The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Charleston (county)
CHARLESTON, a county of South Carolina, bordering on the Atlantic, including several islands, of which the largest is Edisto; area, 1,906 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 88,863, of whom 60,603 were colored. The Santee river bounds it on the north, and it is drained by Ashley and Cooper rivers, which unite to form the harbor of Charleston. The other chief river is the Edisto, and there are numerous inlets, including, besides Charleston harbor, the N. and S. Edisto and S. Santee, which are generally navigable by small craft. The coast is broken by several bays and protected by a stretch of sandy islands. The surface is low, level, and in some places exposed to inundation. The soil embraces every variety, from the richest alluvial mould to the most sterile sand. There are large quantities of waste land, most of it reclaimable. The famous sea island cotton is raised along the rivers and coast. Formerly indigo, tobacco, silk, and wine were extensively produced. The olive, orange, and lemon have been found to mature in the open air, though cut down by occasional severe winters. The palmetto and the pine are among the indigenous forest trees. The South Carolina railroad, which terminates at Charleston city, runs through this county, and also the Savannah and Charleston and the Northeastern railroads. A communication between the Santee and Cooper rivers has been opened by a canal 22 m. long. The chief productions in 1870 were 170,087 bushels of Indian corn, 24,110 of peas and beans, 62,984 of sweet potatoes, 5,512 bales of cotton, and 4,329,217 lbs. of rice. There were 1,044 horses, 1,220 mules and asses, 2,565 milch cows, 4,321 other cattle, 2,869 sheep, and 10,390 swine. Capital, Charleston.