History of Geographic Locations - Londonborough

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Data Description:History of Geographic Locations - Londonborough
Submitter: John C Grier
Date Posted:16 July 2001
File Size: 16 KB


     A group of Germans established a settlement named Londonborough
along Hard Labor Creek early in 1765. Minutes of the Provincial Council
list land grants to 56 persons, presumably heads of families, but there
are no records to show how many of them came here.

   They were sometimes referred to as Palatines from their native Rhine
Valley region, the Palatinate, and also were called "Dutch", a
corruption of their own word, "Deutsch," meaning German. The same
designation was applied to Pennsylvania "Dutch" and the "Dutch Fork"
settlers in central South Carolina--they were Germans too.

   Our German pioneers were victims of misfortune from the beginning,
and their community, Londonborough, was never a thriving one. Many left
after only a few years to join older and more prosperous German
settlements in Newberry, Richland, and Orangeburg counties. Names of
those who remained, though not at their first settlement, include Dorn,
Durst (first recorded as Dorst), Strom (Strum or Straum), Clem,
Zimmerman, Flick and Swilling (Zwilling).

   Initial promoter of the German expedition was Col. John Henry
Christian de Stumpel, former Prussian army officer. He persuaded several
hundred (accounts vary as to number) German Protestants to sell their
property and emigrate to America, going by way of London where he was to
make arrangements for passage and grants of land. Whatever his motive,
good, visionary or dishonest, Colonel de Stumpel failed to get land
grants, but collected all the money the Germans had and disappeared,
leaving them stranded in London.

   Their plight is described in "An Historical Account of the Rise and
Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia" by Dr. Alexander
Hewatt, published in London in 1779 and reprinted in 1836 in "Historical
Collections of South Carolina", compiled by  B. R. Carroll.

   Hewatt wrote that the Germans were in London "without money, without
friends, exposed in the open fields and ready to perish through want a
humane clergyman, who came from the same country, took compassion on
them and published their deplorable case in the newspaper." Help came
from "a great personage" (obviously, the king) with "a bounty of three
hundred pounds and tents from the Tower." London citizens followed this
example with medical attention and food, plus money. "His majesty,
sensible that his colony of the South Carolina had not its proportion of
white inhabitants, and having expressed a particular attachment to it,
signified his desire of transporting them to that province," Hewatt
added.   Two ships were engaged and fitted but for the voyage. "A
hundred and fifty stand of arms were ordered from the Tower, and given
them by his majesty for their defense, after their arrival in America,"
Hewatt wrote. The October 1764 issue of Gentlemen's Magazine, published
in London, had this item: "The Palatines broke up their camp in White
Chapel Fields and embarked on board the  ships appointed to carry them
to the Carolinas."

   Minutes of the Dec. 24, 1763 meeting of the Provincial Council in
Charleston carry the following: "His Honor the Lieutenant Governor
(William Bull) informed the  Board that he had this morning sent an
Express to Patrick Calhoun to desire him to proceed directly to the spot
where the Dutch People were to be settled and there to build a large Log
House to shield them on there arrival from the Inclemency of the
Weather, That he expected Wagons in Town in about Ten days to carry up
their baggage, That he should write to Mr. Fairchild the Deputy Surveyor
to proceed with them and survey Lands for them and settle them on them
immediately, That they might avail themselves of the earliest
opportunity in raising there Hutts and there planting there Crops and
several of them attending they were Called in when they were sworn to
their petitions and also took the Oath of allegiance." Then the minutes
list 56 names and allotments of land from 100 to 400 acres each. Route
of the Germans and their baggage wagons to their new home is not given.
The council minutes for Jan. 31, 1765 note that two Charleston
merchants, William Woodrop and Andrew Cathcart, presented petitions for
"bounty" due them "as agents for the Committee in London for the relief
of poor German protestants lately arrived." Named in the minutes are 175
adults and children over 12, bounty of five pounds sterling apiece; 86
children between two and 12 years old, bounty of three pounds sterling
each; and 45 names of persons who died either aboard ship or after
landing in Charleston.

   A township totaling about 25,000 acres was allotted to the Germans.
Its name Londonborough honored the colonists' benefactors. The
Occasional use of "Londonderry" for the township is incorrect. The
boundaries of Londonborough Township are not clearly defined by modern
landmarks. There seems to be some overlapping of territory with the
previously established townships of Hillsborough to the south and
Belfast to the west and northwest. It was relatively uncharted territory
and that could account for discrepancies.

   Site of the Londonborough settlement was south or southwest of Powder
Spring, a mineral spring near Hard Labor Creek on the J. A. Bannister
place. A large, flat field stone on that place was the step to the
community log house, tradition has it, and if so, it is the only
physical trace remaining. The Germans may have built "there Hutts" close
together for protection and companionship, in the way European villages
were laid out, with cleared ground for crops and pastures surrounding
the settlement. That is only surmise, however, as no records have been

   Governor Bull, in a letter dated March 15, 1765, wrote to London
authorities as follows: "I have the honor to acquaint your Lordships
that in obedience to his majesty's command, the German Protestants are
settled together about 12 miles south of Ninety Six which spot was
pitched upon by the first party who went out of town as most eligible on
account of their security, having many English settlers on their
Frontiers, who are more accustomed to see Indians and know better how to
behave toward them. The land where the Germans are seated is good but
not quite so rich as that which lies more westerly; this they were
informed of, but for the reason above mentioned declined going there. I
have given the name of Londonborough to this settlement in honor of the
gentlemen of the city of London by whose liberal contributions after his
majesty's great example, these emigrants have been maintained and sent
hither. I have appointed militia officers out of their own body and one
of them to be Justice of the Peace, with a book compiled for the
instruction for the justices of this province. This I hope will preserve
good order amongst them and prevent those jealousies which strangers are
apt to conceive of their being unproperly treated by the English, until
they understand our language and laws. To encourage a military spirit
and attachment to the English I gave them a set of silk colored with the
name of their township wrought thereon, and recommended them to some of
the best English in that neighbourhood for instruction in agriculture of
our climate tho, I put them as well as the French Protestants of
Hillsborough upon going well with their whole strength next year upon
raising hemp by giving to each township several bushels of seed now and
advising that they should prepare for a future staple of silk by
planting mulberries. The party who went up in January last had finished
their huts by the beginning of this month; as all of them would have
done, if it had been their good fortune to have had their baggage with
or soon after them."

   Hard times came in a few months. Peter Dorst (Durst) and Henrick
Adolph went to Charleston and petitioned authorities for help, reporting
that money and food had given would have to be abandoned unless aid was
provided. Lieutenant Governor Bull told them no help was available, but
he allowed them 30 pounds sterling as expenses for their trip.

   Charitable neighbors likely gave assistance, but the Germans were
still, or again in difficulties in the autumn of 1767, as indicated by a
diary reference of T. Griffiths, an English traveler. Griffiths wrote of
stopping at "Coffe Creek (Cuffytown), a new neighborhood; here the
people were all sick." He also wrote that he bought "some corn for my
horse and potato bread and a fowl for myself," so the people did have

   Two years later, 1769, Lieutenant Governor Bull wrote a cheerful
report, shown in this extract from his letter to the London Board of
Trade: "They (the Germans) have surmounted the difficulties which
naturally attended all new settlers, especially to strangers to the
climate and language. By their industry they now enjoy all such
conveniences as are to be found with the humble state of
life-comfortable houses, orchards, plenty of provisions, stock of
cattle, hogs, poultry, horses for labor. They now raise more than they
can consume and consequently add to their capital. Some raise flour and
some raise hemp. They are loyal and very useful and orderly members of
the community . . . "

   An Episcopal missionary, the Rev. Samuel Frederick Lucius, was in the
area in 1770, and his report back to Charleston was headed "Cuffee
Town." Additional Germans had come in 1770 and may have settled near
Cuffytown Creek rather than at Londonborough which was near Hard Labor
Creek. If there was a settlement called "Cuffee Town", as Lucius' report
indicates, it is one of our "lost" communities. See the chapter on
churches for quotes from Lucius' report and information on the German
Lutheran Church of St. George eventually established on the Long Cane
road, just above the Winterseat bridge over Hard Labor Creek.

   Even before the Revolution, some of the Germans moved away from this
area, and others spread out before and after the war to lands along
Cuffytown Creek in the vicinity of Kirksey and Sleepy (Slippy) Creek in
Edegfield County.

   Some of the Germans served the American side in the Revolution, but
many remained loyal to the British or tried to be neutral, thereby
showing gratitude to King George and the London businessmen who had
enabled them to get to America. As with all the settlers, the choice of
sides was an individual matter.

   The German colony, as such, did not last long, but hundreds of
descendants, like their forebears, have been "very useful and orderly
members of the community."

   Nearly 200 years after the first group of Palatines came, a marker
was unveiled Nov. 1, 1964 beside state highway 48, near Powder Spring.
It commemorates the Londonborough settlement and was erected by the
Edgefield and Greenwood County Historical Societies. The West German
government through its embassy in Washington sent a color guard to
participate in the unveiling ceremony. Three flags were flown at the
scene--those of Germany, Great Britain and the United States of

From "Greenwood County Sketches-Old Roads and Early
Families," by Margaret Watson, The Attic Press, '1970


Data Description:History of Geographic Locations - Londonborough (Additional Information)
Submitter: Joyce McManus
Date Posted:16 July 2001
File Size: 16 KB

I have a book 'Palatine Roots - Origins of the Rampy Family in America'
by Gordon A. Rampy which tells the story of Londonborough ...
except for a few additional things.  

Stumpel had asked the king for 220,000 acres in Nova Scotia.  He thought that 
was what he was getting.  Turns out he only received 22,000 and had promised 
more people than he had land.  It would seem he disappeared to keep his hide, 
but I wonder if he was mugged for the money.  

If this group had gotten to Nova Scotia, South Carolina would
certainly had a loss with none of these fine people settling here.
This book has a lists of all the 374 passengers on the three ships...the
Union, Dragon & Planter's Adventure.  It also lists the number acres each person
received. Twenty three people died at sea; 2 were born.  

The flat stone mentioned in  Ms. Watson's article.   There is a stone at
the Greenwood Museum which may be the same stone. Mr. Jim Durst had a stone
at the museum which he had told someone was the stone from the settlement.
It was stored in the basement according to an article in the Index Journal
in the last few years.

I am subscribed to a list which has many Edgefield  Dist/County ancestors
who were in this group. One lady  who was a teenager when she arrived with her 
parents and siblings lived to be 100 yrs old! Her name was Barbara Flick. 
She was married three times.

Palatine Roots - Origins of the Rampy Family in America'
by Gordon A. Rampy

This soft back book is only 10.00! It is 91 pages including  
A, B, & C Apendices.
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