Evolution of a Federalist: William Loughton Smith of Charleston (1758-1812)

By George C. Rogers | Go to book overview
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VIII
THE RE-EMERGENCE OF THE GOOSE CREEK PLANTERS

A T THE TIME of the calling of the Jacksonborough legislature the lower part of the parish of St. James Goose Creek was within the sphere of British influence. The leading men were sitting tight, waiting for the last swing of the war pendulum. Of the six delegates representing the parish at Jacksonborough only Ralph Izard was of the old ruling group. The others were Alexander Broughton of St. John's Berkeley, Thomas Elliott of St. Andrew's, Dr. George Flagg and William Johnson of Charleston, and Colonel John Baddeley of Goose Creek.1 The letters of Edward Rutledge written at the time of the Jacksonborough meeting indicate how close the Goose Creek men came to ruin. Rutledge, who spoke of them as the "protection gentry," was quite willing to see his own father-in-law Henry Middleton, who "keeps constantly at Goosecreek," suffer.2 He noted that his brother-in-law Peter Smith had escaped confiscation "from his insignificance, tho' I believe he is still with the Enemy, or at Goosecreek, which is nearly the same Thing." The name of Thomas Smith of Broad Street had been mentioned "but struck off.... However, it is not clear to me that he will get off altogether: it is said & believed that he subscribed to raising the Horse: if so, he will be amerced 30 per cent, & justly too." According to Rutledge, Gabriel Manigault was fortunate to escape with an amercement of only ten per cent.3 There must have been much haggling over who should be included and who excluded. When the final lists were drawn up, the Goose Creek gentlemen could consider themselves quite lucky; the names of Henry Middleton, Peter Smith, Thomas Smith of Broad Street, and Gabriel Manigault were nowhere to be found. Of the men who had sent their sons abroad to study, only

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1
Journal of the House of Representatives of South Carolina, January 8, 1782-February 26, 1782, ed. A. S. Salley Jr., Columbia, 1916, p. 131. For Broughton see SCHGM, XXII ( 1921), 23. For Baddeley see SCHGM, XX ( 1919), 144.
2
Edward Rutledge to Arthur Middleton, February 14, 1782, "Correspondence of Hon. Arthur Middleton," SCHGM, XXVII ( 1926), 5.
3
Edward Rutledge to Arthur Middleton, February 26, 1782, ibid., pp. 8-9. For the divisions in prominent families see Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina under the Royal Government, 1719-1776, New York, 1899, pp. 557-558.

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