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

(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)

******************

MEMORIALS OF ROBERTVILLE AND BLACK SWAMP, S.C.

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.

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