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Posted on May 4th, 2018

As the capital of the Carolina colony and one of the most successful ports in the British American colonies, Charleston was a hotbed of political unrest in the years leading up to and during the American Revolution. The need for powder magazines was crucial but storing the explosives in the rapidly developing city center posed a risk. To avoid this, South Carolina's royal colonial government authorized the construction of a series of gunpowder storehouses in less developed areas along the harbor. In 1770, nearly 250 years ago to the day, work began on a powder magazine near Hobcaw Point shipyard along the Wando River. The brick powder magazine was encircled by a four-sided earthen fortification, along a creek referred to as Magazine Creek, most likely today's Molasses Creek, and was guarded by a detachment of colonial militia. In one instance in 1775, as tensions continued to rise between the royal government and Patriots, the Patriot-led Secret Committee made up of local leaders, including William Henry Drayton (delegate to the Continental Congress), Arthur Middleton (signer of the Declaration of Independence), Henry Laurens (fifth president of the Continental Congress) and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (wealthy Mount Pleasant planter and delegate to the Constitutional Convention), raided Hobcaw Point Powder Magazine of 1,100 pounds of gun powder. [1]
By 1836, the magazine had become "very dilapidated, unoccupied and abandoned," and Paul Remley, of Remley's Point, and others filed a petition to sell the "public nuisance," and use the proceeds for the local school. [2] Today, the former location of Hobcaw Point Powder Magazine is near the area of Hobcaw Point shipyard.
[2] Petition
#S165015, Petitions to the General Assembly, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.
Image credit: Eighteen century plat depicting Hobcaw Point Battery Magazine, courtesy of the Town of the Mount Pleasant.
The Town of Mount Pleasant Historical Commission releases Quick Fact Fridays about the history of Mount Pleasant and about the Commission, its programs and activities. Historical facts are drawn largely from the Our History section of the Town's website and the Commission's own Mount Pleasant Historical website and app. Follow their links by clicking on the images below to discover what makes Mount Pleasant such a distinctive historical place!  To receive Quick Fact Friday messages click here to register. To also receive news from the Culture, Arts and Pride Commission, click here to register.
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