Terrorist Massacre in Charleston
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where nine members were shot to death Wednesday night, allegedly by Dylann Storm Roof, a 21 year-old white supremacist, was burned to the ground in 1822 by whites after they discovered that the church was the center of a plot for a slave revolt.
“In 1822, the church was investigated for its involvement in a planned slave revolt,” according to the Emanuel A.M.E.’s website. “The plot created mass hysteria throughout the Carolinas and the South.”
As a result, all black churches were outlawed, and Emanuel A.M.E.’s congregation was forced to worship underground until the church was formally reorganized in 1865, 43 years later.
Denmark Vesey, one of the church’s founders and a former personal servant of slave trader Captain Joseph Vesey, began to organize the slave revolt around 1821. But his plan was thwarted by slaves George Wilson and Joe LaRoche.
The two alerted authorities that a rebellion was about to take place. Whites hanged Vesey on July 2, 1822. He was 55.
The present church was built in 1872, but it was destroyed by an earthquake on August 31, 1886. The current building was erected in 1891.