"Bloody Bill" Cunningham and Major Patrick Cunningham of South Carolina

Started by Erica Howton on Wednesday, December 22, 2010


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12/22/2010 at 4:44 AM

I just ran across this fascinating article and noted Cunninghams who emigrated, Scotland / Virginia / England. I wonder if we can figure them out correctly in our Geni tree ... or if they're related at all. Not sure if I want to be or not!

* source: [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~eurovol/CaldwellG... South Carolina Connections]

* The Cunningham family, struggling for religious freedom, immigrated from Scotland about 1681, settling in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

* In 1769 Patrick and Robert Cunningham (born in the Colony of Penna.) arrived in South Carolina. Robert settled at the Indian Island Ford area on Saluda River as his main plantation, yet he had large land holdings elsewhere. They were a family of great influence in the back country.

* The Cunningham men were four brothers: John who was a planter, David who was a deputy surveyor, Robert who was the first magistrate of Ninety-Six District and Patrick who was deputy surveyor of the General Province of South Carolina. These men were loyal to the English Crown.

* There was also their cousin William Cunningham who in 1775 at the age of 19 years became a follower of the Whig Party.

* There was also an Andrew Cunningham of the Ninety Six District in the Province of South Carolina. He was a Loyalist but I do not know if he was any relation to these other Cunningham men.

* William Cunningham ("Bloody Bill") [the 4 brothers cousin] was at first a Whig and afterwards a Tory. ... William Cunningham took to the Tory Cause after his mother had been roughened and his crippled brother John murdered by overzealous Patriots in the Ninety-Six District. Captain William Ritchie is said to have roughened up the sick and elderly father of William Cunningham in an attempt to learn of the whereabouts of William. Brother John, lame and an epileptic was whipped so hard he died.

* These episodes seem to have triggered a wild and bloody chapter for William Cunningham. He was bent on revenge to anyone for any reason he saw fitting ...

* There now stands a monument east of Little River and Simmon's Creek. The monument marks the courage of those who gave their lives at that terrible place, giving their names [the monument is shown here: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=9008 Battle of Great Cane Break 1775]

* After the Revolutionary War - Loyalists - those Militia Officers and Magistrates and those Commissioned by the British Commandant of Charles Town - their estates were confiscated and their persons were banished from the State of South Carolina.

Among those recorded were:

* Robert Cunningham
* Patrick Cunningham
* William Cunningham
* Andrew Cunningham of Ninety Six
* John Cunningham

* William Cunningham settled in Florida after the war. He planted on fifteen acres of land belonging to a Lady Egmont on St. John's River. In April 4, 1785 a letter detailing the evacuation of English in the St. Augustine lands stated that Major William Cunningham, and other British subjects had recently been confined in 'filthy dungeons' by the Spanish authorities on criminal charges and all intercourse with them was refused to representatives of the Crown. The letter suggested that Cunningham might be sent to the Spanish mines where he would not give them further trouble. Major Cunningham was deported to Cuba on May 1, 1785 for taking an active part in a dispute between some Spaniards and Americans.

* They then traveled together to Canada and London to collect their restitution for losses as a result of the late war. William was only given a tenth of what he claimed he should justly receive as restitution.

* After the war Robert and Patrick Cunningham petitioned to be allowed to live in South Carolina. Robert, being refused, settled in Nassau and received 1,080 Pounds Sterling from the British for restitution of losses due to war. Part of that loss was Peach Hill Plantation on the North side of Saluda River and Island Ford plantation on the South side of the Saluda River. The oldest daughter of Robert, Mrs. Elizabeth Brownlee, wife of John Brownlee of Charleston, died July 15, 1805 at forty one years of age.

* death notice: NASSAU - Jan. 20, 1787, Thursday last, died here Major William Cunningham, formerly of the S.C. Royal Militia.

* WILL OF William Cunningham The Photostat copy I received from Nassau was a poor copy of a very old, torn piece of paper.

** Bahama Islands

New Providence

To all Christian People to whom the Presents shall come.

Know ye all that on the twenty----day of January in the year of Our Lord, one thousand, seven hundred, and eighty seven, before me, the Honorable John Brown Esquire, President and Commander in chief and Ordinary of the said Islands, personally appeared Mary Cunningham and being duly sworn, took upon herself the Execution of the will of William Cunningham as sole Executrix. ... I give and bequeath the same to the (?following person, that is to say) my dear wife Mary Cunningham, all my estate both real and personal after paying all just debts and demands against the said testator.

* Patrick Cunningham settled in South Carolina, by permission, and was elected to the Legislature. He resigned because his position was made unpleasant. After his daughter, Pamela, died on March 15, 1795 (her clothing caught fire as her large skirts were placed too close to the fireplace) in Charleston, Patrick Cunningham moved his family back to his Plantation "Rosemont" in Laurens, situated between the Reedy and Saluda Rivers. An estimate of his losses due to war was 3450 Pounds Sterling. Patrick Cunningham died October 25, 1796 at his plantation. He was 53 years old when he died.

* William Cunningham, his son, died December 15, 1798 at 24 years of age.

* His wife, Ann, died from fever in Charleston on September 17, 1799.

* Patrick's son, Col. John Cunningham, died January 30, 1817 at 45 years of age.

* Another son of Patrick, Robert Cunningham (Oct. 8, 1786 - July 7, 1859) was married to Louisa Bird.

* In 'Bench & Bar of SC' by O'Neal - vol. 2, John Cunningham, brother to Patrick, after the war, lived and died in Charleston, a successful merchant who realized a great fortune.

12/22/2010 at 5:22 AM

I just checked my ur-source, Newman, Betty C. Adam and 500 More Cunninghams of the Valley of Virginia, C. 1734-C. 1800. Bowie, Md: Heritage Books, 2000.

Betty Newman said:

" some of their cousins who lived in the same area fought on the side of the British ... "

So it sounds like the Cunninghams of SC and the Cunninghams of VA are in fact related, and either came together in migration waves first to PA and then points south and west, or from Scotland via Ireland in migration waves.

11/19/2017 at 2:56 PM

I found few stories on them here and there Harty bunch they were.

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