Charleston has a history that is as diverse as its residents. Charleston, South Carolina is the county seat of Charleston County, and the city is the second largest metropolitan area in the state. Situated between the Copper and Ashley Rivers, Charleston has become a port and harbor city that obtained a major role in the country’s naval history, especially during the Civil War.
Exploration And Settlement
When King Charles II regained the throne in England, he was not able to reward people who helped him with cash. In the mid-1660’s, he decided to give several former generals the title to the Carolina colony.
These generals, that were also called the Lords Proprietors, received The Fundamental Constitution of Carolina, and it was considered the basis for the first government in the colony.
In the early 1670’s, the settlers arrived at the bank of the Ashley River, and was able to begin establishing a settlement on the west bank. This settlement was named Charles Town, and it was named to honor King Charles II. However, over the next year, the settlement was moved in order to provide better defense. The settlement was eventually rebuilt at the top of the peninsula between the Copper and Ashley Rivers.
The Fundamental Constitution that was established helped to provide a climate for tolerance, and this affected the Charles Town settlement. As a result, there was a huge immigration influx into the settlement including groups like the Sephardic Jews and the French Huguenots, and the first taxpayer library in the settlement was built in 1700. It was also the first taxpayer supported library in the country.
In 1718, Blackbeard the pirate entered into the harbor with several other ships and took several hostages for ransom.
The British Crown decided that it wanted to have more control over the young colony, and it was reorganized as the Crown Colony in 1720. Nine years later, the original Lords Proprietors were bought out by King George, and the British Crown retained control until 1747.
The American Revolution
The settlement also played a major role in the American Revolution. Henry Middleton, was chosen as the First Continental Congress, and his home, the plantation Middleton Place. The plantation was home to several generations of prominent politicians in the state, and the plantation has now been recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
Charleston South Carolina has an extensive and deep history that extends to early colonization. It is this unique history that has shaped Charleston into the city it is today.