Notes from the Black Oak Agriculture
| Few planters failed of acquiring an
independence, and many made fortunes large for the times and circumstances.
Among the planters most successful at this business was Peter Sinkler,
who, without any property with which to begin life, went daily with his
hoe-cake and axe to his labor. At his death, about twenty-five years afterwards,
he left for his children three valuable plantations and upwards of three
hundred slaves. He died in Charleston a prisoner to the British, under
the most cruel treatment. Before he was carried from his plantation he
was made to witness the destruction of the following property, viz.: twenty
thousand pounds of indigo worth one dollar and fifty cents a pound, one
hundred and thirty head of cattle, one hundred and fifty-four head of sheep,
two hundred head of hogs, three thousand bushels of grain, twenty thousand
rails, household furniture valued at £2,500; besides carrying off
fifty-five negroes, sixteen blood horses, and twenty-eight mares and colts.
| Peter Sinkler was a man remarkable
for wonderful endurance, industry, and skill in the pursuit of his business.
His parent could afford him only six months' schooling, when the necessities
of a widowed mother and sister required the labor of himself and brother
at home. When the Revolution broke out he devoted himself to the service
of his country. From strong traits of character he soon possessed
much influence among his fellow-citizens. This the enemy became aware of,
and determined to make an example of him. Like others of the Whigs, he
was wont occasionally to fly from the privations and fatigues endured by
the soldiers of Marion's brigade to recruit within the bosom of his family.
The enemy having ascertained this determined, if possible, to capture him.
His own brother-in-law, James Boisseau, who had enjoyed no other home but
his, was won over by bribery to betray him. He was captured in the
manner following. His house was situated within fifty yards of the Santee
swamp, and it was his habit, when necessary in order to avoid the danger
which threatened from the front, to retire by the back way to his usual
place of concealment. Boisseau, with a sufficient force below, threaded
his way to the spot at which he knew Mr. Sinkler would enter it. Soon after
a force was seen descending the avenue. The victim took his hat and returning
to his place of concealment found himself in the arms of his captors.
He was refused an interview with his wife and daughters, made to witness
the destruction of the property as specified, carried off a prisoner to
the provost in Charleston, and there, without a change of clothes, he was
thrust into the southeast room of the post-office cellar, among a crowd
as unfortunate as himself, without bedding or even straw to lie upon. Typhus
fever soon terminated their sufferings. As his reward Boisseau enjoyed
for life a commission in the British army and a civil station in Nova Scotia.
| At the period of which we write
men were much more laborious and devoted to their business than at the
present day; a fact or two will proves this. During the period of
manufacturing the indigo dye which was a process requiring the closest
attention, Mr. Sinkler though lie slept every night in his bed, never for
three weeks saw the face of his wife or daughters; he returned and departed
I while they slept. He and his brother lived full twelve miles asunder,
and yet they generally visited each other after dark; they would eat supper
and then return home. All this was done on horse-back, sulkies and busies
being then unknown.