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Today In Charleston History: March 22

 1765 – American Revolution –The Stamp Act.

stamp actIn a another attempt to pay the debt run up during the French and Indian War, British Parliament passed the Stamp Act,  which required that most printed materials in the colonies be produced on “stamped paper” (an embossed revenue mark)  from London. The printed materials included newspapers, legal documents, playing cards and magazines. There was quick and passionate opposition to the Stamp Act in Boston, Philadelphia and Charlestown.

South Carolina’s London agent Charles Garth wrote to John Rutledge informing him of the proposed Stamp Act being argued in Parliament. In Garth’s opinion the Act could not be successfully opposed by the colonies.

The Stamp Act was viewed as a threat by most Charles Town’s men. Just a year before they had managed to secure the upper hand over Governor Boone who had challenged the Assembly’s right to determine the validity of elections. 

1794 – Execution

Thomas Walsh “was assisted in his devotions by the Rev. Dr. Keating, pastor of the Roman Catholic church” before he was hanged for counterfeiting in Charleston. He then

politely waved his hand to the crowd and said, ‘Good day, gentlemen’ before he pulled the cap over his face” and was immediately launched into eternity.


Charles Dickens, Jr. appeared at the Academy of Music, reading excerpts from his father’s famous works.

Samuel Smalls, a disabled black Charleston street peddler, often seen on his goat cart, was arrested for shooting at his girlfriend Maggie Barnes at 4 Romney Street. DuBose Heyward, wrote the novel Porgy, based on Smalls’ arrest and the fight with his girlfriend. George Gershwin read and collaborate with Heyward on “Porgy and Bess.”

sammy smalls arrest

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