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Fighting Men. Their Habitation, before the War with Carolina, was on the North Branch of Neuse River, commonly call'd Connecta Creek, in a pleasant and fruitful Country. But now the few that are left of that Nation live on the North Side of MORATUCK, which is all that Part of Roanok below the great Falls, towards ALBEMARLE Sound.
Formerly there were Seven Towns of these Savages, lying not far from each other, but now their Number is greatly reduc'd.
These Indians have a very odd Tradition amongst them, that many years ago, their Nation was grown so dishonest, that no man cou'd keep any Goods, or so much as his loving Wife to himself. That, however, their God, being unwilling to root them out for their crimes, did them the honour to send a Messenger from Heaven to instruct them, and set Them a perfect Example of Integrity and kind Behaviour towards one another.
But this holy Person, with all his Eloquence and Sanctity of Life, was able to make
little Reformation amongst them. Some few Old men did listen a little to his Wholesome Advice, but all the Young fellows were quite incorrigible. They not only Neglected his Precepts, but derided and Evil Entreated his Person. At last, taking upon Him to reprove some Young Rakes of the Conechta Clan very sharply for their impiety, they were so provok'd at the Freedom of his Rebukes, that they tied him to a Tree, and shot him with Arrows through the Heart. But their God took instant Vengeance on all who had a hand in that Monstrous Act, by Lightning from Heaven, & has ever since visited their Nation with a continued Train of Calamities, nor will he ever leave off punishing, and wasting their People, till he shall have blotted every living Soul of them out of the World.
SECOND PERIOD. . 1750-1800.
HENRY LAURENS, one of the patriot-fathers of our country, was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He was educated in his native city, and, becoming a merchant, amassed a fortune in business. In 1771 he travelled with his children in Europe in order to educate them. Returning home he became in 1775 a member of the Provincial Congress, and on Hancock's resignation, president of the Continental Congress. He was appointed in 1779 minister to Holland, and on his way was captured by the British and confined in the Tower fifteen months. He became acquainted with Edmund Burke while in London. He was twice offered pardon if he would serve the British Ministry, but of course he declined. During this imprisonment, his son John, called the “Bayard of the Revolution” for his daring bravery, was killed in battle.
After his release, being exchanged for Lord Cornwallis, he was appointed one of the ministers to negotiate peace in 1782. His health was so impaired by the cruel treatment of his jailers, that he could take no further active part in affairs, and he passed the rest of his life in the retirement of his plantation. On his death, his body was burned, according to his express will, the first instance, in this country, of cremation,
His daughter Martha married Dr. David Ramsay, the historian.
WORKS. Political Papers (some of which have been published by the South Carolina Historical
Society. ] These are of great value in a study of the Revolutionary times.
A PATRIOT IN THE TOWER.
(From Narrative of his Confinement in the Tower.) About 11 o'clock at night I was sent under a strong guard, up three pair of stairs in Scotland Yard, into a very small chamber. Two king's messengers were placed for the whole night at one door, and a subaltern's guard of soldiers at the other. As I was, and had been for some days, so ill as to be incapable of getting into or out of a carriage, or up or down stairs, without help, I looked upon all this parade to be calculated for intimidation. My spirits were good and I smiled inwardly. The next morning, 6th October, from Scotland Yard, I was conducted again under guard to the secretary's office, White Hall.
I was first asked, by Lord Stormont, “If my name was Henry Laurens.” Certainly, my Lord, that is my name.”
His Lordship then said, “Mr. Laurens, we have a paper here” (holding the paper up), “purporting to be a commission from Congress to you, to borrow money in Eu. rope for the use of Congress.”
I replied, “My Lords, your Lordships are in possession of the paper, and will make such use of it as your Lordships shall judge proper." I had not destroyed this paper, as it would serve to establish the rank and character in which I was employed by the United States.
From White Hall, I was conducted in a close hackney coach, under the charge of Colonel Williamson, a polite, genteel officer, and two of the illest-looking fellows I had ever seen.
The coach was ordered to proceed by the most private ways to the Tower. It had been rumored that a rescue would be attempted. At the Tower the Colonel delivered me to Major Gore, the residing Governor, who, as I was afterwards well informed, had previously concerted a plan for mortifying me. He ordered rooms for me in the most conspicuous part of the Tower (the parade). The people of the house, particularly the mistress, entreated the Governor not to burthen them with a prisoner. He replied, “ It is necessary.
I am determined to expose him.” This was, however, a lucky determination for me. The people were respectful and kindly attentive to me, from the beginning of my confinement to the end; and I contrived, after being told of the Governor's humane declaration, so to garnish my windows by honeysuckles, and a grape-vine running under them, as to conceal myself entirely from the sight of starers, and at the same time to have myself a full view of them. Governor Gore conducted me to my apartments at a warder's house. As I was entering the house, I heard some of the people say, “Poor old gentleman, bowed down with infirmities. He is come to lay his bones here.” My reflection was, " I shall not leave a bone with
you.” I was very sick, but my spirits were good, and my mind foreboding good from the event of being a prisoner in London. Their Lordships' orders were : " To confine me a close prisoner ; to be locked up every night; to be in the custody of two wardens, who were not to suffer me to be out of their sight one moment, day or night; to allow me no liberty of speaking to any person, nor to permit any person to speak to me; to deprive me of the use of pen and ink; to suffer no letter to be brought to me, nor any to go from me,” etc. As an apology, I presume for their first rigor, the wardens gave me their orders to peruse.