© Copyright 1998 by George Parris, All Rights Reserved
Part 11: The New World
11.1 The Navigators: New World Discovered (1400-1492)
By 1400, the landmass of Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa was well known to those light-skinned, often fair-haired peoples whose culture and history would dominate the world for the next thousand years. They would dominate the world because they would explore the world. If necessary they would conquer the world; not in hundreds of thousand of years as done in pre-history, but in mere centuries. In some cases, decades or even years would bring enormous geopolitical and social change. The animal that had evolved over millions of years and developed its culture over several thousand years was now ready for new adventures.
Anyone could and did navigate the land. Alexander the Great traveled to India. Caesar conquered Gaul and invaded Britain. By 1300, Marco Polo claimed to have walked to the Orient from Italy. No special equipment was necessary. No special means of guidance was needed. You followed the trails of the local residents; you asked directions. The traveler lived as the native, absorbed culture and assimilated at a pace commensurate with the human life span.
But, for many years, vessels that traveled on the water had been developed in three cultures: In Northern Europe the Vikings rowed and sailed around the Baltic and North Seas. By 1000 AD, they had island-hopped at least as far as Greenland via the Shetland Islands, Faeroe Islands and Iceland. These voyages were feasible because of the warm waters of the then-unknown Gulf Stream that bathes the northern seas and the propensity of the Norse to row. But, Viking culture was tribal and colonization was haphazard. In East Asia, the Chinese developed a sailing fleet that explored south as far as Australia; island-hopped into the Bay of Bengal; and fanned out to India, Ceylon, Madagascar, Persia and East Africa. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean culture groped along the coasts of Africa and Europe.
Art as an Indicator of Human Perception of the World
I believe that when we look at the mainstream art of a culture/period we can deduce from it how the mainstream population perceived the world. Look for two things in particular. (1) Perspective as indicated by use of shading and converging horizons and (2) organization of landscapes. When you see an artistic depiction of a landscape that is composed of “flat” objects dispersed without perspective and fairly disorganized, this is probably how the public understood their world (i.e., a series of vivid images that were not fully connected in space). On the other hand, when you see fully shaded objects with a consistent use of sunlight set carefully in a well framed and organized landscape, you can bet that the public understood dimensional relationships. The point of this discussion is that prior to the 1400s, paintings were often “flat.” People (even the professional artists) did not understand how the objects were arranged in three-dimensions. In the 1400s, people understood perspective and their paintings reflect this knowledge. From this knowledge (for the first time in western culture), people could look at the phases of the moon, the shadows of the sun, and the appearance and disappearance of objects “over the horizon” and deduce that the earth was indeed a sphere.
The Earth is a Sphere
In the 1400s, the folk concept that the earth was “flat” was subjected to intellectual consideration. Clearly the moon was a sphere. Although the concept of “gravity” was not articulated, there was no observational evidence that would preclude the idea that the “flat” areas of human experience were not actually small patches on the surface of a great sphere. Indeed, the sailors watched the mast of ships appear on the horizon before the hull and as they traveled distanced from home, the orientation of the stars in the sky changed predictably relative to the horizon. The navigators of the Mediterranean, forced to sail north and south in the Atlantic from Britain to Africa, were becoming more and more certain that they stood on a great sphere like the moon.
Fate determined that the wind and geography favored the navigators of the Mediterranean culture. The great gyres of air that drive the weather of the world are set into motion first by the rotation of the earth. The earth rotates toward the east, the wind at the equator, thus, appears to blow to the west as it is retarded by cosmic dust randomly impacting the atmosphere. But, this effect is overcome by the friction of the surface of the earth especially the large mountain ranges, which force the winds from the equator to bunch up and flow toward the poles. But, the air cannot escape and it reverses itself in northern and southern latitudes relative to the rotation of the earth. A wind blows in temperate latitudes away from the mass of Europe and Africa out into the Atlantic Ocean, but in Asia, the temperate breeze is along the south coast of Asia. The unfortunate Norse expended their adventurous efforts rowing against the wind and the currents. That they ever rowed beyond Britain was an indication of the fortitude and potential of this race. The navigators of Southern Europe studied the winds and developed empirical theories to predict the patterns.
The earth was a sphere. If the earth was a sphere, you could reach the land of the East (Asia) by sailing to the west. Moreover, with the tropical jet pushing your ship to the west, you could sail to the East (Asia) and continue back to you home in Europe or the Mediterranean, by continuing to sail to the west. Enough was known of Middle Eastern and African geography to expect that the final leg of such a global circumnavigation might be made by camel through Persia to Europe, but that would not be a major problem. It was the worst case. Full circumnavigation of the earth was the alternate plan; this was the insurance policy. Empirical data indicated that at the more polar latitudes, the winds were either neutral or favored travel in an easterly direction. This was the conventional plan of voyages (i.e., return in the opposite direction from the direction that you went). But, if that did not work, camels were not so bad.
It was not until 1492 that a navigator named Christopher Columbus financed by and sailing in the name of the monarchs of Spain attempted to sail directly west to the East. A Franciscan named Juan Perez was instrumental in listening to Columbus’s plan and presenting it to the monarchs in terms that they would understand and accept. Columbus arrived in the West Indies (thinking they were the East Indies) in October 1492. Spain and Portugal were the only powers in the race to the New World at the time and divide the New World between then with the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. From the Mediterranean, Amerigo Vespucci crossed the ocean and sighted South America. It was about then that it dawned on the Europeans that they had not discovered a new way to the East, but rather had discovered a whole new continent. Pedro Alvarez Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal in 1500.
Soon this news was circulating in Europe; and in 1497, the English King Henry VII dispatched John Cabot to find a Northwest Passage to Asia following the path blazed by the Vikings. But, the English did not have the power to conquer and establish colonies; they only came to seek a trading route to China.
11.2 The Spanish and the French (1492-1540)
Spanish Conquest of the New World
The discovery of an entirely New World heretofore unknown to the Europeans or the Asians presented an interesting problem. For all the Old World knew, the New World might be more advanced technically and economically. But, the first natives encountered in the New World were obviously not as sophisticated as the European culture in technical and military matters. The Europeans had stumbled upon a primitive world, similar to Africa, where the inhabitants could be conquered, Christianized, and assimilated as a servant class. Soon the maritime nations of Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, England and Holland) were engaged in a serious effort to exploit the commercial advantages of the New World.
The Spanish quickly explored and established garrisons in the islands of the Caribbean (Cuba Hispanola, Jamaica) and Panama. Young, ruthless, self-righteous Conquistadors fanned out from these strong holds.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa led a traitorous excursion through Panama and reached the Pacific Ocean in September 1513. It was still not certain that this was the path to Asia and it is pure luck that Balboa had picked the narrowest part of the American continents to cross. In the same year, Juan Ponce de Leon explored Florida. Balboa acquired a young protégé Hernando de Soto to whom he taught the finer points of pillage between 1513 and 1519 in Nicaragua.
From Panama and the Caribbean, the Spanish pushed north against the Aztecs and south against the Incas always in search of gold. Between 1519 and 1521, Hernando Cortés conquered the Aztec empire in central Mexico. Pizarro then turned to Peru in 1531 conquering the Incas by 1541. Hernando de Soto was one of Pizarro’s Conquistadors who became rich through these adventures.
Meanwhile, Fernando Magellan finally proved the theory that the world was indeed a sphere with his voyage around the world in 1519-1522. The Spanish had a commanding lead in the New World, but their knowledge was imperfect. Magellan had sailed around the southern tip of South America and followed its coast northward. Between his survey and the exploration of Pizarro and Cortez, the status of South America was fairly well established by 1535. North America was a different story. Panphilo de Narvaez had attempted to follow up Ponce de Leon’s discoveries in Florida concurrent with the destruction of the Incas. His expedition was a failure.
Hernando de Soto was, by now, a mature successful Conquistador. After the Peruvian expeditions he returned to Spain, married and sought recognition for further exploits from the Spanish crown. He did not want to find himself on the wrong side of power disputes as had Balboa. The Spanish decided to support explorations of North America in search of gold and a short route to the Orient. They sent Francisco Vazquez de Coronado to the northwest through Mexico and Hernando de Soto was given the task of completing the mission that de Narvaez had failed.
While the Spanish crown was conquering the new world from the Caribbean, the French had sent Giovanni de Verrazano in 1524 to a more northerly location; landing first in the Carolinas and then exploring the coast north to Nova Scotia. The plans of de Soto were based upon the experiences of Spanish explorers who had preceded him to Florida and the French who had extended the knowledge of the New World to the north.
The French and Spanish Dispute North Florida (1524 - 1572)
While the Spanish crown was conquering the New World from the Caribbean, the French had sent Giovanni de Verrazano in 1524 to a more northerly location; landing first in the Carolinas and then exploring the coast north to Nova Scotia. This established a French claim on a landmass north of La Florida. Meanwhile, Spanish priests and explorers (e.g., Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon) ventured in the Sea Islands along the Atlantic coast (Georgia-South Carolina) between 1526 and 1550 to establish missions among the Native Americans. These missions appear to have been between the Savannah and Congaree Rivers in present-day South Carolina and may have brought disease to the Natives of present-day South Carolina as discussed in the section on de Soto’s trek (1540). Juan Ponce de Leon explored southwestern Florida (1521) and Tristan de Luna y Arellano explored the Pensacola Bay area (1559). To keep peace among the European powers, the mapmakers through 1550 carefully drew maps that implied that the French claims were a separate landmass from La Florida. But, with the trek of Hernando de Soto, this wishful fiction became more and more untenable after 1544.
Concurrently, the French attempted to colonize the area contiguous to La Florida. To establish the extent of the Spanish claims, Jean Ribault (a Huguenot leader) landed a party near the Saint Johns River (now in north Florida at Jacksonville) in 1562. Although this imposing waterway would appear to be a natural divide between La Florida and the French claims, Ribault was wise enough to know that the Spanish were not going to swallow French occupation that far south without a fight. Thus, he moved north along the coast until he passed another large river (the Savannah River, which is now the border between Georgia and South Carolina). The Savannah River would have reasonably been considered the northern extent of La Florida. There he found an inlet with many Sea Islands and set up a colony on one of the larger and more inland islands (now Parris Island). The colony was centered on a crude fort called Charlesfort. Unfortunately, the Charlesfort colony failed and was abandoned in 1563.
The French apparently decided to push their luck in north Florida. Ribault’s protégé Rene De Laudonniere returned in 1564 he built fort La Caroline on a bluff on the south side of Saint Johns River; well inside the area of Spanish claims. Soon news of the French activities was transmitted to the Spanish authorities. Pedro Menendez de Aviles was sent to displace the French and establish a Spanish colony in the area to cement the Spanish claim. But, before he could attack, Ribault followed De Laudonniere from France with reinforcements. Nonetheless, the Spaniard drove off the French fleet and moved down the coast of Florida a few miles to a harbor of his liking. There he established his colony of Saint Augustine.
The French attempted to attack the Spanish in the harbor, but a terrible storm blew the French ships to the south and left them wrecked along the coast. As the French soldiers and sailors struggled out of the surf. The Spanish seized the opportunity to attack La Caroline where they killed the soldiers and took the women and children as prisoners.
Menendez then returned to his colony at Saint Augustine and led a column of soldiers south in search of French survivors of the storm. He found a group on the beach. After Menendez (Roman Catholic) told the French (Huguenots) that their fate would be “in the hands of God,” the French surrendered; whereupon, the Spanish put them to death as heretics.
This sort of treachery is not unusual among men confident in their religion. Indeed, several weeks later, Menendez discovered another group of French survivors to the south. Again, he made his offer, but part of the party refused his offer and returned south to the site of their wreck (in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral). Those who surrendered were put to death. Menendez followed the hapless French down the beach to a site where they were trying to reconstruct their ship and a fort. Again, he asked for the French to surrender and guaranteed clemency. Some of the French were persuaded but many said they would rather take their chances with the local natives (Ais tribe). Some of the French may have been taken to Cuba, but they may have simply been killed.
The Spanish colony of Saint Augustine prospered, and the Spanish occupied the French La Caroline renaming it Fuerte San Mateo. The Spanish also moved into the abandoned French Charlesfort (present-day Parris Island, SC) in 1566, and renamed it fort San Felipe, which was occupied until 1572. The island (now Parris Island) became a center for Spanish commerce and more forts were built on the south end of the island. The town was called Santa Elena and became the capital of La Florida.
11.3 Natives of Southeastern North America (1540-1544)
The Mississippian Moundbuilders (800-1500 AD)
About 800 AD, a culture of Native Americans began to flourish on the eastern banks of the middle Mississippi River (between present-day Saint Louis and Vicksburg). The Mississippian culture was based on agriculture principally corn (maize), beans and squash. These three crops allowed the tribal peoples to reduce their dependence on hunting and gathering and concentrate on building fixed villages. The steady and predictable food source allowed the population to grow until some communities had thousands of individuals.
One of the characteristics of the culture was the construction of mounds of earth shaped like truncated (flattop) rectangular pyramids. Some of these reached heights of 100 feet and required millions of labor hours to construct. The mounds were apparently the podium from which the chief-priest could address his people and where the elders could conduct the business of the tribe. The culture was essentially later Stone Age (refined stone tools) with the introduction of clay pottery.
The technology of agriculture spread eastward up the alluvial valleys of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers. Near present-day Nashville, TN major populations emerged along the Cumberland River in central Tennessee.
For reasons that are unclear (many hypotheses, but no facts), the Mississippians abandoned (disappeared from) their traditional sites about 1450 AD (before significant European influence). However, it is widely believed that the tribes and confederacies existing in the Southeast when de Soto traversed the area (1540-43) were descendants (cultural and genetic) of the Mississippians.
The major Native Americans of the interior of the Southeast were the Creeks (western South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, eastern Mississippi), Choctaw (western Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas), Cherokee (eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina).
The Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribes
The tradition of the tribes on the east bank the lower Mississippi River holds that originally they were one tribe living in the Southwest. Because of constant disputes with their neighbors and other hardships, the decided to leave and migrate to a new land. The tribe split into two parts led by two brother chiefs (Choctaw and Chickasaw) who selected the direction of travel by setting a post I the ground each evening and traveling in the direction that it leaned in the morning. In this manner, they moved east and crossed the Mississippi River. The followers of Choctaw felt that they had reached their goal and settled immediately. The followers of Chickasaw continued east and then returned west eventually settling north of the Choctaws. These may have been the prototypical Mississippians and may have given rise to the Creek tribes.
The Creek Confederacy (1450 - 1540)
The Creek Confederacy containing about a dozen tribes was the largest grouping in the Southeast. They shared the Muskogean language, ceremonies and village-types; and their tradition indicated that they had migrated from the west. The Europeans coined the name “Creek” from the tribe found living on the Ocheese Creek (Ocmulgee River). Their towns (Italwa) were centered on plazas with a rotunda made of poles set into the ground and caulked with mud. The rotunda was apparently the council meeting room. The Plaza became the site of ceremonies.
The government was based upon a chief and assistant (deputy or speaker). It is not clear how the chief was chosen, but there did not appear to be royal family. The most striking example of Creek mound-building is found at Etowah Mounds northwest of present-day Atlanta, GA.
Sometime in the 1500s, the Creek and the Cherokee came into conflict. Likely, the Cherokee were pushing out of the mountains and into the flatter lands of northern Georgia. There was a large battle at Slaughter gap (Lumpkin Co., Georgia) after which the Creek retreated south of the Etowah River. Subsequently, further encroachment and attacks by the Cherokee first drove the Creek south in Georgia to the Chatahoochee and Thronateekee (Flint) Rivers. Then the Cherokee drove west to the Coosa River in Alabama cutting the traditional Creek Confederacy into Upper Creek tribes and Lower Creek tribes.
The Cherokee Before 1540
Unlike the Creeks and the Choctaw-Chickasaws, the Cherokee appear to have migrated southward along the Appalachian Mountains.
Archaeologists have dated the Cherokee tribe to the time 1000-1500 AD (a.k.a., the Pisgah phase) in the southern Appalachians. During this time, the tribe ranged throughout the southern mountains, but most habitation sites are identified in alluvial valleys along the French Broad and Pigeon rivers around Asheville, North Carolina. These sites consist of small villages (1 to 5 acres) of rectangular houses inside a wall. All these structures were build on upright wooden posts set into the ground. The Pisgah-phase Cherokee grew maize, beans and squash, but their diet was enriched with many wild fruits, nuts, greens and berries. Of course, they hunted animals including turkey and deer.
Like most tribes of the late Stone Age, the Pisgah Cherokee used the available minerals to make tools: Chert and quartz was converted into triangular arrowheads, drills, and scrapers. Granite and gneiss were ground and polished as necessary to make axes, mauls, hammers, chisels, grinding stones, mortar and pestles. Mica was cut for decoration. Clay was dried and sometimes fired to make small ceramics including jars and bowls. A few marine shells arrived in trade from the coast (200 miles away) and were used for prized decorations and jewelry.
The Pisgah culture was followed 1500-1850 with the Qualla culture, which seemed to incorporate elements from the south and west.
11.4 Hernando de Soto’s Trek (1540-1544)
The path followed by Hernando de Soto’s expedition is still debated. The eastern portion (Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee) which is the most relevant to our story is less subject to gross errors than the western portion (Mississippi Valley). Here we will only consider the eastern section and for that I prefer the interpretation of Donald E. Sheppard who has published his ideas on the Internet (www.floridahistory.com). In particular, his projected path is I believe consistent with natural pathways that were in effect at the time the Europeans first routinely interacted with the Native Americans in this area (e.g., 1725-1775), which was only about 200 years after de Soto (a.k.a., Desoto).
The path that Hernando de Soto followed through the peninsula of Florida starting in March 1540 is still the subject of archeological and historical interpretation. But, by November 1540, he had seen what he wanted to see in the peninsula and was ready to move north from the present-day “Florida pan-handle.” He started with about 600 Spanish soldiers, priests, adventurers and businessmen equipped with around 300 horses, numerous pigs (traveling food), and firearms. As usual, they were motivated to fine riches for themselves, territory of the Spanish monarch, and, last but not least, souls for the Roman Catholic Church. On and in the immediate vicinity of the peninsula, they encountered small tribes of coastal natives who were easily subdued. But, the interior was held by more powerful tribes of the Creek confederation and de Soto had found a Native boy who claimed to be from a tribe of wealth to the northeast. DeSoto’s route of exploration, thus, angled to the northeast across Georgia passing near present-day Macon and crossing the Savannah River just south of Present-day Augusta. The journals of the explorers mention the use of deerskins for clothing and cane to build houses in central Georgia. The Creek Natives of this area indicated that a powerful chief (Coosa of the Cherokee) lived to the north. A section of the Cherokee territory projected to the southeast between the Oconee and the Ogeechee Rivers.
From a local Chief (Ocute) who paid homage to Coosa of the Cherokee, de Soto acquired several hundred Native porters to assist in carrying their loads. Here de Soto also left a cannon that he had brought on the trip. They moved east and encountered another Chief (Patofa) who was at war with the tribe north of the Savannah River. Chief Patofa loaned de Soto even more men (about 800) as porter and warriors. Desoto did not realize it, but he was being used to spearhead a military expedition by the coastal tribe near Savannah, Georgia into central South Carolina. About the middle of April, the expedition crossed into South Carolina where they had heard that “the Lady of Cofitachiqui [Co-chee-ta-chee-kee]” ruled.
The Lady of Cofitachiqui
Desoto led his men across the uplands of South Carolina to the first rise of the Blue Ridge by the end of April 1540. The expedition ran low on food, but they soon located a town with food (near present-day Orangeburg). The Spanish were getting impatient about locating food and gold. They had heard about the “Lady of Cofitachiqui [Co-chee-ta-chee-kee]” and started demanding that the Natives guide them to her. Desoto did not realize that he was traveling with a war party of her worst enemies. Apparently, the Natives of South Carolina had been instructed to misdirect or at least not aid the Spanish and the warriors of Patofa. In the end, the Spanish burned one of the Natives at the stake and the others talked. However, de Soto belatedly realized what damage the warriors of Patofa were doing and sent them home.
On the last day of April 1540, de Soto sent his scout Captain Juan de Anasco north to the junction of the Santee and the Congaree Rivers [known to the Spanish as the Santa Elena River] where the village of “Cofitachiqui [Co-chee-ta-chee-kee]” was located (present-day Columbia, SC). His expedition soon crossed the Saluda and de Soto met the “Lady of Cofitachiqui [Co-chee-ta-chee-kee].” The description of The Lady is unlike any other North American encounter. She was carried on a sofa and members of her court were richly adorned with the skins of mountain lions (not deer) and pearls (but gold was not among the decorations). Obviously, she was some sort of royalty. Moreover, the Spanish found evidence that the population of the area had been reduced radically within the recent past (there were numerous rich graves and whole towns had been abandoned and were showily being overgrown by the forest). They also found evidence that these Natives had been in contact with Spanish explorers (believed to be the ones who attempted unsuccessfully to settle near Charleston, SC, i.e., lawyer Ayllon). From these facts, Donald E. Sheppard deduces that the tribe (which appears to be a Cherokee-related group) had been decimated by disease of European origin. The Spanish also were introduced to a nearby town Talimeco (present-day Camden) where a trace of gold was found in the river. This tribe/group based part of its affluence upon the use of slaves captured from other tribes. The slaves were kept from running away by cutting nerves in one foot, which made walking slow and prevented running.
Many of de Soto’s men wished to settle in this fertile country, but de Soto was in search of portable wealth; not soil. He inquired and was told that the next powerful chief was located about 12-days journey to the west at the town of Chiaha . He thus started west, taking The Lady with him against her will on the 12th of May 1540. They soon arrived at present-day Union, SC where the first Cherokee were encountered.
The Cherokee encountered here were relatively poor, living naked, raising corn and hunting deer and turkey. Desoto moved via Guaquili (Wa-kee-lee, present-day Spartanburg) to a canebrake (at Inman) and on to a savannah (at Landrum). On 21 May 1540, the party arrived at Xuala (Saluda, present-day Tryon, NC) on the Blue Ridge. This area was still the territory nominally held by “The Lady,” but the Cherokee were beginning to intrude over the mountains possibly because of the reduction in her tribe’s population and because of pressure from tribes to the west.
Across the Continental Divide
Beyond the Blue Ridge, the expedition was in mountainous terrain. The path of least resistance to the west carries the foot-traveler via present-day Hendersonville, across the French Broad River to the Cherokee town of Guaxule (Wa-salu-lee, present-day Asheville). The Spanish realized that these rivers did not flow to the east. Naturally, they mistook the tributaries of the French Broad River as the headwaters of the Mississippi (the “Great River”).
At the French Broad, The Lady was allowed to return to her home. The encounter with The Lady was almost surreal and probably has led many analysts to doubt the veracity of the Spanish accounts. However, The Lady can be explained as a product of a post-apocalyptic tribe (i.e., probably 75% of the tribe had been wiped out by disease within the last generation) leaving a small corps of heirs to all the valuables of many. The Lady’s people soon squandered their wealth and were overtaken by other tribes.
The Spaniards traveled on to Guaxule (Asheville) where they rested several days. Then they moved west via present-day Canton and Waynesville to Sylva. From there, they picked up the Tuckasegee River, which became larger after the confluence with the Ocono Luftee. In a few days, they camped across the river from the mouth of Deep Creek (present-day Bryson City).
The path from present-day Bryson City led west past Alarka and crossed the Little Tennessee River as it joins the Tuckasegee River. Sheppard places Chiaha on or near present-day Sawyer Creek (79 miles from Asheville and 15 miles from Bryson City) . Chiaha is described by the Spanish as being on a large (13-mile-long) island. Sheppard rationalizes this description as a parcel of land cut off by mountains and creeks, and he may be correct. However, on the Timberlake map compiled circa 1770, there was a “great island” at the village of Mialoquo at the confluence of the Little Tennessee and the Tellico Rivers another 30 miles down stream. I do not see anything in Sheppard’s notes on the Spanish expedition (except the reference to distance) that would rule out moving Chiaha to the confluence of the Tellico and the Little Tennessee. As a matter of fact, the story makes more sense if that is the case. I believe this may have been and outpost of the Chickasaw (Chia-ha-saw) tribe with whom the Cherokee periodically warred and who the Cherokee soon displaced down the Tennessee River into western Alabama and northern Mississippi. Indeed, it may have been de Soto’s expedition that allowed the Cherokee to overthrow the Chickasaw overlords (circa the spring of 1541), as we will see below.
On the Great Island, de Soto met the great chief (i.e., Chiaha; apparently not Coosa Lord of the Cherokees) on the 5th of June 1540. The Spaniards rested and explored (looked for gold) for about 30 days. They amused themselves with pearls, which were in great abundance, but they opined that the Natives ruined the pearls by heating them. Chief Chiaha indicated to de Soto that gold (yellow metal) could be found in the mountains and provided guides to visit the site. Sheppard believes the site was at Knoxville and (assuming that Chiaha was near Fontana) explains that the Spaniards reported going over the mountains to Knoxville. I do not believe this is reasonable because not even the Natives would go over the mountains to Knoxville from Fontana. It would be much easier to go down the river to the big island and then via present-day Marysville to Knoxville. It makes more sense to believe that the Spanish scouts and their guides left the big island (at the confluence of the Tellico and the Little Tennessee) and traveled into the hills in the Ducktown-Copper Hill area. The scouts returned (or caught up with the main party) with stories of copper mines, not gold. From here, the main party continued down the Tennessee to present-day Chattanooga, TN.
Lord Coosa of the Cherokee
Desoto entered present-day Georgia-Alabama and met Lord Coosa on 16 July 1540. The great chief was transported in a carrying-chair by his lead men. He wore furs and feathers. The Spanish reports make the claims that Coosa offered all he owned to de Soto. This is, of course, nonsense. Desoto took him as a hostage and moved his army to present-day Fort Payne, AL. He quartered his men in the homes of the Cherokee as he passed through their territory. The Cherokee were taken as slaves.
It was mid-summer and de Soto needed to start thinking about his winter option. The original plan was for him to return to Mobile Bay to pick up supplies or be evacuated. He stayed around the Rome-Fort Payne area for about 30 days. The party moved south and passed the Etowah mounds before picking up the Coosa River towards the west. This was in mid-August. Desoto was headed into the lands of the Creeks to meet Chief Tuscaloosa. The Spanish traveled down to the junction with the Tallapoosa River, where they finally released Chief Coosa into the hands of the hostile Creek tribes who killed him.
Chief Tuscaloosa of the Creek Tribes
Chief Tuscaloosa was a giant of a man. He met the Spanish somewhere on the Coosa River. The Spaniards, uncharacteristically, report him to have been uncooperative and sent them down the Coosa to the Cahaba River to the location of Paichi (modern Selma, AL). The Spanish report arriving at a town called Mavilli (on the Alabama River about 100 miles above Mobile believed to be Prairie Bluff) on the 18th October with Chief Tuscaloosa. Apparently, Tuscaloosa had prepared an ambush for the Spaniard’s advance guard (including de Soto). They trapped them inside the palisade of the town and shot arrows at them. Desoto broke out, and with his army coming up in force, a three-hour battle erupted. At that point, the Creek warriors barricaded themselves inside their town and the Spanish attacked breaking down the gates. Fighting lasted more hours inside the town. Desoto himself was wounded in the hip. Predictably, the town caught fire and burned. In the end, the Spanish lost about 25 dead with hundreds wounded. The Creeks that were there were almost wiped out (men, women, and children).
Surprisingly, from this battle, de Soto concluded that he should not go to Mobile, but rather should seek winter quarters inland. Apparently, de Soto wanted to prevent his men from mutiny, which he believed would happen if they though they could simply wait for the ships. Thus, after rest and healing for four weeks, he abruptly turned his expedition to the north.
The Winter of 1540-1541
What happened next is a major point of departure between Sheppard and conventional historians. According to Sheppard, Desoto moved his expedition north into western Tennessee where he wintered 1540-1541. Sheppard puts the route through Tuscaloosa and Muscle Shoals. Conventional historians assume that de Soto went west into Mississippi. Whether Sheppard is correct or not, his theory is very interesting. First off, it seems illogical that Desoto would do anything but go to Mobile and re-supply after the hard-fought battle at Mavilli. It was late in the year and getting cold (even in Alabama). As best anyone can tell, he did not even send scouts to the bay to see if the ships were there. One possibility is that he knew the ships were not there or perhaps he was not sure he could fine them.
Sheppard’s entire hypothesis rests on the idea that de Soto needed to prevent desertion. Thus, he moved away from the coast (and across a major obstacle, i.e., the Tennessee River) before stopping. The only flaw I find in Sheppard’s argument is that de Soto would have had to be a brilliant and ruthless gambler to do that.
Since he showed almost no interest in going to Mobile Bay, I would conclude that he knew the ships were not there and he more than likely moved west to pick up the Mississippi River.
If I am right, de Soto had first encountered a Chickasaw (Chia-ha-saw) at their outpost on the big island at the confluence of the Tellico and Little Tennessee. The chief there was Chiaha. Now, de Soto was in the home territory of the tribe and on 3 January 1541 he met the major chief of the Chicasa (Chia-ha-sah).
In the spring, the Chickasaw (Chia-ha-sah) attacked the Spanish in their winter quarters. In the rout, they killed several Spanish and captured horses. Moreover, the village was burned down with much of the Spaniards’ equipment and clothing. The Spanish marched on west from this battle leaving the Chickasaw to recover their lives. The Spaniards reached the Mississippi River (1541) and were forced to turn south wandering in present-day Louisiana and Texas for nearly a year. De Soto died of disease on May 23, 1542.
It is likely that the presence of de Soto’s expedition forced the Chickasaw to withdraw their expeditions from the east (i.e., from the Chrrokee) and function more and more like a “little brother” to the larger Creek Confederacy.
Spanish Explorers after de Soto
There were several Spanish explorations in Southeastern North America after de Soto. In 1560, Tristian de Luna attempted to return to the bountiful country of central Alabama where he hoped to settle. Hernando Boyano and Juan Pardo explored for gold among the Cherokee in 1566-67. They were reportedly successful and mining and smelting operations are said to have been conducted to as late as 1690.
Meanwhile the British had settled in Virginia (1607). They first contacted the Cherokee in the north (near present-day Richmond), but they did not penetrate into the heart of Cherokee territory until about 100 years after Juan Pardo. James Needham and Gabrial Arthur were the first British subjects to reach Chota (on the Little Tennessee) in 1673. There were sent by Abraham Wood from Virginia who hoped to establish trade with the Cherokee similar to the trade that was beginning between the Cherokee the Charles Town settlement of (South) Carolina. In his letter book, Needham described Chota as follows:
“The town of Chote is seated on ye river side, having ye clifts on ye river side on ye one side being very high for its defence, the other three sides trees of two foot or over, pitched on end, twelve foot high, and on ye topps scaffolds placed with parrapets to defend the walls and offend theire enemies which men stand on to fight, many nations of Indians inhabit downe this river . . . which they the Cherokees are at warre with and to that end keepe one hundred and fifty canoes under ye command of theire forts. ye leaste of them will carry twenty men, and made sharpe at both ends like a wherry for swiftness, this forte is four square; 300: paces over and ye houses sett in streets.”
11.5 The English Challenge to Spanish Dominance (1540-1588)
Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake (1543-1596) was born in Devonshire to a seafaring family in about 1543. His older cousin John Hawkins introduced him to extended sea voyages as by about 1565 they traveled to Guinea to collect slaves for transport to the New World. He proved to be an efficient sailor and commander and was given the command of a ship in Hawkin’s squadron.
Hawkins was a practicing privateer and recklessly led his squadron against a Spanish treasure fleet off the coast of Mexico at Vera Cruz. Only two battered English ships survived and they were laying up for repairs when captured by the Spanish. The cruel Spanish justice meted out to the English was sufficient to motivate Drake for the rest of his life.
Once back in England, Drake raised his own squadron and made three successful forays to the New World plundering the Spanish. Like Balboa years before, he marched across the isthmus of Panama in 1572 and caught a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. This sparked a desire for him to sail to the Pacific coast of South America to raid the Spanish outposts there.
Returning again to England he obtained some support
from the royal court of Queen Elizabeth I and set out to the Pacific in 1577 in
the Golden Hind and a squadron of four other ships. The English needed to
establish themselves in the Pacific where the Spanish currently held a monopoly.
In the Straits of Magellan, all his ships except the Golden Hind either turned
back or were lost. Nonetheless, on the western coast of South America, he
attacked treasure ships and outpost and took the gold and silver that the
Spanish plundered from the natives. He went as far north as California and
established a claim for England. By this time, his ship was ballasted with
precious metals rather than ordinary rocks. The Spanish were thoroughly aroused
and a return trip around the southern tip of South America was unattractive.
Thus, he sailed west to become the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world
arriving back in England in November 1580.
The Queen was very please with the result of his three-year voyage and honored him with knighthood. He was now Sir Francis Drake.
Conflict in the New World (1585-1588)
Drake’s exploits as a privateer were thinly disguised aggression to the Spanish. His acknowledgment by Elizabeth I confirmed that he was not acting as a lone pirate but rather as an agent of the English crown. It was time for King Philip of Spain to snuff out this upstart and aggressive Tudor English monarchy before they started building an empire to challenge his own.
War became a reality in 1585. Drake successfully led English squadrons against Spanish ships and ports in the West Indies trade routes. But, it was clear that the Spanish were contemplating an attack on England itself. Perhaps a direct landing and conquest was possible, but more likely the Spanish would need to move their army either to Ireland or the Netherlands where they had Catholic allies. From these bases, an assault directly on England could be launched.
In a preemptive strike, Drake led a fleet to Cadiz, Spain and succeeded in destroying enough ships to buy England time to build up her navy. But, King Philip would not be deterred; England must be subdued.
By 1588, the English were a seafaring nation. They had armies, but they developed their navy as an independent force, not merely a transport service for their army. The navy was intended to fight primarily by maneuvering its cannon into position and attacking the opposing ships.
Meanwhile, the Spanish, certainly traveled the seas, but they did so much more at the mercy of the winds. The Spanish navigators had discovered and exploited these currents in the air and the idea of transoceanic voyages against the wind was not in the Spanish plans. Moreover, the Spanish ships were designed with high castles that were intended for boarding enemy ships after the cannon had been used to cut down their mast. The Spanish ship was an infantry-fighting platform. This design made them even less maneuverable. Nonetheless, from 1492-1588, the Spanish were exceptionally successful in the New World at forcing landings and conducting land battles.
Finally, the religious and commercial friction between Spain and England were too much to ignore. It became clear that Spain was not content to fight the English in the New World alone and that they desired a decisive battle in the English homeland.
The Attempted Conquest of England (The Spanish Armada, 1588)
King Philip II of Spain conspired with Duke Parma in the Spanish Netherlands to drag the English into peace negotiation intended to undermine the will of the English to prepare their defenses while he could assemble a fleet for war. The Spanish plan was to sail from Portugal (now under Spanish control) across the Bay of Biscay and through the English Channel to Dunkirk in the Spanish Netherlands . In the process, the Spanish war fleet (Armada) would destroy, runoff, or at least dominate the English fleet. Then troops from the Armada and from the Spanish Netherlands would be ferried across to England where they would force a landing and proceed to conquer the English on land. An alternative plan to land first in southern Ireland and then invade western England was considered, but southern Ireland was a very poor and desolate country. England had been successfully invaded across the channel by Caesar (55 BC) and William (1066). Thus, the plan seemed feasible if the Spanish fleet could defeat the English fleet.
The Spanish assembled an invasion fleet of 125 ships commanded by Duke of Medina Sedonia at Lisbon, Portugal and sailed on 11 May 1588. The English navy commanded by Lord Howard with Sir Francis Drake second in command was waiting. So was the weather. In three weeks of floundering, the cumbersome Spanish Armada managed only to move up the coast to Corunna still south of the Bay of Biscay. The Armada re-assembled there until 20 July.
The English were not oblivious to the Spanish efforts and contemplated a preemptive strike against the Armada at anchor in Corunna. But, the Spanish fleet set sail and was not spotted by the English until 29 July when the entered the Channel off Plymouth. Over the next several days the Spanish fleet was harassed and failed to land at potential sites west of the Isle of Wright. By 5 August, they were off the Sussex coast. The English maintained the windward position and received new provisions from shore as they followed the Spanish up the Channel. The Spanish moved to the south side of the Channel apparently oblivious to the fact that they would not be able to cross shallow shoals to enter Dunkirk harbor as anticipated.
The Spanish anchored off Calais. One evening the English, who had accomplished little with their cannon, attacked the anchored Spanish ships with fireships. However, the Spanish safely set sail and escaped from these drifting bonfires.
The Spanish fleet, however, was in danger of being cast up on the shoals. Thus, their warships turned and fought the battle of Gravelines (between Dunkirk and Calais) to keep the English warships away while the bulk of the Armada could find open water. The battle, led by Drake, went well for the English and was broken off in the evening with substantial casualties among the Spanish ships and crews. Howarth (1981) seeks an explanation for the effectiveness of the English cannon while the Spanish barely harmed the English ships. The speculation, based upon examination of Spanish guns and shot, was that the Spanish were failed by their weapons. Regardless, the Spanish fleet now was in danger of running aground and the spirit had been taken out of them.
The remainder of the Spanish experience was a painful voyage circumnavigating the British Isles with a progressive loss of ships. The Spanish were able to obtain some refuge among the Irish, but attempted the invasion of England was a disaster.
11.6 Immigration from France to England and the New World
The Huguenots (1555 - 1600)
The French Huguenots began immigrating to the New World in the 1500s. One of their leaders in the mid-16th Century was Admiral Gaspard de Goligny who attempted to establish a Huguenot colony in Brazil about 1555 only to have it wiped out by the Portuguese in 1557.
Beginning in 1561, under Charles IX of France the situation for French Protestants became more tenuous. A Royal edict which allowed Protestants to be imprisoned and have their property confiscated forced Huguenots to flee from the Low Countries, Picardy, Artois and Flanders across the English Channel into Kent. Protestants were murdered at Vassy. In spite of attempts at reconciliation, the first battle leading to a French Civil war took place at Dreux in early 1562 followed by the siege of Rouen.
On 18 February 1562 Huguenots set sail for North Florida (present-day Georgia) hoping to find a place to settle between the Spanish (in present-day Florida) and the English (in Virginia). In 1564, the French settled Fort Caroline in North Florida, but in September 1565, the colony was slaughtered by the Spanish who were motivated by religious and nationalistic ideals. The French re-captured the fort in 1558.
In the period 1567-1568, more middle-class Huguenots from France settled in England (Maidstone lace makers, glass works in London, and others to Bedford, Oxford, Northampton, and Cambridge). In France, King Charles IX gave the Huguenots indications that things were going to change for the between and that they could be secure in their home country. They were lulled into a false sense of security, which abruptly ended with the 24 August 1572 St. Bartholomew’s day massacre in Paris and other cities in which thousands of Protestants were killed. The killing continued into October and a new civil war ensued. The St. Bartholemew’s Massacre signaled the beginning of a large-scale exodus of Huguenots from Paris to London, Geneva, and Amsterdam.
The death of Charles IX and accession of Henry III of France in 1574 established a religious truce and slowed the Huguenot exodus. In England, Huguenots in Winchester relocated to Canterbury.
War within France and between France and Spain continued until 1598 with the death of Philip II of Spain. The Edict of Nantes was signed on 13 April 1598 and returned civil and religious freedoms to the Protestants.
French Colonization in the North (1599-1754)
Resolution of the overt religious hostilities in France between Protestants and Catholics in 1588 allowed France to begin the systematic colonization of the New World. However, most of those people who have the courage, means and motive to immigrate had already fled from France over the last 25 years. These Huguenots who might have given the French a wave of highly motivated settlers to build a New France in the New World, were instead scattered around Europe living as refugees. A lot of these families would ultimately find their way to the New World, but their arrival would not be under the French flag. If they had not already gone to southern England, they would likely land in the New World and promptly swear allegiance to the British Crown.
Nonetheless, the French established a colony on Sable Island of Nova Scotia and in 1599, King Henry IV of France commissioned Pierre Charivia to colonize the Saint Lawrence River. For about the next 150 years, the French would explore and settle north of the British colonies. But, these settlements seldom grew beyond trading post. Ultimately, the failure for the French to effectively channel its disaffected minorities into colonial migrations would cost it all but superficial representation in North America.
Part 12: Probing the New World (1492 - 1600)
12.1 Valuable Discoveries in the New World
Tobacco in the New World (1492-1585)
Tobacco has grown in the New World for thousands of years. The Native Americans discovered is pharmacological effects (now attributed primarily to the alkaloid nicotine) and the drug was used widely by the time of Christ. By the time Columbus arrived, the natives had invented the cigar and he was offered gifts of fragrant dried leaves, which he soon threw away.
Soon the Spanish explores Jerez and Torres, who were searching in Cuba still under the impression they were in Cathay, observed the natives smoking the dried leaves and followed suit. Jerez soon fell victim to the addictive effects of nicotine and was carried the habit with him back to Spain. Throughout the Caribbean expeditions and conquests into 1530, the Spanish observed the native habit of smoking. But, few Europeans were induced to take up the habit until a missionary in Mexico (1530, Bernardino de Sahagun) recognized that there were two species of the plant: sweet (Nicotiana tabacum) and foul (Nicotiana rustica). Shortly thereafter, the Spanish began cultivating tobacco in Santo Domingo, Cuba (1534). By 1560, tobacco was introduced to France, Portugal and Spain. Sir Francis Drake brought tobacco to England in 1573 and tobacco usage was associated with the seafaring profession until 1580. At this point, tobacco usage spread over the entire continent of Europe.
The initial reaction to tobacco was that it was a novel drug and could be used for medicinal as well as creature comforts. It was too rare and expensive for the general public in Europe, but in the New World its extensive use began to draw an anti-smoking backlash. In 1575, the Catholic Church in Mexico implemented rules against smoking in places of worship.
In what was to become a momentous event, Sir Francis Drake introduced Sir Walter Raleigh to tobacco smoking in 1585.
Sir Walter Raleigh in the Court of Queen Elizabeth
Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) was born into a well-connected extended family of Devon, England in 1552. His family home was Hayes Barton on the edge of Woodbury Common. The family has been described as “Protestant gentry.” His mother’s first marriage had produced two half brothers, Humphrey and John Gilbert. Raleigh was also a distant relative of John Hawkins and Francis Drake. Seafaring adventure was in his blood. In the 1570s, Raleigh soldiered in France and Ireland. When his company was disbanded in 1581, he came to the court of Elizabeth bearing dispatches.
At the royal court, he became a favorite and a protector of Queen Elizabeth I . In 1581, be became Captain of the Royal Guards, and about 1583, he received a large estate (42,000 acres) near Youghall (counties Cork and Waterford) in Ireland (Munster Plantation) . In 1584, he became a Member of Parliament. From Elizabeth’s view, he was too valuable to risk in foreign adventures. Thus, Raleigh who was a very intelligent and educated man explored the New World by proxy. He organized and commissioned several voyages to the New World in this fashion. Although the Spanish had discovered the potato in Peru (in 1537) and introduced it to Spain, it was not popular in Europe until one of Raleigh’s expeditions led by Thomas Hariot brought potatoes to Raleigh’s estate in Ireland about 1586. Raleigh apparently was fascinated with New World crops and recognized the potential importance of the potato in the Irish economy.
About this time, Sir Humphrey Gilbert conceived of thinning the English population through colonization of America, if necessary the American natives would be displaced or destroyed. He landed a party in Newfoundland, but he was lost at sea on his return to England and the colony failed. This apparently spurred Raleigh to the idea of colonizing further south. He sent a ship named the Raleigh to the area along the mid-Atlantic coast of North America and took possession of the land in the name of Queen Elizabeth I. Paying attention to the source of his support, he named the area “Virginia” in honor of “the Virgin Queen.” For this, he was knighted and named Lord Governor of Virginia.
In this same time frame, Richard Grenville (another Protestant from the western counties of England) became interested in establishing English colonies in South America near the mouth of the Orinoco River. Unfortunately, the Spanish already had strong settlements in the area where they grew tobacco. The English focus moved east along the coast of South America and ultimately focused in what is now Guyana (the only English-speaking country in South America). Grenville was notorious anti-Spanish/anti-Catholic. He served in Parliament (c. 1571-4) and was knighted, but Queen Elizabeth I had to keep him in the background to avoid offending domestic and foreign powers. War with Spain was clearly on its way and Grenville was given the task of fortifying the harbor of Dover (1583-84). By 1588, Grenville and Raleigh had established land defenses and signally beacons along the Cornwall and Devon coast. Raleigh also arranged for the construction of the Ark Royal (800 tons, four masts, crew of 270) as part of his contribution to the English naval preparations. This ship led the English fleet during the fighting against the Armada .
In 1585, Sir Richard Grenville was dispatched by Sir Walter Raleigh with seven ships to colonize Virginia. After landing his party, he set out to England to bring more supplies. On his way home in November, he encountered a Spanish ship sailing for Spain from Santo Domingo. The Spaniard attacked, but Grenville prevailed. Early the next year, he returned to the Virginia colony, but the colonists had been taken off by Francis Drake. With no other business in the New World, Grenville sailed east to the Azores where he attacked and plundered the Spanish towns.
The next attempt at colonization was ill-fated. In 1587 Raleigh sent families to Roanoke Island on the eve of the Spanish Armada’s arrival. By the time the excitement in England had subsided and Raleigh’s representatives returned in 1590, the colony was “lost.” It received special attention because it had been the first sustained English colony in North America and the first English child of the New World was born there.
In 1591, the Spanish established a small town on the south shore of the Orinoco River where the Caroni River joins it from the south. This town became called Saint (Santo) Thome and was the focal point of Spanish authority in old Guiana.
The first evidence of trouble for Sir Walter Raleigh came when he courted one of the Queen’s maids of honor (Bessie Throckmorton, who became pregnant in 1591, the child did not survive much past April 1592). The Queen was decidedly miffed and had Raleigh and Throckmorton tossed into the Tower of London in August 1592. But, he was released from the Tower in September to oversee the distribution of spoils when one of his ships returned with a substantial treasure plundered from the Madre de Dios. Soon, he married his love and moved to Sherborne, Dorset.
As an aside, the timing of Raleigh's 1592 incarceration is interesting because the first "Shakespeare plays" (i.e., Henry VI, parts I, II, III) appeared anonymously at this time. Richard III also dates from this period. Concurrently, William Shakespeare was publishing narrative poems and sonnets Venus and Adonis with his name on the title page and a dedication by his patron Southampton. In 1594, Shakespeare published Lucrece dedicated to Southampton. The subject matter and form (play rather than poem) of the historical plays seems inconsistent. Raleigh might have written them and later allowed Shakespeare to claim them.
In 1595, Raleigh sailed to old Guiana, up the Orinoco and destroyed the recently established Spanish village of San Thome. The Spanish reinforced the village, but the following year (April 1596) Captain Keymiss, an associate of Raleigh also attacked the town. Regardless, by 1598, the Spanish had expanded the village with about 150 soldiers. During this first voyage, Raleigh may have seen tobacco growing at San Thome, but probably did not recognize its importance.
Raleigh's most spectacular sea victory occurred in 1596, when commanding Warspite he breached the defenses of Cadiz harbor and led a combined English-Dutch fleet to sink several major Spanish ships and plunder the city. (Raleigh was not the leader of the expedition, but he ended up physically leading the attack.) In the process, the Saint Philip, which had been Grenville's undoing in the Azores, was destroyed. Raleigh was wounded in the leg. However, he recovered and returned to favor at Elizabeth's court. There, he became a rival of his colleague the Earl of Essex (a possible heir to Elizabeth), who was also a hero of the Cadiz victory. Essex was eventually given a large army to put down the rebellion of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. This campaign (1599) was poorly run and accomplished very little. Raleigh sold his Irish plantation to Sir Richard Boyle in 1602.
It is relevant that in 1601, Essex and Southampton (Shakespeare's patron) were accused to treason. Essex was executed (February 1601) and Southampton was imprisoned in the Tower of London where Raleigh joined him in 1603. Shakespeare's Hamlet was published in 1602.
Unfortunately, for Raleigh and Protestants in general, Queen Elizabeth I (the Virgin Queen) died in 1603. It was awkward for the English to realize that the nearest royal blood was in the body of James VI of Scotland (son of Mary Stewart; Elizabeth’s cousin and Catholic) . Nonetheless, the English invited James Stewart to become James the I of England as well as James the VI of Scotland (i.e., Union of the Crowns). James (reign 1603-1625), thus, became the monarch over two separate countries under the name “Great Britain.” As a concession to the French, James spelled his name “Stuart.” The Union Jack was adopted as the national flag in 1606; the King James version of the Bible was published in 1611.
Raleigh was accused as plotting against James and imprisoned in 1603. The charges had overtones of witchcraft (anti-church) as well as treason. Raleigh was very effective in his own defense and avoided execution; at least it was postponed for 15 years. While living out his days in the Tower of London, Raleigh grew his own tobacco, wrote poetry, and wrote The History of the World (which was printed in 1614) with the support of Prince Henry of Wales (heir apparent to James I). Unfortunately, Prince Henry died of typhoid fever in the autumn of 1612. Raleigh's History was (officially) stopped at 168 BC.
Shakespeare "retired" about 1612. Raleigh's History was published in 1614. (See http://www.sirbacon.org/links/chronos.html; and http://daphne.palomar.edu/Shakespeare/timeline/timeline.htm.)
Ironically, Raleigh was released from prison in 1616 to lead an expedition to Guiana in search of gold to save King James from a staggering debt. The story of Sir Walter Raleigh will be completed in later chapters.
Introduction of the Potato to Ireland (1586-1845)
The potato was first cultivated by the Incas in Peru before the time when Caesar invaded Briton. The potato has the advantage of concentrating carbohydrate in a very hardy plant, which can be grown and harvested with relative ease. The Spanish discovered potatoes in 1537 at the village of Sorocota. Although the Europeans were initially insensitive to the potential importance of the potato as a food, Sir Walter had samples planted at his Irish estate at Youghall about 1586. Although the potato was undoubtedly kept as a garden curiosity for years, it adapted very well to growing conditions in Ireland and by the mid-1600s was in popular use.
Before the potato, the Irish grew at usual range of grain crops, but these were labor and capitol intensive crops, which simply were not productive over much of the stony shallow and sloping land. The potato provided a crop, which grew virtually anywhere and could be cultivated by the peasants for sustenance while he labored for his lord’s manor on cash crops for export. Under these conditions, the population of southern Ireland was able to expand rapidly from 1620-1700. Before this time, almost all the population had been concentrated in the north (Ulster, Munster).
In the 1700s, the principle of potato agriculture was well established and new varieties were tried. The “lumber” was found to produce even higher yields and soon became the variety grown over almost all the country. The population continued to grow until in the mid-1800s it was over 8 million. However, this mono-culture economy was an ecological disaster waiting to happen.
The story goes that a passing ship from America deposited a potato peel infected with the fungus Phytophthora infestans on the Isle of Wright in 1845. By September 1845, the Dublin Evening Post reported on a disease in the potato crop. That year 40% of the crop was destroyed and the next year almost all the crop was destroyed. In 1847, the Irish began to die in serious numbers. Many successfully immigrated to America. By 1851, the population was reduced to less than 6 million. A million-and-a-half had died and a million had emigrated.
Anti-British and pro-Irish Nationalists are quick to point out that there were sufficient grains in the country to mitigate the effects of the potato crop failure. Unfortunately, the response of the British was callous and inefficient.
12.2 Spain, France and other European Rivals of the English in the New World
The Spanish in the Caribbean (1492-1524)
After the initial the initial discovery and conquest of the Caribbean (1492-1540), the Spanish were faced with the prospect of exploiting the New World for economic benefit of the home country while fending off interlopers from England, France, Portugal and the Netherlands. Cities like Cartegena, Vera Cruz, Tampico and Port of Spain served to export the wealth of the Americas and Puerto Rico (San Juan) became a logical jumping-off-point for the long haul across the Atlantic (1508-1750). African slaves were brought in 1513. Naturally, San Juan became the site of massive fortifications (begun 1521 and completed 1634). Local sugar production was begun in 1523. Subsequently, ginger became the main cash crop.
Francis Drake attacked San Juan in 1595 without success. However, the British were successful in 1598 in holding the island for several months. The Dutch sacked San Juan in 1625. The British and French belatedly responded with their own fortified ports Antigua (1632), Barbados (1628), Tortuga-Haiti (1697), Jamaica (1655). However, the Spanish had held the Caribbean for almost 150 years.
Sir Richard Grenville (1542-1591)
Sir Richard Grenville’s final battle against the Spanish in 1591 was a feat, which later inspired no less than Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892) to write and epic poem “The Revenge A Ballad of the Fleet.” Briefly, a fleet of 16 English ships under Lord Thomas Howard with Grenville as second in command on Revenge (Drake’s ship in 1588, 500 tons with 250 men) had been sent to the Azores to intercept Spanish treasure ships. However, the Spanish sent out from Spain a large fleet of 53 warships to run the English off. This movement was picked up by English pickets on the coast of Portugal and a fast ship (pinnace) shadowed the Spanish fleet for a few days learning its size and direction. Then it raced ahead to warn Howard, which happened on 31 August 1591, but only beat the Spanish by a few hours. Howard was on the northeast of Flores Island and recognized the gravity of the situation and ordered the English fleet to retreat. There are several rationales why Grenville was delayed, but for our proposes it is only necessary to know that he was delayed while the Spanish moved to the southwest and came around the west side of the island.
Thus, Grenville was soon surrounded by a number of larger Spanish warships including the San Pablo. Grenville is described by some as a poor sailor with an overgrown since of false-honor. These factors would account for him allowing a better-sailing ship to fall in the lee of the Spanish fleet and be becalmed. The Spanish closed, as they preferred to fight, and a fifteen-hour combat followed at close quarters and on the decks of Revenge. In the process, several of the Spanish ships were blooded and moved away. Over ten Spanish ships are said to have actually been engaged in the battle. Unavoidably, Grenville was mortally wounded and numbers ultimately swamped the crew of Revenge. Grenville died on the Spanish flagship. Many were critical of his technical performance, and judgment, but no one doubted his courage. This is the typical description of a dead national hero.
The importance of this episode to our story is that it shows the level of continuing animosity between the English as their empire grew and the Spanish as their empire fell. It also reminds us that even after the failure of the Spanish Armada, the Spanish were still a force to be reckoned with on the high seas.
12.3 The P-R-S family in England in 1200-1600
During the 400 years after the Norman Conquest, the use of surnames became firmly established in England although the spelling of these names continued to be fluid well into the 1800s. I believe that what we see in England was a situation were some of the older (at least Anglo-Saxon) family and clan names (i.e., surnames that had been used before the Normans) were adopted by English natives as surnames during the Viking period and those individuals who did not belong to a strong family/clan began using their personal name as a family name. For example, phonetic “P-R-S” became Pierce, Pearce, Paris, Parris, Parr, Parkin, Perkin during Anglo-Saxon times. Under the influence of the Vikings some of these became Pierson, Pearson, Parson, Parkinson, etc. Along side these families were individuals (without strong family ties) with Anglo-Saxon personal names such as John, Ben, Tom, Rob, Robert, Peter, Paul, Will, William, Ralph, Joseph, James, Edward, Edwin, etc. Under the influence of the Vikings and/or the Normans, these individuals created a system where the father’s family became identified in the plural (e.g., the family of John became the Johns) and the father’s male children became identified by –son (e.g., Johnson). These names probably all date from about the year 1000 AD. Moreover, there were many genetically unrelated families that adopted these same surnames.
I have seen, “Pierson” identified as the “son of Pierre.” Pierre is French (Norman) not an Anglo-Saxon name and if the name had come with the Normans (1066), it would have been Fitzpierre (not Pierson). The -son ending was a Viking affectation (800-1000 AD), which likely ended with the arrival of the Normans. Thus, I believe it is much more reasonable that Pierson came from the pre-Anglo-Saxon P-R-S clan root.
Northumbria (including Northumberland and Yorkshire) was the homeland numerous P-R-S families. Until the establishment of the Tudor monarchy, they had been led by the Percy family, which if my theory is correct, were derived from the original (pre-Roman) Parisi clan. However, the class system in Norman England (continuing to this day) isolated the Percies from their family. Nonetheless, the Percies who were not heirs to the titles and fortunes no doubt drifted into the upper ranks of common society over the generations.
In reviewing the Kindred Konnections database (www.kendredkonnections.com), several Pearce, Pierce families seem to originate in the Yorkshire area around 1500. A Pearce Hall is mentioned and there is at least one case of a Richard Percy having a son named Richard Pearce. There is also a Richard Pearce born about 1615 and married at Waltham Abby, Essex (1643) who had 11 children with Susannah Wright with interesting names including Richard, Martha, John, Giles, Susannah, Mary (Pierce), Jeremiah, Isaac, William, George, and Samuel. The first three children were born in Essex (1643-1647) and the last eight were born in Rhode Island colony (1650-1664).
Early Immigration to the New World
This brings us to an important split in the P-R-S family tree. Apparently, concurrent with the English defense against the Spanish Armada, some P-R-S (i.e., Parris) families were drawn to the British ports in southern and western England. Although they do not appear to have participated in the first wave of English exploration and colonization of the New World (Sir Walter Raleigh 1584, and Virginia Colony, 1607-1620). But, by the time the Puritans were looking for a new homeland (1625), a branch of the Pierce/Parris family had become involved with shipping and this led them to concurrently establish roots in New England and Barbados.
Another branch apparently stayed in England through the Civil War (1640-1650). At one time, I suspected that some of these P-R-S families migrated to Ireland with land grants from Cromwell in the 1650s. But, I have seen no evidence of any continuing habitation of any part of Ireland by Parris/Pearis families. Thus, I am inclined to follow the suggestion of Shay McNeal (personal communication, 1999) in believing that the Pearis family that ultimately immigrated to Pennsylvania from Ulster was actually derived from the Parris families of Barbados.
In the following parts, I will first describe the following events:
The founding of Virginia (Part 13, 1600-1650),
The founding of New England and the migration of the Puritans from England prior to the Civil War (Part 14, 1625-1675),
The English Civil War (Part 15, 1640-1660)
The migration of Presbyterians to Ireland and the Willimite War (Part 16, 1660-1690),
The founding of the Carolinas (Part 17, 1650-1700), and
The founding of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and New Jersey (Part 18, 1675-1725).
At that point, we will be ready to follow the “Anglo-Irish Presbyterians” to the New World (circa 1735).
Part 13: The Virginia Colony
13.1 Sir Walter Raleigh and the Lost Colony (1584-1588) (Roanoke Island, North Carolina)
In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh secured a charter from Queen Elizabeth I to colonize the New World in her name. Apparently, he personally sailed to America in 1584 and located what is now called Roanoke Island as a desirable site for colonization. He claimed all the territory to the west and named it “Virginia” in honor of the “Virgin Queen” as Elizabeth was known. The Island is strategically located inside the North Carolina Outer Banks and on the large sounds. In this location, it had relatively good protection from the sea and from the Native Americans.
The next year (1585), Raleigh sent Grenville out with an English colonizing expedition under Governor Ralph Lane. A party of 108 colonists were landed, but they were soon threatened by the natives and chose to return to England with Sir Francis Drake that same year.
In 1587, a second attempt at colonization was made with a party of 110 men, women and children under John White. John White is most known because his daughter gave birth to the first English child born in America (named Virginia Dare, August 18, 1587). The party also converted the native Manteo to Christianity and his name is now used by a town on the island. White left the colony and returned to England for more supplies and colonists, but his timing was bad. His ship was needed for the battle against the Spanish Armada and he was not able to return until 1590. When the English returned, they found the site abandoned with only the apparent message “Croatoan,” the name of the local tribe of natives, carved on a post.
Sir Walter Raleigh retired from exploration and married. The next attempt at colonization would be more business-like.
13.2 The London Company and the Colonization of Virginia (1606-1699)
It Was a Business Deal
The Spanish, Portuguese, French and even the Dutch had made inroads in the New World during the 1500s. Unfortunately, the only English colony had been lost (literally Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony of Roanoke Island). With the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the English were now in a position to make their own territorial claims and hopefully benefit. Ideally, the English efforts would not provoke conflict with the Spanish (in the Caribbean or La Florida) or the French. The interest of the English Crown was primarily financial success in a tranquil world.
Rather than have the government spend its money on a military expedition, the idea was to establish private companies (charted by the monarch) that would invest in exploration and exploitation of the New World. The indications are that the companies that were chartered had some brilliantly pragmatic ideas about how to sustain a colony, but were up against long odds in terms of making a profit. To this point, about the only natural resource found in the New World that was of immediate value to the Old World was gold. However, even that was inflationary: Flooding Europe with new-world gold did not increase the goods and services available, it just redistributed them to those who found the gold from those who traded for the gold.
Ideally, a product of the New World could be found or manufactured in the New World and shipped to Europe to (1) directly improve the life of the English, (2) produce internal revenue of taxes for the monarch from the subjects, and (3) be sold to foreign countries (directly or via England) to generate taxes (duties) from foreign exchange and create a favorable balance of trade. Obviously, Sir Walter Raleigh had hoped that tobacco would be such a crop. Furs were also a potential product of high value in Europe. The original dream of short cut to the Orient for trade was fairly well debunked by this point. The colonies were not going to prosper as international trading centers.
Two companies were ultimately formed, inspired by George Weymouth's voyages (circa 1606) to the northern coast of America, now known as New England. The investors of London bought stock in the London Company, which had a charter to colonize and exploit the New World territory between latitudes 34 and 41 north; and the investors of Plymouth, Bristol and other cities were given a charter for the Plymouth Company that extended from 38 to 45 north latitude. These overlapping zones should keep the English clear of the Spanish and the French. However, the Plymouth Company was potentially in conflict with the Dutch who had plans for colonies in the northern areas.
Recruiting colonist was not as difficult as it might seem. Many average people had no land and no future in Europe. There were also many minor nobles who fancied themselves becoming bigger fish in a smaller pond. Unfortunately, neither of these groups represented the best that England had to offer in terms of skill, health, education, or morals. Obviously, the first contingents of the colony must have a strong military orientation and it represented a high personal risk. Single men would lead the way, but it was desirable to introduce families into the fabric of the new colonies. If was very hard to find ordinary families that were successful in England who were willing to uproot and move to the New World. But, it would be possible to find single women who might be induced to see the New World as a home .
The First London Company Colonization (1606-1609)
King James I gave the London Company three general missions: Find the Lost Colony of Roanoke, find gold and find a Northwest Passage to the Orient.
In December 1606, the London Company had prepared its ships and recruited an acceptable cohort of 140 colonists. They loaded the ships Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery under the command of Admiral Christopher Newport. Unfortunately, the winter winds held the ships in harbor for about six weeks and during that time, the colonists consumed some of their provisions.
There was bound to be friction and once the party was finally at sea, John Smith emerged as a very opinionated man who Admiral Newport found necessary to arrest (for mutiny for which the penalty was death). It is not clear what the disagreement was about, but it seems likely that it had to do with the choice of landing site. The ships did not land at the site of the Roanoke colony, but rather moved into the mouth of a large bay to the north (the Chesapeake Bay) and then up a wide river (the James River). There they found a suitable deep-water mooring on a small peninsula. On 13 May 1607, the surviving colonists (101 men and 4 boys) were put ashore. Secret orders were opened, which named John Smith as one of the leaders. The Admiral obviously reversed his plans to execute Smith. The other leaders included Edward M. Wingfield (President of the colony), George Kendall and George Percy. George Percy (1580-1631?) and John Smith were rivals and both were literate men who recorded accounts of the colony. In the end, history reemembers Smith and Percy is largely forgotten.
Although the site chosen for the original fort had some military advantages (http://www.apva.org/finding/percy.html), it was lacking fresh water and as the summer came on the colonists discovered that they were in a semi-tropical swamp. Malaria and dysentery soon took another toll. The first attack by the natives occurred on 26 May with the deaths of two settlers and serious wounds to ten others. The colonists bent their backs to self-defense and built a triangular fort from logs by June 15.
"The fifteenth of June we had built and finished our Fort, which was triangle wise, having three Bulwarkes, at every corner, like a halfe Moone, and foure or five pieces of Artillerie mounted in them. We had made our selves sufficiently strong for these Savages. We had also sowne most of our Corne on two Mountaines."
George Percy, June 15, 1607
The local natives who called the river the “Powhatan,” but the colonists wisely named the river and the settlement after their benefactor King James. The Admiral sailed back to England on 22 June 1607 leaving the Discovery.
By August, the numbers of the colonists were thinned by disease and from their wounds.
On 10 September, one of the leaders (George Kendall) was accused of undermining the morale of the camp and was placed under arrest on the ship Discovery. However, this apparently was an unpopular decision as Wingfield was tried and found guilty of libel and John Radcliffe was selected to take his place. However, things went from bad to worse in the volatile politics of this microcosm of men under stress. Kendall was arrested for conspiring against Radcliffe and at his trial he claimed that Radcliffe’s real name was John Sicklemore. [Perhaps Sicklemore had assumed the identify of a more prominent colonists who had died.] Regardless, Kendall was now executed by being shot.
Captain John Smith (1607-1608)
On 10 December 1607, Captain John Smith was captured by the local Native Americans while searching for food. The men who accompanied him were killed. He was taken before Opechancanough (half-brother of Chief Powhatan) and amused him with his compass long enough to avoid immediate execution. Smith was taken back to the main village where Chief Powhatan was to consider his fate. At this point (29 December), Smith managed to change the confrontation into a negotiation. On the 2nd of January 1608, Smith returned to the camp at Jamestown with two natives who were suppose to take two guns back to Powhatan. Smith cleverly offered to give the natives two-ton demiculverins (cannon), which they could not move and which were of no real use to the natives. Nonetheless, he demonstrated the power of the gins by blasting an ice-covered tree into splinters.
Although Smith’s return was a positive sign, the colony had been reduced to a mere 38 men and they were inclined to return to England on the Discovery. Smith stopped this mutiny by threatening to blow up the ship with one of the cannons. The men then turned on Smith accusing him of the deaths of the men who accompanied him in a search for food. Fortunately for Smith, before the men could execute him, Captain Newport brought supplies and 60 more colonists on the John and Francis. Then on the 7th January, fire struck the fort. It possibly was set by men hoping to force a return to England on the newly arrived ship.
Meanwhile, Pocahontas, a daughter of Chief Powhatan, stopped by on several occasions to visit the camp. Through her, the first official visit between the English and Powhatan was arranged. At this session, the English traded for food and they exchanged young boys with the natives. The boys were intended to become interpreters and facilitate communication. Conditions improved during the spring and summer 1608 and John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown Council in August. Christopher Newport brought a second supply ship (the Mary and Margaret) to Jamestown in September. The passengers included the first two women (Mrs. Forest and her maid Anne Buras). Anne Buras married John Laydon in November. She had four daughters and lived passed 1625, which was an accomplishment in Jamestown.
As bad as things had been in 1608, they were going to get worse in 1609.
The Colonists of 1609
It soon became obvious that the Jamestown Colony had not been formed on a gold mine. Over the next few years when not starving to death, the colonists attempted a variety of schemes to create an export commodity: silk making, glassmaking, lumber, sassafras, pitch and tar, and soap ashes. None of the products that were made were worth the effort to export.
In July 1609, a supply fleet headed by the Sea Venture encountered a hurricane and wrecked on Bermuda . This stranded many of the new colonists for months. Moreover, the ships that did make it to Jamestown in August brought more mouths (400 people) than food. In September, John Smith was badly burned in an accident with gunpowder and returned to England. Mr. Ratcliffe became the new president of the Jamestown Council with George Percy as his deputy. On one of his trips to bargain with Powhatan, Ratcliffe was captured and tortured to death. Now, the colony of as many as 600 people fell to George Percy. The winter of 1609-1610 is remembered as “the starving time.” The winter left lurid tales of cannibalism on the record. John Smith is believed to have been the author of a very critical article about Percy's management during the winter of 1609-10, but with so many mouths to feed and so little food, there was really nothing that anyone could do. Percy wrote a rebuttal of the criticism published in 1622 in England entitied A True Virginia Revelation… . (Percy also wrote a book entitled Discourse of the Plantation of … Virginia.)
By May 1610 only 60 colonists remained. Their only thought was to return to England.
The Arrival of John Rolfe and Lord De La Warr (8 June 1610)
The 150 colonists shipwrecked on Bermuda by the Sea Venture fared much better than the 600 at Jamestown during the winter of 1609-1610. By May, they had built two new ships (the Patience and the Deliverance) and sailed to Jamestown. This party was led by Lord Del La Ware, Sir Thomas Gates and John Rolfe . They arrived at the colony just as the survivors were trying to sail for England (8 June 1610). Lieutenant Governor Sir Thomas Gates implemented martial law, which remained in effect until 1619. George Percy, at this point, was one of the very few people with a full history of the colony. When Gates returned to England in 1611, Percy again served as deputy governor before returning to England in 1612.
For practical purposes, John Rolfe was start with a "new colony" in 1610 that was built on the accomplishments paid for dearly by the original (1607-1610) colonists. George Percy was virtually the only continuity between the original and the new expeditions. Rolfe brought business-like organization to the Jamestown colony. But, there was still no economic reason for Virginia. Rolfe began to experiment with tobacco. Unfortunately, during this time, the relationship with the local natives was poor. Some Englishmen were captured; and in retaliation, the English held Pocahontas for ransom. For some reason, the exchange of prisoners never occurred. Pocahontas then was taken to a new settlement at Henrico where she adopted European customs and was baptized as “Rebecca.” One thing led to another and she married John Rolfe in the spring of 1614. This event brought peace to the colony for 8 critical years.
Tobacco in Europe (1585-1618)
Soon after Sir Walter Raleigh was introduced to smoking and other uses of tobacco (1585-86), the idea began to sweep Europe. The rituals associated with tobacco usage, of course, were a ready path for a man to display his worldliness . Moreover, the nicotine that the tobacco delivered was a truly addictive drug. One can say that over the next 500 years, the plant enslaved the people of the world to cultivate and care for it assuring its ecological survival and advancement; Darwin could have used it as an example of survival of the fittest. The uninitiated observers of Europe around 1590 recognized that tobacco had power for both pleasure and potentially for harm. But, objectivity was quickly shed.
Within a few years tobacco was identified as an ingredient in a variety of medicinal remedies. The use of tobacco was mentioned in literature and it became an item of barter. Soon, the use of tobacco began to be a nuisance. The Pope had to ban its use in church. By 1600, Walter Raleigh had the Queen smoking and the habit had spread to Turkey and the Middle East. By 1612, it was popular in China. King James followed Queen Elizabeth and he was inclined to write on a variety of issues he saw as public problems. He wrote a book on demonology explaining the dangers of witchcraft and he wrote a book condemning the use of tobacco. He also raised the import tax on tobacco. In 1606, James I had Walter Raleigh thrown into the Tower of London in part because he was a holdover from the Protestant Tudor administration and in part because he was an advocate of smoking. Tobacco was seen to have a social and political as well as economic significance. The colony of Jamestown Virginia was founded in 1607, and John Rolfe grew the first commercial crop of tobacco there in 1612. However, the seeds locally available to Rolfe (Nicotiana rustica) would not produce a product that was competitive with Spanish tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) imported to Europe from the Spanish Caribbean. It also should be noted that different varieties within the species Nicotiana tabacum show wide variation in aesthetic appeal and addictive nicotine content. Apparently, Rolf got some Nicotiana tabacum seeds in 1611 most likely from plants Sir Walter Raleigh grew in the Tower of London. In 1614, he had enough good tobacco to export to London. Nonetheless, the very best tobacco came from the Caribbean and unless Virginia could grow a comparable product, they could not penetrate the European market (e.g., export from Virginia to England for resale to Europe).
The Spanish had settled the Province of Cumana (on the coast of what is now Venezuela) as early as 1523, making it the oldest European settlement on that continent. The attraction was the high quality tobacco grown there. Sir Walter Raleigh had attacked and destroyed the village of San Thome on the Orinoco River in 1585 and probably saw tobacco gown in the province. Between 1585 and 1610, the Spanish tobacco business flourished in Cumana.
Sir Walter Raleigh spent his days (1603-1616) in the Tower of London usefully. In particular, he followed the progress of the new Virginia colony at Jamestown. He undoubtedly realized that success of the English colony would depend upon finding an export crop. He also was aware that tobacco smoking was becoming the rage of Europe. It takes little imagination to see that by 1610, Raleigh knew that the only way to save the English in Virginia was to cultivate tobacco for export to Europe. He also understood that the only way to compete with the Spanish imports was to get some of their seeds to the Virginia colony.
In 1610, Raleigh petitioned King James I to send him on a mission to find gold in South America. I believe that James expected Raleigh to bring back gold nuggets; but Raleigh was actually plotting to acquire "Orinoco Gold" tobacco seeds for use in Virginia. James I probably did not see the importance of tobacco to Virginia or the importance of Virginia to England.
James I had plunged deep into debt by 1616. In desperation, he turned to Raleigh to deliver the gold he had promised years before. However, James I had good relations with Spain and exploration in South America must be done with their cooperation and consent. In fact, James I sent Raleigh in part because he hoped that Raleigh would not survive the excursion. On his side, Raleigh did not trust the king and obtained a privateering commission from the French envoy to London, which would essentially provide Raleigh a license to take Spanish ships and abscond to France.
Upon being paroled , Raleigh and Lawrence Keymiss set out for the New World on 12 June 1617 in search of “Orinoco gold”, i.e., tobacco seeds. By now, the Spanish were known to be growing tobacco of good quality in the Province of Cumana near San Thome. After a difficult voyage, they arrived (November 1617) in Venezuela (then Guiana). Raleigh himself was ill and the leadership of the expedition was moved to Keymiss. Raleigh's son Wat was apparently one of the lesser commanders. The ships stopped near San Thome (situated where the Caroni River flows from the south into the Orinoco) and fighting broke out with the Spanish. (This is not surprising since Raleigh and Keymiss had sacked the town in 1585 and 1586, respectively.) In the ensuing fighting, Wat Raleigh was killed and the English failed to take the town. Of course, no gold nuggets were found; but somewhere alone the way, Raleigh apparently secured a supply of "Orinoco gold" tobacco seeds.
The expedition limped sadly back to Plymouth, England and landed on 21 June 1618 without gold nuggets. Raleigh was among friends and relatives and debated exile in France. In the end, Raleigh wrote an Apoligia for his actions and hoped that would save him from imprisonment or execution. Ultimately, he was taken into custody in London. For this excursion, Raleigh was tried for treason (again and in spite of support from Bacon) and beheaded (29 October 1618). His last earthly pleasure was to smoke a pipe of tobacco.
John Rolfe named his brand of Virginia (Jamestown) tobacco "Orinoco" undoubtedly to evoke the mystery and exotic adventure of tobacco-popularizer Sir Walter Raleigh's expeditions up the Orinoco river in Guiana (now Venezuela) in search of the legendary City of Gold, El Dorado. My theory holds that Raleigh did obtain seeds from Orinoco on his 1617-18 trip and handed them over to Drake or some other trusted sea captain when he arrived back in England. Drake then delivered the seeds to John Rolfe in Jamestown. Thus, when Rolfe called his product “Orinoco Gold” it was not merely smart advertising…he was accurately describing his product. This was the cash crop that would allow the Virginia colony to compete in the European market with Spanish tobacco. Without Raleigh’s insight and sacrifice, Virginia would have been a failure and the entire course of Anglo-American history would be different.
Rebecca in the Court of King James (1616)
About the same time that Raleigh was released for the Tower of London, Rolfe and other leaders of the colony traveled to London (June 1616). The colony finally appeared to be headed for success. Rolfe brought Rebecca with him, where her exotic looks and regal bearing made her a popular rage. She was presented to Queen Anne as a princess .
But Rolfe's trip was very much about the colony's major export--tobacco. Despite James I's disapproval of the colony's dependence on a crop he despised, the very survival of his namesake colony could be at stake. And, of course, James could not ignore the enormous import duties Rolfe's Virginia tobacco brought to the royal treasury.
"Rebecca" never returned to America. She had barely begun the voyage back when her illness became so severe that the ship had to stop in Gravesend where she died (1617) at the age of 22. John Rolfe returned to Virginia in 1617. There he married Joane, the daughter of William Pierce, who had come to Jamestown in 1609. Rolfe made out his will in 1622, and most believe Rolfe died in the Indian Massacre of 1622 at the age of 37.
John Rolfe’s son, Thomas, had been left in England after Rebecca died. In 1635, at the age of 20, Thomas returned to Virginia to reclaim his English and Native birthrights. He inherited from his father and from his mother’s father and became a very rich man. He married Jane Poythress, and many Virginians (the Blairs, Bollings, Lewises, Randolphs) can trace their roots back to this couple.
Jamestown on the Tobacco Coast (1619 - 1698)
Tobacco made the Virginia colony rich and encouraged more colonists to migrate from Britain. From 20,000 pounds of tobacco in 1617, the exports to London increased exponentially to 1,500,000 pounds by 1630. This increase in export was likely facilitated by better quality seeds obtained by Raleigh from Orinoco in 1617-18 and provided to Virginia in 1619. Black African slaves were also introduced in 1619. The local Native Americans revolted against the intrusion onto their lands in 1622 and killed 350 Europeans. Nonetheless, the European population of Jamestown grew to 4,500 by 1623. The Natives were runoff and killed. In 1624, the London Company Charter was withdrawn and Virginia became a royal colony.
The entire area of the southern Chesapeake Bay began to receive new settlers. Annapolis was settled in 1649. Other early colonial Maryland towns include St. Mary’s, Easton, Cambridge, and Salisbury. Jamestown was the mandatory point of entry and export for Virginia until 1662. By 1698, there were many rich planters on the tobacco coast, but the price of tobacco had dropped to a penny a pound. The Virginians began looking for new ways to make money. The capitol was moved inland a few miles to the planned city of Williamsburg in 1699 and Jamestown died. The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693 at Williamsburg.
Part 14: New England, the Puritans, the Quakers and the Slavers
14.1 The Puritan Movement in England
Puritans and Anglicans
The Anglican Church of Henry VIII (1509-1547) was effectively a Catholic Church with the King of England displacing the Pope. Frankly, this was not what the protesters had in mind. Thus, within England, the Tudors circa 1556 knew the Protestant movement as the Puritan movement. This group remained on the outside of English politics and when Mary I (“Bloody Mary” as the Puritans came to call her) came to power (1547-1543), they suffered badly as Catholicism was re-instated. Fortunately, Elizabeth soon gained power and the Tudor status quo was re-established. The Puritans were still on the outside looking for a real reformation of the church.
The moderate Puritans attempted to compromise with the Anglicans in the form of Presbyterianism beginning in the 1580s. There were also factions among those calling themselves Anglicans. Religious historians and theorists go into great detail about the origins and doctrines of religions (motivated by the notion that they are preserving the true religion), but in the end the general believers seldom can separate in their minds classes more distinct than two extremes (of true believers) and a group that wants to find a compromise. The latter group is almost always the most educated and usually middle class. History has been most affected by the Puritans, Presbyterians (moderates), Anglicans (non-papist Catholics) and Catholics (Papists). That is really about all you need to know.
Monarchy and Democracy
Both the Catholic and Anglican churches rest power in the bishops appointed by the Pope or the King and are thus “episcopal” in the way they are governed. (A Protestant church can also have an episcopal method of government with leaders appointed from above.) Presbyterian is a form of church government in which power is gained from the elders elected among the various congregations. The early Presbyterians were attempting to accomplish a change in doctrine indirectly by changing the form of government of the church. However, the religious battle between episcopals and presbyterians paralleled the political battle between monarchy and democracy.
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658)
Cromwell was born a Puritan in 1599, a time when the worst persecution was over, but still fresh in human memory. His early years were unremarkable, but he experienced some sort of religious experience at the age of 27 (1626) that led him to take a more active role in leading his fellow Puritans. This soon led him to Parliament as a member of the Independent Party. The issue of the day and throughout the next 50 years was the “divine right of kings” (some one had figured out that if the Pope was not the unique messenger of God, then the kings had no divine rights; Henry VIII had managed to avoid that issue).
In Oliver Cromwell, the religious and political stresses of the day would join to bring Britain into Civil War.
The Puritans and other religious groups that longed for political power and were persecuted in Britain looked to the New World as an escape valve. Virginia might have been attractive to these men and women, but the economics of Virginia meant that tobacco and slaves would be a part of that state for the foreseeable future. The economic success of Virginia after 1614 also meant that the Kings would watch it closely. The Plymouth Company was getting a later start and was looking for colonists about 1630.
14.2 The Plymouth Company and Massachusetts
The Mayflower Compact (1620)
The Plymouth Company had gotten a charter that looked as attractive as that of the London Company in 1607. However, by 1620, the Plymouth company was able to see the torment that the Virginia colonists had suffered and they also noted that as soon as the colony had become an economic success, the King had stepped in to make it a Crown colony. Thus, the owners of the Plymouth Company had a charter that could lead them to financial ruin (and, of course, the King was eager for them to create a successful colony). The result is what modern “Wall Street” financial analysts might call a “poison pill” defense. The Plymouth Company sold their charter to the first group of religious zealots who came along . That group of zealots called themselves Pilgrims. They were on a religious journey and were not interested in becoming a financial success.
On 9 November 1620, the ship Mayflower landed within a sheltered cove formed by a large cape within the charter limits of the Plymouth Company. This site is, of course, now Plymouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod Bay. They had formed their own government called the “Mayflower Compact,” which they intended to use as the basis of their independent settlement (not actually a colony).
The Seafaring Pierce (Parris) Brothers/Cousins
According to one popular genealogy (B. L. Colby, Thirty-one Generations, a Thousand Years of Percy and Pierce as reported on the Internet, http://home.att.net/~a.junkins/percy.html#Y524320) Richard Percy founder of Pierce Hall in Yorkshire had a son who called himself Richard Pierce. Richard Pierce (Sr.) apparently moved to the area of Bristol circa 1580 and produced four sons: Richard (jr., b. 1590), John, William (b. 1595) and Michael (b. 1615). Although John and William may well have been brothers, the age spread between Richard (b. 1590) and Michael (b. 1615) suggest that they may have be cousins and not necessarily first cousins.
John Pierce was a leader in the Plymouth Company. He is the one who (on 12 February 1620) bought the New England section of the Plymouth Patent, which was known in England as “Mr. Pierce’s Company.” John Pierce intended to use the Pilgrims as his tenants for the necessary settlement of the colony and he planned to simply act as an absentee landowner and lord. The Pilgrims arrived in New England on 9 November 1620 on the Mayflower under Capt. Christopher Jones, which may have been owned (at least in part) by John Pierce or his brothers or one of the other members of the Plymouth Company (e.g., Thomas Goffe, Esq.) .
The Pilgrims seemed to be making a go of it after two years and John Pierce decided to visit his private colony in December 1622 on the ship Paragon. The Paragon made two aborted starts from England, which almost bankrupt John Pierce. As a result, he eventually sold his patent to the Plymouth Colony (i.e., the Pilgrims). The Pilgrims, thus, saw the work of God in the tribulations of John Pierce and the Paragon. In any event, William Pierce was the captain of the Paragon on her third departure. John Pierce, however, stayed in England and never saw America.
Capt. William Pierce became well known and beloved by the Pilgrims. He is said to have made at least nine trips in the Mayflower. He brought the Anne to New England in 1623. He brought Governor Winslow and the first cattle to New England in the Charity (1624). He brought the Jacob in 1625. In 1630, he brought Roger Williams on the Lyon. In 1631, he brought John Elliot on the Lyon. He brought Governor Winthrop on the Lyon in 1634. He brought cotton from the West Indies (1633) and sweet potatoes (1636). He published a book in Boston in 1638. Some people even credit him with articulating Thanksgiving Day (which up until 1631 was little more than a harvest feast) as a religious holiday of thanks to God. He set a record of 23 days for the voyage to London in the Desire (1638). He met his death on the Desire in a sea battle with the Spanish while trying to relocate deserters from Massachusetts to the West Indies in 1641.
Richard Pierce (Jr., b. 1590) moved from Bristol (England) to the new Rhode Island Colony (Providence ) in 1654 onboard the Lyon.
Michael Pierce (b. 1615) came to Boston about 1647 and became a leader of the militia. He was killed in 1676 when he led about 50 men into an ambush during King William’s War.
In 1664, the passengers of the Defense under John Webber (sailed from London 10 May, arrived New England 30 June 1664) were listed as Benjamin Hewling, John Newell, Humphrey Hodges, Thomas Parris, James Fassett, John Fullerton, Sir William Peake, Robert Davies, Robert Knight, John Winder, Henry Culpepper, and John Culpepper.
The Massachusetts Colony (1630)
It was not until 1630 that a true British colony was established within the Plymouth Charter. John Winthrop brought about 900 Puritans to Massachusetts Bay that year as Charles I made life miserable for them in Britain. Boston (Cambridge) was established as their seat of government as they fanned out around the bay. Harvard College was founded in 1636. Overall, the Puritans of Boston were an intolerant group who made heresy a capital crime by 1646. This led less doctrinaire people to seek settlements where they could speak their minds without fear of death.
Nonetheless, waves of Puritans arrived in Massachusetts (Boston) between 1630 and 1650. The ones that did not fit into the conformists’ mold moved quickly west to Rhode Island.
Providence (1636) and Rhode Island (1639)
Roger Williams was expelled from Massachusetts for his nonconforming religious views and moved west a few miles to settle at what became Providence, Rhode Island in 1636. He was joined in 1638 by Anne Hutchinson (1638). This settlement (Providence) of enlightened thinkers declared slavery illegal in 1652. As in Virginia, the Native Americans were at first amused and curious about the Europeans, but by 1675, the natives of New England recognized the Europeans as a threat. The local Chief of the Wampanoag tribe Metacomet (a.k.a., King Philip to the colonists) reacted in a war that lasted about a year and resulted in the deaths of 600 Europeans and many more Natives before he was killed in 1676. This broke the back of Native American resistance in New England. The frontier moved to the Mohawk Valley north of New York.
But, Providence is on the mainland of New England and eventually would have been associated with the Connecticut colony had it not been for the settlement (1639) of "Rhode Island" (i.e., the largest island in the bay) at what is now Newport, RI perdominantly by Quakers after 1650. To the outside world, Rhode Island (i.e., Newport) became the essence of the colony. It is quite disingenuous that today the Rhode Islanders focus on the religious piety of Roger Williams and obscure the role played by Newport in the slave trade.
Quakers ("Friends") also were attracted to the new colony after brutal treatment in Massachusetts. George Fox himself visited Rhode Island (the island) in 1672. Here is how George Fox described the geography in 1672 (http://www.strecorsoc.org/gfox/ch18.html):
" When we were clear of the island [Long Island, NY], we returned to Oyster Bay, waiting for a wind to carry us to Rhode Island, which was computed to be about two hundred miles. As soon as the wind served, we set sail. We arrived there on the thirtieth day of the Third month, and were gladly received by Friends. We went to the house of Nicholas Easton, who at that time was governor of the island; where we rested, being very weary with travelling."
" This place (called Providence) was about thirty miles from Rhode Island; and we went to it by water. The Governor of Rhode Island, and many others, went with me thither; and we had the meeting in a great barn, which was thronged with people, so that I was exceedingly hot, and in a great sweat; but all was well; the glorious power of the Lord shone over all; glory to the great God for ever!
After this we went to Narragansett, about twenty miles from Rhode Island; and the Governor went with us. "
It is very clear that "Rhode Island" was by Fox viewed distinctly from Providence and the mainland towns. Rhode Island (the island) had a governor and was the focus of activity. Quakers were politically powerful in Rhode Island (not Providence) and made up a large part of the population. Obviously, the Quakers were deeply involved in the slave trade in the 1600s and 1700s (http://oftedahl.com/SmithfieldFriends/history.htm):
" In 1717 a weighty concern on the importing and keeping of slaves "was considered to wait for the wisdom of God how to discharge themselves." For seventy years the subject was agitated until in 1787 in response to a memorial from the Quakers of Rhode Island, the General Assembly passed an Act Prohibiting the African Slave Trade with very heavy penalties. Thomas Hazard, "College Tom," was the first to see the light and free his slaves, which he did in 1730. John Woolman agitated publicly and from house to house for the Abolition of Slavery. In 1773 the Yearly Meeting at Newport adopted the following minute, "Truth not only requires the young capacity and ability but likewise the aged and impotent and all in a state of infancy or nonage among Friends to be discharged and set free from a state of slavery that we do no more claim property in the human race as we do in the brutes that perish." This settled the status of slavery and henceforth all "dealings" were with Quakers who persisted in holding slaves. Among them was the Honorable Stephen Hopkins of the Smithfield Monthly Meeting. He had been Governor of Rhode Island for nine terms and in 1774 was a member of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. He was the most distinguished citizen and statesman of Rhode Island. He refused to liberate one slave woman and his name was removed from the Roll of Friends and from the Monthly Meeting. "
Thus, what is now the state of Rhode Isalnd was clearly polerized between the Roger Williams faction andthe Quaker (George Fox) faction. With the founding of Pennsylvania, many Friends from Rhode Island moved to Philadelphia.
14.3 The Triangle Trade
The pattern of commerce that became known as "the triangle trade" explains a lot about the distribution of Parris (Pierce, Pearis, P-R-S) families around the Atlantic in the 1600s.
In the early 1500s, the Spanish had explored Barbados and named it. But, by 1536, the Spanish deserted the island. The English (Capt. John Powell) first explored the island in the early 1620s and claimed it for James I on 17 February 1627 when he landed 80 settlers with 10 slaves at Holetown (Jamestown). Apparently, John Parrott (born circa 1592 in London?) was among threse settlers. John Parrot had a son named William born in Barbados about 1630 and died about 29 December 1678. And, he had a son named John Parrott born about 1650. This first group of settlers petitioned to bebome a colony circa 1644 to Charles I. A second wave of English settlers soon arrived and Charles I granted Lord Carlisle a patent for Barbados, which survived until 1660.
The settlers attempted growing indigo, cotton and tobacco; but when sugar was introduced in the 1650s the economy turned to that commodity. Large plantations were formed with the importation of many African slaves. The economy was jolted by a locust plague in 1663, a hurricane and Bridgetown fire in 1667, and drought in 1668. Nonetheless, the population reached 50,000 in 1665; the great majority of these were slaves. This trend continued throughout the 1700s in spite of a slave revolt in 1702. Barbados dominated the sugar industry until Jamaica and the Leeward Island overtook them in the early 1700s. The British Empire abolished slavery in 1833/4.
The first Parris family apparently arrived in Barbados as part of the second wave of English colonist circa 1644-1650. Thomas Parris and Thomas Parris Esq. appear on a list of men owning more than ten acres of land in Barbados in 1638. Probably, the first Parris family to arrive in Barbados was headed by Thomas Parris (born about 1625 in London and died 17 April 1678 in St. Michaels Parish, Barbados) and Catherine Parris. They were married in London about 1648. They had at least two children: Elizabeth Parris (born in Barbados about 1659) and (Col.) Alexander Parris, who died in Charles Town, South Carolina 17 March 1735. Elizabeth Parris married John Parrot (see above) circa 1674.
Another Thomas Parris and his wife Ann were the parents of Samuel Parris of Salem witch trials "fame." Samuel Parris was born about 1653 in London and his father (Thomas) moved to Barbados by himself about 1660. Samuel and his mother remained in London where Samuel attended Morton's Academy. His mother Ann died of plague in 1665 and Samuel was apprinticed to merchant until 1671. At this point, he apparently moved directly to Massachusetts colony to live with his aunt and attend Harvard College (founded 1636) in Massachusetts circa 1673. When his father died in Barbados, Samuel moved there and leased out his father's sugar plantation while living in Bridgetown and working as a credit agent. About this time (1674), a Captain Peter Worth captured an Arawak Indian girl (ultimately named Tituba) and sold her as a slave to a Samuel Thompson on Barbados. Thompson died in 1679 and Samual Parris acquired Tituba as a slave and soon acquired another Indian slave named John who ultimately married Tituba. (Some accounts also mention a bastard child of Samuel with a slave woman). With the rents from the plantation, Samuel Parris returned to Boston with his slaves in 1680 and was a businessman of some means. He married a well-to-do woman named Elizabeth Eldridge and began a family. He a had a calling to become a Puritan minister (this may have been a life-long desire); and after preaching periodically in the Boston area, he took a job (July 1689) that must have paid very little as the minister of a new church in the Village of Salem. It is unlikely that he actually needed the money, but the members of his new congregation undoubtedly perceived him as demanding (e.g., he wanted the title to the parsonage). Two years later in 1691, the Parris family of Salem became the focus of the famous "witch trials." Parris left Salem in 1697 and died in 1720.
In a third wave (1679-1680) of English settlement of Barbados, a number of new Parris families settled in Barbados: In 1679, William, James, Alexander and Thomas Parris (probably brothers and/or cousins and likely brothers, cousins or nephews of the Thomas Parris who had been in Barbados for thirty years (since about 1660)) arrived. In 1680, another Thomas Parris with wife, two children and a servant arrived; William Parris with servants arrived; George Parris with servants arrived; and Edward Parris with servants arrived.
The Parris/Pierce family took a leading role in Barbados. The "Barbados connection" seems to ultimately tie all the old Parris families (pre-1750) of New England, Pennsylvania-Virginia, and the Carolinas together. Shay McNeal has researched the family extensively and reports (personal communication, 1999) that there were several generations of "George Parrises" in Barbados during the mid-1600s. It is likely that first cousins and even siblings carried variations of the P-R-S name spelling (especially Pierce, which may have been the way that outside observers would have written it down and reported it after hearing it pronounced). Shay McNeal has focused on a particular George Parris (living circa 1670) who apparently came into conflict with the British government over slave trading and may have been designated as a pirate (outlaw) with a price on his head. This George Parris/Pearis appears to have moved to Northern Ireland (circa 1680-1690) and fathered the George Pearis who ultimately emigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania (circa 1730). Various members of the Parris (P-R-S) family from Barbados undoubtedly traveled the eastern ports of the New World as they were founded and were involved in transporting various groups of immigrants (including slaves) to the New World. The Barbadian Society of Gentlemen Adventurers was established in 1649 and influenced the Carolina and Massachusetts colonies including providing many governors.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that many of the slaves (and likely bastard children) of the Parris families in Barbados took the name Parris (and perhaps Paros, Parros, Parras, etc.). Many of these families are still living in Barbados and some have emmigrated to Britain and former British colonies (e.g., Novo Scotia). There is, in fact, a George Parris (black) who has been a well-known soccer player in Britain during the 1990s.
Medford, MA and Newport, RI
Shipbuilding began at the mouth of the Mystic River (five miled north of Boston) in 1630. The first ship was launched in 1631 and the city of Medford grew from that enterprise. The English Navigation Acts of 1651 required that all imports to Britain and its colonies be carried in British ships or ships from the country the good originated. This act had the effect of encouraging the construction of ships in America to carry American products to Britain. It is also noteworthy that America and Scandanavia were by the mid-1600s the most readily available sources of timber and lumber for shipbuilding (and rebuilding London after the fire of 1666). Many of these ships found their way into the triangle trade, and after 1700, Medford, MA became a center of rum manufacture. But, the financial driver for the triangle trade in North American was Newport, RI. Indeed, all the old coastal towns of Rhode Island (and Connecticut) participated in and profited from the triangle trade. This influx of cash made Rhode Island a unique and wealthy colony and accounts for its size and rather unique history. During the period of control of slavery by the Royal African Company, Rhode Island's rugged coast provided convenient hidding places for "interlopers" who ran slaving ships outside of British (i.e., London merchant) control. After the break-up of the British monopoly in 1697, Rhode Islander's werer able to operate openly and controlled well over half of the American slave trade throughout the 1700s.
The Triangle Trade (1650-1800)
Shay McNeal has related to me (1999) that the basis for George Parris absconding from Barbados to Ireland circa 1680-1690 (under the alias George Pearis) was related to his unauthorized participation in the slave trade. In 1672, London merchants sequred a royal charter (the Royal African Company) that gave them exclusive rights within the British Empire to conduct the slave trade in Africa. Anyone else who sent ships to Africa to acquire slaves was considered an "inter;poer" and treated more or less as a pirate. Naturally, other merchants opposed this arrangement and in 1694 the merchants of Bristol (i.e., the Merchant Venturers' Society of Bristol) began lobbying that resulted in the repeal of the Royal African Company charter in 1698. When this happened, merchants in Bristol, New England (Newport, RI) and Barbados competed with London. Ultimately, Bristol lost out to Liverpool because of port facilities and tides of Bristol were at a disadvantage to the progressively larger ships of the day. Overall, New Englanders became the principal financial backers of the triangle trade. In fact, the "triangle trade" may explain much about the Parris family history in the period.
Prior to 1697, the triangle trade had been primarily between England, West Africa and the southern colonies in the New World. Barbados (13oN) is conceptually a gateway to America if you are riding the tradewinds from Gambia (13oN), i.e., "the middle passage" of the triangle trade. In fact, travel from England to the southern colonies was typically routed from London past the Canary Islands turning west with the trade winds. (This is essentially the path followed by George Fox founder of the Quakers on his expedition to America circa 1671.) The "return passage" to England was facilitated by the Gulf Stream of warm waters that runs from Key West to Bristol.
Trade goods (and later rum) were transported from English ports to West Africa (e.g., Gambia). There it was traded to the local chiefs and European colonies for African slaves. The African slaves represented expendable and cheap labor that could be consumed in the labor-intensive agricultural of the New World to produce commodies including tobacco and sugar cane. In fact, slaves were expected to die off at a rate of about 25% per year. Ironically, (at least in the early days) the European crews of the slave ships (more prone to scurvy and chronic nutrition because of continuous time at sea) suffered mortality equal to or greater then the salves on the trans-Atlantic voyage. The Spanish, Portugese, Dutch and French were all similarly engaged in the slave trade.
Sugar cane was processed in the Carribean by crushing in a press (powered by wind, animals or humans) to release the surp. The surp was in turn, processed (perhaps by diluting with water and filtering) and boiled down to crystallize sugar. The sugar can be purified by recrystallization from clean water. Pure sugar is white, but raw grades are brown. The liquid from the first crystallization containing various impurities as well as residual sugar is called molassas can be converted to a useful product by fermentation and distillation to produce rum (of various grades). The product consummed locally (by the slaves) was called tafia (Spanish). Purer molassas/sugars produced better spirits properly called rum. Thus, molassas and sugar were economically exported to England to pay for the import of salves.
When the London merchants (represented by the Royal African Company, 1672-1697) lost control of the slave trade, New England (Newport, RI; Medford, MA) as well as Bristol and Portsmouth in England entred into the business and New England became a primary center of rum production. For example, by 1763 Rhode Island and Massachusetts had a combined total of 85 distilleries and numerous sugar refinaries. Anticipating the future, I will point out that they benefited every bit as much as the southern colonies (probably more) from this trade.
This situation likely explains much of the travels and settlements of America by the Parris family (via Barbados). Some interesting documents have recently been discovered (http://ns.netmcr.com/~ambro/jack.htm), which document the life of a man in a similar situation (sea captain Jack Augustus Flashman) although a little later than the Parrises/Pierces:
"Although the earliest portion of his diaries [discovered at U MA circa 1998] have not been the focus of research, it is apparent that Jack Flashman was involved in the Triangle Trade in the late 1750's. This consisted of purchasing rum in the New England colonies, shipping it to the coast of Africa where it was exchanged for slaves. The slaves were then shipped to the Caribbean where they were exchanged for sugar and molasses. The sugar and molasses was then shipped to New England where it was sold to rum makers. Based on Flashman's financal records, he made a hefty profit on each leg of the triangle.
Of course, during this time England was attempting
to strictly control the imports and exports of the colonies for purposes of both
taxation and trade. This not only cut into his profit (when caught), but also
resulted in an interesting game of cat-and-mouse along the American coast.
Starting with a single ship (which he became the owner of under mysterious circumstances), he built a fleet of 12 to 15 ships, all of which were continously involved in the Triangle Trade. This allowed him to accumulate considerable wealth, and even though he seemed to prefer life at sea, his fleet required him to remain ashore in America to manage his business.
Using profit from slavery and rum/sugar running, Flashman expanded his business in the late 1760's to include building or purchasing shares in several dozen taverns. Keep in mind that in Colonial America, the tavern was more than a bar. It was also a restaurant, a hotel and a public meeting hall where not only business was conducted, but where weddings were performed, dances were held and the first flames of independence were fueled by pints of ale.
Being involved in the tavern business brought Flashman in contact with many of the key American and British beer drinkers of the time, such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, and General Cornwallis to name a few. "
14.4 George Pearis (the interloper/slaver/pirate)
Thus, the period 1672-1698 delineates the period when a sea captain named George Parris engaged in the slave trade from Barbados would likley have run into conflict with the law and been forced to take up residence under an alias (George Pearis) in Ireland. Ireland would have been a good choice because of the military conflict in progress circa 1680-1690 and the need for ships to ferry troops back and forth to Liverpool and Bristol. One would wonder whether the George Pearis arriving in Pennsylvania-Virginia circa 1730 would be the same George Pearis? This seems unlikely since the American George Pearis lived until circa 1750 suggesting a birth no earlier than 1680. The following scenario, thus, seems most plausible: George Parris of Barbados (born circa 1650) becomes and oulaw (interloper) circa 1680 and absconds to Ireland to ferry soldiers rather than slaves under the alias George Pearis (perhaps a local spelling). During this time, the family also become aquainted with William Penn, Sr. (1621-1670) and Jr. (1644-1718) and George Fox (founder of the Quakers). Admiral Penn, captured Jamaica for the British in 1755 and was undoubtedly a familiar visitor to Barbados. Fox had travelled through Barbados to America in 1671 and by the 1680s the Quakers were facilitating the immigration of Quakers to the American colonies (e.g., Rhode Island (Newport) and later Pennsylvania). The fact that George Pearis has been involved in the slave trade (1650-1690) is completely compatable with Quaker ethics of the day. Shortly after 1690, George Pearis marries and fathers a son (also) George Pearis in Ireland (although his wife may have been from Barbados, England or Ireland). The younger George Pearis is raised in Ireland where he marries (Sarah, circa 1725) and trades until his parents die (circa 1730). Then with no remaining roots in Ireland, he takes his family (including sons George, Richard and Robert) to Pennsylvania-Virginia and lives out his life until circa 1750 in Winchester, VA. It seems likely that he receives a series of minor land grants from William Penn, Jr. probably for providing transportation of Quakers to Pennsylvania.
Part 15: The British Civil War (1642-1649)
15.1 The First Civil War
The Political Climate of the early 1600s
The Parliament of Great Britain controlled the finances of the kingdom. The monarchy, which was widely respected because it was essentially the only form of government known to work, was forced to go to the Parliament when it needed money for major civil projects or waging war. Otherwise, it was in the interest of the monarch to not call Parliament into session. This is essentially what happened during the early reign of Charles I (1625 - 1649). Shortly after succeeding his father James I in 1625, Charles I called Parliament into session to raise money for an attempt to return the Anglican church to power in Scotland. He found out to his dismay that the Parliament had many complaints about the monarchy in general and raising money for war with Scotland in particular. The “Short Parliament” of 1628 - 29 was quickly dissolved.
The Parliament was made up of wealthy merchants and landowners with political views that tended towards oligarchy and religious views that tended towards Puritanism. Charles I, who was sworn to uphold the Church of England, tended towards Catholicism (he married Catholic Princess Henrietta Maria of France) and held the traditional view that the monarch was divinely empowered. In the next eleven years (1629 -40), Charles raised money and kept the peace by allowing the wealthy lords enclose the common lands. This made the poor poorer and drove them to emigrate in some cases. Of course, it was against the Common Law to enclose the common lands and Charles I made a great show of enforcing the laws against enclosure while, in fact, he was merely extorting the lords to raise the money he needed to keep his government going.
Then in 1639 - 41, both the Scots and the Irish rose against English rule. Parliament had to be called to raise the armies and money to support them. But, Charles I had merely postponed his confrontation with the lords and wealthy commoners by not calling Parliament for a decade. In the meantime, the monarch had grown relatively weaker.
The struggle between Charles I and Parliament escalated until January 1642 when the king tried unsuccessfully to arrest five of the leading members of Parliament. This was essentially a declaration of civil war.
Opening Battles (1642 -1643)
The King and the Parliament each scrambled to field an army. In the end, each side was able to call to arms small armies raised by some of the more powerful men supporting their cause. The King’s Royalist army was focused around Oxford. The Earl of Newcastle raised an army in support of the King. On the other side, the Earl of Manchester and the Earl of Essex raised an army to support the Parliament. Lord Thomas Fairfax fielded cavalry in support of Parliament in Yorkshire. True to the nature of a civil war the numerous smaller forces were geographically interspersed and many small battles were fought as the opposing forces consolidated.
Formal fighting began around August. Clashes became progressively more organized and larger in scale in late 1642, but nothing was decisive. In early 1643, Royalist troops in the southwest had some success, but Essex captured Reading (27 April 1643) threatening the Royalists base at Oxford. However, Essex’s attempts to capture Oxford were stopped. Meanwhile, the Royalists scored a string of victories in the southwest and Yorkshire. By September, the Royalists armies seem to be in control of most key garrisons and the parliamentary forces are on the defensive.
Scottish Covenanters (1643 - 1644)
Scottish loyalties were tied to some very strong religious positions. In their own way, they were as zealous in support of moderate Presbyterianism, as Cromwell’s followers were in support of radical Puritanism. The key document and concept that embodied Scottish aspirations was the Covenant of 1638. This document was originally a promise to defend Presbyterianism against any threat (which at that time looked more like Roman Catholicism than any other religion). However, as events unfolded in the 1640s, the Covenanters first found themselves siding with the English Parliamentarians (who prior to 1646 were moderate Presbyterians and Anglicans/Episcopalians). Then with the rise of Cromwell (radical Puritanism) after 1645, the Covenanters found that the Royalists (generally moderate Anglicans/Episcopalians and Roman Catholics) were more acceptable (especially when they could gain assurances that the Catholics would not try to impose Roman Catholicism as the state religion). Much later, after 1662, a new generation of Convenanters found themselves in opposition to the Anglicans / Episcopals.
Thus, in 1643, the interest of the Scottish Covenanters and that of the Parliamentarians aligned, although only temporarily, and the Scots brought 21,000 soldiers under the Earl of Leven to the aid of the Parliament in the English Civil War in January 1644. The Scottish Covenanters and Thomas Fairfax succeeded in tipping the scales in the north and the Royalists were soundly defeated at Marston Moor 2 July 1644. In the south (Chester, Oxford, south Wales, Bristol, Devon, and Cornwall), the Royalist, however, took the upper hand.
The New Model Army (1645 - 1646)
By early 1645, Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax had proven himself to be an able commander and with the Scots had subdued the Royalists in Yorkshire. Parliament realized that their primary weakness was an absence of an organized military force. The three main parliamentary armies lacked common strategy, tactics and chain of command. They were also raised using feudal principles and were motivated and sustained by the spoils of war. Thus, the Parliament brought into being an army that would be both a military force and a democratic political organization.
They called it the New Model Army. Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax was its commander with Oliver Cromwell second in command. Its ranks were filled by respectable citizens; not mercenaries, freebooters or various malcontents. It paid its soldiers a basic wage rather than make them rely on pillage of the enemy (their countrymen) or have them fall to a few wealthy lords. But most radically, democratic principles and promotion based upon merit were instituted in the New Model Army. The troops came from all over England and were undoubtedly assigned to units based upon their skills rather than being molded into a local unit where they were poorly suited. The legendary religious fervor of the troops was a product of the troops themselves not something imposed by Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Royalists had managed to obtain a peace of sorts in Ireland and withdraw their army to the south west of England . In Scotland, the Royalist Marquis of Montrose succeeded in threatening to recover control of that country. Thus, the Covenanters had to return to face that threat.
In May of 1645, both sides seemed to be ready to gamble on complete victory. The Royalists moved against Yorkshire and the Parliamentary army moved against Oxford. On 14 June the opposing armies met at Naseby (Northamptonshire) and the Royalists were crushed. Meanwhile, Montrose won major victories in the Scottish Highlands and occupied Glasgow. However, the Royalists Scots were soundly defeated in September at Philiphaugh on his way southwards to assist the King Charles. Fairfax then succeeded in capturing Bristol in September. Without re-supply from Bristol, the Parliamentary army captured the Royalist's garrisons in the west and south one by one. By January 1646, King Charles only held Oxford and several minor garrisons that were under siege. Realizing that hope was now lost, Charles surrendered in February 1746 and soon the remaining Royalist garrisons in the south and west also surrendered .
Between 27 April and 5 May 1646, Charles attempted to escape (presumably into Royalist Scottish lines), but he was captured by Scots friendly to Parliament and was taken to Newcastle. The Scots sold Charles to the Parliament for £400,000 and he earned the total annoyance of the Parliament by refusing to cooperate and continuing to seek foreign support.
15.2 Unfinished Business
The Second Civil War (1647 -1649)
Charles correctly understood that the Irish, Scots, and English of the time could not envision life without their monarch. He hoped to hold out until, by sheer persistence, he broke the will of Parliament. He almost succeeded. A second civil war broke out in 1648. This Royalist’s uprising was quickly put down with a vengeance and Parliament showed no mercy toward the King. Charles I was beheaded in January 1649.
The Scots were still strong enough to protest and proclaimed Charles II (in exile in Europe with his mother by now) to be the new King of Britain. More fighting (the third civil war) broke out between 1649 and 1651. In these later campaigns, Cromwell, who was more radical that the other Parliamentary leaders, came to the forefront. He was fast becoming the strongman dictator of Britain.
Democracy, Oligarchy, Dictatorship or Monarchy (1647 - 1648)
The New Model Army was a unique institution of its day. It was as much as political party as it was an army and indeed it was a party based upon the radical ideas of democracy and class equality. Views of Oliver Cromwell vary, but it appears that he rose through the ranks during the 1642-1647 period on his merits and might have been a profound democratic revolutionary (sort of a cross between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson) except for several factors. In the first place, he was about 100 years too early. The “common man” still believed strongly in the divine rights of Kings. Cromwell himself was also, unfortunately, a religious zealot. Thus, he misused his opportunities to lead the army in the campaigns in Scotland, Ireland and in England.
The lords who had defeated the King (Essex, Fairfax, Manchester, etc.) were content to rest the power in Parliament and run the country moderately and benevolently, but for their own benefit.
There was a continuing core of monarchists who wanted a good King on the throne and Charles II was waiting in the wings safely in France.
Cromwell was unable, and to an extent unwilling, to give the nation over to full democracy. By controlling the army, he could impose his solution in the field regardless of what Parliament decided on paper. In the end, he had himself declared Lord Protector of the nation in 1653.
Concurrent with Cromwell’s slow but certain assumption of power between 1647 and 1653, the army spun off the entire range of political thought that would become manifest in later centuries. The Libertarians claim their roots in a group known as the “Levelers,” Communists can claim some kinship with the “Diggers” (a.k.a., True Levelers). Democracy can perhaps be traced to the “Agitators.” Much of this was fueled by the new availability of printing and political pamphlets. The critical moment for the nation probably came in October 1647 during a process in the army called the “Putney Debates.” These open discussions of a vast array of theoretical and practical issues between common men, generals (Fairfax, Cromwell) and lords came at a time when the king was subdued and before the country slipped into any major retribution that would harden feelings and excite egos. The escape of the King and his subsequent stubbornness that forced his execution polarized the nation. Only a political strong-man (military dictator) could hold the nation together and Cromwell did just that.
Unfortunately, Cromwell seems to have given in to the urge to be king. Through supporters, he attempted to have the position of Lord Protector made hereditary (a king empowered by Parliament rather than God), but he ultimately died in 1658 without a clear mechanism of succession and without a capable successor. His son Richard attempted to fill his shoes, but he was soon swept away by the return of Charles II.
15.3 Meanwhile in Ireland and Scotland
The Irish Rebellion (1641 - 1652)
Concurrent with the crisis that Charles I faced in England, the Irish saw the opportunity to reverse the inroads that the English had made beyond the Pale during the pervious 40 years. The Irish earls who had benefited form the British reapportionment of the land under James I were happy to turn on first the English and soon also the Scots who had been settled on the plantation estates. It is very difficult to obtain an objective description of what actually transpired in Ireland from 22-23 October 1641 through 1649 . The revolt began in Ulster and spread south. It was apparently initially pursued by middle-class Irish against their English lords with most blood being shed (est. 4,000 English dead in the first day or so) outside the walled towns. Protestants attempted to rally and suffered a defeat in a battle on Revelyn’s Hill near Coleraine. Most Protestants fled into the towns of Lisburn, Belfast, Coleraine, Limavady, Ballycastle (County Londonderry), and Londonderry City.
The unexpected momentum of the revolt then appears to have looked for a military focus, a cause (political and religious), and leadership. It became a primarily religious revolt when the king (Royalists) disavowed it and when zealous Catholic Owen Roe O’Neill (1590-1649) returned from thirty years in the service of the Spanish to take leadership of the revolt in April 1642. In the early summer of 1642, Sir William and Sir Robert Stewart led Protestants in a counter-attack that relieved the sieges of Limavady and Coleraine. A Scottish Protestant army was formed under Major-General Robert Monroe after the start of the Civil War and is blamed for many of the Protestant revenge killings against the Catholics. From this point, the revolt was formed into the Catholic-Protestant conflict that is most remembered. In 1643, the Royalists negotiated a truce with the Irish rebels and the Parliamentarians branded it as a sell-out to the Papists.
It is clear that neither the Royalists nor the Parliamentarians could spare resources to support the Anglo-Scottish (Protestants). The Royalists apparently maintained a garrison in Dublin, but they were not eager to take on the Irish without help from England. Among the Protestants in England, the political newspapers carried stories about Irish Catholic atrocities against Irish Protestants, which are not credible. However, even leaders such as Cromwell may have believed them at the time. As the Royalist’s situation worsened in 1645, even more concessions were made to obtain Irish support for the king. Without serious opposition for almost a decade, the Irish Catholic (Nationalist Confederation) was able to establish a substantial army and garrison many towns and strongholds. No doubt, they feared the day that the English Civil War would end.
The defeat of the Royalists followed by the execution of the King must have sent terror into the Irish. Instead of facing the royal displeasure of Charles I from who they had extracted numerous concessions, they were faced with the holy wrath of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell landed in Dublin on 15 August 1649 in command of 12,000 Protestant soldiers who had heard a constant account of Irish Catholic atrocities against the Protestants of Ireland. The Parliamentarians had already established a “no-quarter” policy towards Irish troops found fighting for the king. This policy was extended to Ireland first in the capture of the fortified town of Drogheda (11 September 1649) where approximately 3,500 Irish soldiers, civilians and Catholic clergy were killed. About a month later, the scene was repeated at Wexford. In both cases, Cromwell’s messages to Parliament suggest that (1) he believed the many horror stories about Catholic atrocities and (2) (as he had indicated in most battles) he believed that God willed his actions. This latter position is a very dangerous characteristic. Most serious atrocities are committed in the name of God.
News of these two episodes traveled quickly over Ireland. Remembering that Cromwell had an unbroken record of military victory against the best army in England, the Irish would have been suicidal to resist further. By May 1650, Cromwell was back in England ready for a new assignment. The Irish had been intimidated and humiliated into surrender. Soon the next phases of Cromwell’s quasi-genocidal abuse would be applied. The Irish would be relocated to the western-most parts of their Island and/or sold into indenture for work in the West Indies and the Americas.
The method used to finance military service in the absence of gold, was to offer soldiers interests in lands that were yet to be confiscated from the losers in Ireland. To raise gold, so-called adventurers (investors/ land speculators) were also induced to put up money against lands yet to be taken. These were almost exclusively English as neither Dutch nor Huguenot investors were interested. When Cromwell stood his English army down after the defeat of the Scots in 1650 (see below), he paid them off them with land grants in Ireland (1653-1655) that were likely 5 times as large as those previously undertaken by the Stuarts (James I and Charles I). Moreover, since much of the original Scotch-Irish settlement (1607-1641) was reversed during the Irish rebellion (1641-1649).
Although about 12,000 Parliamentarian soldiers were potentially eligible to be settled in Ireland, many of these were owed very small land shares. Thus, many officers bought the small shares from the enlisted men to consolidate them into attractive parcels or add them to their share. The exact number of settlers in not known, but by 1670, when the settlers needed to have their estates confirmed by the restored monarch (Charles II) there were about 7,500 that had their lands confirmed by the King . These estates that averaged about 700 acres were assigned by lottery and thus were located all over Ireland (not just in Ulster).
Thus, by 1655, there was a new English middle class in Ireland that had replaced the pre-1641 Irish middle-class. Cromwell’s soldiers settled down in ten Irish counties (primarily Ulster) east of the Shannon River and the Irish that were displaced (if they had not participated in the rebellion) were sent to counties Mayo, Galway, Roscommon and Clare west of the Shannon (i.e., Connacht).
Cromwell and the Scots (1650 - 1651)
The English and the Scots were uneasy allies and sometime enemies throughout the 1600s. Within each country, nationalism held the inhabitants together against the forces of class and religion that tended to break them apart. The classes and religious groups transcended national borders and often cut against nationalist interests. The result as a complex equilibrium that could cause unexpected and extreme swings of affiliation on individual issues such as the monarchy.
The national alignment of the Scots with the English Parliamentarians was accomplished in 1643 by creation of the Solemn League and Covenant. But, by the time the Scots under David Leslie and the Parliamentarians had defeated the Royalists at Marston Moor in Yorkshire (1644), the Scots were starting to unravel as James Graham, Earl of Montrose sided with Charles I. The war among the Scots continued until Montrose was defeated at Philiphaugh (1645). This did not signal unlimited support for the Parliamentarians, however. Although Lord Fairfax was well respected, Cromwell was pushing the English Parliamentarians further and further to the Puritan extremism, which alienated Presbyterians in both Scotland and England.
When cornered by Cromwell in 1646, Charles I hoped to find sanctuary in Scotland. It was a gamble that might have paid off. Although the Scots to who captured Charles I were willing to return him to the Parliamentarians, this act no doubt, was not universally popular in Scotland and rested on the collective Scottish conscience. When the king (a Scot) was put into further jeopardy even the Presbyterian Lord Lauderdale entered into the “Engagement” with the King to work for his restoration while protecting Scottish rights and religion. Predictably, the Engagement further splintered the Scots and led to armed conflict with Cromwell in 1648 (an element in the Second Civil War).
Soon, the Scots were represented by those factions sympathetic to the Parliament; but the execution of Charles I in 1649, pushed even the moderates into the Royalist’s camp. Charles II was proclaimed to be the successor monarch (of Scotland and Great Britain) by the Scots after they secured his agreement to terms that Charles I would not accept. On 23 June 1650, Charles II formerly accepted all the key covenants required to unit the Scots behind him.
The issue of the scope of Charles II monarchy as envisioned by himself, the Covenanters, Fairfax and Cromwell is worth mentioning. Was Charles the King of Scotland or the king of Great Britain? Men like Fairfax (apparently a moderate Presbyterian) might well have accepted Charles over Scotland and with the limitations of the Covenants on Charles II, Fairfax and many might have accepted him over Scotland and England. Fairfax, thus, was obviously going to be trapped between his conscience and Oliver Cromwell. Rather than lead an army against the Scots or face Cromwell, Fairfax resigned gracefully. The Scots were in the end poorly served by Charles II because his interests were clearly continuation of the Commonwealth and to do that he needed to fight an offensive war in England. It would have been much more plausible that the Scots could have defended their faith and their nation in a defensive war against Cromwell.
After his exploits in Ireland, Cromwell was definitely the darling of the radical Protestant/ radical anti-Catholics. He was being viewed as the religious warrior to lead an international crusade against the Papists. Fortunately, his military base was never large enough to enter into a general war in Europe. By the end of July 1650, Cromwell had refitted his army and advanced into Scotland resolutely, but without malice. He finally brought the Scots to battle at Dunbar (4 September 1650) where, although outnumbered, he prevailed in his usual style. The Scots, led by Charles II, avoided a war of attrition and continued their resistance through a war of strategic movement. Nonetheless, they were finally brought into decisive battle by Cromwell (3 September 1651) at Worchester. The Royalist’s threat to Cromwell was ended.
Charles II fled to France to bide his time. The Scots who had opposed Cromwell suffered some of the same treatment as the Irish having their lands confiscated, but the religious hostilities found in Ireland did not exist in Scotland.
Oliver Cromwell the Lord Protector (1653 - 1658)
By 1653, Cromwell was beyond the law. He dissolved Parliament and took the title Lord Protector. In this role, Cromwell was able to relax somewhat as all his potential enemies were vanquished. His brief tenure was characteristically drab but productive for the British. He abolished the hereditary House of Lords (while trying to make his own position hereditary ) and set about to form a new elected upper house of the legislature 1657. However, he proposed to appoint the first members for life. This process was still going on when he died in September 1659. His son Richard Cromwell proved to be no military or political match for Charles II and the Monarchy was restored in 1660.
Part 16: The Occupation of Ulster
16.1 Review of Irish Occupation since the Norman Conquest
Beyond the Pale (1170- 1588)
The Normans had arrived in Ireland in 1170, soon after the conquest of England. Their power was mainly contained in an area called the “Pale” along the east coast and around the town that grew into Dublin. Literally, the Pale was the town wall of Dublin. “Beyond the Pale,” the world was very rude and crude from the Anglo-Norman (upper-class English) point of view. Most of Ireland was still an unsophisticated system of Gaelic clans led by chieftains. The Irish clans had much in common with the Scots and the old Celtic trade routs between the western Scottish border region (Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire) and the northeastern corner of Ireland continued. The Gaelic Christian church (which had been infiltrated by the Roman Catholics since the arrival of the Normans) provided the unifying and organizing forces among clans beyond the Pale into the late 1500s. To the English at the end of the 16th century, the Irish needed a complete overhaul of their laws (they followed Brehonic laws rather than Anglo-Norman common law), customs, and religion (the Anglo-Norman view was that the Irish were more pagan than Christian).
In short, the Anglo-Norman view was that Ireland would be better off without the Irish. Interestingly, the English recognized the historical ties between northeastern Ireland and Scotland, and they did not view the importation of Scots into Ireland as a feasible means to their long-term goal. If they put the Scots into Ireland, they would be hard to get out of Ireland. The English long-term objective was an Anglo-Norman Ireland rather than a Celtic Ireland.
In the last days of the Tutor monarchs, the English began consolidating their hold on their home island and the concept of forming an empire by colonization began to assert itself. When one seeks to control the world, it is logical to begin with things that seem easy and within one’s grasp. The Spanish and the French definitely were ahead of the British in colonizing the New World, but British seamanship gave it a claim and influence far larger than its national importance. The small, thinly populated, desolate Gaelic island called Ireland was an obvious place for the English to establish colonies that would supplement the national wealth and strength of what would soon be known as Great Britain. Lessons learned in Ireland would be applied to the New World.
The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, assured that the English would soon be major players in the game of international empire building.
Plantations in Ireland (1556 -1607)
Since there were not enough English (Anglo-Saxons) to populate Ireland and the though of using the Celtic Scots was not appealing to the Tudor monarchs, their first thought was that the island did not so much need colonization as it needed introduction of an efficient quasi-feudal system of production. The term “plantation” was applied to large estates given out to Anglo-English nobles like Sir Walter Raleigh in the territory beyond the Pale. The process began about 1556 in the province of Leinster. But, it became much more urgent as war with Spain became imminent. As the plantations were established, some foreign (English) planters and tradesmen arrived and control of the land shifted more towards the English lords, but the native Irish still provided the bulk of the population and the lower echelons of civil organization. The Irish culture and religion were little affected.
It is worth mentioning the relationship between the Irish and Scots in northeastern Ireland at this time. The historical papers of the MacDonnell family (now retained by the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, PRONI) provided some insight. The MacDonnells were historically Scottish with roots traceable to the Hebrides. About 1390, Ian MacDonnell married a daughter of the Lord of Glynns of Antrim in northeastern Ireland. Over the next two hundred years, the Scottish MacDonnells established a lordship in Antrim in spite of the fact that the Anglo-Normans who attempted to govern Ireland from Dublin and the Irish clan O’Neill who claimed hegemony over northeastern Ulster from their base in Tyrone resented and resisted the Scottish presence.
Suffice it to say that the union of Scotland and England under King James I of Great Britain drastically changed the view of the English crown towards the acceptability of the Scots in general and as colonists in Ireland in particular.
The Plantations of Ulster Become a British Colony (1607 - 1641)
The Irish earls led their Gaelic clans in many uprisings against English rule. They had held out hope that with Spanish assistance they could eject the English and win back full control of their country. The last of these early attempts was led by the Earl of Tyrone Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh O’Donnell Earl of Antrim (recall the MacDonnells had been a Scottish clan that became established in Ulster from the late 1300s). From Ulster, the Celtic earls, representing about 90 of the most powerful families in Ireland, marched to County Cork to join a Spanish force, and attacked the English at Kinsale. The Celts were routed and put on the run all the way to County Donegal from which they embarked for Europe from Lough Swilly (mouth of the river Swilly) in what became known as "The Flight of the Earls ." Their decision to abandon their homeland may have, in part, been a realization that now they were dealing with the English and the Scots. With their departure, they way was clear for British occupation of Ulster.
From the British viewpoint, when James VI of Scotland became the first Stuart King (James I) of England and Scotland (Great Britain) in 1607, he needed to pacify the border that separated his new common wealth and he wanted to continue the “civilization” of Ireland and the Irish. A quick way to do this was to displace a number of the border Scots into the region of northeast Ireland where they had some traditional Gaelic roots. However, these Scots would be colonists (not plantation organizers or casual immigrants); they would take over land previously held by native Irish clans. The six counties in northeast Ireland that formed Ulster would be turned into a British plantation colony. This project paralleled and was concurrent with the English efforts to colonize Virginia in the New World. The Jamestown settlement in the Virginia colony was founded in 1607.
The British realized that their colonies displaced native peoples, and unlike the Spanish, the British felt they needed a legal, conscionable and honorable basis for displacing native peoples in the New World and in Ireland. The following letter from Sir John Davies to Robert, Earl of Salisbury summarizes the British view of colonization (particularly of Ulster) in 1610:
[The text of this letter has been modernized and Americanized.]
My Most Honorable Good Lord:
Though I perform this duty of advising your Lordship how we proceed in the plantation of Ulster very late, yet I cannot accuse myself either of sloth or forgetfulness in that behalf; but my true excuse is the slow dispatch of Sir Oliver Lambert from hence, into whose hands I thought to have given these letters more than a month since.
In the perambulation which we made this summer over the escheated [escheat = return of property to the government in the absence of legal heirs/owners] counties in Ulster, we performed four principal points of our commission:
1. First, the land assigned to the natives we distributed among the natives in different quantities and portions, according to their different qualities and deserts.
2. Next, we made the like distribution of the lands allotted to the servitors.
3. Thirdly, we published by proclamation in each county what lands were granted to British undertakers, and what to servitors, and what to natives; to the end that the natives should remove from the precincts allotted to the Britons, whereupon a clear plantation is to be made of English and Scottish without Irish, and to settle upon the lands assigned to natives and servitors, where there shall be a mixed plantation of English and Irish together.
4. Lastly, to the British undertakers, who are for the most part come over, we gave seizing and possession of their several portions, and assigned them timber for their several buildings.
We began at Cavan, where, as it fell out in all matters of importance, we found the first access and entry into the business the most difficult. Of our proceeding here my report to your Lordship shall be the larger, because the best precinct in the county fell to your Lordship's lot to be disposed; and the undertakers thereof do still expect to be by your Lordship countenanced and protected. The inhabitants of this country do border upon the English Pale, where they have many acquaintances and alliances; by means whereof they have learned to talk of a freehold and of estates of inheritance, which the poor natives of Fermanagh and Tyrconnel could not speak of, although these men had no other nor better estate than they; that is, only a scrambling and transitory possession at the pleasure of the chief of every sept.
When the proclamation was published touching their removal (which was done in the public session house, the Lord Deputy and Commissioners being present), a lawyer of the Pale retained by them did endeavor to maintain that they had estates of inheritance in their possessions which their chief lords could not forfeit, and therefore, in their name, desired two things: first, that they might be admitted to traverse the offices which had been found of those lands; secondly, that they might have the benefit of a proclamation made about five years since, whereby the persons, lands, and goods of all His Majesty's subjects were taken into his royal protection.
To this the King's attorney, being commanded by the Lord Deputy, made answer, that he was glad that this occasion was offered of declaring and setting forth His Majesty's just title, as well for His Majesty's honor (who, being the most just Prince living, would not dispossess the meanest of his subjects wrongfully to gain many such kingdoms) as for the satisfaction of the natives themselves and of all the world; for His Majesty's right, it shall appear, said he, that His Majesty may and ought to dispose of these lands in such manner as he has done, and is about to do, in law, in conscience, and in honor.
In law; whether the case be to be ruled by our law of England which is in force, or by their own Brehon Law, which is abolished and adjudged no law, but a lewd custom. It is our rule in our law that the King is Lord Paramount of all the land in the kingdom, and that all his subjects hold their possessions of him, mediate or immediate.
It is another rule of our law that where the tenant's estate does fail and determine, the lord of whom the land is held may enter and dispose thereof at his pleasure.
Then those lands in the county of Cavan, which was O'Reilly's country, are all held of the King; and because the captain-ship of chiefry of O'Reilly is abolished by Act of Parliament by Statute second of Elizabeth, and also because two of the chief lords elected by the country have been lately slain in rebellion, which is an attainder in law, these lands are held immediately of His Majesty.
If, then, the King's Majesty be immediate chief lord of these lands, let us see what estates the tenants or possessors have by the rules of the Common Law of England: Either they have an estate of inheritance or a lesser estate. A lesser estate they do not claim; or if they did, they ought to show the creation thereof, which they cannot do.
If they have an estate of inheritance their lands ought to descend to a certain heir; but neither their chiefries nor their tenancies did ever descend to a certain heir; therefore they have no estate of inheritance. [In Irish custom, the chief of the clan and lord of the land was chosen more or less democratically from among adult kinsmen of a chief who died or was incapacitated. In the British system, the rule is strictly inheritance from father to first legitimate son regardless of age or competence.]
Their chiefries were ever carried in a course of tanistry to the eldest and strongest of the sept, who held the same during life if he were not ejected by a stronger.
This estate of the chieftain or tanist has been lately adjudged no estate in law, but only a transitory and scrambling possession.
Their inferior tenancies did run in another course, like the old gavelkind in Wales, where the bastards had their portions as well as the legitimate; which portion they held not in perpetuity, but the chief of the sept did once in two or three years shuffle and change their possessions by new partitions and divisions; which made their estates so uncertain as that, by opinion of all the judges in this kingdom, this pretended custom of gavelkind is adjudged and declared void in law.
And as these men had no certain estates of inheritance, so did they never ‘til now claim any such estate, nor conceive that their lawful heirs should inherit the land which they possessed, which is manifest by two arguments: - (1) They never esteemed lawful matrimony, to the end they might have lawful heirs; (2) they never did build any houses, nor plant orchards or gardens, nor take any care of their posterity. If these men had no estates in law, either in their mean chiefries or in their inferior tenancies, it follows that if His Majesty, who is the undoubted Lord Paramount, do seize and dispose these lands, they can make no title against His Majesty or his patentees, and consequently cannot be admitted to traverse any office of those lands; for without showing a title no man can be admitted to traverse an office.
Then have they no estates by the rules of the Common Law; for the Brehon Law, if it were a law in force and not an unreasonable custom, is abolished; yet even by that Irish custom, His Majesty, having the supreme chiefry, may dispose the profits of all the lands at his pleasure, and consequently the land itself; for the land and the profit of the land are all one. For he that was O'Reilly, or chieftain of the country, had power to cut upon all the inhabitants, high or low, as pleased him; which argues they held their lands of the chief lord in villeinage, and therefore they are properly called natives; for natives in our old register of writs does signify a villein; and the writ to recover a villein is entitled De nativo habendo; and in that action the plaintiff does declare that he and his ancestors, time out of mind, were wont tallier haut et bas upon the villein and his ancestors; and thence comes the phrase of cutting, used among the Irish at this day.
Thus, then, it appears that, as well by the Irish custom as the law of England, His Majesty may, at his pleasure, seize these lands and dispose thereof. The only scruple which remains consists in this point, whether the King may, in conscience or honor, remove the ancient tenants and bring in strangers among them.
Truly, His Majesty may not only take this course lawfully, but is bound in conscience so to do. [It must be nice to be king and have yes-men who will not only create rationales legitimizing what you want to do, but also telling you that you are good to do it.] For, being the undoubted rightful King of this realm, so as the people and land are committed by the Divine Majesty to his charge and government, His Majesty is bound in conscience to use all lawful and just courses to reduce his people from barbarism to civility; the neglect whereof heretofore has been laid as an imputation upon the Crown of England. Now civility cannot possibly be planted among them but by this mixed plantation of civil men, which likewise could not be without removal and transplantation of some of the natives and settling of their possessions in a course of Common Law; for if themselves were suffered to possess the whole country, as their septs have done for many hundred of years past, they would never, to the end of the world, build houses, make townships or villages, or manure or improve the land as it ought to be; therefore it stands neither with Christian policy nor conscience to suffer so good and fruitful a country to lie waste like a wilderness, when His Majesty may lawfully dispose it to such persons as will make a civil plantation thereupon.
Again, His Majesty may take this course in conscience, because it tends to the good of the inhabitants many ways; for half their land does now lie waste, by reason whereof that which is inhabited is not improved to half the value; but when the undertakers are planted among them, there being place and scope enough both for them and for the natives, and that all the land shall be fully stocked and manured, 500 acres will be of better value than 5000 are now. Besides, where before their estates were altogether uncertain and transitory, so as their heirs did never inherit, they shall now have certain estates of inheritance, the portions allotted unto them, which they, and their children after them, shall enjoy with security.
Again, His Majesty's conscience may be satisfied, in that his Majesty seeks not his own profit, but does suffer loss by this plantation, as well in expense of his treasure as in the diminution of his revenue; for the entertainment of Commissioners here and in England, and the extraordinary charge of the army for the guard of the Lord Deputy and Council in several journeys made into Ulster about this business only, has drawn no small sum of money out of His Majesty's coffers within these three years; and whereas Tyrone did the last year yield unto His Majesty .2000, for four years to come it will yield nothing; and afterwards the fee-farm of the undertakers will not amount to .600 per annum.
Again, when a project was made for the division of that country about twenty years since, Sir John O'Reilly being then chief lord and captain, they all agreed, before divers Commissioners sent from the State to settle that country, that Sir John O'Reilly should have two entire baronies in demesne, and ten shillings out of ever poll in the other five baronies; which is much more than His Majesty, who has title to all the land in demesne as well as to the chiefry, has now given to undertakers or reserved to himself.
Lastly, this transplantation of the natives is made by His Majesty rather like a father than like a lord or monarch. The Romans transplanted whole nations out of Germany into France; the Spaniards lately removed all the Moors out of Grenada into Barbary, without providing them any new seats there. When the English Pale was first planted all the natives were clearly expelled, so as not one Irish family had so much as an acre of freehold in all the five counties of the Pale; and now, within those four years past, the Graemes were removed from the borders of Scotland to this kingdom, and had not one foot of land allotted unto them here; but these natives of Cavan have competent portions of land assigned unto them, many of them in the same barony where they dwelt before, and such as are removed are planted in the same county, so as His Majesty does in this imitate the skillful husbandman, who dose remove his fruit trees, not with a purpose to extirpate and destroy them, but that they may bring better and sweeter fruit after the transplantation.
Those and other arguments were used by the attorney to prove that His Majesty might justly dispose of those lands both in law, in conscience, and in honor; wherewith the natives seemed not unsatisfied in reason, though they remained in their passions discontented, being much grieved to leave their possessions to strangers, which they had so long after their manner enjoyed. Howbeit, my Lord Deputy did so mix threats with entreaty, precibusque minas regaliter addit, as they promised to give way to the undertakers, if the sheriff, by warrant or the Commissioners, did put them in possession, which they have performed like obedient and loyal subjects. Howbeit, we do yet doubt that some of them will appeal unto England, and therefore I have presumed to trouble your Lordship with this rude discourse at large, that your Lordship may understand upon what grounds we have proceeded, especially in that county where your Lordship's precinct does lie.
The eyes of all the natives in Ulster were turned upon this county. Therefore, when they saw the difficulty of the business overcome here, their minds were the better prepared to submit themselves to the course prescribed by His Majesty for the plantation; and the service was afterwards performed in the rest of the counties with less contradictions. The British undertakers are preparing their materials for the erection of their buildings the next spring; the servitors and natives are taking out their Letters Patent with as much expedition as is possible. The agents for London have made better preparation for the erection of their new city at Coleraine than expected; for we found there such store of timber and other materials brought in places, and such a number of workmen so busy in several places about their several tasks, as me thought I saw Dido's colony erecting of Carthage in Virgil -
“Instant ardentes Tyrii: pars ducere muros, Molirique arcem, et manibus subvolvere saxa: Pars optare locum tecto, et concludere sulco”.
Thus, craving pardon, and presenting my humble service to your Lordship, I leave the same to the Divine preservation, and continue your Lordship's in all humble duties,
Dublin, 8th November 1610.
As described in Mr. Davies’s letter of 8 November 1610, the plantation program was designed around three levels of responsibility:
(1) Undertaker exclusively English or Scottish with primary responsibility for the plantations. The principal Scots selected as Undertakers were as follows:
Michael Balfour of Kinross (Knockninny, Fermanagh);
Sir John Home/Hume of North Berwick (Magheraboy, Fermanagh);
Sir James Douglas and Sir Alexander Hamilton, both of Haddington near
Edinburgh (Armagh and Cavan);
James Hamilton, Earl of Abercorn, from Renfrew (Strabane); and
the Duke of Lennox from Stirling (Donegal).
(2) Servitors (Crown servants / bureaucrats) were the next lower rank including:
Sir John Davis (see letter above);
Sir Thomas Ridgeway; and
Lord Deputy of Ireland, Arthur Chichester (north Antrim).
(3) Native Irish Freeholders received about 20% of the escheated estates.
Ironically, the remaining O’Neills (of Tyrone) and O’Donnells (of Antrim) who had not fled to Europe benefited substantially. (The O’Neills received nearly 10,000 acres at the Fews in South Armagh; and Randal "Arranach" MacDonnell , became the first Earl of Antrim in 1620) Other well-established and well-connected Irish clans (O'Reillys, O'Cahans, Maguires and McSweeneys) also advanced at the expense of their poorer countrymen.
Overall about 300,000 acres of Ulster land had been escheated by James I of Great Britain and was dispersed as described above.
How the Religious Animosity Began
If you have followed the story to this point, it is clear that prior to 1641, Ireland was sparsely populated and the disputes with England were mainly between the nobles. Although James I claimed and redistributed a substantial amount of Irish land between 1607 and 1610, he mainly took it from Irish lords who had fled and gave some of to leading Irish families.
This chapter shows how two events
(1) Cromwell’s crushing the Irish revolt preventing succession from England and its aftermath, which included displacing Catholics from their land and giving it to his Puritan soldiers (1650-1653); and
(2) James II siege of Londonderry (1690)
first turned the Irish Catholics against the Protestants (of England) and then turned the Anglo-Scotch-Irish Protestants against their Celtic kin. Now, after several centuries of feuding, partisan historians on each side look back and interpret the entire history of the Ireland as one continuous Protestant versus Catholic conflict, which it was not.
Queen Elizabeth I imposed the Church of England (Anglicanism) on Ireland and expanded what Irish nationalists call the “plantation system” during her reign, which ended in 1603. In the English view, she was merely replacing one set of nobles (i.e., Catholic Irish-Normans) with another (i.e., Anglican (not Protestant) English). Before the introduction of the potato on the “plantation” of Sir Walter Raleigh, Ireland was not able to support much of a population. The major centers of population were in the north (Ulster) and around the town of Dublin.
The disaster of the Spanish Armada (1588) when it attempted to return to Spain focused attention on Ireland and provoked contemporary scholars to describe what they saw there. The picture that is painted is one of a ruling class of ex-patriot English and Irish nobles in the service of the English and a countryside sparsely populated with extremely poor and uncivilized peasants, especially in the south. In the north, the traditional exchange among the Gaelic Celts made the standard of living a bit better. Although the Spanish (frequently nobles) who struggled ashore from their wrecked ships in 1588 were clearly Roman Catholic and presumably should have been welcomed by the Catholic Irish as fallen heroes, this welcome was limited to a few civilized Catholic outpost, which seemed to be co-existing fairly well with the English. The Irish peasants of 1588 did not see the Spanish dumped upon their shore as heroes of the “true faith” to be used a rallying point for uprisings against the English, the Spanish were merely unexpected wealth dropped on their shore. The Spanish were robbed, stripped naked and brutalized by the Irish peasants (Celtic/Catholic) for the most part. Of course, when the Spanish fell into the hands of the English and the Irish in the pay of the English, they were likely to be executed; as indeed, the Spanish had often done to English prisoners. Interestingly, Spanish sailors who were wrecked in Scotland and even in England were more likely to be treated as prisoners of war and have some hope of repatriation.
Anglican Elizabeth I died in 1603 without an heir or successor. It was awkward for the English to realize that the nearest royal blood was in the body of James VI of Scotland (son of Mary Stewart; Elizabeth’s cousin and Catholic). Nonetheless, the English invited James Stewart to become James the I of England as well as James the VI of Scotland (i.e., Union of the Crowns). James (reign 1603-1625), thus, became the monarch over two separate countries under the name “Great Britain.” As a concession to the French, James spelled his name “Stuart.” The Union Jack was adopted as the national flag in 1606; the King James Version of the Bible was published in 1611; Sir Walter Raleigh was put to death in 1618; and the Separatist Puritan Pilgrim’s set sail for America in the Mayflower in 1620 from Plymouth, England.
Under James I (of England), Scottish settlers were encouraged to settle in Ireland. The population of Ulster grew to about 13,000 in 1622 and 100,000 by 1641. Unfortunately for the Irish (Celtic) peasants living under the Irish (Roman Catholic) and English (Anglican), the newly arrived Scottish settlers (Anglican, Gaelic Catholic, Protestant) were to become the middle class in Ulster. Moreover, as the Irish peasant population grew in the southern part of Ireland to match the Scotch-Irish in Ulster, the expected class resentment grew.
Turning for a moment to the Scots. The Scottish immigrants to Ulster were for the most part from the boarder country between Scotland and England where conflict had been a way of life for generations. James apparently felt that the best way to end the hostility between the Scots and the English was to remove the Border Reivers (Scots) to Ireland. Some voluntary immigration also occurred for basically economic reasons. Ultimately, the ratio of Scots to English in Ulster was about 20 to 1.
In the meantime, in England, the English monarch Charles I (Catholic, reigned 1625-1649, executed) was challenged by anti-monarch/pro-parliament factions (largely Presbyterian and Puritan) resulting in the succession of the highly religious and brutally efficient Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658). When the English civil war was threatening (1642), the Irish nobles led by Owen Roe O’Neill and others also took the opportunity to rebel (1641) against the king (Charles I).
Unfortunately for the Irish nationalists, Oliver Cromwell was not only victorious over the king (1649) who was beheaded. Cromwell landed his troops in Dublin on 15 August 1649 and smashed the Irish rebellion (1649-1653). He, thus, held Ireland under English domination (now Protestant).
It was in the period that Cromwell ruled as Lord Protector (1653-1658) that the basic Catholic versus Protestant animosities of Ireland were formed. When the rebellions of 1641, began 80% of the land in Ireland belonged to Roman Catholics; but by 1665 when monarchy returned to England with Charles II (Catholic son of Charles I), only 20% of the land was held by Roman Catholics. Cromwell rewarded his soldiers (English, frequently from Northumbria) by giving them lands held by Catholics in Ireland. The Catholics were forced into the western provinces (e.g., Donegal). After 1 May 1654, no Irish Catholic could live east of the River Shannon and only those who could prove they had not been rebels could own land west of the Shannon. Many poor Irish Catholics were forced to indenture themselves and flee to the American colonies (primarily in New England) and West Indies.
When James II (very Catholic) succeeded his brother Charles II (Catholic), the Protestant English Parliament sought to overthrow James II (1688). James II was forced to flee to Ireland where he rallied the Irish Nationals/ Roman Catholics. To secure the island, he needed to capture the English/Protestant stronghold of Londonderry, which he besieged. This is where the Protestants began to hate the Roman Catholics as much as the Roman Catholics hated the Protestants. The siege of Londonderry brought home to the English and the Scots that they were now a minority in Ireland. While they had been focused on Scottish-English and King-Parliament issues, the population of Roman Catholic Irish in the south had exploded in three or four generations after the introduction of the potato. (Estimated population growth among poor Irish Catholics outside Ulster by 1688 was 500 to 1000 times the population in 1588. The potato facilitated population growth among the Irish lower classes until it was struck with blight in circa 1840 and produced a famine among this group.)
The English narrowly recovered, relieved the siege of Londonderry and drove James II from Ireland to France (1690). In the aftermath of the war, the suspicion between the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland has festered for 300 years and each new generation has added its list of grievances as well as reinterpreting all of history to make their case.
After 1690, the Parliamentarians (Protestant) were in no mood to be gentle with the Irish supporters of James II (a.k.a., Jacobites, Catholics). A series of “Penal Laws” were enacted, which generally discriminated against Irish and Catholics. Ironically, while the old Norman-Irish families converted to Protestantism to retain their power, the lower classes (Irish Celts) remained in the Roman Catholic faith. By 1778, Catholics owned only 5% of the land in Ireland.
16.2 Aftermath of the English Civil War in Ireland (1650-1660)
To the Victors, Go the Spoils (1650s)
Cromwell took land from Irish Catholics and gave it (as payment and reward) to his loyal and victorious soldiers. One of the large beneficiaries was William Penn (Senior).
The Pearis Family Comes to Ireland (1660s)
In conducting my original research on the Pearis-Paris/Parris family, one of the firmest facts seemed to be that my line of the Pearises reach Pennsylvania-Virginia-South Carolina and North Carolina came from Ireland. (Somewhere I picked up the idea that they had come from County Tyrone (Ireland), but this may not be true and it may have been introduced as a confusion with Tryon County (of the Carolina colonies) by some earlier genealogist.) It is relevant that my family oral tradition placed Ireland as the point of departure of the paternal line from the Old World to America. Thus, I thought a lot about how the Pearis family might have gotten from roots in Northumberland to (Northern) Ireland. Three hypothesis emerged based on a general analysis of history: (1) Pearis as an indigenous ("deep-rooted") Irish family; (2) Pearis arriving from France in the 1600s and (3) Pearis arriving from England in the 1600s.
I discarded the possibility that Pearis was deep-rooted Irish when I was not able to find Pearis, Parris or Paris families in Ireland (historically or modern). I generally rejected the idea that Pearis came to Ireland as French Huguenots in the 1600s on the basis of the name being Pearis (not Parrish or Parry) . Thus, I had generally settled on the idea that the original Pearis must have arrived in Ireland directly from Northumberland circa 1650 with a land grand as a veteran of the New Model Army. There was never any direct proof of that except that the family was protestant by the time they reach Winchester, Virginia.
However, my eyes were opened by conversations with Shay McNeal (personal communication, 1999). She has done extensive research on the Pearis/Parris/Paris family and told me that she had traced a George Parris from the Barbados Parris family to Ireland. His motivation for going to Ireland (circa 1660-80) was that the British wanted him for piracy. This revelation makes very good sense to me and unites a large body of information. I will discuss the Northumbria-Bristol-Barbados connections in other contexts. But, let me take a moment to make the following arguments in support of Shay McNeal's research.
The name “Pearis” is not Irish, it is not Scottish, and it is not Border Reiver (between Scotland and Ireland). Phonetically, Pearis is essentially indistinguishable form Paris or Parris. However, the spelling is unique and unusual. In fact, it is unstable and has reverted it Paris and Parris in North America and I have never seen it anywhere else. All of these factors point towards Pearis being an intentional creation (by some one who could spell) to change or obscure the name Paris or Parris. This strongly suggests that the spelling "Pearis" was introduced as an outlaw alias. It was only needed for a couple of generations and quickly died out.
By 1600, the P-R-S family in England seems to have included a distinct branch of seafarers and merchants (they seem to have used the spelling Parris, but were sometimes called Pierce by outsiders) located in the southwestern part of England. It is most likely that the P-R-S families of southwestern England can be traced back to Yorkshire/Northumbria, and they may have been drawn to Devon and Cornwall by the events associated with the build up of the English navy during the reign of Elizabeth I (late 1500s). They do not appear to have been related to the indigenous seafaring families around Plymouth (e.g., Raleigh, Hawkins, Drake, Grenville, Keymiss) and thus relocated to Bristol and then to Barbados (and North America) as soon as these were settled (early 1600s).
The Quaker Connection (1670s)
The period between 1660 and 1700 when Outlaw George Pearis and his son were postulated to be active seafarers coincided with the growth of the Quaker movement started by George Fox and supported by William Penn (Jr.). Both of these men had excursions to Ireland and the America colonies during this timeframe. Actually, William Penn, Jr. was educated on his father's estate in Ireland and inherited that estate upon his father's death. The Elder William Penn was a well-known admiral and received the estate in Ireland for his support of Cromwell in the civil war. Fox spent 1668 in Ireland and 1671-1672 in the Virginia-Maryland-New Jersey area and Penn founded Philadelphia in 1682-1684. George Fox wrote his memories, which included this account of his trip to American via Barbados and Jamaica (1671). Fox's account of his travels is detailed and any student of early colonial history should read Chapter XVIII of his book (http://www.ccel.org/f/fox/autobiography/htm/xxii.htm#xxii) with great interest as he describes the exact routs of his travels and the means of transportation. He also lists many of his "Friends" by name.
Fox and Penn spend a good deal of time in various jails for their beliefs and professed a very tolerant religious philosophy that likely appealed to the Parrises. The Parris family of Barbados had experience in settling religious immigrants in the New World (New England) and likely were in a good position to assist the Quakers bring families of "Friends" to the new Pennsylvania Colony. It is likely that the Outlaw George Pearis somehow made the aquaintance of the Quaker leaders and set in motion the eventual immigration of his son's family to the New World.
War-Torn Ireland (1680s)
It is clear that Ireland in the 1680s was a good hiding place for anyone running from the British government. French, Dutch, Scots, English, Welch, and native Irish were all thrown together in the corruption and horror that war brings. Anyone with some money especially involved in trade and shipping could likely profit handsomely by moving people and materials into and out of the country. Ireland was more of a "port of call" than a home. The outlaw George Pearis/Parris of Shay McNeal's research likely knew all the Irish ports and probably settled in his later years in one of the more prosperous ports (e.g., Belfast) with a wife from Barbados without ever seeing much of the interior of the island. Their children (including the George Pearis that moved to America circa 1725) may have not even been born in Ireland (circa 1880-1890). However, in this scenario, it is likely that George Pearis (who moved to America) married a local woman (i.e., Sarah) who was likely Anglo-Irish circa 1715. There is an outside chance that the George Pearis that moved to Virginia was the same man who originally hid in Ireland, but that would really stretch the time line. More likely the original outlaw George Pearis was buried somewhere in Ireland around 1700. Apparently, he had only one son (the George Pearis who came to Virginia), but he may have had daughters that married into other families in Ireland.
I envision the Outlaw George Pearis as a the owner of one or two small merchant ships that profited during the hostilities by carrying men and supplies among Irish (Belfast and Dublin) and English ports (Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester) with occasional runs to Barbados and North America (Charles Town, Philadelphia, New York and Boston). His wife could have been anywhere. His son would likely have entered the trade with him. Thus, the George Pearis who moved to Virginia via Pennsylvania likely was familiar with the American colonies and I would assume that his sons (George, Richard and Robert) would have also been generally aware of the family connections with Barbados.
16.3 The Restoration and its Impact on Ireland (1660-1685)
Charles II (1660 - 1685)
The death of Cromwell was inevitable and almost predictable. It may have even been a factor in Charles II quietly bidding his time in France for 9 years. With Oliver Cromwell out of the way, all Charles II had to do to reclaim the throne was acknowledge the covenants that he had signed a decade earlier and the Scots and the English were happy to see his return. The productive austerity and piety of Britain during the 1750s was quickly replaced by a lavish self-indulgence radiating outward from the new king.
But, the most important feature of the reign of Charles II for this story is the growing alienation of the Presbyterians in favor of the Episcopals. The Episcopacy was re-established in 1662 and concurrently the Presbyterians in England, Ireland and Scotland began to suffer progressive repression. First, Anglican Royalists and people who had supported Charles while in exile were returned their estates in Ireland and Scotland, which had been given to Presbyterians and Puritans from Cromwell’s army. These Royalists were also able to implement the land grants given by Charles in the New World (i.e., Carolina). Charles II followed this action with a requirement in 1665 that Presbyterian and Puritan settlers in Ireland return one-third of the escheated lands to the Catholics. Obviously, this compromise pleased no one. Although it may have been just that the native Irish be reinstated, the effect was to put pressure on Presbyterians. These pressures would come to a head about 1715. In the interim, the erosion of the Presbyterian position would be obscured by more dramatic conflicts between the Anglicans and the Roman Catholics.
Charles II had a son James, Duke of Monmouth who would soon play a sad role in the succession of the Stuarts.
The Succession of James II
James II (third son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, b. 1633, brother of Charles II) had participated in the wars against Cromwell, suffered exile in France, and was appointed a high military official in his brother’s court after the Restoration. He married Anne Hyde who gave him eight children (Charles, Mary, James, Anne , another Charles, Edgar, Henrietta, and Catherine) before she died in 1671. Had the story ended there it might have been much happier, but during his years of exile he apparently developed an appreciation for Roman Catholicism and young French women. Thus, he returned to France after his wife’s death and picked up both of these interests. He soon married Mary of Modena and they set about producing offspring rather late in James’s life (he was 38).
Meanwhile back in England in 1679, Parliament attempted to ensure that James would never become king, but failed. Thus, when Charles II died in 1685, James got the throne. The Protestants were understandably upset and pushed his poor nephew James Duke of Monmouth (son of Charles II) to revolt. The revolt was soon crushed; the Duke of Monmouth was beheaded; and Protestant rebels were treated less kindly.
James II and the Jacobites (1685 - 1688)
When Charles II died in 1685, his brother James II (1633 - 1701) ascended to the throne of Great Britain. Unlike their father Charles I, James II had been thoroughly indoctrinated in Catholicism by his mother Henrietta Maria during years in France. By 1672, he was a Roman Catholic and although he swore to uphold the Church of England, he reintroduced Roman Catholicism into England concurrent with the French revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. The influx of Protestant Frenchmen into England brought back all the horror stories for the French repression of Protestants in the 1500s and the Irish actions against the Protestants during their rebellion in 1641.
In Ireland, the movement in favor of the Catholics begun by Charles II was accelerated by James II at the expense of the Presbyterians. There appears to have been a consolidation of Presbyterians from throughout Ireland into Ulster. James II represented the possibility of the Irish Catholic “landlord class” (frequently with Anglo-Norman, not Gaelic/Celtic roots) would reverse the land grants made by the Roundheads (Cromwell). Protestants owned over two-thirds of the good lands. Some of this land had come from the landlords and some had come from the peasants, but it was obviously the interest of any Catholic landlord to maneuver politically to collect the scraps that fell off of James II’s table.
The English Protestants were clearly not happy and James made moves to reinforce the loyalty of the army by introduction of Catholic officers. This action was seen as a way to intimidate the Protestants, and sure enough, in 1687 James required the Bishops of the Church of England to read an edict from their pulpits, which clearly favored Catholicism. About a fourth of the Bishops refused and were arrested and placed in the Tower of London. Clearly, the government was drifting in an ominous direction. Would James or the continuation of the Stuart line after James continue this trend? For a while, the English were confident that James could not carry their country too far towards Catholicism because the most likely choice to succeed him (his daughter Mary) was Protestant. In fact, she was married to a leading Protestant advocate King William of Holland. This situation, however, changed unexpectedly when his second (Roman Catholic) wife Mary of Modena gave birth to a son (James Francis Edward). It looked as though a Catholic monarch would rule Britain for the next hundred years.
These prospects were enough to lead influential men in England to commit treason. It happened that Charles I had had a daughter (Mary Stuart) who had a strongly Protestant son (a nephew of James II and Charles II) William of Orange (b. 1650) who had married his first cousin Mary (b. 1662) daughter of James II. All it took was an invitation to William to be King of Britain and assurances that the army would back him up. James II realized that he had overplayed his hand and fled, only to be captured and brought to London where he was allowed to escape into exile in France leaving behind the ability of the lords to claim he had abdicated. With an empty throne, William and his wife Mary were officially invited in to continue the Stuart line.
Naturally, James had supporters in England, Scotland and Ireland. These supporters were collectively identified by the term "Jacobite." Their motivation was rooted in pro-monarch, pro-Roman Catholic, pro-nationalist (Irish and Scottish) and pro-French positions; and anti-English and anti-Protestant beliefs.
William and Mary
For those of you who like me are easily confused, let’s go over the royal bloodlines once more. Charles I had several children among them were Charles II and James II. Charles also had a daughter who had a son who became a leading Protestant supporter on the continent. His name was William of Orange (grand son of Charles I). James the II had many children by two wives, but until about 1688, his daughter Mary looked like the sure winner in the succession. Parliament and the English people loved her and she was Protestant. Moreover, Mary married William of Orange (her first cousin). However, when James received a new son from his second Catholic wife; the ability of Parliament to (legally) ensure a Protestant succession was ended.
When it became apparent that James II was going to carry Britain back to the days of “Blood Mary,” Parliament started looking for a replacement. Moreover, because of James II’s close association with Louis XIV of France, even the Pope and the Spanish were happy to see James II go. Remembering that Mary was the monarch that Parliament had wanted for years, her husband William of Orange came to the top of the list of candidates. He definitely was Protestant. Nonetheless, the Pope and Spain had already allied with him against France.
Parliament’s hope was that Mary (Mary II) would actually rule Britain with William playing a role in the background. When, they were forced to commit treason to invite William to depose James II, Parliament had little choice but to accept the two cousins as a team (William III and Mary II). The couple had no children and Mary eventually died of small pox in 1694. William was thrown from his horse and died in 1702.
William gathered up a small army and landed in England in November 1688. James II was caught totally off guard. Apparently, elaborate agreements had been made to pave the way for William because James could not find anyone who would help him. William allowed James safe passage to France and away he went. The majority of moderate English and Scots were euphoric that power had been transferred to a Protestant line of succession without a civil war. They called it the Glorious Revolution. But, this was only the first action in what would consolidate a mutual animosity between the Catholics/ Native Irish and Protestants/Anglo-Irish inhabitants of Ireland. James II was not going to be deposed so easily.
Parliament had made William and Mary the monarchs, and, over the next few years, Parliament ensured it authority. First, the 1689 Bill of Rights was actually a list of limitations on the monarch. The Parliament made sure it was in position to control the military. Finally, in 1701, Parliament passed the Act of Settlement that dictated how the succession should go. Basically, the line of James II was forbidden from becoming the monarch and instead a line that had married into the German Protestants was designated as successors to William and Mary (remember that by 1701 Mary was dead and they had no children).
But, the immediate concern of William and Mary was James’s attempt to bring the French in on his side. James II quickly negotiated with the French for an army and one was provided. Because of the number of Irish ex patriots floating around France, James had no trouble of forming a Irish contingent to his army and decided to attack William by way of Ireland. Unlike the other efforts of the Stuarts to enter Scotland and raise local armies to attack the British, this was definitely an attack by France on Britain using James II as a convenient excuse. It was in France’s interest to attempt to make the conflict into a Catholic versus Protestant rather than French versus British conflict, and that is what was done.
16.4 The Nine Years War (1688-1697)
The Sun King Louis XIV of France (Reigned 1643 - 1715)
France became the dominant political and military power in Europe under the reign of Louis XIV. His reign is typically divided into three parts:
1643-1661 Chief Minister Cardinal Mazarin period
1661-1685 The height of his power
It had been customary for the French monarchs to rule through chief ministers, many of whom were members of the Catholic clergy. But, Louis XIV secured greater personal power after the death of Cardinal Mazarin (1661) by having the heir-apparent of the cardinal tried and sent to jail for corruption. Nonetheless, Jean Baptiste Colbert wielded substantial influence during this time. As the controller general of finance, Colbert succeeded in reducing the debts and strengthening France internally. The financial success of France was manifest by support to the arts, the Louvre in Paris and Versailles.
Louis XIV became a military threat to every other nation (Protestant or Catholic) throughout the world. He provided haven for the Stuarts of Britain and he argued that the Spanish Netherlands should have devolved to his wife rather than Charles II of Spain. This precipitated wars (1667-1668, 1672-1678) in the Netherlands that played an important role in British history. He soon annexed cities along the Rhine and in northern Italy. Ireland would be an obvious addition to Louis XIV’s state.
Interestingly, Louis XIV attempted to separate himself from the Pope (as Henry VII of England had). This precipitated a bitter quarrel with the Pope (1673-1693). The timing of this dispute was very bad for James II of England.
The Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685. This was effectively a declaration of war on the Protestant French Huguenots and German (Rhenish) Palatinates (whom he invaded in 1688). These two groups were forced to flee to Britain and British colonies. This initiated the so-called Nine Years War (1688-1697).
In his later years, Louis drew France into the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) which wrecked his treasury.
The French and Their Enemies (1685-1700)
By the mid-1600s, Western Europe was solidly Roman Catholic. The French even revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Nonetheless, religious homogeneity among the principal monarchs of Europe (Spain, Italy, France) did not ensure political stability. Among the feudal, Roman Catholic states, France was definitely ascending at everyone else's expense in Asia (India), Africa, Eastern Europe, and North America. The Pope favored a balance of power, not a French-world hegemony. As a matter of fact, as loyal and reverent (tithing) Roman Catholics go, the French were definitely not in the league with the Spanish and the Portuguese. French conquest in the New World would likely end up in a palace in France or a well-appointed office of a bureaucrat in Quebec, while Spanish monks would lead austere lives and split the gold with the Pope and the King. Moreover, the French were scheming and warlike. They loved to foment trouble for the other heads of state by sympathizing with subordinate colonies or territories. They constantly dabbled in the politics of Scotland, Ireland, and India to undermine the British and they had undermined Spanish interests in the Netherlands and Florida. In the end, French nationalism was the force that threatened Europe more then Protestantism or the British.
Since the assent of the Tudors (Henry VIII), the French had looked for ways to use the religious differences in England to fragment and subvert that nation. One of the darkest days for the French had been the Coronation of James I (James IV of Scotland) and union of Scotland and England. The French had encouraged polarization among the British at the time of the Civil War and they were farsighted enough to realize that as long as they could keep the ex patriot Stuarts and Earls of Ireland alive as a potential threat to the British monarchy, that was to their advantage.
So, when push-came-to-shove concerning the French, the Spanish and the Pope would line up with the British Protestants, who had never shown any inclination to dominate either the Spanish or Italian homeland. Thus, when James II came to power in Britain and began a policy of overt suppression of the Protestants and displayed appreciation to the French who had nurtured the Stuarts and Jacobites, the rest of Roman Catholic Europe held its breath. If Britain became the junior partner of France, Spain would have been forced out of the New World and Europe would likely fall under French domination.
Thus, when the British Parliament looked for a Protestant successor for Charles II, William of Orange who was primarily interested in freeing Holland from the French was a choice that not only the British could accept, but also the “anti-French Roman Catholic Coalition” (the Pope and Spain) could also support him.
When William arrived in England (5 November 1688), the French were caught by surprise and no one else would support James II. That is why James was not able to muster a military response and why the revolution was relatively bloodless. James fled to France for protection by Louis XIV.
French Aggression in Ireland
All attempts by the Stuarts (e.g., Charles II, 1650-51 and the “young pretender’s” efforts in 1745) to infiltrate England and regain the throne relied upon Scotland as the stepping stone. As a matter of fact, James II was still the King of Scotland even after he fled to France. The Crown of Scotland was not declared to be forfeited until 4 April 1689 (after he accompanied the French forces in invasion of Ireland, 12 March 1689). The remarkable point that seems to get left out of the debates about the events of 1688 was the fact that it was actually an extension of the French drive to dominate Europe more than an attempt by James II to recapture his throne. James merely provided a convenient excuse for an attack that Louis XIV had been planning for some time. For years, Louis XIV had been on a road of very aggressive empire-building. He had attacked Catholics and Protestants alike, but when he attacked Protestant nations, he made an especial effort to drive a wedge between the victim and his Catholic adversaries (Spain and Italy). After he revoked the Edict of Nantes (1685), it was only a matter of time before he attempted to add the British to his trophies. One of the reasons that James II had so aggressively pursued pro-Catholic policies was to appease Louis XIV and to attempt to gain sympathy from the Pope and the Spanish. James II was in the process of being coerced by Louis the XIV when Parliament replaced him with William and Mary.
This changed the French plans. An invasion of Britain was now necessary, but where. It was not feasible to land French troops in Scotland, because the British Navy could have intervened with disastrous results. James II could get into Scotland with a small party, but that would take time to develop and if James Stuart were successful, he would become a Catholic-nationalist hero who could oppose the French. Thus, the obvious French solution was to invade Ireland with James II (still King of Scotland) as a figurehead. There was plenty of anti-British opinion in Ireland and the Irish were pro-Catholic. Moreover, the French could get troops to Ireland faster than William could. Overall, the French could draw William into war on ground favorable to them (Ireland) and if they won, they would win Ireland, Holland, and Britain (England and Scotland). James II could be returned to the British throne as a vassal of Louis XIV.
James II landed his French and ex patriot Irish army unopposed at Kinsale (County Cork) on 12 March 1689. The British were not prepared to respond immediately. William and Mary were not crowned until 11 April. On 7 May, England declared war on France. On the same day, James replaced the English Parliament of Ireland with an Irish Parliament. This act was not necessarily in the interest of the English monarch, whoever he/she was. An independent Irish Parliament was primarily in the interest of France. It soon became clear that the main interest of the Irish Parliament was limited to land redistribution among the nobles (i.e., not land reform).
During James II’s reign in England, his Viceroy in Ireland was Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnell. Tyrconnell had largely shifted the command structure of the English Army in Ireland into pro-Catholic hands. Thus, the regular army did not resist the arrival of the Franco-Jacobite army with James II as its nominal leader. This was the principal reason that James was included in the invasion by the French. The Protestants of Ulster attempted to organize defense committees and staged an unsuccessful attack on the regular army garrison at Carrickfergus. Tyrconnell’s Irish army under the command of Lt. General Richard Hamilton invaded Ulster soon after the landings in March. After a skirmish at Break of Dromore, most of the Protestant leaders fled to England and Scotland. The remaining Protestants burned bridges as they retreated to Coleraine. The French-Jacobite army attacked Coleraine on 28 March 1689. By 7 April, the Protestants fell back into Londonderry.
The Siege of Derry (1689)
A number of Protestant military leaders assembled volunteer “regiments” from their home areas and brought them to Londonderry. These included Sir George Maxwell (Killyeagh, County Down); Colonel Edmonstone (Ballymena, County Antrim); Lord Blaney (Armagh); Mountjoy’s Dragoons (Newtownstewart, County Tyrone); and George Phillips (Limavdy, County Londonderry). Forces also assembled under Gustavus Hamilton at Enniskillen. While the Jacobites focused on the siege of Londonderry, the Protestants at Enniskillen were able to conduct a mobile defense including raids against the supply lines of the French-Jacobite Army.
The Jacobites withdrew from Londonderry on 28 July 1689 after 105 bitter days. When the withdrawal began, the Protestant forces from Enniskillen led by Colonel Wolseley struck an important blow at Newtownbutler on 30 July. The retreating Jacobites fled leaving behind some of their heavy equipment.
This turn of events was an impressive reversal for the Protestants of Ireland. But, now the Regular French army was arriving in large numbers. The Duke of Schomberg brought the first contingents of William of Oranges Army to Ulster 13 August 1689. It was too late in the season for any major campaigning to begin so the European Alliance headed by William of Orange and the Jacobite-French Armies built their strengths during the winter and planned for the spring.
Meanwhile, Jacobites in Scotland defeated forces of William at Killiecrankie on 27 July 1689. William was not able to neutralize the Scottish Jacobites until 1 May 1690 at the battle of Cromdale. Concerns in Scotland delayed William arriving in Ireland until 14 June 1690.
The March from Belfast to Dublin (June-July 1690)
The Jacobites had been in Ireland for over a year before William personally arrived on 14 June 1690 at Carrickfergus with a fleet of 300 ships. He gathered an army of about 36,000 men (mainly imported from Holland, France, Prussia, Denmark and Sweden ) in Belfast and marched towards Dublin. The Jacobite Army commanded by French General Lauzun (with James II as a figurehead) attempted to stop the European Alliance at Oldbridge on the Boyne River. They failed (1 July 1690) and with the first signs of weakness in the French, James II took the opportunity to bow out of the war. He returned to France via Dublin, Waterford and Kinsale.
The Battle of Boyne is almost totally misrepresented in history because most historians focus on the contest between James II and William, not on the contest between France and Britain. This was not a climatic battle of the war. Indeed, it would not have been even considered to be important except that James II took the opportunity to retire to France shortly after the battle and he never had reason to come back to Ireland. We will presently see that his son did rejoin the Stuart fight in Scotland. The Boyne was a moderate victory for the forces of William and Mary, but the French fought on for months. The presence or absence of James II in Ireland was irrelevant; the invasion had been a French invasion of Britain all along.
After the Battle of the Boyne and James II escape, the French-Jacobite Army under Lauzun abandoned Dublin and defended the line of the Shannon River. The European Alliance under William of Orange entered Dublin on 7 July 1690. The European Alliance was successful at succession Drogheda, Kilkenny and Waterford, but the French still held Athlone.
The Siege of Limerick (August 1690)
The French re-established their defenses on the River Shannon while the European Alliance approached Limerick on 7 August 1690. The army was strung out and the heavy (24-pounder) siege guns were well to the rear. The batteries of heavy guns camped one night near Ballyneety (14 miles from Limerick) and were attacked by a raiding party of Jacobites commanded by Sarsfield. The Jacobites succeeded in blowing up the powder and destroying the guns. The European Alliance attempted to assault Limerick on 27 August, but they were repulsed. Realizing that he could not successfully attack Limerick until his guns were replaced, William left Ireland for the remainder of the year. From his perspective, the war with France was being fought on a line from the Rhine in the east to the Shannon in the west and he was needed more in Holland. He left the European Alliance in Ireland under the command of Count Solms (commander of the Dutch contingent). Soon the French realized that the European Alliance had shifted its attention to the east and decided to remain on the defensive for the winter. General Lauzun took the French troops home leaving a collection of Irish ex patriots who had been serving with French forces behind under the Duke of Berwick.
Battles were subsequently fought at Athlone, Aughrim Galway and Limerick (October 13 October 1691).
The Shannon Campaign (December 1690-1691)
For the next few months, raids across no-mans-land were mixed with rumors of peace. The Dutch recalled Count Solms; and he was replaced by to Baron Godart Van reede de Ginkel. William was in Holland most of the winter. In preparation for the spring campaign, the French sent several new Generals headed by Le Marquis de St. Ruhe (a.k.a., St. Ruth). St. Ruth concentrated his Irish army of 16,000 foot, 3,000 horse and 2,000 dragoons from Galway and Limerick to Ballinasloe. His only guns were in defense positions in towns.
The European Alliance finally moved west against the French-led Jacobites on 6 June 1691. Jacobite screening forces were swept away and the European Alliance reached Leinstertown on the eastern bank of the Shannon on 19 June. The French-Jacobites had fortified Leinstertown and its sister city (Athlone) on the west side of the Shannon in County Connought. The two towns were connected by a bridge across the Shannon. St. Ruth moved his French-Jacobite army within about two miles of the town.
The European Alliance began the battle by bombarding the fortification on the west side of the Shannon. This cannonade lasted a week and was the largest bombardment ever conducted on Irish soil. The European Alliance tried several maneuvers to cross the river. None were successful until the 30th of June. The European Alliance staged a daring assault across a ford and quickly took the fortified town across the Shannon. By the time the main French-Jacobite army could arrive, there was nothing they could do.
The Battle of Aughrim (12 July 1689)
While the European Alliance waited for re-supply, the French generals retreated with the Jacobite army. They selected their next line of defense for Galway and Limerick as a ridgeline known as Aughrim Hill. The key to this ridge was that bogs formed natural defensive barriers so that a relatively narrow front was available for advance for the European Alliance.
The French-Jacobites occupied the open ground on 8 July 1689 and began digging in. A contingent was sent to Galway (probably to keep the last escape open) and the Jacobite cavalry that had covered their retreat from the Boyne was placed in reserve. The European Alliance was in position by the 11th of July and opened an attack on their left flank and center on the 12th. These attacks were resisted with the advantage to the Jacobite defense. Nearing nightfall, it looked like the battle might become a stalemate, but the General of the European Alliance observed movement of the Jacobite on their right to reinforce the center. The European Alliance attacked on foot and established a beachhead beyond the bog. Then their cavalry was sent across to roll up the Jacobite from the flank. Just as St. Ruth was about to order his cavalry reserve to resist this move he was killed. Moreover, there is speculation that the officers of the Jacobite cavalry were more interested in negotiating some sort of accommodation with the English than with a last stand with the French. In any event, the Jacobite Calvary withdrew to the west. The rout was on.
Galway was taken on 21 July and Limerick finally surrendered on 3 October 1691, thus ending the French campaign in Ireland. The Irish mercenaries that had made up the corps of the Jacobite army was allowed to leave Ireland and became known as the “Wild Geese.” They fought in the service of Louis XIV for the next generation.
The Nine Years War continued until 1697 when William and Louis signed the Treaty of Ryswick.
Part 17: The Carolina Colony (1660-1732)
17.1 King Charles II
Catholic King Charles I was beheaded by the English in 1649. Nonetheless, his son Charles (1630 - 1685) was chosen as King Charles II by the Royal Scots. The Scots attempted to install Charles as king, but the army of Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scots in 1650 at Dunbar. In 1651, Charles was defeated at Worchester and had to be hidden while he escaped with the aid of some royal friends to France. From there, he would plot and pray to return to the throne of England. He had few friends and had no money to reward those who were faithful to him. Thus, he essentially rewarded people for their service with options on tracts of land in the Americas, which of course, would only be enforceable if he came back to power. This approach not only was expedient in the short run, it also created a corps of powerful men who would benefit greatly by his restoration to the throne of England.
In the meantime, Oliver Cromwell brought an austere Puritanism to Great Britain. After Cromwell’s death, Charles II was placed on the throne in 1660 and ruled until his death in 1685. He was known as the “Merry Monarch” as his court returned to a more worldly pursuit of pleasure, and to his credit, he recognized the dangers of religious excesses of both the Catholics (Papist and Anglican) and the Protestants. Fortunately, his advisor Edward Hyde kept King Charles II from doing any serious damage to the monarchy.
To fulfill promises made to those who had helped him while he was out of power, Charles II established the colony of Carolina in 1663 (territory south of Virginia) and gave it to eight loyal supporters called the “Lords Proprietors.” These were as follows: Anthony Ashley Cooper (first Baron Ashley and later first Earl of Shaftesbury), the Duke of Albemarle (formerly General George Monk), the Earl of Clarendon (father-in-law of James II), the Earl of Craven, Lord Berkeley, Sir William Berkley, Sir John Colleton, Sir George Carteret. That same year he passed the Navigation Acts, which required that most trade with the colonies must be carried by British ships.
The Lords Proprietors set about trying to settle Carolina. Some exploration had already been made from Jamestown Virginia into what is now called the Albermarle Sound area and the banks of the Chowan River. These early explorers and settlers had found the region populated by several small coastal tribes that had been earlier met by the Sir Walter Raleigh Colony on Roanoke Island. But to their west, the coastal plain was occupied by a much more aggressive and unified tribe called the Tuscarora. The Tuscarora had apparently migrated into the area from the Iroquois territories and settled by displacing the more peaceful Catawba into the piedmont. The early settlers of course had no idea that in the western mountains the mighty Cherokee Nation held the entire southern end of the mountains west of the Blue Ridge. About 1667, the Lords Proprietors sent colonists to three sites: (1) north of the Albermarle, (2) the lower Cape Fear River valley, and (3) the mouth of the Ashley River (named after Ashley Cooper). The southern most of these colonies was the only one that showed much progress. This was due to difficulties in navigation into the narrow shifting inlets of the outer banks, the favorable situation with the Native Americans (e.g., the Catawba in the south rather than the Tuscarora who were faced in the lower Cape Fear valley), and more enthusiastic efforts by Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper.
The southern-most colony (established in 1670 on Albemarle Point on the Ashley River) became known as Charles Town (do not confuse it with the earlier Charles Fort). In 1672, Charles Town had 263 men, 69 women and 59 children under 16 years old. Much will be written about Charles Town below; here we will focus on more general developments in the Carolina colonies.
Meanwhile in 1682 (and of no immediate importance to the Carolinas) the French explorer La Salle explored the Mississippi River in 1682 claiming it in the name of King Louis XIV. In 1685, Charles the II died and King James II achieved the throne of England. Also in that year, Louis the XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes and this act undercut the religious freedom of Protestants that had remained in France.
17.2 Charles Town (1670-1763)
The first colonists to the southern part of Carolina arrived on the ships Carolina and Port Royal in the year 1670. The ships first found shelter in what is now Bull’s Bay, but local explorations soon guided the ship with their cargoes of colonists about 20 miles further south to what is now called Albemarle Point. This location was at the mouth of a protected bay formed by the mouths of two rivers called by the native Americans Kiawah and Wando. Between these two rivers, was a point of land, which was originally called Oyster Point.
The original party of settlers was about 160 persons including a few women. In 1671, Sir John Yeamans was made governor of the southern colony. The grant from the King allowed the Lords Proprietors to establish laws as they saw fit as long as they did not conflict with British law. Given this leeway, Lord Ashley, who seems to have taken the principal interest in the southern colony, established the government as a County Palatine with its own system on landed nobility: with 48,000 acres a man received the title “landgrave” and with 24,000 acres a man was designated a “cassique.” These title carried in the colony roughly the prestige of “duke” and “earl” in Britain. The rich plantation system, which Lord Ashley envisioned, would be built on the backs of slaves. The first slaves arrived from Barbados almost as soon as the British.
During the first 10 years of the colony, the rivers that ran into the bay were renamed the Ashley and the Cooper (for Lord Ashley Cooper). However, the Cooper River branched again about 3 miles further up stream and the north branch retained the name Wando. It was becoming apparent that Albemarle Point had several disadvantages. It was poorly drained and did not provide much protection from the Spanish who might arrive by sea or the natives who could infiltrate the swamps. At the same time, the swamps inhibited access to the interior. Thus, in 1680 the settlement was moved to the point between the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers. Specifically, its harbor was built up on the Cooper River side facing the east. The abandoned settlement became known as the “Old Town Plantation.”
Concurrent with this move, Lord Ashley decided that the new city would be laid out in an organized fashion along the lines of Philadelphia. The result was a city laid off in 300-foot squares with main streets 100 feet wide and minor streets 60 feet wide. Four squares fronted on the Cooper River and they were backed up by two full squares and two squares that had to be truncated because of wetlands. Thus, the town was a trapezoid. The new city also had a wall with bastions about every 250 feet. About this time (1678), some the town’s future prominent citizens arrived including Edward Middleton, Thomas Drayton and Robert Daniel.
In the 1680s, many new settlers arrived. Many of these came from existing British colonies in the Caribbean (e.g., Barbados, which had been settled in 1627). From 1680 to 1685, the population rose from 700 to 900; and by 1690 it was 1,100 (fifth largest city in the colonies). Much of the population growth was due to immigration of 450 French Huguenots between 1680 and 1686; without them, the population would have actually decreased. One of the Huguenots was Daniel Huger. Other Huguenot names included Laurens, Ravenel, and Manigault.
At this point, the colony seemed to reach “critical mass” for sustainability and through immigration and native births the population of the town reached 2,000 by 1700 and 3,000 by 1710. Most of the population was contained with in the wall until about 1717.
The success of Charles Town into 1690 was attributable to its trade with the Native Americans. Most families hired natives to hunt for them and a trade in deerskins to England soon proved popular. The Caribbean islands needed lumber and Charles Town soon was exporting lumber and timber to Barbados for rum and molasses. The forest also provided tar, pitch and turpentine (a.k.a., naval stores) essential to the Royal Navy to maintain its ships. The export of pork and corn rounded out the goods that Charles Town sent to the international market.
During this time, the interaction with the Native Americans was on-balance mutually beneficial. At this time, Charles Town was a trading colony, not a plantation. This, of course, was not what Lord Ashley Cooper had in mind. Trading could make the inhabitants of Charles Town prosperous, but it would not make Lord Ashley Cooper significantly more wealthy than he already was.
Dr. Henry Woodward, one of the original colonists, is said to have received a bag of rice from a sea captain John Thurber about 1680. He soon learned to cultivate the rice and extension of the city in the 1690s beyond the wall was attributable to establishment of rice plantations in low-lying areas. This created a demand for black slaves. However, it did not bring conflict with the Native Americans because they did not farm the low lands and the potential for expanding the plantations inland was minimal. Nonetheless, between 1690 and 1700 about 2,000 people moved to plantations outside of the city; so that the total population of the area was about 5,000 Europeans and black slaves. The principal families had names that appear later in South Carolina and American history including Middleton, Barnwell, Izard, Amory, Bull, Harleston, Manigualt, Mazyck, Pinckney, and Rett.
The stagnant waters of the lowland rice plantations brought on mosquito-born diseases, which convinced most people that the city was not desirable as the seat of a permanent government. The city had not, at this point, even developed a municipal government. There was a large fire in 1699 as well as epidemics. Great hurricanes in 1686 and 1713 badly damaged the city. In 1715, the first real trouble with the Native Americans (specifically the Yemassee tribe) developed.
Ramsey (1808) gives an account of this war. Scottish traders among the Yemassee noticed that the Indians were spending more and more time with the Spanish in St. Augustine, Florida and when they returned to South Carolina they spouted typical Catholic rhetoric and anti-British sentiments. The first inkling that war was planned against the British came via John Fraser who was warned by his Indian friends to move to Charles Town. On the 15 April 1715, parties of Indians systematically attacked the outlying British homesteads. Several hundred colonists were killed and the rest fled. The British colony was being pushed back into Charles Town. Governor Craven organized the defense and then pushed the Indians back eventually south of the Savannah River. There was another series of raids in 1718.
These conflicts proved how vulnerable Charles Town was. Without peace, the colony could not grow its crops or trade. Thus, about 1720, a serious city government developed with an eye to improving the durability of the city’s homes by requiring them to be made from brick.
In some ways, Charles Town was on its way to becoming the “capitol of the British Caribbean.” It was the port that could most readily supply British colonies in the islands (e.g., Barbados, Antigua, Nevis, the Bahamas, St. Christophers/Kitts, Jamaica ) with mainland materials and staples: wood products and naval stores, rice, and pork. Charles Town also took its place among the international ports of the colonies. In 1702, mail service was established from Charles Town to Philadelphia. In 1731, a French Huguenot named Louis Timothee living in Holland immigrated to Philadelphia with his wife and four children. There he found a job working on Benjamin Franklin’s German-language newspaper. Franklin had also established a newspaper in Charles Town under Thomas Whitmarsh who died in September 1733. Timothee became the publisher of the South-Carolina Gazette in February 1734 and changed his name to Lewis Timothy. Lewis Timothy managed the paper until his death in 1738. Then, his wife managed the paper until she was able to purchase it from Franklin for her son Peter .
But all this still did not make the English lords wealthy.
Even before the beginnings of large plantations, a contemporary observer in 1734 stated that there were 30,000 African slaves in South Carolina and that in Charles Town there were five African Slaves for each European. The lords needed a highly valuable export crop for the European market (not the Caribbean market). About 1737, George Lucas Lt. Governor of Antigua came to Charles Town with his family to establish a rice plantation on the mainland. When he returned to his duties on Antigua, his daughter, Eliza (born 1723), took responsibility for the plantation. Increased production of rice, continued to drive its price down. About 1742, she decided to try to grow indigo (a blue dye). In 1750, Charles Town was the fourth largest city in the colonies and was also the wealthiest. By 1753, indigo was the new basis for plantation life in South Carolina and the plantations moved more upland. Eliza Lucas was a friend of the wife of Col. Charles Pinckney. When the first Mrs. Pinckney died without children; Eliza married the fortunate Col. Pinckney and they produced Thomas and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Both of the men found their way into history. Eliza died in 1793 in Philadelphia.
The population of Charles Town was about 6,800 when indigo was introduced 1743; by 1760, the population was 8,000. Charles Town survived a serious fire on 20 December 1745 and a hurricane on 15 September 1752. These events made way for a new construction boom that produced a new city by 1760. Ironically, the peace that came at the end of the French and Indian War nearly hurt Charles Towns economy as the British now were able to obtain rice and indigo from former French and Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. In 1760, Cherokee traders brought small pox to Charles Town from where it had been spread by Europeans on the northwest frontier. [As we would say in the later part of the 20th Century, “What goes around, comes around.”] Nonetheless, between 1760 and 1776 the population of Charles Town grew to 12,000. By now, there was a large population in the piedmont also. The period before the American War of Independence saw Charles Town trade with all the ports on both sides of the Atlantic.
Charles Town provided three signers of the Constitution, and Charles Pinckney proposed the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. When South Carolina became a state, “Charles Town” became “Charleston.”
17.3 Pirates and Buccaneers of the Atlantic Coast (1715-1720)
The same shifting sands that made the outer banks of Carolina unacceptable for normal trade (the area has earned the reputation of the “Grave Yard of the Atlantic” because of all the shipwrecks there) provided a haven for outlaws of the sea. Few regular navy ships of any country wanted to risk their boats (which were usually larger with deeper draft) chasing the pirates into Carolina shoals. Thus, during the 1700s, many colorful men and women became associated with the shore from Cape Fear to Cape Look Out to Cape Hattereras.
Black Bellamy (Active 1716-1717)
Samuel Bellamy first arrived in the New World (1715) in New England and wishing to seek his fortune on the sea rather than the land, he is believed to have obtained a ship from a Cape Cod merchant to try his had at privateering against the Spanish in the south. It is said that his long-term plans included wedding a Maria Hallet. His attempt at privateering fell through and he soon turned to outright piracy. In as little as a year, he captured about 50 merchant ships. That is a rate of one every week.
The ships provided gold, which could be used to attract more sailors to his gang and he even built a small fleet at the expense of hapless merchants set adrift. In particular he acquired the three-masted 100-foot galley Whydah in 1717 off Cuba. Its cargo of ivory and indigo added to his considerable haul and the legend has it that he then turned to his true love in Cape Cod. The ship encountered a storm and heavy sea in which it capsized and broke up very quickly with the loss of all but two crewmen. Of these survivors, Thomas Davis is the source of the story.
Blackbeard (Active 1716- 1718)
Edward Teach (a.k.a., Blackbeard) was also English and believed to have been born in Bristol about 1680. As most pirates he got the fever while serving in a privateer crew on an English ship out of Jamaica. He first signed on with pirate Captain Benjamine Hornigold and became the captain of a captured trading sloop. This soon led him to command of the captured French merchant Concord, renamed Queen Anne’s Revenge.
Among his notorious exploits were the capture and ransom of prominent Samuel Wragg of Charles Town, (South) Carolina. Soon, Alexander Spotswood Lt. Governor of Virginia offered a 100 pounds for his head, dead or alive. This not much more than some colonies soon offered for the scalp of French and Indians on the western frontier. Nonetheless, Lt. Robert Maynard of the HMS Pearl tracked Blackbeard down at Ocracoke Inlet on the Carolina outer banks and killed him in combat. His crew was taken to Virginia and all save one was hanged.
John “Calico Jack” Rackman, Anne Bonny and Mary Read (circa 1720)
Captain John “Calico Jack” Rackman was a gaudy pirate in the Bahamas. He soon attracted two women named Anne Bonny and Mary Read who seem a little too masculine to portray as romantic interest, but who were not above escaping the hangman’s nooks by becoming pregnant. Their short careers ended in 1720 when a British Navy sloop caught them.
Stede Bonnet “The Gentleman Pirate” (circa 1718)
Stede Bonnet was another pirate who frequented Charles Town. Ironically, the incident involving Samuel Wragg provoked Charles Town to send Colonel William Rett to sea in the Henry looking for Blackbeard. He came upon a pirate ship, which he engaged and captured. The ship turned out to be the Royal James and the pirate captain was Stede Bonnet.
When the pirate crew was brought to Charles Town there was not enough room to keep them all in the watch house, so Bonnet and his officers were put under guard in a private home. Bonnet was a well-educated and eloquent speaker who gained the admiration of the town’s people. Bonnet escaped to Sullivan’s Island in Charles Town harbor in woman’s clothing. In another twist of fate, the pirate ship Eagle was trapped in the harbor between the Royal James (now in the hands of an honest captain) and the Sea Nymph. While the Eagle was being captured Bonnet was also captured. It was discovered that the Eagle had been recently captured while bringing convicts and indentured servants from England; her captain Richard Worley had been killed.
In spite his eloquent plea for mercy, Bonnet and his crew of 29, plus 19 from the crew of the Eagle were hanged in the autumn of 1718. The 49 men were buried at White Point Shoal, where the battery was later built to cover the entrance to both the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.
Part 18: The Mid-Atlantic Colonies
18.1 The Dutch and the Swedes
New Amsterdam (1609-1664)
While the English were planning to exploit Virginia, the Dutch also had their eyes on the New World. The Dutch East India Company was formed much for the same purposes as the British Virginia and Plymouth exploration and trading companies. In 1609 it sponsored Henry Hudson in a voyage to find a Northwest Passage around La Florida and the British claims. After discovering Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence River, but finding that they did not lead to the East Indies, Hudson probed south of the British in New England at the mouth of what is now the Hudson River. This also was a dead end from the standpoint of the East Indian trade, but Hudson had fortuitously found an attractive spot for a trading post that the British had to this point overlooked. Thus, they established a trading post on Manhattan Island in 1613 . But, it was not until 1624 that Dutch colonists arrived. Two years later (1626), the Dutch were bold enough to buy the Island from the local Natives and call it New Amsterdam. As Director-General, Peter Minuit led 270 colonists who built about 30 houses. By 1639, Peter Minuit also settled colonists on the western end of Long Island (Dutch) and on the Delaware River (Swedes, see below). The Dutch population along the East River rose to about 500.
The tempo of New Amsterdam changed when Peter Stuyvesant took over as Director-General in 1647. He ruled New Amsterdam like a monarch and made many enemies. By 1653, protesters forced the creation of an elected city government. However, Stuyvesant was still unpopular and this would soon work to the British benefit.
In 1655, the Dutch took over Swedish settlements east of the Delaware River (see below) and claimed what is present-day New Jersey.
New York and New Jersey (1674)
The British decided that the Dutch had interloped long enough in their claims. In 1664, Charles II deeded his brother James (Duke of York, later James II) the territory occupied by the Dutch within the Plymouth Charter. Soon, British warships appeared in the East River and the Dutch colonists (about 1,500 by this time) were happy to capitulate to get rid of Stuyvesant. However, the Dutch government was not quite so willing to give up its tax revenues and re-took New Amsterdam from the British in 1673 and called it New Orange. This event was quickly reversed in the Treaty of Westminster (1674) where the British carved Dutch New Amsterdam into British New York and New Jersey . The sparing over New Amsterdam was, of course, a small element in the conflict between Charles II and William of Orange.
Major Edmund Andros became Governor of New England and New York under James II.
New Sweden (1638-1674)
Peter Minuit realized the potential of the area around the mouth of the Delaware River (also ignored by the British at that time), but was frustrated by the Dutch and their continuing conflicts with the British. Thus, he helped organize the New Sweden Company for King Gustavus Adolphus. Swedish and ethnic Finnish settlers were brought to the New World in 1638 on the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip. These settlers traveled up the Delaware River to (present-day) Wilmington, DE and setled on both sides of the river. The Dutch took the Swedish holdings east of the Delaware River in 1655. The western part of the colony persisted until 1674 when the British took it over and folded it into Pennsylvania (William Penn’s colony). Penn then subdivided off the Colony of Delaware in 1701 because it was not convenient for the residents of that area to travel to Philadelphia.
Charles I issued a charter to Cecilius Calvert (2nd Lord Baltimore) on 20 June 1632 to establish a Catholic colony just north of the predominantly protestant colony of Virginia (The Tobacco Coast) . The first settlers left from Southampton on 22 November 1633 in The Ark and The Dove, and arrived at St. Clement’s Island just off Saint Mary’s county in late February 1634. The ships actually stopped in Barbados early in January 1634. Most of the 250 settlers were (ironically) Protestants. (See internet source http://www.primenet.com/~langford/spls/634md001.htm#Ark.)
The Virginians opposed the new colony on religious and economic grounds. William Claiborne of Virginia occupied Kent Island and provoked Governor Leonard Calvert of Maryland to reclaim it by force of arms. The Virginians then attempted to retake the island. In 1644, Richard Ingle (a pirate) attacked the Maryland settlement and forced Calvert to flee to Virginia. Great damage was done to the Maryland settlement. Ingle was encouraged by the Virginians. Nonetheless, by 1645, there were about 5,000 settlers in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland and most of them were Catholic.
Prudently, the General Assembly of Maryland passed the Toleration Act in 1649 as the Roundheads won the Civil War. Maryland thus became a beacon for religious freedom. However, that was not good enough for the Puritans, who had been driven out of Virginia by the Anglicans into Maryland in 1643 . In 1650, the Puritans took over the government of Maryland and Governor Baltimore was not restored until Cromwell was out of the picture in 1658.
The population of Maryland reached 12,000 in 1665 and 20,000 in 1671.
Predictably, every time the Protestants came to power in Britain, Lord Baltimore was replaced and when the Catholics came back his authority returned. Charles Lord Baltimore died in 1715 turning the estate over to his son who had accepted the Church of England. In 1756, laws were passed depriving Jesuits of some estates they had held. In 1752, Charles Carroll attempted to facilitate the removal of Catholics from Maryland to Louisiana, but he was not able to get the necessary grants from Louis XV of France. Starting in 1774, many Maryland Catholics began t migrate to Kentucky.
18.3 Pennsylvania and Delaware (1682-1725)
George Fox and the Quakers (1650-1690)
In Britain, a body of “Separatist” thought had been growing among the Protestants since the late 1500s. Separatists differed from the Puritans in that they were more liberal in their views of the methods of worship and generally tolerant with respect to other religions. By the time that Oliver Cromwell had brought the Puritans to power through ruthless conflict with the Stuarts, there was a substantial body of unorganized Protestants who were ready to assemble around a moderate-liberal religious philosophy that emphasized spiritual connection directly between God and mankind without the interference of a doctrinaire clergy.
George Fox was typical of these people. He had done some preaching starting about 1647 and had been harassed by Puritans and Catholics/Anglicans alike for his beliefs. Fox had little money and no political power. Although he struck a chord with many listeners, he had no actual followers. In 1652, George Fox visited the home of Judge Fell and his wife Margaret, who were influential and liberal. Margaret Fell was particularly impressed with George Fox’s ability to articulate the concepts that she and many others shared. Thus, the Fells became supporters of Fox and allowed him to use their home (Swarthmore Hall) as a focal point for meetings.
Fox did not “convert” people to his views; he assembled a movement quickly from people with pre-existing opinions. The movement grew quickly and was seen by orthodox Puritans (and later Catholics) as dangerous to their beliefs. Thus, the movement soon inspired a backlash. As the "Quakers," as they became known, moved around England and to the American colonies, the Puritans primarily attempted to intimidate and stifle them with petty charges of “breach of the peace” etc. for their preaching their beliefs.
When Charles II came to power, his ministers attempted to bring the Puritans under the control of the Church of England. In the process of doing this, the Quakers (who were politically neutral and made that clear in a letter "Our Peace Testimony" to Charles II, 1661) were ironically singled out because of their inclination toward non-conformity. The "Quaker Act" (1662) and the "Conventicle Act" (1664) were targeted at the Quaker refusal to take oaths and their public worship in a state where Anglicanism was suppose to be the sate religion. George Fox was put into prison from 1664 to 1666. The official punishment for repeat offenses against these laws was transportation to the colonies.
William Penn (1644-1718)
The Penn family was well known and influential among the early Stuarts. William Penn (the senior) was an admiral and supported the son of Charles I (who became Charles II) while he was in exile. For this, Cromwell had William Penn (the senior) put in jail. He was released in 1656. Meanwhile, William Penn (the junior) was receiving the benefits of a wealthy upbringing. While in Ireland in 1658, the young William Penn was introduced to Thomas Loe a Quaker and pursued this new religious movement. About the time that Charles II came to power, he attended Oxford for 2 years, but he was expelled for his anti-clerical views and he traveled in France where he studied in a Protestant college for 3 years. In 1667, William Penn (the junior) officially declared himself to be a Quaker and was jailed in the Tower of London where he wrote No Cross, No Crown. His opinions were in conflict with his father and the older Penn disinherited him. After his release, he became involved with the logistics of supporting Quakers who had immigrated to New Jersey.
Charles II owed William Penn (the senior) a considerable sum of money. The admiral died, but re-instated William Penn junior as his heir on his deathbed. In 1681, Penn approached Charles II and asked that he be given a charter to lands in western New Jersey in lieu of cash. Charles issued him a grant (March 1681) of lands west of the Delaware River including what is now the state of Delaware. This land was not only inhabited by Native Americans, but also by Dutch and Swedes who had been left from earlier colonies.
Penn landed at New Castle (Delaware) on 24 October 1682. He quickly made a treaty with the local Native Americans and reassured the Swedes and Dutch that their claims would be respected. The Swedish colony was centered on a spot north of New Castle that would be come known as Philadelphia.
Penn returned to England (1684) as a court advisor and businessman. He was a friend of James II and he fell into the same disfavor, as did Lord Baltimore when William and Mary received the Crown. As in Maryland, Pennsylvania declared itself to be a beacon of religious tolerance. Penn did not return to Pennsylvania until 1700. He did not stay long, but in 1701 he granted a charter to the city of Philadelphia.
During his visit in 1701, William Penn granted the people of Delaware authority to set up a separate colony because it was difficult for them to attend meetings in Philadelphia.
The German Palatines (1709)
William Penn visited the German Palatines in 1677 (at about the time that he was assisting Quakers migrate to New Jersey) and this was apparently the source of their knowledge of America. But, they had no great urgency to emigrate at that time. Unfortunately, the Nine Years War (1688-1697) and later aggression by Louis XIV of France made their lives miserable. Following the French invasion of 1709, they had little to lose in their homeland. Their first though was likely just to get to England as the French Huguenots had done in 1685. The British indicated that they sympathetic to their situation and would provide transportation across the English Channel. That was all it took to start a mass migration. In April 1709, about 10,000 German Palatines boarded small boats used to cross the Rhine and made a difficult six-week journey down the river to Rotterdam.
The German Palatines arrived in Rotterdam at a rate of about 1,000 per week starting in June and continuing to October 1709. The British ferried them to England on troop ships organized at Queen Anne’s direction by the Duke of Marlborough. The Germans were landed at Depford and staged at three camps out side the City of London (Deptford, Camberwell, or Blackheath).
The State of the Poor Palatines
As Humbly Represented by Themselves upon Their First Arrival in This Kingdom, About June, 1709 (from London, England)
We the poor distressed Palatines, whose utter Ruin was occasioned by the merciless Cruelty of a Blood Enemy, the French, whose prevailing Power some years past, like a Torrent rushed into our Country, and overwhelmed us at once; and being not content with Money and Food necessary for their Occasions, not only dispossest us of all Support but inhumanely burnt our House to the ground, where being deprived of all Shelter, we were turned into open Fields, and there drove with our Families, to seek what Shelter we could find, being obliged to make the cold Earth our Lodgings, and the Clouds our Covering. In this deplorable condition we made our Humble Supplications and Cries to Almighty God, who has promised to relieve them that put their Trust in him, whose Goodness we have largely Experienced, in disposing the Hearts of Pious Princes to a Christian Compassion and Charity towards us in this miserable condition, who by their Royal Bounties and large Donations, and the exemplary Kindness of well-disposed Nobility, Gentry, and Others, We and our poor Children have been preserved from Perishing; specially since our Arrival into this happy Kingdom of GREAT BRITAIN. While not only like the Land of Canaan, abounds with all things necessary for human Life, but also with a Religious People, who as freely give to the Distressed for Christ’s sake, as it was given to them by the Almighty Donor of all they enjoy. Blessed Land and Happy People! Governed by the Nursing Mother of Europe, and the Best of Queens! Whose unbounded Mercy and Charity has received us despicable Strangers from afar off into Her own Dominions, where we have found a Supply of all things Necessary for our present Subsistence; for which we bless and praise Almighty God, the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty and all Her good subjects, from the Highest Degree to those of the meanest Capacity; and do sincerely and faithfully promise to all our utmost Powers, for the future, to render ourselves Thankful to God, and Serviceable to Her Majesty, and all her Good Subjects, in what way soever her goodness is pleased to dispose of Us: and in the mean time be constant in our Prayers, that God would return the Charity of well disposed People a thousand fold into their own Bosoms, which is all the Requittal that can present be made by us poor distressed Protestants.
Approximately 3,000 were soon sent to Ireland. Most of the rest were sent to America in waves where they arrived primarily at Philadelphia, but also Charles Town, and New York. On 22 September 1734, the English ship St. Andrew brought the first of a wave of immigrants to Philadelphia. These were Palatine Germans who settled in Montgomery, Berks and Lehight counties. They were intermingled with Anglo-Irish from Ulster.
The Parris Connection
The Parris family had established a base in Barbados and from there they were very active in trade and shipping between England and the colonies. It appears that the Parris family became familiar with William Penn (the junior) as they had with other groups of colonists (i.e., New England). In particular there was a George Parris (alive circa 1680) who Shay McNeal (personal communication 1999) characterizes as 'the pirate' for his propensity to come into conflict with official British policy. This Parris may have found exile in Ireland under the alias "Pearis." It is likely that the Parris family and George 'the pirate' Parris/Pearis in particular would have crossed paths with William Penn (the junior as well as William Penn the senior) and probably provided services to William Penn in connection with transporting colonists to Pennsylvania. For this, they would reasonably been compensated with land grants from Penn. Apparently this is exactly what happened. Circa 1737, George Pearis (apparently the son of 'the pirate') and his three sons received commercially valuable land grants from William Penn apparently to establish way-stations (inns or taverns) along the road from Philadelphia to the ferry crossing on the Susquehanna River (Harrisburg).
The city of Philadelphia is forever intertwined with Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts 17 January 1706, and at the age of 12 began an apprenticeship in his older brother James’s printing shop. Meanwhile, the first printing press built in America was built in Philadelphia by Adam Ramage in 1718. The next year, the American Weekly Mercury began publishing under the editorship of Andrew Bradford. Philadelphia offered great opportunities for a young man so, at 17 (October 1723), Franklin moved to Philadelphia where he got a job with Bradford. However, Franklin met James Ralph who also was interested in establishing a career and the two young men decided to go to London in 1724.
Franklin returned to Philadelphia on 11 October 1726 and soon founded the Junto. By 1728, he had opened his own printing office and the next year he became the sole owner and publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette. In 1730, he married and began a family. He had many interests and introduced many important institutions to the colonies including: Fire safety building codes, fire departments, and fire insurance; postal service; University of Pennsylvania; and scientific experimentation with electricity. He became the postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737 and from 1757 to 1762 represented the Pennsylvania General Assembly in London. In 1775, he was elected to the Continental Congress and in 1776 he signed the Declaration of Independence.
18.4 The Consolidation of New England (1686-1689)
King James II was not as sympathetic as Charles II had been towards local government and religious toleration. As part of his overall plan to pull the reins of power together in the British Empire, James II decided to consolidate all the colonies spun-off the Plymouth Company’s Charter into a single political unit called “New England.” The man who was given the job of Governor of New England and New York was Edmond Andros. He dissolved the local governments. Soon, the towns of Ipswich and Topsfield were protesting taxation without representation. Town meetings were restricted to once a year and local militias were placed under Andros’s personal control.
Andros’s problems were compounded by James II’s determination to make the Anglican Church the state religion of New England. This intention was proclaimed in 1687. Boston’s Old South Meeting House was converted into an Anglican Church.
However, the pendulum swings both ways. In 1688 James II was forced to flee from England to France and the Willimite War ripped apart Ireland. William and Mary became the monarchs of Britain in 1689. Andros was apprehended by citizens of Boston and put into jail. He was returned to Britain for trial. By 1691, Henry Sloughter was appointed by William and Mary as Governor of New England to reverse and restructure the unpopular policies of James II.
Part 19: The Anglo-Irish and Highland Scot Migrations to America (1690-1750)
19.1 Prelude to Anglo-Irish Emigration (1675 - 1745)
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685)
For almost 100 critical years, the Edict of Nantes minimized Protestant migration directly from France to the New World. Nonetheless, Huguenots continued to look for more secure homes and better economic opportunities. Between 1605 and 1613, some French merchants settled in Dublin and Waterford, Ireland. Concurrently, Flemish Huguenots settled in Canongate, Scotland in 1609. Other Huguenots established woolen clothing manufacture in Worcester, Evesham, Droitwich, Kiddeminster, Stroud, Glastonbury, Colchester, Hereford, Stamford, Manchester, Bolton, Halifax and Kendal. They also crossed the Atlantic to Virginia, New Amsterdam (later New York), New England and Nova Scotia in the 1620s. A larger scale migration to the British colonies in America started about 1654. From 1661, the pressure on Huguenots in France increased forcing them to migrate throughout Europe, America and South Africa.
About 80,000 Frenchmen moved to the British Isles after revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and a pattern of Huguenot settlement in British colonies had already been established. Thus, from 1685 - 1700, a new wave of Protestants left France to England; and from there they were encouraged (by William and Mary) to immigrate to the New World through award of valuable land grants in tidewater Virginia and Carolina.
The upper-class/ tidewater Virginia and Carolina colonies were happier to receive these European artisans and craftsmen than they were to receive the rude settlers from Ulster (who soon would be forced to go to Pennsylvania and migrate to the west). In 1699-1700, Huguenots left England for the British colonies.
Queen Anne (1665-1714)
The second daughter of King James II and Anne Hyde was the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne (1665- 1714). Anne’s religious beliefs remained Protestant even after her father converted to Catholicism in 1672. She married Prince George of Denmark in 1683 and did not resist during the overthrow of James during the anti-Catholic Glorious Revolution of 1688. Thus, she managed to maintain her station during the reign of William and Mary and became queen upon William’s death in 1702. England and Scotland were united in 1707, and She held the throne of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1714. She had no children and upon her death George I of the Hanover family of Germany was next in line of succession. Many subjects especially in Scotland and Ireland did not favor this transition to a Protestant German-born monarch.
Queen Anne’s War/ The War of Spanish Succession (1702- 1713)
During almost the entire period of Queen Anne’s reign, the English were involved with a war concerning succession of the Spanish monarchs, which was known as Queen Anne’s War in the American colonies. Anne had made John Churchill Duke of Marlborough and he led the British to a series of victories over the French during the War of Spanish Succession. The Treaty of Utrecht, which gave Britain significant territorial gains in the New World, finally brought this war to a close. Specifically, the French ceded French Arcadia (Nova Scotia), Newfoundland, Hudson Bay and the "country of the Iroquois" to England.
19.2 The Immigrations of the Anglo-Irish from Ulster to America
The great Anglo-Irish migration to the New World during the 18th Century can be divided into five periods. Each period is characterized by a combination of motive and opportunity:
1717 - 1718
The Goodwill was the first ship known to have brought immigrants from Ulster to America. It sailed from Larne in April 1717 and landed in Boston. About 5,000 people (primarily from Derry) made the trip in the next two years and most of them went to New York, Philadelphia, or St. Johns (New Brunswick). Rev. James McGregore, of Aghadowey led many of his congregation to found New Londonderry (New Hampshire, 1718). Many of these people were veterans of the siege of Londonderry (1689).
1725 - 1729
A poor economy (especially in the linen trade) provoked hundreds of families from Ulster (Donegal, Derry and Tyrone) to migrate in the next wave. This was probably about 10,000 people and most arrived at Philadelphia.
1740 – 1741 and 1754 - 1755
Things went from bad to worse in Ulster. Crop failures and famine provoked more desperate people to leave (often as indentured servants) for Philadelphia in spurts before the French and Indian War. These families quickly infiltrated through the existing settlements along the Blue Ridge and ended up in southwestern Virginia. These waves probably totaled 50,000, but spread over many years and arriving at many ports.
1771 – 1775
The largest wave of Ulster families (about 30,000 people) left for America immediately before the War of Independence. Many of these were from Antrim and went to New York (Brooklyn).
When it was over, about 200,000 men and women had arrived in American from Ulster, Northern Ireland. The major ports of embarkation were Londonderry, Belfast, Newry, Portrush, and Larne and the major ports of entry were in the Delaware River Estuary: New Castle (Delaware) and Chester and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania).
19.3 The Hanoverians
King George I (Reigned 1714 - 1727)
The Act of Settlement () dictated the succession after William and Mary. When Queen Anne died without heirs, the succession skipped numerous Roman Catholics with various claims to the Crown and landed on Ann’s cousin George of Hanover (Germany). His claim was so distant that the Stuarts (James Stuart son of James II) immediately challenged it. James Stuart (hoping to become James III, a.k.a., the “old pretender”) landed a force in Scotland in 1715, but he could not focus the Highland clans on useful conflict and he withdrew. Nonetheless, he continued to pretend to be the legitimate heir in France.
George I spoke German and French, but little English. His heart and interests were always in Hanover where he conducted wars against the French. During his frequent and lengthy absences from Britain, the Regency Council made most of the decisions. Robert Walpole assumed the title of “Prime Minister,” and was largely responsible for running the government from 1721 through 1742.
George I and his son (the Prince of Wales) developed a mutual dislike probably over the behavior and treatment of George I’s wife (Sophia Dorothea, George II’s mother).
Perhaps the most important event in America was known as King George’s War with the French in Quebec. The War dragged on from 1739 through 1748 and featured the capture of Louisbourg at the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River by a British-led American (New England) army in 1745. The Treaty of Alx-la-Chapelle returned this territory to France in exchange for lands in India.
King George II (Reigned 1727 - 1760)
George II was born in Hanover in 1683 (long before his father became King of England). Like his father his roots were German and Britain was a hobby. His Wife Queen Caroline and Lord Walpole were allowed to run the country.
King George II and Caroline had two sons (Frederick who died in 1751 and William, Duke of Cumberland). These two sons account for several place names in Virginia including Prince William County (formed in 1730) and the Cumberland Gap. Although Frederick died before his father (1750), Frederick’s 22-year-old son became king (George III) rather than the popular William (39-years-old).
William was better known to the public as the Duke of Cumberland, and he is perhaps best remembered for his victory over the Scottish Highlanders at Culloden, which eliminated the House of Stuart for good.
Lord Pitt (1708-1778)
William Pitt (1st Earl of Chatham) entered Parliament in 1735 and was appointed paymaster of the Army in 1746. Pitt expanded the influence of this role into something like a ministry of war. This put him in an interesting position to control military matter during some difficult times but successful for the British (1750-1760) military. The British rolled the French back in North America, Europe and in India. Pitt was rewarded by having his name placed on an American city (Pittsburgh) and became Prime Minister (1766-1768).
These expensive wars with the French (actually a “world war”) left Britain with crushing debts, which needed to be serviced. The measures that the British instituted to collect these revenues in North America would lead to the American War of Independence.
King George III (Reigned 1760 - 1820)
Unlike his predecessors, George III was British, born in London in 1736. He married a German princess (Charlotte) who gave birth to 15 children. George III arranged for the Earl of Bute (his childhood mentor) to become Prime Minister in 1761. Most of Parliament considered Bute to be incompetent and events may have proven them to be correct. The Earl of Bute had influenced George III towards a philosophy of restoring the monarchy to more authoritarian role and this meant that the colonies were to be held tighter with less independence (the colonies were to serve the King, not the other way around). Bute only lasted a year and George III had four more prime ministers in quick succession (including William Pitt 1766-68). Finally, Lord North became prime minister (1770-1782).
For the purposes of this analysis, we only need to know that George III was healthy and competent through the American War of Independence. He later became deranged and the last ten years of his reign were actually controlled by his son (George IV). The American colonists (and hence every American school child) heaped derision and scorn of George III, but in actual fact, most of the taxes that burdened them were unavoidable. However, George III was absolutely opposed to independence of the colonies.
Lord North (1713-1792)
Lord North became Prime Minister in 1770 and began to try to recover the British debts. He was particularly intransigent concerning the tax on tea and this led eventually to the radicals in Boston dumping British tea in the harbor. North made a critical mistake at this point. He firmly believed in a coercive policy towards Boston and that this would fragment the American colonies. His policies had exactly the reverse effect of driving the Americans together.
When the war started in 1775, North tried to resign but could not and then he tried to negotiate peace. However, Lord George Germain managed to gain control of the military and Germain encouraged war. When the war became a stalemate (1777-1780), Germain developed the southern strategy.
19.4 The Highland Scots of the Upper Cape Fear River
Scottish Politics in the 1700s
The Battle of Boyne (1690) echoed throughout the British Empire. The British were at war with France (1689 - 1697) and the French took advantage of historical Scottish nationalism to win friends in their cause. Of course, the British saw this for what it was; merely an attempt at subversion by the French. Several of the Highland clans supplied military units to the French cause and fought against the British on the continent (e.g., the Battle of Steenkerk, 1692).
About this same time, the Scots experienced an unusual national economic disaster. William Paterson (who founded the Bank of England) convinced his fellow Scots that they could colonize Panama and control trade between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Although Paterson may simply have been ahead of his time (the Panama Canal was built about 1900 for the same purpose), his scheme was financed by contributions representing about half of the liquid assets of the entire Scottish nation in 1693. Unfortunately, the colony of New Edinburgh in Panama failed in 1698 taking with it 2,000 men dead of yellow fever and over 200,000 pounds.
Scottish national pride took another beating with the Act of Union (1707), which combined England and Scotland with Scotland clearly being the junior partner. The ascendancy of a German Hanover king (George I) in 1715 was another affront. Encouraged by the French, the supporters of the Stuart monarchs (Jacobites) attempted to overthrough the government in 1708, 1715, 1719 and finally in 1745. Although George II succeeded to the British throne in 1727 without disruption, the constant Stuart threat was enough to try the British patience.
The Later Jacobites (1688 - 1788)
Superficially, Jacobites were the people who continued to “pretend” that the Stuart line of Kings continued after 1688. However, over the next hundred years, the loyalty to a fallen king became twisted with religious and national passions as well as personal and family feuds. In the end, there were so many wrongs, done by so many people, for so many complex reasons, that history tends to blur it all together in a romantic notion of Scottish nationalism, which oddly ended up as a Loyalists support for the British during the American War of Independence by strongly Presbyterians people who idolized Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald.
If you were a Jacobite in 1776 (and actually understood your history) you would know that King James II/(VII of Scotland) continued to reign in exile until his death in 1701. He was followed by his son James III/VIII, who produced Charles III (1720 - 1788, a.k.a., “Bonnie Prince Charlie”) of the Royal House of Stuart (still in France). True to their Roman Catholic tradition, these “pretend” kings held that their power was derived directly from God, not from a Parliament.
The Jacobites were the wild card of European politics in the early and mid-1700s. On the one side, the French under King Louis XV and Spanish (both solidly Roman Catholic) and on the other side the British and Germans (Anglican and Protestant, Presbyterians and Non-Conformists) faced each other across the English Channel. They were headed towards the first “world war” in which the British would fight the French (and the Spanish) for control of several continents including North America.
The Jacobites represented an odd mixture of Scottish nationalism, which accounts for paradoxes that we will see played out below. Fundamentally, the Scots were proud of their heritage and independence and wished to live their Celtic life based upon clans and kin. The Stuarts (and the French) had for generations played upon that nationalism to provide a shelter and ally for their desire to rule Britain (England). The French were happy to use the Stuarts (hence the Scots) as a way to get at the British and the Germans. Of course, the Pope (Catholic Church) welcomed the chance to undercut the Protestants. Thus, although the Scots should have been strongly British and Protestant based upon the cruelty handed down by the Stuarts in the last part of the 17th Century, some of them (not all of them) were drawn by their nationalistic urges and clan rivalries to follow Charles Edward Stuart when he arrived in Scotland on 23 July 1745. This was but the most recent (and as it turned out the last) Stuart-led rebellion as far as the British were concerned. The others had been put down in 1689, 1708, 1715, and 1719.
The clans that followed Charles included the Athol Highlanders, Camerons, Stuarts of Appin, Frasers, Chisholms, MacIntoshes, MacLachlans, MacLeans, MacDonalds and MacDonells. The clans that sided with the British were those whose Protestant roots were stronger than their nationalistic desires including the MacKays, the MacKenzies, the Sinclairs, the Sutherlands, and the Campbells. One of the many odd issues in this affair was the effect of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” on Scottish women. Apparently, this young handsome Frenchman provoked an exotic interest in the Scottish ladies that played an irrational role in the next few months. Among the Lowland Scots, Charles proved to have little appeal. However, he was nearly delusional that the people would rise up and follow him. At the least, he believed that the only thing that prevented the British from welcoming him as king was his religion.
For six months, the Jacobite army tried to recruit with minimal success. The British did little to interfere. Finally, the Jacobites marched south into England and British armies were raised against them by the Duke of Cumberland in the South and Lord Wade in the North. The Duke of Cumberland and Prince Charles Stuart were both about 25 years old, but the Duke (Hanoverian) was an experienced military officer, while the Prince relied on Lord George Murray for military leadership. Although Scots and those with Scottish blood today tend to alibi for the Prince as a courageous leader; the words “delusional” and “tragic” and in the end “desperate” are the ones that come to my mind. Objectively, he was little more than an outside puppet for the French who led brave and romantic men to their doom and then abandoned them. Had the aftermath of the next few months not been so appalling and had the propaganda of the French and Roman Catholics not been so effective; most Scotsmen would spit on the ground when they hear his name.
The Prince and George Murray led the Jacobite army into England as far as Derby by December 1745 against token resistance. Murray was smart enough to know that they were living a dream that would soon turn into a nightmare. The people were not flocking to the Jacobite cause. The only hope was an invasion by the French, which had undoubtedly been promised. But, the French action was little or nothing and too late. Against Prince Charlie’s desires, Murray turned the army around and headed back to the north of Scotland hoping to avoid British retribution on Thursday 5 December 1745. On the retreat, Murray fought two successful skirmishes at Penrith and Falkirk (17 January 1746). The Jacobites ended up at Inverness and the Duke of Cumberland brought his Scotch-English forces to Aberdeen by the end of February. There he prepared his army for battle and professionally analyzed the Jacobites while, in contrast, the Jacobites squandered their strength and lost their army to desertion.
The Battle of Culloden Moor (16 April 1746)
The Duke of Cumberland revealed himself to be a thoughtful and professional soldier in preparation of the final rout of the Jacobites. He learned from the errors in the recent battles and developed the tactics needed to defeat the much-feared “Highland charge;” he saw to the training and morale of his troops; in spite of the fact that he was now at the head of an English army deep in the Scottish homeland, he avoided antagonizing the non-Jacobite Scots; and he ensured that his logistics were provided by British ships. When the time was right (and not before), he moved.
Highland Fighting Tactics
The manner of the Highlanders' way of fighting, which there is nothing so easy to resist, if officers and men are not prepossessed with the lies and accounts which are told of them. They commonly form their front rank of what they call their best men, or true Highlanders, the number of which being always but few. When they form in battalions, they commonly form four deep, and these Highlanders form the front of the four, the rest being Low Landers and arrant scum. When these battalions come within a large musket shots or threescore yards, this front rank gives their fire, and immediately throw down their firelocks and come down in a cluster with their swords and targets, making a noise and endeavoring to pierce the body or battalion before them, — becoming twelve or fourteen deep by the time they come up to the people they attack. The sure way to demolish them is, at three deep, to fire by ranks diagonally to the center, where they come, the rear rank first, and even that rank not to fire till they are within ten or twelve paces; but if the fire is given at a distance, you probably will be broke, for you never get time to load a second cartridge, and, if you give way, you may give your foot for dead, for they being without a firelock, or any load, no man with his arms, accouterments, etc., can escape them, and they give no quarter; but if you will but observe the above directions, they are the most despicable enemy that are.
---The Duke of Cumberland, EDINBURGH, 12 January, 1745-6
The Duke’s army left Aberdeen for Inverness (a direct distance of about 100 miles) on 7 April 1746. He followed the shoreline and was progressively re-supplied by sea. In contrast, the Jacobite army has often been excused for its poor performance for lack of a good meal prepared the night before the battle. When you realize that the Jacobites were in their capital city (which was not under siege and could have been readily supplied), it is indicative of the non-professional nature of their army that the men were not properly fed or quartered. Even so, I doubt that the lack of a single last meal would have had any real effect on fighting performance. What was more important to the overall outcome was that the troops were out foraging for food and could not be assembled promptly I the face of the enemy attack.
The Duke stopped his army for a day of celebration and rest in honor of his birthday at the town of Nairn a few miles east of Inverness. This development prompted the Jacobites to devise a concept of attack that might have succeeded it they had had professional logistics support and discipline among the clans. The idea was to march to Nairn in the night and catch the Duke’s army recovering in the morning from a day and night of celebration. (George Washington used this idea at Trenton about 1777.) Unfortunately for the Jacobites, the decision to march at night to the camp of the Duke was not made until about 3 in the afternoon on 15 April 1746. The plan called for the army to move at dusk, but the army could not be assembled (much less fed) in that length of time. Thus, it assembled late and piecemeal.
Lord George Murray was able to bring the major Highland clans together and began shortly after dark. They were followed by a second column consisting of Lowland regiments commanded by the Duke of Perth. Prince Charles traveled between the two forces. By morning, they had covered little over 5 miles to the River Nairn. The British were able to fall-out about 7,000 troops in good order and were quite prepared to do battle. The surprise attack had failed.
Nonetheless, the Jacobites formed the Highlanders by clan and each clan was in two lines. There was an immediate problem caused by the tradition of placing the most senior or honored combat units on the right of the combat formation. The Jacobites lined up as follows from right to left:
The Athol Highlanders (right),
Stuarts of Appin,
Frasers and Chisholms,
MacLachlans and MacLeans,
John Roy Stuart's regiment,
Keppoch and Glengarrv,
The Lowland regiments formed behind the Highland clans with some horse-mounted troops. Altogether there were about 5,000 Jacobites. The wings of the Jacobite formation was anchored along stone walls and marshes. There would not be much chance to turn the flanks by either side. The British troops formed in regiments three rows deep occupying about the same width of front.
The chain-of-command of the Jacobites and even the method of reaching decisions seems to have been confused. Clearly, Prince Charles had the burden, but he may not have had the where-with-all. He seems to have stood indecisively during the early part of the engagement as the British brought out their artillery and proceeded to reek havoc on the Jacobite ranks. Some historians (sympathetic to his cause) say the Prince waited patiently hoping to draw the British into a premature charge; but the sounds like rubbish to me. Why would the Duke charge the Highlanders putting bayonet against broadsword when he could sit back and watch the slaughter of the Jacobites at the hands of his artillery.
The burden to advance was clearly on the Jacobites and it seems that Prince Charles was unable to give adequate orders, if he gave any at all. Although historians indicate that an order was eventually given and the right of the Jacobite line (the MacIntoshes and units to their right) initiated their charge; the historians generally explain the failure of the left of the Jacobite line to charge as a result of hurt feeling about not being placed on the right (in the place of honor). I believe it is more reasonable to assume that the right of the Jacobite line eventually charged (without orders) prematurely. The left of the line (most importantly the MacDonalds) simply never got an order and were thrown into confusion.
Because of the fire from the unoccupied British right (obliquely as the Duke had planned) into the charging Jacobites, the MacIntoshes pushed the charging men to the extreme of the British left where they struck in a formation much more than two lines deep. Predictably, the effect on the hapless British regiments (Munro's and Barrel's regiments) who happened to be in position to receive this charge was very devastating. But they did not break!!
Soon it was obvious that the Jacobites had blundered and were being cut down in great numbers. Upwards of 1,200 Jacobites died in the fighting or were killed without quarter. The British army lost only 310 with most of these (207) being in the two regiments that received the charge. Bonnie Prince Charlie took the opportunity to exit the battle field and look for a French ship on which to escape.
It was during the retreat that a large man named Gillies MacBean of Strathnairn became a legend. Gillies was apparently with the Macintoshes and was wounded, but he was able to retreat with the Prince’s party. Prince Charlie and his party retreated from Culloden by way of Strathnairn south of Loch Ness. So when Gillies reached home, he decided to make a stand and form a rear-guard for the Prince. According to tradition, Gillies put his back to a wall and cut down thirteen British troopers with his claymore before giving his life for Prince Charlie.
Flora MacDonald (1722 - 1790)
Luckily for his reputation, Prince Charles Edward Stuart failed to make a quick escape. He was hidden by his followers from home-to-home for the next five months. The Highlands were defenseless and the army of the Duke of Cumberland burned the castles of Glengarry and Lochiel as were almost every common house. The hunt for Charles and major destruction ended by mid-June. But, the prisoners from Culloden and various suspected Jacobites were very poorly treated and executed under the treason law of Edward III (i.e., hanging, disembowelment and burning followed by beheading). The Episcopal Church of Scotland was also suppressed.
By September 1746, Prince Charlie (who had a reputation for impressing the ladies) had found himself a safe hiding place on Benbecula Island while General Cameron searched the mainland. The problem he had was to get from Benbecula to the Isle of Skye. Interestingly, the MacDonalds on the island were essentially Scottish nationalists (not Jacobites), but they were willing to hide the Bonnie Prince to save him from the fate that the British would have provided.
Flora MacDonald was married to Allan MacDonald who was a British officer. Her foster-father was the commander of British troops on the island. Nonetheless, when help was needed, Flora MacDonald cooperated not only in hiding the Prince, but also in assisting him to escape to the Isle of Skye disguised as Flora MacDonald’s Irish Nanny. No doubt the reputation of the Prince and the proximity of the Prince and Flora raised speculation that there was a romantic relationship. In any event, the Prince escaped from Moidart, Scotland on 20 September 1746 and never returned.
Charles Edward Stuart eventually married and declined into alcohol abuse. When his father died in 1766, the Pope did not acknowledge him as king of Scotland. The Bonnie Prince died without legitimate heirs in 1788. His brother Henry IX became the last Stuart pretender. He died in 1807. The Stuarts inspired sympathetic and romantic notions of Scottish Highlands that persist today throughout the world.
Flora MacDonald eventually emigrated to the Highland clans on the upper Cape Fear River in North Carolina where she was a Tory/Loyalist during the American War of Independence. After the war, she like other Tories, abandoned America and returned to their homes in Britain.
The Highland Clearance to the Cape Fear River
About 1000 Jacobite followers were deported to the colonies as indentured servants after the defeat of the Jacobites. Over the next couple of generations, the British systematically weakened the power and population of the Highlands by recruiting Highland regiments to fight its foreign wars, introducing more sheep farming, and undermining the clan system. For example, laws were passed against wearing the kilts and tartans. Ironically, the British Highland regiments and assorted groups who wanted to claim some Scottish heritage became the champions of the plaid.
One of the first units mustered for the British was Simon Fraser’s 71st Regiment of Foot. Some of the survivors of Culloden (1746) are said to have fought for the British under General Wolfe in the capture of Quebec in Canada (1759) in the French and Indian War. By the time of the war with the colonies, the 71st Foot was a proud and faithful British regiment.
Cumberland County, North Carolina
Cumberland County, North Carolina on the upper Cape Fear River was initially settled by Presbyterian Highland Scots who were loyal to the British crown and who opposed the return of the Stuarts (i.e., Charles II). It is not surprising that the first settlement was by members of the Clan Cambell (Cambelltown, 1739) and the county was named after the Duke of Cumberland. After the bloody events of 1745, more Highlanders came and established Cross Creek in 1746. These two settlements were joined by the victorious American Patriots in 1783 and was re-named Fayetteville in honor of the French supporter of the American War of Independence the Marquis de Lafayette. Over the years, between 1746 and 1776, Highland Scots of many clans joined the Cambells in Cumberland County. Overall, the politics of the newcomers was officially Tory/Loyalist and there was certainly minimal opportunity to practice Catholicism, but the true allegiance of the population was more strongly simple Scottish nationalist. This, in part, accounts for why the Highlanders rose early in support of the British, but never were the force that the British expected them to be in the American War of Independence.
The following is excerpts from a document prepared by Alexander Murdoch for the North Carolina Public Records Project Vol. 67 (1990), 438-449, which goes by the title "A Scottish Document concerning Emigration to North Carolina in 1772."
In September, 1739, “about three hundred and fifty people from Scotland” arrived in North Carolina. They were led by a group of gentlemen from the Scottish islands of Islay and Gigha and the neighboring Kintyre peninsula of the shire of Argyll. Argyll (formerly spelled, and still pronounced, Argyle) forms the southwest of the Scottish Highlands, an area quite distinct, geologically and culturally, from the rest of Scotland. It is an area very close to the north of Ireland (at one point the Kintyre peninsula is only twenty-two miles from the Irish coast). Without doubt, the Argyll colonists of 1739 were influenced by the example of the Irish Protestants, mostly Presbyterians, who had begun to emmigrate to America in large numbers in the eighteenth century. In 1729 Archibald Campbell, one of the agents of the Argyll estate, wrote to the dowager duchess of Argyll “that several persons in Kintyre in imitation of there [sic] neighbours in Irland show a great Inclination to go to new England to settle there.” “Mr McNeill I mean Niell oge,” he reported, “is very active in carrying on the project he is forst to [go] himself upon the expense I suppose of the adventurers to see for a proper place for the Colony and according to his Report they are to be Determine.” In 1737 Campbell lamented: “the same adventorous disposition of going to America, which has for some years prevailed in Ireland, is at length come over the water and Seiz’d our people in Argyleshire to that degree that some of our landed men are about to sell their concerns and determined to try their fortune in that Country.”
Surprisingly little is known about the development of the “Argyll Colony” established in 1740 in the area of what is today Fayetteville. Certainly there were subsequent emigrations from Argyll to the region. The settlement retained a distinctive Scottish Highland character because of the preponderance of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders in the area and their adherence to the Presbyterian religion as it was practiced in Argyll. Those who led the 1739 emigration, such as Coll McAlester of Balinakill and Neill McNeill of Ardelay, brought over their own tenants to help them clear and settle the land grants they obtained from royal governor Gabriel Johnston in 1740, and it was these people of humbler social origin who made up most of the population of the little settlement. Judging from the insistence on fluency in Scots Gaelic that was displayed in the search for a Presbyterian minister to serve the settlement, many of the original emigrants could speak little or no English. The letter of 1772 … by Alexander Campbell of Balole mentions that the original colony “settled under many disadvantages 40 miles in the midst of woods distant from any other Settlemt, which hurt him [McNeill of Ardelay] and them greatly.”
This first settlement became the focus of a second wave of emigration from the Scottish Highlands to North Carolina that began about 1767. A group of Highlanders received land grants from royal governor William Tryon in 1767, and the province’s assembly voted to reimburse the governor the £15 he had expended for the emigrants’ assistance after they had landed at Brunswick. The assembly records noted that the emigrants were “from the Isle of Jura in Argyle Shire.” In March, 1771, Governor Tryon wrote to his superiors in London that the assembly had passed an act “to encourage the further settlement of this province,” which was “enacted on behalf of several ship loads of Scotch families which had landed in this province within three years past from the Isles of Arran, Durah [Jura], Islay and Gigha but chief of them from Argyle Shire and are mostly settled in Cumberland County.” In 1769 the Scots Magazine included a brief note that in August a ship had left Islay with emigrants for North Carolina “and it is said, that this is the third or fourth emigration from Argyll since the conclusion of the late war.”
71st Regiment - Fraser's Highlanders (1775-1783)
The Scottish Highlanders became essentially mercenaries for the British after Culloden. They simply prided themselves in their bravery and martial skills and the British had soothed many hard feelings by providing lands in North Carolina on the upper Cape Fear River (old Cumberland Co.) for Highlanders who wanted to leave. Thus, when fighting broke out in the American colonies, not only did the Highlanders on the upper Cape Fear River take up the cause of the British ; the British easily raised a regiment ( the 71st Foot) from the highlands of Scotland in 1775 (its 3rd Battalion was raised in 1777). The 71st Regiment mustered 1,250 men.
It fought in several important battles in the North (Long Island, NY; Brandywine, PA; Fort Washington, NY; Stony Point, NY) and when the war moved to the south in 1778, they fought in every major engagement from Savannah, GA to Yorktown, VA. They were briefly held by the victorious Americans after surrender and repatriated to Perth, Scotland where they were disbanded in 1783.
19.5 North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia (1732)
From the Savannah to the Alatamaha (1732)
The plan to establish Georgia was part of a larger scheme to sub-dive Carolina into the area of the Cape Fear (New Bern) colony north to Virginia and the area of the Charles Town colony south to the Savannah River. At the same time, the western border of South Carolina (the Charles Town colony) was truncated at the Savannah River. Territory west of the Savannah River would go to the new Georgia colony. The Alatamaha River would be the southern boundary. This area, coincidentally, was the area claimed by Spain as North Florida.
This scheme was put into action in 1732, under a charter issued by George II to Lord Percival and twenty other men including James Oglethorpe. The original trustees had a period of 21 years during which they could make laws for Georgia so long as they were not in conflict with the laws of England. After that, the Crown would take control. The colony was surrendered to the Crown in 1751.
By 1701, there were 12 British colonies in North America. The principal threat to these colonies was still viewed as Spain from its bases in the Caribbean and in Florida. In the north, the British and the French were also starting to bump into each other’s aspirations. The French also occupied Fort Toulouse located at the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers (present-day Alabama) since 1715 and they were trying to trade with the Overhill Cherokee.
Thus, it was decided to add one more colony in the south and west merely as a buffer for Charles Town against the Spanish, the French and the southern tribes of Native Americans. This job fell to James Oglethorpe who left England in 1732 with 114 settlers primarily taken from debtor prisons. The were headed for the southern boarder of Carolina, i.e., the Savannah River about 200 miles south of Charles Town, where they landed in January 1733.
The colony was at the mouth of the Savannah River and could be taken as a direct challenge to the Spanish claim that North Florida extended to the Savannah River. The French Charles Fort (not Charles Town) had existed briefly about 50 miles north of the Savannah River. As part of the defenses of the colony of Georgia (named after King George II), defensive positions were established on several of the islands including Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island. On Cumberland Island, Fort Saint Andrew (north) and Fort Prince William (south) were established.
One of the reasons for establishing Georgia was to redirect Protestants from Europe directly to the New World without ever burdening Britain. The Huguenots and the Plantains had both caused social disruption in Britain. It was in that context that Austrian Lutherans (the Salzburgers) were allowed to sail directly from Rotterdam to the colonies after their lands were appropriated by Catholics. They arrived in Charles Town on 7 March 1734 and were guided from there to Savannah. Once on shore in the new colony, the founded the town of Ebenezer 21 miles from Savannah and 30 miles from the sea. Highland Scots also established settlements near Savannah. Ranger companies established garrisons south towards the Saint Johns River and west to the Tallapossa River from Savannah.
Predictably, the new colony promoted concern from the Spanish in Florida. In 1737, Oglethorpe traveled to England and returned with nine companies of British soldiers. This was timely because hostilities broke out with the Spanish in Florida in 1739. Oglethorpe took his troops and Native American allies to Saint Augustine (about 150 miles south of the Savannah River) and attempted a siege of the Spanish fortress (1740). However, the walls were too strong to be breached with the firepower available so he retired to Savannah.
This reckless move had done nothing except provoke the Spanish to send an expedition to attack the English outpost, which they did in 1742 by attacking Fort Frederica, which was the principal settlement with about 1,000 colonists. The British beat the Spanish back before they reached the fort. This same Spanish expedition was soon ambushed by the British on Saint Simons Island at the Battle of Bloody Marsh ending the Spanish expedition against Savannah and signaled the end of Spanish will to protect their claim on North Florida.
The Battle of Bloody Marsh (1742)
Based upon an paper by Thomas G. Rodgers, the Spanish reacted to the British invasion of Florida (south of the St. Johns River) by assembling an expedition and attacking outpost on Cumberland Island. Olgethorp withdrew to Saint Simons Island. The Spanish were aided in their attempt to sail past the guns of Fort St. Simons to a suitable landing site by Alexander Parris (Jr.?) formerly of Charles Town (and Barbados). This maneuver outflanked Fort St. Simons and Olgethorp retreated to Fort Frederica.
The Spanish, under Montiano, occupied Fort St. Simmons on 6 July 1742 while Olgethorp muster his reserves. Eventually, about 75 Spanish advanced towards Fort Frederica along narrow trails. They got to within 2 miles of Fort Fredrica where they were spotted by a group of British scouts on patrol. The scouts reported to Olgethorp who decided to meet the Spanish on the narrow trails. He sent his troops towards the Spanish and the two forces collided on the trail at Gully Hole Creek. The Spanish were routed and lost 36 men. The British pushed south in pursuit of the fleeing Spanish and set up an ambush at the point where a narrow causeway crossed Bloody Marsh (named after the battle).
The British (about 100 men) hid in a tree line on either side of the causeway. When the fleeing Spaniards reached Fort St. Simons about noon on 7 July 1742, they dispatched about 200 troops to return to Fort Frederica. The officer commanding the Spanish troops wisely sent a scouting party ahead of the main body onto the causeway at Blood Marsh. These were cut down when they approach the British side. The Spanish and British then fired at one another across the marsh from the opposing tree lines. In the confusion, both the British and the Spanish troops retreated. Olgethorp was coming up with more troops and rallied his broken units.
The Spanish remained at Fort Saint Simons for about a week and explored another amphibious maneuver to flank Fort Frederica. However, they ran into a British squadron and withdrew on 14 July.
Parris Island, South Carolina (1698-1775)
The island that had been the site of historical (pre-British colonial) Charlesfort (near Beauford, SC), has come to be called Parris Island. On 12 August 1698, the English Lord Proprietors granted lands in the Carolina colony including "Port Royal Island" to Robert Daniell. On 17 April 1701, Daniell sold property including the island to Edward Archer of Barbados. Then on 1 July 1715, Archer sold "one large Island" (now Parris Island) and eight smaller islands to Alexander Parris, Sr. (of Barbados?). Alexander Parris, Sr. was at that time the public treasurer of the colony of South Carolina. Alexander Parris, Sr. called the island Archer's Island and sold the northern half of it to his daughter and her husband (Jane Parris and John de la Bere) in 1733, where they established a plantation. It was apparently Col. Alexander Parris, Jr. (of Barbados) who assisted the Spanish Commander Montiano of St. Augustine to attack Charlesfort in July 1742 (when it was considered to be part of North Florida by the Spanish and part of Georgia by the British) by piloting their landing boats around British gun positions at Fort Saint Simons. It is not clear what the motive of this Alexander Parris was (why was he helping the Spanish against the British). One can only surmise that local politics and family/self-interest were at least temporarily more important than loyalty to Britain.
In 1775, another Alexander Parris (III(?), probably the grandson of the Alexander Parris, Sr. who first acquired the island) acquired title to the island, which has now become widely known as Parris Island, SC.
It is interesting to speculate what contact (if any) was established between this line of the Parris family and the families of Richard and Robert Pearis who moved to South Carolina circa 1770.