Continuing the Stateside portion of our travels, following a visit to Washington, D.C., the next stop was Charleston, South Carolina. Situated at the junctions of the Cooper, Wando, and Ashley rivers, Charleston is the oldest and largest city in South Carolina. It was founded in 1670 as “Charles Town”, so named in honor of King Charles II of England. Initially located on the West Bank of the Ashley river ( at Albemarle Point), by 1680 it was relocated to its present site. Incorporated as a city at the end of the American Revolutionary War (1783), the city adopted its present spelling. During the peak years of the slave trade, historians estimated that nearly half of all Africans brought to the United States, passed through Charleston. As part of the first state to secede from the Union in 1861, Charleston initiated the beginning of the Civil War by seizing the city’s arsenal, Castle Pinckney (a small government fortification), and firing on Fort Sumpter in the harbor. Now a popular tourist destination, Charleston is known not only for its history, but also for its architecture, dining experiences, and the friendliness of its inhabitants.