Biographical Sketch of Colonel Thomas Fletchall (1725-1789)
By Phil Norfleet
Based on the limited official records that have survived, it appears that Colonel Thomas Fletchall was originally a native of Maryland, the son of Thomas (known as "Poor Thomas" by Fletchall family genealogists) and Elizabeth Fletchall. Colonel Fletchall was born in about the year 1725 as his Memorial (see below), dated 16 July 1787, states that he was then "upwards of 62 years old." In about 1755, Fletchall and his family removed from Frederick County, Maryland and settled in the Backcountry of South Carolina. By the 1770's, the site of Fletchall's main plantation was in the Fairforest Creek region of South Carolina; he was a justice of the peace, a coroner, and a colonel of militia for the Ninety-Six Judicial District.
In 1773, Fletchall and one of his constables,
John Mayfield, were sued in the Charles Town Court of Common Pleas by
John Nuckolls. The lawsuit basically concerned
John Mayfield's arrest of Nuckolls, John being a constable operating under the
orders of the local magistrate (justice of the peace), Thomas Fletchall.
Nuckolls's argument was that he had been apprehended in NC, where a warrant
issued by a SC magistrate had no legal standing.
It would appear that Nuckolls was
apprehended in that part of SC which SC historians refer to as the "New
Acquisition Territory." This area had previously been considered part of NC;
however, in 1772, the dividing line between NC and SC was finally surveyed as
far as the Cherokee Indian Line. The result was that much land previously
thought to have been in NC was found to be actually in SC. In fact, the
300-acre tract acquired by John Mayfield from Jacob Brown in 1770 was also in
this area, as Brown had obtained title to the land by patent issued by the
Province of North Carolina in 1754.
Link to Transcript of John Nuckoll's Plea and Answer
It is interesting to note that Fletchall and Mayfield were represented in court by Edward Rutledge (1749-1800). Edward was the younger brother of the more famous John Rutledge (1739-1800). In 1776, Edward would be the youngest man to sign the Declaration of Independence! Subsequently, on 12 May 1780, Edward, then a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Whig forces, was taken prisoner by the British when Charleston was captured by troops under the command of Sir Henry Clinton. Rutledge remained a British prisoner until exchanged in July 1781.
In 1775, Thomas Fletchall was considered by the Whig "Rice Kings" of the Charleston area to be one of the most influential men in the South Carolina Backcountry. Although not a particularly brave man, Fletchall was loyal to the King throughout the Whig-Tory conflicts of 1775. Even though he could have acquiesced and embraced the Whig Cause without any loss of personal position or wealth, he steadfastly refused to take up arms against his King. For his loyalty, he was imprisoned at Charleston from December 1775 to July 1776 and lost all of his official public offices. He was pleased when Charleston was captured by the British in May 1780, but took no active part in the conflict with the Whigs in South Carolina. His most serious acts taken during the British occupation of South Carolina seemed to involve entertaining and providing dinner for various British and Loyalist officers at his Fairforest plantation! Even though he had committed no overt acts against the Whigs, after the Battle of Kings Mountain in October 1780, death threats from his Whig neighbors caused Fletchall and his family to flee to British occupied Charleston. In December 1782, he was evacuated, along with many other Loyalist refugees, to the British controlled Island of Jamaica. Thomas Fletchall remained in Jamaica until his death in the year 1789. All of his South Carolina estates were confiscated.
Diary of Lieutenant Anthony Allaire
Lieutenant Anthony Allaire of the Loyal American Regiment makes the following entry in his diary re a visit to the plantation of Colonel Fletchall in July of 1780:
Friday, 14th July 1780: Lay encamped at Fair Forest. Every hour news from different parts of the country of Rebel parties doing mischief. Light Infantry of Gen. Browne's corps joined us at twelve o'clock at night. [See Lyman C. Draper, Kings Mountain and Its Heroes, page 500.]
Saturday, 15th July 1780: Went in company with Capt. F. De Peyster, Dr. Johnson, and Lieut. Fletcher, to dine with Col. Fletchall. After dinner went to see his mill, which was a curiosity, having never seen such an one before. The water falls fourteen feet perpendicularly down into a tub, fixed with buckets; from this tub runs up a shaft through the stone, and turns, as the cog turns, a double-geared mill. [See Lyman C. Draper, Kings Mountain and Its Heroes, pages 500-501.]
Public Sale of Fletchall's Estates
I have reviewed the South Carolina deed books of the post-Revolutionary War time frame and have located the following records pertaining to the sale at public auction of his Fair Forest estates:
08-09 July 1783: Lease and release, John Berwick, Thomas Waring and John Ewing Calhoun, Commissioners of Forfeited Estates, to Joseph Hughes of Ninety Six District, SC, for £313. s15 sterling, tract being part of lands late the property of Thomas Fletchall on north side of Fair Forrest Creek of Tygar River adj. land of John Haild, 250 acres. Witnessed by Richard Winn, James O'Hear. Proved in Charleston District by the oath of James O'Hear on 16 Feb 1787 before D. Mazyck. J.P. Recorded on 16 Feb 1787. [See Charleston SC Deed Book W-5, pages 341-344.]
08-09 July 1783: Lease and release, John Berwick, Thomas Waring and John Ewing Calhoun, Commissioners of Forfeited Estates, to Thomas Brandon, Esqr., of Ninety Six District, SC, for £507 sterling, tract being part of lands late the property of Thomas Fletchall on both sides of Fair Forrest Creek of Tygar River, 150 acres adjoining the land of Bellew, James Hansworth and Turner Roundtree. Witnessed by John Cart, Junr, James O'Hear. Proved in Charleston District by the oath of James O'Hear on 16 Feb 1787 before D. Mazyck, J.P. Recorded on 16 Feb 1787. [See Charleston SC Deed Book W-5, pages 344-347.]
The known facts of Thomas Fletchall's life and his activities during the Revolution are discussed in more detail in the E. Alfred Jones's biographical sketch and in the transcript of his Official Claim submitted to the British Government, both of which are presented below.
of Thomas Fletchall by E. Alfred Jones of London, England
An excellent biographical sketch of Thomas Fletchall was published in The Ohio State University Bulletin, Volume XXVI, Number 4, October 30, 1921, pages 66-72, entitled 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. Professor Wilbur Henry Siebert describes Mr. Jones in the following words:
It is scarcely necessary to speak of the special qualifications of Mr. E. Alfred Jones for the task of editing The Journal of Alexander Chesney, since the admirable results of his labors are manifest in this volume. The present writer can not, however, deny himself the pleasure of saying that Mr. Jones has long been familiar with the abundant materials relating to the American loyalists that are to be found in the Public Record Office, the British Museum, and other collections in London. Nor can he forbear to add that the Editor has greatly increased the value of this volume by his copious annotations, many of which contain information not easily available and some, information not accessible at all in print. Mr. Jones found Chesney's Journal in the British Museum (Additional MSS., 32627).
Sketch of Thomas Fletchall
Colonel Thomas Fletchall was probably born
in South Carolina, where he was the owner of a large plantation in the district
of Ninety-Six. He was already a justice of the peace and a coroner when in the
year 1769 he accepted the appointment of colonel of a militia regiment of over
2,000 men, from the governor, Lord Charles Greville Montagu.
in his Loyalists of the American Revolution states that Colonel Fletchall
was of much consideration in the Colony before the war and that he was regarded
as undecided in his political views, though the Whig party made him a member of
an important committee, raised to carry out the views of the Continental
Congress (Moultrie, Memoirs, Vol. I.). Colonel Fletchall, however, describes
himself as a loyalist from the outbreak of the Revolutionary troubles in South
Carolina, a description which is confirmed by his letter of 19 July 1775, to
Lord William Campbell, the governor, assuring him of the loyalty of about 4000
men in his district. In this letter Colonel Fletchall informs the governor of
the seizure of Fort Charlotte on the Savannah river by the “rebels,” as he
calls them, Major James Mayson, Captain John Caldwell and others, and of the
subsequent capture of the leaders by the loyalists. In this same letter he
suggests that the frontiers should be protected from incursions not only from
the “rebels” but also from the Indians, thus anticipating William Henry
Drayton's alleged attempt to secure the services of the Cherokee Indians for the
Revolutionary party. This letter brought forth a reply, 1 August following,
expressing the governor's appreciation of the capture of the rebels at Fort
Charlotte, authorizing Fletchall to fortify that fort by militia and requesting
him to avoid giving offence to the inhabitants of his district and generally
to preserve peace (Hist. MSS. Comm., Report on the MSS. of the Earl of
Dartmouth, Vol. II, p. 355). The seizure of Fort Charlotte by order of the
Council of Safety, on 12 July 1775, was the first overt act in the Revolutionary
war in South Carolina. An important omission from Colonel Fletchall's letter was
that one of the officers who had participated in this seizure was Captain Moses
Kirkland, who was soon to turn over to the loyalist side. While alluding in this
letter to the capture of Major Mayson and others, who had proceeded with the
powder and stores from Fort Charlotte to Ninety-Six Court House, he concealed
the fact that Kirkland, who is stated to have had an old grudge against Mayson,
had now joined Colonel Fletchall and had disclosed a scheme for capturing Mayson
and the stores. Fletchall, on the authority of an enemy (Drayton, Memoirs,
Vol. I, pp. 321-3) is said to have declined to appear publicly as a supporter of
Kirkland's scheme, but those more active loyalists, Robert and Patrick
Cunningham and Joseph Robinson, joined by Major Terry (a deserter from the
Revolutionary party who afterwards recanted and became animated in the American
cause, rode off with 200 mounted men to Ninety-Six. Here they took Major Mayson
prisoner on 17 July and committed him to jail on a charge of robbing the king's
fort, but after some hours confinement admitted him to bail.
Thomas Fletchall claims, in support of his loyalty, to have impeded with the
help of Robert Cunningham and Joseph
Robinson, the raising of the levies of
American horse in the backcountry of South Carolina and to have influenced many
waverers against signing the association of the Revolutionary party. The
articles of this association were read, 13 July 1775, by Major Terry at
Fletchall's plantation to the men of his regiment by his orders, but not one
would sign it, a decision of which he approved. His men then agreed to sign an
association of their own, expressing loyalty to the king, which had been drawn
up by Major Joseph Robinson, and which was generally signed from Broad to
Savannah Rivers. (Drayton, Memoirs, Vol. 1, p. 312; Hist. Mss. Comm. Report
on the MSS. of the Earl of Dartmouth, Vol. II, pp. 341, 351.)
this psychological moment Lord William Campbell, the governor, had he been a man
of greater initiative and of a more adventurous spirit, would have seized the
opportunity to support Colonel Fletchall and the loyalists, by his personal
presence among them. The exercise of his high position and influence would have
assured the raising of a strong armed force, which he could have employed in
what would probably have been the overthrow of the proceedings of the Provincial
Congress. (E. McCrady, The Hist. of South Carolina in the Revolution,
1775-1780, pp. 38-39).
Thomas Fletchall came into conflict with two ardent spirits of the Revolutionary
party on 17 August, 1775, in the persons of William Henry Drayton and Rev.
William Tennent, the Congregational minister and member of the committee of the
Provincial Congress, who in private conversation with him for nearly three
hours, humored him, laughed with him, remonstrated and entreated him to join his
country, America, against the mother country, without shaking his loyalty in
the slightest. The entreaties of Drayton and Tennent were met by this
influential loyalist with the answer that he “would never take up arms against
his King or his countrymen and that the proceedings of the Congress at Philadelphia
were impolitic, disrespectful and irritating to the King.” (Ibid., pp. 44-46;
Force, American Archives, Series. IV, Vol. II, pp. 214-2.17.)
having failed to win Fletchall over to his side, proceeded to march out in the
following month at the head of about 400 mounted men and 800 foot to disarm the
loyalists of Ninety-Six district, especially those in Fletchall's regiment.
Colonel Fletchall met this threat by ordering out his regiment and marching to
meet Drayton, who on the 11th had written somewhat confidently to the Council of
Safety that Colonel Fletchall, Colonel Thomas Brown, and Captain Robert
Cunningham were still endeavoring to assemble men, but had no force embodied,
and assuring the Council of the declining political influence of these three
prominent loyalists and of the terrified state of their adherents, adding that
they had no intention to fight in view of the expected help promised them by the
governor. (Drayton, Memoirs, Vol. 1, p. 388.) Drayton, however, in his
letter of the 17 September, in a less confident tone, estimates Fletchall’s
force at over 1200, while his own barely reached 1000, which is 200 less than
Fletchall's figure for Drayton's force. In this letter Drayton alleges that
while his own men were anxious to fight, he wished to avoid bloodshed,
insinuating that the loyalists would not hold long together because of their
lack of discipline and of supplies. (Ibid., p. 389.) A different version comes
from a loyalist source, David Fanning, who maintains that the “rebels,”
finding themselves not strong enough for an attack, sent an express to
inviting him to treat with them. (Colonel David Fanning, “Narrative,” ed. by
A. W. Savary, Canadian Magazine, 1908.) This version is supported by
Fletchall's unpublished memorial, in which he says that on advancing within six
miles of Drayton's camp, determined to support Government, Drayton offered
terms of accommodation. (A.O. 12/52, fos. 127-141.) A treaty was now made by
which hostilities between the two parties should be avoided, Fletchall stating
that each party agreed to return home and “remain peaceable.” This treaty
was signed, 16 September 1775, by Drayton of the one part and by Fletchall,
Captains John Ford, Evan McLaurin, Thomas Greer, and Benjamin Wofford of the
other part. (Drayton, Memoirs, Vol. I., pp. 399-403; Force, American
Archives, Series IV. Vol. 3, pp. 720-1.)
(afterwards Brigadier-General) Robert Cunningham declined in his letter of 6
October to Drayton, in the most vigorous terms to be bound by this treaty, which
he characterized as false and disgraceful and as having been devised to take
advantage of men “half scared out of their senses at the sight of liberty caps
and sound of cannon” (Force, American Archives, Series IV, Vol. 3, p.
755). Cunningham's repudiation of a treaty, made in his opinion without
authority, and his determination not to disband his men, was supported by other
stalwart loyalists. (McCrady, The Hist. of South Carolina in the Revolution,
1775.1780, pp. 51-52.)
Fletchall carried out the terms of the treaty both in the letter and the spirit
and forthwith disbanded his regiment, while Drayton and his followers tacitly
ignored it. To Fletchall's chagrin, information reached him in November, within
a few weeks of making the treaty, that the “rebels” had been rearmed. He
instantly embodied his regiment on the 17th and ordered an attack to be made on
the fort of Ninety-Six. Meanwhile, Captain Robert Cunningham was arrested by a
party disguised as Indians, under orders from Major Andrew Williamson upon an
affidavit of Captain John Caldwell, charging him with sedition, and was
committed to Charleston jail, 1 November. As an uncompromising loyalist,
Cunningham did not deny the use of the seditious words, but though he did not
consider himself bound by the Fletchall-Drayton treaty, he had since behaved
himself as peaceably as any man. He had, however, retained his political
opinions, though he had not expressed them unless asked to do so. (McCrady,
ibid., p. 86).
Fletchall's militia force, numbering 2400, now besieged the fort, in accordance
with orders mentioned above. The command of the loyalists had been given to
Major Joseph Robinson because Fletchall, who was too heavy in weight for active
service (Fanning, "Narrative"), while the defenders to the number of
562 were commanded by Majors Andrew Williamson and James Mayson. On the second
day of the siege, which lasted from the 18th to the 21st of November, the
loyalists, represented by Majors Joseph Robinson and Evan McLaurin and Captain
Patrick Cunningham, had a conference with Major Mayson and Captain Bowie
regarding the loyalists’ demand for the surrender of Williamson and his force.
While Williamson was considering this demand, two of his men are said to have
been seized and the attempt to rescue them brought about the first bloodshed of
the revolutionary war. On the 20th, however, the ammunition of both sides was
almost exhausted and by agreement hostilities ceased for twenty days (Drayton,
Memoirs, Vol. II, pp. 117-122; Force, American Archives, Series IV, Vol. 3, p.
1606; Vol. 4, p. 216), while the messengers of each party were allowed to
proceed to Charleston to inform the governor and the Council of Safety of the
terms of the treaty. Major
Robinson's loyalist force was allowed to return home. The signatories to this
treaty were Majors Andrew Williamson, James Mayson, and Joseph Robinson,
Captains Patrick Cunningham, Richard Pearis, Joseph Pickens, and John Bowie. (A.
S. Salley, Jr., Hist. of Orangeburg County, 1898, pp. 308-312.)
ended the inglorious siege and conflict of Ninety-Six, a conflict largely
brought on by the fear of the loyalists that the Indians were about to attack
them at the instigation of the Americans. (McCrady, The Hist. of South
Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780, pp. 90-93.) The loyalists were
without a capable leader. Robinson, the nominal commander, appears to have been
ignored and the virtual command devolved upon Pearis, who declared his
opposition to making the treaty, though it bears his signature.
second time the Revolutionary party violated a solemn treaty by the refusal of
Colonel Richard Richardson and his army to be bound by it, despite the
stipulation of Majors Williamson and Mayson that any reinforcements which might
arrive should regard the treaty as binding equally upon them. Richardson, under
the government presided over by Drayton, disregarded the treaty and marched upon
the loyalists, who on the faith of this same solemn covenant had been disbanded.
Colonel Fletchall, despite the suspicion of his secret encouragement of further
military activity by the loyalists, was scrupulously observing the treaty, and
to his astonishment and mortification, he was taken prisoner, 12 December with
other loyalists of the “first magnitude,” including Captains Richard Pearis,
Jacob Fry, and George Shuberg, who were sent Charleston four days later.
(McCrady, ibid., pp. 89-96; Salley, ibid., p. 323). Drayton, in commenting on
the capture of these loyalists, avoids any reference to the violation of the
treaty and stigmatizes Fletchall's capture as dishonorable to his military
talents, concealing the fact that Fletchall had returned to his plantation and
discharged his force, in agreement with the spirit of the treaty, while Colonel
Richardson now had an army of about 3000 men. (Drayton, ibid., Vol. II, p. 129.)
Colonel Thomas Fletchall's capture was accomplished at his own house, which was
surrounded by 400 mounted men detached from Richardson's main body. He was sent
as a prisoner to Charleston and there kept in close confinement until 10 July
1776, when he appears to have set forth for his plantation which had in the
meantime been plundered and ruined. Nothing more is recorded of any further
military service by Colonel Fletchall. The corpulence for which he was conspicuous
as well as his age, may have been a deterrent factor. In July 1780, he was
visited at his old home by the well-known loyalist, Lieutenant Anthony Allaire,
who records in his Diary his interesting examination of the Fletchall mill, a
curiosity such as he had never seen before. ("Diary," in Draper's King's
Mountain and its Heroes). The worthy colonel was not allowed to remain at
home in tranquility, for on 10 October in the same year he was obliged to
escape, with his wife, Leah, and five children, from threatened violence and to
seek sanctuary at Charleston, then in possession of the British. Here they
remained until 1 December, when at the age of 62 he left South Carolina for
ever, accompanied by his wife, two sons and two daughters, in the transport, Milford
(John May, master), for the West Indies, where he settled on the land of Ralph
Montagu in the parish of St. James in Cornwall county, Jamaica. Here also
settled two other loyalist refugees from South Carolina, namely, Colonel Thomas
Edgehill and Lieutenant-Colonel James Vernon. Mrs. Fletchall's sister, Anne
Brown, was the second wife of Colonel Ambrose Mills, of North Carolina.
long list of the debtors of Colonel Thomas Fletchall in South Carolina and a
list of the grants of land made to him there are in the Public Record Office.
(A. 0. 13/128).
July 1787, Colonel Fletchall was proposing to make the voyage to England to
prosecute his claim on the British Government for compensation for the loss of
his property in South Carolina, but was prevented by illness from leaving
Jamaica. His claim of £2,181 was met by a grant of £1,400 (A. O. 12/109).
Colonel Fletchall died in 1789, apparently in Jamaica, leaving a widow Leah.
Joseph Fletchall, a planter, of St. James's parish, Jamaica, who had lived from
infancy in the district of Ninety-Six in South Carolina, was probably his son.
(A. O. 12/52, fos. 127-141; A. O. 13/128; South Carolina Hist. and Gen. Mag.,
Vol. XVIII, pp. 44-51).
Transcript of the Official Claim Submitted by Thomas Fletchall
The following record was produced from a microfilm copy reviewed at the South Carolina State Archives in Columbia SC, entitled American Loyalists Transcripts, Volume 57, pages 223-239.
To the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament for Inquiring into the Losses and Services of the American Loyalists:
The Memorial of Thomas Fletchall of Jamaica, formerly of 96 District, South Carolina sheweth that he was appointed in the said District of Ninety-Six between Broad and Saludy Rivers consisting of upwards of 2,000 men by Commission from Lord Charles Grenville Montague, Governor of South Carolina in the year 1769 and continued in the said Commission under his successor Lord William Campbell.
That in June or July 1775 he
received Orders from Lord William Campbell to hold himself and his regiment in
readiness to support any disturbances offered to Government with instructions to
apply to Mr. Alexander Cameron then Superintendent to the Creek and Cherokee
Indians for assistance in case it was required.
That in the Month of September
1775 William Henry Drayton collected a body of about 400 light Horse and 800
foot, with intent as was given out, to disarm the Loyalists of 96 generally, but
particularly those of the Regiment under the command of the Memorialist, whereon
the Memorialist immediately ordered his Regiment under Arms and marched with
about 1500 Men to meet and oppose Drayton’s party. That Drayton finding the
Memorialist advanced within six miles of his camp and determined to support
Government offered terms of accommodation and each party agreed to return home
and remain peaceable.
That about the 14th
or 15th of November following, the Memorialist again embodied his
Regiment on being informed that the discontented party were arming and had
raised a fort at Ninety-Six mounted with swivel guns which he ordered to be
attacked and taken, And it was effected the 17th of the same month
with the loss of some Men killed and several wounded on each side.
That on the 9th of
December following, his House was surrounded by about 400 Horse, who took him
prisoner and sent him to Charles Town Gaol, where the Memorialist was detained
in confinement until the 10th July 1776.
That on the 10th
October 1780, the Memorialist was obliged to make his escape from his Home and
go to Charles Town for refuge, with his wife, 5 children and 14 slaves; where he
continued at a great expense until the 1st December 1782, when he
embarked with his Family on board the ship
Milford, John May Master, a
transport provided by the Government for Jamaica, where they arrived in company
with the rest of the Fleet about the 15th of January 1783.
That he lost by adhering to
Government the following properties, viz.
1500 Acres of Land at
450 Acres of Land at
Broad River with Improvements
365 Acres of Land at
250 Acres of Land at
Fairforest with Grist Mills
100 Acres at Bush River
3 Good Negroes Taken
45 Head of Black Cattle
@40 Shillings Each
40 Head of Sheep @10
60 Hogs @10 Shillings
560 Bushels of Corn Wheat
& Rye @3 Shillings Each
Expense Incurred at
Charles Town while in Confinement
Provisions & Other
Effects Taken by the Rebels
Debts Due on Obligations
to Thomas Fletchall
Total in Pounds
Besides a very great expense
which the Memorialist has been at since he left his House and Home until his
Settlement in Jamaica.
/S/ Thomas Fletchall, Jamaica
Thomas Fletchall of the Parish
of St. James in the Island aforesaid, Planter, being duly sworn, Deposeth and
saith that the several circumstances set forth in the foregoing Memorial
respecting his confinement and Loss on account of his attachment to the British
Government are true, and that the Value set on the several Articles that he has
lost, is rather under than overrated. This Deponent further saith that he is
upwards of 62 years old and being very corpulent (upwards of 280 weight) is very
unwieldy and inactive and therefore unable to work. The Deponent further saith
that he is not now possessed of any property except 4 grown slaves and 3
children slaves with whom he finds great difficulty to provide for, a wife now
advanced in years, and 2 sons and 2 daughters who are unable at present to
provide for themselves and therefore cannot undertake a Voyage to attend the
Honorable Commissioners appointed to review and examine the Claims of American
Loyalists without considerable danger of his life and probable ruin to his
distressed family. His personal attention is absolutely required to a Rented
plantation so as to render it sufficiently productive to enable him to pay the
Rent and maintain his family. This Deponent further saith that he had a very
good title in Fee Simple to all the Real or Landed property mentioned in his
Annexed Memorial at the time he was possessed of it, and that it was free of all
Charges and encumbrances without any suit or disposition being depending for any
part of the said property, or subject to any Sale, Mortgage or Debt whatsoever.
And this Deponent further saith that he has no prospect of now or hereafter
receiving or repossessing or deriving any benefit or advantage whatsoever,
directly or indirectly, by himself or through any other person or persons, from
any part of his property so lost; he’s been informed & verily believes he was
particularly proscribed by the Legislature of the State of South Carolina and
all his property confiscated and sold, but this Deponent does not know to whom
or for what amount. And lastly this Deponent further says that he was [not]
indebted at the commencement of or during the late unhappy dissentions in
America to any person or persons resident of or belonging to the late Colonies
(now States) of North America in any sum or sums whatever.
/S/ Thomas Fletchall
Sworn before me this 16th
day of July 1787.
/S/ J. Palmer (Seal)
15 April 1788 – Evidence on
the Foregoing Memorial of Thomas Fletchall:
Memorial and Affidavit of the Claimant read.
Mr. Vaughan produces a power of Attorney to him from the Claimant, dated 28
Certificates to loyalty from:
J. Burke, Secretary
to the Commission
C. Fraser, Town Mayor
from Governor Bull to the Lords of the Treasury, dated 27th November
1784 – says Claimant is now a resident in Jamaica.
Vaughan says he is totally unacquainted with the property mentioned in the
Schedule but refers to the Affidavits of Colonel Thomas Edghill and Mr. William
I Thomas Edghill,
Colonel of the South Carolina Militia during the late War, being duly sworn
before us the Commissioners of American Claims depose that he has been for many
years personally and well acquainted with Colonel Thomas Fletchall by living
near him at the District of Ninety-Six, That he was an active Magistrate,
Coroner for the country and a Colonel in the South Carolina Militia and had
great weight in the District. That he was firmly attached to the British
Government and at different times took a very active part in the late War, this
deponent serving with him in the said Corps. That Col Thomas Fletchall was
taken Prisoner and sent to Charles Town Jail where he remained some months.
After the reduction of that town made further vigorous in behalf of the British
This Deponent adds
further that Col Fletchall was possessed of large tracts of Land in South
Carolina as well as other property and verily believes that his Memorial and
Schedule of his Losses as delivered unto the Commissioners is a fair statement
and the Valuation greatly within Bounds.
recollects particularly that Col Thomas Fletchall was possessed of 500 acres of
land at Sandy River, 250 acres at Fairforest and a Grist Mill, 100 acres of Land
at Bush River which were all improved good lands and fairly worth more than
valued in the Schedule.
That he was also
possessed of some Negroes and particularly a very valuable one, a Sawyer, among
others lost in consequence of the War, who was killed and in this Deponent’s
opinion would have fairly sold for £100. That Col Thomas Fletchall was also
possessed of a large stock of Cattle, Hogs & his house was well furnished, and
that the greatest part of his property must have been lost by his being driven
from his settlements and his Country.
This Deponent further
represents that he embarked in the same ship from Charles Town with Col Thomas
Fletchall for Jamaica in December 1782, who took with him his wife, children and
4 Negroes that Col Fletchall is aged about 62 or 63, is very corpulent, infirm
and utterly incapable from his health, bodily strength and circumstances of
undertaking or paying the expenses of a voyage to England or elsewhere. That
this Deponent was well acquainted with him in January 1787 when his Situation
was very indigent, depending on his and [his] Family’s support from the labor of
4 or 5 Negroes.
This Deponent left
Jamaica the 3rd July 1787, when he informed him that he was making up
and sending to his Attorney, Mr. William Vaughan of London, further Accounts and
Documents as required by the printed regulations of the American Commissioners
to those who could not embark for England.
/S/ Thomas Edghill
Sworn before the
Commissioners of American Claims at this Office, Lincoln Inn Fields, 5th
/S/ Richard Lee,
I William Gist,
late Surveyor in South Carolina being duly sworn before the Commissioners of the
Examination of American Claims, Depose and Declare that I was intimately and
well acquainted with Col Thomas Fletchall in the year 1767 and lived a neighbor
with him until the year 1775, when the Rebellion broke out in South Carolina.
That Col Thomas Fletchall was a Justice of the Peace, Coroner for the Country
and Col in the South Carolina Militia. And that he took a very active part for
the British Government and raised large bodies of men for its cause and
support. That he was defeated in 1775, taken prisoner and confined for some
months in Charles Town Jail. On the Reduction of Charles Town, he came forth
again with all the force he could collect for the support of his Sovereign and
after the Defeat of Major Ferguson at Kings Mountain, was obliged to leave his
House and the property he had, which was very considerable, to preserve his
life. This Deponent, from his situation of Surveyor and Neighbor, is well
acquainted with Col Fletchall’s property, which was very considerable. That he
was possessed of between 1600 and 1700 Acres of Land, all of which had great
improvements, and that the Deponent, as a Surveyor in that County, at different
times run it over for him and to the best of his Judgment, it was estimated with
its improvements in the Schedule under the real value.
That the Stock and
other things mentioned in the Schedule this Deponent knew to have been taken by
the Rebels, he having frequently passed through that part of the Country for
intelligence after Col Fletchall had been driven from his home. This Deponent
further adds that Col Fletchall lost many Negroes that died through fatigue and
hardship previous to his embarkation for Jamaica in December 1782, which are not
mentioned in the Schedule. That he frequently saw him in Charles Town before
his embarkation and that he was reduced greatly in his Circumstances which from
his age, infirmity and corpulency must have greatly strained his means of
supporting himself, Wife and family.
/S/ William Gist
Sworn before the
Commissioners of American Claims at their Office, Lincolns Inn Fields, 5th
/S/ Richard Lee,
Claimant was well
known o him before and after the rebellion. He lived in a very remote part of
the Country, in 96 District and was Col of the Militia. He took a very early
part in favor of the Government and was very active. Claimant raised a number
of Men. He was taken prisoner by the Americans on account of his Loyalty.
Mr. Simpson can’t
speak to the property but has heard Claimant was in possession of Lands. He
used to ride good Horses when he came to Charles Town, which was a proof of his
being in good circumstances.
Says he has
frequently been at Claimant’s House and was well acquainted with him. He was a
very Loyal Man. Says he knows he was possessed of a great deal of property; has
heard Mr. Gist say he has undervalued his Lands very much; Mr. Gist surveyed his
land. Knows he had a Grist Mill. Says he was a person considered of such
eminence that he was the first person who was applied to sign the Association.