Home » Today In Charleston History » Today In Charleston History: June 1

Today In Charleston History: June 1

1734 – Culture

A billiard table was advertised for sale at Ashley Ferry in the Gazette.

1738 – Treatment for Pox

The Gazette published Dr. Pitcarn’s treatment for small pox to help stop its spread. It consisted of bloodletting and the use of a syrup of white poppies. By the end of the summer 2112 people had come down with the disease, killing more than 400.  It was reported that there were not:

sufficient number of persons in health to attend the sick, and many persons perished from neglect and want. There was scarcely a house in which there had not been one of more deaths. Inoculation was at this time first attempted with some success and the disease soon after abated. 


William Henry Lyttelton arrived in Charlestown as the Governor on the HMS Winchelsea. Crowds of citizens gathered to toast the new governor but Lyttelton’s term would be riddled with controversies. 

1775-American Revolution – Foundations.

 The Secret Committee of Five ordered the tarring and feathering of James Dealy and Laughlin Martin for rejoicing (supposedly) that Catholics, Negroes and Indians were going to be armed in an uprising against the people.  The two men were carted about the streets and banished from town.

1776-American Revolution
Lord William Campbell

Lord William Campbell

Lord William Campbell, who, several months before, had left Charleston in the middle of the night in fear of being attacked, had been urging a major expedition against South Carolina to crush the rebellion in the South. On June 1, the British fleet, commanded by Sir Peter Parker and Sir Henry Clinton, appeared and “displayed about fifty sail before the town, on the outside of the bar.”

Col.  Moultrie described their effect on Charlestonians:

The sight of these vessels alarmed us very much, all was hurry and confusion, the president with his council busy in sending expresses to every part of the country, to hasten down the militia; men running about the town looking for horses, carriages and boats to send their families into the country; and as they were going out through the town gates to go into the country, they met the militia from the country marching into town…

1782 – Culture

Hamilton Stevenson advertised his services as a “painter of miniatures or a hair sylist.”

1822-Denmark Vesey Rebellion

Mingo Harth and Peter Poyas were interrogated by city officials. Another Slave, William Paul, had named them as part of a “conspiracy” against the whites.  Poyas laughed and called William Paul a young fool. Intendent (mayor)Hamilton was impressed that “these fellows behaved with so much composure and coolness.”

1825 – Politics

Joel Roberts Poinsett was appointed the first United States minister to Mexico.

1832 – Death
Statue of Gen. Sumter on the courthouse lawn, Sumter S.C.

Statue of Gen. Sumter on the courthouse lawn, Sumter S.C.

Thomas Sumter died, the last surviving Revolutionary War generals.

In February 1776, Sumter was elected lieutenant colonel of the Second Regiment of the South Carolina Line. He subsequently was appointed brigadier general, a post he held until the end of the war. Perhaps his greatest military achievement was his partisan campaigning, which contributed to Lord Cornwallis’ decision to leave the Carolinas for Virginia.

Sumter acquired the nickname, “Carolina Gamecock,” during the American Revolution for his fierce fighting tactics. After the Battle of Blackstock’s Farm, British General Banastre Tarleton commented that Sumter “fought like a gamecock”, and Cornwallis paid him the finest tribute when he described the Gamecock as his greatest plague.

1865 –  Reconstruction

By this time, more than 30,000 cartloads of material and debris had been removed out of the city under the U.S. Army’s supervision, using more than 200 laborers and 50 teams of animals. The debris was dumped in the marshes as landfill.

One visitor described the city as:

The splendid houses are all deserted, the glass in the windows broken, the walls dilapidated, the columns toppled over … arches demolished, mantels shattered, while fragments, great and small, of every description strew the floors … but where are the owners of these estates – where are they?

Charleston, after the War and fire destruction. Looking  west at St. John's Lutheran and Unitarian Churches

Charleston, after the War and fire destruction.

1882 – Politics 

The “Eight Box Law, written by Charlestonian Edward McCrady, Jr. and passed by the state assembly went into effect. The law got its name from the requirement that, on Election Day, there were to be eight separate ballot boxes for different offices. A voter had to be able to read in order to know where to place his ballot. At this time illiteracy rate among blacks was five times greater than whites. Another provision of the law was that every voter must re-register before June 1, 1882, or be forever banned from voting.

Within four years, tens of thousands of black voters in South Carolina were disenfranchised. Voting districts were redrawn, leaving only one majority black district. The state’s last 19th century black congressman was defeated for re-election in 1896

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