Nonprofit brings attention to 1st American capital

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, may be dubbed America's birthplace, but North America's first colonial capital was actually established four decades earlier — and 400 miles away — in South Carolina.

A Beaufort-based nonprofit is working to give the Spanish town of Santa Elena its proper due and resume archaeological digs at the Parris Island site, thereby attracting tourists. The effort corresponds with a federal initiative to highlight Hispanic heritage sites.

Even in South Carolina, student American history books essentially skip from Christopher Columbus to the 1607 settlement of Jamestown.

The nonprofit Santa Elena Foundation plans to open an exhibit that tells of Santa Elena and its role in the European struggle for control of North America.

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