THE KING'S COLONY

1721-1757

1721
May 22 -- Having successfully pulled off America's "First Revolution" to make Charles Town a royal rather than proprietary colony, Charlestonians welcomed their first Royal Governor, Francis Nicholson, who arrived on this day. 

1723
Jan. 12 -- Sir William Rhett, one of the colony's leading men and the captain who captured the notorious Stede Bonnet and other pirates, died. We visit the pirates nomument on our Lost Charleston tour.

1730
Nov. 21 -- William Moultrie, future S.C. Governor, General and Patriot hero of the American Revolution, was born.

Nov. 22 -- The day after William Moutrie's birth, Edward Rutledge, also a future S.C. Governor and the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, is born.

Dec. 15 -- Robert Johnson arrives as Charles Town's first Royal Governor.

1732
Jan. 8 -- Thomas Whitmarsh, who had once worked for Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, published the first edition of the South Carolina Gazette.

1733

June 11 -- Frances Brewton, the future wife of Col. Charles Pinckney and mother of Charles Pinckney, an architect of the U.S. Constitution, was born

1734 
Feb. 2 -- The South Carolina Gazette resumes publication under its new editor, Lewis Timothy.

1735
Jan. 24 -- A troupe of traveling actors, in league with local musicians, staged the colony's first theatrical season in the "long room" of Shepheard's Tavern, located on the northeast corner of Broad and Church streets. The season opener was "The Orphan, or the Unhappy Marriage." Tickets cost 40 shillings each.

Feb. 18 -- The first documented opera to be performed in America, "Flora, or Hob in the Well," opened in the "long room" of Shepheard's Tavern on the northeast corner of Broad and Church street.

May 22 -- Charles Lowndes, being heavily in debt, fatally shot himself in jail, where he was being held for his failure to financially support his estranged wife. Considered to be a gentleman, he had been allowed to keep his firearm during his incarceration.

1736
Feb. 12 -- The Dock Street Theatre presents its first performance, a comedy titled "The Recruiting Officer."

1737
Nov. 19 -- Charles Theodore Pachelbel arrives in Chalreston.

Dec. 3 -- An indentured white servant, Samuel Dyssli, wrote home to his family saying "I am over here, thank God, hale and hearty, and doing at present quite nicely. I am working with an English master. He gives me every week ... 50 shillings, and ... plentiful ... food and drink."

1738
May 4 -- The South Carolina Gazette reported that several recently imported slaves had small pox and suggested that readers "take all imaginable care to prevent" its spread.

June 26 -- As the terrible small pox epidemic of 1738 subsided, acting Royal Governor William Bull proclaimed June 26 as "a day of publick Fasting and Humiliation" to remember the many deaths in Charles Town.

1739
Sept. 9 -- The bloodiest slave revolt in colonial America began near what is today the Stono River Bridge on Highway 17, about 20 miles south of Charleston. 

1740
Apr. 5 -- Concerned about the ever-increasing ratio of enslaved blacks to whites, the Assembly imposed a prohibitively high import duty on African slaves.

Nov. 18 -- One of Charleston's most destructive fires began around 2 p.m. "in a Sadler's House" at the corner of Broad and Church streets, destroying not only private residences, but the heart of the city's commercial warehouse district.

1741
Jan. 8 -- Believing that the Great Conflagration of 1740 was a sign of God's displeasure of Charles Town's sinful society, Anglican evangelist George Whitfield wrote in an article that ran in the Gazette saying that even the colony's clergy were robbers who did not follow in "the Footsteps of our True Sheperd." He was soon thereafter arrested and upon his release, returned to England.

Aug. 15 -- As reported later in the Gazette, an enslaved man named Boatswain was brutally excuted after being named as a co-conspirator in an arsonist's plot. The disturbing article shows evidence of the increasing fear whites had as the enslaved black majority of the colony grew larger.

1742
June 26 -- Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born.

Oct. 25 -- According to author Walter J. Fraser Jr. in Charleston! Charleston!, a visitor to Charles Town noted: "matters between the whites and the blacks here are such that one fears to be seen outside the house."

1743
Dec. 18 -- Upon his arrival in Charles Town aboard the Tartar, Royal Gov. James Glen described the colony as being "... in Ashes, Defenseless, Declining."

1744
Nov. 18 -- Shepheard's Tavern reopens following its destruction in the Fire of 1740.

1752
Jan. 9 -- Archibald Broun, who would go on to be a Patriot hero of the American Revolution, was born at Brounsfield Plantation, north of Charles Town. 

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

Sept. 14 -- The first breezes of what would become the Great Hurricane of 1752 began to pick up late in the afternoon.

Sept. 15 -- One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the East Coast came ashore, blowing a large ship anchored in Charleston Harbor up Vanderhorst Creek (today's Water Street), striking the meeting house of a group of Baptists who had recently split from the city's main congregation, and finally coming to rest near Meeting Street.

1756
June 1 -- William Henry Lyttleton arrived in Charles Town aboard HMS Winchelsea to assume his new position as the colony's Royal Governor. In Charleston! Charleston!, author Walter J. Fraser Jr. describes him as "a short, slim, thirty-one-year-old man, well connected with England's aristocracy by birth and marriage." A great crowd turned out to greet him; Henry Laurens expressed the feelings of many: "We are much in want of a new Governor. We mean a good one."

July 2 -- News reached Charles Town that England had declared war on France. Royal Gov. Lyttelton received the Assembly's support in raising funds for the war effort by raising taxes on run, bread and flour. Wealthy legislators, however, stopped short of further taxing real and chattel property.

1757

Oct. 26 -- Charles Pinckney, son of Col. Charles Pinckney and Ruth Brewton and a future architect of the U.S. Constituion, was born.

Nov. 23 -- Dr. Robert Broun dies and is buried in the St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease churchyard. 

Nov. 28 -- The American Navy was established, an entity that would play a huge role in Charleston's -- indeed, in South Carolina's -- 20th century history as well as the 18th.

Though there are no authenticated portraits of Sir Francis Nicholson, that above is considered by many to be of him. Learn more about American's real first Revolution on our Day on the Cooper River tour.  (Photo: Wikimedia)
More Charlestonians have been lost to epidemics that through all its wars and natural diasters put together. Learn more about Charleston's deadliest diseases.
Patrior Archibald Broun's son Robert laid this memorial in his father's honor. Broun's grave is one of those we visit on our Day on the Cooper River tour. (Image: Charleston Raconteurs)
The story of the grand Ladies' Club at the Washington Race Track is told on our Lost Charleston tours. (Image: Library of Congress)
One of the bloodiest slave revolts in U.S. history began near the Wallace Creek bridge on Hwy. 17 South below Charleston. A discussion of this event is included on Charleston Raconteurs to Beaufort and Savannah.
Patrior Archibald Broun's son Robert laid this memorial in his father's honor. Broun's grave is one of those we visit on our Day on the Cooper River tour. (Image: Charleston Raconteurs)
The history of the Charleston Naval Base can be found in Lost Charleston.
The saga of the Gentleman Pirate Stede Bonnet is a part of our Lost Charleston tours.
Though Shepheard's Tavern itself (seen here in an artist's rendering) is long gone, we discuss the tavern, and many of the stories that occurred here, on our Charleston Overview tour.
The Dock Street Theatre is included in our Charleston Overview and Charleston Renaissance tours.

American evangelist George Whitfield