As a consequence of their inordinate zeal they succumbed to the temptation to report their proselyting efforts to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts as more fruitful than the circumstances warranted and to change with perfidy any Huguenot clergyman who actively resisted their efforts to proselyte his charges.
Dr. Hirsch admits that Commissary Johnston, who manifested his extreme hostility to RICHEBOURG, was even more rigorous in proselyting the Huguenots than the Anglicans in England, who extended some financial aid to some Huguenot Churches and were desirous of converting their members to the Anglican faith. (18)
It is to be noted that Dr. Howe weighed and rejected as unreliable the records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts on which Dr. Hirsch based his conclusions, and in so doing quoted with approval the deduction of another researcher of the subject that the records were “got up to advance the interests of the Episcopal Church” and were “replete with inaccuracies and misstatements.” (19)
Apart from its undue acceptance of the biased records of the society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts as the embodiment of the truth in respect to disagreements between the Society’s Provincial representatives and the Huguenots, Dr. Hirsch’s history constitutes a reliable and readable story of the Huguenots in Colonial South Carolina.
RICHEBOURG dated his will January 15, 1718-19, and died soon after its execution. The exact time of his death is not known. Dr. Humphrey was obviously in error in stating that it occurred in 1717. (20) Hirsch gave the date of this event as 1718 and Baird at 1719. (21)
The offspring of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG and his wife ANNE CHASTAIN were children of tender years at their father’s death. The concision is made manifest by the will of Isaac Porcher, which was made September, 1726. After bequeathing and devising his property to his children, Isaac Porcher reminded them that “charity is one of the greatest Christian virtues” and charged them “to take care of the children of (the) late Mr. RICHEBOURG as being objects worthy of compassion.” (22)
While the dates of the births of the six children of the marriage of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG and ANNE CHASTAIN have not been ascertained by the writer, the wills of two of them namely, Charles Richebourg and John Richebourg, indicate that they were born in this order: Charles Richebourg, Rene Richebourg, John Richebourg, James Richebourg, Claudius Richebourg, and Elizabeth Richebourg.
Charles Richebourg was a planter of Berkeley County, S. C. It is implicit in his will, which he executed before St. Cabanas, Jos. de St. Julian and Rene Ravenel, Jr., as subscribing witnesses, on April 10, 1736, that he died unmarried and without issue.
Although his will was not proved until October 8, 1746, it is inferable that he died before November 2, 1743, because he is not mentioned in the will of his unmarried brother, John Richebourg, which was executed on that day.
By his will, Charles Richebourg made his brothers Rene, John, James, and Claudius whom he called Claude, his sister Elizabeth, and his niece Catherine the objects of his bounty, and named his brother Rene the sole executor of his estate. (23)
Rene Richebourg was a planter in the part of Craven County, S. C. which subsequently became Clarendon County. He executed his will before Anne Crouch, E. Cavinis, and John Pamor as subscribing witnesses on November 27, 1740, and died before November 2, 1743, the day on which his brother John Richebourg made his will.
By his will, Rene Richebourg made his “beloved wife Catherine,” his sons, Charles, Rene, and Samuel, and his daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth, the objects of his bounty, and named his friends, Philip, Rene, and Samuel Peyre, the executors of his estate. (24)
John Richebourg was a planter of Berkeley County, S. C. It is implicit in his will that he died unmarried and without issue. He executed that instrument before Rene Ravenel, Jr., David Lafons, and Thomas McDaniel, as subscribing witnesses, on November 1, 1743, and died between that day and December 27, 1743, the day on which it was proved.
By his will, John Richebourg made his surviving brothers, James and Claudius, his sister Elizabeth, and his nephews, Charles and Rene, sons of his “late brother Rene Richebourg” the objects of his bounty, and named his brother James and his friends James De St. Julien and Peter Herman, the executors of his estate. (250
Claudius Richebourg, who is the subject of a separate sketch, pursued the calling of a planter in the part of Craven County, S. C. which subsequently became Clarendon County.
The French village of Jamestown on the Santee and the French or Huguenot Church which ministered to the spirited needs of its inhabitants and the other French Protestants living in the vicinity were located about a mile to the north of the existing municipality of Jamestown in Berkeley County.
The French village of Jamestown did not prosper because the Santee River was subject to frequent freshets at this point and the climate was not healthful. As the years passed, the original French settlers died and their progeny moved to more favorable agricultural area in the Parish of St. John’s Berkeley, the Parish of St. Stephen’s and Craven County, where they achieved substantial prosperity by cultivating indigo and rice, the money crops of the age and region. (26)
As more years passed, the village and church disintegrated and disappeared, and their site was recaptured by the wilderness. The writer visited this spot in July, 1971, and found nothing there indicating its historic past except a simple monument erected by the Huguenot Society at South Carolina to make the spot where the church had stood. (27)
– – – (end of main article) – – –