Part 8: Conquistadors and Explorers: S.C. Under the Spanish Flag | Mary Long's Yesteryear
By 1587, Santa Elena was abandoned, marking the end of Spanish domination in South Carolina. The Spaniards decided to consolidate their forces in St. Augustine, ending the presence of the Spanish in South Carolina for over 50 years. Out of the hundred soldiers left in forts in South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee, only one soldier survived. He and his Native American wife walked into Santa Elena. All the other soldiers had been killed by Native Americans. It would be another half-century before another European explorer entered the interior of our state.
If gold had been discovered, or the overland route to Mexico, or the mineral deposits that we now know exist, the entire course of history would have changed. Any French or English attempts at colonization would have been repelled.