Today In Charleston History: February 2

1734

The South Carolina Gazette resumes publication under Lewis Timothy.

The paper first began in 1732 when Benjamin Franklin sent one of his printers, Thomas Whitmarsh, to open the Gazette in Charlestown. To replace Whitmarsh at his Philadelphia paper Franklin,hired Lewis Timothy. Two years later when Whitmarsh died of yellow fever, Lewis Timothy, revived the Gazette and ran it until his accidental death four years later.

1801

Joseph Alston, a wealthy landowner from South Carolina, married Theodosia Burr, daughter of vice-president elect, Aaron Burr in New York.  They honeymooned at Niagara Falls, the first recorded couple to do so.

It has been conjectured that there was more than romance involved in this union. Robert Troup, one of Burr’s best friends wrote that “the marriage was an affair of Burr, not of his daughter, and that the money in question was the predominant motive.”

Aaron Burr agonized about money matters, particularly as to how he would hold on to the Richmond Hill estate. His daughter’s marriage to a member of the Southern gentry helped relieve him of some of his financial burdens. The marriage also meant that Theodosia would become prominent in South Carolina social circles.

Not everyone was positive about the marriage. Hannah Gallatin, wife of Jefferson’s secretary of state wrote:

Report does not speak well of him [Alston]: it says he is rich, but he is a great dasher, dissipated, ill-tempered, vain and silly. I know that he is ugly and of unprepossessing manners. Can it be that the father had sacrificed a daughter to affluence and influential connections?

Despite all this negativity, it was Theodosia who chose Alston, and all records indicate it was a relationship of mutual love and admiration.

the alstons

Today In Charleston History: November 26

1733- Philadelphia

Upon the news of Thomas Whitmarsh’s death in Charleston, Lewis Timothy arranged with Benjamin Franklin to take over the publishing of the South Carolina Gazette weekly newspaper on a six-year franchise contract.

1773

Williamson Willis was hanged for “stealing a Negro.”

1792 Births.

grimke, sarah

Sarah Grimke was born in Charleston, daughter of Judge John Grimke, planter, slaveholder, lawyer and politician. She later moved to Philadelphia. She and her younger sister, Angelina, became prominent abolitionists. 

1865

St. Michael’s held its first service following the conclusion of the War. 

meeting street 1858

St, Michael’s Church, 1858. Circular Church visible in the background. Harper’s Weekly.