South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948

By David Duncan Wallace | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII
WAR IN THE BACK COUNTRY, 1775

Suppressing Anti-Revolutionists in Charles Town. --Slight opposition was met in the low country to enforcing the Association. William Wragg, one of the most estimable South Carolinians, met harsh treatment. He refused to rebel against the King who had honored him with the chief-justiceship (though he had declined the appointment); "and in addition," he said, "he had a right to exercise his own judgment in the premises, although in doing so his sentiments might differ from the general voice." He was banished to his plantation in the unhealthiest season of the year and cut off from his friends and from his wife, soon again to become a mother. "Finally leaving the colony with his son for England, he was shipwrecked and drowned, and his son barely escaped with his life. Some other persons of respectability and fortune would not take the oath; and like Mr. Wragg, went away, leaving their fortunes to the hazards of a civil war, and their claims for indemnity to the liberality of a sovereign whose allegiance they preferred."1

The attempts to sequester the estates of the non-jurors failed, but they were published as public enemies, confined to Charles Town, and forbidden all business except obtaining provisions and visiting the public offices. Prudence and kindly feeling combined led to the abandonment of the demand that Lieutenant-Governor Bull be disciplined when he pointed out the unreasonableness of expecting from him any declaration savoring of disloyalty to the sovereign with whom his official relations had been so prolonged and devoted.

Drayton's and Tennent's Back-Country Mission. --Much more serious was the disaffection to the Revolutionary movement in the back country. The mere isolation of these regions prevented their feeling British wrongs as did coast city dwellers or planters in constant contact with the restrictive laws. The deep-seated resentment at the long delay in granting courts and representation, for which the back-country men held the coast-country planters and merchants more responsible than the King, and resentment at the disdain with which the backwoodsmen were often treated, were a poor preface for an invitation to join in war against a King from whom the settlers had recently received greater values in

____________________
1
Drayton, Memoirs, I, 315-16.

-263-

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