(Originally visited 3 April 2010.)
The primary reason for my day trip to Charleston was to attend a preseason soccer game between my beloved Carolina RailHawks and our local rivals the odious Charleston Battery. Knowing John Calhoun was buried somewhere in town, I arrived early to track him down.
It was the day before Easter and it felt like a beautiful summer day to a northern boy like myself despite it being barely spring. It seemed like everyone had converged on the city, slowing traffic and clogging the sidewalks.
My first stop was the visitors center. Sure, I could’ve researched the precise location of his grave on the internet, but that might cheat me out of an adventure. However the visitors center was overrun by tourists. The information line looked hours long. None of the free brochures provided useful information, they were just ads for various tours. It really left me feeling like the city was only interested in my money.
I talked with some nice ladies weaving baskets. They didn’t know where he was buried but offered vague locations of old cemeteries so off I went on foot.
I noticed the Charleston Museum on my way and hoped it would be less mobbed and more informative. I was greeted immediately by a thankfully small line of people waiting to pay admission. Instead of giving the nice lady any money I asked about the grave and the people immediately behind me chimed in with the location, St. Phillip’s churchyard, some blocks south.
The walk was pleasant, architecture generally interesting and every I looked there were people. Even the gates of the grave yard we blocked by a walking tour.
John Calhoun’s grave was by far the busiest of all the Vice Presidential graves I’ve visited. I was only able to get one shot of his monument without a human sharing the frame. There was a constant stream of people, including me, who would pause, read the inscriptions, perhaps take a photo, then move on.
It’s not that I have anything against people but…
Well, I don’t like people. Not, you, dear reader, just everybody else. That’s probably why I’m drawn to cemeteries and soccer in these United States.
In case you’re interested, the RailHawks defeated the Battery 2-1.