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As the Charlestonians say, their South Carolina city is located where the Ashley and Cooper rivers join to form the Atlantic ocean. Charles Towne was founded in 1670 and became the 5th largest city in North America within a decade. Its development was thoroughly and minutely planned on the basis of a Grand Modell drafted by philosopher John Locke, the personal assistant to Anthony Ashley Cooper (the earl of Shaftesbury). Despite his denunciation of slavery in the 1st sentence of his "Two Treatises of Government" ["Slavery is so vile and miserable an estate of man, and so directly opposite to the generous temper and courage of our nation; that it is hardly to be conceived, that an Englishman, much less a gentleman, should plead for it."] Locke was an investor in the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa chartered in 1660 by Charles II, which during the 1680s shipped about 5,000 slaves a year to the British colonies; between 1672, when it was rechartered as the Royal African Company, until 1689, when it lost its monopoly, it transported perhaps 100,000 slaves. The city changed its name when it incorporated in 1783. It was the only major city in the US with a majority of its populace composed of slaves, and almost 1/2 of all Africans taken to the US arrived via Charleston. After Abraham Lincoln, a noted antislavery politician, was elected president of the US in November 1860, South Carolina was the 1st Southern state to secede (on 20 December), and the Civil War began when G. T. Beauregard commanded the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor in April 1861. The US navy repeatedly bombarded the city during the war, but the American army never managed to take it until after the Confederate army evacuated it in February 1865 (after burning its public buildings and cotton warehouses). However, despite its economic recovery and modernization after the war, the city retains many of its antebellum mansions and gas-lit cobblestone streets.
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