In this episode of Mary Long’s Yesteryear, hosted by the titular educator telling interesting stories of South Carolina history, the focus lies on the initial eras of exploration and colonization in the Carolinas. Before the English ever set foot in what would become the southern United States, Spain was hunting for treasures.
Host Mary Long focuses on the two leading Spanish conquistadors to move through South Carolina, Hernando de Soto and Juan Pardo. De Soto focused more on the pursuit of material and mineral goods, chasing rumors of gold all the way from Mexico to North Carolina, all the while harassing the indigenous population and repaying received hospitality with abduction and murder. Pardo, in 1566, attempted to find an overland route from inland South Carolina to Mexico, to facilitate transportation from the then-capital on Santa Elena while colonizing and Christianizing along the way.
Through failures to adapt or to locate the natural treasures within, Spain withdrew from the territory that would become the Carolinas. It would be another 50 years before the next European explorers entered the area, further irrevocably shaping our history.
For more content about South Carolina history and heritage, there are plenty more episodes of Mary Long’s Yesteryear available from South Carolina ETV’s vault. For a broader view of our historic programming, check out the ETV Classics digital series. Additional programs from Mary Long's Yesteryear are located here.