Ship. In 1663 King Charles II of England rewarded eight of his supporters with a grant for a large tract of land in North America. Lying between thirty-one and thirty-six degrees of latitude, the Province of Carolina stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
In August 1669 the Lords Proprietors’ fleet—the Carolina, the Port Royal, and the Albemarle—carrying the first settlers for Carolina was ready to sail. The fleet was commanded by Joseph West, who was later appointed governor of the colony. The Carolina, the largest of the three ships, was a two-hundred-ton frigate that carried ninety-three passengers. A typical frigate of the era was a three-masted vessel that was smaller and faster than many ships of the age.
En route to Barbados, the fleet landed in Ireland, where several colonists left the expedition. After forty days the ships reached Barbados, where a storm destroyed the Albemarle. After acquiring the sloop The Three Brothers, the fleet sailed to Nevis. Abandoning the Port Royal there, the Carolina and The Three Brothers continued to Bermuda. A storm drove The Three Brothers toward Virginia. Undeterred, the expedition acquired another sloop in Bermuda and eventually reached South Carolina in April 1670. Settlers on the Carolina first explored Port Royal, their intended settlement site, but chose instead to settle up the Ashley River. In May 1670 the settlers sent the Carolina to Virginia for supplies and to Barbados for sixty-four additional settlers. Of the three ships that left England to found the new colony, only the Carolina had successfully reached what would become South Carolina.
Waring, Joseph I. The First Voyage and Settlement at Charles Town, 1670–1680. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1970.