Pride of the south

Charleston Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 26 › view all entries

I am finally here one of my main aims with my trip. The legendary city of Charleston. Ok maybe Charleston is not the sole home of the true south - given Gone with the Wind actually takes place in Georgia. But Atlanta got burned during the war hence Charleston is the best preserved city in the south. And this city too has been a centre piece of the history of the south.

 

Charleston is one of the oldest and biggest cities in the entire south. And the city is full of historic houses - most of the USA got little history but Charleston got nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to history - it got more historic houses than most European cities.

Washington spent time in this house during his visit to Charleston in 1791.
When I walk around my own hometown of Copenhagen I will rarely see houses older than 200 years because the city has been burned and bombed repeatedly during its history and there is simply not a lot left from before 1807 when the British bombed the city. In Charleston a house from 1807 would be considered a new house compared with the rest in the historic district. And a house from 1750s is nothing you will take special notice of - no they need to be from 1600 if they shall attract attention because of their age.

 

Charleston has also had a significant role in the history of the USA as a big port it was a natural point attracting a lot of trade and people from early stage and it used to be the big port of the south and the capital of South Carolina before the capital were moved to Columbia as a compromise.

Miles Brewton house built 1765-1769
During the Civil War South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union just after Lincoln won the election. Just in the harbor outside Charleston is Fort Sumter where the first shoot of the Civil War were fired against the Union troops holding the fort. After a short battle the Union troops surrendered given they could not get supplies they had no other choice. You can get out and visit the fort but you need to be at the ferry at a certain time - and guess what I wasn’t.

 

Well it doesn’t really matter because Charleston is by far the most interesting of all the southern cities to go round and explore. The next house always seems to be just a bit nicer than the one you have just seen. And down at the battery at the sea front you will find some of the best houses in the entire south.

 

As I walk along the streets suddenly I see a house with a very unusual fence - it is made of all iron but the top of it looks more like something you would use in a war than put on a fence around your house.

Fence to prevent attack from slaves around Miles Brewton's house
The reason for the strange fence can be found in the history of the demographics of Charleston. During the early 1800 the slaves made up the majority of the populations in and around Charleston. Hence the whites feared the slaves might join an uprising against slavery and raid the houses in Charleston - therefore some house fence were build like a defense against slaves attacking. There was never any major slave uprising in the south but the fear was ever present.

 

I walk on and meet a nice elder lady who is taking care of the leafs on the street in front of her house. She is a really nice person and tells a bit about her life and her family’s life in Charleston they had been there for ages and her family included former generals and they used to have 10 plantations before the war but they had to sell of 9 to cover the taxes on the last - the war did hit the old families in the south very hard in the end - many losing everything. But fortunately Charleston was not burned down during the war hence it is a real gem this day giving a perfect impression of the old south.

yheleen says:
a keen observer and a historian in one ;)
Posted on: Nov 24, 2008
Andy99 says:
You had a beautiful day for your visit to Charleston. Nice blog!
Posted on: Oct 27, 2008
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Washington spent time in this hous…
Washington spent time in this hou…
Miles Brewton house built 1765-1769
Miles Brewton house built 1765-1769
Fence to prevent attack from slave…
Fence to prevent attack from slav…
One of the last two lower income h…
One of the last two lower income …
And the second low income house
And the second low income house
They know how to build and entranc…
They know how to build and entran…
Gas light in front of a building
Gas light in front of a building
A general at the batery
A general at the batery
Thomas Bees house from around 173…
Thomas Bee's house from around 17…
Alexander Christies house from 1805
Alexander Christies house from 1805
Thomas Legare house from 1759
Thomas Legare house from 1759
Thomas Roses house from approx 17…
Thomas Rose's house from approx 1…
Calhoon ¨Mansion
Calhoon ¨Mansion
William Bulls house 1720
William Bulls house 1720
Fence to prevent attack from slave…
Fence to prevent attack from slav…
Fence to prevent attack from slave…
Fence to prevent attack from slav…
Fence to prevent attack from slave…
Fence to prevent attack from slav…
Fence to prevent attack from slave…
Fence to prevent attack from slav…
Charleston
photo by: denisx