Captain Thomas Hayward’s Poetic Description of 1769 Charles Town

Captain Thomas Hayward’s Poetic Description of 1769 Charles Town

April 16, 2021

April is National Poetry Month, a fitting time to explore the history of a well-known poem with a puzzling past. This famously bold verse from 1769 contains a diverse and sarcastic description of Charleston that is preserved in a single manuscript...

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Granville Bastion and the Unfinished Fort of 1697

Granville Bastion and the Unfinished Fort of 1697

April 9, 2021

After the South Carolina General Assembly resolved in the spring of 1696 to build a brick fortification in Charleston at the east end of Broad Street, a series of revisions enacted during the following year altered both its location and its design...

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Charleston County’s Mobile Library Service, 1931–2021

Charleston County’s Mobile Library Service, 1931–2021

April 2, 2021

The idea of packing books into a vehicle for distribution predates the automobile, but mobile library collections became a reality in Charleston County during the golden age of the motor car. Since the first gasoline-powered bookmobiles hit the ro...

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The Bowling Green: Recreational Space in Colonial Charleston

The Bowling Green: Recreational Space in Colonial Charleston

March 26, 2021

Modern Charleston County includes a large number of public parks and recreational sites at which citizens can gather and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. We take such amenities for granted today, but their profusion is a relatively recent de...

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The Fall of Charles Shinner, Irish Chief Justice of South Carolina

The Fall of Charles Shinner, Irish Chief Justice of South Carolina

March 19, 2021

Chief Justice Charles Shinner garnered prestige and wealth during his first several years in South Carolina, but the enforcement of a controversial British law in late 1765 triggered a tidal wave of political resistance that undermined his career ...

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The Rise of Charles Shinner, Irish Chief Justice of South Carolina

The Rise of Charles Shinner, Irish Chief Justice of South Carolina

March 12, 2021

The last six years in the life of Charles Shinner (ca. 1710–1768) unfolded like the plot of a Dickens novel: An obscure, middle-aged Irish lawyer assisted a wealthy English client, whose influential family nominated him for a prestigious post in a...

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Freedom Won and Lost: The Story of Catherine in Antebellum Charleston, Part 1

Freedom Won and Lost: The Story of Catherine in Antebellum Charleston, Part 1

February 19, 2021

In the early days of the nineteenth century, a trio of French immigrants living in urban Charleston agreed to reward a hard-working enslaved woman named Catherine by allowing her to purchase her own freedom. After laboring diligently within the ci...

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Doctor Caesar and His Antidote for Poison in 1750

Doctor Caesar and His Antidote for Poison in 1750

February 12, 2021

In the spring of 1750, the South Carolina General Assembly purchased the freedom of an enslaved man known as Doctor Caesar, who possessed life-saving medical knowledge. In return for his emancipation, Caesar divulged to a committee of White legisl...

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'An Undeniable Possession of Talent': James Henry Conyers of Charleston

February 5, 2021

James Henry Conyers is not a well-known figure in the history of South Carolina, but his brief experience as the first man of color to enter the U.S. Naval Academy in 1872 places his name on an eternal list of brave individuals who pushed against ...

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The State Flag of South Carolina: A Banner of Hope and Resilience

The State Flag of South Carolina: A Banner of Hope and Resilience

January 29, 2021

The recent publication of a report about the state flag of South Carolina had inspired many citizens to express their displeasure with proposed changes to its design. The Palmetto State has one of the most recognizable flags in the nation, and no ...

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