TMCnet News

[May 10, 2022]


BEAUFORT, S.C., May 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- After Daryl Ferguson retired as president of Citizens Utilities, a Fortune 500 Company in the 1990's, he was shocked when a local historian told him, "There is a 16th century (1569) Spanish town under 6 inches of soil on Parris Island, S.C." Ferguson's response was, "How is that possible?  We have all been taught that the English first settled our country at Plymouth in 1621?" With the help of two of our nation's top historians, Ferguson spent eight years researching the question. This month he releases his surprising answers in American Conquistador, published by Fragata Publishing. 


Ferguson's book is full of historical surprises.  The first is that Spain landed on the southeast coast that is now referred to as Hilton Head Island, and Port Royal Sound in August of 1526. That's almost 100 years before the English landed at Plymouth, Mass.  By 1529 Spain plaed one name on their sailing maps .  .  . the Punta Santa Elena. The "Punta" was Hilton Head Island. The "Santa Elena" part of the name was the large harbor behind it. . . Port Royal Sound.  This area was strategically important to both Spain and France. To Spain, it was at a vulnerable location.  Its treasure fleets had to pass this point before they turned east to return to Spain. That made it equally important to France because they knew that if they could control the Punta, they could ambush Spain's treasure armada.

This book-of-surprises does not stop there. Ferguson discovered a document signed by Spain's King in 1557 that said, "I want my first North American settlement to be located on the Punta Santa Elena." Then his research uncovered a story that appears to be more exciting than the movie, Saving Private Ryan.  Two prominent leaders, one from a wealthy noble family in France, and another from a peasant family in Spain, organized a cross-Atlantic race between their two countries. That race would literally determine which country, France or Spain, would have the first opportunity to control North America. 

Due to a hurricane, Spain, and Pedro Menendez, lost the race.  But through some of the most out-of-the-box military tactics by Menendez, Spain won the war. They became the first country to establish a European settlement on North American soil in 1569.  They called this first settlement. . .  Santa Elena. Today it is languishing on Parris Island under six inches of largely undisturbed soil.  Unfortunately, the Commandant of the Marine Corp has literally ignored this national historic landmark. While it may be one of our nation's most important archaeological sites, most visitors will walk along a dirt path that is often flooded by high tides. They will see very little except grass, weeds, and plastic bottles. 

For additional contact information: Dr. Daryl Arden Ferguson
E-mail: [email protected]   Website:                  
Telephone: 843-644-1199

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SOURCE Fragata Publishing

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