Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter VI >> Page 55

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Page 55

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
but with the lord's permission, under hand and seal.
The whole system was rejected after a few years exper-
iment. It has been harshly judged as the production of
a sciolous intellect ; but, contemplating the institution
of domestic slavery, as the proprietors had done from the
beginning, something may be said in favor of the project.
Its failure was rather a failure of the proprietary scheme
of settlement, than of any intrinsic defect in the plan for
its government. The code contemplated a few wealthy
noblemen, and a large body of serviles. But the set-
tlers were generally poor, and the nobility created for the
occasion, and from the people, was deficient in all those
marks of hereditary importance, which, in the minds of
men, are found needful to disguise, if not to justify, the
inequalites of fortune. The great destitution of the first
settlers, left them generally without the means of procuring
slaves ; and the equal necessities to which all are subject
who peril life and fortune in a savage forest and a foreign
shore, soon made the titular distinctions of the few a mis-
erable mockery, or something worse.
Having devised their plan of government, the proprie-
tors began to advertise for settlers, though nothing seems
to have been seriously done towards emigration, till some
time after. A colony was formed upon the river Albe-
marle, and another at Cape Fear ; the last of these two
were conducted from Barbadoes, by John Yeamans, and
many of these colonists afterwards found their way to the
settlements on Ashley river.
In 1667, an exploring ship was fitted out, and the
command given to William Sayle, who was simply
commissioned to survey and give some account of the