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SWEET FAMILY HISTORY

The following document was transcribed by me from a typewritten manuscript found in a box of old letters and papers, all dating from the 1920's and '30's. I was told that this was a copy of an original sent to a cousin in Georgia who had enquired of Mr. Mitchell about the Marion County, South Carolina SWEET family.

So far as I know, it is as it appears: a true copy of an excerpt of all data concerning Anthony SWEET from a written family history authored by William Charles Sweet (Anthony Sweet's grandson) in 1896 and certified in 1927 as a true copy by Eugene Muse Mitchell of Atlanta, Georgia, grandson of William Charles Sweet and father of Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With the Wind".
--Victoria Proctor, 2 April 2003.

EXCERPTS FROM A WRITTEN STATEMENT MADE AND SIGNED BY
WILLIAM CHARLES SWEET, FEBRUARY 28, 1896,
AND NOW IN POSSESSION OF HIS GRANDSON,
EUGENE MUSE MITCHELL OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA

"I, William Charles Sweet, was born March 26th, 1817, in Marion District, South Carolina, fifty miles above Georgetown on the main road to Columbia and about five or six miles above the head of Briton's Neck between Big Pedee and Little Pedee Rivers.

My father's name was Gospero Sweet, who was born about 1766 to 1768 in Marion District, South Carolina, near the place of my birth.  Both my father and myself were born on the land my father inherited from my grandfather.   When my father left South Carolina he owned 2000 acres of land.   My father was a planter - also a Methodist Minister.   In 1826 he moved from South Carolina with his family, arriving in Decatur County, Georgia, in February, and after making a crop there moved the same year to a place about 6 miles below Quincy Florida on "Forbes' Purchase".   Forbes gained his suit with the U. S. Government and father bought other land about 6 miles East of Chattahoochee, Fla. near Mt. Pleasant Church.  He died somewhere about 1853 to 1855 - the only way I could tell accurately would be by looking at his tombstone in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.  He was 87 years old when he died.

My grandfather's name was Anthony Sweet.  He was born in Liverpool, but his parents went there from Scotland.  His schoolmaster whipped him and he went away to sea and never let his family hear from him again.   After following the sea from boyhood until he was 40 years old his vessel was wrecked on the coast of North Carolina.  He fastened himself to a piece of the wreckage with a rope and after three days drifted near the shore and the wreckers found him and restored him to life.  He settled in South Carolina, beginning life anew and accumulated a fortune.  This was long before the Revolutionary War, in which he was too old to participate, although a Whig in politics.  His children were too young to serve in the army, but my father at the age of 12 headed a group of boys who protected the horses of the people from the depredations of The Tories.  I do not know when he died.  It was long before my birth.  He was buried in a cemetery on an adjoining plantation not far from where he used to live and I have been at the graveyard.  He was a mighty business man.

My grandfather, Anthony Sweet, married a widow, Mrs. Roberts, whose maiden name I never inquired.  She possessed some property and it was the basis on which my grandfather built his fortune.  She was my grandmother and it grieves me that I never found out more about her.

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She died when her five children were quite small and my father was reared by a stepmother.

INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF ANTHONY SWEET

My grandfather [Anthony Sweet] had served his king for many years as an English seaman, and had received many wounds in the numerous naval battles in that era of European History.  He was shot through the leg in battle and the bone was broken and it lapped twice so that he could only touch the ground with the tip of his toes.  He owned a little Negro named Sancho whom he taught to mock his limp and would laugh at him.  Sancho acquired the limp so that it became almost second nature with him.

Anthony Sweet was a strong Whig.  When Cornwallis, the British Commander, marched Northward, he camped on his place.  He upbraided my grandfather for his politics and told him that a man of his riches, with his multitude of slaves and thousands of acres of land should be true to his King and his King would protect his property.  My grandfather arose in great wrath, pulled off his shirt and showed Lord Cornwallis the scars where he had been hacked and hawed all over, with dozens of wounds from Swords and cutlasses received in many a hard fought sea fight for his king.   He shouted, "When I was an Englishman I fought for my King and received these wounds but now I am an American and I will not turn against my adopted country."

He was a great lover of literature and was particularly fond of Spanish Novels.  In some Spanish romance he found the name "Gospero."  He gave this name to my father and it has been a family name ever since.

I certify that the foregoing excerpts are true copies from the original in my possession.
     Oct. 1st, 1927.

Eugene Muse Mitchell
Atlanta, Georgia


 

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