Question of the Week 8/17 – 8/23

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

This week’s Question of the Week comes from ECW’s Chris Kolakowski who asks:

Visiting Charleston a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the layers of history surrounding its harbor. It has been one of the most important ports on the U.S. East Coast since the 1600s.

Where would you rank Charleston in terms of most historic ports in U.S. history? Among East Coast ports?

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6 Responses to Question of the Week 8/17 – 8/23

  1. Charles Downs says:

    I would rank Boston first in terms of history because of the commerce and history (the Boston Tea Party and the heart of the American Revolution). If we are talking about commerce and immigration then New York (plus the role it too played in the American Revolution). I would rankCharleston second or third.

  2. I acknowledge Boston and Charleston as important ports in American history, but I am going to shout out my state’s port as the top ranking for history, which is Philadelphia. It’s Philadelphia where all the delegates from all the colonies came together and created the United States ::drops the microphone:: We have the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution both being written here. Philadelphia was founded as a port by William Penn, and in addition to inviting people to the new world due to principles of religious toleration, the economy boomed as Philadelphia had much to offer in the way of industry and was a perfect midpoint between all the colonies from which to travel.

    As to the ranking of Charleston on the basis of its history and its ranking as a port, I am going to say that Charleston is probably third after 1. Philadelphia and 2. Boston, and following it I’d state 4. New York, 5. a tie between Baltimore and Savannah.

  3. Chris Kolakowski says:

    I asked the question, so let me throw in my answer. Keep in mind I am ranking these ports by the amount of history and longevity of relative importance, not just one or two specific events.

    Here goes (top 5):
    1. New York
    2. Hampton Roads
    3. Charleston
    4. Boston
    5. San Francisco

    On the East Coast-only list, Baltimore replaces San Francisco as #5. Philadelphia gets an honorable mention.

  4. Dave Powell says:

    Boston and New York seemed tied for #1 to me.

  5. RON VAUGHAN says:

    Charleston certainly takes the prize for the most embattled of the US ports, although St Augustine had several attacks during its Spanish period.  However, my vote for the most historic port has to be Boston–the cradle of the American Revolution.Ron Vaughan  

  6. Meg Thompson says:

    Is Pearl Harbor in this mix? I know it was not actually a U.S. port. Otherwise, I think that overall, New York would rank first to me.

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