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Today In Charleston History: March 15


The Carolina expedition arrived at Bull’s Island, 100 miles north of Port Royal (just north of present day Charleston). They were greeted onshore by the Cassique (chief / leader) of the Kiawah Tribe speaking bad Spanish, “Bony Conraro Angles!” (Good English comrades!) The Kiawah were a small tribe, approximately 160 members

Cassique of the Kiawah tribe

Cassique of the Kiawah tribe – 1670

The Cassique was a young man (nephew of the Cassique at Port Royal) who had traveled to England four years before with Captain Sanford during the expedition to explore the coast. He informed Sayle that a tribe called Westoes had destroyed everything from St. Helena (Port Royal) north to the Kiawha River (Ashley River). 

He tried to convince Sayle they should settle in the Bull’s Island/Kiawha (Ashley) River area. Sayle, however, was determined to go south. The young Indian agreed to join the expedition and guide them to Port Royal. Having spent several years in England, he was a firm friend of the English and during the journey he continued to encourage them away from Port Royal, which was closer to Spanish Florida. Most native tribes of the Carolina coast had been attacked and enslaved by the Spanish for over one hundred years. The Cassique believed the English would be better neighbors and partners.

During their short stay at Port Royal, Governor Sayle summoned the passengers and they elected five men “to be of the council” – Paul Smith, Robert Donne, Ralph Marshall, Samuel West and Joseph Dalton. This was the first election in South Carolina. The council voted to return to the Kiawha area to settle. 

1813. Privateering.

 The Defiance, under Jean Pierre Chazal, battled with the British brig, Nimrod. When Defiance’s main boom was damaged, Chazal was unable to run a full speed. During the battle five of his crew were killed, and ten more wounded. Defiance was captured and taken to Port Royal, Jamaica. Chazal and two of his officers were exchanged.


An advertisement in the City Gazette read:


Mr. Langley has the honor to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Charleston and its vicinity that his Benefit is fixed for THIS EVENING, when every exertion on the part of the Managers, himself, and the whole Company will be made to give general satisfaction. He hopes to meet the approbation of a generous audience. To commence by the Grand Entry and Military Manoeuvres.

Master Charles will perform a variety of Feats of Activity, will jump his whip, etc. Mr. Langley will perform, on one Horse, several Steps and Attitudes – he will also dance a HORNPIPE, his horses in full speed.

Mr. Codet will exert himself to please the spectators by performing numerous Feats of Agility, &c. Master Parfee will exert his utmost endeavors to please. Mr. Langley will also execute the laughable scene of the METAMORPHOSE, or the SAILOR’S VOYAGE, A FOX HUNTING. 

ACT II: GROUND AND LOFTY TUMBLING, By the Company, in which Mr. Laenia will throw a row of FLIP FLAPS across the Circus, and conclude by a lofty back Somerset. Mr. Langley, on two Horses, will execute the feat of Apples, Forks, Bottle, &c, also, the difficult feat of the Hoop, and Leap over the Ribbands.

Mr. Pepin will perform a variety of feats of Horsemanship, in which he will execute the Leap over four Ribbands and over four Illuminated Galleries.

STILL VAULTING by the Company, in which Mr. Langley will perform that unparalleled feat of balancing his body, extending in the air, on one hand.

Mr. Cayetano will perform the admired scene of the INTOXICATED OFFICER.

The whole of this brilliant representation to conclude with the pleasing scene of BILLY BUTTON, or the TAYLOR’S JOURNEY TO BRENTFORD.

Doors to be open at 6, and performance to commence precisely at 7 o’clock. For sale, a full blooded Spanish Stud HORSE.


Marquis de Lafayette, arrived in Charleston and enjoyed three days of balls and reunions while here.

Lafayette portrait, 1824, which hangs in the U.S. House of Representatives

1824 Lafayette portrait, which hangs in the U.S. House of Representatives

William Seabrook, an Edisto plantation owner and planter, invited him to be his guest on Edisto. Lafayette accepted his invitation. William Seabrook met the steamboat that brought Lafayette from the city at the mouth of the creek leading to his plantation. He carried him the rest of the way in his personal smaller steamboat. The slaves rolled out a red carpet for Lafayette to walk ashore upon his arrival at the dock.

That evening they had a lavish dinner. While waiting in the ballroom for other guests to arrive William Seabrook placed his infant daughter in the arms of Lafayette and requested that he name her. Lafayette said that he would call her “Carolina” for the state, and said he would consider it an honor to add Lafayette for himself. The reverend in attendance christened the baby “Carolina Lafayette.”

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