Panel 06

Sea Island Cotton

Sea Island cotton, a long staple cotton, was famous for its silky texture and commanded the highest prices.

Loyalist families that fled to the Bahamas after the American Revolution began growing long-staple cotton with seeds from the island of Anguilla. By the 1790s the Bahamas’ sandy soils were depleted. Families returned to Georgia and South Carolina with their precious black seeds. They converted their old indigo plantations to grow cotton and sold it to booming factories in Great Britain.

In 1790 William Elliott grew the first commercial crop of Sea Island cotton in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island. In the District, cotton production spread quickly. Sea Island cotton was grown in South Carolina until the boll weevil destroyed crops in 1920.

Beaufort History Museum
  1. Welcome!
  2. Beaufort County's First People
  3. The Yamasee Indians
  4. Altamaha Town Archaeology
  5. European Superpowers in Carolina
  6. The Greatest and Fairest Haven
  7. Beaufort's Golden Age
  8. Patriots and Loyalists
  9. Antebellum Beaufort – In Town (1782-1861)
  10. Sea Island Cotton
  11. Antebellum Beaufort – Plantations (1782-1861)
  12. Battle of Port Royal (1861)
  13. Beaufort and the Civil War (1861-1865)
  14. The African American Experience (1861-1865)
  15. Model of the New South: Postbellum Beaufort (1865-1893)
  16. Robert Smalls -- The 'King' of Beaufort
  17. The Great Depression – Riches to Rags
  18. The Early 20th Century -- Here Comes the Marines!
  19. The Early 20th Century -- Civil Rights
  20. Rise of the Sunbelt -- Charles Fraser and the Fraser Effect
  21. 21st Century Beaufort -- The 'Chambers' Vision
  22. Preserving Our History
  23. The Greatest and Fairest Haven