The Auction Sales of Enslaved Residents in Colonial Era Charleston

September 13, 2019

Charleston was once the most active marketplace for enslaved people in North America. While incoming Africans were usually sold from the decks of the vessels that brought them here, enslaved people who already lived and worked in the South Carolin...

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The Sales of Incoming Africans on the Wharves of Colonial Charleston

August 30, 2019

The entry of more than 150,000 African captives into the port of Charleston before the year 1808 forms one of the most important themes in the history of this community, but there are many local details about this international traffic in human ca...

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Indigo in the Fabric of Early South Carolina

August 16, 2019

Indigo—both as a plant and a dye—forms an important chapter in the early history of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Although its memory flourishes today in conversations and artistic expressions, lingering misconceptions have distorted our gene...

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The Evolution of Charleston’s Name

August 9, 2019

To commemorate the 236th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Charleston, let’s take a close look at the legal document that defined the new municipality. Our focus isn’t politics or policy, however, but spelling. The city’s 1783 ...

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The Charleston Baseball Riots of 1869

July 26, 2019

Baseball was young and a novelty across the nation in the summer of 1869. Charlestonians had only recently embraced the game, which provided a relaxing way to escape the city’s oppressively tense political climate. When sport, music, and racial ...

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The Velocipede Invasion of 1869

July 19, 2019

During the first half of 1869, the people of Charleston swooned rapturously over the arrival of the latest mechanical sensation called the velocipede. This precursor to the modern bicycle was heralded locally and around the globe as a revolution i...

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Policing Charleston during Queen Anne’s War, 1702-1713

July 12, 2019

In a short span of time during an international war, the South Carolina legislature enacted a succession of laws related to the policing of urban Charleston. It was a confusing period of law enforcement experimentation during a crucial era in the ...

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Declaring Independence in 1776 Charleston

July 5, 2019

On the Fourth of July, our nation commemorates the anniversary of the ratification of the fundamental document in the long history of the United States. On that date in 1776, our Continental Congress, a loose confederation of “united colonies”...

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Remembering the Battle of Sullivan’s Island

June 28, 2019

In 2018, the Palmetto Society invited me to deliver a speech at White Point Garden to commemorate the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, which took place on the 28th of June, 1776. For this year’s celebration of that histori...

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The historic landscape of the Wando Mount Pleasant Library

June 14, 2019

CCPL’s newest branch, located near the banks of the Wando River in Mount Pleasant, stands within a scenic neighborhood endowed with a rich but invisible history. Formerly occupied by Native Americans who disappeared more than three centuries ago...

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