John Stuart Wampee Plantation Pinopolis Berkeley County
Special thanks to Dee Green for providing all of the information on this page. Dee is a descendant of Charles Stuart, who was the son of John Stuart.
About John Stuart
Dee Green writes, "John Stuart, the original owner of Wampee, had been banished along with his wife and children from Scotland for religious beliefs. He was among other things, an Attorney, and had been a Writer to the Signet in Scotland. He was also the great-grandson of King James V.
"He arrived in Carolina after his banishment in 1686. They settled in Stuart Town and shortly after were attacked by the Spanish. A few weeks later a hurricane or 'September gale' blew through and destroyed what had not been destroyed by the Spanish. They boarded a ship and went to England for a time.
"John Stuart decided to try Carolina again but came alone. His wife and children returned to Scotland after the banishment was lifted but eventually returned to Carolina as well. Struggling, John had decided to leave, but [Sir James] Colleton asked him to stay as his Attorney and manage his plantations which included at least Mepkin, and Wadboo.
"Colleton also asked John to review the original Fundamental Constitution which he did line for line, and made recommendations which was of great benefit to Colleton and the Lord Proprietors. Colleton had promised him 1000 acres free of rents for that project.
"In 1698, after 12 years of failing to grant land, Colleton ordered the Surveyor General to lay out the grants to John.
"John was granted his 1000 acres for constitutional work on St Helena Island described as 'being a neck of land formerly inhabited by the Pocatalagoes lying northwest of the lands settled by Mr. Thomas Niern.' Nairn, also an Indian trader, and involved in politics, long remembered even though he contributed less to the colonies than Stuart. Part of John's land would be known as Wampee, named for the region so called by the Indians.
"John had also worked for a time for Colleton as an Indian Trader and afterwards traded for himself. He had great respect for the Indians feeling a relationship was essential for success in the Colony. The Indians likewise loved John and thought him to be honest and honorable whom they referred to as 'Captain John.' He was also a merchant and had owned ships at one time. He chose to name his plantation Wampee the name the area was known by the Indians.
"John eventually ended up with several thousand acres. He conveyed a portion to Screven, and others eventually bought pieces and parts. John Stuart died in 1715 deeding Wampee to his wife and two of his sons, John Stuart II and Charles Stuart."
Dee elaborates further on John Stuart's many accomplishments and wrote, "He even ordered rods from Scotland to make a 'cotton gin' on Colleton's plantation, and he called it a cotton gin. (no Eli Whitney did not invent the cotton gin, just improved it and patented the improvement and more to that story). He patented cotton for Colleton and that family held that patent for many years. I speculate that South Carolina was the first home to a cotton gin. This occurred about 1690 or so.
"Among his many talents, John was a lawyer, expansionist, a merchant, owner of ships, a self taught botanist, writer, planter, and Indian Trader. John boasted he had been in most countries and continents to include the Orient, Africa, South America, Netherlands, and that he had traveled farther than many expansionist and explorers in America. He claimed to have been in all of the America colonies, and was the first white man among many tribes of Indians.
"While some researchers feel John overstated his accomplishments, others feel he has not been given credit for all that he did contribute to the colonization of America. Because John chose to settle into a quiet life once he accomplished his goal of land and sufficient wealth, he was not given credit for many of his contributions. Some including Lord Proprietor Colleton even took credit for some of his ideas which gave him much personal pain. While he did not trust the temper of Colleton, he could not believe he would betray him. Nairn, John's contemporary, continued in politics and remained on the fore-front and is well recorded in history. Nairn, however, was savagely murdered by the Indians, while John remained their beloved 'Captain John.'
[John Stuart's] Attorney appointment:
I, James Colleton of Parish of St. John, Island of Barbados, Esq,. appoint in my place my friend James LeBas, Esq., and John Stewart, Gent., both of Berkeley County, Carolina, my attorneys to inspect the baliffs or overseers of my plantations in Carolina, to visit said plantations once in a quarter to see if overseers attend the management of said honestly according to my instructions, to examine the accts., and ship produce of plantations to me in Barbados or to correspondents in London as instructions...signed: James Colleton Wit: Sam Smith, Jeremiah Smith, Sam. Ward. (Records - Secretary of the Province 1692-1721, page 144, compiled and edited by Caroline T. Moore, GRS)
Deed Refrences Regarding John Stuart and Wampee Plantation
- 1695 January 18-Page 101:
JOHN STUART-Warrant for 150 acres land-Granted 6 day of Feb 1692
- 1695 December 20-Page 97:
To be laid out and measured unto JOHN STUART of Berkley Co-400 acres being purchased of and from Rt. Hono=ye Lords the receipt of JOHN ARCHDALE Plantation run out by him some 5 or 6 years ago.
- 1696 October 23-Page 132:
Mr JOHN STUART-a Plantation containing 300 acres in Berkley Co at Posher Swamp near BANSTED DOWNES
- 1696 Nov 5-Page 134:
JOHN STUART-Warrant for 250 acres
- 1696 Nov 26-Warrants for South Carolina Lands-By Salley-Page 136:
JOHN STUART-Marshland-except 15 feet from middle of Creek-which distinguished the middle of Charles Town by the #298 which is in possession of STUART. JOHN STUART-Warrant for 450 acres remaining part of 1000 acres.
Laid out for JOHN STUART Plantation containing 1000 acres-Island of St Helena-being a neck of land formerly inhabitated by the Pocatalagoes-lying North West of land settled by THOMAS NIERN
- Lords Proprietors to John Stuart, dated May 5th, 1704, with survey, dated October 6th, 1703, attached. Seal in fair condition. Signatures: Nicholas Trott, Nathaniel Johnson, Ja. Moore, Job Howes, George Evans, D. Register, Charles Stuart, Stephen Tanuron (?) Paul Ravenel. In possession 1907 of Malcomb Macbeth
- 1716 Dee explains, "This shows his son dealing with same land. John died about 1715":
RECORDS.....SECRETARY OF THE PROVINCE 1714-17 SOUTH CAROLINA
Whereas Rt. Hon. Lords Proprs. of Carolina did by grant of 14 April 1710 sell to CHARLES STEWART a Plantation of 528 acres English measure in BERKELEY COUNTY SC, bounding E on land of MR RAVENEL, S. on JOHN MEDON'S (Bedon) land, W. on WILLIAM BALL and N. on Mr. St. Julean's land plat annexed.
The Rt. Hon. Lords Proprs. did grant, bearing date May 5, 1704 to my Father JOHN STEWART, a Plantation containing 550 acres bounding S. on lands laid out to HUMPHRY SERBS and DANIEL AXELL and lands now in possession of Mr TAVENEL, W. on lands as above specified laid out to CHARLES STEWART as by his Bill of Sales April 3, 1707 more fully specifies: NOW KNOW YE I, CHARLES STEWART, for consideration of L..200 C.M. paid by me JOHN LEROCH of Charlestown, merchant, all before delivery of these presents do make over to said LEROCH the 2 Plantations, one containing 528 and other 550 acres English measure..said JOHN LEROCH all quit rentals as shall hereafter be due Lords Proprs....do sell the two tracts of land containing jointly 1,078 acres...
Dated 16, March 1715
BE IT REMEMBERED: on 24 March, 1715 full and peaceable possession of land within written was taken by JOHN LAROCH and delivered by CHARLES STEWART in presence of STEPHEN TAUVRON, JOHN JONES.
THOMAS HEPWORTH Esquire, Justice of the Peace for BERKELEY COUNTY SOUTH CAROLINA signed that DANIEL TAUVRON and DANIEL RAVENEL came before him and swore within conveyance that they saw CHARLES STEWART deliver in within written JOHN LAROCH and he did take possession peaceable.
May 4, 1716
Recorded June 1, 1716...Page 327