Record ID: 127

Site Name

Charleston, South Carolina

Type

Seaport - American

Description

Located on a low, narrow peninsula in Charleston Harbor, formed by the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers, 32�47'N 79�56'W.

Founded in 1680 and incorporated as a city in 1783. During 18th century, town was an active maritime center, exporting rice to Europe and foodstuffs and livestock to West Indies.

In the Revolutionary War, Charleston was defended successfully against the British in 1776 and 1779; however, the city was surrendered in 1780 to the British, who held it until 1782

The city was the scene of the first hostile act of the Civil War, the firing on Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861), not long after a S.C. convention had met here in Dec. 1860 and voted to secede from the Union. The city had its harbor blockaded by Union forces and was under siege for more than 2 years before it fell in Feb. 1865.

With forts (Moultrie/Sumter) protecting its inner harbor (Image Id: 1951)
With forts (Moultrie/Sumter) protecting its inner harbor (Image Id: 1951)

NOAA 11524. Forts Moultrie and Sumter guarding entrance to inner harbor. (Image Id: 1952)
NOAA 11524. Forts Moultrie and Sumter guarding entrance to inner harbor. (Image Id: 1952)

"A Plan of Charles Town from a Survey of Edward Crisp," 1704 (Image Id: 2016)
"A Plan of Charles Town from a Survey of Edward Crisp," 1704 (Image Id: 2016)

'View of Charles Town," by portrait painter Bishop Roberts, 1739 (Image Id: 2015)
'View of Charles Town," by portrait painter Bishop Roberts, 1739 (Image Id: 2015)