Home » Black History » Today In Charleston History: December 22

Today In Charleston History: December 22

1747 – Religion

Solomon DeCosta, a Jewish merchant who seems to be in partnership with James Peyne, attended a meeting of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in London for “the settlement of several of their poor in South Carolina.”

1773 – American Revolution – Foundations

In the pre-dawn hours, British custom officials off loaded the 257 chests of tea and stored them in the basement of the Exchange. They informed the public that the tea would remain locked away and any attempt to remove it would be met by force. 



Continental Congress creates a Continental Navy, naming Esek Hopkins, Esq., as commander in chief of the fleet. Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina designed Hopkins’ personal standard, which flew from the first navy fleet. The yellow flag bore the image of a coiled snake and the Patriot motto, Don’t Tread on Me.

Gadsden, famously skeptical of any government involvement in business affairs, once stated, in the aftermath of the Jay Treaty, “Better to send a virgin to a brothel than a man to England to sign a treaty.”



From Georgetown, South Carolina, Dr. Greene wrote Aaron Burr:

I have engaged passage to New-York for your daughter[Theodosia Burr Alston] in a pilot-boat that has been out privateering, but has come in here, and is refitting merely to get to New-York. My only fears are that Governor Alston may think the mode of conveyance too undignified, and object to it; but Mrs. Alston is fully bent on going.

The ship Patriot was a private vessel authorized for military service. It had been fitted with less than five cannon and attacked several British merchant ships. It was being refitted in Georgetown, her guns dismounted and hidden below decks.

1822 – Slavery

In response to the Denmark Vesey slave plot, South Carolina legislature passed the Negro Seamen Acts. Any free Negro that came into the state on a vessel would be lodged in the jail during the stay of the vessel in port. If the captain would not pay for the cost of board and lodging, the Negro would be sold into slavery.

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