Robert Farquhar (1743-1784)
Elizabeth Fagan (1747-1773)

1743 Robert Farquhar was born in Bilbo, Scotland, to John and Elizabeth Chalmers Farquhar. His siblings were John Farquhar (1751-1826), Anne Farquhar, Charlotte Farquhar, and Jean Farquhar.

1760 At age seventeen he came to America, settling in Charles Town, South Carolina. He became a merchant and traded up and down the east coast of the American colonies, to St. Augustine, and to the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands, all part of the British empire.

1771 At age twenty-eight he entered into partnership with Daniel Stevens.

April 10. Farquhar (identified as a shopkeeper) made an arrangement prior to his marriage to Elizabeth Fagan (1747-1773). He made the arrangement with William Russell, a vendeu master (auctioneer) representing Mrs. Elizabeth Didcott. Mrs. Didcott was the widow of  Thomas Didcott and the grandmother of Elizabeth Fagan. The agreement entitled Elizabeth Fagan to the slaves Betty, Dye, Juba, and Adam. [“Farquhar:” Marriage settlement Bk. #9, p. 289]

[Note: The identity of “Mrs. Didcott, widow” is hard to determine because of the lack of  birth and death dates prior to those for Elizabeth Fagan (1747-1773) and the repetition of names.  Elizabeth Fagan’s parents were Gregory Fagan and Willobee Didcott. If Willobee Didcott Fagan became a widow, it would be quite uncommon for her to use her maiden name. Willobee Didcott’s parents were Thomas Didcott and Elizabeth Willobee. If this Elizabeth were the widow referred to, then “Mrs. Didcott, widow” would be appropriate. This Mrs. Didcott does refer to Elizabeth and Thomas Fagan as her grand-children. Also, beside a possible connection to Stoll’s Alley, the east side of Lamboll Street may have been home to Elizabeth Didcott. According to Charleston Streets, at first it was called Didcott (or Dydcott, Dedcott) Alley for Elizabeth Didcott, who lived there. Lamboll Street has been variously called Smith Lane, Dedcott’s Alley, Rivers Street and Kincaid Street, after various property owners.][*]

April 13. Farquhar gave bond to the governor to indemnify him against any consequences of granting the marriage license.

April 14. At age of twenty-eight Robert Farquhar married Elizabeth Fagan, age twenty-four.

April 15-16. Mrs. Didcott, as per the agreement of April 10, transferred ownership of the four slaves to her grand-daughter Elizabeth Fagan Farquhar. [“Farquhar:” Misc. Rec. from Ct. 1767-71 p. 55]*

Farquhar eventually became a senior member of the mercantile company of Farquhar & Smith. [Salley, A.S. Jr. “Daniel Trezevant, Huguenot, and Some of his Descendants,” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. 3, no. 1. Charleston, SC: The South Carolina Historical Society, 1902.]*

1772 December 20. The governor made a grant of land to Robert Farquhar.

December 20. The Farquhar’s only child Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar (1772-1845) was born in Charleston.

1773 January 2. At age twenty-six Elizabeth Fagan Farquhar died, leaving her husband Robert and their infant daughter Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar. The child was put in the care of relatives (probably the Didcott family) in Charleston. Robert’s partnership with Daniel Stevens was dissolved.

1774 May 21. Mrs. Didcott made a gift of slaves to trustees Jones, Freer, and Berwick in trust for the benefit of her grand-daughter Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar, age two.  [“Farquhar:” General Index to Miscellaneous Records lists]

July 6. Resolutions were passed in Charleston appointing five deputies to the First Continental Congress.

August 19. Robert Farquhar received a grant for two more lots of land.

September 8. Deputies convened for the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

1775 January 11. The first Provincial Congress met at Charleston. Theodore Trezevant Jr. (1722-1801) and John Lewis Gervais (1741-1798) were deputies to that Congress.

February 1. An association (Council of Safety) was formed to oppose the importation of British goods.


Robert Farquhar, a merchant in Charleston, sold to John Vivien five hundred acres of land in Prince George’s Parish joining on lands known as Musgrove, on other sides by lands said to belong to Andrew Johnston and on the Sampit River. [“Farquhar:” NCO Bk. A5, p. 41]

December 21. The British parliament passed an act for the confiscation of American property.

1776 July 4. The American Declaration of Independence was declared. Robert Farquhar was thirty-three years old.

Farquhar bought 500 acres in Georgetown in Anthony’s Bluff from George Ball. Language within the deed does not specify any residential structures but rather land for farming or crop production. [Lavelle, 9/8/11 re addresses: Deed Book A5, p. 35]

1777 April 21. Mrs. Didcott made her will.

October. Robert Farquhar, possibly acting as a blockade runner, was on a voyage from one of the neutral islands of the West Indies with a cargo of clothing, cottons, linens, and blankets bound for Charleston. Off the coast of Georgia he was pursued by a British cruiser and sailed into Tybee and then Savannah, where his cargo was commandeered for use by the military of Georgia. When Farquhar died seven years later, he had not received any compensation from the state of Georgia or its agents. [Documents from England]


In Charleston deeds E5 p.27, p.462 and F5 p.209, p.217, all relating to the property of current day No. 7 Stoll’s Alley, there is a description of the property indicating that in 1778, William Russell, vendue master, was in ownership of the property now known as No. 5 Stoll’s Alley. Either Justinius Stoll and his second wife Phoebe or John Edwards, who was mortgaging the property in the 1770s, may have conveyed the property to Russell. [Lavelle]

1779 October 31. Under pressure from Robert Farquhar the Executive Council of Georgia authorized the Commissioners of the State to reimburse him for

sundry articles of Clothings for the Troops of Georgia, then quartered near Savannah [1777], in a state of great destitution, under the command of Gen’l James Jackson, and which purchase amounted to the sum of L7586.10.1 sterling money. [Journal of the Senate]

1780 May 18. After a month-long siege Charleston surrendered to the British and was occupied for almost two years.

Robert Farquhar purchased a lot on Broad Street from Jack Colcock. A lot number or location was not specified in the deed. (T5, p.64 in 1780 further conveys this property to Farquhar). [Lavelle, 9/8/11 re addresses]

1781 Farquhar entered into partnership with Colin Campbell.

October 12. At age thirty-eight Robert Farquhar was appointed by the lieutenant governor as the guardian of his nine-year-old daughter Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar.

October 19. After the last major battle of the Revolution, the British surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia.

1782 January 24. At age ten Elizabeth Farquhar was sent to England and placed under the care of Mrs. S.H. Ball.

Robert Farquhar & Co., Tradd Steet was listed in City Directories of Charleston. [Lavelle, 9/8/11 re addresses]

November. Provisional articles of peace were signed in Paris.

December 1. Robert Farquhar dissolved his partnership with Colin Campbell and Peter Dean.

December 14. The British troops evacuated Charleston. Robert Farquhar went to St. Augustine.

1783 Farquhar returned from St. Augustine.

March 26. Robert Farquhar applied to become a citizen of the state of South Carolina.

William Russell was banished (as a Tory) and his property confiscated. He was indebted to Robert Farquhar.

April 10. At age forty Robert Farquhar took the Oath of Allegiance.

April 25. Farquhar made his will. He named Alexander Chisholm (1738-1810), a fellow Scotsman, as an executor of the will, along with his father John Farquhar and merchant Peter Dean of Savannah. In the will he provided that an annual amount of twenty pounds sterling be provided for his parents until their deaths. The remainder of his estate went to his daughter Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar.

And it is my will and I do hereby recommend my Executors to give my said Daughter a genteel and good Education, and to bring her up in every Respect in a condition suitable to the Fortune she will inherit from me. . . . . And whereas my said Daughter is now an Infant of ten years of age, on the 20th day of December last past, and now at Great Britain in school, my Will and Pleasure is that my executors hereinafter mentioned shall be, and they are hereby nominated and appointed Guardians for her till she comes of age, in case she would not arrive at the Period of Life before my Decease. [“Farquhar:” Probate Court, Charleston, S.C. vol. 20 (WPA version) 1783-86 pp. 337-8-9.]

June 10. Robert Farquhar & Co. at No. 2 Tradd Street was listed in the South- Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser. [Lavelle, 9/8/11 re addresses]

June 16. He acquired Russell’s land from the Commanders of the Treasury.

June 19. Robert Farquhar applied for a mortgage for properties on Stoll’s Alley and Union Street. Exact locations and/or lots are not specified in document. [Lavelle, 9/8/11 re addresses: Register Mesne Conveyance (RMC), Charleston County, South Carolina, Deed Book M5, p. 86]

June 19, 1783, registered in deed book M5, pg. 87, Robert Farquhar executed a mortgage to William Parker and Edward Blake, Commissioners of the Treasury of the State of SC, for a property described as town lot late of William Russell, on the south side of Stoll’s Alley, measuring 31 feet on the said alley and 135 feet in depth, the exact dimensions of the lot Peter Trezevant advertised in 1802.*

September 3. The Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the American Revolution.

1784 January 13. Robert Farquhar obtained a certification of his having taken the Oath of Allegiance.

January 20. Farquhar sailed from Charleston on a voyage to Savannah in an attempt to collect the debt owed by the state of Georgia from 1777 and other large sums owed him by individuals. He was knocked overboard by the boom of a pilot boat and drowned, dying at age forty. He was buried in Savannah. His daughter Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar at age twelve was still in England.

February 17. Alexander Chisholm, as executor, proved Farquhar’s will, with W. Cameron, William Riddell, and Alexander Walker as witnesses. [“Farquhar:” Will Book A 1783-86 p. 278]

March 13. An inventory of Farquhar’s effects was requested by Alexander Chisholm. [“Inventory”]

March 17. By the order of Chisholm, effects from Farquhar’s estate were sold. [“Farquhar”]

April 20. Chisholm submitted a full accounting of Farquhar’s estate. Robert Farquhar was a wealthy man by the standards of his day. Beyond his cash and personal possessions, he owned real estate, marine craft, and slaves. [“Inventory”]

August 15.

Clerk of Courts, Renunciation of Dower Bk.#6 1793-96 p. 215 Grace, wife to Thomas Jervey to James Neilson . . . lot in Charleston #47, near White Point on King Street, east side, bounds south on an alley formerly River Street, then Didcott’s Alley, now Smith’s Lane running east and west from King to Meeting Streets, bound east on Thomas Osburn, south by land devised to Elizabeth Farquhar, a minor, by Elizabeth Didcott, widow deceased. . . . [“Farquhar”]

November 3. John Farquhar (probably Robert’s father, not his brother John who was in India) arrived in Charleston from London aboard the Hunter.

November 13. Robert’s sisters Anne and Charlotte arrived in Charleston from New York aboard the brigantine Lucretia.

1785 November 3. Slaves belonging to Farquhar’s estate were put up for sale. [“Farquhar”]

1786 March 23. The executor paid Mr. Ball L30.2.8 for the board of Elizabeth W. Farquhar.

Peter Trezevant, son of Theodore Trezevant Jr., sailed to England. At age eighteen he arrived back in Charleston after a 54-day sail from Dublin on board the Fame, under Capt. George Warren Cross. Cross (1755-1816) was then thirty-one years old and was probably already married to Peter’s older half-sister Charlotte Trezevant (1755-1832), so he was Peter’s brother-in-law. [It could be that Cross at the request of family had arranged for Peter to meet Elizabeth Farquhar, age fourteen, while he was in England]. Back in Charleston, Peter took up residence, quite possibly in the alley of Justinius Stoll, and began to work.

1787 April 2. The executor consigned rice for the board of Elizabeth Farquhar at L91.8.4.

September 17. The text of the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia.

1788 May 6. The amount of L46.4.0 was paid to Mr. Ball for the board of Elizabeth Farquhar.

December. At age sixteen Elizabeth Farquhar returned to America after six years in England.

1789 Alexander Chisholm, Farquhar’s executor, built a large frame house for himself at No. 22 King Street. [Lavelle, 9/8/11 re addresses: This is Charleston, by Samuel Gaillard Stoney]

March 4. The United States Constitution was ratified.

September 13. At age sixteen, nine months after her return to America, Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar married Peter Trezevant, age twenty-one, in Charleston. Having married, Elizabeth inherited her father’s estate, including 5 Stoll’s Alley. The young couple probably took up residence there.

October 5. An account of Robert Farquhar’s specialty credits was taken.

Alexander Chisholm, at the behest of Peter Trezevant, filed suit against the state of Georgia for the reimbursement of funds owed to the Farquhar estate for the confiscation of goods in 1777 as agreed to by Georgia in 1779 in the case Farquhar’s Executor v. Georgia. Between Farquhar’s death in 1784 and Trezevant’s marriage to Elizabeth Farquhar in 1789, Chisholm (according to Trezevant’s deposition of June 15, 1840)

never made any inquiry at the proper offices as to the state of the debt or application for payment.[Journal of the Senate] The subsequent progress of the suit against Georgia would eventually lead to the United States Supreme Court as Chisholm v. Georgia.

1791 August 15. The executor’s account of the Farquhar estate was made out.

December 15. The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were ratified.

1792 Peter and Elizabeth Trezevant were recorded as owning the house at 5 Stoll’s Alley. [Wiedman, p. 17]

1793 Elizabeth F. Trezevant and her husband Peter sold to Daniel Denoon part of a lot left by the will of Mrs. Elizabeth Didcott to Elizabeth W. Farquhar.

Arnold Harvey to Elizabeth Didcott . . . lease and release of a lot, etc., on White Point 12 December 1755 . . . son of William Harvey who bought said lot from John Rivers . . . bounded east on King Street near White Point #47 on alley called Rivers Street which runs from east and west from King to old Church Street otherwise called Meeting Street. [“Farquhar:” MCO B1.R6 p. 518].

February 5. The United States Supreme Court decided in favor of the plaintiff (the Farquhar estate) in Chisholm v. Georgia.

1794 March 4. The proposed eleventh amendment to the United States Constitution was submitted to Congress. It was created in direct response and to counter the Supreme Court decision in Chisholm v. Georgia.

1795 February 7.  The eleventh amendment to the Constitution was ratified:  The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

1798 January 8. President John Adams proclaimed the eleventh amendment to be part of the United States Constitution.

1801 Elizabeth Farquhar Trezevant and her husband Peter were in residence in Stoll’s Alley, along with their four living children, John Farquhar, Daniel Heyward, Martha, and Ann Timothy.

1810 December 10. Alexander Chisholm, executor of the Robert Farquhar estate, died in Charleston. Farquhar’s son-in-law Peter Trezevant would continue the litigation against Georgia until the case was settled in 1847.

1826 July 6. At age seventy-five John Farquhar (1751-1826), Robert’s brother, died in England. Elizabeth Farquhar Trezevant, as a niece, inherited a portion of his very large estate.

An article in the Rhode Island American and Providence Gazette on September 15 stated:

The lady in America mentioned as the heir at law to the great Fonthill estate, owned by the late Mr. Farquhar of London, is said, in the Boston Centinel, to be the wife of Peter Trezevant, Esq. of Charleston, S.C., brother of the late Judge Trezevant. She is now living in that city, and has a family of eight children. Mr. Trezevant’s grandfather’s family was among the most respectable Huguenot families, which took refuge in South Carolina, from France, immediately after the revocation of the edict of Nantz. Mrs. T is the late Mr. Farquhar’s brother’s daughter.*

In order to be considered a subject of John Farquhar’s will, Elizabeth Farquhar Trezevant and her husband Peter immediately moved to England. A long series of litigation began in 1826 and ended in 1836.  Peter Trezevant assisted the lawyers in representing his wife Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Peter Trezevant took full advantage of their wealth by living a life of luxury at 31 Chester Terrace, Regent’s Park, in London, providing for the five young and unmarried of their children who accompanied them there and by continually sending gifts of goods and funds to their married children in the States.


Fagan family records (Historical Society of South Carolina)

Addresses for Robert Farquhar and Alexander Chisholm

Inventory & Apportionment of the Goods & Chattells of Mr. Robert Farquhar

Documents Donated to the South Carolina Historical Society

General Details of Facts

Table of Events

Peter Trezevant Deposition

Oct. 1777 List

John Farquhar (1751-1826)

John Farquhar Estate Litigation, 1826-1836: Basic Facts


Allen, Richard J. Email correspondence and phone interviews with Bob Trezevant. 2010-present. [Rick Allen, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a descendant of Charles Simmons Trezevant.  He now lives in western Montana.  As a trained historian, military veteran, and retired police officer, Rick has researched family history for decades.  He is especially adept at placing people and events in their larger social and political contexts.  Rick has provided me with the extensive reports and documentation that form the basis of many entries on this website.  And his enthusiasm and encouragement have given me the motivation to compile the site’s materials into a presentable form.  For all of that, I’m deeply grateful.  R.W.T.]

Documents from England: Depositions for J.L. Petigru dated 15 June 1840 for the Counsel General of the U. States. South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC. (typed transcription by Charles N. Gignilliat, Jr., n.d.). [The original document from which this transcription was made is described as Item 4 of the Documents Donated to the South Carolina Historical Society in the Addendum.]

“FAGAN.” South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC. File 30-04. (typed transcription of records, author unknown, n.d.)

“Farquhar.” Farquhar Family File. South Carolina Historical Society. Charleston, SC. (typed monograph, author unknown, n.d.). [The original document from which this transcription was made is described as Item 3 of the Documents Donated to the South Carolina Historical Society in the Addendum.]

From Journal of the Senate, State of Georgia, 1843. p. 153. Monday, Dec. 4, 1843. South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC. (typed transcription by Charles N. Gignilliat, Jr., n.d.). [A separate document is an original copy of a printed booklet titled “Report of the Commissioners on the Petition of Peter Trezevant Milledgeville 1842.” It is a 42-page compilation of documents submitted to Georgia by Trezevant and of official state replies between 1777 and 1842. It is among the Documents Donated to the South Carolina Historical Society in the Addendum.]

Hulsebosch, Daniel.  Email correspondence with Bob Trezevant and Rick Allen. 2015-present. [Daniel Hulsebosch, the Charles Seligson Professor of Law at New York University, is a legal and constitutional historian who has referenced Robert Farquhar and Chisholm v. Georgia in several publications.]

Inventory & Appraisement of the Goods & Chattells of Mr. Robert Farquhar deceased, taken by the Librarian [?] at the Request of Alexander Chisholm Executor, this 13 March 1784. South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC. (photocopy of original, source unknown).

Kenan, Robert Gignilliat. History of the Gignilliat Family of Switzerland and South Carolina. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1977: pp. 270,267-268.

Lavelle, Brittany, “BVL Research 9/8/11 re Stoll’s Alley”: pdf.

Lavelle, Brittany [*], Historic Preservation Research. May 2014.

Leland, Isabella Gaud. Lineage Chart for Peter Trezevant and Elizabeth Willoughby Farquhar. South Carolina Historical Society. File 30-04. Charleston, SC.

The State of Georgia to the Estate of Robert Farquhar, 1838. South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC. (original, item #5 of Documents Donated to the South Carolina Historical Society).

Stoll family members. Email correspondence with Bob Trezevant. 2016. family tree. Genealogical documents.

Table of Events Document: Trezevant v. Mortimer. South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC. (original, Item #3 of Documents Donated to the South Carolina Historical Society).

Trezevant, John Timothee. The Trezevant Family in the United States. Charleston, SC: The State Company, 1914: pp. 19-23.

Wiedman, Jamie. “5 Stoll’s Alley: A Brief History and Description.” Unpublished graduate paper, Clemson University/ College of Charleston, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, 2010: pp. 17-18.


This timeline conveys the basic dates and issues related to Robert Farquhar’s life and his business activities until the time of his death in 1784. His personal legal claim against the state of Georgia for the goods commandeered in 1777 was continued by him until his death. In 1789 the suit was taken up by his executor Alexander Chisholm and his son-in-law Peter Trezevant. The subsequent history of the claim, up to the United States Supreme Court and the ratification of the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, is outlined in Chisholm v. Georgia. For some details about the legal involvement of Farquhar’s son-in-law see the biographical sketch of Peter Trezevant. For details about Farquhar’s original acquisition of the Trezevant House see 5 Stoll’s Alley. R.W.T.

1 Comment

  1. Sara

    The Virginia Gazette
    (Williamsburg, Virginia)
    4 June 1772 • Page 3

    under the title
    New York May, 18.

    Tuesday last the ship New Hope , Captain Farquhar arrived her from the Bay. Off the Mantanzas he fell in with the ship Suffolk, Captain Jerman, from Jamaica for London, who on the night of the 24th of April ran on the North West part of the Bahama Bank, Captain Farquhar himself, meeting with the like fate at the same time, as also the sloop Polly , from Jamaica for Philidelphia. The two last mentioned soon got off, but Captain Jerman, before he could get his ship afloat, threw overboard forty thousand feet of Mahogany , 46 Puncheons of Rum , 17 hogsheads of sugar, a stream cable, a Hauser , some water casks, and gun carriages and put on board the Hope 44 casks of Rum and 6 hogsheads of sugar,6 bags of cotton, some sails and a cable. And onboard the Polly 20 Puncheons of Rum and seven bags of cotton. The Suffolk afterwards proceeded on her voyage, and was left well by Captain Farquhar the 3rd inftant. Friday afternoon Capt Quill arrived her in eighteen days from the Cape Nicola , and informs that on the 26th Ult. a French Officer , with a part of soldiers , boarded all the vessels at the Mole of the night , under the pretense of looking for deserters and carried ashore the Captain Davies ,Greeneli and Tucker, and Brown, and a mate of one Captain Martain and confined them in jail for 30 hours , but then set them at Liberty.


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