City of the Silent
The Charlestonians of Magnolia Cemetery
Afterword by Alice Mcpherson Phillips, Foreword by Josephine Humphreys
Taking its title from the poem that William Gilmore Simms delivered at the 1850 consecration of the cemetery, City of the Silent is a unique guide to some of the complex personalities who have contributed to the Holy City's rich culture. The book includes entries on writers, artists, statesmen, educators, religious leaders, scientists, war heroes, financiers, captains of industry, slave traders, socialites, criminals, victims, and others. Some of these men and women are as distinguished as author Josephine Pinckney, civil rights champion J. Waties Waring, and artist Alice Ravenel Huger Smith. Others are as notorious as bootlegger Frank "Rumpty Rattles" Hogan, adulterous killer Dr. Thomas McDow, and brothel-keeper Belle Percival. Most of Phillips's subjects achieved prominence while alive, but a few are better known for their manner of death. The members of the third and final crew of the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, interred with great ceremony in 2004 after the discovery of their vessel in Charleston harbor, are among the newest Magnolia residents depicted in the portrait gallery.
Each authoritative profile offers a vivid depiction of a memorable individual rendered in conversational tone with refreshing wit and apt anecdotes. These artfully braided stories describe an intricate network of family ties, civic institutions, business enterprises, and local landmarks. Together the biographies provide an affectionate, insightful history of an influential society and establish Magnolia as a center of community traditions that extend from the mid–nineteenth century to the present. City of the Silent is a celebration of intertwining lives and an engrossing account of Charleston's past as witnessed by those no longer able to tell their own tales.
In addition to the biographical sketches, City of the Silent includes a foreword by Josephine Humphreys, Charleston writer and longtime friend of the author, and an afterword by Phillips's daughter Alice McPherson Phillips. The volume also features an introductory essay by historian Thomas J. Brown examining how the cemetery became a leading site of historical memory in the aftermath of the Civil War, and sets of maps and thematic tours that invite visitors to locate the featured graves within Magnolia's evocative grounds.
About the Authors
"Ted Phillips's remarkable study of Magnolia Cemetery and the equally remarkable people who are buried there reflects the author's boundless enthusiasm for Charleston, its people, and its history. Ted's work rightly recognizes that Magnolia Cemetery is one of the cultural treasures of Charleston and this book will inspire a deeper appreciation for Magnolia as one of the preeminent sites in our city. Ted Phillips was an amazing Charlestonian who loved this historic city deeply and he deserves to be remembered in the pantheon of remarkable Charleston personages."—The Honorable Joseph P. Riley, Jr., mayor of Charleston
"These brief biographies of writers, artists, politicians, slave traders, criminals, socialites, and others who lie buried in Charleston's huge riverside cemetery come from a man who loved his city, studied its history, and knew many of its secrets. In sketches that range from the serious to the humorous, Ted Phillips has separated the admirable from the villainous, duly acknowledged the dull and dutiful, and had great fun with the shady and scandalous. This is a book not to be read in gulps, but savored in sips."—Jane H. Pease, University of Maine
"This is a gloriously unclassifiable book—with one foot in history and one in literature—that redefines and deepens our understanding of what it has meant to be a Charlestonian. Filled with wit and rueful wisdom, the portraits of the dead in Ted Phillips's City of the Silent speak with an eloquence that recalls Lyton Strachey's Eminent Victorians and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio."—Dale Rosengarten, College of Charleston
Other Titles by Ted Phillips, Jr.
Other Titles by Josephine Humphreys
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