Among the many European explorers to chart the Cape Fear River was William Hilton, Jr. An early settler of the Puritan's Massachusetts Bay Colony, Hilton explored the Cape Fear Region in 1662 and again in 1663. One year later, Hilton published his observations about the Carolina coastline as A Relation of a Discovery Lately Made on the Coast of Florida. This audio is taken from Hilton's book.
Based on his exploration, a settlement called Charles Towne was established on the western bank of the Cape Fear River along Town Creek. Although this original Charles Towne settlement failed, a later Charles Town founded south of Bald Head would prove successful, today known as Charleston. Hilton Head Island is named after William Hilton, Jr.