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Port Royal was founded in 1721 as Charles Town at the head of navigation on the Port Royal Sound. It became a major city in colonial South Carolina, a seaport and center for trade and military activity. The town's population was majority African American from its founding until after the Civil War, when freedmen moved to towns across Beaufort County during Reconstruction. In 1883-84, Port Royal annexed Parris Island (which had been purchased by the federal government for use as a naval station) and built jetties at its harbor entrance that are still used by ships entering today; they were completed in 1914 with construction of an additional jetty on Hilton Head Island's north side. The former capital city has many historic buildings dating back to before U.