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Today In Charleston History: September 13

1752 – Disaster.

Still from the movie, The Patriot, showing Tradd Street (on the right) with some Hollywood CGI magic thrown in.

A hurricane hit Charlestown, with a flood level of ten feet above the previous recorded high water mark. More than 100 died, with twice as many injuries. The South Carolina Gazette reported:

All the wharves and bridges were ruined, and every house, store, & upon them, beaten down, and carried way (with all the goods, & therein), as were also many houses in the town; and abundance of roofs, chimneys, & almost all the tiled or slated houses in the town … The town was likewise overflowed, the tide of sea having rose upwards of Ten feet above the high-water mark at spring tides …

All but one of the ships in the harbor were driven ashore and most of the smaller vessels soon became one with the debris. Sloops and schooners were thrown against the houses of Bay street and the wharves along East Bay street destroyed. A brigantine beat down several houses and wound up on the east side of Church street. Eight or ten small schooners, owned by Charlestonians, and three or four pilot boats were driven into the woods, corn fields and marshes of surrounding areas

David Ramsay, in his History of South Carolina, reported:

Colonel Pinckney, who lived in the large white house at the corner of Ellery street and French alley, abandoned it after there were several feet of water in it. He took his family from thence to… corner of Guignard and Charles streets, in a ship’s yawl. All South Bay was in ruins, many wooden houses were wrecked to pieces and washed away, and brick houses reduced to a heap of rubbish … A brick house where Mr. Bedon lived, on Church street .. Mr. Bedon and family unfortunately remained too long in the house, for the whole family, consisting of twelve souls, perished in the water, except himself and a negro wench. The bodies of Mrs. Bedon, of one of her children, and of a Dutch boy, were found in the parsonage pasture…


During a special election for the Assembly, Christopher Gadsden was elected, but discovered that the election return from St. Paul’s parish was blank. The church wardens had also not taken the oath required by the Election Act. Gov. Boone, citing the irregularities, refused to administer the oath of office to Gadsden, and called for a new Election Act to be written.

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