Benne Seeds in the Lowcountry

August 10, 2018

For most folks in the Lowcountry, the word “benne” brings to mind images of benne wafers, those small, sugary, brown discs that you’ll find in local shops marketed as one of Charleston’s signature treats, if not the signature treat of the ...

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The Watch House: South Carolina’s First Police Station, 1701–1725

August 3, 2018

South Carolina’s first police station was a brick “Watch House” constructed around 1701 at the intersection of Broad and East Bay Streets in Charleston. Built to shelter both the town’s nocturnal watchmen and the lawbreakers they caught on...

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I am the Trickster: The Resurrection and Burial of Charles Barker Nixon

July 27, 2018

After last week’s cliffhanger, we now return to the story of Charles Barker Nixon, a traveling magician and escape artist who came to Charleston in 1876 to be buried alive for the amusement of a crowd of spectators. This week we’ll witness his...

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The Slippery Enchanter of 1876: Charles Barker Nixon

July 20, 2018

Charles Barker Nixon, an itinerate magician who once styled himself “the Slippery Man,” came to Charleston in the summer of 1876 to present the most elaborate and dangerous illusion of his career. Over the course of a few weeks, this flamboyan...

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Demilitarizing Urban Charleston, 1783–1789

July 13, 2018

For the first century of its existence, the urban landscape of Charleston was dominated by an evolving ring of fortifications designed to protect the city against potential invasion by Spanish, French, and later British forces. Our provincial legi...

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The Men who Built St. Michael’s Church, 1752–1754

July 6, 2018

You’ve probably heard by now that on June 19th, 2018, Charleston’s City Council adopted a resolution “recognizing, denouncing, and apologizing on behalf of the City of Charleston for the city’s role in regulating, supporting, and fostering...

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Too-la-Loo for the Fourth of July

June 29, 2018

It’s that time of year when people across the United States celebrate Independence Day on the fourth day of July, the anniversary of our nation’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. All across America, the Fourth of July means fire...

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The story of Carolina Day

June 22, 2018

Today we’re going to travel back in Lowcountry history to explore the genesis and legacy of a public holiday called “Carolina Day.” Celebrated on the 28th of June every year since 1777, Carolina Day commemorates an important battle that took...

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The Night Watch of Colonial Charleston, Part 2: 1696–1701

June 15, 2018

Today I’m going to continue a thread that I started a few weeks ago (see the episode published on May 18th, 2018), concerning the early history of Charleston’s police department, which was known simply as “the watch” in the city’s first ...

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Fish and Fishermen in 1888 Charleston

June 8, 2018

It’s summertime in the Lowcountry, and the fish are jumping. Seafood season is definitely here, even if the shrimp are running a bit late this year. Fishing has been a big part of our community’s history since, well, long before Europeans and ...

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