Scottish trade with colonial Charleston, 1683-1783
Charleston was established in 1670 soon becoming the pre-eminent port of the American South. Scottish economic links and settlement in South Carolina began in 1683 and expanded throughout the colonial period. This study considers various aspects of the Scottish-Charleston connection, ranging from emigration to social and trading patterns. Basically Charleston supplied raw materials and foodstuffs and in exchange Scotland supplied manufactured goods. The Scots of colonial Charleston and their trading activities are dealt with in detail, while the role of merchants in Scotland who traded with Charleston is also explored. Maritime aspects have not bee overlooked. The orthodox view of Scottish transatlantic trade of the eighteenth century is that Glasgow and Greenock had the virtual monopoly of trade with the American colonies, a belief which this thesis proves to be untrue as far as the Charleston trade was concerned. Evidently trade between Scotland and South Carolina was almost evenly split between the ports on the Clyde and those on the Forth. From the mid eighteenth century onwards Scottish emigration to the American colonies became significant, however relatively few Scots settled in Charleston or anywhere in South Carolina. This thesis considers the reasons why emigration from Scotland to South Carolina tended to be small scale and largely comprises of professional workers unlike neighbouring North Carolina which was the major destination of Highland emigrants at the time. The Scots are thought to have played a minor role in the Slave Trade however the evidence shows that Scottish merchants and planters based in Charleston and elsewhere in South Carolina were heavily involved in this enterprise, and indeed Scots could be found at virtually every stage of in the African slave trade. This thesis is a unique study of the Scots role in the development of colonial Charleston.