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

Today In Charleston History: January 16

1825 – Religion. Charleston First

Several members of Beth Elohim “withdrew from the congregation, and joining a larger number who were not members, establishing a new place of worship.” They called themselves the Reformed Society of Israelites. They met at Selye’s Masonic Hall on 209 Meeting Street. This was the first Reformed Jewish Society in America. 

1825 – Slavery.

Charleston erected a treadmill in the city workhouse for the punishment of slaves, relieving white masters from the distasteful practice of whipping their slaves. For a fee, the master could send the slaves to the workhouse for punishment administered by city authorities. The slaves would walk on the treadmill in shifts, providing power for the grinding of corn. Overseers with rawhide whips maintained order.

jail and workhouse - illustration

LEFT: Jail & Workhouse, rear view, looking north from Roper Hospital on Queen Street. RIGHT: Traditional work treadmill.

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