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Charleston Stories

Archive: Feb 2014

ROBERT SMALLS – 1839 – 1915


Although born and raised a slave, Robert Smalls became the most famous African-American Charlestonian during the Civil War. Robert was born slave in Beaufort, S.C. and went on to become a most talented ship pilot. His talents were needed in Charleston during the Civil War and his owner, a Mr. McKee, sent Robert to work…

The Second Presbyterian Church


Situated on one of the highest points in the City, “The Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston and Its Suburbs”, was completed on April 3, 1811 in order to accommodate the growing congregation of the First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, which itself was founded in 1731 and had outgrown its house of worship. Conceived in In 1809,…

The Great Charleston Fire of 1861


On the evening of December 11, 1861, as a cold front bearing high winds swept into Charleston from the northeast, a fire started near the intersection of East Bay and Hasell Streets, about where Harris-Teeter is now located. The origin is not for certain, but many accounts attribute it to some slave refugees who had…