This chapter contains a brief history of Charleston, sketching a portrait of the city as being simultaneously blessed and cursed, beginning from its early days as a Carolina colony. The Lowcountry appeared to settlers as a fruitful home, though disease and death would soon mar this idyllic image. Despite a rough start Charleston eventually prospered, with much of its wealth comprised of its human property—the black slaves. Following a high point in the city's thriving rice trade, international competition began to undermine its economy; and with this turning point came the slave rebellions and the growing sentiment against slavery that eventually heralded the Civil War.
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