George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 21 May 1791]

Saturday 21st. Left Augusta about 6 oclock, and takg. leave of the Governor & principal Gentlemen of the place at the bridge over Savanna river where they had assembled for this purpose, I proceeded in Company with Colos. Hampton & Taylor, & Mr. Lithgow a Committee from Columbia (who had come on to meet & conduct me to that place) & a Mr. Jameson from the Village of Granby on my rout.

Dined at a house about 20 Miles from Augusta and lodged at one Oden about 20 miles farther.

GW crossed the Savannah River bridge into South Carolina “under the salute of Major Gordon’s horse and Captain Howell’s artillery” (BELL AND CRABBE description begins Earl L. Bell and Kenneth C. Crabbe. The Augusta Chronicle: Indomitable Voice of Dixie, 1785–1960. Athens, Ga., 1960. description ends , 29).

The members of the Columbia committee were Wade Hampton (c.1751–1835), the recently elected sheriff of Camden District; Thomas Taylor (1743–1833), one of the original commissioners of Columbia; and Robert Lithgow (Lythgoe), a newly appointed town commissioner. Hampton and Taylor both distinguished themselves as militia colonels under Thomas Sumter during the latter part of the War of Independence. Earlier in the war Hampton was a junior officer in the South Carolina line, serving until the state fell to the British in 1780. He then took an oath of loyalty to the crown, an oath that he soon broke to join Sumter’s partisans. An aggressive land speculator, he became one of the wealthiest planters in the state, served in the United States Congress 1795–97 and 1803–5, and participated as a major general in the War of 1812. Taylor, who with a brother provided the land on which Columbia was laid out in 1786, was a member of the state’s first provincial congresses 1775–76, served in the militia in 1779, and joined Sumter as a captain in Aug. 1780. After the war he served frequently in the legislature, and although an opponent of the federal constitution in 1788, he raised an influential voice against nullification in 1830 (TAYLOR description begins B. F. Taylor, comp. “Col. Thomas Taylor.” South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 27 (1926): 204–11. description ends , 204–11). Robert Lithgow, apparently a Columbia merchant, was a judge of the Richland County court as well as a town commissioner (GREEN [2] description begins Edwin L. Green. A History of Richland County. Columbia, S.C., 1932. description ends , 176).

Granby’s representative may be Archibald Jamison, who appears in the 1790 census as a resident of the north part of Orangeburg District, which included Granby; Dr. Van de Vastine Jamison, who is also listed in the northern part of the district, lived near Orangeburg well to the east of Granby (HEADS OF FAMILIES, S.C. description begins Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: South Carolina. 1908. Reprint. Salt Lake City, 1978. description ends , 94, 98; names in s.c., 13 [1966], 52–55).

The house at which GW dined was the Piney Woods House, a log tavern near present-day Trenton, S.C. The house belonged to Capt. Van Swearingen of Edgefield County, a veteran of the Revolution. Swearingen’s daughter Frances Swearingen apparently inherited the tavern about this time and ran it with her husband Ezekiel McClendon (names in s.c., 11 [1964], 44). oden: The census of 1790 lists four families of Odens, three of Odums, and one of Odem in Edgefield County (HEADS OF FAMILIES, S.C. description begins Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: South Carolina. 1908. Reprint. Salt Lake City, 1978. description ends , 62–63, 65–66). The house is said to have been near present-day Ridge Spring (SALLEY [2] description begins A. S. Salley. President Washington’s Tour Through South Carolina In 1791. Columbia, S.C., 1932. In Bulletins of the Historical Commission of South Carolina, no. 12. description ends , 25).

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