Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Joseph Woory Account, 1666

Finding aid created by
Barbara DeWolfe, 2007

Summary Information
Title: Joseph Woory account
Creator: Woory, Joseph
Inclusive dates: 1666
Extent: 6 pages (1 item)
The Joseph Woory account records the travels of an English expedition that set out from Charles Town on June 16, 1666, to explore the area from Cape Romano down to Port Royal.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994. M-3098.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Alternate Format:

A transcript of the Joseph Woory Account is located in the transcript section of the manuscripts division.


The Joseph Woory account is believed to have come from the papers of Sir Edmund Andros (1637-1714). Since then the account was owned by various collectors before being acquired by the Clements Library in 1994.

Preferred Citation:

Joseph Woory Account, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


In 1663, Charles II gave large land grants in what is now North and South Carolina to eight men who had supported his restoration to the throne in 1660. Almost immediately, William Hilton was sent by the proprietors to explore the area. His favorable reports attracted emigrants from New England, who arrived at the end of 1663 to form a small English settlement in what is now North Carolina on the west bank of the Charles River (later named Clarendon River, now Cape Fear River), about 20 miles upstream. The colonists did not like the location, and abandoned it after a few months. In May 1664, John Vassall settled the area with a second English group, this time from Barbados, but the proprietors encouraged the settlers to explore more territory to the south in order to find a better place for a permanent settlement. Lt. Col. Robert Sandford was chosen to command the expedition of 2 small vessels, the Speedwell and the Rebecca . They set out for the southern coast on June 16, 1666, and returned on July 12, a month later. Though the settlers remained at Charles Town until 1667, lack of supplies and hostilities with the Indians led to eventual abandonment of the tiny colony.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Joseph Woory was a member of the English expedition that set out from Charles Town on June 16, 1666, to explore the area from Cape Romano (Cape Fear, called Cape San Romano by the Spanish) down to Port Royal. The expedition took 26 days, during which time they visited St. Helena Island, where they saw a large wooden Spanish cross, Edisto, and Kiawah Island. Woory wrote about the rich quality of the soil, the different kinds of vegetation, varieties of fish and fowl, and Indian fields planted with corn, peas, and beans. The explorers visited Indian villages at Edisto and St. Helena, where they left behind one of their company, Henry Woodward, to learn the Indian language. Woory reported that the Indians were friendly and "seemed very willing to have us settle amongst them." The company sailed from Port Royal on July 9 and arrived at Charles Town on the 12th.

Subject Terms

    • Cape Fear River (N.C.)
    • Edisto Island (S.C.)
    • Kiawah Island (S.C.)
    • Indians of North America--South Carolina.
    • Port Royal (S.C.)
    • Saint Helena Island (S.C.)
    • South Carolina--Discovery and exploration.
    • South Carolina--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
    Genre Terms:
    • Reports.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    A Discovery of the Coasts, Islands, Rivers, Sounds, & Creeks of thatpart the Province of Carolina between Cape Romano and Port Royal by Joseph Woory,  1666 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    William Hilton, A Relation of a Discovery lately made on the Coast of Florida (London, 1664)

    A Brief Description of the Province of Carolina, On the Coasts of Florida, and More particularly of a New Plantation begun by the English at Cape-Feare... (London, 1666), which includes a map.

    Robert Sandford's manuscript account of the expedition is in the papers of the Earl of Shaftesbury, Public Record Office, London.