From For Glory, God and Gold, we learn of the efforts of the French and Spanish to colonize South Carolina in the 16th century. Historians describe the dramatic history of these settlements near Beaufort, SC, and document the conflict between the France and Spain over the same stretches of coast line more than 100 years before the English founded Charleston in 1670.
We can only imagine the mix of fear and excitement as these early settlers from Spain and France mounted their quests to colonize the new world. They experienced a stormy new world, unusual animals, sandy soil, difficulty obtaining supplies, illness, starvation, and invading forces as they vied to control prized coastal areas.
Untangling the history of these settlements has required decades of excavation and interpretation of historical documents by archaeologists and historians. Visit the virtual field trip, and learn about the artefacts, buildings, streets, moats and ditches that they have found in the areas which give a lot of insight into how people might have lived in the settlements.
Detective Archaeologist Chester DePratter noted that “The term lasting attests to the duration of the colony. Santa Elena made it for 21 years,” DePratter explained, “and settlement – as opposed to just a fort, with soldiers – means women and children were there, government and commerce were in use, agriculture was in successful practice, and we know there was a church. And a tavern.”
Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head, SC offers programs and tours where you can learn about the Forts of Port Royal among other topics https://www.coastaldiscovery.org/spring-program-schedule/