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The expedition produced the earliest written historical records of the area, which was part of the regional Cofitachequi chiefdom.
From the creation of Columbia by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1786, the site of Columbia was important to the overall development of the state.
John Taylor, the first elected intendant, later served in both houses of the General Assembly, both houses of Congress, and eventually as governor.
In 1801, South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) was founded in Columbia. The city was chosen as the site of the institution in part to unite the citizens of the Upcountry and the Lowcountry and to discourage the youth from migrating to England for their higher education.
At the time, South Carolina sent more young men to England than did any other state.
It lies at the confluence of the Saluda River and the Broad River, which merge at Columbia to form the Congaree River.
Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina, the state's flagship university and the largest in the state, and is also the site of Fort Jackson, the largest United States Army installation for Basic Combat Training.