Charleston, SC

City and port of entry. Situated on a point of land between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, at their junction, 6 miles inland from the Atlantic coast. Population in 1790, 16,359; 1800, 18,712; 1810, 24,711; 1820, 24,780; 1830, 30,289; 1840, 29,261; 1850, 43,000,... Charleston is the largest city on the Atlantic coast south of Baltimore. (Gazetteer of the United States of America, 1854)

Place Unit Type
City or Town
Containing Unit
Date Type
- A devastating fire destroys a third of Charleston, South Carolina destroying hundreds of historic buildings Crime/Disasters
A U.S. warship intercepts and boards a British mail ship off Cuba to arrest Confederate diplomats US/the World
African-American slave defects with his Confederate dispatch boat from Charleston Harbor Battles/Soldiers
An exchange of wounded prisoners takes place off Fort Wagner in Charleston Harbor under a flag of truce Battles/Soldiers
An experimental Confederate submarine sinks in Charleston Harbor during a training accident, killing five Battles/Soldiers
An experimental Confederate submarine sinks in Charleston Harbor during a training accident, killing five Battles/Soldiers
British captain and two of his men recapture the Emily St. Pierre from its U.S. Navy prize crew US/the World
British ship Emily St. Pierre seized off the South Carolina coast and sent as a prize to Philadelphia US/the World
Captured American slaveship arrives in Charleston Harbor with 318 slaves aboard Legal/Political
Chartered steamship sails from New York City bound for Charleston and the resupply of Fort Sumter Battles/Soldiers
Commander of federal forces in Charleston, South Carolina asks again for area forts to be manned Battles/Soldiers
Commander of the U.S. Revenue cutter in Charleston Harbor turns his vessel over to South Carolina Battles/Soldiers
Confederate diplomats James Mason and John Slidell sail from Havana for Europe aboard a British ship US/the World
Confederate diplomats James Mason and John Slidell slip through the Charleston blockade bound for Europe US/the World
Confederate privateer encounters the loaded Boston schooner "Enchantress" and takes her as a prize Battles/Soldiers
Crowd waiting outside the Charleston Mercury office cheer at news of Abraham Lincoln’s victory Campaigns/Elections
- Democrats hold their National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina Campaigns/Elections
Earthquake felt in Charleston, South Carolina but little damage results Crime/Disasters
Earthquake shakes Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio Crime/Disasters
Eighty-thousand bushels of rice burn in a Charleston, South Carolina fire Crime/Disasters
Federal resupply ship for Fort Sumter fired on outside Charleston Harbor and forced to retreat Battles/Soldiers
Governor Pickens declares South Carolina waters, especially Charleston Harbor, off-limits to U. S. vessels Lawmaking/Litigating
Illinois Democrats choose their Charleston delegates and back Stephen Douglas as the nominee Campaigns/Elections
In Charleston Harbor, a night attack by Union small boats on Battery Gregg is easily repulsed
In Charleston Harbor, the C.S.S. H.L. Hunley attacks and sinks the first ship ever lost to a submarine Battles/Soldiers
In Charleston, Major Anderson is ordered not to provoke but also to resist attack Battles/Soldiers
In Charleston, South Carolina militia seize the federal arsenal and begin issuing arms and ammunition Battles/Soldiers
In Charleston, South Carolina U.S. District Court Judge A.G. Magrath dissolves his federal court and resigns Lawmaking/Litigating
In Charleston, South Carolina, all charges in the Wanderer slave ship case are dropped Lawmaking/Litigating
In Charleston, South Carolina, Charles Lamar and others are fined $250 for obstructing federal justice Lawmaking/Litigating
- In Charleston, South Carolina, sympathizers briefly rescue indicted slave ship officer from jail Slavery/Abolition
In Charleston, South Carolina, the city's elite militia unit offers its services to the state Battles/Soldiers
In Charleston, South Carolina, the Democratic National Convention votes to adjourn and meet in Baltimore Campaigns/Elections
In Charleston, South Carolina, whites and blacks clash on the streets Crime/Disasters
- In Charleston, the "Colored People's Convention of the State of South Carolina" is meeting Campaigns/Elections
In South Carolina, a Confederate steamer easily avoids the U.S. Navy and enters the blockaded port of Charleston Battles/Soldiers
In South Carolina, an underwater telegraph cable in Charleston Harbor links Forts Moultrie and Sumter Science/Technology
In southern England, the Confederate commerce raider Nashville docks for repairs in the port of Southampton US/the World
In the Atlantic, the Confederate commerce raider Nashville burns the U.S. merchantman Harvey Birch Battles/Soldiers
James Gadsden dies in Charleston, South Carolina Personal
Jefferson Davis appoints Pierre G.T. Beauregard commanding general of the troops around Fort Sumter Battles/Soldiers
Kentuckian Major Robert Anderson assigned to take command of Fort Moultrie in South Carolina Battles/Soldiers
Off the coast of South Carolina, a steam packet burns and sinks, killing at least eight people Crime/Disasters
Off the South Carolina coast, the only survivor of the wreck of a lightship has a fortunate escape from death Crime/Disasters
Porter on steamship sentenced to death in South Carolina for helping escaped slave stow away Slavery/Abolition
President Lincoln gives South Carolina notice that he intends to resupply Fort Sumter Battles/Soldiers
Private Edward Galloway, USA, injured at Fort Sumter, dies in hospital in Charleston, South Carolina Battles/Soldiers
Prominent United States Navy hero Samuel Francis Du Pont dies suddenly in Philadelphia Personal
Purser of slave ship Wanderer goes on trial in Charleston, South Carolina for piracy Lawmaking/Litigating
Secretary of Navy orders U.S.S. Brooklyn to prepare to sail from Hampton Roads in Virginia Battles/Soldiers
South Carolina redefines treason, to be punished with "death without benefit of clergy" Lawmaking/Litigating
South Carolina secedes from the Union and declares itself "an independent commonweath" Lawmaking/Litigating
South Carolina seizes the U.S. Customs House and the U.S. Post Office buildings in Charleston Lawmaking/Litigating
South Carolina's Convention on secession moves to Charleston to avoid smallpox outbreak Lawmaking/Litigating
Southern journalist urges the South to reclaim the "Star-Spangled Banner" as a southern patriotic song Education/Culture
The "Stone Fleet" sets sail from New Bedford, Massachusetts Battles/Soldiers
The "Stone Fleet" sets sail from Port Royal, South Carolina for Charleston Harbor Battles/Soldiers
The 318 slaves from a captured American slave ship are landed at Castle Pinckney, in Charleston Harbor Legal/Political
The Charleston and Savannah Railroad begins service Business/Industry
The Confederate commerce raider Nashville runs the blockade at Charleston and heads for the North Atlantic Battles/Soldiers
The Emily St. Pierre, the British ship recaptured from its U.S. Navy prize crew, arrives in Liverpool US/the World
The experimental Confederate submarine, H.L. Hunley again sinks in Charleston Harbor during trials, drowning eight men Battles/Soldiers
The Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina declares a day of fasting Legal/Political
The New York steamship burns off Cape Hatteras and eleven aboard are killed. Crime/Disasters
The U.S. Navy sinks a second "stone fleet" to block another channel in Charleston Harbor Battles/Soldiers
- The U.S. Navy's "Stone Fleet" is deliberately sunk in the channels of Charleston Harbor Battles/Soldiers
The U.S.S. Niagara sails from Charleston for Liberia carrying the Africans freed from the slave ship Echo Slavery/Abolition
- Two South Carolina slaves stow away aboard Boston bound steamer; one escapes, one does not Slavery/Abolition
U.S. Navy captures American slaveship with 318 slaves aboard Slavery/Abolition
- U.S. Navy intercepts and destroys Confederate blockade-runner crossing the bar in Charleston Harbor Battles/Soldiers
U.S. Navy monitor besieging Charleston sinks in heavy weather and over thirty crewmen are lost Crime/Disasters
U.S. Navy prize caught running the Charleston blockade sinks off North Carolina on its way to Boston Crime/Disasters
U.S. Navy recaptures the Boston schooner "Enchantress" taken as a Confederate prize two weeks before Battles/Soldiers
U.S.S. Canandaiga captures the blockade runner S.S. Cherokee off Charleston Battles/Soldiers
Under cover of night in Charleston Harbor, Major Anderson consolidates his forces at Fort Sumter Battles/Soldiers
Union commander in Charleston, South Carolina, demands a firemen's parade march with a United States flag. Education/Culture
- Union gunners carry out a heavy five day bombardment of the Confederate forts defending Charleston Battles/Soldiers
Washington pays Governor Pickens what he is owed, from the newly seized Charleston Sub-Treasury Lawmaking/Litigating
Name Type
Fort Sumter, SC Location or Site
Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC Location or Site
St. Phillip's Churchyard, Charleston, SC Location or Site
Date Title
John James Audubon to Spencer Fullerton Baird, June 13, 1840
New York Times, “Great Floods in the Potomac and Shenandoah,” April 20, 1852
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Runaway Slave in Brooklyn, N.Y.,” December 9, 1857
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Calhoun Monument Celebration,” June 8, 1858
New York Times, "Presidential Candidates," July 14, 1858
New York Herald, “Political Joking," August 15, 1858
Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, August 27, 1858
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “A Slaver in Our Port,” August 28, 1858
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Western Trade,” September 28, 1858
New York Times, "Important From Mexico," October 13, 1858
New York Herald, “Douglas for the Presidency,” November 7, 1858
New York Herald, “The Struggle Among the Virginia Democracy,” December 5, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Trumbull, December 11, 1858
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Slaver’s Crew,” December 13, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “For the Lambs of the Flock,” January 12, 1859
New York Herald, “The Present Congress and the Next President,” January 17, 1859
New York Herald, “The Presidential Question,” January 29, 1859
New York Herald, “The Tariff,” February 13, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Beginning of the Presidential Campaign,” April 7, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Democratic Prospects,” April 11, 1859
Memphis (TN) Appeal, “The Democracy and Non-Intervention,” April 13, 1859
New York Herald, “The Charleston Convention,” April 20, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “An Opinion,” May 3, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Nullification,” May 7, 1859
New York Times, “When Did He Die?,” May 11, 1859
New York Times, “Democratic Preparations for 1860,” May 17, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Another Dred Scott Decision,” June 8, 1859
New York Times, “Political Letters,” June 16, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Virginia Will Lead,” June 22, 1859
New York Times, “Arrest for the Abduction of Slave,” June 27, 1859
Bangor (ME) Whig and Courier, “The Douglas Manifesto,” July 4, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Forney and Douglas,” July 7, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Douglas in Kentucky,” July 27, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Chances of Douglas,” July 28, 1859
New York Herald,“Mr. Douglas and His Forthcoming Manifesto,” July 31, 1859
New York Times, “An Unwise Letter,” August 5, 1859
New York Herald, “The Morals of Politics,” August 7, 1859
New York Herald, “Stump Candidates for the Presidency,” September 11, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Another Filibuster Crusade,” October 4, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Charleston Convention,” October 15, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Where will they Go?,” October 17, 1859
Hartford (CT) Courant, "Untitled," November 9, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Rail Riding,” November 24, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Other Brown," December 1, 1859
New York Herald, “Judge Douglas and the Administration,” December 11, 1859
Newark (OH) Advocate, “Mr. Douglas and the Presidency,” December 23, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Medical Students,” December 26, 1859
Atchison (KS) Freedom’s Champion, “Paying the Piper,” January 28, 1860
Raleigh (NC) Register, “How Firmly United the Democracy Are,” February 22, 1860
Boston (MA) Advertiser, “What to do with Mr. Douglas,” February 23, 1860
Newark (OH) Advocate, “The Chicago Convention,” March 2, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Pennsylvania,” March 5, 1860
Bangor (ME) Whig and Courier, “Mr. Douglas’s Bid,” March 5, 1860
(Montpelier) Vermont Patriot,“For President In 1860, Stephen A. Douglas,” March 17, 1860
New York Times, "Democratic National Convention," March 17, 1860
Philip Dandridge to Robert Hunter, March 18, 1860
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “The Charleston Convention,” March 24, 1860
Henry Fitzhugh to Robert Hunter, March 26, 1860
New York Times, “A Political Reason for High Charges,” March 28, 1860
New York Times, “A Bomb-Shell for Charleston,” April 19, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Douglas Nomination,” April 21, 1860
New York Herald, “The Republican Press on the Chances of Douglas,” April 22, 1860
New York Times, “The Charleston Convention,” April 24, 1860
New York Times, “Party Contests,” April 28, 1860
New York Herald, “The Platform Crisis in Charleston,” April 29, 1860
New York Times, “The Charleston Convention,” May 1, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “A Prophecy Fulfilled,” May 2, 1860
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “The Democratic Party Gone To Smash,” May 2, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Seceders at Charleston,” May 3, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “A Northern Democrat at a Slave Auction,” May 5, 1860
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “The Coming Conventions,” May 9, 1860
New York Times, “Disunion Plots,” May 10, 1860
Atchison (KS) Freedom’s Champion, “The Charleston Convention,” May 12, 1860
New York Times, “A Douglas Demonstration in New York,” May 18, 1860
Charleston (SC) Courier, "A Great Error," May 22, 1860
Raleigh (NC) Register, "The Giant Killer Reversing His Own Work," May 23, 1860
Newark (OH) Advocate, “Lincoln and Hamlin,” May 25, 1860
New York Herald, “Bell and Everett Going Ahead,” May 27, 1860
New York Times, “The Baltimore Convention,” June 18, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Jeff. Davis on Platforms,” June 21, 1860
Atchison (KS) Freedom's Champion, “Noble Deeds of Northern Democracy,” June 23, 1860
New York Herald, “Serious Street Encounter in Charleston,” July 15, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “An Important Change,” July 19, 1860
New York Times, “The Herald in Harness,” July 21, 1860
Lowell (MA) Citizen & News, "Who Are For Disunion?," August 8, 1860
New York Herald, “The Missouri Breckinridge State Convention,” September 23, 1860
New York Herald, “Won't Submit to Lincoln,” October 8, 1860
New York Herald, “American Sensations During 1860,” October 21, 1860
Chicago (IL) Tribune, "A Seceder's Opinion in 1851," November 16, 1860
New York Times, “A Secession Breakwater,” November 20, 1860
John Sherman to William Tecumseh Sherman, November 26, 1860
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Secession Cadets,” November 26, 1860
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “A Good Precedent,” December 3, 1860
Charleston (SC) Mercury, "The John Brown Pike," December 5, 1860
New York Herald, “Not a Bed of Roses,” December 16, 1860
Bangor (ME) Whig and Courier, “Have We a Traitor at the Head,” December 25, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “The Clouds Lowering,” December 27, 1860
Anna H. Richardson to William Still, December 28, 1860
New York Herald, “Is South Carolina Out of the Union?,” December 30, 1860
Lowell (MA) Citizen & News, “Fort Sumter,” December 31, 1860
New York Herald, “Ex-Secretary Floyd on the Crisis,” January 15, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “An Incident at Fort Sumter,” January 17, 1861
New York Times, “The Battle of Morris’ Island,” January 19, 1861
New York Times, “The Ultimatum Rejected,” February 9, 1861
New York Times, “Southern Streets and Northern Names,” February 20, 1861
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Our New Colors,” February 21, 1861
New York Times, “From Fort Sumter,” March 1, 1861
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Proposed Evacuation of Fort Sumter,” March 13, 1861
New York Times, “A Not Very Civil War,” March 23, 1861
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “What Does It All Mean?,” April 9, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “War Inaugurated!,” April 13, 1861
New York Herald, “Apprehensions of an Attack on Washington,” April 14, 1861
General P. G. T. Beauregard's General Order Number 20, April 14, 1861, Charleston, South Carolina
Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, April 15, 1861
Entry by George Templeton Strong, April 15, 1861
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “The Dread Arbitrament of War,” April 15, 1861
New Orleans (LA) Picayune, “Lincoln’s War Talk,” April 15, 1861
Richmond (VA) Dispatch, “Retaliation,” April 15, 1861
James Henderson to Abraham Lincoln, April 16, 1861
New York Herald, “English Opinions on American Affairs,” May 7, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Unfounded Complaints,” May 9, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Help From England,” May 16, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Army Slave Catching,” May 28, 1861
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “The Capture of the Privateer Savannah,” June 11, 1861
New York Times, “Famine Among the Confederates,” June 20, 1861
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Anniversaries of Independence,” June 27, 1861
Abraham Lincoln, Message to the Congress in Special Session, July 4, 1861
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “A Pleasant Summer Beverage,” July 11, 1861
Boston (MA) Advertiser, “Another Prize Saved by a Negro,” July 31, 1861
New York Times, “What Pennsylvania has Escaped,” July 6, 1863
Entry by Samuel Elliot, September 14, 1864
Colonel Peter Pineo to Headquarters, Department of the South, Hilton Head, South Carolina, April 7, 1865
Colored People's Convention of South Carolina, Address of the Colored State Convention to the People of the State of South Carolina, November 24, 1865, Charleston, South Carolina
How to Cite This Page: "Charleston, SC," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,