1876 – Race Riots
During the evening six black Democrats who were supporting Gen. Wade Hampton’s campaign for South Carolina governor held a political rally in Archer’s Hall at the corner of King and George streets. They publicly called Republicans “thieves” for robbing the state of South Carolina.
After the meeting a group of black Republicans attacked the Democrats and their white companions near the Citadel green (Marion Square). Several gun shots were fired, drawing more people to the park … during the night and the next day, a riot escalated until more than 1000 people were roaming the streets in mobs. The New York Times reported that
Blacks roamed upper King Street from midnight to sunrise, breaking windows, robbing stores, and attacking and beating indiscriminately every white man who showed his face.
More than 100 people were hurt – one white man was shot and killed, and a black man died of his injuries.