Historic Charleston offers a rich history around every corner. From Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the first shots of the Civil War rang out to Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, a former prison and one of the locations where the Declaration of Independence was read, and with over a hundred hotels, they too hold a rich history, steeped in secrets from the past.
Last night’s Hotel Secrets & Legends featured a story about 2 escaped slaves from Georgia – Ellen and William Craft – who stayed at the then Planter’s Hotel (now the Dock Street Theatre) for one night. Unlike countless of other stories regarding escaped slaves, the Craft’s story is unique. Ellen Craft’s skin complexion was so fair that she could easily pass for a white woman, and in this case, a white man. In a successful escape plan, Ellen disguised herself as an invalid white man traveling with “his” slave (William was of darker complexion, so he was “disguised” as Ellen’s slave).
Built in 1736, Dock Street Theatre was America’s first building dedicated to theatrical performances. Locals and tourists visiting Charleston can purchase tickets to a number of its shows. Former performances have included The Diary of Anne Frank and Catch Me If You Can.
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