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1600-1670: The Seeds of Carolina

1604 – Founding of the first settlement at Jamestown, VA.

1620 – Founding of Plymouth Colony.

1623 – First charter for Carolina Colony granted to Sir Robert Heath by King Charles I. Charter would never be used.

1630 – Founding of Boston

1633 – Founding of Middle Plantation in Virginia, later to become Colonial Williamsburg.

1649 – King Charles I is tried by a court of Puritans, convicted of treason, and beheaded. Oliver Cromwell comes to power.

1650 – First settlements near Albemarle Sound, in what today is North Carolina, by frontiersmen from Virginia.

1660 – Cromwell dies and his son, Richard, is too weak to take power. The Prince of Wales, Charles II, assumes the throne.

1663 – Charles II, as repayment for their political support against the forces of Cromwell, grants eight ex-generals, the Lords Proprietors, title to Carolina. Charter is later amended to include the Albemarle Sound settlements.

1666 – Capt. Robert Sanford explores and names the Ashley River. On June 23 takes formal possession of Carolina for England and the Proprietors.

1669 – (July 21) The Fundamental Constitution of Carolina, written by the philosopher John Locke, serving as secretary to Ashley-Cooper, is approved by the Lords Proprietors. Its guarantee of religious freedom, in language similar to Locke's A Letter Concerning Toleration, will have a profound and lasting influence on the development of Charleston's social fabric, leading to the immigration of such diverse groups as French Hugenots and Sephardic Jews.

1669Carolina colonists sail from London on three ships: the Albemarle, the Port Royal, and the Carolina.

1669 – (Nov 2) The colonists reach Barbados, where their ships are struck by a hurricane. The Albemarle is destroyed and the Port Royal and Carolina are damaged.