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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:United States / State & Local / South
  • Language:English
  • Pages:200
  • eBook ISBN:9781483582450


The Brief History of a Remarkable City

by Skip Johnson

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"Charleston" is a highly readable primer on the South Carolina City's incredible history from its founding through the 2015 Emanuel AME Church massacre and the massacre's aftermath. Hundreds of books have been written about Charleston, but "Charleston" is the only one designed specifically to give readers unfamiliar with that history, especially visitors to Charleston, a quick, easy, and interesting way to learn it. The book has been vetted for accuracy by officers of the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter Historical Association, among others.
"Charleston" is a highly readable primer on the South Carolina City's incredible history from its founding through the 2015 Emanuel AME Church massacre and the massacre's aftermath. It was designed specifically to give readers unfamiliar with Charleston's incredible history, especially visitors, a way to learn that history in one or two easy and interesting sessions. By any measure, Charleston is a remarkable city. From her earliest beginnings she has experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. She has known extreme shame and extreme glory. She arguably has been America's most hated city and its most beloved. The City of Charleston has been attacked by Native Americans, pirates, and the militaries of four nations, including the United States of America which put the city under the longest siege in modern warfare history. An earthquake nearly destroyed her. Monster fires have blackened huge swaths of her. The Civil War, which she started, left her citizens destitute and starving as thousands of people joyously danced on her grave. But Charleston also once was England's most important property in the New World, and later home of the first major military victory over England during the American Revolutionary War. She had become so wealthy by the early 19th Century she was able to lend the United States of America money to help it fight the War of 1812. Charleston has been home to an astounding number of firsts, including first public library, first opera performed, first fire insurance company, first building constructed solely as a theater, first systematic and scientific recording of weather information, first public museum, first cotton mill, first fireproof building, first Reform Jewish congregation, first regularly scheduled passenger rail service, first municipal college, first commercial tea farm, and much more. Charleston's greatest shame may be her history of greeting slaves from Africa to the American shores, and using so many of those slaves on her mammoth plantations. And her greatest glory may be how the direct descendants of those slaves forgave a white man who tried to start a race riot in Charleston by murdering nine of their relatives while they participated in a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in 2015. Their action set off a love fest in Charleston that was reflected throughout the world. Today, the readers of various travel magazines constantly award Charleston with titles ranging from "Best City in the World" to America's friendliest city, most mannerly city, most gracious city, and much more. Perhaps the best way to show her history quickly is by listing the book's table of contents, which tell the chronological story: Charles Town is Born Relations with England Sour An Impossible Mission British Armada Attacks A Hero Story War Rages in South Carolina No Compromise on Slavery Charleston Prospers, Then Declines Nullifiers Gain Momentum Secession Talk Increases South Carolina Secedes The Civil War Begins Army Attacks Charleston Navy Attacks Charleston Army and Navy Attack Charleston All-Black Regiment Attacks Lincoln Orders Charleston Bombarded War's Tide Turns Against the South Sherman Attacks Atlanta Sherman Attacks South Carolina Charleston Falls The Civil War Ends Rejoicing, Anarchy and Starvation Reconstruction, Southern Style Radicals Take Over Reconstruction Corruption Flourishes Reconstruction Crumbles "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman Charleston Today
About the author
Skip Johnson, a native South Carolinian, was an award-winning reporter, columnist and editor for several East Coast newspapers and a wire service for 30 years before he took early retirement in 1992 to become an independent writer and editor. In addition to "Charleston," Skip has written one other nonfiction book, "The Gospel of Yeshua: A Fresh Look at the Life and Teaching of Jesus." He and his wife, Sue, live in Charleston. They have two daughters and four grandsons... Skip was born in Winnsboro, S.C., May 5, 1939. His father was a Methodist minister who was required to move every four years, so Skip grew up in towns and cities throughout South Carolina. He was graduated from St. Andrew's (public) High School in Charleston in 1957 and joined the Marine Corps Reserve. He spent six months on active duty (basic training at Parris Island, S.C., and combat training at Camp Geiger, N.C.), then attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., and Brevard College in Brevard, N.C. before beginning his newspaper career in 1960 as a reporter with The Florence (S.C.) Morning News. Among the newspapers and news agencies he has worked for: --The Associated Press, news bureaus in Mobile and Montgomery, Ala. Helped cover the desegregation of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, and some Mississippi. --The Orlando Sentinel-Star, Orlando, Fla. Covered NASA until after the first manned moon landing, then became chief political writer. --The Tampa Tribune, Tampa., Fla. State capital bureau chief, then state editor. --The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass. Managing editor. --The News and Courier, Charleston, S.C. Various editorial positions, ending as religion editor and columnist when he took early retirement to become an independent writer and editor. Since his retirement, in addition to many newspaper and magazine articles, Skip has written and published two nonfiction books. His first, "The Gospel of Yeshua," was honored by secular and clergy reviewers alike, including a starred review in the American Library Association's Booklist magazine. He wrote "Charleston: The Brief History of a Remarkable City," as a primer so people unfamiliar with Charleston's rich history, especially tourists, could learn that history in one or two easy settings. Skip also has edited one book and three award-winning screenplays.