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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YEAMANS, Sir John, governor of South Carolina, born in Bristol, England, about 1605; died in Barbadoes, Wisconsin, about 1676. He was the son of a cavalier, and, not being in good circumstances, emigrated to Barbadoes and became a planter. In 1663 several residents of that island, not being satisfied with their condition, and desiring to establish a colony of their own, sent a vessel to examine the country extending from the 36th degree of north latitude to the river San Mateo, which had already been erected into a territory in Lon don under the name of Carolina. The report being favorable, the planters purchased of the Indians a tract of land thirty-two miles square on Cape Fear river, and begged of the proprietaries a confirmation of the purchase and a separate charter of government. Not all their request was granted, but Sir John was appointed their governor, with a jurisdiction that extended from Cape Fear to San Marco. Tile country was called "Clarendon." In the autumn of 1665 he arrived from Barbadoes with a band of emigrants and founded a town on the south bank of Cape Fear river that proved so utter a failure that even its site is now in dispute. Yet the settlement flourished for a time, and exported boards, staves, and shingles to the parent colony. Tile traffic proved profitable, emigration increased, and in 1666 the plantation is said to have contained 800 souls. Yeamans seems to have managed affairs satisfactorily, but after a time he returned to the West Indies. In 1670 three ship-loads of emigrants that had arrived from England sailed up Ashley river and began a town on "the first; high land convenient for tillage and pasturing." In the copy of the original fundamental constitutions given them before leaving London, John Lock, Sir John Yeamans, and James Carteret were created landgraves. The following year the colony was increased by Dutch emigrants from New York and others from Holland, and by the arrival of Sir John from Barbadoes with African slaves, the first that were landed on this continent. The governor soon sunk under the climate and the hardships to which all the settlers were exposed, and Sir John Yeamans was appointed his successor, He proved, however, to be "a sordid calculator," bent only on acquiring a fortune. He encouraged expense, and enriched himself, but without gaining either respect or hat, red. The proprietaries complained that "it must be a bad soil" if industrious men could not get a living out of it, and protested that they did not propose to maintain the idle. In 1674 Yea-roans was removed from office, and at once sailed for Barbadoes, where he soon afterward died.
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