Moving Westward

Ludwig may have had other opportunities to profit from the hostilities in the back country during the Cherokee War. In his lawsuit filed in 1762 against the estate of Lt. Shaw, he listed himself as being “in the business and employment of a waggoner.” We have no evidence of other expeditions, but as there were troops deployed to the north as well as to the west of him, he may have had opportunity to supply goods or services on other occasions.

During the final months of the war, very large quantities of provisions were needed – 500,000 pounds of flour were stored at the Congarees, and 1,500 head of cattle were distributed. In the final campaign of 1761, a large baggage train was organized to supply the 2,800 troops assembled at Fort Ninety Six.

Ludwig could hardly be expected to have passed up any opportunities that came his way. And his location near the Cherokee Path was probably fortuitous. Moreover, we do have evidence of his continued ownership of horses, in a lawsuit he initiated in 1763. (S. C. Court of Common Pleas. Judgment Rolls, Box 60A, Roll 158A, S. C. Archives.) Once again, he had journeyed to Charleston to hire an attorney, this time choosing one with an illustrious name – Charles Pinckney.

Ludwig’s complaint was against a neighbor, Jeffery (Jethro) Manning, a planter who, in June, 1762, “had got into his hands or possession a certain sorrel horse the property of the said Lewis Botner, on pretext of the said horse being a strayed horse, though the said Manning long before that time well knew the said horse to be no stray but the property of the said Botner, and ranging in his usual range according to the custom and practice of the said province.” Ludwig’s suit was for ₤150 in damages “for said Manning’s riding, driving, using, and misusing the said horse.”

Once again, Ludwig persisted through the time consuming court process which took the better part of April, 1764. The judgment was in his favor, though the terms jotted on the document are unfortunately illegible.

From the two law suits that Ludwig engaged in during his years in Amelia Township, we gain a clearer picture of the man. Our perception of him as an isolated German farmer must be sharply modified. The story told by descendants of his son Jacob of the sails with which he equipped his wagon further enlivens our image of him. And if he was a wagoner in 1759, as we know he also was in 1778, then he probably carried that as a second occupation whenever the occasion presented itself.

He was evidently unintimidated by the prospect of traveling to Charleston, which he did at least three times in the span of five years, to use the law to protect his interests. Moreover, for a man who considered himself illiterate, he had a noticeable propensity for seeking out prominent counsel to represent him, and a remarkable tenacity in pursuing his goals.

Some of these activities during the Amelia years may have had consequences for his later plans. Perhaps it was his visits to Charleston in 1762 and later that provided the opportunity to learn about the new settlement act of 1761, when land would again be given away to the west, exempt from taxes for ten years.

He had traveled through that land at least once, in the wagon supply train that went over the Cherokee Path to Ninety Six in 1759; coming home, he would have had time to examine desirable sites in the near empty territory on the south side of the Saluda River.

He also may have had occasion to visit the other fork of the Congaree, following the Broad River up to the rich river banks of Fairfield County. Fairfield was more civilized, and it may have offered a more peaceful and attractive setting.

But the land to the west was free. And by now, with a growing family, he had many head rights. This was the reason, no doubt, that Ludwig – after several months of quiet to the west proved that the peace was permanent this time – began exploring the possibility of acquiring a stake there.

Ludwig’s neighbor, John Gartman, had already made a trip to the Saluda valley and wished to go again to examine his claim. In the fall of 1763, Gartman, Henry Witts, and Lewis Botner, all visited the south side of the Saluda River.

The men explored land along the Cherokee Path. Lewis Botner’s site of interest was very near Saluda O1d Town where the Indian conference had been held in 1755. It was on Mill Creek, near the land of Charles Carson, a very early settler who later started the Saluda O1d Town ferry.

All three men decided to petition for land. But the project was evidently not of prime priority for any of them, for they sent their request to the Council in Charleston by letter.Neither Witts nor Gartman followed up on his request. (Gartman remained in Amelia township, where he was a petitioner in 1788 for the establishment of a Lutheran Church on High Hill Creek.)

A plat for Lewis Botner’s fifty acres was actually surveyed on March 6, 1764, by Isaac Perry. But he did not claim the land.

Ludwig’s interest in the prospect of free land in the back country, however, had taken hold. He finally chose a tract about fifteen miles west of the Mill Creek site, good river land, useful for farming, for grazing, and perhaps for building a mill. And he exercised his full head right privileges, petitioning for 450 acres.

This time, he went to Charleston to secure his grant. Of the seven petitioners who appeared before the Council on October 7, 1766, Ludwig and one other asked for land on the south side of the Saluda River.

His application moved forward promptly. The Council issued a warrant for the survey; and by November 24, John Caldwell, who lived across the Saluda in Newberry County, had surveyed a tract. It was officially recorded on December 12, and Ludwig was issued his papers of ownership the following March.

He did not receive the site he had requested, “by Morris Guinn’s,” for this had been taken. Instead, Caldwell had surveyed a nearby tract, adjoining James Norrell. It was long and narrow, almost two miles deep, with one half mile of river front.

No doubt, Ludwig used the winter to start preparing a cabin. With luck, he was able to move his family into their new home by spring and turn his full attention to the first planting.


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