Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter VII >> Page 65

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
nection with their Indian neighbors, the Carolinians
were compelled to stand in a continual posture of de-
fence. While one party slept, an equal number watched.
He who felled the tree of the forest, was protected by
another who stood ready with his musket in the shade ;
and so persevering were these stealthy enemies, that
the settler dared not discard his weapon, even while
gathering the oyster on the shores of the sea. From the
woods they were almost wholly exiled, by reason of the
swarms of foes which infested them ; and, but for the
fish from the rivers, they must have perished of famine.
Their scanty crops were raised, not only by the sweat
of their brows, but at the peril of their lives ; and when
raised, were exposed to the plundering assaults of the
foe. A single night frequently lost to the planter the
dearly bought products of a year of toil.
It is no easy matter to describe the dreadful extremi-
ties to which the Carolinians were at last reduced ; and
a civil disturbance was the consequence, which threat-
ened the ruin of the colony. Robbed of the slender
stock of grain which their fields had produced, and fail-
ing to receive supplies from Europe, they were ready for
any measure to which the phrensy of despair might
prompt them.
Where a people are discontented, there will not be
long wanting some unruly spirit to take advantage of their
sufferings, and stimulate their sedition ; and one Florence
O'Sullivan, to whom the island at the entrance of the
harbor which now bears his name had been entrusted
for defence, deserting his post, joined the discontents of
the town ; and the popular fury might have expended