Part 6: Conquistadors and Explorers: S.C. Under the Spanish Flag | Mary Long's Yesteryear
The next generation of explorers, also from Spain, did not have to make the hazardous trip through Florida. By 1566, the Spanish had built a fort in Beaufort County and settled in Santa Elena, now known as Parris Island. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was appointed governor. In 1566, when Menendez established the settlement, there was a small number of settlers, which eventually reached about 350-400 residents, including women, children, and farm animals. Between 1566 and 1576, Santa Elena was the Spanish capital. St. Augustine was established in 1565, but until 1576, was not the capital The Spanish retreated to St. Augustine in 1576, and the capital was shifted from Santa Elena to St. Augustine. In 1566, a captain named Juan Pardo set off on a journey to the interior of South Carolina to discover an overland route to Mexico, pacify the Indians to get food supplies. and discover gold and other mineral resources. Pardo made two trips through South Carolina and like DeSoto 26 years earlier, Pardo came through the settlement on the Wateree River and headed northward to the mountains. Both Spaniards considered this the route to the pot of gold. Pardo was more of a colonizer and built a series of small forts, and there he left a garrison, and also priests to Christianize the Indians.