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Signature City Charleston: Historic Plantations and Gardens

Program Number: 19403RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/26/2015 - 5/1/2015; 3/6/2016 - 3/11/2016; 3/13/2016 - 3/18/2016; 3/20/2016 - 3/25/2016; 3/27/2016 - 4/1/2016; 4/3/2016 - 4/8/2016; 4/17/2016 - 4/22/2016; 5/8/2016 - 5/13/2016; 5/22/2016 - 5/27/2016; 9/18/2016 - 9/23/2016; 9/25/2016 - 9/30/2016; 10/2/2016 - 10/7/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/14/2016; 10/23/2016 - 10/28/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Price starting at: $1,125.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities; Homes & Gardens; History & Culture
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian; Low Fat; Low Salt    

In one of America’s most historic and beautiful cities, take a step back in time as you explore the manicured gardens, ornate home interiors and antebellum history of the plantations nestled within Charleston and the coastal Lowcountry. Encounter the life stories of those who lived and worked in these stately homes and historic plantations, black and white, slave and free. Learn about the Gullah people, slave descendants who have preserved more of their African heritage than any other community in the country.


• Step inside the Nathaniel Russell Home and the Edmondston-Alston Home, Middleton Place Plantation and Gardens and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
• Attend the Charleston City Market, four blocks of open-air buildings where vendors sell paintings, pottery, sweetgrass baskets and more.
• Enjoy sumptuous Lowcountry cuisine, a sweetgrass basket-weaving demo, Gullah language and culture, and the only tea plantation in the U.S.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles and standing up to an hour on field trips. Some uneven surfaces, especially at the plantations.

For participants interested in a lower-priced Charleston program with accommodations at a retreat center several miles outside of the city, please see program #19402.

Date Specific Information


Participants stay at a moderately-priced high-rise hotel located 2 miles from Charleston’s historic district and across the Ashley River. Due to the location of the hotel, participants travel throughout the program on motorcoaches, and the Activity Level is Moderate.

3-6-2016, 4-3-2016

Participants stay at a new modern hotel located in neighboring Mount Pleasant, steps away from Shem Creek and just three miles from the beaches of Sullivan's Island. Due to the location of the hotel, participants travel throughout the program on motorcoaches, and the Activity Level is Moderate.

3-13-2016, 3-27-2016, 4-17-2016, 5-8-2016, 5-22-2016, 9-25-2016

Participants stay in a luxury hotel in the heart of Charleston’s historic district with an extensive art collection, lounge area and outdoor pool. Due to the amount of walking required, Activity Level is Active. Travel to some field trips is on foot, walking as much as two miles at a time, sometimes on uneven surfaces.

3-20-2016, 10-9-2016, 10-23-2016

Participants stay in a luxury hotel in the heart of Charleston’s historic district with an extensive art collection, lounge area and outdoor pool. Due to the amount of walking required, Activity Level is Active. Travel to some field trips is on foot, walking as much as two miles at a time, sometimes on uneven surfaces.


Participants stay at a new modern hotel located in neighboring Mount Pleasant, steps away from Shem Creek and just three miles from the beaches of Sullivan's Island. Due to the location of the hotel, participants travel throughout the program on motorcoaches, and the Activity Level is Moderate.


Participants stay at a new modern hotel located in neighboring Mount Pleasant, steps away from Shem Creek and just three miles from the beaches of Sullivan's Island. Due to the location of the hotel, participants travel throughout the program on motorcoaches, and the Activity Level is Moderate.

Coordinated by Center for Educational Adventure.

Charleston (South Carolina)

Founded in 1670, Charleston is an old colonial city brimming with museums and historical attractions. In its early days, it was a cosmopolitan trading center whose wealth is on display today in the well-preserved architecture and cultural institutions. Picturesque tree-lined streets and a lovely coastline make it a tourist Mecca.

Lodging varies by date. Choose between an elegant hotel in Charleston’s historic district with an extensive art collection, lounge area and outdoor pool, and a new modern hotel across the water in Mt. Pleasant steps away from Shem Creek. See date notes for specific details.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Tom Murray

Tom Murray is a graduate of San Jose State University but is a Southerner by choice, having spent more than 45 years in the South absorbing the culture, customs and history of the region. Tom specializes in coastal history with an emphasis on the sea islands of Georgia. Few people know and love beautiful Cumberland and Amelia islands better than Tom. He has spent 25 years lecturing and leading Road Scholar groups to sites from the mountains to the sea.
Ruth Miller

Ruth Miller, a graduate of Duke University, has lived all over America and journeyed throughout the world. As a Charleston historian and excursion leader, she enjoys tying local history into the American story and worldwide events. Ruth is the author and co-author of numerous books, including “Charleston Charlie — A Family Activity Book for Kids of All Ages,” “Touring the Tombstones,” and “The Angel Oak Story.” She is a member of the South Carolina Historical Society and the National Trust.
Al Miller

Al Miller received a bachelor’s degree in English, speech and drama from Baptist College — now Charleston Southern University. He is a recognized historian specializing in local, black history with emphasis on the Gullah-Geechee culture. He brings his musical talent to his lectures for a unique perspective. Al enjoys leading educational excursions, is a licensed real estate agent, as well as a historian and lecturer on black history. He is also a member of numerous organizations, including the Choraliers Music Club of Charleston, Alpha Phi Fraternity and St. James A.M.E. Church.
Darryl Stoneworth

Darryl Stoneworth, along with wife Angela, has been selling home-crafted sweetgrass baskets in the Charleston City Market since May 2009. If you happen by his stand, you'll know Darryl by his omnipresent smile. The couple is also constructing their first roadside basket stand along Highway 17N in Mount Pleasant, N.C. The town has renamed and dedicated this stretch of the highway in tribute to the hamlet's sweetgrass basket makers.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel
  Charleston, SC 5 nights
 Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Holiday Inn Riverview is a unique 14-story circular high rise hotel located on the banks of the Ashley River overlooking the sky lights of historic Charleston. Our Harborview Restaurant located on the top, offers our guests the most spectacular panoramic view of Charleston. Additional features are a seasonal outdoor pool, ample free parking with ADA accessible spaces, as well as a loading zone, and courtesy shuttle to downtown Charleston. Whether you're visiting our city for a day, a mini vacation or extended stay, Charleston offers the best in Authentic 18th Century Plantations, Georgian, Federal and Victorian Architecture, Arts and Entertainment and Sporting Events. In addition, you will be enticed to visit our sandy beaches and other attractions. This amazing Charleston, SC hotel's location is perfect for business and leisure travelers looking for lodging near some of the city's best attractions, restaurants, and shopping. Whether you are looking for long days on the beach, exciting nightlife, or beautiful historic sites our hotel allows you to stay your way. Leisure travelers enjoy the many Charleston hotel deals that our property has to offer including our close proximity to many area attractions such as the Charleston Aquarium, Fort Sumter, Hunley Museum, and three of South Carolina's best beaches. Located just a few miles from CHS Airport our Charleston, SC hotel's location is perfect for business travelers looking to move in and out of the city with ease. These guests also enjoy the convenience of our 24-hour Business Center with free Internet access and 780-sq ft meeting room as well as our newly renovated Fitness Center that allows them to stay in shape while they are away from home. Our property offers close proximity to some of the city's greatest attractions and sites such as the Citadel, Charleston Aquarium, and fun beaches.
  Contact info: 301 Savannah Highway
Charleston, SC 29407 USA
phone: 843-460-1440
  Room amenities: Well appointed rooms with new pillow top mattresses and new plush bedding including extra pillows. New Rain Forest coffee and coffee makers in each room. Free Morning Newspaper Delivered to Room Cable / Satellite TV Color TV Phone with Voice Mail Bathtub Hair Dryer Private Bathroom Double Glazed Windows Individually Controlled Air Conditioning Iron / Ironing Board Rollaway Bed/Cot Separate Hanging Closet
  Facility amenities: Outdoor Pool Exercise Facility 1- Free Motion Exercise Bike, 1- Universal Life Fitness machine, 2- Life Fitness Treadmills, 2- 27" TVs with cable, Water Fountain, Family Restroom, Full scale. Health/Fitness Center On-Site Fitness Center Type: LIMITED Restaurant & Lounge High Spirits Lounge The newly renovated High Spirits Lounge has been refurnished with new cloth and leather lounge chairs. We've mounted 4 new 40-plus inch flat screen TVs to catch your favorite team or even check the forecast, or you could peek out the window and check out the panoramic view of Charleston's skyline. Shuttle Service Parking Business Center Business Center Staffed Between 12:00 AM and 11:59 PM Copying Courier Service E-mail & Internet Facsimile PC available Service Provider: Printer Unstaffed Business Center High-speed Internet Access Service Provider: Wireless Data Connection Service Provider Public Space Data Services High-speed Internet Access Service Provider: Wireless Data Connection Service Provider: WiFi Housekeeping and Laundry Services On-site Guest Self-Laundry Facilities (washer/dryer) Daily Housekeeping Weekly Housekeeping Dry Cleaning Pickup/Laundry Same Day Dry Cleaning A/C Public Areas ATM/Cash Machine Dedicated Lounge (or 24 Hour Lounge) Ice Machine Porter/Bellman Safety Deposit Box available at Front Desk
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for hotel rate Group rates are not available during times outside of the Road Scholar program week. For early arrival or late stayovers, call the hotel directly.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for hotel rate Group rates are not available during times outside of the Road Scholar program week. For early arrival or late stayovers, call the hotel directly.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 pm Hotel lobby check -in begins; 5:00 pm Orientation; 6:00 pm Dinner You will be staying at Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 am Hotel check-out; 10:00 am Program Ends You will be staying at Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking surrounds the hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Charleston, SC
  Nearest city or town:  Mt. Pleasant and Beaufort, SC
  Nearest highway: Highway 95
  Nearest airport:  Charleston International Airport and Air Force Base, SC
  From End of Program
  Location: Charleston, SC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Charleston, SC


From Airport




Airport Information
phone: 843-767-7009


Per Person/One Way:


Approximate rate from airport to hotel is $26 for taxi for two people
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 minutes 




12 miles


A. The meter fare for taxi departure from the Airport is $2.15 per loaded mile with no additional charge for the first two passengers. B. The shuttle rate for Downtown Charleston is $12.00 per passenger and departs within 15 minutes. The shuttle is a shared ride and may make several stops, depending on the number of passengers. C. The fixed rate for the Airport vicinity is $9.00 per passenger, not to exceed $27.00 per trip. Rates subject to change.

Driving Directions
  From North of Charleston to Holiday Inn Riverview From I-77 South, take I-26 East to Highway 17 South.(exit 221A) The Holiday Inn Riverview is on the left, 2 miles ahead.
  From South of Charleston to Holiday Inn Riverview From I-95 North, take Highway 17 North (exit 33) The hotel is on the left at the Ashly River Bridge (Hwy. 17)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in, Registration & Orientation, Get Acquainted
(Sunday, April 26)

Note: You are 10 minutes (15 minutes allowing for heavy traffic) from Charleston's historic district. We provide a motor coach for all field trips related to our program. The hotel provides a shuttle for all of their hotel guests to get to and from the historic district. It runs every 15 minutes and picks up at the hotel and returns to the Holiday Inn Riverview. There are designated pick-up points in the historic district. The hotel will provide a map showing the pick up points.

 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Available from 4:00pm.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to register with the program staff at our desk. You'll receive your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule and program information that we'll review during our orientation session at 5:00 pm. Dinner will follow orientation at 6:00 pm. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding!

 Dinner: Dinner is at the hotel.
 Evening: ORIENTATION: You'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We will review the updated schedule, answer any questions you may have, and cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.) The remainder of the evening is yours to begin getting to know one another, walk around the neighborhood, or relax in the hotel.

You are about to embark on a very special learning adventure, seeing first hand how history lives on in the present, from stately homes in historic Charleston to extraordinary Lowcountry plantations. Charleston is and always has been a place of spectacular contradictions. Known as the Holy City because of its many houses of worship, this was one of the few cities in colonial America to protect religious diversity. Yet it was also part of an ante-bellum society that benefited from slavery and became wealthy as a result. You will have opportunities to ponder these contradictions as we explore and learn about magnificent dwellings, often adorned with graceful gardens, and the lives of the people who lived and worked there. NOTE: The “field trip” designation denotes a group outing that includes on-site presentations by experts.

Accommodations: Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Charleston and The Carolina Low Country, Historic District Field Trip, Gullah Culture Evening
(Monday, April 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: A local historian — the co-author of "A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon" — will provide an introduction to Charleston and the Carolina Lowcountry. This introductory history of Charleston will prepare you for the field trips we will take during your stay starting with the first field trip through historic downtown Charleston after lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at a popular restaurant in the historic district.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Charleston Historic District. Get an orientation to the interior city of Charleston as we begin our exploration of great houses and gardens. Among those we visit is the PALMER HOME on the Battery, one of Charleston's most famous houses, built in 1848 by John Ravenel, whose son designed the "Little David" , the first semi-submersible vessel. This private home is now operated as a bed-and-breakfast by third-generation owner, Frances Palmer. The house is furnished and decorated with antiques dating back two hundred years. In addition to learning about all this fascinating history, enjoy light refreshments. You'll also see the Palmer House private garden as well as other private gardens as we walk through the historic area.
 Dinner: Dinner is at the hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION & PERFORMANCE: The Gullah people, descendants of slaves, are a distinctive group of African-Americans living in the Coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. Because of their isolated community life, the Gullah have retained more of their African cultural heritage than any other group and speak an English-based Creole language that retains many elements of African language and culture. Enjoy an informative presentation and performance that will entertain and delight you with insights into Gullah culture.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Middleton Place Plantation & Gardens, Low Country Buffet, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Sweetgrass Baskets Presentation
(Tuesday, April 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark situated on the Ashley River, a carefully preserved 18th-century plantation that has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. During our field trip, you'll learn that it was the home of four important generations of Middletons, beginning with Henry Middleton, President of the First Continental Congress; Arthur, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; Henry, Governor of South Carolina and an American Minister to Russia; and William, a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. We'll explore the house museum, the gardens, and the plantation stableyards.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious Lowcountry buffet at Middleton Plantation.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Magnolia Plantation, founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public site open to visitors in the Lowcountry, with the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1872 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens. Learn about its rich history as you experience the beauty of the house and gardens.

The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, South Carolina's only statewide partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awarded Magnolia Plantation the 2010 Heritage Award for their interpretive program at the slave cabins. Magnolia Plantation also won the 2009 preservation award last year for restoration and preservation of the cabins.

 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Learn about Charleston's Sweetgrass Baskets and see a demonstration. Brought to the area by slaves who came from the west coast of Africa, basket making is an ancient African art form in this country, which has been passed on from generation to generation. Skilled craftsmanship and long hours are involved in making these baskets. Even for the most experienced basket maker, a simple design can take as long as 12 hours. A larger more complex design can take as long as two to three months. Learn the art of sweetgrass basket making and the history of Gullah sweetgrass baskets.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Edmondston-Alston Home and Nathaniel Russell Home/Free Afternoon In Charleston/The Sound of Charleston
(Wednesday, April 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: Participants will be given voucher's for your convenience to the Edmondston-Alston home and the Nathaniel Russell Home. You may go at anytime during the day and present your voucher, which is already paid. You, along, with others, will have an expert guided field trip by the docent of each home. Going by voucher to each home allows you to work the homes in and around your daily schedule. Both homes open at 10 am. Built for shipping merchant Charles Edmondston c.1825, this house on Charleston's High Battery was acquired in 1838 by Charles Alston, owner of three rice plantations on the fertile Waccamaw Neck. It is an outstanding example of a planter's town house, where the Alstons enjoyed the social season and summer breezes of the city, avoiding the malarial rice plantations. Since it has never passed out of the family's ownership, it is richly appointed with original furniture, tableware, and even Charles Alston's library and gun. The second-story piazza affords a breathtaking view of Charleston Harbor. The second home to view this morning is the Nathaniel Russell Home. Since 1808, visitors have admired the grand Federal townhouse of Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell. Set amid spacious formal gardens, the Nathaniel Russell House is a National Historic Landmark and is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical dwellings. The graceful interior with elaborate plasterwork ornamentation, geometrically shaped rooms and a magnificent free-flying staircase are among the most exuberant ever created in early America.
 Lunch: Begin your free afternoon with lunch on your own to sample some of the wonderful cuisine available in many different restaurants and eateries. The hotel offers free shuttle service to historic district. This must be arranged ahead of time with the hotel.
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON: This is your opportunity to pursue your personal interests. There is so much to choose from! You can check elsewhere in this document for free time suggestions and we will also be happy to make suggestions on site during the program. You may also want to check the official Charleston Visitors Bureau website to see what's on:

 Dinner: Dinner is on your own to try out the restaurants and cuisines of your choice. There are numerous options and we will prepare a list of suggestions. It is your night to enjoy. (This meal has been excluded from the program cost.)
 Evening: Experience the unique sounds that define Charleston's rich musical heritage (gospel, Gershwin, music of the Civil War, light classics, & jazz) all presented by professional artists in a live, unforgettable 75-minute concert in historic Circular Congregational Church, in the heart of the Historic District.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Charleston Tea Plantation/Tomato Shed Cafe, Famous Angel Oak Tree/Farewell Dinner
(Thursday, April 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: You will take a field trip to the only tea plantation in the United States. The Charleston Tea Plantation is the home of American Classic Tea, tea grown in America. It is located on picturesque Wadmalaw Island in the heart of South Carolina's Lowcountry. Its grounds include 127 acres of Camellia Sinensis tea plants, a working Tea Factory and a charming Plantation Gift Shoppe.
 Lunch: Lunch is at the Tomato Shed Cafe located on Wadmalaw Island. It is a small café, specializing in fresh vegetables grown on the Ambrose family farm and fresh meat. Since Farmer Pete was a shrimper before he was a farmer, we have the best connections to get the freshest shrimp right from the trawler that is kept at our dock on Adams Creek in Rockville.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will visit the Angel Oak tree. The Angel Oak is a Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) that is a native species found throughout the Lowcountry (Coastal Carolina). Believed to be in excess of 1500 years old, its massive, draping limbs and wide spreading canopy present the aura of an angel but the naming of this tree was acquired from the tree's previous owners, Martha and Justin Angel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a popular restaurant in the historic district as we explore some of Charleston's distinctive coastal cuisine. This will be our final night together and we will toast it with a special farewell dinner.
 Evening: We will continue our fun into the night at the local restaurant. Enjoy saying good-bye to newfound friends and sharing memories made during the week.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Riverview Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wrap Up Session & Discussion of Charleston's Restoration and Preservation, Farewells, Program Concludes
(Friday, May 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: A local expert with the Charleston Presentation Society will talk about the restoration and preservation of Charleston....past and future. We'll conclude at approximately 10:00am to facilitate your travel needs. Hotel check-out is 11:00am. We hope you have enjoyed this exciting new program and will join us for other rewarding Road Scholar learning adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Short History of Charleston

Author: Robert N. Rosen

Description: A concise small history of Charleston that is easy to read and enjoyable.

A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Author: Ruth Miller and Ann Taylor Andrus

Description: The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the great buildings of Colonial America. Serving as city hall, customs house, post office and prison; as the British Headquarters during the occupation of Charles Towne and then host to a great ball honoring George Washington, the Exchange has been an eyewitness to America’s history. This stoic building-—designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975—-has been described as the best example of the dignity and ornament of the traditional English “exchange-town hall” design of the eighteenth century built in the United States. From within its Great Hall to deep below in the Provost Dungeon, the Exchange has played a vital role in American history. Andrus’ and Miller’s fast-paced and readable survey of the history and significance of the Old Exchange Building will appeal to visitor and serious historian alike.

Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War

Author: David Detzer

Description: An original and deeply human portrait of soldiers and civilians caught in the vortex of war. So vividly does Allegiance re-create the events leading to the firing of the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, that we can feel the fabric of the Union tearing apart. It is a tense and surprising story, filled with indecisive bureaucrats, uninformed leaders, hotheaded politicians, and dedicated and honorable soldiers on both sides. The six-month-long agony that began with Lincoln's election in November sputtered from one crisis to the next until Lincoln's inauguration, and finally exploded as the soldiers at Sumter neared starvation. At the center of this dramatic narrative is the heroic figure of Major Robert Anderson, a soldier whose experience had taught him above all that war is the poorest form of policy. With little help from Washington, D.C., Anderson almost single-handedly forestalled the beginning of the war until he finally had no choice but to fight. David Detzer's decade-long research illuminates the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and individuals on both sides who changed American history. No other historian has given us a clearer or more intimate picture of the human drama of Fort Sumter.

South of Broad

Author: Pat Conroy

Description: Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for. South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest; a long-awaited work from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

The Angel Oak Story

Author: Ruth Miller and Linda Lennon

Description: The Angel Oak is a Southern live oak tree located in Angel Oak Park, in Charleston, South Carolina, on Johns Island, one of South Carolina's Sea Islands. It is estimated to be 300-400 years old, stands 65 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and shades with its crown an area of 17,000 square feet. This book goes in depth regarding the history of this mighty tree.

Touring the Tombstones

Author: Ruth Miller

Description: A series of guide books to Charleston's 18th century graveyards.

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