A treasure of a home that is managed by The Charleston Museum, the Joseph Manigault House is a prime example of Charleston's hardworking efforts to protect the relics of its lush, although often somber, past. The grand three story home is considered one of the best representations of Adam style architecture, (a typically 18th-century neoclassical design), and despite its central location on Meeting Street, is well known for its quiet and unpopulated tours. A true delight for interior designers, with ornate touches and authentic furnishings, this sprawling Charleston showpiece paints a complete portrait of typical pre-Civil War Charleston life, from the decadent rooms and finishings owned by the city's wealthiest residents, to the hardworking but enslaved hands that crafted them.
Charleston County and the city of Charleston, its county seat, are the most historic locations in the state. English settlers arrived in the colony of Carolina in 1670 and established a town at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River. The settlement, named Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, was subsequently moved a few miles away to a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Charles Town (renamed Charleston in 1783) was the political, social, and economic center of South Carolina throughout the colonial and ante-bellum periods, and it served as the state capital until 1790.