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Full text of "History of Wake County, North Carolina : with sketches of those who have most influenced its development"

THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 




FROM THE LIBRARY OF 

ALEXANDER B. ANDREWS 

Class of 1893 

TRUSTEE OF THE UNIVERSITY 

FRIEND OF THE LIBRARY 



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HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 



HISTORY 



OF 



WAKE COUNTY 

NORTH CAROLINA 

WITH SKETCHES OF THOSE WHO HAVE 
MOST INFLUENCED ITS DEVELOPMENT 



BY 

HOPE SUMMERELL CHAMBERLAIN 

Pen and Ink Illustrations 

BY THE Author 



Edwards & Broughton Printing Company 

Raleigh, N. C. 

1922 



Copyright, 1922 

BY 

Mrs. William Johnston Andrews 




Mrs. Alexander Boyd Andrews 



This Book 
is dedicated to the memory of 
our late beloved chairman 

Mrs. Alexander Boyd Andrews 
(Julia Martha Johnston) 

BY 

The Wake County Committee of the 

North Carolina Society of 

Colonial Dames of America 

under whose auspices 

IT is written and 

PRINTED 




Author's Dedication 

O her just pride in her own colo- 
nial ancestry, Mrs. Alexander 
Boyd Andrews (Julia Martha 
Johnston) added a strong inter- 
est in the early history of her 
State. From the tradition of Mecklenburg 
where she was born, she came to be intensely 
interested in the annals of Wake, her adoptive 
County, and in the development of Raleigh, 
where she lived to be a blessing to all who 
knew her. 

She was a patriot, as well as a Christian 
wife and mother; she loved the inspiration of 
old days, as well as the new friends she found 
everywhere. She was honored by being chosen 
as Vice-Regent from North Carolina of Mount 
Vernon Ladies Association. Often during her 
lifetime she recommended to the writer of 
this book the writing of a history of Wake 
County as a worthy work for this Committee 
of the North Carolina Society of Colonial 
Dames in America. 

Thus this book becomes a memorial to her 
friendship and to her ideals, a sincere labor 

[9] 

CO 



10 AUTHOR S DEDICATION 

of love undertaken at her often expressed de- 
sire. It pictures the community she loved. 
It embodies the interests of that Committee 
which came into activity under her leadership. 
It is the fittest monument to her worth and 
dignity that we can raise. May she know 
that we remember and feel that we still 
love her, and approve of our dedication to her 
of the book she inspired. 



^^ 



Contents 

CHAPTER I 
Introductory 

Introductory Paragraph — Lawson, Explorer, 1700 — Journey 
through the Carolinas — Visit to Falls of "News Creek" — Possibly 
traversed what is now Wake County — Granville Tobacco Path — 
Beginnings in North Carolina — Causes of great love of Liberty — 
Poor Government of Lords Proprietors — Locke's Fundamental 
Constitutions — Geographical and Topographical Conditions — Inde- 
pendence of Settlers — Col. Byrd's libel of Settlers — Good character 
of same — Growth of Settlements in North Carolina — Wake existed 
as parts of Johnston and Orange Counties in 1765 — Tryon's Admin- 
istration as Governor — Contrast between East and West of Colony — 
Tryon's Palace at New Berne — Grievances of Different Sections — 
The Regulators War — Tryon's Expedition against Regulators — 
Setting off of four New Counties in 1771, of which the Fourth was 
Wake — Tryon's Camp at Hunter's Lodge in Wake County, spring 
of 1771 — Laying off of Rhamkatt Road — Naming of Wake County 
— Esther Wake, Margaret Wake, Lady Tryon — Derivation of Terri- 
tory of Wake — Position in State — Soil — Products — Elevation — 
Climate — Streams — Raleigh Capital City and County Seat. 

CHAPTER H 
The First Twenty-Five Years 

Tryon's March from Wake to Alamance — The Quelling of the 
Regulators — Rapid Growth of Revolutionary sentiment — Thomas 
Jefferson's Tribute — 1772, First Court held in Wake — Wake Cross 
Roads — Bloomsbury — Source of Name — Joel Lane's Tavern — 
"First Capitol" — Inscription on Tablet — Supplies furnished by Joel 
Lane — Inauguration of Gov, Thomas Burke — His Inaugural Ad- 
dress — Sketch of Burke's Life — Burke Square — Interval between 
Yorktown and 1789 — Location of New Capital — Discussed in In- 



12 CONTENTS 

tervals of Debates about the Ratification of the Federal Constitu- 
tion — Account of Debate on Location of Capital — Wake County- 
Site voted Aug, 2, 1788 — Pros and Cons — Constitution Ratified 
1789 — Wake County Site Confirmed 1791 — Willie Jones and Com- 
missioners — Joel Lane's Tract — Laying Off of Streets — Price of 
Tract, etc. — Description of City Plan — Names of Streets — Park 
System — First Sale of City Lots — Building of State House. 

CHAPTER III 
Early Worthies 

Number of Inhabitants of Wake County in 1800 — Character of 
Settlers — General Mode of Life in 1800 — Cotton — Transportation 
— Tobacco — Corn — Wheat — Live Stock — Homes — Vehicles — 
Horseback Riding — Amusements — Look of Country — Mode of Liv- 
ing of Settlers — Easy Success — Slavery — Schools — Stores and Tav- 
erns — Court Week — Religious Services — Discontent with Primitive 
Conditions — Prominent Citizens of Wake — John Hinton and De- 
scendants — Theophilus Hunter and Descendants — Joel Lane and 
Brothers — Story of Lane's Scheming — ^Two Jones Families of Wake 
— Kinship with Allen and Willie Jones — Mingling of Blood of 
First Families of Wake — Fanning Jones the Tory — Dr. Calvin Jones 
of Wake Forest — Names of Taxpayers of Wake, i8cxD — Same 
Names to-day. 

CHAPTER IV 
Raleigh The Capital Village 

Colonel Creecy's Description of Raleigh in 1800 — Old Sassafras 
Tree — Governor Ashe, 1795, — FirstGovernor Residing in Raleigh — 
First Governor's Mansion — Joel Lane House — Andrew Johnson 
House — Academy — (Old Lovejoy's) Begun 1802 — Female Depart- 
ment 1807 — Additions — Curriculum — Dr.McPheeters — Other Early 
Schools of Wake — John Chavis — Presentation of Globes to Univer- 
sity of North Carolina by Matrons of Raleigh — The old "Palace" 
or Governor's Mansion at Foot of Fayetteville Street — Community 
Life of Old Raleigh — Plays — Processions — Speakings — Banquets — 



CONTENTS 13 

Census of Raleigh in March, 1807 — City Government — City Watch, 
181 1 — Art Treasure of Old State House — Story of Canova's Statue 
of Washington — Fourth of July Celebration, 1809 — Subsequent 
Celebrations — First Church Edifices — List of Subjects for Further 
Interest in Raleigh History. 



CHAPTER V 
Early Life and Thought 

Forgetting the New Necessary to Understanding of Old — Politics 
— Economics — Definition of Democracy — Federalists — Jeffersonians 
— Warring Ideals, French and English — Andrew Jackson — Political 
Change in North Carolina — State Banks — "Tippecanoe and Tyler 
Too" — Henry Clay — Old Whigs — Backwardness ofjEducation — The 
Western Fever — Discussions of Slavery — New England's Didacti- 
cism — Internal Improvements — Canals — High Cost of Living, 1 82 1 — 
Stage Coach Travel — Newspapers — The Gales — Raleigh "Register" 
— "The Standard" — Scarcity of Books — Food in Raleigh — Furniture 
— Fashions — Table Ware — Housewives, Duties — The Unmanage- 
able Young Folks of the Twenties and Thirties. 



CHAPTER VI 
Giants of Those Days 

Col. William Polk— The Old State Bank— Colonel Polk on Duel- 
ing (Alfred Jones Duel) — Colonel Polk Beats an Old Neighbor — His 
Dancing — His Son Leonidas — His Friend and his Cousin and his 
Bank Janitor — Sketch of William Boylan — Invention of Cotton Gin 
— Mr. Boylan's Kind Heart — His Home, Wakefield — Peter Brown 
— Practising Lawyer — His Return to Raleigh — ^Judge Seawell — 
Moses Mordecai — William Peck — Anecdote of State Bank Days — 
Young R. S. Tucker — Dr. William McPheeters — Disciplinarian — 
Peace Brothers — Joseph Gales and Mrs. Winifred Gales his Wife — 
DavidL. Swain — HisLife — HisHistoricalWork — Mentionof Familiar 
Characters in the Raleigh of His Time. 



14 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VII 
More Biographies 

Noticeof John Marshall — Anecdote of his Stay in Raleigh — Refer- 
ence to Him from Governor Swain — Quotation by Judge Badger — 
Judge Gaston — Influence on Constitutional Con ventionof 1 83 ^ — Last 
Religious Disability Removed by Influence of William Johnston — 
Gaston's Eloquence — His Piety — John Haywood, State Treasurer — 
Other Members of the Haywood Family — ^John Haywood's Friendly 
Ways — Popularity — Devotion to University of North Carolina — 
Funeral Eulogy — Judge Badger — Youthful Ability — Many Honors 
— Battle Family — Duncan Cameron — His Buildings — Leonidas K. 
Polk (Fighting Bishop) — Brigadier-General in Confederate Army — 
His Life, Services as Bishop and as Soldier — Brave Death. 

CHAPTER VIII 
Improvements and Progress 

Stimulus of Loss — Burning of the Old State House — Destruction 
of Statue of Washington — Other Alarms of Fire — Miss Betsy Geddy 
— Controversy over New Capitol — Judge Gaston's Influence — Ap- 
propriation for New Capitol — Building Committees — Corner Stone, 
July 4, 1833 — Same Day, Railroad Plan — Final Cost of Capitol — 
Its Material — Its Designers and Builders — Method of Moving Stone 
for Capitol — Mrs. Sarah Hawkins Polk and Her Street Cars — Spirit- 
ed Raleigh Women — Poor Fire Protection — Hunter's Pond — Descrip- 
tion from Petersburg Paper — Eagerness for Railroad in North Caro- 
lina — Capitol Finished — Railroad Comes In — Great Double Cele- 
bration — Described by Witness — Early Engines, Tracks and Cars 
— Time Table — Breath of Progress. 

CHAPTER IX 
The Middle Years 

Rapid Progress — Establishment of Capital as Center, Political and 
Social — General Prosperity — Plantation Homes — Mexican War — 



CONTENTS 15 

Discovery of Gold in California — Effect on Men's Minds— Cheerful 
Temper — Great Political Campaign Waged in Wake — Educational 
Interest— Saint Mary's School— Wake Forest College — Free School 
— Growth of Population — Increase of Luxury — Of Fashion — Dress 
and Food — Advantage of Railroads though Despatched Without 
Telegraphs — Interest in Farming Methods — Culture — Reading — 
Discord over Slavery — Rift Growing Wider — Differing Opinions in 
Raleigh — Old Heads — Hot Young Hearts — The Actual Secession — 
After — The Surrender of the Capital as Narrated by Governor 
Swain — The "End of an Era." 



CHAPTER X 
Our Benefactors 

Five Citizens — One Stranger— A Woman — John Rex the Tanner 
and his Bequest for a Hospital — Intention not Fully Realized and 
why — William Peace and Peace Institute — Dorothea Dix — Sketch 
of Life — Story of Founding of State Hospital for Insane — Stanhope 
Pullen — His Peculiarities — His Business Success — His Gifts: to City, 
to State, to State College for Women — John Pullen: Charitable, 
Consecrated — His Example — His Remarkable Funeral — R. B. 
Rainey— His Gift of Library to City — His Modesty— The Real 
Meaning of his Gift. 

CHAPTER XI 
Distinguished Visitors 

General Lafayette — Henry Clay — President James K. Polk — 
President Buchanan — General Joseph Lane — Stephen A. Douglas — 
Mrs. Jefferson Davis — President Andrew Johnson — President Theo- 
dore Roosevelt — Woodrow Wilson, Just Before Becoming Candidate 
for the Presidency — Vice-President Sherman — Vice-President Mar- 
shall — State Literary and Historical Speakers — Edwin Markham — 
James Bryce — Henry Cabot Lodge — ^Jules Jusserand — Ex-President 
Taft — Frenchmen of the High Commission during World War — 
General Tyson — Dorothea Dix Several Times — Dr. Anna Howard 
Shaw — ^Miss Rankin the First Congresswoman. 



16 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XII 
These Later Days 

Life Story of a Nation — ^Wm. L. Saunders and Colonial Records 
— Self-Consciousness in History Comes Later — Early Manufactur- 
ing — Hand-loom Products — Home Dyes — Women's Handicrafts — 
Early Before-the-war Cotton Factories — None in Wake — Cotton 
Gins in Wake — Cotton-seed Oil made in Wake Before the War — 
Pianos made in Raleigh — Paper Mills in Wake: Joseph Gales' and 
Royster's — Disposal of Latter Mill — Agricultural Methods — ^War- 
time Impetus to Manufacturing — Home Work Given Out to 
Country Women — Sewing — Knitting — Manufactures in Raleigh 
for Confederacy — Powder — Guncaps — Cartridges — Matches — 
Curry-combs — Metal Findings — John Brown Pikes — Wooden Shoes 
— Cotton Cloth Found in Devereux Mansion — Cotton Cultiva- 
tion — Reconstruction Period — Priestley Mangum and Man gum 
Terrace — Developed More Perfectly — Walter Page — State Chroni- 
cle — ^Watauga Club — Agricultural and Mechanical College — Growth 
of Manufactures in Raleigh — Rural Free Delivery — Progress all 
over Wake County. 



H 



CHAPTER I 




Introductory 

T is difficult to realize beginnings. 
Let us turn back the stream of 
time, let us look at our old famil- 
iar places in the light of former 
days. No one has stepped twice 
in the same river, and its onward flow changes 
all shores. 

Who has not said to himself, as he passed 
along famihar streets and considered familiar 

landmarks, — .77,7 

"I wish Id seen 

The many towns this town has been.'' 

So it is with this country we live in and pos- 
sess. When we go abroad upon the hilly 
roads of this pleasant inland County of Wake, 
when we note the outlines of its ridges agamst 
the sky, and see field and forest and farm, and 
scenes of man's long residence, we often wish 
to think backward and perceive clearly these 
old well-known scenes with the eyes of the 
first European explorers as they threaded 

[17] 



18 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

their way through forest glades, peopled at 
that time only by the red men. 

The first historian of North Carolina, the 
explorer Lawson, although known to have 
passed through the central part of this State, 
cannot actually be proved to have trod the 
soil of Wake County. One authority on our 
local history thinks that he did, and indeed it 
seems more than possible. 

Lawson made a journey through western 
and middle Carolina in the year seventeen 
hundred or thereabout. His course was a long 
loop coming out of South Carolina and cross- 
ing the Catawba and the ''Realkin" (or Yad- 
kin) and other streams, continuing in a north- 
easterly direction and then due east, until he 
finally reached the settlements of the North 
Carolina seaboard. His descriptive travel- 
ler's journal reads as fresh and as crisply In- 
teresting as if penned last year, and we get the 
impression of a writer alert in every sense and 
perception. He was a fine optimistic fellow, 
and though he was hired no doubt to praise 
the new colony, and so draw In settlers from 
among the readers of his account, yet no one 
can close his book without the feeling that he 



INTRODUCTORY 19 

too, like many another coming to North Car- 
olina to live, soon fell in love with the climate, 
and delighted to bask under the sunny sky. 

Hear his account of leaving ''Acconeechy 
Town" (which must have been near Hills- 
borough), and marching twenty miles east- 
ward over "stony rough ways" till he reached 
"a mighty river." '^This river is as large as 
the Realkin, the south bank having tracts of 
good land, the banks high, and stone quarries. 
We got then to the north shore, which is poor 
white sandy soil with scrubby oaks. We went 
ten miles or so, and sat down at the falls of a 
large creek where lay mighty rocks, the water 
making a strange noise as of a great many 
water wheels at once. This I take to be the 
falls of News Creek, called by the Indians 
We-Quo-Whom." 

For a first trip through an unknown wilder- 
ness, guided only by a compass, this suggests 
the neighborhood, and describes the granite 
ridges that traverse Wake County, and pro- 
duce the Falls of Neuse, where the river flows 
across one of these barriers. 

During the next days' travel he comments 
on the land ''abating of its height" and ''mixed 



20 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

with pines and poor soil." This, too, 
makes it sound as if he perceived the swift 
transition which may be seen in the eastern 
part of Wake County from one zone to the 
next, from the hard-wood growth to the pine 
timber, and from a clay to a sandy soil. 

Lawson highly praised the midland of North 
Carolina, between the sandy land and the 
mountains, and it is pleasant to read his en- 
thusiastic account of this home of ours, and 
learn the impression it made on a good observ- 
er in its pristine state, and before the white 
man's foot had become familiar with the long 
trading path, which must have crossed west, 
near this section, but not certainly in the exact 
longitude of Wake County. 

This trail is known to have passed Hills- 
borough, and to have crossed Haw River at 
the Haw Fields. It may well have followed 
the same course, as later did the Granville 
Tobacco Path, which certainly traversed 
Wake County near Raleigh. 

Wake County was one of the latest of the 
pre-Revolutionary counties to be set off from 
the rest, and its boundaries were not in any 
sense natural boundaries, dependent upon 



INTRODUCTORY 



21 



natural barriers or the course of streams, but 
were run and divided for purely political 
reasons. 

The story of the making and naming of 
Wake County is an interesting one, and prop- 
erly to tell it requires some general account of 
the Colony of North Carolina and its begin- 
nings. 

The first settlement of the Carolinas was 
begun under the charter of a company of 
English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors. If 
these owners received their quit-rents as speci- 
fied, they did not take much further interest 
in their plantations, nor molest the settlers; 
hence, the northern colony, being so neglected 
and more isolated, was ever the freest of all 
the Old Thirteen; one might even say the 
freest and easiest of them. Having no good 
harbor, and hidden behind the sand-bars from 
the storms of Hatteras, it enjoyed its immun- 
ity. Not being easily reached from outside, 
it did as its people chose with governors and 
edicts, dodged its taxes, harbored fugitives, 
and governed its own affairs quite comfort- 
ably. 



22 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

The Lords Proprietors employed John 
Locke, the great English philosopher, to draw 
up a form of government for their two infant 
colonies, and when he did so a more unsuitable 
set of constitutional provisions for a thinly 
settled state would be hard to find. 

This '^Fundamental Constitution" was a 
confused and complicated plan full of strange 
titles and orders of nobility, with Its ''Land- 
graves" and Its "Caciques," a plan which It 
would have been hard enough to follow In a 
populous society, with no will of Its own; and 
which it was quite Impossible to carry out in 
a sparsely peopled edge of the wilderness' 
where the principal aim in life of the inhabit- 
ants was to escape all outside coercion, and to 
delight In space and liberty. 

The confusion brought about by this fam- 
ous Locke Constitution was also a cause of 
this glorious opportunity, eagerly grasped by 
the colonists, to avoid outside Interference, as 
well as dispense with all the Inconveniences 
of home rule and superfluous government. 

Still another cause of freedom was the rapid 
succession of governors sent by the Lords 
Proprietors, some grossly incompetent, some 



INTRODUCTORY 23 

most tyrannical, and all objectionable to the 
temper of the colony even when of average 
diligence, or because of that diligence. 

The later Royal governors were on the 
whole better men, but the custom had gone 
on too long for them to subdue those who had 
defied so long and so successfully any other 
government save their own. 

Again, the liberty of North Carolina was 
favored simply by the shape of the coast as 
mentioned above, indented as it is by sounds 
and wide tide-water rivers, intersected by 
great swamps, and the whole shut in from the 
highway of nations by shallows and sand-bars. 
Even neighborhoods were secluded from each 
other by sounds and estuaries, while the whole 
was protected from outside interference. The 
individual planter scarcely saw a dozen folk 
outside of his own family in a year. 

This freedom of the free in North Carolina 
was well known, and many came to her bor- 
ders to enjoy it. 

The adventurous, then as now, longed for 
a wilderness in which to wander; the hunter 
wanted game, and found abundance there. 



24 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Religious sects, persecuted elsewhere, were 
unmolested in North Carolina; dissenters and 
Quakers could settle in peace. Indeed the 
colonists, like Sir John Falstaff, had almost 
forgotten what ''the inside of a church was 
like." Those also who wanted to rub out 
their reckoning and begin life over again, could 
do so unquestioned, and those who simply 
wanted to make a living, could make it al- 
most too easily for their own welfare, by half 
cultivating the rich bottom-lands. 

At no time were there any more really crim- 
inal persons in North Carolina, in proportion to 
the population than there were in Virginia, al- 
though there may well have been more fugi- 
tives from the law in the strip of no-man's- 
land that intervened between North Carolina 
and Virginia before the dividing line was run 
and agreed upon. 

One may read and smile at the witty libel of 
Colonel William Byrd of Westover, and note 
how this colony and its liberty roused the ire 
of the aristocratic Virginian. 

He regards it as a big brother does a very 
impertinent smaller one who has run away 
and is making faces from over the fence. His 



INTRODUCTORY 25 

chuckles are a bit spiteful as he describes the 
inferiority, compared with Virginia, of the 
^^Rogues Harbor," this ^'Redemptioners Ref- 
uge." He waxes sarcastic over their over- 
primitive homes, and habits of living, choosing 
extreme examples; he refers to their lack of 
piety and churches, adverts to their love of 
liquor and laziness, their lack of baptism for 
their children and of the sanction of church 
ceremony for the union of the parents, and 
then, having had his merciless fling at them, he 
unwillingly acknowledges that the dividing 
line will have to be run fifteen miles or so north 
of the line that Virginia has always been claim- 
ing. 

He is also forced to record that all the set- 
tlers on this strip of territory were glad to hear 
that they had been set ofl^ into North Carolina 
forever, but seems also to regret that by this 
means these undesirables and border ruffians 
were deprived of chance for future amend- 
ment. 

Colonel Byrd coveted the pleasure of seeing 
them put to rights, although the including of 
them in Virginia would have seemed to spoil 
the high moral average of that colony accord- 
ing to his telling. 



26 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

The fundamental nature of our population 
was sound and wholesome, incentive to crime 
was lacking; there was plenty of a rude sort, 
no crowding for any, and the excess of liberty 
was better endured there than in the west of 
of the eighteen-fifties, where there was gold, 
and the lust of it, to excite men's ambition. 

Colonists were coming in great numbers by 
the middle of the eighteenth century. Great 
Indian wars were fought to a conclusion, and 
the west was opened up more and more, as 
people pushed up the great rivers. By 1765, 
Mecklenburg and Rowan had filled up, faster 
perhaps than the intervening lands. The soil 
grew more fertile farther west. Scotch-Irish, 
Moravian and Pennsylvania "Dutch", second 
generation pioneers, came down the Piedmont 
and settled the pleasant valleys. 

A few years later, Salisbury and Charlotte 
were thriving little frontier towns and Hills- 
borough was almost as large as it is today. 

For many years after Col. William Byrd and 
Edward Mosely had surveyed the dividing line, 
Wake County was but an undistinguished part 
of the middle western woods, with here and 
there a settler; but by 1765 it had become ad- 



INTRODUCTORY 27 

joining parts of the counties of Johnston and 
Orange. 

It was in this same year that William Tryon 
came to be the new Royal Governor of North 
Carolina, and the colony became daily more 
prosperous, the west having filled up as stated, 
while the eastern precincts grew rich and be- 
came refined in their ideas of comfort and even 
luxury. Those eastern folk enjoyed agricul- 
tural abundance from the fertile soil, they 
plied a coastwise trade, and owned large ships 
trading to Bermuda and even to English sea- 
ports. Their sons were sent to be educated 
in England or in the northern colleges, and the 
leading men showed "a prevalence of excel- 
lent education" although there were no col- 
leges and few schools worth the name in all 
Carolina. 

The different levels of rank were as well 
marked in the east as in Virginia at that time, 
but in the west, in Carolina, as in western 
Virginia, the settlers were mostly Presbyter- 
ians and other dissenters, were small farmers, 
and did not own slaves, which were always the 
rule for working the broad plantations in the 
tide-water country. 



28 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

These western folk were often pious, but If 
by chance some one was careless in religion 
he was all the more eager for liberty. Pio- 
neers, and the sons of pioneers, some settled 
and some pressed on, piercing the wooded 
passes of the mountains and faring over into 
Kentucky and Tennessee. They were the 
second generation in the colony, Americans 
born, who cared nothing for the King and the 
''Old Home," but rejoiced to find the whole 
boundless continent before them. Woods- 
men and explorers these, like Daniel Boone, 
who once settled for a little time in western 
North Carolina, but felt himself crowded 
when he could see smoke from a neighbor's 
fire closer than twelve miles of wilderness 
away. 

This was the Old North State when Tryon 
came from England to his difficult task, that 
of bending the pride of the east, and subdu- 
ing the independence of the west, and thus 
governing the heterogeneous mixture. 

Tryon had many good qualifications. It is 
certain by evidence that he must have been 
a fine figure of a man; he had been a soldier; 
his ability was far above average; he was the 



INTRODUCTORY 29 

possessor of fine tact, reinforced by an Iron 
will, and a determination to govern at all 
costs. His first problem was the trouble 
about the stamp tax and he handled the news 
of its repeal In a masterly manner, gaining 
from it the full advantage in behalf of the 
Royal Government. Also he cunningly util- 
ized the joy and good humor over this repeal 
as an opportunity for asking money to build a 
governor's mansion In New Berne, then the 
seat of government. 

When we think of the dislike of all America 
for the word "taxes" at that date, and when 
we remember how unwilling our fathers then 
were, and their descendants still are, to spend 
money for governmental show and glory, 
Tryon is in this matter shown to be a com- 
manding and astute manager of men. His 
ascendancy over the lower house of deputies, 
and his gaining so much of his desires from 
them seem little short of marvelous. 

He received fifteen thousand pounds in all 
for building his ''palace" as it began to be call- 
ed, and when this was finished it was the finest 
building of the kind in all America. Tryon 
reconstructed there, as best he could, the 



30 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

English ideal of polite society, and held social 
festivities with all dignity and due decorum; 
but the accomplishment of his heart's desire 
brought him a thriving crop of jealous com- 
ment from the wealthy planters who did not 
relish his sitting to receive them in his 
*'elbow chair," nor his haughty airs in his fine 
house. 

As to the western farmers in their log-cabins^ 
although they were a thousand times better 
off than their brethren of the English country- 
side, and though they did not call themselves 
either poor or miserable, they lived hardily 
and had little respect for luxury, and no pa- 
tience at all with what seemed to them sinful 
extravagance. Moreover they had a set of 
excellent grievances. They justly complained 
of the large fees for the grants and deeds to 
their land, extorted by the sheriffs and county 
clerks. The amounts of these fees are not set 
down as so enormous, but the King's officers 
were constantly accused of over-charging, and 
of charging twice and pocketing the difference. 
Also these dues must be paid in real money, 
of which there was very little in circulation in 
the Colony and which then had a much greater 
purchasing power than now. 



INTRODUCTORY 31 

Thus the men of the back country were fer- 
menting with a spirit of obstinate opposition 
to constituted authority, while taxes were 
some years in arrears. That there was op- 
pression and abuse seems quite certain, and 
also that this oppression was caused by the 
arbitrary and offensive behavior of the men 
in charge of the tax collecting. 

Mingled with the ever-growing dislike of 
their tyranny was indignation over the ex- 
pense of building that great fine palace, and 
added to that, an ill-defined irritation against 
what we might call pernicious high-brow-ism 
in some of the more prominent officials, es- 
pecially Edmund Fanning and John Frohock. 

Fanning was called Tryon's son-in-law, but 
authority for that is wanting. He was a 
graduate of Harvard College and a man tact- 
less and arrogant, who felt and showed con- 
tempt for these frontier folk. The hatred that 
centered upon him cannot be accounted for in 
any other way. Not one voice has been raised 
in vindication of his doings until more than 
a hundred years had passed since he left 
North Carolina. The sting of disdain out- 
lasts blows and injuries In the memory, and 



32 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Fanning and Frohock were so hated that they 
became the subjects of the first popular bal- 
lads native to North Carolina, mere prose not 
expressing the strong feelings of the people 
against them, and an ante-Revolutionary 
"Hymn of Hate" being necessary. 

The Governor went to the western part of 
the State In 1770 to compose the trouble that 
was brewing there, which was the beginning 
of what Is called the Regulators War, but 
he does not seem to have gone to the root of the 
matter. He simply told the people to be 
good, and while he had Fanning tried, allowed 
him to be white-washed and fined only a 
penny for each of the extortions as proven. 
Tryon could not read the signs of the times 
and left discontent behind him. 

The Regulators were full of bitterness. It 
was a feeling rather than a reasoned opinion. 
The War of the Regulation, as It seems to our 
partial Information, was the rising of a ground- 
swell of Democracy. 

It bore some analogy to the spirit of oppo- 
sition which has sometimes possessed the 
mountain folk of our own and adjoining states 
when they thought of revenue collectors and 
United States revenue officers. 



INTRODUCTORY 33 

Mr. Frank Nash has called this ''political 
near-sightedness" In one of his historical 
papers, and that expresses the condition better 
than any other phrase. 

The backwoodsman who had traveled far 
and subdued a bit of the wilderness for his 
own, wished to be let alone in possession of 
what he had so hardly won. He had fought and 
fended for himself against crude nature and 
savage foes, had made his clearing and built 
his cabin with unaided arm. He could scarce- 
ly acknowledge the right of any one to dictate 
to him. Like the Irishman who said he owed 
nothing to posterity by reason that posterity 
had never been of any benefit to him, the 
frontiersman considered talk of this govern- 
ment, and of taxes owing to it, quite imperti- 
nent, while the British throne and the king 
over the water had no sentimental appeal to 
him. 

His case was parallel to that of the moun- 
taineer who finds a far-away government lay- 
ing hands upon his home-made whiskey. He 
has made it out of his own corn, which he has 
often cultivated by hand on a hillside too 
steep to plough, and he knows that this indul- 




The old sassafras tree ox the Capitol Square still 

ALIVE IN 1922. From this famous "deer stand" forty 

head of deer were shot by one hunter, within the 

memory of those alive in 1800. 



INTRODUCTORY 35 

gence Is denied him by an outside Influence 
and not of his own consent. 

No brief Is held for the moonshiner, but 
who can not understand the point of view of 
the Ignorant mountaineer? Our frontiersman 
reasoned much In the same way, and his fees 
and taxes seemed enormous to him, and In- 
deed were so, measured by his ability to pay 
in real money. 

It was In 1771 when Tryon returned west 
with the eastern militia to quell this distur- 
bance In Orange and Rowan, which grew 
daily more severe, and it was in that very 
year that Wake County came Into existence. 
The Regulators were most active in Orange 
and Rowan, and the best opportunity for 
getting together and talking politics was then 
even more than It Is now, court week, for 
that was the only time when the whole settle- 
ment turned out in a general manner. 

Tryon thought It would be a good thing to 
divide the counties, and, so doing, divide the 
courts and prevent so general a free discus- 
sion. He therefore influenced his council to 
set off four new counties, Guilford, Chatham, 
Surry, and Wake, as a measure for dividing 



36 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Up the Regulators and silencing their general 
discussions. The reason given in the enact- 
ment, however, is one of distance and greater 
convenience in attending court. This meas- 
ure was signed by Tryon in the spring of 1771. 

In the record of the expedition of that same 
spring against the Regulators, we find Tryon 
camped at Hunter's Lodge, the home of 
Theophllus Hunter in Wake County, and said 
to have been about four miles from the present 
southern boundary of the City of Raleigh. 

It is also of record that the (Ramsgate) 
Rhamkatt Road was laid off through the 
woods towards Hillsborough so as to avoid the 
rough hills of the Granville Tobacco Path, in 
hastening Tryon's military wagons. 

We also note that the sign and countersign 
of one of those days of delay in camp at Hunt- 
er's Lodge, as they waited for recruits, were 
the words "Wake" and ^'Margaret," which 
suggests strongly the origin of the name of the 
new county. The maiden name of the Gov- 
ernor's lady was Margaret Wake, and the 
new county might well have been named for 
her, especially as the parish was named St. 
Margaret's, after her baptismal name. Es- 



INTRODUCTORY 37 

ther Wake, that lovely vision whose tradition 
Is so persistent, cannot be absolutely proved 
to be more than an Imagination of the gallant 
Shocco Jones. She probably existed, but we 
cannot be certain of It now, and the name 
Wake Is easily accounted for without her aid. 
It has very recently been noted that in 
January, 1771, "the Honorable Miss Wake" 
gave two pounds sterling for the founding of a 
minister and teacher for the German settle- 
ment. This shows Esther a very kindly, 
lovely girl. 

Wake County was carved out of Orange for 
the most part, and included also a bit of John- 
ston and a little of Cumberland. In making 
of new counties around It later, it lost part of 
its first extent; but it was then, as now, the 
midmost county between the low country 
and the mountains, and Is approximately 
central between the Virginia line and the 
boundary of South Carolina. It is the level 
where the long-leaved pines of the lower 
lands yield to forests of hardwood trees, and the 
sandy soils pass definitely Into red clay. Its 
wonderful diversity of products is directly re- 
ferable to this variety of soil, and the two 



INTRODUCTORY 39 

edges of the county, eastern and western, are 
as distinct as though a hundred miles separat- 
ed their boundaries. 

The first ridges of any regularity of extent 
which cross the State from north to south, the 
first ripples of those folds which rise into the 
great Blue Ridge, cross Wake County. Al- 
most all varieties of soil not strictly alluvial 
are found in some part or another of Wake, 
and indeed there is often the greatest differ- 
ence in the constitution of the soil of different 
sides of the same field. The climate also is 
about the medium between the damp of the 
east and the keen light air of the mountain 
section. Neuse River and Its tributary creeks 
drain and water it well. Raleigh, the Capital 
of the State for more than a hundred years, 
occupies almost a central point In the County, 
and has been until now the only large town 
of the County. 



CHAPTER II 
The First Twenty-five Years 

ROM Theophilus Hunter's in 
Wake County, Tryon marched 
direct to the Battle of Alamance, 
where the Regulators were beat- 
en, their army dispersed, and six 
of their ringleaders quickly hung for treason. 
So thorough were his methods that all ac- 
tive hostility was then over. But although 
their armed resistance was quelled, the ''em- 
battled farmers" of North Carolina went to 
their homes with that bewildered feeling of 
frustration and utter disaster that left them 
neither self-confidence for future attempt, nor 
expectation of any redress for their crying 
grievances. The public debt which Tryon 
incurred in this expedition, added to the ar- 
rears bequeathed to him by his predecessors, 
was never paid; nor would it have been easy 
to collect from a people more and more indig- 
nant, more and more weaned from its alleg- 
iance to Great Britain. 

The New England Colonies treading the 
self-same path, sent emissaries to North Car- 

[40] 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 41 

ollna to test the temper of Its people, and 
never did sentiments of liberty meet greater 
sympathy, or aspirations for Independent ex- 
istence more favor. The people of North 
Carolina were ripe for revolution. Wrote 
Thomas JeflFerson at this time, "There Is no 
doubtfulness In North Carolina, no state Is 
more fixed or forward." 

In this year of transition and bitter brood- 
ing was held the first court In the new County 
of Wake, and w^e know who located the coun- 
ty seat at Wake Cross Roads, and named It 
Bloomsbury, which name had never appeared 
before in this place. This was also done by 
the Tryons, and the name of Bloomsbury 
must be referred to them, as being the name 
of a new suburb of London, just then being 
"developed" as we say of real estate ventures. 

Russell, Earl of Bedford, was building this 
part of London on a portion of his ancestral 
acres, and he Is said also to have been re- 
sponsible In some way for Tryon's appoint- 
ment as Colonial Governor. Russell Square, 
which Is so often mentioned In Thackeray's 
novel. Vanity Fair, as the home of the heroine, 
was In Bloomsbury, and Is the actual name of 



42 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

a street there. This name must have meant 
something of home and London to the Try- 
ons, as is shown by their giving it to this cor- 
ner of the wilderness. Here is a likely con- 
nection. 

On the contrary, we cannot see any reason 
why Joel Lane, born on this side of the ocean, 
and busy, enterprising wild-westerner as one 
might call him, should fancy and insist upon 
the name of Bloomsbury more than any other 
English name. He probably was glad to 
adopt a name which the Governor suggested 
for his tavern. This western Bloomsbury was 
a mere stopping place beside the Hillsborough 
Road, and the first court was held in the resi- 
dence or tavern of this Joel Lane, already one 
of Wake County's most prominent citizens. 
There was a jail of logs, and our first sherifi" 
was named Michael Rogers. Theophilus 
Hunter was a justice, and so were Joel Lane and 
several other of the men whose names occur 
first on the records. The old court corres- 
ponded to the English Quarter Sessions and 
has been long superseded by the later con- 
stitutional arrangements of North Carolina. 

There still stands, in the western part of 
Raleigh, a rather small house with a very 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 43 

Steep gambrel roof, In the style of architec- 
ture common at the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century and before, called the Dutch 
Colonial. This house used to face Boylan 
Avenue, standing a little back from the street, 
but was moved a few years ago, and now faces 
the south side of Hargett Street near the State 
Prison. 

The exact year of its erection is not known, 
but its architecture is of the same order as 
that of the house at Yorktown, Virginia, 
where Cornwallis surrendered to General 
Washington. 

It also resembles in angle of roof the little 
"Andrew Johnson Birthplace" which stands 
restored in Pullen Park, and another historic 
house at Edenton, where was held the Eden- 
ton Tea Party. The peculiar, quite steep 
slant of the roof over the second story has 
been disused in more modern houses, and 
serves as a means of dating the erection. 

This house on Hargett Street was once 
known as the "First Capitol," and was built 
by and belonged to Joel Lane. It may well 
have been new at the time we are describing 
It was considered a very fine house in its day, 
and is called the "best house within a hundred 
miles." 



44 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Probably those same old walls that we all 
have seen were those that sheltered the first 
county court, and there Tryon certainly 
stopped on his return from the military ex- 
pedition against the Regulators. It could 
scarcely have been built during the troubled 
times of the Revolution, and could well have 
been in existence in the year 1772, as it is of 
record that it was in 1781. 

On the street corner near to its first situa- 
tion a boulder has been placed, and a bronze 
tablet let into its side bears the following in- 
scription, placed there by the Daughters of 
the Revolution, Bloomsbury Chapter, in the 
year 1911. 

ON AND AROUND THIS SPOT STOOD THE OLD TOWN OF 
BLOOMSBURY OR WAKE COUNTY COURT HOUSE 

Which was erected and made the County Seat 
WHEN Wake County was established 
IN 1771. This place was the ren- 
dezvous OF A PART OF TyROn's 

Army when he marched 
against the Regu- 
lators in I 77 I 

Here met the Revolutionary Assembly in 1781, 

AND to this vicinity WAS REMOVED THE 

State seat of Government 
WHEN the Capital City 
OF Raleigh was 
incorporated 
in 1782. 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 45 

Tryon and his lady left North Carolina in 
1771 for New York State, he to become Gov- 
ernor there, and North Carolina never saw- 
either of them again. It Is said that they 
were glad to go In spite of having to leave the 
fine house they had built In New Berne, be- 
cause the climate had not suited their health 
nor the spirit of the colony their minds. 
When the Revolution came on, Tryon County 
in the west was promptly divided Into Lin- 
coln and Rutherford and the Governor's 
name thus expunged from our County roll; 
but the name of Wake spoke neither of de- 
feat nor oppression. 

Gallant North Carolina would not flout the 
Governor's lady, and Wake remained the 
name of a county, and shall ever remain so 
called, whether named originally for that 
lovely shadow, Esther Wake, or for her fair 
sister, Lady Tryon. 

The Revolution called on every man to rally 
to his colors. Tories were plentiful and active 
in North Carolina. The former Regulators 
strangely did not come to the help of the Con- 
gress very freely, but seem to have been cowed 
or disgusted with fighting, and stood aloof, 



46 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

not enlisting on either side. The Wake 
County mihtia volunteered, and from the 
sparse population many men went to war. 
We will not follow these, but, remaining at 
home, will mention a few points of distinctly 
Wake County history. 

We have already described Joel Lane's 
home, called the 'Tirst Capitol," and it was 
there that the General Assembly of North 
Carolina met in the month of June, 1781. 
The Capital of the State had been a movable 
institution for some time previous, being ap- 
pointed to meet at first one town and then 
another, according to the necessities of a 
country at war. Records were thus many a 
time lost, and it is wonderful that we possess 
intact as many as we do, considering the dif- 
ficulty of keeping up with such a shifting 
capital. As a measure of safety perhaps, 
Wake County was made the choice of this 
troubled year, almost the lowest ebb of the 
American cause. At this meeting Joel Lane 
was voted the sum of fifteen thousand pounds 
for the lodging and food of the General As- 
sembly and the pasturage for their horses. 
His guests must have been as addicted to 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 47 

fried chicken as the preachers are accused of 
being, for the next item of allowance is one to 
Vincent Vass, *'for candles and fowls" eigh- 
teen hundred pounds. 

These are not such great sums as they 
sound, for the colonial currency of paper 
money became extremely depreciated as the 
Revolution went on, just as the Confederate 
paper money did years afterward in the war 
between the States; and by this time it was 
worth no more of its face value than is in- 
dicated in the saying, "not worth a Continen- 
tal." 

A good horse would bring twelve hundred 
pounds in the money of that year, and we may 
estimate by this that the members of Assem- 
bly probably had no more chicken than they 
needed. 

Another event of this Wake County session 
of the Assembly, much more noteworthy, was 
the inauguration of a Governor of North Caro- 
lina, which was, prophetically, held for the first 
time in Wake County inside the area of the 
future capital of the State, while as yet it was 
not. The war-time Governor was Thomas 
Burke of Orange County, and the announce- 



48 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

ment of his election to the Governor's office 
was formally conveyed to him at the tavern 
at Wake Court House, at the beginning of 
this first Assembly there convened. 

His speech of acceptance, his inaugural, on 
that occasion, refers to the difficulty of his 
task, and especially mentions the activities 
of the Tories, the condition of the colony al- 
most verging on civil war, and the lack of 
proper support from the people to the State 
Government. 

Burke was a well educated man, and had 
assisted in drafting the State Constitution 
adopted for North Carolina at the time of 
the Declaration of Independence at Philadel- 
phia. He was an Irishman from Galway and 
a Catholic, but although he lived in a far more 
intolerant age than ours, the fact of his relig- 
ious belief was never mentioned against him. 
According to English law, which was the 
foundation of the law of the colonies, none 
but Protestants could hold office, and of Pro- 
testants only Church of England men. In the 
colonies, however, this rule had already been 
ignored before the Revolution, and dissenters 
had become governors of North Carolina 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 49 

under the old government. No one now asked 
anything of Governor Burke save as to his 
patriotism. 

Burke lived near Hillsborough, and was 
further distinguished as being the very first 
of the poets In this State, except only those 
nameless ballad-makers among the Regulators. 
His further adventures are of Interest. 

In September of that same year, 1781, the 
Tories under David Fanning (a name of bad 
odor, but no relation that we know to that 
Edmund first mentioned) came up In force 
from the southern counties, with the publicly 
avowed aim of capturing the Governor of 
North Carolina. 

They raided Hillsborough, then called the 
capital. David Fanning was a native of Wake 
County, and a Tory bushwhacker; he knew 
the lay of the land. His band surprised the 
defenceless village of Hillsborough one night, 
and while Burke and his friends seem to have 
been expecting them, and to have resisted with 
spirit, the Tories were too many for them, and 
Burke was captured and carried to Wilming- 
ton, then in British possession. Thence he 
was taken to Sullivans, and later to James 



50 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Island off the coast of South Carolina. Being 
held imprisoned by the expanse of ocean about 
this island, he was set free on parole there. 
He felt most unsafe, his life being threatened 
by a lawless band of Tories living on the is- 
land, and was forced to hide from place to 
place. 

Being, as he said, in such danger of his life, 
he broke his parole and escaped, returning to 
North Carolina. Arrived there he immedi- 
ately resumed his office as Governor. The 
leaders of the army and of civil affairs do not 
seem to have known quite what to do about 
his actions. A man at liberty on parole, even 
though supposedly confined by the limits of 
an island and who had broken that parole to 
escape, appeared to them not quite an hon- 
orable man, much less a hero, and as such, 
unworthy to hold the office highest in the 
state. Burke, however, felt himself justified, 
and showed no scruples on the subject. 

On April the twenty-second, 1782, Burke 
having at last found that the sentiment of 
the people and the Assembly was against 
him, asked of his own accord to resign, and 
the Assembly consented with great alacrity. 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 51 

The name of Alexander Martin was pro- 
posed to supersede Burke, while a vote of 
thanks and recognition of his service was pass- 
ed to permit his retiring with full dignity. 

Burke died during the next year at 
Hillsborough, his home. Burke County, North 
Carolina, was named for him, not for the other 
greater Irishman, Edmund Burke, who gave 
expression in England to the creed of American 
freedom. Burke Square, where our Gover- 
nor's mansion stands today, was also named 
for him and no other, and had he not fallen 
upon such trying times and puzzling cir- 
cumstances, his name might shine undimmed 
by even a bit of poor judgment. 

It has always appeared to the careless 
reader of history that the interval between 
the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown and 
the association of this state with the rest of 
the Union was an eneventful and negligible 
time, because it was not signalized by drama- 
tic events, as was the period of Revolutionary 
struggle just past. 

We are required to count those seven or 
eight years long years, and to conceive the 
various perplexities they brought, in order to 



52 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

see what a risk and what an experiment this 
government of ours was considered at first, 
and how many new questions pressed for so- 
lution upon the leaders everywhere, especially 
upon the members of the Constitutional Con- 
vention of Philadelphia. 

It was clear enough that the Articles of 
Confederation which had been strong enough 
to unite the colonies against a common foe 
during the Revolution, could not sufficiently 
hold together the differing interests of the 
different states, during their period of recov- 
ery from the damage of the war. It was to 
meet those new internal dangers that the Con- 
stitution of the United States was framed. 

Our fathers builded better than they knew. 
When drawn up, the Constitution was sub- 
mitted to each of the states for its approval 
by vote of its representatives. Nine states, 
by approving the articles, would make the 
Constitution valid for all. North Carolina 
summoned her Constitutional Convention to 
consider the new Constitution and recommend 
any amendments considered necessary to its 
adoption by herself. 

This was done, and those amendments 
which were recommended stand mostly em- 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 53 

bodied in the United States Constitution 
today, all four being concerned with personal 
and states rights, which were not considered 
sufficiently guarded in the first draft, to satisfy 
our individualistic ideas in old North Carolina. 

At the second Constitutional Convention in 
Fayetteville, amendments had been adopted 
by the Philadelphia convention, many states 
had already ratified, and North Carolina was 
content to fall into the procession. This 
assembly voted to ratify the Constitution at 
once, this being in November, 1789, and 
North Carolina being next to the last state to 
enter the Union. This is all general history, 
but what makes it necessary to review it here 
is the fact that the location of the City of 
Raleigh, and its choice as our permanent capi- 
tal, was mixed and sandwiched in with the 
grave and searching consideration of the 
Articles of Constitution. This was because 
the task was set for this first convention, not 
only of criticising and later ratifying the Con- 
stitution of the United States, but also of 
choosing a proper seat of government or 
state capital for North Carolina. 

*'The first Constitutional Convention of 
North Carolina was held at Hillsborough on 



54 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

the twenty-fifth of July, in the year of our 
Lord 1788, in the thirteenth year of the in- 
dependence of the United Colonies of America, 
in pursuance of the resolution of the last 
General Assembly, for the purposes of deliber- 
ating and determining on a proper form of 
Federal Government; and for fixing the unal- 
terable seat of government for this State." 

Thus runs the opening phrase of the report 
of this convention. A full delegation was 
present, five from each county represented 
the best minds and most patriotic hearts of 
the land. The delegation from Wake con- 
sisted of Joel Lane, Thomas Hines, Brittain 
Saunders, James Hinton and Nathaniel Jones. 
Governor Samuel Johnson presided as Gov- 
ernor of the Colony. The debate of the de- 
legates shows a good deal of opposition to 
ratification on the part of the extreme Jef- 
fersonians, led by Willie Jones of Halifax. 
The second part of their task, that of fixing 
an "unalterable seat of government" was at- 
tended with many jealousies and bickerings. 
This is a matter of tradition as well as of re- 
cord, and even mixed into the conventional 
phrases we may today trace bitter rivalry be- 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 55 

tween the west and the east, between one town 
and the other. Tradition has it that Wilhe 
Jones was a master at log-rolling and took a 
hand for his friends in this free-for-all contest. 
The first motion making this business the 
order of the day was made by Mr. Rutherford 
of Rowan, seconded by Mr. Steele, his col- 
league, also of Rowan. "Resolved, that this 
Convention tomorrow at four o'clock in the 
afternoon fix on a proper place for the seat of 
government." 

This resolution was passed but protested 
against by Mr. Blount of Beaufort County. 
Next day, accordingly, a committee was se- 
lected to choose places for the Convention to 
vote upon in turn "Exact spot not to be fixed, 
but that it be left to the discretion of the 
Assembly to ascertain the exact spot; provided 
it be within ten miles of the point or place de- 
termined by this Convention." 

This defined indefiniteness is accounted for 
by considering that the provision was made in 
order to prevent the speculation in land that 
could suddenly be brought to pass if the spot 
should be more definitely located. Besides, 
we may consider that conditions as to water 










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THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 57 

and water courses, and levels and slopes 
were not entirely known, and room for ad- 
justment would be afforded in a twenty-mile 
diameter. 

The following places were voted on by the 
Convention. Smithfield, Tarborough, Fay- 
etteville. The Fork of Haw and Deep Rivers, 
Mr. Isaac Hunter's Plantation in Wake 
County (placed in nomination by Air. Ire- 
dell of Chowan), New Berne, Hillsborough. 

On ballot Mr. Isaac Hunter's plantation 
in Wake County was fixed on for the future 
location of the Capital in its immediate 
neighborhood. This vote was taken on Au- 
gust second, 1788. 

Willie Jones of Halifax (being, as a living 
man an astute politician, and none the less 
still to be reverenced as one of our constructive 
statesmen so long after his death), seems to 
have moved on the stormy waters at this junc- 
ture, and to have shaped things to his mind. 

Just why he wished to locate the Capital 
in Wake, and why he moved in such myster- 
ious ways to that end, the terse record does 
not show; but tradition insists that he did a 
good deal of the dealing, and as we are too far 



./ 



58 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

down the river of time to review his conclus- 
ions, we will just be satisfied with the result, 
and be glad he made so good a selection, using 
his so great Influence to bring it about. From 
out the past comes a whisper about the recipe 
which he used for apple toddy, and about 
supper at Joel Lane's tavern. Surely they 
slander the city's founders who repeat this 
old story! Scarcely was the vote counted 
when Mr. Barry Grove of Fayetteville entered 
a protest on the following grounds : "First, 
because the situation chosen Is unconnected 
with commerce and can never rise above the 
degree of a village. The same mistake has 
been made in the selection of Wllllamsburgh 
and of Annapolis, and the result is seen there. 
Secondly, because Fayetteville would have a 
great effect upon commerce, being a thriving 
town at the head of navigation." 

This protest was signed with one hundred 
nineteen names, and would indicate that the 
opposing factions, though strong, did not get 
together quite early enough to thwart Mr. 
Jones or accomplish their own wish. 

The west wanted Fayetteville or Hills- 
borough; the eastern section was divided, each 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 59 

delegate wanting the chief town of most con- 
venient location in his own immediate neigh- 
borhood ; and rather than vote for a rival town 
would vote for a western place, by this means 
restraining the rival from profiting. 

Thus the vote being so close and so doubt- 
ful, a committee was appointed to report later 
upon this matter, when the constitutional 
convention should meet at Fayetteville the 
next year. 

Accordingly, in the autumn of 1789, the 
Convention ratified the United States Con- 
stitution with far less wordy war than they 
had expended upon the question of a site 
for the capital the year before. The com- 
mittee which was to report upon the matter 
of the seat of government was not ready at that 
time and made its recommendations two years 
later, by which time all the tumult and shouting 
had finally died, and the matter was settled 
once for all in favor of the Wake County site. 

Fayetteville still felt aggrieved and said so, 
and her indignation was reasonable enough, 
but such compromises are very often made. 

Perhaps we should be justified in raising a 
statue to the memory of that great Jefi^er- 








|»^Ci^fe. 









THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 61 

sonian, Willie Jones, as the real founder of 
Raleigh, for to his interest the actual parcel- 
ing out seems due. Nine commissioners were 
given the task of laying off ground for the 
new city, and selecting for that purpose among 
the various tracts offered. 

The names of the commissioners were 
James Martin, Hargett, Dawson, McDowell, 
Blount, Harrington, Bloodworth, Person, and 
Willie Jones, and while all did not actually 
ride over the various lands, all have their 
names perpetuated in the names of streets of 
Raleigh. 

Joel Lane's tract was chosen, and a thous- 
and acres of land bought from him. Part of 
this land was originally Mr. Lane's, but part 
belonged to Theophilus Hunter of Hunter's 
Lodge, was sold by him to Mr. Lane a short 
time before, and was bargained for by the 
commissioners as part of the Lane tract. The 
original Lane land ended at Morgan Street 
and all south of that line was Mr. Hunter's. 
This purchase is the greater part of the land 
where the city of Raleigh now stands. At 
that time it was covered with primeval forest, 
and some old oaks are still standing which 



62 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

must have shaded the surveyors who run off 
the streets and carved our city squares out of 
the virgin wilderness. 

On Friday March thirtieth, 1792, the 
final decision was made, and boundaries locat- 
ed. The price paid to Lane for the whole 
tract of land was two thousand seven hundred 
fifty dollars, which does not sound like a fancy 
price for a selected square mile of land. 

William Christmas was the surveyor, and 
was paid one hundred ten dollars for his work 
after he had finished laying out substantially 
the same streets and squares that we tread 
in our daily walk at this date. 

The Capitol Square is the largest, in the 
center of the city. Four other squares were 
left open to form parks, and named Caswell, 
Nash, Burke, after the three Governors of 
those names, while the fourth was called 
Moore, after the first Attorney General, who 
afterwards became Associate Justice of the 
United States Supreme Court. Streets were 
named after Stephen Cabarrus, William Le- 
noir, William R. Davie, and Joel Lane, be- 
sides the commissioners as named above. 
The streets which ended at Capitol Square, 



THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 63 

and those bounding It were named after the 
leading towns of the state at that time— 
Hillsborough, Fayettevllle, Halifax, New 
Berne, Salisbury, Edenton, Wilmington, ex- 
cept Morgan, which is named for what was 
then a judicial district. 

One wonders why there was not a Charlotte 
Street, according to the plan. Fayettevllle 
Street was at one time afterwards known as 
LaFayette Street, but the change has not per- 
sisted. 

Raleigh was born a city. No wandering 
pre-hlstoric cows laid out her streets and 
marked her thoroughfares, as was the case 
with older settlements. Her name was ready 
for her two hundred years before, and was be- 
stowed at the suggestion of Governor Alex- 
ander xMartin, and her charter had been grant- 
ed in 1587 when Sir Walter Raleigh attempted 
a permanent settlement on Roanoke Island. 
This historic name was inevitably hers. It 
was the only name that could have been given 
with propriety to a capital of North Carolina. 
The Infant city stood clothed in forest, with 
streets blazed among the trees. The four 
avenues which ended at the Capitol Square, 



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THE FIRST TWEXT^'-FIVE YEARS 65 

then named Union Square, were much broader 
than the rest, and the only criticism we can 
offer to the worthy committee who laid out 
our town is that they might have made all 
the streets as wide, seeing that land was 
cheap and paving unknown. It is not wonder- 
ful that no vision of automobile traffic and 
street railway system visited their minds, but 
they did show a great foresight in giving us a 
park system, foresight which their descend- 
ants have done their best to nullify, for in our 
great economy we have built up two of these 
four squares which were left open for us and 
for our children, and we shall always have 
to keep repenting our short-sightedness. 

After the City of Raleigh was thus laid out 
and named, lots were sold to pay for the 
building of a State House. The commission 
who attended to this were R. Bennehan, 
John Macon (brother of Nathaniel Macon), 
Robert Goodloe, Nathaniel Bryan, and Theo- 
philus of Hunter's Lodge. 

The architect of the first Capitol was Rhody 
Atkins, whose name was not again mentioned. 
The floor plan was quite similar in form to the 
present building, but much smaller, plainer, 



66 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

and built of rough brick. The brick was 
burned for the building on lots 138 and 154 of 
the original survey. 

The old Capitol turned its back on Hills- 
borough street. It faced the east according to 
the custom of many another public building 
erected at that epoch. It cost the State of 
North Carolina twenty thousand dollars when 
complete, and was enough enclosed in 1794 
so that the Legislature met that year for the 
first time in the "New State House" in the 
City of Raleigh. 

The members of assembly boarded in the 

neighboring farm houses and at Joel Lane's 

tavern, and rode in to their work each day on 

horse-back. Scarcely anyone lived as yet 

in the limit of the city proper. The State 

House stood in solitude, surrounded by its 

mighty oaks for the most part of the first de- 

I cade. Raleigh was like any other town 

I created by legislative act, crude and strug- 

[gling at first. 

Washington was the same kind of capital 
on a far larger scale; but both have long out- 
grown their awkward age. 




CHAPTER III 
Early ff^orthies 

IFE just after the Revolution was 
a much simpler manner of exist- 
ence than it is now, especially as 
regards worldly possessions. In 
1800, there were but ten thous- 
and people in all Wake County, and many of 
these were negro slaves, although not so many 
servants were thought necessary in proportion 
to the white folk as it was customary to hold 
in the eastern counties where the lowland 
climate made agricultural labor difficult for 
Caucasians. 

The names of the most prominent citizens 
of Wake County in the last days of the eigh- 
teenth century and the beginning of the nine- 
teenth were the same surnames which usually 
occur in the meager records of assemblies and 
conventions of the early pre-revolutionary 
time. These fathers as members and as del- 
egates showed much practical sense and won- 
derful comprehension of public questions; 
they were also possessors of many a fertile acre 
of uncleared forest; their spirit was that of the 



68 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

eager pioneer whose prospects were fair before 
him, but whose present possessions did not 
hamper him enough to become a daily care. 

The Importance of the cotton crop was not 
yet apparent. Whitney's cotton gin was not 
yet Invented, and the four or five pounds of 
cotton which one person could laboriously seed 
In a day, would not afford so much lint as was 
needed for home consumption. Those were 
the days of the small cotton patch planted to 
supply the spinning wheel and loom, and each 
child and every servant of the home must 
seed his shoe full of cotton, each winter even- 
ing before going to bed, as his regular task. 

Tobacco was the crop which brought In 
money or exchange. It exhausted the new 
land very quickly, and was hard to transport 
over the rough roads of the settlements, but 
it was nevertheless an all-Important means of 
paying for any Imported goods, and a regular 
medium of exchange In North Carolina as for- 
merly also in Virginia. Much of what we 
read in that time before railroads, about the 
prime Importance of locating the towns upon 
rivers, was considered true, because it was an 
easy means of readily transporting tobacco to 
a good market. 



EARLY WORTHIES 69 

Wheat was raised in sufficiency and corn 
in great abundance. The response of the 
virgin soil was wonderful and the climate was 
as fine then as now. The farmer whose family- 
did not live in plenty was a man who would 
not take the trouble to raise the food he could 
easily cultivate. Great herds of pigs roamed 
the woods and lived on acorns and nuts, half 
wild, only coming at intervals to be fed a little 
corn when they heard the shrill halloo of the 
slave whose duty it was to look after them. 
Cattle, too, roamed the woods and were only 
a little more tame, coming up to be milked as 
they chose. 

All the house work halted when the bell- 
cow's jangling bell was heard in the clearing, 
and the women quickly went to milk the herd, 
whatever the hour of day. 

Houses were small and simple, log-cabins 
well or ill-built, single or double, and all chairs 
and small furnishings were home-made. Only 
now and then was there some prized chest or 
high-boy which had been brought from the 
last station of the pioneer family, or even 
from old England direct. 

Vehicles were confined to wagons and gigs, 
and a family carriage was as much of a rarity 



70 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

in the early years of the nineteenth century as 
an automobile was in the latest ones. Ladies 
rode pillion, behind their men or their servants, 
or singly if attended. Everyone expected to 
ride horseback as well for a long journey as 
for a short one. 

Hunting and fishing were the chief sports, 
but racing was universal in a country so de- 
pendent as this upon good and spirited horses; 
but there seems to have been no regular race- 
track in Wake County at this early date. 
Shooting matches for beef were held and con- 
ducted much like the famous match described 
in "Georgia Scenes." Cock-fighting was a 
common sport, the taste for which came from 
England with the Colonists. Wherever a few 
people could gather from the thinly settled 
neighborhoods, they enjoyed dancing and 
fiddling, and such amusements were partici- 
pated in by young and old alike. 

As to the look of the country, we know that 
the forest and the old field bore such a great 
proportion to the cultivated cleared land that 
farms were far apart. Only here and there 
did a home stand out against a wooded slope, 
here and there a slim spiral of smoke betray a 



EARLY WORTHIES 71 

human habitation behind the trees, or a clear- 
ed field show the work of the settler. Roads 
wound for miles through unbroken woodland, 
and the cultivated fields seemed but patches. 
This life was not a poor one, although it was 
extremely simple. It was independent, it was 
self-respecting. It was full of rude plenty and 
wholesome work, of hope and expectation. 
A poor man could make a start and be sure of 
getting a living while paying for his land. He 
would raise a little stock and a pair of colts. 
His log-cabin cost him little beside the time he 
took to build it, and he need never go without 
his simple food and clothing and his necessities 
provided that he was a good shot, and that he 
and his wife were industrious. Slavery light- 
ened the tasks of those who could get far 
enough ahead of the world to afi^ord the pur- 
chase of a servant or two. With all its faults 
it was a life which had an upward slope to it, 
and a hopefulness for the future which kept it 
stimulating. 

There were practically no schools in Wake 
County for the first years of its existence, and 
after the Capitol stood lonely on its hill in the 
midst of the new City of Raleigh. At various 



72 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

cross-roads were taverns where men met. 
Court week called them to Raleigh sometimes, 
and occasionally a preacher passed through 
and services were held; but the children were 
mostly left to home instruction and to the 
educating influence of practical experience and 
the many absorbing interests of their back- 
woods homes and their free life in the open. 

The leading spirits were not satisfied with 
this state of things, however. There were a 
few men of education and refinement in Wake 
County from the first, and all these were prom- 
inent in the State history and politics of their 
day. 

The first name that appears in the Colonial 
Records showing active service and prominence 
in the new county of Wake was John Hinton, 
who lived on Neuse River near Milburnie. 
He owned enormous tracts of land along the 
Neuse under grant from Lord Carteret, and 
when in course of time Wake County was 
divided from Johnston County, his residence 
fell within its boundaries. His residence was 
called Clay-Hill-on-the-Neuse. 

He had moved from Chowan (the part now 
Gates County), about the middle of the eigh- 



EARLY WORTHIES IZ 

teenth century, and his father's name before 
him was John Hinton. He married Grizelle 
Kimbrough, and had eight or nine children 
who reached maturity. John Hinton was 
Major in the provincial troops of Johnston 
County, and was thus called to aid Governor 
Tryon in the expedition against the Regula- 
tors. He was made Colonel of the Wake 
County troops in 1771, and was In command 
of his men at the Battle of Alamance. Gov- 
ernor Caswell mentions that he was an eye- 
witness of Colonel Hinton's gallant behavior 
on this occasion. 

Colonel Hinton lived near the home where 
his descendants still live. He was a promi- 
nent man in the Revolutionary struggle, of- 
fering himself at once to the American cause. 
He served in the first Provincial Congress at 
New Berne, was appointed Colonel of North 
Carolina troops, was present at the Battle of 
Moore's Creek Bridge, was a member of the 
Council of Safety for Wake County, and acted 
always the part of the brave patriotic gentle- 
man he was. 

He died in 1784, leaving several minor 
children, and besides his own personal service 



74 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

two of his sons were in the Revolutionary 
Army. John Hinton the third, his eldest, 
was commissioned as Major, and James Hin- 
ton was Colonel of a troop of horse. 

James Hinton above, married Delilah Hunt- 
er, daughter of Theophilus Hunter of Hunter's 
Lodge. Two of the daughters of Colonel 
Hinton successively became wives of Joel 
Lane, one dying quite young. Thus the 
Hinton family was connected with those few 
other families which seem to have shared with 
them the first possession of the broad acres 
of pristine Wake County wilderness, and the 
moulding of the little community by their 
service and examples. 

The descendants of these people are here 
with us today, and their blood runs in the 
veins of many who never have traced out 
their pedigree sufficiently to be proud as they 
justly may be of their fine old Revolutionary 
ancestry. 

Hinton James, the first student that regis- 
tered at the newly opened University of North 
Carolina, and another Hinton who graduated 
with him in the first class, were both grand- 
sons of Colonel John Hinton of Wake. Judge 



EARLY WORTHIES 75 

Henry Seawell married a daughter of John 
Hinton, son of Colonel John HInton, Second, 
the first of the name to settle In Wake. 

Theophllus Hunter of Hunter's Lodge ap- 
pears first as the host of Governor Tryon, and 
his plantation was the headquarters of the 
expedition of 1771 during Its halt of several 
days In Wake County. It was at his planta- 
tion that the recruiting was done for Tyron's 
Army, which Is recorded as having been so slow 
and so unsatisfactory, the smaller farmers 
holding sympathy with the Regulators. 

Theophllus Hunter the elder was the pre- 
siding justice of the first county court ever 
held In Wake County, and when the first court 
house was moved from Joel Lane's tavern, 
Wake Cross Roads, or Bloomsbury, by which- 
ever name one chooses to call the place, to Its 
present site on Fayettevllle street, Theophllus 
Hunter and James Bloodworth each conveyed 
half an acre adjoining to the then justices of 
Wake County and their successors In office 
forever, for the nominal sum of five shillings; 
and upon this piece of ground the new court 
house was then built, and successive buildings 
have occupied the same lot. 



l(y HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

This property has become so extremely val- 
uable, that some time since there was an Idea 
of Its being sold, and some land purchased 
which might not be quite so valuable, although 
quite as convenient for the purpose. Upon 
looking into the old deeds it was found that 
to use this ground for any other purpose be- 
side the designated one of locating a court 
house upon it, would forfeit it to the heirs of 
the givers. 

Besides giving a lot for the court house, 
Theophilus Hunter also gave a lot for a 
masonic lodge. This lies on Morgan and 
Dawson streets, Raleigh. 

Theophilus Hunter, besides being a justice 
and a Mason, was a Major in Colonel John Hin- 
ton's Wake County Regiment during the Rev- 
olution, afterwards Lieutenant Colonel, Coun- 
ty Surveyor, and a member of Assembly sev- 
eral times. He left a family of sons and 
daughters who married Into the Hinton and 
the Lane families and thus drew closer the 
family kinship and solidarity of the first fami- 
lies of Wake County. He lived at Spring 
Hill, south-west of where the State Hospital 
for the insane now is. The old mansion still 



i 



EARLY WORTHIES 11 

remains on the eminence near this old site, re- 
built into part of the State Hospital, the out- 
door colonies for epileptics being located near 
the spot. His son, Theophilus, Jr., inherited 
Spring Hill and rebuilt it. The landed 
possessions of these men were extensive, their 
land reaching almost to Cary in a south- 
westerly direction. Isaac Hunter, brother of 
Theophilus, Sr., owned that plantation within 
ten miles of which Raleigh should be located, 
and his place was to the north of the city. 
Descendants of both these men are among our 
citizens today, notably the brother last men- 
tioned has many although none of his own 
name, the inheritance of blood having gone 
through the female lines. 

Theophilus Hunter Hill, a poet, and one of 
our few singers, was a grandson of the Hunt- 
ers of Spring Hill. At the very beginning of 
the war of 1861, he published a slender volume 
of lyrics and sonnets, and after the war another 
volume. 

He had genuine feeling and power of ex- 
pressing it, and several sonnets of his are ex- 
quisite, but for the most part his poetry 
seems an echo of what had pleased him in his 



78 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

wide reading of other men's writings. It is 
not racy of the soil, and his Images are acade- 
mic, but he shows nevertheless a vein of real 
poetic Inspiration which time and the times 
did not develop In the least, the stress and 
strain of the war extinguishing poetic fancy, 
and leisure and stimulation both being lack- 
ing to the perfecting of his gift. 

Joel Lane with his two brothers, Joseph and 
Jesse, who were not so well known as himself, 
also had a great deal to do with the early 
shaping of Wake County. 

O. W. Holmes, in a humorous poem, de- 
scribing the portrait of his great-grandmother 
when a young girl, plays with the idea of what 
might have been the result if that dainty 
maiden had chosen a different suitor, when 
she answered 'Yes' to her life-mate, and thus 
had thrown the stream of inheritance into a 
different channel. He quaintly asks, 

^'Should I be /, or would it he 
One tenth another and nine tenths me?^^ 

In similar fashion we may well wonder what 
would have been the differing traits In the like- 
ness of the good people of Wake County If 



EARLY WORTHIES 79 

busy Joel Lane and his brothers had chosen 
another path through the wilderness, and 
those dozen others whose blood lives today 
in many a citizen, "solid and stirring in flesh 
and bone," had settled beside some other 
river. 

Joel Lane, who helped lay out the boun- 
daries of Wake and the streets of our city, 
land-owner, mine host of Bloomsbury Tav- 
ern, Colonel in his father-in-law's Wake 
County regiment, purveyor of supplies for 
the Revolutionary Army, Associate Justice at 
Wake County Court in 1771 and for many 
years thereafter, delegate to the Provincial 
Congress at New Berne, member of the Coun- 
cil of Safety for this district. State Senator for 
Wake for thirteen sessions of the Assembly,. 
planter, speculator in real estate, did not let 
all these activities exhaust his abundant ener- 
gy. It v/ould not take many citizens such as 
he to make a town progressive and lively even 
in these strenuous days. 

He seems vividly alive to the mind as he is 
exhumed from old records dusty with the 
passing of a century. His nature must have 
been kindly, and his disposition sunny, to 



EARLY WORTHIES 81 

have made him so universally liked. His 
house we have all seen, and it looks small and 
plain enough to us; but it represented to the 
people of that time what Governor Swain calls 
''a rare specimen of architectural elegance." 
Joel lived in this well-known house of his in 
the sense of the often quoted words, "by the 
side of the road, to be a friend to man;" and 
in turning the pages of the records, those dry 
bones of history, we may note and admire 
the human attraction of the way people grav- 
itated to his tavern for their various meetings. 
It must have been pleasant staying there, 
which speaks well for the character of mine 
host, although we must wonder where in the 
world he took care of so many legislators. 
Probably, after the good old custom, log-cabin 
"offices" or bachelor quarters flanked the 
central dwelling, and in these he put his 
gentlemen guests. Very few ladies went 
traveling in those days. 

Joel Lane's two wives were both daughters 
of Colonel John Hinton, who lived near Neuse 
River, and they brought him a fine colonial 
family of six sons and six daughters. Joel 
always adhered to the Church of England. 



82 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

The Lanes are descended from the Ralph 
Lane who first came to North CaroHna with 
the unlucky colony in 1S8S, and then sailed 
back to England in 1586, being succeeded as 
Governor by John White who left a handful 
of lonely white settlers to lose themselves in 
the western wilds, and become one of the 
mysteries of fate to this day. The spirit of 
the old seafaring Lanes still drove him "West- 
ward Ho" and Ralph returned after a time. 
Joel and his brothers were already the third 
generation of Lanes born in the American 
Colonies. Their descendants have half pop- 
ulated Wake County, and have sent good 
citizens to Alabama, to Tennessee, to Mis- 
souri, and to far away Oregon. Among them 
are numbered governors, judges, a general 
and a vice-presidential candidate, a cabinet 
officer, too, — all men in the public eye, while 
they have also furnished scores more of excel- 
lent folk of the race who, while not so con- 
spicuous, have built up their own communities 
more quietly for generations. 

Joel Lane has been criticised because his sale 
of land for the location of Raleigh seemed a 
bit of sharp practice at the expense of his 



EARLY WORTHIES 83 

father-in-law, Colonel John Hinton, who also 
had a square mile of land for sale; it is even 
hinted that people generally resented this and 
that it cost him his seat in the Assembly for 
the next term thereafter. These hundred- 
year-old rumors are hard to verify. Let us 
use our imagination in all charity, and think 
that he knew what a very pleasant home for 
the State's central government would result 
from his success. 

He offered a square mile of land near Cary 
as a free gift, should it be decided to place the 
University of North Carolina there, and one 
wonders why this offer was not accepted. 
He was one of the first Board of Trustees of 
the new institution, and had two grandsons 
in the first graduating class. His friendliness 
brought him friends and his friends showed 
him favor, which was surely his desert. He 
died in 1795, and his grave was plowed over 
and obliterated by Mr. Peter Brown, a Scotch- 
man and a lawyer, who acquired his home by 
purchase, a few years after Joel Lane was 
dead and gone. Mr Brown in his turn sold 
the place to the first Mr. William Boylan, 
early in the last century. 




o ^ 



EARLY WORTHIES 85 

A tablet to the memory of Joel Lane was 
recently placed In the Municipal Building of 
Raleigh by the Daughters of the Revolution. 
One of Joel Lane's brothers was the progeni- 
tor of the Lanes of Alabama and the other was 
the ancestor of those who sought the far west 
and became prominent there. Carolina Lane, 
his sister, was mother of David L. Swain, and 
lived her whole life in Buncombe County near 
Asheville. 

Another pre-revolutionary family connec- 
tion was that of the Jones' of Wake County. 
There seem to have been two distinct families 
at first, no known kin, and living in different 
parts of the county, both well known for in- 
telligence and property acquired. Besides 
this fact, two men, one from each family, bore 
the unusual name of Nathaniel, and of these, 
one named his eldest son after himself; hence 
it requires more than an ordinary genealogist 
to reconstruct their respective family trees, 
and this all the more because they complicated 
and confounded things still worse by inter- 
marrying once or twice a few years later, after 
the second generation had grown up. 

The first Jones to reach Wake County was 
Francis or Frank Jones, who settled on Crab- 



86 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

tree Creek near Morrisvllle. His deed from 
Lord Carteret bears the date 1749. He 
bought more land adjoining in 1761. His 
two sons, NathanielFirstofCrabtree, and Tig- 
nail, or Tingall, were often mentioned in 
County and State records. This Frank is 
said to have been a brother of the father of 
Willie Jones and General Allen Jones of Hali- 
fax. If this is so then these two distinguished 
men were own cousins to the Jones family of 
Crabtree. This was the General Allen Jones 
who gave his name to a penniless adventurer, 
John Paul, whom he had befriended, and who 
asked at parting, if the Jones surname might 
be added to his own, promising that if permit- 
ted so to add it he would also add fame to it 
some day. This he did most wonderfully, as 
all those who have thrilled at the story of 
John Paul Jones and the Bon Homme Richard 
can testify. 

Perhaps this cousinship gives one of the 
reasons for the residence in Raleigh of Willie 
Jones, during the last years of his life. This 
great Jeff ersonian bought the plantation where 
Saint Augustine's School for the colored race 
now stands, and in the spot where the garden 



EARLY WORTHIES 87 

of the school now Is, he Hes buried In an un- 
marked grave. Though an agnostic, WiUie 
Jones also gave the land for a Methodist 
Church, where Edenton Street now stands, 
according to several authorities. He died 
about the first of the new century. 

To return to the Jones family of Crabtree. 
Nathaniel the second of Crabtree, married a 
daughter of John KImbrough. His name 
appears as member of Assembly from Wake 
In both House and Senate before 1801. His 
son, KImbrough Jones, was a member of the 
Constitutional Assembly of 1835, and he has 
many descendants. John KImbrough, the 
father-in-law, does not come so often into the 
records, being perhaps a man busy with his 
plantation alone, but he owned more slaves 
In 1800 than anyone else, except James HInton 
and TIgnall Jones. 

To continue the Wake County Joneses : Na- 
thaniel Jones of White Plains near Cary, came 
also from Eastern North Carolina. His an- 
cestors are buried In old Bath Church, and he 
came to what Is now Wake County in 1750. 
Nathaniel of White Plains was, as I have said, 
supposed to be no known kin to Nathaniel of 



EARLY WORTHIES 89 

Crabtree. His father was of Welsh blood, 
and bore the Welsh-given name of Evan. 
Nathaniel of White Plains married into the 
Lane family, and his daughter Sarah married 
her cousin, John Lane, son of Joel. They 
went west, and their son, born in Tennessee 
was named Joel Hinton Lane. Of course 
there were many others of this family, but I 
give this instance to show the strong mixture 
of pioneering blood which must have been 
the very elixir of life in that "Winning of the 
West" which became the task of their genera- 
tion. 

Finding the records of all these intermar- 
riages of the Jones families, and adding to 
them the more recent connections of these 
with the Cadwallader Joneses of Hillsborough 
and noting the constant recurrence of familiar 
Wake County surnames and Welsh patronym- 
ics among the lists of children, one realizes 
how hopeless and how useless it is to try and 
untangle the skein of these families. 

There stands, however, a desolate house 
with vacant windows and grinning rafters, a 
high four-square old house, dating from the 
Revolutionary time, but which has been de- 



90 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

serted many years. It stands near the town 
of Cary to the west, and Its story was told to 
me by an old lady who remembers traditions, 
and who was somewhat kin to the former 
owner. Fanning Jones, but who was not proud 
of the relationship. 

Whether his name means a relationship of 
connection with the notorious Tory leader 
who stole the Governor, or whether It is merely 
a coincidence, no one can now declare, but he 
is said for some vague reason to have forfeited 
the regard of his patriotic relatives, and to 
have been driven from the neighborhood for 
that reason. The Old Tory, they called him. 

Doctor Calvin Jones on whose plantation 
Wake Forest College was located was a later 
comer into the county from the North. He 
sold his place to the Trustees of the Baptist 
School for two thousand dollars, which was 
considered cheap even in those days, for six 
hundred acres, equipped with buildings. 
Doctor Jones sold this at sacrifice In order to 
move to Tennessee, and mentioning him here, 
too early as to time, but In order to distinguish 
him, we will add that ht was a distinguished 
physician and that he had a fine war record 



EARLY WORTHIES 91 

for the war of 1812, having raised a Wake 
County troop of horse for the army. 

Besides these people whom I have called 
out of the past, and not speaking of others 
perhaps as prominent and as useful, we must 
recall the forbears of many of our citizens of 
today, living in simple homes, leaving no re- 
cord of wealth, save the ownership of the acres 
which they had won from the wilderness and 
tilled for themselves with their own hands. 
A random reading over of the tax payers 
whose names were enrolled in Wake County 
in the year 1800, such a list as appears in the 
State records, yields many of the most re- 
spected and honored names of today — many 
names seen on church rolls, painted on sign- 
boards, and on office windows, names which 
have been marked by flags on Memorial days 
in the cemetery and which only yesterday 
have been engrossed and hung in the vesti- 
bules of churches, names marked on service 
flags with blue stars, and some after awhile 
with golden ones. 

The father and son, and the mother and 
daughter also, these are those who have re- 
deemed the wilderness, peopled the solitude, 



92 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

fought in Revolutionary ranks in blue and 
buff, and many years later have worn Confed- 
erate grey. They have done the hardest 
work of the new land, and the harder of the 
land grown populous, they whose descendants 
have fought and fallen on the fields of France 
so lately, these plain people of whom the world 
is made, and for whom it was made, and who 
shall carry the work on by their descendants 
into many a tomorrow. 




CHAPTER IV 

Raleigh the Capital Village 

OLONEL CREECY In his "Grand- 
fathers Tales'' describes the look 
of the City of Raleigh in the 
year 1800 and for some years 
thereafter. He says, "It was a 
town of magnificent distances, of unsightly 
bramble bush, and briers, of hills and morass- 
es, of grand old oaks and few Inhabitants, and 
an onwelcome look to newcomers." 

At that time the first State House stood 
solitary on the Capitol Square and near It was 
the famous sassafras tree, which had long 
marked a wonderful deer stand whence forty 
deer had been shot by one hunter's rifle, within 
the memory of those then alive. 

Governor Ashe was the first governor to 
make Raleigh his permanent residence, and 
he came to town In 1795, while the other State 
officers also found It necessary to "go out there 
in the woods to live, and help with the govern- 
ment." The first Governor's mansion was a 
plain frame building on Fayettevllle Street 
about where the Raleigh Banking and Trust 

]93] 



94 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Company's building now stands. By 1800 
there were two hotels. The first one, Casso's, 
still stands on the corner of Morgan and 
Fayetteville Streets opposite the State Lib- 
rary Building, is especially in excellent repair, 
and were the fire escapes and such modern ad- 
ditions taken away, would remain much as it 
used to be when the stages rolled to the 
door. The second was called the Eagle, which 
was demolished in April 1922, to erect a new 
State Department Building 

One handsome residence had been built in 
Raleigh which is standing today, and has 
been kept in repair, remarkable beside for 
the fact that it is still inhabited by the re- 
presentatives of the family that built it. 
There is no other residence so old in town or 
county today, beside ''the old Burke Hay- 
wood Mansion" on New Berne Avenue, built 
in the year 1794, of which we may confidently 
say, as it is today so it was almost identi- 
cally, more than a hundred years ago. 

There were homes and stores along Fayette- 
ville Street — small frame buildings long since 
burned or demolished; the Joel Lane house 
stood near where it now stands, but facing 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 95 

South Boylan Avenue; the Mordecai place 
was partly built; the old Andrew Johnson 
birthplace, judging by the style of architecture 
was then In existence, but tradition says that 
It stood near the plot where Tucker's Store 
was built Immediately after the war of '61. 
From thence It was moved at that time to 
Cabarrus Street, where It remained until 1900, 
when the local Committee of the Colonial 
Dames of America had it taken down board 
by board, and reconstructed, exactly, in Pul- 
len Park, where it is now preserved as a relic. 
There was no church edifice in Raleigh in 
1800, although services were frequently held 
by the several denominations in the State 
House. 

There were no common schools in all North 
Carolina, and but few pay schools. In the 
year 1801, Raleigh asks for state aid in estab- 
lishing an academy, and also petitions for the 
use of Burke Square (where the Governor's 
mansion now stands) for Its site. 

In 1802 the plans for the building were made, 
fifty feet long and twenty-four feet wide, 
with fireplaces at each end both above and 
below stairs. My authority says brick, but 



96 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

the expression is so vague, perhaps it merely 
means that the great chimneys were brick, 
and not the whole building. In 1807 a build- 
ing for a "Female Department" was added. 
This was one-story and smaller. The school 
was supported partly by tuition fees and part- 
ly by private subscriptions to bonds or shares. 
All the State officers' names of that day and 
those of nearly all the townsfolk besides were 
to be found on its lists. 

In 1813 another building was built, the two 
larger buildings were insured for two thousand 
dollars each, while the Female Department 
carried two hundred and fifty dollars. Tui- 
tion was nine dollars a year and the rolls of 
honor and other school notices published in 
the newspapers of the time show that many of 
the pupils were from other places and boarded 
in town. By the year 1817 one hundred 
eighty pupils were in attendance. The first 
teacher engaged was named German Guthrie, 
the second Maurin Delaigny, a French refugee, 
a Huguenot minister, who afterwards went to 
Charleston and became pastor of the old 
Huguenot Church there. 

In 1810 came Doctor William Mc.Pheeters 
who was principal of the Academy for many 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 97 

years, and also ''Town Pastor," preaching on 
Sundays in the State House and holding Sun- 
day School there. His salary was eight hun- 
dred dollars a year. His school throve, and 
soon he required assistants In his work. The 
course included Latin, Greek, Mathematics, 
English, Geography, and Bible, and his 
scholars ranged from beginners In reading to 
those who would go next year to the Univer- 
sity. No Latin or Greek was taught to the 
girls, but a course In ^'alphabetical samplers" 
and wool work took the place of the classics 
for them. 

There were other schools In the county, and 
some were very efficient, especially the one 
at Wake Forest which afterwards was enlarged 
into Wake Forest College. Besides this one 
the schools were more or less Intermittent, be- 
ing private enterprises. 

One of the Raleigh schools deserves mention 
for the oddity of Its human Interest. 

John Chavis was a negro slave, who was 
sent by his master to Princeton College, and 
educated as a Presbyterian minister. This 
was done as an experiment on the part of his 
owner, to see what could be done with a 



98 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

negro's mind, as I have been told by the 
older people. John had a good understand- 
ing and a docile disposition. When, after his 
years of training, he was returned home an 
educated man of some refinement, it became a 
problem to know what should be done with 
him. He was an ordained Presbyterian min- 
ister; he could not be sent back to the negro 
quarters; nor could he be recognized as a 
social equal. He was set free, and he was per- 
mitted to use his learning in instruction of 
youth. He taught in Raleigh in 1808, in- 
structing poor white children in the day, and 
colored youth at night. He afterwards kept 
school in other parts of the State, and prepared 
many prominent young men for college with 
great success. I have heard stories told of 
how on occasion, he might be at some white 
planter's house at meal time, and how the 
plantation darkies would come to peer into 
the windows of the dining room at the Great 
House, to see "dat nigger John Chavis" sit- 
ting over at his side table by himself, but 
nevertheless, actually eating his dinner in the 
same room with Old Massa and Old Miss. 
That was the way the problem was finally 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 99 

solved as to the exact social position of John 
Chavis. 

Before leaving the subject of educational 
uplift in Raleigh, let me chronicle the doings 
of the leading matrons of the town in the 
year 1802. They then presented a pair of 
globes to the scientific equipment of the Infant 
University at Chapel Hill. The names of 
of the donors were as follows: S. W. Potter, 
Eliza Haywood, Sarah Polk, Anna White, 
Martha McKethan, Margaret Casso, Eliza 
Williams, Nancy Bond, Hannah Paddison, 
Susannah Parish, Ann O'Brien, E. H. P. 
Smith, Nancy Haywood, Priscilla Shaw, 
Rebecca Williams, Winifred Mears. This is 
probably a list of all the ladies who made up 
Raleigh society at that date, and shows these 
good women ready and efficient in helping 
worthy causes as their descendants and suc- 
cessors have ever since striven to do. 

A brick mansion was built about 1813, just 
opposite the foot of Fayetteville Street, and 
outside the then city limits. It stood where 
the Centennial School stands now. It was a 
large simple building, with no architectural 
pretensions, and was paid for out of the pro- 
ceeds of lots In the City of Raleigh sold for the 




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RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 101 

purpose, being those which remained in the 
possession of the State up to that time. 
These lots did not bring as great a sum as was 
hoped, by reason of the hard times prevaihng 
after the War of 1812. This mansion, al- 
ways known as the Governor's Palace, is the 
one occupied by all Governors in succession 
from 1813 up to the War of '61, and Gover- 
nor Swain adds in dignified phrase, ''The 
Executive office was then, as now, contiguous 
to the Palatial Residence." 

The little town of those early days was in 
feeling and deportment always the capital. 
We read of plays staged, of processions and 
festivities, of speakings patriotic, and speak- 
ings commemorative, and of regular religious 
services all held in the State House, which was 
then even more than since, the center, and one 
might say, almost the circumference as well 
of all Raleigh's social life. 

Banquets in celebration of the national an- 
niversaries, not on a strictly temperance plan, 
were held at the hotels and occasionally out 
of doors at the mineral spring near the Palace. 
These inns were good ones, because of the 
many gentlemen who had to be entertained 



102 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

at certain seasons of the year, whose number 
would have strained the small private accom- 
modations of the place. 

On great occasions tables were even set in 
the rotunda of the State House and toasts 
were drunk on patriotic excuse to ''every 
State in the Union," and the fact that there 
were not nearly so many states then as there 
are now is the reason the devoted banqueters 
lived through the test. 

The census of Raleigh on March 23, 1807, as 
published in the Raleigh Minerva, gives white 
males 255, white females 178, freedmen 33, 
slaves 270, total 786, families 85. Governor 
Swain also gives these figures. The apparent 
overplus of bachelors in Raleigh at that time 
is noticeable, there being seventy-five or more 
unattached men. This must mean that the 
State officials were written down as residents 
whether they had brought their families to 
live in the town or not. 

Raleigh had a commission form of govern- 
ment in those early days, similiar to that of 
the City of Washington now, being governed 
by the direct authority of the Assembly. It 
also had a town watch which patroled the un- 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 103 

lighted Streets at night, and kept the slaves 
from wandering abroad. There were twenty- 
classes who took turns. This same plan was 
universally followed In the larger towns 
throughout the South. 

The names of the Captains of the Watch 
for the year 1811 were Henry Potter, Isaac 
Lane, William Scott, William Boylan, Joseph 
Gales, Thomas Emond, Southey Bond, John 
Wyatt, Joseph Peace, Samuel Goodwin, Bev- 
erly Daniel, William Peck, Willis Rogers, 
Sherwood Haywood, William Jones, John 
Raboteau, James Coman, Benjamin King, 
Robert Cannon, and Jacob Johnson. This 
last name was that of the father of the Presi- 
dent Andrew Johnson. 

We may gather a good many good home- 
sounding names from this collection, although 
they made their rounds more than a century 
ago, and all sleep dreamless sleep tonight while 
others are watching. 

The war of 1812 having been fought to a 
glorious finish, and the Algerian pirates having 
been smoked out by Admiral Decatur, the 
America name became more respected and 
the flag more distinguished abroad, while 



104 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

England was no longer a present fear to our 
nation as it had been since the Revolution. 
Our nation began to feel its full destiny as 
favored of heaven. We might say of ourselves 
in our growing vigor and importance as a 
nation, 

^'No-pent up Utica contracts our pozvers.^^ 

This happy time when there was little politi- 
cal or sectional bitterness or other jealousy 
was called the ''era of good feeling." The. 
Revolution was receding into the historic past, 
and its heroes loomed grander, and less dis- 
tinct, as their doings passed out of ordinary 
day-light into the shadowed aisles of history. 
The great consequences of these deeds were 
more and more realized, as time unfolded its 
changes. 

There was in this village capital of North 
Carolina ninety years ago one treasure which 
we would give a great deal to possess, and to 
be able to point to, in our Capitol of today. I 
refer to the famous statue of General George 
Washington, first President of the United 
States, which was made by Canova. 

In November, 1815, the Assembly of North 
Carolina passed a bill authorizing the purchase 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 105 

of a Statue of the great and good George 
Washington, to be placed in the State House, 
and setting no limit to the cost of such a work 
of art. 

The people of North Carolina had a right 
to be proud of their appreciative admiration 
for Washington, and the delight they took to 
honor his memory honored themselves also. 

It was a charming bit of extravagance, and 
not like the strange freaks of spending that 
attack stingy folk once in a lifetime, but the 
result of pure idealism, — the fact of a heroic 
figure impressing the imagination of a whole 
people, so that they were intent upon pouring 
out the precious ointment of their hearts to 
his memory. 

The motion for obtaining this statue was 
first made in the House by Thomas Spencer 
of Hyde County. His descendants, if there 
are any, should be proud of their ancestor for 
this deed. 

Governor Miller, the then executive, con- 
sulted Senator Turner and Senator Macon in 
Washington, and they in turn consulted 
Thomas Jefferson in his retirement at Monti- 
cello. It was decided that only the best was 



106 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

worthy of the greatest American and of the 
State of North CaroHna, and so the Ambassa- 
dor to Italy from the Federal Government was 
commissioned to bespeak a portrait statue of 
Washington from Canova. Canova was the 
greatest sculptor then alive, unless Thorvald- 
sen of Sweden be named as his equal. 

When asked to undertake the commission 
from the State of North Carolina, he put 
aside many orders to accept it, on account, he 
said, of his extreme admiration for the genius 
of the great Washington, and for his noble 
deeds. The statue was executed in Carrara 
marble, white as snow. The figure was larger 
than life. When finished, it was brought to 
Boston on a United States war vessel com- 
manded by Captain Bainbridge, a hero of the 
Pirates' War. From Boston it was trans- 
shipped to Wilmington on a coastwise vessel, 
and it arrived there in 1821. From Wilming- 
ton to Fayetteville, it was floated up the Cape 
Fear River. 

William Nichols, father of Captain John 
Nichols, who lived at that time in Raleigh and 
was in charge of the improvement of the Capi- 
tol and of other building for the State at the 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 107 

University, was put in charge also of this 
task. It was for him to contrive means of 
transporting those heavy marbles over the 
long rough miles between Fayetteville and 
Raleigh. That he did so successfully is an- 
other tribute to his practical ability. On the 
ninth of November, 1821, word came that the 
wagons bearing the precious blocks of marble 
were near, the entire population of Raleigh, 
Governor, State officials, and many citizens 
of other parts of the State as well, went out 
in procession along the Fayetteville road to 
meet the train of wagons, and bring them 
into the city with a band and speeches and 
rejoicings. 

Colonel William Polk pronounced the ora- 
tion. He was living in Raleigh as president 
of the First State Bank. He was a Revolu- 
tionary veteran, and had been a friend of 
Washington, and personally associated with 
Lafayette. He was father of Leonidas K. 
Polk, afterwards the '^fighting bishop," and 
was cousin to President Polk. 

His speech on this occasion was solemn and 
stately, and he rhetorically declared that it 
was but meet and fitting that the degenerate 




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RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 109 

Italian nation should add the refinement of 
art to the rough but vigorous patriotism of the 
American Republic, now far more than Italy 
the Inheritor of the spirit of ancient Rome. 
This is but the impression of a long past 
perusal and not a direct quotation. 

The statue, when unpacked and set in posi- 
tion In the rotunda of the old State House by 
Mr. Nichols seemed, to the critical eyes of 
many who had seen Washington In the flesh, 
a good likeness as regarded the countenance. 
Our good people, not aware of artistic license, 
were, however, quite struck dumb by the fact 
that the Father of His Country was dressed in 
a Roman Consul's costume, with toga, bare 
legs, and sandaled feet. This made them 
wonder and stare. 

Washington was represented seated, with 
a tablet on one knee, on which he was writing 
his farewell address with a stylus. The atti- 
tude was balanced and graceful, the face calm 
and grave. The figure sat upon a Roman 
curule chair, and this rested upon a pedestal, 
which was sculptured on all four sides with 
bas-reliefs, showing notable scenes In the 
public service of Washington. 



110 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

The sculpture exhibited Canova at his best, 
in which the stone was made to take a finish 
that seemed almost as smooth to the touch as 
it appeared soft to the eye, so perfect was 
the working, so delicate the surface. The 
great Lafayette, when he came to Raleigh in 
1825, vouched for the correctness of the like- 
ness as he surveyed it. The statue was the 
pride of the people of North Carolina. Judge 
Gaston said of them, "Limited in their means, 
plain in their habits, economical in their ex- 
penditures, on this subject they indulged in 
generous munificence." It was suggested by 
some practical soul, that a statue so valuable 
being now placed in a building not fireproof, 
should be mounted on low wheels to permit of 
its being moved in case of fire, but this sugges- 
tion was laughed to scorn. It is hard to guess 
now, in this age of wheels, why it was thought to 
be so undignified, so very funny to mount the 
statue in this way, for the sake of its safety. 
Had this been done, we might well possess it 
today, for it might have been easily saved 
from destruction. 

Only for about ten years did the State own 
this art treasure, for all of that period easily 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 111 

the finest example of high art In all America. 
The mother of the writer saw this statue in 
in 1830, and though but a child at the time, 
she ever remembered it with a vivid impression 
and has described it minutely to her children. 
Mrs. A. B. Andrews had a most exact picture 
of it, from an Italian source, entirely authentic. 
Also there is an engraving with Lafayette and 
Miss Haywood standing looking at it. In 
the year 1910 owing to the indefatigable effort 
of the Hall of History, a cast had been made 
from the model, and sent as a gift from the 
King of Italy. The lost treasure in its beauty 
is a vivid personal regret. The poor muti- 
lated fragments of the trunk and pedestal 
which occupy one corner of the Hall of History 
speak eloquently of its fate but tell little of 
its glory. 

Canova the great Italian sculptor, was at 
the height of his fame and reputation when he 
made the statue. He was called the true in- 
heritor of the classical tradition. He always 
used the mannerisms of the antique statues 
he studied, as well as followed the real beauty 
of their conception. He is now somewhat 
superseded in artistic esteem being consid- 



112 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

ered too artificial, too smooth, although many 
lovely works of his are still cherished. 

The old Raleigh Community revelled in 
processions as well as banquets. Fourth of 
July was always a fair chance to enjoy a 
parade. Hear the account of a celebration 
of the ever-glorious Fourth which took place 
in the year 1809. ''At twelve o'clock, a pro- 
cession of citizens and strangers, with Captain 
Calvin Jones' troop of cavalry, formed at the 
State House during the ringing of the State 
House, Court House, and Town bells, and the 
firing of the cannon. Being seated in the 
Commons Chamber, an ode in honor of this 
day, composed for the occasion, was sung by 
a choir of seventy voices. Reverend Mr. 
Turner (the principal of the Academy) de- 
livered an oration. At three o'clock the com- 
pany sat down to an excellent dinner prepared 
by Mr. Casso (keeper of the Hotel), which 
was served in the State House. Colonel Polk 
and Mr. Potter presided and toasts were 
drunk to the Governor, Mr. Nash, to the Su- 
preme Court of North Carolina, to Literature, 
Science and Art, to the University of North 
North Carolina, to the Constitution of North 
Carolina, and to 'The social circles of life.' " 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 113 

It was the custom of Doctor William Mc- 
Pheeters a few years later to hold a sunrise 
service on the Fourth of July, and to preach a 
patriotic sermon, which was always well attend- 
ed, and very impressive. Reverend Drury 
Lacy kept up this custom of the town after- 
ward. Following this came an oration by 
some good speaker, the reading of the Dec- 
laration of Independence, a procession of all 
the Sunday School children down Fayette- 
ville Street to the 'Talatial Residence" and 
then half way back again to the sound of the 
bells of the town. Dispersing there, everybody 
attended a picnic and barbecue in Parrish's 
Grove, at the corner of Davie and Blount 
Streets, and opportunity was given for all the 
courting and matchmaking that the daylight 
would hold. At nightfall, the streets being 
unlighted, and the ways long, the population 
called it a day and went home. 

In calling up pictures of the town that then 
was, I have failed to mention the beginnings 
of the various religious denominations, al- 
though by the time the State House was 
burned there were three churches in Raleigh. 
The Presbyterians had a congregation organ- 



114 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

ized in 1806, but as Dr. McPheeters was 
the only regular pastor in town for a long time, 
services were held in the State House, and they 
did not build until 1817. The early Method- 
ists led the way, and built a little church where 
Edenton Street Church now stands, and by 
the next year the Baptists also had a small 
church building finished. 

In 1820 the Episcopal Church was organ- 
ised, and by 1826 they had begun a church on 
the present site of Christ Church. Later we 
find Duncan Cameron chairman of the build- 
ing committee which made Christ Church of 
today, one of our really lovely buildings. 

There had also been in Raleigh for some 
time a sort of crazy parson, a Mr. Clenden- 
ning, who had a pet heresy and preached it 
on Sundays. On weekdays he sold goods over 
his counter, and had plenty of ability and com- 
mon sense to make money in his mercantile 
business. He seems to have been a sort of 
town joke. 

Having tried in the foregoing chapters to 
bring back the idea of the old times as they 
really were, we must next try to recall some of 
the great men, and draw their characters, 
some of those who moved about the streets 



RALEIGH THE CAPITAL VILLAGE 115 

of our old capital, and made Impression on 
our Institutions. Many were not natives of 
Raleigh, and yet were nevertheless a part of 
Its life, and a boast, to be pointed out to 
strangers sojourning In our gates as they mov- 
ed on our common ways. We must revive 
the shock of the burning of the State House. 
We must learn something of the struggle and 
final successful anchoring of the State capital 
here In Raleigh, for when the State House was 
burned, of course the other claimants revived 
their claims. 

Beside this we must bring out those old 
tales which make former days alive, and re- 
store to us the atmosphere so long dispersed, 
together with the likeness of those who were 
a part of the passing panorama. 

We must go down the roaring forties, and 
make ourselves by all means catch the feel- 
ing that pervaded the world before the War 
of '61, and thereby moulded history; not for- 
getting that very often feeling Is far stronger 
than policy. 

The history of a people Is the history of the 
the minds in It, as worked upon by the soul- 
currents of the age, which pass no one knows 
how, like the wind that bloweth where It 
llsteth. 




CHAPTER V 

Early Life and Thought 

E must now forget the path we 
have traveled to our present day- 
conception of things, throw away- 
all those beliefs and ideas 
which have crystallized in our 
lifetimes, and think away modern conveniences 
and conditions and a collection of uncertain- 
ties and questions that exist no more. If there 
is "no new thing under the sun," yet old ideas 
are seen in very novel combinations as time 
goes on. 

Look at the politics of those elder folk, and 
by politics I mean the prevailing conceptions 
of right and expediency in governmental poli- 
cies, rather than party or partizanship; what 
real correspondences do they show to the 
political questions of today .^^ 

Look at their economics. With the whole 
continent beyond him to choose a residence 
from, what need was there for the old North 
Carolina farmer to intensify, to economize, or 
to farm constructively.^ 

[ii6] 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 117 

He need not suffer In an environment that 
did not suit him, he could go west, he could 
take up new land to replace the fields he had 
cleared and exhausted. Nothing hindered the 
restlessness of the frontiersman. 

Fiscal and money problems were not well 
understood even in Europe of this time. The 
question of the best way to guard the money 
capital needed for all this expansion, had been 
settled neither in theory nor experience by any 
financier. While the time of the formation 
of the constitutions of the United States and 
of the several States had revealed a farsighted 
statesmanship which it would he hard to 
match today, yet all was a great experiment. 
No one knew how well it was going to work, 
and only time could reveal its flaws. We dis- 
agree honestly today on many matters, but 
we have settled most of the questions which 
exercised our grandfathers. 

A caustic wit has called Democracy ''the 
rule of the planless man," but it was not plans 
which were lacking in that seething time when 
remnants of old English monarchical conser- 
vatism and the newest and wildest of French 
Revolutionary theories were striving to com- 
bine into something different from either. 



118 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

"The broadening of human thought Is ever 
a slow and a complex process." Our old time 
Federalist did not correspond to any of the 
political partizanshlps of today and his party 
passed away with the echoes of the War of 
1812. In his time he represented the conser- 
vative element, but no special privilege save 
that of education, and the able leadership It 
gave. 

The leaders of the Jeifersonian popular 
party distrusted the educated few, because as 
they said, they were '*too far from the people 
to understand their ways." The old Feder- 
alists had for their successors the Whigs, while 
the JefFersonlan, afterwards called the Re- 
publican, and lastly the Democratic party, 
represented the ideals of liberty as advocated 
in the French Revolution. 

England of just after the Revolution was a 
very conservative, hard England, but In 
America no such degeneration of the demo- 
cratic gospel took place; the rise of the plain 
people, the opportunity of the common man 
to become uncommon, was the opportunity of 
all in America. 

Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory" as he was 
called, born In North Carolina, called to office 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 119 

from Tennessee, well expressed his party as 
President and as popular hero. 

In politics North Carolina was naturally 
democratic, but the majority of her leading 
intellects happened to be Whigs, and many of 
her best prophets were without honor in their 
own country. 

The money organization of the United 
States was the field of many experiments. 
Jackson was of the opinion that money matters 
were best left to each sovereign state, and so 
he aboHshed the Bank of the United States, 
distributing its surplus pro rata among the 
states. This institution was doubtless a very 
imperfect one, but had afforded a central 
stable valuation of credit. Now there were 
as many values and measures as there were 
states, all the way from the "wild cat" banks 
of the west, to the conservative institutions 
of New England. Following the changeless 
law of finance, all the better money was hoard- 
ed and the worse put in circulation. Each 
state had a State Bank which bore the same 
relation to its finances as did the United 
States bank to the United States funds, and 
there came to be a strange mixture of money. 



120 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

with SO many banks issuing notes which were 
more or less good at a shorter or longer 
distance from the banks of their origin. 

The habit of mind about money is a great 
part of the mental furniture of a man, because 
it disposes him to honest dealing and honest 
success, or disposes him to the taking of too 
heavy risks. 

The early years of the nineteenth century 
were far too much given to the sporting con- 
ception of things, and loose ideas about money 
have given more trouble to our people than 
has any fallacy which has survived Into the 
present. 

When, after the unlucky Democratic admin- 
istration of Van Buren, the scale tipped to- 
ward the Whigs, every one but the inside 
bosses thought of Henry Clay as the Whig 
choice for President. 

It Is not clear just how his nomination was 
defeated, but defeated It was, and Harrison 
won It, Tyler, who succeeded him, being Vice- 
President, after Harrison had only been a few 
weeks in office, and had died. Tyler proved 
not to be a Whig at all, but merely an admirer 
of the man Clay. 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 121 

So far as we can see, he was nominated Vice- 
President because of his gift of ready tears 
over the defeat of his friend. Next term, 
1844, Clay lost the election to the Democratic 
candidate, this time by his "Raleigh Letter." 
This historic letter was sent to a friend of 
Clay's in Alabama, and published by him, 
and tradition says it was penned under a great 
white oak in what was lately the yard of Col- 
onel A. B. Andrews on Blount Street. In this 
letter he advocated the admission of Texas to 
the Union in due time, and thus set all Aboli- 
tion New England against his candidacy. 
He opposed admitting it at once, and thus set 
his Southern friends against him. 

Tradition says that he showed this letter to 
Judge Badger before he sent it, and that Bad- 
ger said, ''That letter will lose you your can- 
didacy," to which he replied in the often 
quoted words, ''I would rather be right than 
be president." 

In ideals Clay was broadly national, and 
he was noted as a compromiser, and a soother 
of men's passions. Personally he was the 
very ideal man in the imagination of the spirit- 
ed youth of his day, ideal in faults as well as in 
virtues. 




Christ Church Rectory, once the State Bank, whose 

FIRST president WAS CoLONEL VV. PoLK. It 

WAS ONE OF THE FIRST THREE BRICK 

BUILDINGS IN RaLEIGH 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 123 

Old men have told me that since the War 
they had felt homeless as regarded political 
affiliation, that they were and had always been 
''Henry Clay Whigs" and nothing else. Of 
his great body of adherents it might be said, 
"His name was all the politics they knew." 

Education in the South in those days as ob- 
tained by the richer classes was thorough, but 
there were no standardized secondary schools 
and scarcely any conception of what they 
might mean. 

The average country citizen of those days 
was likely to hold the view of Huckleberry 
Finn's father: "Your father and your mother 
couldn't read nor write, and you think you are 
better than your father because you can. I'll 
take it out of you!" Planters might employ 
governesses and tutors, and send their children 
to pay schools, but common people living in 
rural isolation had no advantages at all in 
schooling. 

Bartlett Yancey is authority for the state- 
ment that in Caswell County in 1800 one half 
the adult white population could not read and 
write, and that this great proportion grew 
greater rather than less. In Wake County 



124 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

things must have been better, but how much 
better we do not know how to discover. 

Judge Gaston, In a Fourth of July toast In 
1826, speaks of North CaroHna as sadly prone 
in matters educational "to stumble and floun- 
der on at a lazy and lagging pace," and again 
in 1827, the ''Legislature habitually looked 
with indifference upon education." 

A belief among the leaders that this was 
poor policy was growing each year, and many 
tentative debates discussing possibilities of es- 
tablishing common schools were beginning to 
be held; small appropriations were being laid 
aside to accumulate looking toward the es- 
tablishing of an adequate fund for future use; 
but the fact remained that there was little or 
no general demand for any sort of free school 
education up to the year 1840 or '41. 

The population of Wake County outside of 
the city of Raleigh gradually lessened, and be- 
came more scattered than formerly through 
the rural districts. The filling up of the west, 
which had begun with the century and shortly 
before, drew thousands of North Carolina 
people over the turnpikes to Alabama and 
Tennessee and far away to Alissouri and the 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 125 

"New Purchase" as it was called. At the 
close of the Revolution the population of 
North Carolina approximated the same num- 
ber as did that of New York State, but from 
the war of 1812 until well Into the forties, the 
population of North Carolina was at a com- 
parative standstill. 

This emigration, the following of families 
after their pathfinders, the talk of the golden 
west and all that, made a great appeal to the 
imagination of those who stayed behind. 

Another great subject for discussion which 
grew more and more heated was the question 
of slavery, and attack and defence of this 
"Institution" was mooted from one end of the 
United States to the other. 

If the cotton gin had lain in the womb of 
time for another fifty years, slavery in the 
South might have well become what the 
doctors call a self-limiting disease and might 
have followed the course of gradual extinction 
it had begun In the northern States. 

Because of the obvious path of profit, slavery 
grew from more to more, especially as the 
south-west was opened up. 



126 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

New England, always didactic, began to al- 
lude first with too much truth to Southern 
illiteracy, then as time went on to express her 
conscientious scruples as to the sufferance of 
slavery in any part of the Union. 

Nothing in the general life and thought of 
the New England states had impressed the 
South with admiration, the two conceptions of 
life being at variance. Nothing made our 
people imagine that moral excellence was 
greater there than here, and these reproaches 
were felt undeserved and fell upon ears irritat- 
►ed with constant clash of warring sentiments 
and opinions. It was as though the sister 
who lived at home and needed only walk 
paved streets, should count for a sin the drag- 
gled skirts of her whose way had lain through 
briars and muddy ways. 

That New England was the nearest right 
if not most righteous, was never acknowledged 
at the South, and in New England the fact 
of conditions and not deliberate choice was 
carefully ignored. 

Much ink was spilt, and hard sayings on 
each side grew harder, and anger bred pre- 
judice, and aspersions against slavery made 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 127 

New England's educational example odious. 
Justice in this world can never be perfect, but 
perfect justice is somehow what every man 
claims for his own. Raleigh, the center of 
North Carolina's political life, heard many a 
speech about this bitter controversy, many an 
echo of the ever growing dispute. 

Another subject of prime interest then, as 
now, was the building of roads, and added to 
that the projecting of canals. It scarcely 
seems possible, but the idea was at one time 
entertained that the City of Raleigh must be 
connected with the sea by means of the small 
creeks that run to Neuse River and a system 
of canals and locks, in connection with that, 
stream, in order to have a commercial outlet. 

The State of New York had recently com- 
pleted the Erie Canal, and the fashion thus, 
set was admired, — this before the days of 
railroads. 

A Scotch engineer engaged for the State by 
Mr. Peter Brown made calculations on this 
sort of a plan, on a salary of several times the 
pay of the Governor. In the early twenties 
one trip is said to have been made to New 
Berne and back, with many difficulties. Boat, 
a scow; captain, James Murray. 




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O O 

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EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 129 

It was calculated that a canal was practical 
from Hunter's Mill on Walnut Creek, the pre- 
cise spot of the Waterworks pumping station 
down to Neuse River, the fall being sufficient, 
but that a better port would be at the spot 
near Bloomsbury Park where Lassiter's Mill 
stands now, and a better canal down Crabtree 
Creek to the river, though it might have to be 
longer. 

These wild schemes had to be discussed be- 
cause prices, owing to wagon transportation, 
were enormous. The salary mark was far, 
far lower than it is today, and yet calico 
brought one dollar per yard, broadcloth was 
worth from seven to ten dollars, and sugar was 
at the figure of forty-five cents a pound. Nails 
came by the dozen. Truly it was not the 
choice of frugality for its elevating charm 
which influenced our ancestors toward plain 
living, but necessity, and that of the sternest. 

No wonder they listened to fairy tales about 
easy transportation down Neuse River, where, 
as today, at some seasons, a terrapin could 
carry flour on his back all the way from Raleigh 
to New Berne without wetting his load. 

One romantic thing, as we call it now, was 
part of daily lives then, and we should be glad 



130 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

to experience the thrill ourselves. The stage 
from the North came In over the Loulsburg 
Road, and went southward to Fayetteville, 
stopping at Casso's tavern on Fayetteville 
Street. Three times a week at first it came, 
then daily. The sweet, flourishing notes of 
the coach horns could be heard as the lumber- 
ing vehicle came into town, and rolled up near 
the Capitol. This was the link with the 
world outside. The mail came In, the north- 
ern papers with their European news, slowly 
brought to them In ships, and already more 
than a month old; letters at fifty and twenty- 
five cents apiece, according to distance and 
weight. Strangers would dismount for a 
moment to stretch their cramped legs a bit, 
while the fresh horses were put to; or would 
dismount and spend the night at the tavern. 

It was a day's trip from Warrenton to 
Raleigh, a days' trip from Fayetteville to 
Raleigh. The passing of the stages was the 
event of the day, and reminds us of the ac- 
count In one of Mark Twain's Inimitable books 
of the passing of the New Orleans packet up 
the river In his youth. If any one had wished 
to know the census of the able-bodied popu- 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 131 

latlon of Raleigh, he could doubtless have 
stepped down from the stage and counted 
them. Not one would wish to be absent when 
the stage rolled in. 

Of course people read newspapers in those 
days, and there were good ones, although the 
sheets were small, and had no sporting page, 
and no Sunday edition. The editorials were 
dignified and well written, and compare with- 
out disparagement with what we get today, 
and these weeklies were well read inside and 
out, as newspapers are not any longer read 
today, since the armistice. 

The Whig paper of the earHest time was 
called the Raleigh Minerva, and was publish- 
ed by William Boylan, the first of the name to 
come to Raleigh. About six months earlier a 
paper of rival politics, a Democratic or Jeffer- 
sonian organ, was begun by Joseph Gales, an 
Englishman. He had been driven away from 
his printing office in Shefiield, England, be- 
cause of his sympathy with the French Revo- 
lution and its very radical developments, such 
ideas being hateful even to the very mobs, 
because of the excesses of the Terrorists. 
He was in some way connected with Doctor 



132 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Priestley, who was driven away from Birming- 
ham by mob persecution, a man a hundred 
years ahead of his time, who also was forced 
to spend the last of his days in America. 

Joseph Gales came to America with Doctor 
Priestley and was for a time in Philadelphia. 
Then he came to Raleigh early in the nine- 
teenth century, and the paper he edited here 
bore the same name as his former journal in 
Sheffield, ''The Register.'" For many years 
Joseph Gales was state printer. Besides these 
two, there was a third sheet, The Star which 
often changed hands, although it was pub- 
lished for years. 

As to books, the City of Raleigh in early 
days was poorly off. Of course some owned 
a few books, which were read and re-read, and 
learned almost by heart, to good purpose, and 
letters and papers of the time show that liter- 
ary style was far from bad. No books were 
printed in the state until years later, save a 
few law books. The list given in Doctor 
Battle's History of the University of North 
Caroli^ia, of the College library of the first 
of the century past, will give some idea of the 
scarcity of all that we should call readable. 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 133 

Most of the works were heavy and solid 
enough to kill the largest rat when made into 
a dead-fall and allowed to drop upon him. 
Doctor Battle states that this was the use 
made of Saint Augustine's works in folio and 
other substantial volumes which were borrow- 
ed from the University library for this express 
purpose. However that may be, there was 
little to read in Raleigh then but law, classics 
and theology, with a very few novels which 
were heavy to hold if not to read. I have 
before me a copy of ''Sir Charles Grandison,^^ 
owned in Raleigh in 1813 or '14, which is as 
large as a family Bible, has two columns of 
rather small print, and seven hundred pages. 
This light work was a reprint from the seven 
volumes originally issued, and is dated 1810, 
printed in London. 

The eating and drinking which built up life 
from its physical side was much like the food 
of today, and yet unlike in many ways. 

Chicago beef was not to be had, nor was 
there an abattoir, nor an ice plant. Local sup- 
plies were all that obtained, and much more 
pork and bacon was used by all classes. 
Vegetables were raised the same as now, but 




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2: > 

2 i: 

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EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 135 

the COW pea was considered food for beasts 
alone, and the useful tomato was unknown. 
Canning was a thing unpracticed, although 
dried fruit was plentifully used. A little 
"pound for pound" preserves for state oc- 
casions was kept on hand from year to year. 
Sugar was scarce and molasses of the home- 
grown sort took the place of it. The import- 
ed molasses was most delicious, being far 
better than it has been since, and was the ac- 
cepted sweetening for many foods. Hospitali- 
ty laid stress on one sort of refreshment that 
is but a sad memory to the thirsty. Imported 
and domestic wines and liquors were used in 
great variety, and every gentleman considered 
it his duty to have such things on hand for the 
chance guest, however he might prefer to 
abstain himself. Hence the mahogany cel- 
larets which still grace many old fashioned 
dining rooms, and the portly glass decanters 
which are now set back on the china-closet 
shelves, but used to stand out within reach. 
As regards the furniture that we are still 
carefully collecting, are we not sure that the 
things then bought and admired are still the 
most beautiful that are obtainable.^ Do we 



136 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

not regard thus all old sofas and desks and 
secretaires and what not? 

Has there ever been more satisfactory silver- 
ware than the gracefully shaped spoons and 
pierced fruit baskets that we treasure with 
pride and buy now and then for great prices? 

Household work was far greater then than 
it is now, and the notable housewife must be 
like Solomon's virtuous woman in her cease- 
less activities. Providing work and super- 
vision for the many and lazy servants made her 
rise early and be ceaselessly busy. Even 
Colonel Byrd, though not enthusiastic about 
the men, acknowledges that the women of 
early North Carolina were a thrifty race, and 
we may be sure that they knew how to sew 
and knit and dye and weave and embroider 
and care for meats and supervise all the varied 
domestic arts. 

It is interesting to note that in the twenties 
and the thirties young folk were considered 
very mannerless and unmanageable. 

The spinning of "street yarn" was much dep- 
recated, the extreme idleness of young men 
was cerlsured in private letters and in the 
newspapers, and older folk were caused much 



EARLY LIFE AND THOUGHT 137 

anxiety by the strange tendency of the 
young girls to dress up and go out gadding 
when there was work for them to do at home! 
All these many things, great and small, go 
to make up the tenor of the lives of our fore- 
runners. Sometimes the small are more impor- 
tant than the great in filling up the many de- 
tails which add most to the picture, and it 
is a picture that I am trying, awkwardly 
perhaps, but anxiously, to place before your 
eyes. 




CHAPTER VI. 
GianH of Those Days 

OLONEL WILLIAM POLK, 

coming fromMecklenburgCounty 
to Raleigh very early in its history, 
was a figure of great prominence 
here, and would still have been 
were his adoptive city a far larger place. He 
came of that well known Polk family which 
lived in Mecklenburg before the Revolution, 
and was cousin to President Polk. In his 
youth he was an eye-witness to the signing 
of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and it is so stated in the Life of Leonidas 
K. Polk. He enlisted in the Continental Army 
when a mere boy and was In active ser- 
vice all through the Revolutionary War. He 
was twice wounded, very severely at the battle 
of Germantown. He suffered that sad winter 
at Valley Forge with Washington, and he was 
also present with him at Yorktown. 

He was twice married, his first wife dying 
before he came to Raleigh. His second wife 
was a i^Jiss Hawkins of Warrenton, In Warren 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 139 

County. She bore him nine children of whom 
the second was Leonidas K. Polk. 

Colonel Polk came to Raleigh in the year 
1799 to become the first president of the State 
Bank, serving without compensation. His 
home was a large house which used to close 
the end of Blount Street just as the Centennial 
School now closes Fayetteville Street. It was 
standing ten years ago, and was used for a 
while after the war for a girls' school. 

The old State Bank where Colonel Polk 
presided is now used for the Rectory of 
Christ Church and is the third brick building 
which was erected in Raleigh, the first one be- 
ing the old State House, the second Casso's 
Hotel, now used for stores and some of the 
State offices, at the corner of Morgan and Fay- 
etteville, still sturdy and substantial. The 
State Bank building was much laughed at, 
in the early day, because it was considered 
queer architecture. One can still trace the 
newer bricks where the old Bank door was 
built up on the New Berne Avenue side. "Two 
porches, and a house between, like the ham 
sandwich." 



140 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Colonel Polk of those days was a tall stately 
imposing figure, of old-fashioned formal man- 
ner, and ceremonious dignity, but capable of 
unbending genially on occasion. He was a 
citizen for everyone to be proud of, the man 
whom his neighbors honored and called upon 
to welcome distinguished guests and be the 
presiding genius of public meetings and toast- 
master at banquets on state occasions. In 
politics he was an old time Federalist, but in his 
youth he had a boy friend, a neighbor in 
Mecklenburg County whose name was An- 
drew Jackson. 

The halo which surrounded this venerable 
Revolutionary figure grew brighter as time 
went on and thinned the ranks of his fellow 
soldiers and the story of their deeds became a 
sort of legend. At his death he was probably 
the last survivor of the Revolutionary officers 
in all North Carolina. 

Colonel Polk, like other gentlemen of his 
time, was a convivial soul, as no one thought 
harm of being; but he was no vulgar roysterer 
and he took a firm stand against duelling, 
then an accepted way of protecting ''honor" 
and settling controversies. On one occasion 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 141 

he wrote for publication a strong letter con- 
demning the practice, and this had great 
weight because it was from a man so well 
known to be of distinguished courage. This 
declaration was needed, as at least one duel 
had been fought about that time by a Wake 
County man. 

Alfred Jones of White Plains was a party in 
a duel about 1820, and was badly wounded. 
He always declared that though he nearly 
died of his wound, he considered the mental 
anguish he suffered for a few seconds while 
looking down his opponent's murderous pistol- 
barrel was more grim and unforgetable than the 
physical pain of the wound. He felt his honor 
entirely less satisfied. 

To return to Colonel Polk. He was one of 
those who owned great tracts of land in Ten- 
nessee, and was once making a trip into that 
state on business connected with his property, 
when he saw, leaning over a fence beside his 
road, a man whom he at once recognized, and 
whom he knew only too well. It was a Tory, 
who had formerly lived neighbor to his father 
in Mecklenburg, and who had taken an oppor- 
tunity while the men of the family were away 



142 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

in the army to wreck and plunder his father's 
plantation. The Colonel, knowing him for 
this deed and knowing that he had got off 
scot free, handed his horse's rein to his com- 
panion, and withoutone word, dismounted and 
fell like an avalanche upon the astonished 
man, giving him a horsewhipping that was en- 
tirely consoling to the giver, as well as fully 
satisfying to the recipient. State Treasurer 
Haywood was the authority for this anecdote. 

Another story tells of his showing the young 
folk how to dance a minuet in the stately 
fashion of the eighteenth century, Miss Betsy 
Geddy of the statue-saving fame being his 
vis-a-vis and dancing partner. 

When his son Leonidas, just graduated from 
West Point, insisted upon resigning from the 
army to study for the Episcopal ministry, 
Colonel Polk could neither understand nor be- 
come resigned to it. It is said that he spoke 
of it for some time with an oath whenever he 
mentioned it. 

Cousin to one President of the United 
States, friend of another. Colonel Polk was 
the man who chanced to put a bit of bread 
into the mouth of a third. Jacob Johnson, 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 143 

father of Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's successor 
in the Presidency, was for many years porter 
and factotum at the State Bank, under Col- 
onel Polk, and afterward. 

This man Johnson was absolutely unedu- 
cated, but Governor Swain describes his quick 
heroism in saving Mr. T. Henderson from 
drowning in Hunter's pond, according to ac- 
count by William Peace. It was at a picnic, 
and the canoe overset and Henderson was un- 
able to swim. Johnson lived in a small house 
near Casso's Hotel. Miss Margaret Casso nam- 
ed the future President Andrew Jackson, al- 
though he afterward dropped the middle 
name. A newspaper advertisement is still 
in existence offering a reward for the return of 
this Raleigh boy to his legal guardians, when 
he ran away from his apprenticeship at about 
twelve years of age. 

Successor to Colonel Polk at the State Bank 
was William Boylan, the first of the name. 
He was editor of the Raleigh Minerva^ some- 
time state printer, and he was also a rich 
planter, dying worth a million dollars at the 
time when millionaires were most unusual 
and money was far more valuable. Mr Boy- 



144 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Ian came originally from New Jersey, but had 
kin In North Carolina. His portrait shows a 
face of a very different character from the 
others of that gallery. He looks, among those 
great lawyers, like a sedate business man and 
his qualities of mind were the prophecy of 
coming times. Mr. Boylan was public-spirit- 
ed and progressive. He first saw the possi- 
bilities, and set the example of raising great 
quantities of cotton on the uplands of Wake. 
Whitney's cotton gin had made the growing 
of cotton profitable because the gin could re- 
move the seed from a thousand pounds of 
cotton in a day, which labor previously had 
to be done slowly and tediously by hand. 
Also the invention of the power-driven loom 
and spinning machinery made more cotton 
necessary to keep the looms of the world at 
work, and the development of the necessary 
inventions had built up a mighty industry. 
Mr. Boylan planted acres of cotton where 
square rods had been the custom before. He 
also became interested In transportation, and 
a heavy investor in our first railroads. He 
was at one time president of the Raleigh and 
Gaston Railroad. Governor Swain says of 
him that he was dignified and grave, and it 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 145 

also is sure that he must have been charitable, 
for he is responsible for the building of the 
first county poor-house in Wake. Before 
that the County poor were boarded out with 
the lowest bidder at county expense; a hard 
arrangement. 

Doctor Kemp Battle, from whose centen- 
nial address many details of this old time may 
be gathered, tells a story of how Mr. Boylan 
sent loads of wood around to the poor, caught 
as they were without fuel in the time of the 
wonderful "big snow of '57." He states that 
one ''son of rest" keeping warm abed that cold- 
est morning, humped up in his mound of bed- 
ding to inquire whether Mr. Boylan "had had 
that wood cut up to fit his fireplace before it 
was loaded on the wagon .^" 

Mr. Boylan lived in the Joel Lane house 
which he had bought from Peter Brown. 
But one undignified thing is told of him — that 
is his part in the fight which he and Joseph 
Gales, rival editors, fought about some politi- 
cal question. In this Mr. Gales was worsted, 
and brought suit for damages, which were 
awarded to the sum of two hundred dollars, 
which amount he donated to the Academy. 







»l 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 147 

The two worthy combatants were after- 
ward reconciled and shook hands in token of 
amity. Mr. Boylan died in 1859, his Hfe thus 
spanning the whole time of industrial and 
material growth before the war. 

Peter Brown, Esquire, was a lawyer and a 
bachelor. He came to Raleigh in the first 
years of its existence, but in his old age he 
wished to return to Scotland, or thought he 
did; so he sold his property, including the 
historic Joel Lane house as above, and went 
back across the water. He had contracted 
the Raleigh habit however, and matter of 
fact as he appeared, he let sentiment take him 
back to Scotland, and then bring him back 
again to North Carolina, where he died after 
all. 

Peter Brown also took a turn at being presi- 
dent of the State Bank. He knew something 
of the Scotch ideas of banking, said to be the 
best at that time. He was a lawyer of ability 
as well as a financier, and was for some time 
the only practicing attorney in Raleigh. His 
oddity was great as his ability. Once he 
found occasion to move his law office, and 
when ready for business in the new quarters, 



148 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

he hung out the following notice: ''Peter 
Brown, Attorney at Law, has moved from 
where he was, to where he now is; where he 
may henceforth at all times be found." No 
ambiguity in that! 

Judge Seawell, nephew of Nathaniel Macon, 
was one of the legal lights of the time. He 
married a daughter of James Hinton, son of 
Colonel John the first, and his descendants 
live here still. He was a well-known lawyer 
and citizen representing this county in the 
Assembly several terms. 

Moses Mordecai, the first of the family of 
legal and other prominence, came to Raleigh 
in time to buy a lot at the second city sale. 
Only recently has the great square, with the 
old mansion built far back upon it, been finally 
divided into smaller lots. Mr. Mordecai's 
first and second wives were sisters, Margaret 
and Annie Lane, daughters of Joel Lane. 
Many of their descendants are among us now. 

One of the old time merchants was William 
Peck, who did a banking and mercantile busi- 
ness at the south-east corner of the Capitol 
facing Wilmington Street. He was a hatter 
by trade, a safe man and a good citizen. He 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 149 

admired the new Capitol as It gradually rose 
from foundation to dome and watched Its 
progress day by day from his shop door, com- 
plaining mightily when the grading up of the 
square began, and because of the bank of earth 
in front of him he could no longer see the 
whole building In Its entirety. Like Judge 
Cloud of State-wide fame, he disliked whist- 
ling as a means of self-expression, and of course 
all the small boys of Raleigh took care to 
make a long, shrill, ear-piercing effort, just as 
they rounded his corner on a dead run. A 
story Is told of him, a legend which Is a sort of 
classical myth of the days of private banks of 
issue, and which Is printed in that old book, 
''Flush Times in Alabama and Mississippi,'^ 
a story which may be true, but Is at any rate 
a good parable, and runs this way: 

A Mississippi horse-trader wanted to buy 
exchange on North Carolina, and bargained 
for a draft on Mr. Peck's banking Institution. 
His exchange cost him ten dollars a thousand. 
Then the banker In Mississippi asked if his 
customer would do him the favor of carrying 
a small package with him to North Carolina 
to be delivered to his ^'old friend. Peck." 



150 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

The trader easily consented to do this. On 
arrival in Raleigh he presented his draft, and 
Mr. Peck was most positive that he owed the 
bank in Mississippi nothing, but would like 
to look over his books and make sure. 
As he turned to go, the trader handed the 
package to Mr. Peck, with the message, and 
when unsealed, it contained the North Caro- 
lina bills necessary to offset the draft. The 
trader had paid ten dollars a thousand for his 
exchange, and then had taken the risk of 
bringing his own money that long, dangerous 
way besides. This is a good story to illustrate 
the working of the banking methods in vogue 
before railroads and national banks were in 
existence. 

Jokes are the most difficult things to trans- 
plant out of the time that gives them being, 
but there is an old joke which might be told 
here, connected with Mr. Peck. It is a true 
tale, well avouched this time. One night the 
great beaver, twice natural size, which swung 
over the door of his shop and was his sign, 
disappeared unaccountably. Next morning 
a student at the University appeared in chapel 
with this hat balanced on his head and further 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 151 

disguised with huge goggles and a long coat, 
with a cane in hand. This brought down the 
house and broke up prayers for that morning, 
as it might well have done with several hun- 
dred young scapegraces fairly pining for an ex- 
cuse for a demonstration. The naughty boy 
who stole the hatter's sign was named R. S. 
Tucker, and, in partnership with his brother, 
became a considerable merchant himself in 
after days. The father, Ruffin Tucker, had 
settled in Raleigh some years before this and 
was by trade a printer. Descendants of 
this man are among those successful in busi- 
ness of the city. 

Dr. McPheeters, who has already been men- 
tioned as head of the Academy and as ''Town 
Pastor," was a very interesting figure of old 
Raleigh. He took his calling in dead earnest, 
and ruled on week days and on Sundays con- 
tinuously, so that the boy who played hooky 
and went fishing on Sunday instead of to 
church and Sunday School, was made to regret 
his mistake when he reached day-school 
Monday morning. 

Once Dr. McPheeters was about to 
visit the sins of his youth in this way upon the 
future Bishop of Louisiana, and Lonnie Polk 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 153 

broke away and ran for It. He was Instantly- 
pursued, caught, and birched by the Doctor 
who on that occasion laid down the law In an 
axiom which is old but by no means obsolete. 
*'No boy," said Dr. McPheeters, ''who Is 
not old enough to behave properly when he 
knows he has been fairly warned, is too old 
to be whipped for misbehavior." 

The Peace brothers were men of diligence and 
probity, successful merchants. William left 
a sum for the building of Peace Institute. 
They were both bachelors, and their name 
suited their character. One of the city streets 
Is named after them. 

Ihave mentioned Joseph Gales and his estab- 
lishing the first newspaper, also his connection 
by birth and association with the ferment of 
new thought in the manufacturing districts of 
middle England. After his printing office was 
wrecked and he was driven to emigrate, he 
came from Philadelphia to Raleigh. He was a 
man of resources, bringing some capital with 
him, and having the knowledge needful to 
start a paper mill to supply his press. 

His wife, Mrs Winifred Gales, was highly 
educated and had ability. She wrote the 



154 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

first novel that was ever written and printed 
in North Carohna, although not many have 
been produced since. We have never caught 
the writer's itch; however, it may some day 
come to us. She is "the first that ever burst" 
into the '^silent sea" of North Carolina author- 
ship. She died in 1839, her husband two 
years later. They lie buried in the old City 
Cemetery. Beside their graves are those of 
two grown daughters lost a few years earlier, 
victims to one of those recurring epidemics of 
malaria that took toll of so many who did not 
know that m.osquitoes and a prevailing souther- 
ly wind over Hunter's pond on Walnut Creek 
were the combined cause of so much chills and 
fever in the town of Raleigh. The Gales have 
still descendants living in Raleigh and claim- 
ing the city as home. 

David L. Swain lies buried in Oakwood 
Cemetery, and he lived his formative years 
here, although he was chiefly known by his 
later work as President of the University of 
North Carolina. As a young man he came to 
Raleigh, and studied law with Chief Justice 
Taylor, who married the only sister of Judge 
Gaston. 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 155 

Although born in Buncombe County, and 
coming to Wake after he was a man grown, 
Swain was near akin to the Lanes and other 
famiHes connected with them; his mother be- 
ing Caroline, sister of Joel Lane, and he being 
the son by her second husband, named as 
they say after the first, David Lowrie. 

Not many educational advantages came to 
this lad in the western wilds, and young Swain 
had scanty schooling, and but four months of 
university instruction, before he went to 
Raleigh to study law. Every crumb of learn- 
ing that came his way he seized and assimilated, 
and every book which he laid his hands upon 
he read, especially absorbing all obtainable 
history. Though his early life was not so 
sordid and pinched as that of Abraham Lin- 
coln, yet his education and development bear 
some likeness to that of Lincoln, because he 
was like him, a rough diamond, and took 
polish from all the friction of later life; and be- 
cause his education was in progress all during 
that later life. 

When he had won his law license he return- 
ed to Buncombe, and was immediately sent 
to represent that county in the next Assembly. 



156 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Here he attended to the important bill in- 
troduced by him, for building the French 
Broad Turnpike, leading west into Tennessee. 
In 1829, he received an odd compliment, be- 
ing elected Solicitor for the Edenton District 
because factional fighting had become des- 
perately bitter, and only a man from out- 
side the district could be tolerated. Next he 
was appointed Judge of the Superior Court, 
and was chosen over Henry Seawell, of Ral- 
eigh, a man of greater known distinction and 
a most excellent lawyer. His judgeship was 
but another step upward. 

He was elected Governor of North Carolina 
by the Legislature, as was the constitutional 
provision at that time, and was re-elected for 
two succeeding years. During his term as 
Governor he represented Buncombe County 
in the Constitutional Convention of 1836. 
This Convention was to change the Con- 
stitution of North Carolina in many details, 
and among other matters to amend the laws 
governing the representation of the different 
sections of the State in the Assembly. Gover- 
nor Swain was full of detailed information re- 
garding the State's history and statistics, from 
the earliest Colonial times, and he led the re- 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 157 

form party which equalized differences 
between the east and the west — matters 
which had never been adjusted, and which had 
stirred up strife between the sections ever 
since the Revolution. 

In this same year, Doctor Joseph Caldwell, 
President of the University, died, and Gover- 
nor Swain asked his friend Judge Nash 
whether he could recommend him for appoint- 
ment to the vacancy. Judge Nash thought, 
naturally enough, of formal academic educa- 
tion, and of the lack of such preparation which 
Governor Swain's exclusively political life 
must present. All that he would promise was 
to consult Judge Cameron about the requests 
The latter held a diiferent opinion. He de- 
clared that Governor Swain had all nec- 
essary requisites for the position except formal 
scholarship; that he had always been able to 
manage men, and should know well how to 
manage boys, and that his education, while 
not conventional, was far broader than might 
be supposed. 

At the next meeting of the Board of Trus- 
tees Swain was elected President of the Uni- 
versity and went to Chapel Hill to take up his 



GIHNTS OF THOSE DAYS 159 

real crowning life-work. Hence some humorist 
has said that the State of North Carolina 
had given him every office in her power, and 
had at last sent him to college to get an edu- 
cation. This was an unjust taunt to a man 
so well self-taught, and whose cultivation was 
a progressive process lasting all his life. He 
himself was the Historical Society, and his 
collections of documents were very complete 
for that early time. The historian Bancroft 
used his collections and consulted his knowl- 
edge for the chapters in his History of the 
United States which concern North Carolina. 
Governor Swain's political strength had been 
aided greatly by his unerring memory for 
kinship, names and dates, and this gift also 
helped him in his knowledge and management 
of his boys. His legal power was founded on 
his grasp of detail, and by this also he was 
fitted to record the history of the State he 
loved. 

Papers in the University Magazine, by his 
hand, and a few occasional addresses full of 
dry humor, are all that he left as formal 
writings of a historical nature, and these are 
all too few; but they give a presentment of 



160 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

the life that then was, on the far side of that 
bloody chasm which was to divide all our his- 
tory in twain. 

Like Judge Gaston, Governor Swain was a 
Federalist in poHtics, and became later a 
Whig. He married Eleanor White of Raleigh, 
the daughter of William White, Secretary of 
State, and a grand-daughter of Governor 
Caswell. He died in 1868, some say of 
grief over the wreck of his beloved University, 
accomplished in the disheartening Recon- 
struction days. In person he was a tall, 
awkward man, one of those whose appearance 
lends point to some humorous nick-name. 
His students called Governor Swain ''Old 
Bunk," referring to his native county. 

It is only in Governor Swain's reminiscences 
of Raleigh that we gather the traits of the 
lesser folk, lesser only in not being conspicu- 
ous as State officials. He mentions and char- 
acterizes many, of whom v/e may mention 
Mr. Casso, the Italian tavern keeper whose 
descendants are many, Dugald McKeithan 
who married a Lane, the cousin of the Gover- 
nor, John Meares, James McKee, Benjamin 
King, Captain, afterwards Sheriff Wyatt, the 



GIANTS OF THOSE DAYS 161 

first member of the Briggs family, the original 
David Royster, cabinet-maker (this last was 
in Raleigh by 1801), John Stewart who mar- 
ried Miss Margaret Casso and is the ancestor 
of the Binghams of Mebane, James Coman, a 
Frenchman, the Smiths, substantial mer- 
chants, whose heir. Miss Mary Smith, after- 
wards Mrs. Morehead, left her money to the 
University, Ruffin Tucker who has been men- 
tioned, who worked for twenty-five dollars a 
year and board during his first year in Raleigh. 

John Rex, the tanner, will be mentioned 
more fully later. One John S. Raboteau, a 
French Huguenot, a saddler by trade, should 
be named here, for his grand-daughter married 
A. F. Page, and through her he is ancestor 
of the great Ambassador to England, and his 
brothers, builders of North Carolina. Sheriff 
Page, recently dead, was of kin to these. 

Also there was a Captain Wiatt who built 
the houseon Hillsborough road where the High- 
way Commission's great shops stand today, 
and who was the Marshall of the Supreme 
Court for many years. He came from Vir- 
ginia, was a veteran of 1812, and built a 
country home almost like the one of about the 



162 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

same epoch belonging to General Calvin Jones, 
his comrade in arms. Captain Wiatt had a 
wayside well which was used by all the passers- 
by. He was also celebrated for the kindness 
of his heart and the great freedom of his com- 
mand of bad language. He was one of those 
who swore terribly, although this is all that 
was ever said in his dispraise. His home has 
been very long a landmark of the county. 




CHAPTER VII 
More Biographies 

N a previous chapter we sketched 
Colonel William Polk, the Rev- 
olutionary hero who was so much 
the leading citizen of Raleigh 
for so many years, and for the 
completion of the story of our best example 
of character transmitted from father to son 
and built up in the Raleigh of old time, we 
shall add a life of his son, Leonidas, who be- 
came the celebrated Bishop-Brigadier of the 
Confederate Army. 

We are not able to claim possession of 
that great ''Revolutionary Titan," as Gov- 
ernor Swain calls John Marshall, who rode 
his circuit as United States Justice, and was 
thus a regular visitor to Raleigh, riding alone 
from Richmond all those dreary miles in his 
gig. The trip took him a week. We may re- 
tell, however, the stories still remembered of 
him, of his simplicity, his kindly good nature, 
of how he loved to pitch horseshoes with the 
townsfolk, of afternoons when court had ad- 

[163] 



164 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

journed; of how once he could get no tailor 
to make him a pair of new breeches, for love 
nor money, because he would not ask him to 
take away the turn already promised to a custo- 
mer to serve himself. As Justice Marshall 
would not insist upon any special consideration 
he had at that time to hold court in ragged 
breeches, which made no more difference 
than he thought it did, namely, no difference 
at all. 

Swain says, "I shall never see nor 
hear his like again," and Judge Badger tells 
of Marshall's saying in his hearing, ''The 
Constitution of the United States is to be con- 
strued not loosely, not strictly, but honestly." 
Here you see Judge Badger learning those 
lessons of moderation and of justice which he 
put to good use for himself in his later life. 

State Treasurers are usually retained for 
many successive years; Secretaries of State for 
long terms, also being re-elected and passing 
their lives with us and becoming permanent 
residents. The Judges of the Supreme Court 
of North Carolina did not do this so invariably, 
while Governors, having short terms of office, 
were more often but transient sojourners. Men 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 165 

from other states often came to us. The 
mention of such solid and worthy qualities as 
those of Duncan Cameron and Kenneth Ray- 
ner, might be made as examples of the great 
gain which often came to this city and state 
when such men chose to cast in their lot among 
us. 

It is said that you must have been a part of 
the city of Charleston for three generations 
before you can claim to belong to the place. 
Raleigh has been more hospitable from the 
first, and has added to herself many a good 
and worthy man by this virtue. 

Certainly Judge Gaston should be charac- 
terized in any story of Wake County. His 
memory deserves honor among us for what he 
was enabled to accomplish for Raleigh as 
well as for his great service to the State. 

He was born in New Berne, and when living 
in Raleigh inhabited a little office building in 
the yard of that house which stood, until a 
few years ago, at the south-west corner of 
Salisbury and West Hargett Streets. This 
was originally the home of Chief Justice Tay- 
lor, who married Judge Gaston's sister. The 
little office in question was on the very corner, 



166 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

and stood in an old fashioned garden, under a 
huge ginkgo tree, and with vines and flowers 
about its rear. Business houses have en- 
croached on this old residence, and brick and 
mortar entirely cover its site today. 

Judge Gaston has no living relatives in the 
State. His portraits, both painted and chisel- 
ed in marble, are to be seen in the State 
Library building. That he was a very great 
lawyer those who know affirm enthusiastic- 
ally; that he was a greater man, a white-souled 
Galahad of his day, his contemporaries agree 
in testifying, while his letters bear it out. 
"His Sanctity" as one reverent admirer calls 
him. Judge Gaston's pictured face is intel- 
lectual, calm, regular in feature, but shows a 
sad expression of the mouth, a somewhat 
pathetic air. Gaston is said to have been a 
bit too fine-grained for the rough game of 
politics. He could not hate any one with his 
whole heart for a moment, not even one of 
another party! His high standards and per- 
sonal ideals joined with his judicial temper- 
ament, made some things unbearable to him 
which would scarce have provoked a shrug 
from a less sensitive man. When the Feder- 
alist Party went to pieces he felt a little home- 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 167 

less politically, and registers his disappoint- 
ment in his advice to Governor Swain never 
to be persuaded to re-enter public life after 
he had found useful retirement away from it. 

Judge Gaston was first a Congressman, re- 
tiring to practice law but going to the State 
Senate from time to time. In 1833 he was 
appointed to the Supreme Court after the 
death of Judge Leonard Henderson. 

In religion he was a Catholic, and used his 
influence in the Constitutional Convention of 
1835 to do away with the restraints on re- 
ligious liberty and amend the Constitution to 
read "Christian," instead of 'Trotestant," 
when enumerating the qualifications for public 
oflice. His speeches on that theme are said 
to have carried his hearers deep into the realm 
of abstract justice, leaving mere expediency 
far behind. 

In this connection let it be stated that in the 
Constitutional Convention of 1861 the last 
religious limitation was removed, when dis- 
abilities were removed from the Jews, by 
ordinance introduced by William Johnston 
of Mecklenburg, father to Mrs. A. B. Andrews, 
whose memorial volume this is intended to 
become. 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 169 

Judge Gaston's celebrated eloquence, like 
that of many another dead orator, is hard to 
estimate at this time. His speeches are 
dignified, sensible, patterned with metaphors 
like the figures on an old-fashioned brocade, 
and like it a bit stiff. Voice and intonation 
are gone. Great oratory is a fading flower. 
Gaston's signal service to us and to Raleigh 
was his determining influence in persuading 
the Legislature to retain the Capital of the 
State on the old site. In doing this he kept 
our heritage for us which might have been 
lost but for him. He was the author of the 
words of our State song, ''Carolina, Carolina, 
Heaven's blessings attend her!" He was also 
permitted in that heated time to speak many 
wise words about slavery, to prophesy its 
downfall, and all this without offense, such 
was the universal respect for his purity and 
sincerity. His taking off was very sudden. 
His last words were a confession of faith in 
God and Christianity. 

We have mentioned the name of John Hay- 
wood, State Treasurer for forty years, builder 
of the venerable mansion which stands un- 
changed on New Berne Avenue and shelters 
his descendants. He came to Raleigh in the 



170 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

year 1787, and about that same time three 
brothers of his also settled here: Henry, father 
of Senator William H. Haywood, Sherwood 
Haywood, and Stephen Haywood. By prom- 
inence of position and by services the Treas- 
urer was the best known of the four. His 
portrait shows a handsome, well marked face 
with dark eyes and a smiling expression, 
crowned with a mass of prematurely grey hair. 
He was an able man, but his greatest talent 
was the art of doing kind things kindly. 
He was a veritable genius at friendship. 

Besides the duties of his ofBce, he interested 
himself in the infant University, and he is said 
to have missed not more than two trustees' 
meetings in his whole career, a signal devotion 
when we consider the long muddy miles that 
had to be wallowed through on horseback for 
nearly a whole day, both going and coming, to 
the winter meetings. It is a persistent tradi- 
tion that he was the designer of the seal and 
motto of the University. This has not been 
established, but it is given for its intrinsic like- 
lihood. 

He was responsible for calling to Raleigh 
that good and useful man Dr. William 
McPheeters who was a native of Virginia, and 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 171 

who became both schoolmaster and town 
pastor and was long a kind of Presbyterian 
Pope of Raleigh. 

Each session of the Legislature, Mr. Hay- 
wood invited each member to eat at least one 
meal with him, and he knew more men well 
and pleasantly than did any other man 
in the State unless it may have been Gov- 
ernor Swain. 

His funeral was a state affair, with full mili- 
tary honors, and though Mr. Haywood was 
an Episcopalian in denomination, his old 
friend Dr. McPheeters pronounced the 
funeral discourse, closing with these words: 
"Integrity and innocence were his guardian 
angels, and out of the furnace of suspicion 
he came unhurt." Haywood County, where 
Waynesville is situated, was named for our 
longest incumbent in the Treasurer's office. 

Judge Badger was one of the ablest men 
ever produced in North Carolina. He was 
born in the eastern part of the State, and was 
a precocious genius, graduating from Yale 
University very young. By the time he was 
thirty years old, he had been a lawyer, a con- 
gressman, and a judge, and had left the bench 
to practice law in Raleigh. 



172 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

William Peace, the merchant, told of having 
sold him a suit of black broadcloth on credit, 
when he was just twenty years old and had, 
at that early age, obtained his law license. 
It was against his custom, he said, but he was 
so taken with the gallant youth, that he risked 
the money upon him without security, and 
was entirely justified in doing so. 

Judge Badger had still a long and a brilliant 
career before him after he settled in Raleigh. 
When the Whig party rose out of the ruins of 
the Federalist, after the disputes with Jackson, 
Badger was appointed Secretary of the Navy 
under Harrison. When Tyler, after succeed- 
ing to the presidential chair on Harrison's 
death, split the party. Badger resigned his 
portfolio along with the rest of the cabinet. 
Soon after this he succeeded William H. Hay- 
wood as Senator, serving until 1855. Always 
a man of great brilliancy of mind he took hold 
of nothing by the rough handle. It was a 
criticism of him that he was too jocular, that 
he could make a joke of anything and laugh it 
out of court. He held well-defined opinions, 
however, and was a moderate man, a concilia- 
tor. In his opinions about slavery he follow- 
ed the ideas and the hopes of Henry Clay. 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 173 

In denomination he was Episcopalian, and 
was an active opponent of Bishop Ives, who 
was touched with a wave of that same belief 
which was troubling the Church of England at 
that time, and which carried Newman over 
into the Catholic Church. That was also 
the final development with Bishop Ives, and 
Badger early recognized whither this Roman- 
izing tendency was drifting, and opposed and 
exposed the change in the conventions of the 
Episcopal Church. 

A staunch Union man, a moderate and a 
conservative. Judge Badger was nevertheless 
forced by the cruel turn of affairs in '61 to 
move the secession ordinance, as representing 
Wake County, in May of that year. He died 
in '66. His second wife was a sister of Leoni- 
das Polk, and his third wife was a Haywood. 

Like the Polks and like the Haywoods, the 
Battles have given good men and faithful ones 
to Raleigh. Judge Battle, father of Doctor 
Kemp Battle, so long President of the Univer- 
sity and historian of it, father also of our late 
useful townsman Richard Battle, Esquire, lived 
for most of his active years in Raleigh. Dun- 
can Cameron moved here in 1829 and was 



174 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

chairman of the committee which had charge 
of the building of the second Capitol; he also 
had charge of the building of Christ Church, 
thus leaving his mark on Raleigh in these 
lovely buildings. He was also president of the 
the State Bank until succeeded later by his 
son-in-law, George Mordecai. 

Leonidas Polk, the second son of Colonel 
William Polk, was born in Raleigh. In a 
former chapter he has been characterized as 
a live boy, a student at the old Academy un- 
der Dr. McPheeters. His distinctive ac- 
complishment as a youth was his gift of song. 
He could sing more old songs better than any- 
one else in town. 

When prepared he went early to Chapel 
Hill, remaining two years. A part of that 
time Governor Swain was his room-mate. 
In 1822 he received his appointment to West 
Point. 

Up to this time in his life he was a high- 
spirited and care-free but ambitious lad, hav- 
ing perhaps a keener pair of eyes in his head 
than most, and indeed he was scarcely more 
than twenty when he entered the Military 
Academy. 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 175 

There he encountered an atmosphere as de- 
void of any religious warmth as an institution 
could manifest without being absolutely 
atheistic or openly vicious in its influence. 
It is not known to the average person what a 
tendency to irreligion was shown in our 
country during the early part of the last cen- 
tury, before the great revivals began to sweep 
their converts into the churches, and before 
a true missionary spirit became active. The 
older folk of that time were of the generation 
of the French Revolution, and the most 
educated minds, like Jefferson's for example, 
were full of the ideas of Voltaire or of Tom 
Paine, and were often agnostic in refusing to 
fix any religious belief. 

At West Point at that time it was consider- 
ed soft and silly to notice the subject of religion 
in any way. Not a single officer there was a 
professor of any religious faith at that time, 
although they had a chaplain for form's sake. 
About that time a new chaplain was appoint- 
ed and came to serve them. He records how 
chilling he found the apathy and the veiled 
scorn he met, but he was the kind of man 
whose conviction led him to strive to accom- 
plish something under any conditions. He 




v^vl 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 177 

was able to influence Leonidas Polk, and made 
in him his first convert. The young man was 
deeply and genuinely touched and changed. 
Alter graduating at West Point, he told his 
father of his new outlook and of his recently 
taken decision to leave the army and study for 
the Church. While Colonel Polk's plans for 
his boy were cruelly frustrated, still there was 
no open breach between them, and the father 
became more reconciled as time passed. 
After studying at the seminary in Alexander, 
Virginia, Leonidas was ordained deacon in 
1831. 

Before that time he had married Miss 
Devereux, daughter of John Devereux of 
Raleigh, and when a few years later he was 
consecrated Missionary Bishop of the South- 
west, he moved to Tennessee to the generous 
tract his father allotted him of a thousand 
acres of good blue grass. 

The diocese of the new bishop was enormous 
consisting of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
Arkansas, Indian Territory of Oklahoma, and 
the great state of Texas. The whole of this 
wide extent of country was still sparsely set- 
tled, and its isolated inhabitants had very 
little religious instruction and did not wish 



178 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

for any. In emigrating, they had escaped re- 
straint, and unlike the more northern emi- 
grants they were mostly country people and 
did not come from communities well organized 
religiously. Their old homes had often been 
as isolated to all intents and purposes as the 
new ones so far on the frontier. 

This made the problem of the missionary, 
and on one of his long journeys a Texan told 
Bishop Polk that he was wasting his time. 
''Go home; go home, young man," said this 
man earnestly, "we are not worth saving!" 

An anecdote told of one of these border 
ruffians of this decade will illustrate the lawless 
undisciplined spirit of the South-west with 
which Bishop Polk had to deal in the begin- 
ning of his ministry. It was a man who had 
been jailed for manslaughter and was most 
indignant, considering it an outrage, and say- 
ing, "Now-a-days you can't put an inch or so 
of knife into a fellow, or lam him over the 
head with a stick of wood, but every little 
lackey must poke his nose in, and law, law, 
law is the word. Then after the witnesses 
swear to their pack o'lies, and the lawyers get 
their jaw in, that old cuss that sets up there 



MORE BIOGRAPHIES 179 

high and grinds out the law to 'em, he must 
have his how-de-do! I tell you T won't stay 
in no such a country. I mean to go to Texas, 
where a man can have some peace and not be 
interfered with in his private concerns!" 

This was the spirit that Bishop Polk met 
over and over again in his long journeys all 
over this great district. His life was threat- 
ened with violence in more than one frontier 
place, but he was a man who could not be 
daunted; and beside this he well understood 
the tempers and manners of his southern fel- 
low-countrymen. He did the work of an 
evangelist with much success. Later he help- 
ed to initiate and organize the University of 
the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. 

The war came on in '61, and Jefferson 
Davis, President of the Confederacy, being in 
need of all the trained soldiers possible to 
lead and train his armies, asked his advisers 
if they supposed Bishop Polk would allow 
himself to be appointed Major-General. This 
appointment was offered to him, without his 
having any surmise of it beforehand. After 
some consideration. Bishop Polk accepted the 
commission, and served his country and chos- 
en cause as Major, afterwards Brigadier-Gen- 



180 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

eral all through the war. Quite late In the 
struggle he was killed during the fighting 
round Atlanta. He was burled in Augusta, 
Georgia. 

His men called him Bishop more often than 
they called him General, and he was much 
loved. He kept his sacred calling well to the 
fore, while doing the difficult duty of a soldier 
and officer in command. 

Such a sincere picturesque figure as he 
makes is a worthy subject for study and inter- 
est. We cannot claim many such distin- 
guished and unusual persons. 

Many soldiers went out from Raleigh and of 
these many distinguished themselves. Their 
histories are part of that great book of golden 
deeds which should be read as long as books 
are made. But it would be too long to try to 
tell of them all; to tell of those who came 
home alive to work out a restoration of the 
piteous destruction of war, and of those who 
were mercifully spared the further sacrifice 
except the one of their lives given in a moment 
of time, rather than spent painfully day by 
day. These things will be better told by 
others. There is not room here for that long 
roll of heroic names. 




CHAPTER VIII 
Improvements and Progress 

OMETIMES improvement Is de- 
finitely started by the stimula- 
tion of a great loss. The Raleigh 
that we know today only began 
to come into existence after the 

old town had been destroyed by a series of 

fires. 

Of these the most serious and the most 
spectacular was the burning of the old State 
House in 1831. From Governor Swain's ac- 
count, given as an eye-witness, we can recall the 
despair and dismay of this loss. 

The fire occurred in broad daylight, the 
middle of a summer day, June 21st, 1831, 
and caught from a solder pot which a careless 
workman took into the loft where he was re- 
pairing something about the roof, and there 
left it, while he went to dinner. During his 
absence the fire caught and spread unnoticed. 

Once before, in 1799, there had been an 
alarm about fire, a warning given by Andrew 
Jackson, conveyed to his old friend and for- 

[i8i] 



182 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

mer neighbor Colonel Polk, to the effect that 
it was conspired to destroy the State House in 
that way. It seems that the Secretary of 
State, Glasgow, holding his office as a respect- 
ed leader and a Revolutionary officer of re- 
pute, had somehow fallen into bad ways, and 
was issuing fraudulent land warrants. The 
deception being found out, he was prosecuted, 
and to prevent conviction he had designed to 
burn the State House, and with it all evidences 
of his crime. This plot Jackson discovered, 
and the State House and its records were 
saved, while Glasgow fled from justice. 

This time, however, the fire was well under 
way before anyone knew about it, and when 
the flames appeared they were at the top of 
the building, and there was not even a ladder 
at hand long enough to reach the trouble. 
And so that bright June day, the State House 
burned leisurely, the black smoke rolled up 
into the blue sky while the owls and bats and 
flying squirrels scurried out of the burning 
dome in panic, and the terrified people of 
Raleigh ran helplessly to and fro across the 
Capitol Square. Mr Hill, Secretary of State, 
had ample time to save the State papers. A 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 183 

few that were lost at that time were after- 
wards restored by bequest of Waightstlll 
Avery, from his private collections. 

Miss Betsy Geddy, that spirited and gritty 
maiden lady, rallied all comers to try and 
move the Canova statue of Washington 
from beneath the burning roof. The citizens 
took hold, under her leadership and encour- 
agement, and tried hard, but the marble was 
very heavy, and there were not hands enough 
to lift or to move it. There remained noth- 
ing to do but to watch it burn. By and by 
the fire had surrounded it, and it could be 
seen heated red-hot, glowing like a figure in a 
fiery furnace. So it shone for a time with 
unearthly beauty, and suddenly the roof fell 
in upon it and it broke and crumbled in utter 
and final ruin. A silence fell on the watching 
throng, and some little child's voice was heard 
speaking the sorrow of all: 'Toor State House, 
poor statue, Fm so sorry!" 

After the smoking ruins in the Capitol 
Square had been quenched in a few summer 
rains, the question was asked and the dis- 
cussion began whether the edifice should or 
should not be rebuilt in the same spot or an- 
other Capital city selected. 



184 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

At the next General Assembly the contro- 
versy became hot. Fayetteville, always sore 
because she had been passed by that first 
time, when the new Capital was located in 
a wilderness, came to the front again to put 
forth an earnest efforttohave her way this time. 
She felt that the breeze that fanned the 
flame had been blowing good to her door. 

A proposed town site of Haywood to be 
built at the junction of the Cape Fear and the 
Deep Rivers was spoken of also; and much was 
said in its favor because the idea was that 
water was needed for transportation, and such 
a site would be favorable for a Capital city 
on that account. This last is a persistent 
tradition, and not a matter of written record. 

Haywood in the House, Judge Henry Sea- 
well in the Senate, made the motion to rebuild 
the Capitol on the former site in the City of 
Raleigh, and the great influence and eloquence 
of Judge Gaston were needed at this moment- 
ous session of the Assembly so to sway the 
wavering minds of the Legislators that they 
might vote for the retention of the seat of 
government in Wake County. The bill to 
rebuild the Capitol at Raleigh and on its old 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 185 

site was finally passed by a safe majority, 
and carried the appropriation of fifty thousand 
dollars. The Representatives, thinking of 
the twenty thousand which sufficed to build 
the first State House, considered this a gener- 
ous allowance. They ordered the new build- 
ing to be as nearly fire-proof as possible, to 
be built of granite and to have stone floors as 
well as walls. 

The committee to have charge of the build- 
ing were William Boylan, Duncan Cameron, 
William S. M'Hoon (State Treasurer), Henry 
Seawell, and Romulus M. Saunders. This 
first committee soon resigned and was suc- 
ceeded by a second entire body composed of 
S. F. Patterson, Beverly Daniel, Charles Man- 
ly, Alfred Jones of White Plains, and Charles 
L. Hinton. Mr. Nichols was State architect 
and had had some experience with the stone 
which could be quarried here at home. A 
builder from the North was associated with 
him for a little time, but was later dismissed. 

The committee were men of boldness, for 
they calmly used the whole of the first appro- 
ation to build the foundation for the new 
Capitol and then asked for more. Of course 




Canova's conception of George Washington as pictured 

IN A RARE SKETCH AFTER THE FAMOUS STATUE. (fROM 
MRS. JULIA JOHNSTON ANDREWs' SKETCH) 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 187 

this was exactly what they should have done, 
but when we reflect how unpopular this action 
would appear to the habitual parsimony of 
that day's public opinion, and how well the 
Legislature understood that unavoidable tax- 
ation was all that would be tolerated, we may 
understand that in doing this they were tempt- 
ing criticism and doing it consciously. 

On July 4th, 1833, the corner stone of the 
Capitol was laid with Masonic rites, and an 
account of the procession and of the articles 
placed in the corner stone may be read in the 
papers of that date. 

Governor Swain was in office at that 
time, a;id on that same day was held in the 
brick hotel, formerly the State Museum, a 
meeting of representative citizens of North 
Carolina to debate on ways and means for 
building a railroad; or two lines, one east and 
west and one north and south, connecting 
with the Portsmouth Railroad, and extending 
to some convenient point on the South Caro- 
lina line. Governor Swain presided over the 
meeting, the first of its kind ever held in 
North Carolina, and their decision was to 
petition the Legislature to assist the enter- 
prise by pledging the faith of the State. A 



188 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

subsequent, more widely representative con- 
vention suggested the proportion of three- 
fifths subscribed by stockholders, and two- 
fifths loaned or invested by the State. 

To return to the new Capitol, begun as 
above, in 1833, and built for the sum as cal- 
culated after its completion, of 2530,684, re- 
quiring seven years to finish. It is, and has 
been, as fine a building of its kind as is to 
be found in the United States, and it 
it has been a lovely and satisfying sight to 
several generations of North Carolina folk. 
The stone was all taken from that same quarry 
at the eastern side of town which had been 
opened for the foundation of the first State 
House. 

It is a granite, rather brittle, and veined 
with lines of brown which make its coloring 
warm instead of too grey. It is somewhat 
translucent, having the quality, more than any 
other stone in the State, of reflecting a differ- 
ent color under every changing sky which 
looks down upon it. When snow is on the 
ground, in the glow of a winter sunset, it has 
a lovely bluish cast. In spring, when the 
baby leaves on the trees around it show pale 
green, it looks pinkish and pale grey, and 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 189 

ethereal like a fairy palace. This wonderful 
stone gave trouble to the builders, however, 
and sometimes cracked unexpectedly. One of 
the great pillars of the western facade, has a 
broken corner in its pedestal, where a piece 
of the slab faulted when the weight grew heavy 
upon it, and which was never corrected be- 
cause of the great expense involved of renew- 
ing the whole pillar. 

Directing the building was William Nichols. 
The architect, Ithiel Towneof New York City, 
came to see the foundation laid out and begun. 
He left as an architect and draughtsman to 
to represent him, David Paton, a Scotchman, 
who did not remain long in North Carolina 
after he had completed his work. During his 
stay, however, he married a North Carolina 
lady, and his wife died and left him with one 
baby girl. This child was returned to the 
care of her Southern grandmother, and mar- 
ried here. Through her Mr. Paton has descen- 
dants in this State. 

Thomas Bragg, father of Governor Bragg, 
was also In charge of part of the work. It 
was necessary also to Import skilled stone- 
cutters from England and Scotland, for there 



190 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

were none In North Carolina, and accordingly 
the ancestor of the Stronach family was one of 
these skilled craftsmen, William Murdoch of 
Salisbury was another, also aMr. Puttick, and 
others who cast in their lot here afterward 
and became permanent citizens. 

On first coming to this climate these foreign 
folk found the heat and humidity hard to bear 
and several died of the fevers which were con- 
sidered quite Inevitable in those days. They 
lie buried in the old City Cemetery. The most 
of the Scotch masons adapted themselves as 
that sturdy race does in every part of the 
world, and worked busily at the rising wall 
of the Capitol until it stood complete. 

There is no use giving dimensions and telling 
of the source of the architectural details of 
this building, speculating as to the Greek 
or Roman temple suggested by this cornice, 
or the classical building imitated in that fa- 
cade, for we may see the lovely pile of stone 
any day, those of us who live in this city and 
country. It has become for us like the sunshine 
and the blue sky, too much a part of our 
daily vision for us to realize the great Intrin- 
sic beauty it represents. 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 191 

It took several sets of commissioners to 
finally complete the building of the Capitol, 
and they frequently resigned, and were often 
replaced during the interval; for it is hinted 
that the great amount of money which had to 
be expended more than the first appropriation 
caused a good deal of criticism. Also not being 
skilled architects they must stand by what was 
told them by their contractors; and many 
difiiculties quite unexpected had to be met 
one by one in the progress of the edifice. 
Besides this, every one who passed by felt 
privileged to criticise and spend an opinion, 
until those in charge could scarcely maintain 
their calmness. This sort of free advice is 
one of the rights of a democracy. Kings' 
houses are not so pitilessly criticised. 

The last committee, those who persisted, 
were but three— William McPheeters, John 
Beckwith, and Weston Gales, and it is these 
whose final accounting to the General Assem- 
bly is published in the newspapers of the time. 

The stone to build the Capitol was hauled 
to the spot by means of a little street rail- 
road or tramway, called the ''Experimental 
Railroad." This was constructed across from 



192 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

the quarry to the eastern end of New Berne 
Avenue, and west along that street to the 
Capitol Square, and the small cars drawn by 
mules easily handled the blocks of stone. 
This plan, which seems quite simple and ob- 
vious, was considered a wonder and a great 
innovation at that time. The railroad Idea 
was quite new and as thrilling to the popular 
imagination as the airplane Is now In 1922. 
The idea of building and operating this little 
railroad was due to Mrs. Sarah Hawkins Polk, 
wife of Colonel William Polk, and she put 
her savings into It, realizing three hundred 
per cent. 

Among the letters of her son, Leonidas, then 
a cadet at West Point, to his parents, was one 
which contributed the Idea. He went to 
Boston on a summer leave of absence, and 
saw there In operation that sort of a tramway 
bringing in the stone being then used to build 
Bunker Hill Monument. He took the trouble 
to write his parents the whole plan in detail, 
making a careful little sketch to show the 
proper flange the car wheels should have In 
order to run safely on the wooden rails. 
This experimental railroad was such a sue- 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 193 

cess that a passenger car was put on, drawn 
by a safe horse, and people came from far and 
near to enjoy a new sensation, so that at times 
the hauling of stone was somewhat Impeded. 
Street cars were thus a very early develop- 
ment In Raleigh, due to the seizing of a new 
Idea by a woman. 

Indeed, the good ladles of Raleigh seem to 
have been more ''experimental" than their 
lords on several occasions, although we are of- 
ten told that women are the conservative sex. 
We have told of Miss Betsy Geddy's spirited 
effort to save the finest thing In the State, the 
Canova statue of George Washington, at the 
time the old State House burned. This story 
is like that of the alabaster box of precious 
ointment, always to be told In her praise. 
One of the daughters of Mr. Casso, the inn- 
keeper or hotel man, had married the mer- 
chant, John Stewart. She was one of those 
strong-willed and practical sisters who make 
the finest ancestors In the world, because they 
have the common sense and decision to meet 
a crisis. 

She saved her home, although it was given 
up to be destroyed in the path of that great 







c o 

^& 

^ . 

2 H 



o w 
u ft. 
o . 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 195 

fire that swept off the whole east side of 
Fayetteville Street. This happened shortly 
after the State House was burned and shows 
how nearly Raleigh was totally annihilated 
by recurring conflagrations. They brought 
gunpowder, and told Mrs. Stewart that her 
house must be blown up to arrest the fire, 
which was come almost to that place. She 
mounted her roof and defied them to blow 
her up with the doomed house, and when she 
had thus gained her point she proceeded to 
save her house, and keep a roof over her head, 
by hard work and wet bed-quilts. Another 
time she saved somebody's store from being 
a total loss by quenching the burning roof with 
twelve barrels of vinegar, after the wells were 
all drawn dry. At the festival in honor of 
the coming of the railroad into Raleigh, she 
served the banquet to seven hundred people 
who sat down simultaneously. 

Good fire protection was scarcely to be ex- 
pected in Raleigh, and the business block was 
crowded together more than was prudent 
when the town was so small. A tiny fire 
engine was bought as early as 1802, and 
another in 1810, although they seem not to 
have done much good. 



196 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Also there were at one time primitive water- 
works, water being pumped up from Walnut 
Creek to a tank and allowed to run down 
Fayetteville Street by gravity. The wooden 
pipes soon filled up with sediment, for the 
water was uniiltered and full of the red mud 
which is seldom absent from running streams in 
this section. Drought then reigned as be- 
fore, except as slaked by well-water. 

Hunter's Pond was the cause of much of the 
fever and chills that made the city sickly, and 
only after the fever epidemics of the thirties 
was this pond bought by the city and drained. 

Raleigh by this time was becoming aware of 
her backwardness. Railroading was the topic 
and the sensation. Internal improvement 
was in the air. After so long without taking 
serious interest in the subject, people had sud- 
denly become impatient of the endless miles 
which separated them from their next town 
neighbors. Every newspaper told of the rise 
of real estate values, the increase in the 
promptness of the mails, and the other joys of 
those sections where railroads had already be- 
gun to be built and operated. ''Let us cease 
to doubt, to hesitate and slumber, let us tear 
away the poppy from our brows, let us no 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 197 

longer be the Rip Van Winkle among com- 
monwealths," thus runs the editorial comment 
upon the following bit of news item, dated 
February Sth, 1833, Petersburg, Virginia. 

"It is impossible to convey to those who 
have not witnessed a similar scene, an ade- 
quate conception of the pride and pleasure 
that beamed from every countenance when 
the Engine was first seen descending the plain, 
wending her way with sylph-like beauty into 
the bosom of the town, and, like a conqueror 
of old, bearing upon her bosom the evidence 
of the victory of art over the obstructions of 
nature." 

Conventions were held, stock books were 
opened and the successive Legislatures mem- 
orialized, while, after a year or two of such 
excitement many railroads had been laid out on 
paper and nowhere else, and the newspapers 
thought things were wofully slow moving. 
Yet when we think of the novelty of the un- 
dertaking, we cannot say that there was much 
delay. 

The beginning of railroad agitation and the 
laying of the corner stone of the new Capitol 
were accomplished the same day, and the rail- 



198 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

road, the Raleigh and Gaston, was near 
enough to completion to be celebrated at the 
same time as the finishing of the Capitol 
building. 

The same year 1840, which saw the new 
Capitol complete from foundation to 
dome, also saw the first train roll into Raleigh 
from Gaston, near Weldon, and the feelings so 
well expressed in Petersburg, of victory over 
space and time, enlivened the hearts of this 
city, rejuvenated as it was by these two great 
tasks accomplished. 

The Three Days of Raleigh were June tenth, 
eleventh, and twelfth, 1840, and the town gave 
itself up to jollification, speechification, il- 
lumination and barbecue. Guests from Rich- 
mond and from Petersburg, from Wilmington 
and from other North Carolina towns, were 
present. Wilmington had also seen her first 
train pull into the station that same spring, 
but the western towns were still served by 
stage-coaches. 

The banquet was served in the new freight 
depot, empty and spacious, and capable of 
holding the seven hundred guests. A first 
shipment of cotton for export had been brought 
into it just the April previous. 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 199 

There were five tables ninety feet long, and 
the banqueters toasted in real, sure-enough 
liquor, The Railroad, The Capitol, Judge Gas- 
ton, "The Ladies" several times, and Mrs. 
Sarah Polk especially, and separately, al- 
though they called her a "Distinguished Fe- 
male." To read of the doings, one would fear 
that the banqueters might need help when 
time came to go home after all was over. 

That night and the following there were 
strings of colored lanterns from tree to tree 
in the Capitol Square, and transparencies, one 
showing the new Capitol, one the new engine, 
"The Tornado," and the third, a "lovely 
scene of nature" entitled "Our Country." 
There were two balls on successive nights in 
the Senate Chamber, whose great chandelier 
held a hundred wax candles; and concerts in 
the Commons Hall for those who did not 
dance. 

During the day there were trips a few miles 
out on the railroad, and return, although the 
rails, or iron strips on which the wheels should 
run were not yet nailed to the wooden string- 
ers. ''The Tornado," as the first engine was 
nam.ed,hadbut a single driving wheel on each 



IMPROVEAIENTS AND PROGRESS 201 

side, and no cab. It was made In Richmond 
and was similar in pattern to a good many 
engines turned out about that time. The cars 
on these first roads were Hke a string of stages 
at first, but in South Carolina they had evolved 
a box-like passenger car, like a low-built street 
car. Hence we suppose the first North Caro- 
lina passenger cars might have been similar to 
those used near Charleston. All engines had 
proper names for the first twenty-five years 
of railroad experience. An item in a Raleigh 
paper about this time tells of a great railroad 
spectacle in Baltimore, when the engine came 
in on the Baltimore and Ohio, drawing seven 
coaches full of people at once, thirty persons 
to the coach. 

The strips of iron which shod the wooden 
rails would sometimics become loosened, catch 
against a car wheel, and turn upwards pierc- 
ing the car, so that by this means the train 
would be stopped. They were called snake 
heads. No one is mentioned as having been 
impaled by this strip of iron, although there 
must have been danger of this accident. 

The fuel burned on our first railroads, and 
many years thereafter, was wood. The pro- 



202 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

gress of the trains was uncertain. Sometimes 
the engine would lurch off the track, and go 
plowing through the bank a few feet, but it 
was not a wrecking train and a great derrick 
that replaced the derailed cars, but simply a 
couple of dozen men gathered from nearby 
farms, and a mule or two, for the little engine 
was not too heavy to be coaxed back upon 
the track by their combined efforts. 

Railroad nomenclature was not settled at 
this time. They called a collision (and these 
happened soon) a concussion. A train was 
called a brigade of cars. 

The Raleigh and Gaston was eighty-six 
miles long, and this distance and return was 
made in twelve hours, which was considered 
a giddy pace. The time table given occurs 
several years later, and says "Leave Raleigh at 
7:00 a. m.. Reach Weldon at 12 m." 

The president of the new road was George 
W. Mordecai. The State aided in financing 
the project, although a little reluctantly, and 
on rather severe terms. We must notice that 
fares on the different stage lines were reduced 
immediately, and stages and harness began 
to be advertised for sale. That the much 



IMPROVEMENTS AND PROGRESS 203 

needed impulse to prosperity was given, farm 
property increased in value along the new line, 
and the North Carolina Railroad was soon 
built, shows that upon the coming of the much 
needed improvement trade was steadily pro- 
gressing. For a long time the population of 
North Carolina had been almost stationary, 
and from 1830 to 1840 only fourteen thousand 
five hundred increase was noted over the 
whole State. Now the "breath of progress 
and the breeze of prosperity was to blow away 
all stagnation and sloth." 




CHAPTER IX 
The Middle Years 

N the decades of the forties and 
the fifties progress and develop- 
ment of Wake County went stead- 
ily forward, even as the prosper- 
ity of North Carolina increased. 
The young men of the Commonwealth did not 
run away in such numbers to Texas and Mis- 
souri as they had formerly done to the near 
South and West. 

The City of Raleigh, established beyond all 
peradventure as Capital of the State for the 
future, found herself by central position, and 
by heritage, confirmed in the social leadership 
of the State. Her individual social atmos- 
phere began to make itself felt. Then, as at 
present, there existed a certain indifference to 
money as an asset socially, a desire to value 
her new-comers for what they could prove 
themselves to be, provided that first of all they 
be agreeable people. This is the quality of a 
society conservative, and yet liberal; reserved, 
and yet tending to kindliness and toleration. 
Such a flavor of life, fine and subtile, does not 

f204l 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 205 

develop save in a time of quiet improvement, 
and hopefulness. 

In the county as a whole, the change to more 
prosperous times became evident. There was 
more to employ the young men of a family and 
to make their stay at home worth while to 
them. 

Probably most of these plantation homes, 
with their wide double piazzas and clustering 
groves of trees, these patriarchal mansions, 
only a few of which survive conflagration and 
neglect, were built about 1840. 

Some were built later, a few much earher, 
but none could have been made after the war. 
The woodwork and the cornices of these 
houses were often of a high finish, and the 
joinery surprises those who think that slaves 
could attain no fine workmanship. Those 
were the houses of which the old folk would 
fondly remark, '1 tell you that was a fine old 
house in its day." These homes seem quite 
simple and plain, but are well remembered for 
what they represented to the life of those 
times. They are roomy, they have a look 
about them of generosity on the part of their 
builders, of the spirit of free hospitality un- 



206 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

trammeled by the drudgery which lack of ser- 
vants must bring. They were largely placed 
in a country not too thickly settled, and pro- 
vided with the abundance of food and drink 
which was unstinted at that era of our history. 
They gave a cheerful welcome and were abodes 
of gracious leisure. These recollections com- 
bine to fill up the kindly memories of these old 
houses. Indeed the time from the first of the 
forties through the fifties must have been a 
golden age to be alive in, the joyous youth of 
our country. 

Improvements in living conditions came in 
quick succession, and made existence easier, 
while anticipation of the next surprise kept 
attention and imagination at a stretch to be- 
hold the next wonder that should happen. 
The over-mechanical development of things 
which has made our hurry and complication 
too great was unguessed at that time, and 
only the delight of growing ease was perceived. 

The conquering of space by the railroad, and 
of time by the telegraph; the increase in wealth 
and comfort; in the desire for learning and 
spread of education; the feeling of enlarged op- 
portunity, as the great United States rounded 
out to its present boundaries; all these ele- 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 207 

ments combined to give everyone a forward- 
looking cheerful expectation. 

The Mexican War, resulting as It did in 
complete victory, gave the self-confidence of 
success to our soldiers. The pioneer spirit 
which in America had so long driven its child- 
ren further west to find the "Something hid 
behind the ranges" let only the Pacific Ocean 
arrest its onward career. Gold was discover- 
ed in California, and the mad rush to the West 
went across the plains In '49. How romantic 
it all was! Life was a joyous adventure to be 
met with enthusiasm, to be followed with 
eager delight. 

When reading of the political campaign of 
1839-40 in which the Whigs elected Harrison 
President, It seems a performance boyish and 
boisterous beyond any that has been carried 
on before or since. The songs, set to familiar 
tunes; the log-cabins mounted on wheels and 
drawn about to represent the home of "Old 
Tippecanoe" as they called General Harrison; 
the barrels of hard cider kept continually on 
tap for his supporters, said to be his favorite 
drink; the ships In honor of Van Buren (no 
especial drink specified); the slang-whanging 



208 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

by all newspapers; the processioning and the 
yelling; it all sounds like a prolonged college 
celebration. The Raleigh Whigs built a log 
cabin for campaign headquarters, which was 
twenty-five by forty feet in dimensions. The 
young Whigs cut the logs in the woods, hauled 
them in, and built it in one day. Here was 
the place for the Whig speakings. The Marks 
Creek Whigs, and others from that side of the 
county, came in in procession, bringing bar- 
rels of hard cider with them. They joined in 
a whole day's rally, finished up with a big bar- 
becue. The whole State went wild. A log 
cabin came rolling through the country all the 
way from Salisbury to Raleigh, with doings 
every step of the way. It was a merry time, 
but although all this boisterous party spirit was 
afoot, yet there were many other things more 
permanently worth while to be considered. 

An interest in education, as mentioned 
before, had sprung up with renewed prosper- 
ity. Almost at the very beginning the far- 
sighted fathers had established a State Univer- 
sity, but there were as yet no public schools as 
we now have them. These were days of the 
Academy and the private school. There were 
many of these all over the State, both for boys 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 209 

and girls, and also we had had a good many 
more or less successful and permanent In Wake 
County. Saint Mary's school in Raleigh was 
at first a boys' school. It was opened in 1834 
but was soon changed to what it has remain- 
ed. Pleasant Grove Academy at Wake Forest 
was another girls' school of this county. 
Wake Forest College was founded by the 
Baptist denomination, and located on the 
plantation of Dr. Calvin Jones in the year 
1833. The first president was that consecrat- 
ed man. Dr. Waitt. 

This was the first denominational college 
In North Carolina, and has been of untold 
benefit to the whole State. It was founded 
under the idea that it should be an Industrial 
school, and this Idea was also used at the be- 
ginning of Davidson College a few years later. 
Trinity College also was founded in these 
next few years, but to Wake Forest belongs 
the honor of being the first In the field. The 
industrial idea was soon abandoned. 

In the year 1840 was enacted the act which 
made available the scant school funds of the 
State which had been accumulating for years, 
and those counties which were willing to sup- 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 211 

plement their quota of State money could 
establish free schools. Wake was one of these 
counties, although not many free schools were 
opened as yet, and those taught only the most 
elementary branchesof reading and writing and 
a little arithmetic. Nevertheless, every child of 
Raleigh should be taught why one of our school 
buildings is called the "Murphy" and one 
the 'Wiley" school. 

Other Ideas of reform were abroad in 
Raleigh. There was begun at that time the 
first temperance society, and though this died 
out afterwards, the Idea lived on to later 
fruition. 

In the year 1841 the population of Wake 
County was eighteen thousand, and by the 
year 1860 It had increased to thirty thousand. 

After the railroads were completed, Raleigh 
might seem to settle to quiet growth because 
the new era had begun in earnest with the 
coming of the railroad, and all sorts of new 
comforts and luxuries hitherto uncommon had 
come in with transportation. To read the 
grocers' advertisements, comparing them with 
a few years before, you may notice how they 
change from a simple list of heavy groceries 



212 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

and no more, to long columns advertising 
dainties such as candies, raisins, figs, cordials 
and syrups, dried fruits, teas and coffees, 
enough to make the mouth water. 

Milliners, too, began to advertise styles 
straight from Paris, and trimmed bonnets 
from New York, these last of the coal-scuttle 
variety, huge and deep, to be worn with 
dresses which spread and frilled at the bottom 
like a two-yard-wide morning-glory blossom. 
The ladies wore tight bodices and large leg-o- 
mutton sleeves made to stand out by means of 
cushions at the shoulders. 

To match such ladies' dresses, the beaux 
wore tight blue tailcoats with brass buttons 
and high velvet collars, nankeen trousers with 
straps under the foot to hold them down 
(these were tan colored, lighter than khaki) 
and high bell-crowned beavers, light colored, 
and made with wide curly brims. Their 
cravats were like young tablecloths, winding 
twice round the neck, holding up the sharp 
points of their white collars against their ears. 
Ladies' hoop skirts grew wide or grew narrow 
according to the fashion, the men's trousers 
grew more open or narrowed at the foot, year 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 213 

by year, but all through the period I am de- 
scribing, clothing was exaggerated and extrav- 
agant, and many yards of material went to 
the making of a single costume. 

Soon after the coming of the railroad, we see 
a soda fountain advertised, and soon again, a 
circus with a menagerie. More amusements 
were demanded, more luxuries obtainable. 

The telegraph was not a common conven- 
ience until about 18SS, and was not used to 
run trains by, at first. You did not know 
what had become of your family after the 
train had carried them away until at least a week 
after when they wrote you their adventures. 
You simply had to sit patiently and wait 
for the train you expected to take, until it 
finally rolled in around the curve, to the sta- 
tion. 

But indefinite though the schedules were, 
goods and people could be moved from place 
to place as never before. A farm.er could dis- 
pose of his produce to better advantage, 
could sell his cotton and tobacco at the sea- 
board. Agriculture, which had become less 
efficient rather than more so during the first 
third of the nineteenth century, picked up in 



214 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

interest as its rewards became greater. The 
articles in the papers treated of good methods, 
and the first agricultural fair was held in 
Raleigh in 1833. News items about large 
crop yields were common, and in 1841 the 
amount of one hundred ninety bushels of corn 
to the acre is given as the best record of the 
two Carolinas. 

That other kind of cultivation which is 
spelled Culture with a big C, and which must 
be neglected for awhile until a new country 
has time for it, began in this era to be more 
sought after. Good books are advertised for 
sale in each issue of the Raleigh papers. A 
Richmond gentleman, visiting Raleigh for the 
railroad celebration, describes his morning 
spent in the North Carolina book store, and 
tells of the interesting literature he found there. 
About this time, sandwiched in among law, 
religion, text books and almanacs, we find ad- 
vertised, DeTocqueville's Travels in America^ 
Scott's Novels, and Jane Austen's "Emma'\ 
besides much other good literature. 

The Southern Literary Messenger was start- 
ed in Richmond as early as 1831, and was one 
of the very first American periodicals devoted 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 215 

to pure literature. On the list of original sub- 
scribers which made its publication possible 
occur the names of several Raleigh people. 

After 1843, Edgar Allan Poe, according to 
many good critics our greatest American poet, 
was the editor of this magazine, and to it he 
contributed some of his loveliest lyrics. Books 
and magazines of the best were plentiful as 
you see in old Raleigh, and all the means of 
self-culture were available here which were to 
be found anywhere in the United States. 

But all through these times of expanding 
horizon and days of dawning culture, there 
was an undercurrent of discord, a voice of 
coming storm. It could be heard, so to ex- 
press it, only when silence fell; like the sound 
of surf, inland on a still night. 

The North and South had been for thirty 
years like members of a family whose individ- 
uals have had a terrible disagreement on fun- 
damentals, but which has decided, for reasons 
of policy and property, to hold together in 
outward semblance long after all true fellow- 
ship and mutual love have departed. The 
subjects which divided them, slavery and 
states rights, were past being discussed as a 
general theme of common interest. 




I 



5 H 






U O 

•=r o 



THE AlIDDLE YEARS 217 

Feeling on both sides had run so high in 
Congress that full statement of opinion either 
way was difficult to tolerate. Compromise 
after compromise had been arranged by first 
one and then the other party, each side had 
been soothed in turn; but by the latter years 
of the decades we are describing, further ar- 
rangement of differences in this way had be- 
come a stench in the nostrils of either side. 
One thing only had been accomplished by this 
continual compromising, namely, time had 
been given so that the nation had learned 
more about workable self-government. 

Now the time of silent ignoring of the topics 
which everyone was passionately thinking 
about in their hearts was nearly past. The 
calling of things peaceful when all inner con- 
viction was a bitter partizanship had to find a 
definite end. 

North Carolina had been a somewhat back- 
ward state, she had been subject to certain 
conditions which had made her so. Her in- 
tense independent individualism had made it 
hard for her to unite her sons in any cause, 
and the Union had not been so much a matter 
of course to her as a lesson to be learned, a 
course to be thoughtfully adopted. 



218 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

In Raleigh, as the fifties died, thoughtful 
men sat and watched all their commonwealth 
building toward a great Union, crumble day 
by day. While no one would admit that it 
was in any danger, all were aware of the fact 
in their secret hearts, and knew that any 
moment might set the whole country adrift 
as in the swift water above Niagara, and that 
the falls were near. 

Young heads might wish a change, might 
wish to cast the die, to pass the Rubicon; they 
might tell of what they did not wish to be 
forced to advocate; but although North Caro- 
lina had been late in entering the Union, yet 
she felt bitterly sorry to leave it. 

Meanwhile the young men found the cau- 
tious counsels of their elders very slow and 
cool. Their blood was up. They had no ex- 
perience of war; but neither had they any 
doubt of their own valor. 

Our good Governor Ellis, truly honest, 
much tried, and earnestly trying to avert 
trouble, and those wise heads which stood 
with him, held back against the current with 
all their influence, but the young men had got 
the taste of that exultation which coming 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 219 

Storm gives to their leaping pulses. Speech- 
making might satisfy the elder folk, but they 
were for launching out. Issues grew ever 
more tense. Different opinions became al- 
ways more irreconcilable. 

In the spring of 1861, the plot of ground 
where the Tucker Building now stands on 
Fayetteville Street was the place where the 
rival factions rioted. Sumpter had been fired 
upon, but still there were those who hoped 
that peace would be restored. Red cockades 
were mounted by those anxious for secession, 
and a flag representing that idea was raised, 
but Union men fired upon it and tore it 
down. One of the younger Haywoods (Dun- 
can) and Basil Manly, returned the fire of 
those who would remove it, and as the riot 
went on Governor Ellis came to quell the ex- 
citement. At that very moment, it is said, 
the telegram was handed him announcing 
Lincoln's call for troops from North Carolina. 
Then it was that North Carolina seceded. 

Like all calamities, the War of 1861 came 
suddenly, and was greeted with painful dis- 
may by those who had been fondly hoping 
against all hope for the preservation of the 
Union. 



220 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Some of the people of this old town were 
very sorry, some were quite exultant and gay, 
but all knew where they must stand. The hot 
secession boys and the men who had hoped 
and held to the Union all enlisted together; 
together they drilled and trained, and together 
they fought, and side by side some of them 
died, on Tennessee hills, and in Virginia Valleys. 

There is nothing that changes the air, that 
finishes an era, that closes a partition, like a 
war. Thus ended the times of youthful exu- 
berance, and the tender grace of that vanished 
day is a fast fading memory to a few old 
people, survivors of a time which the young 
must reconstruct to their minds painfully by 
means of documents and histories. 

Many years ago, an old friend of the writer 
lay dying of a lingering disease. She said to 
me, then a very young girl, ''I shall be glad to 
go; I have seen so much trouble, I am so tired 
of life." I wondered at her feeling; I knew 
her husband, a good man; she had many loving 
children, and I said so to her. She only look- 
ed at me with that pitying expression which 
the older folk use when some young person 
philosophizes about the life which is just fairly 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 221 

beginning for them. '^Yes, Honey, all that, 
but you must remember that I lived through 
the War, and you young folk have no idea 
what that means." 

Those who know by full experience are now 
very few. It is now that the histories are 
being written. Careful minds are at work on 
many a painstaking, earnest book, by which 
those who came after may reconstruct the 
long causes and the swift developments of that 
time of civil conflict. 

From Raleigh there went away, with the 
Boys in Grey, that old, happy, care-free time, 
and though many good times have come since, 
that especial "before the war" breezy atmos- 
phere is past and gone. 

Reading the newspapers of the time, one is 
impressed by the lack of hysteria, the clear ac- 
ceptance of consequences, after the plunge had 
taken place. When, after the first enthusi- 
asm was over, the grim realities of war were 
more and more felt, and strong feeling had 
to be constantly controlled, it was wonderful 
how cheerfully, to outward seeming, the people 
could go about their daily tasks. 

Before the war was over, heroic exultation 
had to give place to something distressfully 













n 



o 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 223 

calm and stoic. Bereavement and economic 
privation were two things bravely endured, 
but the painful story of them is almost too sad 
to recall even today. 

When we look over the sea, and remember 
the things which have been endured, and are 
still to endure so long after the actual fighting 
has come to an end and the killing has stopped, 
we may see plainly how many ills are harder 
to pass through than sudden death. 

A little book, written while the pain of those 
times was fresh, Mrs. Spencer's Last Ninety 
Days of the War, is a most vivid picture of the 
mind that suffered in those days. It is a nar- 
rative, not a special pleading. To read the 
book at a sitting is to feel the swell and throb 
of the personal anxiety, pity and sorrow rise 
and fall, to sense the privation, suspense, 
heartbreak and disconsolate apathy, which 
arise out of too much anguish. It hurts a 
heart which loves the land and the people too 
much to be easy reading even so long after all 
is over. 

Perhaps this is the reason that it has been 
complained of the City of Raleigh, that doing 
as much as she did do for her soldiers in this 



224 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

last great Armageddon, yet she never could 
accomplish the feat of cheering her boys as 
they marched away. We stood stonily and 
tried to smile, but we never cheered; we knew, 
for our fathers had told us. 

The Capitol has looked on many scenes of 
joy and grave import. The sky has arched 
over the tender shadings of its walls for many 
an April. The young leaves were as fresh and 
fair in the spring of sixty-five as they were last 
year. After the last junior recruit had march- 
ed away, there came a calm ominous time 
when the spring sunshine fell on a hushed 
town. People were uneasy, and stayed at 
home. Old men and boys were the only ones 
at home with the women. Streets were de- 
serted, homes neglected, and the stores on 
Fayetteville Street were closed. 

A suspense brooded on the city, for some- 
thing strange and sinister must be about to 
happen. Johnston's army had gone west, 
leaving the city undefended. Over the Fay- 
etteville road they said Sherman was coming. 
Straining ears of the watching ones listened 
for the first beat of martial music. Let us 
quote Governor Swain for the rest: 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 225 

"It was my lot, on the morning of April 13th, 
1865, as a friend and representative of Gover- 
nor Vance, to find on approaching the south 
front of the Capitol, the doors and windows 
closed, and a deeper, more dreadful silence 
shrouding the city than during the sad catas- 
trophe (the burning of the old State House) to 
to which I have referred. 

"I met at the south front of the Capitol, 
however, a negro servant who waited on the 
Executive Department, the only human being 
who had dared to venture beyond his doors. 
He delivered me the keys, and assisted me in 
opening the doors and windows of the Execu- 
tive Office, and I took my station at the en- 
trance with a safe conduct from General Sher- 
man in my mind, prepared to surrender the 
Capital at the demand of his approaching 
forces. At that moment, a band of marauders, 
stragglers from Wheeler's retiring cavalry, dis- 
mounted at the head of Fayetteville Street, 
and began to sack the stores directly contig- 
uous to, and south of Dr. Haywood's residence. 

I apprised them immediately that Sherman's 
army was just at hand, that any show of re- 
sistance might result in the destruction of the 



226 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

city, and urged them to follow their retreating 
comrades. 

"A citizen, the first I had seen beyond his 
threshold that morning, came up at the mo- 
ment and added his remonstrances to mine, 
but all in vain, until I perceived and an- 
nounced that the head of Kilpatrick's column 
was in sight. In a moment, every member 
of the band with the exception of their 
chivalric leader, was in the saddle, and had 
his horse spurred to the utmost speed. He 
drew his bridle rein, halted in the center of the 
street, and discharged his revolver until his 
stock of ammunition was expended, in the 
direction, but not within carrying distance of 
his foe; when he too fled, but attempted to run 
the gauntlet in vain. His life was forfeited in 
a very brief interval. 

"The remains of this bold man rest in the 
cemetery, covered with garlands and bewept 
by beautiful maidens, little aware how nearly 
the city may have been on the verge of devasta- 
tion, and how narrowly the fairest of their num- 
ber mxay have escaped insult and death from 
the rash act of lawless warfare. . . . About 
three o'clock in the afternoon, in company with 



THE MIDDLE YEARS 227 

Governor Graham, who had risked Hfe and 
reputation In behalf of this community to an 
extent of which those who derived the advan- 
tage are Httle aware, I dehvered the keys of the 
State House to General Sherman at the guber- 
natorial mansion, then his headquarters, and 
received his assurance that the Capitol and 
city should be respected and the rights of 
property duly regarded." 




CHAPTER X 

Our Benefactors 

AKE COUNTY has owned enough 
righteous men to have saved 
many a Sodom. Beginning to 
count those who have Hved their 
Hves worthily before all, the list 
is a very long one. Singling out from their 
number those whose gifts have been material, 
as well as examples in the fine art of living 
well, we find five citizens whose hearts have 
been very generotis to their fellow men. A 
society which has brought forth so many 
hearts bent on service is a society which is 
fulfilling its best objects, a thing of prime 
value. 

In this summary only those whose benefits 
were first and especially to the people at large 
are given. Many donations to causes de- 
nominational and causes educational have 
been made by different ones among us, but we 
must here notice the more general response to 
the needs of our city. 

Besides these men, there is a woman, and 
she not a native or resident, who must have 

[228] 



OUR BENEFACTORS 229 

her meed of praise for the good work she began 
here. 

John Rex, the tanner, belongs to the very 
earHest period of Raleigh's existence. He 
came here from Pennsylvania, about the 
time of the first sale of lots, a quiet sort of man, 
simple in his dress and plain in his ways. He 
is said to have resembled John Quincy Adams 
remarkably in face. He lived to a good old 
age here, was never married, and left all his 
money to found a hospital in the city of 
Raleigh. 

By his will his negroes were freed, and his 
property allowed to increase until there should 
be sufficient money to build a hospital large 
enough for city and county. Besides this he 
bought a large number of city lots at the 
second sale in 1814 or 'IS, which he directed 
not to be sold until the estate should be set- 
tled, and the hospital building provided. He 
hoped and intended that the value of these 
would suffice to produce a maintenance fund. 
The securities which made up the estate 
proper were much diminished or practically 
wiped out by the War, and only the lots re- 
mained, but Mr. Rex's speculation in these did 



230 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

not fulfil his desire. The part of the city where 
the smaller, poorer homes were being built ex- 
tended that way, and this did not permit of the 
good prices he hoped to realize. The Rex 
Hospital, therefore, has not equalled the inten- 
tion of its founder, in that instead of being 
a well supported institution from the first, it 
has been struggling constantly for adequate 
funds. If intentions, however, count for any- 
thing, those which gave us the hospital were 
as broad and as generous and as full of con- 
structive philanthropy as anything which has 
been done. We have a hospital, and it bears 
the name of John Rex. His bequest was the 
nucleus. In 1840, that wonderful year, the 
committee to administer the Rex estate was 
duly named, thus beginning another good 
work, and Judge Battle appropriately enough 
was made head of the enterprise which was so 
aided and fostered by his son, Richard Battle, 
in its later working out. 

WilHam Peace, the merchant, left a large 
bequest toward the education of women, and 
Peace Institute today bears the name of its 
founder. 

At the time of the War the building was in- 
complete, and was used in its unfinished state 



OUR BENEFACTORS 231 

for a military hospital. Since the War it has 
been an excellent school, maintained by the 
Presbyterians, and many a fine woman has 
had her educational opportunities there. Not 
so old as Saint Mary's, it is somewhat a sister 
institution, a school, not a college. The funds 
which were to have made it independent were 
lost in the war-time depreciation of values. 
As in the case of Rex Hospital, it is the thought 
that remains. 

A woman's name is associated with the 
State Hospital for the insane. This stands 
on a hill to the south-west of Raleigh, which 
is always spoken of as Dix Hill, although I 
think the name is a popular, and not a formal 
tribute, to the good woman who procured the 
building of the asylum. 

Dorothea Dix was a Massachusetts woman, 
one of those maiden ladies who feel the callto 
mother the world. Her name stands beside and 
not at all beneath the names of Florence Night- 
ingale, Clara Barton and Elizabeth Fry. She 
was mistress of a small independent fortune, 
and had no ties to hold her in one place, so she 
could follow her desire of a traveUng life in the 
interest of her chosen cause. 



232 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

She began investigating the condition of the 
insane in all parts of the United States, later in 
Canada, and finally all over Europe. 

First it was her custom to make a tour of the 
State she wished to influence, taking volumin- 
ous notes of every poorhouse or prison where 
insane or paupers were kept. This she did 
quietly and unobtrusively in the guise of a 
private person. She made her long journeys 
alone and fearlessly, and records that she 
never met with any incivility in her whole 
work. In the year 1847 she traveled all over 
North Carolina, and the facts she gathered 
there she wrote into a memorial to the Legis- 
lative Assembly of 1848, presenting it in per- 
son, making a stay in Raleigh for the purpose. 
She was told by those to whom she applied 
that nothing whatever was to be done. It 
was pleaded that the people would never per- 
mit the necessary taxes to be levied. The 
Democrats, then in power, had been overcome 
by such a spasm of economy that they even 
voted to leave unlighted the lamps which hung 
in the portico of the Capitol while the Legisla- 
ture was in session. 

The leading Whigs, feeling thus relieved of 
all responsibility, said that they could do no- 



OUR BENEFACTORS 233 

thing for a new and expensive scheme like the 
building of an insane asylum with such penu- 
rious opponents in the saddle, and so the mat- 
ter was at a deadlock. 

Dorothea Dix always kept a diary of her 
efforts, and in it she writes of her campaign in 
North Carolina. "This morning after break- 
fast several gentlemen called, all Whigs. 
They talked of the hospital and said the most 
discouraging things possible. I sent then for 
several of the leading Democrats. I brought 
out my memorial, and said, ^Gentlemen, here 
is the document I have prepared for your 
Assembly. I desire you, Sir, to present it' 
(handing it to a Democrat said to be most 
popular with his party), and 'you gentlemen,' 
said I to the whole astonished delegation, 'you, I 
expect to sustain the motion of this gentleman 
when he makes one to print the same.' " The 
legislator who took the memorial from the 
hands of Miss Dix was Mr. Ellis of Rowan, 
who afterward became the Governor of North 
Carolina. 

The first result was that the bill establish- 
ing an asylum for the insane was not passed; 
but Miss Dix had led many a forlorn hope, and 



234 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

she did not know what the word failure meant. 
Staying at the same hotel with her were Hon- 
orable James Dobbin, afterwards Secretary of 
the Navy, and his wife. Airs Dobbin was 
taken very ill, and Miss Dix, having made 
friends with her earlier, came and nursed her 
so tenderly in her illness that when she felt 
death near, from her dying bed she remember- 
ed to ask her husband, as her last request, to 
champion the cause Miss Dix had at heart. 
This was the only way she could show her 
gratitude for the devotion Miss Dix had lav- 
ished upon her. 

Mr. Dobbin went from his wife's funeral to 
the Assembly, and plead so eloquently and 
feelingly, his eyes wet with tears, with such 
great effect, that the bill passed its final read- 
ing with one hundred one "ayes," and only ten 
'^nays." Miss Dix left Raleigh the next Decem- 
ber, as she said, ''perfectly happy," and the 
State Hospital for the Insane, which she would 
not allow to be named for her, is one of twenty 
established in the United States by her efforts. 
She was reverenced as a saint, and loved as a 
benefactress by the whole countiy, and especi- 
ally was this true in the South, as it is said. 



OUR BENEFACTORS 235 

Dorothea Dix is the only one of our benefact- 
ors who did not spend her days among us, but 
on a subsequent visit she selected the site for 
the Hospital. She lived to extreme old age, 
dying in the year 1880. 

Stanhope PuUen has not been so long dead 
but that many of us have known him well by 
sight, and have greeted him daily in the street. 
Except as he expressed his opinion in action, 
his thought was always a sealed book. An 
excellent but a taciturn man, as to his own 
affairs. 

He was born on a farm near Neuse Station 
in Wake County in 1832. His mother was 
EUzabeth Smith, sister of the two Smith 
brothers, substantial mxerchants of Raleigh. 
When his aunt, Mrs Richard Smith, was left a 
widow she employed Mr. Pullen to manage 
her estate, and when she died without child- 
ren she made him her heir. He also managed 
the estate of his cousin, Mary Smith Morehead, 
which was left as a bequest to the University 
of North Carolina. He was a most able busi- 
ness man and everything which passed through 
his hands seemed to prosper. 

After the war, when everything was utterly 
depleted, and the start toward prosperity 




Our monument to the Soldiers of the Confederacy, with 
THE Olivia Raney Library in the background 



OUR BENEFACTORS 237 

seemed so difficult, Mr. Pullen used his ready 
cash in purchasing property in Raleigh, and 
in this way acquired the Rayner, formerly the 
Polk property, and he extended Blount Street, 
by moving the old Polk mansion round to face 
Blount Street instead of closing it. 

Thus was opened the best residence section 
of Raleigh during the eighties. He dealt 
most liberally with the city, in giving all the 
streets, grading and graveling them free. 
Later he opened a large tract to the North 
of the town at first popularly called 'Tullen- 
town," and sold this off in lots for cheaper 
homes. 

In keeping his own counsel so thoroughly, 
Mr. Pullen never had it said of him, ''Mr. 
Pullen will do this" or "that." He seldom 
spoke out his intentions. His mind took 
knowledge of opportunities, and he made 
money out of his ventures, but he never gave 
himself the least uneasiness over the result of 
his deaHngs, never bargained or dickered as to 
the values he set on his property. He offered 
his land at what he beHeved to be a fair price, 
and never apparently cared whether the buyer 
took the bargain offered or not. That his 



238 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

prices were fair is shown by the immense 
amount of property which passed through 
his hands at one time or another. One year 
he bought quantities of cotton on speculation, 
and a friend asked him whether the fluctua- 
tions of the market did not cause him un- 
easiness. He repHed that he had never lost 
an hour's sleep over business in his life. He 
gave to the city the land that is now Pullen 
Park, and moreover, laid it out, and planted 
it with the innumerable trees which are there 
today, growing while he sleeps. 

The land adjoining, occupied by the build- 
ings of the North Carolina State College, is 
also a gift from Mr. Pullen to the State, and 
when the first building was completed, and 
the workmen were clearing away the lime bar- 
rels and brick-bats preparatory to the open- 
ing of the new college, Mr. Pullen appeared 
with his negro helper, Washington Ligon, 
and mule and plow, and laid ofl^ the drives 
and paths about the campus with his own 
hand, and further superintended the plant- 
ing of the cedars, the magnolias, and the 
willow oaks which he loved best, and which 
loved to grow for him. 



OUR BENEFACTORS 239 

He personally looked after the repairs on 
the many homes he rented and all great or 
small repairs were done as needed, but he re- 
fused to be hounded about improvements. 
It was no use for a good tenant to take the 
high tone about repair, for he would be quiet- 
ly and simply told that he might move out at 
once if conditions were disagreeable to him. 

At the same time Mr. Pullen was well- 
known as the kindest and most liberal of land- 
lords. In his continual rounds, he came to 
know certainly who was in want, and who was 
worthy of help. He disHked to be asked for 
charity, but the loads of wood, the supplies of 
groceries that came to many a struggling 
widow, or poor man with sickness in his fam- 
ily, unsolicited and unacknowledged, are 
known only to the recording angel. Thanks 
he never permitted. 

When Edenton Street Methodist Church 
was being built, he came and supervised the 
construction day by day, and saw all go right, 
but no one dared to ask, "How much are we 
to depend on you for, in paying for the new 
church .f"' After everybody had given all they 
could, and then stretched it a little further, 



240 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Mr. Pullen placed a check in the collection 
plate which made him the largest contributor 
to the building fund. 

The State College was so beholden to him 
for its site, that they once sent an ambassador 
to him to ask for his portrait for their halls. 
One of the trustees was commissioned, and 
made an eloquent plea for this reasonable re- 
quest. Mr. Pullen listened with his quizzical 
little glance and a lift of his eyebrow, and after 
the speech was quite finished, he answered 
very pleasantly, 'Well, they'll never get it; 
Good-morning." Hence there is no portrait 
of Mr. Pullen extant. 

Mr. Pullen never married, and lived during 
the latter years of his life with his niece, Mrs. 
Lizzie Pullen Belvin, wife of Charles Belvin. 
He went and came on the street cars, and was 
always most pleasant to the neighbors riding 
down town with him; but the next time they 
passed him on the street he would forget to 
answer their greeting. Everyone knowing 
him would say, "That is only Mr. PuUen's 
way," and greet him gladly the next time he 
felt free to notice his friends. These manifest 
oddities only made him more interesting, while 



OUR BENEFACTORS 241 

no one has ever done more for Raleigh, or allow- 
ed less credit to be given to him for his gener- 
osity. Pullen Park bears his name, one won- 
ders by what oversight of the giver. He was 
a great believer in technical training and in 
the higher education for women. He also 
gave the site of the State College for Women 
at Greensboro. He died quite old, on June 
25th, 1895. 

John T. Pullen was the nephew of Stanhope 
Pullen, and as a young man was often the al- 
moner of his uncle. Both these men were 
truly charitable, but while Stanhope Pullen 
was lonely with the reserve of a man who is 
independent of others, his nephew was the 
heart friend of everyone who needed a friend. 
It was said of him that he served God for a 
living and ran a bank to pay expenses. The 
Savings Bank that every child in Raleigh 
called Uncle John Pullen's Bank, was well and 
conservatively run, but his real business con- 
sisted in his charities, in his furnishing forth 
of a Christian ideal without a flaw, a life that 
no one could call insincere or cavil at — that 
no one could ridicule as narrow, or condemn as 
fanatic. 




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OUR BENEFACTORS 243 

Everybody knew and loved him. Children 
followed him. Men who were not working 
much at Christianity might criticise others, 
but they could not say, and never did say, 
that John Pullen was not a good man. 

The poor were his adorers. He was most 
at home with them because he could do them 
the most good. If there was a religious meet- 
ing in any church he was there; he built and 
largely maintained a church of his own, which 
was really of the Baptist denomination, but 
which was called John Pullen's church as if it 
was of some especial faith that carried it fur- 
ther than mere denomination could do. 

John Pullen's most precious benefits to the 
place of his birth were spiritual. He was the 
standard of goodness for Raleigh. True, he 
gave largely to charities during his life; he 
gave always and widely to the poor, generous- 
ly to his church, in many little ways to child- 
ren whom he always loved; to a tired old 
colored woman a coin in passing with the re- 
quest that she ride home on the street car; to 
a wild and rowdy drummer an inappropriate 
Bible, which was accepted shamefacedly, and 
which brought the young man to his knees 



244 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

after many days. He gave himself, every day 
and all the year. As a young man his san- 
guine and sympathetic temperament, not yet 
sanctified, brought him into trouble. He was 
a bit dissipated, but he left all that early 
behind, except as the memory of it helped 
him to speak to the wrong-doer understand- 
ingly. Mr. Pullen lived his later life with 
his niece, Mrs. Kate Belvin Harden, wife of 
John Harden. 

When he died in 1913, the city arose as one 
man to show how much he was beloved. The 
factories closed, the school children came, the 
Governor and state officials as well, together 
with the rich and poor, while all churches 
united to honor his memory. The city 
whistles were silenced for the day he lay in 
state, and several convicts came out unguarded 
in their stripes from the Penitentiary, sent 
by their fellows to lay a cross made of prison 
blooms on his coffin, and returned to prison 
sobbing for the loss of their friend. His 
works do follow him. 

Of the five men one remains to be mentioned. 
The other four were all bachelors. The woman, 
Miss Dix, although not one of our own people, 



OUR BENEFACTORS 245 

was assisted in gaining her benevolent desire 
by a woman friend, so that the State Hospital 
represents at one and the same time, awaken- 
ed love for the unfortunate among our people, 
zeal for humanity in Miss Dix, and the result 
of a love which blossomed in loss, the fulfil- 
ment of the dying request of Mrs. Dobbin 
to her husband. 

Another and the last of our benefactors to 
this time, was Richard Beverly Raney. He 
has given the city more wholesome recreation 
and delight than anyone can know, and doing 
this has also commemorated an ideal union, a 
love story more beautiful than fiction. And 
so the Olivia Raney Library also came out of 
love and loss. 

R. B. Raney was born in Granville County 
in 1860. He had no chance for a college edu- 
cation, although he was a man who would have 
profited by one if it had been possible. He 
had his living to earn. He became clerk at the 
Yarborough Hotel under Doctor Blacknall's 
management, being known to the latter as a 
worthy boy, to whom he gave the position 
out of friendship. 

Mr. Raney made good, was promoted, and 
finally became owner as well as manager of the 



246 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Hotel. He was successful always, and be- 
came agent also for the state for one of the 
best Insurance companies. 

He married Olivia Cowper, daughter of 
Pulaski Cowper, and she died after only a year 
and a half of married life. 

Soon after, there was a movement begun to 
start a city library by general subscription. 
Mr. Raney heard of it, and modestly claimed 
the privilege of giving the whole amount and 
making the gift a memorial to his lost wife. 
Accordingly the building was placed on one 
of the very choice sites of Raleigh, facing the 
Capitol, and was built, equipped, decorated 
and furnished in every particular by him. Af- 
ter the books, four thousand in number, were 
catalogued, and everything was in readiness, 
Mr. Raney had the library incorporated, and 
conveyed it to a self-perpetuating board of 
trustees, to be used as a free library for the 
white people of Raleigh. This gift he made 
in his prime, and before he became the com- 
paratively wealthy man he was at his death. 

During the rest of his years Mr. Raney 
bought new books constantly for the library, 
but he refused to dictate, or to take any 



OUR BENEFACTORS 247 

managing part in its affairs. He would be 
only one among a number of its trustees. 

He married a second time, and the home he 
built for his second wife stands on the opposite 
corner of Salisbury and Hillsboro Streets 
across from the library building. He died in 
1909, after his library had been a joy to the 
town for nine years. 

Mr Raney was always very averse to any 
commendation, and would turn the subject 
quickly if anyone alluded in his presence to 
his generosity. He remains a very great bene- 
factor to the city if reform is, as it is said to 
be, a matter of substitution. What is the 
great value of an institution which fills the 
mind with innocent pleasure and leaves no 
room for evil thoughts.^ What is it worth to 
a young mind to reach out and find food and 
interest which without the gift of books 
would be lacking.^ If books are worth what 
we know them to be worth, how shall we 
thank the man who made the best literature 
free to any person who will take it home and 
read it.^ 

We are beneficiaries of an institution now so 
much a part of the scheme of things in Raleigh 



248 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

that if it were to be closed for a month, or even 
for a week, the whole population would be up 
in arms to reclaim the privilege which they 
had not sufficiently appreciated because it 
was so absolutely free. 




CHAPTER XI 

Distinguished Visitors 

ANY people whose names are writ- 
ten large in the books of fame 
have visited Raleigh in course 
of its existence. Washington 
did not come this way in 1791 
on his trip through the United States of his 
day because the city was only as it were, a 
place on paper. He went to older commun- 
ities in North Carolina, both in the east and 
in the west. His itinerary brought him as 
near as Salem, which was his last stop as he 
returned into Virginia after his Southern 
journey. 

Lafayette, however, when he returned to 
America in his old age and went on a tour of 
the land he had helped to free from oppression, 
made a memorable visit to Raleigh. He trav- 
eled in a carriage with a constantly changing 
military escort, which accompanied him from 
one of his stages or stopping places to the 
next. 

He entered Raleigh from Halifax, over the 
Louisburg road, spent two days, and on the 

[249] 



250 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

third left the city for Fayetteville. This was 
early in March of the year 1825. He brought 
with hini as personal companions his son, 
George Washington Lafayette, and a secretary. 

Previous to his entry into Raleigh he spent 
the night with Allen Rogers, grandfather of 
Rowan Rogers, beyond Neuse River, on the 
old Louisburg road, and was met several miles 
from town by the Wake County Military 
Company and by the Mecklenberg County 
Cavalry, come from Charlotte for the pur- 
pose, as well as by a good many citizens 
on horseback, which made a most imposing 
cavalcade. 

Arriving in Raleigh, he was feasted and 
praised and speechified over, just as Wake 
County and Raleigh would delight to do in 
honoring such a national friend. He was en- 
tertained at the old Governor's Mansion at 
the foot of Fayetteville Street. The first 
State House was then in existence, and 
beneath its dome stood the famous marble 
Satue of Washington, which Lafayette con- 
templated and praised for its likeness to his 
beloved Commander of the old days. The 
engraved picture of him so standing with a 
lady beside him, said to represent Aliss Betsy 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 251 

John Haywood, daughter of the State Treas- 
urer, was made at the time, and a copy of this 
is still an interesting relic of the Hall of History. 
It was made from a painting executed by 
Jacob Marling, a Raleigh artist, who also 
painted the old State House. 

Lafayette, grown old after his stormy life,was 
a small, spare, quick-moving man, emotional 
and impulsive in his ways, while our Revo- 
lutionary hero. Colonel Polk, was a giant six 
feet four inches in his stockings. Of course 
the welcoming of the distinguished guest was 
due to the surviving Revolutionary officer, 
who had been his friend and former comrade 
in arms, and who was at that time perhaps the 
most distinguished citizen of Raleigh. 

So it was Colonel Polk who, walking beside 
Lafayette, entered the east portico of the State 
House with him and, pausing, turned with him, 
so that the people assembled might see the 
adopted son of the Father of our Country. 
Lafayette, whose heart was as warm and whose 
emotions were as ready as they were when he 
was a gallant boy, suddenly was overcome 
with feeling, and turned and threw himself 
upon the breast of his old friend, kissing him 
on both cheeks with enthusiasm. 



252 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

A shout of glee rose from the spectators who 
had never before chanced to see grown men 
kiss each other, and Colonel Polk, scarlet and 
embarrassed, his Scotch-Irish reserve all up- 
set, tried to pat back his emotional friend and 
pull away from his embrace, while at the 
same time he was unwilling either to hurt his 
feelings or to jeopardise his own dignity. 

Lafayette had forgotten his English very 
largely, from disuse, and unfortunately had 
become somewhat deaf. He had a few phrases 
which did duty for many occasions. He 
would say, ''This is a great country" and *'I 
remember," without saying just what. He 
would say to an admiring citizen by way of 
conversation, "Are you married.^" If the 
answer was in the affirmative he would 
say, ''Happy man," if "No" he would rejoin, 
"Lucky dog." 

Now Colonel Polk informed General Lafay- 
ette in his first conversation with him of the 
death of his first wife, whom Lafayette re- 
membered, the wife whom he lost before he 
came to Raleigh to live. Lafayette did not 
quite catch his remarks, and as w^as customary 
answered, "Lucky Dog!" 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 253 

To an American of today or yesterday, 
Lafayette was the sign and symbol of some- 
thing very precious, of a national romance of 
history that stirs us to the marrow then and 
now. His coming was a great honor; his per- 
sonality was so kindly and so sincere as to fill 
the heart with warm regard ; and when, in a few 
years after his memorable visit his death oc- 
curred and the slow-moving news came into 
North Carolina, all the State newspapers were 
put into mourning for him by broad black 
lines between their columns, customary at 
that time as showing respect to some great 
public man or president at his passing. 

Lafayette rode out of Raleigh to Fayette- 
ville, whither he was accompanied by the 
Mecklenburg Cavalry, and was given an 
especial festival in the town named for him. 

Our next great figure who came to visit us 
was Henry Clay, the great Conciliator, and 
it was at the time when he was Whig candi- 
date for President. Notwithstanding this he 
came, not as a partizan, as he announced, but 
as the guest of the whole State, and as such 
he showed forth his charming personality. 
His visit took place in the summer of 1844, 



254 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

and he stayed a week. He made himself 
agreeable in his inimitable way, and is said to 
have attended church on Sunday at Edenton 
Street M. E. Church with the mother of Judge 
Badger. The story of his Raleigh letter has 
been told elsewhere. He was by no means 
alone in his idea that it was not time to admit 
Texas into the Union, but the minds of the 
men of North Carolina, without regard to 
poHtical affiliation, were set on holding their 
own as regarded taking their slaves at will to 
any part of the south-west, and neither 
Clay nor his friends thought for a moment that 
he would go unpunished politically for the 
stand he took. 

His visit was a continuous ovation; he stay- 
ed at the home of Kenneth Rayner, son-in- 
law of Colonel Polk, who lived in the old Polk 
mansion. It was under one of the great trees, 
said to be the white oak which stands in the 
side yard of what lately was the home of Colo- 
nel A. B. Andrews, that the famous letter was 
written. 

A young lady of Granville County presented 
him while he was in Raleigh with a vest of silk, 
spun, dyed and woven by her own hand, and 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 255 

made up ready to be worn. This she begged 
him to wear at his inauguration, the next 
spring; and he graciously promised to do this 
should he be elected. But Clay was never in- 
augurated. He never attained the presidency. 
James K. Polk, a Democrat from Tennessee, 
but descended from the North Carolina family, 
and a cousin of Colonel William Polk, was 
elected, and President Tyler, wishing to in- 
fluence history before he left the White House, 
signed the bill admitting Texas to the Union, 
action which precipitated the war withA/[exico 
immediately. 

President Polk went to the University of 
North Carolina in 1845 to make the Com- 
mencement address and passed throughRaleigh 
at that time, making the first of our President- 
visitors. Being North Carolina born, he was 
received as a son of the State, and among his 
party on the day he went to Chapel Hill was 
Miss Jane Hawkins of Raleigh, besides many 
gentlemen. President Buchanan, called the 
''Sage of Kinderhook," gave an address at 
Chapel Hill Commencement in 1859. He was 
entertained by General L. O'B. Branch on his 
return to Raleigh, and visited Nathaniel 
Macon before leaving the State. 




That great white oak, called the ''Hexry Clay Tree." 
It is said to be the tallest oak in Raleigh, as well as 
the most historic. It stands in the yard formerly be- 
longing TO THE LATE CoLONEL A. B. AnDREWS 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 257 

We must now tell of one of the grandsons 
of the County who returned in 1860. It was 
Joseph Lane, grandson of Jesse Lane^ one of 
the less conspicuous brothers of Joel. He was 
candidate for Vice-President with Brecken- 
ridge, on the Whig ticket that year, and was 
defeated. Joseph Lane's father, John Lane, 
was born in Raleigh, but moved early to west- 
ern North Carolina, where Joseph was born 
in 180L As early as 1804 the whole family 
had moved to Kentucky. By 1822 we find 
young Joseph already a member of the Indiana 
Legislature, barely past his majority, and a 
farmer and trader, having founded his fortune 
at a time when most boys are still dependent, 
and in 1 845 when the Mexican War was declared 
he volunteered as a private. He was almost 
immediately raised from the ranks and soon be- 
came a Colonel, and again a few months after 
he was commissioned Brigadier-General. He 
was third in commiand at Buena Vista, and 
fought at Vera Cruz against Santa Anna. 
He was the hero of Cerro Gordo, winning that 
victory against heavy odds. He left the army 
with the rank of Major-General. 

Upon returning to Indiana after the Mexican 
War, he was appointed Governor of Oregon 



258 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Territory, and showed his bravery as an 
Indian fighter. Thence he went to Congress 
and waa named candidate with Breckenridge 
in that four-sided campaign which resulted in 
the election of Lincoln. 

Franklin K. Lane, who was in President Wil- 
son's Cabinet, was born in Prince Edward's 
Island, and was not apparently of any kin- 
ship to this man. This last was here during 
the Great War and spoke before the State 
Literature and Historical Association, as so 
many celebrated men have done. 

Speaking of the next celebrity who came to 
Raleigh, we should mention the "Little Giant," 
Stephen A. Douglas, who had beaten Lincoln 
in Illinois when elected Senator over him, but 
whose candidacy was signalized by the celebra- 
ted joint debate whereby Lincoln won the ears 
of the country. Douglas was a wonderful ora- 
tor and a most eminent man, and was one of the 
candidates for the presidency in this troubled 
transition year. Although a Western man 
there are descendants of his in this State today. 
After the war between the States was over, 
after the assassination of Lincoln had given 
Andrew Johnson a seat in the Presidential chair, 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 259 

this son of Raleigh came back, not to be feast- 
ed and toasted, for in those grim depleted 
days there was not much festivity afoot, but 
to fulfil the filial duty of seeing a monument 
erected over his father's grave. 

This monument stands today in the Old 
City Cemetery, and the visit of President 
Johnson furnished the occasion for the last of 
those historical addresses which Governor 
Swain wrote, and which are mines of informa- 
tion about old times. This is the one in which 
so many of the less conspicuous folk were 
characterized, as he gave the scanty annals of 
Jacob Johnson, the hostler at Casso's tavern, 
and janitor at the State Bank near by. 

Mrs. A. B. Andrews has described her visit 
in company with her father, William Johnston 
of Charlotte, to the White House during 
Johnson's term, when her father removed his 
political disabilities by taking the necessary 
oath. She described the man and President, 
medium in height, broad and stocky, with his 
neat black dress, formal and somewhat stiff in 
manners as of someone not too sure of himself. 
He spoke to her of her name having the same 
pronunciation as his own, but spelled differ- 



260 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

ently, and asked her from what part of North 
Carolina she came. When she answered 
''Charlotte," he said In so many words, ''I was 
born In Raleigh, North Carolina." Johnson's 
troubles grew more especially out of the kind- 
ness he could not but feel for the land of his 
birth and for his leniency, counted too great, 
in those bitter times, by his party. 

Our next Presidential visitor was Theodore 
Roosevelt, who came to Raleigh many years 
later, after Reconstruction, and after many 
years of wholesome development had gone by 
and the war of '61 and its troubles had receded 
into that past time which will heal all things 
— years after the centennial of the founding 
of Raleigh had been celebrated, and after the 
twentieth century was already several years 
old. He attended the State Fair in 1905, 
and October 19th of that year found the 
usual fair-week crowd augmented agood deal by 
the natural curiosity to see the President, then 
in his prime, personally and politically, and 
but just recently elected to the ofHce he held 
after he had filled out McKInley's unexpired 
term. He was a man full of virile force, of the 
true joy of living, and with a hearty word and 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 261 

flash of his famous teeth in a smile to everyone 
who came to greet him. 

North CaroHna had given him no electoral 
vote, but she loved a strong, manly personal- 
ity, a real man, and so she extended the warm- 
est welcome she was capable of giving. He 
came in over the Seaboard, and his train stood 
the night outside the town, near Millbrook, 
and pulled into the station next morning. 

Roosevelt spent the whole day in the city, 
riding in the procession to the fair-grounds, 
making his address there, lunching on the 
grounds, and then leaving town late that after- 
noon over the Southern Railway. In reading 
over the reporters' accounts of the sayings of 
the President on this occasion we are struck 
by the genial attitude he showed to life. He 
noticed the children, the horses, the crowds, 
the stir and the life of the occasion as though 
he loved it all, and his favorite comment, 
*'Dehghted," won the hearts of those who were 
admitted to his presence. 

The plain clothes men, who had charge of 
his personal safety, had great difliculty in 
keeping up with the rapid darting way in which 



262 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

he turned In every direction where his vivid 
interest attracted him. 

Roosevelt was here again as private citizen 
to speak on the subject of the Panama Caanl 
some years after, and addressed a record- 
breaking crowd in the Auditorium. 

Honorable William Jennings Bryan has 
been in Raleigh several times, and on at least 
three occasions was a speaker invited. His 
oratory was well known to our citizens. 
Later, one of his daughters made her home 
here for a time and her noted father was fre- 
quently seen on our streets. 

In the year 1911, Woodrow Wilson, soon to 
become Democratic candidate for the Presi- 
dency, came to Raleigh after the Commence- 
ment at the University where he made a 
memorable address. He was entertained by 
the city and given a reception by the Capital 
Club. He also spoke in Raleigh at that time, 
and his speech, re-read today, gives a wonder- 
ful forecast of his subjects on so many memor- 
able occasions since, recommending so many 
of the ideas then that he has always advocated 
since, and advanced as needed reform meas- 
ures. Its literary form is wonderful. He 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 263 

mentioned on this first occasion the necessity 
of young men espousing particular causes and 
reforms, not as connected with or led by some 
particular person, but as fundamental princi- 
ples appealing to the eternal sense of justice 
and righteousness. 

The two Vice-Presidents, Sherman with 
Taft, and Marshall with Wilson, were also 
here at different times each during his official 
term. Mr. Sherman, in a letter of apprecia- 
tion of a reception given in his honor in 
Raleigh, wrote, "It was a broadening of my 
viewpoint of our Southern civilization and a 
w^arming of the cockles of my heart towards a 
people that I had not before so well known." 
Mr. Marshall made one of the most genial, 
modest and common-sense addresses imagin- 
able, a speech full of kindly toleration, of 
ready humor, and treating of the pressing 
questions of the day in that broad and toler- 
ant spirit in which alone they will find solution. 

After mentioning our great poHtical and 
governmental figures well known to history, 
we must not omit those guests whose values 
as they came to us were a little different, men 
w^ho whatever their especial gift, came to us 




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DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 265 

as literary lights, men who were brought here 
to speak at the meetings of the State Literary 
and Historical Association. 

Edwin Markham, the poet, was one of the 
earliest of these. The three most distin- 
guished addresses were delivered in the year 
1909 by James Bryce, Ambassador from Eng- 
land, 1911 by Henry Cabot Lodge of Mas- 
sachusetts, and in 1913 by Jules Jusserand, 
Ambassador from. France. 

Mr. Bryce is the author of the best book 
which has ever been written on the workings 
of the American Constitution. He was one 
who did everything in his power to cement the 
friendship of the two great powers of Anglo- 
Saxon institutions. He was a small, alert 
man, with dark piercing eyes and a most un- 
English quickness of movement and appre- 
hension and air of eager interest. His speech 
was very rapid and perfectly distinct, and was 
a part of his incisive personality. He was 
in these days of almost universal clean shav- 
ing, quite forested with a bush of white beard, 
which seemed somehow electric, and to pro- 
vide him with wireless tentacles connecting 
with the outer world. 



266 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Mr. Bryce has left behind him a charming 
souvenir of his visit, for at his request, a finely 
engraved, autographed portrait of King Ed- 
ward VII of England was presented to the 
State of North Carolina, and now hangs in 
the Hall of History. This was an unusual 
courtesy, for the King seldom gives a portrait 
of himself, and did so this time in recognition 
of the antiquity of North Carolina, the oldest 
of the Thirteen, and thus the first settlement 
England made in America, her earliest colony. 

Henry Cabot Lodge, lost also in a thicket 
of white beard, but bearing a colder eye, with 
as intellectual an outlook on the world as Mr. 
Bryce but with a fine New England conserva- 
tive attitude toward his subject, gave us a 
wonderfully written paper on the constitu- 
tional development of the United States. 
This address forms part of a volume which he 
later printed on kindred subjects. 

The French Ambassador, M. Jusserand, also 
bearded, and with a dark scholarly counten- 
ance, a savant as well as a diplomat of a high 
type, gave from original French sources a de- 
lightful account of the friendliness and ideal 
conduct of the French and American troops 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 267 

in their association during the Revolution. He 
quoted Count Rochambeau, and officers with 
him who were present at Yorktown and during 
all the the glorious episode of that campaign. 
M. Jusserand was complete master of English 
as a written medium, but in his reading of his 
address many were a little confused by the 
persistence of his accent. William Howard 
Taftwas also one of these speakers, during his 
ex-president life. His smile and chuckle 
were in fine working order. 

During the Great War, there came to us 
many French visitors, some, such as M. 
Stephen Lausanne, sent by the AlHance 
Francaise, but one party especially, represent- 
ing the French High Commission, came on a 
most interesting errand to the Southern States. 

The Marquis de Courtevron and the Mar- 
quis de Polignac, with their wives, one of 
whom was an American lady, were making 
this tour by reason of a hereditary connection. 
General, the Prince de Polignac of the C. S. 
Army, was the father of the A^Earquis de Cour- 
tevron and the uncle of the Marquis de Polig- 
nac. The older gentleman having been attach- 
ed to the Southern Armies during the War of 



268 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

'61, and having thus made bonds of affection 
which had not been forgotten, his sons were 
come to renew the association. These gentle- 
men and ladles were our most charming and 
memorable French visitors, and the so admir- 
able spirit of war-time France was well rep- 
resented by them. 

General Tyson of the United States Army 
spoke at the Literary and Historical Associa- 
tion of 1919, giving a first hand account of the 
glorious history of the breaking of the Hinden- 
burg Line, accomplished by our Thirtieth 
Division, first and bravest. 

Dorothea DIx was a visitor to us more than 
once in her beneficent journeys, and one is re- 
minded of her in rounding out the list of our 
guests and our honored speakers. 

We must not omit the mention of another 
woman of real significance, greater than any- 
one can now determine. That she was a 
woman, makes the significance all the greater. 
Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, the champion of 
equal suffrage for women, the sane wholesome 
magnetic woman who carried the banner all 
down the years to assured if not to actual 
victory, came here and spoke in the Commons 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 269 

Hall, before the Legislature. She probably 
represented, in her pioneer capacity, more in- 
fluence on the coming development of the 
world than any man of them all. Her sweet 
reasonableness, her intellectual power, her 
gift of real oratory, which made men say of 
her that of all speakers who ever came to us, 
she was the greatest, all these things should be 
recorded of her. 

She was elderly, rather stout, with a massive 
face which lighted up into an indescribable 
inspired look, and a voice when she spoke 
which, while utterly womanly, had the search- 
ing power that filled a hall, and tones and 
echoes of sweetness that made the hearing an 
unique experience. It was as though she 
played on a wonderful musical instrument 
with rare skill. 

A woman fair-time orator was Miss Jeanette 
Rankin, Representative from Alontana, who 
spoke here during her term of office. She was 
a phenomenon, rather than an event, but she 
should be recorded. She was later killed, 
politically, by the report that she wept as she 
voted ''no" to the Declaration of War, which 
was a ruse, rather than a true tale. Miss 



270 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

Rankin was a tall, self-possessed Western 
woman who spoke well, to the gaping wonder- 
ment of many a farmer who did not hold with 
these "new fangled women-folks." 

Long years after the war was over, and years 
after his summons to the eternal rest, the ashes 
of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confed- 
eracy, were borne in state, from his far South- 
ern interment near Beauvoir, Miss., to a more 
glorious repose in his former Capital at Rich- 
mond, Virginia. 

During this solenm progress the remains 
were halted to lie in state in the different 
states which had owned his command during 
that struggle. On 30th May, 1893, the coffin 
was placed in the Rotunda of our Capitol, 
there to be visited and venerated by those 
who loved and remembered him and the cause 
he represented. 

All in this list, and many more, have breath- 
ed our air, trod our soil, become part of us for 
the time they remained with us, and brought 
to us what they had of value and of informa- 
tion and inspiration to bring. 

In other lands, when we are shown a castle 
or a palace, the distinguished guests, the visit- 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 271 

ing sovereigns are enumerated, and by having 
been there they add interest and prestige to 
the house. So also should it be with a city, 
and we should count it a glory to have enter- 
tained so many visitors who are well known 
for all sorts of honor and attainment. 






CHAPTER XII 
These Later Days 

HERE is a development and a life 
story to a nation as well as to an 
individual, and as the noisy 
and spacious times of the fifties 
could only be likened to a young 
man's exuberant youth, so after the Civil 
War and its subsequent problems had sobered 
our people in the sixties and early seventies, 
and cramped their attention down to the stern 
practicalities of life, and as further lapse of 
time confirmed 'this attitude, we may be said 
to have thus entered on our maturer man- 
hood, speaking always of a nation as if it were 
an individual. 

Young folk are seldom concerned about 
what has gone before them. It is not until 
time has ripened their conceptions that they 
want to study history, look up genealogy, and 
reconstruct the lives of their forefathers. 
The very young seldom occupy themselves 
with old folk's tales. It is so with individuals ; 
it is true of comxmonwealths; and it has been 

[272] 



THESE LATER DAYS 273 

that way generally in North Carolina. It is 
a rare and an unusual mind in the past which 
has really wished to grope backward. When 
WilHani L. Saunders began the research which 
produced the Colonial Records on that tiny 
first appropriation of five hundred dollars, he 
was still well in advance of the sentiment of 
his age. Only in the last fifty years have wq 
faintly begun to insist upon building up a true 
picture of the influences which have wrought 
changes in our economic habits. For about 
the sam.e period we have begun to predict the 
development of the future in a serious mood. 

Leafing the pages of ''before the war" 
old periodicals one finds notices of m^any 
beginnings of manufacturing in North Car- 
olina, beside the home spinning, weaving and 
dyeing, and the making of the various articles 
needed in a simple rural society. 

Quilts and spreads were an outlet to the art- 
istry and love of color of women at the South^ 
as every where in the United States, in the days 
when homemade carpets and simple furnishings 
were the rule. These womanly arts were well 
exemplified in weaving the coverlids which are 
made by old patterns brought from overseas, 



274 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

and handed down from mother to daughter. 
These were very intricate and beautiful, and 
the yarn was homespun cotton and wool mix- 
ed, and home-dyed as well. Usually the wool 
used in them was colored and the cotton left 
uncolored, and many of these are treasured 
today, among the antiques most prized. 
Homespun cloth for men's clothing was dyed 
w4th vegetable dyes in such a manner that 
the colors never really faded, but only soften- 
ed into more subdued tints. A wonderful 
indigo, a good brown, a yellow and a soft 
grey were among the best colors, while the 
bright red and the black were brought in if any 
was used. 

Blacksmithing was rough, but the shoe- 
making was wonderfully fine. This was taught 
to slaves, as was also expert carpentry, and 
other building trades. Some of the wooden 
mouldings that occur, and some of the plaster 
modeUng which centers and edges the cornice 
of many old houses which have been care- 
fully used, show the taste of the old folk 
and capabilities of the negroes as well as do 
their furniture and silverware. 

There were wool hats made at some farms 
in Wake County, and brought in for sale dur- 



THESE LATER DAYS 275 

ing court week, so that they were called 
''County Court Hats." This is, of course, a 
lost art, along with the greater part of the 
other handicraft and basketry which is reviv- 
ed and treasured nowadays. 

Candle moulds and snuffer trays are interest- 
ing features of every museum of antiquity, 
and the sewing, when machines were still un- 
known, was exquisite. 

Cotton was raised in quantity after the in- 
vention of the cotton gin, and early the idea 
suggested itself that it might be manufactured 
at home without the costly transportation of 
raw material out, and of manufactured goods 
back into the States. Many small mills are 
to be noticed in the forties, and we find stated 
in journals of the time that there were in 
North Carolina in that day the quite respect- 
able number of twenty-five cotton factories, 
employing fifty thousand spindles and con- 
suming fifteen thousand bales of cotton 
yearly. 

None of these factories were in Wake 
County however. Gins there were, of course, 
run at first by horse-power, and also the old- 
fashioned horse-driven cotton presses, which 



276 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

were often flanked with a heap of cotton seed 
left to rot unused. Not always so, however, in 
Wake County. 

There was over near Rolesville, on Neuse 
River, quite early in the nineteenth century, 
one infant industry which was far ahead of its 
time. Several citizens of Wake County have 
recently given accounts of a cotton seed oil 
mill there which pressed ten gallons of oil in a 
day, and produced much oil-cake, in great 
cheese shaped masses, as if taken from some- 
thing Hke a cider-press. This oil-cake was 
was fed to milch cows and considered fine to 
increase their milk, while the oil is vaguely 
stated to have been "taken to Raleigh." 
What use it was put to there they did not 
know. To dilute linseed oil, probably. 

A few pianos were made in Raleigh before the 
war by a man named Whitaker, and were very 
good ones too, by the standards of the time. 

The works were imported, and the cases 
were made and mechanical parts installed and 
adjusted here. One or two of these instruments 
are still in existence to show their excellence. 

This is not a matter of great importance in 
the real progress of the city, but is told simply 
to show that the tide was turning toward the 



THESE LATER DAYS 277 

making of things before the coming of the war 
made necessary the manufacturing of articles 
for subsistence. 

There were formerly two successful paper 
mills in Wake County. The first one was at 
Milburnie, and was where a small stream came 
into the main stream of the Neuse, because 
clear water is necessary for making paper. 
This first one was started by Joseph Gales, the 
editor, for supplying his printing paper, and 
was burned before the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. The other was owned later at 
Falls of Neuse, by the father of Dr. W. I. Roy- 
sterand his brothers, and was dismantled when 
Sherman's army was near, and the machinery 
was hidden and saved. It is this massive 
stone building that is today the major part of 
the Neuse River Cotton Mill. 

The inhabitants of Wake County before the 
war were, nevertheless a most exclusively agri- 
cultural society and did not use very advanced 
methods. They had felt the lure of the West 
in those days that swept out the younger, 
more adventurous men, and the remaining 
ones were not the eager spirits. Good farmers 
there were, for as someone has said, there was 







5 « 

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M a 

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THESE LATER DAYS 279 

no need for a good farmer to move West. But 
the pristine fertility of virgin land was used 
up by the customary methods of exhaustion. 
The new ground was cropped and turned out 
as old field, to become a prey to gully-wash- 
ing rains, or grow up in old field pine if circum- 
stances were fortunate. New fields were con- 
stantly cleared, and this was the wasteful 
method all over the American continent at 
some stage of its development, before the 
need of conserving fertility was regarded. 

The long-leaved pines of the south-eastern 
portion of the county were soon stripped by 
turpentine seekers and lumbermen, while the 
hogs running out kept the young trees from 
sprouting up. Fear of deep plowing was held 
as a steadfast belief by farmers who had 
brought these ideas with them from the sandy 
country. 

We will have to accord to the women a good 
part of the sudden awakening to possibilities 
of manufacture which came later in 1861. 
During the War, the city and county became 
a real hive of industry. The socks which were 
knitted for the army by the good women every 
where were a case in point. Even so late as 



280 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

the World War, when distributions were made 
of wool for the Red Cross knitting, there were 
found, all over the country, old ladies who 
knew exactly what to do with their knitting 
needles, who rejoiced that they could help 
in their old age. 

After they were taught the "Kitchener 
Toe," and had been instructed in size of 
needles, and number of stitches to cast on, 
they industriously turned out socks by the 
dozen pair. These old ladies would reminisce, 
and tell of the sewing they had done for the 
soldiers in their youth, when cut-out garments 
were brought to them from Raleigh. Some 
had made up the cloth for love, and some had 
been obliged to ask for a little money. All 
had had their part in the efficient organization 
of industry at that time. 

Powder was made near Raleigh during the 
War and guncaps were manufactured by Keu- 
ster and Smithurst. Cartridges were filled by 
the children at the blind institution, by the deaf 
and dumb, and the blind also, who could thus 
do their bit. Matches and curry combs, 
wooden saddle trees, and metal findings such 
as spurs, belt buckles, and other things which 



THESE LATER DAYS 281 

could be stamped out, employed the hands of 
women and boys and some spare negroes. 
*'John Brown Pikes," those unique weapons, 
were made here also. 

Wooden shoes which could be worn by the 
home folk, and thus saved the much needed 
leather for the use of the army, were also made 
in Raleigh and are remembered as having 
been used by some of the wearers of this 
clumsy footgear. 

When the old Devereux house was pulled 
down some years since to make way for the 
development of Glenwood, two bolts of cotton 
cloth were found under the roof, hidden and 
forgotten. One of these may be seen in the Hall 
of History, and while not woven in Raleigh, 
it was made in the State during the War. 

Thus the necessities of the conflict develop- 
ed the hands and skill of both men and women, 
and the people who had hitherto subsisted by 
agriculture alone, found out that if an incen- 
tive were given, compelling toward making a 
start, they were capable of making many need- 
ed things, and could become skilled workmen 
in the doing of it. 



282 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

The Reconstruction period was a sad and 
exasperatng interlude, and trailed its discour- 
agement across a land where there was not 
much beauty or thrift remaining visible to 
the traveler over country roads, deep in mid- 
summer dust or winter mud; but after the 
citizens of North Carolina who had the right, 
resumed the direction of affairs, there was 
found a good deal to build upon. This was 
not in material resources, for these were as 
depleted as it is possible to imagine, but in 
ideals, and in interest in several things pre- 
viously carried on with success and efficiency. 

The winter of discontent forebodes the 
promise of spring. Agriculture, as soon as the 
War was fairly over, made some beginning at 
improvement, and the high price of cotton 
induced farmers to raise all they could culti- 
vate. I have been told of a farmer-boy near 
Raleigh who had by some means raised a fine 
colt for himself. When Sherman's men ap- 
peared they appropriated the animal. As 
they led it away the boy followed, and duly 
turned up at headquarters asking payment 
for his property. He was told that he might 
have as many of the old broken-down army 



THESE LATER DAYS 283 

mules which he was shown in a vacant lot, as 
he thought his horse was worth. Seeing here 
an opportunity, he took away a string of 
twenty of the least disabled ones, and by 
means of this foresight had mules to cultivate 
a large crop of cotton that summer, and sell- 
ing at the high price of the first year after the 
War he thus made his start. 

Mr. Priestley Mangum, a farmer of Wake 
County, finding that the washing out of gul- 
lies and the channelling out of the fields on 
his farm made so great a loss of surface soil 
and fertility as to reduce his yield permanently, 
attained one of those visions of simple ex- 
pedients which, although they may seem very 
plain to "hind-sight," have never been thought 
out before. He found that by throwing up 
ridges which followed the contour of the hill- 
side, and at the same time maintained a slight 
but continuous fall of level, he could thus con- 
trol the water in its course, allowing it to drain 
away slowly, and sink into the soil on its way. 
These ridges, arranged at intervals on his hilly 
fields, obviated washing, conserved moisture, 
and did not interfere with customary cultiva- 
tion. 



THESE LATER DAYS 285 

In a hilly country it had long been the cus- 
tom to run the furrows horizontally around the 
hill-sides, but a field cultivated after Mr. 
Mangum's plan had attained the same object 
more perfectly by its regular terraces made by 
throwing up a very high ridge beside a deep 
furrow and then smoothing it into shape with 
a sort of wooden scraper after the soil was thus 
heaped up. It was a simple expedient never 
thought of before. 

The first Professor of Agriculture at the 
"State College," seeing the condition and the 
necessity, showed how the labor of thro^wing 
up these terraces could be lessened by turning 
several furrows together to form the neces- 
sary ridge by means of the plow. So when- 
ever the terraces curl around the hillsides, and 
the crops grow greener upon the ridges where 
the soil is stirred deeper and is better drained, 
we see a real contribution made to economics 
by a plain man who used his wits to meet his 
daily problems. This simple plan has been of 
untold benefit, not only in Wake County where 
it originated, but also has meant millions to 
the whole red-clay country of the Piedmont 
South. 



286 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

After the first spurt toward improvement, 
there supervened a long period of depression. 
Cotton went down in price year by year. The 
remaining lumber was cut down to the bare 
soil as never before. Wake County had not 
made any good beginning at restoration for 
many years after the War. 

In Raleigh there was a certain sum of money 
which must be regularly spent there because 
it was the Capital; but as Wake County was 
neither rich nor level, and as its varieties in 
soil made it hard to manage, because what 
succeeded on one farm might not suit on an- 
other, a good farmer could just make a living, 
and a poor one went ever deeper in the mire. 

Another time of emigration began, not so 
much from the elder folk, or from the farms, 
but from the ranks of bright young men, who 
could go anywhere where larger rewards were 
to be found for their labor. 

It was during these pinching times that 
there grew up at Cary, nine miles from 
Raleigh, one of our most distinguished North 
Carolinians, one who has not yet fully come 
into his deserved fame. This was Walter 
Page, born of a Wake County family, which 



THESE LATER DAYS 287 

had been here since early years, one of a num- 
ber of brothers, all men more than ordinary 
in ability, and recognized by them as being 
the ablest of them all. 

They agreed to give him the college educa- 
tion which they did not all feel free to take in 
this struggling time with fortunes to make. 

This Walter Page found his mind busy with 
the problems of the country he loved, where 
his fathers had lived for generations. 

He wondered why it was that men of good 
minds and good characters, living under a de- 
lightful climate, and with no worse soil than 
was cultivated to advantage in many other 
places, could exist with so little of hope and en- 
couragement that life was but a servitude to 
the average farmer. He could see the great 
need of some change. His first business ven- 
ture, in the eighties, was the publication of a 
weekly newspaper in Raleigh. Although this 
did not turn out a financial success, yet it 
sowed much seed which has since come to 
fruition. A circle of young men in Raleigh, 
himself among them, talked over at length 
this feeling of futility, this lack of real progress 
in Wake County and outside. They found a 



288 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

lack of specific information as to real condi- 
tions and actual needs of the Southern country, 
an uncertainty as to the economic questions 
of southern life, to be one of the great defects 
of the era. The old formulas did not fit the 
new times. This coterie, this debating society 
of young men, not only discussed problems, 
but decided upon the remedy to suggest. 

It is declared by those who watched the 
signs of the times in these early eighties, that 
never, until the Watauga Club and the State 
Chronicle put it there, was the phrase ''indus- 
trial education" ever set up in type in North 
Carolina. 

This Watauga Club, of which Walter Page 
was one of the leading spirits, decided that 
there should be an industrial school where 
boys could receive a thorough A^ocational 
training, fitting them for the task of subduing 
material, whether it be wood, or metal or re- 
fractory soil, and making it serve man's needs. 
They talked the matter over thoroughly, and 
decided to memorialize the Legislature in be- 
half of such an institution. 

The farmers of the State were prompt to 
recognize that here was an opportunity. 



THESE LATER DAYS 289 

Under the leadership of EHas Carr, of Edge- 
combe, afterwards Governor, and of L. L. 
Polk, the editor of the Progressive Fanner^ 
they favored the idea but wished to have it 
carried further. 

They wanted the Land Scrip funds, which 
came from the Federal Government and which 
were used in an irrelevant manner by the Uni- 
versity, to be added to the endowment al- 
ready provided by the fertilizer tax. 

Private subscription, a State contribution 
of part of the Camp Mangum tract to the west 
of town, and the generous donation of sixty 
acres adjoining to Pullen Park, given by Mr. 
Stanhope Pullen for a site, were assembled as 
the assets of the new institution, after its in- 
corporation was enacted. To this the Land 
Scrip was a substantial addition. 

It is an interesting item in connection with 
the expanded idea of the Watauga Club, that 
both Wake Forest and Davidson Colleges 
were first started as industrial schools and as 
soon were augmented into real colleges. 

The first building erected at the Agricultural 
and Mechanical College, as its official title 
was first bestowed, was finished by Peniten- 




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THESE LATER DAYS 291 

tiary labor, and the institution was opened In 
1890. It was first of all a place where our 
boys could be taught to win a good livelihood 
by some creative work. 

In the same year was first felt the stirring 
of the Impulse toward a beginning of manu- 
factures, and money was subscribed to build 
cotton mills, and after that a fertilizer factory. 
It seems a long time that affairs had been stag- 
nant before the changes began to come, but 
when once Initiated, development has been 
steady and much has been accomplished. 
There Is as yet no stoppage of this steady de- 
velopment, and It has brought about a wonder- 
ful alteration In the look of things. Here and 
there Is a farm run so efficiently as to be really 
making the best of all conditions, while the 
whole general practice of farming has Im- 
proved wonderfully. 

The coming of Rural Free Delivery has 
been a great aid to the farmer who was suffi- 
ciently educated to use the help lavished up- 
on him so freely by the Federal and State 
Departments of Agriculture. 

Formerly a farmer had to go to Raleigh once 
a week, seldom oftener, and would get his 



292 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

mail. It was the exception if he took a paper. 
Now and then a letter or a patent medicine 
circular was about all he ever expected. He 
might hear the news of the day as he stood 
about the streets, and might return with a 
feeling of the existence of a world outside, but 
his wife and children got none of this. Life 
was stagnant of interest for them. There was 
now a wholesome change. 

Newspapers and magazines became more 
plentiful, and farmers could read something 
that was of special interest to their rural life. 
Now and then a boy would insist on going to 
the Agricultural College, and contrary to the 
predictions of the older folk, book farming was 
found not so unsuccessful after all. 

Factories were built in the good old North 
Carolina fashion of placing them in country 
surroundings, with rows of comfortable houses, 
very much more livable, one would think, than 
the loneliness of the one-horse farms whence 
their workers were recruited. These factory 
suburbs, with pleasant gardens to each little 
home, are seen on several sides of Raleigh. 

The spread of the plant of the State College 
over the hills to the west goes on; a new build- 



THESE LATER DAYS 293 

ing or so breaks Into the skyline every year 
as the boys keep coming; while the well culti- 
vated acres of the College Farm extend fur- 
ther, and the big cattle barns are almost at 
Method. Here we see another outpost of 
Raleigh. 

In the town proper, inside the city limits, 
the two older schools for girls, Saint Mary's 
and Peace, with the newer Meredith College 
(Baptist), bigger and more advanced in stand- 
ard than either, make the school population of 
Raleigh amount to thousands of young folk 
each winter. 

The State offices are growing greater each 
year as the social service side of the govern- 
ment reaches out more and more In influence 
for good each year. We have had the State 
Hospital for the Insane, and the institutions 
for the blind, and for the colored deaf, 
dumb and blind, for many years. There are 
two colored schools for higher education, sup- 
ported by Northern capital, and there Is at 
Method a village of negroes and also an indus- 
trial school for the colored race, both founded 
by the generosity of one of their own people, 
a man of means. 



294 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

This city of Raleigh while it is not yet an 
overgrown, swollen metropolis, is as pretty 
and as pleasant looking, as busy and hopeful 
a place today as any city of its size in the 
United States. 

Its people are the same that they ever have 
been. Newcomers are made welcome to follow 
our own ways. The homogeneity of society 
in this city makes for the kindliest feeling 
between all classes, and it is a town of homes, 
of moderate fortunes, and of many children. 

As you ride out on any of these thirteen 
great highways that extend in every direction 
like the spokes of a wheel, you find yourself in 
a smiling country. One can ride for hundreds 
of miles over the good roads of Wake County 
without repeating a single mile. 

Of the smaller towns which girdle the Coun- 
ty round, there is Cary, birthplace of the 
Pages, a small town before the War; Apex 
seven miles further, which was also a small 
village until the railroads made it a good sized 
country town; Garner grown up on the South- 
ern Railroad, as Apex on the Seaboard; 
Zebulon and Wendell, sister towns with their 
great rural High School buildings standing 



THESE LATER DAYS 295 

half way between them, and their streets of 
pleasant homes, none over twenty years old. 

Wake Forest has been a town since 1833, 
when Wake Forest College began its benefi- 
cent career, and now it has beside the college, 
its own cotton factory, in its own country 
suburb. 

Other places have their factories and schools 
also. Rolesville has not had a railroad to 
build her up, and while perhaps the oldest 
community outside Raleigh, has not increased 
since the War. Fuquay Springs, where mineral 
water attracted people for health, has become 
a good tobacco market, and has grown rapidly 
since the railroad came, while the water re- 
mains as good as ever. They, too, have their 
school building, as has Holly Springs. In 
Cary the Rural Life High School dominates 
the town as is fitting in Walter Page's old 
home. 

With churches and schools and farms and 
factories, and descendants of those good old 
families who came here to build our first civili- 
zation, and with those like-minded who have 
come in to help them and continue it, this 
County of Wake is a most pleasant, whole- 
some place in which to live. 



296 HISTORY OF WAKE COUNTY 

As one young person who was forced to 
move away from the old town of Raleigh quite 
unwillingly was heard to say, '^Don't you 
know that the finest people in the whole world 
live right here in Raleigh?" And this world 
is made up of folks far more than it is made up 
of acres, or of climate or of resources or of 
dollars. 

Given the right folks, a place can be as 
worth-while as one pleases. 



North Carolina Society of the Colonial 
Dames of America 

Wake County Committee 



Chairmen 
Mrs. Spier Whitaker 
Mrs. Elvira Worth Moffitt 
Mrs. Alexander Boyd Andrews 
Mrs. Franklin McNeill 
Mrs. William Johnston Andrews 

Secretaries 
Mrs. Harry Loeb 
Mrs. James J. Thomas 
Mrs. Joseph Redington Chamberlain 

Assistant Secretary 
Miss Martha Hawkins Bailey 

Treasurers 
Mrs. Harry Loeb 
Mrs. J. J. Thomas 
Mrs. S. W. Brewer 

Custodian of House in which President 
Andrew Johnson was Born 
Mrs. S. W. Brewer 

[297] 



298 WAKE COUNTY COMMITTEE 

Mrs. John Anderson 

(Lucy Worth London) 

*Mrs. Alexander Boyd Andrews 

(Julia Martha Johnston) 

♦Mrs. Alexander Boyd Andrews, Jr. 

(Helen May Sharpies) 

Mrs. Willl^m Johnston Andrews 

(Augusta Webb Ford) 

§Mrs. William H. Bagley 

(Adelaide Ann Worth) 

Miss Martha Hawkins Bailey 
Mrs. Thomas Walter Bickett 

(Fannie Yarborough) 

Mrs. Samuel Waite Brewer 

(Bessie Sarissa Felt) 

Mrs. Richard S. Busbee 

(Margaret Simons Clarkson) 

♦Mrs. Baldy A. Cape hart 

(Lucy Catherine Moore) 

Mrs. Joseph Redington Chamberlain 

(Hope Summerell) 

♦Mrs. Walter Clark 

(Susan Washington Graham) 
Mrs. W. a. Graham Clark 

(Pearl Chadwick Heck) 

Mrs. Collier Cobb 

(Mary Knox Gatlin) 



*Deceased 

§ Transferred to other Committees 



WAKE COUNTY COMMITTEE 299 

Mrs. J. S. Cobb 

(Jane Williams) 

Mrs. James H. Gordon 

(Betsey Louise London) 

Mrs. Josephus Daniels 

(Addie Worth Bagley) 

Miss Sallie Dortch 
Mrs. George Dix 

(Janet Dortch) 

Mrs. David I. Fort 

(Elizabeth Robinson) 

§Mrs. Leo Foster 

(Mary Marshall Martin) 

Miss Caroline Brevard Graham 
Mrs. B. H. Griffin 

(Margaret Smith) 

Mrs. Hubert Haywood 

(Emily Ryan Benbury) 

Mrs. J. M. Heck 

(Mattie A. Callendine) 

Mrs. John W. Hinsdale 

(Ellen Devereux) 

Miss Mary Hilliard Hinton 

♦Mrs. Alexander Q. Holladay 

(Virginia Randolph Boiling) 

Mrs. Erwin Allan Holt 

(Mary Warren Davis) 



♦Deceased 

§ Transferred toother Committees 



300 WAKE COUNTY COMMITTEE 

Mrs. Arm I stead Jones 

(Nannie Branch) 

♦Mrs. Garland Jones 

(Florence Monterey Hill) 

§Miss Mary Frances Jones 
*Mrs. Paul Hinton Lee 

(Ellen S. Tyson) 

Miss Margaret Tyson Lee 
♦Mrs. Augustus M. Lewis 

(Sara Matilda Gorham) 

Mrs. Harry Loeb 

(Bessie Armistead Batchellor) 

Mrs. Henry Armand London 

(Bettie Louise Jackson) 

Mrs. Henry M. London 

(Mamie Elliot) 

Mrs. Isaac Manning 

(Mary Best Jones) 

§Mrs William M. Marks 

(Jane Hawkins Andrews) 

§Mrs. William J. Martin 

(Lizzie MacMillan) 

§Mrs. Elvira W^orth Moffitt 
(Elvira E. Worth) 

Mrs. Ben W^ Moore 

(Katherine Badger) 



♦Deceased 

§Transferred to other Committees 



WAKE COUNTY COMMITTEE 301 

*Mrs. Montford McGehee 

(Sarah Polk Badger) 

Mrs. John Allan MacLean 

(Eugenia Graham Clark) 

Mrs. Franklin McNeill 

(Jennie Elliot) 

Mrs. James Kemp Plummer 

(Lucy Williams Haywood) 

Mrs. Edward W. Pou 

(Carrie Haughton Ihrie) 

IVIrs. Ivan Proctor 

(Lucy Briggs Marriott) 

Mrs. William E. Shipp 

(Margaret Busbee) 

Mrs. Walter M. Stearns 

(Mary Haywood Fowle) 

^Mrs. Frank Lincoln Stevens 

(Adeline Chapman) 

Mrs. Frank Morton Stronach 

(Isabel Cameron Hay) 

Mrs. George Syme 

(Harriet Haywood) 

Mrs. James J. Thomas 
(Lula Olive Felt) 

Mrs. Robert L. Thompson 

(Annie Busbee) 



"Deceased 

{Transferred to other Committees 



302 WAKE COUNTY COAIMITTEE 

♦Mrs. Platt D. Walker 

(Nettie Reid Covington) 

Mrs. William L. Wall 

(Annie Cameron Collins) 

Mrs. Thurman Cary Wescott 

(Daisy Holt Haywood) 

♦Mrs. Spier Whitaker 

(Fannie de Berniere Hooper) 

§^Mrs. George Taylor Winston 

(Caroline Sophia Taylor) 

♦Mrs. William Alphonso W^ithers 

(Elizabeth Witherspoon Daniel) 

Mrs. Carl A. Woodruff 

(Effie Hicks Hayw^ood) 

Mrs. Edwin S. Yarborough 

(Nellie Elliot) 



♦Deceased 

§Transferred to other Committees