Forgotten Tale: French landed in SC 450 years ago

Associated Press

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - They're remembering a dramatic but oft forgotten chapter of American history on the South Carolina coast.

Next week a commemoration on Parris Island will mark the 450th anniversary of the founding of Charlesfort. That was the French settlement established by Jean Ribaut in 1562. It predated both St. Augustine and Jamestown.

The settlement lasted less than two years. Shortly after arriving, Ribaut returned to France for men and supplies. But he got caught up in the religious wars in France and later was imprisoned by the English.

The 26 men left at Charlesfort figured they were forgotten so built a boat and sailed back to Europe the following year. They made it, but not before they had to resort to cannibalism eating a member of their crew before arriving.

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