The Rising Sun Hurricane struck Charleston, South Carolina in mid- September in 1700. Typical of a powerful hurricane making landfall, the storm cut a swath of devastation through the region. This hurricane, however, is best remembered for the eyewitness account detailing the destruction of the storm’s namesake: the Scottish warship, Rising Sun. The Rising Sun was on a return trip to Scotland. The passengers were the remnants of a failed Scottish colony in Panama. The ship ran afoul of a hurricane, while sailing through the Gulf of Mexico. The fierce weather dismasted the Rising Sun, and the ship limped northward, seeking a port to repair the damage. On September 3, the Rising Sun arrived outside of the Charleston Bay, but an underwater sandbar prevented the heavy warship from entering. The Captain dropped anchor, set the crew to lightening the ship. The hurricane arrived as repairs were underway. Edward Hyrne, resident of Charleston, detailed the events that followed in a letter to his wife. Safe in a home overlooking the bay, Hyrne watched as the storm wreaked havoc among the ships throughout the bay, writing, “the greatest mischief fell amongst the shipping, of which about a dozen sail of all sorts were riding at anchor before the town, some of which were driven on shore and broke all in pieces, some were carried a great way up into the marshes and one driven clear over the point of land which parts two rivers into Ashley River, in her way breaking down a pair of gallows from which eight pirates at once were hanged since my coming here.” The fate of the Rising Sun, was covered in Hyrne’s description, and he wrote, “The greatest and most deplorable loss of all was that of a great Scotch ship called the Rising Sun, which … was riding at anchor outside the sand bar, with design to come in here and refit…. The storm rose and she foundered at anchor, the captain and all the Scots on board, being about 100, miserably perishing.” The hurricane had sent the warship up onto the beach, slammed it into pieces, and all of the Rising Sun’s passengers and crew swept out to sea and drowned.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices