Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter VI >> Page 54

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 54

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
were composed. Two years after this grant, it was enlar-
ged by a second, making its boundaries from 29� of north
latitude, to 36� 40", and from these points on the sea
coast westward in parallel lines to the Pacific Ocean.
Of this immense region the king constituted them absolute
lords and proprietors, reserving to himself, his heirs, and
successors, the simple sovereignty of the country. He in-
vested them with all the rights, jurisdiction, royalties,
privileges and liberties within the bounds of their province,
to hold, use, and enjoy the same, in as ample a manner
as the Bishop of Durham did in that county-palatine in
England. The Bahama islands were subsequently inclu-
ded in the gift of the monarch.
Agreeably to these powers, the proprietors proceeded
to frame a system of laws for the colony which they
projected. Locke, the well known philosopher, was
summoned to this work, and the largest expectations were
entertained in consequence of his co-operation.
The code of laws called the "Fundamental Constitu-
tion," which was devised, and which subsequently be-
came unpopular in the colony, is not certainly the work
of his hands. It is ascribed by Oldmixin, a contemporary,
to the earl of Shaftesbury, one of the proprietors. The
most striking feature in this code, provided for the crea-
tion of a nobility, consisting of landgraves, cassiques,
and barons. These were to be graduated by the landed
estates which were granted with the dignity ; the eldest
of the proprietary lords was to be the superior, with the
title of Palatine, and the people were to be serfs.
Their tenants, and the issue of their tenants, were to be
transferred with the soil, and not at liberty to leave it,