Fair Forest, SC
In the spring of 1772, Peter Pettypool purchased 202 acres of land in what he- as a recent resident of Granville County, North Carolina- believed to be Tryon County, North Carolina. South Carolina considered it to be part of the Ninety Six District, in an area referred to as Fair Forest.
It is unclear how far Peter progressed toward settling this land, and the process was interrupted, and ultimately terminated, by the Revolutionary War. Peter chose to side with those loyal to the Crown. While settling in Fair Forest and serving in the wartime militia, Peter would have encountered persons both interesting and colorful, some of whom, as Loyalists, are not commonly found in traditional accounts. Here are brief notes on some of them.
Peter purchased 202 acres of land on “Black Walnut Creek otherwise called Mitchels Creek being branch of Fair Forest from John Howell of St. Paul’s Parish and Province of Georgia” in 1772.1 There are also records of a John Howell purchasing property in various locations in South Carolina during the decades leading up to the War2, and a claim from a John Howell “for 133 days Duty as a horseman in Capt [Moses] Wood Comp Cap’t Roebuckes Rg” 3 during the Revolutionary War. After the War, John Howell witnessed the transfer of property from Colonel Robert Brandon in Charleston to Robert Talkington on 20 August 1788.4
It is not clear if all of these incidents relate to the same John Howell who sold the property to Peter.
Peter’s son Seth apparently began the pre-War purchase of Fair Forest property, since his name is listed as an adjacent property claimant on Joel Farmer’s 1773 purchase of land on a “small branch of Fair Forest called Rocky Creek”.5
Joel Farmer was listed, along with Peter Pettypooles in the Jury lists of the Spartan District 1778-1789.6
Apparently Joel Farmer was also a Loyalist, since he was included on a list, prepared by Sheriff Wm. Moore, of prisoners in the Ninety Six Jail “Commited for Sedition & removd. to oringburg by Habeus Corpus” in 1779.7
Examining plats and other land records, a list of some of Peter’s neighbors emerges: Jonathan Parker, James Mitchell, John Liles (Lyles), Hillary Guy, Thomas Summerall and James Crawford. Each of these individuals purchased property in the vicinity of Fair Forest prior to the War. The Lyles name is interesting, in that Peter is known to have been associated with the Lyles family in his birth colony of Virginia.
Daniel Plummer was a major in the Fair Forest militia, and as such was Peter Pettypool’s commanding officer. Plummer owned at least two tracts of land in the area, all of which was confiscated after the War. 8
Daniel Plummer, “Lieut-Colonel, Tiger River” was one of the Loyalists who signed the petition to Lord Germain, 19 April 1782, which contained a justification of Loyalist wartime actions in South Carolina and appended a list of persons alleged by the petitioners to have been “…murdered… some after and some without pretended trials, on a bare suspicion of their being attached to your Majesties government.” 9
Daniel Plummer was wounded severely at King’s Mountain and erroneously reported as being killed there in Lyman C. Draper’s book King’s Mountain and its Heroes. However, Dr. Bobby Gilmer Moss correctly traces Plummer to Charleston, where he arrived with John H. Cruger’s forces after Fort Ninety Six was abandoned. Plummer moved to Florida after the English abandoned Charleston in 1782. 10
Thomas Brandon was one of the Patriot militia commanders ordered to produce lists of local Tories in accordance with law No. 1189. AN ORDINANCE for Disposing of the Estates of certain persons, subjects and adherents of the British Government; and for other purposes therein mentioned, passed by the SC General Assembly, 17 March 1783. Among the provisions of the ordinance was an instruction
“That the commanding officers of the several regiments of militia of this State shall be, and they are hereby, directed, within three months after passing this ordinance to make a just and true return to the said commissioners, upon being required by them so to do, of all such person or persons formerly belonging to their respective regiments, who have joined the enemy and withdrawn themselves as aforesaid…”.11
Lyman C. Draper, in his book Kings Mountain and its Heroes, describes Brandon as “Tory-hater… Tom Brandon of Fair Forest”, a “bitter enemy of Tories, who received little mercy at his hands”. 12
Peter Pettypool was included in the list Brandon submitted to the commissioners.
John H. Cruger
Originally from New York, Cruger was the commander at Fort Ninety Six when Peter Pettypool arrived there after the loss at King’s Mountain. Cruger’s forces successfully defended Fort Ninety Six from Nathaniel Greene’s siege, but abandoned the fort and retreated to Charleston as the war wound down. Cruger went to England after the fall of Charleston, where he successfully petitioned for Royal compensation for his services. [Summarized from The Loyalists in the Siege of Fort Ninety Six by Bobby Gilmer Moss, 1999.]
John Fanning and William Ballentine
The following two individuals, John Fanning and William Ballentine, were once thought to be associated with peter Pettypool, on the basis of similarity of naming in Brandon’s List of Tories and Militia Pay Abstracts. However, it is now known that Fanning and Ballentine commanded “Peter Pool”, a different individual than “Peter Pettypool” of Fair Forest. I am grateful to Michael Scoggins, historian at the Southern Revolutionary War Institute, York, SC for pointing out this error. It is worth noting that both the transcriber of Brandon’s List at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and Dr. Bobby G. Moss in his book Loyalists in the Siege of Fort Ninety Six also made this error.
John Fanning was a Captain in the South Carolina loyalist militia, from the Camden District.13
After his arrival in Charleston in 1781, Peter Pettypool served for about a month in Fanning’s Independent Troop of South Carolina Volunteer Horse.14
Records imply that Fanning relocated to Nova Scotia after the fall of Charleston. He was awarded compensation by the Crown for his confiscated property in the Camden District.15
In his notes to Alexander Chesney’s Journal, Wilbur H. Siebert, in The Loyal Militia of South Carolina lists the “Second Camden Regiment, commanded by Colonel William Ballentine.” Bobby G. Moss records the final recorded service of Peter Pettypool in the militia as being “… 13 November 1781 under Col. William Ballentine in the Second Camden Militia.” 16
Alexander Chesney’s journal is a major source of information about the war in South Carolina. He was active all over the state including the Fair Forest area. In August, 1780,
“We encamped for some time in the neighborhood of Enoree and then marched up to Fair-forest…. Captn Depeyster… marched us up to the Iron Works… and whilst there a party of Loyalists with whom I was defeated Coll Brannan destroyed some of his party and scattered the rest. I was present also at a small affair at Fair- Forest, the particulars of which… escaped my memory.”
The “Coll Brannan” he helped defeat was Thomas Brandon, who ultimately confiscated Chesney’s land.
After the defeat at King’s Mountain, Chesney was force- marched to Gilbert Town in NC, but he was able to escape and return to his home in Fair Forest, finding “that the Americans had left me little”. He was “… obliged to conceal myself in a cave dug in the branch of a creek under a hollow poplar..” until, “…hearing of Tarleton’s defeat of Sumter at Blackstock’s Plantation on the Enoree”, when he emerged and rejoined the Loyalist militia. “Major Plumber having been wounded at King’s Mountain the command… devolved on Jonathon Frost…”.17
“Major Plumber” was Daniel Plummer, Peter’s militia commander.
Anthony Allaire kept a journal, a “memorandum of occurances during the campaign of 1780” in South Carolina. On Thursday July 13th, 1780, he “… forded Tyger river, continued our march twelve miles to Sugar creek. Here we found two hundred militia encamped at Wofford’s old field, Fair Forest, under command of Majors Plummer and Gibbes.”18
On Monday, July 31st, “Got in motion at six o’clock, and marched ten miles to Mitchell’s Creek, Fair Forest; a very wet, disagreeable day: got thoroughly soaked.” Recall that Peter Pettypool’s property was “…two hundred and two acres of land situate lying and being in Tryon County Province of North Carolina on Black Walnut Creek otherwise Called Mitchels Creek being Branch of Fair Forest.”19
1. John Howell to Peter Pattypool, Lincoln County Deeds, Volume 1, pp. 596-597; NC State Department of Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History; film C.060.40001.
2. See various documents indexed by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History at http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/onlinearchives/search.aspx.
3. HOWELL, JOHN, ACCOUNT AUDITED (FILE NO. 3809B) OF CLAIMS GROWING OUT OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION,Series: S108092 Reel: 0075 Frame: 00042 at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
4. Union County South Carolina Deed Abstracts Volume 1: Deed Books A-F 1785-1800, Brent Holcomb, SCMAR, 1998, Book B, page 65.
5. FARMER, JOEL, PLAT FOR 200 ACRES IN NINETY-SIX DISTRICT, Series: S213184, Volume: 0015, Page: 00083, Item: 03 at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
6. Transcribed in The Jury Lists of South Carolina 1778- 1779, Hendrix & Lindsay, p. 102.
7. See The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Volume V, No. 4 Fall 1977 p. 196.
8. Land purchases in 1772 (Craven County) and 1766 (Berkley County) can be examined at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Both properties are in the Fair Forest area, despite the archaic county designations. Among the evidence for the confiscation are:
Series: S126102, ignore: 0000, Item: 00325, ignore: 000, Date: 5/16/1783 Description: Kirkland, Moses, Plat of Forfeited Estate for 188 acres on both sides of Mitchel’s Creek and
Series: S165015, Year: 1792, Item: 00066, ignore: 000, Date: 12/1/1792 Description: WATERS, PHILEMON, PETITION CONCERNING PROPERTY HE BOUGHT IN UNION COUNTY, WHICH WAS LATER SOLD AS CONFISCATED PROPERTY OF DANIEL PLUMMER, AND ASKING THAT HE MAY RECEIVE RELIEF,
both at the South Carolina Department of Archives And History.
9. A transcription of this petition can be found at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~eazier1/Young/LoyalistList.pdf
10. Among the evidence for residence in Florida is Union County deed book A, 1 & 2 January 1785, “Daniel Plummer of St. John’s River in East Florida, to William Plummer of Ninety Six District… granted to said Daniel Plummer by SC July 1775”.
11. This ordinance is transcribed at http://sc_tories.tripod.com/sc_ordinance_number_1189.htm. The website is Copyright© 2003-2009 by Phil Norfleet.
12. King’s Mountain and its Heroes: History of the Battle of King’s Mountain October 7th, 1780, and the Events Which Led to it, Lyman C. Draper, The Reprint Company, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1881, 1967, 1973, p. 362, p. 469.
13. The Journal of Alexander Chesney, a South Carolina Loyalist in the Revolution and After, edited by E. Alfred Jones of London, England, with an introduction by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert, pp 108, 139.
14. The Loyalists in the Siege of Fort Ninety Six,Bobby Gilmer Moss, Scotia- Hibernia Press, 1999, p. 99.
15. The Journal of Alexander Chesney, a South Carolina Loyalist in the Revolution and After, edited by E. Alfred Jones of London, England, with an introduction by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert, pp 108.
16. The Journal of Alexander Chesney, a South Carolina Loyalist in the Revolution and After, edited by E. Alfred Jones of London, England, with an introduction by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert, pp 114, and The Loyalists in the Siege of Fort Ninety Six,Bobby Gilmer Moss, Scotia- Hibernia Press, 1999, p. 99.
17. All quotations taken from The Journal of Alexander Chesney, a South Carolina Loyalist in the Revolution and After, edited by E. Alfred Jones of London, England, with an introduction by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert.
18. All quotations from Allaire’s journal are taken from Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution, Diary of Lieut. Allaire, New York Times & Arno Press, 1968, Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 67-29025.
19. John Howell to Peter Pattypool, Lincoln County Deeds, Volume 1, pp. 596-597; NC State Department of Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History; film C.060.40001. Transcription by Dr. Carolyn Hartsough available in Peter Pettypool (son of Seth and Martha Pettypool) of Virginia and the Carolinas 17 May 1727 – post 1782 (?), March 2013, http://www.pettypool.com/.