John Daniell, a colonial ship owner from Charleston, was in the business of transporting all manner of commerce between London and the colony of Carolina.
One warm day in 1717 as his ship neared Charleston, a pirate ship was spotted in the distance. Pirates had discovered that it was to their advantage to lurk just over the horizon from a busy port and wait for prey.
Quick calculations revealed to Mr. Daniell that the pirate ship, having the wind, would overtake his ship before it could reach safety. The necessity of evading a cruel fate mothered a clever idea. He ordered his crew to put their shoes on, a strange command in days when sailors commonly went barefoot, especially in warm weather. He then ordered them to quickly gather everything made of glass on his ship and smash it. The shards of glass were then spread all over the deck.
When the barefooted pirates overtook the vessel and came swinging aboard, they were greeted by a most unpleasant experience. As they danced about trying to avoid the glass, the would-be thieves found themselves at a great disadvantage in their pursuit of plunder.
Their distress was of such a serious degree that they were overcome by the well-shod crewmen of the merchant ship, and their own ill-gotten treasury came into the possession of Mr. Daniell and his crew.
The pirates’ misfortune became the fortune that enabled John Daniell to purchase a fine plantation on the Lockwood Folly River where the present-day town of Supply, NC is located.
Daniell had little knowledge of farming, but, as was common in those days, he hired an overseer to take charge, and subsequently became very prosperous, wealthy, and influential.
Daniell served as a justice of the peace in 1743, 1745, and 1750 and was appointed county road commissioner in 1745.
His name appears on the list of men on duty at the Spanish Alarm of 1748 under Capt. John Sherard.
John Daniell lived out his days on his plantation until his death in 1763.