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Charleston: Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon - William Moultrie | by wallyg
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Charleston: Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon - William Moultrie

Charleston native William Moultrie (1730–1805) was a commissioned colonel of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment who led the defense of the small fort on Sullivan's Island (later named Fort Moultrie in his honor). As a result, he was promoted to brigadier general and his regiment was taken into the Continental Army. Captured in the fall of Charleston to the British in 1780, he was later and promoted to major general in 1782, the last man appointed to that rank by Congress. After the war he served as the 35th Governor of South Carolina from 1785–87 and again from 1792–94.


The Exchange and Provost, located at 122 East Bay, was built in 1767 as a mercantile exchange and Custom House. The Georgian-style building, designed by William Rigby Naylor, was badly damaged by Union artillery fire during the Civil War, and again after the great earthquake of 1886, but repaired on both occasions.


In 1774, South Carolina elected delegates to the First Continental Congress in the Exchange’s Great Hall. Seized by the British, it was used as a military prison during the Revolutionary War, where Isaac Hayne, an American executed for treason by the British, spent his last night. In 1788, the State Legislature met here to ratify the new State Constitution. In 1791, President George Washington addressed the citizens of Charlestown from the building’s west elevation, and attended a ball and concert inside. In 1815, the Post Office moved into the Exchange Building. In 1873, the building became City Hall and was bought by the Rebecca Motte Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1912.

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Taken on May 3, 2013