Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MOTTE, Isaac, soldier, born in South Carolina, 8 December, 1738; died there, 8 May, 1795. His father, Jacob, who was Dutch consul at Dublin, Ireland, and after he emigrated to this country for many years treasurer of the province of South Carolina, was the son of a Huguenot named De la Motte, who fled from France into Holland in 1685. He received a military education, and served in Canada in 1756. In July, 1775, by order of the committee of safety, he landed on James island with three companies of William Moultrie's regiment, of which he was lieutenant-colonel, and took possession of Fort Johnson in sight of the British fleet in Charleston harbor. He bore a conspicuous part in the defence of Fort Moultrie, where he was second in command. In 1780-'2 he represented South Carolina in the Continental congress. He was a member of the State convention that ratified the United States constitution, and was appointed by President Washington naval officer of the port of Charleston, holding that office till his death.--His sister-in-law, Rebecca Brewton, heroine, born in South Carolina in 1739" died there in 1815, was the daughter of an Englishman who settled in South Carolina, and married Jacob Motte in 1758. Her husband died during the Revolution, leaving his large estate encumbered beyond its value by debts that he had incurred by giving security for friends. During the occupation of South Carolina by the British, her mansion in Orangeburg county, on Congaree river, was seized by the invaders, who built around it a high parapet, while she retired with her family to a farm-house on the plantation. Francis Marion and Henry Lee laid siege to Fort Notte, as the post was called, and, when informed of the approach of British re-enforcements, deliberated over the plan of setting fire to the house, but were reluctant to destroy Mrs. Motte's property. She dispelled their scruples, and brought out an African bow and arrows specially adapted for the purpose, with which the roof was ignited, causing the garrison to surrender speedily. Mrs. Motte then provided a banquet for the officers on both sides. " Assuming all her husband's liabilities, after the war of independence she purchased on credit a tract of rice land on Santee river, and by her energy and economy paid all the debts that he had incurred and accumulated a large property. Her two eldest daughters married in succession Thomas Pinckney.
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