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Today In Charleston History: March 16

1699 – Piracy

Collector of Customs, Edward Randolph, arrived in Charles Town and announced that the royal government was tightening its grip on all the colonies and was considering voiding all Proprietary charters. Randolph also made it clear that the Royal Admiralty Courts believed the Proprietors allowed:

illicit trade … and sought to establish a sort of independence of the King … traded with the Dutch, welcomed pirates as free spenders and have no regard to the acts of trade.

Randolph also discovered that Governor Blake was “a notorious offender against the act.” He also accused Blake and his brother-in-law, Judge Joseph Morton, Jr. of:

fraudulently condemning vessels as contraband and then colluding to purchase, at auction, ships and cargoes at bargain prices … took bribes to ignore smuggling and traded with pirates and the Spanish in Florida.


Charlestown, 1735


Josiah Quincy, visiting Charlestown from Boston, wrote about race week:

spent this day in viewing horses, riding over the town … am now going to the famous races … well performed … Filmnap beat Little David (who had won the last sixteen races) out and out. The first four –mile heat was performed in eight minutes and seventeen seconds. I saw a fine collection of excellent, though very high-priced horses … Two thousand pounds were won and lost at this race and Filmnap sold at public vendue … for £300 sterling.

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