Family and Early Life
His grandparents were Benjamin and Judith Baluet Marion of French Huguenot origin, and Anthony and Esther Baluet Cordes. His parents Gabriel and Esther had six children: Esther, Isaac, Gabriel, Benjamin, Job and Francis.
The family settled at Winyah, near Georgetown, South Carolina. Probably in 1732, Francis Marion was born on their plantation in Berkeley County, South Carolina. When he was aged five or six, his family moved to a plantation in St. George, a parish on Winyah Bay. Apparently, they wanted to be near the English school in Georgetown. In 1759 he moved to Pond Bluff plantation near Eutaw Springs, in St. John's Parish, Berkeley County, South Carolina.
When Francis was 15 he signed on as the sixth crewman of a schooner heading for the West Indies. As they were returning, a whale rammed the schooner and caused a plank to come loose. The captain and crew escaped in a boat, but the schooner sank so quickly that they were unable to take any food or water. After six days under the tropical sun, two crewmen died of thirst and exposure. The following day the surviving crew reached shore.
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