BLTC Press Titles

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The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely

Memoir of James Petigru Boyce, D.D., LL.D.

by John Albert Broadus


i The rivers of South Carolina mostly retain their Indian names, as Santee, Pedee, Wateree, Congaree, Enoree, Edisto, Ashepoo, Salnda, etc. So the two rivers here mentioned were called Etiwan and Kiawah, but streams, and after their union the bay winds its way out for some seven miles southeastward to the ocean, with islands on either side that produce a picturesque effect, besides affording great facilities for defence. Sullivan's Island, on the northeastern side of the bay, has long been the seat of summer homes for some of the citizens. Here is situated Fort Moultrie, successor to that palmetto fort which in 1776 resisted the bombardment of the British fleet, and fairly drove it away. The cannon-balls might penetrate into the palmetto logs, but their peculiar toughness of texture received and held the iron masses, without weakening the fortification. On the other side of the harbor lie James's Island and Morris Island, which became so famous during the recent war. Between Morris and Sullivan's Island, upon a shoal in the harbor, and covering the main channel, is Fort Sumter, which was first built when James P. Boyce was a child, but in fact was not entirely completed when it became the theatre of the celebrated bombardment and defence.1 On a smaller shoal and much nearer to the city is the little fort called Castle Pinckney. The two rivers, the inner harbor, and the narrow straits that separate the islands from the mainland and from each other, are admirably adapted to boating and fishing; and all the coast region formerly abounded in game, attracting the vigorous huntsman, with his gun and dogs. The city is very healthy, for those who are acclimated, as the heat in summer is delightfully tempered by the sea-breeze. The average mortality is far less — as also in most of the cities on our southern coast-—than in the great cities of the North. Occasional outbursts of

afterwards received the two names of Sir Ashley Cooper. Gilmore Simms has a novel called " The Cacique of Kiawah."

i See "The Defence of Charleston Harbor (1863-1865)," by Rev. John Johnson, who was Confederate Major of Engineers in charge of Fort Sumter, and has given us an admirable book. Charleston: Walker, Evans, & Cogswell Co.

yellow fever, brought from the West Indies, impress the imagination of people at a distance like some great railway or steamboat accident, while yet travel by steamer or rail is on the average far safer than by private conveyance. The diseases produced by extreme cold in northern regions are much more destructive to life than those produced by extreme heat, — a fact which reminds us that all the earliest seats of civilization were in hot countries. The wealthier people of Charleston and all the adjacent coast region could in summer cross at pleasure to Sullivan's Island and other cool spots on the bay, or could journey in their private carriages to Caesar's Head, Flat Rock, or Asheville, in the mountains of North Carolina, or far away to the White Sulphur and other springs in the Virginia mountains, where South Carolinians used to be very numerous, or could go by sea to Saratoga and Newport, or across to Europe. Thus they possessed a rare combination of advantages for health and every higher gratification. The planters who produced "sea-island" cotton, the long staple of which was so much better adapted than "uplands " to the manufacture of all the finer fabrics, and thus commanded a greatly higher price, were better off than the owners of a gold-mine. Besides the summer journeys above mentioned, many of them would spend part of the winter in spacious and hospitable establishments which they maintained in Charleston, or in Columbia, the capital of the State, where they formed a ruling element in legislation and government. Every low-country parish had its separate senator, and the districts a much larger proportionate representation in the lower house than had been assigned by the old and still unchanged legislation to the up-country districts. In a word, the wealthy planters around and the wealthy citizens of Charleston constituted an aristocracy, with all the good and ill attaching to such a social condition. It is the fashion now in our country and in most countries to have only words of scorn for aristocratic institutions; yet, as often seen in America as well as in England, they certainly afford very great opportunity for developing and exalting individual character, and furnishing noble leaders of mankind. Many of these Charleston and low-country homes gathered large and carefully chosen libraries, with a growing preference for English editions, and often bound in English tree-calf. These books were read, and high discussion of history and literature, as well as philosophy and politics, prevailed in domestic and social gatherings, besides clubs and societies formed for the purpose, and conducted with great spirit. Charleston was long the chief seat of culture at the South, as Boston was at the North. Dr. J. B. Jeter, a celebrated Baptist minister of Virginia, from whom a thousand sayings are repeated, once visited Charleston, having previously spent some time in Boston. One day he asked a friend in Charleston, " What do you think is the difference in the look of a Boston man and a Charleston man?" The friend referred the question back to him, and he said: " A Boston man looks as if he thought,' I know everything;' and a Charleston man, ' I know everything that it's worth while for a gentleman to know.' " It was a palpable hit, and might repay a good deal of reflection.

The population of Charleston in 1830, when James P. Boyce was a child, was 30,289, of whom 12,828 were whites. In 1840 the whites were 13,030, and the blacks had fallen off a little, being probably more in demand on the plantations, so that the total was 29,261. After this the white population gained more rapidly. In 1860 the total was 40,519, of whom 23,373 were white. In 1870 it was 48,956, of whom the whites were 26,207; but it is understood that the blacks in that census were often quite incompletely enumerated. In 1890 the total was 54,955, of whom 23,919 were whites; and the blacks were again largely in the majority.



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