In a picturesque setting nestled along the Carolina coastline, lies one of America’s oldest and most beautiful cities. Charleston, South Carolina is richly laden with history and culture. From murderous pirates to the opening scene of the Civil War, each step down it’s cobblestone streets have their own story to tell. In the seventeenth century, Charles II of England granted 8 supporters the soil of Carolina. Under the direction of these 8 Lord Proprietors, Charles Towne was founded in 1670. Lord Shaftesbury, the proprietor with the greatest influence on Carolina, contributed many ideas on government and way of life. He is also known for creating the street plan which exists today.
With its great number of beautiful spires and steeples reaching from its churches towards the sky, Charles Towne was nicknamed “The Holy City.” It was notorious for its religious tolerance to all, including the French Huguenot’s and the Jews. Even today you can walk the streets and find a plethora of churches in this accepting community.
Charles Towne was almost too perfect with its wide open harbor creating easy access for trading with the rest of the world. Within 20 years, this booming town became one of the largest cities in North America. All types of trading took place bringing in exciting and unfamiliar products from the West Indies. As years passed, slaves arrived in astounding numbers and soon outnumbered the white populace. There was many a rumor of an uproar planned by a free black named Denmark Vesey. Predictably this caused much concern among the slave owners and long established citizens of Charleston. The dissenters were captured and jailed as to prevent what was most feared. Another scare for Charleston was the arrival of murderous pirates. Seeking to have part of Charles Towne’s newfound prosperity, they took at their own will and murdered those who blocked their way. The notorious Blackbeard the pirate was among these and eventually ended up being captured and killed by a small group of Virginians.
After the descent of the British in 1783, the European namesake Charles Towne was officially changed to Charleston. One of Charleston’s claims to fame is it’s being the setting of the opening battle of the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln sent word to South Carolina of his intention to send supplies to Fort Sumter. South Carolina believed this to be a trick and asked the commander of the fort to surrender. Shots were fired, inviting the beginning of an event that would change the nation forever.
When you come to visit Charleston, you will be transported back in time with every historic site you see. With its tree lined streets, majestic colonial estates, and century old plantations you will fall in love at first glance.
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