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Today In Charleston History: December 9

1773 – Charleston Firsts. Chamber of Commerce

On December 9, 1773, the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce was organized at Mrs. Swallows’ Tavern on Broad Street.

The formation of the Chamber can be traced back to the economic stress the British Empire suffered after the Seven Years’ War (the French and Indian War). The victory over the French had come at a high cost, so Parliament passed the 1764 Sugar Acts and the 1765 Stamp Act in an attempt to pay the debt run up during the war. The Stamp Act required that most printed materials in the colonies be produced on “stamped paper” – an embossed revenue mark. Those included newspapers, legal documents, playing cards and magazines.

It was within this volatile atmosphere of political upheaval and business uncertainty that a group of Charleston businessmen met at Mrs. Swallows Tavern and organized the Chamber of Commerce. Today it is called the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

1777 – American Revolution.

Henry Laurens’ term as President of the Continental Congress ended. He was elected after John Hancock’s retirement due to ill health. During his term, Laurens dealt with the conspiracy to replace George Washington as commander-in-chief, perpetuated by several members of Congress and the military.

1806 – Elections

Charles Pinckney was elected to his third term as governor.


John Olmsted delivered a set of plans for Hampton Park.

John Charles Olmsted was the nephew and adopted son of Frederick Law Olmsted, was an American landscape architect. With his brother, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., he founded Olmsted Brothers, a landscape design firm in Brookline, Massachusetts. The firm is famous for designing many urban parks, college campuses, and other public places. John Olmsted’s body of work from over 40 years

John Olmsted

John Olmsted

as a landscape architect has left its mark on the American urban landscape, carrying his design philosophy of integrated park systems into new cities such as Portland, Maine; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Spokane, Dayton, and, f course, Charleston. In these cities, he pioneered his comprehensive planning philosophy of integrating civic buildings, roads, parks, and greenspaces into livable urban areas.

Olmsted also designed individual parks in New Orleans; Watertown, New York; and Chicago. His work in park design led to commissions for numerous institutions such as school campuses, civic buildings, and state capitols, as well as designs for large residential areas, including roads and schools. His work in comprehensive planning for the communities surrounding industrial plants and factories is considered especially noteworthy.

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