Historical Collection of Georgia
Glynn County

 

The following was taken from the book:  "Historical Collections of Georgia" by the Rev. George White, M.A.

Pg. 461 to 474

Glynn County

          This is one of the oldest counties in Georgia, being first laid out in 1765, into two parishes, viz., St. Patrick and St. David's, although extensive settlements had been made many years before.  In 1777, the parishes above named were formed into the County of Glynn, and so named in honour of John Glynn, Esq., distinguished for his unwavering support of the colonies.
          The principal streams are the Altamaha, Turtle, Little and St. Simon's rivers.
 The face of the country is broken by extensive swamps, which, when drained, become the most valuable lands in the county.
          The climate is warm. In the summer fevers and agues occur in the lower lands.
          BRUNSWICK is the county town, situated on the east bank of the Turtle River, 201 miles S.E. of Milledgeville.  The town is situated on a beautiful bluff of white sand, elevated from eight to twelve feet above high water, and extending itself up and down the river for upwards of tow miles, affording a delightful situation for a city of the largest extent.
          Frederica is on the west side of St. Simon's Island, and was settled in 1739.  It received its name in honour of Frederick, Prince of Wales, only son of George the Second.  It was laid out by General Oglethorpe, with wide streets, crossing each other at right angles, and planted with rows of orange-trees.  This place was the favourite residence of General Oglethorpe, and figures much in the early history of Georgia.
          On the coast are numerous islands, of which St. Simon's is the most celebrated.  Here a battle was fought, July 7, 1742, between Oglethorpe's regiment and the Spaniards.  The latter were defeated with great loss, and the place where the engagement took place has ever since been called "Bloody Marsh."
          We prefer to give a narrative of matters connected with the Spanish invasion of Georgia in the language of General Oglethorpe, as we consider his account the most reliable in its details of any to which we have had access.

          The Spaniards [says the General, in one of his letters,] at Augustine were so strengthened by the troops left there after the invasion of Georgia, amongst which were the dragoons of the regiment of Italica, that they repulsed all the parties of Indians that I could send out against them.
          I had also intelligence of a strong party of men marching towards the river St. Mathew.  As I concluded, this was to enlarge their quarters, ready for the next body of troops that they expect in the spring, from Havannah [sic], and with which they propose to invade all North America, and begin with the conquest of Georgia and Carolina. I, therefore, thought the best means I could take was to oppose them in time, and myself in person, to lead the Indians, and dispute with them the field, before their troops came from Cuba.
          I, therefore, with a detachment of the Highland Company of Rangers, and of the regiment, landed in the night in Florida, and had such success that the Indians advanced, undiscovered, and attacked the Spaniards, and killed upwards of forty of them; but one of their own party being killed, they would give no prisoners quarters, therefore I have no intelligence.
          I march to-morrow, and if I have success I trust in God I shall be able to force the Spaniards once more to take shelter in their town, which I shall look upon at a great point gained, since it will delay their intended operations, and give heart to our Indians, and keep them steady to his Majesty's interest, who were a good deal staggered by some strange steps taken by the Lieutenant-Governor of South Carolina, which Captain Dunbar will inform your Grace of; but any success I can now have, will only be putting off for a short time the fatal blow which must attend the vast operations making at Cuba, &c.

From the Camp, on the River St. Mathew, or St. John's,}
Florida, 18th March, 1742-3}


FLORIDA, ON THE RIVER ST. MATHEW,
21st March, 1742-3

          I am to acquainted your Grace of his Majesty's arms.  The Spaniards have quitted the field, and are retired into St. Augustine.  The troops made a very extraordinary march in four days, of ninety-six miles, for so many it is from this place to St. Augustine and back again, and this we performed without leaving one man sick behind us, and the whole party is in strength and health.  I hear from all hands that there is a strong body of troops at St. Augustine, and can hardly conceive the reason of their behaviour and precipitate retreat, from numbers so much inferior to them, unless they have orders from their court to preserve their strength entire for the intended invaders.  I did all I could to draw them to action, and having posted the grenadiers and some of the troops in ambuscade, advanced myself, with a very few men, in sight of the town, intending to skirmish and retire, in order to draw them into the ambuscade, but they were so meek there was no provoking them.  The Indians advanced so nimbly, as to get up with a party of the enemy, and killed forty of them under the cannon of the town.

Above addressed to the Earl of Oxford.


FREDERICA, IN GEORGIA, 30th July, 1742.
          The Spanish Invasion, which has for a long time threatened the colony of Carolina and all North America, has at last fallen upon us, and God has been our deliverer.  General Hozcasilas, governor of the Havannah [sic], ordered those troops who had been employed against General Wentworth, to embark with artillery and every thing necessary for a secret expedition.  They sailed with a great fleet; amongst them were two half galleys, carrying 120 men each, and 18-pound guns.  They drew but 5 feet water, which satisfied me they were for this place. By good great fortune, one of the half galleys was wrecked coming out.  The fleet sailed for St. Augustine, in Florida.
          Captain Hamer, the latter end of May, called here for intelligence.  I acquainted him that the succours [sic] were expected, and sent him a Spanish pilot to show him where to meet with them.  He met with ten sail, which had been divided from the fleet by storm; but having lost 18 men in action against them, instead of coming here for the defence of this place, he stood again for Charlestown to repair, and I having certain advices of the arrival of the Spanish fleet at St. Augustine, wrote to the commander of H.M. ships at Charlestown to come to our assistance.  I sent Lieutenant Maxwell, who arrived there and delivered the letters on the 12th of June, and afterwards Lieutenant Mackay, who arrived and delivered letters on the 20th June.  Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, who was then at Charlestown, and was Engineer, hastened to England; and his son-in-law, Ensign Eyre, Sub-engineer, was also in Charlestown, and did not arrive here until the action was over; so for want of help, I myself was obliged to do the duty of an engineer.
          The Havannah fleet being joined by that of Florida, compose 51 sail, with landmen on board, a list of whom is annexed.  They were separated, and I received advices from Captain Dunbar, who lay at Fort William with the guard schooner of 14 guns and 90 men, that a Spanish fleet of fourteen sail had attempted to come in there; but being drove out by the cannon of the fort and schooner, they came in on Cumberland.  I followed on myself, and was attacked in the Sound by fourteen sail, but with two boats fought my way through.
          Lieutenant Folson, who was to have supported me with the third and strongest boat, quitted me in the fight, and run into a river, where he hid himself until next day, when he returned to St. Simon's with an account that I was lost; but soon after found that I had arrived there before him.  For which misbehaviour I put him in arrest, and ordered him to be tried.
          The enemy in this action suffered so much, that the day after they run to sea, and returned to St. Augustine, and did not join their great fleet till after their grenadiers were beat by land.
          I drew the garrison from St. Andrew's, reinforced Fort William, and returned to St. Simon's with the schooner.
          Another Spanish fleet appeared on the 28th off the bar.  By God's blessing, upon several occasions taken, I delayed their coming until the 5th of July.  I raised another troop of Rangers, which, with the other, were of great service.  I took Captain Thompson's ship into the service for defence of the harbour.  I embargoed all the vessels, taking their men for the service, and gave large gifts and promises to the Indians, so that every day we increased in number.  I gave high rewards to them who distinguished themselves upon any service.  Freed the servants brought down by the Highland company, and a company of boatmen filled up as far as we had guns.
          All the vessels being thus prepared, on the 5th of July, with a leading gale and spring tide, 36 sail of Spanish vessels run into the harbour in line of battle.
          We cannonaded them very boldly from the shipping and batteries; they twice attempted to board Captain Thompson’s ship, but were repulsed; they also attempted to board the schooner, but were repulsed by Captain Dunbar, with a detachment of the regiment on board.  I was with the Indian Rangers and batteries, and sometimes on board the ship, and left Major Heron with the regiment.
          It being impossible for me to do my duty as General, and be constantly with the regiment; therefore it was absolutely necessary for his Majesty's service to have a Lieutenant-Colonel present, which I was fully convinced by this day's experience.  I therefore appointed Major Heron to be Lieutenant-Colonel, and hope your Grace will move his Majesty to approve the same.
          The Spaniards, after an obstinate engagement of four hours, in which they lost abundance of men, passed all of our batteries and shipping, and got out of shot of them towards Frederica.

          Our guard sloop was disabled and sun.  One of our batteries blown up, and also some of our men on board Captain Thompson's.  Upon which I called a council of war at the head of the regiment, when it was unanimously resolved to march to Frederica; to get there before the enemy, and defend that place; to destroy all the provisions, vessels, and artillery at St. Simon's, that they might not fall into the enemies' hands.  This was accordingly executed, having first drawn all the men on shore which had defended the shipping.  I myself staid until the last, and the wind coming fortunately about, I got Captain Thompson's ship and guard schooner, and our prize ship to sea, and sent them to Charlestown.  This I did in the face and in spite of 36 sail of the enemy.  As for the rest of the vessels, I could not save them, therefore was obliged to destroy them.  I must recommend to his Majesty those who are sufferers thereby, since their loss was, in a great measure, the preserving the Province.  We arrived at Frederica, and the enemy at St. Simons.
          On the 7th, a party of theirs marched towards the town; our Rangers discovered them, and brought an account of their march; on which I advanced with a party of Indians, Rangers, and the Highland company, ordering the regiment to follow.  Being resolved to engage them in the defiles of the woods before they could get out and form in the open ground, I charged them at the head of our Indians, Highlandmen and Rangers, and God was pleased to give us such success that we entirely routed the first party, took one Captain prisoner, and killed another, and pursued them two miles to an open meadow or savanna, upon the edge of which I posted three platoons of the regiment and the company of Highland foot, so as to be covered by the woods from the enemy, who were obliged to pass through the meadow under our fire.  This deposition was very fortunate.  Captain Antonio Barba, and two other Captains, with 100 Grenadiers and 200 foot, besides Indians and negroes, advanced from the Spanish camp into the savanna with huzzas, and fired with great spirit; but not seeing our men by reason of the woods, none of their shot took place, but ours did.  Some platoons of ours in the heat of the fight, the air being darkened with the smoke, and a shower of rain falling, retired in disorder.  I hearing the firing, rode towards it, an at near two miles from the place of action met a great many men in disorder, who told us that ours were routed, and Lieutenant Sutherland killed.  I ordered them to halt, and march back against the enemy, which orders Captain Demere and Ensign Gibbon obeyed; but another officer did not, but made the best of his way into the town.  As I heard the fire continue, I concluded ours could not be quite beaten, and that my immediate assistance might preserve them; therefore spurred on, and arrived just as the fire was done.  I found the Spaniards entirely routed by one platoon of the regiment under the command of Lieutenant Sutherland, and the Highland company under the command of Lieutenant Charles Mackay.  An officer, Captain Don Antonio Barba, was taken prisoner, but desperately wounded.  Two others were made prisoners, and a great many left dead upon the spot.  Lieutenant Sutherland, Lieutenant Charles Mackay, and Sergeant Stewart, having distinguished themselves upon the occasion, I appointed Lieutenant Sutherland Brigade Major, and Sergeant Stewart Second Ensign.  Captain Demere and Ensign Gibbon being arrived with the men they had rallied, Lieutenant Codogan, with an advance party of the regiment, and soon after the whole regiment, Indians and Rangers, I marched down to a causeway over a marsh very near the Spanish camp, over which all were obliged now to pass, and thereby stopped those who had been dispersed in the night there, the Indian scouts in the morning advanced to the Spanish camp, and discovered they were all retired into the ruins of the forts, and were making intrenchments [sic] under shelter of the cannon of the ships; they guessed them to be about 4,000 men.
          I thought it imprudent to attack them, defended by cannon, with so small a number, but marched back to Frederica to refresh the soldiers, and sent out parties of Indians and Rangers to harass the enemy.  I also ordered into arrest the officers who commanded the platoons that retired.
          I appointed a General Staff: Lieutenant Hugh Maxwell and Lieutenant Maxwell, Aids-de-Camp; and Lieutenant Sutherland, Brigade Major.

          On the 11th of July, the great galley and two little ones came out the river towards the town.  We fired at them with the few guns we had so warmly, that they retired, and I followed them with boats till they got under the cannon of their ships which lay in the sound.
          We received intelligence from the Spanish camp that they lost four captains and upwards of two hundred men in the last action, besides a great many killed in the sea-fight, and several killed in the night by the Indians, even within or near the camp; and that they had held a council of war, in which there were great divisions, insomuch that the forces of Cuba were separated from those of St. Augustine; and the Italic Regiment*** of dragoons separated from them both, at a distance from the rest, near the woods, and that there was a general terror amongst them.  Upon which I was resolved to beat up their quarters in the night; and marching down with the greatest body of men I could make, I halted within a mile and a half of their camp, to form, intending to leave the troops there till I had well reconnoitered the enemy's disposition.
          A Frenchman, who without my knowledge was come down amongst the Indians, fired his gun and deserted.
          Our Indians in vain pursued, and could not take him.
          Upon this, concluding we were discovered, I divided the drums in different parts, and beat the grenadier march for about half of an hour; then ceased, and we marched back in silence.

          The next day I prevailed with a prisoner, and gave him a sum of money to carry a letter privately and deliver it to that Frenchman who had deserted.  This letter was wrote in French, as if from a friend of his, telling him he had received the money, that he should strive to make the Spaniards believe the English were weak; that he should undertake to pilot up their boats and galleys, and then bring them under the woods, where he knew the hidden batteries were; that if he could bring that about, he should have double the reward he had already received.
          The Spanish prisoner got into their camp, and was immediately carried before the General De Montiano.  He was also asked how he escaped, and whether he had any letters; but denying his having any, was strictly searched, and the letter found, and he, upon being pardoned, confessed that he had received money to deliver it to the Frenchman, for the letter was not directed.  The Frenchman denied his knowing anything of the contents of the letter, of having received any money or correspondence with me; notwithstanding which, a council of war was held, and they deemed the Frenchman to be a double spy; but General Montiano would not suffer him to be executed, having been employed by him; however, he embarked all their troops, and halted under Jekyl; they also confined all the French on board, and embarked with such precipitation that they left behind them cannon, and those dead of their wounds unburied.
          The Cuba squadron stood out to sea, to the number of twenty sail.  General Montiano, with the Augustine squadron, returned to Cumberland Sound, having burnt Captain Horton's houses on Jekyl.  I, with our boats, followed him.  I discovered a great many sail under Fort St. Andrew's, of which eight appeared plain; but being too strong for me to attack, I sent the scout-boats back.
          I went with my own cutter and landed a man on Cumberland, who carried a letter from me to Lieutenant Stewart, at Fort William, with orders to defend himself to the last extremity.  Having discovered our boats, and believing we had landed Indians in the night, they set sail with great haste, insomuch that not having time to embark, they killed forty horses which they had taken there, and burnt the houses.  The galleys and small craft, to the number of fifteen, went through the inland water passages.

          They attempted to land near Fort William, but were repulsed by the Rangers. They then attacked it with cannon and small arms, from the water, for three hours, but the place was so bravely defended by Lieutenant Alexander Stewart, that they were repulsed, and run out to sea, whither twelve other sail of Spanish vessels had lain at anchor without the bar during the attack, without stirring; but the galleys being chased out, they hoisted all the sail they could, and stood to the southward.  I followed them with the boats to Fort William, and from thence sent out the Rangers and some boats, who followed them to St. John; but they went off rowing and sailing to St. Augustine.
          After the news of their defeat arrived in Charlestown, men-of-war, and a number of Carolina people raised in a hurry, set out and came off the bar.  After the Spaniards had been chased quite out of this colony, the Carolina vessels were dismissed, and Captain Hardy, in his letters, promised to cruise off St. Augustine.  We have returned thanks to God for our deliverance.  I have set all the hands I could promptly to work upon the fortifications; and have sent to the northward to raise men ready to form another battalion against his Majesty's orders shall arrive for that purpose.  I have retained Thompson's vessel, have sent for cannon shot, for provisions, and all kinds of stores; since I expect the enemy, who, though greatly terrified, lost but few men in comparison to their great number, as soon as they have recovered from fright, will attack us with more caution and better discipline.
          I hope his Majesty will approve the measures I have taken; and I must entreat your Grace to lay my humble request before his Majesty that he would be graciously pleased to order troops, artillery, and other necessaries sufficient for the defence of this frontier and the neighbouring provinces, or give such directions as his Majesty shall think proper; and I do not doubt but with a moderate support not only to defend these provinces, but also to dislodge the enemy from St. Augustine, if I had but the same number they had in the expedition.

          The above is from a letter written by General Oglethorpe, July 30, 1742, addressed to the Duke of Newcastle.

          In this section of the State a gallant action was performed by the American troops during the Revolution, the particulars of which are thus given by Colonel Elbert in a letter to Major-General Howe, dated Frederica, April 19, 1778:--

          DEAR GENERAL:--I have the happiness to inform you, that, about ten o'clock this forenoon, the brigantine Hinchinbrooke, the sloop Rebecca, and a prize brig, all struck the British tyrant's colours, and surrendered to the American arms.  Having received intelligence that the above vessels were at this place, I put about three hundred men, by detachment, from the troops under my command, at Fort Howe, on board the three galleys,--the Washington, Captain Hardy, the Lee, Captain Braddock, and the Bulloch, Captain Hatcher,--and a detachment of artillery, with two field-pieces, under Captain Young, I put on board a boat.
          With this little army, we embarked at Darien, and last evening effected a landing at a bluff about a mile below the town, leaving Colonel White on board the Lee, Captain Melvin on board the Washington, and Lieutenant Petty on board the Bulloch.  Immediately on landing, I dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Ray and Major Roberts, with about one hundred men, who directly marched up to the town, and made prisoners three marines and two sailors belonging to the Hinchinbrooke.  It being late, the galleys did not engage until this morning.  You must imagine what my feelings were to see our three little men-of-war going on to the attack of these three large vessels, who have spread terror upon our coasts, and who were drawn up in order of battle; but the weight of our metal soon damped the courage of these heroes, who took to their boats, and as many as could abandoned the vessels, with everything on board, of which we immediately took possession.  What is extraordinary, we have not one man hurt.  Captain Ellis, of the Hinchinbrooke, and Captain M., of the Rebecca, made their escape.  As soon as I see Colonel White, who has not yet come to us with his prizes, I shall consult with him.  I send you this by Brigade-Major John Habersham, who will inform you of other particulars.

SAMUEL ELBERT, L.C.

          The following was related to the compiler by the late Hon. Thomas Spalding:--

          In 1788, the Creek Indians overran the country, from the Alatamaha to the St. Mary's. Captain John Burnett lived at this time at the head of Turtle River, with his family and slaves, attending to large stocks of cattle.  All the people had fled from the main to the islands.  Going out one day with his son, the late Colonel Burnett, he discovered Indians at some distance with rifles.  "John," said the old man, "let us charge on them."  "Father," replies his son, "do not charge on them; there are more Indians behind the log."  He did, however, charge, and his son followed him.  When they had reached within a few yards of the log, ten Indians rose up, and discharged their pieces at the old man.  He received several wounds, one of which, in the ear, finally proved mortal.  With the aid of his son and a black boy, he was able to reach his house.  About two weeks afterwards, one hundred Indians, in the dead of night, came into his inclosure, having killed a negro who stood sentinel at the gate.  They attempted to fire the house, in which there were five or six males and two females. Repeated efforts were made by the savages to force the doors; but those within were upon the alert, and continued firing upon them for four hours.  The eldest daughter of Captain Burnett, assisted by her younger sister, loaded the muskets below, and handed them, through the scuttle, to their brothers above.  The firing was heard at St. Simon's Island, many of the inhabitants of which came to the beach to listen to it; and as soon as daylight came, thirty men collected, and proceeded to Mr. Burnett's.  Upon their arrival, they found that, within the house, one negro had been killed.  Mr. Moses Burnett received three wounds, and all of his negroes were carried away by the Indians.
 

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          JOHN COUPER, Esq., died in this county.  He was born at Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, Scotland, on the 9th of March, 1759, and was the third son of the Rev. John Couper, clergyman of that parish.  His eldest brother, the Rev. James Couper, was for more than a quarter of a century Regius Professor of Astronomy in the University of Glasgow; and his second brother, Mr. William Couper, a distinguished surgeon of that city, was, with Mr. Tennant, the inventor of the chloride of lime, which, as a bleaching material, has exercised a most important effect on textile fabrics.  Mr. Couper emigrated to Georgia at the early age of sixteen, and arrived in Savannah, during the autumn of 1775, as a clerk to the house of Lundy & Co.
          On the breaking out of the Revolution, he retired with his employers to Florida, where he remained until the peace of 1783, when he removed to Liberty County, where, in the year 1792 he married a daughter of Colonel James Maxwell.  The death of Mrs. Couper preceded his own only a short time, after a union of more than fifty years.  The talents and integrity of Mr. Couper at once gave him a leading influence in society; and soon after his removal to Glynn County, that influence was successfully exercised against the Yazoo fraud, of which he was an indignant opponent, and which, as one of the members of the Legislature of 1796, he aided in defeating.
          In 1798, Mr. Couper represented Glynn County in the Convention that framed the Constitution of Georgia; and at the time of his death, himself and his friend, Mr. Spalding of Sapelo Island, were the only survivors of that body.
          Having embarked very extensively in the cultivation of Sea-Island cotton, Mr. Couper, at an early period, withdrew himself from politics, and during the remainder of a long life, devoted himself to the discharge of the duties of a private gentleman.  In making this selection, his talents and character were, probably, more valuable to the community than if he had adopted a career of more notoriety, but of less practical utility.
          Living in a style of refined and most liberal hospitality, generous and enlarged in all his views, his example exercised an elevating influence on all around him.  For many years one of the largest proprietors in the State, his system of treatment of his slaves, which was in accordance with his humane and just feelings, produced a happy effect on those around him, and has continued to influence the condition of that class of persons throughout the sea-board.
          Mr. Couper possessed a conversational talent equaled by few; and having been endowed with a tenacious memory, his reminiscences of the early history of Georgia were highly interesting.
          The memoir of Captain Rory McIntosh (who may, from his elevation and purity of character, his romantic courage, and his madness on some points, justly be called the Quixote of Georgia,) which is annexed, will induce the reader to regret that more of his recollections have not been permanently recorded.  Mr. Couper died in March, 1850, having just completed his ninety-first year.

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Reminiscences of Captain RODERICK MCINTOSH, contained in a letter written by JOHN COUPER, Esq., at the age of eighty-three, and addressed to a gentleman of Georgia.

ST. SIMON’S, 16th April, 1842.

          DEAR SIR:--Believing it would be acceptable to you to know some particulars respecting that singular kinsman of yours, Captain RODERICK MCINTOSH, of Mallow, I sit down at the age of eighty-three to give you my reminiscences.  After the lapse of more than half a century, recollections are not to be depended on; yet, as my acquaintance with him was principally between 1777 and 1781, when I was from eighteen to twenty-three years of age, and at which time I was strongly impressed with his character, my recollections of him are more vivid than of events of more recent date.
          Of the time or Rory’s emigration to America, and the relation in which he stood to Captain John McIntosh, the head of the clan in Georgia, I know nothing.  That he was at the battle of Musa, in Florida, I learned from hearing him say to an officer in St. Augustine, “I am a scoundrel, sir; at Musa, a Captain of Spanish Grenadiers was charging at the head of his company, and, like a vermint, sir, I lay in the bushes, and shot the gallant fellow.”
          It was my understanding that Rory, until he left the Highlands for America, had been strongly in favour of the Stuart family, an attachment that continued to the end of his life.
          My first recollections of Rory are on his arrival in St. Augustine, in 1777.  His loyal character was well known.  On parade, some of the officers congratulated him on having made his escape from the rebels.  “My escape, sir! No! I despised them too much to run away, but sent them a message that I should leave Mallow for East Florida at twelve o’clock on the -----day of-----, and to come and stop me if they dared.”  Rory, and his ancient maiden sister, Winnifred, resided together at Mallow.  I don’t recollect that she came to St. Augustine, and rather think that she remained at Mallow, and died there.  I am of opinion that he was only distantly related to Captain John McIntosh.

          To elucidate my stories, I must introduce myself--clerk to a Mr. Archibald Lundy, in St. Augustine--a gentleman of a most generous and hospitable disposition.  He invited Mr. Rory McIntosh to reside with him.  At that time I was particularly fond of shooting birds.  “My young friend,” said Rory to me, “I see you are a sportsman, and I love you for it.”  He often told me of shooting on Blackbeard Island, where the ducks and geese were so numerous on a frosty morning, “that we could hardly hear each other speaking.”
           Having now introduced Captain Roderick McIntosh and myself, I shall proceed to relate some anecdotes:--
          In 1777, he must have been about sixty-five years of age, about six feet in height, strongly built, white, frizzled, bushy hair, and large whiskers, [then uncommon,] frizzled fiercely out, a ruddy, McIntosh complexion, handsome, large and muscular limbs.  In walking, or rather striding, his step must have been four feet.  I have seen him walking along, and a small man trotting by him.  One of his shoulders was rather depressed, the effect of “an inglorious wound” received from a slave.
           I think I now see his manly figure, strutting before a battalion of British troops on parade, and receiving the most pointed attention from the officers.
          Rory was not wealthy; a few negroes, and a large stock of cattle at Mallow, made him comfortable.  Hunting was his business and amusement, and in those days supplied a bountiful table.  While the Spaniards held East Florida before 1763, he had carried there a drove of cattle, and received payment in dollars, which he put in a canvass bag behind him on his horse.  In returning home, and near Mallow--the roads were then hog-paths--the canvass gave way, and a part of the dollars fell out.  He secured such as were left, without looking after those which had dropped.  Some years after, being in want of money, he recollected his loss, went to the place, picked up as many dollars as he wanted, and returned home.  It is said that he more than once had the same resource.

          He was fond of dogs, and besides hounds, had some setters; one in particular, Luath, which he had taught to take his back scent.  He laid a considerable bet that he would hide a doubloon at three miles distance, and that Luath would find it.  Luath went off on his trail, and returned panting, his tongue out; but no doubloon.  “Treason!” cries Rory, and off he and Luath went.  The log was turned over, and the dog had scratched under it; a man appeared at some distance splitting rails.  Without ceremony, Rory drew his dirk, and swore that he would put him to instant death unless he returned the money.  The man gave it up, saying that he had seen Mr. McIntosh put something under the log, and on examining, had found the gold.  Rory tossed him back the money.  “Take it,” said he, “vile caitiff.  It was not the pelf, but the honour of my dog I cared for.”
          Some time before the Revolution, Rory and his kinsman, Colonel William McIntosh, went on horseback to Charleston.  About Jacksonborough, they stopped some days; their landlord had a handsome daughter.  Rory fell in love, and called the Colonel out, saying, “My kinsman, I am in love with the young maiden in the house, and you must ask her father for his daughter.”  The Colonel foresaw trouble, but complied.  The landlord politely thanked Mr. McIntosh for the honour that he did him, but said that his daughter was engaged to a young man in the neighbourhood.  “No matter,” says Rory, “I will have her.”  The Colonel remonstrated.  Rory persisted, saying, “I will beat him and spit on her intended.”  “But why?” says the Colonel, “he has not injured you.”  “No matter,” says Rory, “he is my rival, and I will disgrace him.”  With much difficulty, the Colonel got Rory to proceed on their journey.
          Rory seldom had money.  Upon extra occasions, Cowper & Telfair, in Savannah, were his bankers.  Mr. Cowper was his particular friend.  Before the Revolution, Rory came to Savannah on his way to Charleston, and applied for money to bear his expenses.  Mr. Cowper saw that something extraordinary agitated him, and with difficulty got the secret.  “That reptile in Charleston, Gadsden, has insulted my country, and I will put him to death.”  “What has he done?” says Mr. Cowper.  “Why,” says Rory, “on being asked how he meant to fill up his wharf in Charleston, he replied, with imported Scotchmen, who were fit for nothing better.”  Mr. Cowper prevailed on him to return home.

          A privateer ship of twenty guns was fitted out in St. Augustine, called the Toreyn, Captain WadeRory engaged twenty Loyalists from McIntosh County, as mariners under him.  A report reached Rory that he wanted prize-money, which he resented with great indignation, and made a deed to a Mr. Gordon’s children of all he might be entitled to.  On crossing the bar, the ship struck; Rory drew his dirk on the pilot, and said he was bribed by the rebels.  The ship got over, but took no prizes.
          In 1778, a part of the garrison under General Prevost marched by land to join a force from New-York to attack Savannah.  Rory accompanied them, and attached himself particularly to the light infantry company [4th Battalion, 60th Regiment] commanded by Captain Murray.  In their advance, a part of them beleaguered a small fort at Sunbury, commanded by Captain [afterwards General] John McIntosh.  The British opened lines, in which Captain Murray’s company was placed.  Early one morning, when Rory had made rather free with the “mountain dew,” he insisted on sallying out to summons the fort to surrender.  His friends could not restrain him, so out he strutted, claymore in hand, followed by his faithful slave Jim, and approached the fort, roaring out, “Surrender, you miscreants!  How dare you presume to resist his Majesty’s arms?”  Captain McIntosh knew him, and seeing his situation, forbid any one firing, threw open the gate, and said, “Walk in, Mr. McIntosh, and take possession.”  “No,” said Rory, “I will not trust myself among such vermin; but I order you to surrender.”  A rifle was fired, the ball from which passed through his face, sideways, under his eyes.  He stumbled, and fell backwards, but immediately recovered, and retreated backwards, flourishing his sword.  Several dropping shots followed.  Jim called out, “Run massa--de kill you.”  “Run! you poor slave,” says Rory. “Thou mayest run, but I am of a race that never runs.”  In rising from the ground, Jim stated to me, his master, first putting his hand to one cheek, looked at his bloody hand, and then, raising it to the other, perceived it also covered with blood.  He backed safely into the lines.
          When the French, under D’Estaing, landed near Savannah, Rory was at Thunderbolt, with the family of Robert Baillie.  The house was surrounded in the night.  Rory dropped out of a back window, and made his way into Savannah.  What part he acted during the siege, I never heard; but after the French were repulsed, a truce was arranged for the purpose of burying the dead, and several of the officers went out on the battle-ground, among them Rory, who strutted about, and said--”A glorious sight--our enemies slain in battle!”
          I recollect seeing in St. Augustine, on some public day, Rory, Colonel McArthur, and Major Small, Scotch officers, parading the streets in full Highland costume, attended by their pipers.
          After Charleston fell, Rory went there from Savannah, by land, particularly to visit Major Small.  On meeting, Rory said: “I have traversed, at the risk of my life, the rebellious Province of South Carolina, to see my friend, the famous Major Small.”  “Welcome! welcome! the brave Roderick McIntosh!  I have heard his Majesty speak with kindness and respect of Roderick McIntosh.”  “Spare me--oh, spare me!” said Rory, “his Majesty is too good;” and the pair hugged each other.  “I can offer you,” said Major Small, “no greater mark of my respect, than by ordering my pipers to attend you whilst in Charleston.”
          The 71st Regiment was then in Charleston.  Sir AEneas McIntosh, the chief of the border clan, was a captain in it.  Sir AEneas was a slender, delicate gentleman, educated in France.  Rory, who could brook no chief that was not a powerful man, was sadly disconcerted.  Sir AEneas politely asked him to dine with him the next day on calf’s head.  “Calf’s head!” said Rory.  “I feed my negroes on calves’ heads.”  Rory never afterwards noticed his chief, but observed that he was of a spurious race.
          Major Trail, of the British Artillery, was particularly attentive to Rory, and had him one day at dinner, when, no doubt, the company were well informed of his character.  I visited Charleston about this time.  A friend of mine, Captain James Wallace, with his family, from St. Augustine, had removed to Charleston, and rented a house in the suburbs, north of Governor’s Bridge.  I was there of an evening, when in came Rory, followed by his piper.  “I am come, Madam,” said he to Mrs. Wallace, who was from the Highlands, “to take a cup of tea, and give you a taste of our country’s music.  I have just come from dinner with Major Trail, where I spent a most happy day.  A toast was given which I had not heard for many years, and which I drank with muckle glee.”  “What was it?” said Mr. Wallace.  “The Young Gentleman,” said Rory.
          I had not met Rory since his residence in St. Augustine, and he seemed pleased to see me.  “I was surprised,” said he, “at Thunderbolt by the French, and disgraced by dropping out of a window, like a raccoon, sir; but, what grieves me, I left the dirk of my ancestors behind me; and--do you see, sir?--this eye is set in darkness by the hurt I got near Sunbury.”
          At the close of the war in 1783, Rory’s health was sadly impaired.  He had been appointed Governor of Sunbury, with Captain’s pay.  He took passage on board the brigantine Ranger, Captain Stuart, from St. Augustine to London; during the voyage he was confined to the cabin.  The Ranger had been a privateer; her guns had, however, been landed, with the exception of four.  On their passage, they fell in with a ship under American colours.  Captain Stuart went on deck, made some bustle, and returned below, saying they were all prepared.  “Oh,” said Rory, “how it grieves me to lie here like a dog, when brave men are fighting!”
          The Ranger got safe to London; but poor Roderick died on board at Gravesend.
          I forgot to mention some matters in due time; but is not yet too late.  A gang of negroes had got arms, and had even built some kind of a fort, above Savannah.  Rory went with a party, attacked, and took them prisoners.  In this skirmish, Rory received the “inglorious wound” in his shoulder.  One of his party, after firing, stepped aside behind a tree.  “What do you do there?” asked Rory.  “To load my musket.”  “And can’t you, like a brave man, load your musket on the road?”
          A Creek Indian had committed a murder; Rory went to demand satisfaction.  The Indian, aware of his purpose, had assembled his friends to kill him.  Rory, who also knew his danger, went boldly into the midst of the Indians, and seized the man with his drawn dirk in his hand, which so intimidated the assembly that they agreed to give satisfaction.  Another version of the story is, that Rory actually killed the Indian.  I know both merely by report.
          I was once in St. Augustine, when Rory was introduced to an elderly Scotch gentleman, Mr. Morrison, who had just arrived.  Rory addressed him in Gaelic.  Mr. Morrison lamented his ignorance.  “ I pity you,” said Rory, “but you may be an honest man for all that.”
          Rory did not like his namesake in Georgia.  He accused them of attempting to deceive him at the beginning of the war, by saying that their design was to bring in “the young gentleman” to reign in America.

I am, my dear Sir,
     Your most obedient servant,
          JOHN COUPER.

 

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