The Santee Delta Waters & Voices


Every day people drive across the Santee Delta, unaware of the bountiful natural resources and complex history surrounding them. Bob Raynor paints a portrait of the fertile grounds that fostered the development of tidal rice culture with an enslaved labor force to carry out brutal and often fatal work. Raynor utilizes his personal investigations on the water and on foot to highlight the Delta’s crucial role in the environmental and economic development of South Carolina. The Santee Delta: Waters and Voices takes an in-depth exploration of this area through a narrative, including the storytelling of historical events and Raynor’s experiences in this fascinating Lowcountry world.

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About the Author

Bob Raynor’s first book, Exploring Bull Island: Sailing and Walking Around a South Carolina Sea Island, published in 2005, combined his interests in adventure, natural history, and the human history of the Lowcountry. In a similar approach, his second work, Tracing the Cape Romain Archipelago, expanded his fieldwork and research to the entire Cape Romain area. As part of the research for the current work, Raynor initiated, coordinated, and was the interviewer for the oral history project Voices of The Santee Delta, archived at the Lowcountry Digital Library. He has regularly posted on his blog Raynor on the Coast for over a dozen years “Exploring the Lowcountry and Beyond.”


“A resilient people on a severe, opulent, beautiful land: Bob Raynor gives us

a view of South Carolina’s Santee River Delta as broad and complex as the

place itself. And his rich, engaging travelogue style is as pleasing as the best

around. Read this one!”

William P. Baldwin, author of “Inland Passages”


“This book is as movingly evocative as it is deeply informative. Bob Raynor

brings the same deep sensitivity to the people of the Santee Delta as he does

its waterways and marshlands, as well as what remains of its rice fields and

ancient swamp forests. The sound of the region’s waterways rings as clearly in

Raynor’s writing as the voices of the people he documents through oral history


Kerry Taylor, Associate Professor of History, the Citadel


“Bob Raynor takes us along on his journey through the Santee Delta, one of

South Carolina’s treasures. Along the way, he provides details on the history, the

people, and nature of this unique place. But most of all, his book resonates a

love for this rich, wild, and pristine place with hopes that it remains so.”

Martha Zierden, Curator of Historical Archaeology, the Charleston Museum

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