Report on the Stono Rebellion

Title:  Report on the Stono Rebellion

Author:  General Oglethorpe

Date:  1740

Subject:  Stono Rebellion

Type:  Colonial Records of South Carolina

Source:  South Carolina Archives Department

In September 1739, our slaves made an Insurrection at Stono in the Heart of our settlements not twenty miles from Charles Town, in which they massacred twenty-three Whites after the most cruel and barbarous Manner to be conceived and having got Arms and Ammunition out of a Store they bent their Course to the southward burring all the Houses on the Road.  But they marched so slow, in full Confidence of their own Strength from the first Success, that gave Time to a Party of our Militia to come up with them.  The Number was in a manner equal on both Sides and an Engagement ensured such as may be supposed in such a Case wherein one fought for Liberty and Life, the other for their Country and every Thing that was dear to them.  But by the Blessing of God the Negroes were defeated, the greatest Part being killed on the Spot or taken, and those that then escaped were so closely pursued and hunted Day after Day that in the End all but two or three were [killed or] taken and executed.  That the Negroes would not have made this Insurrection had they not depended on St. Augustine for a place of Reception afterward was very certain; and that the Spaniards had a Hand in prompting them to this particular Action there was but little Room to doubt, for in July preceding Don Piedro, Captain of the Horse at St. Augustine, came to Charles Town in a launch with twenty or thirty men (one of which was a negro that spoke English very well) under Pretence of delivering a Letter to General Oglethorpe although he could not possible be ignorant that the General resided at Frederica not Half the Distance from St. Augustine and in his Return he was seen at Times to put into every one of our Inlets on the Coast.  And in the very Month in which the above insurrection was made the General acquainted our Lieutenant Governor by letter that the Magistrates of Georgia had seized a Spaniard whom he took to be a Priest, and that they thought from what they had discovered that he was employed by the Spaniards to procure a general insurrection of the Negroes.

The Report of the Committee of Both House of Assembly of the Province of South Carolina Appointed to Enquire into the Causes of the Disappointment of Success in the Late Expedition Against St. Augustine under the Command of General Oglethorpe. The St. Augustine Expedition of 1740