Sometime in the 1760s the British maritime painter Thomas Mellish composed this view of Charleston Harbor as seen from across the Cooper River at Shute’s Folly. Mellish’s scene probably affected Thomas Leitch’s own approach to the subject less than a decade later. A key difference between Mellish and Leitch is found in their handling of the ships: Mellish gives us an image of ships that happens to have Charleston in the Background; Leitch provides us with a view of the city that also includes ships. This difference in the quantity of ships depicted, however, might also reflect the drop-off in trade due to the American embargoes. The Tea Act was passed just months before Thomas Leitch painted his view.
RELATED OBJECTS: See Thomas Leitch’s View of Charles-Town (MESDA acc. 2024.29) and the painting after which the print was engraved (MESDA acc. 2024.30). For an earlier view of Charleston see Bishop Roberts and W.H. Toms 1739 View of Charles Town (Loan from Colonial Williamsburg, MESDA acc. 5862.1) and our 1762 single-plate copy of that view (MESDA acc. 848.3).