Jacob Milligan - The Private
Years - 1747....1796
At this time, we do not know much about the
early life of Jacob Milligan. We are
assuming that he was born in New York City,
where his parents
Dr. John and Ann Milligan
lived, based on a sworn deposition (see
sidebar). We learned from newspaper
accounts that we was born in 1747.
Apparently he attended school (taught by a
W. Giles) in New York.
He was apparently a sailor, rising to
positions of leadership in that we see he
commanded Privateers and was involved in
trade up and down the coast.
In 1772-1773 he was in the town of New Bern,
NC, where he became a Mason, joining the
Honorable Ancient Society of Free Masons
lodge there. See sidebar notes at right.
Jacob Milligan, Captain of the Rutledge,
sails Barbados and Guinea, and captures a
At left, 4-26-1777 Pennsylvania Evening Post
Johnson's Reminiscences..... "Milligan
had by this time left the service and taken
command of a privateer, with which he
cruised, very successfully, in the West
Indies. He captured many British
vessels, took them into Spanish ports, but
from the want of responsibility of Spanish
agents at the time, or from some other
cause, he did not appear to have profited by
his adventures. Milligan was captured
in the schooner Margery, his privateer, on
the 21st May, 1778, by the ship Levant of 28
guns when off the coast of Georgia. He
lost everything that he was worth, but
thought that he got off very well, in not
being confined in the British prison ship.
Capt. Martin of the Levant treated him very
civilly, and put him on shore at Bloddy
Point, on parole. As soon as Milligan
could be exchanged, he went on privateering,
but returned to Charleston a little before
the siege, and was again put in command of
one of the State armed vessels.
- Begins His Business Life
Jacob sells on Broad St at the Vendue Store.
Jacob moves his business to Beale's Warf
Slave auction advertisement. (Editor's
note: while we are not happy about finding
this and other ads for the sale of human
beings, nonetheless for the sake of accurate
history they are included.
Jacob and his business partner dissolve
their partnership. He moves to 101 Old
Church Street to continue his work
Street, Charleston SC -(Yellow building) One
time site of the Intellegence Office of
Captain Jacob Milligan, Charleston SC.
Just a short walk from the Exchange
By 1784 he was in business as Jacob Milligan
and Co., Intelligence Office,
Charleston. The Intelligence office
was located at different places over time
but all near or next to the
in 1784 Jacob received a grant of land,
probably due to his service in the war.
From SC Archives... Date: 1784/09/24
Description: MILLIGAN, JACOB, PLAT FOR 640
ACRES ON BRANCH OF CONOROSE CREEK, NINETY
SIX DISTRICT, SURVEYED BY T Lewis.
Plat of land showing 640 acres. This is
believed to be near current St. Matthew, SC.
There is no record found to date that he
ever lived on the land, probably sold it.
1785 Jacob is seen operating sloops -
September 1785 - Jacob opens the
Intelligence Office at 15 Broad Street,
Charleston SC. See notice in
7-1-1785 Jacob Milligan is named a
Steward of the Palmetto Society.
is named a Steward (Trustee) of the
Charleston Marine Society. See article from
the Pennsylvania Daily Advance at
Jan 12, 1786 Jacob
Moves his office to 3 Jervey and
Jacob is in
London, where he married for the
time. Mrs. Milligan only lived a
few more years and died in England, Dec 17,
1793. They traveled to
Charleston shortly after. She is likely a
cousin of Jacob. She is the daughter of Mr.
Peter Milligan of Isle of Wight.
Milligan takes the 1790 Federal Census of
Charleston. (This is the first national
census). He then publishes the first
Charleston Directory from the same
Jacob Milligan is
listed as owner of
The Intelligence Office, located at 3
Champney's Alley (or Row), which is directly
across the road towards the south from the
Broad Street entrance of the Exchange.
We know that Capt Jacob Milligan was a
member of the reception committee of 13
members who met George Washington when he
visited Charleston about April 27,
1791. (note: this was previously reported as
1781, but Washington visited early May 1791
Noted from an online history of Geo.
Washington's Papers at
May 2, 1791...came
to the ferry at Haddrels point 6 miles
Point was the terminus of a ferry, which ran
across the Cooper River from Mount Pleasant
to Charleston. Charles Pinckney and Edward
Rutledge met Washington's entourage at the
ferry and rowed him across the harbor in a
"12 oared barge rowed by 12 American
Captains of Ships, most elegantly dressed.
There were a great number of other
boats...and two Boats with Music...as we
approached the town a salute with Artillary
Washington was entertained at
The Exchange in Charleston. Read more
is named as Harbor Master for Charleston, as
seen in this Columbia 10-31-1793 SC news
clipping from the Columbia Herald.
directory lists Jacob Milligan as harbor
master, with address NE of Exchange. Also of
interest was the fact that the 1794
directory was compiled by Jacob Milligan!
Jacob Milligan married
for the 3rd and final time. He and his wife
open a baking business. See more at
Jacob passes away at age 49. Aug 2, 1796
death notice in the SC City Gazette:
Jacob Milligan Becomes a Mason
Typed from the Miscellaneous Records Vol.
EEE page 455-456 found in the South Carolina
State Archives by James Thomas Bunkley
State of South Carolina City of Charleston
Before me Peter Freman one of the Justices
assigned to keep the peace in the said State
personally appeared Capt. Jacob Milligan
a native of the City of New York, who
being duly sworn on the holy Evangelists of
Almighty God deponeth and saith that in the
year One thousand Seven hundred and Sixty
two he was personally acquainted with a
certain Michael Samuel DeBruhl who then
lived in a house situated at the corner of
New and beaver Streets in the said City of
New York and followed the Engraving and Gold
Chasing business, that he was also
acquainted with his wife Margaret DeBruhl
and with three of their sons and two of
their daughters vis. Godard DeBruhl the
Eldest Edward Cornwalis DeBruhl the Second
and Michael Samuel DeBruhl the Third son.
Phillippa Margaret DeBruhl and Juliana
Charlotte DeBruhl his two daughters, that
this Deponent went to a school then kept in
the said City by a W. Giles
with the three Sons of the said DeBruhl
aforenamed two of which vis. the said Edward
Cornwalis and Michael Samuel are now present
at the taking of this disposition. This
Deponent further declares that he was in the
Town of Newbern in the state of North
Carolina in the year One thousand Seven
hundred Seventy two, that he there saw
the said Michael Samuel DeBruhl the Elder,
who then resided in the said Town, that the
said DeBruhl did recommend him this Deponent
to the Honorable Ancient Society of Free
Masons thus established as worthy of being a
member thereof by which recommendation
Deponent was admitted a member. This
Deponent also declares that the said Michael
Samuel DeBruhl the Elder departed this life
in the said Town of Newbern in the year One
thousand Seven Hundred Seventy three to his
Signed and sworn to this 19th day of June
1794. Peter Freman, J.P.
Similar Ads appear in New York, Columbia,
Poor House Lottery
Minutes of the Senate
Jacob requests a pension
The Family Baking Business,
Late in Life
After the death of Jacob, Mrs
Sarah Milligan continued the family baking