October Programs



Stories of weighty decisions, colorful music, and powerful politics—that’s what you’ll find at the Charleston Time Machine this October.   We begin the month by continuing our chronological survey of state history for 8th graders with a Revolutionary War topic, and end the month with a look at the deep background of Charleston’s mayoral politics (just in time for the upcoming election).  Between these grave topics, we’ll explore an exciting, but little-known chapter in the story of African-American music in the lowcountry of South Carolina.  These free programs are suitable for all ages, of course, and I hope to see you in a library soon.


Choosing Sides in Revolutionary South Carolina

During the American Revolution, free white and enslaved black South Carolinians faced a choice about whether to support the struggle for independence or to pledge loyalty to the British government.  Men and women on both sides struggled with this weighty decision and then faced the consequences of their allegiances.  Some were banished, some became heroes, some suffered miserably, and some won freedom.  Join me for a look at the options available to lowcountry residents during those years of crisis.

  • Wednesday, October 7th at 6 p.m., Charleston County Public Library, 2nd Floor Classroom, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC 29401
  • Tuesday, October 13th at 11:15 a.m.John’s Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455 (with students from Haut Gap Middle School


Black Violinists in Early Charleston

Black violinists were a common feature of Charleston’s early cultural scene, where they provided music for both black and white audiences at formal and informal dances.  To learn more about these “negro fiddlers” and the instruments and music they played, please join me for a look at the evidence of this little-known feature of Charleston’s musical heritage.

  • Monday, October 12th at 6 p.m., Charleston County Public Library auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC 29401


From Intendant to Mayor: The Evolution of Charleston’s Executive Office

Since the incorporation of the city in 1783, the office of Charleston’s chief executive has evolved from a part-time, volunteer “Intendant” serving a one-year term to a strong, salaried “Mayor” with significant political clout.  Please join me for a survey of the most significant steps in this political journey and how they shaped the city’s history.

  • Wednesday, October 28th at 6 p.m., Charleston County Public Library, 2nd Floor Classroom, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC 29401

Questions? Drop me a line at butlern[at]ccpl.org or call 843–805–6968 for more information.