Archive for the ‘Horry, Harriet Pinckney’ Category

“the heavy Cloud that hangs over us”

Harriott Pinckney Horry, the daughter of Charles Pinckney and Eliza Lucas, and wife of Daniel Huger Horry, was preparing in late 1775 to flee her native Charleston, South Carolina. Two British warships had been lying offshore since the summer; in early November the president of the Provincial Congress gave orders to the commanding officer at nearby Fort Johnson to take action should the ships attempt to pass. The city, threatened with bombardment was practically defenseless. Harriott wrote the following letter expressing her feelings of unease and anxiety to a cousin in Georgetown, some fifty miles to the north.

28th Novr. 1775At about this Season of the year I used to flatter myself with the pleasure of seeing my dear Cousin, and enjoying that free & unreserved conversation so pleasing to the social mind. . . . But alas! how uncertain is the prospect of this felicity now! how uncertain ’tis when we shall meet again! My Mother, Daniel [her young son] and myself intend to go to a little Plantation House at Ashepoo in search of safety, when we can stay no longer here; but think with what reluctance I must leave the place of my nativity, this poor unhappy Town, devoted to the Flames, when I leave in it my Husband, Brothers, and every known male relation I have, (infants excepted,) exposed to every danger that can befall it. . . .

[Your husband] will inform you of affairs here and of the Mortifying truth of the number of disaffected in our Province to ye. American cause. I really believe tho’ the Gaiety and levity reported of our Sex in Town is very unjust. I have seen very little of the first, and nothing of the last for many months, indeed I think rather an universal dejection appears at present, the heavy Cloud that hangs over us ready to burst upon our heads calls for all our Fortitude to meet the Awful Event with that decency and resignation becoming Xtians [Christians]; the Scandalous conduct of many among us, leaves us not much to hope, a most humiliating Circumstance to all true lovers of their Country. Almost all the Women, and many hundred Men have left Town. In a few days I imagine we shall hardly have a female acquaintance to speak to. . . . My Brother [Charles C. Pinckney] is at ye Fort. Tom [Thomas Pinckney] at present recruiting. Mr Horry goes to ye Fort next Friday to stay a month.
Adieu my dear Cousin, be assured of the most sincere attachment &c —

Most of the above letter can be found on page 141 of In the Words of Women. The remainder can be found in Eliza Pinckney by Harriott Horry Ravenel (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1896), pages 248-249, taken from the facsimile copy held by the Library of Congress, available online.

posted December 1st, 2014 by Janet, comments (0), CATEGORIES: Charleston,Horry, Harriet Pinckney,The South

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