Paul E. Hoffman


With the first light of Monday, June 24, 1521, Pedro de Quexo and Francisco Gordillo discovered a new land which they named the Land of St. John the Baptist in honor of the saint whose feast day it was. Entering a river, later called the Jordan for the same reason, they established contact with a village or native group called “Chicora.“ Thus began the Chicora Legend, a legend that ultimately described the land of Chicora as a new Andalusia, a land abounding in timber, vines, native olive trees, Indians, pearls, and, at a distance inland, perhaps gold and silver. Flowing through this land was a great river, so wide and deep that it could be described as a “gulf” reaching deep into the land. This vision of Chicora and its river moved Spaniards and Frenchmen during the next sixty years to explore and attempt to settle along the coast of the present-day Carolinas.