In Charleston

As we drive up South Carolina the historic plantations are a reminder of the history of the South. Our destination today is Charleston. The city has its weight in the history, it’s where the first shots of the civil war where fired. The city was a major hub in the slavery trade, importing 40% of the slaves to North America between 1700 and 1775. The majority of the population were slaves. The plantations and slavery economy made Charleston the wealthiest colony. Needless to say the city population was committed to slavery. So in 1860, after Lincoln became president, the State naturally voted to secede from the Union, they were the first ones to do so. And in 1861 the State militia started shooting at the US army. The first full battle was in April at Fort Sumter which was held by the Union, they surrendered. But the Civil War had just started.

Charleston welcomed a lot of Huguenots, hence the French Quarter in historic downtown. It also welcomed Irish, Scottish, Germans and Jews. The city still houses the largest and wealthiest Jewish community of America. We walked along the historic district all afternoon. The architecture is mainly antebellum, but with a twist. Charleston has its unique house architecture found nowhere else. The house is one room wide, two rooms deep and two levels high. On the right side the levels have a porch. The entry on the street is in fact only the entry to the porch. The entry to the house is in the middle of the first level. The stairs are at the back of the porch. I thought Charleston would look similar to Savannah, but this unique architecture and the palm trees make it look quite different. Out of the two, I prefer Savannah.