Some Hooper Records in Colonial South Carolina

Journal of William Calhoun

From Publications of the Southern History Association, Vol. VIII, No. 3 (May 1904).
William Calhoun settled on Long Cane Creek in what is now Abbeville County about 1756.  His journal, just 6 inches by 3½ inches, with only 32 pages utilized, contains a mixture of accounts, family records, and a few of his records as a justice of the peace. It seems to generally cover the period 1760-1770, though dates of many entries are uncertain. This published transcription is merely 16 pages.

Page 180  undated but prior to late 1762 entry at bottom of page
Thomas Holmes one quart [Liquor]… Thomas Holms, 1 pint ditto

Page 183 (ca 1763?)
Thomas Holms 1½ galon (sic) ditto [Lickour]
Lent to Thomas Holms £0-7-6
Thomas Holms to Summons 0-6-3
Thomas Holms 1 ½ gallon ditto [Lickour]
Thomas Holms 1 gallon ditto [Lickour]
Thomas Holms 1 ½ gallon ditto [Lickour]
Thomas Holms to Summons £6-3

Absalom [undecipherable name]  £0-15

Page 185 (unknown date)
Absalom Hooper 1 quart [Liquor] as also £1-17-6

Page 189 (ca 1767?)
Thomas Holms dr. to 5-8-0

Page 190 (follows an entry labelled “August ye 6th 1768 upon ye balance of all accounts”)
Thomas Hooper to two gallons [Liquor] 2-10-0
Thomas Hooper to 1 pint [Liquor] 0-3-9
Thomas Hooper to 2 gallons 1 pint [Liquor] 2-3-9

dew to Robert Messer on Absalom Hooper’s act £0-17-6

Robert Messer owned two tracts on Long Cane Creek adjacent to William Calhoun, and is mentioned very frequently in the journal. 

Page 192 begins a list of 28 marriages performed…
Absalom Hooper & Elizabeth Holms was married ye 25 day of Novr. ano dom 1765

Oddly, there is no mention of Joseph Holmes in this journal. The father of Elizabeth Holmes is uncertain — Thomas Holmes and Joseph Holmes had adjacent grants on Russell’s Creek in the late 1760s.  Sarah Holmes, who moved to Natchez in 1772, was probably the widow of one or the other of these men — my working hypothesis is that she was the widow of Joseph Holmes, as Natchez records tell us that she had a grown son named Joseph Holmes. Neither of the Holmes tracts were sold by deed.

Thomas Hooper land in Craven County (below Mecklenburg, North Carolina)

17 April 1762
Plat:  Survey for Thomas Hooper on both sides of Camp Creek near the Waxsaws (sic) in Craven County, bounded on all sides by vacant land. [Plats Vol. 7, page 229.]  Granted 8 July 1762 [Colonial Grants Vol. 10, page 240.] Memorial dated 21 July 1762 [Memorials of South Carolina Land Titles, Vol. 14, page 233.]

Camp Creek meanders through Lancaster County, South Carolina and runs into the Catawba River south of the town of Lancaster.  It isn’t clear where along the creek this tract is located, but it isn’t far south of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

I found no record of a sale of this grant.

22 August 1765
Two North Carolina surveys on this date for the two grants immediately below, actually located in South Carolina.  Chain Carriers: Thomas Hooper and Mannin Gore.

25 Sep 1766
Land Grant: North Carolina to Thomas Hooper, 160 acres in Mecklenburg County on the west side of Broad River, including part of an island. Beginning at a hickory on the river bank at the mouth of Enos Hooper’s Creek and runs up the creek S40W 160 poles to a chestnut and red oak, thence N50W 160 poles to a red oak then S40E 160 poles running through the island to a stake in the river, thence down the river to the beginning. [North Carolina Land Grants, Book 17, page 289]

Surveyed 22 August 1765.  Survey shows Enos Hooper’s Creek running east-southeast into Broad River and meandering along the entire S40W line of the survey.  Surveyor: William Dickson. Chain Bearers: Thomas Hooper, Mannin Gore.  [North Carolina Land Grants, Book 18, page 263 and loose papers in File #1396. Also abstracted in North Carolina Land Grants in South Carolina, page 73.]

27 April 1767
Land Grant: North Carolina to Thomas Hooper, 150 acres on north side and in the islands of Broad River, including the middle of the long island at a place called the Ninety Nine Islands. Beginning at a red oak on the hill side and running thence N40W 155 poles to a sweet gum at a branch thence S50W 155 poles crossing the river and islands to a stake thence down the river S40E 155 poles to a stake, thence to the beginning.  [North Carolina Land Grants, Book 23, page 65]

Surveyed 22 August 1765:  Survey shows small quantity of land on both sides of the river with most acreage being on the islands.  A structure is depicted on the east bank of the river.  Surveyor: William Dickson. Chain Bearers: Thomas Hooper, Manin (sic) Gore.  [North Carolina Grants, loose papers in File #1396. Also abstracted in Brent H. Holcomb, North Carolina Land Grants in South Carolina (Genealogical Publishing Co, 1986), page 73]

These two grants are quite a bit west of the Camp Creek grant and about a dozen miles south of the North Carolina border in present-day Cherokee County, South Carolina. Ninety-Nine Islands is a landmark southwest of the town of Blacksburg and not far south of present-day Chesterfield County, North Carolina (then Mecklenburg).  The “long island” may be the island about a half-dozen miles southwest of the town of Blacksburg.

The border between North Carolina and South Carolina west of the Catawba River was not settled until 1772.  Before that year North Carolina made about 1,000 land grants in South Carolina. These two grants were made from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

23 July 1767
Deed:  Thomas Hooper of Granville County in the Province of South Carolina, to John Standford of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, for £50, 150 acres in Mecklenburg County on Broad River including a large island at the Ninety Nine Islands [metes and bounds matching the grant follow] …which is in full the contents by the patent issued to me bearing date (sic) April 1767…. Signed: Thomas Hooper. Witness: William Sharp, Jno S(artan?). [Mecklenburg County, NC Deed Book 4, page 317]

When John Standford of Tryon County, North Carolina gifted half of this land in October 1769 to his young half-brother Essex Capshaw (son of his mother Elizabeth and deceased step-father Francis Capshaw) he noted the patent to Thomas Hooper and the above deed, but did not include metes and bounds.  His deed described it as “on the north side of the main Broad River”, and including “a certain island commonly called the long island”.  [Tryon (now Lincoln) County Deed Book 1, page 86.]

4 Nov 1767
Deed:  In the tenth day of the seventh year of the reign of King George… Thomas Hooper of the Province of South Carolina, to Matthew Floyd of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, for £53, 13 shillings and 4 pence, 160 acres in Mecklenburg County “on the south side of the Broad River being the place where the said Thomas Hooper formerly lived on… [metes and bounds matching the grant follow] …by the patent bearing date 25 September 1766…. Signed: Thomas Hooper. Witness: William McMillion, John McMillion, John McGun_____  [Mecklenburg County, NC Deed Book 4, page 321]

Matthew Floyd subsequently sold this tract in 1774 to Thomas King, who filed a memorial on 15 July 1774 with the same land description [Memorials Vol. 12, page 510.]

Granville County, which was abolished in 1768, was a poorly defined geographic area that performed almost no functions of a county. It definitely included the Long Canes area along the Savannah River, as numerous early surveys along that creek were described as being in or “supposed to be in” Granville County. These two deeds, along with the timing of the plat on Long Canes Creek, appear to show that Thomas Hooper of Long Cane Creek had previously lived on the Broad River just south of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

22 April 1773
Survey: for James Quintan of 100 acres in Craven County, 96 District bounded to the south by Broad river…southeasterly “on land laid out to Enos Hooper” [Plats Vol. 20, page 4]  Later granted to James Quintan and his memorial — referring to  “100 acres situate in Craven County, 96 district, on Broad River bounded NEward on Enos Hooper and all other sides on vacant land.” [Memorials of South Carolina Land Titles, Volume 2, page 468. Survey is at Plats Volume 20, page 4 and dated 22 April 1773.]

Enos Hooper’s creek and Enos Hooper’s land are mysterious, as there are no grants in either North Carolina or South Carolina to Enos Hooper. If Enos Hooper acquired land by deed I have been unable to find a record. Quintan’s plat shows Enos Hooper’s land bordering the Broad River on its northeastern bank.


Note: There do not seem to be any other Hooper mentions in the deed or grant books of the North Carolina counties (Mecklenburg and Tryon) immediately above the above area of South Carolina.  At least, not within several years before of after the 1760s.  Thus, where Thomas Hooper and Enos Hooper originated is unknown.


Long Canes Creek area of present-day McCormick County (formerly  Abbeville, formerly 96 District, formerly Granville County)

15 June 1767
Survey:  for a plat of land not granted: Thomas Hooper, 100 acres on Calhoun Creek “it being one of the branches of Long Cane Creek.”   Plat shows “Ninety Six Road” bisecting the tract, running roughly northeast to southwest.  Warrant dated five months earlier on 4 February 1767.  Surveyed 15 June 1767.  Marked on reverse as entered 1 August 1767 “in a Letter”. On bottom of reverse is written: “Ord. Co.(?) 3 Feb 1773” [South Carolina Unrecorded Plats for Land Not Granted, Vol. 2, No. 617]

Note that the timing of this entry argues that this is the same Thomas Hooper previously on the Broad River in old Craven County, which would also explain why his first entry in William Calhoun’s journal seems to be in the late 1760s.  I have no idea what the notation at the bottom of the page means.  Did Thomas Hooper die before completing the grant process?

5 June 1770
Newspaper Article: By Letters of the 5th Instant (5 June 1770) from the Long-Canes Settlement, we are informed, that Part of the Country has been lately infested (particularly within 3 or 4 Weeks preceding that Date) with a most desperate Gang of Villains, scarce a Day or Night having passed without their committing some audacious Robbery, insomuch that the Militia had been raised, to take or disperse them; That many of them had been taken, but always made their Escape; among others, Owen Griffin, Thomas Hooper, jun., Joseph Holmes, William Abbott, Jacob Dennard, and Ezekiel Harlow, who (after being conducted by two Constables with a strong Guard, to Cuffeetown; and from thence, with few Assistants, to the Ridge; and thence, without any, to the Indian-Head) turned upon the Constables, took their Guns, and made off with them;  That the Villains disguised themselves with Paint, and tying Handkerchiefs over their Faces;  yet Reason Young, Anthony Distoe, Hugh Hynes, John Caton, Noel Roundtree, Robert Broomfield, one Mulkey, one White, and many others, were known to be amongst them: That they are all armed, present cock’d Pistols and Guns to the Breasts of those they rob; take all the Money, Cloaths, and Bedding they can get, and even their very Beef and Bacon; that they, and some Indians, have almost ruined all the Settlers upon Little-River in Georgia, and broke up the Quaker Settlement there; And that they were then gone towards Pedee, to rob that Quarter; were soon to return through Long-Canes, and thence proceed towards West-Florida.  [The Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · 28 Jun 1770, page 5.  Repeated in other editions.]

Several of these names are familiar. Reason Young was with Absalom and Innes Hooper as part of the December 1772 gang in Natchez. Hugh Hinds and Absalom Hooper were accused of robbery and murder in South Carolina (for which Hinds was hanged.)  Joseph Holmes may be the same person later in Natchez, the son of widow Sarah Holmes.  Thomas Hooper, Jr. implies a Thomas Hooper Senior in the area.

2 July 1770
Deed: Thomas Holmes of the parish of Prince William, Granville County, to John Pickens, deputy surveyor of the county, parish and province aforesaid.. whereas a certain grant of 10 May 1768 to Thomas Holmes of 200 acres lying on Russal’s (sic) Creek, a branch of Savannah River… recorded in Book CCC page 199…for £130, sells “100 acres of land it being a part or moiety of the aforesaid two hundred being the lower part of the said survey tract whereon Absalom Hooper now liveth”. Signed: Thomas (his mark) Holmes.  Witness: William Cannon, Sam’l Taylor. Recorded 19 October 1770. No mention of a dower relinquishment.  [Charleston County Conveyance Book R3, page 327-9.]

The grant plat shows a square tract bisected by Russell’s Creek.  The lower 100 acres on which Absalom Hooper lived was bounded to the south by a 100-acre grant to Joseph Holmes and the upper part of the Thomas Holmes grant.   Thomas Holmes’ plat was dated 30 June 1767 and was granted 6 July 1768 [Grants Vol. 16, page 405.].

Incidentally, regarding the two witnesses this deed; in 1768 William Cannon had sold to Samuel Taylor “late of Long Canes” the land on which Cannon then lived located on the Saluda River in Berkeley County “below the mouth of halfway swamp”. [Conveyances Book 3I, page 392.].  William Cannon later had a grant of 100 acres on Russell’s Creek, so he was a neighbor.

26 October 1770
Court Cases:  King vs. Absolum Hooper, sentence for horse stealing, recognizance bond posted.  LIkewise for Hugh Hines, John McGregor, Thomas Reeves, and Henry Summerall. [South Carolina Archives Series S145002, 1769, pages 89-90.]

16-17 April 1771
Indicted: Absolum Hooper, Hugh Hinds accused & indicted for robbery.  [South Carolina Archives Series S145002, 1769, page 89.]

Hugh Hinds was convicted of robbery and sentenced to hang. He was indicted for murder but a trial was not necessary since he had already been sentenced to death.