Joseph West

Acting Governor of Charles Town 1671 to 1672

Governor of Charles Town 1674 to 1682

Governor of Charles Town 1685

At the death of Governor William Sayle, the Council elected Joseph West to serve as interim governor until the Lords Proprietors could appoint another.


Upon the death of Governor Sayle, being over 80 years old, and who sunk under the diseases of a sickly climate, sir John Yeamans claimed the office of governor, as vice-palatine; for he was the only landgrave, or nobleman, then residing in Carolina. But the council appointed Joseph West their governor, until they should learn the will of the proprietors.

In a August 1671, Sir John Yeamans received a commission, by which he was appointed governor of the southern county.


Sir John Yeamans was succeeded in the government by Joseph West, who was a moderate and prudent man; but his council, being cavaliers, wished to establish a high-toned prerogative government.
As more is found on West's later administrations, it will be added here.
In August 1669, Captain Joseph West and one hundred others set sail from Downs, England for the colonization of Carolina. They came in three ships, the Albemarle, the Carolina, and the Port Royal. They reached Barbados by October, where they stopped for several weeks. A storm on November 2nd sank the Albemarle at Barbados.

Sir John Yeamans, a Barbadian, a former Carolina colonist along the Cape Fear, and a powerful friend of the Proprietors, held a blank warrant for the governorship of the Carolina Colony. He leased another ship, the Three Brothers, to join the colonist's journey.

In Late November, the Carolina, the Port Royal, and the Three Brothers, left Barbados for the coast of America, but were caught in storms again near the island of Nevis and were separated from each other. The Port Royal was wrecked in the Bahamas by the storms. Both the Carolina and the Three Brothers were battered, but eventually made port in Bermuda. Somehow, some of those aboard the Port Royal were able to find passage to the island of Bermuda and rejoin their fellow colonists.

In January 1670, in Bermuda, Yeamans changed his mind, and decided to return to Barbados. He fills in the name of William Sayles on the blank warrant, the 80-year old former Governor of Bermuda, and leaves the expedition. In late February, Sayles, aboard the Carolina, leads the Three Brothers toward the coast of America.

Storms again strike the ships, blowing the Three Brothers northward, to the Virginia Colony. By March 15th, the Carolina is welcomed in Bulls Bay, near present-day Port Royal, by the local natives. Over a two-week period, they explored the area, and Sayles became concerned on the proximity of existing Spanish Colonies in nearby Florida. On the advice of the local inhabitants, he looked to settle in the next protected inlet, north of Port Royal.

In early April 1670, the Carolina sailed into the confluence of what we now call the Cooper and Ashley rivers, and selected a site on high ground, on the west shore of the Ashley River, to be their settlement. The colonists named the settlement Albermarle Point, but the Proprietors, from their homes in Barbados, renamed the town Charles Town, in honor of the King.

In late May, the remaining colonists aboard the Three Brothers arrived from the Virginia Colony and in early 1671, additional colonists from Barbados began to arrive. By summer, more than 100 had arrived and spread northward into a nearby area, known as Goose Creek. This physical separation mirrored a cultural separation, between the English and Barbadian colonists that comes to define the conflicts within the colony.

         
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