Speaker Series: Peg Eastman- St. Philip’s Church of Charleston, An Early History of the Oldest Parish in South Carolina
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St. Philip’s Church was commissioned shortly after the Carolina colony was founded in 1670. Because the Church of England was the established Church, St. Philip’s tried to meet the spiritual needs of the early settlers and also was responsible for oversight of elections, education and social services in everything from healthcare to disaster relief. St. Philip’s churchwardens and vestry enforced morality laws and levied taxes. The colony’s first state funeral- that of Governor Robert Johnson- took place in the church, as did that of the controversial, one-time vice president, Senator John C. Calhoun. Buried in the churchyard are Founding Fathers, pirate hunters, war heroes, statesmen and even the unfortunate victim of a sensational murder. This book recounts the early years of St. Philip’s Church, the people who walked its aisles and some of the early religious conflicts that shook the community. Authors Dorothy Middleton Anderson and Margaret Middleton Rivers Eastman outline the fascinating history of the first church in the new colony.