G. Lloyd Johnson
The Regulator Movement is Johnson's Topic at Workshop
Campbell University News Release
Dr. Lloyd Johnson, associate professor of history at Campbell
University, presented a paper on the role of Gideon Gibson, a
colonial person of color, in the Regulator Movement in South
Carolina during the 18th century. It further explained why
Gibson's race was not a factor regarding social position in the
Welsh Tract in the South Carolina backcountry where he lived.
Johnson spoke at the South Carolina Genealogical Society's 33rd
Annual Workshop held at the South Carolina Archives and History
Center in Columbia, July 9-10 .
A Regulator movement developed in the 1760s in western South
Carolina among groups interested in establishing law and order.
Outlaw gangs had formed in the area and legislators failed on
several occasions to provide funding for peace officers and local
courts. Organizations of citizens were formed to regulate
governmental affairs and they eventually operated the courts in some
districts. The governor and the assembly eventually realized the
legitimacy of the Regulators' cause and in 1769 enacted legislation
providing for the necessary reforms.
Johnson's presentation explored the role of Gideon Gibson, a
mulatto militia captain and substantial landholder in the South
Carolina backcountry. Gibson helped instigate the Mars Bluff Affair
in which he and a few other men held a British militia captain
hostage and defeated other militiamen. The governor pardoned the
others involved in the incident, but not Gibson. Local leaders came
to his defense, however, and he was never punished for his actions.
His children by his white wife married prominent area settlers, an
indication that while slavery was becoming entrenched before the
Revolution, racism had not yet begun to influence peoples' thoughts
"The Mars Bluff Affair that Gideon Gibson helped instigate was
the catalyst that brought courthouses and jails to the South
Carolina backcountry," Johnson said. "He was an important figure in
the Welsh Tract community of South Carolina."
Bulletin 0203, 07/19/04
Dr. Lloyd Johnson is the author of The Frontier in the
Colonial South: South Carolina Backcountry, 1736-1800.
He also published entries in the Encyclopedia of North
Carolina History, the African-American Encyclopedia of
History, and the Encyclopedia of South Carolina History.
He has been a book review contributor for scholarly publications,
including the Journal of Southern History, North Carolina
Historical Review, the William & Mary Quarterly,
Baptist History and Heritage, and the Georgia Historical
Quarterly. Johnson has also appeared in the BBC documentary,
"Roots in Wales," and presented at the 2000 British Association for
American Studies convention. He has previously presented at the
South Carolina Genealogical Society (SCGS) and the Hartsville
Note: The above news release is reprinted from the Campbell University Web site.
See http://cambpell.edu/news/releases/su04/ns_rel.0203.html, accessed 12/02/04.