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Last Updated On 23 December 2006

Richard Pearis

The 1987 BellSouth Yellow Pages for Greenville County, Page 2,  provides some information regarding Richard. The article states:

"Greenville's colorful history had its beginnings with the Cherokee Indians, who occupied most of the beautiful Blue Ridge foothills until 1777 when a treaty was signed giving white men access to it. The area's first white settlers were the Austin family, who came to southern Greenville County in 1761. The first great landowner in the city of Greenville was Richard Pearis, an Irishman who settled on 100,000 acres of land around the Reedy River in the late 1760s. Pearis' half-breed son had been given the land by his Cherokee mother. All of Pearis' holdings were confiscated by Patriots during the Revolution, because of Pearis' Tory activities. Land sales were open in 1784, and white settlers rushed to purchase up-country acres in the former Indian territory. In 1786 'Greeneville' County, probably named for Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, was chartered. In 1797 Lemuel Alston, who had bought much of Pearis' former land, laid out a plat for his development, 'Pleasantburg'..."

According to one researcher, Richard was commissioned a Lieutenant and moved to South Carolina to work with and live among the Cherokees. A handwritten memo concerning Paris Mountain from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism states:

"The Mountain was once the home of Cherokee Indians and was named after Richard Pearis, who was the first white settler in the region. He was sent to the Greenville area by Gov. Dinwiddie of Virginia to stimulate trade with the local Indians. Pearis, soon after he arrived, took an Indian for his wife & started a family. By virtue of this association with the Indians, Pearis was given a tract of land which included what is now Paris Mountain. Pearis fought as a Tory during the revolution, and after the war was over his property was confiscated by the state and later sole to private owners."

"Unhallowed Intrusion," by Don Shadburn indicates Richard, as a young man, served in the French and Indian War and was distinguished by a certain notoriety as an interpreter and trader among the Indians at Old Chota and other Indian town sites before the American Revolution. The book also indicates in 1768 he left Winchester, Virginia, and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, settling on the Reedy River. According to Shadburn, he established a large plantation and built a grist mill and trading post, stocking it with goods hauled from Charleston.

One researcher maintains Richard Pearis had a Caucasian wife, Rhoda, and three children, Richard Pearis, Jr., Margaret Elizabeth Pearis and Sarah Pearis, while also having an Indian "side wife" named "Pratchy." The Indian "side wife" had a son whom Richard named "George" and a daughter, "Nelly."

Colonial Records of South Carolina, Series 2. Documents Relating to Indian Affairs, 1754 – 1765, pages 98 and 99 contain a letter from John Smith, William Preston and Richard Pearis to the "Catawbaws," written in 1756. The letter, in part, states:

"John Smith, William Preston and Richard Pearis to the Catawbaws and is given, Fort Frederick, Jan. 13th, 1756.
The Chain of Friendship between you and your Brothers of Virginia we hope will be kept clear and bright as long as the Sun and Moon endures."


"...for we intend to march in 20 Days with a Body of 300 Men against the Shawannes in which Expedition have great reason to hope for Success especially if attended by a Number of our Brothers the Catawbaws who are known to be a People of undoubted Valour and Integrity. The Indian Messenger Kerorostekee lived formerly in your Nation and since his Departure has killed two of his Enemies which we hope will be acceptable to you with George Paris the white Messenger.
From your Friends and Brothers,
Jno. Smith
Wm. Preston
Richd. Pearis"

James Glen was appointed royal governor of Colonial South Carolina in 1738 and came to the colony in 1743 to serve until 1756, the longest tenure of any governor during its Colonial period. Ludovic Grant was an established trader in the Cherokee Nation where he married a full blood Cherokee of the Long Hair Clan by the name of Elizabeth Tassel Coody or "Eughioote". Being of "good" family and well educated, he became the agent and correspondent of the Governors of South Carolina. His letters kept the governors informed of the happenings within the Cherokee Nation. The Colonial Records of South Carolina: South Carolina Indian Affairs Documents, 1754 – 1757, pages 15 - 20, contain a letter from Ludovic Grant to Governor Glen. The letter mentions a Virginia trader by the name "Paris." The letter states, in part:

Cherroekees, Tomatly Town, 22d July, 1754
    MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY, It is not easey to conceive, much less to express, the inward Satisfaction of Mind I, in my mean Circumstances receive, by being in the least countenanced by your Excellency, neither is there any Thing that can depress that Joy which rises in my Heart on that Account, more than my Inability to effectually serve your Excellency and the Country in which I sojourn, and as my Will is sincere and ready on all Occasions I pray it may make up and excuse what Deficiencies are not in my Power to help while it is my good Fortune and Happiness that your Excellency does remain in this Province of South Carolina. I shall not fail as Oppertunity serves allways to acquaint your Excellency of what shall come to my Knowledge in relation to the Behaviour of these Indians as far as it concerns the Peace of Carolina or else where belonging to the King of Great Britain and likewise the Benifite and Security of the Trade which is at present carried on among these Cherroekees.
Since I wrote my last Letters by Mr. Buttler there is little happened in this Nation worthy your Notice, though I propose to acquaint your Excellency also with Things seemingly of mean Concern and leave the Inferrences to be drawen by yourself.
    Your Excellency may remember in my last Letters by Mr. Buttler I gave an Account of a Message sent to Old Hopp by the Governor of Virginia in­viting the Emperour and Little Carpenter in thither, in order to receive some Presents as the Letter specified, sent for them from the King of England. Abraham Smith who was the Messenger went in Person over the Hills, and as I can learn received one verbal Compliment for another to carry Home with him. However Smith returned with expedition from Virginia to Kewohee the second Time and proceeded no further, but from thence sent the second Letter which he had brought by one of the Virginia Traders who was there at Kewohee at that Time to Old Hopp who said he was much obliged to the Governor of Virginia for his Correspondence, but that as he was promised by his first Messenger, Ammunition and war Utensils, and that not being sent according to Promise, neither he nor his People could make Powder, and Bullets, and other Things they very much wanted, and Paper alone, meaning the Letters, would not defend them from their Enemies either at Home or abroad and upon slight Excuses altogeather declined going.
    However they desired the Virginia Trader, one Paris by Name, to write their Answer to the second Letter and carry it to the Governor, and when the Headmen were conveened in order to consult what Answer to send, he, the said Paris, declined it till they should come to Starnekers, the Dutchman's House, on the Virginia Path, and where Paris proposed they should convoy him, and there he said the Warriours who were his Gaurd might send an Answer. It may be supposed that Paris by deffering to write the Answer till upon the Path, thought to lay an Obligation upon the Headmen to convoy him, but after all this he could hardly perswade any of them |15| to gaurd him homewards, only twelve Fellows nine whereof were Northward Indians who have lived some Years Over the Hills and almost naturalized.
    That Night or soon after they were come to Starnekers, there were thirty of the Catabaws who had been at War to the Northward and being so far returned homewards, took up Camp in the adjacent Neighbourhood in order to get some Provisions from the Inhabitants of the Place and to procure which sent a young Man of their Company ignorantly to a House near to Paris's Gaurd, who so soon as the Northward Fellows who were with the Cherroekees heard of an Indian and a Catawbaw they rushed into the House where the Catabaw was sitting and seizing and tieing him brought him off. As I before mentioned there were thirty of the Catabaws and had taken three Slaves and killed two on the Spot, and there being but nine Northward with Paris, they thot without Delay of making the best of their Way homewards and for Fear of being pursued by the Catabaws which doubtless they were the fourth Day came to Setticoe which was an unaccountable Haste. The Northward Fellow that first laid Hands on the Catabaw and for that Reason claimed him as his sole Property lives in Setticoe, and there he first intended to carry the Slave, which when the Little Carpenter, the Great Warriour, and several other Head-men heard they went and with stern and angry Countenances, cut the Slave's String with a Knife, and stamped upon the rattling Callabash they had given the Slave in his Hand to sing to, and told the nine Northward if they wanted to go to their Country they might when they pleased, that they were not affraid of them or their Nation nor the French, but they should carry none of their Friends as Slaves, so these Warriours above mentioned brought the Catabaw Home to them, and as in such Cases there Manner is, washed, painted, and new cloathed him, and intends to send him Home with a Gaurd to his own People as soon as he can walk, his Feet being much swollen by running...
    This Summer one of the Virginia Traders, Paris by Name, whom I have before mentioned with a young Man Paris, his Hireling, a Nogroe Man, and John Hatton’s Sister, half breed, had almost been killed in the Great Terequa Path from Canoste. The said Paris with his Company had come from Stecoe on Tewtewah River and passing my House went to Docharty's where he bought two Cows and Calves. The Day after took his Journey for Great Terequa which he was to pass in his Way to Toquo where he resided with a remarkable Indian and a Warriour of Tannassee who had some Days before come over the Hills to Docharty's in order to pay a Debt he owed him. When Paris was come within four or five Miles of the Terequa for Fear least his Cattle would tire encamped, the Indian who was a little Way behind coming up, said he would proceed to the Town it being but a little Way |20| off, and notwithstanding Paris and the Woman entreated him earnestly to stay and told him the Path was dangerous, however the Indian would not and not two Miles from where Paris stayed had his Horse shot under him, and was himself carried off where no News has been heard of him since, and I belive [ever] will, and Cattle though they have been the Death of some Virginia Men in Times past at that Time saved the Life of one with his Company...
    Your Excellency's most humble, most obedient, and most obliged Servant,
    Lud. Grant"

Another letter, found in the Colonial Records of South Carolina: Documents Relating To Indian Affairs, 1754 - 1757, Pages 40 - 45 states, in part:

Cherokees, Tomatly Town, Mar. 27th
    ...Your Excellency may remember, in some of my former Letters in the Spring, I mentioned one Paris, a Trader from Virginia, and Price, his Partner; the former went in the Summer last for Virginia, and the latter to Carolina, not having wherewith to answer his Credit in Virginia; when the said Paris came there, one Guest, his Merchant and Father of this Guest who was sent into this Nation as Messenger from Virginia, seized on his Leather and denied him any further Credit, which obliged him here and there to pick up what Goods he could get, and consisted only in some single Matchcoats, Northward Blankets, and some other smal Things, of inconsiderable Value, which he packed up in Baggs and brought two White Men, (who they say fled from Virginia for the Press) and a Northward Indian who had lived some Time in this Nation and had gone in with Paris to Virginia; these he sent in to Chote, desiring a Guard from thence into this Nation, and Long Jack's Brother called Chekesaw, with some others, went out to conduct and guard him in hither. It seems Paris had told the White Men he had a Letter also from the Governor to Old Hap, and had given the Indian a Letter of his own Writing, to Old Hap desiring him to give no Credit to Guest, or his Languister, Oliver, that they would tell him nothing but Lies and that Guest had stole the Governor's Letter from him and that he himself was the Man to have brought it; and that they should keep them both till he came into the Nation. It happened that a Party of the Overhills Towns were at that Time out at War, and about two days March from Chote, came up with the said White Men and Indian, killed the Indian and brought in his Scalp with Paris, his Letters, and the White Men to Chote; which Letter I heard read and very much laughed at. While I was over the Hills in Chore, passed by Long Jack's Brother and Paris keeping the other Side of the River for Toquo where his Woman lived, which very much affronted Old Hap and all the Warriors who were then conveened and sat in Council in the Town House |46| expecting there coming when they found they were past, Old Hap, sent a Messenger for him, desiring him to come forthwith that they might hear his Message, who next Day came and being asked for the Governor's Letter he had said to the White Men he had brought, told them he had none, which much startled Old Hap, and put him to a Pause, and some high Words passing between Paris and Guest, Old Hap told Paris to be quiet, and as he had brought no Letter nor was a Messenger, he should only mind his Trade, and as he had brought little or no Goods among them (save Whiske, a spirituous Liquor it seems made of Rye of which he had twenty Caggs) he should therewith pay, according to his Promise pay his Gaurds who had conducted him in, and out of the Nation. Old Hap asked him why he lost his Way and passed the Town and whether the Governor had sent any Message to his Woman, and said he could compare him to nothing but a young Buck in rutting Time, who run hither and thither, not minding where; after a Doe til he found her.
Your Excellency's most obliged, most obedient and most humble Servant,
Lud. Grant"

In History of South Carolina In The Revolution 1775 - 1780 McCrady CHAPTER V 1775 Pages 86 - 89, Richard Pearis is mentioned:

"On the day the Congress met, the 1st of November, it was informed that Captain Robert Cuningham had been taken into custody and brought to Charlestown. He had been arrested under orders from Major Andrew Williamson upon the affidavit of Captain John Caldwell, charging him with seditious words. Cuningham having been brought before the Congress did not deny that he had used the words with which he was charged; he did not believe, he said, that Captain Caldwell had perjured himself; but though he did not consider himself bound by the treaty at Ninety-Six, he averred "that he had since behaved himself as peaceably as any man, and although he had opinions he had not expressed them but when asked." Upon this frank statement Captain Cuningham was committed to the jail of Charlestown by a warrant under the hand of William Henry Drayton as President; Thomas Grimball the Sheriff was directed, however, to afford him every reasonable and necessary accommodation at the public charge. But he was enjoined not to suffer him to converse or correspond with any person whomsoever, or to have the use of pen, ink, or papers unless by express leave from the Congress. The arrest of Cuningham was deeply resented by the people of the Upper Country, and in connection with another matter, which occurred about the same time, occasioned further trouble and a far more serious disaffection of the people in that region. They were led to believe that the Revolutionists on the coast were intriguing with the Indians to bring them down upon the frontier settlements because the people there hesitated to join them against the King. A bloodless battle had been fought in Charlestown harbor. The first blood was now to be shed in Ninety-Six District. Mr. Drayton while on his mission in that part of the country had had a "talk" with the Cherokees, and had promised to send them a supply of powder and lead; and in compliance with this promise the Council of Safety on the 4th of October had dispatched a wagon with one thousand pounds of powder and two thousand pounds of lead as a present to them. It unluckily happened that about this time Robert Cuningham's arrest became known; whereupon Patrick Cuningham immediately assembled a party of about sixty armed men to rescue his brother. They failed in doing that, but seized the ammunition on its way to the Indians. Upon this Major Andrew Williamson, who then resided in Ninety-Six, embodied his militia for the purpose of recovering the powder and lead. He formed a camp at Long Cane, and sent a letter to Edward Wilkinson and Alexander Cameron, the Indian agents then in the Cherokee Nation, informing them of the seizure, and requesting that the matter should be explained to the Indians so as to prevent them from revenging themselves upon the people of this frontier. On the other hand, the Cuningham party represented that the ammunition had been sent to the Indians to arm them against the King's friends, who formed so large a part of that population. This unfortunate event added greatly and not unnaturally to the opposition to the government of the Congress and was of great influence in assisting the collection of a considerable force in arms between the Broad and Saluda. What action should be taken in this emergency was the subject of another contention between the two parties in the Congress, Arthur Middleton as usual urging vigorous measures and Rawlins Lowndes opposing them. The parties were so evenly divided that in a hundred votes two decided the question. Fifty-one supported Middleton and forty-nine Lowndes. By this vote, on the 8th of November, it was determined to assemble a force under Colonel Richard Richardson, and to send him to seize Patrick Cuningham, Henry O'Neal, Hugh Brown, David Reese, Nathaniel Howard, Henry Green, and Jacob Bochman, the leaders of the Royal party. Captain Ezekiel Polk, who had been led to desert the cause by Moses Kirkland in August, had returned and had been taken back into favor, and was again given a company. He now accompanied Colonel Richardson. There was another person in this expedition, whom, before this book closes, we shall find becoming the real leader in the struggle for the American cause, and who, with others whose names were scarcely yet known, was to redeem the State after it had been overrun and lost to those who were now in control of the revolutionary movements. This was Thomas Sumter, and this was the manner in which he was received into the ranks of the Revolutionary party. "We have consulted with Colonel Richardson touching Mr. Sumter's application to the Council," wrote William Henry Drayton and the Rev. Mr. Tennent to the Council of Safety. "The Colonel readily approved not only of the measure, but of the man, notwithstanding Kirkland recommended him as his successor in the company of Rangers which he quitted and attempted to disband. The Colonel nevertheless from his seeming connection with Kirkland proposes to keep a sharp eye upon Mr. Sumter's conduct." Sumter thus entered the service under suspicion and upon probation. In this expedition he acted as Colonel Richardson's Adjutant General. In the meanwhile the Congress men under Williamson and the King's men under Cuningham continued embodying their forces. Williamson lay almost a fortnight at Ninety-Six Court House, receiving those who came in and waiting for Colonel Thomson with the Rangers. Captain Richard Pearis, who, then acting with the Revolutionary party, had accompanied Mr. Drayton on his visit to the Indians, disappointed that he had not received the military position he desired, now changed sides and joined the King's party. He charged the Council of Safety with the design of bringing down the Cherokees upon the settlements to cut off all the King's men. He went so far as to make affidavit that the ammunition taken by Patrick Cuningham was on the way to the Cherokee Nation for that purpose. As it was known that he had brought the Indians who had met Mr. Drayton in September, it was naturally supposed that he was acquainted with the intentions of the Council, and his assertions were readily believed. The King's party was thus speedily swelled in numbers, while Williamson's militia came in but slowly. Williamson, however, could not believe that the Loyalists would dare to attack him, until the 18th of November, when he received certain information that they were in full march upon him and had actually crossed the Saluda River for the purpose. Major Mayson now joined him with a small party of Rangers and proposed to march at once, themselves assume the offensive, and attack their opponents in camp. A council of war was called which, as councils of war usually do, overruled this vigorous plan of operations."

Pages 92 - 93 state:

    "...Mayson, that they were determined never to resign their arms. In two hours Major Robinson returned with Captain Patrick Cuningham, and upon their withdrawing the peremptory demand for surrender it was agreed that a conference should take place the next morning. Accordingly, at the appointed hour, Majors Williamson and Mayson with Captains Pickens and Bowie met Major Robinson, Captain Cuningham, Evan McLaurin, and Pearis, when it was agreed that hostilities should immediately cease, that the garrison should be marched out of their improvised fort and their swivels given up, which by a secret agreement for that purpose were in a day or two privately restored. This mock surrender of the swivels was agreed upon by the leaders to appease a large party of the besiegers who, while the negotiation was progressing, demanded their surrender. The treaty further stipulated that the public differences should be submitted to Lord William Campbell the Governor on the part of the King's men, and to the Council of Safety on the part of Major Williamson and those under his command; that each party should send messengers to their principals, and twenty days be allowed for their return; that Major Robinson should withdraw his men over the Saluda River, and keep them there or disperse them as he pleased until he should receive his Excellency's orders; that no person of either party should be molested in returning home; that should reinforcements arrive, they should be bound by the treaty; that all prisoners should be set at liberty, the fortifications levelled, and the well which had been dug in the forts filled up. Such was the rather inglorious end of an affair which otherwise, however, might have produced the most disastrous consequences, and at once have inaugurated fratricidal strife which later drenched this fair land in blood. It was not, however, entirely to the advantage of Major Williamson's party; for the other was composed of much more discordant materials than his own, and could not have been kept inactively together. It was observed that none of those who had signed the treaty of Ninety-Six with Mr. Drayton took any open part in this rising except McLaurin. Colonel Fletchall, it is true, was charged with privately encouraging it. The whole enterprise of this heterogeneous mass calling themselves King's men -- some acting upon principle and more perhaps from timidity, believing the story of the Indians in the affidavit of Pearis--was based upon the belief that Major Williamson's party would immediately surrender and submit. Without a leader capable of controlling them by influence or authority, and every officer thinking himself on a footing with Major Robinson, the head of the expedition, the party soon fell to pieces. In the meanwhile Matthew Floyd, the messenger sent by Major Robinson to Lord William Campbell under the terms of the treaty, arrived in Charlestown and applied to the Council of Safety for permission to repair to his Lordship on board the British man-of-war, declaring that he had lost his dispatches, and therefore it was necessary he should himself give his Excellency accounts of the transaction at Ninety-Six. This story of the loss of his dispatches naturally created suspicion, and the Council of Safety in allowing him to go to his Excellency required that he should be accompanied by one Mr. Merchant on the part of the Council, who was required to be present at any interview and conversation between Lord William and Floyd. But notwithstanding Mr. Merchant's remonstrance, as soon as Floyd was on board Lord William took him down into his cabin, where, with Innes his... Pages 96 - 97 addition to which Colonel Polk was in full march from North Carolina with 600 men. As Colonel Richardson's army advanced, the King's' party fell back constantly retreating. They were thoroughly disheartened by the failure of the promises of Lord William Campbell and his weak conduct. Occasionally they would make a stand; but as soon as Colonel Richardson advanced, they could retreat. By the 12th of December Colonel Richardson's army, which then consisted of three thousand men, had penetrated far into the interior, and had taken several prisoners "of the first magnitude," as he described them in the letter to the Council of Safety. Among them were Colonel Thomas Fletchall, Captain Richard Pearis, and Captain Shuberg. Fletchall was found hidden in a large sycamore tree with a hollow seven or eight feet wide on Fair Forest Creek, from which he was unkennelled by the Rangers and some volunteers under Colonel Thomson, who had been sent to scour that part of the disaffected district and to beat up Fletchall's quarters. Richardson pressed forward through all the inclemencies of the winter weather, though his men were thinly clothed and indifferently provided. He halted and encamped at Liberty Hill on the line between Newberry and Laurens counties, about four or five miles from the Enoree River. Here he collected his most important prisoners those reputed to be the most active against the authority of the Provincial Congress, and placing them under the care of his son Captain Richard Richardson, Jr., he sent them under escort to Charlestown. Having thus divested himself of this care, and his force still further increased by Colonels Rutherford and Graham of North Carolina with about five hundred men, and by Major Andrew Williamson and Captain Hammond with a party of Colonel Stephen Bull's regiment amounting to about eight hundred men, his whole force now amounting to between four thousand and five thousand strong, he scoured the whole of the upper country, penetrating four miles beyond the Cherokee boundary line to a place called the Great Cane Brake on Reedy River. At Cane Brake there was a camp of King's men which it was Richardson's object to break up. For this purpose he dispatched Colonel Thomson with about thirteen hundred men, who after a tedious march of near twenty-three miles on the 21st of December arrived within view of the Loyalists' campfires. Toward daylight of the 22d Thomson moved forward to attack, and had nearly surrounded the camp when his men were discovered; and a fight immediately took place. Patrick Cuningham escaped on a horse bareback, telling every one "to shift for himself." Great slaughter, it is said, would have ensued had not Colonel Thomson prevented it. Five or six of Cuningham's men were, however, killed, and one hundred and thirty were taken prisoners. Of Colonel Thomson's troops none were killed and only one was wounded. Colonel Richardson now regarding the object of the campaign as accomplished, dismissed the North Carolina troops and breaking up his camp marched homewards. From the snow which fell in the latter part of the expedition it was called the "Snow Campaign." The campaign was supposed to have completely broken up the Ring's party in the upper country, but its success to this extent was only apparent. Pages 524 - 525 ..."Tarleton's quarter" became proverbial. The tragedy sank deep into the hearts, not only of the American soldiers, but of the people of this section who had hitherto had but little to do with the war. It was an event which contributed much to arousing them from an indifference to the contest to the most determined resistance to the British. Tarleton himself recognized the necessity of some explanation of the extraordinary slaughter, and, as is seen, attempted to excuse it because his men supposed him to have fallen. Lord Cornwallis found no fault with the barbarous conduct of his lieutenant; and Sir Henry Clinton reported it with exultation and even with exaggeration as to the number slain. But the brutal conduct of Tarleton's dragoons at Monck's Corner and the massacre at the Waxhaws were not the only instances of their cruelty in this campaign; another, which made a deep and lasting impression on the people of this section, was the killing during this expedition of Samuel Wyley, the brother of the sheriff at Camden. This unfortunate man was mistaken for his brother, John Wyley, the sheriff, whom Tarleton had determined to put to death. To perform the deed he dispatched a favorite sergeant, whose name was Hutt, with a sergeant's guard. Going to Wyley's house, two men were left concealed behind the two large gateposts at the entrance of the yard, while Hutt with the rest of the party broke into the house, Hutt demanded Wyley's shoebuckles, and while the defenceless man stooped down to unbuckle them Hutt aimed a stroke at his head, Wyley, seeing the gleam of the sword, parried the blow from his head by his hand, with the loss of some of the fingers; then, springing out of the door, he ran for the gate, where the two concealed men dispatched him. On this expedition, also, the British burned the house of Sumter, near Clermont, and in doing so roused the spirit of a lion. Tarleton, after Buford's defeat, fell back to join the main army. Cornwallis had not moved more than forty miles from Nelson's Ferry when the first express arrived with the news of Tarleton's success. A few days afterward Cornwallis reached Camden, and Tarleton joined him there. Upon the approach of the British the inhabitants of Camden met them with a flag and asked for, and were granted, terms similar to those granted to the inhabitants of Charlestown, that is, that they were to be Considered as prisoners on parole. The people of Ninety-Six, learning that the British were advancing to that part of the State also, sent out a flag to the commanding officer, from whom they learned that Sir Henry Clinton had delegated full powers to Captain Richard Pearis, and were advised to treat with him. Articles of capitulation were immediately proposed and soon ratified, by which they were promised the same security for their persons and property which British subjects enjoyed. They submitted under the supposition that they were to be either neutrals or prisoners on parole, as had been stipulated at Charlestown. The inhabitants in the neighborhood of Beaufort likewise were assured the same terms."

Two pages from an Old Frederick County Parish record show signatures of parishioners who participated in communion during 1761-1763. The register was found in an original book among miscellaneous Frederick County records in the Library of Virginia (Archives).  At the top of the register is this statement: "I do declare that I do believe there is not any transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and in the Elements of Bread and Wine, at or after the Consecration thereof by any Person Whatsoever."  This was one way of saying that the communion table was for Protestants only. The Roman Catholic church believes the elements are transubstantiated, or they actually become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, at communion time.

Some persons who signed the parish register were: Nicholas M____(German), John Hite, Jacob Morgan, Thomas Caton, ____ Mandley, James Craik, James Ireson, John Neaville, John McKensie, John Christopher (Heintz ?), James Keith, Thomas Speake, Lewis Moore, Cornelius Vansdell, Peter Hog (on June 1, 1762), Joseph Longacre (a German signature),  Joseph Glass, John Lindsey, Thomas Bryan Martin, John Sheen, Richard Paris (Pearis), John Watson, John Taylor, Edward Robinson, David Shepherd, Jeremiah Odell, John Shealy (HisXMark——the only person who could not sign his own name), Charles Smith, Gabriel Jones, Thomas Rutherford, Thomas Whitson, William Overall, Thomas Wadlington, Archibald Wager, Humphrey Wells, Isaac Russell, Thomas Lowe, John Kennedy, Joseph A__(not legible), Elijah Isaacs(?), John Linsey, Daniel Bush, John Edwards, Edward Rogers Jr., Morgan Morgan, Walter Moffett, John Waton (German), Van Swearington, John Wager, Wastley Whit, John Dark, Alex Lemen, John Jenkins, Martin ____(German),  Richard Jackman, Adam Stephen, Burr Harrison, Angus McDonald, Thomas Helm, and Henry Netherton.  With several exceptions, this list represents persons in the power structure of Frederick County in 1761-1763.  It is obvious that no women signed the register.

Apparently, Richard Pearis was not what we might call a "model citizen." I found a Virginia Colonial Records Project document, survey report number 577, Letters to Secretary of State, where Mr. John Stuart wrote to the Earl of Hillsborough, Charles Town South Carolina on 8 January 1773 to report that "Jacob Hite and Richard Pearis, of Virginia, are reportedly fraudulently to be obtaining cessions of land from the Indians." (pages 211-215)

In the same document, on page 292 there is another entry where Mr. John Stuart again wrote to the Earl of Hillsborough. The letter, on 21 December 1773 was "regarding the judgment given in the Circuit Court against Jacob Hite and Richard Pearis for illegally obtaining cessions of land from the Indians."

Richard was apparently active in his support of the British. An abstract of pay due to Captain Richard Pearis states:

"Abstract of Pay due to Captain Richard PEARIS Commanding a Company of Colonel STUARTs Corps of Loyal Refugees in West Florida for himself 1 Serjeant & 3 Privates upon Detachment in Georgia & East Florida.

To Capt. PEARIS's pay from the 1st July 1778 to the 1st August 1779 Inclusive 397 days at 10s/ 198. 10. 0.
To Serjeant EARNESTS do from do to do 397 days at 1/ 19. 17. 0.
To Pay for three Privates Viz. Thos. SMITH, William ALLEN & William NIBBITT from do to do 397 days each at 6d 29. 15. 6.
To Forage, Baggage & Batt Money from the 19th October to the 1st August 1779 54. 8. 6.
  302. 11. 0."

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 93, page 620.

Not only was Richard Pearis active in Georgia and East Florida, he was also active in West Florida. He was captured somewhere in the western portion of Florida by the Americans. His parole document follows:

West Florida Loyal Refugees

"I do hereby acknowledge myself to be a Prisoner of war on parole to His Excellency the Commander in Chief of the American forces and that I am thereby engaged until I shall be exchanged to remain within the British Lines and that I will not in the mean time do or cause to be done anything prejudicial to the success of the American Arms, or have intercourse or correspondence with the Enemies of the United States. Witness my hand this 8th Day [of] June 1781- Richd. PEARIS Capt. W. F. Loyts. Witness Geo: Carrington Cort. P.L.D."

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 93, page 616.

His activities ultimately resulted in the destruction of his property. In a memorial to the Commissioners Appointed by Acts of Parliament, he wrote of his family's sufferings during the war, noting that:

"In the year 1776 when my Estate was burnt and destroyed, my Wife, 2 Daughters and one Son were surprised by break of day by one Colonel Thomas and 400 Militia; beat and abused my daughters and made them all prisoners, after burning, destroying and carrying away the Property, forced them to March thro' Rivers and Creeks on foot 25 Miles in one day, without victuals or any thing to cover their heads from the Sun; afterwards kept them confined three days without any Provisions, then sent them off in an open Wagon 100 Miles and turned them out to shift for themselves amongst a parcel of Rebels without money or Provisions. They were then obliges for three years during my absences on duty to be depending on Charitable People added to their own Industry for their Living, and under continual Apprehension of being massacred."

After the Revolution, Richard Pearis was exiled to the Bahamas Islands. Homeward Bound, The Bahamas Islands to 1850 by Sandra Riley. ISBN0-941072-06-1, pg. 253 no. 8: states:

"[Richard PEARIS] He left three tracts of land on Abaco to his wife Rhoda. To his son Richard and daughters Sarah and Margaret he bequeathed the land in Nassau and two hundred acres on the River in West Florida. Richard Jr. received his father's Calcoa land and all the property in the United States." Will Book "F", pg. 460-464, proved 15 December 1794.

Richard Pearis is listed as one of the Loyalist settlers who were granted land by the Bahamian government from 1778 - 1783, The information comes from "The Early Settlers of the Bahama Islands with Account of the American Revolution" by A. Talbot Bethell (1930)

Name Acres Location
Pearis, Margaret 40 Acres Abaco
Pearis, Richard 140 Acres Abaco

I do not know whether Margaret Pearis is Richard Pearis' daughter or Richard Pearis Jr's wife. Although I suspect Margaret is Richard's daughter. I also do not know which Richard Pearis held this land grant, Jr. or Sr.

I found an index of a will for Richard M. Pearis on the National Archives of the Bahamas web site. This index indicates the will was "proved" on 15 December 1794.

Publication   18 May 1762.
Other Format   Available on microfilm. Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.
Note   Location: Frederick County.
  Description: 224 acres adjoining Jacob Vanmeter, and Edward Mercer.
  Source: Northern Neck Grants K, 1757-1762, p. 430 (Reel 294).
  Original survey exists.
  Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.


Publication   15 April 1762.
Other Format   Available on microfilm. Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.
Note   Location: Frederick County.
  Description: 209 acres adjoining his father's late survey including his Still House on Opeckon.
  Source: Northern Neck Grants K, 1757-1762, p. 397 (Reel 294).
  Original survey exists.
  Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.


Publication   7 September 1762.
Other Format   Available on microfilm. Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.
Note   Location: Frederick County.
  Description: 51 acres adjoining his own line on the east side of Opeckon.
  Source: Northern Neck Grants M, 1762-1765, p. 40 (Reel 295).
  Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.


Publication   20 September 1766.
Other Format   Available on microfilm. Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.
Note   Location: Frederick County.
  Description: 124 acres on Opeckon adjoining Richard Pearis &c.
  Source: Northern Neck Grants N, 1766, p. 231 (Reel 295).
  Original survey exists.
  Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.


Publication   11 February 1763.
Other Format   Available on microfilm. Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.
Note   Location: Frederick County.
  Description: 536 acres near Tuscarorah Branch on the Main Road to Watkins Ferry.
  Source: Northern Neck Grants M, 1762-1765, p. 131 (Reel 295).
  Original survey exists.
  Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.


Publication   12 February 1763.
Other Format   Available on microfilm. Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.
Note   Location: Frederick County.
  Description: 390 acres at the head of the Swan Ponds, on the drains of Opeckon.
  Source: Northern Neck Grants M, 1762-1765, p. 132 (Reel 295).
  Original survey exists.
  Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.