The Life and Times of Richard Lang (1744-1816)

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A while ago, I reviewed the body of evidence I have gathered so far about Richard Lang (1744-1816), including DNA evidence. I wanted to get some clarity about what I know, what I think I know, and what I still need to find out.

My thinking was that, if I pull together all the information I have about Richard Lang into one place, as a narrative, this would enable me to recheck sources, assess gaps in evidence, tease out research questions and decide on the next steps that I could take to strengthen my evidence.

I have always found that writing things down and being able to shuffle words and facts around a page brings me some clarity. It enables me to spot gaps and inconsistencies. Writing is a great brain organiser!!

In this blog post I write about why I am interested in Richard Lang and what I know so far about his life and times. Unfortunately, when it comes to Richard Lang, primary sources have not been easy to find. Much of the evidence I have comes from secondary sources which is far from ideal.

Originally posted at: https://bjnlsgenealogy.blogspot.com/2020/02/evidence-stocktake-part-one-life-and.html

Why I am Interested in Richard Lang

Richard Lang may or may not be my 4th Great Grandfather. DNA evidence tells me that I am related to Richard somehow and points to his parents, Robert and Millicent as being my 5th Great Grandparents. I remain uncertain as to whether Richard or one of his siblings is my link to Robert and Millicent. More about that another time.

Richard’s life does make for an interesting story and, for whatever reason, I have always felt a little drawn towards him. He features in a number of historical and/or academic writings. Some writers are disparaging of him, others see him as a product of the circumstances in which he found himself and are kinder to him. I have tried to stick to the facts, at least as far as I can discern them.

Richard’s Family Background

Richard was born in about 1744[1], the son of Robert Lang and Millicent Myrick. At the time of Richard’s birth, the family was living near the Santee River at Saxe Gotha Township in the Upper Congaree Valley within the British colony of South Carolina. Within a few years of Richard’s birth, the family had moved to the Saluda Valley, now Greenville County, South Carolina.

From the mid-1730’s, both Richard’s father, Robert (II)[2], and his grandfather, Robert (I)[3], were Cherokee & Chickasaw traders in the Congarees[4]. They had moved there from North Carolina where Richard’s father, Robert (II), was born. The Congarees was a major destination for Indian traders from the Virginia/North Carolina border in the 1730's-40's. The trading post at Saxe Gotha (later called Granby and now Cayce, Lexington County, South Carolina), was the frontier centre for trade with the Catawbas to the north and the Cherokees to the west. The people, with documented residences, who came there from the North Carolina/Virginia border in the 1730's-40's included Robert Lang (I) and Robert Lang (II), Philip Raiford (II), Richard Myrick and James Myrick, and various members of the inter-related trading families named Gibson, Scott, Bunch and Rawlinson[5].

Robert Lang (I), Richard’s Grandfather, was an immigrant to the Americas. It isn’t clear where he emigrated from. Some people, in their trees, appear to mix this Robert up with a Robert Lang who emigrated from Devon, England to Rockingham County, New Hampshire and married Ann Williams. I have found no evidence to support this. In fact, the evidence suggests otherwise. It does, though, seem likely that Richard's father, Robert, emigrated from England (or possibly Scotland). Meriwether[6] indicates that between 1736 and 1741 several English names were to be found in Saxe Gotha. He names Robert Lang (I), Robert Lang (II), William Baker, Thomas Berry, Richard Myrick, and John Gibson as being among them. Richard Myrick is the father of Millicent Myrick and, therefore, Robert (II)'s Father-in-law and Richard Lang’s Grandfather.

A map entitled ‘The Congarees in 1759’ is below[7]. I have adapted it to highlight where the two Roberts (I) and (II) and Richard Myrick had land. Notwithstanding the reference to 1759, it appears that the Langs had moved away from Saxe Gotha by 1759 (see below).

Map of the Congarees 1759

On the bottom left of the map, the references to the two Roberts and to Richard Myrick are:

  • Lang, Sr. 1737, IV, 257
  • Lang, Jr. 1741, IV, 156
  • Richard Myrick, 1737, IV, 224

and towards the right side of the map, the reference to Richard Myrick is:

  • Richard Myrick’s house

There is also reference to Myrick’s Ferry which, presumably, ferried people and goods across the Congaree River.

On 5 June 1742, both his father Robert (II), and his grandfather Robert (I), received a royal grant of 150 acres from King George III on the Santee River in Saxe Gotha Township[8]. Given the dates referred to on the map, this appears to be different piece of land to that shown on the map. The land received by Robert (II) was later (11 May 1744) sold by Robert and his wife, Millicent and conveyed to Thomas Brown. When Thomas Brown died intestate, the land passed to his son Patrick Brown[9]

By 1748, Richard, with his parents and siblings, had moved to the Saluda Valley in South Carolina. It was in April 1748 that Richard’s father, Robert (II), was among those living in the Saluda enlisted as Rangers by Captain James Francis. This came about because of the capture of George Haig[10], the murder of a trader in the Cherokees, and other threats of an Indian outbreak. Richard’s father, Robert, held a warrant as a Ranger in the Saluda Valley from 1749 to 1755[11]. On 28 March 1753, Robert purchased 100 acres of land near Crims Creek [Plat 5:498][12] (now Newberry County, South Carolina) where the family then settled. Crims Creek is a branch of the Broad River in the Saluda Valley.

Richard the Loyalist - American Revolutionary War

The American Revolutionary War arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s thirteen North American Colonies and the colonial government that represented the British Crown in North America. The armed conflict began with a confrontation between British Troops and local militia on 19 April 1775. Richard was about 31 years old when the War began.

Richard was a loyalist. Smith[13] suggests that approximately twenty percent of white Americans decided to remain loyal to Great Britain and that there were loyalists in all thirteen colonies and from every social and economic class. It is likely, therefore, that there is no simple reason as to why any one person chose to remain loyal to Great Britain. It does seem likely that Richard grew up in a loyalist household.

In my notes there is mention of a 1779 Jury List, Ninety-Six District, of Petit Jurors - ‘Little River Between Broad & Saluda’ p.96. This lists a group of men all with nearby residences around Reedy River of the Saluda (currently Laurens County, South Carolina) and includes Richard Lang - Captain of Little River (Loyalist) Brigade. Unfortunately, I now cannot find, or properly cite, the reference to this document. Consequently, nor can I be sure of what it said. What I am particularly interested in is whether or not Richard was a Captain in the Loyalist Militia in 1779. Knowing when Richard became Captain is important (see below).

It has been suggested that Richard Lang is the Loyalist Captain Lang who cut off Major Lindsay’s hand at the Battle of Camden. This battle was fought on 16 August 1780 and was a Victory for the British during the American Revolutionary War. The British claimed to have killed and wounded about sixty and admitted a loss of three wounded[14]. The story as told by McCrady is that:

“Major Lindsay, who had received three wounds, was sabred upon his head and arms, and one of his hands was cut off by Captain Lang of the dragoons as he lay on the ground”[15]

As no first name is given, this ‘Captain Lang’ may or may not have been Richard. If Richard was a Captain by 1779, as suggested above, then it is a possibility that he could have been the Captain Lang referred to. Richard did serve in the Loyalist Militia but, when exactly Richard became a Captain isn't entirely clear.

It may be significant that, in the Loyalist Payroll extracts[16][17] listed below, mention is made of Private Isaac Lang (Richard's son), Private Richard Lang, and Captain Richard Lang. Isaac appears alongside both Private Richard Lang and Captain Richard Lang but Private Richard Lang does not appear on the same payroll as Captain Richard Lang:

  • Private Richard and Private Isaac Lang - on the loyalist payroll of Major Patrick Cunningham’s Little River Regiment, Ninety-Six District for the periods: 14 June – 13 December 1780 – 102 days (Captain Joseph Person’s Company).
  • Private Richard and Private Isaac Lang – on the loyalist payroll of Major William Cunningham’s Troop of Mounted Militia (abstract Nr 138) - paid on 28 Jun 1781 for 92 days service.
  • Captain Richard Lang and Private David Lang - on the loyalist payroll of Major William Cunningham's Corps, Little River Regiment, Ninety-Six Brigade, Three-Months-Militia (Pay Abstract Nr 43) - 61 days service from 3 Nov 1781 to 2 Jan 1782. This payroll records Captain Richard Lang receiving the pay of his brother Private David Lang who had been killed in action (1781).
  • Captain Richard Lang – on the loyalist payroll of Major William Cunningham’s Troop of Mounted Militia, Ninety-Six Brigade (abstract Nr 96) - paid on 19 March 1782 for 91 days 3 January to 3 April 1782
  • Captain Richard Lang and Private Isaac Lang – on the payroll of Major William Cunningham's Troop of Mounted Militia, (Pay Abstract Nr 138) - acknowledged receipt of 92 day’s pay from the 8th of April to the 8th of July 1782 inclusive.
  • Captain Richard Lang and Private Isaac Lang - on the payroll of Major William Young’s Troop of Militia Dragoons, Ninety-Six Brigade, Charlestown, South Carolina (Pay Abstract Nr 162) - 93 days from 9 July - 9 October 1782.
  • Captain Richard Lang and Private Isaac Lang – on the payroll of Major William Young’s Troop of Mounted Militia, Charlestown, South Carolina (Pay Abstract Nr 170) – 84 day’s pay for period 10 October - 31 December 1782.

It is possible that Richard had a son called Richard but I can find no evidence to suggest this is the case. As outlined below, there is a 6-year gap between Richard's known children Isaac (b.1767) and Elizabeth (b.1773). It is entirely possible that there was at least one other child - perhaps born between 1767 and 1773?

It seems far more likely that Private Richard Lang and Captain Richard Lang in the payroll extracts above are the same person given that:

  • Private Richard Lang and Captain Richard Lang do not appear on the same payroll; and
  • Mention of Private Lang appears to cease in the latter part of 1781 just before mention of Captain Lang begins.

The payroll extracts, therefore, suggest that Richard became a Captain sometime between June and November 1781. If that is correct, he would not have been the Captain Lang referred to at the Battle of Camden in 1780.

Richard’s Wife and Family

More work is needed in gathering evidence about Richard’s family. Some of what follows is not well sourced and requires a lot more work, as can be seen.

Richard married Sara Benson[18]. Sara was born in about 1750 in South Carolina and died in about 1817 in Camden County, Georgia. Richard and Sara married in South Carolina in about 1766. By cobbling together information from a variety of places I have concluded that Richard and Sara’s children most likely were:

  • Isaac b.1767 in South Carolina (married Catherine Wildes)
  • Possible child(ren) b. between 1769 and 1773 in South Carolina- speculative - (see discussion above)
  • Elizabeth ‘Betsey’ b. Abt. 1773 in South Carolina (married David Bailey)
  • Mary b. abt. 1775 in South Carolina (married Francis Sterling)
  • Rebecca b. Abt. 1777 in South Carolina (married John Gorman)
  • William b. Abt. 1780 in South Carolina (married Martha ‘Patsy’ Adams[19])
  • Lydia b. Abt. 1782 in East Florida, British America, now Nassau County, Florida, USA (married Jacob Summerlin)
  • Anna b. Abt. 1784 Spanish East Florida, now Nassau County, Florida, USA
  • David[20] 1786 Spanish East Florida, now Nassau County, Florida, USA (married[21] Zylpha Fouracres)
  • Maria[22] Abt. 1788 in Spanish East Florida, now Nassau County, Florida, USA
  • Sara[23] Abt. 1789 Spanish East Florida, now Nassau County, Florida, USA
  • Eady b. Abt. 1790 Spanish East Florida, now Nassau County, Florida, USA (married Robert Brown)

East Florida – A Loyalist Haven

When the American Revolution broke out, East Florida, which had been a British Colony since 1763, offered refuge to those in other American Colonies who were loyal to the Crown. East Florida became a loyalist haven. In 1782, the evacuation of British troops and loyalists from Georgia and South Carolina began. Official records kept at the time indicated that '2925 whites and 4,448 blacks' emigrated to East Florida during the Georgia-South Carolina evacuation, increasing the population in 1783 to between 16,000 and 17,375[24].

O’Riordan[25] suggests that Richard first went to East Florida in 1784. This appears to be incorrect. Other evidence points to Richard having been in East Florida as early as 1782. In a sworn statement on 7 October 1786, General Robert Cunningham talking about his own travel to East Florida immediately following the evacuation of Charles Town (Charleston) in South Carolina in 1782, says that he settled on land he purchased on the St Mary’s River situated about 100 miles from St Augustine and “adjoining a township laid out on St Mary's on one side, Capt: Lang's on the other” [26]. Also, Richard is listed on a return of South Carolina Loyalist refugees in East Florida. The return was received from General Leslie on 15 July 1783[27].

Prior to this and up to the end of the Revolutionary War, the colonies of East Florida and West Florida remained loyal to the British. There were two distinct groups of loyalist volunteer units in East Florida. The East Florida Rangers was a cavalry unit mainly consisting of frontiersmen 'who knew the lay of the land and were excellent horsemen' and the East Florida Militia was an infantry unit made up of townspeople and frontiersmen[28]. Murdoch[29] says that Richard Lang was the recognized leader of the citizens of Anglo-Saxon origin living between the St. Mary’s and St. John’s rivers. He was a Captain in the local militia, and was said to be one of the wealthier of the newly arrived citizens. It is likely that Richard went backwards and forwards between East Florida and Georgia and maintained his loyalist activities until the end of the Revolutionary War.

East and West Florida Return to Spanish Control

The American Revolutionary War ended with the Treaty of Paris on 3 September 1783. This Treaty not only saw the British Crown acknowledge the United States existence as free, sovereign and independent, it also incorporated a number of other peace treaties between Great Britain and the nations that had supported the American cause. Consequently, also in September 1783, Great Britain surrendered East Florida and West Florida to Spain and these colonies then returned to Spanish control. After 1783, many of those who had earlier been refugees from South Carolina and Georgia swore an oath of loyalty to Spain and continued to reside in East Florida. Most had obtained land grants and either farmed, ranches or were engaged in commerce. Richard was among them[30].

Richard – Prisoner in Georgia

On 18 June 1784, Richard was being held Prisoner in the jail at Savannah, Georgia. He was charged with having committed a felony in the state of South Carolina. He also had charges pending in Georgia. The Executive Council of the State of Georgia ordered the Sheriff of Chatham County, Georgia to deliver Richard to Colonel William Farrell who was given the responsibility of transporting Richard to South Carolina to stand trial. Colonel Farrell was to be paid 10 guineas to “Safely convey Richard Lang to Charleston”; the sum to be paid by the state of South Carolina.

On 22 June 1784, Governor John Houston, the Governor of Georgia[31] wrote a letter to Governor Benjamin Guerard, Governor of South Carolina[32] identifying Colonel Farrell and his purpose in transporting Richard Lang. The image of the original letter can be accessed from Ancestry.com[33]. A transcription of it is as follows:

Transcript: Extradition of Richard Lang

Savannah 22 June 1784

The Bearer hereof Col. Farrel goes to Charleston charged with the care of one Rich’d Lang who has been (I am informed) a most notorious Offender both during the War & since the Peace. Although it has been said he is guilty of some Enormities in this State, yet as the principal charges & the clearest evidence be against him in S. Carolina, our Chief Justice has recommended that he be sent there for trial. I have been obliged to promise Col. Farrel, and another man who goes with him, ten Guineas for their trouble, besides their passage money, which, being charges against your state, I flatter myself your Excellency will order payment of.

I did myself the honor some time ago to write a line to your Excellency respecting one Booth. I now beg leave to repeat that should he be acquitted in your State, I hope he will not be discharged but sent to this for trial, where we have a capital charge, and I am informed full evidence against him.

I have the honor to be, with great Respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient & most humble servant (signed) J Houstoun

P.S. Col. Farrel has also some other charges for apprehending & securing. His expenses while he was waiting for an opportunity to Charleston to convey the prisoner; which I beg leave to refer him to your Excellency for payment of.

It isn’t clear what crime Richard was alleged to have committed. There is reference to a Capital offence in Georgia. The Revolutionary War had come to an end in the preceding year and, in keeping with the conditions of the Treaty of Paris in September 1783, no further retribution was to be taken against those who fought as loyalists on the losing side of the War. In practice, this did not always happen. These charges may have had something to do with his activities as a loyalist to the British Crown during the war. More information is needed to clarify exactly what Richard was accused of in South Carolina and Georgia and how he came to be caught. Whatever the charge, it appears that Richard somehow escaped on route to South Carolina and promptly went back to East Florida.

Life in Spanish East Florida

In the 1787 Spanish Census of Householders of Amelia Island, Spanish East Florida[34], Richard’s household was shown as:

Ricardo Lang – Native of South Carolina; Protestant; is married with 2 sons and 4 daughters; occupation farmer; has 1 negro, 2 horses, and 11 head of cattle; is owner of a sloop with twenty-two feet of keel; requests land [35].

The children mentioned are likely to be William and David and Elizabeth, Rebecca, Lydia, and Anna. Isaac, being older, was likely living independently at this time. It is uncertain where Mary was. She married sometime before 1789.

Toward the end of 1787, Richard was a candidate to replace Henry O’Neill, a former British Officer, as the Spanish Magistrate for the St Mary’s River Valley. Eighteen men on the Florida-Georgia border submitted a petition endorsing Richard’s candidacy. When Henry O’Neil was murdered in May 1788, the Spanish suspected Richard Lang’s followers and associates. Nonetheless, the then Governor, Vincent Manual de Céspedes[36] (Governor of the Spanish Province of East Florida from 1784-1790), reluctantly appointed Richard to the position of Spanish magistrate of the St. Marys River valley[37]. It isn’t clear whether or not Richard Lang had anything to do with O’Neill’s death.

In his paper, O’Riordan alleges that, following Richard’s appointment as magistrate of St Mary’s River Valley in 1788, Richard used his official position to allow illegal immigration into East Florida; profiting financially from the process. O’Riordan claims that Richard was paid by the immigrants in return for delaying informing the Governor of their presence until they were well established in the province in order to side-step Spanish immigration laws[38]. This may or may not be true. It is clear that Richard was regarded with some suspicion by both Governor, Vincent Manual de Céspedes (Governor of the Spanish Province of East Florida from 1784-1790) and his successor, Governor Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada (Governor of the Spanish Province of East Florida 1790-1796)[39][40]. It further appears that Colonel Charles Howard[41] (Commander of the Georgia-Florida Frontier from 1793 and, before that, Secretary to Governor de Céspedes) contributed to fuelling the suspicions about Richard. O’Riordan’s[42] assessment of Richard and his activities tends to have its basis in correspondence between Colonel Howard and Governor de Quesada rather than in any hard evidence. When accused of sanctioning James Allen’s illegal trade with Indians, Richard denied responsibility and identified a number of other people who he suspected of illegal trading[43].

In the December 1789 Spanish Census of Householders of St Mary's River, Spanish East Florida[44] Richard’s household was shown as:

Richard Lang, 45 years old; his wife 38. He has four children named: Rebecca, 1_?; ___, 8; David, 6; Sara, 2. No slaves. 0 pigs; 2 horses; 0 cows. His religion is Protestant. William ___, 40 [?] lives with him (Richard Lang), whose religion is the same as the aforementioned[45].

Part of Rebecca’s age is missing from the transcription but, if she was born in abt. 1777 (a date I am not sure of at this stage), she would have been 12 years old. The ages of the other children named don’t appear to line up when compared to Baptism records - see a photo of a transcription below[46]. The Baptism record shows that:

  • Sara was 16 months old when baptised on 7 May 1790 ... so born about January 1789 and 11 months old in December 1789 when the census was taken;
  • David was 4 years old when baptised on 7 May 1790 ... so born about 1786 and 3 years old in Dec 1789 when the census was taken;
  • Anna was 6 when baptised in Nov 1790 ... so born about 1784 and 5 years old in Dec 1789 when the census was taken;
  • Maria was 2 ½ when baptised in October 1790 ... so born about April 1788 and about 1 year 8 months when the census was taken

Lydia is absent in the baptism record and was presumably baptised at some other time? She would have been about 7 years old in December 1790.

The unnamed child aged 8 years old on the census record could have been Lydia, who would have been 7 at the time, or it could have been William who would have been 9. Either way, one of them was missing from the household. Also missing on the December 1789 census are Anna, aged 5 at the time, and Maria aged 1 year old at the time. We know that Anna and Maria were both living in the December of 1789 because they were both baptised in October 1790. Could the missing children have been living with one of their older sisters - Elizabeth who married David Bailey in 1789 or Mary who married Francis Sterling sometime before 1789; something I need to research further.

In 1790, four of Richard’s children – David, Sarah, Anna and Maria were baptised by a Catholic Priest in the Catholic Diocese of San Augustine in East Florida. As we know from earlier census records, Richard was protestant. It is likely that the children were baptised in the Catholic church because of the lack of protestant options in Spanish East Florida. Some of the baptisms were marked ‘no solemne’ perhaps suggesting a more limited version of the baptism ceremony than would normally be afforded to Catholics[47].

Also mentioned are 'Isaac Lang and wife Catarina Wells' and the baptism of their children. This appears to be Richard's son Isaac and his wife Catharine Wildes. Their children William and Sara are Richard's Grandchildren.

Next is mention of 'Maria Lang, husband Francis Sterling'. This is Richard's daughter, Mary. The children, Isabel (Elizabeth), Juana (Jane) and Sara are, therefore, Richard's Grandchildren also.

The mention of 'Isabel Lang, husband David Bealy' is referring to Richard's daughter, Elizabeth and her husband David Bailey. The Spanish translation of Elizabeth is usually Isabel or Isabela. Juan (John) and David who are referred to as Elizabeth and David's children are, therefore, also Richard's grandchildren.

Richard’s main place of residence in Florida was called Casa Blanco ‘White House’. It was a 400-acre plantation on the south bank of the St. Marys River at Mill’s Ferry (now Kings Ferry). His grant to this land was dated 4 April 1792. The Caso Blanco plantation was an important frontier location. The ferry was the northern Florida terminus of a trail or crude road from St. Augustine to Georgia. It had been important during the American revolution. Richard also owned Florida land on Pigeon Creek five miles west of Coleraine[48]

Growing Dissatisfaction Within East Florida

As indicated above, Richard had been in East Florida since at least 1782. This was some years before 1790 when Spain issued an invitation to Americans to come to East Florida. This invitation was subject to specific requirements, including swearing allegiance to the Spanish Crown and becoming a Spanish subject. Spain’s intention was to boost the local economy[49].

By the 1990’s, Richard, along with other American immigrants such as Samuel and Abner Hammond, William Jones, John McIntosh, William Plowden and John Peter Wagnon, had become increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of commercial and political freedom in Spanish East Florida[50]. There were severe trade restrictions with the United States and, for many of the settlers, there were language problems[51].

In 1791, as Magistrate for St Mary’s River Valley, Richard complained that, due to the distance to St. Augustine, settlers along the St. Mary's River Valley could not get medicines for their families and the commander of the garrison on Amelia Island made it difficult for these settlers to cross over to Georgia to get vital supplies[52].

As was mentioned previously, Governor de Quesada was suspicious of Richard and his use of his magistrate's office. When Richard travelled to South Carolina in April 1792 to settle some family matters, the Governor took this opportunity to appoint John Forrester as Magistrate of St Mary’s River Valley in place of Richard[53]. It isn't clear, what family matters Richard needed to attend to in South Carolina. His father had died in Saluda, South Carolina in 1763. His Mother was still living in South Carolina in 1771. I have been unable to find a death date for her. If she was a similar age to her husband and still living, she would have been in her 80's in 1792.

In July/Aug 1793, Colonel Charles Howard was the new commander of the Georgia-Florida Frontier. Howard reported to the Governor that there were signs of growing unrest among the settlers who had recently arrived from the United States. As mentioned previously, one of his concerns was the activities of the settlers who were illegally trading with their friends on the northern bank of the St Mary's River. Howard told Governor de Quesada that these settlers of American origin comprised most of the border militia. At the time, Richard was a Captain of the Militia. He further advised that they could be counted on in the event of an Indian Campaign but they weren’t likely to remain loyal if there were difficulties with the United States[54].

Threat of Invasion from the French and Americans

During 1793, the Spanish were aware of, and concerned about, the action of French Agents in Charleston who were attempting to gain American support. The Spanish were right to be worried because, at this time, considerable action was underway from within the United States, with the help of the French, to mount an invasion of Spanish East Florida from Georgia. Various members of the American Immigrant community of Spanish East Florida were part of this conspiracy including Samuel Hammond, Abner Hammond and William Jones who was Abner Hammond’s father-in-law[55]. Morris, citing Miller suggests that, from sworn testimony, Governor de Quesada knew that the Hammond brothers, Samuel and Abner were major operatives and that it was Richard Lang and Reuben Pitcher who implicated the Hammond brothers[56]

Colonel Howard described Richard as being “a typical American, ambitious and grasping”[57]. While Richard was thought to have knowledge of illegal trading with Georgia (as referred to above), particularly the purchase of herds of cattle to be used as fresh meat for the garrison and population of St Augustine, he was not initially suspected of having plans with French agents in the United States. Nor, as far as I can see, is there any real evidence that he did have at this stage. However, he did eventually fall under suspicion.

Richard Arrested on Suspicion of Conspiracy

On 20 January 1794, Richard was arrested, along with John McIntosh, on suspicion of conspiracy under an order entered earlier that day. The testimony of William MacEnnry on 8 February 1794 when he appeared before the Governor was that he and others, including Richard Lang and John McIntosh were, at the time of Richard and John’s arrest, playing a friendly card game and gambling for cigars at Clarke’s Inn in St Augustine[58]. Also, arrested at the same time were John Peter Wagnon, William Jones and William Plowden[59]. Richard Lang, along with McIntosh, Wagnon, Jones and Plowden, was charged with conspiring with the leaders of the invasion force.

The evidence brought by the Spanish authorities against the five settlers was based largely on rumour and suspicion, particularly in the case of Richard Lang and William Plowden. Murdoch refers to the ‘arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of some settlers in the spring of 1794, in spite of their pleas of innocence’ and how this made them bitter critics of the Spaniards (see later)[60]. According to O’Riordan, both Jones and McIntosh were also accused of having possession of incriminating documents detailing the invasion plans. William Jones was the father-in-law of Abner Hammond. Abner Hammond, had been directly implicated in the plan and had been found carrying incriminating documents. The evidence against Jones and McIntosh was less solid than that against Hammond. Both denied knowledge of the plans.

Castillo de San Marcos, San Augustine -Photo by Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0 - <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

While Hammond and McIntosh were sent with 6 other men to Moro Castle in Havana, Cuba, Richard Lang, William Plowden and John Peter Wagnon were imprisoned in the Castillo de San Marcos at St Augustine. Richard, along with the other prisoners was not given a proper trial. He was kept in solitary confinement for over three months in a cell which was cold, wet, and damp[61][62].

On 21 January 1794, in his cell at the Castillo de San Marcos, Richard confirmed and ratified a statement as ‘faithfully and legally translated’ that he is fifty years old. This adds confirmation that his birthdate was about 1744[63]. He further appeared before the general counsellor on 12 Feb 1794 in his cell at Castillo de San Marcos and was asked how long he had been in this province, what position he held under the Spanish government, and if he had taken the oath of loyalty. He said he had been established in the province long before the coming of the Spaniards; that at the time of the prior Governor he had been named judge in the St. Marys district, where his home was; that recently His Lordship (the Governor) had appointed him Captain of the militia of the dragoons of that river; and that he has sworn fidelity as a subject[64].

As a result of the threat of invasion, Governor de Quesada introduced emergency measures. The emergency measures had a severe impact on the Anglo settlers living north of the St. Johns River. Part of the plan to establish the line of defence at the St. Johns was to enact a scorched earth policy for the area between it and the St. Marys River. On 6 February 1794, while Richard and others were still in prison, de Quesada ordered the settlers in that region to evacuate their farms and to choose between moving to the south side of the St. Johns or leaving the province entirely. Those deciding to remain in East Florida were given eight days to gather their belongings and move south, while the others had only three days to evacuate to Georgia.

De Quesada then ordered Colonel Howard to burn their crops and buildings so that the invaders could not live off the land. This had a significant impact on many of the settlers. Colonel Howard reported that 125 people were made homeless and were dependent upon the government for food supplies. Many of the settlers later accused of rebellion in 1795 (see below) suffered evacuation and loss of property in February 1794. Records show that George Arons, George Cook, Timothy Hollingsworth, William Lane, Richard Lang, William Plowden, and Joseph Summerlin were among those affected[65].

The invasion plan finally collapsed with the withdrawal of all French forces in late April 1794. A French warship arrived on the St Mary’s to transport all French forces out of the area. This was followed by President George Washington ordering US troops in the region to disband[66].

Richard Lang, William Plowden and John Peter Wagnon were released from prison in May 1794. William Jones was released in December 1794 and John McIntosh, who was considered by the Spanish to be the guiltiest, was detained until January 1795[67]. All were released on the basis that there was insufficient evidence by which to try them. However, the Governor agreed to them being set free upon posting sufficient bail.

Richard’s imprisonment in cold, wet and damp conditions affected his health and he spent almost two months in the Royal Hospital after his release. There he ran up a $300 medical bill. He was finally freed upon agreeing to pay his account as soon as he could liquidate some of his holdings. However, instead, he hastened across the St. Mary’s River[68] leaving East Florida for Camden County, Georgia where he settled in the Coleraine area. Bennett reports that, during 1794, Richard was frequently seen at the Coleraine tavern with a group of men who had joined forces with a handful of French agents. Richard Lang and William Plowden were chief among the disaffected group and intent on avenging what they considered to have been illegal imprisonment[69].

Towards the end of the year de Quesada made it clear that the Government owed no compensation whatsoever to those who lost property as a result of the emergency measures because these had been necessary for the defence of the province. Some of those who were affected openly criticised the Government while others suffered in silence. Richard complained that his wife and seven children were forced to move across the St. Mary’s into Georgia because they didn't have the means to relocate forty miles south to the St. Johns within the permitted period of time[70]. This would have been his seven youngest children – William, Lydia, Anna, David, Maria, Sara and Eady; the eldest of whom, William, would have been about 14 years old and the youngest Eady, about 4 years old. The older children, Isaac, Mary, Rebecca and Elizabeth were married and living independently by this time.

It appears that Richard’s family then remained in Georgia and did not returned to East Florida which is fortunate given the events to follow. Others were not so fortunate. When William Plowden was released from jail, he decided to join Richard Lang in Georgia, expressing his unwillingness to live any longer under Spanish rule. Plowden's wife and children were still living in St. Augustine, having been forced to evacuate there in February 1794. Fearing Plowden might attempt to gain revenge on the province, de Quesada refused to allow his family to leave East Florida[71]

It is no wonder that so many of these East Florida settlers felt disaffected. The bitterness Richard felt over the treatment he received from de Queseda in 1794 is apparent in the letter he wrote to Governor de Quesada on 18 May 1795. In this letter (see below), he seeks reparation for the losses incurred by him and his family as a result of the treatment received –to be paid by “1 June next”. Implied in his letter was a threat that the Governor might expect a revolution in his province should the monetary payments not be forthcoming[72]. An image of the letter can be found on Ancestry.com[73]. A transcription of the letter follows:

Transcript: Letter from Richard Lang to the Governor of East Florida at St Augustine

May the 18th 1795. = Sir = With patience I have waited for your answer to my account presented to your Excellency, which is justly due me, But finding instead of answering my account presented a copy of my Letter to the Governor of the State; But I will have your Excellency to know that I am not yet become a citizen of the United States; But am a subject of the King of Spain. I further wish to inform your Excellency that, at the receipt of this, you will without delay, or at any rate by the 1st of June next, you will send my full amount of the account presented to your Excellency by me, which will be the only means of preventing me from cohorting (?) myself with all my power to pull off the yoke of despotism and spread abroad the liberty and freedom that God has bestowed to all mankind. I can assure your Excellency that no one can wish more for peace than I do, but that unjust confinement your Excellency laid on me, and being so ill treated by your Excellency’s orders which destroyed a large and helpless family to almost a morsel of bread and water, which I cannot forget it, which I hope God will be my protector. – Sir – Your compliance will be agreeable, and will wash away all strife, which after I will pledge you my word of honour that I never will interfere with your Government. - I have the honour – Sir – to be your humble servant - /sign’d/ Richard Lang – [To] His Excellency the Governor of East Florida at St Augustine.

East Florida Rebellion

In the latter half of June 1795, an uprising broke out in East Florida. O’Riordan indicates that the rebellion was instigated and led by Richard Lang, John Mcintosh, John Peter Wagnon, William Plowden, and William Jones; the same five men who had been rounded up for allegedly colluding with invasion forces in early 1794. O’Riordan provides a detailed account of the rebellion of 1795 and Richard Lang’s role in it (see O’Riordan 1995, pp8-13)[74].

Two key events appear to have contributed to the 1795 rebellion. These are:

  • The 1794 arrests of Richard Lang, John Mcintosh, John Peter Wagnon, William Plowden, William Jones and others and, in particular, the arbitrary nature of the arrest of some, including Richard Lang and William Plowden, on the basis of hearsay and innuendo; and
  • the emergency measures that destroyed their property and directly affected not only the men arrested but also their families as well as numerous other immigrant settlers.

There was considerable dissatisfaction around at the time and this, it seems, was given encouragement by the French. Immediately prior to the rebellion, a French consular agent had been:

"fanning the smouldering discontent of Anglo-Spanish settlers between the Saint John and Saint Mary's River; he let it be known that France was willing to underwrite an uprising with powerful aid” [75] .

A map of East Florida in 1795 is below[76]

Cusick[77] writes that Richard was at the head of an army of 72 men when, on 27 June 1795, they captured and burned Fort Juana, a northern outpost in East Florida. About 2 weeks later he united his force with a hundred additional men including John McIntosh, John Peter Wagnon, William Plowden and William Jones. They attacked Fort San Nicolas which guarded the ferry station on the St John's River, taking the Fort by surprise and capturing the entire garrison. This was followed by the seizure of Amelia Island. According to Cusick, the rebels would have been more successful had the settlers in East Florida better supported Richard Lang's occupying force. In the face of Spanish reinforcements, the rebels had to retreat to the stronghold on Amelia Island and then, for some of them who were not captured, across the border into Georgia[78]

When Governor de Quesada received news of these attacks, he already had evidence that identified, beyond doubt, the involvement of Richard Lang, William Plowden, John Peter Wagnon and their friends. Richard had already admitted in writing that he was acting as the commander of all rebel forces along the St. Mary’s River[79]

The Spanish authorities made every effort to find and punish the rebels. It appears, from what O’Riordan writes, that this turned into a bit of a ‘witch hunt’ with even those who had been loyal to the Spanish regime, such as Timothy Hollingsworth, ending up amongst the accused[80]. A number of those rounded up and brought into custody for their alleged involvement in the rebellion were falsely accused. Perhaps, in some cases, this was because, as American immigrants, they were by association assumed likely involved. There was also, as described by O’Riordan[81], an element of people ‘dobbing in’ other people in an attempt to save themselves. In Timothy Hollingsworth’s case, some saw an opportunity to ‘get back’ at him for the work he had done in the service of the Spanish authorities in the past while also trying to save themselves.

The precise number of accused and, of these, number in custody and number who escaped isn’t entirely clear. Bennett[82] indicates: 68 accused; 35 escaped; 33 in custody while O’Riordan[83] indicates 67 accused; 33 escaped; 34 in custody but omits Isaac Lang and Elijah Clark on the list of those who escaped arrest. Among the escapees, Bennett specifically mentions Richard Lang, Elijah Clark, John McIntosh, John Peter Wagnon and Richard’s son Isaac. Richard and Isaac, along with others who escaped were declared ‘rebels but not captured’[84].

See below for O’Riordan’s list to which I have added Isaac Lang and Elijah Clark. Francis Sterling, Richard's son-in-law, is also amongst the escapees listed. I am uncertain as to how accurate this list is.

The trial began in January 1796 and lasted for two years. Before and during the trial, the prisoners were confined in the Castillo de San Marcos, their health suffering as a result of the damp and dark condition of their cells. O'Riordon, indicates that before the two-year trial ended, Daniel Hogans, Richard Malpas, Solomon King, and George Arons had died in prison and Francis Goodwin went insane and had to be moved to the Royal Hospital[85].

Those who had escaped were tried in absentia.

On 22 February 1798, sentences were handed down by Governor Enrique White (Governor of the Spanish Province of East Florida from June 1796 - March 1811). White, who had succeeded Governor de Quesada, imposed harsh sentences as a warning to others of the consequences of treason. All of those who had fled, including Richard Lang, were sentenced to death. If captured, they were to be:

“taken to the Castillo de San Marcos, in this city, from where they will be taken by force and a rope will be placed around the neck of each one and they will be pulled by the tail of a horse, their crimes being announced by a crier who will walk in front of them, to the square, where they will be hanged from the gibbet by the executioner, and no one will impede the process or say that the sentence is too harsh. They will hang there until three o'clock in the afternoon when the executioner will publicly sever their heads and arms for the purpose of displaying them at the Post at San Nicolas”[86]

In addition, all of their goods were to be confiscated and their children were to be declared ineligible to claim any inheritance or to be accorded any dignity or public office[87].

Bennett’s account differs slightly in that he suggests that once hanged their bodies were to be quartered before their heads and arms were erected in the vicinity of San Nicolas and the pass of the St. Johns[88]

Timothy Hollingsworth, who was most probably innocent, received the same death sentence along with William Lane and James William Lee. However, these death sentences were not carried out and the three received short jail sentences and had their property returned on release. Nine of the prisoners were discharged because there was not enough evidence to convict them and the balance of prisoners received lesser sentences that either were not carried out or not in their entirety[89]

Not all of those who fled to Georgia after the rebellion had their lands in East Florida confiscated or their children disinherited. Though their property was automatically forfeited to the Crown, if nobody in the province applied to settle the land then it was often regranted to the former rebel owner. Richard Lang did not return to live in East Florida (although he did visit there on at least one occasion - see below). He was given permission to sell the land he had held in the province at the time of the rebellion[90]. Richard’s Florida plantation, Casa Blanca, was sold to his friend William Drummond in 1816, the year that Richard died[91].

Georgia Years – 1795 Onwards

Camden County Marker – Photo by Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Richard Lang was one of the earliest settlers in Camden County, Georgia. On a Camden County marker located at U.S. 17 and 4th Street, Woodbine, Georgia[92], it lists the earliest settlers as follows:

Talmadge Hall, James Woodland, Thomas Stafford, David & Hugh Brown, John King, John Hardee, Henry Osborne, Jacob Weed, John Webb, Abner Williams, Charles & John Floyd, Nathan Atkinson, Isaac & Richard Lang, Joseph Hull, William Berrie, Thomas Miller, John Bailey, Sr., and nephew, John Bailey, and Lewis DuFour [my emphasis].

At some point Richard was approached by William Augustus Bowles. He would have been well aware of William Bowles and his activities. Bowles was active in East and West Florida between 1788 and 1803 when he was turned over to the Spanish. He died in 1805 at Castillo Morro, in Havana, Cuba, having refused to eat[93].

In 1795, Bowles, along with the Seminoles, had formed an independent state in northern Florida (part of Spanish East Florida) which he called the State of Muskogee. Bowles was the State’s self-appointed ‘Director General’. The State of Muskogee was intended to be an independent state, aligned to Great Britain. After designing a flag and constitution for his state, Bowles raised an army and began to carry out raids of Spanish territories in Florida. In 1800, Bowles declared war on Spain. At one stage, Bowles operated two schooners and boasted of a force of 400 frontiersmen, former slaves, and warriors[94]. According to Cusick[95], Richard returned to East Florida in 1799 only to be expelled a second time for his alleged affiliation with the plots of William Augustus Bowles.

On 7 March 1799 in Camden County, Georgia, Richard – as a Spanish subject, took the oath of American citizenship[96]. In 1804, he became a Justice of the Peace at St. Marys, a post he continued to hold until his death[97].

According to a biography of Bowles written by Wright[98], one of the first things Bowles did after capturing the Fort of St Marks in early 1800, was to write to Richard Lang, William Jones and other leaders of the 1795 rebellion asking them to raise their forces again. Wright suggests that Bowles may well have been successful in East Florida had it not been for the following:

  • The Spanish re-captured St Marks very quickly
  • Richard Lang got drunk on election day and left Bowles' letter lying about where it was discovered, thereby disclosing the scheme – to protect himself, Richard wrote to the Governor of Georgia to tell him of Bowles’ overtures to him
  • The Governor of Georgia issued a proclamation insisting that anyone who went with Bowles would be jailed.

According to Wright[99], Richard and William Jones, nonetheless, continued to talk with Bowles about raising a force on the south side of the St Mary River. The images of a copy of a letter - pages 1 and 2 - written by Richard Lang to William Bowles on 17 August 1800, are below. This is followed by an image of a certification made by William Gibson that the copy of Richard Lang's letter is a true copy[100]. These are immediately followed, below, by a transcription of the letter and certification.

Certified copy of page 1 of Richard Lang's Letter to Augustus Bowles dated 17 August 1800
Certified copy of page 2 of Richard Lang's Letter to Augustus Bowles dated 17 August 1800
William Gibson’s Certification that the copy of Richard Lang's Letter of 17 August 1800 is a true copy

Transcription

Page 1.

St Mary’s August 17 1800

Sir

I wrote you by Robert Allen, that if you could be furnished with arms and ammunition, I did not think you would want men. I then had it not well in my power to consult so many of our friends as I have done since. I now am certain that if you should come so near that our friends could get to you without running the risk of being embarrassed with those unfriendly Indians that Governor White has been tempering with, you would not want men. The Grand thing is, getting to you and putting our lives immediately under your command, this seems to be the general wish of most of our friends, hearing that you had left St Marks has occasioned us to send the bearer, Mr William Tally, express to you, to be informed where you are, and what is to be done.

My particular friend and brother sufferer, Mr Wm Jones, is now with me and has wrote you also by Mr Tally.

Were you to come this way and arrange matters and leave some of your people with us, we could then go on without your remaining with us, but there seems a difficulty in getting a set of men together, without their seeing and knowing who is their head. Your showing a friendly disposition towards the Government of the U.S. is a grand thing for us. And it enables us with more boldness to espouse your cause ...

Page 2

… for a number of our friends and some of them high in office are hearty friends to the Government of the U.S. and by no means wish to give cause of offence to that Government. There is a report that Allen and the few men that went with him took away some horses from some of our friends if so, it was badly done, it makes some of our friends enemies, Allen is an active young man and may be of service to us, but must be kept within bounds - dispatch the bearer as quick as possible, as our friends want much to be in motion and let us know what is to be done. If you could conveniently bring on a few arms and a little ammunition, it would be well, but perhaps we could make out without, we shall be making all the preparations in our power, against the bearer returns. We have a number of friends in Florida, that nothing prevents their joining us but the want of a sufficient force to protect their families at the first set out.

I am Sir, with the utmost esteem, your oblg’d and Most Humble Serv’t


| Signed | Rich’d Lang

To Wm A Bowles

Direct’r. Gen’l of Muskogee

Certification of Letter

I certify the foregoing to be a true copy, of the letter sent to Mr Wm A Bowles by Mr Richard Lang handed to Major Thomas King by said Rich’d Lang

St Mary’s October 13th 1800
(Signed) William Gibson
N. Public

In 1809 a Richard Lang, along with David Mizell, David Lang and John Gorman, was indicted for riot. All defendants were discharged when the witnesses for the prosecution didn’t turn up:

October term – Indictment for Riot – The State vs. Richard Lang, David Misell [sic], David Lang, John Gorman. The witnesses on the part of the prosecutor being called, and not appearing – on motion of the Defendants It is ordered that the defendants be discharged[101].

The David Lang in the indictment is most probably Richard's son, David. He would have been about 23 years of age in 1809. John Gorman is likely the John Gorman who married Richard's daughter, Rebecca. He would have been in his 30’s in 1809 assuming he was a similar age to Rebecca (Rebecca was born in about 1777).

It isn’t clear whether the Richard Lang mentioned is the Richard Lang who is the subject of this blog post. It most probably is. If Richard had a son called Richard, that Richard would probably have been about 40 years’ old in 1809 but such a son is purely speculative as per the discussion above in relation to the loyalist payrolls. I have found no clear evidence that Richard had a son called Richard. Richard did have a Grandson called Richard (Isaac’s son). However, that Richard was born in 1798 in Camden County and would, therefore, have been only 11 years old at the time of the indictment. The reference to Richard Lang in the indictment is most probably the Richard Lang who is the subject of this blog post.

During his time in Georgia, Richard gradually acquired land. In 1809, Richard acquired 400 acres of land in Camden County – see image below[102] followed by a transcript:

Transcript - Land Record

Georgia, Camden County. By the Court of Justices of Camden County. To Daniel Miller Surveyor of said County. You are hereby Authorised and Required to admeasure (?) and lay out or cause to be admeasured and laid out unto Richard Lang _ _ a Tract of Land in said County of Camden which shall contain four hundred _______acres Taking Especial care that the same has not hertofore been laid out to any other person _ or persons _ And you are hereby also Directed and Required to Record the plat thereof in Your Office and Transmit a Copy of the same to the Surveyer General within two years from this Date _ Given under our hands as Justices of said Court this fifth Day of June 1809

Isaac Crews Clerk

Dan Miller

John Crews JP

Wm Niblack JP

It is likely that there are other land acquisitions to find. I need to investigate this further. It isn’t clear to me, at this stage, how much land Richard owned.

Richard died at St Marys, Camden County, Georgia in 1816 at the age of 72[103].

Notes

[1] As per a sworn statement Richard made on 21 January 1794 that, at that time, he was 50 years old - Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 Apr 2013 on Ancestry.com – ‘1 Richard Lang Notes’. Accessed 28 January 2020. Ancestry.com

[2] Born about 1710, died 1763.

[3] Born about 1685, died after 1742

[4] Meriwether, Robert L. (1940) 'The Expansion of the South 1729 – 1765'. Southern Publishers Inc – https://archive.org/details/expansionofsouth00meriuoft/mode/2up Accessed 10 Dec 2019.

[5] See Note 4.

[6] See note 4 - Meriwether p.55

[7] See note 4 - Meriwether p.52 – map adapted by me to highlight Langs and Myricks

[8] Royal Grants, Vol.42 p.123 – cited at https://sites.rootsweb.com/~tnalhn/robertdew.htm Accessed 20 Jan 2020.

[9] Land Memorials, Vol. 7, page 63 - cited at https://sites.rootsweb.com/~tnalhn/robertdew.htm Accessed 20 Jan 2020.

[10] Capt. George Haig was abducted from the store & Trading Post of Thomas Brown at Fort Congaree in South Carolina and held for nearly a year. Then he was sold to the Nottaway Indians. He was killed by the Nottaway. One story is that during a forced march, George Haig became so weak that he demanded that the Indians kill because he could walk no further. This evoked such great respect that the Nottaway Indians killed him quickly as a brave and noble man [as told by https://sites.rootsweb.com/~tnalhn/georgehaig.htm - Accessed 20 Jan 2020] [11] Meriwether, Robert L. (1940) 'The Expansion of the South 1729 – 1765'. Southern Publishers Inc. (p.119) from https://archive.org/details/expansionofsouth00meriuoft/page/184/mode/2up Accessed 5 December 2019.

[12] Theresa M. Hicks 'Crims Creek, Newberry County, South Carolina' - Land Owners and Settlers on Crims Creek - http://genealogytrails.com/scar/newberry/crims_creek.htm Accessed 11 Nov 2020

[13] Smith, Paul H. The American Loyalists: Notes on Their Organization and Numerical Strength - 'William and Mary Quarterly', Third Series, XXV (April 1968), 261, 269 cited by Williams, Linda K. (1976); East Florida as a Loyalist Haven in Proctor, Samuel (Ed.) (1976) 'The Floridas in the Revolutionary Era Florida Historical Quarterly Bicentennial Issue' (April 1976). Volume LIV, Number 4. The Florida Historical Society.

[14] McCrady, Edward, (1901) ‘The History of South Carolina in the Revolution 1775-1780’ p. 832 – extract uploaded to Ancestry.com and originally shared by Martha 2374 on 1 March 2015. Accessed 20 January 2020. Ancestry.com

[15] See note 14.

[16] Murtie June Cook (1981) ‘Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War’ Volume 1. Official Rolls of Loyalists Recruited from North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Shared by Ralan64 on 23 Jan 2015. Accessed 20 January 2020 Ancestry.com

[17] From Loyalists in the Southern Campaign - Pay abstract Nr 138 – uploaded to Ancestry.com by Martha2374 on 24 Nov 2014. Accessed 20 January 2020. Ancestry.com

[18] Sara is named on the baptismal record for their daughter Maria - Florida Births and Christenings, 1880-1935 - https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V235-7MK Accessed 24 Feb 2020. FamilySearch.org

[19] This is speculative at this stage as it assumes this William is the same William that married Martha 'Patsy' Adams. I am further exploring this in the context of DNA evidence. I will write about this at a later date.

[20] Baptismal record – ‘Florida Births and Christenings, 1880-1935’ - https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V235-7WY Accessed 24 Feb 2020. FamilySearch.org

[21] Marriage Records – ‘Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950’ - https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FWWL-M2W Accessed 24 Feb 2020. FamilySearch.org

[22] Baptismal record – ‘Florida Births and Christenings, 1880-1935’ - https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V235-7MK Accessed 24 Feb 2020. FamilySearch.org

[23] Baptismal record - Florida Births and Christenings, 1880-1935 - https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V235-WH3 Accessed 24 Feb 2020. FamilySearch.org

[24] Williams, Linda K. (1976) ‘East Florida as a Loyalist Haven’ in Proctor, Samuel (Ed.) (1976) 'The Floridas in the Revolutionary Era Florida Historical Quarterly Bicentennial Issue' (April 1976). Volume LIV, Number 4. The Florida Historical Society.

[25] O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 – p.10

[26] Siebert, William Henry (Ed.) (1929) Loyalists in East Florida, 1774 to 1785 : the most important documents pertaining thereto DeLand, Florida : Florida State Historical Society (p.7) Accessed 22 January 2020 FamilySearch.org

[27] List of Royalist Refugees – from the East Florida Papers British Public Records Office by the University of Florida - shared by Martha 2374 on 1 Dec 2014 on Ancestry.com. Accessed 20 February 2020 Ancestry.com

[28] National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior - https://www.nps.gov/timu/planyourvisit/upload/foca_sb_eastflorida_amrev.pdf Accessed 22 Jan 2020.

[29] Extracts from: Murdoch Richard K. 'The Georgia-Florida Frontier' (p.73) – as shared by Ralan64 on 23 April 2013 as ‘1 Richard Lang Notes’. Accessed 20 February 2020 Ancestry.com.

[30] Coker, William S. 'The Florida Historical Quarterly', vol. 61, no. 2, 1982, pp. 185–187. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/30146213. Accessed 22 Jan. 2020.

[31] John Houston was Governor of Georgia 1778, and 1784–1785

[32] Benjamin Guerard was Governor of South Carolina from 1783 to 1785.

[33] A copy of the letter itself can be found at: https://www.ancestry.com/mediaui-viewer/collection/1030/tree/151830734/person/382012776234/media/d3f6b7b3-d5fd-4468-aa1c-8ce90bf160c6?_phsrc=IwP32402&usePUBJs=true (Accessed by me on 20 February 2020). This was shared to Ancestry by an Ancestry member. It isn't clear where it came from or what its copyright status is.

[34] This is now Nassau County, Florida.

[35] Pre-1821 Spanish Censuses (p.64) - ‘Florida’s First Families’ - Donna Rachal Mills (1992) Mills historical press Tuscaloosa, Alabama & Naples, Florida Accessed 20 January 2020 Ancestry.com.

[36] Also known as also known as Vincent Manual de Zéspedes

[37] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 19 May 2013. Accessed 19 February Ancestry.com

[38] O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 – p.34, 42-43.

[39] See note 38.

[40] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 19 May 2013. Accessed 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com

[41] Also known as Colonel Carlos Howard

[42] O'Riordan, Cormac A., 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida' (1995). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 – p.34, 42-43

[43] See note 42.

[44] This is now Nassau County, Florida.

[45] Pre-1821 Spanish Censuses (p.115) - ‘Florida’s First Families’ - Donna Rachal Mills (1992) Mills historical press Tuscaloosa, Alabama & Naples, Florida Accessed 20 January 2020 Ancestry.com.

[46] Baptisms Catholic Diocese of San Augustine, East Florida. Transcript of baptisms made by Doris C. Wiles, Adm. Historian, St Augustine Historical Society, December 23 1965. Accessed 12 December 2019 Ancestry.com

[47] See note 46.

[48] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 19 May 2013. Accessed 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com

[49] Morris, Michael. Dreams of Glory, Schemes of Empire: The Plan to Liberate Spanish Florida 'The Georgia Historical Quarterly', vol. 87, no. 1, 2003, pp. 1–21. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584620 Accessed 24 Jan 2020.

[50] Coker, William S. 'The Florida Historical Quarterly', vol. 61, no. 2, 1982, pp. 185–187. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/30146213 Accessed 22 Jan. 2020.

[51] Morris, Michael. Dreams of Glory, Schemes of Empire: The Plan to Liberate Spanish Florida 'The Georgia Historical Quarterly', vol. 87, no. 1, 2003, pp. 1–21. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584620 Accessed 24 January 2020

[52] O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 – p.59

[53] See note 52 – p.34, 42-43

[54] See note 52.

[55] Miller, Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada - Cited in Morris, Michael. Dreams of Glory, Schemes of Empire: The Plan to Liberate Spanish Florida. 'The Georgia Historical Quarterly', vol. 87, no. 1, 2003, pp. 1–21. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584620 Accessed 24 Jan 2020.

[56] See note 55.

[57] Murdoch, Richard K. (1951) 'The Georgia-Florida Frontier 1793-1796. Spanish Reaction to French Intrigue and American Designs'. University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles (Ch.IV)

[58] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795. . Gainesville: University of Florida Press (p.99) – as shared by Ralan64 on 23 April 2013 as ‘1 Richard Lang Notes’. Accessed 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com

[59] O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 (pp. 86-89)

[60] Extracts from: Murdoch Richard K. 'The Georgia-Florida Frontier 1793-1796' (p.73) – as shared by Ralan64 on 23 April 2013 as ‘1 Richard Lang Notes.’ Accessed 20 February 2020 Ancestry.com.

[61] O'Riordan, Cormac A.,(1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 (pp.86-87, 89-90, 92-96)

[62] Morris, Michael. Dreams of Glory, Schemes of Empire: The Plan to Liberate Spanish Florida. 'The Georgia Historical Quarterly', vol. 87, no. 1, 2003, pp. 1–21. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584620 Accessed 24 January 2020

[63] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press (p.72) – as shared by Ralan64 on 23 April 2013 as ‘1 Richard Lang Notes’ Accessed 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com

[64] See note 63 - p.119

[65] O'Riordan, Cormac A., "The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida" (1995). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 (pp.86-87)

[66] Morris, Michael. Dreams of Glory, Schemes of Empire: The Plan to Liberate Spanish Florida. 'The Georgia Historical Quarterly', vol. 87, no. 1, 2003, pp. 1–21. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584620 Accessed 24 January 2020

[67] See note 66 - p.91

[68] Extracts from: Murdoch Richard K. The Georgia-Florida Frontier 1793-1796 (p.158) – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 Apr 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ Accessed 20 February 2020 Ancestry.com.

[69] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press (p.72) – as shared by Ralan64 on 23 April 2013 as ‘1 Richard Lang Notes’Accessed 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com; O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99

[70] O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 (pp.87-88)

[71] See note 70 - p.94

[72] Extracts from: Murdoch Richard K. 'The Georgia-Florida Frontier 1793-1796' (p.75) – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 April 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ Accessed 20 February 2020 Ancestry.com.

[73] An image of the letter from Richard Lang to the Governor of East Florida at St Augustine can be found at: https://www.ancestry.com/mediaui-viewer/collection/1030/tree/151830734/person/382012776234/media/86b68774-c097-4521-8f72-1270328b1539?_phsrc=IwP32408&usePUBJs=true (accessed by me on 11 December 2019). This copy was originally shared on Ancestry.com by an Ancestry member. I don't know where it originally came from or what its copyright status is.

[74] O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99( pp. 8-13)

[75] Ancestry.com. Privateers in Charleston, 1793-1796 [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Accessed 20 February 2020 Ancestry.com

[76] Map adapted from Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press by O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99

[77] Cusick, J. G. (2011). Some Thoughts on Spanish East and West Florida as Borderlands. ''The Florida Historical Quarterly', 90(2), 133-156. Accessed 27 February 2020 from: www.jstor.org/stable/23035927 p.146-7

[78] See note 77.

[79] Extracts from: Murdoch Richard K. 'The Georgia-Florida Frontier 1793-1796' (p.105) – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 April 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ Accessed 20 February 2020 Ancestry.com.

[80] O'Riordan, Cormac A.,(1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 – p.14.

[81] See note 80 - p.17

[82] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) 'Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795'. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 Apr 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’Accessed 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com.

[83] O'Riordan, Cormac A.,(1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 – p.14

[84] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 Apr 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ Accessed 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com.

[85] O'Riordan, Cormac A.,(1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99

[86] See note 85.

[87] See note 85.

[88] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 April 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ on Ancestry.com

[89] O'Riordan, Cormac A.,(1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99 – p.16

[90] See note 89 - p.19

[91] https://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/topics/historical_markers/county/camden/camden-county Accessed 27 February 2020.

[92] ] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 April 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ on Ancestry.com

[93] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Augustus_Bowles Accessed 27 February 2020

[94] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 April 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ on Ancestry.com

[95] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Augustus_Bowles Accessed 27 February 2020

[96] Cusick, J. G. (2011). Some Thoughts on Spanish East and West Florida as Borderlands.
The Florida Historical Quarterly, 90(2), 133-156. Accessed 27 February 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/23035927 p.148

[97] Extracts from: Bennett, Charles, E. (1981) Florida's "French" Revolution 1793-1795. Gainesville: University of Florida Press – as shared by Ralan64 on 29 April 2013 as ‘2 Richard Lang Notes’ on Ancestry.com

[98] Wright Jr., J Leitch ( 1967 ) 'William Augustus Bowles: Director-General of the Creek Nation' University of Georgia Press.

[99] See note 98.

[100] Lang, Richard, fl. 1800 (1800-08-17). Letter [with certification] 1800 Aug. 17, St. Marys, [Georgia] to William A[ugustus] Bowles / Richard Lang. Accessed 24 February 2020 from https://dlg.usg.edu/record/dlg_zlna_krc106#item

[101] From: 'Isaac Crews Minute Book of the Superior Court of Camden County (Georgia)' – 1809 Camden County – shared by Ancestry member, Ralan64, on 30 December 2014 Accessed 10 Jan 2020 Ancestry.com

[102] Image ‘Land 415’ document from Georgia, Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-1909 – shared on Ancestry.com by Ancestry member, myoldjed, on 14 June 2012. Accessed by me 19 February 2020 Ancestry.com. It appears to have originally been found at Family Search.

[103] According to O’Riordan, Casa Blanca was sold in 1816 “the year that Richard Lang died” - O'Riordan, Cormac A., (1995) 'The 1795 Rebellion in East Florida'. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 99. Accessed 20 February 2020 at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/99

 

JaneChapman - avatar
About the author: JaneChapman Admin Icon
I am a hobby genealogist. I have been researching family history since the early 1990's. Since 2013, I have been using autosomal DNA-related information, in conjunction with traditional sources of evidence, to support, or challenge, the paper trail and to solve genealogical puzzles. I am always happy to collaborate with, and support others in, family history research. I am a member of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG). I am also a member of the Guild of One Name Studies - jane.chapman@one-name.org. You can also find me at: https://walkmypast.com/

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Comments

Heather B. avatar
@peepso_user_2769(Heather B.)
That’s a really impressive amount of research and interesting blog. I agree about the process of writing things down as a useful way of seeing any gaps, contradictions etc.
2 months ago
JaneChapman avatar
@peepso_user_265(JaneChapman)
Thanks Heather ... lots of gaps in evidence from primary sources but writing the story down gives me a base to work from.
2 months ago