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Charleston Information

The capital of South Carolina, Columbia, is the only city in the state that surpasses the size of Charleston, which started out with the name Charles Towne in 1670. In those early years, the city was literally moved from a spot called Albemarle Point on the Ashley River to its current location on Oyster Point. In the late 1600s, the city was the fifth largest in the United States.

Charleston has been dubbed as The Holy City perhaps because it has so many churches, or perhaps because the thirteen colonies found this region to be one of the few areas where all Protestant religions were tolerated. Interestingly, the location was not welcoming of Roman Catholics, however. One of the oldest Jewish congregations in the U.S. is here, though.

Charleston continually receives rave reviews as a city for its food and its people. Travel magazines have given the city top awards for best restaurants, and an etiquette expert even bestowed upon Charleston the honor of being called the Best Mannered City in the United States. One other magazine has given the title of America's Most Friendly City to this gem of South Carolina.

On another note, an island near the city of Charleston, Sullivan's Island, holds a place in the history of the region that may not bring as much honor. The island is the location where many enslaved Africans were brought into port. The rice being grown in the region was one reason the slaves were unloaded here, to work. Modern-day residents, both black and white, had largely chosen not to openly discuss the slave trade that occurred in this area, but that changed in 1999. The ambassador from Sierra Leone to the United States, John Leigh, joined with local dignitaries that year to participate in a ceremony that commemorated the role that Sullivan's Island played as one of the main ports of entry for African slaves, many from his country.

Today, Charleston is a prime spot for vacationers and guests of all sorts. The age of the city lends for wonderful opportunities to explore historical places that contain major pieces of the country's foundation. Furniture made in these parts is always in high demand and Charleston-made furniture is no exception. Tours and museums bring a glimpse of the past of Charleston to the modern era.

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