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Archibald Broun (110)



Born Jan. 9, 1752
Died Dec. 11, 1797

The memorial box tomb (sometimes referred to as chest tombs) monument (at left) was erected by Robert Broun (1781 - 1809) to honor his father, Archibald Broun (sometimes spelled Brown). In 1735, Archibald's father, a physician also named Robert Broun (1715 - 1757), immigrated to Carolina from Scotland along with his parents, George (b. 1680) and Lady Mary Broun, when he was 21 years old. It is not known where Dr. Broun received his medical degree at such a young age, but he was readily welcomed into the homes of the "best" families in the area (1), leaving one to assume he was well educated and competent. 

Though his parents contin
ued on to Virginia, Dr. Robert Broun settled here in Goose Creek, married Elizabeth Thomas, and established Bounfields Plantation on the headwaters of Foster Creek, where Archibald and his sisters - Mary (m. Loocock), Elizabeth (m. Nowell) and Ann (m. Huger) - were born (2). Dr. Robert and Elizabeth Broun are also buried in this graveyard; their memorial stone is the far right box grave in the photo at right. However, some time after the chapel's destruction, an individual headstone for Dr. Robert Broun was moved to a location just inside the gates of the St. James Goose Creek Parish Church (3). There is no documentation confirming the location of Mary Loocock's grave, though one might easily assume she was interred with her husband between her brother and parents.

A Patriot,
 Archibald Broun was entrusted shortly before the American Revolution with a mission to France to negotiate a loan for military supplies and equipment. There he met and befriended the Marquis de Lafayette. Though he was successful in securing the French government's support, the ship bringing back the arms and supplies was captured by the British. If Broun were also captured at the time, he must have escaped as he arrived shortly thereafter in Boston, rode back to Goose Creek by horse, and went on to serve the Patriot cause as a Captain. 

Broun's streak of bad luck continued, however, as in a most unfortunate accident he was severely wounded at the Siege of Savannah as he was walking around camp one night and mistakenly stabbed by one of his own sentries, whom he awakened at his post. Broun returned to Bounsfield to recuperate where on Aug. 17, 1780, he married Mary Deas, the daughter of his wealthy neighbors, John and Elizabeth Allen Deas of Thoroughgood Plantation. With the wealth that Mary brought to the match, Archibald was able to acquire additional properties in the area, including Blessing Plantation. Archibald's name shows up in a list of 123 heads of family in the 1790 Census of St. Thomas Parish, indicating he owned property there. He was also listed as being among the five wealthiest land holders in the parish, along with Gabriel Manigault, John Huger, Thomas Shubrick and Robert Quash (4). When his old friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, returned to visit Charleston after the Revolution, Capt. Broun entertained him at a grand dinner held in his honor at Blessing Plantation (5). 

In 1785, Archibald, along with his brother-in-law Aaron Loocock, was named as a commissioner to receive an acre of land from George Chicken to be laid out around the Chapel of Ease for this churchyard.

Broun never fully recovered from his wound, which troubled him the rest of his life. After 20 years, complications associated with it finally led to his death, which was recorded in the state House of Representatives records listing his service in 1794-95 and noting that he was a "large land owner." (6)  He is buried in the box grave at the left of the photo above. Ownership of Brounsfields Plantation, meanwhile, had passed to Archibald's sister, Mary, who married Aaron Loocock, who is buried in the middle box grave. 

Text and photos by Leigh Jones Handal.

You can help support the gravestone restoration and research efforts at the St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease/Bethlehem Baptist Church Historic Site is by shopping at our online store or by making a donation.

Notes:

1. Heitzler, Dr. Michael J. Jr. Goose Creek: A Definitive History, Vol. 1 (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2005) p. 265.

2. FindaGrave.com/memorial/31481035/archibald-broun

3. FindaGrave.com/memorial/23200719/robert-broun

4. Cross, J. Russell. Historic Ramblings Through Berkeley (Columbia, SC: Cross-Williaims Family Limited Partnership, 1985) p. 206-207.

5. Heitzler, ibid.

6. Cross, p. 228


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