Certificate of indenture for Rebecca Motte's "House of Freedom" during Revolutionary War, 1783

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Document Description:

This certificate of indenture approves the state’s compensation to Rebecca Motte for the estate of Jacob Motte, her husband, in the total of six-hundred pounds, seven shillings and seven pence half penny. The state also approves compensation for the interest accrued from the time of the burning of the house to the time this document was written: forty-two pounds and six pence.

The Motte’s country home was purposefully located near the junction of the Wateree and Congaree Rivers in the Orangeburg district directly in the middle of a principal British supply route from Charleston to Camden. The British eventually relocated to the Motte home and fortified it with deep trenches.  On May 8, 1781 Patriot forces under Brigadier General Francis Marion and Lieutenant-Colonel Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee surrounded the plantation home, and the British sent Rebecca Motte and her family to another house on the Motte property.

After hearing that Lord Rawdon was sent to relieve Fort Motte, Marion and Lee decided to burn the Motte mansion, a home at the heart of the British forces. Given that Lee and Marion felt that the Mottes were loyal to the British cause, they were reluctant to share their plan with her. She eased their concern and told them “that she was gratified with the opportunity of contributing to the good of her country, and that she should view the approaching scene with delight.”  The roof was burned and McPherson was forced to surrender. The American forces captured the British troops and their supply convoy.


Revolutionary War indent issued as payment for services rendered during the war to Rebecca Motte 1783.  Records of the Comptroller General, Accounts Audited for Revolutionary Service, AA5383-A.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.


South Carolina

Pursuant to an ACT of the GENERAL ASSEMBLY passed the 16th of March, 1783. We, the COMMISSIONERS of the TREASURY, have this Day delivered to Rebecca Motte for Estate of Mr. Jacob Motte this our INDENTED CERTIFICATE for the Sum of Six Hundred Pounds, seven shillings and Seven Pence half Penny Sterling- for sundries for Continentals Militia in- 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, & 1783  as for two accts. audited  the said Rebecca Motte his Executors, Administrators, or Assigns, will be entitle to receive from this Office the Sum of Forty two Pounds, & Six Pence  on  Demand for one Year’s Interest on the Principal. Sum of Six hundred Pounds, seven shillings & seven Pence half Penny and the like interest annually.

The said Rebecca Motte his Executors, Administrators or Assigns, will be entitled also to receive, and shall be paid, if demanded, the principal Sum of Six hundred Pounds, seven shillings and seven Pence half Penny on the Seventeenth of May 1787 And the said Rebecca Motte his Executors, Administrators, or Assigns, may make any Purchase at any Public Sales of Confiscated Property, (except such as shall be ordered by the Legislature for special Purposes) and this INDENT shall be received in payment.

            For the true Performance of the several Payments in manner above mentioned, the PUBLIC TREASURY is made liable, and the FAITH of the STATE pledged by the aforesaid ACT.

                        Given under our Hands at the TREASURE OFFICE, in CHARLESTON, the Seventeenth Day of May One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-five

                   Edward Blake/ Peter Boequety             Commissioners of the Treasury.


L. 600.7.7 ½ Principal.

L. 42.0.6       Annual Interest.

No. 549


Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 3-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Revolution and South Carolina’s role in the development of the new American nation.

Indicator 3-3.1 Analyze the causes of the American Revolution—including Britain’s passage of the Tea Act, the Intolerable Acts, the rebellion of the colonists, and the Declaration of Independence—and South Carolina’s role in these events. (H, P, E)

Indicator 3-3.2 Summarize the key conflicts and key leaders of the American Revolution in South Carolina and their effects on the state, including the occupation of Charleston by the British; the partisan warfare of Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens, and Francis Marion; and the battles of Cowpens and Kings Mountain. (H, P, G)

Indicator 3-3.3 Summarize the effects of the American Revolution in South Carolina, including the establishment of a new nation and a new state government and capital. (H, P, G)

Standard 4-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the conflict between the American colonies and England.

Indicator 4-3.1 Explain the political and economic factors leading to the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War; British colonial policies such as the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and the so-called Intolerable Acts; and the American colonists’ early resistance through boycotts, congresses, and petitions. (E, P, H)

Indicator 4-3.6 Compare the daily life and roles of diverse groups of Americans during and after the Revolutionary War, including roles taken by women and African Americans such as Martha Washington, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley (Molly Pitcher), Abigail Adams, Crispus Attucks, and Peter Salem. (H, P)

Standard 8-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Revolution—the beginnings of the new American nation and South Carolina’s part in the development of that nation.

Indicator 8-2.1 Explain the interests and roles of South Carolinians in the events leading to the American Revolution, including the state’s reactions to the Stamp Act and the Tea Act; the role of Christopher Gadsden and the Sons of Liberty; and the role of the four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence—Edward Rutledge, Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch Jr., and Thomas Heyward Jr. (H, P, E)

Indicator 8-2.2 Compare the perspectives and roles of different South Carolinians during the American Revolution, including those of political leaders, soldiers, partisans, Patriots, Tories/Loyalists, women, African Americans, and Native Americans. (H, G, P, E)
Indicator 8-2.3 Summarize the course and key conflicts of the American Revolution in South Carolina and its effects on the state, including the attacks on Charleston; the Battle of Camden; the partisan warfare of Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens, and Francis Marion; the Battle of Cowpens; and the Battle of Kings Mountain. (H, G)

Lessons Using this Document:

Revolutionary Women of South Carolina

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