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dc.contributor.authorSmith, Hayden Ros
dc.description.abstractThis study discusses the environmental and technological complexity of South Carolina inland rice plantations from their inception at the turn of the seventeenth century to their institutional collapse during the Civil War. Inland rice cultivation provided a foundation for the South Carolina colonial plantation complex and enabled planters’ participation in the Atlantic economy, dependence on enslaved labor, and dramatic alteration of the natural landscape. Also, the growing population of enslaved Africans led to a diversely acculturated landscape unique to the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Unlike many historical interpretations that categorize inland rice cultivation in a universal and simplistic manner, this study explains how agricultural systems varied among plantations. By focusing on planters’ and slaves’ alteration of the inland topography, this interpretation emphasizes how agricultural methods met the demands of the local environment. Inland cultivation began as a simple process for growing rice by taking advantage of available sites, yet enslaved laborers spent more energy refining old inland fields and creating new landscapes as the demand for the crop and the land increased. Moreover, planters had to modify a general cultivation model to fit within the diverse landscapes of the Coastal Plain. By paying detailed attention to Lowcountry topography, this study explains how the complex layering of soil and water presented people with a landscape to construct their cultural identity. This study also discusses how rice cultivators worked within these ecological boundaries to construct successful rice plantations and an important global agricultural commodity.
dc.subjectRice cultivation
dc.subjectSouth Carolina
dc.subjectCoastal Plain
dc.subjectAshley River
dc.subjectCooper River
dc.subjectWando River
dc.subjectEdisto River
dc.subjectBiggin Basin
dc.subjectRantowles Basin
dc.subjectLimerick Plantation
dc.subjectCypress Grove
dc.subjectBack River Plantation
dc.subjectCharleywood Plantation
dc.subjectFairlawn Plantation
dc.subjectClayfield Plantation
dc.subjectWythewood Plantation
dc.subjectWindsor Plantation
dc.subjectJericho Plantation
dc.subjectWantoot Plantation
dc.subjectWoodboo Plantation
dc.subjectPooshee Plantation
dc.subjectSantee Canal
dc.titleRich swamps and rice grounds
dc.title.alternativethe specialization of inland rice culture in the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1670-1861
dc.description.advisorPaul Sutter
dc.description.committeePaul Sutter
dc.description.committeeAllan Kulikoff
dc.description.committeeShane Hamilton
dc.description.committeeBenjamin Ehlers

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