Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the United States. Founded in 1670 as Charles Towne, Charleston has become the second largest city in the southeastern part of the country.
Because it is so old, the city has a rich history that includes all the major events of the U.S. Charleston is a history enthusiast’s dream. This article presents several of the Revolutionary War sites located in or around this richly historical town.
One of the first locations a history buff might visit is the house of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Heyward, Jr. Now called the Heyward-Washington house, this house was built in 1772 and has been kept in its original 18th century state. Located in downtown Charleston, the house includes furniture and other artifacts of the period.
The cost to enter the house is minimal and tickets can be purchased as a combination of a much larger site-seeing package.
LAND OF CHARLES PINCKNEY
Another historic site of the Revolutionary War period is the land of Charles Pinckney, the youngest delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and signer of the Constitution. The original house no longer exists, but the museum on the land has many antiques and documents, including some concerning the visit of President George Washington in 1791.
There is also a half-mile walking tour that highlights historical events around the property. There is no entrance fee and the site is located east of Charleston in Mount Pleasant.
Drayton Hall is the typical southern plantation that has been kept as close to original condition as possible. Built in 1738, Drayton Hall is a key historical treasure of the area. William Henry Drayton served in the South Carolina provincial congress and as a member of the second Continental Congress. He also ordered the first shots in South Carolina to be fired at British soldiers.
During the Revolution, the house served as military headquarters for two British generals, Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis. In 1782 the house became the headquarters of the American general Anthony Wayne. The museum has a great numbers of objects from various periods in the history of Drayton Hall.
The entrance fee is reasonable with family packages available. The house is located about nine miles northwest of downtown Charleston.
EXCHANGE AND PROVOST DUNGEON
There are two military buildings located in downtown Charleston. Built in 1767, the Exchange and Provost Dungeon held American prisoners of war during the Revolution. A few blocks away from the Exchange is the Powder Magazine where the Americans stored their gunpowder.
Both sites have a museum-like atmosphere and have been restored to the point where one feels a part of the history. Admission for both is reasonable and the two make a great combination for a single day adventure. There are walking tours that combine both of these as well.
The crown jewel of a Revolutionary War themed trip would be Fort Moultrie. Located on Sullivan’s Island southeast of Charleston, the fort is the location of the first American win over the British Navy. The fort was originally built from soft Palmetto logs which absorbed the British cannon balls rather than splinter like other wood.
Unfortunately, a hurricane did what the British could not and leveled the original fort six years later. Nevertheless, a new fort constructed in 1809 now is the home of the museum that contains documents and objects from the original fort. Entrance for adults is very inexpensive and free for children fifteen and under.
Charleston is a wonderful city containing great amounts of history about the United States. This article has concentrated on pointing out some of the Revolutionary War historical cites. The Heyward-Washington house, the Pinckney land, and Drayton Hall give great personal perspectives on what it was like living around the time of the birth of this country.
The Old Exchange, the Powder Magazine, and Fort Moutrie give a great viewpoint of the military resources at that time. Anyone visiting Charleston has a great opportunity to experience a significant part of the founding of the United States.