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Today In Charleston History: December 23

1719 – Bloodless Revolution.

The Assembly pronounced it was convened as “a convention of the people,” seeking to become a royal colony. The legislature denounced the rule of the Lords Proprietors and officially petitioned King George I to purchase the Carolina colony from the Proprietors.

The Assembly voted unanimously for a new provisional government until his Majesty assumed control of the colony. The officers chosen were:

  • James Moore, Jr. (son of a former governor), Governor
  • Richard Allein, Chief Justice (Nicholas Trott was removed)
  • Francis Yonge, Surveyor General of the Province
  • William Rhett, Receiver of the Province
  • John Barnwell, Agent of the Province.

They sent Barnwell to England with instructions and a Declaration of Causes to present to the King which, in part, read:

Whereas the Proprietors of this province of late assumed to themselves an arbitrary and illegal power of repealing such laws as the General Assembly of the settlement have thought fit …and acted in many other things contrary to the laws of England and the charter to them and us freeman granted.

Whereby we are deprived for those measures we have taken for the defence of the settlement, being the south west frontier of his Majesty’s territories in America …

We therefore … the Representatives and delegates of this Majesty’s liege people and free born subjects of the said settlement now met in convention at Charles Town … do hereby declare … James Moore his Majesty’s Governor of this settlement, invested with all the powers and authorities belonging and appertaining to any of his Majesty’s governor in America till his Majesty’s pleasure herein shall be further known.

For all practical purposes, the citizens of South Carolina had overthrown the Proprietary government, America’s first Revolution. They had proven that, if need be, the citizens were willing to take matters into their own hands.

1765 – Stamp Act.

British Secretary of State Henry Seymour Conway informed Lt. Gov. Bull that further violence was “not suitable for either the safety or Dignity of the British Empire.” He instructed Bull to call upon British General Thomas Gage to combat the violence of the mobs.

In addition to the mobs, Bull was also concerned about the 1400 unemployed sailors who were stranded in Charlestown due to the closure of the port. The sailors spent most of their time in taverns and were increasingly disorderly. 

1824 -Religion.
view of old synagogue

Interior of the Old Synagogue at Charleston, S. C., Destroyed by Fire April. 27, 1838. (From a drawing by Solomon N. Carvalho ).

A group of a dozen Jewish men, “A Convention of Israelites,” submitted a petition to the president of the congregation of Beth Elohim, urging reform of their worship services, including the introduction of English. They wrote they had “witnessed with deep regret, the apathy and neglect which have been manifested towards our holy religion.”

This was the beginning of the Reformed movement in America.


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