Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program, College of Charleston

CLAW was established to promote scholarship on the Lowcountry, the Atlantic World, and the connections between the two.

Operating as usual


Juneteenth marks the day when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, securing the freedom of enslaved people in the area, and it is observed today as a celebration of the end of the institution of slavery in the United States. To honor the day, we’re telling a story of two men that reflected in papers we hold in our archives.
Albert and Handy were enslaved by Caroline Howard Gilman, an author and the widow of Revered Samuel Gilman. When her home sustained damage during the Civil War in 1862, she moved north with her household to Greenville. It was while living there that Albert and Handy learned of their freedom in 1865. While we don’t have their version of the event, Caroline wrote to her daughter of the two men in September of 1865. She laments that she no longer hears Albert singing his hymns while working and tells of Handy’s disrespectfulness since learning the news. In an event that was surely met with rejoice for Handy, she also writes about his newborn son – who was born free.
While it seems Albert and Handy may have stayed with Caroline for a short while, she says that many of those she enslaved attempted to head for the coast, in her words, “leaving their comfortable homes and living in miserable shanties" - in the name of freedom.

Image is of the enslaved quarters at the Gilmans' home on Orange Street in Charleston, from the book “A Balcony in Charleston” by Mary Scott Saint-Armand.

Middleton Place 06/19/2024

Middleton Place “Cherokees in the Revolutionary Era: Diplomacy, Conflict, and Peace” Presented by Dr. Alice Taylor-Colbert Time: Sunday, July 7, 2024 4:00 […]


In honor of Juneteenth, Charleston tri-county residents will receive 50% off admission to the Aiken-Rhett House and Nathaniel Russell House Museums. Experience history in a powerful and unique way at one of Charleston’s historic treasures.


Join us virtually or in person Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 7pm, as poet Danielle Legros Georges speaks about her recent book, Black Women Poets Re-Imagine the Verse of Phillis Wheatley Peters (2023). Co-edited with Artress Bethany White, this new collection celebrates the 250th anniversary of Phillis Wheatley Peters’ Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) through the voices of twenty Black female poets. This reimagining of writing by America’s first Black poet and iconic literary ancestor for a new generation helps twenty-first century audiences gain new perspectives.


The National Park Service (NPS) will hold a listening session to receive public input on the future exhibit for the downtown Beaufort visitor center at Reconstruction Era National Historical Park. Greening Youth Foundation Intern Christian Harvey will be asking for comments on the exhibit themes on two days. June 14 from 12 to 4 pm at West Street Learning Center located at 913 West Street, Beaufort, SC. June 15 from 11 am to 4 pm at Darrah Hall on the Penn Center Campus.

Please drop in on either day to learn about the new exhibit on the Reconstruction era in Beaufort and Nationally. This will be your opportunity to provide written input on the following questions:

How important do you think the exhibit's themes (land redistribution, labor transitions, education, citizenship, governance, and the legacy of Reconstruction) are to understanding the history of Beaufort and the broader context of Reconstruction?

How do you feel the exhibit could represent the experiences and histories of African Americans during Reconstruction?

How impactful do you think the exhibit will be in educating visitors about the Reconstruction era's challenges and achievements?

Please share any additional thoughts or suggestions you have about the visitor center exhibit. How can we make this exhibit more effective and meaningful for the community?

Your responses will help us ensure that the exhibit is meaningful and relevant to the community. Your feedback is crucial for creating a valuable educational experience.

NPS/Elena De Marco


Our new exhibition Boundaries of Enlightenment: Exploring Authority and Enquiry in Spanish America is now open to the public!

Details at


The Preservation Society of Charleston is doing some incredible work identifying and protecting Black burial grounds in Charleston.


The 2024 Avery Family Reunion is heating up! 🔥

We’re excited to announce one of the guaranteed highlights of 2024: an immersive Gullah Market experience curated by none other than renowned Gullah Geechee Chef and cultural bearer Chef BJ Dennis!

Chef BJ has hosted his Gullah Market across the Lowcountry to showcase the food, arts, crafts, and storytelling of the culture. The Gullah Market at this year’s Avery Family Reunion will be his first-ever showcase at home in Charleston, made possible with generous support from the GGullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor NHA!

🎟️ Stay tuned for many more Gullah Market details to come, and secure your FREE Reunion ticket at


REMINDER: The Mapping Charleston’s Black Burial Grounds Project Preview is next week! We hope you can join the Preservation Society and Anson Street African Burial Ground Project on June 11 (5:30 – 7:30 PM at ILA Hall, 1142 Morrison Dr.) for the community’s first look at a draft citywide map of burial grounds created in response to public input. Made possible by a National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant, this map is intended to support better protections for Black burial grounds across the City of Charleston.

We are seeking community feedback to make this resource the best it can be and look forward to sharing the publicly accessible, online map later this summer. All are welcome! Please share this invitation with family, friends, and neighbors and let us know if you plan to attend by registering online:

UK newspaper tied to slavery wants to make amends in Lowcountry communities 06/10/2024

Local recognition of the UK Guardian's reparative project:

UK newspaper tied to slavery wants to make amends in Lowcountry communities Sorry is not enough: That’s why representatives of a newspaper in England are visiting the Lowcountry and places around the globe where the paper played a role in the enslavement of Africans, trying to turns words into actions.


27 years of commemorations now . . .


JUNE 22: Join us for an Author Talk and Books Signing with Dr. Millicent Brown on her book Another Sojourner Looking for Truth at the Baxter-Patrick James Island Library!

Photos from We Be Gullah 's post 06/05/2024

Here's a great story:


🌟 Join us as we continue our June Speaker Series with a special presentation by the dynamic duo, Blake Scott, Ph.D., and Joel Caldwell, founders of The M.A.R.S.H. Project! 🌿 This complimentary event is part of our ongoing series to engage and educate our community.

Blake, an associate professor of International Studies at the College of Charleston, specializes in the diverse cultures and ecologies of the Caribbean and the US South, while Joel is an esteemed environmental journalist. Together, they will delve into The M.A.R.S.H. Project, a grassroots initiative advocating for the unique marshland ecosystems of Charleston, South Carolina, intertwining history and ecology in the Lowcountry.

Don't miss this enlightening talk on June 11! 🔗 Link in bio to register.


Have your voice heard! Reconstruction Era National Historical Park is seeking public input on its General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment. Your feedback will help shape the future of the park. Comment now through June 30, 2024. Learn more and submit your thoughts here:

You can read the complete news release at:


Join our CEO, Dr. Elizabeth Chew, for her talk at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for their Summer Speaker Series this Tuesday, June 4! The event is free, but registration is requested. Get more info and sign up for your spot here:

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