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Today In Charleston History: January 26

1776. Fortifications.

      The Council of Safety ordered Col. William Moultrie to develop new signals to be used for the lighthouse at Morris Island, at Ft. Sullivan and Ft. Johnson to warn of the approach of British naval vessels.

1911. Hampton Memorial

Louisa Smythe wrote to Mayor Robert Goodwyn Rhett:

hamptonmonument-smEight years ago, it was decided by Daughters of the Confederacy to put up a memorial to Hampton – an ‘Egyptian obelisk of correct proportions’ on three low bases each about one foot high.

The Daughters raised $2000 for the monument, which was ultimately erected in Marion Square. 

Hampton, of course, is Wade Hampton III. Born in Charleston, into one of the most prominent families in South Carolina, Hampton became one of the wealthiest men in the South. When South Carolina seceded, Hampton formed his own calvary unit and served across the South throughout the War. After the War, near the end of the Reconstruction, he was elected 77th Governor of South Carolina, serving 1876-1879, and later was elected as a U.S. Senator.

640px-WadeHamptonp274cropHis election as governor was marked by extensive violence by the Red Shirts, a paramilitary group that served the Democratic Party to work to disrupt elections and suppress black voting in the state. They contributed to the Democrats regaining control of the state government.

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