SOUTH CAROLINA INTER-STATE AND WEST INDIAN EXPOSITION
Purpose: To advertise city's port, geographical
position and potential for trade with West Indies and Central and South
America in effort to recapture its "former commercial position",
Charleston's prosperity having lagged behind that of many other southern
Organization: First suggested October 1899;
Exposition Co. chartered June 1900, public subscription to stock. Modest
grants by City and State. Congress at first refused any appropriation but
later voted both reimbursement of expense of moving Federal exhibits from
Buffalo and money for payment of certain claims after exposition closed.
Site: About 250 acres composed of old Washington Race Course and
"the beautiful farm of Captain Wagener generously placed at the disposal of
the Directors…for three years without rent or…restriction."
Dates, Attendance: Dec. 2, 1901 to May 31, 1902.
During two-thirds of time, weather was "the most forbidding…ever known"
holding attendance to only about 675,000; one half paid.
Participants: Lack of original interest by
Congress plus construction delays seriously affected both domestic and
foreign participation. Ultimately, 20 states represented along with Alaska,
Guatemala, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Five of former, all of latter and
Cincinnati and Philadelphia erected own buildings. "Best" of Federal
exhibits at Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo were brought in, originally at
local expense and included Mint Exhibit.
Comment: General building design and grounds
were of "typical southern character and motif" and entire project was dubbed
"Ivory City." Liberty Bell, popular exposition item of that
era, was on display; statuary was "outstanding"; there was "artistic
Medals: It has not been possible to establish
which of medals below was considered Official nor which might have been
struck in Mint Exhibit on grounds.
FORT SUMTER DOLLAR
Photos courtesy of John Dean
Obv. Tall palm tree and plantation scene--within
center circle; outside, around South Carolina Inter-State and West
Rev. Fort, below Fort Sumter--within,
center wreath; outside, around 1901 Charleston 1902, below South
HK-292 Silver-plated Copper, rather thin
LIBERTY BELL DOLLAR
Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins
Obv. Edifice; below Charleston S.C. /
Dec. 1. 1901--June 1. / 1902; around The South Carolina
Inter-State and West Indian Exposition *
HK-293 Bronze. 35mm.
Rev. Liberty Bell in center circle; outside,
above Liberty Bell; below July 4. 1776
HK-293a White Metal. 35mm.
Photos courtesy of Tony Swicer
Obv. Full winged female figure standing on world
globe, ships and train in background.
Rev. South / Carolina /
Interstate and / West Indian / Exposition / 1901-1902
/ Charleston / S. C.; stalk of corn and flowers to r., bound
by ribbon below.
HK-294 Brass. 35mm.
HK-295 White Metal.