Slave sale, Charleston, South Carolina : from a sketch by Eyre Crowe. (1856)

Slavery in The Lowcountry

Slavery in South Carolina was different from anywhere else in America:

  • Almost half of all of the enslaved Africans who came to the U.S. first arrived in the port of Charleston
  • In the Lowcountry, the proportion of enslaved Africans to whites could be as high as 9:1.
  • Enslaved people comprised nearly 50% of Charleston’s population before the Civil War

Today, nearly 80% of African Americans can potentially trace an ancestor who arrived in Charleston.