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"J" is for the Jacksonborough Assembly

South Carolina from A to Z logo

"J" is for the Jacksonborough Assembly. In January and February 1782—after a two year hiatus caused by the Revolutionary War, the General Assembly met at Jacksonborough--a small town on the Edisto River, about thirty miles south of British-occupied Charleston. The Assembly's most important work was its decision to confiscate the property of individuals who had supported the British occupation.  

John Laurens ignited ferocious debate when he proposed that the slaves from confiscated estates be enlisted in the continental army. His proposal drew little support and was roundly defeated. The confiscation legislation also proved to be controversial and, after the war, nearly two-thirds of those on the confiscation lists had had their penalties reduced or eliminated. In the short term, though, the Jacksonborough Assembly's punitive actions satisfied popular clamor for retribution against Tories.


Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.