Robert Codgell Gilchrist was born into an extremely wealthy well-connected Charleston family in 1829. The oligarchic families of South Carolina had made their wealth on tobacco, rice, indigo, and shipping and Charleston harbor was one of the centers of the southern slave trade. Robert Gilchist’s father had received a federal Judgeship from President Martin Van Buren and he owned an opulent home.
Each summer the wealthy Gilchrist family journeyed north to avoid the hot humid subtropical summers of Charleston. They stayed with maternal family members in the Great Northern Wilderness of New York. (The term Adirondacks is said to have been first used by geologist and surveyor Ebenezer Emmons in 1838 and took some time to come into general use). [Read more…] about The First (Short Lived) Suspension Bridge Across The Hudson River