Posted By Bill Payer on Mar 16, 2021 | 0 comments

Another interesting DIHS meeting on the ZOOM platform as Coastal Carolina University History Professor John Navin shared some of the themes of his book “The Grim Years:  Settling South Carolina 1670-1720”.

John Navin
Coastal Carolina Univ.

Navin cited several conditions that contributed to the sobriquet “The Grim Years” including the relatively little-known practice of enslaving Native Americans and enticing one tribe to take and sell captive members of other tribes.

Epidemics were also rampant with malaria sporadic beginning in 1684, smallpox outbreaks in 1733, 1738, and 1745 and yellow fever was prevalent throughout the time period.  Add in “normal” 17th century issues like fires and hurricanes and times were indeed Grim.

But perhaps the most grim feature of the times was they way slavery was embraced and expanded in pursuit of profit.  Rice was the first truly large-scale product produced in South Carolina and its most profitable form of production was plantations worked by slaves.   Slaves from rice growing areas of Africa were considered particularly productive and therefore most valuable.

Professor Navin talked about LOTS more. If you missed the Zoom event or just want to see his talk again, it’s now up on YouTube at

Also…. Professor Navin has offered to do a separate q&a session on Zoom. Here’s the info on that session, Monday, March 22

Topic: Daniel Island Historical Society session

Time: Mar 22, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 977 6926 5210

Passcode: 98597967

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And if you’d like a copy of Navin’s book, he suggests you shop on line (Amazon, etc) or go to University of South Carolina Press.

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