Province of South Carolina

Province of South Carolina, originally known as Clarendon Province, was a province of Great Britain that existed in North America from 1712 to 1776. It was one of the five Southern colonies and one of the thirteen American colonies. The monarch of Great Britain was represented by the Governor of South Carolina, until the colonies declared independence on July 4, 1776.

Province of South Carolina
Province of Great Britain

An orthographic projection of the world, highlighting South Carolina (green).
  Coordinates33°55′00.8″N 80°53′47.0″W
  TypeConstitutional monarchy
George I
George II
George III
Robert Gibbes (first)
Lord William Campbell (last)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
 Upper house
 Lower house
Historical eraGeorgian era
 Partition of Carolina
January 24, 1712
 Charter of Georgia
June 9, 1732
July 4, 1776
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Province of Carolina
South Carolina
Today part ofUnited States


"Carolina" is taken from the Latin word for "Charles" (Carolus), honoring King Charles II, and was first named in the 1663 Royal Charter granting to Edward, Earl of Clarendon; George, Duke of Albemarle; William, Lord Craven; John, Lord Berkeley; Anthony, Lord Ashley; Sir George Carteret, Sir William Berkeley, and Sir John Colleton the right to settle lands in the present-day U.S. states of North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.[1]


The Province of Carolina before and after the split into north and south

Charles Town was the first settlement, established in 1670.[2][3] King Charles II had given the land to a group of eight nobles called the lords proprietor; they planned for a Christian colony. Originally a single proprietary colony, the northern and southern sections grew apart over time, due partly to neglect by the legal heirs of the original lords proprietor. Dissent over the governance of the province led to the appointment of a deputy governor to administer the northern half of the Province of Carolina in 1691. The partition of the province into North and South Carolina became complete in 1712.[4]

The Yamasee War (1715–1717) ravaged the back-country of the province. Complaints that the proprietors had not done enough to protect the provincials against either the Indians or the neighboring Spanish, during Queen Anne's War (1702–1713), convinced many residents of the necessity of ending proprietary rule. A rebellion broke out against the proprietors in 1719. Acting on a petition of residents, King George I appointed the governor of South Carolina in 1720 (the governors of North Carolina would continue to be appointed by the lords proprietor until 1729). After nearly a decade in which the British monarchy sought to locate and buy out the lords, both North and South Carolina became royal colonies in 1729.


The Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas was founded c.1725, based in Charles Towne. List of Chief Justices:[5]

Incumbent Tenure Notes
Took office Left office
Edmund Bohun16981699died in office of fever
Nicholas Trottc.17021718dismissed from office after uprising
Richard Alleyn1719not sure
Robert Wright17301739died in office
Thomas Dale17 Oct 1739November 1739not sure
Benjamin Whitaker7 Nov 17391749removed from office due to paralysis
James Graeme6 Jul 174929 August 1752[6] died in office[7]
Charles Pinckney17521753
Peter Leigh1753
James Michie1 Sep 175916 July 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.


Historical population
Source: 1720–1760;[8] 1769–1775[9] 1770–1775[10]


  1. Poore, Ben. Perley, ed. (1877). The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the United States, Volume II. Washington: Government Printing Office. pp. 1382–1390. OCLC 958743486 via Internet Archive.
  2. McCrady, Edward (1897). The History of South Carolina Under the Proprietary Government, 1670-1719. Macmillan. p. 145.
  3. Gallay, Alan (2008). The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717. Yale University Press. pp. 40–42. ISBN 978-0-300-13321-9.
  4. D.J. McCord (1839). The Statutes at Large of South Carolina. Vol. 6. A.S. Johnston. p. 616. ISBN 978-5-87571-708-6.
  5. The Statutes at Large of South Carolina. Vol. 1. A.S. Johnston. 1836. p. 439.
  6. Salley, Alexander Samuel; Webber, Mabel L. (March 21, 2012). Death Notices in the South-Carolina Gazette 1732-1775/Death Notices in the South Carolina Gazette, 1766-1774. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 978-0-8063-4656-4.
  7. Anderson, Dorothy Middleton; Eastman, Margaret Middleton Rivers (May 4, 2015). St. Philip's Church of Charleston: An Early History of the Oldest Parish in South Carolina. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-62585-407-0.
  8. Purvis, Thomas L. (1999). Balkin, Richard (ed.). Colonial America to 1763. New York: Facts on File. pp. 128–129. ISBN 978-0816025275.
  9. Purvis, Thomas L. (1995). Balkin, Richard (ed.). Revolutionary America 1763 to 1800. New York: Facts on File. p. 171. ISBN 978-0816025282.
  10. "Colonial and Pre-Federal Statistics" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. p. 1168.

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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