“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

History of the Reedy River

The Children's Garden


—History Garden —

History of the Reedy River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
1. History of the Reedy River Marker
The Reedy is Greenville's river. Its flowing waters have nourished the city and its people for centuries, and its falls are the reason why Greenville is located where it is. But Greenville's people have not always been kind to the river, and now it is time to give something back.

The Reedy flows 75 miles from its headwaters in Travelers Rest through Greenville to Lake Greenwood. Pioneer Richard Pearis built an Indian trading post at the Reedy River Falls over 200 years ago. The city of Greenville grew up around the site of Pearis' trading post because the Reedy's waters could power machines that ground corn into grits and wove cotton into cloth. The Reedy River helped make Greenville the "Textile Capital of the World," when cotton factories lined its banks and streams.

But the Reedy also carried away Greenville's sewage and chemicals from its factories. Pollution threatened the health of the river, killing fish in its waters and hurting birds and wild animals that lived near the river. Today, this park is part of an effort to stop the pollution, to clean the Reedy, and to protect the river that gave life to Greenville.
Erected by City of Greenville Parks and Recreation.
Location. 34° 50.95′ N, 82° 
History of the Reedy River Marker -<br>Views of the Reedy Through Time image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
2. History of the Reedy River Marker -
Views of the Reedy Through Time
24.25′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker can be reached from Reedy View Drive. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the Children's Garden at Linky Stone Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24 Reedy View Drive, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Plants Garden (here, next to this marker); Historic River Cane (here, next to this marker); Linky Stone Park (here, next to this marker); The Geologic History of Greenville (within shouting distance of this marker); Huguenot Mill Office (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carolina Supply Company (approx. 0.2 miles away); Downtown Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Prospect Hill Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Greenville County Courthouse / The Willie Earle Lynching Trial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buck Mickel (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
Also see . . .
1. Reedy River. The Reedy River is a tributary of the Saluda River, about 65 mi (105 km) long, in northwestern South Carolina in the United States. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Richard Pearis. Richard Pearis (1725 – 1794) was an Indian trader, a pioneer settler of Upstate South
History of the Reedy River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
3. History of the Reedy River Marker
Carolina, and a Loyalist officer during the American Revolution. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Additional comments.
1. Richard Pearis
Richard Pearis was born in Ireland and settled in Frederick County, Virginia, before 1750. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary war he was a successful planter and Indian trader on the Enoree river in South Carolina.

An orator of rude, savage eloquence and power, he commended himself to Governor Dinwiddie by his loyalty and efficiency. He became lieutenant in the Virginia Provincial regiment in 1755 and was commissioned captain in 1756 to command a company of Cherokees and Catawbas in an expedition against the Shawnee towns west of the Ohio, under Major Andrew Lewis. Pearis served under Generals Forbes, Stanwix, Monckton, and Bouquet. He was the first to enter Fort Duquesne. His military ability was apparent in his services on the borders of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, with headquarters at Fort Pitt.

Having married a Cherokee wife, Captain Pearis acquired great influence among the Indians, and was consequently ordered south. In 1768 he was settled at the Big Canebrake, on the Reedy river, South Carolina.

Every effort was made by the
History of the Reedy River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
4. History of the Reedy River Marker
Whigs in 1775 to induce this powerful man and the Indians to join them, or at least to secure their neutrality. However, Pearis took part in the siege of Ninety- Six on the British side and many other actions.

In July, 1776, he was one of a party of 260 loyal militia and Indians which unsuccessfully attacked 450 "rebels" in a wooden fort.

According to his own narrative, his services to the crown in the same year include the dispersal of 700 "rebels" in the district of Ninety-Six. By the turn of fortune he was captured and consigned to Charleston jail, where he was a prisoner in irons for nine months. On his release, Pearis wended his way on foot, traversing 700 miles, to West Florida, through the settlements of the Indians, who supplied him with food. Arriving at Pensacola, he was on 13 December, 1777, commissioned captain in the West Florida loyalist refugees, by Colonel John Stuart, superintendent of Indians in the Southern Colonies, who ordered him to capture Manshac on the Mississippi river, a task which he accomplished. This corps was also engaged in the suppression of the rum trade at Mobile Bay with the northern Creek Indians. Pearis was present at the capture of Sunbury in Georgia.

The romantic tale of his exploits includes the raising of 5000 to 6000 loyalists and the disarming of all rebels from the Savannah river to Broad river, near the borders
Reedy River as it Flows Through the Children's Garden image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
5. Reedy River as it Flows Through the Children's Garden
of North Carolina, as well as destroying their forts and capturing men, arms and ammunition. To his mortification, this series of successes was no sooner accomplished than Colonels Innes and Balfour ordered the arms and ammunition to be returned to the "rebels" and their leaders released. Incensed by this treatment, he returned to Georgia and settled his family near Augusta.

While Pearis was a prisoner at Charleston, his wife, two daughters, and a son were surprised at home by Colonel John Thomas and 400 followers, who subjected them to abuse and punishment, as well as carrying away their portable property and burning the rest. Not content, Colonel Thomas forced the family to march on foot 25 miles a day, without food and without protection for their heads from the sun. They were also confined for three days without food, and were afterwards sent off in an open wagon a ditsance of 100 miles, to shift for themselves among "a parcel of rebels," without money or provisions. For three years Captain Pearis was separated from his family, who were in daily fear of massacre by their enemies.

A son of Captain Pearis was an ensign in the West Florida Rangers.

For the loss of his real estate in South Carolina, Colonel Richard Pearis claimed £15,576. 18s. and was awarded £5,624. An account of his property has been published. The name appears also as Paris, whence
Richard Pearis -<br>Upcountry History Museum image. Click for full size.
6. Richard Pearis -
Upcountry History Museum
Paris Mountain, near Greenville in South Carolina.

After the war he settled in Abaco in the Bahamas, where he had a grant of 140 acres of land, and where Margaret Pearis, presumably his wife, received a grant of 40 acres. Colonel Pearis received a military allowance of £70 a year from 1783 to 1804, when he probably died. It was perhaps his son, Richard, who married Margaret, daughter of General Robert Cunningham, the South Carolina loyalist, in Abaco, 22 June, 1790. (Source: Contributions in History and Political Science, Issue 7 by Ohio State University, pgs 107-109.)
    — Submitted May 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

Categories. Natural ResourcesNotable PersonsSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,093 times since then and 70 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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