"Anticipating Charles Towne: Charters, Proprietors, Constitutions, and the First Fleet" by John Hiatt, Park Historian

At Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

Cramped with people and cargo, a small fleet rode at anchor in the Downs off the southeastern coast of England in mid-August 1669, waiting for a favorable wind. The colonists onboard would go on to found Charles Towne, the first capital of provincial Carolina, in April of the following year. The first half of this presentation examines how those ships came to be anchored in the Downs, exploring the turbulent era that conceived the Carolina colony. Major topics of discussion include the English Civil Wars, the Restoration, the chartering of Carolina, the evolution of the proprietorship, the Barbadian influence, and the proprietary vision. Next, the focus shifts to the first fleet’s harrowing seven-month odyssey across the Atlantic, chronicling the storms, delays, shipwrecks, and disappointments that tested the immigrants’ resolve.


  • March 11, 2020, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM