As was the case in other Colonial towns, such as New York, NY, Newport, Rhode Island, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first Jews of Carolina were Sephardim. Many of them became successful merchants. In fact, some credit London-born Moses Lindo for making Charleston (then Charle's Town) a center of the indigo trade. The plant, which is the source of a very specific dye, grows well in South Carolina.
While still in London, he noticed the high quality of the Carolina indigo. In 1756, he crossed the ocean, became an indigo planter and built up a significant supply of indigo. In 1762, Lindo was appointed “Surveyor and Inspector General of Indigo, Drugs and Dye.” In this position, he established a quality grading system for indigo and made it a major export of Charleston, South Carolina. A highly respected businessman, Lindo remained in office until he resigned in 1772. He died two years later.
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