1840 – Religion
The ceremony for the laying of cornerstones for the new Beth Elohim synagogue on Hasell Street took place.
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, (Holy Congregation House of God) was organized in 1749 making it the fourth oldest Jewish congregation in the continental United States (after New York, Newport and Savannah). Prayers were initially recited in private quarters and in 1775 an improvised synagogue adjacent to the present-day grounds was constructed.In 1792 America’s “largest and most impressive” synagogue was constructed which was destroyed in the great Charleston fire of 1838 and replaced in 1840 on the same Hasell Street site by the Greek Revival structure in use today.
Today, KKBE has the second oldest synagogue building In the United States and the oldest in continuous use. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1980.
Captain Walpole, commander of the Confederate outpost on John’s Island, captured a “mulatto fellow” who claimed to be the cook of Union General Gillmore. He reported that 18,000 troops were being removed from the Charleston area.