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Loyalist Mulryne exiled from Ga.

Loyalist Mulryne exiled from Ga.

Loyalist Mulryne exiled from Ga.

Roger Allen


      John Mulryne was elected to the Colonial Georgia Assembly on Oct. 23, 1735. Serving on the committee to investigate the condition of the Savannah River, he pushed for the construction of its first lighthouse.
      This lighthouse on Tybee was completed in 1736. Its 90-foot height made it the tallest lighthouse in all of America. Destroyed in a storm, it was replaced by another built by Thomas Sumner in 1742.
      Oglethorpe called this second lighthouse "the best Building of that kind in America." Mulryne then helped build the third Tybee Lighthouse in 1773. What remains of this lighthouse forms the base of the present structure.
      Mulryne lived in Savannah on a plantation he named Bonaventure, which means "good fortune" in French. The mansion was built in 1760 from bricks he had brought all the way over from England. There were terraced gardens extending all the way down to the river.
      When Mulryne's daughter Mary married Josiah Tattnall, Mulryne commemorated the union of the two families by planting great avenues of trees leading up to the house that formed the initials 'M' and 'T' intertwined.
      Fleeing his captors, the "Sons of Liberty", loyalist and Royal Governor James Wright fled to Mulryne's Bonaventure mansion on Feb., 11, 1776 before taking a boat to the HMS Scarborough, upon which he sought sanctuary off of Tybee Island.
      In 1777, Georgia "nationalized" all Torie holdings in Georgia. Patriot John Habersham received Mulryne's Bonaventure estate. During the Siege of Savannah French Admiral Valerie D'Estaing used Bonaventure as a hospital.
      Josiah Tattnall Jr., the son of Josiah Tattnall, returned home and purchased the land from Habersham. Tattnall shortly thereafter built a second mansion on this estate, and it too was later destroyed by fire.
      Mulryne fled Georgia as a Loyalist and died in Nassau, New Providence, a man without a country in what we now know as the Bahamas on January 7, 1786.

      Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger dodger53@hotmail.com

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