Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow by Susan WilliamsUpheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow by Susan Williams

Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow

bySusan Williams, Stephen Hoffius

Paperback | September 1, 2012

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On August 31, 1886, a massive earthquake centered near Charleston, South Carolina, sent shock waves as far north as Maine, down into Florida, and west to the Mississippi River. When the dust settled, residents of the old port city were devastated by the death and destruction.

Upheaval in Charleston is a gripping account of natural disaster and turbulent social change in a city known as the cradle of secession. Weaving together the emotionally charged stories of Confederate veterans and former slaves, Susan Millar Williams and Stephen G. Hoffius portray a South where whites and blacks struggled to determine how they would coexist a generation after the end of the Civil War.

This is also the story of Francis Warrington Dawson, a British expatriate drawn to the South by the romance of the Confederacy. As editor of Charleston's News and Courier, Dawson walked a lonely and dangerous path, risking his life and reputation to find common ground between the races. Hailed as a hero in the aftermath of the earthquake, Dawson was denounced by white supremacists and murdered less than three years after the disaster. His killer was acquitted after a sensational trial that unmasked a Charleston underworld of decadence and corruption.

Combining careful research with suspenseful storytelling, Upheaval in Charleston offers a vivid portrait of a volatile time and an anguished place.

Susan Millar Williams is the author of A Devil and a Good Woman, Too: The Lives of Julia Peterkin, winner of the Julia Cherry Spruill Award. She teaches American literature and creative writing at Trident Technical College and lives in McClellanville, south Carolina. Stephen G. Hoffius is the author of Winners and Losers, a prize-winni...
Title:Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim CrowFormat:PaperbackDimensions:392 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:September 1, 2012Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820344214

ISBN - 13:9780820344218

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Table of Contents

Preface. Living with Disaster
Chapter One. The Great Shock
Chapter Two. Seeds of Destruction
Chapter Three. "The Earthquake Is upon Us!"
Chapter Four. A World Turned Upside Down
Chapter Five. The Earthquake Hunters
Chapter Six. Aftershocks
Chapter Seven. An Angry God
Chapter Eight. Labor Day
Chapter Nine. "Bury the Dead and Feed the Living"
Chapter Ten. The Comforts of Science
Chapter Eleven. Relief
Chapter Twelve. Waiting for the Apocalypse
Chapter Thirteen. Rising from the Ruins
Chapter Fourteen. The Old Joy of Combat
Chapter Fifteen. Wrapped in the Stars and Stripes
Chapter Sixteen. Fault Lines
Chapter Seventeen. Standing over a Volcano
Chapter Eighteen. Killing Captain Dawson
Chapter Nineteen. The Trial
Epilogue. Rebuilding the Walls

Selected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

[Williams and Hoffius] must be commended for a painstaking and at times gripping reconstruction of the events that began on the night of August 31, 1886. Working largely from primary sources such as diaries, letters, and contemporaneous newspaper accounts, [they] have created a narrative history, intricate and meticulously documented, that reads like a well-plotted novel, largely avoiding the tedium of far too many academic histories. - Jack Trotter - Chronicles