Denmark Vesey House

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Denmark Vesey House
Denmark Vesey House 3.jpg
56 Bull Street
Denmark Vesey House is located in South Carolina
Denmark Vesey House
Location 56 Bull St., Charleston, South Carolina
Coordinates 32°46′55.7″N 79°56′28″W / 32.782139°N 79.94111°W / 32.782139; -79.94111Coordinates: 32°46′55.7″N 79°56′28″W / 32.782139°N 79.94111°W / 32.782139; -79.94111
Built 1830s-1850
Part of Charleston Historic District (#66000964)
NRHP Reference # 76001698
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 11, 1976[1]
Designated NHL May 11, 1976[2]
Designated NHLDCP October 9, 1960

Commonly known as the Denmark Vesey House, the house located at 56 Bull Street in Charleston, South Carolina is almost certainly not the house once inhabited by black abolitionist Denmark Vesey. Vesey's rented home, owned first by attorney George Cross and later by white carpenter Benjamin Ireland, listed as 20 Bull Street under the city's former numbering system, is now evidently gone. A nearby home, most likely built in the 1830s or 1840s and currently numbered 56 Bull Street, was thought in the 1970s to have been the home of Denmark Vesey, and it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976 by the Department of Interior.[2][3]

But in 1980, state archivist Wylma Wates found evidence to suggest Vesey's rented house had been four or five houses east of the so-called "Vesey house."[4] Architectural historian Edward Turberg confirmed that the house in question is not only in the wrong place but was "constructed after 1830 and before 1850." Since Vesey was hanged in 1822, he died roughly ten years before the house was built.[5] Despite these findings, the house has continued to be listed as a National Historic Landmark[6] and is on the National Register of Historic Places.[7]

The house described as the Vesey house is a single story wood frame structure, oriented sideways to the street. The narrow street facade has two windows, while the longer west side has a porch extending across the front portion, with a wider addition to the back. Two doors enter the house from the porch. The interior of the front portion has three rooms, one beside the other, and the rear addition has four more.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Denmark Vesey House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-25. 
  3. ^ a b Lynne Gomez Graves (October 30, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Denmark Vesey House" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying three photos, exterior, from 1975 (32 KB)
  4. ^ Wylma Wates to Charles E. Lee, August 29, 1980, Denmark Vesey House File, South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Report cited in Douglas R. Egerton, He Shall Go Out Free: The Lives of Denmark Vesey, 2004, footnote 18, p. 83
  5. ^ Edward F. Turburg to Beckie Johnson, May 14, 1980, Denmark Vesey House File, South Carolina Department of Archives and History. report cited in Egerton (2004), He Shall Go Out Free, footnote 18, p. 83
  6. ^ Denmark Vesey's House & Marker
  7. ^ National Register of Historical Places - SOUTH CAROLINA (SC), Charleston County

External links[edit]