CHARLESTON AT HER PINNACLE


1784-1820

1784

June 25 -- The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston, the oldest Jewish charitable society in the United States, is founded.

Nov. 18 -- The Charleston City Gazette announced that the city was going to begin selling lots on what today we know as East Battery.

1785 

Jan. 27 -- According to the journal of the House of Representatives, two petitions were presented, one of which called for the establishment of a school (which would later become the College of Charleston) at Charleston and the other at Winnsborough. The petitions were sent to committee for consideration. (Source: A History of the College of Charleston, p. 18.)

March 19 -- Because "the proper education of youth is essential to the happiness and prosperity of every community," the General Assembly of South Carolina passed an "act for erecting and establishing" the College of Cambridge in the district of Ninety-Six, Mt. Zion College in the district of Camden, and the College of Charleston, in or near the city of Charleston. (Source: A History of the College of Charleston, p. 1)

1786

March 2 -- Seeking a less expensive means by which to move their goods (as opposed to the expensive new Santee Canal), landowners in Goose Creek petitioned the State House to create turnpikes and tolls along the Goose Creek Road that ran from Charleston to Wassamassaw in an effort to ensure better maintenance of the land route. (Source: Goose Creek: A Definitive History, Volume II, p. 28.)

Oct. 12 -- Attorney Ralph Isaacs challenged Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd to a duel.

Oct. 23 -- At dawn, Ralph Isaacs and Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd met in Philadelphia Alley to duel for their honor.

Nov. 2 -- Ten horrific days after being shot in the kneecap by Ralph Isaacs, Dr. John Brown Ladd died at the Thomas Rose House, 59 Church Street.

1787
Jan. 1 -- Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence dies.

1788

May 23 -- A special convention of South Carolinians voted to ratify the new Constitution of the United States of America.

1792

Feb. 15 -- The first race held at the new Washington Race Course (now Hampton Park) was held. 

Dec. 3 -- In his will, John Coming Ball of Back River made specific directives about the disposition of several of his enslaved people: "I give my Negro man Nat his freedom and all my wearing apparel. I give my Negro woman, Hagar, and her child Charlotte their freedom and, desire my executors will have the latter educated & when she shall be old enough placed out as an Apprentice to a Millinor or Mantua Maker. I give my Negro Man, Jackey (son of Lucy) who is at present my driver his freedom, I give and bequeath to my sister, Mrs. Wilson, any Negro Girl among my female Slaves she may prefer ...." (Source: Goose Creek: A Definitive History Vol. I, p. 91)

1794
Feb. 10 -- Planter, Revolutionary War Patriot, and author of a manuscript relaying his experiments with planting matter Aaron Loocock died.

1797
Dec. 11 -- After suffering for 18 years from an accidental bayonette wound he received at the Siege of Savannah, Patriot Capt. Archibald Broun (aka Brown) died at Blessing Plantation. During his distinguished career, he negotiated with the French for miltary supplies and equipment, and became one of the five wealthiest land owners in St. Thomas Parish (near today's Goose Creek area).

March 17

1799

March 17 -- The Hibernian Society was established by by eight prosperous Irishmen, both Catholic and Protestant, for the purpose of “true enjoyment and useful beneficence,” according to early records.

1801
Feb. 2 -- Joseph Alston, who would become South Carolina's governor, married Theodosia Burr, the daughter of the nation's third Vice President, Aaron Burr. 

March 17 -- Two years after its founding on this date, the Hibernian Society adpoted its name, motto and seal.

1802
Nov. 23 -- Theodosia Burr, daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr and a future First Lady of South Carolina, arrived in Charleston.

1807
Jan. 1 -- The foreign slave trade ended per Federal law (at least officially, if not in absolute practice).

1811

April 2 -- The South Carolina Advocate reported on the burning of the Cooper River Campground, which was also known as the Goose Creek Methodist Camp, near the confluence of Goose Creek to the Cooper.

1813

Jan. 29 -- A man named Pierre Mathesau was hanged in front of the Old City Jail on Magazine Street. (Source: Abode of Misery, p. 15.)

1815

Jan. 10 -- American Patriot Rebecca Brewton Motte died.

1819 

Feb. 16 -- A group of vigilantes rode out to the Five and Six Mile taverns, operated by John and Lavinia Fisher, looking for a gang of suspected robbers. When they found a group they suspected were at Five Mile House, they ordered the suspects out of the building before setting fire to it. As Five Mile House burned to the ground, its smoke could be seen by those at Six Mile House, who escaped into the woods before the cavalcade’s arrival.

Feb. 20 -- Based on the statements and identifications provided by David Ross and John Peeples, officials again headed out to Six Mile House, arresting John and Lavinia Fisher and their business partner, William Hayward, along with several others.

Feb. 22 -- The Charleston Courier rain a story outling the details about the arrests of John and Lavinia Fisher and their gang at Six Mile House. 

Sept. 13 -- John and Livinia Fisher nearly escaped from the District Jail by creating a rope out of strips of cloth. John went down first and had almost reached the ground when the rope broke, leaving Lavinia trapped on the jail’s upper floors. Rather than leave his wife, John remained below Lavinia’s window and was, of course, recaptured.

1820

Jan. 20 -- John and Lavinia Fisher’s appeal on charges of highway robbery was unsuccessful. They were sentenced to be hanged Feb. 4, but an extension was granted so they could prepare their souls before the executiion.

Feb. 18 -- The Friday morning issue of the Charleston Courier related that John and Livinia Fisher were hanged, convicted of the crime of highway robbery, near "the lines, on the Meeting-Street Road..." today near the foot of the old Cooper River bridges.

We visit the final resting place and hear the sad tale of Archibald Broun on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
We visit the grave of Aaron Loocock, a Revolutionary War soldier and owner of several plantations, on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. In addition to writing a 18th century book on growing matter, after the Revolution, Loocock served in the first Assembly in the new state government.
We visit the house where Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd died tragically in 1786 on our Charleston Overview Tour.
Hear the story of America's first Jewish benevolent society on our Lost Charleston Tour.
We discuss the infamous 1860 Democratic National Convention, including the roles of the Hibernian Society, S.C. Institute, and St. Andrews Hall on our Lost Charleston tour.