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John Torrans letters

Identifier: Mss 0034-081

Collection Overview

A letter from John Torrans to Alexander Rose recommends that Rose buy the brigantine Industry lying at Eveleigh's Wharf, "that she will do well to go to Suranam" [Surinam]. A postscript headed "Distillery Monday Morning" asks Rose to tell Forbes that "one of the Negros is run away." The second letter (penciled note on cover reads "Charleston, S.C. List of Negros to be Mortgaged") from Torrans to Rose states he has sent a bond and mortgage bought at Well's Shop, but "did not know how many Negros you would chuse to put in it." He lists the names, and occasionally occupations and skills, of "all the Negroes at the Distillery" and "mine in town." Typescript copies included.


  • Creation: approximately 1775


Language of Material

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

John Torrans was previously incorrectly identified as John Forrans. Born in County Derry, Ireland, and settled in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1758 where he became a prosperous merchant. John Torrans married Elizabeth Blanche Smith (d. 1817), daughter of William Smith (1728-1793) of New York. Elizabeth Torran's sister Margaret Smith married Alexander Rose in 1779, and her sister Catherine Smith married John Gordon in 1767. John Torrans owned vessels with both Rose and Gordon (also Charleston merchants). Torrans may have been a British loyalist like his father-inlaw and his brother-in-law Alexander Rose. Torrans was a partner in the firm Torrans, Greg, and Poaug (Greg was a London merchant); and later in Torrans, Poaug & Company. Torrans's firms were responsible for bringing a number of Huguenots (1764) to Charleston from England, and hundreds of slaves to Charleston from Africa. At the time of his death Torrans owned one-third share in a distillery.


1 folder (2 items)

Inventory of the John Torrans Letters, approximately 1775
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
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Charleston South Carolina 29424
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