15 January 2013

Who Thought Seaton Lived in Congarees?

Estimating dates of residence in a location can be difficult. The earlier the time period, the more difficult it can be. One always has to be careful when using any piece of evidence and think about what it says and what it does not say.

This reference to Seaton Sledd comes from a 1788 South Carolina newspaper--he's got a letter at the post office. The notice indicates that unclaimed letters will be returned.

Friday, June 6, 1788  

Paper: City Gazette (Charleston, SC)--obtained on 

As I write this, I realize that this is not necessarily evidence that Seaton Sledd lived in "Congarees."

It is evidence that someone thought he lived in "Congarees." You don't write letters to yourself.

The reality is that Seaton probably did live where the letter indicates. But it is worth keeping in mind what a record or item says and what it does not say.

Especially if other evidence flies in the face of one piece of information.