It is estimated that a third of South Carolinians remained loyal to the crown during
the American Revolution. Some took up arms for the British, others offered material aid,
and some left the province, moving to lands held by the Crown, to await the resolution of the war.
During the course of the war:
In September 1781, Governor John Rutledge offered a pardon to
South Carolina Loyalists.
On 26 February 1782, the Whig legislature (House and Senate), passed
The Confiscation Act, a bill of attainder, which confiscated the real and personal
property of over 200 namd individuals. Special commissioners were appointed to seize
and sell the affected Loyalist estates.
These "Commissioners of Forfeited Estates" auctioned land and personal property at
Jacksonburgh in May 1782, continuing sales throughout the summer at Pocotaligo,
at Georgetown (1 August 1782), and again at Jacksonburgh in August 1782.
LOYALIST CLAIMS COMMISSION - ENGLAND
The Loyalist Claims Commission was established in July 1783 by an Act of Parliament to conduct an inquiry
of Loyalists claiming persecution by the Patriots and confiscation of property. The Commissioners conducted interviews of
claimants and witnesses, took personal notes, and presented their recommendations to Parliament.
Claimants originally residing in South Carolina were heard from 1783 through 1790.
In July 1788 an act was passed accepting the
recommendation of the Loyalist Claims Commission for the payment of compensation, with some
deduction for any amounts already awarded. The records of the Loyalist Claims Commission
are held by the Public Record Office (PRO) in England.
|Biographical Sketches of South Carolina Loyalists|
Provincial corps (British) raised in South Carolina:
Duke of Cumberland's Regiment.
Raised Charleston 1781 from Continental prisoners.
Disbanded Nova Scotia 1783.
Commander: Lord Charles Montagu.
Royal North Carolina Regiment.
Raised Charleston 1780; disbanded St. Augustine 1783.
Commander: John Hamilton.
South Carolina Dragoons.
Raised Charleston 1781; served with South Carolina Royalists.
Commander: Edward Fenwick.
South Carolina Rangers.
Raised Charleston 1780.
Disbanded St. Augustine 1783.
Commander: John Harrison.
South Carolina Royalists.
Raised East Florida 1778.
Disbanded New York.
Commanders: M. Prevost, John Coffin, Thomas Fraser.
SC Loyalist Militia
Loyalists also served in bands of partisan militia, like that led by
the notorious "Bloody Bill" Cunningham in the Upcountry, and Micajah Gainey's men who fought against
Francis Marion in eastern South Carolina.
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