Colonel Thomas Fletchall

I have seen it stated that at the commencement of the Revolutionary War a majority of the people residing between the Broad and Saluda Rivers were Loyalists. The reason was not given by the writer, but, from the statements of Major McJunkin, I am of the opinion that it was owing mainly to the influence of Col. Fletchall, who resided on Fairforest at the place now known as McBeth's Mills. This Fletchall held a Colonel's commission under the Royal Government prior to the suspension of that Government in the Province of South Carolina. He was a man of influence among the people, had many friends, and when a commission was tendered him by the Republican Party in the State he refused it and exerted his influence among the people to induce them to continue their allegiance to the crown. At this period Samuel McJunkin, his relatives and friends, were prominent in the Liberty Party.

Accordingly, in the summer of 1775, when the Rev. William Tennant of the Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Oliver Hart of the Baptist Church, and Mr. Drayton, who had been requested by the Provincial Council to travel through the State and explain to the people the grounds of the controversy with the mother country, were passing through the District of Ninety-Six they were accompanied by Joseph McJunkin through that part of the country, now known as Laurens, Spartanburg, Union and Chester. He served them as a pilot and was doubtless one of their most attentive hearers. He stated that they called public meetings and addressed the people on the following topics:

1.  "The Constitution of a Roman Catholic Colony in Canada.”

2.  “The Tax on Tea.”  

3.  “The Stamp Act.”

4.  “The Imposition of Church Rates by the British Government Without Allowing the Right of Representation in the British Parliament.”

They also showed to the people that they of right ought to possess the power of self government; that: as British subjects this power was secured by law and that they never should surrender their birthright. This consideration was enforced by touching allusions to the privations and sufferings of the first settlers in this country for the sake of civil and religious liberty. These topics were discussed in a calm, persuasive and Christian-like manner, and had the effect of arousing many of the people to a proper appreciation of the rights of man. Finally these gentlemen entered into a treaty or stipulation with that part of the population not disposed to resist the measures of the crown by force of arms that they should remain peaceably at home.


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