City housed Haitian refugees in another troubled
By NIC BUTLER
Charleston County Public Library
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
Editor's note: Charlestonians
have supported a number of efforts in the past few weeks to help
the people of Haiti in the wake of last month's crippling earthquake.
Dr. Nic Butler of the Charleston Archive at the Charleston County
Public Library says the relationship between the two areas actually
goes back more than two centuries. We thank Dr. Butler for allowing
us to reprint his recent blog post about the historic connection.
out more here.
1, 2010 -- The recent earthquake in Haiti has induced many Charlestonians
to offer assistance and aid to the unfortunate sufferers of that
island nation. Charleston is certainly not alone in offering relief
to Haiti from afar, but we in the Palmetto City can claim to have
a rather special distinction in this regard. In fact, Charlestonians'
first experience in providing aid to Haitian refugees began in the
summer of 1793. The story of this interesting connection goes back
to the early days of what became known as the Haitian Revolution.
colonial times, the port city of Charleston enjoyed some limited
trade with the French island colony of St. Domingue (the western
half of the island of Hispaniola, renamed Haiti in 1804), but the
1778 alliance between France and the United States increased the
channels of communication dramatically. For many years afterwards,
the French colony provided sugar, fruit, and other commodities that
were sold in Charleston's waterfront markets. When slaves and free
persons of color in St. Domingue began revolting in 1791, Charleston
paid close attention to the violent uprisings that rocked its trading
partner, which we called "St. Domingo."
situation in St. Domingue was volatile and uncertain for many months,
but in the summer of 1793 things worsened considerably. Starting
in June of that year, white planters, merchants, and artisans began
fleeing St. Domingue in large numbers in any ship they could find.
Most took only what possessions they could carry in their arms,
and the wealthiest brought trusted slaves as well. Throughout the
second half of 1793 and into 1794, these refugees took shelter in
Atlantic port towns from Florida to New York, and in New Orleans
in the Gulf of Mexico as well.
the arrival of refugees in their town, Charlestonians began collecting
donations in July 1793. Boatloads of penniless refugees began streaming
into the city soon afterward, eagerly searching for peace, shelter,
food, and clothing. The exact number of refugees who came to Charleston
from St. Domingue is unclear, but contemporary evidence indicates
that the number was probably between 400 and 500 men, women, and
children. Almost immediately, the City Council of Charleston faced
the need to secure the basic necessities of life for hundreds of
starving refugees. Many local residents welcomed families of refugees
into their homes, while others found respite in the glebe (rental)
properties of the city's various churches. Some refugees were left
on the street, however, and so the city government made a bold move:
it housed an unknown number of "unhappy sufferers" in
a building known as the "New Market" in Market Street.
"New Market" was built as a tall, one-story, rectangular
"shed" two hundred feet long and twenty-seven feet wide,
located one hundred feet east of Meeting Street in the middle of
what is now Market Street. Built circa 1790-91, it had a tiled roof
supported by brick arched pillars and was designed to serve as an
open-air meat market. This "New Market" was the first
of several building planned for the city's new market space in the
newly designated Market Street, but the plan was moving slowly in
1793. In a moment of crisis, therefore, Charleston City Council
apparently voted to convert the New Market into a dormitory for
refugees from St. Domingue.
records of City Council from that era were lost in 1865, but fragments
of the story survive in the contemporary newspapers. On 19 August
1793, the Charleston City Gazette published a notice informing the
public of their plan to house a number of the refugees.
we have no City Council records from this era, the details of this
relief effort have unfortunately been lost to time.
many refugees lived in the New Market, and how long did they stay
there? These are questions to which we may never know the answers.
It is revealing, however, that Charleston City Council had intended
to move all of the city's market activity-the selling of vegetables,
fruits, and butchered meats-into Market Street in the early 1790s,
but that plan was delayed for a decade. Between August 1793 and
the spring of 1804, the city made no progress in turning Market
Street into a proper market. Starting in May 1804, the city resumed
filling the marshy area and building market sheds, and the new "Centre
Market" officially opened to the public on Aug. 1, 1807. It
seems unlikely that refugees from St. Domingue resided in the refurbished
New Market building from late 1793 until the spring of 1804, but
they probably lived in it long enough to discourage the city from
undertaking the expenses required to convert it back to a market
"New Market" of 1793 was renamed the city's "Beef
Market" in 1804, and it was destroyed in the massive fire that
burned Ansonborough in April 1838. Although a new, slightly wider
brick market shed was erected on that site in 1838, that building
and the rest of Charleston's Centre Market (now commonly called
the City Market) stand today as a living reminder of the long-established
connection between our city and the people of Haiti (St. Domingue).
drop out of gubernatorial race
ANDY BRACK, publisher
29, 2010 - Let's give a big hand to gubernatorial candidate Andre
Bauer: He's wrapped up the intolerant, racist, elderly vote with
recent comments linking stray animals to people on government aid.
Maybe all the lieutenant governor now has to do to garner the GOP
nod is expand his base by speeding more cars, crashing more planes
and punching more walls.
he really should do is save the state from four years of being the
continuing butt of national jokes. How? By dropping out of the governor's
race. Regardless of your political party, South Carolina just can't
afford Bauer's immaturity to get in the way of where the state needs
years of bad behavior with planes and cars, Bauer's mouth has finally
caught up with him. At issue is his deplorable comment last week
on taking away government assistance for people who didn't pass
drug tests or attend PTA meetings. At an Upstate political gathering,
Bauer recalled his grandmother telling him to stop feeding strays:
"You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the
problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They
will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further
than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail
that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
a Jan. 24 story in The Greenville News, Bauer said he didn't regret
the comments, but said using the "stray animals" comment
probably wasn't the best metaphor. By Jan. 26, the spin was in full
control. He told The State in a story printed that morning that
he regretted the comment because it was being used as an analogy,
not a metaphor.
that afternoon, he was throwing more gas on the fire by "explaining"
his comment about strays to the S.C. Radio Network: "If you
can't take care of them, take them to the animal shelter. But what
happens when you feed them all the time and they become dependent
of the food and you go on vacation? They've learned how to not take
care of themselves. They've become dependent on you, so what happens
to them? I should have never used that metaphor. I never dreamed
people in the media would try to turn this thing around instead
of saying 'hey let's have an honest discussion.'"
words have been roundly criticized and are, as the Times and Democrat
of Orangeburg wrote, "not some kind of Democratic overreaction."
The Rock Hill Herald said he was reckless and used "spectacularly
insensitive language." Bauer was "not only cruel and derogatory,
but counterproductive," according to the Myrtle Beach Sun-News.
And Warren Bolton at The State, who wrote he ate free lunches when
he was in school, noted Bauer's remarks were "an affront to
every parent and child who might not come from financially stable
after a hunting trip
bothersome with Bauer's cycle of telling the comment to a friendly
Upstate audience followed by not regretting it, regretting it and
then saying it again, is the very real possibility the whole shameful
episode was a calculated political move to inject some life into
a dull, somewhat sputtering campaign.
him or not, Bauer long has been a determined, savvy campaigner who
shouldn't be underestimated. Just ask Sen. Phil Leventis or former
Rep. Robert Barber, both of whom narrowly lost to Bauer in statewide
throwback brand of unenlightened, retail politics isn't what will
move South Carolina forward. Leaders of all political stripes are
calling for real leadership in wake of the disaster of the Sanford
years. And real leadership is not something that Bauer has shown
while in office. Instead of governing, he's been the eternal candidate
who runs his mouth.
Carolina deserves better from its next governor than someone who
kowtows to the lowest common denominator. After the last week, it
deserves just about anybody but Andre.
Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents. This commentary first
appeared in Statehouse
Report. Brack can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
us your thoughts
a comment or want to vent? If you have something to
say about leadership in South Carolina, the state of baseball
today, good barbecue or something about your community's government,
drop us a line to: email@example.com.
Please send no more than 200 words and include contact information
(phone number, hometown) so we can get in touch with you.
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. This issue's featured nonprofit partner is Rural
Mission on John's Island. The organization is many things to
man people: a hand up in times of crisis and need
service and faith volunteer experience for the young and older
a caregiver and advocate for young migrant children and a support
system for migrant families
a provider of a warm, comfortable
home in winter and
a greatly appreciated giver of desperately
needed home repairs to make low income homes safe, healthy and decent.
For all, Rural Mission is a source of hope for low- and very low-income
residents, the elderly and families living in the rural underserved
Sea Islands of Charleston County, from Johns Island to Wadmalaw
to Edisto and Yonges Islands. To learn more about this extraordinary
Rural Mission online. To talk to someone about giving your time
or money to help, phone: 843.768-1720.
earns Certified Green Professional designation
Fleming, president of Classic
Remodeling & Construction on Johns Island, recently earned
the Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation from the National
Association of Home Builders. According to the NAHB's directory,
Fleming is the only person within a 50-mile radius who has the registered
designations of Certified Green Professional and Certified Graduate
Certified Green Professional designation recognizes builders, remodelers
and other industry professionals who incorporate green building
principles into their work without driving up the cost of construction.
Classwork leading to the designation provides a solid background
in green building methods as well as the tools to reach consumers.
addition to Fleming's NAHB distinctions, he is also a Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED
AP), awarded through the U.S. Green Building Council. "At Classic,
I encourage all my employees, in the office and the field, to train
and strive for designations that will ultimately provide a higher
level of service and expertise for our clients," said Fleming.
"The remodeling and construction industry is constantly changing,
and it is our responsibility to be a resource of knowledge and experience
related to the latest products and technology."
established Classic Remodeling & Construction in 1989. It's
the largest full-service, design-build company in the Charleston
area. The company is an underwriter of CharlestonCurrents.com.
classes will help you grow your green thumb
Charleston Parks Conservancy is offering a series of classes designed
for beginning Lowcountry gardeners and those who want to improve
their horticulture know-how. From the basics of choosing plants
all the way to successfully growing roses in the hot, humid Lowcountry,
classes will provide instruction as well as hands-on demonstrations.
Jim Martin, a horticulturist and lifelong gardener who has extensive
knowledge of gardening in the South, will lead many of the programs.
often have the misconception that gardening is hard, but when you
have the proper knowledge and skills, it can be an incredibly rewarding.
Half the battle is understanding gardening in the South - what works
and what doesn't," says Martin, executive director of the Conservancy.
first "Charleston Parks Conservancy Ed" class will be
held Feb. 16. Titled "Park Angels 101: An Introduction to the
Parks, People, History and Horticulture in Charleston," the
class is free to anyone who has signed up to be a Park Angel. Park
Angels support the conservancy by volunteering in local parks and
spreading the word about the conservancy. Registration is free;
go to http://www.parkangels.org
to sign up or get more information about the organization.
courses include "Vegetable Gardening for Beginners in the South,"
"Gardening from the Ground Up: A Course for Beginners on Basics,"
"Container Gardening," "A Beginner's Guide to Growing
for Annual and Perennial Color" and "Growing Roses in
Your Lowcountry Garden." Prices will range from $15 to $40.
adults get into aquarium for kids' rates in February
who live in South Carolina can get child's-price admission into
the South Carolina Aquarium throughout the month of February, aquarium
officials have announced. That's a savings of $7 off the regular
adult ticket price. Valid proof of residency (such as a driver's
license) must be presented to take advantage of the special deal.
More information is available at http://www.scaquarium.org
or by calling 577-FISH (3474).
addition to the "Sea and Save" program, the aquarium also
announced that the popular Magellanic penguins will be extending
their stay at the aquarium until October. The exhibit was originally
scheduled to conclude in March. Watch a
video of the Waddle Wagon experience. The South Carolina Aquarium
is an underwriter of CharlestonCurrents.com.
improvements planned around county during 2010
is shaping up to be a big year for local road projects funded by
the Transportation Sales Tax Program. Two major projects are under
way now, and three more will begin in the spring. County officials
say right-of-way acquisition is in progress for three additional
projects that could also begin this year.
The bonded projects that are currently under construction are the
Palmetto Commerce Parkway (Phase II), a nearly four-mile extension
of the existing parkway to connect with Ashley Phosphate Road in
North Charleston, and Folly Road/Maybank Highway intersection improvements,
which include new traffic signals, new road pavement, landscaped
medians, sidewalks, lighting and stormwater drainage at the intersections
of Folly Road, Old Folly Road and Maybank Highway on James Island.
expected to begin construction in spring are improvements to Johnnie
Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant (including road widening and upgrades
to existing intersections along U.S. 17/Johnnie Dodds from the base
of the Ravenel bridge north to the I-526 overpass); Medical University
of South Carolina road infrastructure improvements (including the
conversion of Courtenay Drive to a one-way street from Spring Street
to Cannon Street) and improvements to the Glenn McConnell Parkway/I-526
acquisition is now in progress for three projects: widening Harbor
View Road from just west of North Shore Drive to Fort Johnson Road
(including turn lanes, a sidewalk and a bicycle path); widening
Bees Ferry Road for its entire length (including converting the
two-lane road to a four-lane divided/five-lane road with accommodations
for bicycles and pedestrians) and improvements to the intersection
of Folly and Camp roads (adding two left-turn lanes on southbound
Folly Road and dedicated left-turn lanes on both Camp Road approaches).
us a review
If you have a review or recommendation of a book, movie, restaurant
or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to
editor Ann Thrash.
Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
in 1858, the State Normal School at Charleston owed its existence
to a reform movement that simultaneously erected a modern public
school system for the white children of the city, the first in South
Carolina. The school was begun by Christopher G. Memminger, a state
legislator and chairman of the Charleston school board. Patterned
after schools in the northern states, the mission of the Memminger
School (as it was called after 1876) was to train female teachers
for the state at large as a department of a new city high school
for girls (the Charleston High School was then reserved for boys
only). The first principal was Frederick A. Sawyer, a native of
Boston and future U.S. senator for South Carolina.
got initial support from state funds and drew students from outside
the city. However, the school came to rely primarily on local gifts
and taxes. Admission depended on entrance tests and was usually
free. The curriculum included courses in education theory and practice,
teaching advanced studies in the humanities, mathematics, and science.
Eventually, Memminger expanded its scope, providing departments
of instruction in domestic science and business. After years of
declining enrollments variously attributed to the admission of women
to the College of Charleston and wider opportunities for women in
the private economy, the flagship Normal Department was discontinued
in 1932. By then the school had educated thousands of teachers,
business and professional women, and housewives.
1933 Memminger was reorganized as a comprehensive high school for
white girls, offering classical, general, and prevocational courses.
In subsequent decades, as secondary schools of Charleston were integrated
by gender and race, Memminger emerged as the name of an elementary
Excerpted from the entry by Laylon Wayne Jordan. To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information
used by permission.) To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
encourage you to check out our sister publications:
Statehouse Report --
a weekly legislative forecast that keeps you a step ahead
of what happens at the Statehouse. It's free.
Clips -- a
daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources
across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get
to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time.
Sign up for a free
trial subscription today.
Clips offers a similar daily news compilation for
the scores of newspapers in Georgia's 159 counties.
-- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic
and sensible social, political and economic approaches to
improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
is provided to you twice a week by:
P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413
We hope you'll
keep receiving the great news and information from CharlestonCurrents.com,
but if you need to subscribe,
Report LLC. All rights reserved. CharlestonCurrents.com is published
every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261,
Charleston, SC 29413.
Check out these
four free activities taking place at the main branch of the Charleston
County Public Library during the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. Call
805-6930 for more information.
of the Hunt": 1 p.m. Feb. 12. John Seerey-Lester, an
internationally known painter, will host an audiovisual presentation
about his new book, "Legends of the Hunt."
Brenders - How & Why: 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12. One of the world's
most successful nature painters, Carl Brenders will share a slide
presentation demonstrating his realistic painting technique. Copies
of his latest book, "Pride of Place," will be available.
Story Reading for Kids: 1 p.m. Feb. 13. Here's one for the
young'uns. Celebrity guest readers are sure to delight children
with their interpretations of stories featuring animal.
Sculpture in America: 3 p.m. Feb. 13. Robin Salmon, vice president
of collections and curator of sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens,
will give a talk titled "American Animalier: A Brief History
of Animal Sculpture in America." The talk will take a closer
look at landmark works of art and prominent sculptors of animals
(both domestic and wild) from the mid-19th century to the present.
dressing for success
of all enterprises that require new clothes."
David Thoreau, American author and Transcendentalist (1817 - 1862)
Advice: 6 p.m. Feb. 4, Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting
St., downtown. Barbara Guggenheim, an author and art consultant,
will give a talk titled "How the Art World Works: New Twists
on the World's Second Oldest Profession." A reception will
follow the talk. Tickets: $10 museum members, $20 nonmembers. Advance
purchase required; buy
online through Jan. 29 or call the Gibbes, 722-2706, ext. 22.
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 5, First Federal Corporate Center,
Mall Drive, North Charleston. Part of a free series of luncheons
for nonprofits. Topic: "Social Media Basics 101: How Nonprofits
are Using Social Media." Tina Arnoldi, director of information
management at Coastal Community Foundation, will talk about how
the organization got started with social media and what's worked
along the way. RSVP by Feb. 3 by contacting Lynn Greer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 5, Carolina Galleries, 106-A
Church St., downtown. Artist P. Smallwood will attend a special
opening of his watercolor paintings inspired by Charleston and the
rural region around it. Smallwood will give a talk at 6:30 p.m.
discussing his process as an artist and what inspires him. More
ONGOING AND SOON
Wild Game Dinner: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10, Halls Chophouse,
434 King St., downtown. One of several new events associated with
the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Five-course dinner with wine
pairings. Menu includes local oysters, quail, bison ribeye and more.
Cost: $115/person. Tickets: Buy
online or phone 723-1748.
in Business Conference: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12, Charleston
Marriott. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Center
for Women will present the conference, which focuses on integrating
female business professionals into mainstream networks and expanding
their business opportunities by providing access to successful business
leaders in the region. Cost: $75 for chamber or Center for Women
members; $100 for nonmembers. Registration:
Evening with Jack Hanna: 7 p.m. Feb. 12, South Carolina
Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, downtown. Spend an evening with animal
expert Jack Hanna during his visit to the Lowcountry for the Southeastern
Wildlife Exposition. Guests will be able to meet Hanna, enjoy hors
d'oeuvres and cocktails, and hear stories about his animal adventures
around the world. Cost: $85 per person ($75 for aquarium members,
who can order by calling 723-1748 and giving their member number).
More info: Online
of Prey Brunch: 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 13, Francis Marion
Hotel, corner of King and Calhoun streets, downtown. Jim Elliott,
executive director of the Center for Birds of Prey, will show off
some of his feathered friends in this new event, which is part of
the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. Hearty buffet-style brunch includes
coffee, tea, juice, and bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. $42
per person; tickets may also be purchased at the door. Tickets:
Online or 723-1748.
Cooking Classes: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 14, Charleston
Cooks, 194 East Bay St., downtown. A new feature of the Southeastern
Wildlife Exposition calendar. The hands-on cooking class will give
participants a chance to prepare fish and wild game, then enjoy
the food prepared in class along with a glass of wine. Cost: $75
per person. Tickets: Online
Game Night: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 22, Holiday Inn Express,
120 Holiday Drive, Summerville. The American Business Women's Association's
Jessamine Chapter of Summerville will hold a game night fundraiser
and silent auction to benefit women's scholarships. Open to the
public. Guests are invited to bring their favorite game and/or team.
Prizes, food and beverages provided. Cost: $10 ticket donation.
Reservations requested. Contact Shirlie Taylor, 873-6769 or Shirlie@BusinessSuccessDynamics.com,
Bouche: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 26, Halsey Institute
of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston, 161 Calhoun St. The
event, the unofficial kickoff of the BB&T Charleston Wine +
Food Festival, benefits the Lowcountry Food Bank's Kids Café
and Backpack Buddies Programs and the Halsey Institute. Jim 'N Nick's
Bar-B-Q will "Pork from Around the World" tastings, and
Whole Foods will offer an open wine bar. Cost: $20 per person at
the door; RSVP no later than Feb. 24 to 747-8146 or email@example.com.
& Garden Tours: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 9 and April
10, downtown Charleston. The Garden Club of Charleston offers
its 75th annual walking tour of private homes and gardens in the
Historic District. Homes also feature flowers arranged by garden
club members, and refreshments will be served in one of the gardens.
All proceeds benefit the garden club's year-round maintenance of
several public gardens, including those at the Manigault House,
the Heyward-Washington House, the Gateway Walk and the Healing Garden
at MUSC. Tickets: $35. Details: http://www.thegardenclubofcharleston.org
by Christo: 5:30 p.m. April 13, Memminger Auditorium,
56 Beaufain St., downtown. Internationally known artist Christo
will visit talk about his work in a slide presentation and lecture
sponsored by the Gibbes Museum of Art. Christo and his late wife,
Jeanne-Claude, have collaborated throughout the world on large-scale
art projects using fabric, including wrapping the Pont-Neuf bridge
in Paris, the 24½-mile-long Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin
counties in California, and The Gates in New York's Central Park.
Tickets (in advance only): $25 for museum members, $35 for nonmembers,
and $15 for students (with ID); available at the Gibbes Museum Store,
by calling 722-2706, ext. 22, or online
through April 6.
Picky Eaters Group
On Jim Fisher
Rural Mission's needs
Fish to buy
guide book for kids
looks at success
all of the cuts
look at summer camps
should get out
at White House
for King Day