Today In Charleston History: May 21


A fort was completed at Albemarle Point. Even though plans were well underway to moving the colony to Oyster Point, security against the Spanish was still a major consideration.

1721-Bloodless Revolution  
Sir Nathaniel Johnson

Sir Nathaniel Johnson

Former Governor Nathaniel Johnson, with the assistance of Colonel Rhett and Nicholas Trott, assembled members of his former Proprietary council and a group of about 120 armed men, including the Captain Hildesly and the crew of the H.M.S. Flamborough. They marched into Charlestown and demanded the Revolutionary Assembly surrender.

Governor James Moore II announced that he was prepared to defend the colony “in the king’s name” and fired three cannon into Johnson’s forces. Moore then presented official British government documents that recognized Moore and the Commons House of Assembly.

In the new administration, Rhett was allowed to keep his positions:

  • Comptroller of the King’s Customs
  • the Proprietor’s Receiver General
  • Overseer of the Repairs and Fortifications of Charles Town.
 1771-American Revolution – Foundations

At a meeting under the Liberty Tree, a group of citizens decided that no tea should be imported while the tax on it remained.

Today In Charleston History: October 1

1768 – American Revolution – Foundations.

The mechanics in Charles Town nominated candidates for election who opposed the Quartering Act, Stamp Act and Sugar Act. Led by Christopher Gadsden they met at the Liberty Tree “where many loyal, patriotic, and constitutional toasts were drank.” In honor of John Wilkes’ North Briton No. 45 the Liberty Tree was decorated with forty-five lights and forty-five rockets were fired. The company marched to Dillon’s Tavern where there were:

45 lights … upon the table, with 45 bowls of punch, 45 bottles of wine, and 92 glasses.  They spent a few hours in a new round of toasts.

map 1762, bishop

Charles Town, circa 1762


 The South Carolina Legislature voted 51-47 against West Indian slave trade ban. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney argued that South Carolina was not suited for supporting small white farmers because the land “was not capable of being cultivated by white men” – a reference to the unhealthy swamp lands of the low country. 

Alexander Gillon, Edward Rutledge and David Ramsay voted for the trade ban. Ramsay stated “that every man [who] went to church last Sunday, and said his prayers, was bound by a spiritual obligation to refuse the importation of slaves.”