Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Charleston SC

Charleston, SC, a port of the United States, capital of the county of the same name, and the largest and chief commercial port of South Carolina. It is situate upon a tongue of land between the rivers Ashley and Cooper, which here form a spacious harbour of seven miles by about two, and land-locked on all sides except the entrance, which admits vessels of under 18 feet draught. The harbour is defended by Fort Sumter - of Civil war renown - and Fort Moultrie, and also has forts inside. The town, which has a water front of nine miles, is well laid out, and has two main avenues with cross-streets from river to river, and presents a very striking appearance from the harbour, as its buildings, owing to the flatness of the land, seem to rise out of the sea. North and south of the entrance are Sullivan's and Morris's islands, the former of which is a popular bathing place, and at the entrance is a lofty lighthouse. Charleston is of great commercial importance as the chief outlet for the cotton and rice of a large district, and there is also a large coasting trade in cotton, rice, phosphates for manure, and lumber, a large deposit of bone phosphate existing in the neighbourhood of the city. There are large rice, cotton, and other mills, and sulphuric acid is extensively manufactured; and there is a large wholesale trade in dry goods. Charleston is the seat of a Catholic and of an Episcopal bishopric, and the churches are numerous, as are also the schools and other places of education, among which is the state military academy. The city is well and elegantly laid out, has abundance of trees, and a good water supply from a deep artesian well. Founded by English settlers in 1680, the town was twice attacked unsuccessfully by the British forces during the War of Independence, and was finally taken in 1780 and held for two years. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the first overt act in the Civil war, and after its surrender the Confederates held the city till 1865, when they evacuated it, after setting fire to all the important buildings, upon the advance of General Sherman.