III. LONDONBOROUGH - 1765
After ten weeks
at sea in a crowded sailing vessel and close to six months of "living out
of a suitcase," the anticipation the itinerant
Germans felt at the prospect of settling down on their own piece of America must have been close
to unbearable. Surely it was that dream of freedom, independence and prosperity,
gilded so unrealistically by Colonel de Stumpel and the propagandists of
fifty years earlier that kept them moving resolutely toward the goal in
spite of spirit breaking hardship.
The toll in lives
had been great -- nearly one in five had died by the end of January, 1765,
and of thirty families on the ship Dragon,
twenty lost at least one member. Fourteen year old Agnes Franck was the only survivor from a family
of five and Joseph Widener, age ten, was alone, having lost mother, father, brother and sister.
Johan Nicholas Rempi and his wife, Catherine were fortunate to have been
healthy and to have been on board the Union which suffered the loss of
only three passengers, all children. It is tempting to speculate
that Catherine was one of those two women who gave birth during the journey,
but we have no record to support the conjecture. We do know, however, that
no Rempis were listed among the children over two years old who qualified
for a bounty payment, but the size of the land grant -- two hundred acres
-- shows that they were a family of three. It is likely that Peter Rempi,
the first of four sons, was the third party. (Note: We now
know that the child was their daughter, Maria Elisabeth, christened in
Kern, Germany, 15 May 1763. GAR, 2001)
The records of
St. John's Lutheran Church in Charleston provide some interesting background
information relating to those first few days after the Dragon and Union
arrived, December 14th and 16th. Births and christenings are recorded
for four of the newly arrived Palatine families:
1. Frederick and Margaretha
The two Zimmerman
fathers are both listed at thirty-six years of age, suggesting that they
might be twins.* The Zangs, however, are thirteen years apart, with Christian
forty and Georg twenty-seven. The four children were most likely
conceived in March or April of 1764 while the Palatines were still in Germany.
The daughter of Georg and Elisabeth was one of the two children born on
board the Union. However, on December 24th, the couple applied for a land
grant of only 150 acres, suggesting that the child died shortly after birth.
They had no other children at the time.
Joh. Peter, b. Dec. 19, 1764;
chr. Dec. 20, 1764.
2. Phillip and Apolonia Zimmerman
Joh. Christian, b. Jan. 11, 1765;
chr. Jan. 14, 1765.
3. Christian and Juliana Zang
Phillip, b. Jan. 7, 1765;
chr. Jan. 10, 1765.
4. Joh. Georg and Elizabeth Zang
Margaretha, b. Dec. 4, 1764;
chr. Dec. 20, 1764.
in Charles Town, the captains of the ships Dragon and Union turned over
to Messrs. Woodrop and Cathcart detailed passenger lists and instructions
from the relief committee in London. These men, as agents for the committee,
were to see that the captains were paid in full and that proper application
was made to the governor (Lt. Gov. William Bull was acting governor.) for
bounty payments and land grants which had been offered as "encouragement"
to new colonists. They were also instructed to give particular attention
to preventing the Palatines from deserting their companions and accepting
employment in the town. They reported regretfully that "eight or ten who
were tradesmen" insisted on remaining behind.
* A private communication from descendant Chuck
Timmerman states that the two were likely not brothers, having actually
emigrated from different villages. GAR 2011.
plantation owners of South Carolina's coastal plain were anxious to place
now colonists far up in the "back country"
where they might serve as a buffer against Indian attacks. Thus the French
Huguenot refugees of the previous year were settled in Now Bordeaux Township,
northwest of the present town of McCormick, and it was hoped that the Germans
would choose lands nearby. A township of 20,000 acres called "Londonborough"
(often incorrectly referred to as "Londonderry") was eventually laid out
for them, not on the more fertile frontier, but on the less desirable ground east of the French settlement
where the danger from Indians was not as great.
Early maps of
South Carolina, such as the Parker map of 1773, show the size and location
of Londonborough Township too imprecisely
to allow us to lay out its boundaries today. Those maps indicate an area of 16,000 to 18,000 acres,
and we know that Lt. Gov. Bull directed that Patrick
Calhoun, a prominent and respected back
country landholder, and Deputy Surveyor John Fairchild should select "about 20,000 acres of good
land" for the Germans. That instruction was given in a letter dated December
23, 1764, nearly two weeks before the first party of Palatines left Charles
Town. It is now clear that most of the Germans did not choose to settle
on lands within the designated area.
A township of
20,000 acres, if laid out in the form of a square, would be 5.6 miles on
a side, just as was the nearby French township of New
Bordeaux. The ten land plats which were laid out along Hard Labor Creek
fit easily into such bounds, and in fact, each is described as being "in
Londonborough Township". None of the other eighty-four, however, are so
described, nor could any of them lie within a 5.6 by 5.6 mile square which
also included the Hard Labor Creek properties. Instead, we find them widely
scattered to the east and southeast, some as far as sixteen miles from
the town site.
The town of Londonborough,
or at least its intended location, may be pinpointed with reasonable certainty. The plat of Phillip Zimmerman's
land (see "Palatine Land Grants on Hard Labor Creek," Palatine
Land Plats - 1765) states that his 350 acres are "on land laid out
for the town." Since Lt. Gov. Bull specified that only 100 acres should
be allotted for the town itself, we have reliable support for the traditional location of Londonborough
near Powder Spring (see Palatine Land Plats -
1964, a marker with the title "Londonborough Settlement" was erected on
the west side of State Route 48 near the eastern
boundary of the Zimmerman property to commemorate the 200th anniversary
of the founding of that community.
The first party
of Palatines to move out on the trek into the back country left Charles
Town January 9, 1765. They were fifty in number,
including fourteen men, and it is possible that Johan Nicholas, Catherine and Peter Rempi (Note:
Actually Maria Elisabeth, not Peter. See note above. GAR, 2001)
were among them. The lands they selected as homesteads were along Cuffeetown
Creek and one of its branches called Horsepen Creek (see map below).
Bull reported that a town site was laid out for them twelve miles south
of Ninety Six. Today, the village of Kirksey is situated at that approximate
location, but it is more likely that Bull was referring to Londonborough, fifteen
miles southwest of Ninety Six, as the crow files.
location of the small stream which bears its name is well known and easily
found on South Carolina maps even today, Cuffee Town itself is a place
which has disappeared without leaving a trace, or even a documented statement
as to its former location. That it lay somewhere between Kirksey and Winterseat
is certain, but exactly where, is not. Perhaps the most definitive references
to its location may be found in the plats of Michael Keiss (see below,
"Palatine Land Grants on Horsepen Creek") and George Schieldknecht. Both
are described as being "at a place called Cuffee Town." The Schieldknecht
land was some three miles northeast of the Keiss place, and five others
in the immediate vicinity of Schieldknecht are described as "near Cuffee
Town." If we ignore the Keiss reference, all of the remaining plat data
would support a location very near where Highway 25 crosses Cuffeetown
The origin of
the name, as well as the location of Cuffee Town, is the subject of speculation.
It is tempting, for example, to imagine that the Indian village of "Cofitachequi"
cited by De Soto during his trek through the area two hundred years earlier
may be a clue. (See M. Watson, "Greenwood County Sketches", p. 2.)
Palatine settlements in Greenwood and
Palatine land grants.
Land was granted
to the Palatines according to the size of the household. The head of thehousehold was granted one hundred acres
and each additional member was granted fifty acres. Thus a husband and
wife would receive 150 acres and a family of five would be granted three
hundred acres. Many single young men and women (including Agnes Franck,
14, mentioned above) were considered eligible for one hundred acres. The
largest grant, 450 acres, went to Johannes Flick on Little Stephens Creek.
land plats surveyed by John Fairchild show that the Palatines remained
to a great extent segregated according to the ship on which they were passengers.
The first to select lands and have their plats recorded were from the Union,
probably because they were relatively healthy on arrival and did not require
the long period of recuperation needed by the passengers on the Dragon.
Their homesteads were located in clusters, one along Cuffeetown and Horsepen
Creeks in the vicinity of Kirksey (now Greenwood County), another about
ten or twelve miles west on Hard Labor Creek north of Winterseat (now Greenwood
County), another three miles southeast of Winterseat on Cuffeetown Creek
(now McCormick County) and another on Sleepy and Little Stephens Creeks
in northern Edgefleld County.
1765, all but one of the Union people had had their plats recorded. Between
that time and the end of August, those who had arrived on the Dragon and
Planters Adventure were settled along the various branches of Turkey Creek
called Log, Mountain, Little Turkey, Little Rocky, Sleepy, and Little Stephens
Creeks in Edgefleld County midway between Kirksey and the town of Edgefield.
Johan Nicholas Rempi selected land just
two miles due east of Kirksey on the upper reaches of Horsepen Creek (see
below). His two hundred acre parcel lay between properties belonging to
Anna Catherine Weiser and George Wilhelm. Today this land is a forested
wilderness leased to a hunting club. It is no longer cultivated and shows
no signs of ever having been inhabited.
See Palatine Land
Grants - 1765 and Palatine Land Plats - 1765.
A difficult beginning.
Bull strongly encouraged the Germans to clear their lands and bring in
a crop of hemp (what we know today as marijuana, but at that time, its
uses were benign) as soon as possible. He provided the seed for that purpose
and established a system of appropriately situated agents to distribute
the supplies on which the immigrants were to subsist while they waited
for their fields to produce. The benevolent committee in London had provided
funds for their subsistence, but only until the end of September, 1765.
No doubt the
living conditions were extremely difficult and the process of clearing,
planting and cultivating was slow and tedious, but William Bull was nevertheless
irritated when Peter Dorst and Henry Adolph appeared before the Council
October 11, 1765, to request relief for their fellow Germans. The flow
of supplies had stopped and the Palatines were unable to provide for themselves.
But the Lt. Governor was not impressed. He criticized them vehemently
for having been so slow in moving onto their land that they had missed
out on the best growing season, and sent the two representatives home with
nothing more than payment of their travel expenses.
We have no record
of how these people survived the winter of 1765, but we do know that by
1769 their situation was so much improved that they were commended by Bull
in a "state of the colony" report to the Board of Trade in London:
now raise more than they can consume and consequently yearly add to their
capital. Some raise hemp and some flour. They are loyal subjects
and very useful and orderly members of the community, retaining a grateful
sense of the Royal and private English charity which placed them in the
way of attaining by their own industry this happy situation ..."
The Family of Johan Nicholas Rempi
NICHOLAS (Landau, Germany)
b. 1729, d. ca. 1801, Edgefield, S.C.
b. ca. 1764, d. 1843
Son, ca. 1792
Daughter, ca. 1793
Nicholas, 1794-1852, Abbeville and Edgefield
Daughter, ca. 1795
Henry, 1797-1879, to Alabama ca. 1835
Daughter, ca. 1800
William (?), 1804-?
Jacob, 1805-1884, to Alabama ca. 1835
John Jackson, 1811-1881, Pickens, S.C.
Mary, 1820-?, to Alabama 1843.
b. ca. 1765, d. 1816
John, ca. 1794
Mary, ca. 1800
Cattey, ca. 1802
Margaret, ca. 1804
Daniel, 1812-1887, Ninety Six, S.C.
James, 1814-?, Cokesbury, S.C.
b. 1766-70, d. 1830-40
William, Jr., 1800-?, Anderson,
Son, b. 1804-1810
Son, b. 1815-1820
Daughters (3). b. 1790-1800
b. 1770-1778, d. after 1840
Phillip N., 1799-1860+, to Greene
Co., Ill., 1821
William Henry, 1801-1867, Lowndesville,
James Anderson, 1814-?, Anderson, S.C.
Daughters (6), 1800-1820