Cultures Converge

Exploration and Settlement

Exhibit Highlights

Showcasing the early settlement years of South Carolina, this gallery features interactive kiosks examining the experiences of key figures such as Rene Ravenel, Priscilla Ball, the Cassique of Kiawah, and Eliza Lucas Pinckney. Guests can also view a number of original items from this period, including a 1658 Bible belonging to the Reverend Archibald Stobo.

Mark Catesby, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, 1731
Mark Catesby (1682–1749) was the first naturalist to illustrate the native flora and fauna of North America. His illustration of rice birds, or bobolinks, was completed in 1731. These birds migrated from Cuba to South Carolina to follow the rice crop as it ripened, but their local numbers are much reduced from Catesby's day due to habitat loss.
Joseph West, Plat of Carolina, 1680s
This elaborately decorated plat records the Lords Proprietors’ grant of 1,500 acres of land to Joseph West (d. 1691), one of the Carolina colony’s earliest leaders. Lettered and painted on parchment, West’s plat is filled with images of lowcountry plants and animals, elaborate cartographic elements, and structures. The windmill in the center and the house with a porch tower and gateposts in the upper right corner were likely wishful thinking in 1680s Carolina.