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An intriguing request from the American South and a possible link between the College Valley and the American revolution

 

Sir:

I am interested in seeking information from you concerning WhiteHall. If I may, I will provide below why.

 

-Brig. Gen. Andrew Williamson was a general in the backcountry of South Carolina during part of the American Revolution. He commanded the Whig (Patriot) forces in the District Ninety-Six area.

 

-A small number of researchers, including myself, are beginning to take a serious look at his life. He is one of the major figures of the revolution in the South for which there is no biography.

 

-Among the earliest mention of him is a statement that he was born in Scotland but came to America as a young child. Nothing more is known.

 

-In his will he mentions “…of my two sister Isabel and Jane the former married to ____ Ramsey of Alnwick in the county of Northumberland in the Kingdom of Great Britain…”

 

-Among the more prominent bits of information about Williamson that we do have is that he owned an impressive plantation near Spartanburg, South Carolina. Originally it was named Hard Labor, but immediately upon purchase, Williamson changed the name to White Hall. The most obvious conclusion is perhaps the main house was painted white. We do know it was a center for entertaining both British and Patriot leaders as various times. But could there be another reason he named it Whitehall?

 

-In my research on Williamson, I have come to focus on Christ Church at Tyne Mouth. There is a Williamson family that meets most of the criteria of proper time frame, family given names, etc. It appears this sister Isabel Williamson married a David Ramsey.

 

-But here is the thing that catches my attention. In my look at this part of your country, I notice that sometime there appear on maps “Whitehall.” This has lead me to your stunningly beautiful College Valley.

 

I am interested in knowing more about this WhiteHall, and the history of the Valley about 1720-30. and exploring the possibility that General Andrew Williamson was not born in Scotland, but rather comes from Northumberland. Is Whitehall a “location’, an unincorporated community or the name of a house?

 

We are not so much interested in genealogy as in establishing why it is Andrew Williamson was well received by the British high command In America – Nisbett Balfour, Lord Cornwallis, Cruger – all treated him as a companion to the extent that Gen. Williamson eventually becomes known as the “Benedict Arnold of the South.” If I can establish a family connection to Northumberland, then I have taken a step toward a possible explanation.

 

Conner Runyan

Fyffe, Alabama