Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> End Matter >> Notes

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Notes

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 316EXPLANATORY NOTES
became tories in the Revolution is supported by evidence in Richard
Maxwell Brown's The South Carolina Regulators (1963), pp. 123-124,
and by the fact that in the list of the loyalists taken prisoner at the
Battle of Great Cane Brake, several are identified as "Scophilites"
while none are identified as Regulators.
116.16 "The curse of the colony": The following paragraph is adapted
from Simms' History of South Carolina (1860), p. 151.
117.1 "Companies of infantry": The Provincial Congress of South
Carolina organized three regiments of troops in June 1775. The cir-
cumstances related in these two paragraphs are historically accurate and
seem to be derived mostly from Simms' History of South Carolina
(1860), pp. 177-178.
121.26-27 "Ford's Station": The actual confrontation between
Drayton and Browne occurred at this location on 23 August 1775.
Colonel Thomas Fletchall, the militia commander in the Ninety Six
district, had been ordered to muster his regiment of 1500 men to meet
with Drayton and Tennent, but he had instead told them that attend-
ance was not mandatory, that the men needed to attend only if they
wanted to hear the Commissioners. As a result only about 250 attended
(Simms says 300 on p. 125.8-9). The loyalist leaders Simms identifies as
present were actually there: Fletchall, Robert and Patrick Cunningham,
Moses Kirkland, Thomas Browne and most likely Joseph Robinson,
although Drayton's Memoirs (Simms' apparent source for much of the
actual history in Joscelyn) does not mention him directly. In the novel
Simms has Browne arrive unexpectedly at the muster still disfigured by
tar and feathers, while actual history reports that he had been in the
area for some time prior to this meeting, and had already argued with
Drayton on at least two previous occasions, at King's Creek on 15
August and at Fletchall's plantation, Fairforest, on 17 August; see
Drayton, Memoirs, I, 365-367, 368, 370-371. Browne and one of the
Cunninghams did interrupt Drayton rather dramatically at the first of
these meetings, but there is no indication that Browne still had on his
tar and feathers; in fact, one source notes that he attempted "to con-
ceal his disgrace" by cutting his hair short and wearing "a handkerchief
around his head" (Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists
[1864] , I, 261). In this scene Simms seems to have combined the most
dramatic elements of the two meetings of 15 and 23 August. In general,
however, the circumstances of the 23 August confrontation, such as the
open hostility of Browne and Kirkland and their attempts to seduce the
Commissioners into violence, are historically accurate.
124.15 "Robinsons": Major Joseph Robinson was a loyalist leader
throughout the conflict of 1775 in the back country. It was into his
hands that Moses Kirkland betrayed the garrison at Ninety Six in July
1775. Robinson was also the leader of the loyalist forces in the brief