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Charleston alley site of historical honor

Former law office of James L. Peigru,  8 St. Michael's Alley
Former law office of James L. Peigru, 8 St. Michael's Alley
Photo by the author

According to Charleston folklore, St. Michael's Alley was once a "dueling alley",  where gentlemen would go to settle differences and matters of "honor" with dueling pistols. Some say it is haunted by the spectres of unfortunates who did not survive the conflicts, and the location is often included on ghost walking tours.

It is also the location of the former law office of attorney and politician James L. Petigru, who remained a Unionist and anti-secessionist despite the overwhelming disagreement of his fellow South Carolinians.  Regarding South Carolina's decision to secede from the Union, Petigru wryly commented that the state was too small to be a republic and too large to be an insane asylum.

When he died in 1863, he was eulogized not simply by friends but by political enemies as a man of wit, nobility and integrity.

The alley runs east-west, just south of St. Michael's Episcopal Church graveyard. Charleston maps may be obtained at the Visitor Center, 375 Meeting St.


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