Florence O'Sullivan, the soldier, was on the first voyage into the Carolina Colony in 1670. He was originally from Kinsale, Co. Cork and had lived in Barbados and in St. Margaret, Westminster, London prior to settling in the Carolina Colony. He was appointed surveyor of the Colony by Lords Proprietors, was appointed to the Council and the Assembly and also acted as deputy to Sir Peter Colleton. He arrived with indentured servants William Bevin, John Dale, Elizabeth Dimmock, Brian Fitzpatrick, John Mare, John Scott, Teigue Shugeron, Daniel Sullivan, and George White. Brian Fitzpatrick, became a landowner in his own right following his indenture.
By 1673, O'Sullivan had been replaced by John Culpepper as surveyor, owing to numerous complaints. However, he served in the Militia from 1672-76 and as Commissioner of Public Accounts 1682-3. A total of two thousand four hundred acres along the Ashley River had been confirmed to him by 1680. After 1683, it has not been possible to find information readily about O'Sullivan. It is possible that he returned to Barbados. Sullivan's Island, once the quarantine place for enslaved people upon arrival in South Carolina and now a modern day wealthy suburb of Charleston, is named for him.
St. Julien Childs, 'The First South Carolinians' in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, 71:2 (April 1970), pp 101-8.
Patrick Melvin, 'Captain Florence O'Sullivan and the origins of South Carolina' in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, 76:4 (Oct. 1975), pp 235-249.
Arthur Mitchell, South Carolina Irish, (Charleston, 2011).
Martine Brennan (Curator)
Enslavement to citizenship: African Americans in Irish Slaveholder records by Martine Brennan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.