Living Off the Wall
I spend a little time in Charleston, SC, every now and again. As cities go… this one has a boatload full of history. Patriots, Aristocrats, Slaves, Soldiers, Debutantes, Scoundrels, Ghosts, and Pirates…just about any kind of history you could imagine.
One of the tidbits I like revisit is the very early beginnings. The “city” was established in 1670. Not long there after….Charleston was a walled fortress city….. up until 1720.
For the white residents…. mostly from England…. this was a period of constant danger from hostile French and Spanish invaders, Native American tribes, and pirates.
The best contemporary view of the walls comes from a map and survey by a guy named Edward Crisp. His “map” is dated approximately 1704.
Nowadays….. People have been digging in the dirt down there, and figuring things out about this wall. While it looks like the bastions may have begun as crude earthworks, it seems pretty clear that by the early 18th century they had been engineered and refined to a fairly high degree of sophistication. At least, that’s what the experts say.
The waterfront wall was a single structure, but the inland walls consisted of double barriers separated by a moat. A MOAT!
Entrance to the fortress was gained by two drawbridges situated near where the Four Corners of the Law stand today: the intersection of present-day Broad and Meeting Streets. DRAWBRIDGES!
I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to things of moats and drawbridges. That’s fairy tale stuff. Fairy Tale Stuff, I’m telling you…. moats and drawbridges. I bet they even had alligators. Actually…. those are still hanging out down there these days.
But, I just like to imagine what it must have been like back then… in 1700…. living in a walled city. Fearing Pirates, and the French….. and on.
I wonder if they had graffiti back then? I am pretty sure they didn’t have spray paint… so I wonder what they used? I wonder what they wrote.
“King Charles the Second Sucks Twice as Much as King Charles the First” ??? “Pirates are Sissy-Boys”????
“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” – Napolean Bonaparte