We have already seen how the government of Carolina began legally discourging race-mixing among the lowest class in the colony in the early 1700s. This arose as a response by colonial elites to social conditions created by the mixed labor system employed by masters before rice cultivation and Black slavery became entirely dominant in the Lowcountry.
Dr. Peter Wood in his book Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion (1974) writes that four years after the above law was passed the government acted to discourage free Blacks from living in the colony where they might mix with Whites or complicate and begin to break down the racial system:
Beyond the terms of manumission arranged between individual masters and servants, the government gradually imposed constraints of its own. Colonies which relied increasingly upon black slaves looked with growing disfavor upon free Negroes. In 1723 Virginia deprived them of the right to vote or possess firearms and imposed a discriminatory tax. Likewise, in South Carolina, where free Negroes had occasionally voted, directions for electing representatives to the Assembly made it explicit in 1721 that only “free White men” meeting the age and property qualifications could participate. The Negro Act passed the following year required that any freed slaves must leave the province within twelve months of receiving manumission or else forfeit their freedom, and a similar statute in 1735 added the provision that slaves manumitted “for any particular merit or service” who should return to the colony within seven years would also lose their freedom. The major Negro Act passed in 1740 after the Stono Rebellion relegated all criminal cases against free Negroes to the same second-class judicial process designed for slaves. It also made clear that any further manumissions were to depend upon a special act of the Assembly. Although this policy may not have been perfectly observed, individual grants of freedom remained scarce until the Revolutionary era, so that Negroes of free status do not appear ever to have exceeded 1 per cent of the black population during the half century when South Carolina was a royal colony. (During the 1760s, for example, there were never as many as two hundred free Negroes registered in the entire region.) Under the proprietorship before 1720 the few legally free blacks may have represented a slightly larger proportion of the Negro population, but their daily existence in the frontier colony could not have been dramatically different in many ways from that of their slave brothers.
This measure was greatly successful then. Miscegenation and the practice of masters freeing their favorite slaves would have created a large racially-mixed caste in the long-run as it did in the Caribbean and Brazil. It would have likely diluted the Whiteness of the average South Carolinian and created conditions favorable to revolution or the eventual breakdown of the racial system, endangering the colony.
What we see in studying the history of rhe evolution of White supremacy in Carolina is that the elites became increasingly aware of their White identity (as opposed to simply their national identity) and took steps to preserve it among all classes and strengthen the racial caste system which was developing. As the plantation system became dominant in the early to mid 1700s, race and identity became inseperable in Carolina.
NOTE: Here is a video I made back in 2013 of the Butler Island Plantation in Darien, Georgia. It was one of the largest rice plantations in Dixie and is now a beautiful park to visit.
Coastal Georgia was flooded by Carolinians after the dying colony gave up on liberalism and embraced slavery and the plantation system – which quickly made it wealthy like its neighbor.