« IndietroContinua »
No sooner had the Lords Proprietors of Carolina effected a settlement in that part of the province subsequently known as South Carolina than it became an object of jealousy to the Spaniards in Florida, and several attempts to destroy it were made by them.' This hostile attitude of the Spaniards soon provoked a counter spirit in the people of South Carolina and a determination on their part to invade Florida and destroy St. Augustine at the first favorable opportunity.
Upon the death of Governor Blake, September 7, 1700, the Lords Proprietors' deputies met on the 11th of that month and elected ("according to the Instructions or Rules of Government from the Lords propr. to Coll Phill Ludwell") James Moore, one of the deputies, governor." Governor Moore had for many years cherished an ambition to invade Florida. The opportunity came now while he was governor.
1 See pp. 185, 186, 205, supra; and McCrady, History of South Carolina under the Proprietary Government.
"The account of the election of Moore given by various historians from Hewat to McCrady is entirely erroneous. The Proprietors having furnished a mode of procedure in instructions on the subject to Governor Ludwell it was strictly followed and the election of Moore was entirely consistent therewith. There were two landgraves and four other deputies at the meeting. The name of the senior landgrave in the province, Bellinger, was presented first and he received one vote, that of Landgrave Morton. Deputies LeNoble, Gibbes, Daniell, and Moore voted against him. The name of Landgrave Morton was then presented and he received the votes of Landgrave Bellinger and Deputies LeNoble and Gibbes, Deputies Daniell and Moore voting against him. Both landgraves were objected to on the ground that they had accepted offices from the Crown while still holding commissions as Lords Proprietors' deputies. There being no other landgrave in the province the deputies, following their instructions, proceeded to elect one of the deputies governor, and James Moore received a majority of the votes and was declared governor. ("Public Records of South Carolina," V. 70–71.)
He learned in 1702, before he had any knowledge of Queen Anne's declaration of war against Spain, that the Spaniards in Florida had planned to invade South Carolina by land with 900 Indians. The plot was discovered by friendly Creek Indians and disclosed to South Carolina traders in their nation. These traders gathered 500 Creeks and defeated the invaders. A land and naval expedition was then sent by the General Assembly of South Carolina to invade Florida. Governor Moore led the land forces and Robert Daniell, one of the Proprietors' deputies, led the naval armament, but they did not accomplish their undertaking and returned in disappointment.1
In January, 1703, the General Assembly met, and immediately entered into discussion of plans for again invading Florida, and for paying the expenses of the late expedition. A bill to raise £4000 was passed in the Commons House over the opposition of certain Dissenters in that body, who forthwith withdrew therefrom in anger. The next day they returned to the House and offered to resume their seats if the other members of the Commons House would join them in the assertion of their rights. The other members spurned their offers and insulted them. Their withdrawal broke a quorum and thereby estopped legislation that was very important for the welfare of the province. This enraged the populace of Charles Town and when the obstructing members appeared on the streets they were set upon by a mob. They sought redress at the hands of Governor Moore and other local officials, but obtained no sympathy. They then tried petitioning to the Lords Proprietors for redress at their hands. They sent one of their number, John Ash, to England to lay their petition before and plead their cause with the Lords Proprietors, but the Proprietors gave little attention to their complaint. Ash then began to prepare a pamphlet giving
McCrady, History of South Carolina under the Proprietary Government.
the Dissenters' side of the controversy, but died before he had completed it. Ash's place was soon taken by Joseph Boone, another of the leaders of the Dissenters in South Carolina, who came with a new petition and new complaints to the Proprietors. He met with no better success in convincing the Proprietors of the wickedness of their government than had Ash. Boone next enlisted the sympathy of Daniel Defoe, the noted fiction-writer and publicist, who prepared the succeeding brief of the Dissenters' case for the information of Parliament. Defoe's case is based entirely on the ex parte statements of the discontented Dissenters, who, while respectable people, constituted a very small portion of the population of South Carolina. A decided majority of the people of the province were of the Church of England, and aligned with them were the French Protestants, several hundred in number, and a few Jews and persons of other religious persuasions; nor were all of the Dissenters in the province opposed to Governor Moore and his governmental policies. Defoe had never lived in South Carolina and was not familiar with conditions in the province. His narration of the preceding and current political history of the province, therefore, cannot be given full credence as such, although it is interesting. His pamphlet was printed in London in 1705, and has become the principal source for this episode in the history of South Carolina, notwithstanding the existence of the journals of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina, the correspondence of the public officials of the province, and the records of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, all of which fail to sustain his and the Dissenters' statements concerning this noted controversy.
PARTY-TYRANNY, BY DANIEL DEFOE, 1705
Party-Tyranny, or an Occasional Bill in Miniature; as now
As it has been always the Care of the Commons of England,
The Doors of the House of Commons are ever Open to
If it be the proper Business of the House of Commons, to
And this is both the Reason, and we hope the sufficient
1 Title-page of original.