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“C” is for Charleston County

“C” is for Charleston County (919 square miles; 2020 population 417,981). About 1682, in the first blueprint for South Carolina as an English colony, there was no Charleston County. Charles Towne, as the first city was then called, was the hub of Berkeley County. In its modern configuration, Charleston County is a long sliver of land—mainland and islands—bounded at the north and south by the South Santee and South Edisto Rivers. It has existed only since 1882. The county has experienced tremendous population growth in the 21st century and today contains three of the four largest cities in the state: Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant. Modern government in Charleston County depends on a delicate balance of county officers and city or town administrations, all elected by overlapping constituencies and mutually concerned with quality of life.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.