Tyger River (Plundering Sam)
Murder of "Plundering Sam" Brown, July 1780
34.792814 -81.94075 Tyger River, Murder of Plundering Sam Brown, July 1780
Maps: [map notes]
- 34.792814,-81.94075 Tyger River, Murder of Plundering Sam Brown, July 1780
- If on road from Walnut Grove (locale) to Marches Br., approx. 1.5 miles from Ott Shoals, near source of Tin Roof Branch.
- ACME Mapper.
- National Map
- Confidence: 3(murder)
- 34.8012374 -81.9659344 Ott Shoals
- GNIS record for Ott Shoals. Note mapping options.
- Confidence: 5 (shoals)
- 34.8012374 -81.9659344 Marches Bridge
- GNIS record for Marches Bridge. Note mapping options.
- Confidence: 5 (bridge)
- John Belton O'Neall,
Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper South Carolina: Embracing for ..., 1897
Shannon & Co., Printers, p.131-132
In Draper's "King's Mountain," the following story is
related : Sam Brown, known as Plundering Sam, and
another whose name was Butler, went to the house of
Josiah Culbertson, son-in-law of Col. John Thomas, in the
Fair Forest region, where he mistreated Mrs. Culbertson.
Her husband coming home at night, was informed of
Brown's insolence and unbecoming conduct. His temper
was so aroused that he determined to capture or kill him
and thus rid the country of a bad man. Selecting a man
by the name of Charles Holloway, he started at once in
pursuit. Early next morning they were joined by William
Neel, William Mcllhaney and one, Steadman.
It is stated that these determined men pursued Brown
some ten miles, and as they were passing the house of Dr.
Andrew Thomson on Tyger River, they discovered in the
stables the horses of Brown and Butler. Retracing their
steps they concealed themselves near the stables. Very
soon Brown and Butler appeared at the door, when Culbertson
leveled his rifle on him and sent a ball into his
body which killed him. Holloway, who was near him, fired
at Butler but missed his aim and Butler made good
* Col. T. J. Moore, of Moore, S. C., in a communication to the Carolina Spartan, April 7th, 1894, stated that he has investigated and found
the scene of the murder of Sam Brown. Colonel Moore states that
the house where Dr. Thomson lived is the present Pinson or "tin
roofed" house, now occupied by Mr. Newton Bearden, a mile or two
from Oats' [sic, Otts] Shoal going east, and on the road from Walnut Grove to
Marches' Shoal bridge, in the direction of Woodruff.
This old historic house is built of hewn logs, has two large rooms
below, flight of stairs and two rooms above. Long years ago it was
weatherboarded which preserved the logs. The same floor is in it
now as was then. The planks are wide and notched down at every
sleeper to make it level and true. There is a cellar in the middle of
one room. The nails used were wrought ones. The hewn logs for the
most part are in a good state of preservation. The old fire place is
ten feet wide and ten feet thick between the rooms. It is further
stated in Colonel Moore's article, that the blood of Brown is still on
the door and floor near it, and that for a long time the hole of the bullet
that was shot at Butler and which struck the house was seen, and
that until the past few years the tree under which Culbertson and his
friends were concealed was standing.
Sam Brown's grave is about a mile from the place where he was
killed, across a branch and near a shoal on the branch, and directly
between the houses of Mrs. Trail and Belton Steadman. Colonel
Moore visited the grave, which was pointed out to him by Mr. George
P. Moore and Mr. Steadman, both of whom were familiar with the
tradition of the killing of Sam Brown.
- Lyman Copeland Draper, King's Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's Mountain ..., , 1881, P.G. Thomson
Several interesting incidents transpired during the summer
and early autumn of 1780, in the region of the present
counties of Laurens, Spartanburg, and Union, while Colonel
Ferguson yet held sway in that quarter. The more
striking of them deserve to be preserved in the history of
the times, as exhibiting something of the rancor and bitterness
engendered by civil warfare.
such an extent had the people of the Spartanburg region
been raided and over-run, during the summer of 1780, by
these persistent pillagers, that the men had been compelled
to fly to the distant bodies of Whigs under McDowell or
Sumter, or become out-lyers in the wilderness. This left
a comparatively open field for the marauders, and they
were not slow to avail themselves of it. Captain Brown
and his followers made frequent incursions in that quarter.
At length Brown stepped out of the house
into the yard, followed by Butler; and as the Tory Captain
was enjoying lazily a rustic yawn, with his hands locked
over his head, he received a shot from Culbertson's deadly
rifle, at a distance of about two hundred yards. The ball
passed directly through his bodv, just below his shoulders,
and making a desperate bound, he fell dead against the door-
- NBBAS:Two p.218-219, 521
There is no date for the death of Sam Brown, and is only referred to as taking place in the summer of 1780. I have placed it at the end of July due the location of Josiah Culbertson at that time.
- RevWar75 None of the following appear to be relevant.
- June 1776 listing 6/1776 Middle Tyger River. British victory. Per O'Kelley.
- Nov 1780 listing 11/20/1780 Blackstocks Plantation (Blackstock's Ford, Tyger River). Draw. Per Heitman, Peckham, O'Kelley
- Nov 1781 listing 11/1781 Tyger River. Insufficient data. Per O'Kelley.
Confidence level:: See above.