Second European Landing on the American Continent
Although the Spanish landed twice on the island of St. Helena off the Carolina coast, they did not settle there. All that they did was take some peaceful Indians to use as slaves.
When Jean Ribault landed on Parris Island with his French Huguenots in 1562 a French gentleman said of them “they had the means to achieve some notable thing, worthy of eternal memory.” On May 27th, 1562, Ribault anchored in ten fathoms of water off what is known today as Parris Island, just a few miles from Port Royal. “ Ribault and his men landed, and while they walked through the forest, flocks of wild turkey flew above their heads, and around they beheld partridges and stags.
Upon returning to the ships, they cast their nets in the bay, and caught fishes in numbers so wonderful that two draughts of the net supplied enough for a day’s food for the crews of both ships.” Ribault built a fort which he named Charlesfort before returning to France to report his discovery, leaving behind a garrison of twenty-six men. Three years later another French ship landed at Port Royal but the Spanish had already destroyed the fort. The Spanish built a fort for themselves which the Indians destroyed and another fort in 1677.
The latter fort was constructed of cedar posts and tabby because two years later two American officers found the outlines of an old fort of tabby and cedar which they believed to be Ribault’s fort.
In 1732, the English built their fort. An old house still stands in Beaufort, more than two hundred years old which appears to be built over the fort. It includes a large porch and pillar, and the lower portion built with tabby in which there are loop-holes for rifles and beneath them a stone ledge for ammunition.
Source:Beaufort County, South Carolina by N. L. Willet.
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