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Church in Charleston

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1075, p. 147.

February 16, 1861


The principal church of Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the many examples, architectural or otherwise, of the hold of the mother country upon the American people. Not only is the structure built upon well-known English models, but the very chimes are rung upon bells cast in England, taken down from one of our own religious edifices and upreared in the steeple which we have here sketched. The tradition amongst the "oldest inhabitants" is that these bells used in revolutionary times to become objects of contention, and that more than once they have been brought back to England, to be restored subsequently in less troublous times. That the inhabitants of the pleasant liberally-porticoed houses of the neighbourhood may not hear them ring the tocsin of civil war is the devout wish of all on this side of the Atlantic. Charleston is divided into four wards, and is governed by a mayor and twelve aldermen. It is regularly laid out in parallel streets, and intersected by others at right angles. The streets vary in width from thirty-five to seventy feet. The houses are neat and elegant, and mostly built of brick. The streets are lined with a tree termed the "Pride of India;" while elegant villas, adorned with verandahs, and surrounded with orange-trees, magnolias, and palmettos, add much to the elegance and beauty of the city. Among the public buildings are the city hall, exchange, courthouse, gaol, two arsenals, custom-house, theatre, college buildings, and orphan asylum. The college, one of the most flourishing institutions of the Southern States, was founded in 1785, and has a president and six professors, with (in 1850) seventy students. The medical college was founded in 1833, and in 1850 had eight professors and 158 students. The Literary and Philosophical Society has a fine collection of objects in natural history, &c.; and the Academy of Fine Arts possesess [sic] some valuable paintings. The city library contains about 2400 volumes.

Our Engraving of the Church in Charleston is from a Sketch by Mr. Eyre Crowe, Jun.

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