Who has visited the Old Exchange building and the Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina? Well, if you haven’t, you most definitely need to. In the Spring of 1670, Charleston was named “Charles Town” in honor of King Charles II of England. Charles Town was modeled after the architecture of 18th and 19th century England, and it became one of the most flourishing trade ports of Colonial America. The Old Exchange building, which also was a Customs house at the time, was building as the trade markets were taking off, in order to maintain such a large demand for international trade (http://oldexchange.org/history/ ).
So, where does the Provost Dungeon come in? There’s a simple answer, pirates. Pirates also noticed the success of Charles Town’s trade market and they wanted a part in it too. In 1718, Blackbeard, one of the most famous pirates of all time, captured nine ships, took many captive, and demanded medicines as ransom for those held captive (http://oldexchange.org/history/ ). The authorities during those times, such as Colonel William Rhett, were not going to stand for their trade market being harmed. The pirates that were known for being held captive in the Provost Dungeon were Stede Bonnet and his crew. Stede Bonnet, the “Gentleman Pirate,” was known for being under Blackbeard’s command and for coming from a well-known, educated family in the South. So, in 1718, he and his men were captured by Colonel Rhett and placed in captivity in the Provost Dungeon. If you want to know something humorous and interesting, as Bonnet and his men were held in the Provost Dungeon, Bonnet was devising a plan to dress as a woman in order to escape and meet with another pirate, Christopher Moody, at a Charleston bar (http://oldexchange.org/history/ ). Bonnet was very unsuccessful and he was hung in the winter of 1718 at the Battery in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon holds even more Charleston history, such as visits by the first President of the United States, George Washington. So, for more history and information about the Old Exchange building and Provost Dungeon, visit http://oldexchange.org/ and book your next tour!
Friends, I can’t say that you won’t come across ghost pirates while visiting the Provost Dungeon, but I can say that your cup of Lowcountry Blend will be with you when you get scared!