The French Protestant
(Huguenot) Church

Corner of Church and Queen Streets, CHARLESTON

Transcribed for South Carolina Genealogy Trails by D. Whitesell



The French Protestant (Huguenot) Church in the city of Charleston, South Carolina (1898)

Mural Tablets in the Huguenot Church, Charleston, SC

1699 - Rev. ELIAS PRIOLEAU. Dedicated to the memory of Ellias Prioleau. Minister  of the Gospel according to the doctrines of the Reformed Church of France. A  native of Pons in Saintonge. He was one of the Emigrants, who, on the Revocation  of the Edict of Nantes, sought freedom of conscience in South Carolina. When he  commenced his Ministerial labors in Fiance is not known; but some of his
Manascript addresses, still preserved, show that he was engaged in them in 1677.  In this country he continued those labors as Minister of this Church. His  father, Samuel Prioleau. son of Antonio Prioli. was born in Venice about 1618;  was educated in France, where he embraced the doctrines of the Reformation, and became a Minister of Christ, first at Rochelle. and afterwards at Pons, at which place he died in 1683. The Rev. Elias Prioleau died in the autumn of  1699, at his farm on Midway, now Back River, in St. James Goose Creek; and  there, his remains repose.   This tablet is erected by several of his  descendants, worshippers in this edifice, built on the site of that in which he preached. 1850.

1785-1770-1835 - ISAAC MAZYCK, and his sons, ISAAC AND PAUL MAZYCK. In memory of Isaac Mazyck ; born at St. Martin, in the Isle of Rhe, 11th of June. 1661, left France in 1685, in consequence of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz. settled in South Carolina in 1686, and died 7th of March, 1735; and of his eldest son. Isaac Mazyck; born in Charleston. 6th of March, 1700, died 23th of July, 1770. He was many years a leading member of the Provincial Assembly, and was appointed one of the Assistant Judges of the Province in 1740. Their remains were interred at the East end of the old French Protestant Church, and are now covered by this building. This monument is erected in obedience to the testamentary directions of Paul Mazyck. sixth son of the latter, who was born 4th January. 1744, and died 6th June, 1835. His remains are deposited in the cemetery of this church.

1716 - LOUIS GOURDIN. Louis Gourdix. the ancestor of the family of Gourdin in South Carolina, was born in the Province of Artois. France, a Huguenot, and on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz in 1685, a refugee, he came to the Province of Carolina, settled on the Echaw, near the Santee River, and died in 1716. Time has consigned to oblivion his virtues and his frailties: nevertheless, venerating his steadfastness to principle, and grateful that, under the Divine guidance.he has given them an inheritance in a land blessed with civil and religious liberty, the fourth and fifth generations of his descendants dedicate this tablet to his name and memory. "The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places." 1860.

1726-1727—ISAAC PORCHER, M. D., and his wife. CLAUDE CHERIGNY. In memory of Isaac Porcher. M. D.. a native of Severe, Province of Berry, in France; and of his wife, Claude Cherigxy, a native of La Roche Posay, Touraine.  Attached to the faith professed by the French Protestant Church, they sought a refuge from persecution after the Revocation of the Kdirt of Nantes, first in England, and afterwards in the Province of Carolina, where they found a home in the Parish of St. James. Berkeley County. After a union of forty-four years and eleven months, she died September 10th, 1726,aged sixty five years and four months: he died March, 1727.  This tablet is erected in pursuance of the intention of Samuel Porcher. of St. Stephens, their great grandson. 1859.

PETER CHARLES GAILLARD—Fifth in descent from Pierre Gaillakd, the Huguenot, of Poiton, France. Born December 29th, 1812, died January 11th. 1889. An Elder of this Church.  1861-1865, Colonel 27th Regt., S. C. V. C. S. A. 1866, Mayor of Charleston.   "The memory of the just is blessed."

1761 - ANTOINE De SAUSSURE and HENRI DeSAUSSURE. Antoine De Saussure, Seigneiur De Dommartin, et de Monteuil, near Amance, France, having embraced the principles of the Reformation, abandoned his dignities and estates in Lorraine, and fled with his family from persecution into Switzerland in 1551, where he was an inflential advocate of the Protestant faith.  He took a bold and active part in the cause of the Reformation at Metz, Strasbourg, Geneava and Neufchatel; from the latter of which this church derives its Liturgical Services.  Between John Calvin and himself there existed a close friendship, as evinced by their reciprocal letters still preserved by the branch of the family residing at Geneva.  His descendants continue true to the Reformed Faith: one of them, Henri DeSaussure, removed from lausanne, Switzerland, to South Carolina, in 1730, and settled as a planter in Beaufort District, where he died in 1761, highly esteemed and respected.  A monumental stone near Coosawatchie, markes the place of his sepulture, and attests the filial piety of his children.  In this was of the Revolution his four sons, and a grandson, took an active part.  In the cause of Independence, Louis and Thomas died on battlefiels; Henry from disease caused by exposures of the camp; Daniel, the eldest son, was a member of the Provincial Congress of South Carolina, and was one of the exiles to St. Augustine after the Capitulation of Charleston, in 1780; while his son, then a youth of seventeen years, afterwards Chancellor Henry Wm. deSaussure, was at the same time confined on board a British Prison Ship to Charleston Harbour.  In veneration of men thus devoited to civil and religious liberty, their descendants and relatives have erected this monument. 1859.

1736—ELI AS HORRY. To the memory of Elias Horry, the venerable ancestor of the Horrys of South Carolina. He was born in France in the year 1664, and was the son of an Elder of a church in Paris, who died a martyr, for the Protestant faith, when the Edict of Nantes was Revoked by Louis XIV in 1685. Escaping the persecution, he fled to Holland, thence to England, and came to South Carolina about the year 1690, and settled near the Santee, in the Parish of St. George Winyaw, where he resided forty-six years. He died in Charleston on the 25th of September, 1736, aged seventy-two years, and was buried in the cemetery of the French Church. "The South Carolina Gazette," which records his death, states that he was "one of the oldest settlers in the Province, and who, by his merits and services to the country, had left behind him a very good character." Elias, the son of Thomas, and grandson of Col. Elias Horry, erects this monument to the memory of his great grandfather. 1825.

1799—DANIEL HUGER. In memory of Daniel Huger, born in South Carolina February 20th. 1741; died July 6th, 1799.

1873—DANIEL RAVENEL. Daniel Ravenel, son of Daniel Ravenel, of Wantoot, in St. John's Parish, Berkeley, and Catherine Prioleau, his wife, was bora the 26th October, 1789, and died in this city the 7th September, 1873, in his 84th year. From early youth to latest age he obeyed the Commandments of God and the precepts of Jesus. Religion assimilated his spiritual nature, sanctifying the passions, the affections, the intellect, and he was righteous, pure and holy amid the trials and temptations of life. He walked humbly with God. His Christianity was catholic, and the charities of his heart widened and deepened as he grew in years. The moral and material interests of his native State and City had always his enlightened support. In manners grave, yet genial in temper, warm and steadfast in friendship, sincerely courteous,his influence refined and elevated societv. Of Huguenot lineage, descended (through the emigrant Rene Ravenel, of Bretagne, and the Rev. Elias Prioleau, in 1686, Pastor at Pons,in Haintonge. and probably the first Minister of this Church) from Pastors and Elders of the Reformed Church of France,the stem adherence of his ancestors to their Protestant faith stirred the chivalry of his soul; he venerated the Church for which they suffered; its tenets satisfied his judgment; the spirituality of its simple worship was in harmony with his religious nature; the solemnity of its quiet Ritual, with his deep reverence when communing with God. The revival of this ancient Church was a fixed purpose of his life; his intellect,his theological and ecclesiastical learning, his force, when heart and judgment concentrated their strength, fitted him for the work and when the time for its accomplishment had come, he was under Providence, the chiefest human instrument through which prayer, thanksgiving and praise ascend once more from this Church of our fathers to their and to our God.   He assisted in the translation of the Liturgy. Thirty-eight years an Elder, and, for the last twenty-seven. President of the Church, his wisdom guided its councils, in difficulties of organization, his piety and moderation bound it together in harmony. To perpetuate the remembrance of this life, with gratitude to God that it was largely dedicated to its service, the Church lovingly erects this monument. 1880.

1882—ST. JULIEN RAVENEL, M. D., Aetat LXII. Chemist, Naturalist. Philosopher. His delight was in Science; Knowedge was more to him than Fame and Fortune. His labors enriched the community. His discoveries were free to mankind. The Agricultural Society of South Carolina, grateful for his work and example, erect this memorial of his genius and worth.

JAMES F. D. LANIER, of New York. Born November 22, 1800, at Washington. Beaufort County, No. Ca.    Died August 27th, 1881.  This tablet commenorates a generous benefactor of this Church, and perpetuates within its walls the name of his son, Charles Lanier, also of New York, who gave munificently to its restoration after the destructive earthquake of 31st August, 1886.  1887.

Stained Glass Window.

In Memoriam.   GRATIOT WASHBURNE.   Born at Galena, Illinois, May 6, 1849.   Died at Louisville. Ky., Dec. 17, 1886.

In Memoriam. ADELE GRATIOT WASHBURNE.  Born at Galena, Illinois,  Nov. 12,  1826.   Died at Chicago, Illinois, March 18, 1887.

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