Today In Charleston History: April 25

1660 – Restoration
Charles II

Charles II

Parliament meets and votes to restore Charles II to the English throne, ending 20 years of turmoil that started with the English Civil Wars.  The era of “Eat, Drink & Be Merry” began. 

1716Bloodless Revolution

Governor Craven returned to London. The Assembly asked Craven to plead their case of grievances against the Proprietors before the King, asking to become a Royal colony. Rev. Gideon Johnston accompanied Craven in a sloop out to the harbor to bid him farewell. During the return trip the sloop was swept over by a storm. Johnston drowned, and several days later his body washed up on the same bank of sand on which he had been marooned on the day he arrived in 1708.

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Joel Roberts Poinsett was offered the position of special commissioner to South America. Secretary of State Robert Rush stated, “No one has better qualifications for this trust than yourself.”  

Poinsett declined the honor explaining to President James Monroe that he had recently accepted a seat in the legislature of South Carolina and could not resign it “without some more important motive than this commission presents.”

1850 – Burial of Calhoun

John C Calhoun was buried in the western cemetery of St. Phillip’s Church in an elaborate funeral ceremony.

Calhoun's tomb in St. Philip's cemetery

Calhoun’s tomb in St. Philip’s cemetery

Today In Charleston History: March 1

1711 – Religion
St. Philips Church, 1723

St. Philips Church, 1723

At the urging of Rev. Gideon Johnston, a law was passed for “Erecting a New Brick Church,” a new St. Philip’s on “the east side of Church-street, a few poles north of Queen-street.”  The Assembly realized the true entrance of the city was not by road (Broad Street) but by ship, so it was determined to build the new church closer to the harbor.


The new State House at Broad and Meeting streets opened. It was the largest and grandest building in South Carolina described as a

“two-story, large, commodious Brick Building … of about 120 by 40 feet … decorated with four … columns.”

1771 – Slavery

Edmund Jones and Joseph Jordan were hanged for “aiding runaway slaves.” Jones, the master of the schooner Two Josephs, and Jordan, a sailor, allegedly had stolen the schooner, taking with them several slaves. Several slaves who had run away on the Two Josephs, were hanged together with Jordan and Jones.

Edward Rutledge

Edward Rutledge

Edward Rutledge married Henrietta Middleton, daughter of Henry Middleton, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in South Carolina with 50,000 acres and 800 slaves. This marriage solidified many alliances with other prominent South Carolina families that would play important roles in the coming Revolution. 

Today In Charleston History: September 20


Reverend Gideon Johnston was not impressed at what he found in Charles Town. He wrote:

The people here, generally speaking, are the vilest race of men upon earth. They have neither honor, nor honesty, nor religion enough to entitle them to any tolerable character, being a perfect Medley of hotch-potch made up of bankrupt pirates, decayed libertines … who have transported themselves hither from Bermudas, Jamaica, Barbados, Montserat, Antego, Nevio, New England, Pennsylvania … Most of those that pretend to be churchmen are strongly crippled in their goings…

The population of Carolina was 9580 souls which included:

  • 2260 free men and women
  • 120 white servant males and females
  • 1700 white free children
  • 2900 Negro men and women slaves
  • 1100 Indian men and women slaves
  • 1200 Negro children slaves
  • 300 Indian children slaves