The Yemassee

By William Gilmore Simms; Alexander Cowie | Go to book overview
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THE YEMASSEE UPRISING

Below is a contemporary account of the initial stages of the Yemassee uprising as reported to the Boston News-Letter. Its substantial accuracy may be tested by more formal accounts referred to in the bibliography, above.

Boston, On Tuesday last arrived here His Majesty's Ship Success Capt. Meade Commander, about twelve days Passage from South-Carolina, by whom his Excellency our Governour had a Letter from the Honourable Governour Craven, acquainting him that all their Indians, made up of many various Nations, consisting of between ten or twelve Thousand Men (that lately paid Obedience to that Government) had shaken off their Fidelity, Treacherously Murdering several of his Majesty's Subjects.

By Passengers from South-Carolina we have the following Account, That about the 12th of April last, the Governour being inform'd of a Rupture between the English and Indians, he immediately dispatched Capt. Nairn and Mr. John Cockrum, Gentlemen, well acquainted with the Indians, to know the cause of their Discontent, who accordingly on the 15th of April met the Principal part of them at the Yamsy Town, about 130 Miles from Charlstown, and after several Debates pro and con, the Indians at last seem'd very ready to come to a good Agreement and Reconciliation, and having prepared a good Supper for our Messengers, all went quietly to rest, but early next Morning their Lodging was beset with a great Number of Indians, who Barbarously Murdered Capt. Nairn and Messieurs John Wright and Thomas Ruffly, Mr. Cockrum and his Wife they kept Prisoners, whom they afterwards slew; one Seamore Burroughs a strong Rubust Man seeing the Indians cruel Barbarity on the other Gentlemen, made his way good thro' the middle of the Enemy, they pursuing and firing several shot at him, one took him thro' the Cheeck (which is since cured) and coming to a River he Swam throw, and Alarmed the Plantations, so that by his Escape, and a Merchant Man that lay in Port Royal River, that Fired some Great Guns on the Enemy, several Hundreds of English lives were saved.

At the same time that Governour Craven Dispatched Capt.

-xlii-

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