Letter from Thomas Farr to John Laurens

  • Image 01
    [Thomas Farr to John Laurens May 17, 1782 [RvW Box 2 Folder 41; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Ashley River, 17th May 1782. Dear Sir. I have taken some pains to endeavour [sic] to find out, whether the information which the Deserter gave you relative to Wappoo Creek was true, but upon examining every person I could meet who are well acquainted with the Depth of it, I find all agree that they neither know, or every [ever] heard of any part of it being fordable except at Wappoo Cut, the Water in the most shallowest part except the Cut, being not less than 5 or 6 feet deep at low Water. The night before last, I had an interview and a private Chat, with a Gentleman resident of Charles Town, he allows himself to be a British Subject, and an Englishman Born, tho he he [sic] has resided in this Country a long Time, he wishes to spend the remainder of his Days here and he is not comprehended in either the Confiscation or Amersement Bills [Amercement Bill], he wishes to make his peace, I endeavoured to draw what intelligence I could from him, but found him rather Cautious, however from what I could learn, I believe a great uneasiness prevails amongst the British Officers in Town, the not arrival of their Cork Fleet, and their provisions growing short, distresses them greatly, I verily believe that their Beef and pork, is short indeed, and so is their Bread and Flour, the Rice helps out, but they have lately reduced the Rations, and substituted Oatmeal instead of Bread or Rice, for three days in the Week allowance, this has alarmed both soldiers and Negroes – [Now is the Time to stop all Boats going to Town with any kind of provisions, if such a measure was immediately, I am persuaded it would answer a good purpose]. They have not had any authentic Accounts from England since the begining [sic] of February, and no prospect of any Reinforcement – I am told that they are apprehensive that an attempt will be made on James Island, my Informant thinks that when that is about to be put into Execution, if they get intelligence of it, they will retire to Town, he says there are about 750 men on the Island between three and four hundred British Soldiers, the remainder Refugees. This together with the Enclosed note is all I can tell you – Capt Guerin desires I would inform you that there is a Quarter Cask of Rum for you [End Page 1] at Mr. Kennedy's Tavern [commonly called Rantowle's]. I think it proper to give you a hint that you may inform the General, that I am suspicious that a Young man by the name of Mr. Chollet, [who was till lately, an under secretary or Clerk ever since the Town fell, to Col.o [Colonel] Balfour, the Commandant[]], he comes frequently down to this parish to a Mrs. Bonneau's a poor widow woman near Rantowle's Causey, under pretence of getting things out of Town, I have made an Enquiry lately about him and find that he stays sometime to the Southward, but comes down here every other week, and has lately got one of Mrs. Bonneau's Daughter's to go into Town for him, this young woman was frequently visited by Lt Col.o [Colonel] Robertson of Col.o [Colonel] Innes Corps who used to be up with her two or three days and nights for upwards of twelve month past, until he could come no more in safety. The Girl since that is frequently going to Town to see him, thro her I am afraid Mr. Chollet conveys Letters and Intelligence, he writes well and understands the French Language. I think some Enquiry should be made about this Man, and he should be stop'd coming down here, he certainly can have no inducement to stay at the poor Widow's House where they have scarcely any thing to Eat. The Girl went to Town with Capt Guerin, I am told, with a Letter from Chollet. for God Sake good Sir, don't let my name be mentioned about this information, if it is, I may suffer, for the Story will soon reach Town. I cannot conclude my Letter without entreating the favour of you to be so kind as to get me a protection for the little Stock and provision I have remaining, as Mr. Elliott has got, or else my Family as well as my Slaves must inevitably Starve. I now have not a bushel of char Rice remaining to use, and not Rough Rice enough for Seed. I have generously given up all the cattle I had, except a few Milch Cows, most of the Crop of Rice Corn and pease [sic] I made as well as Corn Blades, and feed every Officer and soldier I could as long as I had it, without receiving a Certificate for one Article, I would continue to do so with great pleasure, if I had it, but notwithstanding all I have done, still I am called on by every party that comes down for Provisions, and as I cannot comply with such Demands I have met with some uncivil treatment, which I wish to avoid from my Countrymen. [End Page 2] I therefore trust that Gen. l [General] Greene will not refuse me my request, a protection of this kind, will be no obstacle in my entertaining any officer that comes this way, but I cannot any more accommodate the men. My friends will always be sure of a hearty well, In that number, I beg to have the Honor of placing you – I am most Respectfuley [sic] Dear Sir Your obedient humble Servt. [Servant] Tho.s [Thomas] Farr [End Page 3] [Addressed:] Col.o [Colonel] John Laurens [Endorsed:] From Mr. Farr May 17th 1782. X [seal] [End Page 4]
  • Image 01
    [Thomas Farr to John Laurens May 17, 1782 [RvW Box 2 Folder 41; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Ashley River, 17th May 1782. Dear Sir. I have taken some pains to endeavour [sic] to find out, whether the information which the Deserter gave you relative to Wappoo Creek was true, but upon examining every person I could meet who are well acquainted with the Depth of it, I find all agree that they neither know, or every [ever] heard of any part of it being fordable except at Wappoo Cut, the Water in the most shallowest part except the Cut, being not less than 5 or 6 feet deep at low Water. The night before last, I had an interview and a private Chat, with a Gentleman resident of Charles Town, he allows himself to be a British Subject, and an Englishman Born, tho he he [sic] has resided in this Country a long Time, he wishes to spend the remainder of his Days here and he is not comprehended in either the Confiscation or Amersement Bills [Amercement Bill], he wishes to make his peace, I endeavoured to draw what intelligence I could from him, but found him rather Cautious, however from what I could learn, I believe a great uneasiness prevails amongst the British Officers in Town, the not arrival of their Cork Fleet, and their provisions growing short, distresses them greatly, I verily believe that their Beef and pork, is short indeed, and so is their Bread and Flour, the Rice helps out, but they have lately reduced the Rations, and substituted Oatmeal instead of Bread or Rice, for three days in the Week allowance, this has alarmed both soldiers and Negroes – [Now is the Time to stop all Boats going to Town with any kind of provisions, if such a measure was immediately, I am persuaded it would answer a good purpose]. They have not had any authentic Accounts from England since the begining [sic] of February, and no prospect of any Reinforcement – I am told that they are apprehensive that an attempt will be made on James Island, my Informant thinks that when that is about to be put into Execution, if they get intelligence of it, they will retire to Town, he says there are about 750 men on the Island between three and four hundred British Soldiers, the remainder Refugees. This together with the Enclosed note is all I can tell you – Capt Guerin desires I would inform you that there is a Quarter Cask of Rum for you [End Page 1] at Mr. Kennedy's Tavern [commonly called Rantowle's]. I think it proper to give you a hint that you may inform the General, that I am suspicious that a Young man by the name of Mr. Chollet, [who was till lately, an under secretary or Clerk ever since the Town fell, to Col.o [Colonel] Balfour, the Commandant[]], he comes frequently down to this parish to a Mrs. Bonneau's a poor widow woman near Rantowle's Causey, under pretence of getting things out of Town, I have made an Enquiry lately about him and find that he stays sometime to the Southward, but comes down here every other week, and has lately got one of Mrs. Bonneau's Daughter's to go into Town for him, this young woman was frequently visited by Lt Col.o [Colonel] Robertson of Col.o [Colonel] Innes Corps who used to be up with her two or three days and nights for upwards of twelve month past, until he could come no more in safety. The Girl since that is frequently going to Town to see him, thro her I am afraid Mr. Chollet conveys Letters and Intelligence, he writes well and understands the French Language. I think some Enquiry should be made about this Man, and he should be stop'd coming down here, he certainly can have no inducement to stay at the poor Widow's House where they have scarcely any thing to Eat. The Girl went to Town with Capt Guerin, I am told, with a Letter from Chollet. for God Sake good Sir, don't let my name be mentioned about this information, if it is, I may suffer, for the Story will soon reach Town. I cannot conclude my Letter without entreating the favour of you to be so kind as to get me a protection for the little Stock and provision I have remaining, as Mr. Elliott has got, or else my Family as well as my Slaves must inevitably Starve. I now have not a bushel of char Rice remaining to use, and not Rough Rice enough for Seed. I have generously given up all the cattle I had, except a few Milch Cows, most of the Crop of Rice Corn and pease [sic] I made as well as Corn Blades, and feed every Officer and soldier I could as long as I had it, without receiving a Certificate for one Article, I would continue to do so with great pleasure, if I had it, but notwithstanding all I have done, still I am called on by every party that comes down for Provisions, and as I cannot comply with such Demands I have met with some uncivil treatment, which I wish to avoid from my Countrymen. [End Page 2] I therefore trust that Gen. l [General] Greene will not refuse me my request, a protection of this kind, will be no obstacle in my entertaining any officer that comes this way, but I cannot any more accommodate the men. My friends will always be sure of a hearty well, In that number, I beg to have the Honor of placing you – I am most Respectfuley [sic] Dear Sir Your obedient humble Servt. [Servant] Tho.s [Thomas] Farr [End Page 3] [Addressed:] Col.o [Colonel] John Laurens [Endorsed:] From Mr. Farr May 17th 1782. X [seal] [End Page 4]
  • Image 01
    [Thomas Farr to John Laurens May 17, 1782 [RvW Box 2 Folder 41; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Ashley River, 17th May 1782. Dear Sir. I have taken some pains to endeavour [sic] to find out, whether the information which the Deserter gave you relative to Wappoo Creek was true, but upon examining every person I could meet who are well acquainted with the Depth of it, I find all agree that they neither know, or every [ever] heard of any part of it being fordable except at Wappoo Cut, the Water in the most shallowest part except the Cut, being not less than 5 or 6 feet deep at low Water. The night before last, I had an interview and a private Chat, with a Gentleman resident of Charles Town, he allows himself to be a British Subject, and an Englishman Born, tho he he [sic] has resided in this Country a long Time, he wishes to spend the remainder of his Days here and he is not comprehended in either the Confiscation or Amersement Bills [Amercement Bill], he wishes to make his peace, I endeavoured to draw what intelligence I could from him, but found him rather Cautious, however from what I could learn, I believe a great uneasiness prevails amongst the British Officers in Town, the not arrival of their Cork Fleet, and their provisions growing short, distresses them greatly, I verily believe that their Beef and pork, is short indeed, and so is their Bread and Flour, the Rice helps out, but they have lately reduced the Rations, and substituted Oatmeal instead of Bread or Rice, for three days in the Week allowance, this has alarmed both soldiers and Negroes – [Now is the Time to stop all Boats going to Town with any kind of provisions, if such a measure was immediately, I am persuaded it would answer a good purpose]. They have not had any authentic Accounts from England since the begining [sic] of February, and no prospect of any Reinforcement – I am told that they are apprehensive that an attempt will be made on James Island, my Informant thinks that when that is about to be put into Execution, if they get intelligence of it, they will retire to Town, he says there are about 750 men on the Island between three and four hundred British Soldiers, the remainder Refugees. This together with the Enclosed note is all I can tell you – Capt Guerin desires I would inform you that there is a Quarter Cask of Rum for you [End Page 1] at Mr. Kennedy's Tavern [commonly called Rantowle's]. I think it proper to give you a hint that you may inform the General, that I am suspicious that a Young man by the name of Mr. Chollet, [who was till lately, an under secretary or Clerk ever since the Town fell, to Col.o [Colonel] Balfour, the Commandant[]], he comes frequently down to this parish to a Mrs. Bonneau's a poor widow woman near Rantowle's Causey, under pretence of getting things out of Town, I have made an Enquiry lately about him and find that he stays sometime to the Southward, but comes down here every other week, and has lately got one of Mrs. Bonneau's Daughter's to go into Town for him, this young woman was frequently visited by Lt Col.o [Colonel] Robertson of Col.o [Colonel] Innes Corps who used to be up with her two or three days and nights for upwards of twelve month past, until he could come no more in safety. The Girl since that is frequently going to Town to see him, thro her I am afraid Mr. Chollet conveys Letters and Intelligence, he writes well and understands the French Language. I think some Enquiry should be made about this Man, and he should be stop'd coming down here, he certainly can have no inducement to stay at the poor Widow's House where they have scarcely any thing to Eat. The Girl went to Town with Capt Guerin, I am told, with a Letter from Chollet. for God Sake good Sir, don't let my name be mentioned about this information, if it is, I may suffer, for the Story will soon reach Town. I cannot conclude my Letter without entreating the favour of you to be so kind as to get me a protection for the little Stock and provision I have remaining, as Mr. Elliott has got, or else my Family as well as my Slaves must inevitably Starve. I now have not a bushel of char Rice remaining to use, and not Rough Rice enough for Seed. I have generously given up all the cattle I had, except a few Milch Cows, most of the Crop of Rice Corn and pease [sic] I made as well as Corn Blades, and feed every Officer and soldier I could as long as I had it, without receiving a Certificate for one Article, I would continue to do so with great pleasure, if I had it, but notwithstanding all I have done, still I am called on by every party that comes down for Provisions, and as I cannot comply with such Demands I have met with some uncivil treatment, which I wish to avoid from my Countrymen. [End Page 2] I therefore trust that Gen. l [General] Greene will not refuse me my request, a protection of this kind, will be no obstacle in my entertaining any officer that comes this way, but I cannot any more accommodate the men. My friends will always be sure of a hearty well, In that number, I beg to have the Honor of placing you – I am most Respectfuley [sic] Dear Sir Your obedient humble Servt. [Servant] Tho.s [Thomas] Farr [End Page 3] [Addressed:] Col.o [Colonel] John Laurens [Endorsed:] From Mr. Farr May 17th 1782. X [seal] [End Page 4]
  • Image 01
    [Thomas Farr to John Laurens May 17, 1782 [RvW Box 2 Folder 41; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Ashley River, 17th May 1782. Dear Sir. I have taken some pains to endeavour [sic] to find out, whether the information which the Deserter gave you relative to Wappoo Creek was true, but upon examining every person I could meet who are well acquainted with the Depth of it, I find all agree that they neither know, or every [ever] heard of any part of it being fordable except at Wappoo Cut, the Water in the most shallowest part except the Cut, being not less than 5 or 6 feet deep at low Water. The night before last, I had an interview and a private Chat, with a Gentleman resident of Charles Town, he allows himself to be a British Subject, and an Englishman Born, tho he he [sic] has resided in this Country a long Time, he wishes to spend the remainder of his Days here and he is not comprehended in either the Confiscation or Amersement Bills [Amercement Bill], he wishes to make his peace, I endeavoured to draw what intelligence I could from him, but found him rather Cautious, however from what I could learn, I believe a great uneasiness prevails amongst the British Officers in Town, the not arrival of their Cork Fleet, and their provisions growing short, distresses them greatly, I verily believe that their Beef and pork, is short indeed, and so is their Bread and Flour, the Rice helps out, but they have lately reduced the Rations, and substituted Oatmeal instead of Bread or Rice, for three days in the Week allowance, this has alarmed both soldiers and Negroes – [Now is the Time to stop all Boats going to Town with any kind of provisions, if such a measure was immediately, I am persuaded it would answer a good purpose]. They have not had any authentic Accounts from England since the begining [sic] of February, and no prospect of any Reinforcement – I am told that they are apprehensive that an attempt will be made on James Island, my Informant thinks that when that is about to be put into Execution, if they get intelligence of it, they will retire to Town, he says there are about 750 men on the Island between three and four hundred British Soldiers, the remainder Refugees. This together with the Enclosed note is all I can tell you – Capt Guerin desires I would inform you that there is a Quarter Cask of Rum for you [End Page 1] at Mr. Kennedy's Tavern [commonly called Rantowle's]. I think it proper to give you a hint that you may inform the General, that I am suspicious that a Young man by the name of Mr. Chollet, [who was till lately, an under secretary or Clerk ever since the Town fell, to Col.o [Colonel] Balfour, the Commandant[]], he comes frequently down to this parish to a Mrs. Bonneau's a poor widow woman near Rantowle's Causey, under pretence of getting things out of Town, I have made an Enquiry lately about him and find that he stays sometime to the Southward, but comes down here every other week, and has lately got one of Mrs. Bonneau's Daughter's to go into Town for him, this young woman was frequently visited by Lt Col.o [Colonel] Robertson of Col.o [Colonel] Innes Corps who used to be up with her two or three days and nights for upwards of twelve month past, until he could come no more in safety. The Girl since that is frequently going to Town to see him, thro her I am afraid Mr. Chollet conveys Letters and Intelligence, he writes well and understands the French Language. I think some Enquiry should be made about this Man, and he should be stop'd coming down here, he certainly can have no inducement to stay at the poor Widow's House where they have scarcely any thing to Eat. The Girl went to Town with Capt Guerin, I am told, with a Letter from Chollet. for God Sake good Sir, don't let my name be mentioned about this information, if it is, I may suffer, for the Story will soon reach Town. I cannot conclude my Letter without entreating the favour of you to be so kind as to get me a protection for the little Stock and provision I have remaining, as Mr. Elliott has got, or else my Family as well as my Slaves must inevitably Starve. I now have not a bushel of char Rice remaining to use, and not Rough Rice enough for Seed. I have generously given up all the cattle I had, except a few Milch Cows, most of the Crop of Rice Corn and pease [sic] I made as well as Corn Blades, and feed every Officer and soldier I could as long as I had it, without receiving a Certificate for one Article, I would continue to do so with great pleasure, if I had it, but notwithstanding all I have done, still I am called on by every party that comes down for Provisions, and as I cannot comply with such Demands I have met with some uncivil treatment, which I wish to avoid from my Countrymen. [End Page 2] I therefore trust that Gen. l [General] Greene will not refuse me my request, a protection of this kind, will be no obstacle in my entertaining any officer that comes this way, but I cannot any more accommodate the men. My friends will always be sure of a hearty well, In that number, I beg to have the Honor of placing you – I am most Respectfuley [sic] Dear Sir Your obedient humble Servt. [Servant] Tho.s [Thomas] Farr [End Page 3] [Addressed:] Col.o [Colonel] John Laurens [Endorsed:] From Mr. Farr May 17th 1782. X [seal] [End Page 4]
Title:
Letter from Thomas Farr to John Laurens
Creator:
Farr, Thomas
Date:
1782-05-17
Description:
Letter from Thomas Farr to John Laurens regarding the situation of the British in Charlestowne; the shortage of supplies, the lack of reinforcements, and the fear of an imminent American attack on their forces on James Island. Farr goes on to request protection for the few stores of food he has left, as he has given everything to the Continental army and would not like those of his estate to starve.
Collection:
Charleston Museum Collection of Revolutionary War Letters
Contributing Institution:
The Charleston Museum Archives
Media Type:
Manuscripts
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Laurens, John, 1754-1782--Correspondence, Laurens, John, 1754-1782
Topical Subject:
War, armed forces, and society
Geographic Subject:
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783, United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--American forces
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications:
600 ppi, 24-bit depth, color, Epson Expression 10000XL, Archival Masters are tiffs.
Copyright Status Statement:
Public domain.
Access Information:
For more information contact The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403.