VideoBefore the American Revolution, the 300 mile coast line of South Carolina was known as the "Kingdom of Rice." Charleston was considered the richest city in Colonial America.
When Rice Was King
The cultivation of rice in South Carolina began in the late 1600s. By the time of the American Revolution, it had created the largest concentration of wealth in the American colonies. The knowledge and labor of slaves from Africa’s Windward Coast were major factors in the making of this wealth. However, South Carolina’s rice culture experienced heavy tolls due to the Civil War, emancipation and hurricanes. Its passing, along with that of the grand cotton plantations, ended a way of life. The economic and social impact of the state’s rice culture created a legacy that remains today.
Video"Carolina Gold" was considered the favored variety of rice. This clip describes how the colonial economy boomed as a result of rice.
VideoThis clip explains the process in which rice is grown, and harvested.
VideoThe "Slave Task System" was a widely adopted system in which each worker would have a set of tasks to complete on a daily basis.
Video"Saltwater Slaves" brought over from Africa, became highly sought-after, since many of them already had experience growing rice before being brought over to the "New World."
VideoPlanters made the transition from swamp based rice-growing, to using tidal irrigation. With tidal irrigation, planters used a series of dikes and dams to control the flow of water into rice fields.
VideoBy 1800, Georgetown was known as the land where planters all made fortunes with rice plantations. In 1839, Georgetown alone produced nearly half of America's Rice.
VideoThe Allstons, and the Manigaults, were prominent and wealthy plantation owners back in the 1800s.
VideoFrom May until November, white plantation owners moved further in-land, in order to escape the "country fever" diseases, such as Malaria and Cholera. Those two diseases took a heavy toll on the human...
VideoAn essay called "The Successful Planter," published in 1832, outlined a system of every day life for slaves living on plantations. State law in the 1830s forbade the education of slaves, but many...