We truly love the rich history of Charleston! Thank you for the lesson!
Charleston, SC is one of the most beautiful cities in the US. It’s an enchanting place to visit and an even better place to live. The streets and front porches of Charleston are filled with rich history and culture, even to this day.
Charles Towne was colonized in 1670 by a group of English aristocrats. After a few squabbles with the Spanish, French, Native Americans and even pirates, the colonists built a wall around their precious city. All that remains of the original walled city is a preserved building across the Ashley River.
The heart of Charleston was relocated to the now present-day “Historic Charleston District”. This new location quickly became a popular port that aided in the success of rice and cotton plantations. Charleston quickly grew to become the richest city per capita south of Philadelphia, which in turn made the area a popular slave trade destination.
About one-third of the nation’s slaves came through Charleston and were sold at the market on the riverfront. The town also had a good-sized free black community and has always been a tolerant place for diversity.
To protest England’s Tea Act of 1773 (taxation without representation), Charleston confiscated and stored tea in Charleston’s “Exchange and Custom House”. A meeting was held at the Exchange to elect delegates to the Continental Congress, which was the group who drafted the Declaration of Independence.
The Civil War started on Charleston’s own doorstep. In 1860, South Carolina was the first southern state to vote for secession from the Federal Union. In 1861, Cadets from the Citadel Military College fired the first shots of the Civil War on a ship entering the Charleston harbor. After 34 straight hours of gunfire, Union forces surrendered Ft. Sumter.
In 1865, reinforced Union troops attacked Charleston and seized control of the city. After the eventual defeat of the Confederacy, Federal forces remained in Charleston during its reconstruction from war. Slaves were freed; the economy improved, and Charleston enjoyed renewed vitality.
This is but a glimpse into the rich and exciting history Charleston has. There are many guided historical tours offered—Walking tours, bus tours, carriage tours… and of course, the infamous ghost tours.
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