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Indian Settlement Saved With Land Trust Purchase - HISTORY

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« on: October 22, 2008, 11:11:55 am »













                               Indian settlement saved from development with Land Trust purchase






Oct 22, 2008
By LIZ MITCHELL
lmitchell@islandpacket.com
843-706-8169

OKATIE -- About a half-mile down a wooded, dirt trail known as Wiggs Gate Road, a bluff shaded by large oak, hickory and palm trees overlooks the Okatie and Colleton rivers. Marsh grass waves like a thousand small hands and Pinckney Point lies in the distance.

It was in this quiet place that the Yemassee Indians lived and worked in the 1600s.

The area -- composed of about 101 acres and identified by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources in 1990 as an important site in the state's history -- will now be protected from development.

Beaufort County paid $3.1 million for the land, purchased with the help of the Trust for Public Land through the county's Rural and Critical Lands Program and the state's Heritage Trust Program.

Officials opened the site -- called the Altamaha Town Heritage Preserve -- as a public park Tuesday.

Beaufort County Council Chairman Weston Newton said the preservation will benefit the environment and save one of the county's most historically significant sites. It also will remove the potential for 75,000 vehicle trips, 1.5 million square feet of commercial development and more than 6,000 homes,
he said.
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 11:18:07 am »











A POWERFUL PAST



Altamaha, named after the tribal chief, was one of 10 Yemassee towns established about 1684 in
areas now known as Port Royal, St. Helena and Okatie. Nearly 2,000 Yemassee moved to these
towns after Spanish missions closed in Georgia.

"It was a time of conflict between the Spanish (in Florida) and English (in Charleston), and they were caught in the middle," said Chester DePratter, a research professor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia who discovered the site with grad student Bill Green in 1989. "The Yemassee served as a buffer."

Sometimes they were more than that.

The Yemassee often traded with English colonists and participated in British raids against the Spanish, said Eric Poplin, senior archaeologist with Brockington Cultural Resources Consulting in Mount Pleasant.

Poplin and associate Alex Sweeney excavated land adjacent to the Altamaha site at the Heyward Point development, named after Nathanial Heyward, who owned a cotton plantation there before the Civil War. The archaeologists found 100,000 artifacts, including remnants of six circular Yemassee homes, glass beads, shards from pottery and rum bottles, arrow heads, gun flints and musket balls.

"The Yemassee were fairly powerful. They had weapons and guns," Poplin said. "The primary commodity they were trading was slaves. Each raid would allow them to keep prisoners (other American Indians) and sell them back. They were major trading partners with Carolina. Without them, the colony would not have been able to grow and survive."

When an Indian Census was conducted in 1715 and the Yemassee feared they were counted as slaves, they attacked the colonists in what became known as the Yemassee War.

They were defeated and fled the area to live among other tribes in Florida.

Though development exists on part of the former Altamaha Town, archaeologists say the preserved portion contains great research potential, especially in determining the effects of European migration and lifestyles on the American Indian.

No archaeological projects are currently in the works.




The public can access the site during daylight hours. The county hopes to add an orientation building and three miles of walking trails.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamasee_War
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 11:37:35 am »

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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 11:43:54 am »











                                                  Early Contact Period (ca. a.d. 1540-1700)






At the time of the De Soto entrada into South Carolina in the spring of 1540, the rival provinces of Cofitachequi and Ocute were separated by an extensive buffer zone or "vacant quarter" that was described by the Spanish explorers that accompanied De Soto as the "desert of Ocute" (Hudson et al. 1984:72). The Hudson et al. (1984) reconstructed route for Hernando De Soto's expedition places the chiefdom of Ocute above the Georgina fall line on the Oconee River and Hymahi (Aymay, Guiomae), the southernmost town encountered by De Soto subject to Cofitachequi in the vicinity of present day Wateree, S.C., near the confluence of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers (Hudson et al. 1984:72; DePratter 1989:134, 148). De Soto’s route through the desert of Ocute had apparently passed through the headwater areas of the South and North Forks of the Edisto River (Image 2), approximately 40 miles south of the Ninety Six area (Hudson et al. 1984:72; DePratter 1989:137).

Although Cofitachequi and Ocute were powerful tribes at the time of the De Soto entrada, their political prominence and cultural existence were doomed along with those of their neighboring brethren with the arrival of the first Europeans. At the time of first European contact, South Carolina was inhabited by a number of Indian tribes that shared a Late Mississippian (Lamar) way of life, but were distinctive in terms of cultural and linguistic traits. Three major linguistic families were represented in 16th century South Carolina: Siouan, Muskhogean, and Iroquoian. The Piedmont and northern two-thirds of the Coastal Plain of South Carolina were occupied primarily by Siouan linguistic groups (Image 3) that included the Catawba, Iswa, Shakori, Wateree, Santee, Congaree, Pee Dee, Waccamaw and Winyaw (Swanton 1946, 1952), although if Swanton (1946:46), Milling (1969:66), and others are correct in their linguistic assessments, the Cofitachequi were apparently Muskhogean speakers. Muskhogean related peoples living in South Carolina during the 16th century consisted primarily of the Cusabo who occupied the Coastal Plain between Charleston Harbor and the Savannah River and were closely related to the Guale of coastal Georgia (Swanton 1952:94; Bushnell 1994:60). At the time of European contact, the Appalachian Summit or Blue Ridge Province of North and South Carolina was part of the territory inhabited by the Cherokee, a large Iroquoian-speaking group with principal settlements mainly distributed along the upper Savannah, Hiwassee, and Little Tennessee River drainages (Schroedl 2000; Ward and Davis 1999:266). Their somewhat distant relationship to other members of the Iroquoian language family and a Cherokee legend of migration from the northeast (Swanton 1952:221) has led some scholars to propose that the ancestors of the Cherokee moved to the Southern Appalachians from the Iroquoian heartland many centuries before early Spanish explorers entered the region and briefly encountered Cherokee peoples for the first time during the 16th and 17th centuries. The scant information available from these earliest encounters and the vagaries of the limited archeological evidence have left the prior history of the Cherokee people very much open to debate, and it is not until the English arrived on the continent in the mid-18th century, that an extensive record of Cherokee culture becomes available.
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2008, 11:45:08 am »










A Brief History of the Cherokee, 1674-1842



One of the earliest English accounts that unambiguously mention the Cherokee occurs in Henry Woodward’s description of his visit among the Westo (Chichimeco) in 1674 (Crane 1929:16; Swanton 1946:111). The “Chorakae” peoples Woodward referred to in his 1674 narrative were said to inhabit the headwaters region of the Savannah River and to be the enemies of the Westo who then occupied the middle Savannah drainage. The Cherokee peoples that were encountered by the English as they first began to settle and explore the Carolinas were found distributed in five geographically distinct areas, the largest geographic group being the Lower Towns settlements located along the upper drainages of the Chattahoochee and Savannah River in northwestern South Carolina and northeastern Georgia (Schroedl 2000). The inhabitants in this area spoke a distinct Cherokee dialect known as Elati (Mooney 1900), and lived in a dozen or so politically independent towns that include the archeologically investigated sites of Chattooga, Estatoe, Tugalo, Chauga, and Keowee. Contacts between the Cherokee and the earliest English colonists in coastal South Carolina were limited at first due to the intervening presence of the frequently warring Westo who had come to occupy the middle Savannah River area and counted the Cherokee among their many enemies. After the defeat of the Westo by the South Carolinians in 1681, English contacts with the Cherokee and other western tribes became a regular occurrence as the English pursued their policy of establishing trade relations with the interior tribes.

Trade formed the primary basis for Cherokee-British relations during these early years with British traders frequently taking up residence in the Cherokee towns where they provided their hosts with guns, axes, hoes, knives, blankets, and other utilitarian items in exchange for deerskins and, more importantly, Indian slaves. While they benefited materially from their trading relationships with the British, the Cherokee also suffered greatly as a result of increased intertribal warfare directly attributable to the slave trade. In the century following the establishment of Charleston, S.C. in 1670, the Cherokee were involved in numerous conflicts with the Guale, Westo, Shawnee, Catawba, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Congaree, Creek, and Tuscarora, often with the encouragement of the British as a means of providing captives for the slave market (Crane 1929:24, 40, 109-120, 138-139; Swanton 1946:111-112; Swanton 1952:221-222). The casualties of intertribal warfare paled in comparison, however, to the losses suffered from deadly epidemics caused by the introduction of European diseases for which the Cherokee had little immunity. In 1738, for example, a smallpox epidemic devastated the Cherokee, reducing their population of some 20,000 people by nearly half. As a result, many of the Lower towns, particularly those in northwest South Carolina (e.g., Chattooga) were completely abandoned (Schroedl 2000:214).

Cherokee relations with the British were not always on an entirely friendly basis either. Charges of thievery and unfair trading practices including the unlawful taking of slaves were frequently raised by the Cherokee before Carolina’s colonial officials with calls for retribution that often went ignored. As a result, some 70 Cherokee are reported (Milling 1969:270; Swanton 1946:111) to have initially participated in the Indian uprising known as the Yamassee War (1715-1716), that primarily involved the Yamassee, Creek, Congaree, Wateree, Waxaw and other Siouan speakers who had had enough of the abuses they had suffered at the hands of callous English traders, particularly the enslaving of women and children as collateral for unpaid debts (Milling 1969). During the Yamassee War, Creek emissaries tried to persuade the Cherokee to join them against the British, but the Lower Towns led by Conjuror and the Overhill Towns led by Caesar of Echota, promised to remain allies with the English and joined them in putting down the rebellious tribes (Crane 1929:179-182). Following the Yamassee War, the Cherokee maintained a fairly amicable relationship with the British until the latter end of the French and Indian War (1754-1763), when a number of British affronts (Swanton 1946: 112, 1952:222; Schroedl 2000:217-218) against the Cherokee precipitated the relatively brief Cherokee War (1760-1761), during which the Cherokee enjoyed initial successes such as the capture of Fort Loudon, but were later compelled to make peace after the English and their Indian allies laid waste to most of the Lower Towns in South Carolina and Georgia as well as the Middle and Outer Town Cherokee settlements of the upper Tennessee River (Swanton 1946:112; Schroedl 2000:218).

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, the Cherokee again remained loyal to the British and suffered the consequences of numerous American military raids into Cherokee territory. In 1776, General Griffith Rutherford and Colonel William Moore led the North Carolina militia in attacks against the Middle, Valley, and Outer Towns while South Carolina forces led by Colonel Andrew Williamson attacked the Lower Towns (Schroedl 2000:221-222). Finally, in November of 1776, a Virginia force led by Colonel William Christian burned five more Overhill Towns, while sparing Chota and several others (Schroedl 2000:222). Despite the establishment of a truce the following year, sporadic actions between the Cherokee and colonists occurred for the duration of the war, including an expedition led by Colonels John Sevier and Arthur Campbell against the Overhill Towns in 1780 in which ten towns including Chota were destroyed (Schroedl 2000:222). The ravages of the Revolutionary War eventually forced the Cherokee to flee the Lower Middle, Out and Valley Towns of North Carolina, South Carolina and eastern Georgia with many resettling within the Coosa River drainage in northwest Georgia (Smith 1979; Smith 1992:38); most of the Lower towns of east Georgia and South Carolina were never reoccupied. Even after armed conflict between the American colonists and Britain had ceased with the victory at Yorktown in 1781, the Cherokee continued hostilities with the fledgling nation. Peaceful relations were eventually restored following the Tellico conference held in 1794, but in the process the Cherokee had ceded nearly 50,000 square miles of land, lost virtually all their material possessions, and had diminished in population as a result of starvation, exposure, and disease.

In the ensuing years some Cherokee tried to maintain their traditional ways of life but many chose instead to adopt Euroamerican ways and agrarian lifestyles with the encouragement of the new U.S. government, including the adoption of a form of government modeled on that of the United States. The Cherokee also later aided American interests by serving as allies during the Creek War of 1813-1814, particularly at the decisive Battle at Horseshoe Bend in which 800 Redstick Creeks perished at the hands of Lower Creek, Cherokee, and American troops led by Andrew Jackson (de Grummond and Hamlin 2000). But continued encroachment by white settlers displaced many from their claimed lands until the signing of the treaty of New Echota in 1835, when the Cherokee sold all their remaining territory and conceded to American demands that they move west of the Mississippi River. Their forced migration to the “Indian Territories” of Oklahoma in the winter of 1838-39 was a journey of extreme hardship that resulted in the death of nearly one in four during the mass migration that has come to be known as the Trail of Tears (Milling 1969:332). At the time of their forced exodus to Oklahoma, several hundred Cherokee chose instead to flee to the mountains of western North Carolina where they survived as refugees until the Qualla Reservation was established for their use in 1842.
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2008, 11:47:54 am »









A Brief History of the Catawba



The Catawba were one of the Siouan-speaking tribes that occupied the upper Piedmont area during
the time of the early Spanish expeditions into South Carolina during the mid 16th century. They were apparently closely related to the Issa (Ysa, Iswa) that were encountered during Pardo’s expedition
into the South Carolina interior in 1566-67. When John Lederer entered the North Carolina interior
from Virginia in 1670, he too met the Catawba, referring to them as Ushery (Lederer 1672; Alvord and Bidgood 1912). What little is known regarding the Catawba way of life shortly after the arrival of the English to the Carolinas is derived largely from the writings of John Lawson (1709), who explored the Piedmont territory and visited the Catawba in 1701.

When Lawson encountered the Catawba (“Kadapau”) at the beginning of the 18th century, they were described as a distinct group, living less than a day’s travel from the Iswa (“Esaws”) (Lawson 1709:43) shown on Lawson’s map of the Carolinas as being located at the headwaters of the “West Branch” of the “Clarendon River” (i.e., the Catawba River); but as native populations in the Carolinas rapidly declined as a result of war and epidemic disease, the Catawba later merged with the Iswa and with the remnants of many other Siouan-speaking groups in the region. The Catawba were quick to make friends with the English, and remained faithful allies during most of the 18th century, except for a brief period in 1715 in which they joined the Yamassee in their fight against the Carolinians. Their relationships with other neighboring tribes were not as friendly, however, as they alternately waged wars against the Shawnee, Delaware, Yuchi, Iroquois, Mobile, and Tuscarora Indians before they turned to join the Yamassee during their uprising in opposition to the slave-raiding of the Carolinians in 1715.

The Yamassee, Catawba, and their other native allies (Congaree, Santee, Sugeree, Wateree, Waxhaw) enjoyed some early successes, capturing several British forts and taking the lives of an estimated 200-400 colonists (Swanton 1952:115; Steen and Braley 1994:26), but the Carolinians eventually prevailed, exacting a terrible revenge of death and enslavement that virtually eliminated many native groups.

The Catawba had sued for peace earlier than the other participating tribes (Swanton 1952:91) and therefore survived to absorb many of the remaining refugees, including the Iswa, Congaree, Santee and Wateree (Swanton 1952:93, 98, 101). Maintaining peaceful relations with the Carolinians after the Yamassee War, the Catawba nonetheless continued to suffer the attacks of their archenemies, the Shawnee and the Iroquois, despite attempts by the British to intervene and stop the fighting. Whittled down by warfare and decimated by disease epidemics in 1738 and 1759, they were able to muster only 60 warriors by the early 1760s (Swanton 1952:91-92). After they lent the English their assistance in fighting the Cherokee War (1760-1761), the Catawba were rewarded with the establishment of a small reservation along the upper Catawba River near the South Carolina border.

Almost immediately, the Catawba reservation suffered from the encroachment of the Carolina colonists, and despite assurances from the colonial government that the trespassers would be evicted, nothing was ever done. The lack of fidelity on the part of the English may have been a key reason the Catawba sided with the Patriots during the American Revolution, serving as scouts during the conflict. When the British army invaded South Carolina in 1780, the Catawba withdrew northward into Virginia and did not return until the Battle of Guilford Courthouse (March 15, 1781).

After the Revolutionary War, the South Carolina government still refused to deal with the problem of white encroachment on Catawba lands, and by 1826 almost all the reservation had been sold or leased to non-Indians (Swanton 1952:91). Finally, in 1840, the state of South Carolina agreed to purchase the Catawba’s lands and arrange for a new home for them in North Carolina. But North Carolina refused to set aside any property for such a purpose, and the Catawba were forced to return to South Carolina where a new reservation of 800 acres was eventually set aside for them, and where the main body of Catawba have remained ever since.
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 11:50:03 am »










               EUROPEAN COLONIZATION OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND THE HISTORY OF NINETY SIX







 Prior to the settlement of the English colony at Charles Town (Charleston, S.C.) in 1670, the South Carolina coast had been claimed and defended by the Spanish against rival European powers for over one and a quarter centuries. During that time, they attempted to bring the lands and the native peoples who already occupied the country the Spaniards called “La Florida” under their political and economic control.

The earliest documented contact between the Spanish and the Indians of South Carolina apparently occurred in 1521 when two Spanish ships sailing along the Georgia/South Carolina coast stopped at
the mouth of a major river, brought on board some 70 natives and carried them off to Santo Domingo.

Among the 70 was a member of the Shakori tribe known as Francisco of Chicora who became a servant of the man who had initiated the 1521 Spanish expedition that led to his capture, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllón. During his stay on Santa Domingo, Francisco of Chicora meet the historian Peter Martyr de Anghierra, who obtained from him an account of the Siouan peoples who apparently inhabited portions of the South Carolina coast at this time.

Some 130 year later, when the English were exploring North Carolina in 1650, they found the “Shockoories” had relocated to an area between the Meherrin and Nottoway rivers (Swanton 1946:183). As happened with so many Native American tribes, dwindling numbers due to disease and military conflicts prompted subsequent migrations and eventually led to their amalgamation with the Catawba in the early 18th century.

The first attempt by the Spanish to settle in South Carolina began in 1525 when two ships under the command of Pedro de Quexos traveled along the Georgia/South Carolina coast to reconnoiter for favorable locations to establish a new colony, picking up one or two Indians from each province along the way to be trained as interpreters (Swanton 1946:36-37). The following summer Lucas Vasquez de Ayllón set off with 600 settlers in three large ships to the mouth of a river they dubbed the Jordan. They soon became dissatisfied with the location and relocated to another river which they called the Gualdape some 40 or 45 leagues south of the Jordan.

The noted ethnohistorian, John Swanton (1946:37), of the opinion that Gualdape was part of the province of Guale, believed the Gualdape River was the Savannah River and that the Jordan was probably the Santee River (A conclusion that was also reached by DePratter [1989:136]). At Gualdape the Spanish settled again but briefly, abandoning the colony a few month later that winter as many of the colonists including its leader, Ayllón, died of disease.
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 11:51:26 am »









Spanish Defense Against the French and English, 1560-1670



Spanish claim to South Carolina was threatened briefly by the French with the establishment of Charlesfort at the southern end of Paris Island in 1562 (DePratter et al. 1996) under the leadership of Jean Ribault. Learning of the French attempts to settle on their claimed lands, King Philip II of Spain ordered Captain Manrique de Rojas to find and destroy Charlesfort in 1564, unaware that the small detachment of men Ribault had left behind to guard the fort had already abandoned the small outpost and returned to France (DePratter et al. 1996). De Rojas leveled and burned what little remained standing of the abandoned French outpost, and returned to Cuba unaware that another expedition led by René Goulaine de Laudonnière was already enroute to the St. Johns River to establish another French colony, Fort Caroline (Brewer 2000). Fort Caroline soon fell on hard times, however, as food supplies ran low and Ribault failed to appear as scheduled that spring with additional supplies and men.

Following the renewed colonization efforts initiated by Laudonnière, King Phillip II ordered Captain Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to find the colony and destroy it. Assembling a force of over 1000 men and ten ships, Menéndez immediately set forth to drive the French out of Florida. In the meantime, Jean Ribault had arrived with five ships containing much needed supplies and reinforcements to the now beleaguered French colony. Arriving at the mouth of the St. Johns River within days of Ribault, Menéndez drove off four of the ships anchored offshore still waiting to offload their cargoes. An attempt to land ashore by Menéndez was thwarted by French cannon, so he sailed south approximately 36 miles to the next available inlet suitable for harboring his fleet where he found a village headed by the Cacique Seloy. There Menéndez founded St. Augustine on September 8, 1565.

Determined to prevent the Spanish from establishing a foothold in the area, Ribault decided to attack the Spanish with approximately 600 of his best men, using the ships just arrived from France—and not yet unloaded—leaving a nominal force of just over 200 behind to defend Fort Caroline. When Ribault and his fleet arrived off the bar at St. Augustine, his immediate plan to attack the Spanish encampment was thwarted by a low tide, which prevented his ships from entering the harbor. While he waited for high tide, a hurricane blew in from the north, scattering his ships southward and wrecking them along the Florida coast.

On the morning of September 20, 1565, taking advantage of Ribault's misfortune at the hands of the storm, Menéndez and some 400 Spaniards marched overland to attack Fort Caroline, routing the garrison and capturing the fort. Having eliminated the French, Menéndez returned to St. Augustine to strengthen its defenses. The following spring Menéndez sailed to the former site of Charlesfort on Parris Island which he renamed Santa Elena and established as the new capital of La Florida. Later that summer, Captain Juan Pardo arrived at Santa Elena with 250 men and was promptly sent inland to search for an overland route to Mexico and make contact with the natives to obtain food stuffs to supplement those on hand at Santa Elena (DePratter 1989:135).

That same year, Menéndez built Fort San Pedro on Cumberland Island after having negotiated a settlement in a dispute between the Guale of coastal Georgia and the Cusabo who were situated along the coast north of the Savannah River (Smith and Gottlob 1978). The name Guale was a blanket-term applied by the Spaniards to linguistically related Muskhogean-speaking peoples they found inhabiting the Atlantic coast from Georgia to South Carolina. Spanish missionization efforts by the Jesuits were begun among the Guale in 1570, but were deserted after only two years and were not re-established until the Franciscans arrived in 1584 (Smith and Gottlob 1978). The relations that were to follow between the Guale and Spaniards were somewhat tumultuous, to say the least, as the Spanish attempted to compel the Guale to abandon their native ways and become loyal subjects of the Spanish crown and church. Periodic Indian revolts, intertribal warfare, frequent abandonment, consolidation, and relocation of missions, devastating plagues, and eventual cultural extinction were the ultimate results of the Spanish colonial policy of bringing civilization to the Guale people (Swanton 1946:193; Worth 1995:13). It was a process that was to be hastened by the British resolve to strengthen their own claims in the New World and to do everything possible to subvert the attempts of the Spanish of doing likewise. South Carolina and Georgia would soon become disputed territory, with the English making further and further inroads into previously Spanish-claimed lands. The first of these inroads occurred in 1586 when Sir Francis Drake captured and burned St. Augustine. After this, the Spanish thought it prudent to consolidate their forces and abandoned Santa Elena to withdraw to more secure locations to the south. Although the Spanish had been compelled to remove their main forces southward, they continued to view South Carolina as part of their territory and attempted to defend it as their own as best they could.

Toward this end, Captain Francisco Fernandez de Ecija was dispatched from St. Augustine in 1605 and again in 1609 to search for an English colony that was said to be located somewhere along the coast of the Carolinas (Hann 1988), but failed in both instances to find any evidence of an English presence. Similar searches were conducted some years later under the command of Pedro de Torres, who led a small force of Spaniards and Indians in search of alleged European interlopers but failed on successive attempts in 1627 and 1628 to find any evidence of foreign intruders. Two decades earlier, of course, the English had already established a permanent foothold in the colony of Virginia with the establishment of Jamestown in 1607. After a shaky start in which the initial colonists suffered severe starvation and nearly abandoned the colony, Jamestown and Virginia began to experience an economic boom, in large part due to successes in the growing and marketing of tobacco. English settlers soon began to emigrate to Virginia in greater and greater numbers. And as the English population grew, the inhabitants of the tidewater area of southeastern Virginia began to seek out new lands, moving into the Albemarle area of northeast North Carolina by around 1650.

At first, many of the Indians of Virginia and Carolina viewed the English settlers as a welcome means of support against the Spaniards and their Guale and Timucua allies. The English too saw advantages both militarily and in the highly profitable fur and slave trades of arming their new Indian partners with musket and shot. This was a practice that was generally avoided by the Spanish and thereby placed their Indian allies at a disadvantage to their British supplied counterparts. Among these were the greatly feared Rechahecrians. Known to the Spanish as the Chichimeco and to the later English settlers of the Carolinas as the Westo (Worth 1995:17), the Rechahecrians/Chichimeco were regularly obtaining guns and ammunition from English traders in Virginia by the late 1650s. Armed and encouraged to raid their neighbors to obtain captives for the Virginia slave market, the Chichimeco had apparently occupied the middle Savannah River area in 1659 and began attacking the Spanish missions of coastal Georgia in 1661. Their first such target was Santo Domingo de Talaxe (Talaje), a Guale village near the mouth of the Altimaha River, where an estimated 500 to 2000 Chichimeco in the company of a few English traders seized a number of the village’s inhabitants, sending the rest fleeing to the safety of Sapalo Island (Worth 1995:15-16). After the Chichimeco had withdrawn inland, the survivors of Talaxe established a new mission called Santo Domingo de Asajo at the northern end of St. Simons Island, which already was home to the Mocama mission village of San Buenaventura de Guadalquini. Slave raids by the Chichimeco were not confined to the Guale missions, however, and attacks were frequently aimed at other native groups occupying Georgia and South Carolina. For example, when John Lederer entered the North Carolina interior from Virginia in 1670, he found that the Catawba were already among those experiencing the hostility of the Westo (Lederer 1672; Alvord and Bidgood 1912; Swanton 1922:296). And when the itinerant trader, Dr. Henry Woodward made first contact with the Chichimeco/Westo at their palisaded village ‘Hickauhauga’ midway along banks of the Savannah River four year later (Crane 1929:16), he found that they counted the Yuchi, the Lower Creeks, and the Cherokee living at the headwaters of the Savannah River among their many enemies. The depredations of the Chichimeco on these and other Native Americans inhabiting Carolina and Georgia would contribute substantially to the rise of an amalgamation of recently fragmented tribes that came to be known collectively as the Yamassee.

The Yamassee were a Muskhogean-speaking peoples who probably lived in the “Province of Altamaha” that was encountered by the members of the De Soto entrada as they passed through northeast Georgia in 1540 (Swanton 1952:115). They remained relatively unnoticed by the Spanish and English occupying the South Carolina and Georgia coast until 1663 when some Spanish friars mentioned that the “Yamasis” had settled within the province of Escamaçu immediately to the north of Guale to escape the aggression of the Chichimeco (Worth 1995:19-20). With continuing Chichimeco hostilities, the Yamassee relocated once more to the south and settled along side the remnants of the Spanish coastal missions where the Spanish welcomed their arrival as a means of bolstering the rapidly dwindling numbers of Guale and Mocama subjects upon which the Spaniards relied so heavily for labor and provisions. Unfortunately for the Spanish and their allies, the added protection which the influx of Yamassee afforded against British-incited Chichimeco aggression would quickly vanish with the founding of the English colony of Carolina in 1670.

Seven years earlier, in 1663, King Charles II granted a charter for a new colony south of Virginia to eight English noblemen¾Lord John Berkeley; Sir William Berkeley; Sir George Carteret; Sir John Colleton; Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper; Lord William Craven; Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon; and George Monck, Duke of Albemarle¾who had helped him to gain the throne of England. The eight “Lords Proprietors” were confident they could lure immigrants to settle their new colony not only from England but from previously established colonies in the New World, particularly Barbados where plantation owners sought to escape the now overcrowded island. It was the Barbadians, in fact, who sent Captain William Hilton to explore the Carolina coast in 1663 in preparation for such a move. Based on the glowing report that Hilton provided following his return (Hilton 1664), Barbadian settlers attempted to found a settlement at Cape Fear but were eventually forced to abandon the project just a few years later. During that time, Colonel Robert Sanford embarked southward from the short-lived Cape Fear settlement to explore the Carolina coast further. Like Hilton three years before him, Sanford described the lands of South Carolina in glowing terms upon his return (Salley 1911; Crane 1929:5; Wright 1971:50).
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 11:52:44 am »










The English Colonize South Carolina, 1670-1700



So it was with great expectation that three English ships¾the Albemarle, the Port Royal, and the Carolina¾set sail from England in 1669 to found a new settlement along the southern coast of South Carolina. Assailed by storms and stopping in Barbados to take on additional colonists and replace battered ships, the immigrants’ vessels eventually arrived and dropped anchor off the coast of South Carolina on March 15, 1670. Bypassing the Port Royal Sound area where they had originally intended to establish their colony, their initial settlement was established instead at Albemarle Point on the western side of the Ashley River. Ever fearful of attack, the colonists immediately fortified their new settlement (Chevis 1897; Sirmans 1966; South 1969, 1989); a precaution that later proved quite prudent as three Spanish ships and 14 pirogues of Indians under the command of Juan Menéndez Marquéz sailed to attack the colony just a few months later in August 1670, but were forced to withdraw because of bad weather (Crane 1929:10; Wright 1971:53). This would not be the last attempt by the Spanish to forcibly evict the English from South Carolina (Wright 1971).

Although the first few years in Charles Town were arduous for the early colony’s inhabitants, the community quickly prospered and grew as a important seaport. The nearby forests yielded rich timber and naval stores such as pitch and tar for the shipping industry. Wealthy colonists, many of them Barbadians, employed African and Indian slaves on their extensive plantations to grow indigo, cattle, tobacco and rice for export. Those involved in the lucrative fur and slave trades prospered. This general prosperity did not extend to the coffers of the Lord Proprietors, however, who profited little from the Carolinas, in large part due to their own poor management, indifference, and recurring disputes between the colonists and the proprietors’ appointed governors (Ferris 1968:122).

As the English in Carolina grew in prosperity, Spanish fortunes and those of their Indian allies rapidly declined. With supplies of guns and ammunition now much closer at hand, slave raids by the Chichimeco continued unabated as did the gradual retreat of Spanish missions to the south. By 1675, the province of Mocama was settled mainly by non-christian Yamassee while the christianized population of the Guale and Mocama had been reduced to a total of only 326 individuals (Worth 1995:28). In that same year two Yamassee towns¾San Simón and Ocotonico¾were established on St. Simon’s Island between the missions of San Buenaventura de Guadalquini and Santo Domingo de Asajo. Sixty-one years later in 1736 the old abandoned fields of San Simón would be chosen by Georgia’s founding governor, James Edward Oglethorpe, as the spot to build the military post, Fort Frederica, to protect his new colony from Spanish attack; but it was an earlier attack in 1680 by England’s Indian allies that ultimately led to San Simón being vacant when the English arrived on St. Simons Island. It was in late April of that year that an English-led party of some 300 Indians composed of Chichimeco, Uchise, and Chiluque attacked the Spanish missions once again, preying first upon the small Yamassee (“Colones”) town of San Simón before attacking the mission at Santa Catalina de Guale located on St. Catherines Island. Although only a few Yamassee and Guale were killed in the 1680 attack, it was enough to convince many of the former inhabitants to move elsewhere yet again. Only a few of the Yamassee could be persuaded to return to their villages and fields at San Simón, and the village of Santa Catalina de Guale, which had been burned to the ground, was completely abandoned (Thomas 1988:15; Worth 1995:32). A census taken by the Spaniards the following year showed that the 40 Yamassee that had occupied San Simón in 1675 was now reduced to a mere 17 individuals and that Guale and Mocama had been effectively reduced to five mission towns with a few outlying settlements (Worth 1995:34). Had it not been for a recent souring of relationships between the British and the Chichimeco, the Spanish missions would probably have suffered more at the hands of their recent assailants. As it was, the Spanish missions gained a short reprieve as the Carolinians become fed up with the Chichimeco/Westo for their repeated attacks on other Indians that had allied themselves to the British, particularly the Cusabo, and decided their elimination was the best solution to the problem. Joined by a band of Shawnee also known as the Savannah Indians, the Carolinians and their Shawnee allies succeeded in driving the Westo from the middle Savannah River region, with the Westo survivors seeking refuge among the Yuchi further up the river (Swanton 1952:99, 103-104).

With the conclusion of the Westo War in 1681, the path was now open for the English to extend their influence westward by establishing trading relations with the Cherokee and the Creeks, thereby adding to the rancor of the Spanish who wished to keep the British out (Hann 1988:188-189). Large numbers of the Lower Creeks (Apalachicola) living along the Chattahoochee River began to relocate to the Fall Line region near the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers to take advantage of closer trade opportunities with the Charles Town colonists, and by the early 1690s many had settled near what is now Macon, Georgia and along the lower Savannah River (Worth 2000:279). The Charles Town traders welcomed the arrival of the Creek, who, according to one official report consumed a “great quantity of English Goods” (Colonial Office Papers 5:1264, cited in Crane 1929:37).

In the year prior to the conclusion of the Westo War, the prospering English community at Albemarle Point (Old Charles Town), now boasting a population of some 1200 people, moved across the river to the more defensible neck of land between the Ashley and Cooper rivers, where the new capitol of Charles Town had been laid out following a square grid. Persecution in Europe and promises of religious freedom in Carolina also led to the influx of additional settlers into South Carolina. Among these were French Huguenots who began arriving in Charles Town in 1680. In 1683, a vanguard of 30 Scottish Presbyterians led by Henry Erskine founded Stewarts Town near Port Royal, South Carolina, and prepared for the coming of another nearly 150 Scots who would arrive the following year (Wright 1971:57). In the eyes of the Spanish, the establishment of Stuart’s Town clearly violated their territorial claims as established by the Treaty of Madrid signed with England in 1670.

But this affront paled in comparison with an attack that was carried out in early spring of the same year by a fleet of English and French pirates led by Monsieur de Grammont. Denied his original goal of plundering St. Augustine in April of 1683, Grammont and his pirate fleet turned northward to pillage the missions along Georgia’s coastal island (Worth 1995:36). Faced with the threat of future buccaneer raids, nearly all the Yamassee abandoned the Spanish mission towns they had settled less than two decades before, cutting the Indian populations of Guale and Mocama in half. Among the few mission towns that remained occupied in Georgia following the Grammont raid were the Yamassee, Guale and Mocama villages of San Simón, Santo Domingo de Asajo and San Buenaventura de Guadalquini on St. Simons Island, the Guale mission of San Joseph de Sapala on Sapelo Island, and the Guale mission of San Phelipe on the Isle de San Pedro (Cumberland Island). Interestingly, a map prepared by Alonso Solana in documenting the state of the mission system shortly after the Grammont raid shows a “Pueblo de Ynfieles” on Hilton Head Island, north of the Savannah River. It has been pointed out that this “Town of Pagans” was probably the new residence of the Yamassee, after having fled northward from the Spanish missions hoping to establish peaceful relations with the English (Worth 1995:37). The Spanish mission population that remained following the 1683 attack was now spread too thin to defend against the possibility of future sea rover raids, so another consolidation and relocation of missions toward St. Augustine was ordered once more. Within the next two years, during which additional pirate attacks befell the Spanish missions including those on St. Simons Island (Worth 1995:40-42), all the coastal islands in Georgia were abandoned in favor of missions clustered on Amelia Island and near the mouth of the St. Johns River.

Meanwhile, the Scots led by Lord Cardross (Henry Erskine) had settled Stuart’s Town on Santa Elena Island near the mouth of the Edisto River where they quickly made alliances with the Yamassee who had recently settled on St. Helena Island and Hilton Head Island under the leadership of Chief Altamaha (Crane 1929:25). Eager to gain a share of the lucrative Indian slave trade, Lord Cardross began to arm the Yamassee and encouraged them to make war as a means of taking captives (Crane 1929:28-29). Provided with 30 shotguns and cutlasses, approximately 50 Yamassee set out in February of 1685 on a slave-raid across Georgia and northern Florida laying waste to the mission at Santa Catalina de Afuyca, killing some 50 Timucuans and taking a score of prisoners back to Carolina for sale as slaves (Crane 1929:31; Worth 1995:45). The Yamassee also began to filter southward occupying the islands that had been recently abandoned by the Spanish including Sapelo and St. Catherines Island. The Spanish Governor in St. Augustine could tolerate the intercessions of the English and their new Yamassee allies no longer. Consequently, in August of 1686, the Spanish and their Indian allies set sail in three small ships to attack Stuart’s Town. Finding the settlement poorly defended, the Spanish burned the town, then pressed northward after the fleeing English colonists, sacking outlying English plantations along the way. The Spanish invasion was soon thwarted, however, when the arrival of a hurricane and the loss of their flagship and another vessel forced them to abandon their invasion of south Carolina (Crane 1929:31; Worth 1995:46).

Reports of the Spanish attack on Stuart’s Town soon reached Charleston where the Carolina colonists immediately prepared to retaliate with an attack on St. Augustine. The foray was canceled, however, when the newly arrived Governor Colleton, forbade the counterattack in the belief that a more peaceful coexistence between the Spanish and English colonists would better benefit the Carolina colony. In the decade that followed, a period of latent hostility developed between the two rival nations as they temporarily pursued the mutual goal of thwarting King Louis XIV’s expansionist goals for France. Frictions still persisted, however, between the English and Spanish colonists. African slaves that had been escaping from Carolina since the mid-1680s were promised sanctuary in Spanish Florida if they agreed to convert to Catholicism (Deagan and MacMahon 1995), while the English and their Indian allies continued to capture Spanish Indians for sale as slaves in the Carolinas and abroad. Nonetheless, hostilities remained relatively subdued until the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 threw Europe into political turmoil and the major powers confronted one another in the second of a series of lengthy wars that would be fought simultaneously in the American colonies and in Europe over a period of some seventy-odd years beginning in 1689 (Table 3). In the Southeast, this period of successive wars was fought with native tribes at the forefront of the conflict. In fact, in many cases, Indian parties formed the majority of the participants in the conflicts that were fought between the hostile nations.

This and other transgressions against the Indians, sparked the Yamassee War which ultimately had such disastrous consequences for those who chose to bear arms against the English colonists. Before they were crushed, the Yamassee and their other Indian allies (Creeks, etc.) killed hundreds of Carolinians before the English militia and their Indian allies (Cherokee, Cusabo, etc.) crushed the insurrection by massacring and capturing thousands of Yamassee, Congaree, Santee, Sewee, Wateree, Apalachee and others (Swanton 1952:91-104). The vanquished who were not killed or captured and sold into slavery either surrendered and pledged future loyalty to the English or sought protection by fleeing to western Georgia and Alabama and to what little remained of Spanish controlled Florida. The Yamassee were among those who chose the last option, and some 500 are said to have settled near St. Augustine in 1716 (Bushnell 1994:195).

The Yamassee War and the routing of the Yamassee, Apalachee, Congaree, and other native groups that had previously occupied eastern Georgia and South Carolina prior to 1716 now left the English colony’s Indian trade disrupted and their southwestern frontier deserted with no Indian allies to act as a buffer between them and their not so distant European adversaries, the French in Alabama and the Spanish in Florida. In the geopolitical vacuum that was thus created, the confederation of native groups that made up the Upper and Lower Creek towns that occupied the Alabama and Chattahoochee River drainages now found themselves being courted on all sides by the English, French, and Spanish as the European powers attempted to bring the various remaining Indian tribes in the region under their sphere of influence. English attempts to draw the dispelled Indian groups, including Creek and Yamassee, back toward South Carolina following the Yamassee war were largely unsuccessful, although a small band of Chickasaws did relocate near Savannah Town in 1723. At the same time, the English went about extending and securing their boundaries as best they could by constructing a number of outposts or small forts including, among others, Fort Moore in 1717 at Savannah Town on the bluff overlooking the Savannah River (Crane 1929:187-188) and Fort Congaree in 1718 at the confluence of Congaree Creek and the Congaree River¾where the trading path to the Cherokee via Ninety Six diverged from the path leading to the Catawba (Crane 1929:188; Steen and Braley 1994:27).

The Yamassee War had another unforeseen consequence for the Lord Proprietors of South Carolina: widespread dissention among the colonists against proprietory rule. During the Indian uprising of 1715-1716 and also as a result of continuing postwar raids by the Yamassee and hostile Creeks, many South Carolinians viewed the Lord Proprietors as unresponsive to the dangers faced by the colonists directly at the hands of their Indian attackers and indirectly by the French, who were commonly perceived as the instigators of the Indian insurrection. This feeling was amplified among the colonists when the French began to make inroads on their western frontier with the establishment of Fort Toulouse in central Alabama in 1717. Lack of decisive action on the part of the Lord Proprietors to counter the perceived “encroachments” of the French came to a head during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-1720). Again, political developments in Europe led to conflict in the New World; this time the quadruple alliance of Austria, England, France, and Holland opposed the aspirations of King Philip V of Spain in Italy. In the short-term conflict during which France found itself at war with Spain, the French attempted to extend their influence from Mobile eastward by taking Pensacola. The Spanish garrison at Pensacola surrendered to the French on May 15, 1719, and were put aboard two vessels bound for Cuba. They were met on the way by a Spanish fleet enroute to attack Charles Town, but learning of the recent capture of Pensacola by the French, changed course to recapture Pensacola instead, thereby saving the English colony from a seaward assault. Although the Spanish attack on Charles Town never materialized, news of Spanish plans to attack Charles Town reached the Carolinians, who brought the matter to the proprietary government. When their requests for better defenses were largely ignored (Crane 1929:217), a bloodless insurrection ensued and anti-proprietary leaders named James Moore as governor of South Carolina in the name of the King. After the colonists’ list of grievances were presented to the government in London, the Lord Proprietors were unable to overcome the political opposition that was brought against them. On August 11, 1720, the government of South Carolina was provisionally placed in the hands of the Crown (Crane 1929:220). And, although they continued to hold title to their Carolina estates for another nine years, the Lord Proprietors no longer held any effective power in the administration of the colony. In 1729, when seven of the eight proprietors with interests in the colony were finally bought out by the crown, South Carolina was formally established as a Royal Colony (Crane 1929:290).

While the Carolinians worked toward strengthening their colony’s military preparedness following the Yamassee War, the Spanish did likewise. In their recruitment of refugee Indian groups, the Spanish were successful in getting some of the displaced Apalachee to relocate near the presidio of San Marcos, established at present day St. Marks, Florida in 1718 to help counter French ambitions in western Florida (Crane 1929:258; Hann 1988:313). The Spanish attempts to lure other native groups, particularly the Lower Creeks (called the “Apalachicola” by the Spaniards), to also resettle in Florida were much less successful, however, as the Lower and the Upper Creeks saw greater advantages in taking a relatively neutral position between the three rival European colonies in order to reap the economic benefits of lavish gifts and offers of favorable trading terms by the competing English, French and Spanish envoys. With their former English trade links in disarray, the “Grand Chief” of the Alabama (one of the four principal divisions of the Upper Creeks, the others being the Abihka, the Tallapoosa and the Okfuskee) invited the French colonists at Mobile, which had been founded as a means of checking British influence among the western Indian tribes at the onset of Queen Anne’s War, to establish a trading post (Fort Toulouse) at the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers. This they did under the command of lieutenant La Tour on July of 1717 (Crane 1929:256). Only a month later, however, English emissaries arrived in the region and began winning over the friendship of the neighboring Abikha and Tallapoosa, in large part due to the failure of the French to present adequate gifts (Crane 1929:257-258). Meanwhile, the Spanish had impressed a congregation of Apalachee and Lower Creek headmen, particularly Seepeycoffee, the son of the Coweta chief, Brims, at a meeting held at St. Augustine (Crane 1929:258). They returned to their villages with a dozen Spanish soldiers to pick a site for establishing a Spanish post among the Lower Creeks, only to find that “Emperor” Brims and others of the Lower Creek towns had come to friendly terms with the recently arrived English traders, and were unwilling to commit to a strictly Spanish alliance despite heated debate and fractional dissidence among those Lower Creek members who favored committing their allegiance to the Spanish (Crane 1929:258).

Although they were referred to as the “Creek Indians” by the English, the use of this singular term greatly glossed over what was actually an amalgam of fairly autonomous Muskogean speaking peoples who politically and ethnically distinguished themselves from one another on the basis of the talwa (“town”) they belonged to (Paredes and Plante 1975; Waselkov and Smith 2000; Worth 2000). As the crises that affected the Creek Indians grew during the late 17th and early 18th century, the loosely aligned towns sometimes acted together in dealing with the competing European powers, but at other times they conducted their affairs quite independent of one another. In their various dealings with the Europeans, the Creek seem to have made little secret of the fact that obtaining European trade goods and ammunition were among their primary purposes in establishing political alliances (Hann 1988:312; Bushnell 1994), and in this regard the English traders soon proved most able to provide the requisite supplies. English relations with the Creeks were complicated, however, by the continued state of hostilities that existed between the Creeks and the Cherokee following the Yamassee War.

The Cherokees had fought on the side of the British against the Creeks during the Yamassee War, and the Creeks and the Cherokees remained bitter foes toward one another even after both groups has established relatively peaceful relations with the British. Although some English colonists welcomed the rivalry that existed between the Creek and Cherokee as a means of preventing their uniting together to form another Indian uprising against the colonists, ultimately, the English viewed the Creek and Cherokee rivalry as a threat to English interests and tried to establish peace between them, but were unable to get representatives of the Upper and Lower Creeks to smoke the peace pipe with the Cherokee until January 1727 (Crane 1929:269-270). Some factions of the Upper and Lower Creeks remained at odds with the English, however, particularly those who were being courted by the French operating out of Mobile and Fort Toulouse.

During the time the English colonists were trying to end the hostilities between the Cherokee and the Creek, English slave traders were pursuing friendly relations among the Chickasaw and Choctaw, who were also hostile toward one another. English overtures among the Chickasaw were more successful, which led to Chickasaw attacks on the Yazoo, Koroa, Choctaw, and other French allies living along the lower Mississippi (Swanton 1946:117). In return, the French were able to induce their Choctaw allies to wreak revenge on the Chickasaw. In a brutal attack that was launched in early 1723, the Choctaw destroyed the largest Chickasaw town and reportedly killed some 400 Chickasaws (Crane 1929:273). Fleeing the onslaught of their Choctaw attackers, small groups of Chickasaw refugees found asylum among the Creek and Cherokee. One small body of Chickasaw migrated to the banks of the Savannah River near Fort Moore where they subsequently assisted the South Carolinians in their clashes with the Yamassee (Crane 1929:190; Milling 1969:188). The western Chickasaw towns soon made peace with the French, however, and stayed in northern Mississippi, where they remained an important objective of South Carolina’s trade entrepreneurs despite the great distance and attempts by the French to prevent English influences.

England’s worries regarding European competition in the Southeast during the early 18th century had become greatly focused on France’s continuous efforts to extend its influence eastward from the Mississippi valley and Mobile, but the continuing threat posed by the Yamassee in Florida also required the attentions of the English colonists. The military outposts that had been constructed along South Carolina’s southern border following the Yamassee War had not been enough to allay the Yamassee raids on English plantations. The English responded by encouraging their Indian allies to strike back at Yamassee towns in Florida (Swanton 1946:210; Bushnell 1994:196; Hann 1988:292). In 1728, the Carolinians decided to bring the conflict directly to the doorsteps of St. Augustine as punishment for sheltering marauding Yamassee. On March 9th of that year, an army of 100 South Carolinians and 100 Indians led by Colonel John Palmer attacked the Yamassee town of Nombre de Dios within view of the Spanish capital. The firing of cannon from Castillo de San Marcos helped persuade the attackers from attempting to take the Spanish town itself, but the Spaniards did little more than watch from the safety of the Castillo de San Marcos as the attacking force burned and looted the Yamassee town. Although Palmer’s three day siege had resulted in the death of only 30 Yamassee and taking of 15 prisoners (Crane 1929:250), it greatly reduced Spanish prestige in the eyes of the interior tribes, particularly among the Lower Creek who now received English overtures with greater favor.

At the dawn of the third decade of the 1700s, the English colonists of South Carolina were enjoying improved relations with the majority of their Indian neighbors, and English trade was once again burgeoning across the frontier. The Cherokee, who had been the most steadfast of South Carolina’s Indian allies, were now among their most important trading partners, and the founding of Ninety Six would be a consequence of that trade.
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 11:53:46 am »










The Founding of Ninety Six, 1730-1760



The Cherokee Path, the most direct route between Charleston and the Cherokee towns (Image 4), had become a major thoroughfare for trappers and traders traveling between the coast and the frontier. The first documented use of the Cherokee Path by the British was recorded by Captain George Chicken, who led a militia detachment to the coast via the trail in 1716. At a point on the Cherokee Path that was said to be 96 miles from the Cherokee town of Keowee, Capt. Chicken and his unit blazed a new trail southwestward to the Savannah River. Ninety Six arose at the junction of these two trails.

The people who first settled in the vicinity of Ninety Six in the 1730s initially had no formal claims to the land. Thomas Brown, a trader who had resided previously at the Congarees, was the first to seek formal title to a tract of land, 250 acres, at Ninety Six. However, his 1736 claim had not been settled by the time of his death in 1737 (Cann 1974:2).

Ten years after Thomas Brown submitted his claim at Ninety Six, agents made a request to the colonial assembly to encourage British subjects to settle near Ninety Six by offering all new immigrants an exemption from all provincial taxes, except those exacted on slaves. At Governor James Glen’s recommendation, the assembly voted to suspend the specified taxes to all northern frontier residents for a period of 15 years.

To preempt any negative reactions that the Cherokee might have to an influx of new settlers into the high country, Governor Glen met with 61 Cherokee headmen at Ninety Six on June 1, 1746, to reaffirm peaceful relations. A few months later, in February of 1747, a transfer of the lands in the Long Canes Creek and Little River drainages was negotiated with the Cherokee in exchange for ammunition valued at ₤975.

With the promise of peace, there came an influx of land speculators to the Ninety Six area. Foremost among them was John Hamilton who in 1749 acquired title to 200,000 acres just south of the Ninety Six area, and commissioned a survey in 1751 in order to subdivide and sell it. The northern line of the survey, commonly known as Hamilton’s Great Survey Line (or the 1751 grant line) which ran in a northeast to southwest direction, is still a visible landmark (National Park Service 1979:9).

Among the first to arrive were Dr. John Murray from Charleston, John Turk from Virginia, James Francis from Saludy Old Town, Andrew Williamson from Scotland, and John Lewis Gervais, a German immigrant. By the summer of 1751, Robert Gouedy had purchased 250 acres at Ninety Six just south of the Great Survey Line and had constructed a trading post along the Cherokee Path (also referred to as Charleston Road) that passed through his property. Gouedy had previously been a trader at Great Tellico, a village of the Overhill Cherokees from whom Gouedy had obtained an Indian wife who later bore him three daughters. When he settled at Ninety Six, Gouedy soon married a white woman, Mary, who also bore him two children, James and Sarah. His trading post prospered, and at Gouedy’s death in 1775, his land holdings had exceeded 1500 acres, his “Ninety Six Plantation” had 34 black slaves, and the trading post had become the center of activity for a large section of the high country. Serving as both commercial center and bank for the backcountry area, 400 settlers and traders had open accounts at Gouedy’s store when he died in 1775 (Holschlag and Rodeffer 1777:21).

The influx of settlers into the South Carolina high country caused the relations between the settlers and the Cherokees to deteriorate, finally breaking down in the spring of 1751 when a theft of 331 deerskins from a Cherokee hunting camp by white raiders went unpunished by the magistrate at Ninety Six (Cann 1974:7). By summer, retaliatory Indian raids became a constant threat, so two militia units were dispatched to patrol the high country. And, at the request of the local populace, the militia built a small military outpost on Gouedy’s property.

Following the deaths of several white settlers along the frontier, peace was restored for a brief period in 1753 when the British agreed to pay for the stolen deerskins and to help protect the Cherokee from their Indian enemies by building Fort Prince George at Keowee. Ninety Six then became a supply station and rest stop for those traveling to the Keowee fort. Construction of another fort, Fort Loudoun, among the Overhill Cherokee in eastern Tennessee was subsequently begun in April of 1757 following negotiations two years earlier in which the Cherokee promised assistance to the British in fighting the French and their Indian allies in their most recently begun military campaign for North American territories¾the French and Indian War (1754-1763).

The previous war, the War of Austrian Succession (known as King George’s War in the American colonies) had begun in 1740 and ended in 1748 with the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which restored to France all the possessions it had lost in North America. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle proved, however, to be little more than an uneasy truce between the vying powers with isolated skirmishes that quickly escalated into full conflict when the French built a series of forts in western Pennsylvania then seized the Forks of the Ohio in 1754. At first the British suffered several military setbacks against the French, but by 1758 the tide had turned and the British enjoyed victory after victory. British military success and the promise to aid in the war against the French, however, did not prevent some Cherokee from accepting overtures from their supposed enemies and switching alliances to attack British settlers in the Carolinas and Georgia in 1759.

To counter the threat of additional Cherokee attacks, William Henry Lyttelton, who had succeeded Glen as Governor of South Carolina in 1757, promptly proceeded with reinforcements of over 1300 men to Fort Prince George. Stopping at Ninety Six along the way, it was decided that a stockade fort and magazine should be built to protect the local citizenry. To expedite the construction, Gouedy’s barn was chosen to function as the fort’s magazine. A stockade measuring ninety feet square was then constructed around the barn with sheds added to one side of it to shelter the garrison troops. The stockade, consisting of upright logs set firmly into an earthen embankment with a facing ditch, was completed on November 27, 1759, having been constructed in less than a week. It included two bastions at diagonally opposite corners, a banquette (firing step), and a gate. This outpost, dubbed Fort Ninety Six, was the scene of several conflicts between the British and Cherokee during what is aptly viewed as a war within the French and Indian War, the Cherokee War (1760-1762).
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 11:54:46 am »









The Cherokee War, 1760-1762



By the end of January 1760, the threat of Indian attack had prompted many settlers and their families to gather at Fort Ninety Six for safety. On February 2, a patrol from the fort took two Cherokee warriors prisoner, and the following day approximately 40 Cherokees attacked the fort, ultimately suffering 2 casualties and burning all the buildings on the Gouedy plantation except the successfully defended fort before withdrawing. The fort was besieged again briefly one month later when about 250 Cherokee attacked the fort at Gouedy’s on March 3. Under near-constant gunfire for roughly 36 hours, the garrison inside the fort suffered only two wounded, while the Cherokee reportedly suffered six dead. Before they withdrew, the Cherokee destroyed as much as they could within two miles of Ninety Six, setting fire to buildings, ruining grain supplies, and killing livestock (Cann 1974:11, 1996:5).

Asking for assistance in the war against the Cherokee, the provincial government’s requests were answered with the arrival of over 1300 British regulars under the command of Colonel Archibald Montgomery in Charleston on April 5, 1760. Proceeding to Fort Prince George where he intended to launch his military campaign against the Overhill Cherokee, Montgomery and his regulars rested at Fort Ninety Six for four days in late May before completing the journey to Fort Prince George, leaving 50 men behind at Fort Ninety Six to protect his supply route. Montgomery’s dreams of a quick and decisive military campaign were short lived, however, as the Cherokee avoided any confrontations until June 24th, when they ambushed Montgomery and his men while enroute to attack Echoe. Seventeen British were killed and another 66 were wounded in the fracas, while the Cherokee reportedly lost 50 men (Cann 1974:12). Stinging over the loss of his men, and having destroyed the Cherokee towns of Echoe and Estatoe but without exacting any severe blows to the Cherokee, Montgomery considered the Indian campaign concluded and returned to New York.

Montgomery’s failure to engage the Cherokee further soon led to the fall of Fort Loudoun, which surrendered its forces on August 8, 1760, after a siege of several months reduced the garrison to near starvation. Allowed to withdraw from the fort under the terms of the surrender, the retreating British garrison was attacked less than 15 miles from the fort. Twenty-seven men and three women were killed (Ferris 1968:379), and Captain John Stuart and 26 men were captured and marched off to the Cherokee towns where some were tortured and killed while others were later ransomed to South Carolina and Virginia.

Montgomery’s failure to subdue the Cherokee necessitated a second British campaign against the Cherokee in 1761, this time led by Lt. Colonel James Grant. While Grant drilled and prepared his forces for the impending campaign at Charleston, Major William Moultrie and 220 soldiers were sent to Fort Ninety Six to establish an advance supply base for the army. Moultrie’s first order of business was to erect a new fort near old Fort Ninety Six for the use of Grant’s army. Rodeffer (1985:54-55) has suggested that the site of this new stockade, named Fort Middleton (Greene 1979:38), may have been at the juncture of the Keowee/Whitehall, Island Ford, and Charleston Roads, which was later chosen as the place to build Ninety Six Village. Moultrie then made some major structural modifications to the original 1759 fort, including enlarging the stockade by tearing down one side and extending it outward by 30 feet (to accommodate at least two new storehouses for provisions for Grant’s army).

Grant and his troops arrived at Ninety Six in mid-May and made final preparations for his campaign against the Cherokee. History repeated itself with only one minor engagement occurring early in the campaign near Cowhowee, when the Cherokee ambushed the British and inflicted a loss of 19 dead and 52 wounded upon Grant’s army before fleeing the scene of the battle. For the remainder of the campaign, Grant met virtually no opposition as he marched his troops from one abandoned village to the next, burning the houses and fields as they went. Deprived of their homes and crops, the Cherokee soon capitulated and sued for peace. The Cherokee were required to return all prisoners and property seized during the war, to allow the British to build forts on their territory, and were prohibited from journeying below Keowee without permission.

The victorious Carolinians were also able to force additional land concessions from the defeated Cherokee, who surrendered to the English all lands south of a straight line drawn between the Reedy and Savannah Rivers, a line which today serves as the boundary between nearby Abbeville and Anderson Counties (The Historic Group 1981:72). Now open to white settlement, the South Carolina frontier was flooded by immigrants, mostly of Scotch-Irish and German descent, who traveled overland along the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road from Pennsylvania and North Carolina as well as by sea through Charleston and thence inland by road.

Although the end of the Cherokee War and the subsequent land concessions made South Carolina’s high country safer for white settlement, there were still social and political problems facing those who settled the Carolina Piedmont. With no constabulary, local residents who were easy prey for outlaws, resorted to vigilante groups to mete out frontier justice until the South Carolina General Assembly finally provided the backcountry with law enforcement authority in 1769. This took the physical form of courthouses and jails to be built in each of seven judicial districts. The law authorizing these structures in the Ninety Six District specified that the buildings be made of wood (Cann 1974:18). The structures were finished in 1772 (Cann 1974:19) on two of several lots that had been set aside in 1769 by John Savage for the purpose of establishing a town to be named Ninety Six along the Charleston Road just north of the Great Survey Line that separated his 400 acres from Gouedy’s plantation (South 1971:53).

The remoteness and relatively low economic status of the majority of high country settlers also left most of the settlers in the Ninety Six area in the early 1770s feeling disenfranchised from the system of colonial government, whose control rested primarily in the hands of the wealthier low land bureaucrats. Unaffected by many of the economic and political concerns that confronted the low country inhabitants, such as the recent taxes levied on luxury goods (e.g., Townshend Duty Act of 1767 and Tea Act of 1773), the high country was far less receptive to the calls for independence from British rule that were now being circulated in Charleston and the colonies to the north. The dumping of tea into the harbor at Boston by the Sons of Liberty in defiance of the Tea Act, and Britain’s reprisals against the Bostonians as punishment, prompted the meeting of the First Continental Congress to solidify colonial opposition against Parliament’s actions, and direct the formation of a provincial congress in each of the colonies. When news of the skirmishes at Concord and Lexington reached South Carolina in June of 1775, the members of the South Carolina provincial congress met to form a provisional separatist government and began recruiting South Carolinians to the patriotic cause.
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 11:55:43 am »










The Battle of Williamson’s Fort



William Henry Drayton and the Reverend William Tennent were among those sent to the high country to enlist support against the Crown. Traveling the backcountry in the summer of 1775, they were met with strong opposition from the high country Loyalists. When their reports of Loyalist opposition reached the provisional government, they granted Drayton full authority to take the necessary measures for “eradicating the opposition” (Cann 1974:31). By early September, Drayton had followed the council’s orders by setting up headquarters at Ninety Six and assembled a militia of 225 patriots. Learning that opposing forces were gathering against him under the leadership of staunch Loyalist, Colonel Fletchall, commander of the Upper Saluda militia, Drayton made plans to attack the Loyalist militia before they could do the same to him.  The threat of civil war loomed until Fletchall and Drayton met on September 16, 1775, and reached a temporary peace that many Loyalists objected to as an act of betrayal to the Crown.

Aware that if war with Britain was to occur, an alliance or at least neutrality with the Cherokee would be key to Patriot success, Drayton now traveled to the Congarees to meet with representatives of the tribe to garner their support. To help secure Cherokee friendship, the provincial government agreed to provide the Cherokee with 1000 pounds of lead and an equal amount of powder for their winter hunt. When word of the munitions shipment was leaked along with the rumor that the supplies were intended for a Loyalist massacre, the Loyalists seized them in transport a few miles south of Ninety Six. The wagon driver transporting the shipment was released and proceeded directly to Ninety Six where he reported the seizure to Major James Mayson (Cann 1974:37). Mayson then sent word to Major Andrew Williamson, who commanded a body of Patriot militia camped on Long Cane Creek. Vowing to recover the stolen ammunition and punish the takers, Williamson began organizing his militia for punitive action.

Meanwhile, the Loyalists, nearly 1900 men strong and deciding to take advantage of their recent acquisition of ample ammunition, struck out to attack Ninety Six under the command of Captain Patrick Cunningham. When Major Williamson learned of the impending assault, he ordered the hasty construction of a rude fort approximately 250 yards west of the Ninety Six jail that incorporated a barn and some outbuildings located on Colonel John Savage’s plantation. The Loyalists arrived before the makeshift fort could be completed and surrounded the badly outnumbered Patriots who consisted of 562 officers and men (Cann 1974:37).

The Loyalists demanded the Patriots surrender, but Williamson refused. But apparently neither side was keen on beginning hostilities, and half a day passed before shooting broke out when the Loyalists seized two of Williamson’s men after they wandered from the fort, presumably to get a drink from the nearby stream, Spring Branch. The exchange in fire had little effect on both sides, but the Patriots were cut off from access to water in the fort. To solve this problem, a well was dug inside the fort, reaching water at a depth of 40 feet. Two days later, hostilities were suspended after it was agreed the Patriots would be allowed to go free if they dismantled the fort, filled in the well, and handed over the swivel guns in their possession to the Loyalists. The Loyalists also agreed to return the swivel guns to the Patriot forces in three days time. Thus ended the first Revolutionary War engagement south of New England. Each side had suffered only one death and several wounded, but the skirmish galvanized Patriotic fervor in Charleston, and in less than a month an army of 4000 men was raised to crush the Loyalists in the backcountry. Fighting in unusually cold weather and heavy snow, the “Snow Campaign” was a resounding triumph for the Patriot forces led by Colonel Richard Richardson. Following several successful skirmishes in which Richardson’s troops defeated opposing Loyalist militia and took many of their leaders prisoner, Patriot control of the high country seemed assured. In truth, war in the backcountry had just begun.
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 11:56:46 am »










War in the Backcountry, 1776-1781



The overwhelming defeat of the Loyalists forces by Richardson and his Patriot troops during the Snow Campaign proved to be yet another in a spate of bad news to the Cherokee, who were growing more and more displeased with the disturbing affects of the backcountry war, particularly the disruption of the English Indian trade. Some of the fleeing Loyalists sought refuge among England’s old allies, the Cherokee, inciting them to take up arms against the King’s rebellious subjects. The older Cherokee headmen were willing to avoid confrontation with the colonists, but the younger leaders, especially Dragging Canoe of Big Island Town, were motivated to action by a visiting delegation of Iroquois and Shawnee who encouraged the massacre of the white settlers. When England’s prime minister, Lord Dartmouth, pronounced that England’s Indian allies should be enlisted in putting down the insurrection, arms and ammunition were provided the Cherokee for that purpose by the King’s Superintendent of Indian Affairs, John Stuart (Cann 1974:45). In the summer of 1776, Dragging Canoe and his Overhill warriors launched attacks against North Carolina’s and Virginia’s western frontiers. Encouraged by the Overhill successes, the Lower Town Cherokee attacked Georgia and South Carolina, with South Carolina receiving the worst of the punishment.

The colonists immediately responded by setting their militias in motion. Colonel Andrew Williamson summoned the Ninety Six militia, and eventually collected 1,860 troops in a 17 day march to destroy the Lower Cherokee villages while General Griffith Rutherford and Colonel William Moore led the North Carolina militia in the destruction of the Middle, Valley, and Outer Towns. Finally, in November of 1776, a Virginia force led by Colonel William Christian burned several of the Overhill Towns. The Patriot’s campaigns against the Cherokees in the summer and fall of 1776 had resulted in the destruction and abandonment of many of their towns, and forced the remaining Cherokee to sue for peace the following year. Although the truce in 1777 effectively ended any major threats of Cherokee aggression in the backcountry, sporadic raids by the Cherokee occurred for the duration of the war. Loyalists living with the Cherokee were frequently involved in the guerilla warfare that eventually resulted in another retaliatory expedition led by Colonels John Sevier and Arthur Campbell against the Overhill Towns in 1780. With the Cherokee and the Loyalist forces in South Carolina effectively repressed, the Patriots in South Carolina were largely spared the hardships that were being endured by their compatriots in the north where the brunt of the war was waged from 1776 to 1778.

Frustrated by their inability to deliver a crushing blow to rebel forces in the north, the British decided to evacuate Philadelphia in June, 1778, in order to concentrate their efforts in a southern campaign that would serve the dual purpose of dividing the American forces and reviving Loyalist support in South Carolina and Georgia. In November 1778, a British naval expedition captured Savannah, and by January 1779, British forces had taken Augusta. As predicted, British successes in Georgia rejuvenated Royalist sentiments in the high country, and hundreds of Loyalists rushed to join the British forces in taking back control of South Carolina. The fall of Charleston on May 12, 1780, crushed the patriot resistance and placed South Carolina back in the hands of the British. The British were now free to press the war into the South Carolina backcountry and northward into North Carolina. Most of the few remaining patriots that had taken refuge in the South Carolina backcountry viewed further resistance as futile and surrendered under the condition that they would be paroled if they agreed to lay down their arms and disband. When the British took control of Ninety Six in June 1780, the war in the South Carolina backcountry was once again temporarily ended.

To repel any serious Patriot attacks in the south, the British established a string of forts from Augusta, Georgia to Camden, North Carolina. Because of its strategic importance as a base for raising provisions from the surrounding countryside, its proximity to the Cherokee Nation and the strong political allegiance of the local inhabitants, Ninety Six was chosen as a principal center for recruiting southern Loyalist regiments to help fight the Kings war and the construction of a major fort to guard the frontier.

The construction of defensive works at Ninety Six were undertaken under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel John Harris Cruger beginning in August of 1780. Later in December the same year, Lt. Henry Haldane, Aide de Camp to General Cormwallis, inspected the fortifications erected by Cruger and suggested several additions including an earthen fort in the shape of an eight-pointed star (Cann 1974:73-74). The defense works ultimately included a stockade with ditch around the village, two redoubts, a blockhouse, the star-shaped fort protected by a dry ditch and abatis, a hornwork (Holmes Fort) commanding the ravine west of the village, and a caponier that connected the hornwork to the town defenses. While he conducted his campaign in the South, Lord Cornwallis wrote repeatedly to his subordinate officers of the importance of holding Ninety Six.

Meanwhile, Cornwallis pressed his attacks northward into North Carolina, eventually sending orders to Major Patrick Ferguson and his Loyalist militia at Ninety Six to join Cornwallis and his forces at Charlotte. While enroute to join Cornwallis, Ferguson was attacked by Patriot forces at King’s Mountain near the North Carolina border on October 7, 1780. In the brief but decisive battle, some 400 Loyalists were killed or wounded and 687 were captured. The loss caused Cornwallis to fall back to Winnsboro, fearing the Patriots would invade South Carolina following their victory at King’s Mountain. Cornwallis was relieved when the Americans turned instead and moved toward Salem.

Following the British successes in Georgia and the Carolinas in the summer of 1780, the American Southern Army was in need of a new commander. General Nathanael Greene was given the assignment and assumed command of the Patriot forces at Charlotte in December. The Southern American Army was in disarray and ill-equipped for a major confrontation with the British. To make the best of a poor situation, Greene decided to split his forces sending General Daniel Morgan with 1040 men west of the Broad River while he remained at Cheraw. After enjoying successes at Fairforest and Fort Williams, Morgan and his troops gained a major victory against the British at Cowpens on January 17, 1781, killing or wounding 310 of the enemy and taking 500 prisoners (Cann 1974:68). Cornwallis then began pursuing the Patriot forces but was unable to engage the Americans until Greene chose to fight at Guilford Courthouse on March 15. The British drove the Americans from the field but endured slightly greater losses; the Patriots suffered 78 killed and 183 wounded while the British had 93 killed and 439 wounded.

His supplies exhausted, Cornwallis was unable to pursue the retreating American forces following the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, and was forced instead to withdraw to Wilmington, Virginia to obtain provisions. With the way now open to South Carolina, Greene decided to begin a campaign of capturing the string of forts established by the British the year before. Succeeding at Fort Watson, Orangeburg, Fort Motte, and Fort Granby, Greene then set his sights on the strategic post at Ninety Six.
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 11:57:45 am »










The Siege of Ninety Six



After May 15, 1781, the only British outposts that remained in the high country were Augusta and Ninety Six. General Greene decided to attack both simultaneously and dispatched Colonels Henry Lee and Andrew Pickens to attack Augusta while he marched to Ninety Six. The patriot army, led by General Greene, and accompanied by military engineer Count Thaddeus Kosciusko arrived at Ninety Six on May 22, 1781, encamping in four areas around the fort. At first, Greene was daunted by the strong fortifications that lay before him at Ninety Six, but set aside his doubts and immediately began the siege.

With only 974 men at his disposal, Greene followed the advice of his military engineer, Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and concentrated his attack on the Star Fort (Image 5), the strongest point of the fortifications (Greene 1979:126-127). Initially, siege trenches to attack the fort were imprudently begun a mere 70 yards from the stronghold, but a barrage of cannon and musket fire followed by a Loyalist bayonet charge forced the Americans to abandon their trenches and begin again further back at a distance of some 200 yards. In support of the siege operations, Kosciuszko, directed the construction of two earthen cannon batteries approximately 350 yards north of the Star Redoubt “on the other side of a broad ravine” (Greene 1979:129). Slowed by the nearly rockhard soil, the first section or parallel of the siege trench was completed on May 27, and the second parallel on May 30. With only 70 yards to go to reach the Star Fort parapet, the construction of a third parallel was made more difficult by constant gunfire from the Star Fort. This impediment was soon silenced by the placing of snipers atop a log tower built near the third parallel. From their high vantage point, the American snipers pinned down the British defenders inside the Star Fort, immediately shooting anyone who attempted to raise their head above the parapet wall. With this advantage, Greene formally demanded the British surrender on June 3, but the commander of the fort, Lieutenant-Colonel John Cruger, having suffered few casualties was not disposed to accept.

To counter the vantage point provided by the tower, Cruger’s men added three feet to the Star Fort parapet using sandbags, leaving openings at intervals as portals for musket fire. Despite these measures, the sniper fire from the tower still made it perilous to man the cannon from the Star Fort, so they were dismounted and used only at night. Meanwhile, the Patriot forces continued to extend the siege trenches toward the Star Fort.

On June 8, Colonel Henry Lee arrived at Ninety Six from Augusta, having successfully taken the Georgia outpost. He almost immediately set his men to digging siege trenches approaching Holmes Fort, the redoubt protecting Spring Branch and the stockaded village’s western approach. Meanwhile, beginning from the third parallel, Kosciusko undertook the construction of a tunnel that was to extend under the parapet of the Star Redoubt with the intention of blasting a large breach in the earthwork using several barrels of powder placed in the tunnel under the parapet.

While the Patriots patiently tunneled and dug closer to their respective objectives, the British responded by sending out sorties at night to destroy segments of the siegeworks and attack the guard parties located near the trenches. Despite these minor setbacks, the trenches were advanced to within a few feet of the Star Fort by June 12th, and Lee had succeeded in moving his cannon into a commanding position of Spring Branch from which the British got their water. With access cut off to their only water source, the British defenders attempted to dig a well within the Star Fort, but failed to reach water.

While Greene waited patiently for the siege trenches and the tunnel to reach their objectives, news of the siege of Ninety Six had reached Charleston, and on June 7th a British force of over 2000 left Charleston to relieve the beleaguered fort. Patriot spies in Charleston sent word of the British relief column to General Greene, who realized that if Ninety Six was not taken before the relief column arrived, he would have to retreat without achieving the military victory that was so close to being within his grasp. Thus, on June 18, even though the tunnel was incomplete, Greene ordered a simultaneous attack on the Star Fort and Holmes Fort. In the brief but bloody battle, the British repulsed the frontal assault that was launched from the siege trenches facing the Star Fort. Henry Lee and his men, on the otherhand, had succeeded in taking Holmes Fort. Because of the large amount of casualties suffered in the assault on the Star Fort and news that the British relief force was but two or three day’s march from Ninety Six, Greene decided to end the siege and to prepare for withdrawal toward the northeast. A temporary truce was arranged for the exchange of prisoner’s and burial of the dead. During the 28 day siege, the British had losses of 27 killed and 58 wounded (Cann 1974:85); the Continental Army under Greene’s command suffered 58 dead, 70 wounded and 20 missing (Greene 1979:167). These figures do not include, however, the casualties that were suffered by the Patriot militia. In his memoirs, Henry Lee (1822:256) reports that total American losses amounted to 185 killed and wounded, which, if accurate, would indicate a total of 51 casualities were suffered by the Patriot militia.

After Greene’s retreat, the British reasoned that keeping the isolated outpost garrisoned would be too difficult, and decided instead to evacuate Ninety Six. The fortifications were dismantled and the town was destroyed. The British then withdrew from the backcountry, back to Charleston where they remained an isolated enclave for the remainder of the war. Although Greene’s siege of Ninety Six had failed, his summer 1781 campaign through the south had forced the British to abandon plans of controlling the Carolina backcountry, and prompted Cornwallis’ decision to invade Virginia instead, where he and his army were later captured at Yorktown. Nathanael Greene’s southern campaign was vital in turning the Revolutionary War in America’s favor, and proved to be a key to the British capitulation at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2008, 11:58:59 am »









Cambridge



With Ninety Six destroyed, those returning to resettle the area following the Revolutionary War, decided to reestablish the former community in a different location. In August 1783, the new town was laid out near the former location of Holmes Fort on 180 acres that had been among the 400 acres confiscated by the South Carolina General Assembly from Loyalist James Holmes (Caldwell 1974:1). The land was vested to seven trustees who were responsible for laying out the town and establishing a public school.

Those who had held lots in Ninety Six prior to the war were given the opportunity to exchange their lots for ones in the new town, which was renamed Cambridge in 1787 (Holschlag and Rodeffer 1976b:4). The Cambridge town plat consisted of two rows of five squares bisected by a north-south oriented thoroughfare named Guerard Street. Each of the town’s ten squares were subdivided into eight rectangular lots measuring 208 ft by 104 ft that faced streets 50 feet wide running perpendicular to Guerard Street. Five town lots were reserved for community buildings including the Ninety Six Judicial District courthouse, church, meeting house, market, and jail (Watson 1970:25). In 1785, the College Act was passed, which brought the construction of a small college at Cambridge.

In addition to the College of Cambridge, brick courthouse and jail, the town had at least three taverns, a blacksmith, a shoemaker, a tailor, more than a dozen shops, numerous doctors and lawyers, and a post office. At its height, the population of Cambridge was about 300 residents. But prosperity at Cambridge would soon prove to be quickly fleeting.

Cambridge’s downfall began less than a decade after its founding, when the size of the Ninety Six Judicial District was reduced in 1791 and abolished altogether in 1800 (Baker 1972:42; Holschlag and Rodeffer 1977:12; Greene 1979:180). After the loss of the six county judicial district seat, merchants began to leave as well. By 1803, low attendance forced the trustees of the College of Cambridge to dispose of all properties belonging to the institution. Conditions in Cambridge deteriorated further when influenza (called “the great plague” by inhabitants of the area) ravaged the town in 1815. The decline of Cambridge continued over the next two decades as Greenwood and Hamburg lured residents away. By 1835, the Presbyterian church established in 1784 had only one surviving member, who sold the property and building. The slow death of the town included the termination of stagecoach service in 1845, the razing of the courthouse in 1856, and the closing of the post office in 1860. Those few who remained as residents of Cambridge following the 1850s dwindled in number as one-by-one they died off, and their children moved away in search of jobs and new places to make a living. Most notable among these was the new community of Ninety Six founded two miles to the north of Cambridge, where the establishment of the Greenwood and Columbia railroad line in 1852 (Watson 1970:31) and more traveled highways brought more contact with the outside world and the greater opportunities afforded by an ever increasing industrial national economy.
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