South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948

By David Duncan Wallace | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
POLITICS AND INDIAN AFFAIRS DURING QUEEN ANNE'S WAR, 1702-1713

THE PART PLAYED by South Carolina in Queen Anne's War has already been described down to the year 1706. The boldness of Moore's thrust into the heart of Spain's possessions around Apalachee Bay in January, 1704, alarmed the French for Mobile and convinced both Latin powers that it was time to execute Bienville's plan of 1702 for crushing Carolina. An expedition of five French privateers, reinforced by Spanish troops from Havana and St. Augustine, appeared before Charles Town on August 24, 1706. In the absence of Governor Johnson at his plantation, Silk Hope on the Cooper, Colonel William Rhett skillfully posted the militia.

The fact that Charles Town was suffering from yellow fever encouraged the French commander to think that the country militia would be afraid to come to the defense of the town, but in this he was mistaken. When the invaders observed the recently strengthened fortifications, they lay by and sent in a demand for surrender in one hour, to which Governor Johnson replied he did not need one minute to refuse. Colonel William Rhett with a fire ship and six small vessels drove the enemy from the harbor on the thirty-first. Meanwhile landing parties of the invaders had been defeated with severe losses north and south of Charles Town. A few days later two hundred Frenchmen entered Seewee Bay and were all killed or captured. The Carolinians, with the loss of one man, had inflicted heavy fatalities upon the invaders and were embarrassed with the care of some two hundred and thirty prisoners.

Echoes of Religious Factionalism. --On the appearance of the enemy, Public Receiver George Logan, the Governor's political enemy, advanced £468 7s. 1d., of his personal funds on the personal pledge of Governor Johnson for its repayment, a pledge the Assembly promptly redeemed. The doughty old soldier, after briefly narrating to the Commons controlled by his political opponents his account of repelling the invaders as merely a part of the day's work and lecturing them on leaving his hands tied financially, continued: "Having given this account of our public enemies, I suppose I need not tell you of our domestic foes who are still busy with their false and malicious complaints against us by

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