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Full text of "Reminiscences of Charleston"

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\S \^73.o.S*.5* 



J^arbarD College librarg 




FROM THE 

BRIGIHT LEGACY. 

One half the income from this Legacy, which was 
received in 1880 under the will of 

JONATHAN BROWN BRIGHT 

of Waltham, Massachusetts, is to be expended for 
books for the College Library. The other half of the 
income is devoted to scholarships in Harvard Uni* 
versity for the benefit of descendants of 

HENRY BRIGHT, JR., 

who died at Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1686. In 
the absence of such descendants, other persons are 
eligible to the scholarships. The will requires that 
this announcement shall be made in every book added 
to the Library under its provisions. 




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REMINISCENCES 



OF 



CHARLESTON, 



UTELT PUBUSHEP IN THE OHABLEBTON 0OX7SIEB, AND NOW 
BETISED AND ENI.ABOED BY THE AOTHOB, 

CHARLES- FRASER. 



CHARLESTON. 

JOHir RUSSELL. 

1854. 



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^^ /^S3o,4li"' 




COPYBIGHT SECUBED. 



CHABLESTON. 
. HARPER & CALVO, PRINTERS, 
No. 83 ChaXmbbs-Strebt. 



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PREFACE. 



The following pages were originally written to be read in 
private, before an association of literary, friends, and were 
afterwards, by request, published in the Charleston Courier. 
As their subject appeared to excite some interest, they are 
now offered to the public in a more durable form than the 
columns of a newspaper. They have been enlarged by the 
addition of a few topics, which the writer has thought worthy 
of preservation. He is aware, how far he ventures in descri- 
bing scenes and incidents that have so long passed away. 
JBut he has the gratification of knowing that his reminiscences 
have been deemed correct by the few of his cotemporaries 
who now survive. 



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V 



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* Hi "Jlmiitisaitm 0! ClarUirion. 



Man, as he advances in life, becomes less and 
less identified with surrounding associations. As 
he begins to have a glimpse of the limit of his • 
journey, his thoughts revert to the checkered . 
scenes through which, he has passed — ^which, if 
pleasant, refresh and enliven his memory ; and, if 
otherwise, console him with the .thought, that 
they have been already encountered, and can.no 
longer anAoy * him. In this retrpspect, circumn 
stances, whether of danger, trial or happiness, are 
regarded alike; not with indifference, but with 
that feeling of security which nothing but a tri- 
umph over past vicissitudes could produce. 

Hence, the weary pilgrim of life lingers over 
the meiaory of ,the past, and is 50 far sdfish in. 
his enjoyment 4 that he neither expects nor receives 



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6 MY REMINISCENCES OF CHARLESTON, 

the symps^thy of those arcrtind him. If distance 
lends enchantment to the uncertain future of 
youth, objects beheld through the . vista of the 
past, by a wise provision of nature, lose but little 

' of their former freshness; and whilst passing 
incidents are speedily forgotten, amidst the accu- 
mulated cares of age, the scenes and impressions 

' of early life are remembered with promptness 
and precision, and often form the chief topic, both 
of thought and conversation, as if to draw the 
mind off from the cares, and ills, and infelicities 
that press upon it. 

These reflections might be pursued, if enough 
has not been already said, to show the appropri- 
ateness of the poet's expression of " Narrative old 
age," and ^^ Laudator temporia act%^^ — ^and also to 
excuse your host in passing over the multiplied 
topics which the improvements of the present 
age have gathered around him, for both specula- 
tive and practical reflection, to dwell upon the 
irrevocable past. 

The subject selected for this evening's conver- 
sation, is, as you are aware, his own reminiscences 
of Charleston — a theme endeared to us by a 
thousand interesting associations — the last home 
of the fathers, and kindred, and friends of so 
many of us ; the scene of so many trying events 
in the times of the revolution ; the birth-place of 



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MY BEMINISCENCBS OF CHARLESTON. 7 

SO many of its prominent and honoured patriots, 
and in its present happy condition, furnishing so ■ 
grateful a commehtary upon the history of the 
past. 

The design is not without its difficulty, inas- 
much as it necessarily involves egotism, $ini has 
to do with ordinary and common-place topi^cs. 
But I am^ encouraged by the thought that my 
recollections extend to but a comparatively brief 
period, and will not exclude the remarks of those 
who are versed in its antecedent history, or whose ■ 
recollections coincide with my own. And what 
more interesting series of years could there be in 
our local history, for memory to dwell upo?, than 
that which immediately followed the revolution — 
when Charleston, after two long years of subjec- 
tion to a haughty and uncompromising enemy, 
found itself in the enjoyment of law and liberty ! 
its banished citizens restored to their homes — 
social intercourse no longer interrupted — ^business 
reviving — ^industry seeking its long suspended 
employments, and every effort being made that 
wisdom and moderation could devise, to recover 
from the long interval of suffering and confusion, 
which our devoted city had so signally expe- 
rienced. I can never forget the animated account 
which Greneral Moultrie gave me verbally of that 






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8 MY BEMINISCBNOES OP CHARLESTON. 

happy day, which witnessed the departure of the 
British troops from Charleston. 

The period under consideration is also impor- 
tant in another respect. A new character was 
developing itself in our countrymen, suitable to 
that condition which resulted from our independ- 
ence. From being loyal subjects, they had be- 
come a sovereign people, with all the obligations 
of providing for self-government, and of cultiva- 
ting the resources which nature had so bountifully 
extended to them ; obligations calculated to fill 
the. mind with, the fullest sense of its power and 
dignity, to direct its energies to the noblest pur- 
poses, an^ to produce an elevating effect upon all 
the manners, habits and associatipns of life. 

It was also interesting in another and larger 
sense. The revolutioi^, which gave us a national 
existence, although geographically limited, was 
the greatest moral era recorded in the history of 
mankind. Not confined to those whom it imme-. 
diately liberated from political subjection, it was. 
a revolution of the human mind, ^senthralling it 
from the power of antiquated dogmas, and the 
humiliating bondage of ignorance and prejudice, ■ 
infusing into it a new vigour and vitality, and ■ 
expanding its sphere to' the utmost reach of hu- 
man attainment. It was the result of a series of 



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MY REMINISCENCES Of CHARLESTON. 9 

causes advancing' fqr ages in the land of our an- 
cestors ; and ^.fter leading to a revolution which 
established their liberties, became linked to the 
destinies of their descendants, and followed them 
to these shores, to erect a new theatre for their 
fuller, development. 

There is scarce an advantage enjoyed, even in 
those communities least disposed to admit it, 
which may not be traced to the impulse that the 
American revolution gave to modern enterprise 
and ingenuity. In its Results, it has made society 
universally familiar with comforts never before 
dreamt of in the whole range of philosophy, 
opened new sources of wealth and interchange, 
and done more to unite the human family in the 
bond of common interest and mutual good will, 
than could have been produced by the happiest 
coincidence of ordinary causes. 

If the enquiry should here suggest itself to any 
of you, *'what have these reflections to do with 
the subject before us?" the reply is brief, but, to 
my mind, satisfactory. They explain in them- 
selves the great secret of that striking contrast 
which Charleston, in its present prosperity, parti- 
cipating largely as- it does, in all the wonderful 
improvements of the age, exhibits with its misera- 
ble and impoverished condition, at the period of 
my earliest recollection of it. The war of the 



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10 MY RBMINISCElfCES OF CHARLESTON. 

revolution had left the whole State in great finan- 
cial embarrassment. There was no circulating 
medium but what issued from the State upon the 
credit of taxes. Expedient upon expedient was 
adopted to supply the want of a currency, but 
always failing to give that security to contracts, 
which is the great reliance of commercial inter- 
course. 

Less favoured in its local circumstances th^i 
the larger cities of the North, Charleston had 
difficulties to contend with, unknown to them. 
The motives to increased exertion presented to 
Charleston, in common with them, could only 
act upon a portion, and that a minority, of her 
population. The climate was "inhospitable, and, 
therefore, unfriendly to increase. Its intercourse 
with the interior was beset with difficulties; 
for the roads, at that season most important for 
transportation, were often almost impassable. 
These were all serious obstacles to her advance- 
ment, and, operating perhaps with other local 
causes, had their full effect in retarding it. 

Until the introduction of cotton, jbib a staple, 
and the extended and improved cultivation of rice 
On the river swamps, Charleston was greatly de- 
pressed. But the increased production of these 
two great commodities, occasioned a wonderful 
change in her circumstances. Banks were estab- 



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MY BiSMINISOENOES OF CHARLESTON. 11 

lished, a start was given to 6nterpris^, her mer* 
chants prospered, industry was stimulated, and a 
new era dawned upon her. That trade, which had 
been, in a great measure, monopolized by Great 
Britain, before the revolution, was now extended 
to every part of Europe, and the valuable pro- 
ducts of South Carolina were sought for, as in- 
deed they now are, in every foreign mfirket. 
What gave spirit to commerce and enhanced its 
profits at that period, was our entire dependence 
upon foreign importations for every article of use ; 
whilst the immense growth of manufactories in 
this country, at the present day, has made us so 
far independent, as to enable us to receive in 
luxuries those valuable returns, which were then 
made in necessary articles of consumption. Now 
Charleston itself produces manufactured cotton, 
and even exports its own cotton — allowed to be 
superior to any of the same quality wheresoever 
produced. 

It may not be out of place here to mention 
briefly, in connection with these views, the entire 
change which the local trade of Charleston has 
undergone within my recollection. This being 
the chief port of entry for the State, all m^chan- 
dize had to pass through its Custom House. The 
merchants of Charleston had to supply every part 



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12 MY REHIKISCEKCES OF OHARLBSTON. 

of the interior of the State^ and received, in return, 
their tobacco, indigo, peltry, and other- articles, 
which, being in demand in foreign markets, be- 
came profitable shipments. That you may have a 
better idea of the trade of Charleston, I will r^d 
here an extract from a paper, containing the Har- 
bour Master's report, on the 2d January, 1797, 
which states that there were then sixty-seven 
square-rigged vessels in port, thirty four schoonea^s 
an^ sixteen sloops ; and on the 2d February, of 
the same year, ninety-one square-rigged vessels, 
and fifty-eight schooners and sloops. Al; that 
time there were many English and - Scotch mer- 
chants permanently settled amongst us, vith whose 
success Charleston was, in a great measure^ iden- 
tified. It was not then, as it is now, a place for 
adventurers in trade, to take up a transient resi- 
dence for the purpose of thriving upon the pro- 
' duce of our agricultural industry, and of investing 
their profits abroad. All the retail business of 
the State was then centered in Charleston, dnd 
every part of it depended on her for suppliesw 
The chief retail stores were kept in Broad, Elliott 
and Tradd streets, and* the good* so variously 
aaBorftd in them, that there was scarcely an arti- 
cle, from a two-pence yard of ribbon, through the 
whole scale of plantation and household eommodi- 



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MY REMINISCENCES OF CHARLESTON. 13 

ties, but what might be procured 'at them. At 
one conater might have been seen the planter 
purchasing l^is hoes and axes, his plows and sad- 
dles, his osnaburghs and negro doth ; whilst at 
another, in the same store, a lady was bargaining 
for her laces, her satins, and ter muslins. Shop- 
pipg amongst the ladies, in those days, was alto- 
gether a business matter. King-street, now so 
attractive, with its gorgeous windows and dazzling 
display of goods emulating a Turkish Bazaar, and 
inviting them .to ^ daily fashionable promenade, 
wafi then chiefly, occupied by hucksters, pedlars, 
and tavern keepers. -Hence it was not uncommon 
to see liveried equipages and wagons draTjrn up 
before the §ame store. K the commercial interests 
of the city prospered in those days, it was because 
they were mainly founded oH domestic capital, 
and conducted by those who were permanently 
established here, and who were extensive ship 
owners. . There were no stores. for the exclusive 
sale of any particular articles, such as shoes, hats, 
hardware, crockery, saddleiy, etc., as we have - 
now. The only exceptions were two jeweky 
stores, Jack's and Wightman's, and one book store, 
which was Muirhead's, in Elliott-street, nearly op- 
posite Gadsden's-alley, nor was there, at, that time, 
a single wholesale merchant in Charle'ston. The 



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14 HT RBHINISCENCES OF CHARLSWON. 

earliest that I can hear of was in A. D. — , White- 
field & Brown, in Bedon'^-alley, near Tradd-street. 

It would interrupt our observations to enter 
into an examination of the generc^l causes then at 
work, affecting the prosperity which, before the 
year 1807, our merchants had enjoyed: We will 
only mention their results, so extensively and so 
ruinously experienced. Capital declined, vessels 
disappeared, prices fell, produce accumulated on 
thfeir hands, non-intgrcourse, embargo, war, para- 
lyzed commercial enterprize ; and so great, at 
length, became their depression, that scarcely a 
ship was owned in Charleston. However figura- 
tive may appear the expression of one of our 
Senators in Congress, that the grass was growing 
upon our wharves, my. own remembrance bears 
testimony to the truth of it. 

But this s^tson of adversity passed away, al- 
iJiough its effects were long and deeply felt. 
Never, perhaps, in the history of the world, was 
fmy given portion of time so firuitful in great and 
useful discoveries, and so practical in their appli- 
cation to human comfort and prosperity, as the 
long interval of peace which commenced in 1816. 
The light of the sun is scarcely more widely 
diffused over the surface of the earth, than the 
blessings that flowed from the united and unre- 



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M¥ tlEMINISOENCES OP CHARLESTON. 15 

'strained eflforts of human ingenuity and enterprise, 
in ameliorating, the condition of society, and ad- 
vancing its destinies, than what marked that 
glorioifc period. Sufficient for our purpose, it is 
to say, that Charleston once more raised her hdad, 
cheered with the hopes and the prospects of better 
days ; and now finds her prosperity based upon 
a surer foundation than any upon which it has 
ever yet rested. Connected with the earlieat 
iperiod of liiat favourable change, was a fact in 
our local histoty that demands to be noticed. 
Cotton had been found, to pay the planter <so 
much better than tobacco, that in a few years it 
entirely superseded it. The inspection buildings, 
put up at so much expense, were taken down, 
and the multiplied enactments of our Legislature, 
regulating. the Sale of that staple, became a dead 
letter. The increased production of cotton in th^ 
interior led to a very lucrative business in the 
upper parts of King-streets Larg^ stores were 
established there, and, as wagons were the only 
means of transportation then used, extensive wa- 
gon yards were laid off for their accommodation. 
The cotton, as it arrived, was either purchased 
out of the wagons^ or bartered for goods, and 
afterwards resold, at an advance, to the shippers 
on the Bay. But the back-cbuntry planters be- 
coming aware of the advantage taken of them by 



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16 MY REMINISCENCES OF CHARLESTON. 

this course of trade, kad their cotton stored on 
the wharves, and employed regular factors to s^U 
for them, which cut off those intermediate profits, 
out of which, in the meantime, large fortifces had 
beeij made by thq King-street merchants. 

Arid, in more recent times, the wagon-yards of 
King-street have given place to the rail-road de- 
pots ; and the hissing of steam has succeeded to 
the smack of the cracker's whip. 

We seldom see an Indian now, in our streets,* 
but I remember when their visits to Charleston 
were very frequent, and. in large groups. These 
miserable remnants of thd warlike tribes which 
had once spread terror amongst the inhabitants of 
the province, and brought defiance even to the 
neighbourhood of the town, excited no other 
feeling than that of commiseration for their (alien 
condition. They supported themselves on their 
journies down by bartering clay pottery, and ex- 
hibiting their% skill with the bow and arrow, but 
seldom carried anything back in return, spending 
all they received in liquor. On these journies 
they were always accompanied by their squaws 
and children, each bearing some little portion of 
their prog; Their visits were so regular, that 
some of them formed acquaintances with the in- 
habitants. There was one who never came to 
town without a visit to my father, always inquiring 



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Wr BEKAOSOENOES OF OHARSJBSTdN, 17 

after his famijy, and addressing my motker as 
sister. But with every kindness shown him, a 
glass of rum was always expected as the crooning 
act of hospitality. 

. The oldfest bank^in Charleston, that I remember, 
was the South Carolina* Bank, which, carried on 
business for ^mfe years before it was chartered. 
It was kept on the south side of Broad-street, 
under the residenoe of Mr. iBacot, its cashier, 
(nearly opposite the State Bank.) ^A brancb of| 
the old Nation'kl Bdnk, chartered in 1790, was also 
established here mufeh about the sam6 time, and 
was located in tiiat old brick house at the south- 
east comer of Church and JEUiott-streets, and 
afterwards removed to the edifice in Broad-street, 
now owned by thB Hebrew. Benevolent Society. 

It -was upon occasion of the establishment of 
these banks, l3iat Dr. Ramsay, in his history, re- 
nkurks, 'Hhat the term deprectoUion^ which was 
common in the revolutionarjT war, and for eight 
years afterwards became obsolete, and appreda- 
tion tdok its pliace." And if I have been particu- 
lar in mentioning their location, it is to enable 
you to traoe those two great .engines of financial 
regeneration to the humble habitations in which 
they had their earliest abode. 

General Washington's visit to Charleston was 
made on theXi^renty-firstMay, 1791 ; and amidst 
• 3 X-d^- 



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18 MY REfilNISCENOES -OF OHAfeLBSTON. 

every recollection tha* I Iiave of that imposing 
occasion, the most prominent is of the person of 
the great ma% as hfi stood ijpon the steps of th? 
Exchange, uncovered, amidst the eiithusiastic ec- 
clamations of, tfie citizens.- I -remember - that the 
place prepared for his accommodation was that 
large threcrstory' double house in Church-street, a 
few doors north of Tradd, then owned by Jtid^e 
Heyward, and said tp be superbly -furnished for 
the occasion. He remained here but- one week, 
but itVas a week of continued^ rejoicing and fes; 
tivity. Every attention that hospitality, public 
and private, could detdse, *was shown him, and it 
must h&ve been v^y gratifying to the citizens of 
Charleston to rteceive from Oeneral Washington 
himself, on his departure, the warm acknowledge- 
ments which those attentions had won from his 
heart. One of the civilities which he received, 
was a splendid concert and ball, giten' at the JiaU 
of the Exchange. On Aat occg^ion, the ladies 
wore fillets, or bandeaus* of white^ riband, inter- 
woven in theif head-dresS, with the hfead of 
Washington painted * on them, and the words, 
"Long live the President," in gilt lettera Every 
hand that could hold a pencil, plrofessional or 
amateur, was enlisted to furnish them. But that 

* Iliave one pf tte bai^e«ua worn on tliat occa^on. 



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HY BBMINISCENCSS QF CHAB]>£ST0^. 19 

wkich proved the most lasting memorial of his 
visit was the whole lengthy portrait, which the 
city. council requested him to sit to Col. Trumbull 
■for, and which no^ adorns the. City H^IL 

Col. Trumbull ha,^ previously visited Charleston 
and "remained some time here, as the guest of 
Chief Justice ^^tledge, at whose bouse he painted 
the likenesses of se.veral distinguished revolution- 
ary men, for his series of battle-pictures, then i^ 
. progress* In addition to his skill as m artisit, he 
had been in the family of i&eneral Washington as 
an aid, and was, therefore, well acquainted with 
*his features and person. The picture was painted 
from life, and represents General Washington in 
his military garb, a^ commander-in-chief, and, ^as 
fiuch, is an invaluable portrait. It bears date 1791. 

It gives i^L^ pleasure to J)e able^to record, as 
being now, perhaps^ its only repository, certain 
cotemporary testimony of the resemblance it bore 
ta its illustrious subject. 

A gentleman from Charleston, who was in Phila- 
delphia while the portrait was in progress, told 
me that Colonel Trumbull, anxious for its success, 
requested him to call often and see it, which he' 
did, and he assured me that the likeness was ex- 
cellent ; and this was afterwards confirn\ed to me 
by one who was then our representative in Con- 
gress, and who, as well as the other gentleman, 



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M )qr BBMlKIBCENOES Of OH^RLBSTOK. 

had fre(Jtient opportunities of seeing General 
Washington. A venerable lady/ the relict oif a 
revolutionary officer, told me that she also could 
fully verify, from her own individual knowledge, 
all that these gentlem^ hud said of the likeness. 

After this period, age and increasing cares 
altered the General's appearance, besides, the use 
of false teeth ; so that when Mr. -Stuart painted 
him in 1794, in his Presidential suit of black vel- 
vet, and. with powdered hair, he looked like a 
different person. BtiU it is universally allowed 
that Mr. Stuart's portrait was U striking likeness, 
and it will, in all probability, be the picture to 
transmit his features t<5 posterity. 

Before I dismiss the subject of General Wash- 
ington's visit, I cannot but notice his discernment 
of the Southern character, as correct to-day as it 
was then. For, in a letter toGouvefneur Morris, 
shortly after his return, he remarks, " that two or 
three years of good crops, and a ready market for 
the produce of their lands, have put every one in 
good humour." 

The opening of. the theatre^ in January, 1793, 
was quite an event in the history of Charleston. 
Theatricals had been so long discontinued here, 
that the rising generation were strangers to the 
fascinations of the stage ; and I can never forget 
the delight which this new amusement produced 



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inr BEaONISOEICGES OP CHABLESTOK. 21 

in all classes of our commtinity. The box ofl&ce 
was throDj^ed of a morning, and on tk^ evening 
of represeiitation, the doors of the Theatre Were 
besieged by crowds long before the hour of open- 
ing them. The stage was the general stibject of 
conversation; and, so enchanting was its influ- 
ence, that the ladies were beard to say that they 
could ^e in the theatre. 

•These remarks have led me wide of the plan I 
had proposed. But I will now endeavour to pro- 
ceed with some little regard to order, and will, 
therefore, commence witk localities. I date my 
earliest recollections of Charleston from ab6ut*the 
year 1792 ; at which time it was completely sur- 
rounded with remains of its old revolutionary 
fortifications. Boundary-street was then but a 
nominal limit of th^ city, for its habitable portion 
fell far short of that. The recollection of it, at 
that time, reminds me of what is said of Jerusa- 
lem, when Nehemiah returned to it from Babylon : 
*' Now the city was large and great, but the people 
were few therein, and the houses were not build- 
ed." I was at that time a -pupil in the Charleston 
College, which was kept in one of the old brick 
barracks, that had been fitted up for its accommo- 
dation, and which, with the corresponding one 
parallel to. it, about one hundred a^nd fifty yards 
to the wesrt, were almost insulated buildings. 



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22 MY REMllOSCENCES OF (^ARLE^TON^ 

This latter was taken down about the same time, 
for I rem^ber the helping hand which the boys 
gave at the ropes. 

We had quite a domain to the north and, west 
for a campus^ or play ground,* and it was not an 
uncommon amufiement for us to dig mugket balls 
out of the old ramparfe. We were also, occa- 
sionally, entertained with an execution, Ifor that 
neighbourhood -was the Tyburn of Charleston; 
and I remember once /seeing one of the gentler 
sex step gracefully from the Scaffold into the air. 
Hanging was *much more frequejit then that it is 
now. The entire square, on which the parsonage 
of St. Philips then stood and now stands, was 
vacant, with the exception of one or two build- 
ings. I remember, also, twp large b^rick pillars, 
T^ich stood in King-street, between George and 
Liberty, the history of which I do* not know, but 
xemember they were called the town gates. 

That Qntire square, bounding south on Liberty- 
street, and west on St. J^hilips, was, with the 
exception of one or two small buildingis, entirely 
vacant. This I remember well, for I saw the 
battalion of artillery parade upon it, and* fire a 
salute upon the occasion of receiving a new stan- 
dard. One of the soldiers, who was injured by 
the explosion of a cartridge, was carried into ol.d 



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1 



Mi RBMINISOENOES OF CHA]^LESt(W. 2^ 

Mr. IWmrose's house, which now stands in St. 
Philips-street, or did lately. 

When the comer-stone of the Orphan House 
was laid, in 1 7^2, -the college boys were madfe to 
form a procession ; on which occasion, as one of 
them, I remember that the Rev. Dr. Smith, our 
principal, pronounced an address. Mr. Joh#Hu- 
ger, our then Intendant, a tried patriot of the 
revolution, as indee.d both these gentietnen were, 
stood at his ade. It wa^Xpuly, Vith all its asso- 
ciations, a most interestmg spectacle; for they/ 
were4|oth standing on the declivity of the old 
.ramparts. * ^ 

• I remember to haye been shown, many years 
ago, (1806) a beautiful cluirip*of trees, at Green- 
wich, in the neighbourhood of New York, which 
had sprung up frojii-the ftiscines planted there by 
the British troops, when they were in possession 
of the Island. These the venerable owner, Bishop 
Moore, called th^ triufrvph of peace over vHf/r. But 
here was a nobler triumph of peatce; — charity lev- 
elling the battlements of war, to lay the founda- 
tion of an asylum that was to foster and protebt 
the destitute orphan in times to come. 

Since the period last referred to, to the present, 
I know of no surfer indication of the advancement 
of Charleston^ than the increase of its poptdation, 
and the filling up of its vacant ground with sub-^ 



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ii MY BEltoOSCEyOES OF CSABLESTOK. 

stantial houses. Although all may not have been 
realized that was to be expected from its advanta- 
ges of position^ yet it is to be remembered that 
its feapital had many claims to answer. Land T^as 
to be recovered aud improved, buildings to be 
erected^ the planting means of a great portion of 
its inhabitants to be enlarged by heavy purchafies, 
and civil institutions, nec^sary to our social credit 
and comfort, to be established and provided for. 
It has been already so^ that Boundary-street was 
a nominal limit— I may go further, and say that I 
scarcely remember a house to the • liorti* of it,- 
excepting, perhaps, the Inspection buildings, the 
neighbourhood of which was a general parade 
ground for our militia. And I may here add^ 
that I have lately seen in the paper of the 23d 
February, 1797, that on the day previous (Wash- 
ington's birth-day) " the two regiments of the city, 
together with the battalion of artillery, had been 
reviewed by Gen. W. Washington, 'near the* To- 
. bacco Inspection." 

That extensive portion of the city, northwest 
Aid west of Coming-street, now so handsomely 
improved, was then, in a great measure, unoccu- 
pied, and penetrated by creeks and marshes ; and 
there was nothing to interrupt the view of the 
College building from Cannon's bridge, where the 
boys used to bathe. 



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MY BEMINISOENCES OF 0HABL£:STON« 2d 

Some idea may be had of the advancement of onr 
city from the fact that in the year 1807 there were 

In Broad-street^. * 147 -houses. 

In Church-street, Ill 

East Bay-street, 219 

King'Street, 294' 

Meeting-street,. ....... * 22Q 

Queen-strefet, 138 

St. Philips-street, ... 28* 

Boundary-street, /....•. 40 
There was a word then^ and for soflie years 
afterwards, known in our topography, now no 
longer used, to wit:- a green-^to denote large^ 
vacant spaces along the margin of the town. The 
College green we have- already mentioned. There 
was Bouquet^s green^ inynediately in front of the 
house leAelj occupied by John Huine, Esq., and 
extending to the west -and south-west to tide wa» 
ter ; HarUston^a green^ extending north of it to a 
considerable distance ; then a large space imme- 
diately west of the Poor*house square, used as a 
negro burial ground, where the old magazine 
stood, to which the present Magazine-street led 
directly. 

I must not omit to mention Gadsden's green^ 
which was a. large vacant space surrounding the 
residence of General Gadsden, a small wooden 
house, with, a portico in^frpnt, Which used to be 

4 . . 



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36 HT BEiflNISCBSHCES OF CHABLSSl^ON. 

thie favourite seat of its venerable owner in sum- 
mer. • This house wa* built, it is said, by Lord 
Anson, who occupied it as long as he lived. It 
is now the site of a large three-story brick house, 
facing south on a street leading from East Bay 
continued, 6astwardly. It was in the centre of a 
farm occupied by Lord Anson; from whom that 
part of our city called Ansoiiborough derived its 
name. When General G. purchased it, he under- 
took to reclaim the marsh on Cooper 'River, for 
the purpose of extending the ferm, which, so far 
as it was reclaimed, was afterwards partly known 
as Gadsden's wharf ' 

The building* now used as a work-house, was 
the district Jail (the present one not being then 
built). All the land, therefore, west* of the work- 
house (excepting said magazine) was vacant down 
to the marsh. There ^^ Savage^ a green at the 
lower end of Broad-street, which, until the build- 
ing of the old* Theatre, was entirely vaciint,- and 
spacious enough to be used for military exercise. 
The old battalion often paraded and fired their 
pieces there. That green was separated from the 
lots on Tradd-street by a marsh which ran through 
the present site of Logan-stteet, nearly up to the 
comer of Friend and Broad-streets* Nor was 

*The building here referred to has been sinee taken down, and a 
stately edifice ereeted in its. place as a workJiouse. 



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MY BBXINBSOENOES.OF CJBtABLESTON, 27 

there a building on the south of Broad-street^ 
ejscepting one at the comer, where Mr. Petigru's 
mansion now stands, corner of Brpad and Friend- 
streets. There was also a green at the lower end 
of Broad-street, covering the present site of Mr, 
Trapman's lot, and a part of Mrs. Kiipne's garden. 
The first, circus we ever. had in Charleston waa 
put up there by a rider name4 Poole. .1 remem- 
ber, wh^i quite a boy, being carried tp see the 
performance. Eerguson's green was at the lower 
end of Tradd-street,, immediately west of the 
mansion now owned and occupied by Mrs. Frede- 
rick Rutledge. Then there was Federal green,- a 
large vacant lot on the north-east part of the 
town, adjoining Colonel Laurens^s garden — which 
garden, occupied -the entire square enclosed by 
the Bay, Society and Anson-streets. The only 
existing memorial of the locality of Federal green 
is Wall-street, as I remember a brick wall that ran 
along Que of the sides of it, from which it, no 
doubt, took its name, as College and^Jreen-streets 
are now the only memorial of our old College 
green. 

There was another Vacant lot or green, on the 
south side of Tradd-street; extending from the 
premises immediately opposite Logan-street to the 
corner of Legare-street. It was said to have been 
used, after the surrender of Charleston, as a parade 



• **• 



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28 MT BfiMINisCEKCES OF CHABfiESTON. 

ground for tbe Hessians. I first remember it as 
SquibVs garden,* and, afterwards, in 1794, as tl\e 
site of Rickett's circus, f It then became built 
upon. 

Logam^s garden also occupied a large space of 
ground, on the north of Tradd-street, including a 
portion gf what is now called Logan-street. I 
remember when there was not a building either 
west or north-w^st of that space down to the 
marsh. LogaYi-street was opened (1803) exactly 
fifty years ago. . • 

We will now speak of another feature in the 
localities of Charleston — the creeks and marshes 
that penetrated it. I remember the (governor's 
bridge, a wid€? brick arch thrown across a creek, 
into which the tide flowed, fr©m where the fish 
market now stands nearly. up. to Meeting-strqet, 
and covering almost the whole extent of oui> pre- 
sent market. (This creek was, according to the 
plans and maps of Charleston now exhibited to 
. you, the northern boundary of the town as late as 
J711.) When the tide was up, communication 
Was cut ofi* in Church-street to the opposite Bide, 
where the old orphah-housfe stood^— a large brick 
building, afterwards destroyed by fire. 
• A merchant of that day informed me afterwards, 

'''The author of the Gardener's Calendar, no\!^ in ebmmon use, 
' tRickett's circus, opened 18th December, 1793. 



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MY REMINISCENCES OF CHARLESTON. 29 

that he had once received a raft of timber in 
Church-street, yrhich had been flgated through the 
arch of the Governor's bridge. 

Near the margi|i of that creek,..and to tl^e south 
of it, stood the old wooden barracks ; which, from 
memory, I would locate near the intersection of 
State and Linguard-streets. These barracks were 
provincial, and, doubtless, the same mentioned in 
the A. A. of 1768, as being near the powder maga* *- 
zine, and the ancient burial ground pr cemetery of 
St, Philip's Parish. * (That magazine, an octagonal 
building, is still s^ncjing in Cumberland-street, on 
a lot bounding south of St. Philip's church yard.) 
• Having thus incidentally mentioned that magSr 
zine, it may not be. uninteresting to relate a few 
anecdotes connected with it: An act was passed 
in 1770, directing the disuse of it. But, the war 
coming on, it was continued to be used until the 
year 1780, when the town was closely invested by 
the British. Gen. Moultrie informs us that a thir- 
teen inch shell fell -And burst within ten yards of 
it. The powder was then removed to a pJace,of 
safety, and the building afterwards bec^e private 
property. \ .. 

There were two fine pictures left in it, which, 
no doubt, had been removed from the hall of thte 
Assembly, on the breaking out of the revolution, 
as being symbols of royaT authority. They were 



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30 HY REHINISOEKGES OF CHARLESTON* 

the. whole length portraits of George L and his 
qlieen, in their robes of majesty* I first «aw them 
about the year 1800, leaning face to face against 
the wall, with an old coach wheel pressing on 
them, and covered with dust. My recollectio^ of 
thenj is, that they were admirable paintings, and, 
no doubt, the work of Sir Godfrey- Kneller. I 
went there again, some years afterwards, with per- 
mission, to see them, and in the hope of restoring 
them ; but some b^se trespasser had, in the mean- 
time, cut the canvass out of thfe frames, and no 
trace has been ever had of them since. 

We will now return, from this digression, to our 

. subject. There was another creek, through which 

the tide ran some distance into Water-street. I 

have often, when a boy, swam through a brick 

flood-gate next to where Mr. D. R I's house 

now stands. , The low ground, which yet remains 
in that neighbourhood to be filled up, indicates its 
locality. .This flood-gate had, no doubt, been 
placed there to prevent the encroachments of the 
sea, aQd give safety to the fishing boats, which I 
remember seeing there in gr^at numbers. . 

The improvement of Ea^t Bay extends as far 
back as the aet of -A. 1785, empowering the City 
Council to continue East Bay to the extremity of 
White Point. The work was commenced • about 
the year 1797 or 1798,' by hog pens of palmetto, 



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MY REMINISCENCBS OP CHARLESTON. 31 

filled with stone, which'yielded to the first autum- 
nal gale. It was ^resumed, and hud advanced* 
considerably, when the gale of the night of the 
4th October, 1800, nearly demolishjed it. (See 
journals of that date.) But the hurricane of 
September, 1804, completely destroyed it. lean 
never forget the sublime exhibition the spray pre- 
sented, whilst the waves were carrying on their 
work of destruction^ The sea on that occasion 
flowed through Water-street into Meeting, and in 
Meeting near to the Scotch church. The project 
of rebuilding it with stone was considered im- 
practicable, but hy the judgment and perseverance 
of an enterprising gentleman, (W. Crafts, Sr.) was 
adopted and pursued with entire succe^. 

In this endeavour to describe the localities of 
Charleston, within the period of my recollection^ 
I must depend upon your knowledge and observa- 
tion, to realize the c^mirod^ exhibited in its present 
improved and happy condition. To me that con- 
trast is very striking. K I have been minute in 
describing its former appearance, and placing 
before you its topographical aspect, it is in order- 
to convey the same impression to your minds. 
You see how much of the land we walk upon has 
be6n made — ^how all the vaoacnt places we have 
described, have been filled up with buildings and 
population^ — ^how the iiKoads of the sea have been 



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32v MT REMIKI£»:^NC£S OF CHARLESTON. 

arrested on our borders, "and how different the 
course of business formerly ifras from what it is 
now/ 

To illustrate my idea, I need only refer you to 
tiie present condition of East Bay. You see its 
wharves running out almost to the channel of 
Cooper river, and covered with extensive brick 
stores. You will ride through it at night with 
comfort, for it is paved an^ lighted with gas. 
Now yot are not particularly struck with the 
exhibition they flirnish^ of our advancement, be- 
cause these improv^nents have been gradual, and 
you may b^ said to have grown up with them.' 
But if you could remember the time when there 
were but a few stores or buildings of any kind, to 
the east of East Bay-street, and when that space 
was often, in winter, an ocean of mire covered 
with wrecks of drays and carts-^if you could 
remember vessels at anchor in the stream, that is 
now occupied by projecting wharv€ts — ^if you had 
seen building after building rising up to shut out 
the prospect of the ocean— you could scarcely 
realize the contrast exhibited to your ipaagination. 
So great to me is the change, that I am almost 
co&pelled to Bay with the Preacher^ " there is no 
remembrance of former things." 

The first market that I remember, was a small 
low wooden building, at Ae low-er cnipf Tradd- 



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MY REMINISCENCES OP CHARLESTON. 33 

Street, on the east side of the Bay. It was after- 
wards taken down, and a brick one erected, 
opposite to Queen*street, where the Vendue Range 
now is. After a few years occupation, that was 
abandoned and the site of the present market per- 
manently adopted in 1807. There was also, in 
1807, a market on South Bay, nearly opposite to 
Legare-street, the Commissioners of which were 
John Ashe, John Blake, Peter- Smith, /acfor, and 
Peter Smith, planter. The old beef market stood 
precisely where the City Hall now is. It was a 
neat building, supported by brick arches, and 
surmounted by a belfry. This I saw burnt down 
in the great &re of June, 1796. It was the point 
where the flames were arrested. The ground it 
occupied was afterwards purchased by the old 
United States Bank, which erected the present 
building, the City Hall of Charleston, for its branch 
in this city. It may not be uninteresting to men- 
tion here a few recollections of that terrible 
conflagration. It commenced in the afternoon in 
Lodge alley near the Bay, somewhere to the east 
or northeast of St. Philip's Church, from which 
quarter the wind blew. In its progress it would 
have destroyed that venerable building but for the 
heroic intrepidity of a negro, who, at the risk of 
his life, climbed to the very summit of the belfry, 
and tore off the burning shingles. It burnt 
5 



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34 MY BEdbNISOENOES OF OHABLESTOK. 

tHe original French church, where the Huguenot 
refugees had worshipped for upwards of a century 
previous to that time. But the most memorable 
building destroyed by it, was the old City Tavern^ 
which stood at the northeast corner of Church and 
Broad-streets, noted in our social and political 
annals, as having given its name to the old Comer 
Club^ where the forefathers of so many of the 
present generation used to meet of an evening, to 
smoke their pipes, and talk over the topics of the 
day ; and who had, in their former meetings, under 
the name of the Two Bitt Clvh^ originated the 
plan of the South-Carolina Society. This building 
was memorable also for having been the place of 
public meetings of the people of Charleston, on 
the breaking out of the American troubles. It is 
mentionedm the memoks of William H. Drayton, 
as early as 1774, and Gen. Moultrie, in his history^ 
emphatically calls it ''The Corner." 

Strangers, visiting our city, are even now struck 
with the ancient hue and style of its buildings, and 
often compare it to an old town in Prance or Eng- 
land. But I remember when it had the appearance 
of much greater antiquity than it now presents. 
For instance, of all the churches in Charleston, from 
the earliest period of my recollection to the present 
day, there are but two standing — St Michael's, 
and Dr. Oilman's,* in Archdale-street. Upon the 
*Since the above was written, this has undergone an entire iipnovation. 



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MY RSiaNISOENGES OF CHARLESTON. 35 

tower of the latter, history had set a mark, which 
has been unfortunately obliterated. For, when 
Charleston wa^ a British garrison, a building in 
which powder was stored, in its vicinity, (viz. at 
the corner of Mazyck and Magazine-streets,) ex- 
ploded, and a fragment striking the northwest 
angle of the tower, knocked out a part of it. The 
mark remained there until within a few years, 
when it was repaired. Whatever there is now of 
modem appearance in our buildings, is chiefly 
owing to the desolating fires that have so often 
visited our city. And, I would here remark,, that, 
for a very long time, all our best buildings, public 
or private, were of provincial date.* 

You may have all heard, but few can remember, 
that the statue of Lord Chatham, now in the Orphan 
house yard, formerly stood at the intersection of 
Broad and Meeting-streets, surrounded with an 
iron railing. But as it obstructed the free use of 
those streets, it was resolved to have it taken 
down. This was done in I794,f when Sansculot- 
tes and their principles had great ascendency in 
Charleston — ^when the tri-coloured cockade of 
Prance was the great badge of honour, and GcHira 
and the Marseilloise hymn the most popular airs — 

♦The only two that remain (public) are St. Michel's Church and the 
Custom House, although the latter has undergone great alterations. 

fBy referring to papers of that date, I find I am correct \ its removal 
was mentioned in the State Gazette, March 14, 1794. 



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36 MY REMINISOEKCES OF CHARLESTON. 

and ''Vive la republique Prangaisel" the uni- 
versal shout. By some mismanagement in the 
tackling for removing the statue, it fell, and the 
head was broken off The day following, a truc- 
culent article noticed this incident in one of our 
papers, as a happy prognostic of the success of the 
guillotine — to use their own words, ''as ominous 
to the aristocrats;" the term then generally ap- 
plied to all Americans who were opposed to French 
Jacobinism. 

As this statue makes a prominent j&gure in our 
local history, it may not be uninter^ting to men- 
tion a few facts relating to it, which I have 
gathered from old newspapers. Little did Caro- 
lina dream of the great results of the contest that 
awaited her, when, at the very threshold of it, 
she thus testified her admiration of the great 
champion of the rights of the colonies. Chat- 
ham's policy was magnanimous and conciliatory. 
But had it prevailed, it would, at least, have 
postponed the day of their independence. The 
spirit, however, that prompted this tribute, was the 
same that conducted them triumphantly through 
the Revolution. 

The first mention we have of the statue appears 
in May, 1766, when it was "resolved by the Com- 
mons House of Assembly, nem. con.^ that they 
would make provision to procure from England, a 



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MY REMINISCENCES OP CHARLESTON. 37 

marble statue of the Right Hon. William Pitt, for 
his disinterested and generous assistance afforded 
them towards obtaining a Repeal of the Stamp 
Act," the intelligence whereof being then just 
received. The assembly also voted in the tax act 
of that year £7000 for the purpose. Wilton, the 
King's sculptor, was employed to execute it. He 
sent out two designs for it ; one for a niche, the 
other for a separate pedestal, which latter was 
adopted. These original drawings having been 
in one of my portfolios for upwards of fifty years, 
I have lately deposited them in the archives of 
the city, where I think them more suitably placed. 
On the 24th May, 1770, it was announced in the 
South Carolina Gazette, that on the morning fol- 
lowing, at eight o'clock, the statue would be 
landed, and received by the inhabitants, and 
drawn by themselves to the arsenal, near the place 
where it was intended to be erected. The same 
paper of the 29th, mentions that it had been 
landed in Charleston, in the presence of a vast 
concourse of inhabitants. On the afternoon of 
the 5th July, 1770, it was raised, in the presence 
of almost the whole of the inhabitants, and of the 
Speaker and many members of the House of 
Commons, assembled near it on a platform, when 
the Speaker proclaimed aloud the inscription on 
the base of the statue. The artillery company 



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38 MT BEMINISOENCES OF CHABLESTOH. 

discharged twentynsdx cannon, and the bells of 
St. -Michaels rang. The day closed with a public 
entertainment, at which it is said forty-five toasts 
were drunk, amongst which were the following 
names of the prominent men of the day : James 
Otis; The Pennsylvania Farmer; Daniel Dulany ; 
Christopher Gradsden; Thomas Lynch; John Rut- 
ledge ; Hon. George Bryan ; Hon. Henry Middle- 
ton; Hon. Peter Manigault; the patriotic mer- 
chants of America ; Hon. Judge Lowndes, (who 
made the motion for the statue) ; Charles Pinck- 
ney; Miles Brewton; Mr. John Neufville, Chair- 
man of the General Committee of this Province. 

This statue, raised with so much enthusiasm 
and ceremony, remained upon its pedestal only 
twenty-four years, when it was removed for the 
reasons before mentioned, its right arm having 
been shot off by a cannon ball, during the siege 
of Charleston. It was taken down on the 14th 
March, 1794. I was present with other boys, in 
the crowd, and saw it when it fell to the ground, 
through the mismanagement of those employed 
to remove it. The City Gazette of the 15th March, 
1794, mentions that in pursuance of a resolution 
of the General Assembly of the State granting 
permission to the City Council for that purpose, 
the statue was taken down, the iron railing having 
been previously removed. It has since been 
erected in the Orphan House yard, where I hope 



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MY BBMIKISOEKOES OF CHABLBSTON. 39 

it may always remain, with its mutilated arm, as 
an historical memorial. 

The period to which we now refer, exhibited the 
most extravagant and enthusiastic sympathy in 
behalf of the French revolution. The tri-colored 
cockade was generally worn. The American and 
French colors waved together at public entertain- 
ments. Civic feasts were given by the privateer- 
men, and patronized by some of our most distin- 
guished inhabitants, who did not hesitate, when 
the bonnet rQtige was circulated round the table, to 
put it on, and then pass it to their neighbour. The 
cognomen of ciboyen was the order of the day. 
Their cards of invitation were always addressed 
to citizen such a one. On occasion of one of these 
civic festivals, given by citizen Boutelle, captain 
of the little privateer JSanypareUley a guinea was 
placed under each plate as a pledge of fraternity. 
But finding that this offering was unpalatable to 
his guests, on the next occasion he changed it for 
a play ticket. I remember the privateermen para- 
ding our streets with long sabres at their sides, 
and assuming quite an ascendency in our commu- 
nity. They even had rendezvous opened in 
Charleston for volunteers, which the Governor, by 
an order of April, 1793, directed to be closed. 
They had also their Jacobin Clubs, and public 
gambling houses. 



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40 MY R^IMINISCENCES 6P CHARLESTON, 

Eemembering a grand civic pageant connected 
with the extravagances of that day, but not the 
occasion o£ it, I turned to an old file of the City 
Gazette, and found that it took place on the 11th 
January, 1793, in honour of the National Assembly 
of France ; and so great was the public enthusi- 
asm, that on the eve of that day, the bells of St. 
Michaels were chimed, and a salute of thirteen 
guns fired by the artillery. The same honours 
were'repeated on the morning following, and in 
the course of the' day, a procession of French and 
American citizens paraded the streets of Charles- 
ton, headed by the Governor, the Chief Justice, 
Consul Mangourit, in full costume, the orator of 
the day, the Rev. Mr. Ooste, pastor of the French 
Church, the Judges, Chancellors, Speaker, and all 
other public oflScers, The account proceeds to 
state, that in passing before the French Protestant 
Church, the Consul, as an expiation for the perse- 
cutions of Louis XIV. against that church, halted 
the procession, took off his hat and saluted it with 
the national colours. On arriving at St. Philip's 
Church, the place appointed for the religious 
ceremonies of the day, two salutes were fired 
by the regiment of infantry, an animated oration 
was delivered by the Rev Mr. Coste, the Te Deum 
was sung, and the service closed by the Hymne de 



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MY BEMINISOENGES OF CHARLESTON. 41 

Maorseillois^ accompanied with the organ. In the 
afternoon a grand fete was given at William's 
Coffee-house, prepared for two-hujidred and fift/ 
persons. Two sets of toasts, French and English, 
were drunk. * Amongst those in French I will 
repeat one, which was to the venerable General 
Gadsden ; '' Courbe aoua lepoida de sea Laurieray 
It was truly a day of fraternization, and ended 
harnioniously. 

The history of that time informs us of the effort 
of our Government to prevent the arming and 
cohimissioning of French privateers in our har- 
bours, and also of the circular addressed to the 
Executive of the different States to use force, if 
necessary, in maintaining our neutrality. I remem- 
ber this being nearly carried into effect in our own 
harbour— -for I saw the camion of the old artillery* 
stationed on Beale's wharf, to prevent the sailing 
of a privateer, which, with her consort, had 
threated to batter the city. She remained in the 
stream an entire day, and then, prudently, changed 
her purpose. The occasion of this was the cap- 
ture of a vessel, cleared in Charleston, for the 
West Indies, by Edward Penman, an English mer- 
chant, before she had left the waters of the United 
States, and brought back as a prize. One of the 
very few survivors of the old battalion (Mr. Charles 
6 



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A2 jnr BssimascENOffi of cvablsstok. 

' Butler* silversmitii,) has recently UAd me tliat he 
was a gunuer alongside of his piece the whole, 
night, with every thing ready but the lighting of 
their matches ; and that General Pinckney, then 
commanding the militia, was -on the ground a 
great part of the night. 

The 14th July, the anniversary of the destruc- 
tion of the Bastille, was celebrated with an enthu- 
siasm more befitting the observance of one of Our 
own national festivals. I often, in his mafcurer 
age, lau^ied with a frigid, at his psominent posi- 
tiori, as an orator on one of these occasioiis^ when 
/ I reminded him of having marched in procession 
f through Broad-street, to the tune of ddHm. 

The Due de Liancourt, in his published trav^, 

f gives a curious account of Charleston at this peri- 

i *od. He saya that " the principtes of the French 

demagogues predominated long in Charleston. 

. For several years a Jacobin Club existed in this 

town, of which Mr. Harp^, at present a violent 

federalist, was a member. The French (*onsul, 

Mangourit, was a constant member of thk club. 

But, though Conanl and President of this club, he 

was denounced by a seaman on account of his 

uncivic conduct, and was obliged to ^bmit to the 

'"Mr. MuditQfuBS, ako a survivor of that corps, remembers the 
&ct. 



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ICr BBMINiaCENCBS'pF CHAIILESTOK^ 4S 

humiliation of hearing his exclusion proposed by 
the daring seaman; which motion fell to the 
ground through the eloquence of a barber^ This 
daring seaman was, no doubt, the above named 
Captain Boutelle, and I take the barber to have 
been little Mons. Dubard." 

I remember a little French hair-dresser, named 
Dubard, the cotemporary and rival of our good 
friend of soda water memory, Mons. Chnpien. 
Dubard was a Violent Sanscullotte, and went to 
Prance upon a short visit, at the height of the 
revolution, to feast his eyes upon 'the sanguinary 
scenes that were then daily enacted there. The 
guillotining of Marie Antoinette was the climax 
of his enjoyment; a^d he returned to Charleston . 
full of the interesting theme, and used to enter- 
tain his customers with it, whilst sitting under the 
operation of his frizzing and his powder puff, for 
every body (both ladies and gentlemen) were , 
powdered in those days, and never ventured into 
company without a grand coiffure. 

But, notwithstan^ng the reproachful excesses 
into which the citizens of . (Charleston allowed 
themselves to be betrayed by their sympathies 
for the French republic, and their fraternization 
with French privateersmen, there are still some 
circumstances to brighten the recollection of that 
period, and to redeem the character of our city. 



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44 KT B13MINIS0EN0ES OF CHARLSSTON. 

The awful tragedy of St. Domingo, as is well 
known, threw upon our shores a crowd of misera- 
ble and destitute French, with every claim that 
humanity could recognize to commiseration and 
relief These claims were promptly and honoura- 
bly answered by the people of Charleston. All 
who could afford to shelter them, admitted them 
into their families ; whilst all who could not. do 
that, relieved them otherwise readily and cheer- 
fully, to the very extent of their means. And it 
is a recollection, personally gratifying to myself, 
that I was employed, then a boy, upon errands of 
charity to those unfortunate beings. 

The great increase of French population in 
Charleston, and their national fondness for theatri- 
cal amusements, led to the establishment of a 
French theatre, which was opened on the 12th 
April, 1794, with a good company of comedians, 
pantomimists, rope dancers, etc. My liveliest 
recollection of it is the frantic enthusiasm with 
which the privateermen used to acompany the 
orchestra, when playing the " Jfar^e^Zfois," or 
CaHra. It continued popular for some little time 
and then fell through, for want of encouragement. 
The building was converted into a public hall for 
concerts and dancing assemblies, and the St. Ce- 
cilia patronized it as long as they continued a 
musical society. 



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HY BEMBflSCENOES OF CHABLBSTON^ 45 

, The opposition made to Jay's treaty tliroughout 
the Union, in 1795, is now a matter of history. 
But I remember some of the violent proceedings 
that took place on that occasion in Charleston, an4 
I have often thoijght that the violent ebullition of 
popular hatred, exhibited on that occasion, was 
not without its benefit, in giving vent to rankling 
recollections of the injuries and oppressiQUS sus- 
tained by every class of the community, during 
the revolutionary struggle, then so recently termi- 
nated. The excitement was tremendous. Among 
other manifestations of ii, was a gallows erected 
in front of the Exchange, in Broad-street, on 
which were suspended six eflSgies, designed to 
represent the prominent advocates of Washing- 
ton's policy, who had maintained the treaty, wid 
whose names are now recorded with honour in the 
history of our country — ^John Jay, John Adams, 
Timothy Pickering Jacob Read, and William 
Laughton &nith — ^who had warmly ad;rocated in 
the house of representatives, the appropriation 
necessary for carrying the treaty into efiect. The 
sixth effigy was his satanic m^'esty. They re- 
mained the whole day, polluted by every mark of 
indignity, and, in the evening^ere carried off to 
Federal green, where they wCre burnt. I think 
it was on that occasion that General Read's house 
was, threatened by the mob, at the head of which 



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46 mr bbmihisobkces of oharlbston. 

was a popular leader by the name of Mitchell, 
whom, as a boy, I remember seeing at the guard 
house, that evening, with a sword in his hand. The 
public authorities being notified of it, a company 
of volunteers was ordered outi to protect the 
building, which, probably, wtved it ; for the com- 
manding officer afterwards informed me that his 
orders werarpositive, and his men were provided ^ 
with ball. But the storm passed away. The policy 
and the firmness of Washington prevailed. The 
treaty* became a law — ^the nation acquiesced in it, 
and went on prospering. 

I omit saying anything that your knowledge of 
the history of that day will supply. But it is well 
known that our sister republic of France had, by 
1797, changed her fconduct so entirely, as to ren- . 
der the prospect of reconciliation hopeless ; and 
her rejection of our offers, and her refusal to 
accredit our ministers, induced our government 
to prepare for war. At this crisis the citizens of 
Charleston came forward with patriotic energy in 
support of the honour of the country. A meeting 
of the citizens was held. May 1798, in St. Michael's 
church, which I remember, for I was present at it. 
The resolutions i^re brought forward by Chan- 
cellor DeSaussure^then Intendant of Charleston, 
and discussed with no other feelings than that of 



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MY RSMINISCENCES OF GHARLESTOK. 47 

rendering them as expressive as possible of the 
unanimity and determination of our citizens. 

Amongst the prominent speakers on that occa- 
sion, I remember Bishop Smith and the Bev. Dr. 
Fnrman — ^yi whom were revived all that ardour 
which had so conspicnonsly distinguished them 
during the revolutionary war. Dr. Furman had 
served his country in her councils — ^Dr. Smith, as 
Qeneral Pinckney informed me, was chaplain to 
the brigade to which he belonged, and used to 
preach animating and patriotic di^cotfrses even 
whilst the enemy was before the town. 

The result of this meeting was the adoption of 
the resolutions, which did honour to the occasion 
of the meeting, and a subscription to raise means 
of aiding the government in the defence of Charles- 
tosL A committee of fortification was appointed ; 
and, on that occasion, the mechanics of Charleston 
came forward with laudable zeal and voluntarily 
contributed their personal labours, in the erection 
of Fort Meohanic — so called in honor of them — 
which stood precisely on the spot, where Mr. 
Holmes' house, on the battery, is now placed. 

But the patoriotism of Charleston did not stop 
here. A meeting of the citizens was held, on 3d 
July, 1798, for opening a subscription to build a 
frigate of thirty-twQ gims. A x»mmittee of si?: 
m^chants was appcnnted; Mr. Grafts, (who was 



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48 HY RMINISOSKCES Of GHABLS9T0N. 

navy agent) Mr. Gilchrist, Mr. Hazelhurst, Mr. 
Eussell, and others. By the 4th August one hun- 
dred thousand dollars were subscribed. From this 
meeting originated the John Adams frigate, which 
I remember having seen on the stock%before she 
was launched. She was built by the elder Mr. 
Pritchard, at his ship yard, near to Belvidere town 
creek. The idea of building a frigate in Charleston 
had, however, been entertained as long before as 
1794; for in the old State Gazette, of the 28th 
January of that year, there is an advertisement 
mentioning that subscriptions, for that purpose, 
would be received at the counting-room or office 
of Mr. Thomas Martin, at the comer of Tradd- 
street and the Bay. The building of the John 
Adams was commenced in November, 1798, and 
she was launched June 5th, 1799, by Paul Pritch- 
ard; Mr. James Marsh was his foreman. Paul 
Pritchard was the brother of William P., usually 
called " Hobcaw Bill.'' 

The South-Carolina, revenue cutter, was built 
also by Mr. Pritchard, at, the old ship-yard, and 
launched in November, 1798. She was command- 
ed by Captain Paine. The brig General Pinckney 
was built in Charleston, at the foot of Pinckney- 
Btreet, by William Pritchard, in 1798, and com- 
manded by Captain Heyward. 

Amongst my reminiscences of that day, was 



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MY REMINISCENCES OP CHARMSTON. 49 

the trial ef Jonathan Robbing, for piracy on board 
of a British frigate. 'After he was given up by 
Judge Bee, he was delivered over to a military 
guard of United States soldiers, from Captain 
Kalteisen'a company at Fort Johnson. 

It is well known that Charleston participated 
largely in the bitter contentions of the two great 
political parties which grew up with our own 
government, and agitated it to its very centre. 
The popular doctrines of Thomas Jefferson had 
found nowhere a more genial soil to take root, 
than in the State of South-Cajolina. They were 
cherished here with enthusiasm. And, although 
the federal party could never successfully, oppose 
their prevailing power and influence, it never 
departed from their principles, or neglected ally 
proper occasion to assert them. Now that the 
great points of dispute involved in the political 
agitation of that day, are only known as part of 
the history of our country, we can reflect dispas- 
sionately upon them as furnishing a striking com- 
mentary upon our institutions, and upon the 
character of those who were cotemporary with 
'them. 

In comparing the state of parties then with 
what it is now, I am forcibly reminded of a con- 
versation between two eminent individuals, who 
had in their whole public career been opposed to 
7 



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50 MY REMINISCENCES OF CHABLESTON. 

each other. It was in 1816, just after .the close of 
the war with England. They were speaking of 
the condition and propects of the country, grow- 
ing out of the events that* had just passed, and 
mutually regretted that one of their necessary 
results would be the extinction of the old consti- 
tutional division of parties; for, if any should 
afterwards arise, it would inevitably be sectional. 
K we are told that the poor proscribed Fede- 
ralists in Charleston, cut off as they were from all 
the honours and emoluments of oflSce, were in the 
habit of meeting together weekly^ it might netu- 
rally be supposed that it wad for the pui^ose of 
interchanging sympathies, or rehearsing their 
^^Tristiay But not so with the Cossack Glub^ 
wtiich grew out of the peculiar condition of society 
at that time ; for a happier and more joyous set 
never met together to discuss a good dinner and 
enjoy a glass of old wine, than they did at their 
Wednesday meetings. It had no rules^ for every 
member was a law to himself, and that law was 
never known to vary. No penalty^ for ther^ was 
none to enforce it. No duty imposed on any one 
but to contribute to the very extent of his intelli- 
gence, whatever might promote their happy and 
enlightened intercourse, and to pay two dollars 
for his dinner. This club was remarkable for 
every quality that had ever characterized the best 



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. ;iIY hEMINISCBNCES OP CHARLESTON. 51 

. private society of Charleston. Many of those who 
composed it had stood high in the service of their 
country, and brought to the common stock of 
conversation* their varied knowledge and eiqperi- 
ence as statesmen, diplomatists, soldiers and jurists. 
Nor was the charm of literary discourse wanting 
to give interest to their meetings. General Pinck- 
ney was a constant member, and always ready to 
impart information, particularly to the younger 
members. It was on these occasions that I learned 
from him several of the facts and anecdotes, in 
connection with which* his name will be hereafter 
mentioned in the course of these remarks. 

It may now be expected that I will say some- 
thing of society in Charleston. But I am at a loss 
to define what that is — certainly not its aggregate 
population — ^not those whose diversified employ- 
ments administer to its wants or promote its com- 
forts — ^not those whpse success in any trade or 
business h^ve raised them to the possession of 
wealth, and elevated them only in their own esti- 
mation. I consider talents, education, mor^Js, 
with' the adventitious advantages of fortune, as 
forming the true basis of social distinction, and 
constituting that class which may be emphatically 
called the society of any place or city, embracing, 
in its "widest extent, the virtue, the intelligence, 
the accomplishments, and all the refinements which 



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52 MT REMINISOENOES OF CHARLESTON. 

characterize the better portions of the female sex, 
and enhance their ameliorating influence. This 
is society— and Charleston may proudly boast of 
such a one. 

In the course of the preceding remarks, I re- 
ferred to the dose of thfe revolutionary war, and I 
regard it a privilege to have lived so near that 
period, as to remember, a^^ to have conversed 
with men who were equal to the duties that that 
great event had required of them, and who were 
afterwards distinguished in the various stations 
assigned to them, in laying the foundations of our 
social and political system. It was a privilege to 
have heard, from their own lips, events spoken of 
in common conversation, in which they had been 
engaged ; before they were embodied in the pages 
of history. 

Many of those men were the remnant of a pecu- 
liar race of people. Born under a royal govern- 
ment, and early impressed with those exclusive 
feelings which rank and fortune create, they were 
characterized by a high and gentlemanly bearing. 
Most of them had been educated in one or other 
of the English Universities, and had become fa- 
miliar with the highest standard of manners in 
that country. But upon the breaking out of the 
revolution, they flocked home to share the for- 
tunes of their country. Such men were, in their 



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MY REimnSCENCES OP CHARLESTON. 53 

proper dement, at the head of society — ^it was 
theirs to mamtaiii and transmit the ancient charac- 
ter of Charleston for intelligence, refinement and 
hospitality ; and here we may dwell with pride 
npon the nniform testimony (wherever that can 
be collected) of all travellers and writers in fa- 
vour of those qualities. I would here refer to 
Mr. Josiah Quincy's Journal of a visit to this city, 
in 1773, and to the Due de Liancourt, who was 
here in 1796. That gentleman says, in his pub- 
lished travels, " whatever praise may be due to 
our European gentility, yet in no part of the globe 
is so much hospitality practiced as in America, or 
can it anywhere be better exercised than in South 
Carolina." 

The revolution had no sooner passed away than 
we find these very gentlemen, as republicans, en* 
gaged in accommodating our laws to the new 
order of things, and themselves to the position in 
which it placed them. One of their first measures 
was to abolish the rights of primogeniture^ so 
favomrable to the transmission of fortunes ii^ fami- 
lies, and so fostering to family pride. But the 
principles of our government demanded it, and 
they were ready for the sacrifice. Now, I have 
heard it often repeated, that that measure, how- 
ever politicadly necessary, * was a death-blow to 
social refinement — that it would introduce a oon- 



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54 * HY BiaflNISCBNCES OF CHARLESTON. 

dition of equality quite unfavourable to polite 
intercourse; and, that owing to the particule^r 
constitution of society here, and the nature of our 
property, estates must necessarily, by subdivision, 
be dwindled to a mere nominal patrimony. This 
might have been the case, had things been destined 
to remain in the condition they were then in. 
But the gradual development of resources, then 
unariticipated — ^increase of population — new ap- 
plications of industry — new staples of agriculture 
— ^wider extension of commerce — the diflFusion of 
knowledge, and the establishment of the means of 
the highest education in our own State, and in our 
own city — ^have shown that these apprehensions 
were vain, and that, if success, under these cir- 
cumstances, has equalized fortunes, it is also cal- 
culated to elevate their possessors. 

It was my lot to grow up with that law, and to 
be, as it were, upon the line where the old and 
new order of things met — ^yet with all the respect 
due to that distinguished class of men, who had 
enjoyed the benefit of primogeniture in South 
Carolina, I must, in candour, say that I am not 
sensible of any deterioration in the manners of 
society that I can attribute to its abolition. If 
some little rules of etiquette have become obso- 
lete, if society is a little less artificial, or its man- 
ners less courteous now than formerly, there are 



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MT BEIONISC^NCES OF CHARLESTON.. . 55 

SO many other causes directly tending to such a 
result, tHat we can only wonder that they have 
not made greater inroads upon it. 

As the table is, and ^ways has been, in Charles- 
ton, a great centre of attraction, and remarkable 
fDr the display of that courtesy and mutual re- 
spect, without which it could never be a bond of 
enlightened intercourse, we May refer to it as a 
safe criterion for our judgment. NotwithstaiMing 
all my recollections of the past, I see no diminu- 
tion in its conversational intelligence and refine- 
ment, or in any of those social qualities for which 
our city has always had credit. On the contrary, 
I aver that there is a marked improvement The 
conversation of gentlemen, at the table, now is 
without the least blemish of freedom or impurity, 
which was not always the case; for I remember 
when licentiousness was almost the fashion. Wine 
is enjoyed in greater moderation than it was in 
that glorious day of bumpers and heeltaps^ and the 
hour of separation is certainly more seasonable. 

Our lamented friend, Mr. Legare, somewhere, 
in his writings^ mentions it as ^^ an unquestionable 
fact that the present generation are in every re- 
spect socially less cultivated than our glorious 
fathers.^^ In this I think Mr. Legare was mista- 
ken ; for, although the cultivation of the past was 
truly of a veiy high order, yet being less diffused 



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56 MY RBHINISGEIIOES jOF CHARLESTON. 

than that of the present day, it was, tijjierefore, 
more conspicuous in those who possessed it. He 
forgot that manners have their inheritance as well 
as fortune. The law defines the one, but example 
regulates the other ; and, as far as my observation 
goes, good breeding is a transmissible quality in 
families, and quite independent of powdered hair, 
laced ruffles, and diamond buckles, the invariable 
appendages of an old-time gentleman. Now I do 
not hesitate to say that such men as Mr. Henry 
Deas, Major Wragg, Stephen Elliott, John Gads- 
den, Thomas Grimke and William Washington, all 
of whom are included in Mr. Legare's category, 
would have done credit to the palmiest days of 
Carolina society, and were, in every respect, wor- 
thy of its glorious fathers. 

Manners result from the character and condition 
of society, like vegetable productions, which in- 
dicate the 6oil beneath. Now, conceding all that 
is claimed for our predecessors,' and believing, as 
I do, that under no system of government, how- 
ever republican, or no form of social arrangement, 
can there exist anything like equality of condition ; 
yet the basis upon which their distinction always 
rested was comparatively a narrow one — ^intelli- 
gence and cultivation limited to a few — ^fortunes 
equally so, and family pretensions always circum- 
scribed and exclusive. 



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HT mONISGEKCES OF OHABLESTOK. 57 

In these remarks, as you may have observed, 
the word exclusive has been more than once used ; 
but not inadvertently, for in no part of the coun- 
try could the society of former duys have been 
more so than in Charleston. And it continued to 
have that characteristic, until the republican ten- 
^ dencies of our government began fully to manifest 
themselves. The merchant had not that position 
to which his contribution to the prosperity of the 
community entitled him, and which is now so 
readily and justly recognized. And such was 
equally the case in regard to every other calling. 
For, with the exception of the learned professions, 
no pursuit which yielded income, from personal 
effort or employment, was properly respected. 
And here I remember that this state of things 
gave rise to some amusing results ; amongst which 
were social combinations and clubs, formed by the 
proscribed merchants, with curious names, such as 
the ''Free and Easy," "The Kolf-Baan Club," and 
the " Ugly Club," which last was often a source of 
infinite merriment to the members, as the ugliest 
man was always selected for the president. They 
gave an annual ball, which was always well at- 
tended. Then the Masons had their day of pomp 
and glory, where all social distinctions were 
merged in the great bond of brotherhood. 

Now, the philosophy of all this was deep-seated 
8 



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58 H7 RBMINISOEKOES OF OHABLlffirOK. 

and, upon mature reflection, I have come to the 
conclusion that it could not have been otherwise. 

The very nature of that property, in its then 
undivided state, which constituted the wealth of 
Carolina, was, in itself, an element of pride. The 
planter lived in baronial independence upon his 
large estates, surrounded by dependents, and willi 
every means of luxurious enjoyment. His asso- 
ciates were his equals, and he looked down, as 
from a higher platform, upon all whose circum- 
stances and pursuits differed from his own. The 
ruinous remains of many of their seats and man- 
sions scattered throughout the neighbouring Pa- 
rishes, are melancholymemorials of bye-gone days. 
In a word, the difference between the past and 
the present is this, that then fortune and cultiva- 
tion could alone place men at the head of society — ^ 
men place themselves there now. 

But all this has passed away, and whatever of 
refinement exists in our society now, rests upon a 
broader and more enduring foundation. Intelli- 
gence is no longer confined t6 the rich; it is 
within the means of every class ; and if politeness 
be a christian refinement, the wide and increasing 
diffiision of religious knowledge will contribute 
to place the manners of society upon a rational 
and unartificial basis, sad impart to them an uni- 
form and general practice. 



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IfT BUONISCEKCES OF CHABLESTOK. 59 

The love of music was an early characteristic of 
the people of Charleston, and very generally cul- 
tivated by them as an accomplishment. Out of 
this grew the St Cecilia Society, originally an 
association of gentlemen amateurs, who met 
together to indulge a conunon taste and to pass 
an agreeable hour. It afterwards increased in 
numbers and resources. On its roll were inscribed 
the names of our most respectable citizens ; and 
amongst its officers were always found some of the 
first men even of the State. 

It was long celebrated for its liberal encourage- 
ment of musical talent ; for no performer of any 
reputation ever came to Charleston without re- 
ceiving its patronage. Its concerts were always 
well attended, and, often, even crowded by the 
most fashionable company of Charleston. Mr. 
Josiah Quincy, of Boston, who was here in 1773, 
attended one of them, and mentions in his journal 
that there were two hundred and fifty ladies pre- 
sent; and that he was there introduced to the 
Governor, the Chief Justice, two associate Judgeg; 
and several of the CounciL 

For many years the Society adhered to its ori- 
ginal design; and its concerts continued to be the 
centre of delightful attraction. It, however, was 
not incorporated until 1784, when an act was 
passed for that purpose ; the preamble of which 



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60 HY REMINISCEKCES OF CHARLESTON. 

mentions that the Society had, by voluntary con- 
tribution, raised a considerable fund, placed in 
bonds ; and had also collected a number of musi- 
cal instruments, etc., for encouraging the liberal 
science of music. 

My earliest recollection of the concerts was 
about the year 1803, when the Society was in very 
successful action; and I have a bill of the per- 
formances at one given in November, 1815, on 
which I find the names of Pleyel, Haydn, Mozart, 
and Kromer, all, then, as they now are, very 
favourite composers. 

At length the purposes of the Society seemed to 
have been accomplished, and its destinies fulfilled. 
Change, which is always at work, was silently 
preying upon its prosperity. As the old members 
fell off, their places were supplied by younger 
ones. A rival Society had sprung up.* Musical 
entertainment could be enjoyed elsewhere — ^new 
tastes were formed — ^new habits came into fashion. 
The -love of dancing increased. At length, viz. 
ip February 7, 1819, the board of managers re- 
ported that they had found it impracticable to 
procure an orchestra for the Society, and therefore 
ordered a ball to be given. After that, one more 
effort was made to obtain performers, when the 
committee reported to the Society that they could 

^The old Philharmonic Society, incorporated in 1810. 



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KT BBMIViacnBNCES OF CHARLESTON. Ql 

only procure a quintette. Finally, about the year 
1822, the concerts were given up, and the Society 
substituted dancing assemblies, which have been 
regularly continued, every season, with great ele- 
gance. 

That love of music, of which I have spoken, 
was often enlisted in the cause of charity. It may 
not be generally known that the Commissioners of 
the Orphan House, in October, 1791, put forth a 
special advertisement announcing *'a grand con- 
cert," to be given on the 20th of that month, to 
enable them, as stated, to lay the foundation of 
the building in the ensuing spring ; and, that they 
had erected a commodious amphitheatre for the 
occasion. 

Again, in January, 1794, a concert was adver- 
tised, under very respectable patronage, for the 
benefit of the sufferers from St. Domingo. If the 
editors of that day had been as alert as they 
are now, they would have informed us of the 
success of these projects, and have thus given 
pleasing proof of the affinity between harmony 
and charity. 

Prominent in our early recollections of Charles- 
ton, are the races, the most absorbing popular 
amusement then known to its inhabitants. 

Whether from the removal of those calamities 
under which every part of the State had suffered 



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62 MY RBMHriBOENCES OF GBL1BLB8T0N* 

for SO many yeaxs, or whether from the personal 
interest every where taken by our wealthy plant- 
ers in the raising and training of horses, and their 
ambition for distinction in the production of those 
noble animals, the races were, for many years after 
the peace, a very different thing from what they 
now are. They made Charleston the great centre 
for all who could afford to travel, even from dis- 
tant parts of the State. The enthusiasm produced 
by their recurrence, pervaded all classes of the 
community to such a degree as scarcely could be 
now conceived. Schools were dismissed. The 
judges, not unwillingly, adjourned the Courts, for 
they were deserted by lawyers, suitors and wit- 
nesses. Clergymen thought it no impropriety to 
see a well contested race; and if grave physi- 
cians played truant, they were sure to be found in 
the crowd on the race ground. Every stable in 
the city was emptied — every saddle and bridle 
put into requisition, and those who could procure 
neither horse, saddle, nor bridle, enlisted as pe- 
destrians. The course itself presented quite a 
showy and animated spectacle, from, the number 
of well dressed and well mounted horsemen, and 
from the display of equipages and liveries. 

The whole week was devoted to pleasure and 
the interchanges of conviviality ; nor were the 
ladies unnoticed, for the Race ball, given to them 



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MY KEMSiaOWOm 07 CHABLESION. 63 

by the Jockey Club, was always the most splendid 
of the seasoiL Bat, in all Hxis round of gaiety 
and enjoyment, business was not neglected. For 
throughout the country, its •engagements were 
generally postponed to the race week in Charles- 
ton, where the planter came to settle accounts 
with his factor, or to receive the proceeds of his 
crops, as well as to pay off the annual bills of the ■ 
merchant, who had supplied him with groceries 
and other articles, throughout the past year; for 
before the days of banks, all credits were annual, 
and dependent upon crops. The circulation of 
money thus produced, had its effect, no doubt, im 
enhancing the general good humour. 

The first race course I remember was on the 
Meeting-street road, a little above the old ijope-- 
walk, near the centre of which stood Creighton's- 
tavern (since burnt down). This place was after- 
wards abandoned, and the Washington Gourae^ 
purchased by the Jockey Club, which has ever 
syice continued to be the scene of ihm happj 
rpeunion. 

About the time we are speaking of, there were 
no places of public resort for amusement or recrea- 
tion in Charleston, if we except what was called 
Gibbes' bridge, on South Bay, which was a frame- 
work of timber extending southwardly about two 
hundred feet, to ihe edge of the channel of Ashley 



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64 MY BBHnnsc»sircES of ohablbston/ 

river, opposite the present sldp-yard. At the end 
of this bridgie was a small building, where seats 
and r^eshmente were provided for the company 
that nsed to resort, there on warm summer ev^i- 
ings. Those who preferred riding, went to Wat- 
i^n's garden, a beautifully cultivated piece of 
ground, betweeu-Meeting aa^d King-streets, about 
a mile from the city, adorned with shrubbery and 
hedges, and fine iMnbrageous trees, some of which 
either now, or lately, served to indicate its situa- 
tion. 

I had intended, from the commencement of this 
paper, to make some observations in regard to the 
religious improvement of our community, within 
the period of my recollection. I would not ven- 
tur€|,to say that religion had no place in the hearts 
of the people at that time, or that it did not 
exercise an active and vital influence over very 
many of them. But I think its general manifes- 
tation consisted rather in a decent req)ect for 
outward observances, and in a formal compliance 
with its social requirements, than in that deej^- 
and devotional sense of its sacred obligations, 
which now characterize, so large a proportion of 
our community. The Sabbath was not duly ob- 
served. It was too often, in doora^ a day of 
company and festive pleasure ; and out of doors 
(particularly of an afternoon) one of noisy relax- 



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MY tammm&Em^m of ohabustok. fii5 

ation. It was also a day for formal visiting, and 
for the display of equipages and horses, for in 
that day carriages were not so common as po^r, 
and every carriage was known by its livery, some 
of which were very showy. There were, at that 
time, but two so called churches in Charleston — 
every other place of worship being termed ineet- 
ing-houses, and their congregation denominWed 
meet-ners. And even ministers of the gospel did, 
occasionally, patronize, with their presence, iJie 
performance of a good tragedy. It was at this 
period that an intelligent traveller observed, " that 
devotion is not a prevailing fashion in this coun- 
try." However, of the present state of religious 
improvement in our community, as contrasted 
with that condition of indifference and inactivity, 
it is unnecessary to speak. ^ But the past is cer- 
tainly entitled to the benefit of at least one extenu- 
ating consideration. It was not the day of Bible 
Societies and Sunday Schools, or of those various 
auxiliary agencies, which have since been so 
actively employed for the diffusion of religious 
truth, and which have wrought so wonderful a 
change in the moral aspect of our commuifity. 
Indeed, Charleston, in common with the^ whole 
State, at that time, was very inadequately supplied 
with the means even of ordinary instruction fo? 
the poor, whilst^ the wealthy depended upon 
9 



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61 MT BBmOBOEHCOBB Of GmAXOmOS^ 

ike Northern colleges for the education of their 
sons. 

Upon the whole, I can truly sAy, that in ao one 
particular does our community exhibit a more 
important and decided improvement in a reminis* 
cence of sixty years, lliat in its religious character, 
which proves that the soil was good, and needed 
only the hand of the sower. 

la evidence of this, one significant fact may be 
mentioned. In the year 1807, as stated in a di- 
rectory of that date, there were fifteen places of 
worship in Charleston, whereas now there are 
thirty-three, mc^t of them capacious, and one of 
them (the Cathedral) capable of accommodating 
one thousand person& From the same source we 
learn that there were then but twelve ministers of 
the Gospel settled in^Charleston. As I remember 
them all, and was wdl acquainted with some of 
them, I will here mention a few names. The 
Eev. Drs. Bowen, Buist, Detargny, Faber, Fur- 
man, Gallagher, Hollingshead, Jenkins, Br. Keith, 
Mellard, Munds, Pogson. 

The eminent position now Qcci^>ied by the 
iViedacal profession in Charleston, and the suc- 
cessful reputation of their college, with all its 
means of affording a complete educaticm, recallft 
forcibly to mind the time when our city ftimidied 
iK> opportunities whatever of iiistraoti<7tt to the 



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medical stndetit/ when he was inyariably coid> 
pelled to seek it abroad^ or to enter upon the 
practiee of his profession with no other qualificsr 
tion than the superficial knowledge he had picked 
up in a Doetor^s $hop — when the lover of science 
had neither incentives w facilities for pursuing 
his enquiries, and when the Medical Society of 
Charleston was said to be the only scientific insti- 
tution in South Carolina. However, Charleston 
has never been without its full share of skillful 
practitioners, although all of them had been 
educated abroad — ^in Edinburgh chiefly, for those 
of earlier date — Philadelphia afterwards. Re- 
peated efforts have been made here, at different 
times, to create a taste for liberal studies connect- 
ed with the profession. Dr. Gallagher lectured 
in the Charleston Library, on several popular 
branches of natural philosophy. Dr. Chichester, 
an English gentleman, gave public lectures on 
chemistry. He was succeeded by Dr. Dickson, 
an Irish gentleman, who was said to be very ac- 
complished. Dr. P. Prioleau, and, afterwards. 
Dr. Benjamin Simons^ also attempted it. But in 
no instance were those laudable undertakings 
properly encoui^ed. A botanic garden was in- 
stituted here, and a botanic society formed, but 
both failed. 
If I were not limited to my awn recollections, 



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(ft XT 3BttNIgCEKaE8 OF CHABUOTOH. 

I might extend a retrospect to that period in the 
liistorj of Charleston, when such men as Gard^ 
lining a^d Chalmers, not only practiced snccess- 
ftdly here, but recommended their names to the 
notice of posterity by their i^cientific and medical 
works. Amount the Mends and correspondents 
of Dr. Garden, was linneus, the greatest botanist 
of his age, and who has immortalized his name in 
that of the ^^ Qardinia^^^ one of the most beautiful 
and fragrant shrubs in the world. It may not 
be uninteresting here to state, that a native of 
Charleston was the first American who ever ob- 
tained a degree in medicine abroad, and that was 
William Bull, (son of the late Lieutenant Governor, 
and afterwards himself Lieutenant Governor,) who 
had been a pupil of the great Boerhave, at Ley- 
den. His father, the first Governor, had enter- 
tained Catesby, the celebrated naturalist, at the 
family seat, at Ashley river, where there is now a 
majestic avenue of oa<ks, said to have be^n plajaited 
by his hand. 

■ We have spoken of the habit, so common before 
the revolution, of sending young men from this 
community 'to England for their education. And 
this is historicaHy illustrated in the celebrated 
remonstrance presented to the King, in 1774, by 
thB ^native Americans then residing in London* 
For of thirty wjio subsoibed it, sixteen were 



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MX Bli[IHIS0£NGS8 OF OHARLMTON. 69 

Carolinians ; and as the law has always been con- 
sidered a road to preferment in Carolina, and best 
calculated, by its liberal studies to prepare, a 
young man for public as well as professional life, 
a great proportion of^ose who had been educa- 
ted in that country, became students in the Tem- 
ple, and qualified themsdves for future usefulness 
• and distinction at home. 

General Knckney informed me that he had 
been called to the bar in England, and had ridden 
a circuit Mr. Pringle had also kept the requisite 
terms, and would have been admitted to practice 
but for the oaths of allegiance, which- the condi- 
tion of the Colonies at that time prevented his 
taking. Chancellor Hugh Rutledge, Governor 
Edward Rutledge, General Read, Judge Grimke, 
and our late worthy Master in Equity, Mr. Gibbes, 
were all of that number. I remember these gen- 
tlemen, as a boy, in the Court House, and have a 
lively impression of the manner of some of them. 
General Pinckney's style of speaking was bold, 
energetic and straight forward; Mr. Rutledge's, 
persuasive and winning ; when he argued a case 
to a jury, there was a graceful familiarity in his 
manner, which was very insinuating. 
^ ^ Cotemporary with those gentlemen, were many 
other distinguished lawyers, who continued, long 
after they had passed away, to maintain that high 



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94 XT BSfDHSCEHOES W CHABUflTOy; 

charactw for conrtesjr, leamii^ and liberality, 
which their example luid practice had imparted to 
the Charleston bar. History has made ns familiar 
with the distinguished mark of General Washing- 
ton's confidencei in their sfpreral claims to one of 
th^ highest ofGices in his gift 

I have been told that the spirit of mutual accomr 
modation at the bar, was such as to lead to great 
irregularity. For often, when a case was called 
in court, the pleadings were not made up or filed, 
and had no other existence than in the mutual 
undend^anding of the opposing lawyers. One of 
tiie members being, on one occasion, taken by 
surprise, gave out to the bar, that, in future, he 
would practice according to the strict rules of 
ap^ial pleading. General P. soon after brought 
an action, to which this very gentleman filed a 
long special plea. General P. demurred to it,, and 
the demurrer being sustained, no more was heard 
of special pleading. As it may be interesting to 
know the opinions entertained of each other by 
some of those' distinguished men, I once heard 
General Pinckney say of Mr. Pringle, that he never 
left anything omsaid that his case required, or 
finished an argument without exhausting it. In 
conversation, some years afterwards, with Mr. 
Pringle about his cotemporaries at the bar, he 
nmntioned Genial Pinckiiey, and said that he had 



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IfY BXMDnSCSSCJSB OF OHABLBSTOIT. . 71 

always considered him as his moist formidable op- 
ponent, for he never £uled to see the strong points 
of- his case, or to use tho most forcible arguments* 
and authorities to maintain them. 

I asked Gfeheral Pinskney about Mr. John Rut- 
ledge's style of speaking. He told me that it was 
strong and argumentative, and remarkable folr 
dose reasoning ; and said that it resembled Mr. 
Dunning's (the celebrated Lord Ashburton) more - 
than tiiiat of any speaker he had ever heard. Now, 
in General Pinekney's day, Mr. Dunning Was the 
most celebrated a.dvocate in England. Both of 
those gentlamen informed me that when the cir- 
cuits were first established, they rode them on 
horseback. General P. said that the most profita* 
ble part of. the day to him was the morning, 
before the meeting of the<50urtj in giving opinions 
to clients, and, when required to give them in 
writing, he took care to endorse on them ^^ given 
oncireuit^^^ not having the aid of books. He 
mentioned that he had once received fifty guineas 
before breakfast. 

It may be curious to learn the profits of the 
profiesrion in that day. It was stated by the Due 
de Liancourt, who was well acquainted with mo£^ 
or all of the gentlemen named, that General Pinek^ 
ney, Mr. Rutledge, Mr. Pringle, and Mr. Holmes, 
made from eighteen to twenty-thsed thousand dol* 



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T2 . MY -REMINISOEirQEa OF CHAia.SSf ON. 

lars a year, and that eight or ten others earned 
^o^ ten to twelve thousand a year. The exten- 
sive commercial business- of Charleston at that 
tipie opened a wide field of litigation. Our courts 
werfe . constantly employed in heavy insurance 
cases— 4n questions of charter party, foreign and 
inland bills of exchange, and in adjusting foreign 
dldms. There was also a good deal of business 
ia admiralty, and, occasionally, a rich prize case. 
Then again, n6w questions were continually aris- 
ing out of the then recent acts of our Legislature. 
Points now settled were then open to construc- 
tion, involving considerable amounts of property. 
Titles of land were not adjusted, or their limits 
ascertained; and, finally, Charleston was then 
divided into two strongly defined parties, to one 
or other of which 6very citizen belonged — that of 
debtor and creditor. 

I have heard some of those old lawyers speak of 
their early habits of study, and their learning was 
not too lightly earned for its reward. It is not 
,for me to say whether law, as a science, is better 
understood now than formerly, or its jM?ectice 
more conducive to the end^ of justice, or would 
it be in place here to enquire whether the modem 
lawyer is learned in proportion to the increased 
number of his books. But one thing may be safely 
asserted, that a law library at the period to which 



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MY REMIinSGENCES OF CHARLESTON. (^3 

1^€^ are now referring, such as probably laid flie 
foundation of an Eldon's or a Stowell's attainments, 
would make but a meagre array on the shelves (tf. 
a modem American jurist. But the boots that 
composed that library were profoundly .read and * 
digested. The great fathers of English la^ were 
the oracles of the student. His was not the day 
of digests, and indexes, and abridgements. He 
imbibed his knowledge in deep draughts from 
those ancient fountains, which had been approach- 
ed with reverence by his great predecessors. 
10 



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PART II. 



I BBStJHB the subject of the Bar of Charleston, 
at which, you may remember, I discontinued the 
former part of this paper. And I do it more 
willingly on account of the long list of very 
respectable names it recalk to my mind-names 
highly cherished in their day, but which have 
passed away with the nlultiplied interests in which 
they were involved, and with the friends by whom 
they were admired and sustained. 

It is indeed mortifying to professional pride to 
reflect on the number of those who have devoted 
all their energies to the great object of cotempo- 
rary usefulness and distinction, upon whose legal 
and foren£dc exertions whole communities have 
dwelt with the deepest anxiety, and rewarded 
with the warmest admiration, and most entire 
confidence — ^lawyers, who, notwithstanding their 
days and nights of study, and the wide place they 
held in the estimation of their cotemporaHes, 
have left no other memorial of their extensive 
practice, but the reoprds of the Clerk-s Office, or 



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76 MY BBMINISCENCES OF CHABLESTON. 

an occasional argument published in the reports 
of their day. Others, more fortunate, by being 
elevated to the Bench, have left their names in- 
delibly inscribed in the great Album of Time, 
, and will always be identified with the history of 
our Jurisprudence. To such it would be unneces- 
sary to refer. But from that class, who were 
either unambitious of office, or died before the 
day of their reward, it would be gratifying to 
select a few prominent names for your notice; 
though many must be omitted, not less worthy of 
that tribute. Nor can I presume to say that the 
influence of that whole enlightened b9dy has yet 
ceased to act upon ^e character and interests of 
our community; as the stream may have long 
flowed past which nourished the tender roots of 
the taree we now admire for itd sturdiness. Can 
such lawyers as those named before, and William 
H. DeSaussure, Thomas Parker, Timothy Ford, 
Jolm Ward, Langdon Cheves, William Drayton, 
Keatiag Lewis Simons, Robert Y. Hayne, Thomas 
S. Grimke, Samuel Prioleau, John Gadsden, Henry 
Bailey, Hugh S. Legare, who have been success- . 
ively prominent at our Bar, and identified with 
all the great legal, constitutional and civil ques- 
tions of their times, not have left an impression 
upon them, both salutary and lasting ? 
Mr. Ward, whom I have stated, was a. distin- 



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XT REMINISCENCES OF C&ARLISTON. 77 

guished member of the jprofession. He had read 
law at the Temple, came early to the Bar, and had 
a very full practice. He was remarkable for the 
promptness and activity of his mind, qualities 
essential to a commercial lawyer, and that was 
his position. He was an industrious and devoted 
practitioner, and possessed of a thorough know- 
ledge of business, in all its details. In every 
important case arising out of bills of exchange, 
accounts and policies of insurance, he was a stand- 
ing counsel. In his practice and deportment, he 
Was kind ajid liberal, particularly to the younger 
members of the Bar. He died, whilst on a visit 
to New York, in the summer of 1816. 

Mr. Timothy Ford was a native of New Jersey, . 
and a graduate of Princeton. After the Revolu- 
tionary War, in which he ha'd served as a volun- 
teer whilst yet a youth, and been grievously 
wounded, he entered a lawyer's office in New 
York, and, when qualified to practice, came to 
Charleston and was admitted at our Bar. The 
character of the Bar at that time prevented all 
hope of distinction without ardent and honourable 
competition; but his mind was prepared for that 
by severe and diligent study, and he became a 
successful and highly respectable practitioner. 
He entered early into co-partnership with Mr. 



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78 MY BIMDnOBCBNOES OF OHARLSSTON. 

DeSaussure, which continued until the elevation 
of that gentleman to the Chancery bench. 

Mr, Ford's manner before the court was grave, 
methodical and argumentative, and his views were 
always based upon profound legal learning, and 
marked, by sound discriminatiou and judgment 
He died about the year 1831. 

Another eminent lawyer, never raised to office, 
was Mr. Keating Lewis Simons. He had studied 
^th Mr. Edward Rutledge, and seems to have 
made his way to distinction more from a determi- 
nation to attain- it, than from any early develop- 
ment of the powers he afterwards exhibited, for 
•his rise at the Bar was so discouragingly slow that 
nothing but the most undaunted energy, could 
have sustained him in his retired hours of severe 
and arduous study. This energy was his distin- 
guishing feature through life. In all that he 
coB<5eivedt or felt, or undertook, or executed, it 
was prominently displayed. And yet, after he 
•had triumphed over every obstacle, and became 
rewarded by the fullest practice, he was never so 
confident in himself as not to prepare thoroughly 
in every case. His style of speaking was eaarnest, 
even to vehemence, and this was never varied, 
whetlj^r in addressing a Juiy, a Chancellor, or a 
Penchwf Jpdges. To a friend who remarked this 



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^ inr BEMINISOENC^ OF CHABBBBTOK. 70 

4 

to him once, he promptly replied, "If I don't 
drown my feelings in my voice, I can't argue at 
aU.'* 

His services were sought in every case where 
feeling or character was involved, for in no keep- 
ing could either be safer ; and in his jnanagement 
of such cases the man was so mixed up with the 
lawyer, that it was difl&cult which to admire most. 
For "such," in the language of his eulogist,* "was 
his professional courtesy, that he was just to his 
clients without being illiberal to their adversa- 
ries;" and yet it was said that it was in the Court 
of Chancery that his professional career was most 
useful. He died in 1819, at the age of forty-fou^. 

Ajfiongst the prominent men of this. class, and 
not the least so, was Mr. Grimke, whom I can but 
barely mention here, for it would be impossible to 
do justice to his professional character in the bri^f 
space of one of these sketches. In the large sum- 
mary of his intellectual attainments, his profound 
and accurate legal learning, with all its atteodaoxt 
accomplishments of truth, liberality and eloquence, 
was but a single item ; and of that learning, I* 
must be satisfied with repeating what was once so 
justly said of it — " that it comprehended the 
minutest details and the broadest principles." 

* John Gadadei^i E«q* . "^ . •*' 



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80 MT BSMIKIBOBliQES Qt CQABIiKTON^ ^ 

4 

Mr. G. died of cholera, in Ohio, in the autumn of 
1834 

Whilst, in all professions, the Mghest talents 
are not always directed by the b^t principles, and 
eminence is not the invariable criterion of integ- 
rity, it is a pleasing duty to single out and do 
justice to modest and retiring merit, which is 
satisfied to pursue the quiet path of duty, and to 
look for its remuneration to an approving con- 
science. Witibi this reflection, so applicable to the 
man, it gives me pleasure to bring to your notice 
lawyer Griggs, a practitioner of my day. ^ 

Mr. Griggs was, I believe, a native of Connecti- 
cut, and graduated at Tale College, in 1783. He 
came to the South jsoon after^ and adopting the 
' law as his profession, studied either in Savani^ 
or Charleston, and was admitted -at our Bar in 
1795. Nature had denied to him the gift of apt 
and ready elocution, for he spoke slowly and with 
hesitation; but he never uttered a word that be- 
trayed a want of sound undeSrstanding, for he was 
a well-read lawyer, and an exact practkioner ; and 
the bu^ess entrusted to him was the well-earned 
reward of diligence, punctuality and integrity. 
In 1803, he read an essay before the Charleston 
Library Society, on metaphysics, which was aftCT- 
wards published and read with high commenda- 
tion. Mr. Griggs diq^ i^. 1816, and it is grateful 



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jnr EmHNISqENCES OF CHARIiBBTONv 81 

to record that the leading members of the Bmt 
united in the last tribute to his remains. 

Mr. ThoftraB Winstanly was another lawyer of 
that day, whose private worth was his chi6f 
recommendation to a respectable position at our 
Bar. He was skilled in all* that related to the 
forms of practice, and in addition to his expe- 
rience as an attorney, was considered an excellent 
conveyancer. He rnever ventured to^spfestk iix 
Court, but if a difficulty arose in any of his cases, 
he was held in such esteetai by the Bar, that the 
aervic^ of the ablest of his brethren were at his 
command ; and -this "vrss a tribute cheerfully paid 
to that integrity of purpose which always charac- 
terized him. ' ' 
• Being a^ natiye Englishmati, he adhered to the 
British cause during the war, and when Charles- 
ton surrendered, he- became Secretary to the 
Provost Marshal' After the evacuation, he waa 
banished, but subsequently permitted to return, 
and resume his practice. Mr. Winstanley had 
studied law before tke Revolution, in the office of 
tije Hon. Jam^ Parsons, a counsellor of great 
celebrity in his day. Mr. Pardons, an Irishman 
by birth, was a devoted supporter of the Ameri- 
can cause. He died in 1779, being then Vice 
President of South Carolina. The respect and 
attentions of Mr. Winstanley to the widow of his 
11' 



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82 MT BsmmBGSsma of cmuBLsarmr. 

former preceptor, came within my pen^nal know- 
ledge, (for she wite a relation). They 1«rere highly 
honourable to him, and were rewarded by his 
being appointed her sole executor. 

In the year 1803, the Bar lost a promising 
young member in Mr. John McCrady, who died 
at the age of twenty-eight years. Mr. Drayton, 
his cotemporaty and friend, in an obituary notice, 
ascribed to him qualities which would have raised 
him to distinction in the profession. I remember 
him. He was an eam^ and energetic speaker,' 
and his eulogist attributes to him great manliness 
of diction and eloquence, without the parade of 
ornament; His career at th^ Bar was e^ort, but 
one of great promise. 

The recollection of few members^of the bar, of 
his day, is pleasanter to my mind than thai of 
William Crafts, to whose name the epithet *' gift- 
ed ^ has been so constantly applied as almost to 
become its inseparable adjunct. For one who had 
not prepared himself, by a diligent; and exclusive 
course of study, for that enuD^nce to which, from 
his early efforts, he seemed to aspite, no young 
man ever came to our bar with higher promise. 
A reputation, acquired at College, had preceded 
him, and prepared the public mind for the impres- 
sive charms of his elocution. 

If he had tJien followed the example of Sir 



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William' Blackstone^ and bidden farewell to his 
niHse, or remembered the words of Sir William 
Jones, ^^that the -law requires the whole man, and 
admits of no concurrent pursuits," he might have 
occupied a prominent place in that company of 
eminent lawyers, with which his new position as- 
sociated him. But he was incapable of the effort. 
A mind so moulded as his. could not resist the 
seductions of the muse, or be made to bend to the 
rigid exactions .of his profession. His first speech 
at &e Bar was in an insurance case, in which ke 
had* fully pi»epared hitnself; and. he made arbril- 
liaat argument. This was about the year 1810. 
The commercial community was delighted at his 
success. Business flowed i|pon him and continued 
to increase, until it entangled him in competitions 
which he was not able to encounter. The lawyer 
who, for want of more enlarged preparation, 
studies only for his cases, and is unable to meet 
the incidental questions of evidence, practice or 
other mooted ground^ that uneicpectedly arise in 
a case, builds his hopes of success upon a very 
sltoder foundation. 

Mr. Grafts had an excellent memory, which 
enabled him always to make the best use of his 
legal knowledge, but he took little pains to im- 
prove it. Such was the versatility 6f his mind, 
and so various his tastes, that he was as'sensible 



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84 MT vmnnmfsmum w mumMtom 



to tke praise bestowed npon one df his beaatifnUy 
written poems, or poj^nlar oradDos, ^ he ought 
to have been, had it beeij applied to a well argued 
oase. . The branch of law with which he was most 
fftmiliar, was what he had gathered from the pages 
of Park and Mar^iall ; and it was his delight to 
address a jury in sok insurance case. But here 
even, on the surface of the ocean, there wte a con- 
flict between few and imagination. M thevVess^ 
had sustained a loss.&om 'Hhe danjgers of the 
sea," Virgil's storm was not nwre poetically pain^ 
ed tha^ his ; or, if her voyage had been jJjosp«r- 
ous; and she had glided on securely — an ima^ 
was sure to sparkle on every wave. 
. Mr. Crafts was always so excellent a d^claimer 
that he was chiefly retained in those ^caaesr which 
ambled him to indulge in his favourite style of 
aiddreas — ^to exhibit the play of his ready wit, or 
tq call forth that deep and irresistible pathos with 
which it , was his peculiar talent to invest a sub- 
ject. But in cases involving abstruse questions of 
law, and requiring the applieation of its profound- 
est doctrines, it is no disparagement to his memory 
to say that other lawyers were preferred. 

That chance which often determines the intel- 
lectual fortunes of men, did .not smile upon our 
Mend's choice of his profession, for it is but fair 
tQ add that his ambition was not for legal emi- 



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XT mttmmmi/Bm 09 

nemoe, font rather £l>r tbe hig^Mi^ «ad; irlcbr liuae 
*of the orator «ad att^ewwa. K fortuHe had 
favoured this preferenoe, juid given to, his aipirap* 
tions a coQg«nial element, ^s name-Baight havt 
beea one of endnring o^own. , 

These sketjches might be ^ctended/ but for the 
fear of taxing your patkmcei. But even these, 
thus^casually* brought' ta yomvnotice, are sufficient . 
to js^ow that the reputaik)n jo£ 4;he Charleston Bar 
haa always rested upon ..high moral and k^eUec- 
toal worth. And. here we mi^t add that modi 
tilie gentlemen named, had been, proninemt mevt- 
bera of our Legicdature m their .da^, and sexae of 
them distinguished in .the councik of tibe nation. 
^ There wait a^ custom, pi^evalent at the Bar, w4tkift 
my recollection, whioh I forgot to mention m its 
place, and that waa the ready use o£ {jatin law 
maxims in arguments before the Courts ^ liideed^ 
no lawyer, whoi^' studies have been preperiy 
directed, can^ undervalue Ihese maxims, for they 
either embody j:^raseipl«a of law 9mA somnd rei^ 
son, or are illustiAtioBa'of settled 4oetxinei' imd 
decisions, and wh^i judiciously applied, can^ 
witii. them 4;he weijght of authovityt Like ^le 
Common Law itself, which is defined to be a eel- 
lection of ancient -English maxima and usagee, 
they)haye grown out of the wisdom aQd learning 
of ages, »ahd arev insepar^ible fvom that^ ^^i^em '• 



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.4V If i Mill I an. 

whkk tlkej iSnifaNite and .^nforoe. if tke use of 
tliem has' been disoottlkmed by tke lawyers 6f tke 

r p^meat day, it is not to be presumed that eitker 
they or tke Court CK>ald mot nnd^»t«id and ap- 
preciate a well-applied sanxim because it was in 
IaMu. Bat the practice and utilitarian spirit of 
the times, regarding merely tiie ends of justice, ' 
rejects, ae adventitious voA foreign, all ti^t is 
Bot indispensably necessary to their attainment 
Besides, time is a modern prejudice against Latia 
quotations in ewwy production of the mind, 
wheihar profSdSfflonal or literurp. By the old 
lawyers,^ of wk<Mn we have i^ken, tikese m^- 
itts n^ever appeared to be sought aft^ or to be 
introduced mto an argument for the i^fake of vain 
display ; but, on the contrary, tkey seemed to flow 
inaroUntarily from the fidlness and readiness of 
ttieir kaming. ^ 

' Tm a Charleston Directoiy^ publkhed in 1807, I 
find that at that period, ther^ w^e thirty-eight 
practicing lawyers in CluurlestmL 

Aiitongst tjie eld customs of the Bar, now. abol- 
ished, was. the preaching of session sermons, for 
which the minister was allowed, by law, a sum of 
three pounds; to be padd^by tiie sheriflF out of 
fi^ and foidSaitores. The last that I remember 
in Charleston, was preached by the BeV. James 

• D. Siimms^ in St« Mich^ers-ChurdL ^Mr. Simons 



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w€a one of tke ofighiil ftiuhem mt Urn dmlx} 
But looking oVer an old StatB.'&astettd^ of Jannny^ 
ITAO, I fotmd iSie notiee of a mme^cm sermoii 
preached in St. Mieha€l'8 CHoTch, by tlie Bey.: IM 
Purcell ; and this recced to my miad an incid^t 
connected vith that very occasion. Mr. John 
Bntledge, of revoltrtioliary eelebrifyf (who died 
in May, 1800,) (danced to meet me aear the 
c^nrch whilst the judge and sh^iff, and a few 
oficers of Hie co«tt, were .CKMHng over from Hu^ 
court-house. Seemg thi» seant and motkey pi^ 
ccBsion, he asked what it meant. I told him they 
were going te Itear a sessions sarmon, wEai he 
observed how diffwently it had been conducted 
formerly, when the jodges iir liieir searlet robes, 
and the lalvyers also robed, mid all the ^ttenckiito 
of the court, proceeded ib, great form tb tite 
church.* This meeting is fiirther impressed upon 
my recollection by Ms offisring to w^lk up with: 
Txte to General C. 0. frnda^ya kouse, to show 
me Stuart's portrait of Wasfaii^tonf 4^h4Ki recral- 
ly sent here, which he aioeordingly did. I now 
pass 4;oroth^ sulogeetsi 

As the youth of air^ community 9Bte' th<e great 
elementary material out of which its character is 
formed imd p^^etuated^ I cannot om^ some 

* I have latel J seen an old Uw of the proi^e, directmg two Assize 
Mrmons to be preacbed tmrj year. 



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•0 ifT mnBamotmmr4i^ 



olie»vaiiofift oihk) isofmimt m kaimB of la^y ^«r}y 
rtmuusceiie^ M'the boys o£ Ckarlesrtoit, a.word 
wiiidi has akaostbe^eone ^bsolifte, aa it d^o#e» a 
grade ia 1^, betwwn Hie duld $tod man, dooateelj 
•Ay longer r©69gnized. • * . * . . 

The young « f^tleHMm, aa l^iB now ocdied, 
Aiadains to engage in tke apdrfes-and diversbns so 
p^^nlw Jbi^ former timoa^ vaiid wlddi) bowevw 
apbordkwie to other . pntsuit^ were not t^en 
thought uBSuitafadeto hia ^e^ or leas important 
te his physicad^nMtioft. 
> The ^a'anly aporte of ball^ akmee,^ jompitig, run- 
nmg, wrestlkig) and'awiBiiningv^ve^ now laid mi^ 
m unworthy of nodem re&ifp^irt. ^t they 
wwe aa ooiamon«.amoikg*^^ tilder boys of my 
tioia^ aa maEbles, topa ancl^ttitea weveHsaaongst th^ 
]i|iletmea. Slights, too, wer# vary frequant. ^hey 
'V^r^ aft ordeal thMtigh whidb* ev^ery youngster 
*kadl to paaa, and^'ac^Ordiiig to ti«e Bfoxit displayed 
by him, waa hm rtaadaig afterwlkr^ amongst 1^ 
myjs. Their *• jferourit^ siriimping. places were 
^wsBon's Bridge, Gunnmn^s .Point, th^ endv of 
Savage's Green, and South Bay,. at the lower end 
of Song^trert, where there was ^ boat pen of 
upright palmetto loga — ^iviiieh was tike greaCt resort 
Mleamera Erom this .plaae a party of boys onee 
undertook to swim to .James Mand. This bold 
undertaking was accomplished by only one ^f 



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MT maamuictmma^ of charmston. 89 

tibem, wbo liad to retom alone, as his companions 
gave ont and abandoned the enterprise. It might 
be said that these hardy and venturesome sports 
have been diacontimied be(^use there are no 
longer any greens to play on, or that the former 
swimnung places have since become public ; but 
the truth is, that the. did English customs which 
lingered so long amongst them, after the revolu- 
tion, have yielded to a new order of things. The 
youth of the country, whose traditional m^es 
had always been very marked, have, at length, 
conformed to it in their habits and characters. 
Every thiitg appropriate to the boy, in the way of 
SfOTi and diversion, is now laid aside in his im- 
patience to affect the man. 

This peculiari^ of the rising generation in our 
coimtry, has been uoticed by foreigners, for it was 
the remark of an English traveller, that "our 
brethren in theLUmted States seem to have entirely 
£brgotte& the childish amusements of our common 
anceslon. . I* never saw school-boys playing at 
any gane whatever Cricket, foot-ball, quoits, 
a{^ear to be entirely unknown/' The fact' is, 
that the " Jmberbta Juvenis^'^ is hurried on by the 
impulsive q>irit of the age to assume the habits, 
and enter upon the occupations of maturer life ; 
wid, therefore, studiously avoids whatever might 
12 



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90 KY REMINISCEKtTES «0r OSABLWTOK. 

even appear inconsistent with the standing to 
which he aspires. 

These observations apply not pecnliarly to the 
youth of our country, fori have lately met with 
the remark of an English writer, that **the pre- 
cocity of the rising generation is really a most 
remarkable characteristic of the century." In fcon* 
nection with this observation there is a genial 
remark I may venture to make, which is, that the 
youth of former times were more respectftil to 
age than they are now. This, also, may b& charac- 
teristic of the century. 

By a very natural transition, I pa^' from youth 
to education. Charleston was, for a long time, 
very imperfectly supplied with schools, and those 
never professing to teach more* than Greek and 
Latin, and writing and cyphering, and English 
grammar. This want of the meaiis of liberal 
education at home was, no dotflbt, the cause of so 
many of our young men being sent to Northern 
colleges. But the necessity of a chaqge, which 
had been long felt, became at length so obviously 
indispensable, that the citizens df Charleston in- 
terested themselves with laudable zeal in the cause 
of domestic education, and have now the satisfac*- 
tion of knowin'g that the high school and college 
established in this city, jPamish the best means of 



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MY wmsMmomcm of (hkabiiEStov. '91 

c^ataining it ; and I Tfoold here remark, that teach- 
ing itself, as a pnrsmt, has become more valued 
and ejected than it' was farmerly, from the 
character and attainments of those gentlemen who 
profess and practice it 

As the College (^ Charleston is now a promi- 
nent injrtitutiou in our community, I hope to be 
excused for travelling a little beyond my recollec- 
tion, for the information respecting it, which I 
may be able to give. 

Its origin may be traced to June, 1770, as ap- 
pears by the journals of that day, when the people 
of Charleston- held a. meeting to consult about 
"petitioning the assembly for the establishment 
of a college iii or near Charleston." 'But the sub- 
ject was not acted upon until after the war. On 
the Idth of March, 1785, the Legislature granted 
a charter for a college ''in or near the city of 
Charleston," as soon as funds should be raised to 
enable it to go into operation — and appropriated 
certain lands for the purpose, which had previously 
been s^t apart for a fr^e school. Under this law 
the first meeting of trustees was held on the 26th 
August, 1785, the Governor of the State presiding. 

The first and continued object of their zealous 
attention was the condition and improvement of 
the funds of the institution^ w^ieh (jonaisted of the 
limds appropriated as aforesaid, and certain dona- 



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&t XT RSnKISCBllOES OF GOAmMmov. 

tions and legacies frcHzi pul^c spirited iadividltitibi. 
It was not until the year 1789, that they took any 
step towards the immediate, object of the institu- 
lion. On the 14th March, in that year, the Bey* 
Dr. Smith proposed to the trustees to lay the 
foundation of a college, fcy g;iving up to it, (HWthe 
1st of January following, the youth of his acadeooy^ 
amounting to sixty scholars. The proposition was 
at once accepted, and Dr. Smith appointed princi- 
pal of the college. Measures were promptly taken 
by the trustees to repair the ^ast^n building of 
the old brick barracks, for the accommodation of 
the schools, and surrounded it with a substantial 
brick walL ; . » - 

The first Examination of t^ youths of the inst>- 
tution was held on the 28th of April, 1790, and 
was announced to the public in highly encouraging 
terms by the trustees, under the sigiiatures of Hon. 
Judge Bee and Chancellor Hutson. 

Possession was taken of the building in 1791. 
The trustees then again addressed the public, an- 
nouncing the unexpected success and progress of 
the institution. This address, setting fo^th the 
prosperity and future pronnse of the college, was 
not without its effect, for the legislature, diortly 
after, viz. December, 20th, 1791, renewed its 
charter, superseding the former one, excepting as 
to the li^nd formerly reserved for the use of the 



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MT wbasmcEmom of csAXLsmois. 9$ 

c<dlege, and created it ^^qparate corporation with 
all the privilegjes incident to a collegiate establish* 
Hi^it, under the proyisiona of which it soryiyes to 
the present time. 

On ike 17th of October, 1794, was held the first 
commencement of the* Charleston College, when 
six young gentlemen were graduated with great 
promise of future usefulness* But in the case pf 
four of them, public hope was disappointed, for 
they died young. Of the two who suryived,* one 
diose the walks of priyate life, in which he was 
dktinguished for eyery quality that adorns it. 
The other was the late Bishop Bowen-^-^afterwards 
president of the coUege-^-and whose eleyation in 
the church was the best recognition of his worth. 
It stay not be nnintwestimg to know who were 
the distinguisked trustees presMit on tiiat occadon. 
Hon. Judge Bee, preddent ; iJ^ieral C. C. Pinck- 
ney, yice-piiesident ; D. BeSaussure, treasurer; 
Hon. Jacob Bead, Dp. J>. Ramsay, Chancellor. 
Mathews, Chancellor Hugh Rutledge, Judge Hey- 
ward. General Yanderhorst, and Jos^h Manigault, 
Esq. ^ I remember, that the principal, on that occa- 
sion, wore his Cambridge (England) gown and 
trencher. It is not«o much the object of tihieee 
remarks to giye a history of the college, as to show 
how steadily the original motiye was adhered to, 
*The late Mr. WilUtti iiiyward.^ 



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94 XT BttflNlBOmiCli OF Cm^WiMTOK. 

of fomiflking the means of a finisk^d kome ednea- 
tioQ — a moiiye which, howey^ much neglected 
afterwards, has since become recognized as inter- 
woven with the best hopes and inteo^ests of South 
Carolina. 

After the period last mentioned, the institution 
deelined, and at length laid aside its collegiate 
ckaracter, and became a classical academy, whidi 
from various causes, was at length ev^i abandoned 
The property of the college was swallowed by 
debt, and, finally, a great part of it sold by a de- 
cree of the Court of Equity. 

In Octob^, 1817, an effort was made by a few 
gentlemen to raise it from its fallen condition. In 
this they were so far fortunate as to obtain tke 
coalition of three fiouriahing acadraiys, with their 
respective teachcYi. A beginning thus &vour- 
able, formed an exoellelit baeos for further exertion. 
Circumstances oocurred to encourage their hopes 
.of success, when, at the iM:mual meeting in 1824, 
a regular course of college studies was resolved 
on^ and a faculty instituted. By a resolution of 
June, 1825, a subscription was op^ed in aid of 
tke project, and so liberally patronised by tke 
people of Charleston and tiie neighbouring coun* 
try,' that by the year 1830, the public beheld the 
collie edifice completed, and the qampus sur* 
rounded by a substantial brick wall. 



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HT mxunmcEistcm OF^OHiBUBTOK. 95 

The ehairman of the committee to which, xb 
1817, was referred, by the trnstees, the impottant 
subject of inqniriiig into ike most practicable plisi 
of promoting the objects of the institution is now 
present with us ; and the unanimous adoption of 
their report Was the first step taken in advancing 
the college to its present prosperous and flourish- 
ing condition : and, I'may here add, that the only 
members of the board of trustees of that day, now 
living, composed that committee— Mr. King, Judge 
Hugcr, and Mi*. Praser. ' 

The first commencement, under its new organi- 
zation, took place in October, 1826 ; and the use- 
ftdnesB of the institution has been since amply 
realised, in the high and honouifable position ci 
very many of its graduates. 

If comparison be the teiA of improvement^ we 
need no othw criterion for judging of the present 
ecscellent condition of ^e fire department of 
Charleston, than the recollection of wliat a fire 
wail in tormet times, when the alarm bell from 
St. Michaefs was a signal of general dismay and 
confusion — ^when the conflict of authority, the 
multitude of advisers, and the crowd of idle look- 
ers-on, impeding ex^ion, made afire an appalling 
occurrence. Time was when all the engines were 
public property, excepting one belonging to the 
Phoenix Insurance Company of London, which. 



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insured very largely here ; when wate^ was con- 
yeyed by buckets; from hand to hand, through 
long lanes — and when tiiere was no hose, or any 
other hydraulic improvement to aid in Ae pro- 
pelling of water.. 

The Vigilant Fire Obmpany, incorporated 1793, 
was the first volunteer association in Charleston, 
and is, therefore, the leader of that noble brigade 
which has since so often triumphed over the 
^lemy. " 

If any city on the continent could claim to be 
expert in the extinguishment <rf fires from dearly 
bought experience, it is ours. It would be scarce- 
ly too figurative to say that there are few buildings 
in Charleston that do not rest upon the ashes of 
fomler ones. .We need only ttuin* to the CTrly 
statute ;b6ok& of South-CaroHna, to see the fre- 
quency of the acta piassed^^for preventing and 
suppresi^ng fired in Charleston," and, idso, *^ for 
its better security from fire," to be convinced how 
tcxcihlj the subject had addressed itself to the 
attention of the assembly. 

After the last gireat fire of April, 1888, covering, 
im its ravages, an extent of one hundred and forfy- 
five acifes,* and whilst Ihe subject was fresh m 
iniifd, I tpok pams to look into our provincial and 
other old journals for information on the subject, 
*8o fUted in Gpyenx^ Batler^s proelamation. 



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aad haariiig a map of OharlattoQ before n^, I tnic^ 
with pens, in different colonic, the limits of all the 
great firep recorded in our hiatorjc, from the earli^ 
est, mentioned by Hewitt as occuf ring in. Nofv^em- 
ber, 1^40, down to that from which our city had 
them BO recently suffered, until the map, from the 
different colon's v(fied in delineating, them, pre- 
sented quite a checkered and motley appearance. 

The first fire I remember, happened when I wad 
s child. It commenced on the premises now occu- 
lted by SL Andrew's Hall, and extended ^restward 
to Friend-street, destroying in its course some fine 
mansions, and particularly one at ike corner where 
the Cathedral now stands, the garden of which 
reachizig to Queen-«treet, was afterwards hired by 
Placide. fos a VanxhalL Nor can I ever forget 
the consternation {HToduced by the burning of the 
old State House,, which happened during the ses- 
sion of the Legislature in February, 1788. 

l^e following notice of it is. extracted .from the 
Giizette, of Thursday, February 7, 1788 : 

^\0n Tuesday evening a fire was discovered in 
tlie Senate-room of the State House, which, in a 
few hours, rqduced that building to a pile of ruins. 
The conflagration commenced by the intense heat 
of the fire; catching a p4rt of the wainscoating, 
which projected over the bricks, Above the fira 
place. Several persons rushed into the room, and 
13 



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99 MT RUOKIBOSKQB&OF OBLiBLXaTON^ 

(k>uld have easily extinguished the fire if they had 
been readily supplied with watei^ But after this 
Beoeeisary repellant arrived, in sufficient quantity, 
the flames ascended into the upper story, and there 
fo]?med a crown of rain over the whole building. 
Happily, for the adjacent houses, tiiere Was a very 
light wind, until nearly the fi»y of the fire was 
spent. The building was begun in 1753. The 
first stone thereof was laid by J. Glen, Esq., then 
Governor, on the 22nd June, attended by the 
council, the general assembly, etc. The expense 
amounted to £59,127 staling. 

*'The house met yesterday, at the City Tavern, 
and after going through some bnnnesa, the Intend- 
ant informed the house that they mighty if they 
thought prof^r, sit in the City Exchange. After 
a little investigation as to its safety, and on hear- 
ing that several opulent gentleman an Qiarleston 
had authorized the chief magistrate to assure the 
house that the State House could be repaired by 
cheerful contribution of the inhabitants of this city, 
it was unanimously agreed that if his honour, the 
intendant, reported that the City Hall could afford 
them convenience for meeting, they should adjourn 
there ; and that a large oomniittee be appointed^ 
. to consider and report the most eligible nueans of 
repairing the State House*" 

Previously to this time the Legislature had 



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mr BBMnciBCEmES bw oharlestok. ' $9 

altraysjnet in Charleston, whi<5li vas the seat of 
government.* But afterwards its seJssions were 
held in Columbia. Not only the acts of l786-'89, 
but the Constitution of 1790, providing for its re- 
moval to that place. I may here introduce an 
interesting fact, mentioned to me by the late vene- 
rable Mr. John Julius Pringle. He pointed out to 
me; one day, an old brick house, on the west side 
of Church-street, two doors south of the corner of 
Tradd-street, and informed me that the old Pro- 
vincial Assembly had been formerly accommodated 
there by Mr. Miles Brewton, who residence it' was 
at that time. He also mentioned that the body 
then consisted of about forljy or forty-five mem* 
belrs. I do not remember the old State House, 
but r kpow that the present one was built upon 
its foundation, and differed but little from it in 
its ' interior arrangements, retaining the old walls 
and door-ways. It was originally, as I understand, 
a two story building. The Charleston Library 
Society having liberally subscribed towards the 
rebuilding of it were allowed to occupy a portion 
of the third story for their books, and continued 
♦o do so until they purchased the house which 
they now occupy. Another part, on the same 
floor, was occupied by the Library of the Medical 

'''The only exception was when they met at Jacksonborough, in 
January, 1782. 



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100 inr *BiMiia80Eir(»!8 m* oEAMsm^om 

Society. I Imye alwajs heard ikxA the plan of the 
new buUding ^b» fturniflhed hy Judge William 
Drayton, father of theJate Colonel -William Dray- 
ton. Bnt, without Iqsiawing whetein it waa supe^ 
rier to the former one, excepting by the addition 
of the attic, I must say that I have always thought 
it one pi the best proportioned buildings in Charlesr 
ton, and wanting only a back-ground to dii^lay 
its architectural beauty to proper adyantage. 

I had, for a long time, in my port.folro, an origi- 
nal draft of the present building, with all its 
measurements set down, which differed only in a 
parapet wall from that which was adopted. 

Having thus incidentally mentioned the name 
of Judge William Drayton, it recalls one of the 
earliest reminiscence* of my life. He lived in 
Tradd-street, in the house flow owned by Judge 
Frost, and was a liear nei^bour of my futher. * I 
was playing,^ with other children, on a green op- 
posite to it, when, to ihy great terror, I was sent 
for to draw a jury, which I only remember from 
taking some pieces of paper out of a box. Look- 
ing lately over a file of old Gazettes, in that of 
March 16, 1790, it is mentioned that the United 
Statear Diirtrict Court met yesterday at the Cham- 
hers of Judge W. D., and there being no business 
for the Court, it adjourned to meet in June next. 



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Mor immfmmmmmi op tcgABMwoy^ 101 

Tbe Judge was then laboariBg niider an attackof 
gout. » 

Oppoidte to the State house stood the old Guard 
house, in the upper story of which was kept the 
offices of Secretary of State, Register of Mesne 
Conveyance, and Surveyor General. It was a* two 
story building, on a foundation « little raised. It 
faced north on BrQ|d.H3treet, with an imposing 
pedim^at, supported, by four fiiassy pillars of the 
Tuscan order. But they, projeaoting over the 
pavement -and obstructing the passive, were taken 
down. A fine' cornice, or entablature, that sur- 
rounded th^ building, was* also removed, and 
another story added, which made it a very ^ape- 
less structure. But it accommodated sundry 
public offic^^, which was paramount to all oon* 
sideratioHS of tastte. The whole building wag 
afterwards taken down, and the present one erect- 
ed in its places The offic.e& and.records were then 
removed to the fire-proof building in Chalmers- 
street. To the south of the building, and on pavt 
of the lot covered by the present Guard houM^ 
was the laboratory 6f the eld artillery, opening 
into Meetlng-strwt 

An interesting recollection of my yojanger dayh 
is the celebration of the Fourth of July in Charles- 
ton, when its associations were recent and vivid, 
and but One sentiineiit pervaded our entire popu- 



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102 nr BnaNiMeiiCBS .Of okablb8tow. 

lalion. Witibont referring to its military display, 
and other modes of popular demonstration, which 
continue yery little changed to the presentrtime, 

<< Festosque losus, et liceniiam ytdgi," 

I "Wotdd merely mention the religious and intel- 
lectual ceremonies with whichrit was obseryed. 

It was much to the credit of the people of 
Charleston, that the patriotic societies which met 
originally to celebrate the day, assCTibled, as it 
was meet for them to do, in places of worship, 
fDr prayer and thanksgiving; Their orations were 
strictly commemorative of the leading events of 
tiie revolution, and were both delivered and 
listened to with becoming enthusiasm. . St. Philip's 
aad St Michael'Sj being the largest churches, were 
gemerally chosen for^he occasion, and were always 
densely crowded. The clesgymen who officiated 
respectively, had been bpth revolutionary patriots, 
aiiid wore the badge of the Cincinnati with their 
canoi^calfi. It was quite interesting to behold 
the originjtl members of the Cincinnati on those 
occasions, most of them dressed in their revolu- 
tionary uniforms. Amoiigst them were officers 
who had been with Washington at Trenton, at 
Valley Borge, Germantown, Brandy wine, at.Mon* 
mouth, and at Yorktown — then, there was the 
gallant Moultrie, durround^d/by many of the 



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HY meiEHmOBKCBS Or OBABLMTOir. li^ 

officers who had been with him oa the 28th June, 
1776, and also Colonel Washington, distinguished 
at Guilford, Cowpens imd Eutaw. 

Then amongst this honoured group were to be 
seen those gentlemen, whose handwritings had 
bound South Carolina to the compact of independ* 
ence, for Governor Edward Rutledge and Judge 
HejTWFard jiv-ere then hoik alive. 

But thfe anniversary, once so interesting, has 
become quite a different thing. All ^ese vene- 
rable characters have passed away from amongst 
men,'aiMl sixty eventAil y^a*s have elapsed to 
abate the enthusiasm of ^e jubilee., > New inte- 
rests have sprung up ; new things have takeo the 
place of old ones^ and though the day is still hon- 
oured, its orators indulge in politicsd harangues, 
bearing rather upon the present than the pastj and 
too often, in party vituperation. K, however, the 
enthusiasm with which the day was formerly 
greeted is lessened, there is one good result, 
which is, that its festivities, which used to be 
boisterous and bacchanaUan, are now temperate 
and better regulated. 

A word now about the ladies, for these remini- 
cences might well be deemed deficient if some- 
thing was not said of theuL Indeed, it would be 
ungrateful in us to lay any claim to the commenda- 
tions bestowed on Charleston society^ without 



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4 



ld4 «¥ mOHieCWCSfl of <»AIlLlgTOK. 

^taramg to them as the chief source of all its 
r^nement. 

' But let us, in considering the. important rank 
which women h^d in mad^m society, first ^efly 
review their situation in the most civilized coun- 
tries af the ancient world. Of -this, a Roman.lady 
wfflbe a fair instance. History mfbrms us that 
die bestowed great' care u]pon the ornament^ of 
hw person — ^that her head-dress was a pyramid 
of curls, natwal and artificial, arranged in the 
exactest i^rder, and adorned with precious stones 
and fillets of varioiw colours ; that her ear-rings 
and necklaces of gold were set with richest gems; 
tla^atshe painted and tised expei^iv^ cosmetics; 
but we hear very. little of the coltivaiion of her 
mind, or the refinement of her maimers. . ^ 
- Indeed, it is not probable that one in a hundred 
pf them <?ould read, far their chief accomplish- 
ment was spinning or weaving^ and as to llieir 
saeial rank, we may form tome idea of it, when 
we are told that Roman women were forbidden 
Ihoi^right of inheritance. 

But what more need we say, than that their 
-most magnificent houses wanted thiat focus of 
social and ^personal comfort, a fire-side; and that 
they w»e strangers to the arttractions of the Uor 
iffikh^ that ^eat engine, by whose well-regu^ted 
^team, 'more has bec^ done for t^e humanizing of 



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MY RBMimaD£aiCS& Km OBARLfifi^Oif^ 1^ 

modem society,. Ijiau all the contrivaiicje0 of sH^ 
or than all the ceremonious cqurtesies of chivalry. 
Indeed, what production of the earth, not even 
excepting ow beloved Qoaaypifm^ l»as been more 
profuse and ^miversal in its blessings than the 
Tea-plant? 

How, often hove I reflected upon the unfortu- 
nate privation to which oux Mothers of the Revo- 
lution were subjected^ by that odious tax which 
abridged tl^ir evening enjoymenjt, and banished 
&om &eir parlours that little household altar, 
whp^e inpe^se and libations were. so grateful and 
exhimrating. But this was their first lesson in 
that course, of suffering which^ as they becamei 
Isunilia^ized with it, exhibited their powers of 
endurance, and that public spirit which made the 
luttne of a Caix>liea matron one of honour and 
distinction. 

, I li^member when a teartable was the centre of 
polished intercourse, and the great attraction of 
el^ant society in Charleston. Its reuniom were 
not only a bond of dome&ti^ hannony, but often 
drew neighbours together. It was a comiuon 
castom for ladies to send their compliments to n 
friend early after breakfast, saying, that if not 
engaged in the evening, they would take tea with 
her. An agreeable party was thus often unex- 
pectedly made up, and, however large, it did not 
U 



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IOC MT imMtmrnsmmB or cauja^Bf oh^ 

exempt the lady of the house irom performing 
the dutim of the tea-table, which, in those times,^ 
with its rich display of china and plate, was an 
object of no OTdtnany interest in a drawing-room, 
and in every re«peot worthy of the fair hands 
that dispensed its honours. 

In regard to their intellectufd improvement, the 
ladies who grew np with the Revoluticm, laboured^ 
as we may well conceive, uilder great disadvantia- 
ges. Their education was interrupted, and their 
personal accomplishments necessarily much neg- 
leeted. But the books placed in their hands 
were judiciously selected firom tibie shelves of the 
^domestic libriuy , raid bettf^ calculated to improve 
their minds thim those, trashy novels and romances 
which afterwards became so popular. 
* I remember that l^e Frendi Revolution and 
that of St. Domingo, occasioned the removal of 
many individuals to our commnnity, who ta^ht 
dancing, music a^d drawing, and other a(xx>m- 
plishments, which, before that time, eould only 
have been obtained abroad. It was computed, in 
the year 1807, that there w^e in our eity thirte^i 
•teachers of the several branches of finale accoan* 
plishmaits, all of whom were French. 

I cannot remember the days (or rather nights) 
of hoops and brocades, of laced ruffles and high- 
heeled shoes, which gave such courtly appearance 



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to ouf bail-rooms ; nor when a gefitleman would 
solicit, bjr aote, the honour of a lady's hand for a 
minuet, a week in advance. But such things wet%^ 
as I often have heard from the parties themselves. 
But ene thing I do remember, whidi is, that tbt 
ladies did "not give up gay society a& early «sti:£^ 
do now. The matrcmly appearanc^e of the elder 
pOTtion of thei]^ gave dignity to Ae' gayest ash 
semblies oi the youngs "vrtthout feeing any restraint 
upon their enjoyment. 

I remember once, as a row of them sat togethCT 
in a ball-room, hearing tt^m compared to a Roman 
Senate, *and I have often since thought how- stern- 
ly they would have frowned upon those grace- 
le£» aad exceptionable dances, which the corrupt 
fashions of Euifope are recommending to. our imi- 
tation.* 

Dancing is now exclusively the amusement of 
the young.- But not so formerly. An elderly 
lady once told me**that si, the first public assembly 
she attended after the war, the ball was opened 
by a minuet between Gpeneral Moultrie, in fuH 
regimeiitals, and a lady of suitable years, whom 
he afterwards married. At that time the General, 
could not have been less than fifty-three years of 
age ; and I remember when it was very common 

♦Queen Victoria hat prohibited the polka beii^ danced in her 
presence. 



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I# mr' BIMIKISOEir^BS 07 CHABLSSTOir. 

for tK>th married gentiemen and married ladies to 
enter much into the spirit of a country dance. 
'Mtm eependant^ tout cela est changei 

. Fashion is that nnwritten law which regulat6e 
ihe intercourse of society. Those who are -inde- 
pendent in every thing else, yield it almost ad 
unconditional obedience. Many of its require- 
ments, which, if abruptly imposed, would produce 
dismay, are yet insinuated by such artful advances, 
that we are won to submission before we are awajre 
of it. What greater proof of this could there be 
than the success with Which it approaches and 
triumphs over the moe* fastidious prejudicea 6f 
the ladies— compelling^ them to do, at one time, 
what they would promptly refns^ to do i^ aaother. 
I have seen instances of display in our ball-rooms, 
in the days of low-necked dresses and sleeveless 
robes, which would shock a young lady of the 
present- time; and yet, what would have been 
thought then of a young lady who would have 
dared to exhibit in public, as an appendage to 
her person, such a monstrosity of form as that 
produced by a well-stuffed bustle, attracting all 
eyes to a point where they could not meet the 
reproof of her own. 

In no part of female fashions do I remember a 
greater variety, than in the head-dress. When I 
was a boy, the hair was suffered to hang over the 



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m 

lAonlders in all its matiye Ungth and profbfiion^ 
and the longest tresses w^e aiwajs most a^nired' 
After that, and until the yeax 1800, no lady ever 
appeared In grand costame, .withovt first submit- 
ting to the operations of the hair^^dr^sser ; and 
those artists were in such demand upon theocctr 
sion of a great public ball, that they had to com- 
mence their important labours the day before it^ 
and it was not uncommon for a lady, after hkring 
had her hair frizzed up into a grand coifUrej to 
pass a whole night in an upright position, for few 
of disturbing it. In additton to this, powder; 
either brown or whiter av best suited the eom- 
plexion,* was used, and patdies, also, which history 
informs us, was a very tommon cuktom amongvC 
tiie sex. 

But in 1800, wigs aad turbans became fashioiH 
able, and ware thought just as essential to beauty 
as any style of dress that had preceded tiiem. 
Neithw brown, nor black, nor aubt^ nor flaxen 
Ibcks could escape the inexorable decree of fashion. . 
And the scissors, like those of the fates, triumphed 
over aU their beauty and luxuriancy. The custom 
af wearing wigs is^ supposed to have proceeded 
from the quantities of beautiful hair cut off from 
the victims of the guillotine. " Hair became even 
aA article of commerce. A" merchant in extensive 
business once tdd me, thi^t during the prevalence 



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IM XT nxnwc»9€H98 or cmAsiumos: 

• 
of tiMt fitthioyi, he kad r^eeired a eoiudgnmeiit of 
a case or tmok of beaatifiil trwMiB, that had come 
from. France. 

To wigs s«cce^ed' the gracefid aud dasi»e 
ckMrtmne of the ^reek head-dress, as tiaitsmitted 
in their statuary { and this fiishios, so si9]|>le and 
beautiful, and withal so nigral, has been pre- 
serve with but little change fo the present daj^ 
^^ JBsto perpetua.^' 

One tribute is due td the fairer portion of ofn: 
commanity, far exceeding aU admiration of their 
eKtema) ^"aees andaKSCompHshments, and that is 
oUdmcd by their inwMrd krreliness and purity. 
In this respect ike ladks of Charleston need not 
fear a comparisrai with those of any oommunity 
in the world. For whether in domestic ^retire- 
Hiant, or in the Tortex of fmhionable friroHty, 
l^ey bear with them a^noral^ rectitude, an innate 
Mtf^^espeot, the very amulet of virtue, which 
j^istly ranks them amongst the loveliest of their 
sex, ' * . ■ . 

Ik few of my recollections of the past i^ there 
a more striking^ contrast with the present, than in 
the intellectual condition of our females. I hare 
before alluded.to the great disadvantages under 
which they formerly laboured, and it was very 
loQg after the peace before this di£Giculty ceased. 
But I win venture to assert, that in nothing is the 



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MY MQI^SKrBBOES W .CWLUmOK. Ill 

ftd^*iuieeiiie&t of ci^ilmtioBr ia oiSr emintry mora 
strikingly exhibited, wi^in the last tw^entj years^ 
than in the enlarged i&eans of female edneatioa* 
B^ore'that peric^, there was Bot only a want of 
competent instructors, but of aH the faeilitiei 
in^ortairt to ti^ success of tlieir' labours. Bnt 
now, every btanch of Hterary knowledge not only 
hm its prop^ elemeatlEUfy books^ but such as are 
suited to every grade of adyMMement. And it 
eould net but hare be^i graliiying to us all, to 
lesuTn flipm the essay deli^^ered at our last meeting, 
by one competent to jtidge^, that the demand for 
school-books forms a very consideraUeitem intiie 
success of the book trade in the Unitod States* 

.Another important fact in connection with this ^ 
stfbject, is the l^ghly improved character and 
abilities of our teachers r kai it is an omen from 
which moch good may be augured, that th^,. 
whether joale or female, are now properly estimar 
ted, as benefactors to seciety of the highest cnrder. 
Far be it from me to condemn any prc^>w meMM 
of improving their minds. But ^^ Female Inrti- 
^te8,"and '' Female Collegiate Establishments,'' 
are now, not uncommon terms as applied to semi- 
nanes for young ladies^ and the branches of 
education professed to be taught thetein, are 
equally boastful, in my humble opinion, and un- 
suitable. The object of their instruction ought 



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not to be te make IbMWi l^wrnad^ but it should be 
directed to the .developfia^it of the moral and ii^^ 
tdlectoal quidities suitable to the becoming dk- 
fkeficge of the peculiar duties designed fer them 
by nature.; to their position ia society, aad their 
relations in domeitic life. Poetry aad prose are 
not more different in their resfM^ctire scope jmd 
province^ than the inte^eetual character of -men 
and womeji^ I may almost say that the minds of 
each are seyerally^pourtrayed in them. Eadi has 
its proper theatre of ^ifiplay and exercise. It is 
the province of one to refine, ^o adorn, to-tran- 
^uilize, and to.make 

" Well ordered liome man's Wt delight," 

whilst the scene of action for the other is as wide 
lis tixe world itself, with all its ridsis, and danger^, 
and rivabries, aad the talmits and ^EiergiiBs re- 
quired for it, of a totally, differenjb chattcter.*' It 
is the harmoRiotts co*Qperajlion of different moral 
elements that promote and accomplish the great 
enda of life. The head and the obverse of the 
coin must be taken together, to stamp its valuei 
and give it currency. 

I cannot, therefore, but think thi^ the time speiU 
in teaching young ladies, the dead languages,;logic, 
algebra* etc., might be better appropriated in im- 
parting to them a correct knowledge of their 



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MT BBIUNISCSNC^ OF OHARLSSTOil^ 113 

nalive tongxie, in familkrizipg them witii the best 
models of English style, and in enlarging their 
Bonds with a knowledge of history and geogra? 
phy, and of those practical views of the nnchang- 
ing character of human nature, exhibited in the 
essays of Addison and Johnson, Goldsmith and 
Dr. Hawkesworth. The ambition of literary dis- 
tinction is now very prevalent with the sex. But, 
without any disposition to undervalue their claims, 
whenever I hear of afemale traveller clwnbering 
the Alps, or describing the classic grounds of 
Greece and Italy, publishing her musings in the 
holy land, or revealing the mysteries of the ha* 
rem, I cannot but think iksi for every success 
obtained some appropriate duty has been neg- 
lected. 

' I except l^e poetess, for hers are the effusions 
of the heart and the imagination, prompted by 
nature and uttered because they are irrepressible. 
Many fmiales travel for the purpose of writing 
aind publishing books — ^whilst Mrs. Heman's, Mrs. 
Osgood's and Mra Sigoumey's volumes may be 
regarded as grateful offerings to the muse in re- 
turn for her inspiration. 

Having brought down my recollections of 

Charleston through a long distance of time to the 

present, it is gratifying to reflect on the contrast 

she now exhibits with what she did at the time 

15 



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114 Mr RIMINISC»BNCE3 OF CEABUSffSOYL 

from which we sat out We have before alluded 
to the causes ^of the adversity under which she 
then laboured; but, during the interval from that 
period to the present, her advancement, however 
tar^.and flud^tuating at first, has been greater 
than could have justified the most sanguine antici- 
pations. To be the emporium of an internal trade, 
bounded by the limits of our State, was amongst 
her highes|; hopes ; but, since the introduction and 
application of steam, her prospects have a fietr 
more extended scope. Well might she be proud 
of the lact, that out of her immediate precincts 
issued the first locomotive tried in the United 
States; and, also, the first railroad of one hundred 
continuous miles ever travelled over in the world, 
and the first, also, that ever transported the nwl. 
That road, connecting her with Hamburg, in this 
State, was completed about the year 1833,.* and 
has ever since continued in most success&l opera- 
tion — ^receiving in its course, through one main 
branch, the productions of almost every part of 
our State. Amply has she resdiaed the advanta- 

"'The South Carolina Rail-Road was finished in October, 1833. Its 
charter was obtuned in 1827, and books of subscription opened on 
the ITlh March, 1828. In May^ 1828, it was organized. From 
Charleston to Braochville, sixty-two mites was opened for public travel 
on ibe 7th November, 18|32, bdng one year, ten months and twenty-one 
days from its commencement, and in October, 1833, the cars ran to 
Hamburg, one hundred and thirty-six mfles. 



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MY mSMIHISOEHOES OF OHAlOiBfinON. 115 

ges to which her enterprize entitles her; for 
to the agency of steam is mainly attributable the 
prosperity she now enjoys. Since its introduction 
her local manufactures have been improved, her 
business relations have been extended, her edtica*- 
tional, •professional and charitable institutions en- 
larged, her municipal structures repaired or rebuilt 
with great architectural beauty, new streets opened 
and former ones improved, her limits enlarged, 
her banking and commercial capital increaaed, 
new business institutions established. Nor are 
these the only evidence of her advancement. She 
is now boldly involving herself in the fate and 
fortunes of gigantic enterprizes, by lavish subwjrip- 
tions to distant railroads, in the sanguine hope 
that, when completed, they will increase her com- 
merce with the neighbouring States, and invite to 
this market the agricultural and other productions 
of a most fertile and thriving country. 

The writer of these pages will, in all probability, 
have passed away before such golden visions -can 
be realized, which, however, he ardently wishes 
they may ; but yet he may be allowed to express 
the hope that the youngest man of those who are 
called ''Young Charleston," may live to see our 
beloved city relieved from the ponderous liabili- 
ties to which these subscriptions are subjecting 
her. 



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116 HT BlimilBOBlKaBS OF GQURUprOH. 

The pnblic impravements and embellishmente 
which our oity has undergone, in my recoliectioii, 
are chiefly of reoent date, and need no deacrip- 
tion ; but Ihe opening of the City Square, which 
took place about the year 1.818, may be regarded 
as their era. The buildings displaced by it were 
mean , and densely crowded ; and what is now a 
beautiful walk of shade trees, was once a reproach 
to the city as well on the score of morals as of 
taste. The opening of Chalmers-street, (formerly 
Ber^ford^s alley) which was made about the same 
time, and which was in some manner connected 
with it, occasioned the removal of many squalid 
hovds, in keeping with its former sobriquet Mu- 
latto alley. These improvements, which were 
attended with considerable expense to the city, 
made their popularity very questionable at first ; 
' but all objection soon passed away, and every 
citizen acknowledged their value. 

The number of our hotek and the splendour of 
their accommodations shew that Charleston comes 
in for her full share of that advancement which 
the inareased facilities of travel are extending 
over all the large cities of our continent. It must 
be within the recollection of many that formerly, 
on public occasions, which collected people from 
all parts of the State, after over-crowding the 
boarding houses, many were obliged to resort to 



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MT RllflKBKIENCffia OP OSABLlSrON. 117 

steamboats for accommodation. I tkink I can 
safely say that I remember the time when there 
was no such thing as a hotel in tiie city. There 
were several taverns in King-street. I remember 
Martin's tavern, on the east side, n^u-ly opposite 
to where the Victoria now stands, (afterwards 
burnt down) ; another, on the east side also, near 
Broad^street, whose masonry still shews where 
there was a large arch-way for carriages, etc., to 
drive through. Over the pavement, opposite thig 
arch*^way, hung a swinging sign, representing 
Washington at full length.* Then there was 
Harris' tavern, on the Bay, (now the French Coffee 
house), the City tavern, and William's Coffee-house 
in Tradd-street, comer of Bedon's alley. Corbett's 
''thatched tavern" stood in Meeting-slareet, mid- 
way between Chalmers and Broad, on land now 
occupied by the City Square. There were also 
several private boarding houses, of which I re- 
member a very reputable one in Elliott-street, at 
the comer of Gadsden's alley. (Elliott-street was 
formerly the great dry goods mart of Charleston.) 
But such magnificent hotels as the Pavilion, the 
Victoria, the Charleston hotel, the Mills house, 
and others that might be named, never entered (I • 

*I havt bwurd that Htm nga wu ymry mmah abnaed bf a rabble da- 
rial; the exciting timea of Jay'a treaty. 



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118 ICY BIMINISCnSMC^^ OF OHABLBSTON. 

weien) into the most saaguine expectations of our 
worUiy predecessora 

In concluding these reminiscaices, I am im- 
pressed by one reflection, which is, that although 
necessarily unconnected in time, and desultory in 
fact, they all serve to show ike mutability of all 
thii^ that surround us. To thia conclusion, in- 
deed, every retrospect of the past must inevitably 
lead. But it is particularly striking in a country 
and age so remarkable as ours are for activity and 
progress. We have seen hov little in the exter- 
nal aspect of our city remans of what it was a 
half century ago. Men have been introduced to 
our notice, in the fullness of their reputation, 
whose names are now only to be found inscribed 
on the maxble that covers them, or in the page 
that fecorifc their public virtues and services. 

We have described buildings, no doubt in their 
day, intended for durability, but which have since 
either been destroyed by fire, or replaced by 
others better adapted to modern wants. We have 
even«een society itself changing its habits in con- 
formity with a new system of policy and govern- 
ment. 

Nor is this alL I observe old family mansions 
now occupied, not even by the descendants of 
those whon^ I remember as their former inhabi- 
tants. In my walks I look in vain for the fa- 



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HY BBKIKISCENCES OF OHARLESTOK. 119 

miliar faces that used to gladden me. In the 
early part of these reminiscences, I mentioned my 
having been a pupil of the Charleston College, in 
1792. Of all that I remember there, in healthful, 
happy boyhood, I know of but four survivors — 
venerable gentlemen, now living in the knowledge 
and respect of our whole community. These four 
are — Governor Bennett, Judge Huger, Dr. Joseph 
Johnson, and Daniel Huger, Esq. 

May all who have the patience to read these, 
pages to the end, call to mind that they, as well 
as every thing orouBd them, are the subject of 
change, and that they too, how soon they know 
not, must pass away, and live only in remembrance. 



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