Captain William Kidd, privateer in West Indies and Colonial America with records concerning his trial filed in Charleston
Madagascar, 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, resided in Massachusetts where he owned a large house and first began his career as a privateer. 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. It was during 1689, sailing as a privateer, that he took his first prize, a French vessel. Subsequently, the ship was re-named the Blessed William put under the command of the Governor of Nevis. He sailed into New York just in time to save the governor there from a conspiracy. While in New York, he married a wealthy widow. Not long afterwards, 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 rich 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 which would allow him to attack pirates or French vessels. The suggestion was not accepted by the government, but 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.
After about 18 months on the high seas, Kidd and his crew, unable to capture a French vessel, were distrought. There was a talk of mutiny. On January 30, 1698, the luck of Captain Kidd finally changed. He captured the Queddah Merchant, a treasure ship heading home from the Far East. It was not really fair game as a prize: it was a Moorish ship with cargo owned by Armenians, captained by an Englishman named Wright. Allegedly, it sailed with French papers: this was enough for Kidd, who sold off the cargo and divided the spoils with his men. The holds of the merchantman were bursting with valuable cargo, and the haul for Kidd and his pirates was 5,000 pounds, or well over two million dollars in the currency of today. Kidd and his pirates were rich men by those standards.
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 crew died of diseases and the rest became surly because of the lack of prizes. In August of 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 clearly 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 that he was not strong enough to fight Culliford and that most of his men had abandoned him to join the pirates. He said that he was allowed to keep the ships, but only after all weapons and supplies were taken. In any event, Kidd swapped the leaking Adventure Galley for the fit Queddah Merchant and sailed and sailed for the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, the news that Captain Kidd had turned to piracy reached England. Bellomont and his wealthy friends, who were very important 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 secret the names of the promoters. Bellomont managed to publish a proclamation of amnesty for the pirates, but Kidd and Henry Avery were specifically excluded from it. For this reason, certain members of the former crew 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 was able to clear his name. In this cause, he abandoned his vessel and instead captained a smaller ship to New York. Then, as a precuation, 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), mariner, provided sworn testimony against Captain Kidd in Charleston, South Carolina claiming that 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 found on South Carolina Pioneers
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.
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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 fort was soon taken by the Americans and 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 1761 in Prince William County, Virginia. His father, Captain James Butler, remov ed his family to South Carolina and settled in the village of Ninety-Six District before the Revolutionary War. In 1779 upon the call of General Lincoln, assumed command of the Southern forces. He went to his camp near Augusta, Georgia but was taken sick and unab le 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 and the village of Ninety-Six was designatged as a place or the surrounding country to appear for the purpose. Capt. James Taylor refused to conorm 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 Signers of the Declaration of Independence
Edmondston-Alston House in Charleston
Fort Sumter, first Battle during the Civil War
| General Longstreet
South Carolina Hero of the Alamo
William Barrett Travis, hero of the Alamo, was born 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 removed to Texas. Travis sympathized with the Texans against Santa Anna, the dictator of Mexico (of which Texas formed a part) who was endeaving to consolidate all of the power in the central government at the capitol city. In 1836 Travis was in command of 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.
Huger of Charleston
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, being 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 by, 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 thereafter 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 part of Newberry County that it become 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.
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