Street Auctions and Slave Marts in Antebellum Charleston

Street Auctions and Slave Marts in Antebellum Charleston

January 22, 2021

Boisterous and pathetic auctions of enslaved people were once a familiar sight in early Charleston that often clogged busy streets and sidewalks. As urban congestion increased and public scrutiny from anti-slavery advocates grew in the second quar...

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George Anson and Charles Codner: Gambling for Real Estate in 1735?

George Anson and Charles Codner: Gambling for Real Estate in 1735?

January 15, 2021

An old local legend says that George Anson acquired the land now called Ansonborough in a card game with Thomas Gadsden. While the documents related to their 1727 transaction contain no hint of a gambling debt, the circumstances surrounding anothe...

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The Other New Years: Regnal, Civil, and Personal

The Other New Years: Regnal, Civil, and Personal

January 8, 2021

The beginning of every January represents a fresh start as we begin a new year with hopes and goals for the coming months. This annual tradition is a well-established part of our modern culture, but it’s only one of a variety of other “new year” a...

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Top 10: Most popular stories from the Charleston Time Machine podcast

Top 10: Most popular stories from the Charleston Time Machine podcast

January 3, 2021

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Each week we take a trip through time in the Charleston Time Machine, traveling from point to point through history to examine the lesser known stories and the tales behind major events that helped shape Charleston. 

This week...

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The Christmas Treasure of 1744

The Christmas Treasure of 1744

December 18, 2020

In the 1740s, a fierce war raged among European superpowers for naval supremacy across the Atlantic world. Spanish and French vessels sought to paralyze ship traffic moving through the port of Charleston, but the British Navy and privateers patrol...

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The Destruction and Renewal of Charleston’s Street Trees, 1837–1865

The Destruction and Renewal of Charleston’s Street Trees, 1837–1865

December 11, 2020

Civic improvements like street paving and drainage upgrades sometimes require us to accept a few temporary hardships in order to enjoy future benefits. Such projects are often accompanied by conversations with our neighbors and public representati...

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Street Trees in Early Charleston: Fountains of Air and Shade

Street Trees in Early Charleston: Fountains of Air and Shade

December 4, 2020

The trees standing along the periphery of Charleston’s urban streets contribute greatly to the city’s beauty and historic atmosphere. We often take their stately presence for granted, but the street trees we see today haven’t always been there. Ou...

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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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