Dr. Nic Butler, historian at the Charleston County Public Library, explores the less familiar corners of local history with stories designed to educate, entertain, and inspire audiences to reflect on the enduring presence of the past in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
Episode 186: George Anson and Charles Codner: Gambling for Real Estate in 1735?
Local legend says that George Anson acquired Ansonborough in a card game with Thomas Gadsden. While the documents related to that 1727 conveyance contain no hint of a gambling debt, the circumstances surrounding two transactions with Charles Codner of Daniel Island in 1735 suggest that the legend of Captain Anson’s gambling success might have been applied to the wrong property.
Episode 185: The Other New Years: Regnal, Civil, and Personal
The beginning of a new calendar year in January is one of a variety of “new year” anniversaries that our forebears observed to mark the advent of a new life, monarch, or entity. The various methods of annual calculations in early South Carolina might seem arcane today, but a familiarity with their underlying concepts can help us better understand the past.
Episode 184: The Christmas Treasure of 1744
The arrival of captured enemy vessels and booty was a familiar sight in Charleston during the War of Jenkins’ Ear, but the value of a French prize brought here in December 1744 surpassed all imagination. While unpacking her mysterious cargo in the days before Christmas, the crew discovered the most amazing cache of riches ever witnessed in the American colonies.
Episode 183: The Destruction and Renewal of Charleston’s Street Trees, 1837–1865
When Charleston sacrificed a forest of street trees in 1837 for the sake of civic improvement, the loss triggered a long debate about the value of various tree species and the role of local government in promoting public health. Before the Civil War, the city selected a specific native, deciduous tree and commenced to renew the lost green canopy.
Episode 182: Street Trees in Early Charleston: Fountains of Air and Shade
The street trees of urban Charleston’s contribute greatly to the city’s beauty and historic atmosphere, but they haven’t always been there. Our colonial streets were largely naked, and less familiar species preceded the present palmettos, live oaks, magnolias and crepe myrtles. The story of when, where, and why these street trees arose is rooted deep in the city’s past.
Episode 181: Planning Charleston’s First “Fortress,” 1695–1696
The earliest surviving legislative discussion of fortifications in urban Charleston took place in 1695–96, motivated by an ongoing war with France and a persistent fear of marauding pirates. The provincial government’s plan to build an expensive brick fortress, flanked by men “arrayd for battle,” forms a significant chapter in the physical evolution of South Carolina’s colonial capital.
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My favorite Podcast
My favorite Podcast, and I listen to a lot of podcasts!
Easy Listening, Great Content, Fantastic Host
Love this podcast! I recently discovered this podcast and now am excitedly binging my way through the series. Can’t wait for more episodes!
Charleston Time Machine
Great podcast, just found out about this podcast through the Historic Charleston Foundation. I’m hooked, I work in a wood shop and listen to a lot of podcasts, this is my new go to. I have been binge listening to this for days. Nic is a knowledgeable historian who tells Charleston history with fantastic enthusiasm.