Rice, Indigo, Expansion, Pirates and the First American Revolution No One Learns About in School



March 1 -- A committee appointed by members of the Charleston Library Society made their report recommending that fundraising should be undertaken for the creation of a school, a predecessor of the College of Charleston. (Source: A History of the College of Charleston, p. 11)


Jan. 6 -- Ruth Brewton, the sister of Miles Brewton and Rebecca Brewton Motte, future wife of S.C. Commissary Gen. William Pinckney, and mother of Col. Charles Pinckney, was born.

Nov. 24 -- Land between the Combahee and Savannah rivers was set aside for the Native American Yemassee tribe.


Sept. 17-- Governor Nathaniel Johnson sent a report to the Board of Trade in London with the good news that the Charles Town colony was flourishing, with a population of 9,580 - 3,960 of which were free whites, 120 white indentured servants, 1,400 enslaved Native Americans, and 4,100 enslaved Africans and African Americans.  (Source: Charleston! Charleston!, p. 28) 


Feb. 20 -- The Rev. Francis LeJau wrote a letter to his sponsors at the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, warning them of impending trouble with the Native Americans in the St. James, Goose Creek Parish, noting "It is evident that our traders have promoted Bloody Wars this last year to get slaves and one of them bought lately one hundred of these poor souls." This Native America slave trade would lead to the Yemassee War of 1715, as LeJau predicted. (Source: Dr. Michael J. Heitzler in Goose Greek: A Definitive History, Vol. 1, page 52)

Mar. 1 -- Because the congregation of St. Philip's Anglican Church was outgrowing its building at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets, the colonial Assembly passed an "Act for Erecting a New Brick Church" on the east side of Church Street, just above Queen Street.

Apr. 15 -- In response to the growing slave trade of Native Americans with the West Indies, the Yemasees, Creeks, Catawbas and Choctaw tribes aligned to attack a number of frontier settlements about 80 miles southwest of Charles Town on Good Friday. They slew about 100 people. One of them, trader Thomas Nairne, was roasted to death.


Sept. 27 -- A patrol of pirate bounty hunters under the command of Colonel William Rhett spotted Bonnet in the Cape Fear River inlet. (Rhett was actually looking for another pirate, Charles Vane, at the time.)

Oct. 28 -- Chief Justice Nicholas Trott convened the Court of the Vice Admiralty in a private residence to try the case of the pirates who had recently been captured along with Stede Bonnet. (Source: Charleston! Charleston!, p. 35)

Nov. 5 -- Gov. Robert Johnson took four ships to attack another group of pirates off the coast and a dramatic battle ensured. (Source: Charleston! Charleston,! p. 35)

Nov. 8 -- Twenty-two (accounts vary a bit) of Stede Bonnet's crew were hanged at what is now White Point Gardens.

Nov. 10 -- Stede Bonnet was stood trial for piracy with Judge Nicholas Trott presiding.

Nov. 13 -- Several more, perhaps seven, of Bonnet's crew were hanged at White Point Gardens.

Nov. 19 -- The trial began for 19 pirates captured by Gov. Robert Johnson before Judge Nicholas Trott.

Nov. 24 -- Judge Nicholas Trott sentenced the 19 pirates captured by Gov. Robert Johnson to death by hanging.

Dec. 10 -- Stede Bonnet was hanged for piracy at White Point Gardens.

Nov. 17 -- In what some call America's First Revolution, Carolina's colonial Assembly met in Charles Town and disavowed further allegiance to the Lords Prioprietors in favor of becoming a Royal Colony. The Assembly declared itself "the government until His Majesty's pleasure be known."

Dec. 21 -- The Assembly proclaimed Gen. James Moore Jr., who had led a successful attack on the Tuscarora tribe during the Yemassee War, as provisional governor until they received further directives from the Crown. 

Sources etimate two to four million Native Americans were sold into slavery. We visit the historic campsite where many of them spent their last night in their homeland and learn more about this dark chapter in our nation's history on our Day on the Cooper River tour. (Image from the cover of The Goose Creek Bridge: Gateway to Sacred Places by Michael J. Heitzler, Ed.D.)
(Above) On both our Charleston Overview and Lost Charleston tours we talk about the life and times of the Gentleman Pirate Stede Bonnet, his capture by Col. William Rhett, and his execution by Chief Justice Nicholas Trott at White Point Gardens. (Below) Col.William Rhett's house, one of the oldest in the city, can be seen on our tour of the historic Ansonborough neighborhood.
Did you know the first American Revolution occurred in 1719? See where it happened and get the full story on our Day on the Cooper River tour.
St. Michael's Church (Episcopal), which we visit on our Charleston Overview Tour,  now stands on the southeast corner of the historic Four Corners of Law, where St. Philip's Church was originally located.