Robert Dewes (Due) and Dewitts Corner 

 

Who is Robert Dewes (Due)?

 

He was the ancestor of famous Cherokee Tiana Rogers, consort of Sam

Houston.  His family had a trading post in upper South Carolina called Dewes

Corner, or Dewees Corner, or Dewitt’s Corner.   Today the place is called Due West, a remnant of the original pronunciation of the name Dewes.

 

 

 

The Dewes (Due) Family of Charleston 

 

Very little research has been done on this pioneer Huguenot family.  A Robert

Dews was buried at Saint Philip’s in Charleston on 2 September 1722.  William

Dews received a grant of 640 acres in Berkley County, South Carolina, on

2 October 1735.  Another Robert Dewes of Charleston married Mary Rousham,

daughter of William Rousham.  He was deceased by 1751 when his eldest heir, Bethel Dewes of Berkley County,  petitioned for a resurvey of some town lots held by the estate of William Rousham.  

 

The Robert Dewes of our interest appears to be the son of William Dewes of

what was then Berkley County but became the Orangeburg District.  Before the

Cherokee War (1759-1762) William established a trading post on the path that led from Ninety Six to Keowee in the Abbeville District (and today in Abbeville County).  Robert was born 1740 – 1745 in South Carolina and became a warrior

with the Chickamauga during the Revolution and was accepted into the tribe.

He died a Cherokee before 1790, probably before 1781.

 

 

 

Dewes (Dewitts) Corner  

 

The Grant Expedition of early 1761 reached Ninety Six on the 17th day out of

Charleston, reached Turkey Creek on the 19th day, and reached “Dews Corner”

on the 20th day.

 

The “Treaty of Hard Labor” enacted by Commissioner John Stuart with the Cherokee at “Hard Labor”, South Carolina, on  14 October 1768, marks the

new southern boundary of Cherokee land as:

 

            beginning at a place called Towatuhe on the Northern Bank of Savanna River, and thence

running in a North, Fifty degrees East course to Dewisses corner, and thence in the same

course to Waughoe, or Elm tree on the South side of Reedy River,

 

 

            beginning at a place called Towatuhe, on the northern bank of Savanna River and Running

a North fifty degrees East course to a place called Dewisses corner, or the Yellow Water ,

and thence in the same course to Waughoe or Elm Tree on the South side of Roody River;

 

 

 

A map made by James Cook on 7 July 1773 shows “Duetts Corner” on the

boundary of the Ninety Six District and the Cherokee lands.

 

On  20 May 1777, the “Treaty of Dewitts Corner” took more land from the

Cherokee and  secured their neutrality in the ongoing Revolution.

 

Robert Gouedy of Ninety Six acquired some land in Abbeville District before

the treaties and refers to “Dewes Corner”: 

 

            22. Gowdy/Gaudy, Robert Nov 17, 1767... 300 acres on Little River

His plat is not located on the map and has not been searched. His intestate estate inventory was taken in 1776 although his estate was not filed in Abbeville County Probate Office until April 5, 1790.

23. Gowdy, Robert  Precept date Oct 25, 1765.  500 acres in Berkley County on       wagon road leading to Cherokee at Dewes Corner, a branch of Savannah River. Surveyed Feb 27, 1766 by John Fairchild, DS. (This is in SC Colonial Plat Book 8:360)

SC. Memorial Book 9:133 #4. Oct 27, 1766. A Memorial exhibited by Robert Gowdy    to be registered in Auditor General's office for the 500 acres in Berkley Co. being across the wagon road leading to the Cherokee at Dewes corner on a branch of Savannah River and all other sides vacant when survey certified Feb 27, 1766 and granted Sept 25, 1766 to the memorialist at quit rent of 3/s or/proclamation money per hundred acres commencing two years from date. [signed] Robert Gouedy.

[From the research of  Glee Corey Hendrix C.G., F.A.S.G., online, Shirley Family]

 

A study on the origin of the town name “Due West” concludes that it was the same as “Duetts Corner”.  [Names in South Carolina, Claude Henry Neuffer, Ed.,

(Spartanburg : The Reprint Company, 1983) XXIV, 9 and III,6]

 

 

Robert Dewes Tory activity

 

Loyal to Commissioner John Stuart (and his relative Alexander Cameron),

Robert Dewes was an active agent for them (after they were exiled to Florida)  

among the Cherokee.  His brother William Dewes (who married Mary Ann

Bell at Saint Philips on 8 April 1764) supplied food to the loyalists in Georgia,

but Robert was more active.  Here is his 1779 report, courtesy of Cherokee

researcher Jerry Clark:

 

 

From Colonial Office Records (, Vol 80) in Public Records Office, London U. K.
Transcribed from microfilm copy in Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. by Jerry L Clark

Letter dated April 9, 1779
Ustenalla Town     [upper central Georgia]
Robert Dews to Alexander Cameron:

This will be handed to you by the bearer of Mr. Scott's letters which was to have been dispatched the day after they were dated. Anthony Foreman, who was to have carried them, was prevented by sickness. I then applied to an Indian who promised to sett out in four days after Mr Scott left this [place]. He came at the time appointed [&] said that he missed his horse. It was with some difficulty that the Cowee Warrior engaged the bearer.


Mr Scott sett off on his expedition the 30th ult. accompanied by the Good Warrior & ten men from

party setting out at the Island is intended as a reinforcement of the Illinois so that Mr McDonald have left Jud's Friend with about Seventy five men to prevent their passing & take as many prisoners as Possible, if the Rebels should not be superior in force.


I am proud to inform you that the whole Nation seems Unamimous against the Rebels. Even Quallakee [?] where the Esemakia [?] Indians live. The Raven and Categiskee with fifteen men from Salugoe, white men, Greaves, Proctor, Row, Springston, Riley, Cery, & Vernon of your company, John Ramsay, John Christie, and Samuel Benjamin from the Rebel towns & Charles Hughes and Joseph Vann. Since passes this [force?] to join him, Six of the Cohutta Indians & followed by John Brown, the Bear & Charles Beamer & the day following the Young Turkey & Terrapin (the Great Warrior's son) with twenty five men. James Hughes & this day twenty four of the Toquoa people & twenty one of the Cossacohatchee [?] people accompanied by Hicks, Morross & Luke sett off from Cusachetehee [?]. The Little Bird & a large party with him likewise sett off this day from the town to join the former parties & a Considerable number from the disaffected towns is expected to join the last parties.


Mr McDonald passed this river at Cusawahtee yesterday with a number of his division, the Bloody Fellow or Nenetuya. [Parted?] from them three days since with an order for Ammunition. He took about twenty Indians and four white men is with Mr McDonald: John Vann, Campbell, Levett, & Bench. [Benge] This party was to have joined Mr Scott at this place but a report [was?] transmitted that a number of Rebels were on their way from the Long Island in Boats to Rout the towns on [the] Tennessee [River]. However town & village in the woods have sent & are daily sending men against them. The disaffected in the Valleys, Middle & Lower Towns are daily falling off from them & surely Believe that with a little encouragement at this time from you would in the course of this summer bring them entirely out of the Old Towns.
The Raven & Old Tassel have been with Mr McDonald. I have not heard the particulars of their Business but the Great Warrior has left his medal with his son the Terrapin, who intends seeing you after his return from the War.


By two fellows from the Esenota [?] settlement now in the House I am informed of a large party consisting of Highawassee & Chestee people on their way to join Messers McDonald & Scott at the Rendevous at the Standing Peach Tree so that a moderate computation [shows] those gentlemen will have 300 men exclusive of what may join them from the disaffected Towns. This much Sir, I have taken the liberty of Acquainting you with, as I thought it a part of my duty being subsequent to Mr Scott's departure.


I must begg your patience a little to acquaint you that the number of Traders on this River is too great for the number of hunters, they not being sufficient to support five of us: viz. John Morris at Cusawahtehee, John Yarwook [?] at Saligoe, John Seeke [?] & James Ramsay & myself at this place. As I am the latest I hope you will grant me a permit for some other town. Of them on [the] Tennessee, I would prefer Tuskegee as many of my old customers reside in & about that town. My reason for applying to you at this time is that I may not be too late as the Fall of the Year with time enough for me to move to that place should it be to your pleasure.

Your Obediant Servant,
Robert Dews

 

 

 

Cherokee children of Robert Dewes

 

It is thought that he adopted John Jolly as his son.  Jolly was born c.1770

and died December 1838.  (The birthdate is probably  1765-1770.)

 

 

Child with Elizabeth Emory:

 

            i.          JENNIE (JANE) DUE      b.c. 1771  d.unk. McMinn Co, TN

                        She married her step-father Capt. John Rogers c.1785.

 

 

Child with unknown Cherokee woman:

 

            ii.         ------- (Otterlifter)  DEW       b.c. 1777

                        enrolled for emigration with the tribe in 1817.  He also (or his

                        son) appears on the Henderson Roll of 1835 and the 1834-1835

                        valuation list in Tennessee (where his alternate name of

Otterlifter is given).