S.C. Encyclopedia

HISTORY:  Old Exchange Building, Charleston

HISTORY:  Old Exchange Building, Charleston

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  One of the grandest and most significant public buildings constructed in colonial America, the Exchange and Customs House at 122 East Bay was designed by William Rigby Naylor in 1766 and constructed by Peter and John Adam Horlbeck between 1767 and 1771 on the site of the earlier “Court of Guard” and Half-Moon Battery. The original design included a cellar, a first-floor open arcaded piazza, and a large second-floor assembly room. The roof was hipped with a parapet and lead-coated cupola.

Etching of colonists at Fort Moultrie in 1776.

HISTORY:  Fort Moultrie

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  Fort Moultrie  was the site of the June 28, 1776, American victory in the Revolutionary War. Fort Moultrie I, the Revolutionary War–era fort, was replaced in 1798 by Fort Moultrie II, which was followed in 1809 by Fort Moultrie III, which served as a military post until 1947.

MYSTERY PHOTO:  This one should be easy

MYSTERY PHOTO:  This one should be easy

After a tough couple of weeks of Mystery Photos, we hope this photo will be a little easier.  Where is it?  What is it?  Send your best guess to:  feedback@statehousereport.com and make sure to include your name and hometown.  If possible, write “Mystery Photo” in the subject line.

HISTORY: Joel Roberts Poinsett and the poinsettia

HISTORY: Joel Roberts Poinsett and the poinsettia

S.C. Encyclopedia | Joel Roberts Poinsett was born on March 2, 1779, in Charleston, son of the Huguenot physician Elisha Poinsett and his English wife, Ann Roberts. As a child, Poinsett spent six years in England, where his formal education probably began.

Unitarian Church in Charleston, S.C.

HISTORY: Unitarians in South Carolina

S.C. Encyclopedia | Unitarians in South Carolina boast a legacy of professional distinction and influence disproportionate to their size and numbers. Throughout the nineteenth century, Unitarians filled the top ranks of the growing urban professional classes and forged a respectable place for rational Christianity alongside an increasing evangelical culture.


HISTORY: Civil war diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut

S.C. Encyclopedia | Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut was born on her father’s plantation near Stateburg in Sumter District on March 31, 1823. She is recognized as “the preeminent writer of the Confederacy” because of the diary she kept during the Civil War and revised for publication in the early 1880s. No other southern writer of her era possessed the combination of literary cultivation, psychological perception, opportunity to observe closely the upper echelons of the Confederacy, and a willingness to write candidly about people, events, and issues—including slavery. The resulting publication, much revised and more appropriately labeled a memoir, secured her place in southern literary history.


HISTORY: Pierce Butler, signer of the U.S. Constitution

S.C. Encyclopedia | Pierce Butler was born on July 11, 1744, in county Carlow, Ireland, the son of Henrietta Percy and Sir Richard Butler, fifth baronet of Cloughgrenan. His parents purchased a commission for Butler in the British army, and he rose through the ranks quickly. In 1766 he attained the rank of major, and in 1768 Butler’s regiment (the Twenty-ninth Foot) was transferred to South Carolina. Butler gained entry into Charleston society through his marriage to Mary Middleton on January 10, 1771. When his regiment returned to England in 1773, Butler sold his commission and remained in Charleston.


HISTORY: Maria Martin, artist and naturalist

S.C. Encyclopedia | Maria Martin was born in Charleston on July 6, 1796, the youngest daughter of John Jacob Martin and Rebecca Solars. While no records of her formal schooling have been discovered, it is known that she was well read in literature, French, and German and possessed an interest in music, art, and natural science. By 1827 she and her mother had moved into the home of her brother-in-law, the Lutheran minister and naturalist John Bachman, and her ailing sister Harriet. Martin helped to raise and educate her sister’s fourteen children and manage the household.