October 1

1768 -- In preparation for the upcoming Assembly elections, Charles Town's mechanics nominated candidates who opposed the Quartering Act, Stamp Act, and Sugar Act. Led by Patriot Christopher Gadsden, they met at the Liberty Tree "where many loyal, patriotic and constitutional toasts were drank." The company then marched on to Dillon's Tavern to continue the celebration.

October 3

1718 -- Col. William Rhett returns to Charles Town, having captured pirate Stede Bonnet and his crew in a battle in the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

2023 -- Demolition crews dismantled Martha Lou's Kitchen on Morrison Drive, described by writers of the 10Best.com travel guide as a "roll-your-eyes-its-so-good" soul food restaurant. Its specialties included lima beans, mac and cheese, pork chops, giblet rice, collards, and fried chicken. After 30 years, the iconic restaurant had closed in 2020 a year before founder and legendary cook, Martha Lou Gadsden, died at the age of 91.

October 5

1780 -- Captured at sea by the British, Henry Laurens earned the unique distinction of being the only American to ever be held prisoner in the Tower of London, following his arrest for high treason.

October 6

1839 -- Susan M. Breaker died and was buried at the Bethlehem Baptist Church, where she had been an active member for 40 years. 

October 7

1935 -- Porgy & Bess, an opera by George Gershwin based on the novel Porgy by DuBose Heyward, opened on Broadway. Interpreting the lives of African-American tenants who lived on a fictional "Catfish Row," including members famed Mosquito Fleet, the play ran for 124 performances.

October 8

2023 -- Raquel Conchita Lawson Fielding died at the at of 89. The widow of Judge Bernard Fielding Sr., Mrs. Fielding was an ex-officio employee of Charleston's largest African-American funeral home, serving as Secretary of the Board for the corporation. She retired in 1998 after 40 years of service with the U.S. Customs Services, the first African-American woman employed by that ageny. She was active in many local service groups.

October 9

1970 -- Having succumbed to termite damage and carefully demolished, the new Mills House Hotel, rebuilt as closely as possible to the original and using as much salvaged building materials as possible, reopened to the public.

October 12

1786 -- Ralph Isaacs published a letter in the Charleston Morning News and Daily Advertiser besmirching Joseph Brown Ladd’s character and declaring him to be a scoundrel, social climber and quack.

October 13

1775 -- President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the first White House, designed by Charleston architectural professor James Hoban, in the District of Columbia. White House historians note the influence the S.C. State House (now Charleston County Courthouse) at the city's Four Corners of Law had in determining the design of the new presidential mansion. Some attribute the design of the statehouse to Hoban, though documentation is lacking.

1931 -- City Council created America's first historical zoning ordinance, protecting Charleston's 18th and 19th century core from demolitions and establishing the city's Board of Architectural Review.

October 14

2023 -- Less than a week after the death of Board Secretary Raquel Conchita Lawson Fielding, Fielding Home for Funerals announced that after 111 years, it was closing its business at 122 Logan St. and moving its operation to 2704 Meeting St. The announcement in the Post & Courier noted they would not be accepting new clients.

October 15

1866 -- Horse-drawn car service began in Charleston. (Source: Dr. Nicholas Butler, Charleston County Public Library.)

October 16

1765 -- Mary-Anne Schad, the wife of a plantation overseer, gave birth to their first child, a son. Planters believed that having a married overseer on the property would help keep the overseer more settled and responsible. (Source: South Carolina Women, p. 66)

October 17

1971 -- Aviator and popular local daredevil Bevo Howard struck a tree as he pulled out of a stunt at a charity airshow in Greenville, N.C., and was killed in the resulting crash.

2023 -- William T. Farley Jr. died in Mt. Pleasant.

October 18

1765 -- The Planter's Adventure arrived in Charles Town Harbor with the hated Parliamentarian stamps, causing some "very extraordinary and universal commotions. (Source: A Short History of Charleston, p. 49)

1858 -- Eliza(beth) C. Walling Donnely died and was buried at Bethlehem Baptist Church, former site of the St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease.

October 19

1997 -- David Byrne, Cracker and Cowboy Mouth were among the bands that played at the 96 WAVEFEST.

October 22

1774 -- Henry Middleton was elected President of the first Continental Congress.

2006 -- The original Bowens Island burned to the ground.

October 23

1765 -- An angry mob seeking the whereabouts of the detested tax stamps issued through Parliment's Stamp Act stormed several notable residences in downtown Charleston, including that of Henry Laurens.

1786 -- Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd was mortally wounded in a duel with Ralph Isaacs in Philadelphia Alley.

October 25

1742 -- 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." (Source: Charleston! Charleston!)

October 26

1757 -- Charles Pinckney, the son of Col. Charles Pinckney and Frances Brewton and a future architect of the U.S. Constitution, was born.

1765 -- Leaders of a rebel mob spread rumors that Charles Town's two local stamp agents, George Saxby and Caleb Lloyd, were hiding out at Fort Johnson on James Island. Over the next two days, the mob rampaged through the streets of Charles Town, threatening to kill the agents if they did not resign their office. (Source: Charleston, Charleston!)

October 27

1782 -- Most of the British Army evacuated the city of Charleston in a convoy of 40 ships, along with 3,700 local Loyalists, as well as a good bit of booty.

October 28

1718 -- 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)

1765 -- Because of the murderous threats by an angry rebel mob two days before, Charles Town's stamp agents, George Saxby and Caleb Lloyd, announced that to ensure the peace of the province (and save their lives), they would not enforce the hated Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty poured into the streets and unfurled the blue flag of "Liberty." (Source: Charleston, Charleston!)

October 29

1824 -- Charles Pinckney, the son of Col. Charles Pinckney and Frances Brewton and an architect of the U.S. Constitution, died.

We visit the site of Dillon's Tavern on our Lost Charleston and Charleston Overview tours. (Image: artist's conception)
We share the story of the Mosquito Fleet on our Lost Charleston Tour and visit the "true" Catfish Row on our Charleston Overview Tour.
Hear the amazing story of daredevil Bevo Howard on our Lost Charleston Tour.
We visit the memorial marker of Col. Charles Pinckney on our French Santee Tour.
On our Lost Charleston Tour, we share both the Patriotic and macabre stories at the site of the Henry Laurens' House.
We visit the Thomas Rose House, where Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd died on our Charleston Overview Tour. (Image: Pintrest, taken by Blanche Knake.)
Raquel Conchita Lawson Fielding

Martha Lou's Kitchen