SC History Trail

Adam Cusack Execution Site

A state historical marker denotes the general site where a South Carolina civilian, Adam Cusack, was hanged by the British during the Revolutionary War. As British troops moved through the region burning the homes of Patriot sympathizers, Cusack refused to allow British officers to use the ferry he operated at Society Hill. He was executed in retaliation.


Adam Cusack Execution Site
Main Street and Depot Street, Society Hill, SC
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Site Description
During the American Revolution, British forces conquered South Carolina and imposed a harsh rule on its inhabitants. Men who refused to join the Loyalist militia and fight against their neighbors for the King were jailed or hanged, and countless homes and barns were burned by British raiders.

One of the most notorious campaigns against South Carolina Patriots occurred in the late summer of 1780, when Major James Wemyss, a British officer, led a force of British troops - the 63rd Regiment of Foot - on a terror campaign. Wemyss' troops burned more than a hundred homes in a wide swath from Georgetown in the South to Cheraw in the North.

At this site in Society Hill, in northern Darlington County, a local ferry operator named Adam Cusack refused to ferry British officers across nearby Black Creek. Major Wemyss responded with a hasty trial and had Cusack hanged in the presence of his wife and children. The British brutality backfired, driving scores of neutral South Carolinians into the Patriot ranks. Eventually, South Carolina was liberated and the British were driven back to the protection of their fortifications in Charleston until war's end.

Today, the general site of Adam Cusack's execution is commemorated by a roadside state historic marker at the intersection of Main Street and Depot Street in Society Hill, and a modern bridge crosses Black Creek further north on Main Street.