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A New Voyage to Carolina, 

by John Lawson

A JOURNAL of A thousand Miles Travel among the Indians, 
from South to North Carolina.

{Saturday.} On December the 28th, 1700, I began my Voyage (for North Carolina) from Charles-Town, being six English-men in Company, with three Indian-men, and one Woman, Wife to our Indian-Guide, having five Miles from the Town to the Breach we went down in a large Canoe, that we had provided for our Voyage thither, having the Tide of Ebb along with us; which was so far spent by that Time we got down, that we had not Water enough for our Craft to go over, although we drew but two Foot, or thereabouts. This Breach is a Passage through a Marsh lying to the Northward of Sullivans Island, the Pilot's having a Look out thereon, lying very commodious for Mariners, (on that Coast) making a good Land-Mark in so level a Country, this Bar being difficult to hit, where an Observation hath been wanting for a Day or two; North East Winds bringing great Fogs, Mists, and Rains; which, towards the cool Months of October, November, and until the latter End of March, often appear in these Parts. There are three Pilots to attend, and conduct Ships over the Bar. The Harbour where the Vessels generally ride, is against the Town on Cooper's River, lying within a Point which parts that and Ashley-River, they being Land lock'd almost on all Sides.

At 4 in the Afternoon, (at half Flood) we pass'd with our Canoe over the Breach, leaving Sullivans Island on our Starboard. The first Place we design'd for, was Santee River, on which there is a Colony of French Protestants, allow'd and encourag'd by the Lords Proprietors. At Night we got to Bell's-Island, a poor Spot of Land, being about ten Miles round, where liv'd (at that Time) a Bermudian, being employ'd here with a Boy, to look after a Stock of Cattle and Hogs, by the Owner of this Island. One Side of the Roof of his House was thatch'd with Palmeto-leaves, the other open to the Heavens, thousands of Musketoes, and other troublesome Insects, tormenting both Man and Beast inhabiting these Islands. {Palmeto-trees.} The Palmeto-trees, whose Leaves growing only on the Top of the Tree, in the Shape of a Fan, and in a Cluster, like a Cabbage; this Tree in Carolina, when at its utmost Growth, is about forty or fifty Foot in Height, and two Foot through: It's worth mentioning, that the Growth of the Tree is not perceivable in the Age of any Man, the Experiment having been often try'd in Bermudas, and elsewhere, which shews the slow Growth of this Vegitable, the Wood of it being porous and stringy, like some Canes; the Leaves thereof the Bermudians make Womens Hats, Bokeets, Baskets, and pretty Dressing-boxes, a great deal being transported to Pensilvania, and other Northern Parts of America, (where they do not grow) for the same Manufacture. The People of Carolina make of the Fans of this Tree, Brooms very serviceable, to sweep their Houses withal.

We took up our Lodging this Night with the Bermudian; our Entertainment was very indifferent, there being no fresh Water to be had on the Island.

The next Morning we set away thro' the Marshes; about Noon we reach'd another Island, call'd Dix's Island, much like to the former, tho' larger; there liv'd an honest Scot, who gave us the best Reception his Dwelling afforded, being well provided of Oat-meal, and several other Effects he had found on that Coast; which Goods belong'd to that unfortunate Vessel, the Rising Sun, a Scotch Man of War, lately arriv'd from the Istmus of Darien, and cast away near the Bar of Ashley River, the September before, Capt. Gibson of Glasco then commanding her, who, with above an hundred Men then on Board her, {Septem. 5. 1700.} were every Soul drown'd in that terrible Gust which then happen'd; most of the Corps being taken up, were carefully interr'd by Mr. Graham, their Lieutenant, who happily was on Shore during the Tempest.

After Dinner, we left our Scotch Landlord, and went that Night to the North East Point of the Island: It being dark ere we got there, our Canoe struck on a Sand near the Breakers, and were in great Danger of our Lives, but (by God's Blessing) got off safe to the Shore, where we lay all Night.

{Monday.} In the Morning we set forwards on our intended Voyage. About two a Clock we got to Bulls Island, which is about thirty Miles long, and hath a great Number of both Cattel and Hogs upon it; the Cattel being very wild, and the Hogs very lean. These two last Islands belong to one Colonel Cary, an Inhabitant of South Carolina. Although it were Winter, yet we found such Swarms of Musketoes, and other troblesome Insects, that we got but little Rest that Night.

{Tuesday.} The next Day we intended for a small Island on the other Side of Sewee-Bay, which joining to these Islands, Shipping might come to victual or careen; but there being such a Burden of those Flies, that few or none cares to settle there; so the Stock thereon are run wild. We were gotten about half Way to Racoon-Island, when there sprung up a tart Gale at N.W. which put us in some Danger of being cast away, the Bay being rough, and there running great Seas between the two Islands, which are better than four Leagues asunder, a strong Current of a Tide setting in and out, which made us turn Tail to it, and got our Canoe right before the Wind, and came safe into a Creek that is joining to the North End of Bulls Island. We sent our Indians to hunt, who brought us two Deers, which were very poor, and their Maws full of large Grubs.

{Wednesday.} On the Morrow we went and visited the Eastermost Side of this Island, it joining to the Ocean, having very fair sandy Beeches, pav'd with innumerable Sorts of curious pretty Shells, very pleasant to the Eye. Amongst the rest, we found the Spanish Oyster-Shell, whence come the Pearls. They are very large, and of a different Form from other Oysters; their Colour much resembles the Tortoise-Shell, when it is dress'd. There was left by the Tide several strange Species of a muciligmous slimy Substance, though living, and very aptly mov'd at their first Appearance; yet, being left on the dry Sand, (by the Beams of the Sun) soon exhale and vanish.

At our Return to our Quarters, the Indians had kill'd two more Deer, two wild Hogs, and three Racoons, all very lean, except the Racoons. We had great Store of Oysters, Conks, and Clanns, a large Sort of Cockles. These Parts being very well furnish'd with Shell-Fish, Turtle of several Sorts, but few or none of the green, with other Sorts of Salt-water Fish, and in the Season, good Plenty of Fowl, as Curleus, Gulls, Gannets, and Pellicans, besides Duck and Mallard, Geese, Swans, Teal, Widgeon, &c.

{Thursday.} On Thursday Morning we left Bulls Island, and went thro' the Creeks, which lie between the Bay and the main Land. At Noon we went on Shore, and got our Dinner near a Plantation, on a Creek having the full Prospect of Sewee-Bay: We sent up to the House, but found none at Home, but a Negro, of whom our Messenger purchas'd some small Quantity of Tobacco and Rice. We came to a deserted Indian Residence, call'd Avendaugh-bough, where we rested that Night.

{Friday.} The next Day we enter'd Santee-River's Mouth, where is fresh Water, occasion'd by the extraordinary Current that comes down continually. With hard Rowing, we got two Leagues up the River, lying all Night in a swampy Piece of Ground, the Weather being so cold all that Time, we were almost frozen ere Morning, leaving the Impressions of our Bodies on the wet Ground. We set forward very early in the Morning, to seek some better Quarters.

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