Planning Charleston’s First “Fortress,” 1695–1696

Planning Charleston’s First “Fortress,” 1695–1696

November 20, 2020

Charleston was a small, defenseless settlement when King William III declared war on France in 1689, and the inhabitants feared for their safety. The earliest surviving legislative discussion of fortifying the nascent port town commenced in the au...

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The Genesis of East Bay Street: Charleston’s First Wharf, 1680–1696

The Genesis of East Bay Street: Charleston’s First Wharf, 1680–1696

November 13, 2020

It may surprise some to learn that Charleston’s historic East Bay Street wasn’t originally a street. Rather, it began as a public wharf or quay adjacent to the tidal mudflats of the Cooper River. Its physical characteristics were not especially co...

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Charleston’s Contested Election of 1868

Charleston’s Contested Election of 1868

November 6, 2020

What happens when a politician refuses to concede defeat and won’t leave office? That timely question isn’t new to the American experience, and Charleston’s own political history contains a colorful example of this legal conundrum. More than one h...

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The Decline of Voter Suppression in South Carolina, 1900–1965

The Decline of Voter Suppression in South Carolina, 1900–1965

October 30, 2020

During the first half of the twentieth century, South Carolina’s political landscape was controlled by a single party of conservative White men who manipulated the state’s legal framework to silence dissenting voices. The campaign to dismantle bar...

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The Rise of Voter Suppression in South Carolina, 1865–1896

The Rise of Voter Suppression in South Carolina, 1865–1896

October 23, 2020

The right to vote, which is enshrined in the United States Constitution, affords citizens the opportunity to express their political views. In post-Civil War South Carolina, however, White conservatives regarded suffrage as a privilege that the st...

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South Carolina’s War Against Beasts of Prey, 1693–1790

South Carolina’s War Against Beasts of Prey, 1693–1790

October 9, 2020

Modern discussions about the conservation of South Carolina’s natural wildlife tend to focus on the protection of animals and habitats that have declined over the generations as a result of human encroachment. In contrast, we hear less about the c...

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Recall Their Names: The Personal Identity of Enslaved South Carolinians

Recall Their Names: The Personal Identity of Enslaved South Carolinians

October 2, 2020

The enslaved people of early South Carolina bore a variety of names, many of which were not of their own choosing. Combing through documents from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we find a robust record of the personal names applied to man...

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Nicholas Trott’s Forgotten Charleston Residence

Nicholas Trott’s Forgotten Charleston Residence

September 25, 2020

Nicholas Trott was the most prolific author and premiere legal scholar in colonial South Carolina, but his house and the memory of its location disappeared more than two centuries ago. A trail of small clues led to the rediscovery of its location,...

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The Myth of “Trott’s Cottage”

The Myth of “Trott’s Cottage”

September 18, 2020

In a quaint brick structure recessed from the south side of Cumberland Street once lived one of the most famous South Carolinians of the colonial era, Chief Justice Nicholas Trott—so says a century’s worth of tourist literature and newspaper copy....

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The Advent of Black Suffrage in South Carolina

The Advent of Black Suffrage in South Carolina

September 11, 2020

Modern conversations about the legacy of voter discrimination in South Carolina politics tend to focus on the civil-rights struggles of the mid-twentieth century, but the roots of this important issue lie much deeper in the past. Founded on import...

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