39 

Number of documents in the permanent collection at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum

Most of the exhibits you'll find at the Karpeles are traveling shows. Charleston's Karpeles is one of many throughout the country. Manuscript shows travel from site to site, radiating out from the main depository in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Charleston venue, however, does have its own permanent collection, a cache of 39 documents originating from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and Victorian eras.

One letter is from John C. Calhoun. Another letter from Francis Marion.

To anyone who doesn't believe the Civil War was about slavery, consider the Karpeles' collection of letters. Their authors spent a lot of time observing the behavior of slaves. Evidently, whites of the time knew the war was about slavery — and they were very concerned about what slaves were thinking and feeling.

"They wrote about the behavior of slaves as the Union Army got closer," says Stephen J. White, director of the Karpeles. "The slaves felt fear and joy and excitement, but didn't dare show it, because their masters were still in charge."

The only artifacts not related to Charleston are eight Egyptian sandstones. On them are carved ancient Egyptian gods. White says they were buried for thousands of years before being purchased by David Karpeles, the museum's namesake.

The Numbers Issue

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    The cost of the six Panama houses currently up for sale at the Navy Yard at Noisette.
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  • 3,000

    The weight in pounds of six iron chairs at the Macaulay Museum of Dental History
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  • 150-170

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  • 2

    Number of ghosts that are fans of Chamber Music Charleston
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    The North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in 2008 by the numbers
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  • 200

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  • 17,000

    Number of miles traveled so far by the Transit Antenna
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  • 1.5 million

    The estimated number of pounds of shrimp caught by commercial shrimpers in the Charleston area
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    The estimated number of seeds planted by local farmer Rita Bachmann
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  • 1

    Number of sidewalk opera singers in Charleston
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  • 1

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  • 47.03

    The number of inches of rain Charleston received so far in 2008
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