Ruth M. Miller - Speaker

Having lived all over America and journeyed through much of the world, Ruth Miller is a former high school teacher with many lives. As a certified Charleston guide, she co-founded Charleston Strolls, the city’s first daily walking tour and grew that tour business for over twenty years. Since she sold the business, she has worked as an independent speaker and tour guide. Her wide-ranging interests have led her to write the children’s book, Charleston Charlie, and co-author Charleston’s Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon: Witness to History, Touring the Tombstones: Guides to Charleston’s 18th Century Graveyards, The Angel Oak Story, and Slavery to Civil Rights: A Walking Tour Guide to African-American Charleston. As a public historian, educator and storyteller, she enjoys tying LowCountry history into the American story and worldwide events. She makes a special effort to relate her presentations to an individual group’s interests and experience.

Brethren of Spade & Pruning Knife: The Naturalists & the Carolinas

This presentation tells a story of international trade, natural history, and science from the days of exploration & colonization. This was a time of transfer, the movement of people, animals and plants; it is the Age of the Natural Historians who looked around the world and tried to understand what they saw. Carolina has an amazing part of this story to impart – connections to the Royal Society of England with John Lawson, Mark Catesby who documented and illustrated the birds and animals of the Carolinas one hundred years before Audubon, Linnaeus in Sweden, women gardeners, and Bartram of Philadelphia. Learn why the gardenia is named after a Charleston immigrant who was especially interested in collecting fish skins. This presentation is about the times and the people that connected Charleston history to scientific inquiry and experimentation from the late 1600s into the eighteenth century. 

Touring the Tombstones: Charleston’s 18th Century Graveyards Tell a Tale to be Remembered

Skulls and crossed bones. Weeping willows and rosebuds. Did you know Charleston has more 18th-century burial grounds than any city in the United States? Find out why on this visual stroll through historic colonial and antebellum cemeteries as we explore a religious diversity unknown in the other thirteen colonies. Moreover, Charleston’s ancient graveyards are art galleries harboring history, literature and legends. Discover this unique portrait of the past found in over a dozen old graveyards. This is not a ghost walk. This is an intriguing look at some of the finest 18th and 19th-century memorials in the country, the fascinating tales surrounding them and the people they commemorate. 

Slavery to Civil Rights: A Tour Through Time of Charleston’s African-American History

Did you know the author of Amazing Grace sold a shipload of slaves here? Charleston was the center of the English slave trade. Estimates are over 40% of the Nameless Enslaved sold in all thirteen colonies were sold here. This presentation tells the story of historic Charleston from the perspective of the African-American experience. During the chronologically organized talk, participants will view seldom seen engravings, paintings and photographs that show and tell a story that has been lost and buried through time. Learn about the Nameless Enslaved and free persons of color, Reconstruction and Jim Crow to the modern-day fight for civil rights with life stories of real people who walked these streets. By the end of this exploration, participants will have a new and important understanding of African-American history. 

The Surprising Story of Charleston and the Carolina LowCountry

Bringing a conference or organization to Charleston? Introduce our city and the Carolina LowCountry with this entertaining, educational talk. Ruth Miller’s program is not “What to see and do,” but rather, sets the historic scene, making your stay here both interesting and worthwhile. The presentation ties over 350 years of local history into the American story and worldwide events, while incorporating places and people of special interest to your audience. Whether individual attendees explore Charleston on their own, or group activities are held off site, an understanding of our area and its story will give context to your experience here. As Miller reveals the Charleston story, everyone will view their surroundings, here and at home, with new understanding. 

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Ruth Miller
PO Box 32014
Charleston, SC 29417