Home » Today In Charleston History » Today In Charleston History: July 20

Today In Charleston History: July 20

1672 – Oyster Point

The surveyor general, John Culpepper of Barbados, was ordered to “admeasure and layout for a town on the Oyster Point.”

Most of the land on Oyster Point had been given as a grant to Henry Hughes and John Coming, first mate of the Carolina in 1670. Both men voluntarily surrendered half of their lands “to be employed in and toward the outlaying of a town and commons.” This made the original plan for Charles Town extending no farther west than present Meeting Street, no farther north than Broad Street and no farther south than Water Street. 

Early Charlestown

Early Charlestown


David Ramsay, an Irish immigrant and graduate of Princeton, was awarded a medical degree from the College of Philadelphia.

1776 – American Revolution

The Continental Congress issued the following proclamation:

“Resolved, That the thanks of the United States of America, be given to Maj. Gen. Lee, Col. William Moultrie, Col. William Thomson, and the officers and soldiers under their commands; who on the 28th day of June last, repulsed, with so much valor, the attack which was made on the State of South-Carolina, by the fleet and army of his British majesty.

That Mr. President transmits the foregoing resolution to Maj. Gen. Lee, Col. Moultrie, and Col. Thomson.

 By order of the Congress.

John Hancock, President.”

1863 – Civil War

Mayor Charles Macbeth and Gen. Beauregard urged “all women and children, and other non-combatants … leave the city as soon as possible.”   

1914 – Charleston Library Society

The new home of the Charleston Library Society opened, a Beaux Arts-style at 164 King building designed and constructed specifically for the society. During the opening day,  the public lined up the front steps to experience its light-filled rooms, fireproof structure, electric lamps, steam heat, and the vacuum system keeping it dust free.

The 60,000 books, pamphlets, and magazines were then accessible for $4 a year, and members such as DuBose Heyward, John Bennett, Albert Simons, and Josephine Pinckney came to read and write here.

Today, the society holds more than 110,000 volumes—from those dating to the medieval period to current best sellers—as well as an archive of rare Charleston imprints and manuscripts documenting the founders of our country, state, and city. In recent years, it has been hosting concerts, book signings, art installations, and lectures with renewed vigor, drawing a new generation of culture-seekers to propel the building into another century.


164 King Street, Charleston Library Society, modern view


164 King Street, Charleston Library Society, 1914

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