Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BARNWELL, John, soldier, born in Ireland about 1671; died about June 1724, in Beaufort, South Carolina In 1712 a formidable conspiracy was formed by the Tuscarora Indians in North Carolina against the white settlers of the colony. In the neighborhood of Roanoke alone 137 whites were killed in one night. Colonel Barnwell was sent by Governor Craven, of South Carolina, with a regiment of 600 Carolinians and several hundred friendly Indians to punish the offenders. He marched through an unbroken wilderness without provision trains or any regular source of supplies. The advance was conducted with great expedition and skill. Barnwell's force overtook the Tuscaroras and killed 300 in the first engagement. The survivors were driven into their fortified town, besieged, and finally reduced to submission. Nearly 1,000 of them were killed or captured, and the remnant abandoned their hereditary lands and joined the Five Nations of New York. This was the first crushing blow dealt against the Indians by the white settlers in the Carolinas, and Barnwell is to this day known to his descendents as "Tuscarora John." In 1722 he was sent to England as agent for the colony of South Carolina.*His grandson, Robert, born in Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1762; died in 1814o He volunteered for the revolutionary war when sixteen years old, and was dangerously wounded in a fight at Port Royal shortly afterward. He was taken prisoner and confined in a prison ship in Cape Fear river, North Carolina, but with his fellow prisoners organized a revolt, overpowered the guards, captured the ship and made their escape. Mr. Barnwell was afterward a member of the convention in South Carolina on the adoption of the federal constitution, was a member of congress from 1791 till 1792. He declined reelection, but was a member of the state legislature for many years afterward. He was speaker of the House of Representatives of South Carolina in 1795, and president of the senate in 1805.*His son, Robert Woodward, statesman, born in Beaufort, So C., 10 August 1801 ; died in Columbia, South Carolina, 25 November 1882. After graduation at Harvard in 1821, he studied law, and practiced in his native state. He was a representative in congress from 1829 till 1833. In 1.835 he was elected president of the South Carolina College, He resigned, on account of his health, in 1841. He declined reelection, but was appointed United States senator in place of F. It. Elmore, deceased, and in this capacity he served in 1850-'51. In December 1860, after the passage of the ordinance of secession by South Carolina, he was appointed one of the commissioners to go to Washington to treat with the national government for United States property within the state. He was a delegate to the convention of the seceding states at Montgomery, Alabama, and his was the casting vote that made Jefferson Davis president of the southern confederacy° lie was also a member of the confederate senate.
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