William Parker Just Kind of Finds Four Hundred Thousand Dollars

William Parker Just Kind of Finds Four Hundred Thousand Dollars

William Parker is one of those Founders who is extremely difficult to dig up information on.

That being said, once I learned of his adventures in saving documents, I needed to keep searching until I learned more.

Although I could not find many specifics of Parker’s life, there are two very interesting events that he was the main player in.


An Humble Address

In March of 1760, William Parker was one of several men who signed The Humble Address of the Merchants of Charles Town.

This Address was written in response to changes in the Navigation Acts which affected how colonial trade operated. 

Sent to Royal Governor William Lyttelton, the intention was to thank him for his fairness in his treatment of merchants during this time of change.

As it turns out, Parker’s appreciation of the British Government would not last long.


Treasurer of South Carolina

Fourteen years later, William Parker was a member of the South Carolina Committee of Safety.

As a successful merchant, Parker had proven himself in the ways of finance and was briefly elected as one of the first treasurers of Provincial Government.

After taking time away from the rebellion, Parker was again Treasurer by early 1781. It was at this time that he undertook a very important assignment...moving documents.


Saving Papers

After the Siege of Charleston the southern States were in disarray. 

As the fear that the most important documents of South Carolina and Georgia might fall into British hands, great lengths were undertaken to protect them. William Parker was given the task of relocating his State’s financial ledgers.

Working closely with Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson, Parker was able to successfully move these papers north. (Interestingly, Jefferson ordered some of his men to hire wagons for Parker’s assistance, but told them to send the bill to the Continental Congress.)


Found Money

The following year, Parker again found himself in a peculiar situation.

This time, according to Congressional records, William “by accident, fell into” $402,000 dollars which belonged to Georgia. 

Now, where exactly this hefty sum of money came from and how it fell into Parker’s hands I was unable to determine, with the record simply referencing the “disturbed situation of South Carolina and Georgia.”

In response, Congress resolved to officially thank him for “attention, integrity and patriotism.”


Do you want to learn about some other interesting events in Revolutionary South Carolina?

Great! Try one of these stories:

William Henry Drayton and the Annexation of Georgia

John Lewis Gervais Suggests a Capital For South Carolina

Alexander Gillion - Commodore of the South Carolina Navy

Want to read about the Revolution in South Carolina?

Although ‘South Carolina and the American Revolution’ is a military history, it sheds an important perspective on what was happening in that State throughout the War.

Pick up a copy through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same) .

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