James Steen (1734-1780) was a successful planter who, at the time of the Revolution, resided in the Thicketty Creek area of what was once the northern part of Union County (formed in 1785) and is now part of Cherokee County (formed 1897), South Carolina. Steen, a stanch Presbyterian, had been born in County Antrim, Ulster Province, Ireland in about the year 1734. In the 1750's, he removed to America along with his father's family, that included his brother John Steen. The Steen family resided in Pennsylvania for a few years but then migrated to South Carolina in the 1760's. The land records of Colonial South Carolina indicate that James Steen was in SC at least as early as 1766. On 04 February 1766, he had a tract of 300 acres of land surveyed and certified in what was then Craven County SC. He received a royal patent for this land on 19 August 1768. [See SC Royal Land Grant Book 16, Page 572.]
Lyman Draper's Sketch of James Steen
Lyman Draper (1815-1891) included a short sketch of James Steen in his well-known book entitled Kings Mountain and Its Heroes (first published in 1881) , at pages 469-470:
James Steen, also of Irish descent, was probably a native of Pennsylvania, and early settled in what is now Union County, South Carolina. In August 1775, he “was fully convinced and ready to sign the Continental Association” and doubtless led a company on the Snow campaign, as he did the following year against the Cherokees, and, in 1777, commanded at Prince's Fort. In 1779, he served in Georgia, then at Stono, and Savannah; and performed a tour of duty from November in that year till February 1780, near Charleston. At this period, he ranked as Lieutenant-Colonel, distinguishing himself at Rocky Mount, Hanging Rock, Musgrove's Mill, King's Mountain, and probably with his superior, Colonel Brandon, at the Cowpens. In the summer of 1781, while endeavoring to arrest a Tory, in Rowan County, North Carolina, he was stabbed by an associate, surviving only a week.