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Today In Charleston History: March 17

1758 – Births  

Gabriel Manigault was born in Charlestown. He would become one of the most successful merchants in America.

1780

Captain Alexander McQueen held a dinner party at his home at 106 Tradd Street. After dinner Alexander locked all doors and began to propose a series of toasts. One of his guests, Lt. Colonel Francis Marion, one of the heroes of Ft. Moultrie victory in 1776, was not a heavy drinker. He removed himself from the house by dropping out of a second floor window, breaking his foot. 

1801

The Hibernian Society was organized in Mr. Corbett’s Tavern. By 1840 the Society had constructed a magnificent hall on Meeting Street, where they still conduct weekly meetings. Today, St. Patrick’s Day 2015 will be the Hibernian’s 214th anniversary.   

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1870

Christopher Columbus (C.C.) Bowen married a widow eight years his senior, Susan Petigru King. Bowen had met King in Washington, D.C. while she was working as a clerk-translator in the Post Office Department. He discovered that Susan was the “largely ungovernable” daughter of James Louis Petigru, one of South Carolina’s most influential citizens. The elder Petigru was an able and respected lawyer who served as the state’s Attorney General and Federal District Attorney.

1933 – Jenkins Orphanage 

In the pre-dawn morning of, one hundred and seventy-seven children were evacuated from the Jenkins Orphanage when a fire swept through the second floor. Part of the wall collapsed and several rooms were gutted. The old orphanage was no longer habitable. The fire also destroyed the majority of the Orphanage’s historical records, a monumental loss that has only become more tragic over time as various historians, writers and archivists have attempted to piece together the story of the orphanage and its music. This was the event that ended the Jenkins Orphanage presence in downtown Charleston. Soon after the fire, the city moved the orphanage to out of the city.

20 franklin, jenkins orphanage 3 (loc)

Old Marine Hospital on Franklin Street (side view). The back wing burned.

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