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Today In Charleston History: June 8

1769-Slavery 

The South Carolina Gazette published a proclamation by Governor Charles Greville Montagu:

It has been represented to me that a large number of dead negroes who have been thrown into the river, are driven upon the marsh opposite Charles Town, and the noisome smell arising from their putrefaction may become dangerous to the health of the inhabitants of this province: In order to prevent such an inhumane and unchristian practice, I think it fit, by the advice of his Majesty’s council, to issue this my proclamation strictly forbidding this same: And I do hereby offer a reward of ONE HUNDRED POUNDS to be paid on the conviction of the offender to any person that will inform against any one person who shall be guilty of such practice.

1769-American Revolution – Foundations

The Gazette announced that “several Societies of gentlemen …in patriotic associations” agreed to dress in homespun and boycott all British goods that could be manufactured in America.

1776-American Revolution-Battle of Ft. Sullivan

Most of the British fleet crossed the Charlestown bar and anchored in Five Fathom Hole. General Clinton delivered a proclamation to the patriots

“to entreat and exhort them, as they tender their own happiness and that of their posterity, to return to their duty to our common sovereign.”

South Carolina President John Rutledge rejected this plea.

1776-American RevolutionContinental Congress.

In a letter to John Jay, Edward Rutledge explained that he supported the idea of independence, but for tactical reasons he was opposed to a declaration of independence which would only give Britain “Notice of our Intentions before we had taken any Steps to execute them.” He also noted that he was going to propose to delay “for 3 Weeks or a Month” the vote on the resolution for independence.

1780-American Revolution-British Occupation

Sirhenryclinton2

Sir Henry Clinton

Gen. Clinton left for New York, appointing Lord Cornwallis to take command of all British forces in the southern provinces. Before leaving, Clinton issued one final proclamation that demanded no one in South Carolina remain neutral, “all persons should take an active part in Settling and Securing his Majesty’s government and delivering the Country from that anarchy …”

All prisoners who had not participated in the defense of Charleston were paroled as of June 20. If they did not pledge allegiance they would be imprisoned. There was also a clause that if so ordered they would have to take up arms to defend Britain. He concluded by saying that all those:

who shall afterwards neglect to return to their allegiance and to His Majesty’s government will be considered as Enemies and Rebels to the same and treated accordingly.

Clinton stated, “I may venture to assert that there are few men in South Carolina who are not either our Prisoners or in Arms with us.” He was wrong.

Col. Issac Hayne signed the declaration of allegiance to avoid be separated from his dying wife and small children ill with small pox. He was told by General Patterson that he would not have to honor the clause about bearing arms against his fellow citizens. He then returned to his plantation in St. Paul’s parish, forty miles south of Charlestown, present-day Colleton County.

1822-Denmark Vesey Rebellion

After a week in the “black hole” of the Work House, Warden Thomas Napier warned William Paul that “he would soon be led forth to the scaffold, for summary execution.” Paul blurted out that the plot was “very extensive, embracing an indiscriminate massacre of the whites.” He also stated he believed the leader of the plot was “a Gullah man who carried about him a charm which rendered him invulnerable.” He also named Ned Bennett as one of the conspirators.

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