Thursday, December 31, 2009

More on the War

Charleston has as much Revolutionary War history as it does Civil War history, a fact often lost on visitors. The first major victory for the Patriots occurred in Charles Town and the longest siege of any city during the war also took place here. Efforts are currently underway to have markers describing the siege lines at Marion Square, and I have written a guide book chronicling this exciting era in history. (The book was written in a format that enables the reader to walk along specified routes in the city, but it can also be read without venturing out on foot.) It is available at local stores or through my website, .

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


As in the other colonies, by the mid-1700s, many of the citizens of Charles Town had become disgruntled with the British crown, and revolution was in the air. In 1773, shortly after citizens in Boston hurled chests of English tea overboard from a merchant ship to protest the Stamp Act, a shipment of tea arrived in Charles Town. Citizens dared merchants to pay the tax and accept the tea, so it was eventually just removed from the ship and stored in the basement of the Old Exchange (or Customs House). Later, the tea was sold (without the accompanying British tax, of course), and the proceeds were used to fund the war effort locally.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Royal Colony

After 50 or so years of being governed by eight English businessmen, Carolina became a royal colony, making it one of the "13 original colonies." With protection from the king's army, invasion by the Spaniards and harrassment by pirates who had interfered with trade ceased to be a problem for the citizens of Charles Town, and the wall around the city began to come down. Charles Towne prospered immensely and was the wealthiest city in the colonies, stemming from its role as a primary seaport as well as the success of growing indigo and rice on nearby plantations.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Early Days

The official religion in Charles Town in the 1700s was Anglican, and those who practiced it called themselves Churchmen. Members of other Protestant denominations were called Dissenters but were allowed to practice their religion freely. Jews and Quakers were also granted religious tolerance; Roman Catholics were not given that right, however, in keeping with the politics of Mother England. Attending church on Sunday was required by law (although not enforced) and the Anglican Church had the authority to levy taxes.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Charleston 101 Walking Tour Intro

Welcome to the first edition of the Charleston 101 Walking Tour blog site. I hope you will enjoy reading about Charleston through this blog and will undoubtedly want to visit the "Holy City." Through the postings on this site, you will read bits and pieces of the information that you can hear first-hand on the actual Charleston 101 Walking Tour.

For beginners, did you know that Charles Town (now Charleston) was initially part of the vast colony of Carolina which, until 1721 encompassed all the land that is now the Southern half of the U.S.? This early colony was ruled by eight English businessmen rather than the British crown. Charles Town was often under attack by French and Spanish forces, since explorers from those countries had visited the area as early as the 1530s and considered the terrain their own. As a result, the English settlers in Charles Town erected a wall around their small city, making it the only British walled city in North America.