South Carolina History Register

Captain William Kidd, privateer in West Indies and Colonial America with records concerning his trial filed in Charleston

Madagascar is an island in the West Indies where Pirates resided during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Captain William Kidd was born in Dundee, Scotland, sometime around 1654, however, he resided in Massachusetts, where he owned a large house and first began his career as a pirate. Privateers were not pirates but licensed fortune hunters for various countries and dominions, including the American Colonies. Thus, Kidd took to the sea and soon made a name for himself as a skilled, hardworking seaman. In 1689, sailing as a pirate, he took his first prize, a French vessel. Subsequently, the ship was renamed the Blessed William and put under the command of the Governor of Nevis. He sailed into New York just in time to save the governor from a conspiracy. While in New York, he married a wealthy widow. Not long afterward, upon visiting England, he became friends with the Lord of Bellomont, who was to be the new Governor of New York. Now, he was well-connected and as wealthy as any skilled seaman, and it looked like the sky was the limit for the young captain. For the English, sailing was very dangerous at the time. England was at war with France, and piracy was common. Lord Bellomont and some of his friends were influential in suggesting that Kidd be given a privateering contract allowing him to attack pirates or French vessels. The government did not accept the suggestion. Still, Bellomont and his friends decided to fund the adventure and thus establish Captain Kidd up as a privateer who was privileged to attack French vessels or pirates but he had to share his earning with the investors. For this adventure, he was given the 34-gun Adventure Galley, and he set sail for the first time as privateer during May of 1696.
Setting out for Madagascar and the Indian Ocean, a known island inhabited by pirates, he and his crew found very few French vessels to take. About a third of his team died of diseases, and the rest became surly because of the lack of prizes. In August 1697, he attacked a convoy of Indian treasure ships but was driven off by an East India Company Man of War. This was an act of piracy and not in the charter of William Kidd. Also, about this time, Kidd killed a mutinous gunner named William Moore by hitting him in the head with a heavy wooden bucket.
Not long afterward, Kidd ran into a pirate ship captained by a notorious pirate named Culliford. What happened between the two men is unknown. According to Captain Charles Johnson, a contemporary historian, Kidd and Culliford greeted each other warmly and traded supplies and news. But during this exchange, many of his crew deserted him, running off with their share of the treasure while others joined the pirate Culliford. At his trial, Kidd claimed he was not strong enough to fight Culliford and that most of his men had abandoned him to join the pirates. He said he was allowed to keep the ships only after all weapons and supplies were taken. In any event, Kidd swapped the leaking Adventure Galley for the fit Queddah Merchant and sailed for the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the news that Captain Kidd had turned to piracy reached England. Bellomont and his wealthy friends, who were critical members of the Government, quickly distanced themselves from the enterprise. Robert Livingston, a friend and fellow Scotsman who knew the King personally, was deeply involved in the Kidd enterprise. Meanwhile, Livingston turned on Kidd, trying desperately to keep the names of the promoters secret. Bellomont published a proclamation of amnesty for the pirates, but Kidd and Henry Avery were explicitly excluded. For this reason, certain former crew members would later accept this pardon and testify against him. When Kidd reached the Caribbean, he soon learned that he was now considered a pirate by the authorities. He decided to go to New York, where his friend, Lord Bellomont, could protect him until he could clear his name. For this reason, he abandoned his vessel and instead captained a smaller ship to New York. Then, as a precaution, he buried his treasure on Gardiner Island, a site near Long Island in New York City. When he arrived in New York, he was arrested, and Lord Bellomont refused to believe his stories of what had transpired. He divulged the location of his treasure on Gardiner Island, and it was recovered. After spending a year in prison, Kidd was sent to England to face trial. 1701. John Dove (or Defoe), a mariner, provided sworn testimony against Captain Kidd in Charleston, South Carolina, claiming that they had been a passenger on the ship Adventurer under the command of Captain Kidd when they were in Madagascar in the St. Thomas Islands of the West Indies. Sam Bradley, a brother-in-law of Captain William Kidd, gave an affidavit in Charleston, South Carolina, stating that he was opposed to turning pirate and that while he was sickly, he had been put ashore on the Isle of St. Thomas and left to die. Bradley was pardoned by Governor James Moore of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1701. James Moore, Sam Bradley affidavit filed in Charleston, South Carolina is available to members of South Carolina
The sensational trial occurred on May 8, 1701. Kidd pleaded that he had never actually turned pirate. There was plenty of evidence against him, and he was found guilty. He was also convicted of the death of Moore, the rebellious gunner. Kidd was hanged on May 23, 1701, and his body was put into an iron cage hanging along the River Thames, where it would serve as a warning for other pirates. The site of the real treasure of gold and silver was never divulged, although Kidd insisted until the end of his life that he had buried another treasure somewhere in the Indies.


Aiken House in Charleston

Boone Hall

Drayton Hall

Edmundson-Alston House in Charleston

Magnola Gardens

Middleton Place

Historic Tours

Haig Point

Hilton Head

Cockspur Island

Morris Island

If you Dream it, you Must have it. George Galphin, Indian Trader

Thomas Galphin, a well-known Indian Trader in South Carolina and Georgia, owned Silver Bluff, his great grading station where he lived and died. At this place, George Galphin was visited by one of the principal Indian Chiefs from beyond the Savannah River. While visiting, the Chief suddenly stood still and, looking at Mr. Galphin, said ” Mr. Galphin, I had a dream last night.” “And what did my red brother dream?” “Me dream you give me a ine rifle.” “If you dream it, you must have it” and the rifle was turned over at once. The next morning, as they walked around again, Mr. Galphin said to the Chief, ” I dreamed last night.” “What you dream?” ” I dreamed you gave me the red coat you wear and a calico.” “If you dream it, you must have it” and coat and calico was turned over. After many exchanges, the Chief became disgusted with the game of dreaming, getting the worst of it, and said ” Waugh! If you dream um, you must have um, but I dream with you no more.”>

Marylanders Settled on Saluda River

In about 1805, many persons came from Maryland and settled not far from the Saluda. Among those who settled were John Bonham and Jared Edwards. Edwards had served under General Gates during the Revolutionary War and was in the battle of Camden when Gates was defeated.

The Great Fire of Charleston SC in 1861

A great fire occurred in Charleston on December 11, 1861, around 8:30 PM. General Lee had inspected the city’s defenses that day and was dining at the Mills House. The origin of the fire came from Slave refugees who had started a campfire near the sash and blind factory, which got out of control. It spread to the factory and Cameron’s Foundry next door, and rising winds blew it southwesterly in Market Street, where sparks set ablaze wooden tenements. Then the fire quickly road into the neighboring streets, and within minutes, the Gas Works were exploding into flames. It swept down Meeting Street, destroying the Circular Congregational Church, the Institute Hall where the Ordinance of Secession was signed, the Charleston Theatre, and other buildings. The fire swept down Queen and Meeting Streets and Friend Street. It was so terrible that citizens crouched in the streets. The magnificent Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar burned to the ground.

The Great Fire of Charleston SC in 1861

The first French Huguenot Church in Carolina was built in 1687 on the corner of Church and Dock Streets in Charleston. Dock Street was so named because water flowed up East Bay Street into Queen Street. Boats were moored close to the church. Every Sabbath, the colony of Huguenots residing on the Cooper River arrived on the ebb tide. Access to the old cemetery is no longer permitted because of sinking graves. However, the burial plaques of the oldest members are inside the chapel on the walls. These plaques are published and available to members of South Carolina Pioneers

Where was Fort Galphin?

After the capture of Fort Granby by the British in 1781 and during the siege of Augusta, Colonel Lee (of Augusta) sent Captain Rudolph with his regulars to assist in the siege of Fort Galphin. The Americans soon took the fort, which was of great importance to the American cause. The fort was situated on Silver Bluff, owned by George Galphin, which property was later owned by Governor James Hammond.

General William Butler of Revolutionary War Fame

General William Butler was born in 1761 in Prince William County, Virginia. His father, Captain James Butler, moved his family to South Carolina and settled in the village of Ninety-Six District before the Revolutionary War. In 1779, upon General Lincoln’s call, he assumed command of the Southern forces. He went to his camp near Augusta, Georgia, but was taken sick and unable to follow the army in the subsequent campaign. The inhabitants of South Carolina were called upon to swear allegiance to the British authority and to take British protection. The village of Ninety-Six was designated as a place for the surrounding country to appear. Capt. James Taylor refused to conform to the terms of the proclamation and was put in irons and thrown into the Ninety-Six jail, thence transferred to Charleston, where he was confined for 18 months.

South Carolina Hero of the Alamo

William Barrett Travis, the hero of the Alamo, was born on 9 Aug 1809, about four miles from Red Bank Church in Edgefield County. He was the son of Mark Travis, Sr. William studied law under the Honorable James Dellett. In 1835, he left his home in Southern Alabama and moved to Texas. Travis sympathized with the Texans against Santa Anna, the dictator of Mexico (of which Texas formed a part), who endeavored to consolidate all of the power in the central government at the capital city. In 1836, Travis commanded the fort, with only 144 men and 14 cannons. He called for Santa Anna’s surrender, but the dictator ran up a blood-red flag proclaiming ” No Quarter!” We know the story after that.

Settlers to Newberry County

In 1783, an ordinance was passed to divide the districts of Charleston, Georgetown, Cheraw, Camden, Ninety-Six, Orangeburg, and Beaufort into counties not more than forty miles square. When the County Court Act was written in 1785, a court was held (in every county) once every three months, and the first court was held at the house of Colonel Robert Rutherford on September 5th.. The Justices present were Robert Rutherford, Robert Gillam, George Ruff, Levi Casey, John Lindsey, Philemon Waters and Levi Manning. William Malone was appointed clerk, serving until 1794 with his deputies, viz: Thomas Brooks Rutherford, Major Frederick Nance, and William Satterwhite. It was not until 1787 that another location for holding court was designated, on the north side of the Bush River. William Caldwell and Joseph Wright were appointed to run a line agreed upon by the Justices to fix the public buildings, which survey was produced at the house of John Coate. The county seat is the town of Newberry. This part of the upcountry was settled by Germans, Scotch-Irish, English, and emigrants from the sister States of North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The German settlement was in the fork, between the Broad and Saluda Rivers to within three miles of the Newberry Court House. Soon after, the line was extended eight miles below Hugheys on the Broad River to the mouth of Bear Creek on the Saluda River. Germans were so prevalent in the part of Newberry County that it became known as Dutch Fork. Adam Summer, the father of Colonel John Adam Sumner, headed the settlement beginning in
1745. Colonel Sumner and Major Frederick Gray were known to be whigs. Among those settling were the religiously oppressed Palatines who were driven from the Rhine, Baden, and Wurtemburg into England during 1710, where they were quartered in tents and booths near London. From there, they were sent to North Carolina and South Carolina. The first German settlers were: Summers, Mayer, Ruff, Eigleberger, Count, Sligh, Piester, Gray, DeWalt, Boozer, Busby, Buzzard, Shealy, Bedenbaugh, Cromer, Berley, Heller, Koon, Wingard, Suber, Folk, Dickert, Cappleman, Halfacres, Chapman, Black, Kinard, Bounight, Barr, Harmon, Bower, Kibler, Gallman, Lever, Hartman, Frick, Stoudemoyer, Dominick, Singley, Bulow, Paysinger, Wallern, Stayley, Ridlehoover, Librand, Leaphart, Hopes, Houseal, Bernhard, Shuler, Haltiwanger, Swigart, Meetze, Schumpert, Fulmore, Livingston, Schmitz, Eleazer, Drehr, Lorick, Wise, Crotwell, Youngener, Nunamaker, Souter, Epting and Huffman. The Quakers settled on the Bush River and the Beaverdam about three or four miles on each side of the river. Among them was William Coate who resided between Spring Field and the Bush River and Samuel elly, a native of King County, Ireland, who came to Newberry from Camden to settle at Spring Field. Others were: John Furnas, David Jenkins, Benjamin Pearson, William Pearson, Peter Hare, Robert Evans, John Wright, Joseph Wright, William Wright, James Brooks, Joseph Thomson, James Patty, Gabriel McCoole, John Coate, (Big) Isaac Hollingsworth, William O Neall, Walter Herbert, Sr., Daniel Parkins, Daniel Smith, Samuel Miles, David Miles, William Miles, Samuel Brown, Israel Gaunt, Azariah Pugh, William Mills, Jonathan and Caleb Gilbert, John Galbreath, James Coppock, John Coppock, Joseph Reagin, John Reagin, Abel and James Insco, Jesse Spray, Samuel Teague, George Pemberton, Jehu Inman, Mercer Babb, James Steddam, John Crumpton, Isaac Cook, John Jay , Reason Reagen, Thomas and Isaac Hasket, Thomas Pearson, Enoch Pearson, Samuel Pearson, Nehemiah Thomas, Abel Thomas, Timothy Thomas, Euclydus Longshore, Sarah Duncan, Samuel Duncan and John Duncan.