The Shaftesbury Papers


By the South Carolina Historical Society

ISBN: 978-0-9845580-1-8
6×9, 546 pages, paper

The Shaftesbury Papers is an invaluable resource for historians, genealogists, and those interested in South Carolina’s early years. This reprint edition includes a new preface by Robert M. Weir, professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina, and a new introduction by Charles H. Lesser of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.  It is relevant for coastal communities (Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, Bluffton and Beaufort) and academic centers (Columbia, Clemson and Charleston).

The Shaftesbury Papers, first published in 1897 as volume five of the Collections of the South Carolina Historical Society, is the most important and sweeping accumulation of correspondence relating to South Carolina’s founding as a proprietary colony. It is composed largely of the papers of Anthony Ashley Cooper, first Earl of Shaftesbury and foremost of the proprietors responsible for the colony’s founding. It details, as no other published document can, the proprietary colony’s struggle to survive the Lowcountry’s harsh environment and establish a civilization that in many ways resembled England’s wealthiest Caribbean colony, Barbados.



“The Shaftesbury Papers is a volume that everyone interested in the history of South Carolina will want to have in their libraries. It is a rich collection of letters and documents that provides tremendous insight into the founding of the colony of Carolina. The South Carolina Historical Society is to be congratulated for making this indispensable volume available once again.”

 ~ Walter Edgar, Author of South Carolina: A History