July 2 -- Denmark Vesey and several others who had been convicted along with him for planning a slave rebellion were quietly hanged in the early morning hours for fear of a riot.

July 14 -- Bastille Day, the date that had been selected for the thwarted Denmark Vesey Rebellion.


Oct. 29 -- Charles Pinckney, the son of Col, Charles Pinckney and Ruth Brewton and an architect of the U.S. Constitution, died.

Nov. 21 -- The first Reform Jewish congregation in the nation was founded in Charleston by 47 members of the Kahal Kadesh Beth Elohim Synagogue.

Jan. 20 -- Sarah and Angelina Grimke began the first of a six-week lecture series about slavery in New York Baptist churches. Though fiction, a great book about the Grimke sisters is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

Jan. 1 -- Osceola arrived as a prisoner at Fort Moultrie.

Jan. 30 -- Osceola died and was buried at Fort Moultrie.

Sept. 30 -- James Matthews shared horrific stories of being an enslaved person sent to the notorious "Sugar House" for punishment.

Oct. 6 -- Susan M. Breaker died and was buried at the Bethlehem Baptist Church, where she had been an active member for 40 years.

Dec. 31 -- Jenny Lulu Lofton was born in Christ Church Parish.


Feb. 9 -- Henry Michael Lofton was born in St. James Santee Parish.


June 16 -- John Marion Lofton was born in St. James Santee Parish.


Nov. 19 -- Mary Ann Lofton was born in St. James Santee Parish.


Dec. 31 -- Jenny Lulu Lofton was born in Christ Church Parish.

Sept. 28 -- L.E.A. Shier was born to Aaron and Mary Shier in Goose Creek.


Sept. 18 -- Sarah Ann Lowry Lofton died in Christ Church Parish.

Sept. 20 -- Samuel Herd Lofton died in Christ Church Parish.


July 12 -- The Charleston Courier reported that "James Kennedy ... convicted of stealing a gold watch valued at $100 ... sentenced to be imprisoned one week, and then to receive upon the bare back, in the Jail yard, twenty stripes; afterwards to be imprisoned one week, and then discharged." (Source: Abode of Misery, p. 12)

Oct. 18 -- Eliza(beth) C. Walling Donnely died and was buried at Bethlehem Baptist Church, former site of the St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease.

Sept. 10 -- L.E.A. Shier, sometimes known as the Trillium Angel, died aged four years, 11 months and 13 days, a victim of the "bilious fever" epidemic that was going around after an unusally hot, humid summer.

Sept. 11 -- L.E.A. Shier, 4, was buried at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Goose Creek.

Nov. 7 -- News of Abraham Lincoln's election reaches Charleston, fueling the call of secessionists who give impassioned speeches at S.C. Institute Hall on Meeting Street.

Nov. 9 -- Two days after news of Abraham Lincoln's election as president, pro-secessionists stage a rally at the S.C. Institute Hall, next to the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street.

Nov. 25 -- The Rev. William O. Prentiss, in his sermon at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, referneced the threat of the "Wide Awake" groups, paramilitary organizations that formed in the North in the late 1850s and became closely affiliated wth the Republican Party and the presidential election of 1860. (Source: Confederate South Carolina)

Dec. 20 -- South Carolina delegates vote unanimously for seccession at St. Andrew's Hall on Broad Street. The document was drawn up and signed later that evening before a cheering crowd at S.C. Institute Hall on Meeting Street.

Dec. 27 -- In what some say to have been the "real" start of the Civil War, the Charleston militia ousted a small group of civilian laborers and two Union officers from Castle Pinckney, making it the first Federal military installation to seized by the Confederates. *** Robert Gourdin, a prominent Charleston merchant, wrote a letter to his old friend Major Robert Anderson, who had evacuated his Federal troops from Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter the previous day, expressing his profound sorrow over the major's decision to evacuate and protesting that the garrison had been in no danger at Fort Moultrie. (Source: Confederate South Carolina)

Dec. 29 -- U.S. Major Robert Anderson wrote to his friend, Charlestonian Robert N. Gourdin, saying "I have supplies of provisions, of all kinds, to last my command about five months, but it would add to our comfort to be enabled to make purchase of fresh meat and so on, and to shop in the city."

Dec. 30 -- Ten days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the state militia seized the United States Arsenal in Charleston.

Four-year-old L.E.A. Shier is remembered as the Trillium Angel. We visit her grave on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
This rare image of S.C. Institute Hall comes from the earliest days of photography. We visit the site, where the Ordinance of Seccession was signed on our Lost Charleston Tour. (Photo: Library of Congress)
Some would argue that the "real" beginning of the Civil War was not when Confederates troops fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, but when Confederate troops seized Castle Pinckney on Dec. 30, 1860. We discuss this forgotten fort on our Lost Charleston Tour.
A stop by the Lofton family obelisk is a part of our French Santee Tour.
Few visitors to Charleston ever hear about its infamous Sugar House, but we cover it on our Lost Charleston Tour.
We stop by Eliza Donnely's grave during our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
This single house on Bull Street was for a time the residence of Denmark Vesey. We visit it on our Public Square tour.