FEBRUARY

February 2

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

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

1861 -- The Illustrated London News ran an illustration of the lobby of the Charleston Hotel as part of its coverage of the impending Civil War. 

February 5

1775 -- Local Dissenters gathered at a meetinghouse, noting in that day's church records that they “suffered itself to be called either Presbyterian, Congregational, or Independent: sometimes by one of the names, sometimes by two of them, and at other times by all the three. We do not find that this church is either Presbyterian, Congregational, or Independent, but somewhat distinct and singular from them all.”

February 6

1861 -- Joseph Holt, U.S.President James Buchanan's Secretary of War, wrote to Isaac W. Hayne, who was S.C. Gov. Francis W. Pickens' attorney general and envoy to Washington (not to be confused with the Revolutionary hero), that Fort Sumter's purpose was the defense of Charleston Harbor and that if some "public enemy" menaced the city or the harbor, the fort's batteries would "be at once exerted for their protection." (Source: Confederate South Carolina, p. 20)

February 7

1861 -- S.C. Attorney General and Gov. Pickens' Washington envoy, Isaac W. Hayne, replied to U.S. Secretary of War Joseph Holt's letter received the day before, saying: "Are you not aware, that to hold in the territory of a foreign power a fortress against her will, avowedly for the purpose of protecting her citizens is perhaps the highest insult which one government can offer to another? But Fort Sumter was never garrisoned at all until South Carolina had dissolved her connection with your Government. This garrison entered it in the night with every circumstance of secrecy after spiking the guns and burning the gun carriages and cutting down the flag-staff of an adjacent fort which was then abandoned. South Carolina had not taken Fort Sumter into her own possession only because of her misplaced confidence in a government which deceived her." (Source: Confederate South Carolina, p. 20-21)

February 9

1840 -- Henry Michael Lofton was born.

February 10

1794 -- Planter and Revolutionary War Patriot Aaron Loocock died.

February 12

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

February 15

1792 -- The first race at the new Washington Race Course (now Hampton Park) took place. 

February 17

1864 -- The HL Hunley became the first submarine to successfully sink its target, the Housatonic. Though successfully completing their mission, the sub. with its crew, never returned to shore and remained on the bottom of the ocean for the next 136 years.

1865 -- Gen. P.G.T, Beauregard calls for all Confederate troops to evacuate the city, loading any useful things aboard the last train out of town and destroying anything left that the enemy could use. As fires blaze across the peninsula, the city falls to Union troops.

February 18

1735 -- 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.

1820 -- John and Livinia Fisher were hanged, convicted of the crime of highway robbery, near "the lines, on the Meeting-Street Road...." (Source: Charleston Courier)

1865 -- As the last train transporting Confederate soldiers and supplies, a horrible explosion at the Northeastern Railroad Depot killed more than 250 desperate men, women and children scavenging whatever left-overs they could find.

February 20

1711 -- 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. 1page 52)

February 24

1698 -- A fire broke out and spread so quickly thoughout town that over 48 hours that more than 50 families were left homeless.

February 28

1758 -- Lt. Col. Henry Bouquet, who author Walter J. Fraser Jr. in Charleston! Charleston! called a "brash thirty-eight-year-old British soldier-of-fortune" demanded that the colonial Assembly pay for his officers' rents. The Assembly refused his request.

2020 -- At a rally at the North Charleston Coliseum, President Donald Trump asserted that Democratic complaints about his handling of the corona virus threat were "their new hoax."

One of the most poignant stories of Charleston's history is that of the Northeastern Railroad Depot, which we discuss on our Lost Charleston Tour. (Image: Library of Congress)
The Washington Race Course is one of the key stops on our Lost Charleston Tour.
On our Day on the Cooper River Tour, we visit the site of George Chicken's camp, where so many captured Native Americans spent their last night on their native soil before being marched 22 miles the next day to Charles Town's waiting slave ships, ready to transported them to labor and die on the Carribean's great sugar plantations. (Image: St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease)
Circular Congregational Church as seen before the Great Confligration of 1861. We visit this site on our Lost Charleston and Charleston Overview Tours. (Image: Library of Congress)
The history of the Charleston Hotel is covered on our Lost Charleston tours. (Image: From the Illustrated London News, Library of Congress)
Aaron Loocock was a wealthy landowner, local political leader, Revolutionary War soldier, and experimental planter and author. We visit his box tomb on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Image: Leigh Handal)
The story of the Lofton family is a part of our French Santee Tour. (Image: Leigh Handal)