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First in War: Laboring People and the American Revolution as an Agrarian Reform Movement in Amherst County, Va. and Sumter County, S.C.

††††††††††† The "God and country" religion of American nationalism that we learn in school puts the focus of the American Revolution on the liberation from Britain. For the working people that actually did the fighting, however, the enemy was closer to home. Their fight was as much against the capitalists and landlords in the revolutionary camp as it was against the British imperialists.[1] George Washington was not first in their hearts. They themselves were first in the line of fire and the first in their own hearts.

††††††††††† This essay looks at the revolution from the view of labor, in particular that of William Jones (1761-1809), who served in the 7th Virginia regiment of the Continental Army in the late 1770s and then in the South Carolina militia (1780-1783). Jones did not have a contemporary biographer. But his views are suggested in the federal pension application, which his daughter filed, based on his service, and in the pension files of several others who served with him.[2] These were John Bradford, Obediah Spears and William Vaughn.[3] Also helpful is a "Memorandum Book" which he began in 1803, as well as state and county records in Amherst County, Va. and Sumter County, S.C.[4]

††††††††††† Cheap Land. At the beginning of the revolution in 1776 the Jones family was farming in Amherst County, Va. Europeans and Africans had been farming in the Amherst area of the Piedmont since the early 1700s.[5] From the start there was a battle over land monopolization.[6] Working people like the Joneses had come to the area seeking affordable land. They were confronted by capitalists who were seeking to impose a market system in land.

††††††††††† The magnates constituted less than one percent of the population, but they often bought off for themselves the political offices, the military force, the court system, the sheriffs, and the clergy.[7] They obtained patents on large tracts from the royal government, surveyed the land and chased off squatters, including Indians, and subdivided it into homesteads ranging from 50 to 400 acres. The land was sold for as much as £25 per 100 acres, which was as much as most farmers made in a good year. The magnates also brought in slave and wage laborers to work the best land, which they kept for themselves.[8]

††††††††††† It was a rotten system for laboring people. Illustrative of one of the Amherst landlords against whom the Joneses contended was Dr. William Cabell (1699-1774), who came to Virginia from Warminster, England in 1723.[9] He surveyed and patented 26,000 acres (20 miles) of the best valley land along the county's rivers. He set up a store, warehouse and depot for produce at Warminster on the Fluvanna (now James) River near the mouth of the Swan River. He got the Williamsburg government to commission him as a justice of the peace, deputy sheriff, surveyor and Indian fighter. He helped oversee the collection of taxes, licensing of public utilities, supervision of charities and construction and maintenance of public works. Historian Emily Salmon summarized the 18th-century Piedmont from the view of the tobacco magnates such as Cabell:

As settlement edged toward the Blue Ridge Mountains, the formation of new counties beyond the fall line extended tidewater institutions into the west. The piedmont frontier was developed less by poor farmers in search of opportunity than by the colony's leading families, such as the Randolphs, Carters, Pages, and Nicholases, who acquired the best acreage along the rivers. The piedmont became an area of immense tobacco estates, some as large as thirteen thousand acres. Much of the colony's land was granted in huge parcels to speculators, such as Robert ("King") Carter, William Byrd II, and William Beverley, but non-Virginians, such as Jacob Stover, of Pennsylvania, and Benjamin Borden, of New Jersey, acquired extensive landholdings in the Valley of Virginia, that fertile region between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies explored in 1716 by Governor Alexander Spotswood and his Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.[10]

††††††††††† The Amherst landlords estimated they needed 50 acres for each field hand and at least twenty slaves before hiring an overseer.[11] Slaves sold for £30, cost £6 yearly to maintain, and could net £14 in yearly profit in the 1760s and 1770s.[12] Thus the smallest economic unit for capitalist agriculture complete with overseer and slaves was approximately 1,000 acres, considerably larger than the holdings of nearly all Amherst residents in the eighteenth century.[13]

††††††††††† Squatting was one of the tactics used by labor to undermine the attempt at land monopoly. Those such as the Joneses, willing to farm the poorest, least productive ridge land that rose from 200 to 2,000 feet, paid nothing in purchase money and avoided the £3 survey and recording fees.[14] Having no recorded title meant having no taxes, tithes or rents.[15] It also meant that the main information preserved about them was in the Revolutionary War pension files, not in the Amherst County Courthouse records. Living in 16 x 12 foot and 20 x 16 foot log homes, the mountaineers were self-sufficient and within a decade of settlement were producing cash crops of corn, wheat and pork that brought them £15 or £20 per year.[16] Methodist preacher George Whitefield wrote of his admiration for the Piedmont Scots-Irish, "They raise little or no tobacco, but things that are useful for common life."[17]

††††††††††† Squatting was part of the common land tradition of both the English and Gaelic laboring people and of the American Indians.[18] Their land belief was based on labor (usufruct), and rejection of land speculation or profit from buying and selling land.[19] Deserted fields could be used by anyone who wanted to use them. What one authority said concerning Indian title applied equally to the Amherst mountaineers' title, "Indian title was originally one of aboriginal use and occupancy."[20] Squatter occupancy was one of the reasons that half of Virginia's white population in the 1770s had no recorded land.[21] Even working people who bought or rented, boycotted the magnate-dominated county courts.[22]

††††††††††† Albert Tillson in his study of the Virginia frontier described the frequent contention between the squatters and the magnates during the 1770s in Augusta County, which bordered Amherst to the west:

Popular resentment of the gentry appeared more conspicuously in connection with land disputes. Upper valley leaders often quarreled with squatters who had settled on their land without obtaining title. In 1772, when preparing to move his family to lands they had purchased in the southern valley, William Christian discovered two families already living there. He reported to his mother that one family "after wrangling a while, agreed to go off." Although the other family refused to leave, Christian hoped he would "be able in a little time to drive them off."[23]

In at least one part of the frontier, squatting became so prevalent that land magnate Thomas Walker instructed his associate William Preston not to disturb such people unless necessary to facilitate a sale, noting that if squatters were removed from unsold property "others may settle on the land & make a second & third Ejectment necessary."[24]

††††††††††† The landlords attempted to use the courts and local officials against the squatters. In turn, the constables and other minor officials were defied, sometimes by armed force. As a result there was frequent turnover among these positions and it was difficult to keep them filled. Tillson remarked:

The authority of the gentry was also defied in the functioning of constables and other law enforcement efforts. Land disputes with prestigious leaders, especially with surveyors and major speculators, encouraged popular resentment of the elite in many communities.[25]

††††††††††† In the two decades prior to the Revolution, the Joneses both purchased land and squatted. Because of the squatting, they were subjected to a trespass and ejectment suit in 1772.[26] The first mention of them as purchasers was on July 15, 1760. This was a year before Amherst was created as a result of the division of Albemarle County. James Jones, father of the revolutionary, obtained a grant that year of 110 acres of mountain land from the Virginia Land Office for 15 shillings.[27] The patent for the land stated that it was located "on head branch of Piney River and a branch of Irish Creek."[28] In addition to the initial cash payment, Jones had to pay a yearly quit rent of one shilling on the feast of St. Michael Archangel and to cultivate it within three years.[29] Later, on July 20, 1768, James obtained two more grants to mountain land from the Virginia Land Office. One was for 320 acres on the north fork of the Piney River for 35 shillings and the requirement to cultivate and pay a quit rent.[30] The other was for 204 acres "in the great mountains," on the "branches of the north fork of Piney River to the top of little Mount Pleasant." The cost was 20 shillings.[31] These latter grants had been surveyed by William Cabell on Oct. 13, 1767.[32] On May 5, 1777, ten years after patenting it, as the Revolution heated up, James Jones deeded away his 634 acres to Jno. Henderson, Jr., of Albemarle County for £63. The first Amherst census after the Revolution, taken in 1783, does not list James.[33]

††††††††††† Religion. The struggle between capital and labor played itself out across the board in the years prior to the Revolution. Not least among things contested was religion. The Joneses were part of the Methodist movement that was initially based within the established church and that gained a following among some of Amherst's working people beginning in the 1760s.[34] Methodists adopted plain dress. They rejected capitalism's mindless consumerism and what they believed were its vices: sexual promiscuity, gambling, horse racing, alcoholism and "enslavement to the material."[35] A student of their morality summarized:

Clearly sporting, indolence, laziness, taking time off, enjoying life, lack of ambition (all the words are loaded with values of one kind or another) had their origins in other things as well as a life outside the market economy. In particular, celebration and recreation had economic functions as well as social. They established connection and obligation. The effect of having relatively few needs was liberating of time as well as paid labor. Having relatively few needs that the market could satisfy meant that commoners could work less. Karl Polanyi might say that thrift spared commoners the "humiliating enslavement to the material, which all human culture is designed to mitigate." In other words: commoners had a life as well as a living.[36]

††††††††††† The "life" which Methodists offered as an alternative to the slavery of the market, emphasized ministry to their less fortunate neighbors. For example, they considered the market enslavement of blacks as theft and dismissed pro-slavery clergy.[37] They called each other "brother" and "sister" in accord with their belief that they were all one family united with a "loving God" who watched over their lives. They made no distinction between clergy and laity. Slaves and women preached, exhorted and disciplined. They paid for and controlled their church.[38] Methodists were condemned as Armenians for teaching "free grace" and universal salvation, and as antinomians for believing in the "inner light," for rejecting the doctrine of obedience to the established order, and for having "no respect of persons" (Acts 10:34).[39]

††††††††††† Amherst's Methodists had a low regard for those like Robert Rose (1704-1751), the local clerical landlord who headed the established church in its early years. Rose had been appointed minister of St. Anne's Parish when it was established in 1744.[40] He was a large land and slave owner on the Tye and Piney Rivers. His ministry in the Methodist view was corrupted by the nature of capitalism into money grubbing. Richard Morton described these activities:

More than a decade before he became a minister in Albemarle County, Robert Rose, the surveyor and businessman, had acquired thousands of acres on the Tye and Rockfish rivers in the present Nelson County [Amherst in the 1760s], and later acquired other properties. In addition to his home plantation on Tye River he had several quarters managed by overseers, and lots in Fredericksburg, Richmond, and Westham. Like most large planters of his day, Rose had his mill, blacksmith's shop - for which he burned charcoal - carpenter's shop and a shop for making shoes.[41]

††††††††††† Revolution. The Amherst population at the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775 consisted of 5,296 whites and 2,750 blacks.[42] Most of these people were workers. The revolution for them centered on agrarian reform. They wanted cheap and better land. The blacks wanted emancipation. The revolution was an opportunity to demand land grants and revenue in exchange for military service, to expropriate land, to renege on debts and to strike against rent and mortgage payments.[43]

††††††††††† The value of property confiscated by the revolutionaries in Amherst amounted to half a million pounds sterling.[44] Blacks "confiscated" themselves by joining the British forces. In their desperation to retain power, the British emancipated the blacks who would join them.[45] Some of the whites also took the British side and many others remained neutral, finding the tyrants in London were less a menace than the ones in Amherst and Williamsburg. There were no British taxes but many Virginia taxes such as those on land, marriage licenses, liquor, glass windows, billiard tables and a general poll tax.[46] Methodists, with their egalitarian notions, were indifferent to revolutionary appeals that promised no gain for labor.[47]

††††††††††† Virginia's Military Defense. The initial enlistment of William Jones and of Amherst's other farmers in the Virginia Continentals came about only after Virginia had been forced to make agrarian concessions. There had been a militia in the Amherst area since before the county had been established. At the neighborhood level, the militia mustered semi-annually. A county muster was held annually.[48] Working people tended to control the militias and used them for their own benefit. The officers were chosen by the troops themselves and got no extra pay.[49]

††††††††††† For decades the rank-and-file had been negative about efforts to send the companies outside their neighborhoods to make the western frontier safe for capital investment.[50] For example, it had been no concern of labor whether the French or the English won the French and Indian War (1754-1760). Washington commented about the conflict having been unnecessary, precipitated by the expansionist lustings of the royal governor and the Ohio Land Company.[51] Albert Tillson described the problem of militia recruitment in Amherst's neighbor, Augusta County:

In 1754 Augusta leaders were unable to raise even fifty men for an expedition to expel the French from the Ohio Valley, and William Preston reported in 1757 that he could not keep the men in his command on duty for more than a week or two at a time.[52]

Mass desertions of Virginia militia companies were common.[53]

††††††††††† As the hostility between the English and North American heated up in 1774 and early 1775, Virginia's landlords worked to enlist the local militias in the struggle. The push for the revolution against Britain did not come from the subsistence farmers. They did not see themselves as being hurt by the Navigation Acts, Stamp Act (1765) and Townshend Act of 1767 (taxation), Indian treaties (Hard Labor Treaty of 1768), and Quebec Act (1774).[54] It was not their concern that the western land investments of those like Patrick Henry and George Washington were worthless as long as the British set foreign policy. The British took the Iroquois side against the land speculators because they did not want to fund another Indian war, for which the speculators refused to pay taxes.

††††††††††† Farming people such as the Joneses grew and made what they needed.[55] They had little participation in the market, little in tithable property and paid little in taxes, especially to London.[56] Patriotism meant nothing. The province literally belonged to the magnates and was not something labor would defend.

††††††††††† The first scheme attempted by the magnates to enlist the militias against the British was an enactment in August 1775 by the Virginia Revolutionary Convention. This legislation purported to establish 16 regional military districts and to take over the county militias and replace them with "minute companies" containing 8,000 troops and a regular army with 1,000 troops.[57] The minute officers were not to be chosen by the troops but by landlord-controlled district committees.[58] In order to preserve class distinctions, top officers were to be paid 11 times more than the rank-and-file.[59] While promoting compulsory minute service for working people, the landlords exempted themselves.[60] Those with three or more slaves or other workers did not have to enlist. Amherst County was put in the Buckingham Military District, which also included Albemarle, Augusta and Buckingham Counties.[61] A barracks was located in Albemarle County.

††††††††††† The magnates were immediately confronted with farmers all over the province who refused to join the "compulsory" minute battalions or take oaths of loyalty to the Williamsburg government. Many boycotted the prescribed 20-day-long training session. Those who did go to the training, mutinied. Typically, a minute company of rifle in Amherst's military district set fire to the ferry house where they were stationed and committed "seditious and mutinous" acts against their appointed leader, Lieutenant Hugh Mercer.[62] The rank-and-file religion, as reflected by one young soldier, was St. Paul's (2 Th 3:10) version of the labor theory of value: "the laborers are worthy of their meat."[63] They did not respect army chaplains who preached John the Baptist's (Lk 3:14) program of obedience: "be content with your wages."[64] For the Virginia Methodists who took the command against killing seriously, it was more than a matter of wages. A contemporary wrote:

They were bound in conscience not to fight: and no threatenings could compel them to bear arms or hire a man to take their places. In consequence of this, some of them were whipped, some were fined, and some imprisoned; others were sent home, and many were persecuted.[65]

††††††††††† Land Bounty and Pre-Emption Rights. Because of the militancy, the Virginia convention was forced to abolish the minute companies in January 1776, six months after their attempted establishment.[66] They were replaced by increasing the regular army four times in size. To obtain enlistees, the army had to be transformed into an agrarian reform program. Each soldier received a land bounty warrant of one hundred acres, $20 in cash and substantial wages.[67] Another concession made by the Virginia Revolutionary Convention and later by the Virginia Assembly to gain the help of the militias, was to reduce the prerogatives of the speculators by granting pre-emption rights to squatters.[68] The courts were no longer able to summarily eject working people who set up farms without paying tribute to the magnates.

††††††††††† Historian Woody Holton commented, "The regular army was filled quickly for the army promised poor farmers a living wage."[69] The capitalists hated the working-class agrarian reform. Landon Carter, complained of having "to kiss the asses of the people and very servilely accommodate to them."[70] The reform hurt not only monopolists on the frontier but made land prices in eastern Virginia decline.[71] To reduce their costs, the magnates turned to the Continental Congress, which took the regulars into the Continental Army and paid them.[72] Six Continental regiments took the place of the minute battalions.

††††††††††† Even within the Continental service, the rank-and-file took the law into their own hands when necessary to serve their agrarian needs. For example, Samuel Jordan Cabell, captain of the 6th Virginia Regiment, recorded the desertion of 4 Amherst troops who went home for the harvest in Sept. 1776:

Deep Springs Camp, Sept. 17, 1776. Deserted last night from my company of riflemen, the following soldiers, viz., Josiah Jones . . . carried away with him a hunting shirt trimmed with red, a pair of leather breeches, several new shirts, and other things which I cannot recollect at present. David Barnett . . . carried with him a hunting shirt trimmed with red, a pair of leather breeches, a pair of new shoes, and several yards of linen, which I had delivered to him about two days before he deserted. They . . . were raised and enlisted in Amherst, where I expect they will endeavor to get.[73]

The rate of desertion in the Continental army was 20%.[74] General Charles Lee complained, "The spirit of desertion in the back country troops is alarmingly great."[75] Along with desertion, mutiny was used to redress needs, with 10 major ones before the famous Pennsylvania line mutiny of 1781.[76]

††††††††††† At the same time the regulars were being increased, the neighborhood militias continued to exist, but the enlargement lessened the attempts to use the militias against the British.[77] Nevertheless, when they were called out, the militias engaged in mass desertions and mutiny if the magnates neglected to pay for their services or extended their services beyond the contractual period.

††††††††††† Joneses' Continental Service. By August 1777 most of the militia-age males in Amherst County had been sufficiently accommodated by Revolutionary Convention that they took the oath of allegiance and enrolled in the militia or Continental Army. Besides William Jones, his father, James, probably served.[78] Lenora Sweeney in her study, summarized the revolutionary history of the Amherst militia:

The Militia of Amherst, from January 1776 to January 1781, numbered about 1,200 troops. Of these, about 350 had entered Continental service, and about 200 of the remainder had seen actual service as Militia in the state service. But between January 4 and October 19th, 1781, probably every able male remaining in the county was employed in one way or another in the defense of the state. Old Amherst sent her troops North and South, East and West.[79]

††††††††††† Depending on the source, William Jones was 14 or 17-years-old at the time he enlisted.[80] His experience illustrates how working people turned the war into a program for agrarian reform. Like many of his neighbors, his service started with a term in the 7th Virginia Continentals.[81] For enlisting from one to three years, they received a cash bounty of £40, a warrant for 100 acres of land, a monthly wage of $6 2/3 dollars (£2.10 or 40 shillings), clothes and sustenance.[82] For young farming people without land, this was a revolution not unlike that experienced by the blacks, who emancipated themselves as a result of the disruption. It helped William Jones to marry, have a child and establish a 40-acre farm in the Providence (now Dalzell) section of what became Sumter County, S.C. before the war ended. A survey of 419 Virginia pension records indicated that 90% of the Virginia line were, like William Jones, from the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley with no land. Their median age was 20. Twenty-one were 14 or 15-years old.[83]

††††††††††† Joneses' fellow soldier, William Vaughn (1764-1857), summarized what he knew of Joneses' Continental service:

Although deponent was very young [aged 14 years] at the period when or sometime after the period that William Jones came [to South Carolina] with other Continental soldiers, [including] names Joshua Stafford, John Pollard, John Peek and many others whose names he cannot now recollect without having their names called; that said persons came with General Greene from Virginia to the aid of South Carolina, that said Jones married one Ann Freeman, one or two years before the deponent joined the army in 1780 and came to reside with his family within 1 1/2 miles of where deponent's father resided in Sumter District; that said Jones was in the company of Capt. Long and others whose names he does not recollect. After his term expired in the Continental service, said Jones joined the South Carolina militia with many others of the Continental soldiers and before the deponent mustered into the service in Oct. 1780 under Capt. Malone in which company he found William Jones.[84]

††††††††††† Vaughn noted that Jones served in a Continental company commanded by "Capt. Long." The only Virginia staff officers of this name was Capt. Gabriel Long (1751-1821), who headed the 4th company in the 7th Virginia Regiment Continental Line under Captain-Lieutenant Philip Slaughter.[85] Continental companies had 60 troops on paper and about half that number at any particular time. There were from 6 to 10 companies in a regiment or 400 to 600 troops.[86] When Col. Daniel Morgan's regiment of riflemen was organized in June 1777, Long's Company was attached to it.[87] Morgan's regiment was composed of troops from the army at large but with a majority from Virginia. The troops were mainly Scotch, Irish, German and Welsh farming people from the Piedmont and frontier.

††††††††††† As their name indicated, Morgan's troops used rifles, not the muskets favored by the English who served in the line regiments. They worked as scouts, flankers and light infantry. Line troops provided the backbone of the army and were trained to fire well-directed volleys and use the bayonet as promoted by Baron Von Steuben in his manual. The rifle troops wore leggings, leather shoes or moccasins and loose fitting, long-sleeved, inexpensive homespun hunting shirts that were belted at the waist. Some wore round wool hats with two-inch brims and cocked on one side. Besides their rifles they carried tomahawks, knapsacks, blankets, soap, wooden canteens with the regimental number VII painted on the side and sometimes tents.[88]

††††††††††† Long's company became detached from Morgan's regiment in May 1778. The locations in which the 7th Regiment served are summarized in Table I:

Table I
Seventh Va. Regiment Service Locations.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Sept. 1777

Trenton, N.J.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Oct. 17, 1777

Saratoga, N.Y. (as part of Morgan's Rifle Regiment helped defeat Burgoyne).

††††††††††††††††††††††† Winter 1777-May 1778

Valley Forge (Philadelphia), Pa.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Aug. - Dec. 1778

White Plains, N.Y.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mar. 1779

Camp Middlebrooke, N.J.

††††††††††††††††††††††† May 1779

Smith Clove, N.Y.

††††††††††††††††††††††† July 1779

Stoney Point, N.Y.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Dec. 1779

Charleston, S.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† May 12, 1780


The 7th Regiment in 1778 typically sat in the hills behind White Plains, N.Y., where they could menace British supply lines and thus block any overland incursions into New England.[90] Each autumn many of the Virginia troops marched home for the harvest and returned from the "furlough" in the spring.[91]

††††††††††† The Southern War and Cheap Land. From 1776 to 1780 the revolution was fought mainly in the North. As indicated in Table I, toward the end of Joneses' Continental service in 1779, his regiment went to South Carolina. Even before the Declaration of Independence, 500 revolutionaries representing the South Carolina Provincial Congress, had dug themselves in behind a sand and palmetto log fort on Sullivan's Island in the Charleston harbor. On June 28, 1776 they defeated a British fleet and 2000 troops, which were attempting to land and establish a military base.[92] As a result, Charles Cornwallis took the war North. South Carolina was peaceful for the next three years.

††††††††††† The British strategy and the South's isolation changed after the English were defeated at Saratoga on Oct. 7-17, 1777. British General William Howe was replaced by Henry Clinton, who retreated from Philadelphia to New York. He was cautious. He did not make a determined effort to drive Washington's troops, which included the 7th Virginia regiment, away from the New York area. Instead he sought to wear down revolutionary resistance by ruining the shipping of the Americans, ravaging their shores, bribing their leaders, enlisting the services of the loyalists, and, most importantly for South Carolina and the Virginia Continentals, by occupying strategic points along the coast.[93]

††††††††††† When the British moved to occupy Charleston in 1779, the revolutionary forces were not well prepared. In 1775 the South Carolina Provincial Congress had authorized 10 Continental regiments. But with the British quickly abandoning their attempt to conquer the province, the regiments had never been fully staffed. They soon became skeletons because of low funding, idleness, disease and desertion.[94] There was still the militia system, which included several thousand up-country farmers. But the farmers were no more concerned with the plight of the low-country rice landlords than were the low-country blacks who ran off to the British.[95] Few up-country whites left their fields in the spring of 1779 when Governor John Rutledge (1730-1800), supposedly given dictatorial powers by the provincial congress, called for their help.[96] Those that did respond did so on their own terms.

††††††††††† An example of the limited allegiance given by the South Carolina farmers can be seen in the pension file of William Joneses' comrade, Joseph Spears.[97] In February 1779 the provincial congress passed a law giving land bounties to militia recruits and imposing stiff penalties for those who did not report.[98] Later that month Spears was drafted for 3 months militia service under Capt. Joseph Hill, Col. Matthew Singleton and General Andrew Williamson. His unit marched to Georgia, where they skirmished with the Tories at Brian Creek on Apr. 1, 1779.[99] When their 3 months term of service expired, Col. Singleton went to General Williamson to request a discharge for his militia. But instead of a discharge, Williamson had Singleton arrested and his "sword taken." Spears stated that General Williamson was "odious" to the soldiers and that the regiment was "irate" and "marched off without a discharge, as our term had expired."[100]

††††††††††† As its main defense, Charleston was left with its local militia, which was too weak to fight from anywhere but within the city's forts. This meant the British ships were able to bombard and level the town. The landlords feared losing their businesses and mansions. As a result on May 11, 1779 they offered to compromise. If the English Army would withdraw, South Carolina would remain neutral during the rest of the war and give its allegiance afterwards to the winning side. British General Augustine Prevost, who was a high-living New York land speculator before the war, rejected the offer.[101] He did not want neutrality. Historians have criticized the landlords for having put "property before patriotism."[102] But from the beginning, patriotism was about property, including taxation, western land and tariffs. For working people too, disembodied notions of "freedom," "human rights," and "justice" meant little. Agrarian reform was their concern.

††††††††††† Unable to make a compromise, the Provincial Congress appealed to George Washington, who ordered the Virginia and North Carolina Continental regiments to march as rapidly as possible to South Carolina.[103] Most of these troops, including the 7th Virginia regiment, got to Charleston by December 1779. Despite the reinforcements, which numbered 5,500, Charleston fell on May 12, 1780, after a siege that started on Mar. 12, 1780.[104] Resistance to British arms in South Carolina then vanished for several months. Detachments of cavalry and Tory regiments sent out by Henry Clinton overran the state. British garrisons occupied a chain of posts running from Cheraw to Ninety-Six, and also Georgetown. South Carolina loyalists came forth by the hundreds to take oaths of allegiance to the crown, and many took up arms.

††††††††††† The surrendered Continental troops considered their enlistment contracts as terminated. If Jones joined the army for a three-year tour in 1777, like many others from the Piedmont, then his enlistment would have expired in a short period even without the surrender. Some of the troops returned to Virginia; others, including Jones and his Virginia comrades, John Pollard, Joshua Stafford and John Peek, took up farming in South Carolina. The presence of the British forces was not an inhibitor. It protected them against having to serve the unexpired time remaining on their Virginia enlistments. One account stated that in June 1780, "Men of military age throughout the state, thinking that the war was over, came into the various posts and took the oath of allegiance to the king."[105]

††††††††††† Those who stayed in South Carolina to avoid further Virginia service had good reason. The Virginia magnates reduced their taxes and attempted to make labor fight without compensation. The surrendered Virginia line had been the province's only effective military unit. To replace it, the assembly established a cavalry regiment and authorized that its Continental quota was to be filled by militia drafts of 20,000 of the state's 40,000 available farmers.[106] At the same time the assembly emitted more paper money, which had ever-decreasing value. On May 20, 1780 16 of the 60 Virginia counties had not paid taxes due in the fall of 1779, while 9 had returned no assessments, but had paid in part and 8 had returned no assessments and had paid nothing. As a result, by early 1781 Virginia's troops in the Southern department had not received wages for two years.[107] Staying in South Carolina was only one form of resistance. Those in Virginia resisted by refusing to be drafted, as described by H. J. Eckenrode:

The draughts were especially resented and met with frequent resistance. In Augusta and Rockingham the people gathered for the drawings and seized the lists and destroyed them.[108]

Those that went into the service mutinied as on May 9, 1791 at Rockbridge. When Richmond was under attack by Cornwallis, they refused to go to its aid.[109]

††††††††††† There was both a push and a pull to stay in South Carolina. The pull was the agrarian revolution then taking place. Working people in large numbers in the 1780s were moving into the abundant and sparsely settled wilderness of middle and upper country. Between 1781 and 1790 Camden district, where Jones and his comrades put down roots, grew from 300 to 30,000 whites.[110] Some purchased 40 acre plots at £2 per acre, but in the early years most set up farming without benefit of survey, registration, grant, capitalists, fees or patent. Initially, it was not possible to record titles even for the magnates. The courthouse for the Camden district was burnt down in 1781. This happened when the British set fire to their military stores as they evacuated; it spread to the houses, courthouse and jail.[111] Then between 1783 and 1800, Providence Springs (now Dalzell), where Jones settled, was made part of Claremont County by the state assembly. But not until 1785 was a log courthouse built at Stateburg, the county seat. The records there including wills and mesne conveyances were destroyed by fire in 1801.[112]

††††††††††† As in Virginia, squatting in South Carolina had a lengthy history. Calling themselves "regulators," landlords had campaigned for several decades prior to the Revolution against what they called "vagrants, squatters and criminals."[113] During the Revolution it was the squatters who became the "regulators." Both loyalist and revolutionary landlords were subjected to lynching, arson, "taxation" and impressment of goods. Claims to land monopolies were not enforceable.[114] By the time of the British surrender at Yorktown, Va. on Oct. 19, 1781, the imperial enemy had for the most part been eradicated from the South. But as indicated by Joneses' pay receipts, the warfare continued against the local loyalist landlords who had been run off. Even after the Treaty of Paris, which was signed on Apr. 19, 1783, loyalist magnates who returned faced trouble. For example, in April 1784 the militia gave a dozen loyalists who came back to the upcountry 20 days to get out. At the end of the grace period, 8 were killed and the remaining were sent back to warn the others.[115]

††††††††††† A similar incident involving William Jones was remembered by his comrade, William Vaughn:

William Jones continued to serve in the war with the exception of a few days leave of absence occasionally until the hostilities ceased in June 1782 after which said Jones was appointed to take the lead of scouting parties against robbers and thieves and Tories and on one occasion Jones was with about 20 others. They surprised a large group of the enemy, killing two and captured 10 whom they delivered to Col. [James] Postell. Jones and the deponent and the other soldiers were not on a regular basis on duty to the cessation of the hostilities, yet they held themselves in readiness to join the service again whenever called for but were not again called into service.[116]

††††††††††† In the decade after the war the revolutionary landlords worked to secure large tracts. They used "purposely vague and inaccurate plats" which overlooked the squatters already there or listed them as "persons unknown."[117] Nevertheless, during their lifetimes, the Joneses and many other working people did not record a title to or pay for their farms.[118] Some have expressed surprise that squatters were never or taken to court:

The very absence of more widespread protest is surprising. That the situation did not provoke "the alarms of the people" suggests that many large-scale owners worked out acceptable arrangements with prior settlers.[119]

††††††††††† However, the squatters did not find their unchallenged agrarian reform surprising. Jones and his militia comrades were the military power, not the magnates. An example was the landlord general and politician, Thomas Sumter. Initially Sumter patented a 14,000-acre tract that covered much of present-day Sumter and Stateburg.[120] By 1794 he had 150,000 acres.[121] Like many other magnates he went bankrupt and ended up in debtors' prison during a period when the working people were prospering from their agrarian reform. The problem was that the squatters were organized and armed. "Acceptable arrangements" could not be worked out, although the landlord-controlled state assembly enacted measures to encourage the squatters to obtain "legal title." For example, the Land Act of 1784 fixed the price of vacant land at $10 per 100 acres.[122] In 1790 the assembly fixed a "nominal" fee for vacant land.[123] But many squatters were not interested. The law of occupancy and usufruct, not that of the assembly, prevailed.

††††††††††† Besides cheap land, another of the attractions of the South Carolina revolution for young William Jones was his new neighbor, 17-year-old Ann Beth Freeman (1764-1847) and the Methodist society to which both belonged. William and Ann married on Jan. 24, 1781.[124] Ann's family had recently taken up land at Providence Springs and were members of the Methodist meeting there, which became part of the Santee Circuit that was established in 1786.[125] Ann's father, James F. Freeman, died about the time she married. William and Ann helped the widow, who was also named Ann, and Ann's two brothers (Eli and Joseph) to run the Freeman farm.

††††††††††† The South Carolina middle country where the Joneses settled was flatter than the Virginia Piedmont. They had a stream on one side and on another the Methodist meeting grounds.[126] Over the years a secession of meeting houses were built on the Methodist grounds, which also served as a cemetery and parade ground on militia training days. During the summers the Methodists and neighboring denominations, both black and white, held an annual weeklong campout there, where they prayed, sang, educated, fished, courted, politicked, did business and socialized.[127] In 1788 the Joneses and their neighbors met Francis Asbury and heard him preach when he visited Rembert, which was a neighboring Methodist chapel about 10 miles distant.[128]

††††††††††† At Providence Ann and William had 9 children, the first of which, James F. Jones, was born on Oct. 17, 1782, before the formal end of the Revolution.[129] They raised subsistence crops of wheat, corn, hogs, sweet potatoes and vegetables. A contemporary described the self-sufficiency of the people:

In the middle, and especially in the upper country, the people are obliged to manufacture their own cotton and woolen clothes, and most of their husbandry tools; but in the lower country the inhabitants for these articles depend almost entirely on the merchants. Late accounts inform us, that the inhabitants manufacture entirely in the family way as much as they have occasion for.[130]

††††††††††† Before cotton took off in the 1790s, tobacco was grown by the Virginia veterans who knew the process. During the war, farmers sold their surplus to the military at Charleston and Camden at good prices.[131] This allowed them to pay for necessities, such as salt, nails, medicine, gun power and schooling for their children.[132] There were no public schools and instruction was sometimes provided by preachers supplementing their income. Because of the cost, much of the schooling was informal, home-based and practical, as indicated by William Joneses' "Memorandum Book." It consisted of reading, writing and arithmetic, along with "practical surveying," cloth and soap making, brewing, and baking.[133]

††††††††††† Farm housing for those like the Joneses was plain and adequate, as one contemporary put it:

The houses of the poorest sort of people, are made of logs. . . their interstices filled up with moss, straw, and clay; and are only of one or two rooms; and the manners of their tenants are equally plain. But, it is here, that health, and independence dwell. And a crop of a hogshead of tobacco, or a bag or two of cotton, forms an income, which pays the taxes and expenses of the farm; and makes a family happy and contented.[134]

Years later a black federal soldier camped out toward the end of the Civil War on the night of Apr. 15-16, 1865 at the Methodist grounds, which was 400 yards from the Joneses' farm. He described the area as "hilly and rolling country sparsely settled with poor whites."[135]

††††††††††† South Carolina Militia. British control in South Carolina and the setback for the revolution in May 1780 turned out to be only temporary. Had the farmers been left alone, they would have remained neutral.[136] But the brutality of the imperial forces against the civilian population made it impossible to be neutral.[137] The people had to join the militia to defend their produce and livestock from confiscation, their homes from arson and their families from murder by the British and their local supporters. They also got indents for land and wages from the South Carolina Provincial Congress for their service.[138] The benefits received by William Jones are summarized in Table II.[139]

Table II
William Joneses' Compensation for South Carolina Militia Service.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Period


††††††††††††††††††††††† 37 days under Gen. Marion

£5 (specie) £73 (paper) pd. Aug. 1783.[140]

††††††††††††††††††††††† 68 days (May 7-Aug. 28, 1781)

£4 (specie).[141]

††††††††††††††††††††††† Under Col. Anderson since the
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† reduction of Charleston

£6 (specie) £43 (paper) pd. in Jan. 1785.[142]

††††††††††††††††††††††† 140 days (1782)

£9 (specie) pd. Apr. 1785.[143]

††††††††††††††††††††††† 73 (37? 68?) days (1782) under
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Gen. Harrison

£5 (specie) (£73 paper).[144]

††††††††††† By October 1780, the upcountry laboring people were easily recruited to militia units under Francis Marion (1732-1795), Thomas Sumter (1734-1832) and Andrew Pickens. Historian Edward McCrady summarized how these people came over to the revolutionary side:

The people of the section in which most of these battles had taken place, and in which it now was most ruthlessly waged, had been opposed to the Revolution. But the victorious British army in the year 1780 had converted to the case of America thousands who would not follow the leaders in the Revolution. The people who stood listless and indifferent to the appeals of Tennent in 1775, had left their fair fields in the Waxhaws on the Catawba and on the Broad and were now following Sumter. Those who had resented Drayton's proclamation, were now coming out under Pickens.[145]

††††††††††† William Jones and about 20 of his neighbors around Providence including John Bradford, John Bradford, Jr., William Broadway, John Peek, John Pollard, Abraham Richards, Obediah Spears and Joshua Stafford, joined a militia company that sometimes served as part of Marion's regiment.[146] The farmers in this regiment won repeated victories. One authority has counted 137 battles and engagements in South Carolina, more than in any other of the original states.[147] Of these, 103 were fought without the help of the Continentals. The largest battles, including a few in North Carolina and with Continental support, are summarized in Table III.

Table III[148]
Major Southern Battles.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Aug. 16, 1780

Camden, S.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Oct. 7, 1780

King's Mountain, Charlotte, N.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Jan. 17, 1781

Cowpens, S.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mar. 15, 1781

Guilford Courthouse, Greensboro, N.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Apr. 25, 1781

Hobkirk's Hill, Camden, S.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† May 12, 1781

Fort Motte, S.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† July 17, 1781

Biggin Church, Monck's Corner, S.C.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Sept. 8, 1781

Eutaw Springs, Orangeburg, S.C.

††††††††††† While they could not successfully attack the major British posts or engage large imperial forces in open battle, the militias were good at harassing guerrilla warfare, interrupting communications, intercepting British supplies, and smashing Tory detachments.[149] Help also came from the north in the form of several Continental regiments and of the North Carolina and Virginia militias, which periodically moved southward.[150]

††††††††††† The South Carolina revolutionary success was in spite of getting little economic support from the Continental Congress. As the war progressed, the funding for the Continentals got steadily worse and their size got smaller. It was because the Continental forces were so poorly supported that the militias operated in larger units and on a more important scale and had a greater role in South Carolina than in the North. The rank-and-file in the Pennsylvania line protested in 1780 that their main enemy was the system that promoted the war but wanted to pay nothing for it. Instead of a 10% tax on property, as they demanded, the Continental Congress and state legislatures issued worthless paper money and borrowed. By December 1780 Congress owed $400,000,000 dollars.[151]

††††††††††† Typically, after his appointment in Oct. 1780 to lead the Southern Department, Nathaniel Greene on his way South went through Philadelphia, where he asked the Continental Congress to fund a "flying camp" of 800 light horse and 1000 infantry.[152] The Congress did not respond. Going through Richmond, Va., Governor Thomas Jefferson was no more helpful. Virginia at that time had only 1,500 of its 3,500 troop quota for Continental service.[153] The Continental troops that Virginia did have in South Carolina starting in the summer of 1780, as already noted, were half-starved, nearly naked and lived in make-shift huts because there were no tents.[154] They went often without horses, wagons and firearms.[155] During the winter of 1780-1781 many deserted and even the officers, including Major General John Peter Muhlenberg (1746-1807) and George Weedon, went on "furloughs" back to Virginia because they were not paid.[156] The chronic mutiny against this included Greene's personal servant who sought to turn him over to the British.[157]

††††††††††† In the instances where the Americans suffered defeats, the lack of economic support was a factor. The main example of this was the battle on Aug. 16, 1780 at Camden, which was only 15 miles from where the Joneses settled. General Horatio Gates (1728-1806), who preceded Greene as head of the Southern Dept., had just been appointed on July 25, 1780. The battle began with the Virginia militia going forward in the hope of attacking the British right wing before it was effectively formed. But the Virginians faltered in their advance. The British regulars charged in solid formation, and the Virginians fled, firing only a few shots. Panic-stricken, most of the North Carolina militia also ran without firing. Only the Continentals and a few North Carolinians put up a fight, but they eventually had to retreat.[158] Those who fled included the 10th Division of Amherst County's militia, in which were William Joneses' old neighbors. As a result of their flight, the 10th Division was penalized by having their term of service extended 8 months without pay. In November 1780 they filed a petition with the Virginia state legislature protesting the extension. They acknowledged "their bad behavior" but explained, "They were untrained, half-fed, with inexperienced officers, and overcome with heat and fatigue."[159]

††††††††††† Unlike the Continentals and the out-of-state militias, the South Carolina militias supplied themselves from their own farming and were used to going barefoot. They also looked out for themselves by capturing ammunition and goods from the enemy and confiscating or impressing the horses and produce of the lowland magnates.[160] General Nathaniel Greene, criticized them for this:

You cannot treat the inhabitants with too much delicacy, nor should the least encouragement be given to the soldiers, either to invade the property of the people, or offer any personal insults. This conduct it is which has made the British so very odious.[161]

Their biggest prize was the capture, led by Capt. Joseph Eggleston, of an enemy supply train in July 1781 on the way from Charleston to Orangeburg. Another was at the Battle of Eutaw Springs (Orangeburg) on Sept. 8, 1781. The troops pillaged the captured British camp, rather than continue fighting for a total victory.

††††††††††† Marion's corps numbered from 20 to 200, depending on the season, as the troops wandered into camp in small groups, spent a few weeks campaigning and then went back home. They wore no uniforms and could march 10 to 20 miles per day and up to 40 miles in 24 hours, if the area was not mountainous or they were not encumbered with artillery, baggage, cattle, muddy roads or wilderness.[162]

††††††††††† Even before Greene and his Continentals arrived in the South, the militias at King's Mountain on Oct. 7, 1780 had reversed the loss at Camden. Mounted farmers from South Carolina and the hills of Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia had trailed Major Patrick Ferguson with his force of 1,000 Loyalists and 100 Regulars to King's Mountain. In a savage battle Ferguson was slain and all but 400 of the enemy were killed, wounded or captured. More victories rapidly followed.

††††††††††† Soon after he arrived at Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 2, 1780, General Greene determined that the revolutionaries could not remain there.[163] He sent Brigadier General Daniel Morgan with the best troops to annoy General Charles Cornwallisís' left flank. Along with the mounted militia troops led by Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion, Morgan had 320 Maryland and Delaware Continentals, 200 Virginia riflemen and 100 dragoons under William Washington. Despite the odds being against them, they beat the British on Jan. 17, 1781 at Cowpens, S.C. along the Catawba River.[164]

††††††††††† A week after the victory at Cowpens, William and Ann were married at Providence on Jan. 24, 1781. Six weeks later on Mar. 15, 1781, Joneses' militia unit was at Guilford Courthouse where it had a leading part in the battle. Technically, the British won the victory, since they compelled Greene to seek safety in flight and held the field. But almost half of the imperial Guards were killed or wounded, and the total of the enemy injured or slain reached 532, about 28 percent of the army. Greene's losses, except for some vanished militia, most of which could be expected to return to service, were much smaller, 261 dead or wounded. It was impossible for the enemy to resume the offensive. As it was said, another such "victory" would mean the end of their army.[165]

††††††††††† In the months after Guilford Courthouse the Americans kept up the pressure. At Eutaw Springs in Sept. 1781, which was the bloodiest battle of the Southern campaign, the militia began the battle by capturing 100 British troops who had been sent out without arms to gather sweet potatoes. Joneses' neighbor, John Pollard, who was formerly a Virginian, was wounded at Eutaw Springs, as his son recounted in 1854:

[My] father was a revolutionary soldier and at the Battle of Eutaw Springs where he was wounded, he was with William Jones. William Jones stood side-by-side with him, as he (the deponent) has often heard his father and the said William Jones in frequent conversation about the battle as well as about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in N.C.[166]

††††††††††† The English army could have kept Charleston indefinitely, but on December 14, 1782 a British fleet carried them away. About 4,000 loyalists who preferred exile also went, along with 5,000 Blacks.[167] British General Cornwallis, following a familiar pattern among capitalist military heroes, devoted the rest of his life to plundering other peoples for the glory of the Empire as viceroy of Ireland and then governor-general India. He seldom varied his old methods. He was praised for personal acts of kindness and never hesitated to send large numbers of rebels to their doom with a blend of ferocity and righteousness.[168]

††††††††††† Conclusion. The services of George Washington, Nathaniel Greene and the other generals were appreciated by the magnates and the legislatures of the various states gave them presents. The rank-and-file, however, believed that these officers received too much acclaim and rewards, and that the working people in the militia, the regular army and the partisans were valued too slightly. John Alden remarks that a continuing debate sprang up over the question:

††††††††††† Who clipped the lion's wings

††††††††††† And flea'd his rump and pared his claws?[169]

Along the same lines and subject to debate was the legend that the capitalists such as Robert Morris "financed the Revolution." Many thought it was the reverse: the revolution financed the magnates. The working people in their crop production and on the battlefield bought the victory.[170]

††††††††††† Whatever the merits of these arguments, the real victory for the rank-and-file was in defeating the nationalism that was voiced by capital to conceal greed. Capital loved to talk about liberty, but not about liberty for whom and for what. Jones and his comrades turned the dispute between the American and English magnates into an agrarian reform. In a similar manner the working people in the Civil War forced the landlords to enact the Homestead and Morrill Act along with the 13th and 14th Amendments.[171] In World War II they got the G.I. Bill of 1944, which got them low interest home loans and free higher education.[172] As a result of Viet Nam, they got the Volunteer Army. The capitalist religion of patriotism that equated itself and its military with the divine order was blasphemous to the 18th-century Joneses and the other working people and has been to their descendants for 200 years.






[1]Charles Neimeyer in America Goes to War: A Social History of the Continental Army (New York: New York University Press, 1996), p. 7, criticizes the "mythified" view of the Continental army that ignores its working class composition, which made it "more revolutionary than its creators intended."

[2]A pension application was filed by his then indigent 54-year-old daughter, Elizabeth J. "Betsie" Jones in 1854, long after his death. In it is a narrative of Joneses' service as recollected from the stories she had been told. In it are also several affidavits describing his service by his comrades. See "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," No. R. 7934 in Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 [hereafter Revolutionary Files, 1800-1900], Records of the Veterans Administration, Group 15, National Archives (Washington, D.C.) Microfilm Publication M-804, Roll No. 1448, pp. 389-448. There are 80,000 such personal narratives at the National Archives as a result of the Pension Acts of 1818 and 1832.

[3]See "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning Obediah Spears," No. S 7586 and No. 23,906, in Revolutionary Files, 1800-1900; "Revolutionary War Pension File for John Angel Bradford and his wife Mary," No. R. 1127, in ibid., pp. 227-255; "Revolutionary War Pension File for William Vaughn," No. S.C. 23,437, in ibid, p. 422.

[4]Thirteen pages from William Joneses' "Memorandum Book" were made part of the federal pension application filed by his daughter. See "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," No. R. 7934, pp. 390-398. The records of the South Carolina land grants and monetary payments made to Jones are in State Comptroller General's Office, book H, p. 498 (1785); book J, pp. 60, 424 (1785); book N, pp. 31, 505 (1782-1785); book T, pp. 58, 60, 424-425 (1785); book V, p. 118 (1785); book Y, pp. 290, 402 (1785). Copies of these records were included in Joneses' federal pension application, ibid., pp. 424-441.

[5]Amherst County and Amherst parish, along with Buckingham County were established in 1761 after splitting off from Albemarle County and St. Anne's parish. In turn, Albemarle had been established in 1744 after splitting with Goochland County. Goochland had been created in 1728 from a division of Henrico County, which was established in 1634. In 1808 the North part of Amherst County became Nelson County. See Morgan P. Robinson, Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Legislation (Richmond: D. Bolton, 1916).

[6]In the 17th century Amherst was inhabited by the Sioux-speaking Saponi, who were part of the Monocan Confederation. Their main cash crop was pelts. They traded with European merchants. By 1700 those who had not moved southwest to North Carolina, were concentrating on subsistence farming and integrating with the European and African immigrants. See Peter Wallenstein, "Indian Foremothers: Race, Sex and Freedom in Early Virginia," in Catherine Clinton (ed.), The Devil's Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South (New York: 1997), pp. 62-68; John Moore, Albemarle: Jefferson's County: 1727-1976 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976), p. 6.

[7]Woody Holton, Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves and the Making of the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), pp. 5, 61.

[8]Warren Billings, et al., Colonial Virginia: A History (White Plains, N.Y.: KTO Press, 1986), p. 210; Holton, Forced Founders, pp. 3, 10, 37, 175-176. Attorney-patriot Patrick Henry, who was involved in 5 land ventures involving Indians between 1767 and 1773, was typical. In one of his ventures, he and his partners in the Fort Stanwix cession of 1768 bought the traditional land of the Cherokees. The land was actually deeded to Henry by the Iroquois in New York, who named themselves as "guardians" of the Cherokees. The land had never been used by the Iroquois and they had no claim to it. Their only relation to the Cherokees was that they enslaved them.

[9]Richard Morton, Colonial Virginia: Volume 2, Westward Expansion and Prelude to Revolution, 1710-1763 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1960), p. 555.

[10]Emily Salmon, The Hornbook of Virginia History: A Ready Reference Guide to the Old Dominion's People, Places and Past (Richmond: The Library of Virginia, 1994), p. 25.

[11]Other Virginia capitalists with holdings in the Piedmont included Nicholas Davis, who in 1771 got 31,000 acres in Amherst and Bedford Counties, and John Harmer and Walter King who had the Nassau Tract on Rucker's Run. Thomas Walker, who owned the Loyal Land Company, was based in neighboring Albemarle County. The hero of the nationalist religion, George Washington and his 38 partners in the Mississippi Company had 2.5 million acres. See Frederick Kegley, Kegley's Virginia Frontier: The Beginnings of the Southwest, The Roanoke of Colonial Days, 1740-1783 (Roanoke: Southwest Virginia Historical Society, 1938), p. 113; Holton, Forced Founders, pp. 9, 11, 13, 32; Archibald Henderson, "Dr. Thomas Walker and the Loyal Land Co. of Virginia," Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, new ser. 41 (1931), 77-178.

[12]Moore, Albemarle, p. 36.

[13]Ibid., p. 34.

[14]Richard C. Wight, The Story of Goochland (Richmond, Va.: Dietz Press, 1973), p. 19.

[15]Albert Tillson, Gentry and Common Folk: Political Culture on a Virginia Frontier, 1740-1789 (Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1991), p. 59.

[16]They also farmed rye, oats, barley, beans, squash, flax, pumpkins, potatoes, apples and hemp for ropes. See Jack Sosin, The Revolutionary Frontier, 1763-1783 (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1967), 170.

[17]George Whitefield, Journals, 1737-1741, ed. William Davis (Gainesville: Scholars Facsimiles and Reprints, [1905] 1969), pp. 384, 386-387.

[18]J. M. Neeson, Commoners: Common Right, Enclosure and Social Change in England, 1700-1820 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 178-181; Thomas E. Scrutton in Commons and Common Fields or, The History and Policy of the Laws Relating to Commons and Enclosures in England (New York: Burt Franklin, [1887], 1970), pp. 18-23, discusses the history of the thousand-year-old custom among the English laboring people in protecting the institution of common land from landlord aggression. British general Henry Clinton complained that the Irish, who made up half the Continental army, were "our most serious antagonists." The revolution against Britain for them was merely a continuation of their centuries-long agrarian struggle, which they had waged back home. Charles Neimeyer in America Goes to War, p. 40, quotes Clinton:

The emigrants from Ireland had fled from the real or fancied oppression of their landlords: thro' dread of prosecution for the riots [of the White-boys in the 1760s and 1770s], which their Idea of that oppression had occasioned, they had transported themselves into a country where they could live without apprehension.

[19]Helen Rountree, Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia through Four Centuries (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990), p. 6.

[20]Kirke Kickingbird and Karen Ducheneaux, One Hundred Million Acres (New York: Macmillan, 1973), p. 1; Harold Fey and D'Arcy McNickle in Indians and Other Americans: Two Ways of Life Meet (rev. ed., New York: Harper and Row, 1970), p. 27, write that each nation knew their territorial bounds but nothing required that land be divided up and parceled out under a system of land titles. Tribal leaders and the people themselves negotiated rights of occupation and use.

[21]Billings, et al., Colonial Virginia, p. 210.

[22]Tillson, Gentry and Common Folk, p. 46.

[23]Ibid., p. 59.


[25]Ibid., p. 58.

[26]Benjamin Weisiger (compiler), Albemarle County, Va., Court Papers, 1744-1783 (Richmond: B.B. Weisiger, 1987), pp. 33, 35, has the record of Ambrose Joneses' arrest for trespass in 1772.

[27]Virginia Land Office, "Patent, 1760 July 15 issued to James Jones" (manuscript, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.) signed by Francis Fauquier (1704-1768), lieutenant governor of Virginia.

[28]Bailey Fulton Davis (ed.), Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures: An Abstract of All Things in Deed Book D (Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1963), p. 29 (patent recorded on July 15, 1760 in Deed Book D, p. 418).

[29]Jamesís' brother, Ambrose Jones on Oct. 28, 1765, purchased from Robert Rose a plot of land that adjoined Jamesís' land. This was said to be on the north side of the Tye River. Deed Book B, Amherst County Courthouse, p. 93, which is abstracted in Davis (ed.), Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures: Deed Book B, p. 12.

[30]Virginia Land Office, "Patent, 1768 July 20 issued to James Jones" (manuscript, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.).


[32]Amherst County, Deed Book C, p. 198, which is abstracted in Bailey Fulton Davis (ed.), Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures: An Abstract of All Things in Deed Book C (Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1963), p. 21.

[33]But Ambrose Jones, brother of James, had a household with 8 whites and no blacks. Three years later, Ambrose Jones did not appear in the 1785 census. See "List for Amherst Co., Va.," Heads of Families at the First Census (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1986), p. 47.

[34]John Selby, The Revolution in Virginia: 1775-1783 (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1988), p. 33.

[35]William Cabell was a model of the ostentatious monopolist in Amherst. Richard Morton in Colonial Virginia, p. 556, described the horse-racing aspect of it:

As vestryman and churchwarden he conformed to the Established Church and contributed generously to its support. Like most Virginians of his day he kept a good stable and delighted in racing, as the following item from his diary shows: "Sept. 7th 1767 made a race with Mr. Campbell, with pleasure, against his Seaton mare, for 40 bushels of hempseed, a barbecue, and 20 gallons of punch. To be run in April next, at my race course."

[36]Neeson, Commoners, p. 178. Historian Alfred Young in The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999), pp. 28, 68, is negative toward the revolutionary Methodist, George Hewes (1742-1840). Hewes, among other things, did not marry with a view toward upward mobility and at age 40 had little to show for it. But this was not negative in Heweses' view; it simply was operating from a higher morality common among working people. Heweses' treasure, as in Proverbs 31:10, was his wife and children.

[37]Cynthia Lyerly, Methodism and the Southern Mind, 1770-1810 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 129, remarked that the "keystone of Southern Methodist antislavery efforts was the Golden Rule," as set forth in Mt. 7:12 and Lk. 6:31. John Wesley in The Works of the Rev. John Wesley (London: Methodist Book Room, 1872), Sermon 30, discourse 10 ("Upon our Lord's sermon on the mount"), denounced slave owners because they robbed slaves "of all their labor" in order to live in luxury. This condemnation, as Lyerly, ibid., p. 131, put it, "Fit squarely within Methodist opposition to conspicuous consumption and wealth." Methodist clerical emancipationist Francis Asbury (1745-1816) preached the story of Moses, the flight from Egyptian slavery and jubilee (Lev. 25). The minutes of the mixed-race, Baltimore conference of Methodists declared in 1780 in "Question 17," as quoted in Peter Linebaugh, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000), p. 297:

Slavery is contrary to the laws of God, humanity and nature and hurtful to society; contrary to the dictates of conscience and pure religion and doing that which we would not others should do to us or ours.

Rank-and-file revolutionary sentiment in the army during the Revolution was strong for abolishing slavery. The enlistment of blacks was seen as reducing the burden on the whites. See Theodore Thayer, Nathaniel Greene: Strategist of the American Revolution (New York: Twayne Publishing Co., 1960), p. 391.

[38]Stephanie McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds: Yeomen Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 139, 142.

[39]Lacy Ford, Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 27; Rachael Klein, "Unification of a Slave State: The Rise of the Plantation Class in the South Carolina Back Country: 1760-1808," Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1979, pp. 248, 253; Linebaugh, The Many-Headed Hydra, p. 85.

[40]Morton, Colonial Virginia, p. 551. Amherst parish was formed from St. Anne's parish in 1761.

[41]Morton, Colonial Virginia, p. 557. Rose obtained grants on the Tye River as early as 1735, and on both sides of the James River and Pedler River in Amherst County in 1738.

[42]Sherrie McLeroy, More Passages: A New History of Amherst Co., Va. (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1995), p. 55.

[43]Daniel Friedenberg, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Land: The Plunder of Early America (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1992), p. 177; Holton, Forced Founders, pp. 45, 61, 110, 115-119, 121, 131, 180. In 1785, Walter King Cole, whose Nassau tract was expropriated during the war, is illustrative of those who petitioned the General Assembly for "payment of balance due [him] as compensation for lands and other property confiscated by the State in 1779 as belonging to a British subject." See Walter King Cole, "Amherst County Legislative Petition Concerning Nassau Tract," No. A 856 (1785).

[44]Leonora Sweeney, Amherst County, Virginia in the Revolution including extracts from the "Lost Order Book," 1773-1782 (Lynchburg, Va.: William Sweeney, 1951), p. 69, reproduces the Amherst "claims for property impressed or taken for public service." See also McLeroy, More Passages, p. 56; Bailey Davis, Amherst County, Virginia, Courthouse Miniatures: Impressed Property Claims in Amherst County during the Revolution, also Some Interesting Excerpts from an Early Order Book of Amherst County (Amherst, Va.: B.F. Davis, 1963).

[45]Holton, Forced Founders, pp. 156-157, 160-161, has an account of Virginia's Ethiopian Regiment. Lenora Sweeney in Amherst County, Virginia in the Revolution, p. 72, describes Jude, a black Amherst woman, who burned down the home of her owner in 1774. The Cherokees and Shawnees joined the British because of promises that they would regain their farming and hunting land. See McLeroy, More Passages, p. 50.

[46]McLeroy, More Passages, p. 54; Sweeney, Amherst County, Virginia in the Revolution, p. 80. Among those who took a dim view of the revolution was Thomas Moffitt, an Amherst tavern keeper. He was prosecuted, as McLeroy in More Passages, p. 53, recorded it, "for demeaning himself as an enemy to this Commonwealth, for endeavoring to stir up the people to resist the government and excite tumult and disorder."

[47]Herbert Sloan, "Politics, Culture and the Revolution in Virginia," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 91, no. 3 (July 1983), pp. 259, 271; Billings, et al., Colonial Virginia, pp. 363.

[48]Frederick Aldridge, "Organization and Administration of the Militia System of Colonial Virginia," unpublished Ph.D. dissertation (Wash. DC: American University, 1964), p. 197; Tillson, Gentry and Common Folk, p. 47.

[49]Holton, Forced Founders, p. 168.

[50]Tillson, Gentry and Common Folk, p. 45.

[51]Dan Higgenbotham, George Washington and the American Military Tradition (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985), p. 26.

[52]Ibid., p. 48.

[53]Sloan, "Politics, Culture and the Revolution in Virginia," p. 270.

[54]Holton, Forced Founders, pp. 10, 45, 47; Oliver Dickerson, The Navigation Acts and the American Revolution (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1951); Lawrence Gipson, "Virginia Planter Debts before the American Revolution," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (1961), vol. 69, pp. 259-277.

[55]Moore, Albemarle: Jefferson's County, p. 35. In 1760 each white person in the West Indies was receiving annually £20 of exported goods from England; for each white Virginian it was £1.

[56]McLeroy, More Passages, p. 54.

[57]Holton, Forced Founders, p. 167. The most anti-working class constitution of the period was the Virginia Constitution of 1776. It made appointive all local offices down to the justice of the peace level. See Eric Foner, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), p. 170.

[58]Lenora Sweeney, Amherst County in the Revolution, p. 2; H. J. Eckenrode, The Revolution in Virginia (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1916), p. 98. The Amherst County committee was composed entirely of magnates, starting with its land-grubbing chair, Colonel William Cabell (1730-1798) of Union Hall, Amherst [now Nelson] County.

[59]See Sweeney, Amherst County in the Revolution,p. 4; William Waller Hening, Statutes at Large (13 vols., Richmond: Samuel Pleasants, 1809-1823), vol. 9, pp. 18, 23.

[60]Holton, Forced Founders, p. 168.

[61]Each district had to raise a company of regular, full-time troops for one year of service and a 10-company battalion of minutemen within the militia system. See Robert Wright, The Continental Army (Wash. D.C.: Center of Military History, U.S. Army, 1983), pp. 67-68; William Van Schreeven, et al. (ed.), Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1973-1983), vol. 3, pp. 319-504.

[62]Holton, Forced Founders, p. 171.

[63]Joseph Plumb Martin, Private Yankee Doodle: Being a Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1962), pp. 278-288. Historian Reeve Huston in Land and Freedom: Rural Society, Popular Protest and Party Politics in Antebellum New York (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 111, remarked, "The labor theory of value - the notion that labor creates all wealth - had been commonplace in American economic thought since the late eighteenth century." Tony Freyer made the same finding in Producers versus Capitalists: Constitutional Conflict in Antebellum America (Charlottesville: University Press of Va., 1994), p. 4.

[64]Martin, Private Yankee Doodle, pp. 101-111.

[65]Jesse Lee, A Short History of the Methodists in the United States of America: Beginning in 1766 and Continued til 1809 (Rutland, Vt.: Academy Books, [1810], 1974), p. 54.

[66]Holton, Forced Founders, pp. 170-171.

[67]Hening, Statutes at Large, vol. 9, p. 179; Charles Bolton, The Private Soldier under Washington (New York: Kennikat Press, [1903] 1964), p. 48.

[68]Selby, The Revolution in Virginia, pp. 144, 231; Thomas Abernethy, Western Lands and the American Revolution (New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1937), pp. 218-219, 224-225.The Virginia land office act was enacted on June 12, 1779. Squatters had priority for up to 400 acres over grants to absentee landlords. They got their land for a nominal price. They were also given preemption rights for up to 1000 additional acres at the regular price of £40 per 100 acres. See Abernethy, Western Lands,

[69]Holton, Forced Founders, p. 46.

[70]Landon Carter, The Diary of Landon Carter of Savine Hall, 1752-1778, (ed.) Jack Greene (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1965), vol. II, pp. 1008-1010 (Apr. 1, 4, 1776). Landlord George Washington condemned Patrick Henry who as Virginia's governor had to increase taxation on the rich to pay for the military services of the rank-and-file, including re-enlistment bounties of $20 above that given by Congress. See George Washington in John Fitzpatrick (ed.), Writings of Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources (39 vols., Wash., D.C.: G.P.O., 1931-1944), vol. 22, p. 283.

[71]Abernethy, Western Lands, p. 219.

[72]Wright, The Continental Army , p. 70; Sweeney, Amherst County, Virginia in the Revolution (1951), p. 6. The Virginia Convention on May 10, 1776 ordered that two battalions of 650 troops be sent to the assistance of North Carolina. Amherst County's quota was one company of 50 troops. The company was assigned to the Second Battalion under Colonel Charles Lewis. Because of protests by the Amherst troops, the Convention later in the month reversed the earlier order and the Amherst company did not go to North Carolina. A few weeks after the company returned home, it was called out on an "Indian Campaign." It marched to Lynch's Ferry where it was discharged after 20 days service owing to a "great indisposition of the company," that is, the troops mutinied.

[73]Samuel Jordan Cabell, Virginia Gazette (Sept. 17, 1776). Samuel Cabell was taken a prisoner at Charleston in May 1780. He later was a lieutenant colonel from Feb. 12, 1781 to Jan. 1, 1783 in the 7th Va. Regiment. See E. M. Sanchez-Saavedra, A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations in the American Revolution, 1774-1778 (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1778), p. 53.

[74]Neimeyer, America Goes to War, p. 138.

[75]Ibid., p. 38. The 13th Va. Regiment was raised on the west side of the Alleghenies with the promise that they would not be drawn from that quarter. Because they were taken from the area, Washington claimed, as quoted in ibid, p. 116, that "it has been the cause of great desertions and a present source of uneasiness."

[76]Neimeyer, America Goes to War, pp. 146-149. There were 3 mutinies in the first campaign of the war (1775-1776), 2 in the campaign of 1777-1778, 4 in 1779, 3 in 1780 and the longest mutiny in 1781. Part of the 1781 mutiny took place in what is now Sumter County, S.C. in April 1781. Camped on the High Hills of the Santee, the Continental veterans, long suffering and long unpaid, were afflicted by malaria, war-weariness, and poverty in money, equipment, clothing, food and medicines. Theodore Thayer in Nathaniel Greene, p. 398, wrote:

It was talked pretty freely among the men that if pay and clothing did not arrive by such a day they would march their officers to Dorchester and allow them only a few days more before they would deliver them up to the enemy unless their grievances were not redressed.

See Obediah Spears in "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning Obediah Spears," No. S 7586 and No. 23,906, Revolutionary Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (Wash. D.C.: U.S. Archives).

[77]The Amherst militia was composed of 10 divisions. Each soldier was given a number. When their number was called, they served a 3-month tour or furnished a substitute.

[78]Several James Joneses did military service in Virginia. One of them was in the same 7th Regiment attached to Morgan's Rifle Regiment as William Jones. See John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, 1775-1783 (Richmond, Va.: Dietz Press, 1938), pp. 425. 427.

[79]Lenora Sweeney, Amherst County in the Revolution (1998), p. 7.

[80]According to a bible held by the descendants of Wiley Jones, who was one of the William's sons, the revolutionary was born in 1764. See Billy Jones, "Interview with Toby Terrar," (manuscript, Oct. 30, 1999), in possession of author. A 1761 birth date is listed by Howard Jones in "Patron Sheets, 1969-1991," Film/Fiche No. 1553488, which he donated to the Latter Day Saints Family History Center at Salt Lake City, Utah. See International Genealogical Index (IGI) file (Batch No. 5007736).

[81]There are three accounts of William Joneses' service in the 1854 pension application of his daughter, Betsie Jones. In addition to Betsie's account, there is an affidavit of her Sumter neighbor, the then 90-year-old, William Vaughn. He had served in the South Carolina militia with Jones, but not in the Continentals. John R. Pollard (1787-1870) gave another description of William's Continental service. Pollard's father, also named John, had served with Jones in the Continental Army, or as John R. put it, "U.S. Army." John R. had heard his father and Jones discuss their part in the war many times. See "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," p. 399.

[82]"Revolutionary War Pension File for George Hardwick," No. S 8674, in Revolutionary Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (Wash. D.C.: U.S. Archives), Microfilm M-804, who was born in Amherst County on Aug. 31, 1759 and enlisted in April 1777 for two years.

[83]John R. Sellers, "The Common Soldier in the American Revolution," ed. Stanley Underdal, Proceedings of the 6th Military History Symposium, U.S. Air Force Academy (Wash. D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1976), pp. 157-159. Another survey by Sellers, of 658 Virginia soldiers found that half (325) moved out of the state immediately after the war. Sellers concluded that this indicated they did not have much to return to after their service.

[84]Affidavit of William Vaughn in "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," pp. 421-422. See also, "Revolutionary War Pension File for William Vaughn," No. S.C. 23,437 Revolutionary Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (Wash. D.C.: U.S. Archives), Microfilm M-804, Roll No. 1448.

[85]Gwathmey, Historical Register, p. 482; Sanchez-Saavedra, A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations, p. 53. Prior to Sept. 14, 1778, the 7th Virginia was designated the 11th Virginia Regiment Continental Line. Long commanded the company starting on July 23, 1776.

[86]Fred Berg, Encyclopedia of Continental Army Units: Battalion, Regiment and Independent Companies (Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 1973).

[87]Long's was designated the 5th company in Col. Daniel Morgan's Battalion of Rifle. The 2nd company was headed by Capt. Samuel Jordan Cabell. See Sanchez-Saavedra, A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations, p. 89.

[88]Wright, The Continental Army, p. 70.

[89]Sweeney, Amherst County, pp. 19, 29.

[90]James Flexner, George Washington in the American Revolution, 1775-1783 (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1967), p. 545.

[91]"Revolutionary War Pension File for George Hardwick," No. S 8674, Revolutionary Files, 1800-1900.

[92]Louis Wright, South Carolina: A Bicentennial History (New York: Norton, 1976), p. 134.

[93]Wright, ibid., p. 13. The imperial strategy also involved a British army in the South fighting its way northward to trap Washington in a pincers movement between the southern troops and those operating out of New York. In November, 1778, the British captured Savannah. They then turned toward South Carolina and the capture of Charleston.

[94]John Richard Alden, A History of the South, III: The South in the Revolution, 1763-1789 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1957), p. 227.

[95]Wright, South Carolina: A Bicentennial History, p. 147.

[96]Alden, A History of the South, p. 239; Lynn Montross, The Story of the Continental Army, 1775-1783 (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1952), p. 359.

[97]Joseph Spears was born in 1759 in Craven (later Sumter) County, S.C. He was living in Sumter District, Claremont County in 1832 at the time he filed his "Revolutionary War Pension Application," R 9965, Revolutionary Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (Wash. D.C.: U.S. Archives), Microfilm M-804.

[98]Montross, The Story of the Continental Army, p. 334; Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1969 [1901]), p. 401.

[99]In the same expedition was Obediah Spears. Vouching for Obediah Spears' service was the same William Vaughn who served with William Jones. "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning Obediah Spears," No. S 7586 and No. 23,906, Revolutionary Files, 1800-1900. Other battles in which Obediah took part were Fort Motte, Quinby and Watson.

[100]Robert Bass in The Swamp Fox: The Life and Campaigns of General Francis Marion (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1959), pp. 22-23, describes the 1779 Georgia expedition and the rank-and-file militancy, including an attempted murder of an officer who sought to assert rank:

On July 19, 1779 Col. Richard Richardson, who commanded the militia east of the Santee, joined General Benjamin Lincoln. But his undisciplined militiamen refused to obey their officers. On being chided by his captain for being absent from a sentry post, a private answered roughly. After having been arrested he tried to shoot the captain. When Lincoln attempted to convene a court-martial to try the officer, many of the militia officers refused to serve on the grounds that militiamen could be tried only under the militia laws of South Carolina. In disgust Lincoln declared the militia no longer under his command.

[101]Alan Taylor, William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic (New York: Knopf, 1995), p. 49.

[102]Montross, The Story of the Continental Army, pp. 335, 371.

[103]Ibid., p. 356.

[104]William Gordon, History of the Rise, Progress and Establishment of Independence in the United States (NY: Campbell, 1794), vol. 3, pp. 68-69; Wright, South Carolina, p. 137. Of the 5,500 surrendered troops, 2,000 were from Virginia. Many of them had been recruited in May 1779. The captured militia was turned loose on parole. The Continental "regulars," headed by Benjamin Lincoln, were retained as prisoners of war, but many escaped, including William Jones.

[105]Anne Gregorie, History of Sumter County, South Carolina (Sumter: Library Board of Sumter County, 1954), p. 44.

[106]Eckenrode, The Revolution in Virginia, p. 209.

[107]Ibid., p. 202; Allen Bowman, The Morale of the American Revolutionary Army (New York: Kennikat Press, 1943), p. 25; William Palmer (ed.), The Calendar of Virginia State Papers (11 vols., New York: Kraus Reprint Co., [1875-1893] 1968), vol. 1, p. 595, vol. 2, p. 630.

[108]Eckenrode, The Revolution in Virginia, p. 249.

[109]Ibid., p. 222.

[110]Patrick Brady, "Political and Civic Life in South Carolina, 1787 - 1833," Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1971, p. 5; Evarts B. Greene, American Population Before the Federal Census of 1790 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932), pp. 177-179.

[111]Brian McKown, "Destroyed County Records in South Carolina: 1785-1872," South Carolina Historical Magazine, (Apr. 1996), vol. 97, p. 152.


[113]A Vagrant Act was enacted in the 1760s to prohibit labor from squatting on upcountry river bottomland that had been patented by low-country monopolists. See Klein, "Unification of a Slave State," pp. 33-34, 42, 53, 57, 64; Thomas Cooper and David McCord (eds.), The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, S.C. (Columbia: A.S. Johnson, 1836-1873), vol. 5, pp. 41-44; Richard Brown, The South Carolina Regulators (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963), p. 144; Fred Anderson, The Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 (New York: Alfred Knopf, 2000), p. 598.

[114]Cassie Nicholes, Historical Sketches of Sumter County: Its Birth and Growth (Sumter: Sumter County Historical Commission, 1975), p. 56; Ford, Origins of Southern Radicalism, p. 11.

[115]Wright, South Carolina, pp. 146-147.

[116]"Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," pp. 421-422.

[117]Klein, "Unification of a Slave State," pp. 210, 230, 234; "State Plats," Book AA (Nov. 15, 1786), p. 167; Book AA (Oct. 1793), p. 50.

[118]After William Jones died in 1809, his widow, children and, beginning in 1811, his widow's new husband, John Parker (d. 1831), continued to farm at Providence. One of the Joneses' sons, Eli, married in 1825. He farmed part of the original family land. In 1830 he bought from his neighbor, Tyre Jennings, a parcel that bordered the original farm. This was the first land record the Joneses registered. This "Deed of Tyre Jennings to Eli Jones" (Dec. 7, 1830), Deed Books (SCC), Book H, p. 439, contained a plat of the farm and stated:

Eli Jones late of Sumter District paid $300 to Tyre Jennings for 100 acres, a part of land originally granted to Asa Dinkins, on the headwaters of the Black River, bordered by Jesse Heartwell, Capt. Thomas Baker, Dr. Haynsworth and Josiah Haynsworth.

See also, "Estate of Eli Jones" (1839), Wills (SCC), Bundle 113, no. 13; and "Deed to Robert F. Jones" (1891), Deed Books (SCC), Book DDD, p. 580.

[119]Klein, "Unification of a Slave State," p. 230. See also, Camden Court of Common Pleas, Journal (1786-1799), South Carolina Department of Archives and History (hereafter SCDAH).

[120]Anne Gregorie, Thomas Sumter (Columbia: R. L. Bryan and Co., 1931), pp. 234.

[121]Klein, "Unification of a Slave State," p. 230.

[122]Ibid., p. 207; Cooper and McCord (eds.), Statutes at Large of South Carolina, vol. 4, pp. 590-592, 709-710 (1784).

[123]Cooper and McCord (eds.), Statutes at Large of South Carolina, vol. 5, pp. 168-169 (1790).

[124]William Joneses' "Memorandum Book," in "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," p. 397.

[125]In 1802 a "William Jones" was listed as being a presiding elder in the Santee Circuit. See James Burgess, Chronicles of St. Mark's Parish: Santee Circuits and Williamsburg Township, 1731-1885 (Columbia, S.C.: C.A. Calvo, 1888), pp. 68, 105.

[126]Both the Methodist grounds and the Joneses' 40-acre farm were on what is present-day Red Lane Rd. (State Highway 278). Red Lane Rd. is near the intersection of what is now old U.S. Highway 521 and State Highway 441. State Highway 441 (Peach Orchard Road) was the old route leading northeast from Statesburg to U.S. Highway 15 and Bishopville.

[127]Toby Terrar and Bonnie Smyre, "Charity Begins at Home: Some Beliefs of Antebellum South Carolina Laboring People," Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South (Natchitoches, La.: Northwestern State University, 1995), vol. 6, no. 4 (new series), p. 15.

[128]Thomas McAlpin Stubbs, Early History of Sumter Churches, p. 10; Francis Asbury, Journal and Letters, ed. Elmer Clark (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1958), vol. 2, p. 430.

[129]William Joneses' "Memorandum Book," in "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," p. 397.

[130]William Winterbotham, An Historical, Geographical, Commercial and Philosophical View of the United States (London: J. Ridgeway, [1785] 1799), vol. 3, p. 255.

[131]Ford, Origins of Southern Radicalism, p. 7; Klein, "Unification of a Slave State," p. 283; Wright, South Carolina, p. 135.

[132]Brady, "Political and Civic Life in South Carolina," p. 193.

[133]William Joneses' "Memorandum Book," in "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," p. 395; Klein, "Unification of a Slave State," p. 278.

[134]John Drayton, A View of South Carolina, as Respects Her Natural and Civil Concerns (Spartenburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., [1802] 1972), pp. 110-111.

[135]Luis F. Emilio, Brave Black Regiment: The History of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1863-1865 (New York: DeCapo, [1890] 1995), p. 299.

[136]The British made military duty compulsory for all South Carolina citizens in 1780. At the same time, they betrayed those who fought on their side by not providing protection to them from the plundering of the revolutionary militia. See Lyman Draper, Kings Mountain and Its Heroes (Cincinnati: Thomson, 1881), pp. 143; McCrady, The History of the Revolution, 1775-1780, pp. 533-560.

[137]There was plundering, ravaging, and abuse of civilians by Hessians and loyalists. The brutalities of Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833), who refused quarter to revolutionaries in the field, especially drove them in desperation to take sides and to bitter resistance. See Montross, The Story of the Continental Army, pp. 370-373.

[138]McCrady, The History of the Revolution, 1775-1780, p. 401. Betsie Jones, in her 1854 pension application, included a copy of the payment receipts made to her father for his militia service during the last part of the war. She obtained the receipts from the South Carolina Comptroller General's office in Columbia, S.C. They are also in Accounts Audited of Claims Growing Out of the Revolution in South Carolina, SCDAH, microcopy 8 (170 rolls, 9,000 files); and Stub Entries to Indents Issued in Payment of Claims Against SC Growing out of the Revolution, ed. A.S. Salley (12 vols., Columbia: 1910-1957).

[139]The indents were sold by the soldiers for cash to speculators, since land was cheap. Some of the capitalists who got the indentures, got stuck. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, superintendent of finance under the Article of Confederation, his associate, John Nicholson and their North American Land Company accumulated one million acres in South Carolina between 1782 and 1784. They declared bankruptcy and went to debtors' prison in 1797. They could not get squatters to pay rent or buy titles, nor could they themselves pay the taxes on "their" land. See Klein, "Unification of a Slave State," pp. 203, 207, 232.

[140]Below is a copy of the receipts concerning Joneses' service, as contained in the "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," pp. 425, 437.

[141]Ibid., pp. 427, 441.

[142]Ibid., pp. 424, 436, 440.

[143]Ibid., pp. 424-425, 427, 437, 441

[144]Ibid., pp. 425. 430-431.

[145]McCrady, The History of the Revolution, 1775-1780, p. 856.

[146]See "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," pp. 421-422. The militia captains were Malone, Joseph Hill and George McCally and the colonels were Peter Horry and Richard Richardson. Marion was described by Charles Royster in Light-Horse Harry Lee and the Legacy of the American Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1981), p. 59, as someone who "thought much, spoke seldom, dressed plainly, ate little, drank water and scorned wealth."

[147]Wright, South Carolina, p. 139.

[148]The attesting affidavits in his daughter's 1854 pension application and those of his comrades detailed the battles, which Joneses' militia unit fought. See "Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," pp. 405, 417 (John Pollard); p. 406 (William Vaughn). Both Vaughn and Pollard attested to his presence at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse (Mar. 15, 1781) and Eutaw Springs (Sept. 8, 1781). See also, "Revolutionary War Pension File for John Angel Bradford and his wife Mary," No. R. 1127, Revolutionary Files, 1800-1900, pp. 227, 255; "Revolutionary War Pension File for William Vaughn," No. S.C. 23,437, p. 422.

[149]Alden, A History of the South, pp. 256, 259, 261.

[150]Ibid., p. 243.

[151]Bolton, The Private Soldier under Washington, p. 67.

[152]Thane, The Fighting Quaker, p. 177. Greene led the Southern Dept. until the end of the war in 1783. He was from a family of commercial Quakers, whose revolutionary conviction stemmed from "the desire for dollars," according to biographer John Richard Alden in A History of the South, p. 251. Greene mingled his capitalist ventures with his public business. For example, when he learned from George Washington that the Continental Army would be around Albany, N.Y. in the winter of 1778-1779, he secretly wrote his relatives to send a supply of liquor there to sell to the soldiers. Similar activities went on in the South under his command.

[153]Thayer, Nathaniel Greene, p. 288.

[154]Ibid., p. 251.

[155]Bowman, The Morale of the American Revolutionary Army, p. 17.

[156]Thayer, Nathaniel Greene, p. 295.

[157]Neimeyer, America Goes to War, p. 125; Palmer (ed.), Calendar of Virginia State Papers, vol. 1, p. 595; vol. 3, p. 630.

[158]Alden, A History of the South, pp. 245-246; Elswyth Thane, The Fighting Quaker: Nathaniel Greene (New York: Hawthorne Books, 1972), p. 183.

[159]McLeroy, More Passages, p. 54. Their petition (Number A 845) does not note the outcome of their request.

[160]Wright, South Carolina, p. 140; Bass, The Swamp Fox, pp. 4, 137.

[161]Quoted in Thayer, Nathaniel Greene, p. 384.

[162]John Pancake, This Destructive War: The British Campaign in the Carolinas, 1780-1782 (University, Ala.: Alabama: University of Alabama, 1985), p. 110.

[163]In October 1780, British General Charles Cornwallis had ravaged the region to obtain provisions and it would be weeks before supplies could be gathered and delivered to the army from other parts of the state and from Virginia. Greene decided he would not only move but would divide the army as well.

[164]Thane, The Fighting Quaker, pp. 187, 197. The Catawba River was called this in North Carolina. When it reached Camden, S.C., it changed its name to Wateree. Thirty miles south of Camden, it was joined by the Congaree, which was composed of the Broad and the Saluda flowing from the west of Winnsboro. Below McCord's Ferry the Wateree changed it names to the Santee.

[165]Alden, A History of the South, p. 259. Nor could the British stay where they were in North Carolina, without supplies, without safe communications to the southward, and without hope of early reinforcement.

[166]"Revolutionary War Pension Application concerning William Jones," p. 417.

[167]A number of black Methodists ended up in Sierra Leone, including some of George Washington's capital. They waged a successful struggle against the English corporation there, which wanted to impose a capitalist system of land ownership. These "antinomians," as historian James Walker called them, refused to have their farms surveyed, their titles recorded or to pay quit rents. Their military experience in the Revolution and alliances with the local Africans, made them the authority. See James Walker, The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976), pp. 4, 195-196, 225, 229; Graham Hodges (ed.), The Black Loyalist Directory: African-American Exile after the American Revolution (New York: Garland Pub., 1996), pp. xxxiv-xxxv.

[168]Montross, The Story of the Continental Army, p. 374.

[169]Alden, A History of the South, p. 267. Not least in helping to achieve the American victory were the French imperialists. Their fleet at Yorktown went a long way in making up for the failures of Congress and the states to support the revolution which they led.

[170]Thomas Abernethy, Western Lands, pp. 172-173.

[171]Harold Hyman, American Singularity: The 1787 Northwest Ordinance, the 1862 Homestead and Morrill Acts and the 1944 G.I. Bill (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986). Reeve Huston's Land and Freedom, p. 5, discusses the agrarian reform movement that was waged between the Revolution and the Civil War:

[172]Keith Olson, The G.I. Bill, The Veterans and the Colleges (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1974), pp. 3, 5, 21. The movement for the G.I. Bill of Rights or "Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944," started 18 months prior to World War II in 1940 in the face of opposition to the draft. Eleanor Roosevelt noted that for 20 years after World War I, the veterans demonstrated and marched until their bonus was paid. The capitalists would "reap the whirlwind" if they short-changed the working class for its World War II service.