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«Note: Broken lines, combined with natural features (e.g. rivers) delineate boundaries of judicial districts. Robert Stansbury Lambert  Second ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

South Carolina Loyalists

in the

American Revolution

South Carolina in 1776

(adapted by R. S. Lambert from James Cook, 1773)

Note: Broken lines, combined with natural features (e.g. rivers) delineate boundaries of

judicial districts.

Robert Stansbury Lambert

Second Edition

Works produced at Clemson University by the Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing,

including The South Carolina Review and its themed series “Virginia Woolf International,”

“Ireland in the Arts and Humanities,” and “James Dickey Revisited” may be found at our Web site: http://www.clemson.edu/caah/cedp. Contact the director at 864-656-5399 for information.

Copyright 2010 by Clemson University ISBN 978-0-9842598-8-5 Second Edition



Published by Clemson University Digital Press at the Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.

Editorial Assistants: Christina Cook, Ashley Dannelly, Steve Johnson, Carrie Kolb Cover Design: Christina Cook Produced with the Adobe Creative Suite CS5 and Microsoft Word. This book is set in Adobe Garamond Pro and was printed by University Printing Services, Office of Publications and Promotional Services, Clemson University.

To order copies, contact the Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing, Strode Tower, Box 340522, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0522.

To Edythe and Anne Contents Preface

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Introduction: Provincial South Carolina

Part I: Revolution: The Isolation of the Loyalists, 1760–1780

1. The Quarrel over American Rights

2. “The Troubles” Begin

3. Exile and Accommodation, 1776–1779

4. The Road Back: The Rebels at Bay, 1779–1780

Part II: Restoring British Authority: The Loyalist Response, 1780–1781..65

5. Plans and Personnel

6. Pacifying the Interior

7. The “Second Revolution,” Midsummer 1780

8. Kings Mountain, October 1780

9. Provincials, Militia, and Dragoons

10. Retreat from the Interior, 1781

Part III: A War of All the People, 1780–1782

11. Occupied Charlestown

12. Loyalists and Rebels: The Civil War

13. War of Attrition: Loyalist Military Action, 1782

14. Displaced Persons and Pawns of War: Loyalist Refugees and Black Slaves, 1781–1782

Part IV: The Loyalist Experience after the War

15. British Evacuation of South Carolina

16. Dispersal of the Loyalists

17. Retribution and Reconciliation: The Loyalists in Postwar South Carolina


vi Bibliography

Essay on Methods and Sources

Other Sources Consulted



Printed Primary Sources

Printed Secondary Sources



List of Maps South Carolina in 1776

The World of Backcountry Loyalist Exiles, 1776–1780

Militia Organization: The Western Frontier

Militia Organization: The Northern Frontier

vii Preface

A n interest in the Georgia loyalists, which I developed during a brief residence in that state, exposed me to the fact that, except for Robert W. Barnwell, “Loyalism in South Carolina, 1765–1785” (Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1941), South Carolina’s loyalists in the Revolution had not been studied in any comprehensive way. Although Barnwell’s study showed a firm grasp of the principal groups and individuals in the province and state who dissented from the decision to seek independence, it had not been expanded to a monograph; meanwhile, much material, particularly from British sources, had become more readily accessible, and it seemed worthwhile to undertake such a study. After some preliminary investigation, my decision to begin gathering materials was made in 1963, and since then the research and writing has proceeded continuously, if sometimes at a snail’s pace. An “Essay on Methods and Sources” follows the text.

Historians are fortunate to be able to work in libraries and archives served by dedicated and cooperative professionals, and I too have been helped immeasurably by them. Therefore, it is with feelings of gratitude that I express my appreciation to people who, although many now hold different positions or have retired, have been helpful to me over the years.

Foremost among them are South Carolinians Wylma Wates, Archivist, Charles Lee, Director, and the staff of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History; E. L. Inabinet, former Director, and Mrs. Clara Mae Jacobs, former Manuscript Cataloguer of the South Caroliniana Library; Mrs, Mary B. Prior, Gene Waddell, and David Moltke-Hansen, successively directors of the South Carolina Historical Society; Mrs. Virginia Rugheimer of the Charleston Library Society; and colleagues George C. Rogers, Jr., David Chesnutt, and Robert Weir of the University of South Carolina; E. M. Lander, and the late Robert W. Henningson of Clemson University; and Thomas H. Pope of Newberry, Patricia Ali of Morris College, Sumter, and W. Bruce Ezell of Ninety Six. No less helpful were a number of people outside South Carolina, particularly directors J. Isaac Copeland and Caroline Daniel Wallace of the Southern Historical Collection, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Director Mattie Russell, Manuscript Division, Perkins Library, and Professor Anne Firor Scott, Duke University; Howard Peckham, Director, and Bill Ewing of the Clements Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Robert W. Hill, Keeper of Manuscripts, New York Public Library; Edward T.

Riley, then of the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, and the late Stephen Botein of the same institution; Mrs. Herbert Gambrell of the Dallas (Texas) Historical Society; and colleagues Robert A. East, Executive Director, Program for Loyalist Studies and Publications, City University of New York; Esmond Wright of the Institute of United States Studies, London; Wallace Brown and Jo-Anne Fellows of the University of New Brunswick (Canada); Clyde Ferguson, Kansas State University; Robert Davis, Jasper, Georgia; Heard Robertson, Augusta, Georgia; Geraldine Meroney, Agnes Scott College;

Carole Watterson Troxler, Elon College; and J. Barton Starr, Troy State University at Fort Rucker, Alabama; and the staffs of the North Carolina Department of Archives and History;

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress; State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison;

Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax; New Brunswick Museum, Saint John; and the Public Record Office, London. Comments and suggestions on the manuscript by Jerome J.

viii Nadelhaft of the University of Maine at Orono have been most helpful.

I am also grateful for financial support furnished by Clemson University in the form of travel money and two sabbatical leaves. A grant from the Southern Fellowships Fund in 1956 first exposed me to the question of loyalism in Georgia; another, from the American Association for State and Local History in 1963, permitted me to copy a large volume of original material so that I could continue the research when I was not free to do much traveling; and a bicentennial grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1970–71, helped with support during that sabbatical year.

My interest in this period of American history was first stimulated at Chapel Hill by the late Hugh Talmadge Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome. Beyond gratitude is my debt to my wife, Edythe Rutherford Lambert, who has waited patiently for this project to reach a conclusion and who has helped with the research and reduced the number of rough spots in the manuscript.

Despite all the aid and consideration noted, I alone bear responsibility for errors of fact and interpretation that may appear in this study.

–  –  –

At present there are computed to be 3000 waggons come to Charlestown in a year, loaded with deer skins, indigo, flour, bisket, hemp & tobacco, which calculation is not far from the truth, as precise accounts are taken of the number which pass over ferries.

–  –  –

T o begin the story of the South Carolina loyalists in the American Revolution—the individuals and families who served with or gave aid and comfort to the British during that conflict—it is necessary to go back to a time four decades before the outbreak of hostilities, a time when the first serious effort was made to encourage settlement beyond the coastal parishes where the original settlers and their descendants lived.

In the 1730s ten townships were created in an arc 100 miles more or less from the colonial capital at Charlestown (“The “Charleston” spelling was officially adopted in 1783, at the time of incorporation. Prior to then, both “Charles-Town” and “Charlestown” were used.); and the provincial government offered bounty lands to immigrants who would settle them. Partly designed to provide a ring of settlements to protect the valuable riceproducing areas from Indian attack, the townships were also intended to increase the immigration of European Protestants to take up land in order to compensate for the heavy importation of African and West Indian blacks, an influx that had brought great prosperity to the rice planters of the tidewater but had increased fears of slave insurrection.1 Among the more permanent settlements established under this plan were three to which several hundred Germans and German Swiss migrated: Amelia on the south side of the lower Congaree River; Orangeburg near a sharp bend in the north fork of the Edisto River; and Saxe-Gotha just south of the junction formed by the Saluda and Congaree rivers. Among the first settlers of Orangeburg was a Lutheran clergyman whose nephew, John Giessendanner, succeeded him in that work and later took holy orders in the Church of England; there were others with German names like Linder and Rumph, but people of English origins like the Salleys also moved in during the same period. The pressure of the hundreds of other Germans and Swiss who followed the first immigrants to the area caused a movement from Saxe-Gotha across the Saluda River into the fork between that stream and the Broad River, an area that became known as the Dutch Fork.2 By the 1750s Moses Kirkland and Andrew Williamson, two ambitious men who were natives of America, and other settlers had begun to take up lands well beyond the original townships. Naturally acquisitive and hard-driving, Kirkland was not above selling rum to the Indians and dealing in fraudulent land warrants; he soon accumulated numerous tracts of land in the interior, built a sawmill, and ran a ferry on the lower Saluda until he had accumulated the labor of enough slaves to develop a large tract on a tributary of Stevens Creek, a branch of the Savannah. He also secured commissions as an officer in the provinSouth Carolina Loyalists in the American Revolution cial militia and as a justice of the peace. Apparently a native of South Carolina, Williamson first appeared as a cattle and hog driver for the militia posts near the Savannah and worked for a large landholder before settling at Whitehall, his plantation on Hard Labour Creek, where he raised cattle and grain. North of the Congaree, settlers began to move into the valley of the Wateree River, among them the family of the Irish Quaker, Joshua English, who settled at Pinetree Hill early in the 1750s and developed a prosperous farm tilled by slave labor. By 1760 Charlestown merchants had established a store at Pinetree Hill, later known as Camden, and engaged Joseph Kershaw to look after their interests at that place.3 By 1760 the townships and their environs, sometimes called the middle country, lay in an arc from the Waccamaw River on the east across the Pee Dee, Black, Wateree, and Congaree rivers to the Savannah on the west and contained a free population estimated at 9,000 souls. These settlers were all Protestants from a variety of ethnic backgrounds—the Germans, the German Swiss, and the Irish Quakers already noted, as well as transplanted Pennsylvanians of Welsh and English descent and their black slaves along the Pee Dee River. Beyond the townships lay the backcountry consisting, at the time, of settlements on Stevens and Long Cane creeks, tributaries of the Savannah; the Saluda River; the Broad River and the Enoree and Tyger rivers that flowed into it from the west; and the Waxhaw area, the region on the Catawba River then considered to be a part of North Carolina.

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