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The World of Thomas JeremiahCharles Town on the Eve of the American Revolution$

William R. Ryan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387285.001.0001

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(p.189) Appendix B Documents Relating to the Slave Shadwell and the Free Black Scipio Handley

(p.189) Appendix B Documents Relating to the Slave Shadwell and the Free Black Scipio Handley

The World of Thomas Jeremiah
Oxford University Press

(p.189) Appendix B

Documents Relating to the Slave Shadwell and the Free Black Scipio Handley

A. Council of Safety to Captain Edward Thornbrough, October 28, 1775 [excerpt]

Source: Laurens, Papers 10: 504–505


We have received information that a Negro Man named Shadwell, a Mariner by profession, & the property of John Allen Walters Esqr. is employed on board his Majestys Sloop Tamar, under your command.

As the said Negro, is a runaway & harbouring him is highly penal, the carrying such a one off the Colony, [is a] Felony, by the laws of this Country, Circumstances of which you may not be apprised; we think it necessary to give you this intimation, in order that the Negro may be delivered to his lawful owner.

We would not be misunderstood as insinuating that you, Sir, give any Encouragement for Slaves to leave their Masters, we reasonably conclude that this Negro if he is on board the Tamar has imposed himself upon you as a Freeman: & Therefore we doubt not if our information is true, but that you will cause him to be delivered up. to Mr. J[ohn] C[alvert]. the bearer of this Letter

By Order of the Council of Safety,

Henry Laurens, President

200 able bodied Seamen upon their arrival Wages to commence a £3 Mo.5

(p.190) Mr. Calvert being called informed the Board that Captain Thornbrough appeared angry at the contents of the letter, & declared his astonishment & concern that any Gentleman could Suspect that any runaway Negro could be on board his Sloop, & assured him that no such or any Negro but one whom he shewed him & who belonged to the Schooner late Messrs. Stone & Duvales was on board. Capt[ain]. Thorn. retained him until he returned from on board the Cherokee where he went to show the letter to the Governor, when he discharged him telling him that when he should have fully considered the letter he would send an answer.

B. Memorial of Scipio Handley

Source: AO 12/47/117; AO 12/109/160, NAUK

To The Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament for enquiring into the losses and Services of the American Loyalists

The Memorial of Scipio Handley of Charles Town South Carolina a Black

Humbly Sheweth

That your Memorialist at the time Lord William Campbell was obliged to leave Charles Town on Account of the Descentions which happened there in or about the year 1775, he your Memorialist being a free Man and followed Fishing he took the opportunity of Carrying Letters to his Lordships from Town and having Performed in such like manner several times your Memorialist was at last discovered and fired on by the Rebels and your Memorialist endeavoring to make his Escape he was run on Shore and one of the Boats men dangerously wounded.

That your Memorialist being taken Prisoner and heavily Ironed was put in close confinement and your Memorialist hearing that he was to be put to Death for acting against the Congress, your Memorialist by the hand of a Friend Received a File, with which he acquitted himself of his Irons and broak out of Gaol, and being a two story from the ground leaped down. By which means your Memorialist was so unfortunate as to get a Rupture.

That your memorialist making his way Escape left the Province and left what little Property he had behind him and is now in this city without money or Friends.

Your Memorialist therefore prays that his lease may be taken into your consideration in order that your Mem. may be enabled to receive such Aid or relief as his Losses and services maybe found to deserve.

Scipio Handley


Estimate of Losses of Scipio Handley

when taken by the Americans in the year 1775 on account of his Loyalty Viz ±

To one Fishing Boat—value——2,, 2,,—

Cash had with him when taken——3,,11,,—

Goods to the amount of —— 1,, 4,,—

Money sent by Handley to from a Gentleman in Charles Town to a Gent on board

My Lords Ship—— 5,, 16,,—

Household Furniture, three Beds etc. etc. 33,, 33,,

Cash in my House—— etc. etc. 28,,—,,

Two Trunks, Cloathes Linen etc.—— 15,,—,,

Ten head of Hogs—— 8,,—,,—

Sterling—£. 97,, 9,,—


Evidence on the foregoing Memorial of

Scipio Handley a Black

The Claimant, Sworn.

Says he has been Christened about 12 Months ago in England, was born in Charles Town South Carolina was free born, when the troubles broke out carried on business in fishing and buying and selling fruit about the Town, lived in Charles Town but never carried Arms or took any oath to the Rebels as he was carrying things from Town to Lord William Campbell and put in Gaol in Irons. they took his Boat which was his own with all that was on board. he was confined 6 weeks when he made his escape and went away to St. Augustine and from thence to Barbadoes, when Georgia was taken he went to Savannah with the troops but never returned to Charles Town.

Property—Says he lost the several Articles mentioned in his memorial the Furniture was his own. it was left in the House when he was taken besides the cash trunks and linen he had 7 hogs besides. Says Colonel Furtune drew up his Memorial and he has set down everything lower than he ought he received £5 from the Treasury in full.

Eleanor Lister formerly resident at Charles Town, Sworn. Knew the Claimant at Charles Town he went a Fishing they said he was a free man at Charles Town his mother was a free Women she used to bake Ginger bread and Cakes and such things, he was a Fisherman Knows he went to carry (p.192) things to L. W. Campbell and was catche'd and put in Gaol, and took himself away, and it was buzzed about that he was a Loyalist

Knows there was furniture in his Mothers House but whether it was his or his Mothers she can't tell, the Mother hired a Negro of her and paid her honestly, the furniture was good enough for Negroes, does not know whether there was any Mahogany Furniture


C. Claims and Memorials Petition of Scipio Handley of South Carolina

Source: AO 13/119/431, NAUK

To the Honourable Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury

The humble Petition of Scipio Handley


That the said Scipio Handley after leaving Chas.town in South Carolina in the year One Thousand seven hundred & seventy five on account of Lord William Campbell as was already mentioned in a former Petition to your Honors, was obliged to go to Barbadoes in the West Indies

and stayed there until he heard that Georgia in Savannah was taken by the British troops and then the said Scipio Handley left Barbadoes and went to Georgia in a ship called Eagle commanded by Captn. Tuner;

and there remained until the Rebels & French troops came and laid siege to the Town of Georgia,

and as it was very bare of troops all that was in it were Employed both White & Black, in order to Endeavour to keep them off, as if they had succeeded in their attempt they would have had no mercy on many,

your Petitioner could Expect none, as they had often threatned his life if Ever he should be caught for quitting Charlestown in One Thousand Seven hundred & Seventy five when they were contriving to put him to death.

Your petitioner during the time of the Siege of Georgia was Employed at the Armoury Shop, Running grape shot and Carrying them out to the Redoubts and Batteries.

(p.193) The Siege Continued for near six weeks, Your Petitioner in performing the dutys of his Station unluckily received a Musket Ball in his right leg, which proved to be a very dangerous wound, as the surgeons thought they would be obliged to Cut it off

but after a long & Tedious while it got healed tho far from being entirely well as it fails him & the pain of it at times so very great that he is Obliged to keep his Bed for two or three days and therefore rendered entirely unfit for service.

This Accident happened about 4 oClock on a Saturday morning in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred & Eighty.

Your Petitioner humbly implores your Honours will take the Case of a poor infirmed stranger into Consideration & grant him such assistance as your honours shall Judge proper and in so doing your humble Petitioner will Ever Consider himself in duty bound to Pray for Your Honours Health Happiness & Prosperity.

Scipio Handley

London January 13th 1784

No. 3 W.P. (p.194)