Charleston’s cobblestone streets, Old Slave Mart, and remnants of Fort Sumter prove it has a rich history. The Holy City was founded by a colonial expedition of English settlers when they sailed to the Charleston Harbor in 1670. Arguably, the most memorable piece of history is the Charleston Harbor.
The Harbor is an inlet of the Atlantic ocean and is formed at the junction of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Easy water transportation made Charleston one of the wealthiest cities in America because of trade. The port city traded rice, cotton, indigo, and slaves. Charleston was the nation’s capital of the slave trade, in fact, 40 percent of enslaved Africans brought into the country passed through the Charleston Harbor. Slave labor was popular in the Lowcountry because of the plethora of plantations. Rice was the largest cash crop, which required 10 times the labor needed to harvest than cotton.
Moreover, another reason why the Charleston Harbor is rich with history is that of the civil war. On April 12, 1861, the first shots of the war were fired by confederate forces on, union-occupied, Fort Sumter. After a 34-hour exchange of artillery fire, Major Robert Anderson surrendered his command of the fort the next day. In terms of trade, Fort Sumter controlled access to the port, so the union forces could prevent any shipping coming in and out of Charleston. This proved to be a dilemma for confederates because trade was a vital part of Charleston’s economy.
If you want to learn more about the Holy City’s harbor, climb aboard Charleston Harbor Tour’s Carolina Queen, or Carolina Belle, and take a tour around the marina. You could also book a combo tour for the Schooner Pride and Adventure Sightseeing. The combo allows you to sail in the morning, and drive to Charleston’s most historical landmarks in the afternoon. Learn about Charleston’s history the right way, on the sea!