Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Atlantic Neptune Part 2 – Item 9

port royal
J.F.W. Des Barres, Port Royal in South Carolina, 1777
The staple industry in South Carolina was rice, produced on plantations in the coastal region known as the Low Country. This highly-detailed 1777 chart of the Port Royal region illustrates an area where there were many rice plantations, which relied on imported African slaves to work the fields until after the American Revolutionary War. By the 1770s, rice accounted for over 50 percent of all exports from the colony. Due to the success of the rice export industry, an indigenous planter class rose to power over time, and these colonists would eventually join with others along the eastern seaboard to defy British dominance.

 

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