Charleston


Charleston
/chahrlz"teuhn, chahrl"steuhn/, n.
1. a seaport in SE South Carolina. 69,510.
2. a city in and the capital of West Virginia, in the W part. 63,968.
3. a city in E central Illinois. 19,355.
/chahrlz"teuhn, chahrl"steuhn/, n.
1. a vigorous, rhythmic ballroom dance popular in the 1920s.
v.i.
2. to dance the Charleston.
[named after CHARLESTON, South Carolina]

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I
City (pop., 2000: 53,421), capital of West Virginia, U.S. Situated in the Allegheny Mountains at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers, it was settled around Fort Lee shortly after the American Revolution.

It was the home for a time of Daniel Boone. Divided in allegiance during the American Civil War, it was occupied by Union troops in 1862. It was named the state capital in 1870; the capital was briefly transferred to Wheeling but returned to Charleston in 1885. It is a distribution centre for coal, oil, and gas, and its manufactures include chemicals. Its capitol building (completed 1932) was designed by Cass Gilbert.
II
Seaport city (pop., 2000: 96,650), southeastern South Carolina, U.S. Originally called Charles Towne, it was founded by English colonists in 1670.

During the American Revolution it was held by the British (1780–82). Known as Charleston from 1783, it was the chief U.S. winter port until the War of 1812. In 1861 the Confederate capture of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor precipitated the American Civil War. Blockaded by Union forces, it was under siege (1863–65), then evacuated by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's forces. It was seriously damaged by an earthquake in 1886 and a hurricane in 1989. It is the site of the College of Charleston (1770), The Citadel (1842), and the Charleston Museum (1773), the oldest museum in the U.S.
III
Social jazz dance popular in the 1920s and later, characterized by its toes-in, heels-out twisting steps.

Originally a Southern black folk dance, it had parallels in dances of Trinidad, Nigeria, and Ghana. It was popularized by its appearance in the black musical Runnin' Wild in 1923 and took its name from one of the show's songs, written by James P. Johnson.

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      city, seat (1830) of Coles county, east-central Illinois, U.S. It lies near the Embarras River, about 45 miles (70 km) south of Champaign. First settled by Benjamin Parker (1826), it was named for Charles Morton, its first postmaster. In September 1858 Charleston was the scene of the fourth debate between Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln, Abraham) and Stephen A. Douglas (Douglas, Stephen A) (see Lincoln-Douglas debates), attended by some 12,000 people; Coles County Fairgrounds, the site of the debate, houses a Lincoln-Douglas museum. Charleston's economy is based on educational services and health care, and it has some manufacturing (chiefly truck trailers) and agriculture (corn [maize] and soybeans). It is the seat of Eastern Illinois University (founded in 1895 as a state normal school); the Tarble Arts Center, with a fine collection of Illinois folk art, is located on the university's campus. Lake Charleston is just southeast of the city, and Fox Ridge State Park and Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site (reconstructed on the site where Lincoln's father's house originally stood) are to the south. Inc. village, 1835; city, 1865. Pop. (1990) 20,398; (2000) 21,039.

 city, seat of Charleston county, southeastern South Carolina, U.S. It is a major port on the Atlantic coast, a historic centre of Southern culture, and the hub of a large urbanized area that includes Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Hanahan, and Goose Creek. The city is situated on a peninsula between the estuaries of the Ashley and Cooper rivers, facing a fine deepwater harbour.

      The settlement, originally called Charles Towne (for Charles II), was established by English colonists in 1670 on the west bank of the Ashley, thus beginning the colonization of South Carolina. Moved to its present site in 1680, it became the commercial centre of trade in rice and indigo. In 1722 it was briefly incorporated as Charles City and Port, and in 1783 it was reincorporated as Charleston.

      Charleston was the seat of the provincial congress in 1775 that created the state of South Carolina, and it was named the state capital the following year. In the American Revolution the city was held by the British from 1780 to 1782. It ceased to be the state capital in 1790, when the legislature moved to Columbia. Freed from British trade restrictions, Charleston prospered as the chief winter port of the United States until the War of 1812. It had a large trade in the Caribbean and exported cotton and rice.

      As the South's senior city, Charleston led the fight for states' rights from the beginning of that movement up to the formation of the Confederacy. South Carolina's ordinance of secession was passed in Charleston on December 20, 1860, and the capture of Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, by Confederates (April 12–14, 1861) precipitated the American Civil War. The city was blockaded by Union land and sea forces from July 10, 1863, to February 18, 1865, the siege ending only when General William Tecumseh Sherman (Sherman, William Tecumseh)'s advance forced the city's evacuation.

      The completion of jetties through the harbour bar in 1896 provided Charleston with a deepwater entrance, and in 1901 a U.S. naval base was established on the Cooper River. The base was expanded in both World Wars I and II, and during the Cold War Charleston became heavily dependent on U.S. defense facilities, as it was the location of a naval shipyard, a naval station, and naval supply and distribution centres (all now closed). The port's trade also expanded rapidly after World War II, and the nearby Santee Cooper hydroelectric project (1942) aided the city's industrial development, which is now well diversified and includes paper and pulp mills, metalworking, and the manufacture of molded rubber products, auto parts, chemicals, electrical equipment, textiles, and clothing. Charleston remains the financial and commercial centre of coastal South Carolina. The city was devastated by a powerful hurricane in September 1989, and its economy received a serious, though short-lived, blow in 1993, when the decision was made to close the naval shipyard and several other naval bases.

      The city is the seat of the College of Charleston (Charleston, College of) (1770), the Medical University of South Carolina (1824), The Citadel (Citadel, The) (1842; a military college), Trident Technical College (1964), and Charleston Southern University (1964; formerly the Baptist College at Charleston). Charleston's many old colonial homes and churches, picturesque streets and courtyards, and notable parks and gardens recall its days as the chief city of the royal province of Carolina, and the city and its surroundings attract large numbers of tourists. Historic buildings include Heyward-Washington House (1772), the Joseph Manigault House (1803), and the Dock Street Theatre (1736; rebuilt 1937). Cultural institutions include the Charleston Library Society (1748), the Carolina Art Association (1858), and the South Carolina Historical Society (1855). The College of Charleston (Charleston, College of) was the nation's first municipal college, and the Charleston Museum (founded 1773) is the oldest museum in the United States.

      The Battery (White Point Gardens), conspicuous for monuments and military relics, stands at the city's southern extremity, overlooking the rivers and the harbour. Fort Sumter National Monument, commemorating the first shot fired in the Civil War, is located about 3.5 miles (5.5 km) southeast of Charleston, in the bay. Nearby are Middleton Place, a former plantation with a formal garden established in the mid-18th century; Magnolia Plantation and Its Gardens, noted for azaleas and camellias; and Cypress Gardens. Pop. (1990) city, 80,414; Charleston–North Charleston MSA, 506,875; (2000) city, 96,650; Charleston–North Charleston MSA, 549,033.

 city, capital of West Virginia, U.S., seat of Kanawha county, and the largest city in the state. It is situated in the Allegheny Mountains, at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha (Kanawha River) rivers (there bridged to South Charleston), in the south-central part of the state.

      The settlement developed on land purchased by Colonel George Clendenin in 1787; the patent for the land was signed by then governor Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson, Thomas). Clendenin built Fort Lee there in 1788, and the town was chartered in 1794; first named Charles Town, for Clendenin's father, it was renamed Charleston in 1819. Because it lay on the migration route to the Ohio River valley, the settlement soon became a transshipment point and attracted such frontier figures as Daniel Boone (Boone, Daniel), Simon Kenton, and Ann Bailey. The town utilized local brine wells as early as 1795 and was an important centre of salt production in 1824, when the first steamboat arrived.

      During the American Civil War, Union general Joseph A.J. Lightburn was forced back to Charleston from Fayetteville to the southeast on September 11, 1862. Two days later Confederate general William Loring defeated Lightburn there and occupied Charleston for almost two months. Confederate forces took salt supplies and other goods from the Kanawha River valley, destroying most of the saltworks as they departed. Charleston was nominated as the state capital in 1870, but it took seven years and a popular vote before the capital moved there permanently.

      Charleston lies in an area rich in bituminous coal, petroleum, and natural gas as well as salt, and at one time these resources supplied a large chemical manufacturing industry in the Kanawha River valley. nylon, Lucite, and other base chemicals used to produce consumer plastics were developed in the area. Chemicals are still important, though the economy is now more diversified, with an emphasis on manufacturing and on other services (government and health care).

      The State Capitol, designed by architect Cass Gilbert (Gilbert, Cass) and completed in 1932, features a gold-leafed dome that is larger than that of the United States Capitol. The Capitol complex contains the governor's mansion, the cultural centre, the state museum, and a memorial to Booker T. Washington, (Washington, Booker T) who grew up in nearby Malden. The University of Charleston (formerly Morris Harvey College) is a private, coeducational university founded in 1888; West Virginia State College (1891), a historically African American college, is in nearby Institute. Yeager Airport, just to the northeast, is named for test pilot Charles E. Yeager (Yeager, Chuck), who was born in the area. A planned Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia will include an art museum, a performing arts centre, a science centre, and a planetarium. Inc. 1794; city, 1870. Pop. (1990) city, 57,287; Charleston MSA, 250,454; (2000) city, 53,421; Charleston MSA, 251,662.

      county, southern South Carolina, U.S. It comprises a low-lying coastal region with numerous swamps and marshy areas. A portion of the Sea Islands, strung along the Atlantic coast, form the southeastern border; rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway separate the islands from the mainland. The northern end of this long, narrow county includes Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge on the Sea Islands and, inland, part of Francis Marion National Forest. In the unique environment of Kiawah Island, which includes salt marshes, woods, and sandy beaches, lives a wide variety of wildlife, including alligators, 140 species of birds, and the endangered Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle. Charles Towne Landing and Hampton Plantation state parks lie within Charleston county.

      Cusabo Indians inhabited the region when European colonists arrived in the 1670s. In June 1776 (American Revolution) colonial patriots led by William Moultrie (Moultrie, William) defended a fort on Sullivan's Island and thereby saved Charleston from British attack. Charleston county was established in 1785 and named for Charles II of England. Fort Sumter National Monument, in Charleston Harbor, marks the site of the opening battle of the American Civil War. The area became the centre of Confederate blockade running, and Confederate forces introduced submarine warfare there in 1863–64.

      The city of Charleston is the county seat and is home to the College of Charleston (Charleston, College of) (founded 1770) and The Citadel (Citadel, The) (a military college founded in 1842). Some of the county's African American residents continue to speak the Gullah dialect, which contains African as well as English linguistic elements.

      Tomatoes and livestock are the leading farm products. Tourism and, most of all, the commerce of Charleston, an important Atlantic port, are also primary factors in the economy. North Charleston and Mount Pleasant are other principal cities. Area 917 square miles (2,376 square km). Pop. (2000) 309,969; (2007 est.) 342,973.

dance
      social jazz dance highly popular in the 1920s and frequently revived. Characterized by its toes-in, heels-out twisting steps, it was performed as a solo, with a partner, or in a group. Mentioned as early as 1903, it was originally a black folk dance known throughout the American South and especially associated with Charleston, S.C. Analysis of its movements shows it to have strong parallels in certain dances of Trinidad, Nigeria, and Ghana. In its early form the dance was highly abandoned and was performed to complex rhythms beaten out by foot stamps and handclaps. About 1920 professional dancers adopted the dance, and, after its appearance in the black musical Runnin' Wild (1923), it became a national craze. As a fashionable ballroom dance it lost some of the exuberance of the earlier version.

      Charleston music is in quick 4/4 time with syncopated rhythms. In the basic step the knees are bent, then straightened, as the feet pivot in and out. Weight is shifted from one leg to another, the free leg being kicked out from the body at an oblique angle. The basic step is often interspersed with strenuous movements, such as forward and backward kicks while traveling forward.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • charleston — [ ʃarlɛstɔn ] n. m. • 1926; de Charleston, ville de la Caroline du Sud ♦ Danse des Noirs des États Unis, à la mode en Europe vers 1920 1925, très rapide, où l on agite les jambes de chaque côté en serrant les genoux. ● charleston nom masculin (de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Charleston — • The Diocese of Charleston (Carolopolitana) comprises the entire state of South Carolina, U.S.A Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Charleston     Charleston      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • charleston — s.n. Dans american de salon. cu mişcare rapidă; melodie după care se execută acest dans. [pr.: ceárlston] – cuv. engl. Trimis de valeriu, 03.03.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  CHARLESTON [pr.: cearlstón] n. 1) Dans de salon, de origine americană, executat… …   Dicționar Român

  • Charleston, AR — U.S. city in Arkansas Population (2000): 2965 Housing Units (2000): 1315 Land area (2000): 4.197619 sq. miles (10.871782 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.078648 sq. miles (0.203697 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.276267 sq. miles (11.075479 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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  • Charleston, MO — U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 4732 Housing Units (2000): 1957 Land area (2000): 4.676643 sq. miles (12.112450 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.676643 sq. miles (12.112450 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places


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