Hostile English and French Naturalization - Steven J. Coker
Subject: Hostile English and French Naturalization
From: Steven J. Coker
Date: September 14, 1998

Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina
No. 5.  pp 19-26, Charleston, South Carolina,  1897.
Press of Walker, Evans & Cogswell Co.


   During the administration of Julius Blake, 1694-5, so great was the antipathy
of the English settlers to the French refugees, that they insisted on their
total exclusion from a voice in the Legislature. For this purpose an address was
prepared and signed by a great number of them, and presented to Governor Blake,
praying that the refugees be not only denied the privilege of sitting as members
of the Assembly, but also of a vote at the elections, and also that the Assembly
be composed only of English members, chosen by Englishmen. Their request,
however, being contrary to the instructions of the Proprietors, Blake, it is
probable, judged it beyond his power to grant, and therefore, matters relating
to them continued in the same unsettled state until the arrival of Governor
Archdale, which happened about the middle of the year 1695.   (Hewitt's Hist.
So. Ca.)
   It must be kept in mind that the French refugees, being aliens, were not
entitled to the rights and privileges of citizenship, unless by a special Act of
Assembly, and their compliance with the legal requirements imposed upon them.
This is clearly shown in the Act of 1696-7, which declared that no person
whatsoever, other than the persons herein expressly named, and who have already
petitioned the House of Assembly for the liberties, privileges and immunities
aforesaid, shall have any benefit thereby except such persons shall, within
three months next ensuing, petition in writing, under their hands, the Right
Hon. Joseph Blake, Esq., Governor. 
   But many of the refugees had already been enfranchised by the Act of 1691,
and it was doubtless for an exclusion of those from a voice in the Legislature
and from a vote at the general elections that the English settlers petitioned
the Governor, which he judged was beyond his power to grant.
   Such was the popular feeling when, about the middle of the year 1695, the
administration of Governor Archdale commenced. The arrival of this pious man
occaisioned no small joy among all the settlers, who crowded about him, each
expecting some favor or indulgence. Amidst the general joy, private animosities
and civil discord seemed for awhile to be completely buried.         (Hewitt.)
   It was at this crisis, when peace and harmony were apparently restored, and
political jealousies forgotten, that we may very reasonably suppose that the
unenfranchised Huguenots would make the effort to obtain the rights and
privileges of citizenship, and at this period the petition of 1696 was most
probably prepared.
   Such was the national antipathy of the English settlers to the poor French
refugees, that Archdale found their total exclusion absolutely necessary to the
peaceable convocation of the delegates, and therefore issued writs directing
them only to Berkeley and Colleton Counties. Ten members for the one and ten for
the other. All Englishmen were accordingly chosen by the freemen of the same
nation.     (Hewitt.)
   As Berkeley County did not reach the Santee on the Northeast, and was bounded
by the Stono on the Southwest, extending along the coast, and thirty-five miles
into the interior, the Huguenots on the Santee were excluded from all
participation in the election. The deposition of the two witnesses who were
present when the votes were received for the Representatives in Berkeley County,
gives us a practical illustration of the temper with which the election was
conducted. The document is authentic and is as follows:
   The deponents say that on the 16th January last, they were in the house of
Mr. Francis F. Fidling to see the delivery of votes for members of Assembly, and
among others, Mr. James Lessade. Gentl, and Mr. Jonas Bonhope (Bonhoste)
wheelright, being both natural born subjects of the French king, offer their
votes to Colonel Robert Gibbes, Sherife, but he, the said Sherife, refused to
take them without they could show either letters of naturalization or
denization, which the aforesaid James Lessade and Jonas Bonhope answered that
they had not any, but had lived in the country several years, and never before
had been denied to vote for members of Assembly. The Sherife answered he could
not take their votes. Then the aforesaid men, offering their votes againe, the
Sherife answered he could not proceed further than orders, and further these
deponents say not.
                             ISAAC CAILLABÆF.

Taken and sworn before me, this 25th day of May, 1696.
                  VERA COP THOS. CAREY, ESQ.
                  CHARLES ODINGSELSS.
                  DAN SIRTY.

   "All the Governor could do for the French refugees," says Hewitt, "was to
recommend it to the English freeholders to consider them in the most friendly
and compassionate point of light, and to treat them with lenity and moderation."
About the close of that year, 1696, Archdale resigned his office, and appointed
Joseph Blake, son of the former Governor of that name, his successor.
   We have seen under what circumstances the representatives were elected, who
composed the Legislative Assembly, convened subsequent to the supposed date of
the document. We may readily suppose that the Huguenot refugees on the Santee,
excluded as they had been from a voice in that election, and knowing the extreme
national animosity cherished towards them by the members of that Assembly, would
be reluctant to present themselves before that body as humble petitioners for
rights and privileges to which they believed they were justly entitled, and
which had wrongfully and by violence been withheld from them. That they were
actuated by feelings of punctilious sensitiveness, is evident from the fact that
of the 63 petitioners whose names are enumerated in the A. A., March 10th,
1696-7, only nine of them were residents on the Santee, and whose names are
included in the "Liste des habitans de Santy qui sonhaitent d'être naturalizès
Anglais." Hence, no doubt the reason that all further proceedings in the matter
were suspended. Nor does it appear that they ever after petitioned the Assembly
for the rights of citizenship. Some of them may have complied with the
requirements of that Act, by petition to the Governor, and an oath of fidelity
and allegiance to the King.
   The instructions communicated at different times by the Lords Proprietors to
the Governors of the province, were dictated by a liberal policy as regarded the
Huguenots. In 1691-2, Ludwell was directed to allow them equal rights and
privileges with the English settlers, and to concede to them a representation in
the Provincial Assembly, by six members chosen from among themselves. These
designs were frustrated, however, by the national prejudice prevailing against
them in the colony. Their political rights were abridged, and their religious
privileges restrained as far as the government could accomplish the systematic
plan of annoyance and oppression. It appears that a principle in the
administration in reference to the refugees was to grant as a matter of favor,
but to concede nothing as of right appertaining to them. Hence the requirement
by the Assembly in the Act of 1696-97, that a petition be sent up before the
rights of citizenship would be conferred. The Huguenots, on the other hand, were
probably reluctant to ask a favor from those who were actuated by a spirit of
hostility to them, believing as they did that their enfranchisement was already
guaranteed to them by the official orders of the proprietors.
   When therefore, the Act was passed, in March, 1696-7, 'for making aliens free
of this part of the province and for granting liberty of conscience to all
Protestants," there were 63 petitioners only who were entitled by their
application to the Assembly to the benefit of its provisions, and 36 only, the
heads of families, whose names are inserted in the list of those "who wished to
be naturalized English."
   From the public and private records of the time, there is unquestionable
evidence that the 63 petitioners mentioned, composed but a very small number of
those who had not then been admitted to the full enjoyment of civil and
religious privileges, intended to be conferred by the Act. It was provided,
however, that those who had not already petitioned, could have the benefit of
the Act by application in writing to that effect, made to the Governor within
three months from the date of its ratification, and by taking publicly an oath
of allegiance to the King, certificates of which should be recorded in the
Secretary's office, etc. All the requirements of the Act having been complied
with, the Governor was empowered to give, under the seal of the province, to
each applicant a certificate "of his being qualified for the benefit of the
   There is in the possession of Daniel Ravenel, the senior one of the name of
this, the 19th century, a certificate of Governor Blake's. issued in conformity
with this Act, and referring to it by its date and title. It is the certificate
of citizenship of one of the refugees in the petition of 1696, and bears date
4th June, 1697.


Cert. Naturalization Elias Prioleau, Minister of ye Gospel 1697, Carolina.

   The Rt. Hon'ble Joseph Blake, Esq., one of the true and absolute Lords and
Proprietors of Carolina, Commander-in-Chief, Vice-Admiral and Governor General
of South Carolina.

To all Judges, Justices, Magistrates, Ministers and Officers,
   Ecclesiastical and Civil, and to all persons whatsoever, 
   to whom this shall come to be seen, herd, read or known. - Greeting.

   Know ye that Elias Prioleau, Minister of ye Gospel, and Janne, his daughter,
born under the allegiance of the King of France, hath taken the oath of
allegiance to our most Royal Sovereign, William the Third, over England,
Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the faith, and hath done every
other thing which by Act of Assembly, made at Charlestown, in the ninth year of
the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King William, Anno Dom. one thousand six hundred
and ninety-six and seven, entitled an Act to make aliens free of this part of
this Province, and for giving liberty of conscience to all Protestans, he was
required to do, and fully and effectually, to all intents, construction and
purposes qualified and capacitated, to have, use and enjoy all the privileges,
powers and immunity of any person born in the kingdom of England, to certify
which I have hereunto sett my hand and affixed the public seal of the province
att Charlestown, this third day of June, Anno 1697.
                           JOSEPH BLAKE.

Recorded in the Secretary's office, June 4th, 1697 per me.
                J. A. MOORE, Secretary.

   The following are the names enumerated in the Act referred to, copied from
the Statistics at large of South Carolina. They are inserted in alphabetical
order for convenience of reference.
   John Annant,[1] Avila, Isaac Baton, Elias Bisset, Abel Bochet, Nicholas
Bochet, Jonas Bonhost, Anthony Bonneau, Senr., Anthony Borean, Solomon Bremere,
Moses Carrion, Claudius Caronne, John Carriere, Peter Collin, Jeremiah
Cuttoneau, Nicholas deLonguemare, Sr., Nicholas de Longuemare, Junr., James
Dubose, Peter Dugué, Abraham Dupont, Cornelius Dupré, Josiah Duprè, Senr.,
Josiah Dupré, Junr., Daniel Durousseau, Lewis Dutarque, Peter Eutarque, Daniel
F[*]raisevent, Senr, Daniel F[*]raisevent, Junr., Charles Fromaget, Peter
Gaillard, James Gallopin, Lewis Gourdin, Dr. Jacob Guerard, Peter Jacob Guerard,
John Guerard, Mathieu Guérin, Daniel Jovett, George Juin, Lewis Juin, René Juin,
James Lardant, John Libert, Nicholas Marant, (Mayrant) Joseph Marbæuf, Isaac
Mazyck, Jacob Mendis, Augustus Mesmin, Philip Norman, Henry Peronneau, John
Peteman, Peter Poinsett, Senr., Peter Poinsett, Junr., Anthony Poitevin, Senr.,
Anthony Poitevin, Junr., Peter Poitevin, Noah Royer, Noah Serre, Lewis Thisbon,
John Thomas, Humphrey Torquet, Paul Torquet, Simon Valentin, Peter Videau. -
Total, 63.
   The above list is interesting and valuable, as far as it goes, but it is not
as complete as another list which was originally published by Daniel Ravenel
above mentioned, and which was found among some old papers that had belonged to
Henri de St. Julien, of St. John's Berkeley, who died in that parish at about 70
years of age, in 1768 or 9, and who was the youngest son of Pierre de St.
Julien, whose name is included in the list. His papers passed into the hands of
a sister, who survived all the other members of the family, and died at an
advanced age in 1780, at a plantation in St. John's Berkeley, known as Wantoot.
Mr. Ravenel was one of her descendants, and as there were other lists of French
names, this one is generally known as the Ravenel list.
   Its contents were first published in the form of a contribution, in 1822, to
the Southern Intelligencer, a religious paper issued weekly in Charleston. The
total number of names then given was 119, the balance being so difficult to
decipher that their publication was delayed, and it was not until the manuscript
was confided to Mr. Louis Manigault, Sr. in 1867, that the total of 154 was
reached. All the evidence attainable goes to prove that they are lists of
petitioners for naturalization in 1696. They are copied verbatum in French, in
Mr. Ravenel's pamphlet of 1867, and are reproduced similarly in a pamphlet by
Theodore Gaillard Thomas, M. D., of New York city, in 1888, for private
distribution. They are again similarly reproduced in French in these
Transactions with all the inaccuracies of grammar and orthography of the
original pamphlet.


1 The following paper is inserted as exhibiting a curious "alias." An act to
empower Charles Franchomme and Samuel Peronneau merchants, Elders of the French
Church in Charleston, or their successors, elders of the said Church for the
time being, to sell and alienate a certain tract of land in Berkeley County,
devised to the poor of said Church, by Mary de Longuemare, alias Annant, to and
for the use, benefit and advantage of the persons aforesaid.   Grimké P. L.  No.
59, A. A. 1714.

[*] Indicates that a handwritten note reading "T" was found at this place in the
document. These notes were made at unknown dates by persons unknown. No
supporting reasons for the inserted corrections are found.

Pages 27-46 of Transaction No. 5 are omitted here. These pages show the Ravenel
Lists. Said lists having already been transcribed and reproduced in the SCRoots
Forum and the DuBose Forum.

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