St. Helena Island is a sea island in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The island is connected to Beaufort by US Highway 21 and is about 8 miles northwest. The area is known for having character of low country and a center for African-American Gullah culture. As a part of the exploration and colonization of these Sea Islands, Port Royal was established as the center of the area and at one time was the capital of the entire Spanish colony of Florida. Rice, indigo, cotton, and spices were many of the things that were originally grown on these islands and was inhabited by many Native Americans as well as slaves. The mixture of culture and separation from the mainland produced the Gullah culture. President Lincoln called for a blockade on Confederate Ports and when Beaufort was overtaken, slaves were eventually liberated. Even though this island is very close to the ocean, there is actually no frontage on the Atlantic in this area.