Portrait of Rebecca Brewton Motte, via WikiCommons.

Born on June 15, 1737, Rebecca Brewton Motte was the daughter of Robert Brewton and Mary Loughton Brewton. She grew up in Charles Town (which would later be known as Charleston), South Carolina and was raised in a relatively wealthy family. Following the unfortunate demise of her brother, Miles Brewton and his family, Rebecca would go on to inherit Mount Joseph, his plantation on the Congaree River in St. Matthews Parish, Orangeburg District, alongside his vast fortune.

Rebecca was a patriot who had put her all into war work, even going so far as bringing her entire plantation force down to work on constructing the defences around Charles Town from the British. It would take three attempts before Charles Town fell into enemy control in 1780. The Motte’s family home would become a British headquarters for Sir Henry Clinton and his staff, with Rebecca and her family being forced to live in small areas. Furthermore, the Mottes were prevented from leaving their rooms whenever the British were in the house. The family would later be permitted to eventually return to their mansion in the Mount Joseph Plantation, which would also later be seized and fortified by the British to become the military post known as Fort Motte.

Rebecca’s recognition as an American Revolutionary Heroine and patriot would later be solidified through her contributions to the Siege of Fort Motte in 1781, when she did not hesitate to accept American forces’ plans to burn her mansion down and even supplied forces with her own arrows to do so. The Siege of Fort Motte not only helped the Americans to capture Fort Motte, but also contributed to the destruction of a British fort that was protecting their communications and supplies between their Charles Town headquarters and the interior of South Carolina. 

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