Beaufort ~ History of Indigo in Beaufort’s Sea Islands

Event Details

Margaret Pickett

Explore the History of Indigo in Beaufort’s Sea Islands

Noted teacher and historian Margaret Pickett will present a lecture titled “The history of Indigo in Beaufort’s Sea Islands” at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, September 17, at the Beaufort Branch Library, located at 311 Scott Street.  This is the first lecture in the Beaufort History Museum/Beaufort County Library 2019 Fall Local History Series.

Admission to the lecture is free.  A donation of $5 is suggested and reservations are required.  To sign up visit the BHM website at Please print out the ticket and bring to the event.  Registration opens September 2.  (Lectures sell out.  Those with tickets will be admitted first.)  Funds collected will be used to support ongoing Museum programs and the Phase II renovation of the Exhibit Hall currently underway. Phase I of the renovation opened last year.

Margaret (Peggy) Pickett is the co-director of Pickett Educational Resources, an independent researcher, author and living history presenter.  In addition to developing and presenting history programs for schools, she has researched and created programs in which she portrays women of the past.

Her current portrayals include Eliza Lucas Pinckney, Dorothy Sinkler Richardson and Rebecca Motte.  She is the co-author of The European Struggle to Settle North America 1521 – 1608 and the author of Eliza Lucas Pinckney Colonial Plantation Manager and Mother of American Patriots, 1722 – 1793.

At the lecture she will talk about the history of indigo in South Carolina and how it affected the sea islands around Beaufort. Indigo was a very important and lucrative crop because the blue dye extracted from the plants was in high demand. In 1744 Eliza Lucas Pinckney sent a sample of indigo she had developed on her father’s plantation to England where it was said to be as good as the indigo produced by the French in their island colonies in the West Indies.  Indigo soon became a valuable export for Carolina planters. Its cultivation and processing as dye produced one-third the total value of the colony’s exports before the Revolutionary War. Manager of three plantations, Pinckney had a major influence on the colonial economy.

The Beaufort County Library System is a free and accessible center of ideas, information, and resources that foster learning, community, and literacy. The Library provides open and guided access to a wide variety of media and programs to inform, inspire, and empower people in their pursuit of lifelong learning, personal enrichment, and cultural understanding.

Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal at 713 Craven Street, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.  The Museum’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.   Information on other events, Docent Training classes, volunteer opportunities and membership may be found on the website and by visiting the Museum’s Facebook page.