So Fine a Beach: Peter Horry's Summer of 1812



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Horry is South Carolina's largest county and the home of the internationally known Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach, but the reading public knows very little about the person after whom it is named. There is no biography of Peter Horry, not even an essay of any length. For nearly two hundred years, when professional historians noticed him at all, they paused for a few humorous and embarrassing anecdotes and ignored the several ways he earned considerable historical significance. Invariably, they got his dates wrong. Even the modest stone at his grave is incorrectly marked.

In 1812, Peter Horry reckoned that he was born on March 12, 1743 or 1744, in what is now Georgetown County. He came from Huguenot stock a descendent of Elias, the original Horry who fled France for the religious freedom of colonial South Carolina. Peter always regretted that his family did not return him to the old country for an education, and what learning he got came at a free school established by the Winyaw Indigo Society. He also retained bad memories of his days as a youth apprenticed to a Georgetown merchant. Conditions were horrible, and he might have run away, had not his aunt, Magdeline Horry Trapier, helped him.

"Even now," he wrote of the experience, "tho 50 years have Passed, I feel what I cannot describe." Peter's family developed rice plantations on the North, or "French," Santee and on Winyaw Bay. Eventually he possessed four plantations, the best known of which is Belle Isle, now a marina and community south of Georgetown. Dover and Prospect Hill adjoined Belle Isle, and Cove plantation was on the Santee.


This series was made possible through the generous support of HTC, the Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc.


Coastal Carolina University--Periodicals;Lecture--Series;Horry, P. (Peter);Talbert, Roy, Jr.


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So Fine a Beach: Peter Horry's Summer of 1812