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Today In Charleston History: April 24


On Easter Sunday, Dr. Francis Le Jau conducted communion at St. Philip’s. He was dismayed that only twenty-four people received the sacraments.

1780 – The Siege of Charlestown

At dawn, Lt. Colonel William Henderson attacked the British lines with 200 men – South Carolina and Virginia Continentals.  They caught the British troops completely by surprise, killing several with bayonets before retreating. The attack “was done in a few Minutes without our partys firing a Single Gun & in the greatest order.” Capt. Thomas Moultrie (brother of Gen. William Moultrie) and two privates were killed. 

At the same time Cornwallis marched on the American garrison in Mt. Pleasant at Haddrell’s Point and “found no resistance.” The British control of the eastern side of the Cooper River effectively cut off Charlestown’s communication with the back country, and Gov. Rutledge.

1860- Road to Secession.

Democratic National Convention convened at South Carolina Institute Hall. Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts presided over the proceedings. It was a volatile convention as most of the delegates were split along sectional lines. In his opening remarks Benjamin Perry of South Carolina said that “we have a duty to guard [the South] against evils which no one can forsee or foretell” and urged them to choose a candidate who would sustain the Union. His speech was greeted with hissing from the crowd.  

South Carolina Institute Hall, street view, (Harper's Weekly)

South Carolina Institute Hall, street view, (Harper’s Weekly)

1860 Democrat Convention (Harper's Weekly)

1860 Democrat Convention, interior view of Institute Hall (Harper’s Weekly)

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