Sunday, July 8, 2018

An Afternoon in Charleston

·         Aiken Rhett House

·         Thursday, we drove to Charleston, SC to see the Aiken Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House. 

Trees loomed in the distance as we drove. As usual, their luminescent lines are haunting and beautiful.  
They are witnesses to our nation’s tragedy, some call slavery our original sin.  And you can’t drive through South 
Carolina without bearing witness to its legacy.
·         The US Civil War was fought over the issue.  In the end, the union won.  The president who presided 
over the conflict was assassinated.  And the lessons of the conflict were obfuscated in the name of national unity, 
with the reconstruction failing to grasp the task at hand. Instead of advancing their cause, the freed slaves lost 
civil liberties and long-term racial integration and reconciliation was never achieved.  The Jim Crow system
There were moments when the country addressed the lingering wounds, but wars on poverty, quickly turned to wars
 on the poor, on drug users, sending them into the criminal justice system.
·         But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
·         In between trips to the Aiken Rhett  and the Nathaniel Russell Houses, we stopped at Pearlz Oyster Bar on East Bay Street, for friend oysters, Oysters Rockefeller, etc.  And laughed and laughed. I walked through Charleston, taking in the sites of historic house after house, the trees and gardens, a cemetery or two, even stopping outside the old market, housing the Museum of the Confederacy.  The history extends deep here.  Its well worth considering the links between the economy we have today and the free labor that helped to create the wealth behind it. Like the gold in the churches in Spain,  colonial plunders that helped line their walls. The same could be said for the houses of Charleston, SC.   It was a hot day.

Charleston Historic Foundation offers a useful overview of the two preserved Aiken Rhett House and the restored Nathaniel Russell House.

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