Reluctant Rebels; Violent Partisans
SOUTH CAROLINA was potentially the most loyal of the British colonies when the controversies began that erupted eventually into the War of Independence. In the beginning, few South Carolinians dreamed of breaking away from the mother country. Grievances and complaints they had in plenty, as others had; but at the end of the French and Indian War, no one could foresee that American guns would be firing on British troops at Lexington and Concord within a scant dozen years. The merchants of Charleston were prospering from trade with London, Bristol, Liverpool, and Glasgow. The rice planters were getting richer from abundant crops shipped overseas to British markets and to foreign ports south of Cape Finistere. Indigo, thanks to a bounty paid by the British government for every pound produced in the colonies, was bringing in additional revenue to planters and even to small farmers in the middle region of Carolina.
The back country was filling up rapidly with immigrants moving down from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and from a lesser tide moving inland from the port of Charleston. These back-countrymen in many cases received small bounties for farm equipment along with land grants from the government; others simply squatted on unclaimed land in the backwoods. They had no grudge against any overseas authority. In short, South Carolinians in 1763 at the time of the Peace of Paris were