South Carolina, The Palmetto State

South Carolina, The Palmetto State

by Sandra Merville Hart

South Carolina’s nickname is the The Palmetto State, which is the state tree. South Carolinians added the sabal palmetto tree, also called the cabbage palmetto, to their flag after seceding from the Union in 1861.

South Carolina’s early history

palmetto-1283916_960_720England’s King Charles II gave the land between Virginia and Florida to eight of his noblemen in 1663. Charles Town, which is now called Charleston, was built in 1670, but relocated from the west bank of Ashley River to Oyster Point ten years later.

The first European settlement in North America

In 1526, the first European settlement in North American happened when people from Hispaniola came to the area of South Carolina, but moved to land in Georgia. Many settlers died of fever during the first year. Those who survived returned to Hispaniola.

The American Revolution

Those living in South Carolina weren’t all for independence until June of 1776, when the British attacked Charles Town. This attack on one of their cities angered the residents of the colony. South Carolina had more Revolutionary War battles than any of the other colonies.

South Carolina becomes a state

flag-28558_960_720South Carolina became our eighth state on May 23, 1788. The capital is Columbia.

Longest railroad

When the South Carolina Railroad was completed in 1833, it was about 130 miles long, the longest railroad in the world at the time. It followed the Savannah River between Charleston and Hamburg.

Other fun facts about South Carolina

The Civil War began when Confederate soldiers fired on Union troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861.

Palmetto logs had been used to build a fort on Sullivan’s Island. The British fired cannons at it during the Revolutionary War—they bounced off the spongy wood!

The South Carolina Golf Club was established on September 29, 1786—the same year of America’s first golf course.

The state bird is the Carolina wren.

The state flower is the yellow jessamine.




“13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies,” The Time Page, 2013/01/04

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“The Palmetto State,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/05

“South Carolina,”, 2020/05/31



  1. DevoKids Post – South Carolina, the Palmetto State | Sandra Merville Hart - […] in South Carolina didn’t all support seeking independence from Great Britain until the British attacked […]

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