The secret of such an outrage is told in a few words. The man was a timber-getter from the vicinity of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who, with his son, a lad about sixteen years of age, had spent several winters in the vicinity of the Edisto, getting live-oak, what he considered a laudable enterprise. He purchased the timber on the stump of the inhabitants, at a price which left him very little profit, and had also been charged an exorbitant price for every thing he got, whether labor or provisions; and so far had that feeling of South Carolina’s self-sufficiency been carried out against him in all its cold repulsiveness, that he found much more honesty and true hospitality under the roof of a poor colored man. This so enraged some of the planters, that they proclaimed against him, and that mad-dog cry of abolitionist was raised against him. His horse and buggy, books and papers were packed up and sent to Charleston-not, however, without some of the most important of the latter being lost. His business was destroyed, and he and his child taken by force, put into a little canoe with one or two carpet-bags, and sent adrift. In this manner they had followed him two miles down the river, he begging to be allowed the privilege of settling his business and leave respectably-they threatening to shoot him if he attempted to near the shore, or was caught in the vicinity. This was his position when the captain found him. He proceeded to Charleston, and laid his case before James L. Petigru, Esq., United States District Attorney, and, upon his advice, returned to the scene of “war on the banks of the Edisto,” to arrange his business; but no sooner had he made his appearance than he was thrown into prison, and there remained when we last heard of him.
This is one of the many cases which afford matter for exciting comment for the editors of the Charleston Mercury and the Courier, and which reflect no honor on a people who thus set law and order at defiance.
A singular reception.
It was about ten o’clock on the night of the fifteenth of April when the schooner “Three Sisters” lay anchored close alongside of a dark jungle of clustering brakes that hung their luxuriant foliage upon the bosom of the stream. The captain sat upon a little box near the quarter, apparently contemplating the scene, for there was a fairy-like beauty in its dark windings, mellowed by the shadowing foliage that skirted its borders in mournful grandeur, while stars twinkled on the sombre surface.
The tide had just turned, and little Tommy, who had rolled himself up in a blanket and laid down close to the captain, suddenly arose. “Captain, did you hear that?” said he.
“Hark! there it is again,” said the captain. “Go and call the men,—we must get under weigh.”