S.C. Encyclopedia

HISTORY:  Pierce Butler, signer of the U.S. Constitution

HISTORY: Pierce Butler, signer of the U.S. Constitution

S.C. Encyclopedia | Pierce Butler was born on July 11, 1744, in county Carlow, Ireland, the son of Henrietta Percy and Sir Richard Butler, fifth baronet of Cloughgrenan. His parents purchased a commission for Butler in the British army, and he rose through the ranks quickly. In 1766 he attained the rank of major, and in 1768 Butler’s regiment (the Twenty-ninth Foot) was transferred to South Carolina. Butler gained entry into Charleston society through his marriage to Mary Middleton on January 10, 1771. When his regiment returned to England in 1773, Butler sold his commission and remained in Charleston.

Martin

HISTORY: Maria Martin, artist and naturalist

S.C. Encyclopedia | Maria Martin was born in Charleston on July 6, 1796, the youngest daughter of John Jacob Martin and Rebecca Solars. While no records of her formal schooling have been discovered, it is known that she was well read in literature, French, and German and possessed an interest in music, art, and natural science. By 1827 she and her mother had moved into the home of her brother-in-law, the Lutheran minister and naturalist John Bachman, and her ailing sister Harriet. Martin helped to raise and educate her sister’s fourteen children and manage the household.

HISTORY:  Asparagus in South Carolina

HISTORY: Asparagus in South Carolina

S.C. Encyclopedia | Asparagus was an important cash crop in South Carolina from the 1910s until the mid-1930s. Commercial asparagus production began in response to the “cotton problem.” With cotton prices low and the boll weevil creeping ever closer, farmers in the “Ridge” counties of Aiken, Edgefield, and Saluda began planting asparagus to supplement their dwindling cotton incomes.

by · 04/30/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY: Botanists Andre Michaux and Francois-Andre Michaux

HISTORY: Botanists Andre Michaux and Francois-Andre Michaux

S.C. Encyclopedia | André Michaux was born on March 7, 1746, at Satory, France, son of the farmer André Michaux and Marie-Charlotte Barbet. Interested in plants from an early age, Michaux in 1785 was commissioned as royal botanist with the mission of finding useful plants for France in America. Originally landing in New York, he arrived in Charleston on September 21, 1786. The city became his base of operations as he ranged over North America as far south as Florida and as far north as Hudson Bay.

by · 04/24/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
Otter Island in the ACE Basin, via Wikipedia.

HISTORY: ACE Basin

S.C. Encyclopedia | The ACE Basin consists of around 350,000 acres in the watershed of the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers in the South Carolina Lowcountry, which drains one-fifth of the state. The ACE Basin encompasses a range of ecosystem types from forested uplands to tidal marsh (salt, brackish, and fresh water). The basin is home for more than 260 permanent and seasonal bird species and seventeen rare or endangered species, including the wood stork and the loggerhead turtle.

by · 04/18/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY: Emancipation

HISTORY: Emancipation

Excerpted from the S.C. Encyclopedia | The experience of slavery’s demise varied around the state and followed the progress of the Civil War. Freedom came early and suddenly to Port Royal when on November 7, 1861, Union forces bombarded and occupied the area. Black Carolinians in the vicinity referred to this occasion as the “Day of the Big Gun Shoot,” and during the next several weeks Federal troops seized Beaufort, the rest of Hilton Head, St. Helena, Ladys, and other nearby islands. Most planters fled the Federal troops and attempted to persuade or coerce their slaves to accompany them northward toward Charleston or into the interior, away from the path of the invasion. While many relocated with their owners, a substantial number resisted evacuation; some were killed for their refusal.

by · 04/10/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY: Lighthouses

HISTORY: Lighthouses

S.C. Encyclopedia | South Carolina’s 180-mile coastline is replete with bays, inlets, and harbors. To assist shipping and aid navigation, lighthouses and beacons have dotted the South Carolina coast for centuries. The earliest warning lights were probably bonfires lit to aid ships entering the harbor at Charleston. South Carolina’s first lighthouse, built in 1767, stood on Middle Bay Island (now a part of Morris Island) in the Charleston harbor.

by · 04/03/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
MYSTERY:  Fleeting moment

MYSTERY: Fleeting moment

John’s Island resident Deborah Getter sent along this image a while back to stump fellow readers. About the best we can tell you is that it’s not from around here. Send your best guess to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com — and make sure to include the name of the town in which you live.

by · 04/03/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
Ravenel

HISTORY: Charles D. “Pug” Ravenel

S.C. Encyclopedia | Charles “Pug” Ravenel was born in Charleston on February 14, 1938, the son of Charles F. Ravenel and Yvonne Marie Michel. A football standout in high school in Charleston, he graduated from Bishop England (1956), Philips Exeter Academy (1957), Harvard University (1961), and Harvard Business School (M.B.A., 1964). He was first marshall (president) of Harvard’s graduating class and corecipient of the Bingham Award for most outstanding athlete. He worked on Wall Street from 1964 to 1972 and as a White House fellow at the U.S. Treasury Department (1966–1967). Ravenel returned to Charleston and established a merchant-banking firm. He married Mary Curtis on December 26, 1963. They have three children. Following a divorce, he married Susan Gibbes Woodward on November 30, 1991.

Carolina parakeets, illustrated by John James Audubon in 1833.  Via Wikipedia.

HISTORY: Carolina parakeet

S.C. Encyclopedia | Now extinct, the Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) was a dove-sized (about thirty-five centimeters long) bird with a bright green body, yellow head, and orange face. Mark Catesby, an English naturalist living in Charleston, painted the parakeet in 1731, thus providing the first scientific description of the species. The species was abundant in early America, and its range extended to New York, Colorado, and Florida. The Carolina parakeet was well known for its ability to withstand harsh winters, due to the winter availability of its main foods: cockleburs, thistle seeds, and sandspurs.

by · 03/20/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia