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Today In Charleston History: August 10

1664 

Capt. William Hilton sailed from Barbados to find a location in Carolina for settlement. He sailed into Port Royal Sound and claimed the island that protected the mouth of the harbor in his name – Hilton Head..

adventure

The Adventure, Captain William Hilton’s merchant ship, painted in 1963 by long time Hilton Head Island resident Walter Greer – is currently on display at Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.

In 1662 at the request of a group of merchants in Boston, Captain William Hilton set sail from Charlestown, Massachusetts aboard the ship Adventure to explore the Carolina coast. After investigating the area around Cape Fear (North Carolina), Hilton returned to Massachusetts with enough information to have a detailed map made of the area.

The next year a group of businessmen from New England, London and Barbados commissioned Hilton for a second voyage to explore the Carolina coast. Hilton, once again commanding Adventure, set sail, from Barbados on August 10, 1663. During this voyage he explored the entrance to Port Royal Sound and noted, just inside the entrance to the sound, the existence of a headland —a high point of land used as a reference point by mariners. Later this headland would be called Hilton’s Head and soon the island on which it was located would be called Hilton Head Island.

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