Archive for September, 2014

Robertville, My Rohbuhtvull, Part 7: MEMORIALS OF ROBERTVILLE AND BLACK SWAMP, S.C., by Jane Asenath Maner Bostick

September 20, 2014

(This is the 7th, and final, part of a series of papers compiled by Ora C. Paul, that are held in the Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort District Collection.)

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(Written for the Hampton Guardian of September the 12th, 1879)



dictated (by Jane Asenath Bostick nee Maner)

by Mr. Pierre Robert

for the Hampton Guardian of January 30th, 1880

– – – – – oo – – – – –

Following the road towards Augusta, upon the outskirts

of the village of Robertville, we come to Black Swamp, a

stream about one hundred and fifty yards wide and generally

two feet deep.  It is crossed by a causeway.  Upon this

edge of the swamp, for three miles up, there is a thick

growth of “ti-ti” bushes, excellent for pipe stems.  Know-

ing ones scarcely pass without securing a supply.  Singular

to say with the same kind of soil on both sides of the

swamp, there is not a “ti-ti” on the other.  On the right

of the first bridge is the baptismal ground, or font, which

has been used for generations past as such.  Within reach

stands a magnificent magnolia, its evergreen brances

always entwined with moss; in spring and summer, covered

with its splendid flowers, ten inches or more in diameter.

It is sixty-five feet high, and casts its shadow over the

waters.  After leaving the swamp four hundred yards we

arrive at a large cluster of evergreen trees.  It was here

that General Rutherford, with three hundred troops, was

– 8 –

stationed for a while during The Revolution, to be in

supporting distance of General Lincoln with his main

army of twelve hundred men, at Purysburg.  Among the

latter was the heroic Sergeant Jasper and the chivalrous

gentleman and brilliant soldier, Col. John Laurens, who

was designated by Washington to draw up the terms of

capitulation at Yorktown.  Severely wounded at Coosawhatchie

bridge, finally gave up his life, in an insignificant

skirmish near Charleston, at the early age of twenty-seven.

After the war, in 1785, the place was purchased by

Captain Samuel Maner, who had served as captain under

General Marion.  He erected quite a commodious framed

dwelling.  It was here that the court-house and jail stood –

the county seat of Granville County – probably much

smaller than the counties of our day.  After a few years

he transferred the place to his brother Captain William

Maner, who had also served in the war.  The old house,

with some improvements and additions, stood until thirty

years ago, when it was pulled down by one of the heirs

of Captain William Maner, and a palatial residence erected

in its stead, which was destroyed by Sherman.  The

ancestors of these brothers cam originally from Wales

to Virginia, here they settled, from whence their father

moved to Santee, where he died.  Captain Samuel Maner

and his brother each married the Misses May, two sisters,

and daughters of Mullette by a former marriage.  She with

her daughters came to Carolina from Virginia during the

– 9 –

RevolutionaryWar.  Mrs. Mullette lived to the advanced

age of 106 years, and lies buried above here about two

miles, in a private graveyard.  At the time of her death

her mind was sound,her hearing perfect, sight excellent,

and it is probable that she would have lived several

years longer but for an accidental fall.  Her death

occurred in 1823.

Captains Samuel and William Maner were men of great

energy, were members of the Legislature at different times

and acquired wealth and influence.  Both were patriots

tried and true.  Their swords had flashed thru the long,

eventful war.  At the first division of parties they sided

with the Federalists, a name since odious to us all, tho,

we think Washinton sided towards that party, with

Hamilton at its head.  No mortal can tell, if their

views had been carried out at that time, whether the South

had been better off than to-day.  Captain Samuel Maner

moved nine miles below this place, where he erected, en-

tirely at his own expense, a neat framed Methodist Church,

resting on a brick foundation.  In a few years he moved

to Mathew’s Bluff, where he again erected another framed

church, at his own expense, which stood until within a

few years past.  Again he moved across Burton’s ferry

into Screven County, Georgia, where after a few years his

indomnitable energy was cut short by death, in the year

1818, at the age of sixty years.  His remains were brought

back and interred at the family graveyard, nine miles

– 10 –

below Robertville.  Not over a dozen of his descendents

now reside in the county but a large number are in

Barnwell and in Screven County, Georgia, with a few in

Savannah, Atlanta, and Dougherty County, Georgia.

Captain William Maner spent the remainder of his

life in this neighborhood.  He was a devoted Christian,

his generous hand was always open to the poor and needy,

and his home was always known to be the headquarters of

ministers of the gospel, which they never left without

receiving substantial aid to further the good cause which

he had so much at heart.  He died in 1820, aged sixty-

three, beloved by all.  He has one daughter, who still

survives, at the age of almost four score, with probably

at this time nearly two hundred descendants, living in

this county and the lower part of Barnwell.

These brothers were well educated and remarkably well

read.  They, no doubt felt, that this was a newly settled

country and that they were pioneers of civilization; that

the first thing to be done, after building their own

houses, was to erect churches’ that the benign and soften-

ing influences of Christianity should be spread around them.

They believed that they were not put here as Drones in the

hive, to eke out a miserable existence, to be of no use

to themselves, their country and mankind, but that they

had a destiny to fulfill in being useful to their country,

their fellow-man and their God.  They both gave liberally,

– 11 –

cheerfully, willingly, and God blessed all they under-

took.  These were the men needed then and we need such

to-day, and the example the have left us is worth of

imitation by all.


– 12 –

And that’s the end of the Robertville Papers.  I’ve got animal stories to tend to.

Robertville, My Rohbuhtvull, Part 6: “MEMORIALS OF ROBERTVILLE, S.C.”, by Pierre Robert

September 15, 2014

(This is the 6th part of a series from a booklet compiled by Ora C. Paul, which is in the archives of the Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort District Collection.)



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by Pierre Robert

(Written for the Hampton Guardian – August 24, 1879)

            In a few years we hope to have a centennial celebra-

tion, as this place was settled not long after the

Revolutionary War by the descendants of the Rev. Pierre

Robert, who on account of religious persecution in France,

left his country and with other Huguenots came to this

country, and settled on the Santee, where he was pastor

of the Huguenot church at that place until his death.  He

was the first Huguenot preacher in the State.

            Our own recollections extend back comparatively a few

years, but at our elbow we have an old resident whose

recollections extend back many years, he having reached the

three score years allotted to man, and to him we listen

and gather facts, as we would from Hume or Gibbon.  Previous

to the war the people around this place, with very few ex-

ceptions, were in easy circumstances, many owning plantations,

with from fifty to two hundred slaves, and several as many

as five hundred.  Some planters numbered as many as twenty

thousand acres of land in their domain.  Their sons and

daughters were educated at the best Southern and Northern

colleges and seminaries.  Our village then contained one

small neat Episcopal church and a Baptist church.  The

latter was very large, plastered, painted, high-steepled,

had a gallery on three sides, the whole flooring neatly

carpeted, and furnished with an organ.  It was built

fifty years before the war (1812), and is said by those

who knew, to have been the best proportioned and the

finest country church in the State.  Nearly all the

planters living around, with their families attended this

church.  The writer well remembers that during the early

part of the war, when a little boy, his grandfather, being

slightly deaf and a deacon, always sat in the pulpit, and

invariably seated him by his side. ********: Of those I first

remember who were considered advanced in years, but two

now survive.  One of these is an old gentleman eighty-five

years of age, who for a long time was a professor in

Charleston College and afterwards President of Furman

College.  no one in the State has taught so many of her

citizens.  The other is a lady, a widow, now seventy-eight

years of age, who, together with her husband, were always

in latter days the largest contributors to the church.  She

has now eighty-two descendants (living).  Of the

regular pastors of this church five are now D.D’s, and

there is one each in the States of New York, Pennsylvania,

Virginia, Georgia and Missouri.  Of the members of the

congregation and church many are scattered now, and reside

in almost every Southern State of the Union.  In the winter

of 1864, during the passage of the vandal army thru the

State, having crossed the river Savannah from Georgia,

only five miles distant, it was the first village they


visited, and entirely deserted by every living soul.  The

aged men and women had “refugeed”, the young men were in

the armies, and all was silent as our church graveyard,

which has its monument pointing to heaven, and showing our

first contribution to our country’s cause at the battle of

Manasses.  Others were given at a later date, but the

spot at that time was marked by only a mound.  With all

of our sacred associations, this church, with every build-

ing and all fencing was destroyed by fire.  Since then a

smaller building has been erected on the same site.



            by Mr. Pierre Robert

– – – – -oo- – – – –

            Leaving this place in company of an aged friend, we

will journey in a buggy down the road leading to Purysburg,

which lies all the way near to the savannas or Savannah

river swamp.  Five miles takes us to Tarboro, where con-

siderable turpentine is distilled.  Five miles more takes

us to Hennies crossroads, a precinct where about two

hundred votes are polled, equally divided between whites

and blacks.  The place is rapidly improving.  About the

centre one of our most intelligent and worthy citizens has

recently erected a beautiful residence and store.  Zealous

in his country’s cause, he converted his whole fortune into

confederate bonds and lost.  His prosperity shows us that

– 3 –

men of the right stamina will rise far above pecuniary

misfortunes.  It is here that the old stage road from

Charleston to Savannah crosses, leading to Sister’s

ferry, seven miles distant, then over the river to Georgia –

the left hand leading to Savannah and the right to Augusta.

It was this road that Washington traveled in his carriage

from Savannah to Augusta in 1791.  Seven miles east of

this place is Grahamville depot, on the Charlesotn and

Savannah Railroad.

            Hennies has never, within the recollection of man,

had a post office in or near it.  Our indefatigable

congressman, Tillman, will in short time have an office

established here, with a semi-weekly mail.  The post office

will be called Tillman.******* Pursuing our journey further,

we arrive at the “ARM OAK”, an old landmark, near which,

twenty years ago, one of our most worthy citizens was

struck by lightning.  It was here too that, while under

military rule, one or two negroes were shot, and killed

by unknown parties.  Six miles further takes us to the

spot where, about seventy years ago, a few white men fired

upon and dispersed, a large body of negroes, then in a state

of insurrection.  A number were tried, condemned and executed.

It seems that the insurrection was intended to cover a large

part of the low country.  Their plan was to set the out-

buildings of every white man on fire at a fixed hour upon

a certain night.  The owner rushing out unarmed, would be

– 4 –

slain by a concealed party and his firearms and horses

procure for their own use.  Fortunately for the un-

suspecting whites, the effort made above Purysburg was

premature – one night ahead of the program.  A negro,

the property of a planter near by, upon the very night of

the intended attack informed his owner of their intended

plans, and by his timely caution prevented a fulfillment

of them.  The faithful fellow was bought by the State and

by a special act freed.

            Another miles takes us to the site of old Purysburg,

which is situated immediately on the banks, where the

tide ceases to affect the river, twenty-five miles by

water and eighteen by stage road to Savannah.  Purysburg

was settled before Savannah by a colony of Swiss and

Germans under Pury, to whom large baronies of land were

granted by the king of Great Britain.  The town was laid

out into lots with streets, and called for himself, Purys-

burg.  It was found that large sailing vessels could not

navigate the narrow and crooked river.  Freight had to be

carried down nearer to the sea where it could be loaded

for Foreign ports.  Horse boats had to be constructed

for this purpose.  Large numbers of horses were killed by

this laborious work.  The power of steam was then unknown.

The settlement proved unhealthy.  Fatal malaria fevers

prevailed, and without that great specific, quinine, were

almost as dreaded as yellow fever.  Savannah was soon

– 5 –

after settled.  These causes combined soon carried the

town on its downward course, and to-day scarcely ruins

enough remain to show where it stood, tho quite a

quantity of ranging timber, steamboat wood and turpentine

is still shipped from its wharves.  A large embankment

still stands with live oaks growing on it, probably thrown

up during the Revolutionary War.

            Fifty or sixty years ago a large flat was converted

into a steamboat by one of the enterprising citizens of

Purysburg.  It was called the “Cotton Plant”, and ran

regularly for a long time from Savannah to Purysburg – up

one day and down the next.  If all the vessels,of every

description, ever built, was moulded into one and came

flying into Charleston, to-day, it would not create more

wonder and amazement than the “Cotton Plant” did to the

good people of Purysburg and the surrounding country upon

her arrival at the wharf.  Purysburg has always been noted

for the large number of sturgeon caught opposite the town.

In the spring they seem to collect from the uttermost parts

of the sea.  They are not caught with bait, but by fasten-

ing three large iron hooks near the end of a strong cord,

with a heavy sinker at the extreme end, and throwing this

cord from the boat so that the sinker holds it straight

and firm, the fish rubs against the line and always

fastens its flesh in one or more of the three hooks, when

– 6 –

the fisherman hauls his prize into the boat.  These fish

are from four to seven feet long.  It is said to be fine

sport catching them.  If ever opportunity offers the

writer hopes to try his luck at the sport of sturgeon


            Three miles from this place is the beautiful little

place of Hardeeville, noted for its healthiness and salu-

brious climate.  Along the route, the country a mile or

two on the swamp is always healthy.

            Two miles further on takes us to the old Hartstein

homestead.  The gallant Lieutenant Hartstein was first

brought prominently into notice under the following

circumstances.  Previous to the late war the British

government fitted out an expedition to find the long-sought

North-western passage.  The commander was compelled to

abandon his vessel and return to England by other means.

About ne year after some Yankees found her drifting in

Bank’s Bay, more than a thousand miles from where she was

abandoned.  They took possession and sold her in Britain

as a prize.  She was bought by the United States, nicely

fitted up and returned, commanded by Lieutenant Hartstein,

to the English government.  Hartstein was afterward made

a commodore in the Confederate service.  One mile takes us

where the railroad crosses the Savannah river, the extreme

end of Hampton County.  Now we retrace our steps, thinking

over times gone by and the instability of human affairs.

– – – – – oo – – – – –

– 7 –


Robertville, My Rohbuhtvull, Part 5: The Sale of a Negro Man Named April

September 14, 2014

(This is the 5th part of a series from a booklet compiled by Ora C. Paul, which is in the archives of the Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort District Collection.)


State of South Carolina

Beaufort District

St. Peter’s Parish

Received this 25th day of November in the year

of our Lord 1830 of J. H. Robert, Five Hundred

Dollars, being in full for a negro man named April –

which negro man was deeded to me by my grandfather

Samuel Maner, in a deed commonly called a deed of

gift – dated 28th April 1815.

Samuel M. Robert


Wm. H. F. Robert

Thos. H. Dixon

Beaufort District

St. Peter’s Parish

Personally appeared before me, William H. E.

Robert who being duly sworn sayeth that he was present

and saw Wm. Robert sign with instruments and that he

with Thos. H. Dixon were the subscribing witness thereto.

Wm. H. F. Ravenel

Sworn before me

10th Jan. 1831

John Riley

Robertville, My Rohbuhtvull: Part 4

September 10, 2014



(From Johnson’s Traditions of the Revolution or

War with England date of Settlement 1745.)

                We learned from members of the family of Winburn

Lawton of Charleston that three brothers and one

sister, Beulah, left England after the Monmouth

Rebellion during the reign of Charles II and settled

in old Charleston, then called Oyster Town.  The

brothers held an amount of money sufficient to buy

land.  The youngest brother elected to remain in

Charleston and the sister decided to remain with him.

She married William Seabrook and went with him to

Edisto Island.  She was the grandmother of Whitmarsh

Seabrook, Governor of South Carolina.  Tradition says

that the name was spelled LLawton and that the name

was Welsh.


James Henry Rice says 10 Sept 23:  William Maner was

a captain under Marion.


Jan. 17, 1903

“This is to certify that William Maner was a captain of

horse in the service of the State of South Carolina

in the Revolutionary War, as appears by records in this


                /s/ J. T. Gantt

                                Asst. Secretary of State”

(This is the 4th in a series, and all images are courtesy of the Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort District Collection.  This collection of notes about Robertville, South Carolina, were compiled by Ora C. Paul.)

Robertville, My Rohbuhtvull: Part 3

September 10, 2014






(This is the 3rd in a series.  All images are the courtesy of the Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort District Collection.  This comes from a booklet compiled by Ora C. Paul.)





Mr. Robert Wright’s Land


(N.B.)  The above plat was annexed to the following grant.



                Persuant to a warrant issued to me, I have

caused to be measured unto James St. John Esq. a

plantation or tract of land containing one thousand

seven hundred & fifty acres situate and being in

the Parish of St. Hellena in Granville County &

province aforesaid butting & bounding to the South

by land laid out to Mr. Thos. Owen the Honble Joseph

Wragg Esq. & Mr. Robert Wright & on the other side

vacant land & hath not make shape butting & bounding

as and expressed in the above delineated platt given

under my hand the 30th day of November one thousand

seven hundred & thirty five 1735.


General Office

Charleston 10 April 1804

I do hereby certify the

above plat to be a true

copy taken from Record

Book Code V, Page 12 &


by Artemas B. Darby


Robertville, My Rohbuhtvull: Part 2

September 7, 2014

(This is the 2nd in a series of notes about Robertville, South Carolina. These notes were compiled by Ora C. Paul, and all images are courtesy of the Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort District Collection.)

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                As near as I can ascertain, the village of Robert-

ville was settled about 1740 or 1750.  From Mr. Salley,

state historian, I have these names of the earliest

settlers:  James Robert, born 1711, on the Santee, married

Sarah Jaudon, also of the Santee.  James died in 1774,

and is buried at Stony Creek Church, Sarah died in 1779,

and is buried near Robertville.  Captain Elias Jaudon,

her brother, was born on the Santee in 1715 and married

Elizabeth Robert, evidently a sister of James.  These

were grandchildren of Rev. Pierre Robert, who emigrated

from France shortly after 1685.

(This information is from the history of Black Swamp

Church, as given in the Savannah River Baptist Association


                The Lawtons were Welsh Dissenters: the Bosticks were

English.  From this church, established by them, have

come two daughter churches, May River church at Bluffton,

and Cypress Creek church in Hampton County.  In 1845,

the Robertville or Black Swamp Church sent delegates to

Augusta to help organize the Southern Baptist Convention.

More than 50 white ministers and more than 100 colored

(former slaves) ministers have gone out from Black Swamp


(The following list contains enumerations of some of the

older papers in Mrs. Coleman’s collection.)

                Indenture of Sale, dated 1790, of two tracts of land

including more than 600 acres on the Savannah river, from

Charles and Mary Johnston to Richard Bostick; plat

certified in 178 by John Fenwick.

                Indenture of Sales of land by Richard Bostick to

John Hutchinson in 1792.  The sale was recorded in 1803

and witnessed by Grimball Robert and John H. Robert.

                A deed of land to Seth Stafford by Stephen and

Mary Baldy, date 1806.

                “Subpoena ad Respondendum in Equity”:  William

Stafford and James L. Stafford vs. two members of the

Bostick family and W. H. Lawton; court of Equity at

Coosawhatchie in 1817.

                Letters of administration of estate of A. T.

McKenzie, Coosawhatchie, 1817, by W. M Hutson, Ordinary.

                Sheriff’s sale of 625 acres of land on the Savannah

river to John Kittles in 1801.

                Other interesting papers in Mrs. Coleman’s are:

                A bill for tuition of two sons, Tom and Oliver

Bostick, for three quarters, $75, in 1842.

                Letters written by Oliver Perry Bostick during the

winter of 1861-62 to his mother, when he was encamped

at Purysburg.  In one of these, he says, “The largest

skirmish was at Port Royal.  2000 of our men whipt 3500

Yankees, and drove them back to their boats at point of

bayonet.  Our loss was eight men killed and fifteen

wounded.  I don’t know what their loss was.”

                A contract by O. P. Bostick with the “freed people”

in 1867, mentions furnishing land for cultivation, allow-

inthem them ½ of net proceeds of whole crop, names the work-

ing hours and the ground for their possible discharge.

                Mr. J. C. Tison gave me these names of old planta-

tions which were between Robertville and the Two Sisters

Ferry road, near the present village of Tillman:

                COTTON HILL, belonging to the Lawtons, which later

became Pineland Club.  This adjoined the Carroll planta-

tion, which became the village of Tarboro.

                Below these were TURKEY HILL, belonging to the

Reuben Tisons; HOOVER plantation belonging to a Robert

who married a Bolan; KIRK plantation, and SAUSSY planta-


Robertville, My Rohbuhtvull

September 3, 2014


(All images are the courtesy of the Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort District Collection.)





001 002



The State of South Carolina

To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting.

Know Ye, That in pursuance of an Act of the Legislature,

entitled, “An Act for the establishing the mode of

granting the lands, now vacant in this State, and for

allowing a Commutation to be received for some Lands

that have been granted;” Passed the 19th day of Feb.

1791; We have granted, and by these Presents do grant

unto Eliza Graham her heirs & assigns, a Plantation,

or Tract of Land, containing fifty acres surveyed for

Peter Robert Jun. the 12th day of March 1801, situate

in the District of Beaufort, St. Peter’s Parish,

Waters of Black Swamp, Waters of Savannah River,

Bounded SW, on land granted to Grimball Robert, NW, on

acres (?) of land, NE on Polly Kittles land, having such

Shape, Form and Marks as are represented by a Plat

hereunto annexed, together with all Woods, Trees,

Waters, Water-Courses, Profits, Commodities, Appur-

tenancies and Hereditaments whatsoever, thereunto

belonging:  To Have & To Hold the said Tract of fifty

Acres of Land, and all and singular other the Premises

hereby granted unto the said Eliza Graham, her

Heirs & Assigns, forever, in free & common soccage.

Given under the Great Seal of the State.  Witness,

His Excellency, Charles Pinckney, Governor & Commander

in Chief, in and over the said State at Charleston this

third day of August Anno Domini One Thousand Eight Hundred

Seven and in the thirty-second year of the Independence

of the United States of America.

I do hereby certify, for Eliza Graham a Tract of Land,

containing 50 acres surveyed for Peter Robert, Jun. the

12th Day of Mar. 1801, Situate in the District of Beaufort,

St. Peter’s Parish, Waters of Black Swamp, Waters of

Savannah River, Bounded SW on land granted by Grimball

Robert, NW on Gilereas land, NE on Polly Kittle’s land,

SE on Charles Jaudon.

And hath such form & marks, as the above Plat represents.

Given under my Hand, this 17th day of July 1807.

Dan Jas. Ravenel

Dy. Sur. Gen.

Robert Tanner

Charles Pickney

Yet Another View of Agnes Mann’s House

September 1, 2014

Sugar had a plan.

He wanted to go back to Beaufort and take a tour of the John Mark Verdier House, get some lunch, and run some errands.  

It was also a bittersweet time of celebration and panic, for Sugar had just had a birthday, and also.  He. Retired.

Not quit.  Retired.

He practiced saying, “But I’m on a fixed income.”  To which I counter, “Oh, not me, I’m loaded.”  Yes, yes, retired people, you are not the only people whose income is stagnated.

Back to Beaufort.

We went back to the Post Office turned Restaurant, the Lowcountry Produce place on Carteret.




Sugar got a fried shrimp Po Boy, ’cause he is feeling Po-ish.

IMG_7187 IMG_7188

That’s a Caesar salad with anchovies, which is the standard, and a slice of tomato pie, which is like a layered dish, like lasagna, except with tomatoes and cheeses, in a pie crust.  It is some kind of crazy goodness.

Then we put more money in the meter, even though we suspected that the parking might be free since it was Labor Day, and we headed over to the John Mark Verdier House.

The entry fee for the tour was $10 each, and lasted about 45 minutes.  It was a pleasant piece of history. We were not allowed to touch anything or take any photographs.

After the tour, I asked our guide if I could take a photo of the Saltus/Habersham/MANN house out the window, if I placed the camera against the glass.  She agreed that I could.




IMG_7190 IMG_7192

And that right there was worth ten dollars.

On the way home, I turned onto the road which leads to my road, and I saw a piece of tire rubber near the center of the road.  As I went past it, I realized that it was NOT a piece of tire rubber, but a snake.  I turned around, and took a photo.


You can guess that I am bravely holding the camera out the window.  From a very distant distance.



My scientist cousin Diane says this is a timber rattler, and not to piss it off.  That should be no problem at all for me.  

Hello, I am a timber rattler.

Hello, I am a timber rattler.

Do timber rattlesnakes eat cats?  I think not.