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: January 23

1800 – Deaths.

 Governor Edward Rutledge died “with perfect resignation, and with perfect calmness.” He was buried in the family plot in St. Philip’s graveyard. He was replaced as governor by John Drayton.

Edward Rutledge

Edward Rutledge

Born to an aristocratic family, Edward Rutledge spent most of his life in public service. He was educated in law at Oxford and was admitted to the English Bar. He and his older brother John both attended the Continental Congress and unabashedly supported each other. Edward attended Congress at the remarkable age of 26 and was the youngest man to sign the Declaration of Independence.

During the Revolution he served as a member of the Charleston Battalion of Artillery, and attained the rank of Captain. The colonial legislature sent him back to Congress in 1779 to fill a vacancy. During the defense of Charleston, Rutledge was captured and held prisoner until July of 1781.

In 1782 he served in the state legislature, intent on the prosecution of British Loyalists. In 1789 he was elected Governor.

1861 – Secession.

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was appointed superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It was the shortest term in the post ever. Six days later his commission as superintendent was revoked, the day after his native Louisiana seceded from the Union. The Federal powers-that-be did not trust Beauregard’s Southern sympathies. One month later, Beauregard resigned his captaincy in the U.S. Army Engineers and offered his services to the Confederate government being formed in Montgomery, Alabama.

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beuaregard

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beuaregard

Beauregard was born into a prominent Creole family in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana and raised on a sugarcane plantation outside of New Orleans. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1834 at age sixteen and became a popular cadet, earning several nicknames including “Little Napoleon” and “Little Creole,” due to his slight statue – 5’7”, 150-pounds. His favorite teacher was his professor of artillery, Robert Anderson. He graduated second in his class in 1838 and remained at the school to serve as Anderson’s assistant artillery instructor.

During the Mexican War he serving under Gen. Winfield Scott and during the 1850s served as a military engineer clearing the Mississippi River of obstructions. He also spent time as an instructor at West Point before becoming the school’s superintendent for less than a week.

On February 27 in Montgomery, Alabama, Beauregard was appointed the first brigadier general of the Confederate Army and sent to Charleston. On April 12, he ordered the first shot of the Civil War fired at Fort Sumter, commanded by his former West Point instructor, Major Anderson.