Denmark Vesey Tour
In the midst of a park named in honor of Confederate General Wade Hampton stands a monument that honors Denmark Vesey- a former slave who was executed in 1822 for his role in planning an attempted slave insurrection. The monument was dedicated in 2014 and tells of Vesey's enslavement and self-emancipation, his role in establishing Hampstead AME Church, his role as an educator, and his efforts to end slavery. Vesey was one of thirty-five African Americans who were executed following a series of trials that revealed the scope of the planned rebellion against the institution of slavery in South Carolina. In addition to creating slave patrols and a military barracks to protect the city from possible slave rebellions in the future, the city of Charleston destroyed Vesey's church.
When the Denmark Vesey slave rebellion was discovered and stopped before it could happen in 1822, the white population remained in fear. The South Carolina Legislature established an arsenal to protect the city. The arsenal served its purpose until it was turned into the South Carolina Military Academy in 1842. This school soon became known as The Citadel
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, or “Mother Emanuel,” is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the south. Founded in 1818, it was investigated for involvement in the Vesey slave revolt and burned. The church was rebuilt and worship continued until 1834, when all-Black churches were outlawed. Worship still continued underground, until it was reorganized in 1865, and took the name Emanuel, which in Hebrew means “God with us.” A two-story wooden church was built at the current site in 1872, was damaged in the Charleston Earthquake of 1886. The present day structure was built in 1891.
This single family dwelling was initially thought to be the home of Denmark Vesey, a free Black Charleston carpenter who was tried and executed for planning a slave uprising in 1822. There is no concrete evidence that Vesey ever lived in this house and further research since the time of nomination has concluded that 56 Bull Street was not his home and that the house may not have been standing during his lifetime. It is privately owned, not open to the public, and is currently used as a college student rental property. Privacy of the owners/occupants should be respected