AUGUST


August 2

1718 -- Pirate Stede Bonnet and his crew raided the Frances.

August 4

1781 -- Col. Isaac Hayne was hanged just outside the city's boundaries.

August 5

1776 -- News arrived in Charles Town that the Declaration of Independence had been signed in Philadelphia. Lowcountry signers included Thomas Lynch, Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge and Thomas Heyward.

August 8

1698 -- Mary Fisher Bayley Cross wrote her will, noting that she was "very sick and weak."

2000 -- The wreckage of the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine to succesfully complete its military mission when it sank the USS Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864, was recovered off Sullivan's Island and returned to port. While many spectators paid to secure spots along its return route through the harbor, all they could see of the vessel at eye level was the supporting "cradle" that had brought up the sub. Those of us fortunate enough to be working at Historic Charleston Foundation in the Capt. James Missroon House at 40 East Bay Street, however, were greatly surpised when the recovery ship veered off its announced route and passed directly east of our offices. Racing out to the fire escape on the third floor, we could see directly down into the very body of the Hunley.

August 11 

1775 -- An enslaved man, Thomas Jeremiah, went on trial under the Negro Act of 1740 for helping arm other enslaved Blacks in support of the British cause. Found guilty, he was sentenced "to be hanged, and then burned to ashes." (Source: Charleston, Charleston!, p. 145)

August 12 

1775 -- A local mob seized a British soldier "for some insolent speech he had made," tarred and feathered him, and "putting him in a cart paraded through the Town ... using him very cruelly all the time." Soon a mob of about 400 had gathered to drag the soldier through the streets, stopping at the houses of suspected Crown sympathizers to show what might happen to Loyalists. (Source: Charleston, Charleston!, p. 145)

August 13

1901 -- The city of Charleston sold the former Chicora Plantation, a few miles north of the city along the Cooper River, to the U.S. Navy to create a base and shipyard.

August 15

1741 -- As reported in the Gazette, an enslaved man named Boatswain was brutally excuted after being named a co-conspirator in an arsonist's plot.

August 17

1695 -- Quaker John Archdale was appointed Governor of the Carolina colony.

1775 -- Jemmy, an enslaved man who testified against his brother-in-law Thomas Jeremiah, recanted his testimony that Jeremiah had been involved in transporting British arms to other enslaved men. (Source: Charleston, Charleston! by Walt Fraser, p. 146)

1780 -- Capt. Archibald Broun, a Revolutionary hero of Brounsfield Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, married Mary Deas, the daughter of his wealthy neighbors, John and Elizabeth Allen Deas of Thoroughgood Plantation. 

1863 -- Union Maj. Gen. William Gillmore and his men load the 16,000-pound Swamp Angel cannon onto a boat so taxed by its weight that it periously floated just a few inches above water.

August 18 

1775 -- Despite his brother-in-law's recanted tesimony that he was distributing British arms to enslaved Negros, Thomas Jeremiah was hanged anyway, then burnt to ashes as his sentence decreed. He  maintained his innocence to the end. S.C. Gov. William Campbell believed Jeremiah was innocent, as did the Royal Attorney General, saying Jeremiah was the victim of the increaseing fear whites had of the black majority in Charleston. (Source: Charleston, Charleston! by Walt Fraser, p. 146)

August 19

1764 -- Arthur Middleton married Mary Izard, "a Lady who is one of the first of her sex for sense, politeness and every female accomplishment."

August 20

1694 -- In his will, written on this date, Capt. John Coming left his entire estate to his widow, Affra Harleston Coming.

August 21

1863 -- Some time around 10:45 p.m., Union Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore sent a note to Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard demanding the Confederates evacuate Morris Island and Fort Sumter or else at midnight he would commence firing from a new battery built between James and Morris islands to mount the canon known as the Swamp Angel.

August 22

1863 -- Not having heard back from his demands to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard earlier in the evening, at 1:30 a.m. Union Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore began firing upon Charleston using the canon known as the Swamp Angel. After hearing from Beauregard later than morning, Gillmore gave Charleston's remaining inhabitants the rest of this day and the next to evacuate the city. 

2013 -- Elizabeth Rice Burbage of Ridgeville died at the age of 95. She retired from Summerville School District 2, having spent 26 years as a lunch room worker for a generation of children.

August 23

1863 -- As Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore again began firing on Charleston this evening, everyone remaining in Charleston had completed their evacuation, leaving no one below Broad Street.  On its 36th round, the 20th of this evening, the Swamp Angel exploded.

August 24

1526 -- Spanish explorer Lucas de Ayllon visited the area around Cape Romain, naming the area Cape San Romano, as this date is St. Romano's Day. (Source: Home in the Village by Walter Bonner.)

1706 -- A privateer hired by Proprietary Gov. Sir Nathaniel Johnson returned to Charles Town with news that it wa being chased by five French vessels carrying French and Spanish soliders. The enemy commander had heard that Charles Town was suffering rom a yellow fever epidemic and would therefore be vunerable to attack.

1863 -- The Swamp Angel exploded on its 20th shot of the evening.

August 25

1671 -- The new British and Barbadian settlers at Albemarle Point (i.e., Charle Towne Landing) held a parliament, noting that they had no Anglican minister. Gov. William Sayle therefore wrote to Lord Proprietor Anthony Ashley Cooper asking his to send "a Godly and othodox minist'r.'" (Source: A Short History of Charleston, p. 12.)

August 26


August 27

1782 -- In the waning days of the American Revolution, John Laurens was shot off his horse and mortally wounded. 

August 29

1951 -- Seventy-three orphans left the Charleston Orphanage on Calhoun Street for the last time before it was torn down to make room for a new Sears Department Store.

August 31

1718 -- Stede Bonnet, the "Gentleman Pirate." and his crew raided the Frances.

1886 -- The largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast, estimated to have been about a 7.2 on today's Richter Scale, struck Charleston.

We visit the now-obscure box tomb of Revolutionary War hero Capt. Archibald Broun on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
We visit the ruins of one of Charles Town's oldest plantations, ComingTee, home of John and Affra Coming, on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
The story of the Swamp Angel is among the most interesting tales of the 545-day bombardment of Charleston during the Civil War. You'll find the story in Lost Charleston.
Recently made famous again in the Broadway hit, Hamilton, John Laurens' final resting place is among the gravesites we visit at his father's Mepkin Plantation on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
Many of the key historic sites that were lost as a result of the Great Earthquake of 1886 are included on our Lost Charleston Tours.
We share stories of the notorious "Gentleman Pirate" Stede Bonnet on our Downtown Historic Overview Tour.
Read more about the huge impact of the Navy Shipyard in Lost Charleston.