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1757 Petition
(horse thieves Cow stealers hog stealers Sabbath Brakers)

Contributed by Jo Church Dickerson 1997

The petition to the Gov of Province of SC was signed by some obviously desperate settlers in the Fork of DROWNING CREEK (now Lumber River) and LITTLE PEE DEE RIVER. This is the area that became Hillsboro Township in Marion County, now mostly in Dillon County, generally between present day Lake View and Nichols, though possibly as far west as Little Pee Dee River at NC State Line. It was this area that produced the notorious Captain Jesse Barfield, home-grown loyalist foe of Francis Marion, Swamp Fox.

The petition is part of the Lyttelton Collection, (early royal governor of SC) held by the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The Lyttleton Papers are just a small part of their extensive collection of documents regarding South Carolina history. Other collections include the papers of Clinton, Gage, Greene, Sumner, officers stationed in SC during the Revolutionary War.

I offer the petition as an example of the sort of untapped resources and records that still await genealogists of our area.


South Carolina }     To the Honourable ____________ Littleton
Craven County  }     Esqr. Governor and Commander in Chief in
                     and Over the said province of South Carolina
16 June 1757         and his honourable Council & etc...

We your Excellenciese humble petitioners in this remote part of the said province near and about the the province Line Labouring under several Disconvenencies and hardships as we shall lay open to your Excellenceise Consideration for want of a Justice of the peace in the first place about this said province Line is a harbour for all manner of ill Disposed persons such as horse thieves Cow stealers hog stealers Sabbath Brakers Blasphemers such as Leaves their own wives and Takes other mens wives Nay in short the place is so settled with Rogues that an honest man Can Scarce Live among them.

Their Opertunity being so Great for there is no Justice in Ether province in less than fifty or sixty miles so that when an offense is committed before there Can be a power Got from a Justice the offender is fled and we your humble petitioners Beg and Desires your Considerations in this matter hopeing you will Commisionate a Justice within the fork of Drowning Creek and Little pee Dee which will be Greatly to the advantage and Sattisfaction of all honest Settlers Which Drury (Lime? Sims?) within the said fork is thought to be the fittinger & person for that office of a Justice of the peace and is our petition To your Exellency is for him to be Commisionated which will be a means that the Lands will be settled honest persons and also that William Pagett and Samuel Pagett be appointed Constable.

We your Exellencies humble petitioners Desires to a scribe our selves your Excellencies most obedient and very humble (Sevts?)

Christopher Guin
Wm Pagett
Elijah Oglesby
James Graves
John Graves
Lockhart West
Wm Sims
Thos Lamb
Jos Howard

(Transcribed by Jo Church Dickerson from a copy provided by the William L. Clements Library)

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