Charleston Time Machine: Margaret Daniel: Enterprising Free Woman of Color
Friday, February 24, 2023 Nic Butler, Ph.D.

Margaret Daniel was neither rich nor famous, but the sparse details of her career provide a valuable window into Charleston life around the turn of the nineteenth century. Between the American Revolution and her death in 1817, she baked delicious pastries, catered fancy dinners for Charleston’s White elite, entertained exclusive business meetings, accumulated real estate, and hosted a school for Black children. Her story is not found among the literature concerning local foodways, but the evidence of her long career forms a compelling chapter in our culinary history.

The paper trial documenting the life of Margaret Daniel covers a span of approximately three decades, which I suspect is merely the second half of her remarkable life. Considering the fact that she was a non-white businesswoman living and working in a community dominated by the practice of race-based slavery, we are very fortunate to have any record of her activities at all. Despite exhaustive searching, however, I have not yet found any data about her parentage, her legal condition, or how or when she came to live in urban Charleston. For the time being, the first half of Margaret’s life remains a mystery.[1]

Let’s begin with the firm facts related to Margaret’s identity. Many of the records associated with her career identify her simply as Mrs. Daniel. That is to say, she was married at some point, probably before the American Revolution, and she was likely not born with the surname Daniel. As early as 1796, contemporaries identified her as a widow, though her unidentified husband probably died sometime during the 1780s.[2] She might have been the wife of an obscure shopkeeper named John Daniel, who in 1778, with his wife Margaret, sold a piece of property on Charleston’s King Street to a local baker. In lieu of a signature, this Margaret drew an “X” or cross to signify her assent to the sale. This practice of making one’s mark was very common in early South Carolina, especially among less affluent women who might learn to read but not to write. In all subsequent manuscripts concerning the pastry cook named Margaret Daniel, with one notable exception, she made a similar mark in lieu of a signature.[3]


Many of the eighteenth-century documents related to Mrs. Daniel identify her as a pastry cook, caterer, and property owner, without any mention of her skin color or legal condition. She was free and well-known within her community, so there was no need to draw attention to such divisive details. Racial tensions flared in Charleston at the turn of the nineteenth century, however, as the local population of free persons of African descent swelled and the city received many hundreds of refugees fleeing a bloody slave revolt in the French island colony of Saint Domingue. In this increasingly tense context, Margaret’s skin color became a matter of public record.

During the later years of her life, Margaret identified herself as a “Black woman,” and also a “free woman of color,” using a common phrase of her time. At the turn of the nineteenth century, these terms embraced people with a myriad of genetic and geographic backgrounds, however. Following the example of eighteenth-century British English, the American racial term “Black” encompassed both people of African ancestry and people from the subcontinent of India. “East Indian” people, as they were once called, circulated throughout the British Empire before and long after the American Revolution, though their numbers in the North American colonies were rather small. Generally speaking, however, Anglo-American colonials did not enslave “Black” East Indian people and transport them to the Americas in chains.

The law and culture of early South Carolina circumscribed the liberty of all non-white citizens in varying degrees, whether they were enslaved or legally free. Margaret Daniel, in spite of such conditions, seems to have enjoyed a comparatively successful career with a clientele that included some of the most affluent and powerful White members of her community. This fact, combined with the lack of any records confirming an enslaved background, suggests that her family roots might have extended back to the subcontinent of India rather than Africa. Her connection to a bona fide “East Indian” woman in Charleston at the turn of the nineteenth century, Mary Clodner Vesey, tends to support this hypothesis. More about that topic shortly.

The range of Margaret’s social flexibility is manifest in a small scrap of paper that might represent the earliest surviving record of her catering career. Among the manuscript collections of the South Carolina Historical Society is a receipt created by (or perhaps on behalf of) the well-connected pastry cook. On the 6th of November, 1779, “Margret [sic] Daniel” acknowledged receipt of £21 (South Carolina currency) from one “Mrs. Mott” (perhaps the famous Rebecca Brewton Motte) for the delivery of two dozen “cheese cakes” and three (or perhaps three dozen) “pudding[s].” The entire text of this brief document, including the signature and faulty arithmetic, was written by the same, reasonably competent hand using the standard quill and ink of that day. Without further examples of Margaret’s handwriting, it’s impossible to know if she personally drafted the receipt or relied on the penmanship of an associate or spouse.[4]

Regardless of who signed Margaret Daniel’s name in the autumn of 1779, the receipt demonstrates that she was an established pastry cook in Charleston by the fourth winter of the American Revolution. The patronage of the affluent Motte family suggests that Margaret enjoyed a sterling reputation likely built on several years of consistent service, providing bespoke confections in the quantities required for genteel social gatherings within the city’s finest venues. The nature of this service and the fruits of her kitchen are, in fact, reminiscent of another female pastry cook who preceded Mrs. Daniel. Margaret Nelson (occasionally spelled Neilson), “Pastry-Cook from London,” advertised repeatedly in Charleston from the summer of 1768 until her death in 1772, publishing mouth-watering lists of the cakes, puddings, tarts, and pies she baked for customers on demand. Although Mrs. Nelson’s brief career in South Carolina produced no lasting records of her background or family, it is possible that she had a daughter named Margaret who followed in her culinary footsteps.[5]

Like many other free persons of color in early Charleston, Margaret Daniel is known to have owned enslaved people during her long career.[6] In July 1790, for example, she purchased a “mulatto girl slave named Abby” from Thomas Jones (1742–1826), who was the intendant (mayor) of Charleston at that moment.[7] Mr. Jones was not the legal owner of Abby, however, but rather the executor of the estate of Susannah Snelling. In her will, drafted less than a month before the sale in question, Miss Snelling directed her “esteemed friend” Thomas Jones to let her slaves choose new masters, as long as the candidates were willing pay “their real value” to Mr. Jones.[8] Abby must have appealed to Margaret Daniel, a businesswoman with whom Abby might have already had a working relationship. Mrs. Daniel paid £40 sterling for the “mulatto girl” Abby, who might have adopted the surname Jones. A few years later, after gaining her own freedom, this Abby might very well have been Abigail Jones, the pastry-baking wife of the mulatto tailor named Jehu Jones (ca. 1769–1833).[9]

Some weeks after Abby joined the Daniel household in Charleston, at an unknown location, agents of the United States government went door-to-door to gather names and statistics for the first Federal Census. The census enumerator for the Parishes of St. Philip and St. Michael (urban Charleston) identified “Free Mrs. Daniel” as the head of a household that included four free, non-white citizens and one enslaved person. While we can confidently identify the latter as Abby, the identity of Margaret’s three free housemates is unknown. They might have been her children, but nothing definite is known about her immediate family.

The location of Mrs. Daniel’s residence in 1790 is unknown, and she might not have owned a kitchen of her own in the aftermath of the American Revolution and her husband’s death. In December of that year, however, we catch a glimpse of her working environment in a brief newspaper notice. To celebrate their corporate anniversary, an elite militia unit called the Charleston Battalion of Artillery summoned its members to gather on December 14th at “Mr. Turner’s long room, (late [the] city tavern)” at the northeast corner of Broad and Church Streets, where they enjoyed a festive “dinner provided by Mrs. Daniel.”[10]


Margaret Daniel began to create her own working venue in the spring of 1792. That April, she purchased what was apparently a vacant lot on the east side of Church Street, a few yards north of Stoll’s Alley. The seller, James Verree, had moved to New Jersey, and left a local house builder, Joseph Dill, in charge of selling his property. The lot in question, now called No. 56 Church Street, measured a little more than twenty-nine feet wide and 182 feet deep, surrounded by a number of older but respectable wooden residences owned by White, slaveholding Charlestonians. Margaret immediately mortgaged the property back to Mr. Verree in exchange for a loan of the purchase price of £200 sterling.[11] Standing in the background of these proceedings as a witness was one Stephen Seymour (ca. 1740–1806), Harbor Master of Charleston, whose presence merits mention. Although he is largely forgotten today, Captain Seymour was likely the father of a mulatto girl he called Sally Martin, to whom he left his modest estate.[12] Sally was manumitted by Thomas Martin in 1795, and, like Abby Jones, was probably a protégé of Margaret Daniel during the 1790s. During the early years of the nineteenth century, she enjoyed a successful career of her own as the celebrated pastry cook Sally Seymour (ca. 1779–1824).[13]

Margaret Daniel, perhaps with the assistance of Joseph Dill, was responsible for the construction of a modest residence and work space on her lot, described a few years later as “a neat two story house on [the] front, containing six rooms, with a piazza neatly closed in by venetian blinds and a balcony; two complete kitchens, with large ovens,” a “wash house, and necessary out buildings.”[14] After satisfying the mortgage on the lot, house, and kitchens in 1796, she paid for the construction of a two-story, rectangular structure behind the main house that included an upstairs “long room” or multi-purpose entertainment space. During daylight hours, Black children allegedly gathered here to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic, while adults Black and White assembled at night to dance and partake of Mrs. Daniel’s well-known culinary talents. Margaret did not advertise or brag about such activities, but her more conservative neighbors complained to the local authorities.

In April 1798, Mrs. Daniel invited the public to visit her “New Ball Room” to view a curious art installation. The exhibit, for which Margaret charged admission, included “about one thousand LIKENESSES, octavo size, of the most distinguished characters the world had produced, men and women, known by their talents, virtue, and crimes . . . made by Mr. Bonneville, the artist in Paris.” This colorful collection, said the proprietor, included “the principal actors of the French Revolution; also the elegant engravings of the different events of the Revolution, together with an optical machine containing several interesting subjects, too tedious to mention in an advertisement.”[15]

Several days after the opening of this “Historical Gallery,” an anonymous citizen published a complaint in the local newspaper, alerting city officials to alleged illegal activities taking place at Mrs. Daniel’s new venue. The author, who called himself “A Friend to Morality,” did not identify Margaret by name, but she was clearly the target of his complaint. “Contrary to the city ordinances, there is . . . a house of entertainment kept by a woman of color, in Church-street, who has a long room and keeps a school for black children, and frequent dances at said house, composed of a mixture of inhabitants; and the offenders of the laws pass unnoticed.”[16] Despite the serious nature of the allegations leveled by this “Friend to Morality,” city authorities had little cause to complain about the business practices of Margaret Daniel. The local constabulary might have asked her to minimize the nocturnal disturbances, but they did not put a stop to her business. On the contrary, the city’s most respectable White men seem to have embraced Margaret’s house of entertainment at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Between 1799 and 1802, if not earlier, the members of several local men’s clubs held quarterly business meetings and festive annual dinners at “Mrs. Daniel’s Long room in Church Street.” These repeat visitors included the Society of the Cincinnati, the St. Cecilia Society, the American Revolution Society, the St. George’s Society, and the Junior St. Andrew’s Society.[17] This very public patronage of a business owned by Black woman testified to the strength of her local reputation, and was undoubtedly founded on many years of experience with Margaret’s cooking and hospitality.


Affluent White men did not monopolize Margaret’s floor space, however. In October 1801, Charleston’s City Gazette published an advertisement for a remarkable phenomenon of that time, “A School for People of Colour,” held at Mrs. Daniel’s in Church Street. Classes in “English Grammar, Writing, and Arithmetic” were scheduled to begin on the first Monday in November. In addition, read the advertisement, “a gentleman of known abilities will attend there daily for other additional branches of education.” Interested parties were directed to apply at Mrs. Daniel’s well-known venue for further information, but the fate of the school is unknown. The advertisement appeared only three times in just one week. Either the subscription list was quickly filled by eager students, or local authorities discouraged further advertisement of what many White citizens considered to be a dangerous pursuit.[18]

To augment her income, Mrs. Daniel also hired rooms to boarders—like a short-term rental facility within the heart of a residential neighborhood. Margaret never advertised this facet of her business portfolio, but the 1802 edition of the Charleston city directory identified Mrs. Daniel of Church Street as both a “pastry cook” and the proprietor of a “boarding house.”[19] The identity and skin color of her customers is unknown, but we might imagine that it served as a sort of model for the prestigious Jones Hotel, opened by Abigail and Jehu Jones on Broad Street in 1816, which catered to wealthy White visitors.

In late March 1802, Mrs. Daniel’s Long Room hosted another remarkable phenomenon—the estate sale of an enigmatic woman named Mary Clodner Vesey.[20] Mrs. Vesey, the former owner of Denmark Vesey and common-law wife of Captain Joseph Vesey, and had died earlier the same year at her commodious home on Charleston Neck known as “the Grove,” which she had purchased for a large sum in 1796.[21] The deed identified the purchaser as “Mary Clodner commonly called Mary Vesey a free East Indian now residing in the City of Charleston.”[22] Whether or not Margaret Daniel had any sort of relationship with Mary is presently unknown, but the disposal of Mrs. Vesey’s effects suggest a connection between the two women. The estate sale was initially advertised to take place at Vesey’s Grove (now called Lowndes’s Grove), nearly three miles north of Charleston’s urban boundary, but was later changed to “Mrs. Daniel’s Long Room, Church-street,” in the heart of the city. There, on March 29th, 1802, a vendue master called for cash bids on a large assortment of household and kitchen furniture, silver plate, plantation tools, farm animals, and seven enslaved people of African descent.[23]

Mary Clodner Vesey had enjoyed some wealth in her later years at the turn of the nineteenth century, but Margaret Daniel was not quite so fortunate. In fact, she was experiencing a financial crisis during the spring of 1802. Two years earlier, one of her suppliers, a Charleston factor named James Carson, had filed suit to recover a small debt remaining from a large supply of bacon and other comestibles that Margaret had purchased in 1799. Her attorney, Thomas Hinds, defended Mrs. Daniel’s reputation in the local Court of Common Pleas, but a jury in 1801 rendered a verdict in favor of Mr. Carson. The judge then ordered the district sheriff to levy the sum of $245.25 on the property of Margaret Daniel if she did not pay the plaintiff in a timely manner.[24] The court’s patience was wearing thin in early 1802, forcing Margaret to consider her future. In April of that year, one month after the sale of Mary Vesey’s estate, Mrs. Daniel sold all of her Church Street property to a local grocer, Duncan Love, for £1,000 sterling.[25] She apparently remained in place for some months longer, until she secured a new place of residence and business.[26]

In late August 1802, Margaret Daniel purchased another parcel of downtown real estate, a rectangular lot at the northeast corner of Archdale Street and Beresford Street (now called Fulton Street), measuring approximately twenty-eight feet wide and 119 feet deep.[27] Using the remaining profit from the sale of her Church Street property, she purchased or built another modest, wooden residence and a large kitchen to continue her culinary trade. Her work was apparently in decline, however, due to reasons unknown. Perhaps she was simply growing weary from the constant labor of catering to the demands of her increasingly conservative White clientele. It’s worth noting that none of the affluent clubs and societies that had once patronized her long room in Church Street followed her across town to Beresford Street. To economize further in 1805, she divided her rectangular strip of land on the north side of Beresford Street into two unequal parcels and sold the smaller eastern portion to a wealthy White planter named Thomas Pinckney. As I described in Episode No. 228, Mr. Pinckney conveyed a house on this lot in 1807 to his young mulatto mistress named Eliza Pinckney and their mixed-race children.[28]

The Charleston city directories of 1806 and 1807 still identified Margaret as a “pastry cook,” working and residing at the northeast corner of Archdale and Beresford Streets, but her career was nearly over.[29] At the end of 1806, Mrs. Daniel again subdivided this property. To one Sarah Cooper she sold the eastern portion of her remaining property, measuring approximately thirty feet square, and retained for herself a modest rectangular lot at the corner of Archdale Street.[30]

In the spring of 1808, Margaret advertised that she was ready for a change of scenery and was perhaps stepping away from her long cooking career. That April, the Charleston Courier printed a small notice that “a free woman of colour, of good character and disposition, would be glad to engage to go to the northward with a family during the summer months.” Interested parties were directed to “inquire at Margaret Daniel’s [house], [at the] corner of Beresford and Archdale-streets.”[31] Whether or not she accompanied a White family to the northern states for the summer of 1808 is unknown, as are her movements over the next several years. Her name disappeared from subsequent editions of the Charleston city directory, and she seems to have retired from commercial life in the Palmetto City.

In June 1811, Margaret Daniel summoned to her assistance a man in whom she apparently placed great trust. Jehu Jones, a mulatto tailor who had purchased his own freedom in 1798, might have been like a foster son to the elder woman. As I mentioned earlier, it’s possible that Mrs. Daniel nurtured the early careers of Jones and his wife, Abigail. With Jehu’s consent, Margaret assigned her power of attorney to him in a formal document recorded before two White witnesses. Describing herself as “a free woman of the City of Charleston,” she empowered Jones to collect money due to her, and to settle her debts “as I might or could do if I was personally present.”[32]

At some point after empowering Jehu Jones to act on her behalf, Mrs. Daniel left her modest residence in urban Charleston and retired to a more bucolic setting in the rural parish of St. James, Goose Creek. For reasons unknown and through circumstances unrecorded, Margaret apparently settled on or near a plantation owned by a White widow named Mary Mazyck. Her property, called Liberty Hall by a later generation, included a small community of enslaved people of African descent like every other plantation in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Whether or not Mrs. Daniel knew some of these people earlier in her life, or if Mrs. Mazyck had perhaps invited the elderly confectioner to her plantation is unknown. In either case, Margaret settled in and received some manner of comfort and care during her final days.[33]

On the 23rd of December, 1816, Margaret Daniel placed her familiar cross-mark on one final document—her last will and testament. She identified herself as “a black woman of Charleston” who was residing in the Parish of St. James, Goose Creek. After recommending her soul to the hands of “my blessed redeemer,” she turned to the disposal of her worldly possessions. To administer her estate after her death, she nominated two men she described as “my friends,” James Martin and Jehu Jones of Charleston. She directed them to deliver to “my friend Mary Ann, a black woman belonging to Mrs. Mary Mazyck of Goose Creek, a full entire suit of mourning as a token of my friendship & gratitude to her for her past services & attention to me.” “To Sarah Pencill [sic] eldest daughter of Charles & Margaret Pencill [sic]”—perhaps Margaret’s granddaughter and daughter—“I give & bequeath my wearing apparel bed & bed clothes.” More generally, however, to “the children of Margaret Pencill [ca. 1789–1833] which are now living & which she may have here after,” Mrs. Daniel bequeathed “the lot with the buildings thereon at the corner of Beresford & Archdale streets with the rest & residue of my property that I shall leave to be equally divided amongst them.”[34]

The death of Margaret Daniel is not recorded in any known document, and it’s doubtful her grave is still marked in any way within the modern landscape of Goose Creek. Her will was filed in Charleston on the 9th of October, 1817, which might have been some weeks or perhaps months after her demise. Memory of her culinary career soon faded among the gourmands of Charleston, as other pastry cooks like Abigail Jones, Sally Seymour, Antoinette Valentine, and others rose to prominence and brought new dishes to perfection in the Palmetto City.

In a city and region that celebrates its diverse culinary heritage, Margaret Daniel merits mention as an important link between the British colonial traditions of the eighteenth century and the Americanization of local foodways in the early nineteenth century. We presently have an imperfect understanding of her origins and identity, but the extant evidence of her career in Charleston places her at the top of the food chain, so to speak, during an important era in the community’s history. When we gather in future to discuss the legacy of forgotten Black cooks and entrepreneurs, please remember to set a place for Margaret Daniel.


[1] At the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (hereafter SCDAH), I have searched through the Miscellaneous Records of the Secretary of State (Main Series), which contain most of the manumissions recorded in early South Carolina. I also searched the extant wills and estate inventories of eighteenth-century South Carolinians with the surname Daniel, looking for a private manumission of an enslaved girl or woman named Margaret, Margy, Peggy, etc.

[2] The Charleston city directory of 1796 identified Margaret Daniel as a “widow” residing at 115 Church Street (now number 56 Church Street); see James William Hagy, People and Professions of Charleston, South Carolina, 1782–1802 (Clearfield Company, 1992), 52.

[3] John Daniel of Charleston, shopkeeper, and Margaret Daniel, his wife, to John Adam Minnick of Charleston, baker, lease and release, 15–16 October 1778, Charleston County Register of Deeds (hereafter CCRD), Z4: 32–35. The property in question was on the west side of King Street, slightly north of the midpoint between Liberty and Wentworth Streets. I can find no evidence of how the Daniels acquired this property. Margaret also made her mark on a separate renunciation of her dower rights to this property; see SCDAH, Renunciation of Dower Books (Court of Common Pleas), volume beginning in 1775, pages 210–11.

[4] Receipt dated 6 November 1799 (11/332/11) from the Harriott Horry Ravenel Family Papers (#1086) at the South Carolina Historical Society.

[5] See, for example, Margaret Nelson’s advertisement in South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, 19 July 1768, page 3; South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, 8 November 1768, page 3; South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, 16 May 1769, page 3; South Carolina and American General Gazette, 5–14 February 1771 (Thursday), page 3. Vintner Eugene Brenan advertised as the administrator of Mrs. Nelson’s estate in South Carolina Gazette, 10 December 1772, page 3, and 31 January 1774, page 1.

[6] On 11 June 1799, for example, Margaret Daniel sold to Cornelius O’Driscoll “a Negro man named Raphael Somarsall” for £70; SCDAH, Miscellaneous Records, Bills of Sale, book 3N (1799–1803), page 201.

[7] “Margarett Daniell” of the city of Charleston, “confectioner,” to Thomas Jones, mortgage, 21 July 1790, SCDAH, Mortgages (Charleston Series), 3G: 40. This document states Daniel purchased Abby on the same day for £40 from Jones, who was liquidating the estate of Susannah Snelling.

[8] See the will of Susannah Snelling of Charleston, dated 26 June 1790; proved on 9 July 1790; recorded in SCDAH, Will Book B (1786–1793), 429; WPA transcript volume 23: 666–68. Miss Snelling was buried at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church.

[9] For more information about Jehu Jones, see Roberta V. H. Copp, comp., Jehu Jones: Free Black Entrepreneur; South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Document Packet No. 1 (Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1989). The Charleston city directory of 1806 identified Abigail Jones as a pastry cook; The city directory of 1816 identified her as a pastry cook at Jones’s Hotel. See E. Horace Fitchett, “The Free Negro In Charleston, South Carolina” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1950), 99.

[10] [Charleston, S.C.] City Gazette, 13 December 1790, page 3, “Battalion Orders.” Note that the original version of this notice, published on 10 December, did not include the reference to Mrs. Daniel.

[11] James Verre of Burlington, New Jersey, house carpenter, by his attorney, Joseph Dill of Charleston, South Carolina, to “Margery Daniel pastry cook of the city and state above mentioned,” lease and release, 18–19 April 1792, CCRD, F6: 353–57; Margery [sic] Daniel to James Verre, mortgage, 18 April 1792, CCRD F6: 357–58. An noted dated 28 July 1796 affirmed that Mrs. Daniel had satisfied the mortgage.

[12] Stephen Seymour left his estate to “Salley Martin, a free black woman”; See his will, dated __ January 1806; proved on 5 September 1806; recorded in SCDAH, Will Book D (1800–1807), page 676; WPA transcript volume 30: 1025–26.

[13] Thomas Martin to Sally, manumission, 20 August 1795, SCDAH, Miscellaneous Records (Main Series), 3F: 167–68. Curiously, David S. Shields, The Culinarians: Lives and Careers from the First age of American Fine Dining (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), 84–85, asserts that Sally Seymour studied under an English chef named Adam Prior, who advertised his brief tenure in Charleston only once. See Charleston Morning Post, 2 June 1786, page 3, “Adam Prior.”

[14] In City Gazette, 21 June 1803, page 3, “To be Let, immediately, Or For Sale,” the property was described as measuring 29 ½ feet on Church Street and 142 feet deep; In City Gazette, 27 June 1803, page 3, “For Sale, A House and Lot, No. 109, Church-street,” however the property was more accurately described as measuring 29 ½ feet wide and 182 feet deep.

[15] City Gazette, 12 April 1798, page 1, “Daily Amusement”; see also City Gazette, 23 April 1798, page 3, “Celebrated Men, Or, Historical Gallery, in Miniature.”

[16] City Gazette, 25 April 1798, page 3, “A Hint to the City Officers” (emphasis original).

[17] See, for example, South Carolina State Gazette, 20 February 1799, page 3, “American Revolution Society”; City Gazette, 23 February 1799, page 3, “Yesterday, being the birth-day of General Washington”; City Gazette, 20 March 1799, page 3, “St. George’s Society”; SCSG, 18 June 1800, page 3, “Cincinnati”; City Gazette, 3 December 1800, page 3, “The following toasts were drank by the Junior St. Andrew’s Society”; City Gazette, 6 January 1801, page 3, “Cincinnati”; City Gazette, 3 July 1801, page 3, “Cincinnati”; City Gazette, 3 July 1801, page 3, “American Revolution Society”; City Gazette, 24 November 1801, page 3: “St. Cecilia Society”; City Gazette, 6 January 1802, page 3, “Cincinnati”; and others.

[18] City Gazette, 20 October 1801 (Tuesday), page 3, “A School for People of Colour.” A cypher at the bottom of this advertisement, “tuf 10,” indicates that Mrs. Daniel or someone else paid to have this advertisement appear on consecutive Tuesdays and Fridays for a total of ten appearances. The advertisement appeared in the City Gazettes only three times, however, on 20, 24 (Saturday), and 27 October, and not afterwards.

[19] “Daniel, Mrs., Pastry Cook & Boarding House, 109 Church St.”; see Hagy, People and Professions, 96.

[20] City Gazette, 25 March 1802, page 4, “By permission.”

[21] “Inventory and Appraisement of all and singular the goods and chattels of Mary Clodner Vesey of St. Philip’s Parish deceased,” 1 March 1802, SCDAH, Inventories and Appraisements, Book D (1800–1810), 80–82.

[22] See John Beaufain Irving to Mary Clodner Vesey, lease and release of “the Grove” for £1,200 sterling, 8 July 1796, CCRD P6: 467–71; recorded on 26 July 1796.

[23] The initial advertisement for the estate of Mary C. Vesey appears in City Gazette, 6 March 1802, page 3, “By permission.” The revised location appears in City Gazette, 25 March 1802, page 4, “By permission.”

[24] James Carson vs. Margaret Daniel, SCDAH, Judgment Rolls (Charleston District)(L10018), 1801, item 171A.

[25] Margery [sic] Daniel to Duncan Love, release, 26 April 1802, CCRD F7: 366–67.

[26] Despite selling the property in question, and presumably satisfying her debt to James Carson, the Sheriff of Charleston District included a brief description of Mrs. Daniel’s former Church Street property in advertisements for a sheriff’s sale in the late spring of 1803; see City Gazette, 16 May 1803, page 3, “Sheriff’s Sales.” James Carson submitted to the court a written acknowledgment of the debt on 19 May 1803, and descriptions of Mrs. Daniel’s former property disappeared from the sheriff’s advertisements after 23 May 1803. Carson’s receipt is included in the aforementioned court records.

[27] Michael Keckely and Elizabeth, his wife, to Margaret Daniel, release for $2,000, 28 August 1802, CCRD K7: 141–43.

[28] In 1803, Mrs. Daniel leased to Charles Frost the easternmost portion of her Beresford Street property, adjacent to the western portion of the lot “where she now resides,” and granted Frost permission to erect additional structures on the lot, which she might purchase at the expiration of the lease (see Margaret Daniel to Charles Frost, lease for twelve years, 1 January 1803, CCRD: N7: 118–19). Mr. Frost died before September 1805 and Margaret Daniel reclaimed the said property and sold it to Thomas Pinckney (see Margaret Daniel to Thomas Pinckney Jr., conveyance, 26 September 1805, CCRD, M8: 265).

[29] The city directories of 1806 and 1807 include “Daniel, Margaret Mrs., Pastry Cook, 22 Archdale St.”; see James William Hagy, City Directories for Charleston, South Carolina, For the Years 1803, 1806, 1807, 1809, and 1813 (Clearfield Company, 1995), 30, 64.

[30] Margaret Daniel to Sarah Cooper, conveyance, 6 December 1806, CCRD T7: 227–28.

[31] Charleston Courier, 1 April 1808, page 2, “A free Woman of colour.”

[32] Margaret Daniel to Jehu Jones, power of attorney, SCDAH, Miscellaneous Records (Main Series), C4: 574–75. This document was signed in the presence of John George Spidle and John Collins.

[33] Mary Mazyck (1763–1845) was the widow of Stephen Mazyck (1756–1808). Note that the present historical marker for Liberty Hall Plantation in Goose Creek incorrectly states that Mary was the widow of Stephen Mazyck (1787–1832), a planter in the neighboring parish of St. John’s, Berkeley.

[34] Will of Margaret Daniel, dated 23 December 1816; proved on 9 October 1817; recorded in SCDAH, Will Book E (1807–1818), page 661; WPA Transcript volume 33C (1807–1818), 1306. Witnesses to the will included Eliza Y. Thomson, B. Mazyck, and Elizabeth P. Legare. Note that the Pencil heirs (spelled variously), appealed to the Equity Court in 1852 for a division of property stemming from the legacy of Margaret Daniel; see Charleston Courier, 3 February 1852, page 3, “Under Decree in Equity, A. Pencile, et al., vs. Sarah Perry”; James W. Gray, Master in Equity, to Dr. M. E. Carrere, conveyance of title, 3 February 1852, CCRD I12: 307–8.


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