This serene image represented in oil by Charleston artist Chuck Morris, called Late Light, depicts a view of Rantowles Creek, which leads to the Stono River. It was very near this location where the Stono Rebellion took place on September 9, 1739 – the largest slave uprising in the colonies prior to the Revolutionary War.
On that Sunday morning, a group of around 20 slaves visited a local mercantile called Hutchinson’s Store and killed two shopkeepers after taking arms and ammunition from the store’s inventory. The well-armed slaves then marched south towards Florida, where they hoped to be freed. Along the way the group killed slave owners, burned homes, and recruited new members to their cause, whether voluntarily or by force.
Just before reaching the Edisto River, the rebels were met by a large band of armed white men – around 100 – and gunfire broke out between the two groups. When the event subsided, more than 20 whites and 40 slaves were killed. Most of the remaining slaves were then captured and executed, though some escaped. These, however, were captured eventually, in one case as much as six months later. In response to the rebellion, the Negro Act was enacted in 1740, which severely limited the rights of slaves such as learning to read and write or gathering in a group.
Today Rantowles Creek is a popular spot for kayakers and runs beneath the Rantowles Creek Bridge, pictured above. The bridge was built in 1925 with a girder vertical lift. The railroad is still in use by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and is the site from where the scene in the above oil painting was captured.
More Pictures of Rantowles Creek