The Yemassee: A Romance of Carolina Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Author: William Gilmore Simms

First published: 1835

Genre: Novel

Locale: South Carolina

Plot: Adventure

Time: Early eighteenth century

Gabriel Harrison (Governor Charles Craven), a young man of commanding presence and gay, worldly manner. A stranger looked on with suspicion by some of the South Carolina frontiersmen, he wins them over through his valiant leadership in defending the colony against the Yemassee uprising. He then reveals that he is the new governor of the province in disguise.

Parson Matthews, who dislikes Harrison until won over by his heroism. Matthews' insistence on the friendliness of the Indians, in spite of Harrison's warnings, results in his and his daughter's capture and in their subsequent rescue by Harrison.

Bess Matthews, the parson's daughter, who is in love with and loved by Harrison. The parson finally gives permission for their marriage.

Hector, Harrison's devoted slave and constant companion. After undergoing various ordeals on behalf of or with his master, he refuses Harrison's offer to give him his freedom.

Sanutee, the last great Yemassee chief. Proud and suspicious of the increasing encroachments of the colonists on Yemassee territory, he rouses his people to cast out the land-selling chiefs and to make war on the settlers. He is killed in battle.

Occonestoga, Sanutee's son, a drunkard. He is friendly with the whites, an alliance that forces him to flee his tribe. He saves Bess Matthews' life and is consequently befriended by Harrison. Returning to the Indian stronghold to spy for Harrison, he is discovered by his father.

Matiwan, Sanutee's wife, who is torn between loyalty to her husband and devotion to her son. Finally, to prevent the carrying out of Sanutee's order that Occonestoga have the tribal mark cut from his skin and be executed, she kills her son.

Hugh Grayson, a rival of Harrison for the affections of Bess Matthews. He, too, is finally won to friendship by Harrison's bravery. After revealing himself as the governor, Harrison makes Hugh Grayson commander of the garrison forces.

Walter Grayson, Hugh's brother, an honorable young farmer.

Dick Chorley, a sailor whom Harrison discovers to be a Spanish agent come to arm the Indians against the English settlers.

Ishiagaska, another Yemassee chief.

Enoree Mattee, an Indian prophet who aids Sanutee in rousing his people against the settlers.

Granger, a trader.

Mrs. Granger, his brave and quick-witted wife.

Dugdale, Harrison's strong and faithful dog.

Categories: Characters