the proposed fortress onto the unfinished brick wall along the east side of Charleston’s sole wharf (now East Bay Street), the construction of which was funded entirely by the owners of private property. The wharf wall, as conceived in 1694 and reiterated in 1696, was a work of civil engineering that did not serve a military purpose. This juxtaposition of civil and military projects did not last long, however. In a series of amendments ratified over the next several years, the provincial government abandoned all of the plans and details articulated in March 1696 and replaced them with a more robust commitment to military preparedness.

The next chapter in the story of Charleston’s colonial-era fortifications commenced in the autumn of 1696. Governor John Archdale set sail for England in late October of that year, after which the elected assembly immediately revised its plans for the construction of an expensive fortress at the east end of Broad Street. In a series of legislative maneuvers that continued into the spring of 1697, the provincial government moved the proposed fortification to a new site, revised its design and dimensions, and finally agreed to build only one corner of a larger, unfinished fort.



[1] Samuel G. Stoney, ed., “A Contemporary view of Carolina in 1680,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 55 (July 1954): 153–54. The original source of this item is a “Coppie of a Letter from Charles Towne in Carolina,” located at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections, Laing Collection, La. II, 718/1. Throughout this essay, I have reproduced the original spellings and misspellings found in the primary sources here cited.

[2] Letter from Thomas Newe to his father, dated 23 August 1682, in Alexander S. Salley Jr., ed., Narratives of Early Carolina 1650–1708 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1911), 185–86.

[3] M. Eugene Sirmans, Colonial South Carolina: A Political History, 1663–1763 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966), 47–48.

[4] Mabel L. Webber, ed., “Letters from John Stewart to William Dunlop,” South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 32 (January 1931): 32.

[5] For more information about Seth Sothel, see William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, volume 5 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994), 399–401.

[6] A. S. Salley Jr., indexer, Records in the British Public Record Office Relating to South Carolina 1691–1697 (Atlanta: Foote and Davies for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1931), 140–42.

[7] Act No. 113, “An Act for the raising of a Publick Store of Powder for the defence of this Province,” ratified on 17 January 1694/5, in Thomas Cooper, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 2 (Columbia, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 1837), 82–84. By an act ratified in early 1687, South Carolina’s provincial government required every ocean-going vessel entering Charleston harbor to deliver a small quantity of gunpowder to a government official later known as the powder receiver, who was to create a public store of powder in case of defensive emergencies. The powder law was revised in 1690 and 1692, but there are no surviving records of the governor appointing a powder receiver, or of any powder actually collected, and the government neglected to articulate how the powder was to be stored or used before Act No. 113 of 1695.

[8] Salley, Records in the British Public Record Office Relating to South Carolina 1691–1697, 140–42; A. S. Salley, Jr., ed., Commissions and Instructions from the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Public Officials of South Carolina, 1685–1715 (Columbia, S.C.: The State Company for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1916), 81–83.

[9] Salley, Records in the British Public Record Office Relating to South Carolina 1691–1697, 174.

[10] A. S. Salley, Jr., ed., Journal of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina November 20, 1695–November 28, 1695 (Columbia: The State Company for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1943), 5–6 (21 November 1695).

[11] A. S. Salley, Jr., ed., Journal of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina For the Session Beginning January 30, 1696, and Ending March 17, 1696 (Columbia: The State Company for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1908), 7–14

[12] Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1696, 17 (5 February 1695/6).

[13] Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1696, 18–19.

[14] Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1696, 23, 27, 32–34.

[15] In my opinion, the documentary evidence of the construction of emergency defensive works along Charleston’s waterfront in 1690–91 provokes a re-evaluation of the dating of Jean Boyd’s illustrated map. Boyd was certainly present in South Carolina by the middle of 1686, as his manuscript letter implies, but an unknown hand appended the date 1691 to the surviving document. Considering all of the abovementioned facts, perhaps we might consider the possibility that Boyd’s long and fascinating letter, written in 1686, was later copied for circulation and illustrated by another hand in 1690 or 1691. In such a hypothetical scenario, the rudimentary fortifications depicted in the Boyd map might actually represent the works erected during the tenure of Governor Seth Sothell in 1690–91.

[16] Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1696, 35. The committee included Capt. Edmund Bellinger, John Morton, Ralph Izard, and William Smith.

[17] Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1696, 33–34, 40–42.

[18] Act No. 129, “An Act for laying an Imposition upon Skinns and Furrs, for the defence and publick use of this Country,” ratified on 16 March 1695/6, in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 2: 110–12. This act is largely a repetition of Act No. 73, “An Act for laying a tax or duty on skins or furrs [sic], for the public use of this province, and regulating the Indian Trade,” ratified on 20 September 1691, the text of which appears in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 2: 64–68. Deers skins were a major export from the colony during its early decades, followed in smaller quantities by the furry skins of beavers, bears, bobcats, and other animals, so this was a logical means of raising a significant sum of money.

[19] Act No. 133, “An Act to Appropriate the Moneys Raised and to be Raised by an Imposition on Liquors, &c. Imported into, and Skinns and ffurrs Exported out of this Part of this Province to a ffortification in Charles Town,” ratified on 16 March 1695/6. Part of the text of this act is reproduced in David J. McCord, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 7 (Columbia, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 1840), 6–7, but the complete text is found at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, General Assembly, Acts, Bills, and Joint Resolutions, vol. 6: Book of Acts from 1696 (“Governor Archdale’s Lawes”), 84–87. The commissioners appointed to execute this act included the governor (ex officio), Sir Nathaniel Johnson, Lieutenant General Joseph Blake, Landgrave Joseph Morton, Captain James Moore, Colonel Hopson Bull, Captain William Hawett, Captain Charles Basden, Captain William Smith, Jonathan Amory, William Smith (merchant), Edward Rawlings, and David Maybank.

[20] Act No. 131, “An Additional Act to prevent the Sea’s further Encroachment upon the Wharfe at Charles Towne,” ratified on 16 March 1695/6. Only the title of this act appears in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 2: 115, but the entire text is found at SCDAH, in “Governor Archdale’s Lawes,” 73–77.

[21] Salley, Journal of the Commons House, 1696, 48–49. For more information about the excavations of the redan at the east end of Tradd Street in 2008 and 2009, see Nicholas Butler, Eric Poplin, Katherine Pemberton, and Martha Zierden, Archaeology at South Adger’s Wharf: A Study of the Redan at Tradd Street. Archaeological Contributions 45 (Charleston, S.C.: Charleston Museum, 2012).


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