Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter X >> Page 102

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Page 102

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription 102THE HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
vanced a step nearer. Johnson found himself utterly
unsupported. Moore was declared governor of the prov-
ince in the king's name, and the acclamations of the
populace, and the unanimity which prevailed among them,
sufficiently declared to Johnson his own, and the down-
fall of the proprietary government.
One circumstance alone revived his hopes. Having
received certain advice that a Spanish fleet of fourteen
ships and twelve hundred men had left the Havana, des-
tined against South Carolina and the island of Providence,
Johnson conceived it a proper time to endeavor to recall
the people to a sense of their duty. He wrote to the
convention, and strove to reclaim them by showing the
danger of military operations under illegal authority ; but
the stubborn citizens remained firm in their defection,
laughed at his warnings, and, in concert with the governor
of their own creation, proceeded to make preparations for
their defence. The militia was soon under arms, but the
Spanish expedition proved abortive. Repulsed from
Providence, and dismantled in a storm, the Spanish fleet
was incapable of injury to Carolina.
The arrival of several English armed vessels in the
port of Charlestown, suggested other plans to the deposed
representative of the lords proprietors. Their command-
ers having declared for him, as the magistrate invested
with legal authority, he brought up the ships of war in front
of the town, and threatened its immediate destruction if
the inhabitants any longer withheld their obedience to his
authority. But with arms in their hands and forts in their
possession, accustomed to conflict, and perhaps rather
pleased with its excitements, the Carolinians were not