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Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II of England.Its initial location at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River (now Charles Towne Landing) was abandoned in 1680 for its present site, which became the fifth-largest city in North America within ten years.

At the time of contact, the area was inhabited by the Cusabo Indians. The Charlestonians initially allied with the Westo, a slaving northern tribe that had grown powerful trading for guns with the colonists in Virginia.

The Westo had made enemies of nearly every other tribe in the region, however, and the English turned on them in 1679.

North Charleston blocks any expansion up the peninsula, and Mount Pleasant occupies the land directly east of the Cooper River.

Charleston Harbor runs about 7 miles (11 km) southeast to the Atlantic with an average width of about 2 miles (3.2 km), surrounded on all sides except its entrance.

These cities combined with other incorporated and unincorporated areas along with the city of Charleston form the Charleston-North Charleston Urban Area with a population of 548,404 as of 2010 The metropolitan statistical area also includes a separate and much smaller urban area within Berkeley County, Moncks Corner (with a 2000 population of 9,123). II was restored to the English throne in 1660, he granted the chartered Province of Carolina to eight of his loyal friends, known as the Lords Proprietors, on March 24, 1663.

The traditional parish system persisted until the Reconstruction Era, when counties were imposed. It took seven years before the group arranged for settlement expeditions.

Nevertheless, traditional parishes still exist in various capacities, mainly as public service districts. In 1670, Governor William Sayle brought over several shiploads of settlers from Bermuda, which lies due east of Charleston although closer to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

When the city of Charleston was formed, it was defined by the limits of the Parish of St. These settlers established Charles Town at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River a few miles northwest of the present-day city center.

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The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers.

Charles Town became English-speaking America's first comprehensively planned town with governance, settlement, and development were to follow a visionary plan known as the Grand Model prepared for the Lords Proprietors by John Locke.

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