time period


The African presence in Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry is well documented, but much less is known of the locations from which this group came. At last, we are beginning to understand Africa as an entire continent, not a single country, which opens our eyes to the multiple ethnic and geographic groups that first populated the region beginning in the 16th century through the 19th century, when official importation of enslaved workers ended.

A Spanish explorer lands on the coast of what will become South Carolina, bringing enslaved Africans with him. Attempts to settle a colony fail, but early interaction between Africans seeking freedom and indigenous Native Americans has been traced to this period.