Peter Fayssoux, first president of our Medical Society of South Carolina, no doubt listened to Christopher Gadsden whip up patriotic sentiment under the “Liberty Tree.” Chalmers Davidson, Fayssoux’s biographer, shares this impression in his authoritative biography. Christopher Gadsden was our own Samuel Adams, stirring up appeal for independence.
The Liberty Tree was a large tree in “Mr. Mazyck’s cow pasture,” and Gadsden was the designer of the Gadsden Flag (The “Don’t Tread on Me” flag), still used today. It was also where our copy of the Declaration of Independence was publicly read. The tree was such an icon of American spirit that one of the first things the British siege troops attended to after the fall of our city was to cut down the tree and burn the stump. When we won the American Revolution, though, patriots dug up the root of the tree and made cane heads with it, one of which was given to Thomas Jefferson.
Today you can go see where the Liberty Tree stood, and stand where our first Medical Society President Peter Fayssoux stood, listening to his friend Christopher Gadsden speak.
The Liberty Tree marker location:
80 Alexander St, Charleston, SC 29403