Today In Charleston History: July 28


Christopher Gadsden married Jenny Godfrey in Charlestown. During this time he also owned a store on Shute’s Wharf.

1769Slavery. Executions

Dolly, belonging to James Sands, and Liverpoole, a slave doctor belonging to William Price, were burned at the stake on the green in front of the workhouse. Dolly was convicted of poisoning her master and his child, while Liverpoole was convicted of providing the poison.

Dick, a former slave who had been freed, was “accused as instigator of these horrid crimes.” He initially escaped but was eventually retaken and given “twenty-five Lashes…at four different Corners and the same Number last Tuesday, in all 100 each Day, and to lose his Right Ear.”

1856 – Duelling

 Col. Cunningham and editor Hatch met on the Washington Race Course to settle their differences with a duel.

On July 21 the Charleston Evening News published an editorial by Col. John Cunningham, which prompted a response from L.M. Hatch, the editor of the Standard. Cunningham charged Hatch with a “studied and wanton personal insult” and demanded satisfaction. He appointed his friend William Taber, editor of the Charleston Mercury, as his second – to negotiate the details of the duel.

The two exchanged shots with no injury to either man.

Washington Race Track - 1857. A one-mile loop around what is present day Hampton Park. Library of Congress

Washington Race Track – 1857. A one-mile loop around what is present day Hampton Park. Library of Congress

Today In Charleston History: March 22

 1765 – American Revolution –The Stamp Act.

stamp actIn a another attempt to pay the debt run up during the French and Indian War, British Parliament passed the Stamp Act,  which required that most printed materials in the colonies be produced on “stamped paper” (an embossed revenue mark)  from London. The printed materials included newspapers, legal documents, playing cards and magazines. There was quick and passionate opposition to the Stamp Act in Boston, Philadelphia and Charlestown.

South Carolina’s London agent Charles Garth wrote to John Rutledge informing him of the proposed Stamp Act being argued in Parliament. In Garth’s opinion the Act could not be successfully opposed by the colonies.

The Stamp Act was viewed as a threat by most Charles Town’s men. Just a year before they had managed to secure the upper hand over Governor Boone who had challenged the Assembly’s right to determine the validity of elections. 

1794 – Execution

Thomas Walsh “was assisted in his devotions by the Rev. Dr. Keating, pastor of the Roman Catholic church” before he was hanged for counterfeiting in Charleston. He then

politely waved his hand to the crowd and said, ‘Good day, gentlemen’ before he pulled the cap over his face” and was immediately launched into eternity.


Charles Dickens, Jr. appeared at the Academy of Music, reading exerpts from his father’s famous works.