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South Carolina Archives
Series Description

Mortgages, 1786-1815


CALL NUMBER:        S 218157

CREATOR: State Treasurer. Commissioner of the Paper Medium Loan.

TITLE: Mortgages

DATE: 1786-1815

VOLUME: 2.00 volumes

ARRANGEMENT: Series arranged chronologically by date of mortgage in two letter-designated volumes (A and B). The page numbers in the volumes run consecutively through the two volumes and also function as mortgage numbers.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE: In South Carolina the American Revolution was a bitter civil war, and the state emerged from that conflict with heavy damage to property and its economy in shambles. The Paper Medium Loan was one of a number of measures of debtor relief passed by the General Assembly in the 1780s. Like some of the other measures, it primarily helped large planters, many of them in the lowcountry.

S.C. Statute 1785(4)712, An Act to Establish a Medium of Circulation, by Way of Loan, and to Secure its Credit and Utility, provided that the state would loan between 30 and 250 pounds in paper money to persons mortgaging land worth three times, or gold or silver plate worth twice the borrowed amount. The act specified the denominations and quantities of the paper bills to be issued and provided that the bills were to be accepted at face value by "the treasury of this State in discharge of all debts, duties, and taxes." An act of 1786 altered the denomination of the bills.

Interest was set at seven per cent per year and the borrowed sum was to be repaid within five years. A series of subsequent appropriation acts delayed the time that the loans had to be repaid until S.C. Statute 1826(6)295 required the Comptroller General to call in the debts "in three equal annual installments."

SUMMARY SCOPE NOTE: This series consists of signed and sealed mortgages to the Commissioners of the Loan Office. Information includes the name of the person receiving the loan, a description of property being mortgaged, the amount of the loan, and the terms of the loan. Many of the signatures were cut out or defaced in the process of recording the satisfaction of the loans. In a few cases receipts have been substituted for removed mortgages that explain their removal for use in legal proceedings.

Property descriptions for mortgaged real estate usually include acreage; physical location including natural features, boundaries, and surrounding landholders; and description of how the property was acquired by the owner who mortgaged it. Some mortgages mention that the owners purchased the property from the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates.

INDEX/FINDING AID: All personal names and geographic locations mentioned in the mortgages are included in the repository's On-line Combined Index to Multiple Record Series, 1675-1929, and in the Combined Alphabetical Index produced by the repository on computer output microfilm (COM) in 1991. The abstracts of the mortgages in these indexes include the wording (plat and appraisement) at the end of the description when those documents are present in series S 218158, Plats and Appraisements, 1785-1786. Those documents are filed and can be retrieved by the mortgage (page) number. In these indexes plantation names and the names of baronies were indexed as topics, and the topical term Forfeited Estates was used for transactions involving forfeited estates of loyalists. The numeric code 0045 003 was used to designate this series in the computer output microfilm index.

ADDITIONAL FORM: The entire series and the related plats and appraisements in series S218158 have been digitized.  The digital images are linked to index hits from the On-line Records Index on the repository's website.

HIERARCHICAL NOTE: Forms part of the office of the Commissioner of the Paper Medium Loan of the State Treasurer.