Towlses, Carsons, &c.

The Towleses, very active and brave Whigs, were, I think, settlers about the year 1760 above “Scotland,” in the Half Way Swamp country. Between them and Ned Turner, in fact between them and almost all Tories, burned the fire of implacable hatred. The Chappells were also in the same neighborhood. About Saluda Old Town were the Carsons, brave and true Whigs. Old Mr. James Carson used to tell an anecdote of one of the family, his father, I think, very much like one related by Kennedy of his hero in the story of Horse Shoe Robinson. He said that one day riding alone he stopped his horse at a small creek, or stream of running water, to let him drink. While his horse was drinking, Mr. Carson, not dreaming of danger so near, naturally let his head fall forward in a thoughtful, meditative manner. When the horse was through drinking and raised his head to go forward the road was found to be full of Tories, ready and waiting and completely’ blocking the way. Mr. Carson’s first impulse was to turn and flee the way he had come, but, glancing backwards, he found the road barred in his rear also. Without a moment’s hesitation he rode forward, extended his hand to the leader of the band and said that he was very glad to meet them; that he had given up the Whig cause as a failure and had concluded to take the other side. He affiliated with them and so entirely disarmed their suspicions that they soon ceased to watch him closely and in a little while he made his escape. I do not know the exact time when many of these settlers, Carsons, Towleses, Butlers (not Gen. Butler’s family), Scurrys, Andersons, and others, not far from Saluda, Scotland, and the Island Ford, came into the country; but it was from 1756 to 1766, during which period the great wave of immigration rolled down South from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina into South Carolina; when sometimes the number amounted to as many as a thousand families a year, with all their movables and horses and cattle.

Source: Chapman, John Abney; History of Edgefield County from the earliest settlement to 1897; Newberry, S.C.: E. H. Aull, 1897.

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