Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Charleston: Charm, Treachery, Water

Our last morning with Ben and Sara in Charleston involved strolling through the downtown area.

It felt like a small town and to many I suppose it is, but there were many, many blocks of those small town charming stores.  I guess we didn't actually go into any of them, but I'm sure they were charming.

Even the alleys between the streets were charming.

I just want to let you enjoy a few photos.

We happened upon a place called the Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon. This place was oozing with history. It first was built as a meeting place, a place for debates and other exchanges of ideas.

We toured the "dungeon" art of the building and learned a lot of things. For one, I didn't realize how much Charleston had been traumatized by pirates. Some of those pirates were held there.

This particular jail wasn't all that big and it was all one big space. Men and women were just put down there together.

During the Revolutionary War the British took siege of Charleston and used this jail. 
At least 3 of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were housed in this jail.

George Washington spoke from this building and attended a ball inside this building.

Later, slaves were auctioned off from the front steps.

I looked around at the place and thought the handmade bricks and prettily shaped ceiling were adorable. It was such a contrast to the stories we heard of all the suffering that occurred in and around that building.

One of the most prominent Americans to be executed for treason to the British crown was Isaac Hayne.  He was a man enjoying a comfortable and prominent life, a father of seven children, when the Revolutionary War interrupted his serenity.  Hayne became a colonel who eventually was tried for treason.  He spent his last night in this place.  One of his sons was allowed to come tell him good-bye and reported seeing his coffin sitting there prepared for him.

I wondered what that must have felt like for Hayne.

From The Execution of Isaac Hayne by David K. Bowden...

A contemporary of Hayne described the day: “The streets were crowded with thousands of anxious spectators . . . When the city barrier was past, and the instrument of catastrophe appeared full in view, a faithful friend by his side observed to him, ‘that he hoped he would exhibit an example of the manner in which an American can die.’ He answered with the utmost tranquility, ‘I will endeavor to do so.’ He ascended the cart with a firm step and serene aspect. He enquired of the executioner, who was making an attempt to get the cap over his eyes, what he wanted? Upon being informed of his design, the colonel replied, ‘I will save you that trouble, ‘ and he pulled it over himself. He was afterwards asked whether he wished to say anything, to which he answered, ‘I will only take leave of my friends, and be ready.’ He then affectionately shook hands with three gentlemen–recommended his children to their care–and gave the signal for the cart to move.”
If you are interested, go here to read a lot more.

We moved on to enjoy a nice lunch at a trendy restaurant, Blossom, then went down to the harbor for a bit. I like to look at water, you know. We were at City Park and it was a warm Sunday afternoon. I enjoyed watching people enjoying the big fountain there. I also enjoyed looking out to the harbor.

Sara and Ben, kids at heart.

 I am not really sure what a barnacle is but maybe these are barnacles?

 Water makes it a party, huh?

 I saw child after child try to suppress that flow of water.
The water always won.

 I told you, I like to look at water.

 I wish you could hear all the squealing and giggling!

 It was really, really hot but it was worth it to be by the water.
I spent quite some time at the end of this dock...or is it a pier?
What is the difference between a dock and a pier?

We had to say good-bye to Ben and Sara as they had to get back to their real lives.
I hope we can do something like this with them again soon!

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