Friday, March 11, 2022 Dr. Nic Butler

Irish immigrants who adhered to the Catholic Church were not free exercise their faith in South Carolina until several years after the American Revolution. In the years preceding the war, however, a handful of documents point to the existence of an “Irish Church” in Mr. Mazyck’s pasture, just outside the boundaries of urban Charleston. Clues to the physical nature of this forgotten institution, its purpose, and the identity of its visitors connect it to the city’s more-famous “Liberty Tree,” and help illuminate the historical shadows of religious discrimination in colonial South Carolina.

Today’s story represents my first efforts to untangle a historical puzzle. I stumbled into this topic in the spring of 2020 while gathering information for a pair of essays about Charleston’s “Liberty Tree” during the early period of the American Revolution (see Episode No. 164 and No. 165). As I discussed in those programs, South Carolina’s first Liberty Tree was a grand live-oak tree standing in a pasture near the present southeast corner of Alexander and Charlotte Streets. That site was outside the boundaries of urban Charleston in the eighteenth century, and very near the Cooper River waterfront. It was apparently an established gathering spot by the autumn of 1766, when a number of patriotic Americans convened under its branches for an important political meeting. In the wake of that event, the men in attendance adopted the live oak as their Liberty Tree. Political meetings and patriotic rallies continued under this shady canopy for a further decade, and the Declaration of Independence was read aloud under Charleston’s Liberty Tree in the summer of 1776. In short, the site served as an important nursery for the ideas that propelled the colony of South Carolina toward revolution against Great Britain. It held such strong connections to the American cause that the British Army felled and burned the tree in the summer of 1780, shortly after the surrender of Charleston.


During the course of my research into the rise and fall of Charleston’s Liberty Tree, I learned that the site had a long-forgotten name before it was rebranded in 1766. A handful of newspaper notices published in the years preceding the American Revolution identify the site in question as “the Irish Church,” and one article published fifty years later recalled that the “Irish Church” had been renamed “Liberty Tree” in 1766. From that time until 1775, it seems that some people in Charleston used the designations “Irish Church” and “Liberty Tree” interchangeably. The site was apparently familiar to many residents in the colonial capital of South Carolina, but this “Irish Church” is not mentioned in any history book or article published within the past two centuries.

As a South Carolinian of Irish descent with a toehold in modern Ireland, I wanted to return to this mysterious topic and search for further information. Did the phrase “Irish Church” refer specifically to the famous live-oak tree, or was there some sort of structure standing nearby? Is it possible to identify any of the people who gathered at this location? Foremost among my research goals, however, was to explore the idea that this “Irish Church” might have functioned as a sort of refuge or gathering place outside of urban Charleston for people who did not enjoy religious freedom within the colonial capital. To understand the significance of this question, we have to take a brief detour into the religious history of early South Carolina.

The vast majority of people living on the island of Ireland in the eighteenth century adhered to the Catholic Church, sometimes called the Church of Rome, or the mother church of Christianity. England had colonized much of Ireland by force centuries earlier, and the English crown’s switch to the Protestant faith in 1534 led to bitter religious and cultural oppression in Ireland. While Irish Protestants who emigrated to the American colonies in the eighteenth century enjoyed the same rights and liberties as their English neighbors, religious discrimination followed Irish Catholics who ventured across the ocean to places like South Carolina.

Catholicism was not strictly illegal in early South Carolina, but it was certainly not welcome. As I described in a program about the myth of the “Holy City” (see Episode No. 142), the colony of South Carolina followed British practice by barring Catholics from full citizenship. Catholic men could not hold office, vote, or receive land grants like Protestant men could. South Carolina law prohibited the organization of Catholic churches and Catholic worship in public, and Anglo-American rhetoric and culture in general treated Catholics as untrustworthy agents of foreign enemies. This tradition of religious discrimination began to erode when the South Carolina General Assembly ratified a more liberal state constitution in 1790. By that time, a small group of Irish and French Catholics had already coalesced into a congregation named for St. Mary of the Annunciation, which still worships today on Hasell Street in Charleston.

The various archives of early South Carolina manuscripts contain no record of any Catholic clergy active in this area prior to the year 1788, and no record of any Catholic congregation organizing before that time. The notion that an “Irish Church” might have existed on the outskirts of Charleston prior to the American Revolution is, therefore, a new idea that merits investigation. Because we can’t trace its history by working backwards from St. Mary’s Church, we’ll begin our search by considering the geographic and physical context of the site in question.

The “Irish Church” (a.k.a. “Liberty Tree”) stood near the center of what is now a historic neighborhood called Mazyckborough on the east side of the Charleston peninsula. When the borough was created in 1786, it contained approximately twenty acres of high land and a similar quantity of marsh land fronting the Cooper River. All of marsh within the neighborhood has been filled and developed over the past two centuries, so the landscape appears larger today than it did when subdivision commenced in the 1780s. Presently, Mazyckborough is bounded to the east by the Cooper River, to the south by Calhoun Street, to the southwest by Elizabeth Street, to the northwest by Chapel Street, and to the northeast by Charlotte Street. Mazyckborough is one of the smallest of the historic boroughs on the peninsula, and is bounded to the north and west by the larger neighborhood of Wraggborough, which was laid out in 1801.

Almost everyone who’s familiar with urban Charleston today has visited some part of Mazyckborough. The small park at the corner of Elizabeth and Chapel Streets, for example, marks the northwest corner of the neighborhood, while the main branch of the Charleston County Public Library stands near its southwest corner. Similarly, the South Carolina Aquarium occupies the southeast corner of Mazyckborough, while the Irish Memorial Park at the foot of Charlotte Street marks the neighborhood’s northeastern corner.

The land comprising Mazyckborough was originally part of a much larger tract granted in 1675 to Richard Cole, one of the first English settlers to arrive in South Carolina. Cole’s property stretched across the Charleston peninsula, from the Ashley River on the west to the Cooper River on the east, extending northward from modern Calhoun Street to modern Line Street. This large tract was quickly subdivided into smaller parcels. By the autumn of 1696, twenty acres forming the southeasternmost corner of Cole’s grant was in the hands of Richard Tradd.[1] Tradd sold his twenty acres to the prosperous Huguenot merchant Isaac Mazÿck (1661–1736) sometime around the year 1700. Shortly after acquiring this tract, Mazyck obtained a grant entitling him to claim the adjacent marsh land to the south and east of his twenty acres.[2]

Isaac Mazyck described the property in question as a plantation, but it seems that his family did not use the land for planting or any kind of industrial purpose. Like their immediate neighbors to the north, south, and west, the Mazycks felled most of the original trees during the early eighteenth century for fuel and lumber and used the remaining open grassland for pasturage.[3] The landscape was not entirely vacant, however. Isaac Mazyck’s twenty acres of high land fronting the Cooper River hosted some sort of commercial structure during the early years of the eighteenth century. Its purpose and history are unclear, but we know it existed for some period of time before 1736, when the aging Huguenot mentioned it in his will.

The last will and testament of Isaac Mazyck, written in French in January 1736, includes a curious phrase that constitutes a significant clue to the origins of the “Irish Church.” Mazyck owned a number of rural plantations and urban lots at the time of his death, including a suburban tract near Charleston that he described as “la petite plantation,” or “the little plantation that I bought of the late [Richard] Tradd.” Isaac Mazyck instructed his eldest son, also named Isaac, to sell this “petite plantation,” and noted that his younger son, Paul, had offered to purchase it for £800 South Carolina currency. Speaking of the same property, the father also ordered his sons to sell “le vieux magasin qui es den le derriere,” or “the old store-house [or shop] which is at the back.” Mazyck added that whoever purchased this structure was “to have right of way” through the plantation to the site in question, and “preference must be given to Mr. Mocay & Mrs. Ellis.”[4]

From this 1736 document, we can extract several important facts. Mazyck confirmed that he acquired the property we now call Mazyckborough from Richard Tradd, which we know occurred sometime between 1696 and 1700. We also learn that there was some sort of structure on this landscape, which Mazyck called a “magasin.” It’s difficult to determine the precise meaning that Mazyck intended by using this French term. He might have been describing a sort of warehouse or storage facility, as in a powder magazine that stores gunpowder, or perhaps he meant a sort of commercial storefront or shop. Considering its suburban location within a pasture, we might conclude that this “magasin” was modestly sized, plain, and probably constructed from local timber and other readily-available materials. Looking for a suitable analogue in modern American English, we might identify such a structure as a trading post, concession stand, or snack bar. Whatever its dimensions or purpose, this “magasin” was considered old in 1736, suggesting that it might have been built in the late-seventeenth or early-eighteenth century.

Isaac Mazyck considered this “magasin” to be separate from the surrounding property, as if it had a distinct purpose or use. He described it as standing “at the back” of the plantation, which probably indicates that it stood closer to the eighteenth-century waterfront that it did to the “Broad Path” leading into Charleston (now King Street). Mazyck directed his heirs to sell the structure, and to allow the purchaser(s) to traverse the surrounding landscape to access it. He recommended two individuals who were to have first right of refusal for the “magasin,” a fact that suggests Mazyck had some sort of relationship with them in the years preceding his will. The two people mentioned therein were undoubtedly John McKay and Mary Ellis, both of whom owned commercial property adjacent to Isaac Mazyck on the south side of Broad Street, near East Bay Street.[5] I haven’t been able to identify Mrs. Ellis’s place of origin, but John McKay had family in the village of Armoy, County Antrim, in the northeast of Ireland.[6]

Following the death of Isaac Mazyck in 1736, his eldest son, Isaac (1700–1770), sold the “little plantation” on the Cooper River to his younger brother, Paul Mazyck (1702–1749).[7] That conveyance was never properly recorded, however, nor is there any surviving record of either of the Mazyck brothers selling a storehouse or shop or any other part of the property that later became known as Mazyckborough. Paul Mazyck made his own will in 1746 and devised the same “Little Plantation,” as he called it, to his son, Alexander Mazyck (1736–1786).[8] Alexander reached his majority in 1757 and began managing the various properties he inherited. It was during his tenure that the name “Irish Church” first appears, although the name might have preceded his ownership of the land.

While there is no evidence to suggest that the heirs of Isaac Mazyck sold the old store of any other part of their “little plantation” after Isaac’s death in 1736, there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that they leased some or all of the land to a series of individuals. Leasing pasture land adjacent to and near urban Charleston was a common practice in the eighteenth century because the original town plan did not include a “common” or community grazing site south of modern Calhoun Street (formerly Boundary Street, created in 1769). Urbanites were therefore obliged to pay to keep their horses on privately-owned pastures near the town, and rural cattle ranchers driving herds to Charleston paid to graze their animals near the town before slaughter.

Between 1770 and 1777, several notices published in Charleston newspapers demonstrate that one Daniel Starnes was associated with the pasture owned by Alexander Mazyck. Starnes probably leased the property from Mazyck, but there is no surviving record of such an agreement. Nevertheless, a similar clue appears in the last will and testament of Alexander Mazyck, which he drafted in the spring of 1786. At that time, he ordered his executors to subdivide and sell the plantation he identified with three different names: “my land on Charleston Neck known by the name of the Little Plantation[,] Oliver’s[,] or Liberty Tree.”[9] Because there is no known record of anyone named Oliver owning or residing on Mazyck’s property, I strongly suspect that the name “Oliver’s” refers to someone who leased the pasture from Alexander Mazyck in the years immediately preceding his 1786 will. Coincidentally, several individuals with the surname Oliver were involved in the cattle and butchering business in the Charleston area during the several decades preceding the American Revolution, and at least some of them had Irish connections.[10]

Based on all of the aforementioned facts, I strongly suspect that Daniel Starnes held a lease on some or all of Mr. Mazyck’s “little plantation” in years preceding the American Revolution. Furthermore, I believe that Mr. Starnes resided on the site, and might have been the proprietor of the “magasin” or trading post on the grounds. In the spring of 1771, for example, Daniel Starnes advertised that he had taken up several canoes that had drifted from the Cooper River to his unspecified location.[11] In a similar notice published in late 1777, Starnes advertised that the owner of another stray canoe could find him “at Liberty-Tree.”[12] Other advertisements also connect him to the pasture surrounding the Liberty Tree site. A 1772 newspaper notice for a stray horse, for example, stated that the animal in question had “strayed out of the pasture by the Irish Church.”[13] A similar notice published in 1774 sought the return of a horse that had strayed “from the pasture of Mr. Starnes, at the Irish Church.”[14]

My theories about the nature of this landscape, based on clues in the will of Isaac Mazyck and the aforementioned advertisements, appear to be confirmed by a text published anonymously in 1824. In February of that year, some fifty years after the era of Daniel Starnes, the Charleston Mercury carried a brief article about the city’s long-lost Liberty Tree. Few in Charleston at that time remembered the venerable tree that the British Army had destroyed in 1780, and its location was in danger of being forgotten. The anonymous writer opined that the site of the famous tree merited some historical marker, and provided a brief history lesson for those not familiar with its significance: “It was here our forefathers in their youthful days enjoyed their frolics and met for recreation. A house of refreshment was adjacent; and seats were placed[,] some under others upon the branches themselves, and the place was known under the name of the Irish Church.”[15]

As I mentioned in my earlier programs about Charleston’s Liberty Tree, I suspect that the author of this valuable anecdote was either William Johnson (1771–1834) or his brother Joseph Johnson (1776–1862), whose father, William Johnson (1741–1818) had been among the men who gathered with Christopher Gadsden at the Irish Church in 1766 and renamed it Liberty Tree. Regardless of the author’s identity, this 1824 text provides useful clues to refine our conjectural reconstruction of the “Irish Church.” That name, like the phrase “Liberty Tree,” apparently referred to more than just a live-oak tree. It encompassed some sort of “house” or tavern with outdoor seating, “adjacent” to the oak tree, with seats dispersed “under” its outstretched branches. Some patrons sat “upon the branches,” which might indicate that some climbed the tree to look down at their colleagues. Anyone who’s seen an ancient live oak in the South Carolina Lowcountry—like the Angel Oak on John’s Island—might also consider that the grand tree at the Irish Church was perhaps so old that its long lower branches drooped down to the ground, allowing some visitors to sit “upon the branches themselves.”

The “old store” or “house of refreshment” adjacent to the shady live oak in Mazyck’s pasture apparently served as a gathering place during the third quarter of the eighteenth century, if not earlier. The clientele was likely not confined to persons of Irish descent; evidence suggests that the site was popular with the working-class tradesmen who formed the nucleus of Charleston’s “Sons of Liberty” in the decade preceding the American Revolution.[16] It was they, after all, who invited Christopher Gadsden to dine with them at this site in the autumn of 1766. Following that historic meeting, recalled our anonymous author of 1824, “the Irish Church was thereafter named Liberty Tree.”[17]

Many of those tradesmen who identified with the “Sons of Liberty” fulfilled their obligatory militia service by joining the Charleston Artillery Company that Christopher Gadsden had started in 1757. Daniel Starnes, for example, the man long-associated with the “Irish Church” and “Liberty Tree,” supported the American cause during the War of Independence as a private in the expanded Charleston Battalion of Artillery during the siege of Charleston and beyond. Whether or not his family hailed from the Emerald Isle is unclear, and further research in that direction is necessary.[18]

The phrase “Irish Church” probably arose from the practice of Irish men (and perhaps Irish women and children) gathering beneath the live-oak tree in Mazyck’s pasture and perhaps imbibing a drink or two from the adjacent “house of refreshment.” Perhaps they met here, beyond the judging eyes of urban Charleston, to converse and sing in their native Gaelic language that British authorities sought to suppress. If the site hosted “frolics” and “recreation,” as the anonymous correspondent of 1824 remembered, then perhaps they also indulged in the Irish game of hurling in the open pasture. It is possible that that the phrase “Irish Church” was used in a sarcastic manner, to mock the Irishmen who sought a bit of craic under the boughs of the shady oak. It seems unlikely that the site hosted any formal religious services, as there were no known Catholic clergymen in the province to administer any sacraments. On occasion, however, perhaps even with some regularity on the Christian Sabbath, Irish Catholics might have gathered at this suburban refuge for a moment of fellowship and reflection about the religious liberty they desired in the remote colony of South Carolina.

There were certainly some Irish Catholics in colonial-era South Carolina, but it’s very difficult to identify them and quantify their numbers. To protect themselves from the traditional anti-Catholic sentiment that permeated British and Anglo-American culture at that time, they generally shielded their religious beliefs from all but trusted allies. Prior to the year 1790, when Catholicism gained a measure of legal recognition here, few South Carolinians openly identified themselves as Catholic. One Irishman named Eugene Brenan, for example, came to Charleston in the 1760s and operated a series of taverns in the heart of the city for around a decade. The law and prevailing community sentiment obliged Brenan to keep his faith to himself, but that habit changed on his deathbed in 1777. In his last will and testament, written in April of that year, Brenan stated his “express will & desire” that his wife should raise their five young children “in the faith & profession of the Church of Rome.”[19]

The identity of two avowed Irish Catholics came to light during a violent episode in Charleston in the tense summer of 1775. At the dawn of the American Revolution, many South Carolinians embraced a popular fallacy that clandestine Catholics might take up arms to help the British government suppress American liberties. Frustrated by this xenophobic rhetoric, two Irishmen in Charleston, John or James Dealy and Laughlin Martin, forcefully expressed their Catholic identity and their right to carry arms. The men voiced no sympathy for the British government, but their statements offended their Protestant neighbors. On the eighth of June 1775, Dealy and Martin became the first men in South Carolina to be publicly humiliated with a coating of tar and feathers.

The 1775 story of John or James Dealy and Laughlin Martin is a tangled narrative that I’ll expand in an upcoming program (see Episode No. 235), but I’ll mention one fact that links it to the pre-war “Irish Church.” Laughlin Martin, who remained in South Carolina after apologizing for his offensive behavior, was probably among the Catholics who gathered under the live-oak tree in Mazyck’s pasture in the years before and during the Revolution. Earlier I mentioned a 1774 newspaper notice for a horse that had strayed “from the pasture of Mr. Starnes, at the Irish Church.” The owner of the missing horse, Thomas McClennan, asked local readers to return the horse to him or “to Mr. Laughlin Martin on the Bay, near the Exchange.”[20]

As I mentioned at the beginning of this program, the forgotten “Irish Church” in Mazyck’s pasture has been hiding in the historical shadow of the more famous Liberty Tree. The two stories are intertwined in the documentary record, however, and form an ironic pair of opposites: One celebrates the spirit of liberty at the dawn of the United States, while the other embodies the religious discrimination of that distant era. That distinction collapsed, more or less, when twenty-five modest tradesmen men gathered at the “Irish Church” in the autumn of 1766 and invited the wealthy Christopher Gadsden, who was at least one-quarter and perhaps even one-half Irish.[21] After sharing a simple meal in the shade, the men joined hands around the grand tree and pledged to support each other in the coming struggle to secure liberty in the face of oppression.

British soldiers chopped down and burned Charleston’s majestic live-oak Liberty Tree in the summer of 1780, shortly after American and French forces surrendered the town on the twelfth of May. At the same time, the occupying forces probably also demolished the old “magasin” or store or snack bar adjacent to the tree. The subsequent conflagration destroyed a site that had long hosted jovial gatherings, recreation, and served as a refuge for Irish folk denied religious freedom. Catholics in the Charleston area emerged from the shadows to form a permanent congregation in 1788 and have flourished since that time. In 2013, the City of Charleston partnered with several local organizations to create an Irish Memorial Park at the east end of Charlotte Street. That park, we now know, is just a stone’s throw from an important historical site long lost to local memory. Nearly two and a half centuries after its disappearance, we are just beginning to remember South Carolina’s first “Irish Church.”



[1] For more information on the subdivision of Cole’s grant, see Henry A. M. Smith, “Charleston and Charleston Neck: The Original Grantees and the Settlements along the Ashley and Cooper Rivers,” South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 19 (January 1918): 5, 10–12.

[2] On 28 February 1700 (probably 1700/1), Mazyck received a warrant for the marsh on the south side of the plantation “lately belonging to Richard Tradd”; the marsh in question now forms the east end of Calhoun Street. On 3 August 1705, Mazyck received a warrant for the marsh to the east of both his twenty-acre tract on the north side of modern Calhoun Street and his ninety-acre tract to the south of Calhoun Street. In the spring of 1707, Mazyck received a grant for all of the abovementioned marshland, comprising seventy-one acres. See A. S. Salley Jr., ed., Warrants for Land in South Carolina 1692–1711 (Columbia: The State Co. for the Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1915), 167, 203; South Carolina Department of Archives and History (hereafter SCDAH), Records of the Secretary of State, Colonial Land Grants (copy series), vol. 39, page 25, item 2; Plat No. 6169 in the John McCrady Plat Collection at the Charleston County Register of Deeds Office.

[3] For more information about the early town boundary and nearby pasturage, see Episode No. 80, No. 111, and No. 136.

[4] The will of Isaac Mazyck, dated 10 January 1735/6 and proved on 9 November 1736, includes many non-standardized French spellings. In the recorded copy, the quoted text appears in section 21: “la petite plantation que jay achepte de feu thered [i.e., Tradd], mais si mon fils Paul la veut avoir pour le pris quil ma offert qui est huit cent piesses il la peut prendre; jordonne ausi quil vend, le vieux magasin qui es den le derriere & ceus qui lachepteros doive avoir la liberte du pasage; il faudra endonner la preferance a Mr. Mocay & Mrs. Ellis.” See SCDAH, Will Book 1732–1737, pages 397–401; WPA transcript volume 66: 501–7. For an English-language version of this will, see Robert Wilson, ed. and trans., “Will of Isaac Mazÿck,” Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina 14 (1907): 26–43. For more information about his career, see Palmer C. Hamilton, “Paul and Isaac Mazÿck: Laying a Foundation in the Midst of Turbulence,” Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina 116 (2012): 1–40.

[5] See, for example, any number of early-eighteenth century deeds concerning town lot No. 13 in Charleston, such as John Fraser, executor of the estate of John McKay, to Peter Delemestre, lease and release, 2–3 May 1740, Charleston County Register of Deeds (hereafter RoD) book T: 614; S: 409; Isaac Mazyck to Mary Ellis, lease and release, 4–5 March 1734, RoD W: 194; Isaac Mazyck Jr. and Paul Mazyck to Mary Ellis, lease and release, 23–24 July 1741, RoD W: 206.

[6] See the will of John McKay of Goose Creek, dated 14 August 1739; recorded on 8 November 1739 in SCDAH, Will Book 1736–1740, page 406; WPA transcript volume 4: 206–7.

[7] The death of Isaac Mazyck was reported in South Carolina Gazette (hereafter SCG), 6–13 March 1735/6, page 2. Isaac the younger sold the “little plantation” to Paul Mazyck sometime between 1736 and 1746, when the latter made his will, but the conveyance was not recorded.

[8] See the will of Paul Mazyck of Charles Town, dated 12 December 1746, proved on 27 October 1749, recorded in SCDAH, Will book 1747–1752, page 174; WPA transcript volume 6: 208–12: “I give & bequeath unto my said son Alexander my Little Plantation on Chas. Town Neck which I purchased from my brother Isaac Mazyck as Exor. to my father’s will.”

[9] Will of Alexander Mazyck of St. James, Goose Creek, dated 22 February 1786; proved on 31 March 1786; recorded in SCDAH, Will Book A, 1783–86, page 629–32; WPA transcript volume 21B: 823–27.

[10] The will of “victualler” Mark Oliver (died 1730) mentioned a minor daughter in Ireland; see in SCDAH, Will Book 1729–1731, page 291–92, WPA transcript volume 2 (1729–1731), 53–56. See also the will of “butcher” Margaret Oliver (died 1765), the widow and administrator of butcher Peter Oliver (died ca. 1757), in SCDAH, Will Book 1760–1767, page 472; WPA transcript volume 10: 601–2. Both John Oliver and James Oliver, sons of Margaret and Peter, received indents after the American Revolution for militia service and for providing beef to the Continental Army. See SCDAH, Accounts Audited of Claims Growing out of the Revolution (series S108092), No. 5620 and No. 5621.

[11] SCG, 11 April 1771, page 1.

[12] South Carolina and American General Gazette (hereafter SCAGG), 25 December 1777, page 4.

[13] See Robert Beard’s advertisement in SCG, 22 October 1772, page 3.

[14] See Thomas McClennan’s advertisement in SCG, 5 December 1774.

[15] Charleston Mercury, 18 February 1824, page 2, “Liberty Tree.”

[16] For more information on these tradesmen, see Richard Walsh, Charleston’s Sons of Liberty: A Study of the Artisans 1763–1789 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1959).

[17] Charleston Mercury, 18 February 1824, page 2, “Liberty Tree.”

[18] Starnes received an indented certificate for £36.2.10 sterling “for 506 days service as private in the 2nd Compy. of ye Charleston Battalion of Artillery in 1780 & 1781 as per pay bill audited”; see SCDAH, Accounts Audited of Claims Growing out of the Revolution (series S108092), file number 7318. I have not been able to find a death date for Daniel Starnes, and he did not leave a will. His state indent includes his signature as well as that of Daniel Starnes junior. There were several men of this surname in Charleston during the second quarter of the eighteenth century, including cordwainer Charles Starnes (died ca. 1738) and barber-cum-vintner James Starnes (active 1759–61), but neither left a will or other surviving records beyond newspaper advertisements.

[19] The will of Eugene Brenan, dated 19 April 1777, was proved sometime shortly thereafter, and recorded in SCDAH, Will Book 1774–1779, page 498; WPA transcript volume 17: 655–56. For notices of Brenan’s business ventures, see South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (hereafter SCGCJ), 26 January 1768, page 3; SCGCJ, 14 June 1768, page 3; SCGCJ, 23 May 1769, page 4; SCG, 14 June 1773, page 6; SCGCJ, 30 November 1773, page 4; SCAGG, 10 April 1777, page 4.

[20] See Thomas McClennan’s advertisement in SCG, 5 December 1774.

[21] Gadsden, whose father was English, identified his maternal grandfather, Christopher Terry, as a native of Ireland. See E. Stanley Godbold and Robert H. Woody, Christopher Gadsden and the American Revolution (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1982), 4.


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