The St. Andrew’s Society was founded in Charleston, South Carolina, on November 30, 1729. Currently active, it is a social organization founded by men who were mainly of Scottish descent, but membership wasn’t limited to Scottish descendants. The purpose of the organization was to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day.
During the 1700s, the organization was extremely popular, and membership grew to include many of South Carolina’s most prominent people, including lawyers, planters, merchants and more. Through dues, gifts, admissions fees and bequests, it generated a substantial revenue and, through these, provided relief to the poor.
Officially incorporated in 1798, it opened a school for the poor on January 9, 1804, and began constructing its own hall in 1814. The hall was completed in 1815.
Throughout its history, the hall hosted many events, including social activities as well as being the meeting place for the Secession Convention. As the first state to secede from the Union, the Ordinance of Secession was officially passed at St. Andrew’s Hall on December 20, 1860.
The building burned on December 11, 1861, which was part of The Great Fire of 1861. This fire burned throughout Charleston, destroying vast extents of the city.
Historical Marker Inscription
Site of the St. Andrew’s Hall
Designed by Hugh Smith
the St. Andrew’s Society of Charleston, S.C.
founded in 1729,
the oldest benevolent organization in the
State of South Carolina
corner stone laid July 4, 1814,
building destroyed by fire December 11, 1861.
Here such societies as the South Carolina Jockey Club, the St. Cecilia society, and the Hebrew Benevolent Association also held their meetings: Here President James Monroe and the Marquis de Lafayette were lodged as guest of the city; and here on December 20, 1860, was passed the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession.