Documenting the Frontier: South Carolina and the Cherokee

The frontier played a vital part in South Carolina’s early history. For well over its first hundred years South Carolina was a frontier colony, and most of her inhabitants, red, white, and black, worked incessantly to wrest subsistence from land and forest. As early as the 1690s South Carolina "cowboys" were grazing and herding beef cattle in the backcountry. The Palmetto State’s frontier history is also a story of Indian traders, forts, warfare, and diplomacy.

The settlement of South Carolina also brought European settlers into contact, and often conflict, with indigenous Native American peoples. As Carolina traders and explorers first ventured into the Appalachian foothills late in the seventeenth century they would encounter a people who would exert a powerful influence on the colony’s fortunes: the Cherokee. Among the vast collections of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History are numerous documents to illuminate South Carolina’s relationship with the Cherokee people. Throughout the on-line exhibit, are thumbnails of these documents.  Clicking on the thumbnail will display a much larger reproduction of the document.  With each document is a direct link to the Summary Guide to the Archive's Holdings.

Tour the on-line exhibit:



Cattlemarks.Secretary of State. Recorded Instruments. Livestock Mark Books, 1695-1737. S213012. Click for a full size imageCattle ranching was important to early South Carolina. Frontier entrepreneurs registered their distinctive "brands" with the provincial government. Note the fleur-de-lis mark of Huguenot rancher Isaac Mazeck dated 1698. Secretary of State. Recorded Instruments. Livestock Mark Books, 1695-1737. S213012

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