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Despite their popularity today, coffee houses originated in the 1600s. The Carolina Coffee house in London served as the info hub because that the colony, where letters and information passed back and forth in between England and also Carolina. Image courtesy the the brother Museum


On any type of map of southern Carolina, there space a surprising variety of French names: Bonneau, Huger, Horry, Laurens, Marion and also Ravenel to name a few. For those that have ever wondered why there room so plenty of French names scattered throughout south Carolina, the price is the Huguenots.

The Huguenots to be French Protestants, followers of john Calvin, who fled France seeking spiritual freedom in the late 17th century. Following 150 year of religious and political strife, the French monarchy abolished all protestant legal rights in 1685 which resulted in a massive migration well-known as the Huguenot diaspora. The protestant clergy was expelled native France, yet everyone else to be forbidden to leave and risked their resides to do so. Approximately 200,000 men, women and children escaped indigenous France come friendly neighboring nations such as Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and parts of Belgium. Rather escaped come England, Scotland and Ireland and continued on to British north America, particularly to the Carolinas, Virginia, brand-new York and brand-new England. Part traveled as much as southern Africa and also South America.

The Huguenots who made decision to immigrate come the Carolina swarm made the an overwhelming decision to leaving behind your relatives and homes in France, to danger the danger of a two-month Atlantic crossing and also to create a new life in a strange country where they can have flexibility of conscience. They made your way very first to England, where their numbers rapidly overwhelmed the relief efforts created to help them. The entrepreneurial Lords Proprietors released a effective public relations campaign to encourage Huguenot immigration to the Carolina colony. The campaign was based out of the Carolina Coffee home in London, whereby potential homesteaders met to review promotional literature, examine maps and learn around Carolina, i beg your pardon was explained in the most glowing terms. 

While no unaware the the promotional products glossed end the difficulties and also danger, the Huguenots were motivated to immigrate to Carolina through the promise of land and spiritual toleration. The Lords Proprietors do what was, for that time, a revolutionary decision to provide all in the colony spiritual liberty, so lengthy as the colonists acknowledged and publicly venerated God. 

The first known team of 45 French Protestants arrived on the Richmond in 1680, just 10 years after the an initial English colonists arrived at Albemarle Point. Southern Carolina came to be the third largest Huguenot settlement in the brother American swarms after brand-new York and also Boston. While their exact numbers space unknown, fewer than 500 Huguenots arrived in south Carolina before 1700, and fewer 보다 1,000 total arrived in the years before the American Revolution. 

The Huguenots were generally well-educated as reading the scriptures was a radical of your faith, and also literacy for both men and also women was encouraged. Many left effective careers together merchants, artisans, craftsmen or weavers as soon as they fled France. The property and also possessions lock were required to abandon were forfeited come the French government. While a couple of arrived with some level of wealth, the vast bulk arrived in Carolina penniless or close come it. Approximately fifty percent of the Huguenots determined to continue to be in Charles Town, if the rest moved out into the wilderness to establish small settlements in ~ French Santee, Orange Quarter, St. John’s Berkeley and also Goose Creek. 

Huguenot seller Jacques Boyd arrived in Charles city in 1686, writing among the earliest explanation of the town. “I was surprised at the sight of Charleston . We uncovered the ideologies to the wonderful, since we were delighted to view land and also a amount of tree … The layout the the city astonishes me. A hundred houses distributed from one side to the other, all scattered around. Also more, many of the homes are falling right into ruin and also the large part are houses for rental … us all remarked the the just two tolerable dwellings were two taverns.”

Formerly successful and urbane Frenchmen uncovered themselves life in the wilderness. An unidentified Huguenot gentleman at French Santee created that it was vital “to renounce at very early hour our ambition and our vanity, as this land, more than any other, needs from us. In leaving Europe, us still had our heads full of an excellent lands and other extravagances that were not in season.” these experiences were not distinct to the Huguenots. Life in beforehand Carolina to be a battle for everyone, English and French alike, together they constructed a new life in the wilderness. Part have suggested that the smaller French negotiations were supposed to act as buffers between Charles Town and threats do by raiding Spanish and French privateers and also hostile Indian tribes. 

The Lords Proprietors promised the Huguenots the legal rights of Englishmen, but most did not come to be naturalized English citizens until 1697. Poll in a block, their little numbers to be often sufficient to persuade the outcome of Carolina elections. This frequently made them unpopular v the English. One of the Englishmen as soon as wrote, “Shall the Frenchman who cannot speak our language do our laws?” native the beginning, however, the Huguenots made no effort to continue to be apart. They did not want to be viewed as foreigners yet fellow Carolinians. The Huguenots conveniently acquired the language and also customs that the nation that got them. They intermarried v the English families and also put under deep root in Carolina. In their wills, a few Huguenots make provisions for your confiscated French properties in the occasion that castle were ever returned to their descendants, but they go not expect to ever before return come France. Carolina was their favored home. 

While the Huguenots integrated into life in the colony, they also cared for your own. English traveler John Lawson report in his voyage to Carolina that the French settlers on the Santee to be “one people or kindred, every one making the his business to it is in assistant to the desires of his Country-Man, maintaining his Estate and also Reputation with the very same Exactness and also Concern together he does his own; all seeming come share in the Misfortunes, and also rejoyce at the advancement and climb of their Brethren.” The Huguenots that Carolina succeeded as the nest grew, coming to be planters or re-establishing their previous careers as merchants, traders and artisans. Their children, some born in France and also some in Carolina, complied with in their footsteps. 

The Huguenots assimilated into life in the colony, and the 4 Huguenot settlements and French churches external of Charles Town passed away out by the mid-1700s. The was daunting to uncover clergy because that the rural churches, and the Church action of 1706 legislated the the French congregations had actually to come to be Anglican, return they might still host their services in French. Once most of the congregation spoke English, the French churches could no longer have actually a French-speaking minister. Complying with the major wave the Huguenot immigration in between 1680 and also 1700, 2 later groups of French and also Swiss Protestants concerned South Carolina and also founded Purrysburg in 1732 and brand-new Bordeaux in 1764. 

The many visible reminder of southern Carolina’s Huguenot heritage is Charleston’s French Church, the only one that did not come to be Anglican under the Church Act. As time passed, couple of worshipers can understand the services conducted in French, and also the dimension of the congregation dwindled. In 1828, the elder surviving church members joined through a team of younger Huguenot descendants to analyze the French liturgy into English. This restored interest in the church brought about the building of the existing church building in 1844 and1845. Currently formally recognized as the French good news (Huguenot) Church of Charleston, the church has actually an active congregation and also is the just independent French good news Church in the United says that has not joined another denomination. 

There was a good revival of interest in the Huguenots in the so late 19th century, bring about the founding of the Huguenot culture of southern Carolina in 1885. The Society’s mission is to keep the history of the Huguenots and also promote a better understanding of your principles and values. Situated in Charleston, the society has among the largest libraries of Huguenot history and family tree in the joined States. The culture also maintains monuments in ~ the locations of the 6 Huguenot churches and also settlements in southern Carolina. Charleston’s Huguenot Church to represent the seventh. 

The industry, hard work and resourcefulness the the Huguenots assisted lay the groundwork for southern Carolina’s success together a colony in the 18th century. A large part that the Huguenots’ success came from their ability to integrate into the colony, yet that is additionally what renders their influence difficult to quantify. Judith Giton Manigault created an eloquent letter come her brother describing the hardships her household suffered. She finished her letter writing, “God surely gave us good grace to have been may be to withstand all sorts of trials. I think that if i wished to do you a full list of every our adventures, I need to never have actually done. Suffice it, the God has had pity for me, and has changed my lot come one much more happy.” probably the Huguenot’s biggest gift was their faith and also their determination not simply to survive yet to thrive.

Editor’s Note: The complying with sources were offered in researching this article. Susan Baldwin Bates and Harriott Cheves Leland, French Santee: A Huguenot settlement in colonial South Carolina (Otter bay Books, 2015). The initial letter is in the library the The Royal society in London. Molly McClain and Alessa Ellefson. “A Letter native Carolina, 1688: Huguenots in the brand-new World.” Transactions that the Huguenot society of southern Carolina (2011). The original letter is in the Twickel lock Archive in Delden, Netherlands.Bates and Leland, French Santee.