Today In Charleston History: June 6

1713-Port Statistics

The leading exports of the year were:

  • 73,790 deerskins
  • 75 Indian slaves
  • 12,677 barrels of rice
  • 6617 barrels of pitch and tar
  • 661 barrels of turpentine
  • 1965 sides of leather
  • 1963 barrels of beef
1770 – Hurricane

A hurricane made landfall south of Charleston. According to the South Carolina Gazette: 

On Wednesday night last we had a most violent gale of wind … with heavy rains, which has done more damage to the shipping and wharfs (sic) of any that has happened here in the memory of oldest man living. (The hurricane in 1752 only excepted.) Mr. Lamboll’s bridge is destroyed, and the bathing house also; all the fortifications from thence to Craven’s is one continuous scene of ruins.  

1785-Religion

Rev. John Tunnel was appointed by Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury to the Charleston Circuit. He continued to lead services in the Baptist Meeting House until one Sunday when they found the church boarded up and the benches tossed into the street.

 1836

The South Carolina Jockey Club purchased the sixty-three acres of the Washington Race Course for $5000.

1864-Bombardment of Charleston.  

Gus Smythe, on duty in St. Michael’s steeple for the Confederate Signal Corps, wrote to his sister Sue:

Yesterday they aimed at the Steeple & the shells flew round here thick & fast. Thirteen fell between Queen St. & St. Michael’s Alley yesterday after 12 … Two of these struck Hibernian Hall, one the Mills House, one the Court House, two fell here at the corner of Broad, two in the City Hall Square, & one in the Sunday School Union … It is miraculous that this Steeple has not yet been hit.

Hibernian Hall, cannon damage

Hibernian Hall, cannon damage

Court house and City Hall, across the street from St. Michael's Church

Court house and City Hall, across the street from St. Michael’s Church

Today In Charleston History: February 27

1719

The Assembly passed an act providing funds to pay the debts incurred by Gov. Johnson and Col. Rhett in their actions against the pirates.

1785-Religion.
asbury

Francis Asbury

Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury and Rev. Jeese Lee held the first service of Methodists in Charleston at the deserted Baptist Meeting House. During the Revolution, the Meeting House had been used by the British army for the storage of provisions.

Due to their rigid morality and their passionate evangelism, Methodists infuriated many people. They were quick to point out to sinners their fiery fate unless they repented. The services continued every evening for fourteen days.

Today In Charleston History: February 4

1726

 First recorded snowfall in Charlestown.

1787

GSTS69420 II-10The Methodist Meeting House was completed on Cumberland Street, across from the Powder Magazine. The Charleston Methodists raised so much money that the church was debt free when Rev. John Tunnel held his first service.

A few months later, Bishop Francis Asbury preached a sermon at the Cumberland Street Church. A mob of Methodist haters gathered on the street and hurled bricks and stones through the window. Some female members were so frightened that they escaped through the side windows. Bishop Asbury continued the sermon during the attack.

The hatred toward the Methodist church was rooted in two things: their public stance against slavery, and their enthusiastic mode of worship, which was the polar opposite of the more reserved Anglican (Church of England) service. Methodist ministers had been openly critical of the Anglican Church, which created an atmosphere of confrontation.  

Site of the First Methodist Church Marker

First Methodist Church marker on Cumberland Street, Charleston, SC. Photo by Mike Stroud, 2011