Biographical Sketch of Lieutenant-Colonel John Mayfield the Tory, of Browns Creek
By Phil Norfleet
John Mayfield the Tory was born about 1738 in Virginia (VA) Colony, and died in about March 1782 in the Ninety-Six Judicial District of South Carolina (SC).
Controversy Concerning John Mayfield the Tory
The identity of this John Mayfield, who resided near Browns Creek in what was then Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, during the Revolution, has been a controversial subject among Mayfield genealogists for many years. The fact that there was also another John Mayfield (The Whig), living in the Camden District of South Carolina at about that same time, has only served to further complicate matters.
During the years 1999 and 2000 I spent a significant amount of time researching the records of early South Carolina, particularly at the SC State Archives in Columbia and the Union County Court House in Union. Based upon my findings, I believe that I can now establish a credible scenario, based upon the official records of both Colonial SC and the State of SC, that places both of these John Mayfields in a reasonably firm historical context.
I have reached ten (10) basic conclusions as follows:
1) The John Mayfield who patented a 100-acre tract of land on Broad River in 1768 is the same John Mayfield who purchased a 300-acre tract of land near Browns Creek from Jacob Brown in 1770. After his purchase from Brown, the 300-acre tract on Browns Creek became John Mayfield's primary residence.
2) During the Revolution, John Mayfield of Browns Creek, supported the Loyalist or Tory Cause in 1775 and during the period May 1780-1781.
3) During the period 1776- May 1780, John Mayfield of Browns Creek acquiesced to Whig rule. In February 1780, he even was elected to the SC State Legislature as a representative from the Upper Saluda or Spartanburg Election District.
4) Another John Mayfield, who resided in that area of Camden District that later became Fairfield County, supported the Rebel or Whig Cause during the Revolution.
5) Before the Revolution, John Mayfield of Browns Creek was both a constable and a Militia Captain in the Ninety-Six Judicial District. In both capacities he served under the noted Loyalist, Colonel Thomas Fletchall of Fairforest Creek, Ninety-Six District.
6) During the 1780-1781 time frame, John Mayfield of Browns Creek was made a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Loyalist Home Militia for Ninety-Six District.
7) By 1781, John Mayfield of Camden District had been made a Lieutenant in the Whig Militia for Camden District.
8) John Mayfield of Browns Creek was killed by the Whigs during the February-April 1782 time frame.
9) John Mayfield of Camden District was killed by the Tories in 1782.
10) The widow of John Mayfield of Browns Creek was Mary Crain Mayfield, who was granted a certificate of administration for her husband's estate in February 1783. This Mary Mayfield is the same person who is listed in the 1790 Federal Census for Union County SC.
Detailed information supporting conclusions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 are found in the Official Records Chronology appended to the end of this essay. Data supporting conclusions 4, 7 and 9 may be found in my essay concerning John Mayfield the Whig.
Land Acquisitions of John Mayfield the Tory
John Mayfield and his family seem to have moved to South Carolina from Virginia or North Carolina in about 1767. After leaving Virginia, they may have possibly spent a brief sojourn in the Granville County, North Carolina area where they had other Mayfield kinfolk. However, we do know that John Mayfield arrived in that area of South Carolina that became Union County by 1767. This is because a 100-acre tract of land on Broad River was certified to John on 3 November 1767. The original survey for this land is dated 20 Aug 1763 and was performed for a certain Bernard McCaun, who had apparently assigned the property over to John Mayfield. This is the earliest documented reference to a Mayfield in South Carolina.
John the Tory acquired title to two separate tracts of land in South Carolina. He acquired title to his first tract, 100-acres on Broad River, by royal patent issued in February 1768. Subsequently, in August 1770, John purchased a 300-acre tract of land on Browns Creek from Jacob and Ruth Brown. This 300-acre tract became John's primary residence. Further details relative to these acquisitions are shown below in the Official Records Chronology portion of this essay.
John Mayfield - Stephen Mayfield Connection
Some Mayfield family researchers have speculated that Stephen Mayfield the Tory of Browns Creek was a son of John the Tory, but I don't know of any credible evidence that supports this conjecture.
During the Revolution, muster records of the South Carolina Royalist Regiment (the same regiment in which Joseph Robinson was a Lieutenant-Colonel) list the names of two South Carolina Mayfields, Stephen and William, as members of the regiment. Stephen held the rank of Lieutenant and William that of Private. I am quite sure that this William Mayfield was John Mayfield's eldest son; the same man (John Mayfield's "heir-at-law") who sold John's two tracts of land - 300 acres in 1785 and 100 acres in 1800. My current hypothesis concerning Lieutenant Stephen Mayfield of Browns Creek is that he was probably John The Tory's uncle -- a brother of Robert Mayfield (d. 1816).
Strong circumstantial evidence indicates that Stephen is almost certainly much older than William Mayfield. For example, Stephen was already a land owner (or renter) who was mentioned on David George's land plat in 1774 (see below). Also, Stephen is listed as a Lieutenant in the South Carolina Royalist Regiment, having been commissioned on 13 November 1779, whereas William is listed as only a private in that same regiment in 1781 (see the Chronology below). However, William Mayfield was identified in a 1785 indenture as John Mayfield's eldest son (his "heir -at-law"). We know from British and Spanish official correspondence that, in 1785, Stephen Mayfield was still alive and residing in the British Province of East Florida. Accordingly, it is unreasonable to conclude that Stephen could be both older than William Mayfield and also be a son of John the Tory.
John Mayfield - Thomas Fletchall Connection
the beginning of the Revolution, in 1775, Thomas Fletchall was probably the most
influential man in the Ninety-Six District of SC.
He was a wealthy planter, gristmill owner,
justice of the peace, coroner and the commander of the Upper Saluda
I believe that John Mayfield had a close association with Fletchall
before the Revolution in two respects.
Mayfield was a constable working primarily under the direction of Fletchall, one
of the justices
of the peace for Ninety-Six District; and second, John Mayfield held the rank of
Captain in the militia regiment commanded by Colonel Fletchall.
John Mayfield - John Nuckolls Connection
a Charleston Court of Common Pleas record (filed 15 Jan 1773, plea made 2 Feb
1773), Thomas Fletchall and John Mayfield were jointly sued in a plea of
trespass by a certain John Nuckolls.
The plea basically concerned John Mayfield's arrest of Nuckolls, John
being a constable operating under the orders of the local magistrate (justice of
the peace), Thomas Fletchall.
Nuckolls's argument was that he had been apprehended in NC, where a
warrant issued by a SC magistrate had no legal standing.
would appear that Nuckolls was apprehended in that part of SC which SC historians
refer to as the "New Acquisition Territory."
This area had previously been considered part of NC; however, in 1772,
the dividing line between NC and SC was finally surveyed as far as the Cherokee
Indian Line. The result was that much land previously thought to have been in NC
was found to be actually in SC.
In fact, the 300-acre tract acquired by John Mayfield from Jacob Brown in
1770 was also in this area, as Brown had obtained title to the land by patent
issued by the Province of North Carolina in 1754.
Link to Transcript of Nuckoll's Plea and Answer
is interesting to note that Fletchall and Mayfield were represented in court by
Edward Rutledge (1749-1800).
Edward was the younger brother of the more famous John Rutledge
1776, Edward would be the youngest man to sign the Declaration of Independence!
Subsequently, on 12 May 1780, Edward, then a Lieutenant-Colonel in the
Whig forces, was
taken prisoner by the British when Charleston was captured by troops under the
command of Sir Henry Clinton.
Rutledge remained a British prisoner until exchanged in July 1781.
Before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1775, John Mayfield of Browns Creek was both a constable and a Militia Captain in the Ninety-Six Judicial District. In both capacities he served under the noted Loyalist, Colonel Thomas Fletchall of Fairforest Creek, Ninety-Six District. John was an active participant during all the significant events of 1775, involving Fletchall and the ad hoc Whig Council of Public Safety.
The Journal of Alexander Chesney is one of the most important eyewitness documents concerning the Revolution in South Carolina during the years 1775-1782. In his Journal, Chesney makes the following comments concerning his view of the events of 1775:
" ... When the war broke out between England and America the congress party, early in 1775, were sending a quantity of Ammunition and clothing as presents to the Indians; on which the loyalists who had not joined them assembled and went to Ninety-Six, a wooden fort; after besieging the place for some days took it and the stores. After distributing the ammunition amongst the loyalists, both parties agreed to a Cessation of Arms for some weeks until several of the leading men could go and return from Charles-town to receive Lord William Campbell's directions on the business; Colonel Fletchall and Captain John Mayfield were two of the delegates sent under the faith and sanction of a treaty; they were lodged in the jail of Charles Town and the papers they had received from the Governor Lord William Campbell were seized. In the meantime the congress party sent to the neighborhood of Ninety-Six an Army under the command of Colonel Richardson who seized the leading men of the loyalists and put them in goal and disarmed the rest; all this was accomplished before the expiration of the truce.
During the so-called "Winter Campaign" -- on 02 December 1775 -- Captain John Mayfield was captured along with several other officers at McLaurins Store in the Upper Saluda region. That same day, the commander of the Whig forces that captured Mayfield, Colonel Richard Richardson, wrote a letter describing the capture to the Council of Public Safety in Charles Town (Charleston).
On 02 January 1776, Colonel Richardson wrote another letter to the Committee listing a total of 136 prisoners, taken during the Winter Campaign, that were sent to Charleston. John Mayfield's name appears as the second name on that list, immediately after the name of Colonel Thomas Fletchall.
On 20 January 1776, 33 of the imprisoned loyalists sent a petition to the Council of Safety requesting release from prison. The first signature on the petition is that of Robert Cunningham, the second is that of John Mayfield!
On 11 April 1776, the South Carolina General Assembly issued a "Declaration of Pardon or Amnesty" for the captured backcountry Loyalists taken during the Snow Campaign of December 1775. John Mayfield was one of the men released from prison pursuant to that Declaration.
After Captain John Mayfield's release from prison in 1776, as a condition of his release, John was required to acquiesce to Whig rule in South Carolina. Even though a former Loyalist leader, John Mayfield appears to have retained his popularity among his neighbors. Indeed, there probably was still a Loyalist majority in the Upper Saluda area that became dormant until the British captured Charles Town in May 1780. He is almost certainly the same John Mayfield who was elected to the SC Assembly from the "Upper or Spartan District between Broad and Saluda Rivers." Both the 100-acre and 300 acre tracts of land owned by John Mayfield fall well within this Election District. Since Thomas Fletchall, as a condition for his release in July 1776, was not permitted to run for public office, John Mayfield may have been a proxy for Fletchall; however, this is only speculation on my part.
fact making John Mayfield a rather important man in his election district was that he
apparently operated a general store from his plantation (see the Colonel Wallace
interview extracted from the Draper Manuscripts, presented below).
Store owners in the SC backcountry tended to be men of influence.
Rachel N. Klein, in her book "Unification of a Slave State"
(published 19900, tells us that:
... The very term 'man of influence,' so frequently used by contemporaries, is
communities where settlers depended upon stores and mills for a variety of
services, store owners and millers, many of whom were also magistrates or
militia officers, naturally wielded political influence. ... It is no
coincidence that such prominent backcountry loyalists as Cunningham, McLaurin,
and Kirkland were all involved in local trade.
Fletchall owned and operated large gristmills. ..."
the time of the Revolution, John Mayfield, in addition to being a store owner,
was also a constable and a captain in the militia - thus I would consider him
also to be a "man of influence."
John took his General Assembly seat on 1 Feb 1780 [See "Journals of the SC General Assembly and House of Representatives 1776-1780," page 266]; but his career as a politician was short-lived. The Assembly adjourned on 12 Feb 1780 with the intention to reconvene in June. However, a British Fleet had arrived on 9 February and Charles Town was quickly put under siege!
Capture of Charles Town
May 1780, the
British captured Charles Town (later renamed Charleston) and took a large American army prisoner.
Sir Henry Clinton immediately ordered all the dormant Loyalist forces to
rise in support of the King.
Apparently both Fletchall and Mayfield heeded his call.
From this time until late in the year 1782, things got very bloody in the
Neighbors fought neighbors and brothers fought brothers.
Henry Lumkin, Professor Emeritus at the UN of SC, wrote in his excellent
book "From Savannah to Yorktown" (published 1981) that by 1782:
" ... the war had lasted seven long years with inconclusive results and the loyalties of many in this basically civil conflict were thoroughly confused. In the last phases of the fighting a large proportion of each loyalist provincial regiment was recruited from American deserters, while American Continental units were filled with discharged soldiers and deserters from British or Hessian formations. General Nathaniel Greene said that at the close of the war he fought the enemy with British soldiers and they fought him with those of America. Many loyalists, however, remained true to their convictions throughout the revolution. At the end of the war, their lands and possessions confiscated, they were forced to leave and start a new life in the Bahamas, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or across the sea in Great Britain. These were our own people and some were our forebears. They included villains and heroes, and they held true to their convictions despite the hardships often caused by their loyalty. The Loyalists' suffering is part of the total suffering that in agony and war was the price of the nation's birth."
Loyalist Militia Colonel In 1780-1782
After the fall of Charles Town to the British, in May 1780, General Sir Henry Clinton established two types of Loyalist militia in South Carolina: 1) a home militia composed mostly of older men with families that would operate, on an as needed basis, in the immediate vicinity of their homes; and 2) a regular militia composed mostly of younger men without families that would operate up to 6 months a year in more remote areas, including North Carolina and Georgia. These two types are described by Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton in his book entitled A History of the Southern Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America (first published at London in 1787) pages 23-24:
" ... After the surrender of the town, the commander-in-chief, without loss of time, adopted measures which appeared both judicious and necessary. He returned thanks to the army in general, and expressed himself in the language of gratitude which he particularized those officers and men, whose attention, toils, and courage, had contributed to his success. He dispatched the Earl of Lincoln to Europe, with intelligence of the important advantage which had attended His Majesty's arms; and he circulated proclamations amongst the inhabitants of South Carolina, well calculated to induce them to return to their allegiance, and to manifest their loyalty by joining the King's troops. It was stated, that the helping hand of every man was wanted to reestablish peace and good government: And that as the commander in chief wished not to draw the King's friends into danger, while any doubt could remain of their success; so now that this was certain, he trusted that one and all would heartily join, and, by a general concurrence, give effect to such necessary measures for that purpose as from time to time might be pointed out.
Those who had families were to form a militia to remain at home, and occasionally to assemble in their own districts, when required, under officers of their own choosing, for the maintenance of peace and good order. [emphasis added]
Those who had no families, and who could conveniently be spared for a time, it was presumed, would cheerfully assist His Majesty's troops in driving their oppressors, acting under the authority of Congress and all the miseries of war, far from that colony. For this purpose it was said to be necessary, that the young men should be ready to assemble when required, and to serve with the King's troops for any six months of the ensuing twelve that might be found requisite, under proper regulations. They might choose officers to each company to command them, and were to be allowed, when on service, pay, ammunition, and provisions, in the same manner as the King's troops. When they joined the army, each man was to be furnished with a certificate, declaring that he was not only engaged to serve as militiaman for the time specified; that he was not to be marched beyond North Carolina and Georgia; and that when the time was out, he was freed from all claims whatever of military service, excepting the common and usual militia duty at the place of his residence: He would then, it was said, have paid his debt to his country, and be entitled to enjoy, undisturbed, that peace, liberty, and property, at home, which he had contributed to establish. ... "
Some time in 1780, John Mayfield was appointed as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Loyalist Home Militia. His area of command was probably the Upper Saluda Militia District - the same district that he had represented in the SC Whig Legislature in February 1780 (see above).
It is interesting to note that John Mayfield's counterpart in the Loyalist Regular Militia was Zacharias Gibbs of Fairforest. In addition to his main plantation on Fairforest Creek, Gibbs also owned a tract of land in the Browns Creek area, very near to the land of both John Mayfield and another Loyalist, David George.
Battle of Hammond's Store
During 1780-1781, John Mayfield was apparently involved in several skirmishes with the Whigs in and around the Browns Creek area where he lived. The best known of these conflicts was the so-called Battle of Hammond's Store which took place on 30 December 1780, in what would later become Laurens County SC. I quote the following from the Draper Manuscripts (for more about Draper see below), Sumter Papers, 16VV376 -- the recollections of Whig Major Joseph Williams:
" ... I was at the Battle of Hammond's Store. There was a Tory Colonel came from Georgia [who] camped there with 400 men or Tories with him. Bill Cunningham, [John] Mayfield and ... came and joined his troops. At that time I was under [Daniel] Morgan at Grindal Shoals. The next morning after we got word, Col. Washington & Col. Hayes with their troops were sent on down there. We marched all that day & the next day until about 10 O'clock. We made a charge upon them. The battle was not of long duration. There were 40 Tories killed & one or two hundred taken prisoner. Bill Cunningham, in making his escape, ran a very fine mare to death. ... "
Murder of John Mayfield
Mayfield paid the ultimate price - his life!
Mayfield's patron and close associate, Thomas
Fletchall, survived the war but lost all of his worldly possessions; he went into
exile in Jamaica where he died only a few years thereafter.
However, before leaving Charleston, Fletchall and several other Tory
leaders, in a Petition to Lord George Germain in London, dated 19 April 1782,
listed "John Mayfield, Lieut. Colonel" as among the group
"that the Usurpers in this province have murdered, ... on a bare suspicion
of their being attached to your Majesty's Government."
Testimony from the Draper Manuscripts
Draper (1815-1891) began to seriously collect documents concerning the
Revolution in SC rather late in his career.
About 1869 he began to toy with the idea of doing an in-depth biography
of General Thomas Sumter.
During 1870 he wrote many letters to his southern colleagues and others
concerning Sumter's life.
In particular, he contacted Dr. John H. Logan of Greenwood SC who had
begun writing a "History of Upper South Carolina," publishing the
first volume in 1859. Unfortunately, Logan had been unable to get a publisher
for his contemplated second volume.
1871, Draper made his last major collecting expedition to the South.
He saw his old friend, Dr. David Ramsey in Knoxville and saw Dr. Logan's
papers in Greenwood.
He obtained substantial extracts of Logan's unpublished materials.
Upon his return to Wisconsin, Draper continued collecting Sumter
materials, but, like so many of his other projects, he never got anything
written or published concerning Sumter.
references to John Mayfield the Tory, including an account of how John was
murdered by the Whigs, are contained in the Thomas Sumter Papers Collection of
the Draper Manuscripts.
Three (3) pertinent extracts from these documents and my comments follow:
At 23VV261 is an interview conducted by Draper, on 20 March 1848, with a
certain William Sims, son of Whig Captain Charles
Sims, concerning his
recollections of the Revolution (William Sims was about 10 years old in 1780)
in that area of South Carolina which became Union County in 1785.
Sims mentions Thomas Fletchall, the Mayfields, Samuel McJunkin and
"Bloody Bill" Cunningham.
These references are as follows:
... I never knew Col. Fletcher [Fletchall], but I have heard much said of him.
He was a peaceable and good citizen, but a Tory all the time.
He left the Country with the British.
Mayfields were quiet & orderly men, so far as I know, but all Tories.
"I knew the McJunkin family, a very clever set of people & great Whigs. The old man, Samuel, was very angry with David for marrying into a Tory family (Chesney).
... I saw Bloody Bill Cunningham when he ordered my mother to leave the Country.
His face was long and bony."
It is interesting to compare William Sims's assessment of Fletchall and the Mayfields with Col Wallace's viewpoint expressed below!
At 16VV317 is a narrative taken (probably in the 1830's or 1840's) by Dr.
John H. Logan from Colonel A. S. Wallace regarding the Caroll, Henderson and
Ratchford families during the Revolution.
The narrative contains several references to Colonel John Mayfield,
including an account of his murder, as follows:
... After the fall of Charleston Sumter kept the field and retired to North
Carolina, with a few parizan [sic] followers.
Near Catawbas, some 200 were also with him.
Old Robert Wilson, who lived near the Lockhart Shoals, on Broad river,
Chester, a true patriot, also joined Sumter (15th June, 1780).
... The circumstances of Wilson's joining the camp were these.
He had been made a prisoner at the fall of Charleston, and sent on parole
to Harrell's Point to use the Lick.
Watching his opportunity, he soon after escaped, & traveling by night
through swamps and thickets arrived safely at his father's house in Chester.
A few days after, Col. Mayfield sent out a detachment of Tories to murder
Joseph Robinson & other Whigs of that vicinity; & calling at his
father's house, made young Wilson a prisoner a second time.
Wilson knew if he was ever discovered, his fate was sealed, &
immediately proposed to join the Royal cause on the condition that he would be
allowed to go into the cavalry service; he was tired of the infantry.
His proposition was readily accepted; & they offered to give him a
horse & other accouterments, which he declined, saying that he had both arms
& a good horse & that he would meet them next morning by 8 o'clock at
When telling it afterwards, he used the significant phrase:
"If a man can spin, he should learn to turn."
Sale Coffee, who commanded the Tory detachment, suddenly remarked how
that they were forgetting orders, that they should hurry on to find Robinson,
& obey orders.
"Kill Joe Robinson!", exclaimed Wilson with the utmost
composure; "well you'll have to ride fast to do that; it is now nearly
sundown, & he lives a good bit of a way from here."
Now Robinson's house was nearly in sight.
The ruse took; the Tories at last concluded to wait until next day to
obey orders on Robinson.
Wilson slipped down to Robinson's, appraising him of his danger, &
mounting their horses, rode all night & joined Sumter by the hour he was to
have met the Tories the same morning. ...
Who was the Joseph Robinson, cited above, and why did John Mayfield want
to kill him? I
note that there was a close neighbor, to both Stephen and John Mayfield, named
In the tax memorial of David George for 2200 acres of land, dated 8
November 1775, George's land is stated to be " ... Situate on Brown's creek
bounded Eastwardly by Joseph Robinson Westwardly by Elias Palmer William
Williams and Thomas Jones Northwardly by Stephen Mayfield and Job Hammon and
Southwardly by John Mayfield ... "
have always considered it possible that this Joseph Robinson
was the well known Loyalist leader,
whose life is sketched elsewhere in this web site.
The following is a quote from the book "South Carolina Loyalists in
the American Revolution" by Robert Stansbury Lambert (published 1987):
... One who had met with Governor Campbell and who was present at the muster
ground when Fletchall polled his regiment was Joseph Robinson, the author of the
Robinson, who held a major's commission in the militia regiment from the
New Acquisition, the area recently acquired in a boundary settlement with North
Carolina, had come into the South Carolina backcountry from Virginia; his
property holdings on Broad river were modest, but he was a deputy surveyor and
justice of the peace and owned a substantial library for a backcountryman. ...
This same Robinson is known to be the Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Robinson of the SC Royalists Regiment (a Loyalist regiment), whose name appears in several muster rolls and other documents from 1778 to 1781. Incidentally, the names of both Stephen and William Mayfield also appear in the muster rolls of this same regiment.
Since "Old Robert Wilson" lived in Chester County (Camden District), across from John Mayfield on the eastern bank of the Broad River, it is probable that the Joseph Robinson cited by Wilson also lived in Chester, hence he probably was another Joseph Robinson and presumably a Whig. But again I ask the question - why should John Mayfield want to kill Joseph Robinson? Clearly, more research is needed to properly answer this question.
Wallace's narrative continues as follows:
" ... Maj. [James] Meek, Capt. John Hood & several other Whig partisans succeeded in ridding the Country of the notorious Mayfield of Union, whose house was the rallying point for the Tories. He was a muscular bully of the time, and kept also a grocery. He was disposed of in the following manner: They dressed themselves in British uniforms & approached the house dragging Meek along with them as a Whig prisoner. Mayfield knew none of them, & was disposed to believe them to be what they seemed; but before getting quite into their hands, he suspected something, & turned to fly. Hood exclaimed "You may run sir, but I have something here to overtake you" & leveling his rifle [he] shot him dead. The ball passed through his head. Meek was father-in-law of Mr. John S. Moore of York."
At 15VV141 is a note regarding a communication, dated 14 June 1884, from
Mrs. Chesterfield McKinney, the only surviving child of Major James Meek of
Bullock's Creek, York County SC.
James Meek was involved in the murder of John Mayfield and was an officer
serving under General Sumter during the Revolution.
Mention is made of a certain Captain Mayfield; this person is undoubtedly
John Mayfield the Tory who was a Captain in the local militia before the
The reference is as follows:
... Meek was captured by the Tories, who had to cross a river, and could find no
other conveyance but a large hog trough into which they put their prisoner and
ferried him over; and carried him to the house of one Capt. Mayfield, a Tory.
While at dinner, the sentinel cried out - "Yonder comes Sumter's
the Tories fled, and left Meek ... behind.
Hood, of Union, cut the cords that bound him, who with John Swan carried
him back to Sumter's camp.
1819, Meek started to Cahawaba, Alabama to attend the land sales.
He got as far as Seneca River in the NW corner of South Carolina.
His body was found in that river lodged against some driftwood.
It was supposed that he was murdered for his money, & his body thrown
into the river.
Jas. H. Saye says he has seen that Captain Mayfield in Georgia."
The assertion that Rev. Saye thought he saw Captain Mayfield alive in Georgia after the War is probably a garbled reference to John the Tory's family (widow Mary and sons William John and Battle) who removed to Jackson County GA in the early 1800's.
Thomas Brandon settled in the Brown's Creek section of SC in the mid-1750's. He was an officer in the Whig Militia, during the Revolution, serving under the well-known partisan general, Thomas Sumter; Brandon rose to the rank of brigadier general before the War ended. During the Revolution, General Sumter, acting under his infamous "Sumter's Law," awarded Fletchall's plantation on Fairforest Creek to Brandon as payment for his military service. However, "Sumter's Law" was never recognized by the SC State Government; therefore, after the Revolution, Brandon had to acquire Thomas Fletchall's plantation at public auction. The staff at the SC State Archives told me that when Thomas Fletchall's estate came up for auction, Brandon bought it for a very nominal sum as no one else in the District dared to bid against him. Besides Fletchall's plantation, Brandon acquired other land in SC after the War, much of which had also been confiscated from Loyalists.
John Mayfield's estate was not confiscated pursuant to the
Estate Confiscation Act of
February 1782. The SC Legislature probably thought that, since
he already had been killed by Whigs, his widow and children had suffered
enough. Also, per Professor Bobby Moss (see below), Mary Mayfield had
cooperated with the local Whig forces, often telling them, via her brother
Charles Crain, of the Tory plans. Accordingly, in 1785, Thomas Brandon had to purchase (for
£50) John Mayfield's 300-acre
tract on Brown's Creek from John's eldest son, William Mayfield, the
Fletchall's main plantation was located right at the point where SC 49 crosses Fair Forest Creek. Brandon moved into Fletchall's plantation house (located on the site of the old Nicholson House today) and reigned as the local "Squire of the Shire" for the rest of his life. He basically assumed the social and economic position once held by Fletchall. Such are the fortunes of war!
Father of John Mayfield the Tory
In my opinion, John the Tory was probably the son of a certain William Mayfield, who died in Culpepper County VA in 1761. John Mayfield's eldest son was named William, possibly after his grandfather. I know almost nothing about William Mayfield of Culpepper County VA; however the following facts are considered pertinent:
1) 1749: Culpepper County is formed from Orange County,
Virginia. I believe that William Mayfield may be a son of Abraham
Mayfield, Sr., who lived in Orange County, Virginia before removing to North Carolina
in about 1762. This
Mayfield died testate in Granville County North Carolina in 1778.
2) 21 May 1761: The appraisal of the personal estate of William Mayfield, deceased is returned and ordered to be recorded. [See Culpepper County VA Will Book A, pages 252-253.]
3) 10 May 1763: A lawsuit of the executors of the estate of Francis Kirtly, deceased versus John Mayfield is dismissed. [See Culpepper County VA, County Court Minute Book of 1763-1764, page 318.] This John Mayfield may be a son of the William Mayfield who died in Culpepper County in 1761.
John Mayfield married Mary Crain in about 1763, probably in Culpepper County VA. She was born about 1742, and died after 1807, probably in Georgia.
Wife of John Mayfield the Tory
Mary Mayfield was apparently the sister of the Whig soldier Charles Crain. Professor Bobby Gilmer Moss, the foremost living historian of the Revolution in South Carolina, states the following concerning Charles Crain and Mary Crain Mayfield:
" ... Charles Crain ... served in the [Whig] militia from 3 February to 27 February 1779 under Capt. Joseph Palmer and from 7 May 1780 to 25 June 1781 under Capt Benjamin Jolly and Col. Brandon. ... His sister, the wife of Capt. Mayfield the Tory, often told him the plans of the Tories. ... " [See Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, page 211.]
After the Revolution, in 1787, Mary acquired 185 acres of land on Browns Creek from Colonel Thomas Brandon. Mary Mayfield sold this land in 1799. Also, her eldest son, William, sold his remaining land (100 acres) in Union County SC in 1800. In about 1800, Mary and her eldest son, William Mayfield apparently removed to the State of Georgia -- settling in Jackson County. A few years later, in about 1808, two of Mary's other sons, Battle Mayfield and John W. Mayfield also removed to Jackson County, Georgia.
The last record I can find re Mary Mayfield, widow of John the Tory, is when she participated in the 1807 Georgia land lottery. She drew a lot (202 & 1/2 acres) for land in Wilkinson County GA. Mary was then a resident of Jackson County GA. Interestingly, a certain Luke Mayfield, also of Jackson County GA, also drew a lot of land in that year. Luke (1777-1853) was probably a son of Stephen Mayfield (1758-1846) and a grandson of Robert Mayfield (d. 1816) of Chester County SC. Robert Mayfield was probably an uncle of John the Tory. It's a small interconnected world isn't it!
Children of John Mayfield the Tory and Mary Crain
John the Tory had at least four sons and three daughters as follows:
1. William Mayfield was born about 1764, probably in Culpepper County VA; he died before 1820, probably in Georgia. William Mayfield was the eldest son of John Mayfield the Tory and was the heir-at-law to all of John's real property.
In 1781, William served, at least for a time, in a loyalist regiment -- the South Carolina Royalist Regiment, then stationed at Camden SC, The regimental muster roll for February-April 1781 contains the names of both William Mayfield and a certain "Mayfield Crane" (probably a relative of Mary Mayfield, William's mother) -- both men listed as Privates. The muster roll further indicated that William Mayfield deserted on 24 April 1781. Also, Mayfield Crane is cited as having deserted on 23 June 1781.
After the Revolution, William sold John Mayfield's 300-acre tract of land on Browns Creek to Colonel Thomas Brandon in March 1785, probably soon after his 21st birthday when he became of legal age to sell the land. It is interesting to note that one of the witnesses to this transaction was Charles Crain, the brother of Mary Mayfield. William sold John Mayfield's other tract of land -- 100 acres on Broad River -- to Archibald Fore in 1800.
William apparently never married. He seems to have removed to Georgia with his mother in about 1800. William appears on the 1810 tax list for Jackson County GA. However, he was either dead or had left Georgia by 1820 as he is not listed in the 1820 Federal Census for GA.
2. Mary Mayfield was born about 1765, probably in Virginia. She married John Boden on 31 July 1782 in Charles Town SC. Mary Mayfield's Marriage to John Boden is documented in the Registers of St. Philips Parish, Charles Town, South Carolina. Charles Town (Charleston) was under British occupation at this time, populated mainly by Loyalist refugees; accordingly, it is almost certain that these people were Loyalists. My best guess is that this Mary was the daughter of John and Mary Mayfield of Browns Creek. It is probable that this couple left with the British when they evacuated Charles Town in December 1782. The surname Boden does not appear in the 1790 Federal Census for SC.
3. Richard Mayfield was born about 1768 in Ninety-Six District, South Carolina; he apparently died before the time of the 1840 Federal Census, probably in Anderson County SC. Richard is the only son of John the Tory who remained in South Carolina. John's other three sons all removed to Georgia in the early 1800's.
Some Mayfield researchers believe that Richard's wife was named Joanna (maiden name unknown). However, I have no evidence to support this belief. One of Richard Mayfield's descendants, Gary Wilbanks, makes the following comments re Richard's wife (email, dated 19 July 2003):
" ... One other thing
to call to your attention, the possible wife of Richard Mayfield. I have
identified her as Joanna but maiden name unknown. I have assumed that she was
his wife because they are both members of Padgett's Creek Baptist Church, though
he joined in 1803 and she was received in 1812. There were no other Mayfields as
members. It's always possible that she is his daughter. Interestingly, the
minutes show that within two months of being received into Padgett's Creek, she
transfers membership to the Lower Fairforest Baptist Church which was spun off
from Padgett's Creek around 1809. There is no record of Richard Mayfield
transferring membership. The two churches are about 5-7 miles apart.
The Lower Fairforest Baptist Church shows Joanna as a member and Battle and John being received in 1818. Battle and John would be the sons of Richard. BUT, there is another Mayfield member in the church. Her name is POLLY MULKEY MAYFIELD. I have wondered if there is a chance that she was Richard's wife. Some things to consider;
1. The first Baptist Church in Union District was the Upper Fairforest Baptist Church. It was founded by Phillip Mulkey who founded many Baptist Churches throughout NC, SC and North Georgia. He was a Loyalist.
2. As an influential Loyalist and spiritual leader in the community, he would have been close to the Mayfields and Fletchalls though I suspect that the Mayfields and Fletchalls were Presbyterians. Several families that bought Mary Mayfield's lands were neighbors and Presbyterians including my ancestor Joel Bentley.
3. I need to determine
if Polly Mulkey was born a Mulkey and married a Mayfield or if she married a
Mulkey at one time and then married a Mayfield. If Polly was not Richard
Mayfield's wife, then to what Mayfield man was she married to? I don't think
there were any other Mayfield men around at the time. Battle was 18 when he was
received into the church in 1818. Maybe he was married to her but later church
records (Hopewell Baptist in Anderson) and the 1850 census shows Battle Mayfield
married to Martha (maiden name unknown).
Though most researchers identify Richard's wife as Joanna, I am beginning to lean towards Polly Mulkey Mayfield as the wife and Joanna as the daughter of Richard. But the proof is lacking at this time. ... "
Richard Mayfield appears in the South Carolina Federal Census records for the years 1800, 1810, 1820 and 1830 as follows:
1800: Richard Mayfield is listed in Union County SC with 5 people in his household: one male - age group 0-10, one male age group - age group 26-45, two females - age group 0-10, and one female - age group 16-26.
1810: Richard Mayfield is listed in Union County SC with 8 people in his household: three males - age group 0-10, one male - age group 10-16, one male - age group 26-45, two females - age group 10-16, and one female - age group 16-26.
1820: Richard Mayfield is listed in Union County SC with 8 people in his household: one male - age group 0-10, two males - age group 10-16, one male - age group 45 & over, one female - age group 0-10, one female - age group 10-16, one female - age group 16-26, and one female - age group 26-45.
1830: Richard Mayfield is listed in Anderson County SC with 4 people in his household: one male - age group 60-70, two females - age group 15-20 and one female - age group 50-60. On an adjacent census page, another Mayfield household is cited - that of Battle Mayfield (age group 30-40). This man is almost certainly a son of Richard.
4. Daughter (Name Unknown) was probably born about 1770. Tragically, she died young as a refugee in Charles Town in February 1782. John Mayfield had probably sent his family to Charles Town as a safety measure, while he remained in Browns Creek to protect his farm and store. Murtie June Clark, in her book entitled Loyalists in the Southern Campaign (Volume I), pages 545-546 provides the following information:
" ... From November 1781 through November 1782, the coffin maker, James Donaldson of 90 Tradd Street, Charles Town SC, received orders to provide coffins for the refugees as follows: ... 20 Feb 1782 [Issued to] Capt. Mayfield his daughter ... "
The above record would seem to indicate that John Mayfield was still alive as
late as February 1782. But we know that he was dead by late April 1782,
because Thomas Fletchall and several other Tory leaders, in a petition to Lord George Germain in London, dated 19 April 1782,
listed "John Mayfield, Lieut. Colonel" as among the group
"that the Usurpers in this province have murdered, ... on a bare suspicion
of their being attached to your Majesty's Government."
5. Daughter (Name Unknown) was born about 1776. Her existence is based upon the listing for Mary Mayfield in the 1790 Federal Census for Union County SC.
6. Battle Mayfield was born about 1778 in Ninety-Six District, South Carolina; he died after 1850, probably in Cobb County, Georgia.
On 20 November 1805, Battle Mayfield and a certain Robert Whitlock acquired a 142-acre tract of land in Union County SC from William and Sally Porter (see Chronology below). On 02 January 1808, Battle Mayfield and Robert Whitlock sold this 142-acre tract to Charles Adams and Zidack Adams.
After sale of his land in 1808, Battle probably moved to Jackson County, Georgia, where his mother Mary and his brother William had previously relocated. Published records of Jackson County reflect the following data pertaining to this Battle Mayfield:
22 February 1811: Thomas Pate of Jackson County GA, for $300, conveyed a 147-acre tract of land on the waters of the Oconee River to Battle Mayfield and John W. Mayfield (in conjunction).
07 November 1812: William Lyles of Prince George County, Maryland, for $200, conveyed a 100-acre tract of land to Battle Mayfield.
17 September 1813: William Lyles of Prince George County, Maryland, for $50, conveyed a 30-acre tract of land to Battle Mayfield. The tract " ... being a slip of land lying between Battle Mayfield's and Benjamin Camp's line. ... "
01 August 1814: Jackson County GA Court appoints Battle Mayfield as the guardian for Fanny McCarrel, a bastard child.
06 February 1816: Jackson County GA Court appoints Battle Mayfield administrator of the estate of Moses Snow, deceased. Moses Snow is probably the father of Battle Mayfield's wife, Abea Snow.
04 March 1816: Jackson County GA Court orders Battle Mayfield to make return as guardian for a bastard child, Fanny Carrel [sic].
Battle married Abea Snow on 30 November 1813 in Jackson County GA. Based on the 1820 Federal Census record, she seems to have died before that Census was taken. Some Mayfield researchers believe that this same Battle Mayfield married, as his second wife, a certain Martha Bobo on 01 April 1838 in Forsyth County GA. However, I have not found any evidence to confirm this assertion.
The Federal Census records for 1820, 1830, 1840 and 1850 pertaining to this Battle Mayfield are as follows:
1820: Battle Mayfield is listed in Gwinnett County GA with 3 people in his household: one male - age group 0-10, one male - age group 10-16, and one male - age group 26-45. Note that no females are in his household. Perhaps Abea Snow Mayfield was dead by this time.
1830: Battle Mayfield is listed Gwinnett Country GA with 4 people in his household: one male - age group 10-15, one male - age group 15-20, one male - age group 50-60, and one female - age group 30-40. From this data, it appears that Battle had remarried. However, it could not be Martha Bobo as that marriage did not take place until 1838!
On the same page as Battle Mayfield's entry is an entry for a certain James Mayfield with 3 people in his household: one male - age group 0-5, one male - age group 20-30, and one female - age group 20-30. James may be a son of Battle Mayfield.
1840: Battle Mayfield is listed (page 9) in the census for Benton County AL with 2 people in his household: one male - age group 50-60 [sic] and one female- age group 50-60. The 50-60 grouping for Battle Mayfield is undoubtedly an error - he should have been listed in the 60-70 age group.
Just above the census entry for Battle Mayfield is an entry (page 9) for a certain Giles Mayfield with 6 people: two males - age group 0-5, one male - age group 20-30, one female - age group 0-5, one female - age group 5-10, and one female - age group 20-30. Giles is probably a son of Battle Mayfield.
There is also another nearby entry (page 8) for a certain James Mayfield. His household contains: one male group 0-5, one male group 5-10, one male group 10-15, one male group 30-40, one female group 5-10 and one female group 20-30. This James is probably also a son of Battle Mayfield.
There is one additional Mayfield entry (page 25) for Benton County - a certain Fanny Mayfield with two people in her household: one female - age group 10-15 and one female - age group 30-40. It is possible that Fanny may be the bastard child, Fanny McCarrel, for whom Battle was named as guardian in Jackson County GA in 1814 (see above). However, the 1820 and 1830 census reports indicate that no female of Fanny's age group was then in the Battle Mayfield household.
1850: Battle Mayfield is listed in Cobb County GA, age 72, in the same household as Giles Mayfield, age 37, and Lucretia Mayfield (wife of Giles?), age 30, plus several children. Battle Mayfield is indicated as having been born in SC while Giles and Lucretia both were born in GA. Giles is almost certainly Battle Mayfield's son.
7. John W. Mayfield was born 28 December 1780 in Ninety -Six District, South Carolina; he died 16 August 1838 in Sullivan County, Indiana. John W. Mayfield was the youngest son of John the Tory.
The following land record indicates that he married, as his first wife, a certain Unity Bailey in Union County SC:
06 July 1797: John Mayfield and Unity Mayfield, his wife, made a bond with William Mayfield (apparently John's elder brother) in the amount of 100 pounds; John and Unity secured the bond with a 50-acre tract of land "the said parcel or tract of land being willed to Unity Bailey by her mother Susana Bailey it being half of a tract of Land containing one hundred acres ... lying on Pacolet [River]." John and Unity sign by making their marks.
Unity Bailey Mayfield apparently died young and John took as his second wife, Edith Brandon. Edith was born on 28 September 1784 in Union County, South Carolina and died on 13 April 1850 in Sullivan County, Indiana. Edith Brandon was the daughter of John M. Brandon, who was born in Halifax County Virginia in about 1746; he died testate in York County, South Carolina in 1799. These Brandons do not appear to be in any way related to the family of the well-known Colonel Thomas Brandon of Union County South Carolina.
John and his family apparently removed to Jackson County, Georgia sometime in the early 1800's. He may have moved to Georgia with his brother Battle Mayfield but I have no hard evidence for this. The name John Mayfield appears in the 1804 tax list for Jackson County GA. Also, in 1805, a John Mayfield, of Jackson County GA, participated in the Land Lottery for that year. Unfortunately, although John had two draws, both were blanks. This John Mayfield may be the same person as John W. Mayfield, but I have no proof.
In the year 1810, the name John W. Mayfield appears in the Jackson County tax list. This is undoubtedly the same John W. Mayfield who is the son of John the Tory. Also, that same year, the names of Battle Mayfield and William Mayfield appear on the Jackson County tax list. These men are almost certainly the brothers of John W. Mayfield.
The published Georgia land records pertaining to this John W. Mayfield are as follows:
22 February 1811: Thomas Pate of Jackson County GA, for $300, conveyed a 147-acre tract of land on the waters of the Oconee River to Battle Mayfield and John W. Mayfield (in conjunction).
16 November 1811: John W. Mayfield of Jackson County witnesses a deed between Alexander Gillespie and John Carmical.
1816: John W. Mayfield receives a Georgia land grant for 161 acres in Jackson County GA.
1818: John W. Mayfield receives a Georgia land grant for 439 acres in Jackson County GA.
30 December 1817: John W. Mayfield of Jackson County conveys a 130-acre tract of land, located on the water of the North Oconee River and Hurricane Creek "being part of a tract originally granted to myself for 161 acres" to Sion Pritchet for $5.00.
01 January 1818: John W. Mayfield of Jackson County conveys a 200-acre tract of land, for $500.00, to Abner McGuire.
Sometime after the above 1818 sale, John W. Mayfield and his family left Georgia, ultimately arriving in Lawrence County, Indiana sometime after the 1820 Federal Census was taken (John W. is not listed in the 1820 Federal Census for either Georgia or Indiana in that year). John W. and his family are listed in the 1830 Federal Census for Lawrence County IN. Some time before his death in 1838, John W. Mayfield removed to Sullivan County IN.
John W. and Edith Mayfield are reflected in the 1830 and 1840 Indiana Federal Census reports as follows:
1830: John W. Mayfield is listed in Lawrence County IN with 9 people: one male - age group 5-10, two males - age group 15-20, one male - age group 50-60, one female - age group 5-10, two females - age group 10-15, one female - age group 20-30, and one female - age group 40-50. The next household on the census page is that of Battle Mayfield (age group 20-30), undoubtedly a son of John W.
1840: Edith Mayfield is listed in Sullivan County IN with 6 people: one male - age group 15-20, three males - age group 20-30, one female - age group 15-20, and one female - age group 50-60. On a nearby census page, two other Mayfield households are cited - Battle and Gideon. Both men are in age group 30-40 and are undoubtedly sons of John W. Mayfield.
As indicated above, the 1840 Federal census for Sullivan County lists John. W. Mayfield's widow, Edith Mayfield (born 1784), and at least two of their sons - Gideon Mayfield (born about 1806) and Battle Mayfield (born about 1810). Shortly after the 1840 Census, this Battle Mayfield removed to Smith County, Texas. Both John W. Mayfield and Edith Brandon Mayfield are buried in Union Chapel Cemetery, Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.
Mayfield Records Chronology (1767-1819) Pertaining to Union County, South Carolina
Prior to the Revolution, only two Mayfields are mentioned in the official records of South Carolina Colony - John Mayfield and Stephen Mayfield; both men resided near Browns Creek in the Ninety-Six Judicial District. After the Revolution, in 1785, this area became a part of Union County.
Until the survey of the boundary line between South Carolina and North Carolina was completed in 1772, much of what is now part of northern South Carolina was considered by some to be in North Carolina. Accordingly, many early grants in that area of SC which later became Union County were issued by the Province of North Carolina. Therefore, I also checked the Colonial NC patent records and land records of nearby NC counties, i. e. those of Anson, Mecklenburg and Tryon Counties, but no Mayfields were noted.
Abstracts of the South Carolina colonial and state records, pertaining to the Mayfields of the Union County area during the period 1767-1819, are as follows:
03 November 1767: A 100-acre tract of land is certified to John Mayfield. The original survey of this land is dated 20 Aug 1763 and was performed for a certain Bernard McCaun, who had apparently assigned the property over to John Mayfield. [See SC Colonial Plats, Vol. 9, page 164] This is the earliest reference to a Mayfield in South Carolina.
Link to John Mayfield's Survey Plat
13 February 1768: A patent is issued to John Mayfield for the 100-acre tract cited above. The patent document describes the land as being " ... a plantation or tract of land containing one hundred acres on the West side of Broad River in Berkley County bounded on the East end of the tract with Broad River & the other three lines is bounded with Vacant Land." [See SC Colonial Patent Book 15, page 281]
Link to John Mayfield's Land Patent
12 April 1768: The memorial, required for tax purposes, for the above cited 100-acre tract of land, is executed at Charleston SC. John Mayfield apparently had an agent file the memorial for him (Charleston was a two-week round trip from the Broad River Backcountry) - a man by the name of Joseph Wofford. [See Colonial SC Memorial Book 9, page 474].
02 August 1770: John Mayfield acquires, from Jacob Brown and his wife Ruth, a 300-acre tract of land, for 40 Pounds:
"lying and being in Tryon County in the Province of North Carolina lay on Brown's Creek on both sides of the Creek a west Branch of Broad River below the Great Shoals of the said Creek"
The indenture further states that both Jacob Brown and John Mayfield were:
"of Berkley County in the Province of South Carolina."
This deed was not recorded until many years later, on 27 June 1786. [See Union County Deed Book A, pages 133-134]
Link to Facsimile of the Jacob Brown - John Mayfield Deed
The fact that John Mayfield is stated to be a resident of Berkley County is very important since the 100-acre tract of land patented to a certain John Mayfield in 1768 also lies within Berkley County. Conversely, Colonial South Carolina land patents issued in the Brown's Creek area were always stated to be within Craven County; thus John Mayfield was not then living in the Brown's Creek area at the time he acquired the 300 acres from Jacob Brown. Jacob Brown, a merchant and land speculator, is very well known to both South Carolina and Tennessee historians.
09 August 1770: John Mayfield obtains a loan of 150 pounds from a certain John Steen. As collateral for the loan, Mayfield mortgage's his 100-acre tract of land on Broad River. John Mayfield actually signs his name to this note, i. e., he does not sign by making a mark. Witnesses to this note/bond are William Grant and William Williams. [See Union County Deed Book P, page 506]
Link to Facsimile of John Mayfield's Bond to John Steen
It should be noted that, in 1770, William Williams owned a tract of land directly adjacent to John Mayfield's recently acquired 300-acre tract on Brown's Creek. This is further evidence that the John Mayfield who patented the 100 acre tract on Broad River in 1768 is the same John Mayfield who purchased 300 acres on Brown's Creek in 1770! It is also interesting to note that above bond was not recorded until 18 June 1790, upon the oath of William Williams. John Steen was a well known and prosperous land owner in the Thicketty Creek area of northern Union County - the same general area where I now believe that the 100-acre tract of John Mayfield was also situated.
15 January 1773: A plea is filed by John Nuckolls in the Charleston Court of Common Pleas record (plea actually made on 02 February 1773). John Mayfield and a certain Thomas Fletchall were jointly sued in a plea of trespass by a this same John Nuckolls. The plea basically concerned John Mayfield's arrest of Nuckolls, John being a constable operating under the orders of the local magistrate (Justice of the Peace), Thomas Fletchall. Nuckolls's argument was that he had been apprehended in North Carolina, where a warrant issued by a South Carolina magistrate had no legal standing. It is interesting to note that the attorney representing Mayfield and Fletchall in this matter was Edward Rutledge, the same Rutledge who, three years later, would sign the Declaration of Independence! [See Charleston Court of Common Pleas Book 99, page 345] John Nuckolls was a prominent planter in the Thicketty Creek area and probably lived quite near to John Mayfield's 100-acre tract on Broad River.
Link to Transcript of Nuckolls's Court Plea
18 October 1774: A survey is made for a certain David George of a 2200-acre tract of land on Brown's Creek. The tract is described as "joining Eastwardly by Joseph Robinson, Westwardly by Elias Platmore, William Williams & Thomas Jones, Northwardly by Stephen Mayfield & Job Hammon & Southwardly by John Mayfield." The survey was certified to George on 17 May 1774. This survey and land plat document provides the earliest mention of a Stephen Mayfield in South Carolina. In 1775, during the so-called "Winter Campaign," David was captured along with John Mayfield and was incarcerated with him in Charleston for several months. During the Revolution, David George was a relatively well-known Loyalist who wrote at least three letters to Earl Cornwallis.
Link to Land Plat of David George
During the Revolution, several Mayfields are mentioned in various South Carolina land records, court records, military records and other documents. These records are abstracted below:
02 December 1775: John Mayfield, a militia captain serving in Colonel Thomas Fletchall's regiment, is captured by Whig forces commanded by Colonel Richard Richardson. After the capture of Mayfield and several other Loyalists, Richardson sent a letter to the Council of Public Safety in Charles Town (Charleston) notifying them of the event.
Link to Colonel Richardson's Letter of 2 Dec 1775
02 January 1776: Whig Militia Colonel Richard Richardson sends a letter to the Rebel Council of Safety forwarding a list of captured Loyalists that were deemed of sufficient importance to incarcerate at Charles Town. John Mayfield's name appears as the second name on that list, immediately after the name of Colonel Thomas Fletchall.
Link to Colonel Richardson's Letter of 2 Jan 1776
20 January 1776: John Mayfield, Thomas Fletchall, Richard Pearis, Robert Cunningham, David George and 28 other Loyalists leaders, all of whom are at that time incarcerated at Charles Town, send a petition requesting honorable terms ("Honorable Articles") for their release, to the Whig Council of Safety.
Link to the Prisoners' Petition
11 April 1776: The South Carolina General Assembly issues a "Declaration of Pardon or Amnesty" for the captured backcountry Loyalists taken during the Snow Campaign of December 1775. As a result, John Mayfield is released from prison.
06 March 1778: James and Martha Campbell of Craven County SC convey to John Hope, for 330 pounds, a 200-acre tract of land situated on both sides of Thicketty Creek. Witnesses to the deed are Robert Mayfield, William Casey and Edmond Mayfield. To the best of my knowledge, this is the earliest appearance in the South Carolina records of Robert and Edmond Mayfield. It is interesting to note that the land in question is located north of the Pacolet River; this is the same area where, in my opinion, the 100-acre tract of land granted to John Mayfield in 1768 was located. [See Union County Deed Book A, page 323.]
01 February 1780: The election of John Mayfield is reported and he takes his seat in the SC House of Representative for the "Upper District between Broad and Saludy Rivers." Three other people also represented this District at the time, i. e., James Wood, William Henderson and Richard Hampton. The House of Representatives Journal provides the following information:
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1780 ... William Reaves, Esq., returned duly elected a representative for the Parish or District between Broad and Catawba Rivers, John Mayfield, Esq., for the Upper or Spartan District between Broad and Saludy Rivers, and R. Gough, Esq., for the Parish of St. John in Berkeley County, attended at the door, and being severally called in and asked by Mr. Speaker if they chose to qualify, they respectively answered in the affirmative. And the oaths required by law being administered ... to Mr. Mayfield by Mr. Justice Burke, Esq., the said gentlemen, after subscribing the Qualification Oath, took their seats as members.
The fact that John Mayfield took the required oaths of allegiance to the Whig Government, is evidence that he had, by this time, acquiesced or resigned himself to Whig rule. About this same time, another former Loyalist, Robert Cunningham, was also elected to the SC House of Representatives; however, he refused to take the prescribed oaths and was never seated. [See Journals of the General Assembly and House of Representatives, 1776-1780, Edited by William Edwin Hill, Wylma Anne Wates and R. Nicholas Olsberg, page 266.]
February-April 1781: William Mayfield and a certain "Mayfield Crane" (probably a relative of Mary Mayfield, William's mother) are on the muster roll of the South Carolina Royalist Regiment stationed at Camden SC -- both men were listed as Privates. The men were under the command of a certain Captain George Dawkins. The muster roll further indicated that William Mayfield deserted on 24 April 1781. Also, Mayfield Crane is cited as having deserted on 23 June 1781.
February 1782: One of John Mayfield's daughters dies while a refugee in Charlestown. Murtie June Clark, in her book entitled Loyalists in the Southern Campaign (Volume I), pages 545-546 provides the following information:
" ... From November 1781 through November 1782, the coffin maker, James Donaldson of 90 Tradd Street, Charles Town SC, received orders to provide coffins for the refugees as follows: ... 20 Feb 1782 [Issued to] Capt. Mayfield [for] his daughter ... "
19 April 1782: A petition to Lord George Germain in London, dated 19 April 1782, lists "John Mayfield, Lieut. Colonel" as among a group of over 300 Loyalists "that the Usurpers in this province have murdered, ... on a bare suspicion of their being attached to your Majesty's Government."
The above two records would seem to indicate that John Mayfield was still alive as
late as February 1782, but was listed as being dead by 19 April 1782,
31 July 1782: Mary Mayfield is married, by license, to a certain Joseph Boden. Marriage was performed by the Reverend Robert Cooper and took place in St. Philip's Parish, Charleston. At the time, this area was under British occupation and it is almost certain that the people involved were Loyalists. In my view, this Mary Mayfield is almost certainly the daughter of John and Mary Mayfield of Browns Creek. Presumably, after the murder of John Mayfield, his widow took refuge in British controlled Charleston. The name Boden does not appear in the 1790 census for South Carolina and it is quite possible that Mary and her new husband, Joseph Boden, left South Carolina when the British evacuated Charleston in December 1782. At that time, over 9000 SC Loyalists left with the British forces. [See Register of St. Philip's Parish, Charles Town, South Carolina. 1754-1810.]
13 February 1783: A Citation is granted "to Mary Mayfield on the Estate of John Mayfield late of Brown's Creek in 96 District, Deceased; as next of kin." [See Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, Journal of the Court of Ordinary, page 29. This journal is also known as "Pat Calhoun's Surrogate Court Book"] I believe this entry to be an evidential "smoking gun" which establishes that Mary Mayfield was the widow of John Mayfield (the Tory) of Brown's Creek. I personally made a photocopy of this record from the original journal which is still maintained in the records of the Probate Court at the Abbeville Court House, South Carolina.
Link to Facsimile of Mary Mayfield's Citation
05 June 1783: John Thomas, Junior, Justice of the Peace of Ninety-Six District, appoints William Buchanan, William Williams, John Sisson and Lanlot Porter or any three of them " ... to repair to all such places within this District as you shall be directed unto by Mary Mayfield Administrix of all & singular Goods, Rights & Credits of John Mayfield late of the District aforesaid ... " [See Estate Papers, Ninety-Six District, Box 64, Pack 1533] The original estate papers are still held at the Abbeville Court House, where I made appropriate photocopies from the original documents. My copies of these documents are much more legible than copies made from the microfilm.
31 July 1783: The appraisal and inventory of the personal estate (2 pages) of John Mayfield is presented to the court by William Williams, John Sisson and Landlot Porter. Mary Mayfield signs as Administrix on the document by making her mark - a special mark shaped like a capital "M" - see digital facsimile at the hyperlink. [Reference: Estate Papers, Ninety-Six District, Box 64, Pack 1533.] The Inventory is in two parts: 1) an inventory of the personal property of the estate; and 2) an inventory of the accounts and bonds due to the estate. A discussion of each of the people listed as a debtor to the estate is presented in the next section of this essay. The people listed as debtors to the estate fall into two geographic groups, i. e., 1) those who lived in the area north of the Pacolet River and west of the Broad River; and 2) those who resided on Brown's Creek. This is further evidence that this same John Mayfield owned not only the 300-acre tract on Brown's Creek, but also owned the 100-acre tract, patented to a certain John Mayfield, located on Broad River (north of the Pacolet River/Broad River intersection.
Link to Facsimile of the Personal Inventory of John Mayfield
1783: The names of both John Mayfield and Stephen Mayfield are included in a list of Loyalists returned by Whig Militia Colonel Thomas Brandon pursuant to Ordinance Number 1189, passed by the South Carolina Legislature on 17 March 1783.
Link to Colonel Thomas Brandon's List
01 March 1785: William Mayfield "heir at Law to John Mayfield" of the State of South Carolina and Union County conveys a 300-acre tract of land, for 50 pounds, to Colonel Thomas Brandon of Union County. The land is stated to be situated " ... on the main fork of Brown's Creek below the Creek Shoals ... ." This land is the same tract that had been granted to Jacob Brown in 1754 and conveyed to John Mayfield on 02 August 1770. The three witnesses to the deed were Duncan McCrevan, Charles Crain and John McCool. Please note that Charles Crain was the Brother of Mary Mayfield; Mary was the widow of John Mayfield the Tory and the mother of William Mayfield. Also, Duncan McCrevan was the brother-in-law of the third witness, John McCool.
14 July 1787: "Thomas Brandon Esquire of the State of South Carolina and County of Union" conveys a 185-acre tract of land, for 32 pounds, situated on the waters of Brown's Creek, to "Mary Mayfield widow of the State and County aforesaid" The 185-acre tract was part of a 800-acre tract of land that Brandon had patented in 1786. No witnesses to the deed are noted. The deed was recorded in Union County on 24 September 1788. [See Union County Deed Book A, pages 486-488] Thomas Brandon, a wealthy Union County planter, had commanded a Whig Regiment during the Revolution and served as a Justice of the Peace for Union after the War.
21 January 1794: William Mayfield of Union County executes a mortgage document with John Crittenden of Union in the amount of 10 pounds and five shillings. As security for the mortgage, William obligates his personal property consisting of " ... two feather beds, and furniture, six pewter plates and one pewter dish ... ." William signs by making his mark. Witnesses to the document are Absalom Bailey, Charles Crittenden and Elizabeth Crittenden. The mortgage was recorded in Union County Court upon the oaths of Absalom Bailey and Elizabeth Crittenden on 02 April 1794. [See Union County Deed Book C, pages 349-350]
06 July 1797: John Mayfield and Unity Mayfield, his wife, make a bond with William Mayfield in the amount of 100 pounds; John and Unity secure the bond with a 50-acre tract of land "the said parcel or tract of land being willed to Unity Bailey by her mother Susana Bailey it being half of a tract of Land containing one hundred acres ... lying on Pacolet [River]." John and Unity sign by making their marks. Witnesses to the bond are John Crittenden, Elizabeth Crittenden and Becky Crittenden. Subsequently, William Mayfield assigned the bond to a certain Ukiah Mullen on 3 August 1797. The bond and the assignment were recorded in Union County, upon the oaths of John and Elizabeth Crittenden, on 03 October 1801. [See Union County Deed Book G, page 207]
24 August 1799: Mary Mayfield of Union County, for $214, conveys a 135-acre tract of land "lying on the waters of Brown's Creek" to Joel Bentley. This land is part of the 185-acre tract which Mary had purchased from Thomas Brandon in 1787. Mary Mayfield signs the deed by making her mark - a distinctive capital "M" similar to the mark made by the Mary Mayfield, who signed the Appraisal and Inventory of John Mayfield, deceased in 1783. (I consider this to be strong evidence that these two Mary Mayfields are one and the same person.) The indenture was witnessed by Bennet Jankesly and Christopher Brandon and was recorded, upon the oath of Christopher Brandon, on 22 September 1801. [See Union County Deed Book G, pages 183-184]
24 October 1799: Mary Mayfield of Union County, for $100, conveys a 50-acre tract of land "lying on the waters of Brown's Creek" to Randal Vaughn. This land is part of the 185-acre tract which Mary had purchased from Thomas Brandon in 1787. Mary Mayfield signs the deed by making her mark - a distinctive capital "M" similar to the mark made by the Mary Mayfield, who signed the Appraisal and Inventory of John Mayfield, deceased in 1783. (I consider this to be additional strong evidence that these two Mary Mayfields are one and the same person.) The indenture was witnessed by Christopher Brandon, Robert Bevill and James Brandon. It was recorded, upon the oath of Christopher Brandon, on 22 September 1801. [See Union County Deed Book G, pages 185-186]
06 October 1800: William Mayfield " ... of Union County & State of South Carolina Batchelor ... " conveys to Archibald Fore, for 25 pounds, a 100-acre tract of land " ... lying on the Southwest Side of Broad River in Union County & State of So. Carolina bounded on the East by Broad River on all other sides by vacant land ... ." This land is stated to be the one hundred acres that " ... was granted by his Majesty George the Third as appears by the Patent dated October the third 1767 to John Mayfield Father to said William Mayfield he being his lawful heir ... ." William Mayfield signs the above cited indenture by making his mark. Witnesses to the above indenture are Jesse Stribling and John Mayfield (signs by mark). The indenture is recorded on 03 November 1808 upon the oath of Jesse Stribley. [See Union County Deed Book K, pages 92-93]
20 November 1805: William and Sally Porter convey a 142-acre tract of land situated on the north side of Brown's Creek, to Robert Whitlock and Battle Mayfield, for $200. Witnesses to this indenture are Robert Bevill and William Brandon. The deed was recorded in the Union County upon the oath of Robert Beville on 18 July 1808. [See Union County Deed Book I, pages 470-471]
02 January 1808: Battle Mayfield and Robert Whitlock of Union District, for $290, convey to Charles Adams and Zidack Adams, the same 142-acre tract of land they had purchased from William Porter in 1805 for only $200 - a $90 profit over three years. Witnesses to the indenture are James Brandon and Christopher Brandon. The deed was recorded in Union County upon the oath of Christopher Brandon on 18 July 1808. [See Union County Deed Book I, page 471]
02 December 1809: Archibald Fore conveys the 100-acre tract of land he acquired from William Mayfield in 1800, to William Sims of Union District for $150. Witnesses to the transaction are Charles Sims and Siles Gates. This indenture was recorded in Union County upon the oath of Charles Sims on 22 January 1810. [See Union County Deed Book K, pages 93-94] The description of the location of the land is the same as that given in the original Mayfield survey and patent. In an attempt to find out the exact location of this land, I searched the Union County records to ascertain who next purchased this 100-acre tract. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any record of William Sims selling the land. William may have retained ownership until his death in 1853.
William Sims (1768-1853) was a wealthy Union County planter and son of Whig Captain Charles Sims. On 20 March 1848, William was interviewed by Lyman Draper concerning his recollections of events during the American Revolution. [See the Draper Manuscripts, Sumter Papers, 23VV261]
In 1780, William Sims was about 12 years old and lived in that area of South Carolina which became part of Union County in 1785. In the interview, Sims mentions Thomas Fletchall, the Mayfields, Samuel McJunkin and "Bloody Bill" Cunningham as follows:
" ... I never knew Col. Fletcher [Thomas Fletchall], but I have heard much said of him. He was a peaceable and good citizen, but a Tory all the time. He left the Country with the British.
"The Mayfields were quiet & orderly men, so far as I know, but all Tories.
"I knew the McJunkin family, a very clever set of people & great Whigs. The old man, Samuel, was very angry with David for marrying into a Tory family [David McJunkin married Jane Chesney, sister of Alexander Chesney].
" ... I saw Bloody Bill Cunningham when he ordered my mother to leave the Country. His face was long and bony. ... "
25 February 1810: The following record is recorded in Union County Deed Book P, page 506: "In consideration of four dollars in hand paid to me by Christopher de Graffenreid I do assign to Christopher de Graffenreid & his heirs & assigns the within bond & the within mentioned land. Witnesseth my hand this 25th day of February 1810." /S/ Martha Steen (her mark), witnessed by Patsey Steen (her mark). [See Union County Deed Book P, page 505]
The bond so mentioned is the one executed by John Mayfield on 9 August 1770 (see above). Martha Steen was the widow of John Steen. Of course the 100-acre tract given as security for the bond had been sold by John Mayfield's eldest son (heir-at-law), William Mayfield, ten years previously in 1800! Christopher De Graffenreid (1767-1831) was a wealthy planter who lived in the Neal Shoals area of Broad River in Union County.
15 March 1819: A certain William Mayfield is selected to serve on a Grand Jury. [See Minutes of the Court of General Sessions, Union District (1819-1832), page 2] I don't know the identity of this William Mayfield.
October Term 1819: "Whereas Reuben Mayfield is confined in the Jail of this District on a Charge of Horse stealing and whereas [the act] for which the said Reuben Mayfield Stands Committed was perpetrated in the District of Spartanburg ... it is ordered that the Sheriff of Union District do convey the body of the said Reuben Mayfield to the Jail of the District of Spartanburg to answer to the Said Charge of Horse Stealing." [See Minutes of the Court of General Sessions, Union District (1819-1832), page 38] I have no idea as to the identity of this Reuben Mayfield.