Home » Today In Charleston History » Today In Charleston History: May 8

Today In Charleston History: May 8

1734 – Culture – Poetry

In a letter in the Gazette, a writer commented on an affair between an elderly gentleman and a young lady with a poem:

In this our Town I’ve heard some Youngsters say

That cold December does make Love to May

This may be true, that warm’d by youthful charms

He thinks of Spring, when melting in her arms

As trees, when crown’d with blossoms white as snow

May feel the heat, and yet no life below

1780-The Siege of Charlestown.

After several weeks under siege, living conditions in Charlestown were becoming grim. Colonel Grimke recorded, “no more Meat served out.” Gen. Lincoln convened the war council within the Horn Work to discuss Sir Clinton’s new summons of surrender. A 24-hour cease fire was ordered for the Americans to consider the offer.

Gen. Moultrie welcomed the cease fire. He wrote that fatigue “was so great, for want of sleep, that many faces were so swelled they could scarcely see out of their eyes.” Many of the militia:

Looked upon all the business as settled, and without orders, took up their baggage and walked into town, leaving the lines quite defenceless.

Sixty-one officers composed the war council that met with Gen. Lincoln. A vote of 49-12 favored offering surrender terms to the British. The twelve dissenters included Col. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Lt. Col. John Laurens, natives of the city. Lincoln ordered the officers to draw up articles for surrender, which was sent to Sir Clinton that night.

1781-American Revolution. 
Francis Marion

Francis Marion

General Nathanael Greene returned to South Carolina with his Continental Army, and reinforced General Francis Marion’s brigade with Lt. Col. Henry “Light Horse” Harry Lee and his Legion. The task of this combined force was to capture and destroy the line of British forts that protected communications and supplies between Charlestown and the interior of South Carolina. Fort Motte was one of those.

Fearing that British reinforcements were on the way, Marion and Lee decided to attack at once. Ft. Motte was put under siege. Rebecca and her family were ordered to the nearby overseer’s cottage for safety.


May 8, 1791
Gen. William Moultrie

Gen. William Moultrie

 President Washington spent the Sunday in Charleston attending crowded churches” in the morning (St. Michael’s) and evening (St. Philip’s).

His evening meal was with Gen. William Moultrie.


Dr. David Ramsay died at 7 a.m. from his wounds at the hand of William Linnen. He was buried at the Circular Congregational Church next to his wife, Martha.

Ramsay grave, Circular Church graveyard

Ramsay grave, Circular Church graveyard

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