Facts and Events
Information on Robert Cunningham
From "Annals of Augusta county, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871", by Joseph Addison Waddell:
Appleton's American Biography says : Robert Cunningham, loyalist, born in Ireland about 1739 ; settled in District Ninety-Six, S. C., in 1769, and soon became a judge. He opposed the cause of the colonies, and in 1775 was imprisoned in Charleston. After his release he joined the British forces, and, in 1780, was commissioned Brigadier General. He first was placed in command of a garrison in S. C., and the following year served in the field against General Sumter. His estate was confiscated in 1782, and, having left the country, he was not allowed to return, although he petitioned to be allowed to do so. The British Government gave him an annuity. He died in Nassau, in 1813.
From Ancestry.com post:
The Cunningham men were four brothers: John who was a planter, David who was a deputy surveyor, Robert who was the first magistrate of Ninety-Six District and Patrick who was deputy surveyor of the General Province of South Carolina.4 These men were loyal to the English Crown. There was also their cousin William Cunningham who in 1775 at the age of 19 years became a follower of the Whig Party. There was also an Andrew Cunningham of the Ninety Six District in the Province of South Carolina. He was a Loyalist but I do not know if he was any relation to these other Cunningham men.
Robert Cunningham was the first proprietor of the Indian Island Ford Ferry, granted in 1770. However he lost the franchise when the Revolutionary War broke out because of his loyalty to the Crown. Lord Campbell, Governor of South Carolina, promised the Cunningham men rewards and commendations for their loyalties.5
On July 17, 1775, Robert and Patrick Cunningham (Tory Officers) seized a large amount of ammunition at Ninety Six. They jailed Major Mayson on the charge of having stolen the ammunition from the King's Fort. (Major, then Colonel, Mayson was given Robert Cunningham's plantation and Ferry Rights when war was declared and Tory properties were confiscated)
After the war Robert and Patrick Cunningham petitioned to be allowed to live in South Carolina. Robert, being refused, settled in Nassau and received 1,080 Pounds Sterling from the British for restitution of losses due to war. Part of that loss was Peach Hill Plantation on the North side of Saluda River and Island Ford plantation on the South side of the Saluda River. The oldest daughter of Robert, Mrs. Elizabeth Brownlee, wife of John Brownlee of Charleston, died July 15, 1805 at forty one years of age.
Robert Cunningham died around 1813.