Susan Millar Williams and Stephen G. Hoffius are the authors of Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow.
From their Q & A with Randy Dotinga at the Christian Science Monitor:
Q: What was Charleston like at that time [125 years ago], barely 20 years after the end of the Civil War, which had begun just outside town at Ft. Sumter?--Marshal Zeringue
Hoffius: Charleston was hammered by the war. There were regular bombings of the city from James Island, where the Northern forces were, and there was a lot of ruin all through the city. Then the city and state were bankrupted afterward. They had difficulty recovering. Things were kind of getting on their feet but just barely.
Q: What was the racial situation like?
Hoffius: The city was 60 percent black and 40 percent white, a level that caused a lot of fear in white people.
Q: The quake came on top of another disaster, correct?
Hoffius: The city had been hit by a hurricane in 1885 that really flattened much of the city. They...[read on]