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Claims and Memorials
Petition of Thomas Johnson of South Carolina

To the Right Honourable the Lords
Commissioners of his Majesty’s Treasury.

The Humble Petition of Thomas JOHNSTON a Black Man

Sheweth,

That your Petitioner was born in Charles Town South Carolina, in the Family of John Izard Esqr. of Free Parents, and brought up in his Family, and when of proper Age was his first Servant of Confidence in all Respects;

that his Master built a home for him at Cedar Grove, about seventeen miles from Charles Town, where his Master had an Estate.

That he gave him about Ten Acres of Land, on which he had Corn, Four horses, Pigs and Fowls; and a Chest of good Cloaths & Linen, of the Value of at Least Sixty Pounds Sterling, when He fell in with the English Army about October 1780 as he was following his Masters business, and was Pressed into his Majesty’s Service,

from that time He was constantly employed with Lord CORNWALLIS’s Army as a Guide, and was enrolled in the British Legion commanded by Colonel TARLETON;

and that he Conducted the Detachment which surprized Colonel Washington at Monk’s Corner.

That when Lord CORNWALLIS’s army surrendered, he was particularly inquired after by The American General Howe, on account of his Activity, and would have been Hanged, if he had not been privately sent on board the Bonetta Sloop to New York, by Lord CORNWALLIS’s directions, where he joined the Legion again;

When that Corps was disbanded, He went on board the Rhinocerus commanded by Capt. DUNCAN, with whom he came to England at the Peace, since which time, he has subsisted poorly upon what little he had saved in the Service.

The Petitioner further acquaints your Lordships, that Mr. Izard died in 1781, and left him an Annuity of Forty Pounds Sterling, which he has never received, as he cannot so gar hazard his Life as to go to Charles town, and the Executor of Mr. Izards Will refuses to pay it on any other Terms.

Your Petitioner has a Wife and Child, and another in expectation without any means of Subsisting them, having no Employment.

He therefore humbly Implores your Lordships to Refer his Case to the Commissioners for American Claims, and that you will finally be pleased to order him the small Sum of Twenty pounds to enable him to get into some way of Business to Maintain his Family, and your Petitioner Shall for ever Pray &c.

[Thomas JOHNSON]


London 21st July 1786.



Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 70b, part 1, folios 301-302.

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