21 Jul Finding the Long Cane Massacre Historical Site
The Long Cane Massacre is a bit of tragic history tucked away at the end of a dusty road in Troy, South Carolina.
If you aren’t watching for the historical markers, you might just miss the site of a significant event in the settlement of South Carolina.
Following the signs, the road turns to gravel and you will come to a fork in the road. This spot is not marked. Take the right fork to continue to the site. You’ll park on the side of the road and continue on foot just a short distance. Cross a small bridge overlooking a dry creek bed.
The grave markers are in a small clearing on the right in a befittingly hushed setting.
The Long Cane settlement was also called Long Canes, named for the height of the cane growing in the area. Cane height was believed to reveal the fertility of the soil.
Though the Cherokee and British were allies during the beginning of the French and Indian War, they soon began fighting each other over misunderstandings, land disputes, and broken treaties.
In February 1760, as hostilities grew in the area, the settlers attempted to flee to Fort Moore, near Augusta, Georgia. Just a few hours after setting off, the Cherokee attacked and killed about fifty people, primarily women and children. 23 people are buried in a mass grave at the site. Among those buried is Mrs. Cathrine Calhoun, grandmother of Vice President John C. Calhoun.
Cathrine’s husband Patrick Calhoun erected the stone, which reads, “Patk. Calhoun Esq: In memory of Mrs. Cathrine Calhoun aged 76 years who with 22 others was here murdered by the Indians the first of Feb. 1760.”
A more recent grave marker has been added in memory of the Norris family.