Charleston: Crossroads of History
by Isabella Gaud Leland & Robert N. Rosen

Charleston: Crossroads of History (American Historical Press)

American Historical Press (2003). vii + 176pp. including index. 8.75 x 11.25 inches. Hardcover. ISBN-10: 1-892724-37-5. ISBN-13: 978-1-892724-37-3.

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From the Jacket

About the Book

Residents and visitors alike will be intrigued by this story of America's Most Historic City — and the story of her people — told by Charlestonians who intimately know the families, the houses, and the history.

This is the story of he Middletons, Laurenses, Lowndes, Pinckneys Gadsdens and Manigaults — the tempestuous, arrogant, independent Charlestonians who seceded not once, but three times: from their Proprietors in 1719, from the British three months before adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and tragically in 1860 from the Unied States of America.

It's all here — Indian uprisings, slave insurrections, race riots, hurricanes, tornadoes, Scots-Irish immigrants living in earth shelters “rather like potatoe hooses,” the wealthy rice planter flaunting his coat of arms on his palatial Battery mansion, the slave boatman who became a Unied States Congressman — and the oldest church bells in he city that play “Three Blind Mice.”

It is also the story of the Charleston described as “one of the finest of our American cities” and the Charleston of defeat and destruction that has risen Phoenix-like from fire, flood, earthquake, pestilence and war to become one of the nation's most visually appealing cities. Charleston has more buildings from more important periods of American history than any other city in America. It is a place where the handsome Georgian mansion commandeered as military headquarters by generals of two occupying armies was still owned two centuries later by the family who built it in 1769.

The colorful stories behind historic sites and personalities are illustrated by over 275 photographs and eyewitness accounts which bring to life more than 300 years of history that began with the arrival of the Carolina in 1670 and has continued to the excitement that is the vibrant city of Charleston today.

Charleston: Crossroads of History, a volume of history at its best, is certain to prove to be a valuable reference as well as a handsome addition to the library of every friend of Charleston.

A special chapter, “Chronicles of Leadership,” provides individual histories of area businesses and organizations and details their contributions to Charleston. Finally, an illustrated chronology of significant events enhances the main text and puts it all in perspective.

About the Authors

Isabella Gaud Leland was a Charlestonian with maternal roots in the area dating back to 1678. Her father was founder of the Gaud School for Boys in Charleston. The late Ms. Leland's professional background included twenty years teaching in Charleston public and private schools; seven years feature writing for the Charleston News and Courier; co-author of Our Charleston, a history booklet published by the Junior League; and a lecturer and licensed tour guide.

Robert N. Rosen is a shareholder in the law firm of Rosen, Rosen & Hagood in Charleston, South Carolina. He received his B.A. degree in history with distinction from the University of Virginia in 1969, his M.A. degree in history from Harvard University in 1970 and his J.D. degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1973. He was admitted to the South Carolina Bar that same year.

He is author of A Short History of Charleston, the best-selling history of the city; Confederate Charleston: An Illustrated History of the City and the People During the Civil War, and most recently, The Jewish Confederates. He has served on the board of the South Carolina Historical Society, is a member of he Board of Trustees of the Historic Charleston Foundation and is Chairman of the Arts and History Commission of the City of Charleston.

Cover illustration: oil on canvas by Alfred Hutty depicting Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina is from the collection of the Gibbes Museum of Art, home to more than 500 paintings by historically prominent artists. (Courtesy of Gibbes Museum of Art).

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