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“N” is for Nairne, Thomas (d. 1715)

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  “N” is for Nairne, Thomas (d. 1715). Indian agent. A native of Scotland, Nairne was in South Carolina by 1695. He obtained land grants on St. Helena's Island—then the colony's southern frontier. As a member of the Commons House of Assembly, he was an outspoken proponent of regulating the Indian deerskin trade. When the office of Indian Agent was created in 1707, Nairne was named to the post. He traveled throughout the southeast as far west as the Mississippi River, dealing fairly with the various tribes and trying to bring them into alliance with the British instead of the Spanish or French. In 1712, he was in the Yamassee town of Pocataligo when the Yamassee war erupted. Thomas Nairne was tortured to death by having lighted splinters stuck into his skin over a period of several days.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson 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.