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Charleston Museum

Established in 1773, Charleston Museum was the first museum in America and is located in the heart of downtown Charleston, South Carolina. It preserves and represents the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. The museum exhibits the objects from the cultural, and natural history collections of the city. It introduces the people and events from early settlement through the late 19th century. Collections include early tradeware, slave tags, artifacts from the eras of rice and cotton, southern furniture, and firearms and weapons. There is a separate gallery, Charleston Silver, featuring early silver collections and the christening cup of George Washington. The Early Days displays an Egyptian mummy, jarred biological specimens, and a plaster cast of the monumental statue of Pharaoh Rameses II, obtained from the British Museum in the 1890s. Special exhibitions and traveling exhibits are also organized by the museum. The Charleston Museum Institute offers innovative educational programs covering such Charleston topics as archeology, furniture, silver, architecture, Civil War history, and the Gullah culture. The museum also has two National Historic Landmark houses, the Joseph Manigault House and the Heyward-Washington House.