Memories by Charles Spalding Wylly; 1916 Glynn & McIntosh Co., Georgia





Charles Spalding Wylly


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        Have been inspired and are dedicated to the “D.A.R.” and the “ACACIA CLUB” of Brunswick in appreciation of their efforts—the one to preserve the traditions the other the personalities of the past.

Charles Spalding Wylly


“I pray the prayer that Easterners do,
May the peace of Allah abide with you,
Wherever you stay and wherever you go,
May the beautiful palms of Allah grow,—
So I touch my heart, as Easterners do
May the peace of Allah abide with you.”
            “Darien Gazette”, October 20th, 1836:—


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            “A son, we learn, was born in the 18th instant, to our friends Mr. and Mrs. Alexr. Wm. Wylly.
            “The event occurred at The Thicket, the home of Capt. Charles Spalding, U.S.A., 2nd Dragoons, who is serving with his regiment in Florida.  We offer our congratulations.”
            October, 1915, near four score years since then, years that have witnessed many and immense changes in the conditions of life, in the accepted thought, and even in the religion of the community into which I was born and have lived—changes that have engulfed, reversed and transformed its social and political life, so that now it is scarce even a parody of what was and has been.  Endowed with a retentive memory I have preserved a loving remembrance of many of the actors in the shifting scenes, of my own day, and have a keen recollection of the words that fell from the lips of those whom age had forbidden place in the drama or rather tragedy of the sixties.  I have thought I could fairly estimate the value of these changes, and so I write of what I have seen, known and heard.
            My parents were among the leading people of the county in which they lived.  My father was the only male descendant in Georgia (grand son) of Alexander Wylly, an emigrant from Belfast, of 1748, a lawyer by profession, a member of the Colonial Assembly, from Halifax district in 1772 an Speaker of the House in 1774, and Secretary to Governor Sir James Wright in 1774-1775 and onward.
            My mother was a daughter of Thomas Spalding of Sapelo Island and Sarah Leake, his wife, and closely allied by birth to the families of McIntosh, of New Inverness, and Martins of Jekyl Island.  Their homes or plantation was on Sapelo River, twelve miles north of Darien, and was called The Forest.  It was remarkable for the spaciousness and beauty of the lawn, fringed and clothed with oak, bay, hickory and magnolia.  Great pains had been taken with the transplanting of every indigenous tree, and I can recall no variety that was absent.  Here I spent my childhood, and it is from here I most vividly recall the tender accents of my mother’s voice, the look of the sacred eyes, ever beaming with a love unutterable, the quiver of the fond lips, smiling, ah me, to often, mournfully; it is here that she taught lessons always leading up to and inculcating charity and goodwill to all men and all people.  I grew fast, and under the instruction of first a governess and afterwards a tutor, made some progress in the acquisition of the rudiments of an education, for when in April, 1848, I, less than twelve years old, was sent to the famous school of Coates & Searle, of Charleston, S.C., I found myself graded with boys of my own age.  In this admirable place of instruction I remained for five years.  There

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were twenty-five boarding pupils and sixty day scholars, all were children of the best families of the State, myself from Georgia and two “Toutants” from Louisiana being the only “foreigners or natives” according to “Charleston estimation” of barbarian or at least uncultivated communities.  Many of my school mates in later life became noted in state, civil and social life; a very large number gave their lives in support of the “Lost Cause”.  In 1853 I was sent to the Military Institute at Marietta, where my Georgia acquaintanceship was enlarged.  The Cadet Battalion numbered 160 to 185; of that number I know but one, Judge H.D. Twiggs, of Savannah, now alive.  One class (the first to graduate) had every member killed in battle by 1863.  The Georgia Military Institute had installed a corps of instructors of very moderate acquirements.
            The Superintendent, Major A.V. Brumby, a graduate of the West Point Academy, was a gentleman of honor, education and culture, and when that is said, nothing remains to be added.  The assistant professors of French, history, chemistry and belles letters, were simply expounders of accepted class books.  The commandant Major James W. Robertson, alone possessed a personality and mentality fitted to enthuse and dominate the young minds with whom he came into contact.  The curriculum and instruction could not be called perfect or ideal, but the ‘esprit’ was high, and had not the disasters of the Civil War destroyed the buildings and dissipated the funds, it is possible the G.M.I. might have grown into a most valuable State asset and institution.  As early as 1822, Governor George M. Troup had in his message to the Legislature said, “Prepare now for the last and coming resort, by establishment in every State of military schools, foundries, armories, arsenals and powder manufactories.”  The school was not established until 1850, the arsenals, foundries, and powder manufactories not at all.  See what their value would have been in 1861.
            January, 1856 found me at home, just entering my 20th year, in perfect vigor of body and mind.  I had not graduated, or rather not been given a diploma, owing to a foolish emente nearly approaching a mutiny, of the senior class of which I was a member.
        I was however, well equipped and prepared for the choice of a profession, a good mathematician, a fair classical scholar, with more than ordinary acquirements in “belles letters”, history, geography, etc., and in addition a fair knowledge of French, not speaker, my constitutional ear trouble preventing my having acquired the accent.  In any but a Southern State, I would at once have chosen some line of study to fit me for the profession or life I might select, not so, surrounded by servants, with horses, dogs, guns, boats at command, the indolence and love of pleasure inherent in all young people caused me to fritter a full year away in absolute idleness.  Hunting, riding and visiting occupied weeks which ran into months.  For forty miles every house was open to me; many were the homes of near relations and it is to a description of these and of their occupants that I shall devote the next pages.


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            Sapelo geographically situated in latitude 31º 10’, longitude 29º 40’, or to be precise, that is the location on which stands the steel tower that lights the course of a vessel into Doboy Sound.  I have already recited its history previous to the advent of the Saxon race from here to take its first step in a triumphant march from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Great Lakes to Key West.  Sapelo, with its two sister islands, Ossabaw and St. Catherine, had been exempt in the cession of territory to South Carolina and the Province of Georgia, and been reserved and retained by the “Nations” as hunting and fishing ground to be held in common for the use of all.  But on December the 11th, 1735, they were transferred by a deed of gift, by Melatchee and his brother chiefs to James Bosomworth and Mary Musgrove his wife; all gifts fro Indiana’s require a return in money or goods and the Bosomworths gave to Melatchee and his associates, 12 guns, 12 pairs of blankets, 10 pieces of Osnaburgs, 200 pounds of powder, 200 pounds of lead, and 100 pounds of vermillion; the conveyance was proved before John Mulryne, J.P. at Greenville, South Carolina, and attested to an recorded by Wm. Pickney, Secretary of State, in February, 1736.
            James Bosomworth had come to the province as Chaplain to His Majesty’s regiment of foot.  Mary Musgrove was the daughter of a Scotch trader of Purysburg, a trading station on the Carolina side of the Savannah river; her mother was an Indian woman of the Creek tribe and the daughter of a minor chief.  She had been brought up and had lived with her mother’s people, and had spent a part of her years at her father’s trading post.  She spoke English and all the dialects of the Creek, Yemassee and Cherokee tongues were familiar to her, General Oglethorpe had employed her as an interpreter, and she had given him faithful and intelligent service and had accompanied him in his long and arduous journeys into the interior wilds of the country, and in a way had formed a part of his official family.  It is difficult to understand why the Colonial authorities should have taken umbrage at this disposal of an unceeded part of the ajacent territory; rather we would think the disposal would have been welcomed as a removal of a future cause of friction and discontent.  There was no reason to doubt the loyalty of the former Chaplain of His Majesty’s regiment, and the good feeling and in some measure the attachment of his wife was proved and attested by a three years’ service in an almost confidential position.  Offense, however, was taken, probably from too strict an adherence to that absurd clause in the Charter which forbade to any one person the ownership of more than 500 acres of land, supplemented by the still more absurd declaration that inheritance should be only through male issue.  As soon, therefore, as the provincial authority had learned of the gift, by an order issued in Council the recipients were notified that the cession of so considerable part of the province was contrary to the policy and public welfare and would not be held good; and at the same

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meeting Patrick Graham was directed to visit the Indian Country and inquire into the validity of the grant, and power was given him, should he find it possible and expedient to purchase the islands for the Colonial representatives.  With such power and with gifts and presents to bestow, it is small wonder that no long time elapsed before his return, bringing with him an instrument denying Melatchee’s right to sell, convey or give the islands, and making a conveyance to the province of Georgia, of all right, title and possession of the same.
            Adam and Thomas, brothers of James Bosomworth, now visited the Indian towns in the upper and more distant parts of the province and obtained a third grant, which included not only all that had been given, but the lands lying between the Altamaha and the St. Mary’s River.  This conveyance covered territory that had never before been ceded.  The case was now transferred to the “Council on Provinces,” which held its meetings at St. James’ London, and there it rested, “was argued and re-argued, continued and re-continued” for twelve years; and Indian council was held in Augusta in 1755 for the taking of testimony, and finally in 1759 an order was passed directing the sale of Ossabaw and Sapelo, “the sale to be public, and after due advertisement,” the title to be made to the highest bidder.  The right and title of the Bosomworth’s to St. Catherine was confirmed, and made in fee simple to them and their heirs.  In addition, the sum of 800 pounds sterling was adjudged and ordered to be paid to Mary Musgrove now Mary Bosomworth for services rendered as interpreter to the Governor of the Province.
            The proceeds of the sale of Ossabaw and Sapelo to be applied toward the payment of the costs of the litigation and the purchase or acquiring of a release from the Bosomworth’s, of all claims in the future; in accordance with this decree, Sapelo Island was on December 11, 1759 sold by the Officer of the Court, now represented by our County Sheriff, and Andrew Mackay, being the highest bidder, became its first owner.
            This gentleman having contracts with the government for the supply of beef and pork stocked the island with hogs, cattle, and horses, and while awaiting the natural increase he resided at the “Cottage,” the residence of Wm. McIntosh, who had married Mary Catharine McKay, a near relative.  He died in 1769 from injuries received by a fall from his horse.  His domestic relations had not been pleasant; he had married in England a Lady Montagute, a widow with one son.  To his wish that she should accompany him to Georgia, she had returned an absolute refusal.  No child had blessed their union, and when he died by an accident he had bade no will or testament, and the Island became the property by due process of law of Mrs. Andrew Mackay who had never crossed the ocean and whose life had been spent in Scotland, England, or Europe.
            Communication was slow, English courts are slow, more especially proceedings in the Courts of Chancery as our Probate Court is here called.  War clouds were brewing; the Stamp Act

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was blocking proceedings at law; the War of Independence barred all orders of the courts for eight years, and so it was not until 1786 that a Mr. Montagute, a son of Mrs. Mackay, by her first marriage, appeared in Savannah, and armed with a power of attorney and the necessary documents and proofs, offered the island for private sale, and after much negotiation, and many disappointments, in 1788 Mr. Montagute sold the islands to five French gentlemen, Messieurs DeMousse, J. De Chapeldelaine, Jean de Beoufillet, Grande de Marlee and Poulain du Bignon.  They did not divide it, but held the island as an undivided property.  The articles of co-partnership; are curiously prolix and are remarkable in that the supplementary clauses revoke almost everything that was of binding value in the fourteen preceding articles of agreement.
            Two of these owners, and probably three, made homes and resided on the property.  The others were in all likelihood, mere investors; Jean de Beoufillet made his home and built for himself a house to which in 1789 he brought Madame de Beoufillet and his only child, a daughter Natalie.  He called this refuge from the rising revolutionary storms of France “Bourbon”, and located it on Cabareta River.  Poulain du Bignon chose the South End, where the great oaks had attracted him.  Grande de Marlee (He afterwards sold to De Chapeldelaine, which is the proper spelling) selected the spot now called “Chocolate” as his location.
            Under the supplementary clause to their articles of co-partnership each of the five members were at liberty to fence, enclose, improve and cultivate not more than 800 acres as their own individual property on their own account, with power to sell, hold and dispose of that account at their pleasure.  Negroes were purchased, managers selected, houses and other improvements commenced on the lands held in joins proprietorship.  The private holdings were fast assuming the look of prosperity, when a crushing blow fell, and as in most human affairs, it was a woman who was the cause and who governed the issue.
            Monsieur de Beoufillet had been a banker of Bordeaux, and had acquired a fortune as bankers do, by the receiving and holding on one day of someone’s money, and of loaning three-fourths of the same on the next to someone else, they paying him ten per cent for the transaction.  To him, a devotee to custom, a conservative, France, led by such radicals as Voltaire, Rousseau, and, worse than all, Mirabeau, should be carried away with the charm of novelty and reform.  Indignant at such ingratitude, he had determined to make in America a refuge for himself, a home for his wife, and a future for Natalie his only child.  He had entrusted to a nephew sent to Savannah, a large sum of money with directions to purchase lands, buy negroes, clear the woods, and provide a suitable home and dwelling for the reception of himself and family when the time should come, when forced by the troublous years that he foresaw, they would bid farewell to France.  He had received letters giving

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glowing details of the home being prepared for them, some describing the beauty of the country, some telling of the wide verandah-surrounded cottage, with outbuildings and offices, others with accounts of carpenters’ and masons’ wages, showing how high the price of labor in that new country.  It was not until 1788 that Monsieur de Beoufillet had written his nephew that he, his wife, and daughter Natalie would arrive early in the following year—and it had only been then that the nephew had bestirred himself and had bought for his uncle a fifth individual share in Sapelo and the adjacent islands of Blackbeard and Cabareta, while in the meantime, of the many thousands intrusted him, two-thirds had been invested, not in lands, negroes, buildings or improvements, but on his own pleasures or in gambling investments, from which he had hoped to quickly realize a fortune.
            In 1789 Monsieur de Beoufillet had reached Savannah, had been to Sapelo had found little preparation for his reception, and a most inferior home provided for him, but few slaves bought, and little to show for the expenditures made by the nephew.  He had brought with him a retinue of white servants, carriages, plate, and household equipment.  There was not even a place to stow them.  He read and re-read the nephew’s letters describing the expenditure of so many thousands of francs, for the building of rooms, outbuildings, stables, etc.  He looked over the charges for carpenters and bricklayers’ work; he looked around upon the rude walls of a four-roomed house, with a six-foot hall, and a kitchen of 12 x 15 attached by an L, and his heart grew hot at the fraud that had been practiced on him.  He sent for the nephew and after storming, reproaching and cursing, he ordered him off his premises, saying, “If I ever find you in my house it shall be at your peril, for I shall kill you.”  The nephew was driven from his presence and to him, and shortly after this scene, in the absence of Monsieur de Beoufillet he ventured to return, it may be to ask his aunt to intercede for him; it may be that the lovely eyes and budding form of Natalie drew him; the last was the common belief.  The uncle’s unexpected return surprised him.  Gentlemen then wore swords; steel was drawn, and the nephew fell, as it was thought mortally wounded.  The seemingly dying man had been the intimate and close friend of Monsieur de Beoufillet’s four co-partners.  They received and nursed him back into health.  Most probably it was to the South End, the home of du Bignon, that he was taken, for neither wounds nor death had any terror to Poulain du Bignon; his friends listened to and believed the tale he told of “a love that was not unreturned”; of a visit to say adieu, not farewell; “of accounts carelessly kept, but of no monies embezzled”, and they determined to break up the co-partnership; and to by a majority vote divide their interests, and remove elsewhere.
            Jekyl Island could be bought, and soon the co-partnership had passed into liquidation, and four of its members had become proprietors of the Island of Jekyl; transferring their Sapelo interests to other and new people.  Monsieur de Beoufillet now found himself

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alone among strangers, and indicted in the courts of the country for “assault with intent to kill.”  The Frenchman, impulsive, ardent, and the same time with a hereditary fear of the law, was desperate.  He employed the Hon. Joseph Clay of Bryan County, to defend him, Mr. Clay’s eloquence and legal ability gained a verdict of acquittal.  In a transport of gratitude Beoufillet embraced him in open court crying, “Come to my house; you shall be my son, for you shall marry my Natalie”.  Mr. Clay smilingly with thanks replied, “That to do so would subject himself to the charge of bigamy; but that he had a brother.  Years later, Ralph Clay paid his addresses, and Natalie became Mrs. Ralph Clay, of Bryan County, and bore to him five children.
            Poulain du Bignon’s life-story would have delighted a Dumas.  He had seen the world in many places and phases, and had drunk deep of the cup of adventure in early youth.  He had been commissioned as an officer in the French army of the East Indies.  He had served for years in the war in which France and England, locked in deadly struggle, contended for the possession of the rich and great countries of the East.  Detailed as an instructor of artillery to the courts of a great Rajan, he had lived amid the barbaric splendor of a decaying empire, and had essayed by his skill and courage to prop the tottering throne of a descendant of the “King of Kings.”  In middle life he had commanded an armed vessel of war, sailing under the French flag, with letters of marquee, and in those years of continual warfare had worthily upheld the honor of France.  When “in his cups” as it was then called, not otherwise, for in general he was silent, moody and brooding, I have been told by one now dead, that his talk was entrancing in the vividness of incident and adventure.  Such was the man who lived at the South End.  His descendants have lost all remembrance of him, and even all memoranda.  Mrs. Maurice, of Jekyl, told me that when at the death of John du Bignon, Sr., the old house was ordered demolished; the carpenter employed to perform the work, told her he had found in an old cupboard, between the walls a great hoard of letters and papers of old dates and addresses, such as Madras 1774, Hyderabad 1703, and others that he could not make out—“Barque Josephine”, Brig—1776”, “Gondelope, Martinique 1774”, Barque Marguerite 1781”—but that being unable to read French he had burnt them.  Mrs. Maurice said she threw up her hands in horror and regret.
            What unwritten history, what tragedies, what buried crisises, in lives that had passes away, were, it may be, given to the flames, and now we can not know, only imagine.
            It is 1802 when I resume my story.  Nine years have elapsed.  The four partners, by a majority vote have dissolved the Sapelo co-partnership, and sold their shares to others.  de Beoufillet alone remains.  Count Montalet, a refugee from St. Domingo, where perished all of his family, has bought and resides at the former home of De Le Chapeldelaine.  He calls it his “Le chatelet,” a name that has been corrupted into “Chocolate”.  He is devoted to

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the cultivating and perfecting of his flower and fruit gardens, and immensely interested in the rising talent and genius of his colored cook, “Cupidon”, who, he declares, would equal or surpass Vatel, had he scope and opportunity.  In the morning and evening hours, he, accompanied by his only companion Monsieur Horne, or it may be by the Abbe Karle, a sometime visitor from Savannah, may be seen waling under the oaks that border the fields and roads.  They lead by a leash, a pig, whose researches after acorns and other food they earnestly watch.  What can these quaint figures, with broad-skirted coats, embroidered vests, and knew breeches, be doing with a pig in leash?  They treasure the hope that truffles may be found, and they seek the aid of the pig’s nose.  Monsieur Horne exclaims:  “I think, Alphonse, we will one day find them.”  The Count replies, “Mon Dieu, I would that we may, for the eating of them “make men more gentle and women more tender,” and in this country we need them, Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu!”
            Natalie is married, and a mother.  She spends her summers with her father at Bourbon, but is pressing them to remove to Bryan County so as to be nearer to her.  The South End has been sold to a Mr. Harrington and has this very year been re-sold to Thomas Spalding who has returned from a five years’ stay in England and Scotland.
            As yet I have given no description of the Island, though I have written pages concerning it.  IN shape it somewhat resembled an orange leaf, whose narrowed ends have been tilted upwards, and the center depressed for its entire length; in short it is like an elliptical saucer, lower in the middle, higher on the edges, and highest at the two extremities.  Its length is twelve miles, its breadth varied from two to three miles, including marshes.  Its highest lands were originally covered by a dense growth of oak and hard wood; the lesser elevations by denser thickets of bay, gum, vine and evergreen; its lower ridges with pine and palmetto, and its center by savannas of waiving grass, dotted here and there by clumps of oak and vine with evergreen of holly, casino and palmetto to break the monotony of the scene.  Were it night, the savannas would flash into a tremulous splendor, from the myriad of fire flies that would here shew their short-lived glory against the dark green of the bordering wood.  Were it day, wild flowers of the palest blue, of the tenderest pink and brightest yellow in thousands an tens of thousands would teach us how poor our gardens are compared to Nature’s broad fields of living color.  Here and there wild cattle and sometimes deer, would be seen, and everywhere (should the wind be high) could be heard the rolling music of the surf as it beat on the yellow sand the song of the sea, and told of the might of the ocean wave.
            Thomas Spalding, the only child of James Spalding and Margery McIntosh, was near 30 years old when he purchased The South End and the attached lands.  He had absorbed his education from the personal teaching of his father, had studied law in the office of Judge Gibbons of Savannah, had passed the bar, as soon

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as he had attained his majority, at which time Judge Gibbons turned over to him $20,000 as his only inheritance from his father’s former large estates, for James Spalding had died the year before and the Judge had administered on the estate.  His nature was ardent, his temper quick, his affection strong, his character grave; he had married Miss Sarah Leake, of Belleville, McIntosh County, before he was twenty-four, an almost immediately sailed for Scotland.  On arrival he had placed himself in communication with his father’s former business associates and partners, Messrs. Simpson & _____ of London and Edinburg; had been received by them, and assured of their continued interest in the son of a greatly-valued friend and correspondent, and whose loss of wealth they ascribed to adherence to the Crown from 1776 to 1783.  Neither did they fail to place him in a way to the bettering of his fortunes, and he had not returned until five years had elapsed.
            Those were days when personal character, inherited uprightness and reputable and good ancestry were recognized in the marts of business as collaterals that passed and were honored and discounted by banks and money lenders.  After four years of acquaintanceship and growing approval, Mr. Simpson said to the young man, “Our firm in your father’s life-time made large sums of money, through our connection with him.  We are too old to resume our American transactions but we are prepared, knowing the opportunities there offered, to loan you $50,000 at 3 1/2 % on your own personal note, due in ten years.”  Thomas Spalding accepted the generous offer, and it was with funds thus provided that he arrived in Savannah early in the year 1802.  He had sold during his absence his home “Retreat” on St. Simon’s Island to Mr. Wm. Page, where he had built a small house for the reception of his bride, but to which he had never carried her, the foreign trip causing a change in his plans.  This house was unique, every timber in its frames was of squared live oak, and the kitchen chimney had on each side a niche or chamber, one for the reception of a cask of Madeira wine, the other for a thirty-gallon puncheon of brandy.  Where negro slaves were the domestics, the fire in the kitchen was perpetual and in that continued heat the ageing of both wine and brandy was greatly hastened and the quality enhanced.
            His first business was to secure a home for himself, his wife, and three children that during his absence from Georgia had been born to him, and Sapelo having been brought to his notice, he closed the negotiations, drew a draft upon Mr. Simpson for the purchase money, and received titles to the South End properties, (I believe 4,000 acres).  This done, labor was to be provided to clear the forests, prepare lands, and plant crops and a house for the needful protection of the family to be provided; the last requirement was met by an improvised structure located at the landing place.  It consisted practically of a very large shed, with walls and partitions dividing the space into rooms, made of straight sassafras poles which were plastered with lime-mortar on both sides; the floors were of plank, the roof of palmetto thatch; the ceilings of the same

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construction as walls and partition.  He obtained the aid of Mr. Roswell King, of Connecticut, a skillful carpenter and workman, to supervise and direct the building and proper erection of the building, now known as “The South End” Home.  From his father’s estate he obtained by purchase from his mother the house servants and a limited number of trained mechanics and laborers; and with these as a nucleus he looked around from where to supply the large quantity of crude industrial power.  It was at once evident that it could not be obtained from the white population, and must come from elsewhere.  He was a descendant in direct line and grandson of the author of the New Inverness Protest of January, 1739 against the introduction of slaves into the Colony (the first in the history of the world) and had not forgotten the prophetic closing clause, “Nor in justice can we not think that if slaves are thrown amongst us, they will one day return to be a scourge to us, our children or our children’s children, for our sins”; but labor was absolutely necessary for the carrying out of his undertakings.  His environment and that in which his father had lived, justified and encouraged it; every interest demanded it; he said to himself, “They shall be more serfs on the land than slaves; I shall civilize them and better their condition”; but you cannot touch pitch and remain clean; and the penalty of the “one day or another” was incurred, and the scourge was to fall.
            Slaves were to be had in Charleston at $100 each “privilege of choice”; he bought many from the West Indies; he brought hands trained for the management and guidance of such raw labor.  He made large contracts for supplying live-oak fitted for vessels of war, the Government furnishing ship carpenters for the moulding of the frames.  He furnishing the timber and transportation to the vessel’s side.  The clearing of the oak forests facilitated the opening of the fields where soon cotton, sugar, and all manner of produce yielded sevenfold in this rich and virgin soil.  Fences were made by piling the larger limbs of the felled oaks one on the other.  The lands were drained; villages of huts with thatched roofs and walls, plastered inside and out, had sprung up in favorable spots; these were styled settlements, such as New Behaviour, Hanging Bull, and in each a head man, inappropriately called a driver, (for he seldom drove) was placed in charge of probably one hundred souls; he was however the nominal head, received orders, and was expected to see them executed.  At the Chatelet a different system prevailed.  The two elderly French men found happiness by a different road; no ambition toward the accumulation of wealth or property now stirred their souls; they had lived and played their brief part in the dram a of human life, and learned that it is all but a “vanity of vanities”, a tinkling of the camel’s bells.  They were now retired from the stage and sitting far back with the audience; they calmly waited the fall of the curtain; a little household of colored servants looked after their wants; Cupidon the cook, his wife Venus, their son Hercules, as gardener, and Ceres his wife, composed their ménage; Hercules was fisherman and hunter, there-

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fore the provider of the table; in the carelessly cultivated fields some dozens of slaves worked a little, idled more, and produced a sufficiency of food for themselves and sometimes $1,000 worth of cotton, enough for the purchase of coffee, flour, sugar, a few luxuries, with some good wine and brandy.  In the sitting room a bookshelf held the works of Racine, Rousseau, Voltaire, Molier, Ude’s Cookery, and Brillat Savarin’s great work, “Eating and Cooking” as a fine art.”
            I think it was after the perusal of Brillat’s immortal work that Count Martalet conceived the hope of civilizing “les Americains” through a diet of truffles.
            Above the shelf were crossed the swords of Alphonse Count of Montalet and of the Chevalier ‘Armand de la Horne.  They have long gone to rest, their graves were once to be seen near the front of the house in the orange grove, not far from the Spring.  By the way, this very spring is noted by the first traveler from the North to the South, the botanist Bartram, 1773 and 1774.
            At Bourbon, Madame Beoufillet is sick unto death; Monsieur has grown thin, but brightens up with Gallic vivacity, when his neighbors call; himself and Madame make ceremonious visits, and dine and are dined on special occasions, such as when Madame Cottineau of Savannah and her brother The Abbe Karle are paying summer visits to the Island.
            It is now 1811, ten years have passed; the de Beoufillet’s still reside at Bourbon, at the Chatelet—the lights yet burn, and show the shadows of two old men who bend over the last copy of the “Moniteur”, which tells of the victories o that “rascal” de Napoleon; a white cockade is pinned to the crossed swords; they at least are true in faith and heart, to the lilies of the Bourbons.
            Mr. Spalding is at The South End; all the owners of small tracts.  The Sherwoods, the Sams, the Millers and others have been eliminated by the purchase of both lands and stock.  Four hundred slaves answer when interrogated.  “We are Spalding negroes”.  Much land has been cleared and drained; 400 acres of cotton and 200 of cane, with fields that waive in corn greet the eye as you ride northward.  Mr. Simpson has been repaid the greater part of his loan, and the island shows and bears evidence of a growing prosperity, the great house has been completed, the furniture is in place, heavy and massive mahogany such as our fathers laboriously worked out by hand.  The South room, the library is fast being filled with books that tell the past history of the world, of modern thought and the science of a newer era.  Nor is the poetry and philosophy of the older wanting.  There is a dearth of art; no pictures adorn the walls, except in the central hall, where Gerard Audran’s engravings of LeBruns battles and the triumph of Alexander cover the walls.
            The crossing of the Granicus has the place of honor over the sideboard; on the western wall; and near to it hangs the battle of Arbela—with the soaring eagle—and beside it the siege of Tyre; and the eastern, the wars of Hindoostan, with the Vanquished

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Porus”, and the Triumph of Babylon; on the south the Conqueror is extending clemency to the wife and daughter of Darien; and in the shadow of the tent is shown the lovely figure of Statira, and almost Godlike form of Alexander the Great; over the northern doorway Guido Rent’s “Aurora” leads the dancing hours; the “God of Life” and poesy and light” guides the car with rosy-footed morn to herald his coming.  These were the sole evidences of any sense or feeling towards art; no illustrated book, no bronze or bric-a-brac—I forget, on the sideboard there stood a marble bust of General Bonaparte taken from life on his return form [sic] his first Italian Campaign; the most beautiful face I have ever seen.  Mr. Bourke Spalding now owns it.  Years pass, and years follow.  The trees cast shadows, where before was light; children have been born and children have died; my mother was born here in 1806; she told me in 1848 that when she could first remember the oaks were as great and as stately as they then were.  Michaux says in his “Sylva-Americana”, the live oak grows for hundred years; lives for a hundred, and is one hundred more in dying; 1806, less one hundred, 1706.  1806 full growth, 1906 commencement of decay, that is if the ruthless hand of man has not hastened the end.
            In the years intervening, between 1812 and 24 the doors were closed and the blinds drawn forever at the chatelet; the loyal heart and gentle soul of the Chevalier de la Horne was the first to be summoned to its final roll-call, and we can safely trust his answering “Here” was breathed among the noble dead.  The Viconte did not long survive him; Cupidon, Venus and Hercules ministered lovingly and faithfully to his latter and latest wants; and I am glad to write, were manumitted and freed by his will and testament.  Cupid is said to a lad of 14 who had ridden up to inquire, “Master never held up after Marse Armond’s death; he failed fast; and when he took down his sword to put it in his coffin—you know the points were upwards when crossed—he left his own, but turned the point downwards (the fencer’s signal that the combat is over).  I did my best when I went into the kitchen to prepare his little dishes; “I used to cross myself and pray to St. Joseph that I might receive help and inspiration in the art, but when I would take in the plate, maybe a poulet a la marengo, with mushrooms, he would only taste it and say ‘Thank you, Cupid, it was superb; you improve wonderfully.’  On the last day, and it was full ebb-tide and he had been lying a long while never speaking, but with his eyes looking far away and not at us—I saw his lips move and leaned over to hear; ‘Armand’ he said ‘we need hunt the truffles no more, for here all are gentle and tender’.  Then he turned his face to the wall, and was gone.  I do not know Marse Charles what he meant; can you tell me?”
            “E’n as he trod that day his way to God,
            So walked he from his birth.?
In simpleness, in gentleness, in honor and clean mirth; he had done his work, had held his peace, and had no fear of death.
            It is impossible for me to close the memories of these men of

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the Chatelet, exemplars as they were of courage, simpleness, gentleness, and clean mirth, without referring to and thinking how different the Greek imaged and painted the bearer of the death blow, from that now received and entertained.  Holbein, in “The Dance of Death” imaged and painted in the modern thought a grim and grisly skeleton, with eyeless sockets, and skeleton hands that wave a terror-inspiring spear; Ulysses telling to his recovered son of the one beautiful land found in his many years of troublous voyaging, speaks of it as where “fruits ripen each day; where flowers bloom each hour, and herds feed in pastures that never wither”; and adds, as the supremest blessing granted to the happy people, that there dwelt

“And when by lengthening years in strength they fail,
Apollo comes, and Cynthia comes along;
            They bend the silver bow, with tender skill
            And void of pain the silent arrow kills”.

            No skeleton there; no terror-inspiring spear, but the most beautiful of the Gods, “The Lord of the unerring bow; the sun in human limbs arrayed, and brow all radiant;” and not alone, but with a woman who with love consoles for it is written, “They bend the bow with tender skill”.
            It was in the spring of the year 1822 that an elderly gentleman, a Mr. Wambazee of Bruro Neck, heir and executor to the Vicomte [sic] de Mentalet [sic], had come in his six-oarded [sic] boat to the Chatelet.  Mr. Wambazee was a Belgian by birth, short, florid, and fat.  He had walked through the garden and not plucked bud or blossom, had paused to wipe the moisture from his brow in the very shadow of the rose arbor, unconscious of the sweet perfume with which the devoniensis and yellow bankshires were greeting and welcoming him.  He had given to Cupidon, Venus and Hercules their letter of manumission duly signed by the Governor; had mustered the remaining slaves, and jotted down in a black memoranda book brief descriptions, names and apparent age, such as:  “Adonis, 48, strong but bandy-legged; his wife, Hebe, 38, and 6 children, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 2 Chloe, 17, orphan, brown; good eyes and teeth, and well made” and so on.
            Mr. Wambazee would take luncheon.  Cupidon composed the little and hastily-prepared meal.  “Vene, a chicken”, he had called for and one “not over six weeks old; broiled, with mushrooms and cream sauce; a salad from the white hearts of the best lettuce, only tarragon vinegar to be used; a bottle of claret of the Blue Seal, and wafers.  And when he rose, it was with a sigh that Mr. Wambazee, looked towards the white-capped figure that stood in the doorway.  “Cupid”, he said, “I am sorry your master manumitted you by will; I would never have parted with you”; and then with few words of farewell, regardless and unconscious of perfume or flower, had moved through the garden walk to his boat and taken his way to Savannah; that night he would sleep at St. Catherine’s the next at Green Island, and the third in Savannah.

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            And so farewell to the Chatelet with its memories of courtesy, gentle breeding and high courage, for does it not require a brave heart to face the world, aged, poor, wifeless and childless, and yet to smile?  Farewell to the fragrance of oleo and mignonette, of rose, heliotrope and hyacinth.  The idyllic days have passed, and the dawn of a bare materialism is reddening the sky.  What said St. Arnaud as from the heights of Balaklava he looked upon the English horse—“It is magnificent, but it is not war”.  So I say of those days; they may not have been upbuilding nor uplifting, but they were sweet and very lovely.
            And farewell, too, to the memory of the stern and tender; loving and generous old man; who for 50 years had said of Sapelo; “Sapelo, ‘c’est moi’.” ready to give from his abundance to all except to himself, but demanding from all an implicit submission to his will and precept; for his creed was that of Sir Richard Burton’s:

            “Do what thy manhood bids you do;
                        From none but self Expect applause;
            He noblest lives and noblest dies
                        Who makes and keeps his self-made laws;
            All other life is living death, a world
                        Where none but phantoms dwell,
                                    A breath, a wind, a sound, a voice,
                        A tinkling of the camel’s bells.”

            So hard is it to be dominant over a race of dependants, and not grow intolerant of differences, in-admissible to argument, and domineering to all, even to those most loved; no people in this wide, wide world needed more to pray “Lead me not into temptation” than we of the South; no criminal ever had more right to say, “Lord, judge me not according to my sins, but take into thy sight how greatly more I might have sinned.”
            But twice in forty years have I visited the scene of this story.  My memory has been of men whose names are buried in oblivion.  On my visit previous to this the last, crumbling walls threatening soon to pass into dust were all that met my eye.  The shadows cast by the sun were darkened to a deeper shade by thought of the pile that had once stood stately in its seeming strength; “Old Ocean laved its island seat, land of the olive and the lime.”
            Since then forty odd years have gone, and this century is well on and in its teens:  years of love, of hope, of discouragement, of despondency and in 1914 I have found the noble home restored, with every wall rebuilt, and white and spotless in a garniture of green; it stands, claiming and asserting a new immunity from time, and bidding a fresh defiance to sea or storm.  It greets the eastern sun as it rises in its sumptuous splendor and bids farewell to it as it sinks to its bed of solemn repose.  And the roof covers one not unmindful of what has been, and not forgetful of the past; as I rode with him northward in the great car, I saw it stopped to give time to an old negro of more than 80 years to lessen the fright of his lean and scrawny team, in the roar of the impatient engine, that murmured at the delay, I thought I could hear the words of the “Sartor Resartor”:  “Venerable is the rugged face, weather-beaten

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and besoiled, for it is the face of a man living manlike, and but the more venerable for its rudeness.  Oh, hardly-entreated brother, for us was thy back so bent, for us were your straight limbs and figure so deformed; thou wert our conscript, on whom the lot fell; and fighting our battles were thou so married and bruised.


From out the sedge, with dim, unsightly face,
And from slow-shuffling o’er the somber earth,
He comes, bowed bondsman of the other days,
Spirit of toil-worn fields that gave him birth.

Beneath the yoke, all meek his shoulders bend,
Within his arm the jungles silent sleep,
While hands, great, dumb, blind-fumbling, hold the faith
That loyal servitude still bids them keep.

His “White Folks”!***See the plodding figure rouse,
Dull eyes flash welcoming, yet humbly grave,
With rugged face o’er brimmed with love and smiles,
He stands, the worshipper, the friend, the slave;—

The plaintiveness of weird plantation croons,
The patience of the furrows through the world,
And lo, the dreams of childhood, now grown old.

Black clumsy fingers, sturdy as the plow,
Have cleared the thorns where swamp grown hummocks creep,
Upwrenched the oak, yet light as swallow’s wing,
Have touched the hair of “Massa’s Chile” asleep.

Kate Fort Codington.

            I have described the residence of my grandfather.  When not there I was oftenest found at Cannon’s Point, the home of Mr. James H. Couper or at Retreat, with the King family; it might be at Broadfield, with the Troups; sometimes at Sutherland, with the Brailsfords, or the Grants at Elizafield.
            Cannon’s Point and Retreat are on St. Simon’s Island; one at the extreme north, the other at the southernmost point.
            This island, located in a world of marsh and bordered by a world of sea, is rich in natural and historic associations.  The Rev. Mr. James Lee wrote:  “It is the historic associations interwoven with St. Simons, that give it its charm.  Its soil is humanized and made dear by the spirits of those who have lived on and in its neighborhood.”  Its marshes have been made “candid and simple, nothing witholding [sic] and free,” by Lanier and few have breathed its clean salt air but have borne witness to its spell.  Basil Hall confessed it.  Audubon lingered on its shore.

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Sir Charles Lyell studied it; Miss Murray and Miss Bremer have spoken of it.  Aaron Burr and Owen Wister have written in its praise, and Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler has illustrated in burning words the beauty of its woods and the profusion and sweetness of its flowering shrubs and vines.
            Its story commenced long years before its English occupancy.  In Shea’s History of the Roman Catholic Church we read of the Santa Domingo, established in 1570 by the Brotherhood of St. Dominic on the Island of Assao (as St. Simon’s was then called), of its sack, burning and destruction in 1586; of its renewal in 1610 by the Order of St. Francis, and of its final extinction and destruction in the years 1686 to 1702.  No permanent or resident tribe appear to be in possession after that date, it having become but a fishing and hunting station for wandering troops of the great Creek nation.  In 1736 General Oglethorpe planted here a Scotch Colony, most of whom came from Invernesshire; Mackays and Cuthberts are the names most frequently met with.  Two years later Frederica was made a garrison town, six companies of his regiment being there stationed.  Barracks were built and a regular system of fortifications completed.  With this the town and island assumed a new importance it being the ocean fortress upon which rested the colonial line of defense.  Fort Argyle on the Ogeechee formed the right flank; Fort Howe on the Altamaha the center, and Frederica commanding the sea approach on the left became the headquarters of the General commanding and the home of the founder of the future state.
            From Frederica he planned the invasion of Florida and from there he marched in 1740, calling to his aid Col. Palmer with 400 South Carolinians and the Highland Rangers of Darien.  This company numbered 65 men.  Commanded by the lineal chief and leader John Mohr McIntosh, every man between the ages of 20 and 45 had been called to the muster and not a recreant had been found.  Wm. McIntosh, eldest son of John, but 16 years of age, implored his father’s permission to accompany him.  Being denied the comradeship he waited until one day’s march had elapsed, then alone and on foot he followed the little army.  Through deep woods, by scarce marked trails he traced their steps, always resting a day’s march in the rear.  Not until the crossing of the St. John’s River was reached did he allow himself to overtake the advancing force.  At that ferry he made himself known, was received into the Company, enrolled into service, and given the coveted comradeship.  At the fatal Fort Moussa engagement he fought bravely and was one of the twenty-six who alone survived to return to the Altamaha; his father was taken prisoner and sent to Madrid, and not exchanged until 1745.
            In 1742, came the Spanish Invasion; 5,000 soldiers and 29 vessels of war with their transports composed the attacking force.  To meet them Oglethorpe had but his single regiment of regulars, three hastily armed brigs or schooners, the remnant of the Darien rangers, and the Skidaway Scouts under Captain Noble Jones.  His

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marvelous victory, the enemy’s outrageous defeat has been a thrice-told tale.  George Whitfield declared there was nothing like to it told in history, and that it nearly resembled the Biblical victories of the inspired leaders of the Jewish chronicles.
            The years that followed 1742 were the palmy days of St. Simon’s and Frederica.  The General commanding made it his headquarters and home.  Ships cleared from England direct to Frederica.  The older men farmed their allotments and found ready sale for their produce.  The woods, the streams, the sea gave food in profusion.  The young men found employment as guides, boatmen, or laborers for the military administration; some as clerks or purveyors to the camps block houses, or military stations.
            There are many errors in general belief concerning this Battle of Bloody Marsh.  The truth as I conceive it, is as I have heard it related by Mr. Spalding, who received the account from his grandfather, present in the engagement.  “Monteano having reduced Fort St. Simons one-half mile north of the lighthouse, landed his forces and went into camp with his 5,000 men on the lands lying around the Ocean House and those now called Couper’s Point.  On the day following he ordered his war vessels up to Gascoigne Bluff where a landing was effected.  On the next day these vessels attacked the Frederica fortifications and were repulsed, chiefly by the batter of guns “in the woods”, where John Stephen’s house now stands.  Monteano then determined on a land attack and ordered an armed reconnaissance made.  Captain Sanchez* was placed in command, who followed the road from Fort Simons to Frederica.  This road then edged the marshes from Fort St. Simons to the place now known as Harrington, where it bent directly west.  At this point the English forces were stationed and met the Spaniards, defeating them with heavy loss and taking prisoner the commander.  The Spanish fell back; the English pursued in hot temper and haste.  At the place now known as Kelwyn [Kelvin] Grove a force of Spanish infantry detailed from the main camp, made a counter stroke and threw the pursuing column under command of Capt. Raymond Demere,† into general disorder, driving them back northward.  In the haste and confusion Capt. Sutherland’s Company of regulars and the Highland Rangers of Darien, were separated from the main command under Capt. Demere and concealed themselves in the thick woods “200 yards south of the house now occupied by John Postell”.  The attack by the relieving force of the Spaniards having succeeded and the English having been driven northward, the remnant of the first command with the relieving force, fell back to the more open ground near the marsh (Bloody Marsh) stacked arms, broke ranks, and awaited orders from the Commanding General,

            *Capt. Sanchez was exchanged for Capt. John Mohr McIntosh, taken prisoner at Fort Manasa in 1840 but not until 1844 was the exchange affected so slow were their communication between the Colony and Madrid.
            †The Demeres of Georgia, are descended from Raymond and Paul Demere, both captains of the British army.  The St. Simons people for Raymond, the Savannah people for Paul, who was killed by the Indians at Fort London on the Tennessee River.

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Capt. Sutherland and Capt. Hugh Mackay, from their concealed position in the woods perceiving their unwatchful attitude, determined on an attack.  Capt. Mackay occupied the rather high ground just where Wm. Postell’s house now stands; Capt. Sutherland the woods where the monument has been erected.  Upon signal a heavy fire was opened upon the disorganized enemy, who were immediately thrown into utter confusion.  Many were killed, many hunted down by the Indians, who on sound of the firing had hurried through the woods to join the little force.  Few Spaniards regained the camp.  Not more than 1200 of Monteano’s 5000 had been engaged, but the determined resistance created great doubt in Don Montegano’s mind.  The final abandonment of the invasion did not follow as a result of Blood Marsh, but came from fears engendered in the heart of the commander by the rumored sailing of a strong squadron of war vessels from Charleston, the arrival of which would have completely cut his communications with Havana and St. Augustine.  It was fear of this that liberated St. Simon’s and Frederica, but “fortune favors the brave.”
            The people of St. Simon’s had not joined their kinsmen of Darien in protest against the introduction of slavery.  Their signatures were not affixed to the prophetic clause, “And as freedom must be as dear to them as to ourselves, we cannot think otherwise than if they are brought amongst us, they will one day prove a scourge to ourselves, our children, or children’s children”.  Ease of life, governmental employment, and a growing prosperity had sapped even a Scotch sense of justice and right.  The Treaty of 1763, through which Florida became British territory, gives a final blow to the importance of St. Simon’s and to the port of Frederica.  “A scrap of paper” signed by their Majesties of Spain and Great Britain, erased St. Simon’s from the war map of the Colonies, and noted Frederica as “no longer a station necessary to the defense of the British Colonies of North America”, relegating her to the place she had ever since held, as but a tradition and a memory.  The war of the revolution justified and emphasized that estimate, and so it came about that the Island from 1785 to 1861 entered in to a life distinguished but by the personalities and characteristics of its residents, and by the charm of a society vastly different from what was in general met with, in the country districts of the New World.
            It was in 1795 that the island life changed from its primitive form which had been that of small farms with owners of small means and smaller ambitions to a very different and distinctive class; for at first the land grants had been of scant acreage generally to discharge soldiers, to artisans or storekeepers; in one case, in that called “The Village”, the grant had been of 1000 acres to a community of Moravians, under a Capt. Hermsdorf, who resided in “a village”, and there built a church.  James Mackay had acquired a tract of 600 acres at the North End and 800 at St. Clair; Mr. Ladson of Charleston a grant of Hampton, 1000 acres; James McIntosh, the 1000 acres adjoining Mr. Ladson; James Spalding

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600 acres at the South End, now known as Retreat; with these exceptions, the grants had been small allotments, often not exceeding 100 acres; and much of the Island was still covered by the virgin wood, and no great number of slaves had yet been introduced to further the clearance of the lands.
            It was in the year 1795 that Major Pearce Butler bought of Mr. Ladson of Charleston, the Hampton Point tract, and of Mr. McIntosh an adjoining grant of the same acreage.  Two years previously, Mr. John Couper had settled himself and family on the more easterly point called Cannon’s Point.  Major Butler was an officer of the British Army, a son of Sir Pearce Butler, the lineal representative of the extinct dukedom of Ormand.  His life had been spent in the army; he had married a Miss Middleton of South Carolina and on the breaking out of the revolutionary war had resigned his commission and espoused the cause of the Colonies.  He had been a member of the Continental Congress, a delegate appointed to visit the armies in the field; a member of the convention that framed in 1785 the constitution of the United States, had not prospered in business or finance, and in 1795 had removed to Georgia in search of fresher and richer lands.  With him came his intimate friend and agent, Mr. William Page, who had before established himself in Bryan County but was led by his inclinations to St. Simon’s Island.
            *Major Butler’s temperament and training was altogether military and he brought to his new home an overweening sense of his own importance and a superiority to all whom he might find as neighbors or residents.
            Mr. John Couper, had when a lad of 17, left Scotland to seek his fortune in the Western World, had taken service with the house of Buchannan & Co. of Glasgow and St. Augustine, at the meager wages of $125 per year “and found”; had from 1763 to 1766 given them faithful and diligent service; had then with his boyhood and lifetime friend and emigrant of the same date James Hamilton, entered into commercial business for themselves; had prospered, had made hosts of friends, and with Mr. Hamilton was now embarked into great agricultural interests.  He had married Miss Rebecca Maxwell of Bryan County, and in 1792 made St. Simons his home.  The larger interests of Hamilton & Couper were distant 14 miles on the tide waters of the Altamaha, and the plantation of 4500 acres and 600 slaves was called Hopeton.  This acreage included 2500 of pine, useless save for lumber as a fuel.
            Mr. James Spalding was established at the South End in a tract of 800 acres; his home was at “Orange Hall”, one mile from Gascoigne Bluff.  Mr. Spalding’s death threw this place into the market and it was purchased by Wm. Page, Esq., with whose family it has always been identified and known as the “Retreat Homestead”.  Mr. James Hamilton has seated himself at Gascoigne Bluff

*It was more military hateur [sic] than conceit, for Mr. Couper said he was a good neighbor and citizen.

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on tract made by the purchase of smaller grants into a plantation, upon which he had placed some one hundred slaves.
            The Demere Homestead of Mulberry Grove adjoined the Hamilton estate.  The Demere estate of Harrington Hall was five miles to the northward of Mulberry Grove; the latter is where the family burial plot is located, and from whence the “Mary de Wander” or Ghost Walk takes it way for the river whose waters cover the hapless girl of many sorrows.  At Frederica there were few that I can recall; in my memory it seemed to be populated only by widows, old maids and old men who had no families, for Capt. Stephens had not yet come from abroad there to reside.  At Lawrence, Capt. James Fraser, half-pay British officer, lived with his wife, who had been Miss Ann Cowper [sic]; at Long View, Mrs. McNish, with her charming daughter, who became Mrs. Layton [sic] Hazlehurst, resided for the greater part of the year; at Kelwyn [sic] Grove, Benjamin Cater had succeeded his father Thomas and had married Miss Ann Armstrong.  Pike’s Bluff and West Point were the residences of Dr. Thomas Hazzard and his brother, Col. Wm. Hazzard.
            “The Village” had in the year 1850 passed into the possession of George Baillie, a nephew of Alexander C. Wylly’s, and in 1812 had been purchased by my grandfather.  With him resided a niece, herself a Baillie, who had married Colonel Wardrobe of the British Army, a gentleman very advanced in age and now retired on half-pay.
            At St. Clair, almost in sound of his voice, lived Dr. William Fraser, a retired surgeon, distinguished for his long service in the East Indies; his wife was Frances, daughter of Capt. Wylly.  He soon removed to Darien and made his home on “The Ridge” at a place he called “St. Ronans”.
            Dr. Grant’s home was at Oatlands, two miles north of the village; the Abbotts on the Western side, and as yet no one at Black Banks; The Goulds having not yet come to the South from their far Northern home; in this however I may be mistaken, for among my earliest memories I recall talk of “Rosemount”, the Gould home, now called St. Clair.
            To recapitulate, in the first decade of the 19th century we find a society in which are numbered the son of a great English family, a soldier, an ex-Congressman, an associate in the framing of the Constitution, a co-laborer with Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, and Washington; with a gentleman of Scotch birth, endowed by nature with the rarest gifts of heart and mind, and humor; as his nearest neighbor, and but a mile to the south at Lawrence we enter the house of a soldier of the Peninsular War, one who had stood beside Sir John Moore at Corunna, and served at Waterloo; a few miles southward at The Village we meet Capt. Wylly, half-pay captain in the British army, whose services had commenced with the taking of Savannah and ended with the surrender of his sword at Yorktown.  In his household you will meet Col. Wardrobe, his nephew by marriage, who had followed the British flag from boy-

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hood and led his battalion in Europe, India and Asia; a son-in-law, Dr. Wm. Fraser, is often a visitant; his life until now had been years of service as surgeon to the military forces of the East Indies; his wife was Frances, eldest daughter of Capt. Alexander Wylly.  These men had seen life in many phases and many countries.  Their talk was not always of the desirability or non-desirability of rain, nor of the growth of corn, cotton or garden truck; at times at least, on this selvage of civilization, stories were recounted, battles and sieges remembered, and the great events of history re-told—the life was a mélange of old world courtesy and refinement, intermixed with a democratic simplicity.  Only Major Butler’s household was evidence of great wealth to be found; but everywhere was immense comfort, absence from debt, and unbounded hospitality.  To be a guest of one family was to be a welcome visitant to all; the tables were spread with homegrown viands, the glasses were filled with wine and brandy of foreign growth; whiskey was yet unknown; rum punch closed the evening; they were hard drinkers, but carried their liquor well and seldom were overcome, or if such did come about, no disgrace save the confession of a personal weakness followed.  The women were angels, bearing their crosses uncomplainingly, almost unconsciously, always silently.
            I have been telling the tale of a time far anterior to my own days; one more page and I shall bid farewell to recollections of what I have heard, and confine myself to what I have seen and known.
            The St. Clair house, in which Caroline G. Wylly was born in 1811 had by 1820 passed into the ownership of Major Pearce Butler; he gave it for a nominal rent into the hands of a club formed by the planters of St. Simons solely for social pleasures, and called the St. Clair’s Club.  Here monthly dinners were given, each member furnishing in rotation, dinner, service, and the attachments, wine and punch; I have been told that great emulation existed in the style and quality on these occasions; visitors and guests came from Savannah and Augusta, and the manners of the time warranting it, the occasions were the scenes of extraordinary conviviality verging, I fear, into hard drinking and the recountal of the most surprising adventures and experiences, intermixed with song and story, for the penalty was heavy to him who told no story or sang no song, and so declared himself but a “niddling”.
            Let us picture the dinner of December the 7th, 1821.  The hour is five p.m.  The slanting rays of the sun crimson the green lawn and light the festoons of moss that strive to hide the scars of age.  The room is warmed and cheered by the glowing coals in a great fire-place; the table with covers laid for fourteen, is clothed in the snowiest of damask and lit by a score of candles made from the wax of the myrtle berry which cover the salt marshes; the brass candlesticks shine like virgin gold; the dishes are of the palest blue, East India china.  The waiters, James Dennison from The

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Village, Sandy and Johnny from Cannon’s Point, assisted by old Die and Sam Froid, have since nine in the morning been busy in the kitchen.  The guests arriving, not one, whatever his age, so effeminate as to use carriage or chaise are mounted on wiry steeds, whose only living had been drawn from moss, marsh and shucks, but who shew in gait and mettle their descent from Spanish and Arab stock.  They are met each by one, or oftener two black boys, who “like eagles to the carrion” await the fragments of the feast.
            The guests of the Club coming with their hosts, were Capitaine du Bignon, Dr. James M. Troup, and Mr. Thomas Charlton of Savannah.  The club members present, John Couper, Dr. Wm. Fraser, Capt. John Fraser, Capt. Wylly, Wm. Page, Raymond Demere, Alexander Wm. Wylly, George Baillie, Benjamin Cater, Wm. Armstrong, and Daniel Heyward Brailsford.
            The dinner was not served in courses, save that the two soups, one a clam broth, the other chicken mulligatawny, were brought on first, the fish, shrimp pies, crab (in shell) roasts, and vegetables were all placed in one service; the dessert was simple, tartlets of orange marmalade, dried fruits and nuts.  The dishes disposed of, amid general gossip and talk, and the cloth drawn, the great punch bowl with its mixture of rum, brandy, sugar, lemon juice and peel, was brought in.  The wine glasses were pushed aside and stubby pottle-shaped glass mugs were handed round; and the chairman of the meeting, rising, announced that the health of the President of the United States would be drank, standing and with cheers.  Mr. Charlton responding made appropriate remarks, saying the thanks of the whole country were due our legislative magistrate for his wise conduct of public affairs; again much cheering.  After this opening of the evening, there was much filling of mugs, nodding of heads, one to the other, with short words of good wishes; such as “Happy days to you”, “Here’s to You”, and the like.  Capt. DuBignon with a voice slightly husky, gives his song, “Cheer up my lads, Cheer up”; Capt. John Fraser responds to his call with, “A valiant soldier I dare to name”, which is received with acclamations; “Surely a fine tenor in a man will cover a multitude of faults and imperfections”.
            Dr. Wm. Fraser is called on for his Hindoo [sic] song, which with quite a Scotch accent he gives:

            “Musha be cusha go-wa-be-go
                        Tasa-be-tasa no-be-no
                                    Bad a dil go-wa-be-go
                                                Tasa-be-tasa no-be-no”.

            For fear all my readers are not Hindoo scholars I translate:

            “Songster sweet, begin the lay
            Always fresh and ever gay;
                        Bring me quick, inspiring wine,
                        Always fresh and ever fine.”

            Four verses follow, which I forget; once I knew them all.

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            Do not think dear reader, that the whole purpose of these dinners was the gratifying of the materialistic enjoyments of eating and drinking.  George Baillie has been discussing Sheridan and Moliere with his uncle, Capt. Wylly, and has said, “Wit is only what every one would have said could they have thought of it.”  Capt. Wylly has responded, “Wit, then, George is in embryo in us all”.  “Yes, dear uncle”, answers George, “call in a good surgeon and even yourself could be delivered of it.”
            Dr. Troup has been recounting to Major Page the incidents of his late visit to an Indian cousin in the Alabama Creek territory.  He had visited Alexander McGilveray at Broken Arrow, in the Coosa Valley.  Gen. Knox, Secretary of War, he says, had written Washington that the “McGilveray commanded 10,000 warriors and exercised an imperium in imperio” (Sparks Life of Washington) over the Creek Confederacy”.  He tells of the beauty and the richness of the valleys of the Coosa, Etiwah and Tombigbee, and of the Indian villages almost towns he had seen with gardens of maize, pumpkin and peas, all cultivated by the women alone.
            Dr. Fraser has been telling to Raymond Demere the story of a Mogul empire, where he has seen diamonds, rubies and pearls the loot of the common soldier; his hearer’s eyes sparkle and flash with covetousness, not for the gold alone, but with regret for a wrecked youth, but for which he might have hoped to win both wealth and love.
            Nine strikes, and “Auld Lang Syne” is sung with joined hands; the horses are called for.  Major Page and Capt. Wylly are the first to say good night; attended by their faithful body-servants, James Dennison and old Neptune, they ride away, James and Neptune very watchful, for should such service be needed they will mount behind and not leave Master until safe on his couch.
            Was ever a Fergus MacIvor more faithful to his chief and Lord? than James Johnny [sic] or Neptune to a Wylly, a Couper, and a King? who in all likelihood had purchased their fathers or themselves in a Charleston open market.  Can I forget Denbow, who on the night of his master’s murder, on seeing the consorting of the wife with the murderer, stole the child Benjamin, carried him on his back, through the woods to Major Page at Retreat, and said, “Major, this boy is in danger of his life where he was, and I bring him to you”.  The murderer and wife fled, Major Page was by the Courts made guardian, preserved the property, had the child educated, and in time graduated from Yale.
            I shall now leave this record of days and years that are long past and endeavor to picture the people and homes as I knew them in 1857.  I have said, I was often to be found at Cannon’s Point, now the home of James Hamilton Couper, an uncle by his marriage to my father’s sister.  At his lovely residence was gathered almost every thing that could attract, first a household of young people of near my age; a garden where every fruit and flower bloomed and ripened; an orchard in which the fig, peach, pomegranate, orange and lemon gave golden offerings in luxurious profusion; a

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wood of olive whose sad grey-tinted leafage seemed to hold Gethsemane in perpetual remembrance; a stable where horses stood impatient for bit and bridle; a river whose waters lapped the shore within a stone’s cast of door and window, and breathing at night a melody caught from forest and spacious marsh; a library filled with priceless treasures from Paris, Vienna and London; while on wall of hall and dining room were shown copies of Claude Loraine, Rembrandt, and LeBrun, with “The Aurora” to give welcome as you crossed from the entrance doorway; a host who never said a word that was not well-considered and prepared, whose hours for work, for exercise, for reading, for writing, were parceled out in a systematic memoranda and whose store of information was immense; whose large family treasured and preserved every word that fell from his lips, not one of them, bright as they all were, ever recognizing the humor of the situation, or the atmosphere of the home interior.
            I recall meeting a visitor who had spent the night at the Point, and my saying, “I know you had a pleasant visit”—“an instructive one” was his answer.  I was shown to Mr. C’s library, and our business interview was quickly and most satisfactorily concluded.  I was told the tide, not allowing me to leave, Mr. C. hoped I would stay the night; a specimen of coral from the Pacific lying on the table, Mr. C. took it up and explained most clearly and elaborately how by the labor of the tiny insects, islands, almost continents, had been built up in the Eastern oceans.  He was most interesting, fortifying his statements with quotations from Sir Charles Lyle and other geologists.  He then looking over a memoranda, said he was forced to keep an engagement, adding that dinner would be at 4:30, he excused himself for leaving me.  He had not left five minutes before Mrs. Couper came in, saying she was sorry Mr. Couper had been called out, but that “he broke an engagement for no one”.
            Seeing the coral, she launched into the same account of the labors of the insect world, word for word, I heard it re-related.  She left, saying dinner would be hurried; who should enter then, but Alexander Couper; he walked straight to the cursed rock, and again I heard Mr. Couper’s essay reeled off, word for word.  He said a hive of bees he thought, was about to swarm—would I help him? which I decidedly declined.  He left, saying he would send Robert with me.  Robert came, and was already started on the thrice-told tale when I begged, on account of the heat, the privilege of a little air.  So you see, Charles, my visit was, as I have said, very instructive but not very entertaining.”
            The eldest son, Hamilton, a lawyer by profession, was almost the most gifted man I have known; endowed by nature with an exquisite sense of humor, joined to a mind that had imbibed all the beauties of literature and art.  The third son, my senior by two years, was an artist of great promise.  His landscape work was especially lovely and striking, his coloring of wood and sky absolutely true.  Both of these sons died before 1863, victims to army

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fever, now called “enteric”.  The eldest of the daughters was lovely in person, mind and character; ; she died in 1897, and has left daughters at the remembrance of whom my heart fills with a thankfulness that I have known and seen the goodness and sweetness of their lives.  Of the other daughter, what shall I write?  What words shall I use?  In later years she gave me a love, of which I knew I was unworthy.  In her person, in her mind, in her heart was embodied all that make woman precious.  She saved me from myself.  Then, alas, why should she have been called and I left?  Around the blackened walls of this home, even now, topped with its green crown of date palm and leaf, cling no thoughts but those of love, truth and courtesy, intermixed with a personal individuality, charming to remember, a trinity of the good, the beautiful and the true.
            The fourth son, James M. Couper, a few months younger than myself became very intimately associated with my life, we chose the same profession, Civil Engineering, and until 1861 we worked in the same sections on railroads and connecting systems, we entered the Confederate Army at the same time, he in a Mississippi regiment, I in a Louisiana.  He escaped from Fort Doneldson and again from Vicksburg, by his courage and address and now lives in Atlanta beloved by all who know him.
            Hopeton Plantation is situated on the south branch of the Altamaha River, 16 miles from Brunswick.  The lands comprising the estate were purchased in 1804 by Mr. John Couper and James Hamilton in joint ownership.  As early as 1765 these two lads but 17 years of age had left Renfrewshire, Scotland, to seek their fortunes in this western world.  Taking passage in the same ship they landed in St Augustine, the newly-acquired British possession, comparatively penniless, but rich in energy and honesty or purpose.  They had never lost sight of each other but had been partners in every venture, and by 1770 had embarked into small undertakings which had prospered.  In Savannah they had opened a store which had brought good returns; in Sunbury, Liberty County, Couper & Hamilton was a firm known and respected.  They had lived through the Revolutionary War without incurring the enmity of the exasperated parties; and in 1793 had come to St. Simons intending to make it their home.  Mr. Couper had married Miss Rebecca Maxwell, of Bryan County, and Mr. Hamilton a Miss Janet Wilson of Philadelphia; 1800 had found them both domiciled on the Island, Mr. Couper at Cannon’s Point, Mr. Hamilton at Gascoigne bluff [sic], with their boyhood friendship and lifetime devotion still unabated.  They had some money and good credit, and now sought a larger investment in the one industry of the South, the raising of cotton, sugar, or rice; and so it came about that they bought in 1805 from David Deas and Arthur Middleton the tracts of land which they called Hopeton, after Wm. Hopeton their friend, financier and banker.  Not an acre was then cleared, and upon it they placed a large force of negroes, with mangers and overseers to see to the reclamation of the rich swamp lands.

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Mr. Couper’s eldest son, James Hamilton Couper, was named in 1816 as sole manager; his education had been closely attended to; his natural industry and mental gifts were great; he had graduated with honor from Yale, and had then been sent to Holland to study the reclamation of submerged lands, returning with an enthusiastic belief in the possibilities; he had assumed the task when but 20 years of age; but 200 acres of he swamp and richest land had as yet been diked and reclaimed with about the same amount of high land.  To the end of making the place a financial success the young man bent all his energies.  So well did he conduct and direct affairs, that when 1827 he married, the Hopeton plantation was already acknowledged as a model by all.
            All his first crops had been of cotton, but finding that from the richness of the soil, the plant grew too late in the season to properly mature the lint, he shifted to sugar cane, planting in 1827 and 1828 as much at [sic] 800 acres.  Later from cane he went to rice.  The steam engine for generating the power, the mill for crushing and all other machinery were bought and imported from Bolton & Watts, of Sheffield, England, the last-named being the inventor of the use of steam, and junior partner of Bolton & Watts.  In 1907 when I sold the Hopeton place as agent for Mr. Richard Corbin to the Shaker Colony of Ohio, they broke up all this machinery and sold it as junk.
            From 1816 to 1858 Mr. Couper remained in sole and absolute charge; from 1816 to 1827 as representative of Couper & Hamilton; from 1826 to 1836 as representative and agent for James Hamilton, who had bought his father’s interests; from 1836 to 1857 as co-executor with General Cadwalder of Philadelphia, of the estate of Hamilton and also trustee for the heirs, three grandchildren, Isabella, Constance and Richard General Cadwalder assumed charge of all Pennsylvania and northern property.  Mr. Couper of the Georgia planting interests, now amounting to 582 slaves and the planting and harvesting of more than a thousand acres of rice, such a number represented something more than 200 able-bodied laborers.
            Although Mr. Couper was deeply interested in the affairs of Hopeton and had made it a model to all lovers of scientific agriculture, by methodical and systematic use of his time, he had leisure to cultivate his scientific tastes so much so as to cause his correspondence to be solicited by man y of the learned Societies.
            He was recognized as the best planter in the district, as a most humane and successful manager of slaves, as the leading conchologist of the South, and as a microscopist whose researches into the then new field of germ life attracted attention in the laboratories of al the universities.
            In the winter of 1832 editor J.D. Legare of The Southern Agriculturist, of Charleston, during a tour of Georgia’s sugar district, was a guest at Hopeton.  He gives an account of his visit in several numbers of the Agriculturist in 1833.  I quote:

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            “We remained several days at Hopeton, enjoying the hospitality of J. Hamilton Couper, during which time we were busily employed in viewing the plantations and taking notes of what we saw and heard.
            “We hesitate not to say Hopeton is decidedly the best plantation we have ever visited, and we doubt whether it can be equaled in the Southern States; and when we consider the extent of the crops, the variety of the same, and the number of operatives who have to be directed and managed, it will not be presumptive to say that it may fairly challenge comparison with any establishment of the United States, for the systematic arrangement of the whole, the regularity and precision with which each and all of the operations are carried out, and the perfect and daily accountability established in every department”.
            “The proportions of the crop at the time of my visit were 500 acres in rice, 170 in cotton, and 330 in cane”.
            On the occasion of his second visit to America, Sir Charles Lyell, the distinguished English geologist, became a guest at Hopeton, in January, 1846.  He writes:
            “During a fortnights at Hopeton we had an opportunity of seeing how Southern planters live and the conditions and prospects of the negroes on a well-managed estate.  The relations of the slaves to their owners resembles nothing in the Northern States.  There is a hereditary regard approaching attachment on both sides, much like that existing between lords and their retainers in feudal times.  The slaves indentify [sic] themselves with their masters, and the sense of their own importance rises with his success in life; but the responsibility of the owner is great, and to manage a great plantation with profit is no easy task; much judgment is required and a mixture of firmness, forbearance, and kindness”—and so on and son, for many pages.  He adds:  “I may be told this is a most favorable specimen of a well-managed estate; if so, I affirm that a mere chance led me to pay this visit”.
            Miss Bremmer and Miss Amelia Murray both visited Hopeton, and in her “Homes in the New World”, Miss Bremmer wrote in the highest possible praise of all she saw.
            Miss Murray wrote:  “Only now am I made aware of ……’s resignation of the editorship of my letters.  I am sorry, but I must sacrifice individual friendships and tell of my own honest convictions and truth”.
            It was in February, 1857 that I was asked to join a house-party at Hopeton given by Mr. Couper as a farewell to his life’s labor, as Trustee and executor to the estate of James Hamilton, the youngest of his wards, Richard Corbin, having reached his majority, he had obtained letters dismissing the trusteeship and the executorship, had bought of Constance Corbin de Montmart the lands now called Altama and Carr’s Island, and from her sister had purchased the Hamilton plantation on St. Simon’s Island, and 180 negroes.  At “Altama” a house was being built, placed in what is known as “The Old Indian Fields”.  Mr. Couper now proposed to

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resign his management, to recommend his brother Wm. Audley Couper as his successor, and to retire and devote his energies to his own affairs.
            The number of guest was large; a Mr. Cavendish, M.P.,* and his traveling companion, Capt. Deveux of the Hoe Guards, were the honor personages; Miss Mary Elliott of Savannah, Messrs. R.M. Stiles and Bryan of Savannah, Wyatt Dickinson and H.D. Twigg of Augusta.  Miss Carrie Elliott was also a visitor and a Mr. Ballard said to be a suitor of Miss Fanny Fraser, who was also present.  Mr. Couper took charge of Mr. Cavendish and Deveux in the morning.
|            I at this time was astonished to see what a systematic division of time could do in the doubling, nay more than trebling the amount of work transacted during the day.  Mr. Couper was closing up the accounts of a fifty years’ stewardship, entailing the balancing of hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenditures, receipts, losses and gains; all to be placed in their special and respective columns.  To this task he devoted two hours, from near 6 to 7:30 a.m.; to the plantation affairs he gave from 8 a.m. to 12 m. [sic]; to his guests from England, whom he met first at luncheon, he devoted from 12 to 2 p.m.; from 2 to 4 p.m. he spent in his library, writing or reading (alone); at 4:15 to the minute he awaited the appearance of the family and all belonging to the household in the drawing-room; at 4:35 Bulala at the door, announced, “Dinner is ready, Sir”.  The dinner was served in courses; wine was handed, always sherry and Madeira, on special occasions champagne, never claret or French wines.  By 5:30 the cloth was drawn, Mr. C. arose with the ladies, Bulala placed cigars before the guests.  Mr. C. Filled [sic] his second glass of wine, wished “Good fortune and health to all”, and retired to his study.  The men smoked, drank one or two glasses of sherry, and joined the ladies; no whiskey, brandy or alcoholic drink was ever served at meals, but were placed on the side-board.
            In testimony of what systematic and methodical use of time can do, I shall mention the tasks undertaken and successfully carried out by this marvelous worker in the years 1850 to 1857.
            In 1849 Mr. Isaac Barrett, of Charleston, having come into possession of the rice plantation of Champney’s Island, and the negroes attached to it, 200 in number, offered Mr. Couper $2,500 to superintend the management, giving him the choice of the overseer to reside on the place, which was accepted.  In the year 1850 Dr. James M. Troup dying, his will disclosed Mr. Couper named as co-executor with his son Brailsford on the estate comprising 300 negroes, and 1,100 acres of rice land.  The will also disclosed a debt of $70,000 as a lien on land and negroes, the heirs, five in number, were despairing.  Mr. Couper took charge,

                *This Mr. Cavendish, member of Parliament and nephew of Lord Palmerstein, was in after days assassinated in Phoenix Park, Dublin, by Burke Fenier, leader and the force bill passage—was the germ from which sprung the “Home Rule” party of Ireland.  “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”, “extreme measures” breed their own cures.

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placed an overseer, Mr. Hutchinson, in whose ability he had confidence, in immediate charge; said to the heirs, “Each of you draw upon me for $1,200 payable monthly, and in ten years I will return you the property free of debt”.  He paid all the debts in seven years, and in the eighth year after the death of Dr. Troup, divided the estate free of debt.  To recapitulate, for the seven years preceding the year 1857 he had managed and disbursed the monies arising from the labor of 592 negroes, belonging to the estate of Hamilton, cultivating never less than 1000 acres of rice.  The same care and attention had been paid to the Barrett property, comprising 200 negroes, and a corresponding acreage of crops, and in 1850 he had added the entire supervision of and direction of the encumbered Troup estate of 250 negroes and 600 acres of rice.  Nor did any of these properties suffer from neglect; all were so administered so as to be paying and profit-making plantations.  I hardly think an equal can be found, should the whole South be searched for instances in successful and scientific agriculture.
            It was during this visit that Mr. Couper told me that his books and engravings had cost him $40,000, and I have always thought that in the removal in 1862 by Alexander Couper some of his most valuable works must have been lost or left at Cannon’s Point, as was his father’s voluminous correspondence; certainly I clearly remember that in after days I could not find some when on short visits to James M. Couper; for instance, a very valuable portfolio of copies of Rafael’s cartoons; a Virgil of extremely old date, which I in particular remember his telling me was the most valuable single volume on his shelves.
            In 1857 he had bought all of Constance and Isabella Corbin’s share of the estate, with one exception, which was the non-purchase of Wright’s Island, valued at $27,000; so that at that late time of life he had burdened himself with a debt of more than $80,000; had the troubles of 1861 not ensued, all would have gone well, but with a lien on lands and negroes, the latter of which in 1865 were no longer an asset, and the disasters of the re-construction period, all Altama, Carr’s Island, and home, reverted to the Corbin family.  Hamilton’s plantation was alone preserved, and that was sold to Meigs & Dodge in 1874 for $14,000.  Cannon’s Point was sold in 1866 for $16,000; every dollar was lost in rice planting.
            It is hard to believe that in 57 near all the lands of the St. Simons Island were in cultivation.  In riding southward from Cannon’s Point, save for narrow strips of wood, one passed from field to field of corn and cotton.  The Butler Place was in full occupation, with the other plantations there were about 3,500 acres in the highest state of production.  The return averaged 300 pounds of clean lint to each three acres planted in cotton.  This quality of Sea Island being worth from 42 to 50c per pound; 1,600 to 1,700 acres were devoted to this—the only money crop.  The remaining acreage was placed in corn, potatoes, peas, and forage.  The 1,600 acres gave an income of about $60,000, almost the whole tillage was with the hoe; great attention was paid to the fertilization,

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always from cowpen and stable, to which great quantities of grass and rush were hauled during the summers and winters.  At Retreat Mrs. King kept 30 yokes of oxen perpetually at this work, planting as much as 75 acres of rutabagas as winter feed.  She was the most skillful agriculturist on the Island and noted still more for her careful selection of seed, through which the improvement of the Retreat staple was constant and uniform.
            At Retreat a different welcome was extended you, a true Liberty Hall greeting was given every one, young and old did just as they pleased and made their own choice in pursuit of amusement.
            The eldest son devoted himself to plantation affairs, and with his mother directed and guided the growing and preparation of the cotton crop.  So skillful was the guidance that the Retreat brand on a bale ensured 50c per pound, whilst elsewhere from 42 to 44 cents was the best that could be realized.  The fertilizing of the land was closely attended to, and every acre in cotton was expected and made to yield at least 75 pounds of clean lint, which equaled $37.50 per acre.
            The second son was at Yale, preparing for the practice of law.  His death at the battle of Fredericksburg, December, 1862, ended a most promising career.  My friend Mallory Page King, schoolmate, college chum and comrade in the Confederate struggle, was then like myself, fonder of outdoor and social life than of study or work.  Both of us had eaten too freely of the fruit of the land of the lotus.  The father, the Hon. Thomas Butler King, M.C., was devoted to national and State politics and seldom long at his home.  Only twice in my many visits did I meet him; his stays on the Island were brief, but when he came it was a jubilee day to white and black.  No work was exacted on the day following his arrival.  The daughters drew lots who should be the first to have the seat next to him, and rotated the coveted position every twenty-four hours.
            The sons sat beside him in the library, or road with him when outdoors, listening with greedy ears to his talk, which was full of information and enlivened with anecdotes of the great men he had met in Washington, California, or Europe.  He knew that a full hand ensures a joyful welcome, and the morning after his coming, the rooms looked as though Xmas had come again; not a child was forgotten, and to the elder daughters the remembrances were splendid and costly.
            The home was located in a wooded clump, a hundred yards from the beach.  To reach it, you passed through a most lovely flower garden, different in one way from any that I have known.  Mrs. King did not love and scarce tolerated the flower that did not repay the plucking by its sweet odor.  She called them “plants without souls”; no camellias or exotics flaunted in the sole pride of beauty, but violets, hyacinths, oleos and all sweet shrubs in glorious profusion.  The historian Higginson, who saw it in its deserted years of the sixties says:  “The most lovely garden I have ever seen”, and always steeped in hyacinthine odors”.

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            The daughters were charming, winning all hearts by their grace, courtesy and spirit.
            To one of them had been granted every spell with which woman can be armed.  Even her silence was eloquent, for she listened most divinely.  Of Madame Recamier, Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler wrote:  “She listened and you were lost”.  Sure it is a rare accomplishment, rather a gift; but to woman an invincible and deadly weapon.  So closely does it appeal to the innate vanity—inherent—even if concealed in every man’s heart.
            At The Village home of my widowed grand mother was found a beautifully managed farm, not plantation.  This stately and lovely “lady of the manor” as many called her, with her two unmarried daughters, presided over the best-managed household I have seen.  The house was large, and often filled with relatives—some from the Bahamas, some from England, or Savannah; her servants were better trained than any I have known, not perhaps to the nicety of Mrs. Brailsford’s, whose butler, as I was about to help myself to rice, whispered, “With fish, Marse Charles, only potato and bread”.
            Mrs. Wylly, after the death of her husband, never changed the fashion of her dress; always, morning, noon and evening she wore a black silk skirt, with bodice of the same, a kerchief of the finest and snowiest cambric crossed over the front, and in the back, descended to the waist; her snowy white hair, of great length and thickness, was coiled around a beautifully shaped head, and surmounted by a cap with wide side laplets [sic].  In her old age, 70 years, I remember thinking she was the most stately and lovely woman I had ever seen.  She was dignity itself, exacting from all, even her only son and daughters, the most scrupulous respect in manner and speech; to her grandchildren she was more generous than her means warranted, “tipping them in English fashion”.  When visited by the younger ones, she led them into the drawing room, where hung portraits of Nelson and Wellington, and bid them mark the look and appearance of “the greatest men of the 19th century”.
            In truth she never became an American, and looked with no favor upon those who had aided in the independence of the United States.  Neither herself nor her husband should ever have returned to Georgia; the brother, who remained in the English service, greatly exceeded him in fortune and prosperity; his return was a mistake induced solely by his repugnance to the Act of Emancipation, which in 1808 was imminent and certain, and by an infounded [sic] belief in the “sacredness of property”.
            Major Butler resided at Hampton Point from 1795 to 1815, making visits during the summers to South Carolina and Philadelphia, at which place after the death of his wife he made his permanent home; his very large estate equally divided between St. Simons and Butler’s Island on the Altamaha, was managed and directed by his agent and head overseer, Mr. Roswell King, a native of New England and after Mr. King’s resignation by Roswell King, Jr.  The regulations and methods employed were very

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different from those customary on the sea coast.  The keynote to the system was the demand for the complete isolation of the Butler properties.  No visit to neighboring plantations was ever permitted, and no intercourse of any kind allowed with the outside world; their language was unintelligible to those not familiar with the dialect; industry and thrift were encouraged and rewarded, but the example of a higher civilization was completely lost through the enforced isolation.
            Major Butler had erected his first house, large and spacious, of half tabby and half wood, at the exact intersection of Jones Creek and Hampton River.  It was from this house that Aaron Burr during his enforced retirement, wrote his delightful letters to Theodosia.  In one he writes:

Hampton Point, August, 1804.

            “I am quite settled.  My establishment consists of a housekeeper, a cook, and chamber maid, seamstress, and two footmen, two fishermen, (the family of negroes known as Bennets, were the fishermen of the Butler family for four generations.  None of the name ever did anything but fish,) and four boatmen always at my command; the laundry work is done outside”.
            Again, on another day he writes:
            “Madame:  J’ai bein diner et J’ai fait mettre moi writing desk sur le talbe a diner.  What a scandalous thing to sit here alone drinking champagne, and yet, Madame, I drink your health, mais buvons a la sante de mon hote et bon ami Major Butler”, and so on.
            I have written there was no great wealth save in Major Butler’s case.  I was wrong, for no one spent all they made, and that is the truest and greatest wealth; comfort, independence and contentment were to be seen in every household.
            The house from which Aaron Burr wrote was undermined in 1824 by a great freshet and swept away; its foundations can still be seen in the river at low tide; the home occupied by Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler in 1838 was destroyed in 1863 by the Federal troops.  It had been the residence of Roswell King, Jr., manager and agent for Pearce Butler, who was born Pearce May, a grandson of Major Pearce Butler, and had changed his name to Butler; it was this Roswell King, Jr. who is constantly alluded to by Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler, under the initial “K”.  The foundations of the house are still to be seen, though hard to find on account of a thicket of myrtle; they are within fifty feet of the bluff, near the present intersection of Jones and Hampton Rivers; the place in which Mrs. Wister lived one winter when a young lady, is two miles south of Hampton Point, 300 yards west of the white gate; the house Mr. and Mrs. Leigh lived in is the old hospital, 200 yards west of the Roswell King house, it is now destroyed, its location is marked by the well which was between it and the river bluff; the avenue, one of the finest I ever saw, has been destroyed by storm, fire and time.
            At Broadfield, the residence of Dr. James McGilveray Troup was found a family of four daughters and two sons, the youngest, Robert, six months my senior; the eldest, Dr Brailsford Troup,

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fourteen years older; and between these were the sisters.  The mother had been Miss Camilla Brailsford, daughter of William Brailsford and Maria Heyward, who had removed from South Carolina to Georgia about 1801.  A sister, Eugenia Brailsford, had married John Bell of Darien; a third had become Mrs. Jacob Wood of Potosi Island; and the only son was married to Jane Spalding, a sister of my mother’s.
            His home was at Sutherland Bluff, McIntosh County.  Dr. Troup’s paternal property was situated on Sapelo River and was called “The Court House”, thirteen miles from Darien; on it were over 100 negroes employed in the raising of cotton of a lower grade than that produced on the island, but worth from 35 to 40 cents per pound.  In addition, great attention was paid to cattle and sheep, for the tract was large (more than 3000 acres).
            The Broadfield plantation was devoted to the culture of rice, and not until the death of Mrs. Maria Heyward Brailsford did it become the residence of the Troup family.  Until then they had resided in Darien in the winters, and in the summers at Baisdon’s [sic] Bluff, where the Doctor had established himself upon a high bluff overlooking a wide and beautiful river; the place is now a station on the G.C.&P. Railroad, and is called Crescent, from the horse-shoe bend of the river.
            At the Troups’ a stricter etiquette of manner and behaviour prevailed than in most of the houses I visited.  Mrs. Brailsford, grandmother of the younger people, was a strict disciplinarian, and had brought from Carolina to Georgia much of the habit of life that belonged to that older state.  Dr. Troup, a son of Catherine McIntosh of Alabama, was himself something of a formalist and a “Sir Charles Grandison” in manner; he was by nature an epicure, and in his household was found the most exquisite cuisine and the choicest materials for the table.  I remember once my father showing him what he thought a remarkable fine saddle of mutton; his saying, “Yes, Mr. Wylly, the animal was a fine one, but for four days it is but sheep, and not until the fifth does it become mutton, and so few of us here consider that”.
            The dinners were served solemnly and elaborately, and eaten, I might almost say, reverently.  It was at their summer home that I best remember them.  The house was of tabby with very large parlor and dining room, and confined sleeping compartments.  Mrs. Camilla Troup herself was a stickler for propriety of bearing and demeanor.  As a mere boy I remember witnessing the lessons given her daughters as to the correct and proper mode of entering a room where company was assembled.  Seating herself in an arm chair at the end of the “long room”, she required each of the young ladies to enter, advance halfway up the room, and while sweeping a courtesy of greeting, to lift their eys [sic] to an imaginary company.  Two of the daughters I recall always received commendation; one was often rebuked with “Don’t make such a cheese of your skirt, Celia”.  The older sister took no part in these lessons, or at least was absent from all rehearsals.

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            The younger ladies were also required to use back-boards a portion of the day.  A back-board was a light board of 6 x 10 inches wide in the center and tapering to arms the size of a broomstick; when these arms were placed under the armpits and by them the center closely pressed an upright and dignified carriage was assured.  As late as 1845 I saw my sister condemned to that penance.  In 1901 I was reminded of this old usage.  Mrs. Sarah Wister, calling on Mrs. Wylly, had asked for Mrs. Couper, then 80 odd years of age.  On entering Mrs. Couper’s room and seeing her seated, she swept the most beautiful courtesy before advancing to greet her.  I little thought what dear and delightful memories would in later years be associated with the Broadfield plantation, though under another name, for in 1848 Miss Ophelia Troup, having married George C. Dent, they had built a house and made a home on a part of the large estate and called it “Hofwyl”.  The whole estate with the exception of the New Hope settlement, in time had come into the possession of their eldest son, James T. Dent, and when in 1891 I removed to Brunswick and made Glynn County my home, I was fortunate enough to be made welcome in this the one surviving type of the vanished Southern home.
            James Dent combined in himself all the personal and mental gifts that men and even women can desire:  Manliness, and gentleness; simplicity and polish of demeanor; generosity of hand, and, rarer, generosity of thought, had all found their home and resting place in his mind and soul; in his person grace and tact of speech were natural gifts, inherited from father and mother.  Mentally he was self-created, with a mind improved by education, and close reading—I say self-created, for education cannot create, the most it can do is improve.
            Few of us follow the line to which we are best adapted; some chance wind diverts us.  James Dent’s life should not have been restricted to that of a country home—beautiful and endearing as he made it—he was better suited to the broader fields of a metropolitan and cosmopolitan life; so sensitive was his nature to the attrition and brilliancy only to be attained by congenial companionship.  I have thought that the chance wind that diverted him, beating him away from the attainment of what was the highest in him, was an instinctive love of horse, rod and gun; but what matters it? for his memory is dear to all who knew him; in his company was found pleasure, instruction, and clean mirth.  On the 11th of October, 1913, he departed this life, leaving the world poorer by the loss of a man regretted by all, mourned by many, and to me a great blank.  His daughters survive him, two of the five perfect women that the Koran allows to live at one time on this earth.  I am a good Christian, but a Moslem in some of my beliefs.
            Some description of the manner and habit of the men and women of whom I have written is I conceive due the reader of these pages, and I quote a letter received in 1883 from a relative born in 1807, which touches upon this subject:

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            He writes:  “The planter of those days (1820 to 1845) retained the habits of their colonial progenitors; they gave more attention to the etiquette of manner, dress and of the table than is now required.  They drank each other’s health and proposed formal toasts which were drunk in bumpers; if their doors were opened wider than was always pleasant, that is to casual and unaccredited visitors, there was such a superfluity of service and such measured courtesy on the part of the host, that impudence itself was kept in order.  They were a generous race and could make allowance for personal weaknesses, and threw a veil over the frailities of their brothers; but to cant, hypocrisy, and meanness they were unsparing”.
            In a book I have published, I wrote of them, “If great generosity of heart, great honesty of purpose, unbounded sympathy with the oppressed and unblemished integrity can outweigh the faults arising from impulsiveness and excesses attributable in a great measure to the habits of the day, then the men of the past age have little to fear in the judgment to be meted out.  They were exceedingly scrupulous in regard to keeping their word; an anecdote may perhaps better illustrate this disposition than an assertion:

            “Who made the heart; ‘tis He alone
                        Decidedly can try us;
            He knows each chord—its various tone
                        Each sprint—its various bias:
            Then at the balance let’s be mute
                        We never can adjust it;
            What’s done we partly may compute
                        But know not what’s resisted.”

            Mr. Bryan had been an officer in the American Army; had been taken prisoner at the surrender of Charleston to Gen. Clinton; had been sent to the hulks, where prisoners were confined, and had fallen under the displeasure of the Commandant of the British prison vessel; he had conceived that Captain ---- had taken advantage of his position and not treated him with the courtesy due from an officer to another whose fortune it was to be in his power; in time he was exchanged; he immediately sought out the Captain and said, “I am now a free man, I shall send a friend to you with a note demanding a meeting with sword or pistol.”  The British Captain replied, “I meet no one on account of the official discharge of my duty”.
            Captain Bryan retorted:  “I say to you you are a coward and a poltroon, and I would travel a thousand miles to spit on your grave”.
            The was in 1778.  Captain Bryan was living on Broughton Island planting rice in 1802, and a sloop was loading cargo for Charleston.  The mail was brought to him and in a New York paper he read a notice of Captain ----’s death and burial at Jamaica,

[page 38]

Long Island”.  He walked directly to the plantation wharf, where the sloop was lying, said to the Captain, “twenty-three years ago I said to Captain ---- of the British navy, that if ever I heard of his death I would travel a thousand miles to spit on his grave; I have now no ill feeling to him, but I must keep my word; load only enough rice to serve you as ballast, discharge the rest; we will sail for New York this afternoon”.  As he ordered, so was it carried out; he was twenty-eight days in passage; never made New York, but anchored in Barnegat Sound. Mr. Bryan landed, walked to the Jamaica church yard, spit twice on Captain ---’s grave, returned to the sloop, and ordered the captain to sail for Broughton Island and complete his cargo for Charleston.  There was no malice in his heart, “I was seasick for twenty-four days” and more he said, “of the fourty-two [sic] that it took me to make the round trip; and even when most desperately so I felt conscious of no spite or malice towards the dead, but only of an oath fulfilled.
            A few lines back I quoted from a letter written me by an octogenarian in 1883, in which it is stated “more attention was paid to dress than is now required”.  I have a clear recollection of the garb of my grandfather and of Dr. James M. Troup, both born in 1774.  I remember the first and most striking effect was given by the cravat which invariably, morning and night, was composed of a very large cambric handkerchief which had been folded diagonally and then into successive folds, culminating into a band two and one-half inches wide; the center of this was placed under the chin; the ends passed behind the neck and brought back to the front, where it was tied into a small knot; the shirt collar was obliterated; behind this neck armor rose the coat collar, very high and most often of velvet; the coat itself was a cut-a-way, ornamented with brass buttons.  I cannot recollect the color of the linings; the vest was a three button, showing an elaborately pleated shirt-front, and was nearly always of a buff color.
            In summer the trousers were of yellow nankeen (almost khaki) in winter of a gray or of a dark shade; boots, never shoes; completed the attire.  In place of an overcoat an elaborate black broadcloth cloak with innumerable frogs and fastening was invariably worn.  All old engravings show this cloak as a drapery of grey, dark blue, or black; this mode of dress belonged to and was worn by the men of advanced years and who were fathers of families in the years that followed 1820.  For that of the next generation I cannot do better than quote Mrs. Jane Welsh Carlyle’s letter to Thomas Carlyle, in which she tells on June, 1845 of a visit she has had paid her by Count D’Orsay, (the glass of fashion and mould of form)—and describes his dress of that day.
            “Comparing it with what he had worn on her first meeting him in 1828; “When first I met him at Lord ---- he wore in the morning a blue satin-cravat with an immense turquoise, a yellow velvet vest, a green cloth coat lined with cream-colored satin, trousers of light grey.  On this visit of fifteen years after, he was more

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modest in his taste; he had a brown coat with black velvet collar, a velvet vest of a lighter shade of brown; trousers of a light color, a great gold chain festooned over the front of vest.”
            This was the style which, when a boy of sixteen I saw softened for the fashionable young men of 1850; had modified the garb retaining only the vest of most gaudy design and color; strawberries in cut velvet was a favorite with black trousers; the coats however were often garnished with glittering buttons.  As late as 1854 I have seen the elegants of that day at a ball wearing claret colored spike-tailed coats with bright metal buttons.  Their vests were of white velvet, on which a pattern in arabesque had been cut out; their neck attire was a voluminous scarf hiding the shirt front, the collars of which were high and standing reaching near to the ears.
            The table service at meals was more formal than now.  The ladies were always handed into their seats by the gentlemen, who had been informed by host or hostess whom they were to escort.
            The soup was served separately and after that, roasts, boiled and vegetables came on in one service.  The desserts succeeded as a separate service, and when the cloth had been drawn, figs, nuts and raisins were placed on the mahogany.
            I remember perfectly when the fashion of placing flowers on the table first came in.  Mrs. Stiles on her return from Vienna, introduced it in Savannah and it very quickly spread over the low country, and from there outwardly.  It was at Hopeton that I first saw flowers in 1856, on the dining table.  I am sure it spread from there to the Troups, Spaldings and Nightingales.
            Before closing these memories of Broadfield, Hopeton and Butlers, all typical rice plantations, I shall advert to the great change and absolute abandonment that has come to this the richest and most productive section of the state.  In 1859 in the rice district of the Altamaha was found; Broadfield, Elizafield, Evelyn, Hofwyl, New Hope, Altama and Hopeton on the Glynn County side; in McIntosh, Wrights, Carrs, Cambers, Champneys, Butlers, Generals and Broughton Islands and on the mainland, Rhetts, Sidon, Ceylon, Potosi, Greenwood, and some places of smaller extent, every one were the homes of people of refinement, culture and wealth; in them were comprised of diked, banked, and drained lands, 7,500 acres, valued at market and cash sales, at $600,000.00; engaged in the cultivation of these 7,500 acres were 2,800 negroes, valued at $450.00 each, $1,260,000.00; the stock, steam power, and plantation outfits at $80,000.00.  Total capital invested $1,940,000.00.
            From the 7,500 acres was yearly reaped 255,000 bushels of rice.  This rice, after deducting freight and commission, $210,000.00.  The cost of supporting a negro was $20 per year, $56,000.00.  Net return, $154,000, or 7 5/8 per cent. on the capital of $1,940,000.00.

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APPENDIX:  (Note to above)

  Lands Diked & Banked acreage Negroes
Broadfield, Hofwyl, New Hope 1,000 300
Evelyn 300 125
Elizafield 400 150
Hopeton, Altama, Carrs Island, Wrights Island 1,000 400
Butler’s 1,000 500
Champney’s 600 175
Broughton’s 500 125
Camber’s 1,000 200
General’s 300 By Butler Force
Rhett’s 300 120
Sidon and Hopestill 400 200
Ceylon 300 120
Cathead places 500 250
Potosi Island 400 120
  8,000 2,785

             In this year (1915) this industry has entirely disappeared, and of the 7,500 acres, not four hundred acres are in cultivation; lands that had a collateral value in every bank in the State, of more than fifty dollars an acre, are already reverted in to swamp, or are fast passing into a jungle of marsh, wood and water; great sums of money have been lost by the former owners in the effort to re-establish their prosperity and productiveness, which in every instance known to me have ended in financial disaster; the reasons that caused this are manifold:  high cost of labor, high interest charges on borrowed money, and insufficient protection against high waters and storms; at present every rice place on the Savannah, the Ogeechee and the Altamaha is practically abandoned, and are no longer an asset in their owners’ ledgers, but rather a charge and incumbrance [sic].
            I have not mentioned or endeavored to describe the fashion of dress adopted by the lovely women of my day; I know I could never do justice to the grace and taste displayed.  I leave to the modern reader the consciousness that they will never excell [sic] their grandmothers in the deft management of skirt and draper.
            In the opening of this manuscript I wrote, “Many and immense changes have occurred in the conditions of life and accepted thought of the community in which I have lived”.  I have told of the “deluge” of ’65 which swept away the industries, the fortunes, and the homes that I knew.  I have tried to picture them as they were, and am not sure it had not been better to have enwrapped them in

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a web of silence and memory, but a greater change in spirit and thought has come to the living generation of men and women.
            The men of today have far more of the negative virtues and fewer of the positive than had his predecessors.  They calculate more closely and are less moved by emotions; they average more alike, and have fewer personalities; education is more uniform and thorough but I have found fewer good conversationalists, reconteurs [sic], or imparters of information gained by study or travel; they marry later in life and with eyes undazled [sic] by passion, count carefully the cost.  In physique they are superior, owing to the careful hygiene of the day, but weaker in constitution and less able to withstand fatigue and sickness.  I acknowledge betterment but I doubt the greater lovableness [sic]—Peter denied Christ, but to him as granted the Keys of Heaven:  for he repented.
            The mind and the heart are very different organs—the one appreciates and is voluable [sic] in praise of a Galahad, the other pulses and throbs with the great passion of Launcelot [sic], who most moves our inmost selves.  Guenvere [sic] or the modest Virginia being saved from shipwreck?  Launcelot or the knight in quest of the Holy Grail?  Trilby or Blanche Bagot?  “Sponse of Taffy”?


            Winter’s tale, Act IV. enters Time—“Your patience this allowing, I’ll turn the glass and give the scene as though you’d slept”.
            “All of us have a wing to add to the house we are building, and I would wish before I die to lift the curtain on “The Tragedy of the Sixties”.




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