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Lynah family history

Home > Family Tree > Dr James Lynah 1 > Revolution > Second period

Revolutionary War Second Period

With Savannah still in the hands of the British inspite of the bloody seige of October 1779 and the subsequent capture of Charleston in May 1780, the first part of the Revolutionary War came to a close. All persons in Charleston were treated by the new British masters as prisoners on parole. An appreciable portion of the population viewed the situation with pleasure. However, the majority felt regret but accepted the situation as inevitable.(1) The prospects were indeed gloomy and had it not been for the brutality of the British in their needless slaughter of over 300 Americans near the North Carolina border after they had surrendered and thrown down their arms, and their political folly by the revocation of the prisoner parole status(2) on June 3, the war might well have been over as many thought it was. However, these two acts were to give the colonies a unity of purpose that eventually resulted in the defeat of the British. The Charlestonians who were specifically guaranteed their parole rights were dragooned into accepting British allegiance by being denied their righ to sue in court, by being restricted in their movements and by being looted and robbed of their personal property. By March 1781 the proclamation was extended to close all occupations to any but Loyalists and Loyalists were forbidden to employ any but those who accepted British allegiance. Many were conquered, bowing to the necessity of feeding self and wife and children. To the poor it was submit or starve; to the rich it was submit or lose their estates, and then starve. This was the status of Charleston until the end of the war in Feb. 1782, and the conditions that Dr. Lynah and the rest of the citizens of Charleston were to be subjected.

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(1) Extracted from A Short History of S. C.--D. D. Wallace

(2) The South Carolinians had returned from Savannah and many were in Charleston. It is said that but for a freak accident, Francis Marion would have also been among those captured. He was attending a party at which, as was the custom, the host had locked the doors and would let no one leave until they were thoroughly drunk. Marion, being a tea-totler, jumped thru a window, sprained his leg, and as a result was evacuated prior to the seige. So the story goes.