May 1

1540 -- Hernado de Soto and his Spanish army reached the village of the Cofitachequi tribe, near the the confluence of Pine Tree Creek and the Wateree River, near the present-day site of Camden, and were met by that village's leader, the Lady of Cofitachequi, who sought a peaceful alliance with the Europeans. (Source: South Carolina Women, p. 11)

1865 -- Thousands of emancipated slaves marched in a parade to the old Washington Race Course, which served as a Union POW camp during the Civil War. They exhumed mass graves and reburied the Union dead with respect and ceremony, then celebrated their newfound freedom with speeches and a picnic. Some credit this celebration as the nation's first Memorial Day.

May 3

1898 -- Septima Poinsette Clark was born.

May 4

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

1906 -- On opening day of Belmont’s Race Track's opening day, nearly 40,000 people streamed through the Washington Race Course's former gates at their new New York home.

May 5

1666 -- Thomas Pinckney, future father of Col. Charles Pinckney, was born.

1930 -- Arthur T. Wayne died.

May 8

1738 -- Daniel Cartwright sold his land, which included today's Hampton Park, to John Braithwaite.

1781 -- A force of American Patriots led by General Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion and Lt. Colonel "Light Horse" Harry Lee arrived at a plantation house owned by Rebecca Brewton Motte, which had been fortified by the British for use as a depot because of its strategic location at the confluence of the Congaree and Wateree rivers. With about 175 British soldiers there, Mrs. Motte's house had become known as Fort Motte. Marion and Lee hoped to capture the fort before General Francis Rawdon arrived.

May 21/22

1767 -- A deed recorded for William Withers referred to his property along the Cooper River as "the neck," perhaps proving a clue as to how Goose Creek got its name. (Clara A. Langley, South Carolina Abstracts, 4 vols. (Easley, South Carolina Historical Press, Inc. 1984), Vol. 3:277, 365.

May 22

1721 -- Charlestonians welcomed South Carolina's first Royal Governor, Francis Nicholson, having won their efforts to become a colony of the Crown, rather than of the Lords Proprietors.

1735 -- 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. As a gentleman, he had been allowed to keep his firearm during his incarceration.

May 23

1788 -- A special convention of South Carolinians voted to ratify the new Constitution of the United States of America.

May 29

1630 -- Charleston's namesake, Charles II, was born "at noon with Venus the star of lov e and fortune shining high over the horizon." (Source: A Short History of Charleston)

May 31

1861 -- The Tenth Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers gathered for the first time.. Among them was Henry Michael Lofton. (Source: Home in the Village, p. 75)

1940 -- The Scottish Rite Cathedral Association sold the Rodgers Mansion at 149 Wentworth Street to the Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company.

Newly emancipated slaves reburied the Union soldiers who had been placed into mass graves at the Washington Race Track. We visit the site on our Lost Charleston Tour.
We visit the Lofton Family memorial at Christ Church on our French Santee Tour.
Charles Town was named for King Charles II, England's Merry Monarch
Mrs. Motte Directing Generals Marion and Lee to Burn Her Mansion by John Blake White, oil on canvas, United States Senate Collection. By John Blake White, before 1859.
We visit the graves and hear about the lives of Col. Charles Pinckney and Arthur Wayne on our French Santee Tour.
We discuss the life and legacy of Septima P. Clark on our Sea Islands Tour.