Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 343-344.
Charleston, the seat of justice for the county, is 308 miles W. of Richmond, and 46 miles E. of the Ohio River. It is a neat and flourishing village on the north bank of the Kanawha. Charleston was named after Charles Clendenin, an early settler, and an owner of the soil forming its site. The first house of worship was built by the Methodists, the second by the Presbyterians, in 1830, and the third by the Episcopalians, in 1835. There are in the place, 11 dry-goods and, 6 grocery stores, 2 saw and grist mills, a newspaper printing-office, a branch of the Bank of Virginia, and a population of about 1,500. The district court of the United States is held at this place twice a year. Within the present century Charleston has arisen from the wilderness. Where, within the memory of man, a few scattered log-huts once arrested the traveller's eye, he now sees commodious and, in some instances, elegant buildings, the abodes of comfort and refinement. The Kanawha is here a beautiful sheet of water, more than 300 yards wide, and is navigated by steamboats. The state turnpike, the principal thoroughfare from Richmond to Guyandotte on the Ohio, passes through the town. Fine sandstone and bituminous coal abound in the vicinity.