« PreviousContinue »
that of their relative, Henry Harford, the heir of Frederick Calvert, last Lord Baltimore, and other Loyalists, was confiscated. And thus perished the last of the manors, the property of those who had nourished the province into strength and maturity.
From the beginning of Albemarle Sound to St. Mary's River and back as far in the interior as the French claim along the Mississippi were the lands of the Carolinas named for the King, Charles II. He was reigning when the province was established as a feudal fief, having several Co-Seigneurs as Lords-Proprietors. Before this, in the early part of the 17th century there had been established a French Huguenot settlement on the St. Mary's River by de Laudauniére, under the patronage of the Admiral de Coligni of France. But the colonists had been massacred by the Spanish of Florida ''not as Frenchmen but as heretics''-a proceeding that was instigated by the bigot Queen of France, Catherine de Medici—the same who planned the massacre of St. Bartholomew in that country. But the Spaniards paid dear for it, for a French Huguenot Lord, Dominic de Gourgues, fitted out an expedition by the sale of his estate for the purpose, and landed with an armed force at St. Mary's, where the Spanish had built a fort. This he captured and hung every mother's son of them on crosses about the place with the words above each "Not as Spaniards but as murderers."
This was the land, now vacant, which King Charles II. granted, as a co-seigneurie to a company of the British noblesse at the head of whom was the Duke of Beaufort. The manner in which they subinfeudated the territory was into twelve counties; each county into eight seigneuries, eight baronies and twenty-four communes. The titles of Landgrave, with the rank of earl, and Cacique, with the rank of viscount, were granted to certain of the gentry who undertook to settle in the country and aid with their arms and wealth in the establishment and rulership of the colony. A landgrave received four baronies and a cacique two with seats in the local council, or high court, of the colony. Tracts of land of more than 3000 acres and less than 12000 might be erected into manours with courtsleet. The communes were divided
into lots for tenants to hold of the Lords-Proprietors if they did not chose to be tenants of the Landgraves and Caciques. Every tenant, or colonist, was obliged to swear allegiance to the King and constitution of the province.
The high-court or parliament at first consisted of ten members, one-half chosen by the Lords-Proprietors and one-half by the free-holders, but later seven became the number of representatives for the Lords-Proprietors. The Landgraves were John Locke, the philosopher (1671), Sir John Yeamans (1671), James Cartaret (1670), James Colleton (1670), Sir Edmund Andros (1672, Joseph West (1674), Joseph Morton (1681), Thomas Colleton (1681), Daniel Axtell (1681), Sir Richard Kirle (1684), John Price (1686) who alienated in favor of Thomas Lowndes. There was also a gentleman named Smith among the Landgraves whose title passed to the Rhett family. One of the Bellinger family became possessed later with one of these titles. Of the early Caciques were Capt. Wilkinson (1681), Maj. Thomas Rowe (1682), John Gibbes (1682), Thomas Amy (1682), John Smith (1682), John Moncke (1683). The government of which they were the controlling factors subsisted until 1692, when the King purchased from the Lords-proprietors their sovereignty and issued a royal charter by commission to the governors. The province became divided into North and South Carolina and the Landgraves and Caciques, retaining right to their titles, honors and estates, were obliged to share the privileges of the council, or upper house, of the local government, with the other gentry of the colony, while a lower house, or assembly, was created for the representation of the free-holders in general.
The Historical Collection of South Carolina is here evidenced, Vol. I., p. 276. “From that period of which the right and title of the land of Carolina were sold and surrendered, by the Lords-proprietors, to the King, and he assumed the immediate care and government of the province, a new era commences in the annals of that country, which may be called the era of its freedom, security and happiness. The Carolinians who had labored long under innumerable hardships and troubles from a
weak proprietary establishment, obtained at length the great object of their desires—a royal government the constitution of which depends on commissions issued to a governor by the crown, and the instructions which attend these commissions. The governor and royal council formed the executive judiciary and military departments and were assisted in the legislative function by an assembly elected by the free-holders, as in the other provinces.” The aristocracy of South Carolina has claimed from the first a most prominent place in the history of the Anglo-American colonies by reason of its firm establishment, its high ancestry and its strong hold on the administration of affairs--a hold which was weakened by the revolution of 1776 and disappeared entirely before the close of the civil war of 1861-5-to be replaced by that of the debased and servile democracy of the modern republic.
New York. The Dutch had the earliest establishments in New York, although all that land had been within the empire of Charles V. and the claims of the French. The territory of the Dutch Province of New Netherland was colonized by them under patronage of the Dutch West Indian Company early in the 17th century, and extended from the Connecticut River to Maryland. True to the constitutional law of Europe they represented the aristocracy not only in the administration but in territorial holdings and magistracy. In Section III. of the charter of New Netherland, Vol. I., p. 370 N.Y. Hist. Coll., Second Series, it declares: “That all such be acknowledged Patroons of New Netherland who shall within the space of four years next, after they have given notice to any of the chambers (or colleges) of the West Indian Company here (Amsterdam) or to the commander-inchief there (America) undertake to plant a colony there of fifty persons to be shipped from here.”
"IV. That from the time that they make known the situation of the places where they propose to settle colonies, they shall have the preference of all then to the absolute property of such lands as they have chosen."
"V. That Patroons by virtue of their power shall and may be permitted at such places as they shall settle their colonies to extend their limits 12 miles along shore."
"VI. That they shall possess forever and enjoy all the lands lying within said limits * * * and also the chief command and lower jurisdiction * * * No person to be privileged to fish or hunt but by permit of the Patroons * * * And when one may establish one or more cities (towns) he shall have power and authority to commission officers and magistrates."
* * * * * *
"XIX. No colonist or servant shall be permitted to leave his Patroon without permission."
Among the servants and menials who were transported to the colony, was one named Vanderbilt. He was direct ancestor of the rich Vanderbilts of New York and of the present Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough. Such rise from hovel to palace, unless assisted by real merit of race, can happen only under corrupt and republican regimes, among political and financial swindlers, confidence men and grafters. And when such people rise, merit and honor-''in the opposite scale of the balance" as Plato has said,-necessarily "must fall.” This is why the relics of the ancient provincial aristocracy consider such people, in spite of their great but ill-gotten wealth, not only no better than their ancestry, but ethically much worse. How different is the aspect with which the honest and sympathizing reader regards the rise of one endowed by honest genius, struggling upward towards that place of command to which he has been prepared by Nature. From the labors of the humble cot, from the exaction of the laws of existence in other places no less lowly, he turns and nourishing the hours of his vigilance, and preparation and study by hours plucked from the sheaf of his own slumberas the pelican feeds her offspring by drops of blood from her own bosom-he mounts the pathway to dominion. By patience, by energy, by talent, by learning, by undying loyalty to his cause, by honesty in all his obligations, by magnanimity to as honest rivals who unite finally with him for constitution and state, he succeeds