Home » Black History » Today In Charleston History: September 16

Today In Charleston History: September 16

1706 – Queen Anne’s War.

A joint French and Spanish attack upon Charles Town during Queen Anne’s War was repulsed when Colonial forces capture a French vessel and it crew. Governor Nathaniel Johnson and Lieutenant Colonel William Rhett lead the successful defense of Charles Town against a combined force of Spanish, French, and Native American combatants who sailed into Charleston harbor from St. Augustine.

1781 – Slavery. Denmark Vesey.

Capt. Joseph Vesey of Charles Town purchased 390 slaves in St. Domingue. One of the slaves he purchased was a young boy “about 14 years old” named Telemaque. Vesey also noted the boy had a “beauty, alertness and intelligence.”  Instead of keeping the boy chained below decks Vesey”adopted the boy as the “ship’s pet and plaything.” Vesey gave the boy a new set of clothes and used him as his cabin boy.

vesey statue copyWhen the ship arrived at Cap Francois, Haiti, Vesey decided he “had no use of the boy” and turned him over to the slave agents Lory, Plomard and Compagnie. Little did he know that young boy would become a constant feature of his life for the next 30 years, and ultimately … for the next 200 years. 


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