Today In Charleston History: May 28

1745-Slavery

Gov. Glen asked London for three companies of British regulars who “would give heart to our … people [and] prove usefull in preventing or suppressing any Insurrections of our Negroes.” Many citizens were growing concerned over the “great numbers of Negroes … playing Dice and other Games.”

1788-First Golf Club

On May 28, 1788, an advertisement in the Charleston City Gazette requested that members of the South Carolina Golf Club meet on “Harleston’s Green, this day, the 28th.” After which they adjourned to “Williams’ Coffee House.” Also in 1788 there was an announcement of the formation of the South Carolina Golf Club was also listed in The Southern States Emphemris: The North and South Carolina and Georgia Almanac.         Read the entire story here.

1818-Births

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was born at the “Contreras” sugar-cane plantation in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, about 20 miles outside New Orleans.

1823-Slavery
Rev. Richard Furman

Rev. Richard Furman

Motivated by the Denmark Vesey rebellion, Rev. Dr. Richard Furman of Charleston’s First Baptist Church published his “Exposition of the Views of the Baptists Relative to the Coloured Population in the United States” – a biblical defense of slavery that southerners would use to defend slavery until the 13th US constitutional amendment (1865) finally put an end to slavery in the United States. In the “Exposition” Furman claimed that:

the holding of slaves is justifiable by the doctrine and example contained in Holy writ; and is; therefore consistent with Christian uprightness, both in sentiment and conduct … That slavery, when tempered with humanity and justice, is a state of tolerable happiness; equal, if not superior, to that which many poor enjoy in countries reputed free. That a master has a scriptural right to govern his slaves so as to keep it in subjection; to demand and receive from them a reasonable service; and to correct them for the neglect of duty, for their vices and transgressions; but that to impose on them unreasonable, rigorous services, or to inflict on them cruel punishment, he has neither a scriptural nor a moral right. At the same time it must be remembered, that, while he is receiving from them their uniform and best services, he is required by the Divine Law, to afford them protection, and such necessaries and conveniencies of life as are proper to their condition as servants … That it is the positive duty of servants to reverence their master, to be obedient, industrious, faithful to him, and careful of his interests; and without being so, they can neither be the faithful servants of God, nor be held as regular members of the Christian Church. 

1862-Slavery

Robert Smalls met Abraham Lincoln and gave the President his personal account of the events of his escape to freedom.  

Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls

 

Today In Charleston History: November 6

1782 – Revolutionary War. 
John Laurens

John Laurens

Upon receiving the news of John Laurens’ death, John Adams wrote to Henry Laurens:

“I feel for you more than I can or ought to express. Our country has lost its most promising character, in a manner, however, that was worthy of the cause. I can say nothing more to you, but that you have much greater reasons to say, in this case, as a Duke of Ormond said of an Earl of Ossory, “I would not exchange my dead son for any living son in the world.”

 Henry Laurens replied, “Thank God, I had a son who dared to die in defence of his country.”

1860 – Road to Secession.

Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to be elected President. Voter turnout was 81.2 %, the highest in American history at the time. Lincoln did not carry a single slave-holding state and won the Electoral College with less than 40% of the vote.

 

1860 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS

CANDIDATE / POLITICAL PARTY PERCENTAGE OF VOTE
Abraham Lincoln (Republican) 39.8%
John Breckenridge (Southern Democrat) 18.1%
John Bell (Constitution Union / Whig) 12.6%
Stephen Douglas (Northern Democrat) 29.5%

South Carolina legislature immediately called for a state secession convention. Since the new state house was under construction, the legislature held meetings at the First Baptist Church in Columbia, as it was the largest meeting place in the city.

city hall - lincoln election

Charleston City Hall – assembled crowd awaiting the result of the 1860 Presidential elections. Harper’s Weekly image.