Charleston Insider's Guide > Attractions & Tours > Charleston Historic Sites >
Old Exchange Building
Old Exchange Building & Provost Dungeon
122 East Bay St.
In 1771 construction of The Royal Exchange and Custom House was completed. By 1774 South Carolina had elected delegates to the First Continental Congress and two years later they drafted the first constitution, declaring themselves independent from Great Britain. In 1780 British forces began siege on Charleston and the basement of the Old Exchange Building was used by General Moultrie to hide 10,000 pounds of gunpowder. When the city fell to the British, enemy forces used part of the basement of the Exchange building to house patriots under suspicion of treason and war crimes. This area of the building later became known as the Provost Dungeon and continued to be used to house pirates and war criminals. In 1818 The Exchange and Custom House was taken over and converted to a working post office. This was the first post office in the country to begin delivering mail via train. The trend caught on throughout the country and soon it became an efficient means of mail delivery. By 1913 congress passed the deed to the Old Exchange to the South Carolina State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Today the building and dungeon remain open to the public for tours.
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