Thomas Sumter

In: Historical Events

Submitted By jmcisco
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“Fighting Gamecock”

Have you ever wondered where the University of South Carolina’s official mascot, Carolina Gamecocks, came from? This influence came from none other than Thomas Sumter, a true hero of the Revolutionary War. Thomas gained this nickname for his vicious fighting tactics during the war.

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" – Nathan Hale. This is a common feeling of the soldiers serving in the American Revolution War including Thomas Sumter. Thomas was both an American soldier and politician. He served in the French - Indian war, and Revolutionary war. He was also a merchant, planter, and politician.

Thomas was born Jan 14, 1734 in Hanover County, VA to William, an emigrant from Wales, and Elizabeth Sumter. He grew up in a cabin in Hanover County with his parents, two sisters and three brothers. In 1767, Thomas married Mary Jameson who gave birth to his only son, Thomas Sumter, Jr, in 1768. He received a basic education and went on to join the Virginia militia.

During his time with the Virginia militia, he served as a Sergeant in the Cherokee War. He took a business trip to London to appear before King George III. He served as an interpreter for the Cherokee Indians. In 1762, he returned back to the colonies at Charleston, SC. After he was in SC he took a quick trip back to Virginia. Thomas was arrested for some debt owed and escaped from jail returning to Charleston.

After he was back in South Carolina, he tried to get money from both the South Carolina and British government for his service in French and Indian War. The British government paid him for interpreting for the Cherokees in London before the King. Thomas used the money from the British to buy land on the Santee River.

He purchased land in the perfect location because of the traffic that came through as people travelled between Charleston and…...

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