Memoir of Robert Witherspoon, A Scots-Irish family settles
in South Carolina in the 1730s.
The boat that brought up the goods arrived at the Kingstree. The people were much oppressed in bringing their things as there was no horse there, they were obliged to toil hard, as they had no other way but to carry them on their back. The goods consisted of their bed-clothing chests provision tools post &c. [etc. At that time there were no roads every family had to travel the best they could, which was double distance to some for their only guides were swamps and branches. After a time the men got sufficient knowledge of the woods as to blaze paths, so the people learned to follow blazes from place to place.
As the winter season advanced there was but a short time for preparing land for planting — but the people were strong and healthy All that could do anything wrought diligently and continued clearing and planting as long as the season would admit. So they made provisions for that year. Their beasts were few and as the range was good there was no need of feeding creatures for some time to come.
The first thing my father brought from the boat was the gun[,] one of queen Anne’s muskets, loaded with swan shot. One morning while we were at breakfast a travelling oppossum on his way passed the door. My mother screamed out there is a great bear we hid behind some barrels at the other end of our hut Father got his gun and steedied it on the fork that held up the end of the hut and shot him about the hinder parts which caused poor opossum to grin and open his mouth in a frightful manner. Father having mislaid his shot could not give it a second bout, but at last ventured out and killed it with a pail.