John, Dexter and I just spent a wonderful day in Beaufort, SC. Not to be confused with Beaufort NC which we those of you who follow my blog religiously (which for my ego I will assume is all of you), will remember that we also visited there not too long ago. Apparently they are both named after the Duke of Beaufort, but in South Carolina they pronounce it incorrectly as Bew-fort, simply because they don't give a crap. Nonetheless, we loved it here.
Before heading to shore, I got a dinghy lesson! I have driven one before, but not extensively. I am very proud to announce that I am quite competent in the operating of the dinghy, so now I am no longer trapped on the boat with John, I am now capable of escaping, yay!
I dinghied us to shore and we took an amazing carriage ride through the town (which I believe Dexter also quite enjoyed). The entire town is covered in big oak trees with beautiful Spanish moss. Our guide Todd was very knowledgable, so here's a little history lesson: First of all, Beaufort is the second oldest city in South Carolina (second to Charleston) he told us that before the civil war began, there were only 1000 "whites" (I feel weird saying that, but that's what they seem to say here in the south) living there and 11,000 slaves-giving a ratio of 11 to 1. Beaufort was a very wealthy town because they had sea-island cotton which went for 60-71 cents while regular cotton went for only 6 cents. The average household owned 184 slaves. When the war began, all the whites fled and the Union took over and turned Beaufort into a hospital town. The tombstones in one of the oldest cemeteries in American (where many Confederate soldiers are buried) now have many cracked tombstones because during the war they used them as hospital beds. They also used Spanish moss for stitches (ouch!). Because all the whites left, this is one of the first places that slaves were free. Robert Smalls is a famous figure in Beaufort, he was born there as a slave and ended up owning the same house that he was born and enslaved in. He then became a congressman in Beaufort for 13 years.
|Spanish moss on a huge oak tree|
|I swear, last picture of Spanish moss|
|Graveyard of Confederate soldiers|
|The flags say which war they were in|
|First African American Church|
|The African American church|
I had no idea how much people are still so focused on the civil war. It's absolutely everywhere and everything. Some people still call it the "war of northern aggression". Our cab driver was watching the movie Lincoln while driving! It really is still the focus of everything, 150 years later.
Several movies have been filmed here, including Forrest Gump and I went to the Chocolate shop where he gets his box of chocolates, it was amazing inside, it smelled so good, I may have come out with several items...