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inlenesis of Wake County 3 — 17 

Mr. Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 

St. Paul's Church, Edenton, N. C, and its Associations 19—35 

Richard Dillard, M.D. 

North Carolina Signers of the National Declaration of Indepen- 
dence: Part II., William Hooper 37 — 71 

Mrs. Spier Whitaker. 

Illustrations : 
Joel Lane House in Present City of Raleigh. 
St. Paul's Church, Edenton, N. C. Built 1745. 
Book-Plate of William Hooper, 
Will Hooper of North Carolina. (With autograph.) 
Rev. William Hooper. (With autograph.) 
William Hooper, D.D., L.L.D. (With autograph.) 
Monument at Guilford Battle Ground, 

The History of the Capitol 74 — 89 

Colonel Charles Earl Johnson. 

Some Notes on Colonial North Carolina, 1700-1750 90—149 

Colonel J. Bryan Grimes. 

North Carolina's Poets 149 — 166 

Rev. Hlght C. Moore. 

Illustrations : 
The First Capitol of North Carolina, Destroj'ed by Fire June 

21, 1831. (From an old engraving.) 
The Present Capitol at Raleigh. Built Between 1831 and 1840. 

Cornelius Harnett 171 — 201 

Mr. R. D. W. Connor. 

Edward Moseley 202 — 208 

Prof. D. H. Hill. 

Celebration of the Anniversary of May 20, 1775 209 — 216 

Major William A. Graham. 

Illustration : 

" Hilton," the Home of Cornelius Harnett. 




Governor Thomas PoUok 219—231 

Mrs. John W. Hinsdale. 

Battle of Cowan's Ford 232—246 

Major William A. Graham. 

First Settlers in North Carolina not Religious Refugees 247 — 260 

Rt. Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, D.D. 

Illustrations : 
Governor Pollok's Book Plate. 
Map of Cowan's Ford. 

Vol. V. JULY, 1905 No. 1 



"Carolina! Oaholina ! Heaven's Blessings attend Her! 
While We Live We will Cherish, Protect and Defend Her." 




The object of the Booklet is to aid in developing and preserving 
North Carolina History. The proceeds arising from its publication 
will be devoted to patriotic purposes. Editors. 

Officers of The North Carolina Society 
Daughters of the Revolution, 1903-1905: 






{Nee Hooper), 

MRS. D. H. HILL, Sr.* 




Founder of the North Carolina Society and regent 1896-1902; 

Regent 1902: 
MRS. D. H. HILL, Sr. 

*Died December 12, 1904. 


Vol. V. JULY, 1905. No. 1. 



When the editors of The Booklet requested me to pre- 
pare a sketch bearing in some way upon the history of Wake 
County, no particular period or epoch was assigned me. 
Thus having a space of more than one hundred and thirty 
years from which to choose my subject, I have decided that 
nothing more profitable can be selected than to start with 
"In the heginning" — and so I term this brief dissertation 
The Gexesis of Wake County. I shall endeavor to tell 
something of the county's origin, of its colonial history, and 
of the part its people bore in the War of the Eevolution, clos- 
ing with the year 1783, when Great Britain acknowledged 
Isorth Carolina (with her sister colonies) to be a "free, 
sovereign, and independent State." My narrative will close 
about ten years before the foundation of the City of Raleigh, 
which is the State capital of IsTorth Carolina and what our 
English ancestors would call the "shire-town" of Wake 

Probably the first white man who ever set foot in the area 
which is now embraced in Wake county was John Lawson, 
the explorer and historian, who made his journey in 1700 
and crossed Xeuse River at the northern end of the present 
county of Wake, about five miles from where the village 
and college of Wake Forest now stand. Speaking of the 
falls of the river (which he called a creek), Lawson says: 
"We went about 10 Miles, and sat down at the Falls of a 


large Creek, where lay mighty Rocks, the Water making a 
strange JSToise, as if a great many Water-Mills were going at 
once. I take this to be the Falls of iVews-Creek, called by 
the Indians, Wee quo WJiom." Another early reference to 
the land now lying in Wake county is found on a large map 
made by "Capt. John Collet, Governor of Fort Johnston," 
dedicated to King George the Third, and published by an 
Act which passed the British Parliament on May 1, 1770. 
This map gives JN'euse River (spelling it iSTuse), and also 
shows many of that river's tributaries which flow through 
Wake county, and are still known by the same names. 
Among these are the two streams on the north and south of 
the present city of Raleigh, viz. : Crabtree Creek, and Wal- 
nut Creek (which Collet calls "Walnut Tree Creek") ; also 
Middle Creek further down, which is now partly in John- 
ston county. Then, on the eastern side of i^euse River, 
going up-stream, we find 'Eqw Light Creek, Beaver Dam 
Creek, and the Ledge of Rocks. One error in Collet's map 
is representing Richland Creek as forming part of the head- 
waters of Crabtree, when, in fact, it is on the northern side 
of ISTeuse River, flowing into the river a few miles below 
the Falls, while Crabtree Creek is on the southern side of the 

The county of Wake was brought into existence when 
England's reigning monarch was George the Third and 
when William Tryon was Royal Governor of the Colony of 
!N"orth Carolina. It is named in honor of Governor Tryon's 
wife whose maiden name was Margaret Wake. With the 
exception of Dare county, it is the only county in the State 
named for a woman. Though it was not fully organized till 
1771, its origin was about the end of the year 1770 when a 
bill was introduced into the Lower tlouse of the Legislature 
of the Colony at ISTew Bern, on December 23 d, providing for 
the creation of Wake county; and the Upper House, or 
Governor's Council, passed the bill on the 27th of the same 


imontli, thus making it a law — Chapter XXII of tlie Pub- 
lic Laws of 1770. This Act, a somewhat lengthy document 
of sixteen sections, sets forth as a reason for the creation 
'of the new coimtj that "the large extent of the said counties 
of Johnston, Cumberland, and Orange, renders it grievous 
tmd burthensome to many of the inhabitants thereof to attend 
the Courts, General Musters, and Public Meetings therein." 
The territory at first included in Wake county was taken 
from the three counties named in the above quoted extract. 
By the Act referred to, Joel Lane, Theophilus Hunter, 
Hardy Sanders, Joseph Lane, John Hinton, Thomas Hines, 
and Thomas Crawford were appointed commissioners to lay 
off land on which to erect a Oourt-House, Jail, Stocks, etc., 
and Joel Lane, James Martin, and Theophilus Hunter were 
authorized to contract with workmen for the erection of the 
said buildings and stocks. Joel Lane, John Smith, Theo- 
philus Hunter, Farquard Campbell, and Walter Gibson 
were then directed to run the boundary as specified in the 
Act creating the county. This law will be found in the 
Revisal published by James Davis at jSTew Bern in 1773. 
x^ccording to its ov^ti provisions, said Act was not to take 
effect till March 12, 1771. 

During the year in which Wake county was taking shape 
as a territory separate and distinct from its mother counties 
of Johnston, Orange, and Cumberland, E"orth Carolina was 
in the throes of a small civil war — what is known is history 
as the Insurrection of the Regulators. The chief seat of 
trouble was in Orange county; and in W^ake (a part of 
what had been Orange) there was also some disaffection to 
the government, but no acts of violence and incendiarism 
by the Regulators occurred here, as was the case in Orange, 
Granville, and other counties. As early as 1768 Governor 
Tryon had gone with some colonial militia against the Reg- 
ulators ; but, on that expedition, there was no blood-shed, 
as the Regulators agreed to cease their lawlessness. In this 


expedition of 1768 one of the officers in the Governor's 
army was Major John Hinton who appeared at the head 
of a detachment from Johnston connty. By the Act of 
1770, creating Wake, Major Hinton's plantation was 
included in the new connty. Thereupon Governor Tryon 
promoted him to the rank of Colonel and called for his ser- 
vices in a second expedition against the Regulators in the 
early Spring of 1771. The chief place of rendezvous for 
the colonial militia, which served under Tryon, was Wake 
Cross-roads, about where Raleigh now stands. The Gov- 
ernor's own headquarters were at a country-seat called Hun- 
ter's Lodge, owned by the elder Theophilus Hunter, on the 
])resent Fayetteville Road, two or three miles south of 
Raleigh. This place is now owned by Ransom Hinton, Esq., 
a descendant both of Colonel John Hinton and Theophilus 
Hunter. Hunter's Lodge is not the same as Spring Hill, a 
neighboring plantation later owned by Theopilus Hunter, 
junior. jSTear Wake Cross-roads Governor Tryon tarried 
with his troops from May 2d till May 8th, and then set out 
towards the scene of the disturbances. About a week later, 
on May 16, 1771, was fought the Battle of Alamance, where 
the insurgents were defeated and scattered by the Governor's 
little army of ISTorth Carolina militia — a force about half 
their own number. In this expedition the Wake county 
troops under Colonel Hinton acquitted themselves with 
honor, and received high commendation for the part they 
bore in the battle. 

At the beginning of Tryon's march from Wake Cross- 
roads it was found necessary for his Corps of Engineers to 
cut a new road, as the old one — the ''Granville Tobacco 
Path" — was too rough for artillery to pass over. The new 
thoroughfare was called Ramsgate Road. By the mellowing 
process of time, Ramsgate assumed a more sentimental form 
and became Ramcat, also giving its name to a section of 
our county where the more cultured classes write it Rham- 


tatte. The latter locality, as everyone knows, is a great 
trade center which supplies Raleigh with light-wood, 'pos- 
sums, and blackberries, and even begins to threaten the com- 
mercial supremacy of our sister county of Chatham in its 
chief source of support, the rabbit industry. 

But my tribute to Rhamkatte has caused me to digress 
from the course of this narrative, which has to do with the 
history in general of Wake county. The Charter of the new 
county was signed by Governor Tryon, in the name of the 
King, on May 22, 1771, while he was on the Alamance expe- 
dition, and this important document was entrusted to the 
personal care of Colonel John Hinton, who presented it in 
open court after his return home. 

In the early days of Wake county the chief legal tribunal 
of a county in jSTorth Carolina was called the "Inferior 
Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions." It was composed of 
all (or a quorum) of the Justices of the Peace meeting in 
joint session four times yearly. There were also Judicial 
Districts in the Colony. These districts were composed of 
several counties, over all of which the "Superior Court" 
had higher jurisdiction than the above county courts. The 
Superior Courts were the highest tribunals in the Colony, 
and their sessions were presided over by the Chief Justice 
of I^Torth Carolina and two "Assistant Judges." Wake 
county was in what was known as the Hillsborough Dis- 
trict, and all of its business with the Superior Court had 
to be transacted at the to^vn of Hillsborough. The lawyers 
of that day often came down from Hillsborough, and from 
other localities, even Virginia, to appear in the Wake Court 
of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. On its Docket between 1771 
and 1783 we find the names of a number of practicing attor- 
neys, among whom were Bromfield Ridley, John Kinchen, 
John Rand, James Forsyth, Joseph Taylor, David Gordon, 
D'Arcy Fowler, James Williams, John Ronton, John Penn, 
Henry Gifford, Henry Lightfoot, James Spiller, and Alex- 


ander Gray. Some of these gentlemen regularly resided iu 
Wake county. Penn lived in Granville and was afterwards- 
a signer of the iSTational Declaration of Independence. 

The first Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for the 
county of Wake met on June 4, 1771. There were present 
Theophilus Hunter, Presiding Justice, and the following- 
Justices: Joel Lane, Joseph Lane, Benjamin Hardy, 
James Martin, Hardy Sanders, Abraham Hill, Thomas 
Wootten, James Jones, Thomas Crawford, and Ting-nail 
Jones. Among other officers present were Michael Rogers, 
High Sheriff; John Rogers and James Alford, Deputy 
Sheriffs ; John Rice, Clerk of the Court and Deputy Clerk 
for the Crown in the county of Wake; and Bromfield Rid- 
ley, King's Deputy Attorney. It is recorded that when 
another session of this Court met it was at "Bloomsberry, in 
the County of Wake." Bloomsberry, more properly 
Bloomsbury, was the name of a hamlet erected at Wake 
Cross-roads, the present site of the city of Raleigh. The 
hamlet of Bloomsbury was also known as Wake Court- 

In days prior to the Revolution, and for some time after 
that war, it was the law that any person convicted of per- 
jury should have both his ears cropped off by the common 
hangman and nailed to the pillory. One ear was so cropped 
for subornation of perjury. Hence any person who was 
"crop-eared" was always regarded with distiiist. But occa- 
sionally a citizen was deprived of his ear without due pro- 
cess of law, in consequence of the cannibalistic propensity 
of some adversary with whom he was engaged in a rough 
and tumble fight — or "battle," as the old records would say. 
When such a misfortune befell a man, he generally went into 
court and had an entry made of the fact that his ear had 
been bitten off, and not cropped for perjury or suborna- 
tion thereof. There are several entries of this class on the 
old records of Wake county. At September Term, 1771, 


we find tlie following: "Averington McKelroy came into 
court, and by the oatli of Mr. Isaac Hunter proved that he 
unluckily lost a piece from the top of his right ear by Jacob 
Odeni's biting it off in a battle." Islor was Mr. McKelroy 
the only belligerent who was wounded in battle by a sharp- 
toothed antagonist; for, by a formal. entry made at Septem- 
ber Term, 1772, of the above court, we are also informed: 
"James Murr came into court and produced John Patter- 
son, a witness to prove how and in what manner he lost his 
ear, who made oath that after a battle between said Murr 
and one Wagstaff Cannady, he (the said Patterson) found 
a piece of his (Murr's) ear on the ground: to wit the right 
ear." Those "good old-fashioned customs" will never come 
again — and for this may the Lord make us thankful ! 

There is a homely old proverb, perhaps familiar to some 
of my readers, which says : "ISTever trust a nigger with a 
gun." Our forefathers in the Colonial Assembly, it would 
seem, went even further and were not even willing to trust 
a nigger with a club. In examining the proceedings of the 
court of Wake County, at September Term, 1774, we find 
the following order: "Whereas, it hath lately been a prac- 
tice of sundry slaves in this county, especially upon Crab 
Tree and Walnut Creeks, to carry clubs loaded on the ends 
with lead or pewter, contrary to the Act of Assembly, to the 
annoyance of the inhabitants, which may be attended with 
dangerous and evil consequences, the court therefore 
appoints the chairman to cause to be put up advertisements 
at the court-house and other public places in this county, 
requiring the masters, mistresses, or overseers of slaves, to 
prohibit their slaves from carrying such unlawful weapons, 
certifying to them at the same time that, if they therein fail, 
the magistrates will strictly put in execution the law against 
such an evil and dangerous practice." 

On October 6, 1772, Colonel John Hinton made a list of 
the officers of his regiment of Wake County troops, and this 


roster is here given ; for so many of the officers therein, now 
have descendants living in Wake Connty and elsewhere that 
it will doubtless be of interest. The following is a copy in 

Colonel — John Hinton. 

Lieutenant-Colonel — Joel Lane. 

Major — Theophilus Hunter. 

Captains — Simon Turner, John Hinton, junior, James 
Moore, Samuel Pearson, I^athaniel Jones, Edward Mobley, 
Jeremiah Mobley, Michael Rogers, Sandy Sanders, William 
Simms, and William Anderson Fowler. 

Lieutenants — John Myatt, Swann Thompson, Edward 
Mobley, junior, John Beddingfield, Tingnall Jones, Demp- 
sey Powell, Jacob Utley, Isham Hendor, and Mosier Jones. 

Ensigns — Andrew Collins, Reuben Rogers, Jacob Bled- 
soe, Joshua Sugg, Thomas Philips, Aaron Rogers, Ethel- 
dred Jones, Joel Simms, and Godfrey Eowler. 

The gentlemen who held the office of High Sheriff of the 
county of Wake from the foundation of the county to the 
close of the Revolution, were the following: Michael Rogers, 
from the foundation of the county till June, 1773 ; Thomas 
Hines, from June, 1773, till June, 1777 ; Thomas W^ootten, 
from June, 1777, till September, 1780 ; Hardy Sanders, 
from Se]3tember, 1780, till September, 1782 ; and Britain 
Sanders, from September, 1782, till after American inde- 
pendence was acknowledged. During the days of our colo- 
nial existence the office of High Sheriff was one not only 
of importance but of the greatest honor as well, as has 
always been the case in Great Britain, where even now 
some of the principal peers hold the title as an hereditary 
honor — the Duke of Montrose being hereditary High Sher- 
iff of Dumbartonshire, the Duke of Argyll hereditary High 
Sheriff of Argyllshire, with other noblemen of like rank 
who might be mentioned. 

At the beginning of the War of the Revolution, field- 
officers for the troops of Wake County were appointed by 


the Provincial Congress of i^orth Carolina at Hillsborougli 
on the 9th of September, 1775, as follows : John Hinton, 
Colonel; Theophilus Hunter, Lieutenant-Colonel; John 
Hinton, junior. First Major; and Thomas Hines, Second 
Major. These officers were re-elected to the same ranks 
by the Provincial Congress of North Carolina at Halifax 
on the 22d of April, 1776. At a later period Thomas 
Wootten was also Colonel; and Michael Rogers, Lieutenant- 
Colonel, the latter being appointed in February, 1778. 
There may have been some other changes also. 

About the beginning of January, 1776, there was a great 
uprising of the Tories of ISTorth Carolina, chiefly among the 
Highland Scotch of the Cape Pear section, with some of the 
old Regulators from further west; and Wake County was 
called upon to do her part in suppressing the out-break. 
Colonel Hinton then marched eastward with a detachment 
of his regiment, which became a part of Colonel Richard 
Caswell's command, numbering about eight hundred. These 
later united with the lesser command of Colonel Alexander 
Lillington, after which the joint forces (about a thousand 
men) gave battle to a vastly superior force of Loyalists at 
Moore's Creek Bridge, on the 27th of February, 1776. The 
scene of this fight was then in aSTew Hanover County, but 
is now a part of the county of Pender. The result was one 
of the most crushing defeats which ever befell the King's 
troops in America. Colonel Caswell (later General and 
Governor), who commanded in this battle, afterwards spoke 
in high terms of the bravery there displayed by Colonel 

A good deal of recruiting was done in "Wake County 
while the war was in progress. In the Summer of 1781, 
one of the French volunteer officers, Francis Marquis of 
Malmedy, mustered into his regiment a company of Wake 
Light Horse. Of this company Solomon Wood was Captain, 
Mark Myatt was Lieutenant, and Thomas Gray was Cornet. 


In connection with the last named rank (now no longer in 
use) it may be mentioned that a Cornet was a commissioned 
officer in a cavalry company whose duty it was to carry the 
colors of his troop. 

While the above Whigs were striving for independence, 
the Tories were by no means inactive, though few could 
stay in Wake County. When a man refused to take the 
oath of allegiance to the new State government, he was 
ordered to move out of I^orth Carolina. Alexander Munn 
and Sampson Strickland were driven out for so refusing, 
and there may have been others. Munn's property, Avith 
that of other Loyalists, was later confiscated by Chapter VI. 
of The Laws of 178 1. He went to jSTova Scotia in 1783. 

There were some men who attempted to shirk the mili- 
tary duty which the law required of them during" the Revo- 
lution. Of this class was one Timothy Duck, who failed to 
appear when summoned for military duty in April, 1781. 
At that time Colonel Thomas Wootten commanded the mili- 
tia forces of Wake County. In accordance with a power 
which was given him by law. Colonel Wootten ordered the 
Sheriff to seize and sell Duck's plantation. With the pro- 
ceeds of this sale, John Abernethie was hired as a substi- 
tute, and the unfortunate Duck had to hunt for another 

The most active and daring partisan in l^orth Carolina 
on the Tory side during the Revolution was Colonel David 
Fanning, a native of what afterwards became the county 
of Wake, though that part of Wake was in Johnston at the 
time of his birth. The deeds of blood committed by him in 
his native State fill a volume which he prepared, entitled 
Fanning's Narative. After the war, when ISTorth Carolina 
passed an "Act of Pardon and Oblivion," giving a general 
amnesty to her late enemies, he was excepted by name from 
its provisions, and died an exile in Canada. 

Wake county had a good share in establishing the inde- 
pendent government of North Carolina. To the Provincial 


•Congress at 'New Bern in April, 1775, John Hinton, 
Michael Rogers, and Tingnall Jones were sent as its dele- 
gates. In another Provincial Congress, held at Hills- 
Iborough in August of the same year, the county's represen- 
tatives were John Ilinton, Joel Lane, Theophilus Hunter, 
Michael Rogers, Tingnall Jones, John Rand and Thomas 
Hines. On September 9th, while the last named Congress 
was in se^ssion, it appointed Committees of Safety for the 
several Districts into which the State was divided, and Joel 
Lane, Michael Rog'ers, and John Hinton, of Wake, were 
made members for the Hilsborougii District, of which their 
county was a part. In the Provincial Congress at Halifax 
in April, 1776, the representatives from Wake were Ting- 
nall Jones, John Rand, John Hinton, Joel Lane and 
William Hooper. The last named gentleman, Mr. Llooper, 
who is recorded as a delegate from Wake, was not a citizen 
of the county. Later he added to his already established 
fame by signing the ISTational Declaration of Independence. 
Another Provincial Congress met at Halifax in liovember, 
1776, and from Wake County to that body went Britain 
Puller, James Jones, Tingnall Jones, John Rice and 
Michael Rogers. On April 19, 1776, during the session of 
the first Provincial Congress at Halifax, Theophilus Hun- 
ter and Thomas Hines, of Wake, were made members of 
a Committee to procure, by purchase or otherwise, fire-arms 
for use by the American troops. 

In the State Senate of IsTorth Carolina during the Revolu- 
tion, Wake County was represented by James Jones in 1777, 
by Michael Rogers from 1778 till 1781, and by Joel Lane 
from 1782 till after the end of the war. In the House of 
Commons of jSTorth Carolina during the war, appeared the 
following Wake County members: John Rand and Ting- 
nall Jones in 1777; Lodwick Alford and Hardy Sanders 
in 1778 ; Thomas Hines and John Hinton, junior, in 1779 ; 
JS^athaniel Jones and John Humphries in 1780 ; Burwell 


Pope and James Hinton in 1781 and 1782 ; and Tlieopliiliis 
Hunter and Hardy Sanders in 1783. 

While the above delegates from Wake in the Provincial 
Congresses and General iVssemhlies were looking after the 
State's general welfare, the interests of the county were 
faithfully guarded at home by the Court of Pleas and Quar- 
ter Sessions. Among the Justices who sat at different times 
in this tribunal during the Revolution were the following: 
John Abernethie, Lodwick Alford, Kedar Bryan, Richard 
Banks, Thomas Crawford, Joseph Davis, Abraham Hill^ 
Thomas Hines, John Hinton, John Hinton, junior, James 
Hinton, Francis Hobson, Theophilus Hunter, Albridgton 
Jones, James Jones, J^athaniel Jones of White Plains,* 
Tingnall Jones, Joel Lane, Joseph Lane, James Martin, 
James Moore, Burwell Pope, Michael Rogers, Hardy San- 
ders, Joshua Sugg:, William Walton, John Whitaker, and 
Thomas Wootten. Beginning with the early part of 1777^ 
the court composed of these Justices cited various citizens 
of the county to take the oath of allegiance to the new State 
government as required by a recent enactment. W^lien a per- 
son refused to take such oath, he was forthwith ordered to 
leave the county and State. 

In 1781 one of the sessions of the General Assembly of 
North Carolina (there were two or more sessions that year) 
met at Bloomsbury, the county-seat of Wake. Colonel Joel 
Lane's residence (which is still standing in the city of 
Raleigh) was its place of meeting. At that time the State 
and Continental paper money had become so utterly worth- 
less that the sum of fifteen thousand pounds was paid by the 
Assembly to Colonel Lane for the rent of this house for 
two weeks, with pasturage included. During this session 
several detachments of troops were ordered to Bloomsbury 
for the Assembly's protection. 

The present city of Raleigh, as is well kno"\vn, stands on 

*Nathaniel Jones of White Plains lived near the present village of Gary. He died 
in 1815. His connection by marriage (though probably not of the same paternal 
line), Nathaniel Jones, Sr., of Orabtree, who died in 1810, was a brother of Robert 
Jones, Jr. ("Robin" Jones), Attorney General under Governors Dobbs and Tryon. 
See Jones Genealogy by Col. Cadwallader Jones. Nathaniel Jones. Jr., of Crabtree 
died in 1828, and was father of the late Kimbrough Jones, Sr. 


land purcliased by North Carolina from Colonel Joel Lane 
for the purpose of erecting thereon the capital of the State. 
Lane's deed to the State is dated April 5, 1T92, and the 
streets of tlie new to'wn were laid ont shortly thereafter. 

In 1835 and again in 1841 the United States government 
published lists of soldiers of the Revolution who were pen- 
sioned for services in that war. At the risk of being tedious 
I give the Wake County lists in full. Persons desiring a 
■statement of the war record of any veteran herein named 
can obtain the same free of charge by addressing a request 
therefor to the Commissioner of Pensions, at Washington 
City. Except when otherwise designated, persons mentioned 
were privates in the service of JSTorth Carolina. Some of 
the names are spelled differently on the two lists, and these 
variations I have indicated below. The list published in 
1835 was as follows: Berthett Allen, James Adams, Philip 
Adams, James Ames, John Amos, Christopher Babb, James 
Brown, Jesse Bryant (Virginia), William Burton (or 
William H. Burton), Jacob Byrum, Benjamin Carpenter, 
James Christian 2nd, William Clifton, George Cole, Robert 
Dodd, Reuben Evans, John Green, Jesse Llarris (or Hor- 
ris), James Hughes (Virginia), Thomas Jinks (Corporal), 
Erancis Jones, Vincent King, Joshua Lynch, David Mabry, 
Jesse Manuel, John Marr, Shadrach Medlin, iSTaaman Mills, 
James JSTance, senior (Virginia), Jesse Osbourn, Drury 
Pittiford (Virginia), William Polk (Major), Elisha Pope 
(Virginia), Frederick Rigsby (or Rigsbee), James Rigsby 
(or Rigsbee), Thomas Ross, John Rhodes, Aaron Roberts, 
Robert Sneed (Virginia), Joseph Shaw (Pennsylvania), 
Isaac Smith, Samuel Standeford (Virginia), Samuel Scar- 
borough, senior (Virginia), Jonathan Smith, senior (Cap- 
tain), John Sherron, John Swenney, William Tate, I^athan 
Upchurch, William Wilder, Burrell (or Burwell) White- 
head, John Walker, John Williams, and Jesse Wall. In 
addition to the above, the list of 1841 gives the following 
names, without indicating rank, or State in which they 


served: James Harward, Thomas Holland, Eichard Piperr^ 
William Sledd, Enfiis Willie, and William Wood. Some- 
of these veterans were dead before lists were published. 
Joel Terrell, whose name also appears on the pension roll 
of 1835, appears to have rendered his military service in 
the United States Army after the Revolution — possibly m 
the War of 1812. 

W^hen the county of Wake was first created, and up to the 
time of the Eevolution, the Church of England was estab- 
lished by law, and each county contained one or more par- 
ishes. The one in Wake was called the Parish of St. Mar- 
garet, this probably being done to canonize, as it were, the 
same lady in whose honor the county was called — Mrs. 
Tryon, formerly Miss Margaret Wake, a zealous church- 
woman and generous contributor to religious work in tlie 
colony. I have also seen it stated that the present townships 
of St. Mary's and St. Matthew's in Wake County take their 
names from either chapels or parishes of the old Established 
Church in the Colony. 

By what I have already set forth herein, my story has 
been brought to a close. It was not at first intended to im- 
pose upon the patience of my readers further than to bring 
the history of Wake County down to a time when ]S[ortli 
Carolina's independence of Great Britain was acknowl- 
edged. But I cannot resist the temptation of adding a few 
more words about the men and customs of that day. 

The old colonists were a sturdy and substantial race of 
men, not the mimic courtiers so finely pictured in the his- 
torical novels dealing with that time. They had their vir- 
tues and they had their vices, as men always have had and 
always will have. They were not devoid of ability as legis- 
lators, and possessed a practical knowledge of the needs of 
the colony. Personally they were bold, fearless, and inde- 
pendent, prompt to answer a call for their services in the 
field, and at times too forward in a personal quarrel. At the 


period of which I write, there were places in l^orth Caro- 
lina, particularly in the extreme east, where could be found 
commodious houses, churches, schools, and private libraries, 
together with what were then considered the luxuries of life. 
But when some of the bolder spirits of that time pushed 
westward and set up new homes in what is now the center 
of the State, they had more serious problems to confront 
than those to which they had been accustomed. The 
early pioneers of Wake County knew more about blaz- 
ing paths through the primeval forests by which they 
were surrounded than they knew about winding through 
the intricate mazes of a minuet. Great houses, servants, 
and jfine apparel form no part of the equipment of a back- 
woodsman. Even so we find it in the Gospel of St. Luke 
that when the multitude sought St. John the Baptist, it was 
asked of them: "What went ye out into the wilderness for 
to see 2 * * * * A man clothed in soft raiment ? Behold, 
they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, 
are in kings' courts." So might an old colonist in Wake 
County describe the locality where his lot was cast, not as 
a place of soft raiment and delicate living, but a land — 

"Where thoughts, and tongues, and hands, are bold and free, 
And friends will find a welcome, foes a grave ; 
And where none kneel, save when to heaven when they pray. 
Nor even then, unless in their own way." 



(Member of North Carolina Historical Commission,) 

It is written that Selim, the son Soliman, was accustomed to eat 
every day a certain cereal which grew in Turkey, the effect of which 
was to erase from the mind every disagreeable circumstance, every 
painful emotion, unfortunately I have no such extravagant nepenthe, 
I bring no golden apples snatched from the Gardens of the Hesperides. 

Edenton, and its environs, was the focal point of civiliza- 
tion for ISTorth Carolina, and the history of St. Paul's Parish 
is but the history of the early struggling colony. The exact 
date of the settlement of Edenton is not known, but as early 
as 1658 there was considerable development about this point, 
bearing the name of Chuwon Precinct. The beauty and fer- 
tility of the country, the mildness and equability of the cli- 
mate, together with religious liberty, and the ease of access 
by land and water lured the adventurous settler ; so that in 
1710 it had grown so rapidly that it was a borough of con- 
siderable importance, the capital of the colony, and the home 
of the royal governors. It is sometimes alluded to as the 
"To\^me in Queen Ann's Creek," the "Towne in Matterco- 
mock Creek,"* and "Port of Roanoke." Upon the death of 
Governor Charles Eden in 1722, it was called Edenton in 
his honor. 

In 1708 Lawson wrote of us : "The fame of this new dis- 
covered country spread through the colonies, and in a few 
years drew a considerable number of families thereto, who 
all found land enough to settle themselves, and that which 
was very good, and commodiously seated, both for profit and 

*"Mattercomock" an Indian word meaning Temple of God. By way of parenthesis 
the name of che section of the country near Edenton called Rockyhock was de- 
rived from the word "Rakiock," meaning our common Cypress tree, by metathesis 
and corruption it has become Rockyhook the "land of Cypress trees." 


pleasure. Thej are kind and hospitable to all that visit 
them; and, as for the women, who do not expose themselves 
to the weather, they are often very fair, and have brisk and 
charming eyes, which sets them off to advantage. They 
marry very young, some at thirteen or fourteen, and she that 
stays till twenty is reckoned a very indifferent character. The 
young men are commonly of a bashful and sober behaviour. 
The easy way of living in this new and plentiful country 
fosters negligence. The women are the most industrious sex 
in the place, and by their good housewifery make a good deal 
of cloth of their coton, wool and flax, some of them keeping 
their families, though large, very decently appareled with 
linens and woolens, so that they have no occasion to run into 
the merchant's debt, or lay out their money in stores for 

These copious extracts from our first historian will tend 
to give you some idea of the life in this new and undeveloped 
country then. 

Our historic field is extensive and "rich with the spoils of 
time," but, of course, I can only give here a sort of coup 
d'oeil, or momentary glance like that obtained by passing on 
a train at lightning speed through some beautiful and ever- 
changing landscape. 

Pursuant to an act of assembly, the vestry of St Paul's 
met at the house of Thomas Gilliam, December 15, lYOl. 
The Hon. Henderson Walker, then governor, Colonel Wm. 
Wilkinson, and Captain Thomas Lewton, were appointed war- 
dens for a year, and instructed "to agree with a workman for 
building a church twenty-five feet long, posts in the ground, 
and held to the collar beams." It was built upon an acre of 
land given by Edward Smithwick, and was finished in 1702. 
This was the first church ever huilt wpon North Carolina soil. 
The vestries of those old days, when church and state were 
united, possesses considerable civil authority, and were about 
equal in power to our county commissioners. They were em- 


powered to collect tithes, provide standards of weights and 
measures, etc. 

In 1704 Dr. John Blair presented himself to the vestry as 
a minister, and was received by them at a salary of thirty 
pounds per year. 

The services had previously been conducted by readers em- 
ployed at a small salary, whose only qualifications were that 
they should promise to live sober and exemplary lives during 
their periods of service. This temporary church lasted but a 
few years, for in 1T09 the Rev. Mr. Adams, who came here 
under the auspices of the "Society for Propagating the Gos- 
pel" wrote : "They built a church some years ago, but it is 
small, and very sorrily put together, and therefore I prevailed 
with them to build another, which they went about when I 
came away." The dimensions of the new church were forty 
feet long, twenty -four feet wide, and fourteen feet high. In 
1714, according to the records, this church was still unfin- 
ished, and it was either never finished at all, or soon fell into 
decay. It was not until 1729 that the initial step was taken 
toward building the present brick edifice. In April, 1729, 
Governor Everard wrote the following letter to the Bishop of 
London in regard to the church : " 'Tis no small concern I 
send you this, to inform you that our church is not built now, 
nor is it like to be gone about; for those men that were ap- 
pointed commissioners for the building it have six hundred 
pounds in their hands, and are now the only opposers of 
building one. I was, in order to laying the foundation, 
chose church-warden with one Mr. Mosely. We had several 
meetings to consult about building it, but could not agree, 
being always hindered by our secretary, one Mr. John 
Lovick, a man of no religion, fears not God or man, believes 
neither, seldom seen at any place of divine worship, his 
money is his God, ridicules all goodness. While such a man 
is in power no good can be expected." In 1736 a tax was 
laid for building this church, and in 1738 the work was 


actually begun; it was not, however, finished until 1745. 
About the latter part of that century the church fell into 
decay, and was restored to its present beauty largely through 
the munificence of Mr. Josiah Collins, and the stained- 
glass window of the apse memorializes this act of generosity. 

That curious compound of learning, and good natured 
facetiousness Colonel William Byrd, of Virginia, who was 
here in 1729, on the commission to run the boundary line 
between North Carolina and Virginia, wrote that Edenton 
contained then forty or fifty houses, most of them small and 
inexpensive, and that a man was called extravagant if he 
aspired to brick chimney for his house. "Justice itself," 
says he "is but indifferently lodged, the court-house having 
much the air of a common tobacco house, and that this in 
the only metropolis in the Christian or Mohammedan world 
where there is neither church, chapel, mosque, synagogue or 
any other place of worship, of any sect of religion whatso- 
ever. This much, however, may be said of the inhabitants 
of Edenton, that not a soul has the least taint of hypocrisy 
or superstition." 

Bishop Spangenburg, of the Moravian Church, wrote in 
his diary while in Edenton in 1752 : "Edenton is one of 
the oldest towns in America, and yet it is hardly one-quarter 
as large as Germantown, although it has a beautiful situation. 
There are other cities mentioned in the Law Book, but there 
are no houses, they are only created cities by act of assem- 

In 1777 a young man named Watson, about nineteen years 
old, from Providence, R. I., made a tour through this sec- 
tion, and left a valuable account of his trip. He said that 
"Edenton contained then about one hundred and thirty-five 
dwellings, a brick court house, and was defended by two 
forts." There were few roads here then. An early minister 
of the S. P. G. (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel), 
wrote to England : "I was obliged to buy a couple of horses, 


which cost me 14 pounds, one of which was for a guide, 
because there is no possibility for a stranger to find his road 
in that country, for if he once goes astray, it is a great hazard 
if he ever finds his road again." Edenton was at this time 
the court end of the Province, hither had gathered the 
wealth and refinement of the colony, who constituted for 
themselves a sort of social oligarchy. 

Edenton, before the Revolution manufactured harness, 
hats, nails and rope. The incorporation of the to^ni in- 
cluded four hundred and twenty acres. It had a good for- 
eign trade. During one year there were forty-three arrivals 
of vessels from foreign ports, and about the same number 
of departures. 

Those principally engaged in the foreign trade were Jolm 
Campbell, Robert Armistead, Richard Brownrigg, Benjamin 
Russell, Alexander Miller, John Little and Messrs. Collins, 
Allen and Dickinson. The names of the largest vessels 
were the Sterling, Roanoke, Providence, Betsy, Liberty, Two 
Brothers, the Mary and the Mary Anna. 

The first steamboat ever in our waters was the Albemarle. 
It was used as a ferry boat between Edenton and Plymouth 
and caried the Raleigh mail. The trial trip was made in 
two hours and five minutes. It was tendered President 
Monroe as a pleasure boat when he visited our town in 1819. 

Bancroft, the father of American history, wrote: "Here 
was a colony of men from civilized life, scattered among the 
forests, resting on the bosom of nature. With absolute free- 
dom of conscience, benevolent reason was the simple rule of 
their conduct. Are there any," says he, "who doubt man's 
capacity for self-government, let them study the early history 
of ^N'orth Carolina." 

I wish the reader to note, and history confirms the fact, 
that resistance to British authority existed here one hundred 
years before the Revolution, for the many early disturbances 
and frequent rebellions, such as those of Culpepper, Cary, 


and Eastchurcli, wer nothing more than resistance to illegal 
and usurped authority, and a contest for political and relig- 
ious freedom. There were the long shadows cast before the 
mighty Revolution. This little colony might, therefore, be 
styled the birthplace of American Independence. 

In the history of all governments the oppressed are long- 
tolerant of their oppressors, and a revolution is of progres- 
sive development. It took nearly five hundred years to free 
France of its despots. Brazil, I believe, presents a singu- 
lar exception, when, as if by magic, the empire ceased to 
exist, and a virgin republic sprang full panoplied upon the 

l^ine ministers officiated in this church up to the time of 
the Revolution, the last one being the Rev. Daniel Earle, 
D. D., familiar to tradition and history as ''Parson Earle." 
He was a man of such strong points of character, and was 
so typical of the old fashioned parson of those days, that 
it is interesting to study his life and character. Oliver 
Wendell Holes has limned his prototype in that matchless 
poem the "Wonderful One-Horse Shay." We can see him 
now as he passes along the highway in his old stick gig, 
working his Sunday text, and "drawn by his rat-tail, ewe- 
necked bay." He was the much beloved parson of all this 
section, baptizing all the children and ministering at all the 
death beds and marriages, he thus became the welcome guest 
of every fireside. He was in striking contrast to some of 
our earlier ministers, who cared but little for their parish- 

"Parson Earle" was born in the town of Bandon, province 
of Munster, Ireland, and was the younger son of an Irish 
nobleman. His family was one of prominence and dis- 
tinction. One of his ancestors was General Earle, Lord 
Chief Justice of Ireland in the reign of Queen Anne. In 
early life he was an officer in the British army, but his 
marriage with the daughter of a church official changed 


the whole tenor of his life, and he soon resigned his com- 
mission to take holy orders. The exact date of his emigra- 
tion to America is not known, but he was first sent by the 
Bishop of London to that part of Virginia now called Glou- 
cester county. 

In 1757 he came to the Albemarle section to act as curate 
for the venerable Clement Hall, rector of St. Paul's, then in 
very feeble health, and upon his death was made full rec- 
tor. His charge not only included Edenton, but many 
mission stations scattered at great distances throughout the 
section now known as Chowan, Hertford and Gtaes counties. 
His wife, who had died before his departure for America, 
left him with two little daughters, these he committed to 
the care of relatives in England to be reared, and educated. 

When he first came to this section he settled fifteen miles 
above here on Chowan River, and named his residence 
Bandon, after his native town. He was soon afterwards 
married to a Welch lady, a widow Charity Jones of Smith- 
field, Va., by whom he had no issue. As soon as he was 
well established in his new home he sent to England for his 
two daughters. 

Parson Earle was full of energy, public spirit, and enter- 
prise, and established at Bandon the first classical school in 
North Carolina for hoys, in which he was assisted by his 
daughter, Nancy. He instructed in Latin, Greek and 
Mathematics, and numbered among his pulpils the chil- 
dren of the Baron de Poelnitz, placed there at the sugges- 
tion of James Iredell. The Baron, who was Grand Cham- 
berlain at the Court of Frederick the Great, and his wife, 
who was Lady Anne Stuart, were spending some time in 
travel through America. 

Parson Earle made improvements in the cultivation of 
flax, and taught the people of this section the proper method 
of preparing it for the loom, and the manner of weaving 
toweling, tablecloths, etc., a household industry still pur- 
sued in our rural districts. 


He was a sympathizer in the struggle of the colonies for 
independence, and was on that account debarred from 
preaching in his church at Edenton during the Revolution. 
Several attempts were made bj the British to capture him. 
Upon one occasion he was informed by a messenger that 
some scouts were coming to take him prisoner. He imme- 
diately buried his silver and treasures in his cellar, and dis- 
patched a servant to his plowmen in the fields to tell them 
to fly to the woods, and secrete the horses, but his servant 
Avas too late, and four of his best horses were captured, the 
parson himself barely escaping. 

Some, following the beaten track of predecessors, have 
claimed that he was a Tory, because he received his stipend 
regularly during the Revolution from the S. P. G. This 
society, as its name indicates, was a religious organization, 
and not a political one. Organized about the beginning of 
that century through the untiring zeal of Dr. Thomas Bray 
for the dissemination of the Gospel in foreigTi lands, it took 
no cognizance of political differences; as a proof of this, 
when the infamous "Church Act" was passed in South Caro- 
lina through the chicanery of Sir Nathaniel Johnston, this 
society finding that it was for his political advantage, and 
not for the good of the church, held a special meeting in 
London, and resolved to send no more missionaries until it 
was repealed. And then, too, it is hardly rational to sup- 
pose that he would have espoused the British cause for the 
sake of the paltry stipend, when he owned such large inter- 
ests here exposed to the revolutionists, and it is not probable 
either that he would have antagonized himself to his dear 
ones, his daughter and grandson, respectively, the wife and 
son of Charles Johnson, an ardent apostle of liberty, and Mr. 
Johnson would hardly have been so intimate with a family 
whose feelings were so inimical to his in a day when politi- 
cal lines were so closely, and so dangerously drawn. 

Some stress must also be laid upon the tradition and local 
history concerning him. Parson Earle's memory is still 


held in great veneration through all this section, and but 
a few years have passed since there were old people living 
in this county, who bore testimonj^ to his patriotism and 
virtues. The life of a Tory in this liberty-loving section 
could hardly have had such a glorious sunset. He was the 
exponent of the popular sentiment here then, and was select- 
ed to preside over a revolutionary meeting of the freeholders 
and other citizens of Chowan county in the court-house at 
Edenton, August 23rd, 1774, among whom were such patriots 
as Joseph Hewes, Samuel Johnston and Thomas Benbury, 
and who passed resolutions condemning the Boston Port Act 
and the unjust imposition of tax upon the colonies, no Tory 
could have presided over such a meeting. 

He was also unjustly accused of being a Tory because he 
did not sever all connection with the Church of England, and 
establish an independent church, but he held that the church 
was a unit; that it was of Divine origin; that he was a 
simple priest, and that the Bishop of London, then the head 
of the church, alone had that power. He was a man of the 
highest educational attainments, verily a learned Theban 
in its broadest sense, he possessed great wit and humor, 
blended with the kindest of hearts. 

Parson Earle was not only an able and faithful minister, 
but proved to be a successful farmer and fisherman. He 
was one of the pioneers in the shad and herring fishing in 
this country. About the time of the revolution his church 
at Edenton became somewhat dilapidated, and the worship- 
pers few in number. One Sunday morning, when the par- 
son arrived at Edenton to preach to the faithful, he was 
shocked and surprised to find that some village witling had 
placarded upon the church door the following quartrain: 

"A half built church, 

And a broken-do^vn steeple, 

A herring-catching parson 
And a dam set of people." 


He was ever afterwards styled the Herring-catching Par- 

He died in 1T90, and was bnried near the site of his old 
home, but the modest slab, which once marked his resting 
place, has long since been covered by the drifting sands, and 
the tall pines which surround this lonely spot sigh out to 
every passing zephyr, in a weird melancholy monotone, their 
requiem for the repose of his soul: 

"Only the actions of the just 
Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust," 

The original bell of this church was taken down in re- 
sponse to Beauregard's call to melt the church bells of the 
Confederacy, and cast them into cannon, which incident 
inspired that beautiful Southern war lyric "Melt the Bells," 
the beauty and pathos of this poem will excuse its interpola- 
tion here. 

Melt the bells, melt the bells, 
Still the tinkling on the plain, 
And transmute the evening chimes 
Into war's resounding rhymes, 
That the invaders may be slain 
By the bells. 

Melt the bells, melt the bells. 
That for years have called to prayer 
And instead, the cannon's roar 
Shall resound the valley o'er. 
That the foe may catch despair 
From the bells. 

Melt the bells, melt the bells 
Though it cost a tear to part 
With the music they have made, 
Where the friends we love are laid, 
With pale cheek and silent heart, 
'Neath the bells. 


Melt the bells, melt the bells, 
Into cannon, vast and grim, 
And the foe shall feel the ire 
From their heaving hmgs of fire, 
And we'll put our trust in Him 
And the bells. 

Melt the bells, melt the bells. 
And when foes no more attack. 
And the lightning cloud of war 
Shall roll thunderless and far. 
We will melt the cannon back 
Into bells. 

Melt the bells, melt the bells. 
And they'll peal a sweeter chime. 
And remind of all the brave 
Who have sunk to glory's grave, 
And will sleep thro' coming time 
'^eath the bells. 

(F. Y. Rockett in Memphis Appeal.) 

This bell helped to form the "Edenton Bell Battery," 
which was organized in the winter of 1861-'62, by that cul- 
tured gentleman and gallant soldier. Captain William Bad- 
ham,* of this town, whose unmarked grave lies in yonder 
silent churchyard, where twilight zephyrs fan the graceful 
Eulalias to sleep, and whose feathery aigrettes, in turn, like 
sacred aspergills sprinkle the morning dew like holy water 

over his grave. 

The name of this gun was the St. Paul. It was in numer- 
ous actions, and did efficient service during the war, and was 
finally surrendered at Town Creek. 

The Honorable Jolin H. Small is making a praiseworthy 
effort to locate this war trophy, and have it returned to the 

*8ee Appendix. 


This venerable church is the admiration of the stranger; 
to us it is the sacred shrine of our religious liberty, the 
radiance from whose Shekinah shall pervade — shall live on 
through all the eons of eternity. Half clad in ivy, Time's 
green uniform, it stands a majestic, but not a voiceless senti- 
nel of the Past, and as the sun in his eternal flight traces 
the shadow of its tall spire upon the sacred globe below, un- 
erring as the Dial of Ahaz, which only the finger of God 
could turn backwards, its aereal gnomon points almost every 
hour of the day to the grave of some distinguished citizen. 
Its gilded cross, silhouetted in bold relief against the crimson 
evening sky, suggests the vision of the Emperor Constantine. 

Live on thou mighty instrument of good ! Live on thou 
granary of God's eternal harvest! Oblivion shall not blur, 
nor Time's remorseless hand can alter, one single page of 
thy history ! "Thou art the Zion of the Holy One of Israel, 
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against thee!" 



On February 12th, 1861 a mass meeting was held at the 
Court-house in Edenton to consider the interest of l^orth 
Carolina, and her relation to the ^National Government. 
John H. Leary was elected chairman, and T. J. Bland Sec- 
retary. A committee was at once appointed consisting of 
John C. Badham, John A. Benbury, Riddick Mansfield, 
John Thompson, and John H. Garrett to draft resolutions 
expressive of the sentiment of the people of the county. 
Three reports were submitted, a majority report by John A. 
Benbury, advising prudence, and caution, and discretion, 
believing that the Peace Congress then in session would find 


a solution of the trouble between the states; then a minor- 
ity report was submitted by John C. Badham urging an 
immediate separation from the Union, and the necessity of 
adopting means of defense: A third report was offered by 
John H. Garrett counselling a strict adherence for the time 
to the Union, until the incoming administration should com- 
mit some overt act sufficient to cause a rupture with the 
National Government. The majority report was, however, 
adopted, the minority withdrew at once from the Con- 
vention, and nominated John C. Badham as the seces- 
sion candidate to represent the County in the State Con- 
vention, which had been called to convene in Raleigh. 
William E. Bond was nominated as the Union candidate. 
At the election held on February 22nd the result was as 
follows, Bond, four hundred and twenty-seven; Badham, 
seventy-nine ; Bond's majority, three hundred and forty- 

On the 4th of March Lincoln was inaugurated, but those 
who loved the Union, and hoped for so much perceived in 
his inaugural address not a straw to cling to, and he soon 
afterwards issued his celebrated proclamation calling upon 
Xorth Carolina to furnish troops to invade her sister states, 
and to force them again into the Union; so on the 1st day 
of May a second convention was held in Edenton, and nomi- 
nated Dr. Richard Dillard, senior, who was elected without 
opposition to the State Convention called by Gov. Ellis, 
Mdiich met in Raleigh on May 20th, the anniversary of the 
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, and severed our 
connection with the Union. This convention is considered 
the ablest body of men which ever assembled for any pur- 
pose within the borders of the State. 

Warlike preparations at once began, the "Dixie Rebels," 
a six-month's volunteer company, was at once organized by 
Capt. James K. Marshall, he was afterwards promoted to 
the ranli of Colonel. John C. Badham, a Lieutenant in 


this company, afterwards became a Major in the 5th ^. C, 
and gave his life for his country at Williamsburg, Va., May 
5th, 1862, at which time he held a commission of Lieut.- 
Colonel. Capt. T. L. Skinner also organized a company, he 
fell at Mechanicsville, and was succeeded by John A. Ben- 
bury, who soon shared the same fate. The few survivors of 
this famous company are Kader McClenny, R, S. Hedrick, 
Jerry Mitchell, and W. H. Pratt. 

In I*^ovember, 1861, the entire militia of Chowan county 
was ordered to Roanoke Island for its defense, it consisted 
of four companies, commanded by Captains Jno. C. Pearce, 
Thos. Wilson, Isaac Byrum and J. C. Johnston. These com- 
panies constituted the 5th Regiment of ]Sr. C. militia. The 
regimental officers were W. A. Moore, Col., R. G. Mitchell, 
Lt-CoL, Wm. H. Bonner, Major, Wm. Badham, Quarter 
Master, Jos. G. Godfrey, Commissary, Dr. R. H. Winborne, 
Surgeon and Dr. L. P. Warren, Assistant Surgeon. 

The Edenton Bell Battery was recruited by Capt. Wm. 
Badham in the winter '61-'62, and left Edenton soon after 
the fall of Roanoke Island, then went to Weldon, and on 
to Raleigh with sixty men, there they were joined by Lieut. 
I*^elson McClees, of Tyrrell County, with twenty-two men, 
and by Lieut. Gaskins with about twenty men. 

It was understood that Mr. McCleese in attaching him- 
self to this battery would receive a commission as Lieut. 
Lieut. McCleese was to command one section and two guns, 
and Lieut. John M. Jones another section and two guns 
also. After drilling in Raleigh about two months, they 
were ordered to Camp Lee near Richmond for instruction. 
As gun metal was scarce, Capt. Badham sent Lieut. Jones 
to Edenton to secure the church bells, and any others that 
he might obtain, to be cast into cannon, in response to Gen. 
Beauregard's famous call. Pie readily secured all the bells 
except the Baptist (several members objecting), including 
the town and court-house bells, the Academy bell, and the 


shipyard bells; these were conveyed to Suffolk across the 
country in a wagon, and shipped to the Tredegar Iron 
Works at Richmond, where they were cast into four cannon, 
and named respectively, the "St. Paul," the "Fannie Roul- 
hac," for a devout and patriotic lady, a staunch member of 
the Methodist Church, the "Columbia," and the "Edenton." 
As the complement of the artillery corps of Gen. Lee's army 
was then complete, an order was issued that all other artill- 
ery in camps should be transferred, for the time, to the 
infantry service; this produced great mortification, and dis- 
appointment in the company, and Capt. Badham at once 
dispatched Lieut. Jones to President Jefferson Davis with 
the following note: "Sir: The guns of my company were 
made of the bells of my towm, and have tolled to their last 
resting place a great many of the parents and relatives of 
my command, and sooner than part with these guns they 
had rather be taken out and shot. But, if allowed to keep 
these guns they will stand by them till they die." 

This spirited, and patriotic letter was handed to Colonel 
Dorcas then chief of ordinance, who conveyed it at once to 
President Davis. Lieut. Jones had not long to wait, the 
reply came at once that the company would be furnished 
as soon as possible with both artillery-horses, and harness. 
The Battery was then assigned to Moore's Third K'orth 
Carolina Battalion. Horses were difficult to procure, in the 
meantime McClellan had assumed the offensive around 
Richmond, and the battery was ordered to Redoubt ISTo. Y, 
until the horses arrived, when they were sent to Winches- 
ter to report to General Pendleton, after being there three 
months the battery was ordered to report for duty to General 
McLaw, but the order was soon rescinded. Then came a 
call from ISTorth Carolina ordering the battery to Wilming- 
ton, the guns were immediately shipped by rail to Wilming- 
ton, and Lieut. Jones with a special detachment carried the 
horses, and accoutrements through the country. When he 


arrived at Goldsboro, Gov. Vance, finding that the enemy 
were threatening, and near, ordered him to halt there, and 
the guns which had already arived in Wilmington were im- 
mediately ordered by telegraph back to Goldsboro. From 
Goldsboro they marched to Kinston, and reported to Gen. 
R. F. Hoke. — Capt. Badham, upon receipt of news that an 
engagement was in progress, sent Lieut. McCleese with sec- 
tion ISTo. 2 to Whitehall bridge, Lieut. Jones was ordered 
down ten hours later, when he found that McCleese had 
lost two of his men. Jones was then sent six miles up the 
river, but as no demonstration was made there, he was 
ordered on to Goldsboro to protect that town. After about 
a week the battery was ordered to Wilmington, and guarded 
the railroad bridge at jSTortheast, from there they went to 
Bald Head Island, and did guard duty on the coast until 
the fall of Fort Fisher, when they fell back on Fort Ander- 
son: after the flank movement of the enemy, and the evacua- 
tion of Fort Anderson, the battery was located at Town 
Creek, where they were attacked by the enemy with con- 
siderable force, Capt. Badham sent Sergeant B. F. Hunter 
with one gun, the "St. Paul," to prevent them from making 
a flank movement, while he was engaging them at Town 
Creek ; Hunter was supported by a detachment of South 
Carolina infantry, who broke and ran, leaving him on the 
field with but a squad of men. Hunter stood his ground 
fearlessly, and when the enemy arived at the very muzzle 
of liis gun, a Federal officer shouted to him, "If you fire that 
gun I will kill you:" the Confederate Sergeant, with that 
coolness, and intrepidity which always characterized him, re- 
plied, "Kill, and go to hell," and then ordered his gumier, 
William Hassell, to fire immediately. He was captured, and 
would have been cut down at once, but the Federal officer 
ordered his men to spare his life, saving, "He's too brave a 
man to be killed." About fifteen men were captured along 
with Sergeant Hunter and sent to prison at Point Lookout, 
amona; them Mr. A. T. Bush of this town. The remainder 


of the battery fell back to Wilmington, and were subse- 
quently engaged at Cox's Bridge, finally surrendering to 
General Sherman at Greensboro. 

The names, dimensions, and officers in command of the 
Edenton Bell Battery taken from the note-book of the late 
Capt. Wm. Badham. 

The ^*St. Paul" — made from St. Paul's church bell in 
charge of Sergeant B. F. Hunter. Howitzer 1533, E. B. face 
1862, left trunnion I. E. A. & Co., F. F. right trunnion 7760 

The "Fannie Roulhac" — made from the Methodist Church 
bell, and in charge of Sergeant Harry Gregory. Howitzer 
—1532 face E. B. also 1862, left trunnion I. R. A. & Co., 
F. F. Eight trunnion breech 770. 

The "Columbia" — made from the bells of the two ship- 
yards, o^vned by Col. T. L. Skinner, and Col. E. T. Paine. 
Gun in charge of Sergeant Ed. Davenport, 1534 face E. B. 
also— 1862 left trunnion I. E. A. & Co., F. F. right trun- 
nion, breech 860. 

The "Edenton" — made from the Academy, Court House, 
and Hotel bells, and other bells presented by private individ- 
uals. Gun in charge of Sergeant George Parish. No. 1531 
face E. B. 1862— left trunnion I. E. A. & Co., F. F. right 
trunnion 860 pounds breech. 

The "St. Paul," and the "Edenton" were commanded by 
Lieut. John M. Jones, the "Fannie Eoulhac," and "Colum- 
bia" were commanded by Lieut. jSTelson McCleese. The guns 
did service at the following places, Winchester, Culpepper 
Court House, the Seven days fight around Eichmond in re- 
doubt 'No. 7, Goldsboro, Kinston, Whitehall Bridge, Bald 
Head, Smithfield, (now called Southport), Fort Anderson, 
Town Creek, the streets of Wilmington, Bentonsville, Cox's 
Bridge, and surrendered to General Sherman at Greensboro. 

Edenton, E". C. 








First Printed in the Hillsboro Recorder of Nov. 13th, 20th, 27th. 
and December 4th, 1822. 


Preface by hisflLraat'grand-daughter, Mrs. Spier Whitaker of Raleigh, 
N. C, formerly Fannie De Berniere Hooper, 

19 05. 



Signer of The DecJarntion of Independence 
Son of Rev. \Vm. Hooper. Rector of Trinity Oliurcli, Boston, and ilary (Dennie) Hooper. 
Born at Boston the 17thi day of June, 1742. Died and was buried at Hillsboro, N. C, October 1790 
Removed to Guilford Battle Ground, April 25, 1894. 


Being assigned the task of conti-ibutng to the Boolilet a sketch 
of the life of William Hooper, one of the Signers from North Caro- 
lina, of the Declaration of Independence, I can not do better than 
to present that written in 1822, by his nephew Archibald Maclaine 
Hooper, over the signature Callisthenes, as it originally appeared 
in a series of articles entitled "Biographical Sketches," in the 
HiJlshoro Recorder for November and December of that year. Mr. 
Griffith J. McRee, in his pamphlet, Life mid Character of Archibald 
Maclaine Hooper, published in 185G, referring to this sketch, says: 
"About this time Mr. Hooper wrote a memior of William Hooper, 
to be seen in Wheeler's History and elsewhere, which is decidedly 
superior to any other of that great patriot as yet offered to the 
public."' Wheeler, publishing in 1851, in expressing his obligations 
to Mr. Heartt, editor of the Recorder, for a copy of the memoir, 
characterizes it as "from the pen of one of the best writers of his 
day. whose connection with the distinguished subject of his biogra- 
phy gave him facilities for procuriny facts jwssessed hy no other 
person."* This sketch is, without doubt, the first — as Mr. 
McRee says that up to his time it was the best — of William 
Hooper ever written, and is the source from which his subsequent 
biographers have largely drawn their material, and to which, as 
far as regards him, the bibliography of the Lives of the Signers is 
most indebted. 

The author of the Life of William Hooper, in Volume VII of 
the work entitled "Sanderson's Biography,'" published by R. W. 
Pomeroy — this seventh volume in 1827 — with the addition of some 
subject matter, has incorporated into his essay the vrhole of A. M. 
Hooper's article published five years before, sometimes verbatim, 
sometimes with slight changes of phraseology, sometimes liberally 
paraphrasing, but fails to credit its author with the transcriptions 
so freely made, except in the case of one passage and then with a 
note of disparagement, without designating him by name, and as 
if this extract were his first or only draft on the sketch in ques- 
tion. Introducing therefrom, A. M. Hooper's description of thesociety 
of Wilmington, N. C, at that time, he comments : "A flattering 
picture of it has been drawn by one of his (William Hooper's) rela- 
tives, which if somewhat highly colored, may at least have the 
advantage of exciting or gratifying local recollections." Mr. McRee 
retorts upon the writer, that while quoting this account he inti- 
mates a suspicion that it is "too highly colored," and that, "unable 
to realize upon the distant Cape Fear, the existence of a society at 
that period less numerous but more refined than that of Boston or 
Philadelphia, with shallow arrogance he insinuates his doubt." 

Incidental, internal evidence of the respective dates of publica- 
tion of the articles above enumerated, may be seen in their different 
renderings of a single passage. A. M. Hooper, in his narrative in 
the Hillsboro Recorder, in 1822, says: "He (William Hooper) died 
October, 1790, in the forty-ninth year of his age, leaving a widow 
two sons and a daughter, all of whom, except Mrs. Elizabeth Wat- 
ters, of Hillsboro, are deceased. Tliere survive also, of his descend- 

*Italics not in the original. 


auts, three grandsons, children of his eldest son, William, to wit. : 
William, pastor of the Episcopal Church and superintendent of the 
academy at Fayetteville ; Thomas, a lawyer ; and James, a mer- 
chant, all residents of the same place." The author of the life of 
Hooper in "Sanderson's Biography" copies this passage almost ver- 
batim, until, reaching the name of the eldest grandson, Rev. 
William Hooper, of North Carolina, he mentions him, not as '"pas- 
tor of the Episcopal Church and superintendent of the academy 
at Fayetteville," but as "Professor of Logic and Rhetoric at the 
University of North Carolina* he having occupied that position 
from 1825 to 1828 — thus correctly bringing up the facts to the date 
of his oivn tcriting. Wheeler, though always loyal to the people 
of his State and University, while admittedly copying A. M. 
Hooper's sketch, of 1822, in this passage takes liberties with the 
text and commits anachronisms in endeavoring to make it conform 
to the time of his own publication, 1851, in its statements regard- 
ing Rev. William Hooper, of North Carolina, who, he says, "was 
distinguished as a literary writer, was Professor of Languages at 
the University, a Baptist minister*" and resides in Raleigh." It 
was correct that he had been (1828-1837) Professor of Languages 
in the Uuivei'sity, that he had become (1831) a Baptist minister, 
and that he resided for a few months of the year 1851 in Raleigh ; 
but it is obvious that these statements could not have been con- 
tained in a paper written in 1822 ; and, in the meantime, the two 
brothers, Thomas and James, mentioned by Wheeler as still living 
had died, the former in 1828, the latter in 1841. 

Rev. Charles A. Goodrich's sketch of William Hooper, in his 
Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of American Independence, 
published in 1829, Lossing's in Biographical Sketches of the Signers 
of the Declaration of Independence, and those of other writers or 
compilers bear evidence, with that in "Sanderson's Biography," of 
a common deviation from A. M. Hooper's sketch. These facts and 
the consideration that the file (probably the only one extant) of 
the HiUshoro Recorder, which is in the possession of the descend- 
ants of Mr. Dennis Heartt, for so long editor of that paper, is 
inaccessible to most persons and must eventually be disintegrated 
by time, and that Wheeler's History of North Carolina has long been 
out of print, furnish sufficient ground for the republication of the 
original article. It had been intended to publish, in connection 
with it, a number of documentary records relating to William 
Hooper and his family, but having been found too extended for the 
space usually occupied by a contribution to this periodical, they 
do not appear. 

*Italics not in Sanderson. 

**Italics not in Wheeler. 


(Wednesday, Nov. 13, 1822.) 

"Au obliging correspondent has furnished us with sketches of the 
life and character of William Hooper, one of the signers of the 
Declaration of Independence, the introductory number of which we 
give to our readers in to-day's papers. It is now forty-six years 
since that memorable period, and the hands which affixed their 
imj)erishable names to the instrument which proclaimed to the 
world the birth of our independence, with three exceptions only, are 
now mouldered into dust. The actors in that proud period are fast 
fading from our view ; and though a dazzling brightness is spread 
over that portion of our history, the names only of many once 
prominent individuals are all that remain to us of them ; the evi- 
dences of their eloquence, of their zeal, of their prowess, of their 
patient endurance of suffering, and of their patriotism, are irrecov- 
erably lost. While the oblivious hand of time is thus burying in 
the dark mists of revolving years the memory of the heroes of the 
revolution, the broken fragments and detached incidents of their 
lives will be seized upon as sacred relics and cherished in fond 
remembrance. It is therefore highly gratifying to us, and we are 
persuaded that it will be not less gratifying to our readers, that 
we are enabled to lay before them the following sketches of the life 
and character of one of those hardy patriots who fearlessly signed 
the instrument which declared us free and laid the foundation of 
civil liberty throughout the world." [Editor of the Recorder.] 


To the Editor of the Hillshoro Recorder. 

Sir — It is much to be regretted that the State of ISTorth 
Carolina has never possessed a good historian. Thence it 
has happened that her eminent patriots in the cabinet and 
in the field are unnoticed and unknown; and thence it is, 
that the most interesting incidents connected with their lives 
are irretrievably lost. 

This State certainly had her full portion of men of talent, 
when she was a British colony, during her revolutionary 
contest, and even after that eventful period, forming an 
epoch from about 1737 to 1790. Many of these enjoyed 
the advantages of a liberal education, but many were 
indebted for their stores of knowledge to the exertions of 
vigorous intellect availing itself of books, of experience in 


the transactions of business, and of extensive intercourse 
with enlightened society. The specimens of genius, which 
appeared in the prints and pamphlets of the epoch alluded 
to were lost, either in the ordinary casualties of peace or 
destroyed during the ravages of the revolutionary war. Yet, 
these, important as they might seem, are not to be com- 
pared with the eloquence of the bar and of the senate. 

How much is it to be deplored, that means were not 
adopted to preserve memorials which would cast a splendor 
over the annals of the state, which would enable us to do 
justice to names that once adorned her literary and political 
circles, and above all, to those illustrious patriots who 
planned and achieved her independence ! 

The bold and animated discussions which occupied our 
provincial assemblies, which shook our popular meetings, 
our conventions and our state assemblies during the prog- 
ress of the revolution, and the angry and obstinate debates 
which succeeded the ratification of the treaty of peace were 
consigned to oblivion. All the actors in these memorable 
and anxious scenes have sunk into the grave ; and we have 
now nothing to assist us in forming an estimate of their 
moral worth and intellectual greatness but imperfect hints 
and broken outlines caught from the representations of those 
who have received them by transmission, and whose second- 
hand intelligence may be suspected of being embellished by 
partiality or distorted by prejudice. 

I have, sir, been involuntarily led into this train of reflec- 
tions, by the publication of the proposals for compiling the 
lives of the signers of the declaration of independence. It 
is natural that a native citizen of Korth Carolina should 
feel a solicitude that the delegation from his state, whose 
names are subscribed to that instrument, should be treated 
with a consideration due to their high political career and 
to their successful exertions in the cause of civil liberty. The 
merits of Penn and the worth of Hewes are entitled to 
historical notice, yet I am at a loss, after the lapse of so 


many years, where to seek for the incidents of their lives, 
which preceded that ever memorable act that has immortal- 
ized their names. Of William Hooper, who was the head or 
efficient member of that delegation, some traditionary ac- 
counts have come to my knowledge. These, I endeavored 
to preserve for the purpose of composing, at some convenient 
season, a volume of memoirs. The undertaking is, however, 
too much for my ability, and is certainly incompatible with 
my business and my numerous engagements. 

The fame of this distinguished statesman has suffered 
more from the injuries of time and neglect, than that of any 
of his competitors. His political life comprehended a wider 
extent of the exigencies and emergencies of the times than 
that of any of them; and his various talents were kept con- 
tinually in action. Instead, therefore, of attempting to 
write memoirs of his life, I have resolved to commence the 
humble task of furnishing sketches for the assistance of his 
biographer. These sketches written amid the bustle of busi- 
ness and under the weight of many cares, shall appear in 
a series of numbers in your journal. There seems to me, 
sir, to be a peculiar propriety in selecting the columns of 
your journal, for the occurrences of the life of William 
Hooper. The tomb of the patriot is the shrine where offer- 
ings should be made to his memory. The town of Hills- 
borough was his last and chosen residence. There he 
enjoyed years of the purest domestic felicity, and there his 
warmest friendships were cemented by social intercourse. 
There he poured forth the last fervours of his genius, and 
there he last awakened emotions of delight and admiration. 
Indeed, sir, this is ground which, even if it had not been 
the residence of the signer of independence, ought to be 
held sacred. It has been the scene where orators and states-, 
men have engaged in emulous debate, where patriotism has 
achieved her highest purposes and where eloquence has risen 
in her noblest flights. 




Wednesday, Nov. 20, 1822. 
To the Editor of the Hillsborough Recorder. 

Sir — In tlie narrative which I have undertaken to furnish 
for your columns, I entertain no fear of incurring the 
imputation of incorrectness in detailing ordinary facts ; but 
I must at the same time apprise you that I am not equally 
confident of that accuracy which consists in the full rela- 
tion of circumstances, or the precision which is desirable 
in recurring to dates. A careful biographer will no doubt 
have it in his power to rectify errors of the last mentioned 
kind, and to supply deficiencies by reference to the public 
ofiices and to the departments of state. 

William Hooper, the subject of these sketches, was born 
17th June, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, the Rev. 
William Hooper, pastor of Trinity Church in that town, is 
mentioned briefly and imperfectly in Elliott's Biographical 
Dictionary. The addition of a few words would have pre- 
vented the suspicion that the account was penned in the 
spirit of prejudice. Certain it is, that no minister ever 
enjoyed more fully the affection and reverence of his congre- 
gation, and few have been so much admired for elegance of 
manners and a bold and impressive eloquence. Besides the 
learning and the sciences which are obtained at universities, 
he possessed accomplishments* such as are not considered, 
in any degree, essential in forming the erudite and well- 
bred divine. He married in Boston, the daughter of Mr. 
John Dennie, an eminent merchant. William was the eldest 
of five children by this marriage. 

The plan of his education commenced in his infancy. At 
the age of seven he was removed in part from the pupilage 
of his father, and placed at a free grammar school in Bos- 
ton, the master of which was John Lovel, almost as much 

*In a letter from the late venerable Doctor Lloyd, of Boston, dated 24th September, 
1796, to one of the sons of W. Hooper, pastor of Trinity Church, he says, "Your 
father's memory will ever be dear to me. He was the most accomplished gentle- 
man, and one of the best friends I ever had." 


celebrated in America, in his day,"^ as was once the famous 
Doctor Busby in England. Here he was distinguished for 
his proficiency in the studies preparatory to his entering into 
College, and completed the regular course of seven years 
with commendation and praise, f At this early period he 
was remarked on for the weakness of his constitution. His 
nerves 'were so sensitive, that he became an object of inces- 
sant raillery to his gronp of little relatives and to his father's 
domestics. With increase of years his constitution grew 
firmer, but his nerves always retained much of their early 
delicacy. Aided by the instruction of his father, which was 
never remitted, he made literary acquirements uncommon 
for one of his age, and advanced himself in his scholastic 
studies beyond his cotemporaries. It was, no doubt, owing 
to this circumstance that he was admitted, contrary to estab- 
lished rules, into the sophomore class at Harvard College, ^ 
There he took rank among the most distinguished, and 
signalized himself in oratory. He graduated A. B. in 1760, 
and A. M, in 1763. 

Such was the anxious attention which his father bestowed 
on him in order to form him as an orator, that his vacations 
were periods of more laborious study and exertion than the 
terms of his scholastic exercises. And here it is worthy of 
observation, that the genius of the father and son were 
diametrically opposite. That, of the father was of a loftier 
cast, and was formed in the school of Demosthenes ; that 
of the son was Ciceronian in its features. The characteristic 
of the father was vehemency; that of the son insinuation. 
Were it not a presumptuous comparison, I would say, the 
father was Chatham, the son was William Pitt. 

It was the early intention and earnest wish of his father 
to devote this son to the ministry. To this, however, the son 
was disinclined, for reasons that were considered satisfac- 
tory by his father, who agreed to alter his destination. Find- 

*1749. +1756. 11757, 


ing that he preferred the study of the law, he placed him 
with James Otis, Esq., who was then a lawyer of eminence. 

At this period commenced the attempts of the English 
Parliament against the rights and privileges of the subjects 
in the provinces. Mr. Otis took an early and decided stand, 
by his writings and open declarations, against this assumed 
power of the British government. He was exceeded by none 
in zeal, and equalled by few in abilities. The high esteem 
and respect which the subject of these sketches entertained 
for Mr. Otis, naturally rendered him partial to his political 
principles ; and there can be no doubt, had the effect of 
assisting to engraft those principles on his mind, and to 
establish them permanently there. Subsequent events 
ripened them into maturity, and rendered them active. 

Mr. Hooper, having prepared himself for the practice of 
law, and finding the bar in his native State so overflowing 
that there was no encouragement for juvenile practitioners, 
determined, about 1763, to try the experiment of making 
liis fortune in I^orth Carolina. To this he was invited by 
the circumstance of his family's having very particular 
friends, influential characters in the province. Accord- 
ingly, in 1764, he embarked at Boston for Wilmington, on 
Cape Fear. He did not remain long in jSTorth Carolina at 
that visit, but returned to Boston in about a year. In 
1765 he again visited ]Srorth Carolina, and advanced in the 
practice of law. His health, however, sustained such severe 
shocks, that he resolved, conformably to the wishes of his 
father, to abandon it. 

In 1767, the death of his father made it necessary that 
he should revisit his native place, and at the same time 
blasted the hope of his quitting I^orth Carolina, which, on 
account of his health only, he wished to do. In the fall of 
1767, having determined to fix his residence permanently 
in Wilmington, he married, in Boston, Miss Ann Clark, of 
the former place, daughter of Thos. Clark, Esq., deceased, 


and sister of Gen. Tlios. Clark, afterwards of the United 
States Armj. The choice was most fortunate, considered 
in reference to the qualifications of the lady to adorn and 
sweeten social life, and most fortunate, too, considered in 
reference to that firmness of mind, which enabled her to 
sustain, without repining, the grievous privations and dis- 
tresses to which she became peculiarly exposed in conse- 
quence of the prominent station which Mr. Hooper held 
in the War of the Revolution. 



Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1822. 

To the Editor of the Hillsborough Recorder. 

Sir — In relating the events and circumstances in the life 
of an individual who has acquired distinction by the exer- 
cise of superior faculties, it is proper to notice every partic- 
ular which has an influence on the progress of the mind. 

The fatigue of attending to the practice of the law is, in 
our days, considered excessive. When Mr. Hooper came to 
the bar, and for several years after, it was infinitely greater. 
Then the luxury of carriages for travelling, was not com- 
mon. Mr. Hooper attended the county courts of Rowan, and 
other counties in the back country, at least one hundred and 
eighty miles distant from Wilmington, and he travelled 
always on horseback. Such fatigue was too great for a con- 
stitution naturally delicate. 

The manners and customs of the people of Cape Fear, at 
that period, were not more favorable to a proficiency in 
legal science, than was the organization of the courts. Hos- 
pitality carried to an extreme, and an excessive fondness 
for conviviality, were the characteristics of those days. In 
fact, every class of society became infected by the example; 
and numbers of old families, now reduced to comparative 


poverty, have reason to rne the prodigal liberality of their 
ancestors. Hospitality is indeed a virtue, which travellers 
and geographists, who have attempted to describe N^orth 
Carolina, very generally allow to her, however penurious 
their praise may be in other respects. 

The British Governor Martin, on a visit to Wilmington, 
having occasion to reply to an address of the inhabitants, 
presented by Mr. Hooper, styled it "the region of politeness 
and hospitality." The commerce of Wilmington was then 
improving, and derived great advantage from a bounty on 
naval stores. Many of the families residing in it were 
possessed of fortunes, and all of them in respectable stations, 
obtained subsistence without painful exertion. 

But the dissipation which arose out of an excess of hospi- 
talty, exhibited a more animated picture in the surround- 
ing country. Whole families, and frequently several fami- 
lies together, were in the practice of making visits ; and, 
like the tents of the Arabs, seemed continually in motion. 
The number of visitants, the noise and bustle of arrivals 
and greetings, the cries of the poultry yard, and the bleating 
of the pasture, require some sounding polysyllable to con- 
vey an idea of the joyous uproar; some new-coined word 
to disinguish their caravan approaches from ordinary visits 
or formal visitations. Every visit was a sort of jubilee. 
Festive entertainments, balls, every species of amusement 
which song and dance could afford, was resorted to. The 
neighing courser and the echoing horn, the sports of the 
turf and the pleasure of the chase, Avere alternately the 
objects of eager pursuit. Every^vhere, on the eastern and 
western branches of the River Cape Fear, were men of for- 
tune, related by blood or connected by marriage, whose set- 
tlements extended almost as far as the then lowly hamlet 
of Cross Creek, since dignified by the name of Fayetteville, 
and now swollen into importance by a numerous population. 

This general ease and prosperity was highly favorable to 


the cultivation of polite literature, and to the development 
of talents of a certain kind. The state of manners tended 
to awaken a spirit of improvement, which pervaded the 
whole community. Every family possessed a collection of 
the best English authors, besides which there was a public 
library, supported by a society of gentlemen, and styled 
"the Cape Fear Library." Wit and humor, music and 
poetry, were dra^vn into action in social and convivial inter- 
course. Conversation was cultivated to a high degree. 
Emanating from letters or science, or rising out of the busy 
scenes of life, it always teemed with instruction and 
imparted delight. The point of honor was understood and 
recognized, and the slightest approach to indignity resented. 
In this exercise of colloquial talent, the ladies participated 
and heightened the pleasures. Then they were not, as now, 
early instructed, or perhaps, w^ere not instructed at all in 
the rudiments of knowledge; but they derived from read- 
ing, and imbibed from an association with eminent persons 
of the opposite sex, a tincture of taste and elegance, and 
they had softness, sentiment, grace, intelligence — every 
quality which in the female sex can inspire and exalt the 
enthusiasm of romantic passion. 

In the hospitable conviviality of those times, allurements 
to dissipation were greater than social life usually presents. 
The actors were far above the cast of ordinary hon vivants. 
I once hoped to be able to present a biographical sketch of 
each of them, but my cares and avocations have compelled 
me to relinquish the task. Among these was Eustace,* 
the correspondent of Sterne, who united wit, and genius, 
and learning, and science; Harnett, f who could boast a 
genius for music, and a taste for letters; Lloyd, :|: gifted 
with talents and adorned with classical literature; Penning- 
ton, § an elegant writer, admired for his wit and his highly 

*Doctor John Bustace. iCorneUus Harnett, afterwards member of Congress. 
JColonel Thomas Lloyd. ^William Pennington, comptroller of the customs of the 
port of Wilmington, and afterwards Master of ceremonies at Bath. 


polished iirbanitj; Maclaine,"" whose criticisms on Shake- 
speare f would, if they were published, give him fame 
and rank in the republic of letters; Boyd,:{: who, with- 
out pretentions to wit or humor, possessed the rare art 
of telling a story with spirit and grace, and whose elegiac 
numbers afforded a striking contrast to the vivid brilliancy 
of the scenes in which he figured; Moore, § endowed with 
versatile talents, and possessed of extensive information — as 
a wit, always prompt in reply, as an orator, always "daring 
the mercy of chance;" Howe|| whose imagination 
fascinated, whose repartee overpowered, and whose conver- 
sation was enlivened by strains of exquisite raillery. Wit 
and humor, and music and poetry, displayed all their 
charms among the festive deities, and heightened the glow 
of delight. Is it to be wondered at that the banquet was 
often carried to an inj urious excess ? 

Mr. Hooper did not escape the contagion. He played his 
'-^ j)^i"t among these distinguished wits, and shed a classic 

;^ lustre over these refined revels. He kept, however, his pro- 

fessional pursuits in view, advanced himself, and was con- 
sidered eminent in 1763. T[ The cause of The State vs. 
McGufford, tried in the Superior Court of ISTew Hanover 
county, seemed first to establish his claims to eminence. 
It was a case of atrocious murder, committed by a master 
on his slave, tried before a Court of Oyer and Terminer. 
In that cause he was counsel for the defendant; and he dis- 
played such extent of research, and such powers of argu- 
ment, as excited universal admiration. Maurice Moore was 
also employed in the same cause, and displayed great dex- 
terity. He thought, and he thought justly, that nature and 
feeling would resume their rights in time to defeat the 
force of eloquence. He, therefore, moved to set aside the 
commission of Oyer and Terminer, and succeeded. 

*Archibald Maclalne. f Now in possession of his deseendents. 

JThe Rev. Adam Boyd. $Judge Maurice Moore. ||Gen. Robert Howe. 

1T(Bvidently a mistake ; probably intended for 1768.— Copyist.) 


Mr. Hooper distinguished himself about the same time 
at Halifax Superior Court, as counsel for the heirs of Gov- 
ernor Dobbs, in a suit instituted for the recovery of a landed 
estate, against Abner JSTasli, who had married the widow 
of Governor Dobbs. In this suit he was opposed by several 
advocates, and among the rest, by the defendant, Abner 

Such is the effect of impressions early received, that the 
name of Abner Nash always brings to my imagination the 
inflamed energy of Demosthenes, and produces some of that 
perturbation which is felt in reading his orations. The 
eloquence of J^ash and that of Mr. Hooper, must, indeed, 
have exhibited a very fine contrast. Nash was vehemence 
and fire; Mr. Hooper was stately and diffusive elegance. 

Having noted, in the commencement of this number, 
those particulars which influence the progress of the mind, 
let me here observe, that the adverse or the prosperous situa- 
tion of communities depends very much on the state of man- 
ners. This observation will be illustrated by a hasty view 
of the comparative situation of North and South Carolina 
at this period. 

South Carolina was destined to become a mine of wealth, 
in consequence of most laborious exertions in opening her 
swamp lands for the cultivation of rice. Economy pre- 
served what industry acquired. 

On the contrary, the planters of Cape Fear, many of them 
holders of great possessions in lands and slaves, scarcely 
regarded these lands, though superior undoubtedly, to those 
of South Carolina, and producing a grain larger, more solid, 
and more nutritious. Content to raise from naval stores a 
sufficiency to pay the interest on continually increasing debts, 
they indulged themselves in habits of ease and dissipation. 
The consequence is, that while the fruitful lands of South 
Carolina afford an inexhaustible source of riches, the fertile 


soil of Cape Fear is destined to remain uncultivated, and to 
furnish evidence of its superior fertility only in its baneful 
effects on the health of the inhabitants. 



Wednesday, Dec. 4, 1822. 

To the Editor of the Hillsborough Recorder. 

Sir — At this distant day, it is impossible to enumerate 
the many public appointments which Mr. Hooper filled. It 
is proper, however, to mention, that he was active in behalf 
of the government against the insurgents denominated Reg- 
ulators, who were defeated at Alamance in 177 1. 

Tryon, the provincial Governor, and Martin, his suc- 
cessor, and also Howard the Chief Justice, distinguished 
him by their regard, and showed a desire to conciliate his 
friendship. In 1773, Mr. Hooper represented the to^vn of 
Wilmington in the General Assembly. In 1774 he repre- 
sented the county of ISTew Hanover in the same body. There 
he united himself with a band of patriots, in resisting the 
demand of the British government, to insert a clause into 
the bill for establishing a court system, favoring British 
subjects, on the article of process b}^ attachment, to the prej- 
udice of creditors on this side of the Atlantic* This meas- 
ure at once deprived the province of courts, and the gentle- 
men of the bar of their professional emoluments. On this 
occasion Mr. Hooper took the lead in legislative debate. He 
also addressed the people of ISTorth Carolina in a series of 
letters, under the signature of Hampden. These, it is said, 
were much admired. What effect they produced, in accom- 
plishing the views of the writer, we cannot, at this time, 

*Among the papers of the late Archibald Maclaine, of Wilmington, are some mem- 
oranda that seem to be intended as the groundwork of a defence of his (Maclaine's) 
political character, which had been attacked. In one item he refers to his con- 
duct "at the time the ministerial instruction came to alter the attachment law." 


ascertain. The province remained without a judiciary until 
1777, when it was revived under the new order of things; 
meanwhile the law practitioners sacrificed their dependency 
for subsistence, and the other classes suffered greatly. 

In the provincial and State assemblies, Mr. Hooper, on 
various occasions, brought forward high-toned and energetic 
measures, and supported them with all the powers of his 
persuasive oratory. The patriots most conspicuous in oppo- 
sition to the arbitrary acts of the British government, at 
that memorable era, were Ashe,* Iredell, f Johnston,:}: 
Moore, § Harvey, | Harnett, T Caswell,** Mclaine,tt N"ash, :{::{: 
Burke,§§ and Henderson. || || These was all eminent men. 
Some of them were natives of the province, and entitled 
to great weight from their age, their fortune, and the extent 
and respectability of their connections. From this band 
Mr. Hoper, at an early age, with small estate, with but few 
connections, and those few without influence, was selected 
for the most important public appointments, and that too 
at conjunctures which called for first rate talents and un- 
daunted firmness. 

How he advanced himself so highly in the esteem and 
confidence of the people of ISTorth Carolina, we can at this 
time only conjecture. It was probably owing to the wider 
comprehension of his views, to the uncommon fervor of his 
zeal, to the fascinating splendor of his eloquence ; and above 
all, to the extraordinary activity and perseverance of his 

♦Samuel Ashe, afterwards Governor Ashe. -f-James Iredell, afterwards Judge Ire- 
dell. ISamuel Johnston, afterwards Governor Johnson. ^Maurice Moore, Speaker 
of the House of Commons, one of the judges appointed by the crown. ||John 
Harvey. ITGornelius Harnett, one of the members of the first Congress. **Richard 
Caswell, afterwards Governor Caswell. -H-Archibald Maclaine. IJAbner Nash, 
afterwards Governor Nash. ^^Thomas Burke, afterwards Governor Burke. 
llllRiehard Henderson, for some time Judge Henderson. 


In 1775* Mr. Hooper was delegated by the Assembly 
to Congress, and continued in that capacity till 1777, at 
which time his private concerns compelled him to resigTi. 
The proceedings of the first Congress, having been from 
policy, conducted with great secrecy, the debates were not 
recorded. When Mr. Hooper first addressed that illustrious 
assemblage of compatriots, his speech occupied about half 
an hour; and it is said, upon authority which seems to be 
too respectable to be questioned, that he commanded the 
most profound silence, and was listened to with the most 
earnest attention. The encomium was, however, qualified 
with this observation, that the house was seized with aston- 
ishment at the display of such powers of elocution from 
J^orth Carolina. He spoke, it is said, more than once on 
the floor of the House, and always inspired respect and 

During the same period he was a prominent member and 
distinguished speaker in the Conventions which sat at Hills- 
borough and Halifax. At the Convention which sat at the 
former place, in April, 1776,** he reported an address to 
the inhabitants of the British Empire. This was, without 
doubt, the exclusive production of his pen, and it was, at 
the time, universally admired. Many other public docu- 
ments emanated from the same source. 

On the most trying occasions, the loftiness and elasticity 
of his spirit were strikingly manifest. Events which cast 
a gloom over the minds of others, had no effect in damping 
his ardor, or in depressing his hopes. The disastrous result 
of the battle of Germantown, which spread dismay among 
the whigs, seemed to give fresh courage to his zeal. When 
the report of the battle reached Wilmington, he was among 
a party of patriotic friends, who were overwhelmed with 
consternation. He instantly started from his chair, with 
unusual animation, and exclaimed, "We have been disap- 

*(Evidently an inadvertence, intended for 1774.— Copyist.) 
**Obviously intended for Aug. 1775 (Copyist.) 


pointed ! Xo matter ! Xow we have become tlie assailants, 
there can be no donbt of the issue." 

Johnston sometimes endeavored to restrain in him what 
he considered an excess of zeal. "I have," said that great 
patriot and statesman, "1 have resolved to stake my life and 
my fortune in the contest for liberty, but I am not without 
painful apprehension of the result. I am indeed afraid 
that when independence shall have been achieved, talents 
and virtue may be thrown into the shade, and the mob may 
govern." In relating this anecdote to me, in May, 1802, 
Judge Johnston thought that his prediction was rapidly 

In the early part of the Revolutionary War, Mr. Hooper's 
name was extremely obnoxious to the British officers. The 
captain of a sloop-of-war stationed in the River Cape Fear, 
meanly descended to fire a house which he had built about 
three miles below Wilmington. 

On his return to private life, his family resided at his 
seat on Masonborough Sound, about eight miles from Wil- 
mington. There he continued taking part as occasion 
required, in public measures, until January, 1781. At this 
time a force under Major Craig, arrived in Cape Fear 
River. Mr. Hooper found it necessary to remove his fam- 
ily ; and having no place to resort to less dangerous, he 
removed them to Wilmington, preferring to trust them to 
the humanity of an open enemy, rather than suffer them to 
remain exposed in a predatory warfare"' He sought for 
safety for himself by flight into the country. His family 
remained at Wilmington without any outrage until October, 

*He had made arrangements for taking refuge in one of the French West India 
islands in the event of the success of the British arms. Mrs. Hooper understood 
him that an arrangement of this kind was projected by aU the members of Con- 
gress, aud that it was understood by the French minister. An exile such as this 
would liave been less irksome to him than to many of his compatriots. His father, 
who was intimately acquainted with French, gave him a critical knowledge of 
that language, and it is probable that he would soon have acquired fluency in 
speaking it. 


1Y81, when they with others were ordered at a short notice 
to leave the town. Mr. Hooper and his family returned to 
it immediately after its evacuation by the enemy in J^ovem- 
ber of the same year; and shortly afterwards removed to 
Hillsborough, in Orange county. After this and until about 
1787, he continued to hold a distinguished rank in the coun- 
cils of his country, and to maintain a very high station at 
the bar. Speaking of him, the late Judge Iredell observed 
that his latest exertions were equal to the most splendid 
of his meridian days. 

Meeting with opposition in his elections Mr. Hooper 
became soured,* and seemed inclined to retire. He grad- 
ually relaxed his exertions and at length withdrew wholly 
from public life. His withdrawal excited much speculation. 
Some ascribed it to a solicitude for the interest of his fam- 
ily, wdiich had suffered much by his devotion to the public 
weal, and others attributed it to disgust occasioned by some 
legislative measures of the State. It is probable, however, 
from circumstances, that a union of both causes influenced 
him. The few years which he lived after his retirement, 
were spent in domestic enjoyment, for which, indeed, he was 
better fitted by his temper and sensibilities, than for public 

*He was probably soured by finding himself in collision -with some of his com- 
patriots and best friends. Maclaine, who was one of these, became irritated by 
the difference of opinion between tliem. After the ratification of the treaty of 
peace, Maclaine was anxious to shield the disaffected from persecution, and in the 
pursuit of tliis object he exercised no address. Mr. Hooper, wlio no doubt coincid- 
ed with him so far as respected the justice and liumanity of this course, thought 
that great prudence and eircnmspection ouglit to be observed; and this prudence 
and circumspection was the more necessary on his part, from the circumstance of 
all his connections haying espoused the royal cause. Aware that his station was 
such that lie ought to be above suspicion, he suppressed, on this occasion, the best 
and warmest feelings of his heart. In a letter to a friend, dated 18th February, 
1785, Maclaine adverts to Mr. Hooper's conduct in this respect, and in the asperity 
of his temper puts a construction on it which in his cooler moments he would 
have retracted. In this letter he speaks, in tlie style of complaint, of the superi. 
ority which Mr. Hooper's education gave him, of the deference paid to him by Ire. 
dell, and of the homage he received from Johnson, and adds, "I never pay him 
compliments, but, on the contrary, have opposed him." 

On his return from the Assembly, which met for the purpose of carrying into 
effect the State Constitution, many inquiries were made by the crowds which col- 
lected around him. relative to the powers confided to the several departments of 
the government. Mr. Hooper having satisfied curiosity as to other particulars, one 
of the crowd aslced, ''And what powers, sir, have the Assembly given to the gov- 
ernor?" "Power, sir," replied Mr. Hooper, "to sign a receipt for his salary." 


He died October, 1790, in the forty-ninth year of his age, 
at Hillsborough, leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter, 
all of whom, except Mrs. Elizabeth Watters, of Hills- 
borough, are deceased. There survive also of his descend- 
ants, three grandsons, children of his eldest son William, to 
wit. : William, pastor of the Episcopal Church, and superin- 
tendent of the academy in Fayetteville ; Thomas, a lawyer; 
and James, a merchant, all residents of the same place. 

In person he was of the middle size, elegantly formed, 
delicate rather than robust. His countenance was pleasing 
and indicated intelligence. His manners were polite and 
engaging. With his intimates and friends, his conversation 
was frank and animated, enlivened by a vein of pleasing 
humor, and abounding with images of playful irony. It was 
sometimes tinctured with the severity of sarcasm, and some- 
times marked by comprehensive brevity of expression. His 
father, himself a model of colloquial excellence, had culti- 
vated this talent in his son with great assiduity. 

From the same preceptor he learned the art, rarely 
attained, of reading with elegance. In this respect the 
grace and propriety which marked his manner, communi- 
cated, it is said, a pleasure even when he read cases from 
the law reporters, or the ordinary documents of a suit in 
court. In mixed society he was apt to be reserved. Sin- 
cerity was a striking feature in his character. He never 
practiced disguise. Hospitality he carried to excess. 

In his domestic relations he was affectionate and indul- 
gent. Failings he certainly had, but they were not such as 
affected the morality of his private or the integrity of his 
public conduct. 

As a writer we cannot fairly graduate his pretensions. 
The letters of Hampden, which would have furnished the 
best criterion for this purpose, have perished with the 
prints which contained them. 

As a letter writer he was, I think, deficient in ease and 
simplicity; but his epistolary compositions must have been 


unequalled. Major Craig intercepted one of these, which 
impressed him with such an exalted opinion of the writer, 
that afterwards, when Mr. Hooper, accompanied by 
Maclaine, visited Wilmington under the protection of a flag 
of truce, Craig scarcely noticed the latter, while to Mr. 
Hooper he paid the most marked and respectful attention. 

On all important occasions he was called upon by the 
inhabitants of Wilmington and its vicinity to exercise his 
pen. A very flattering testimony to his talents, considering 
the number of eminent men who then resided in the same 
part of the country, some of whom had cultivated the art 
of composition with great success. Among these were 
Maclaine, Eustace, Lloyd, Pennington, and Moore. 

In classical learning and in literary taste he had few 
superiors; yet he was never ostentatious in the display of 
these qualifications. He possessed a talent for elegant ver- 
sification, which he exercised in his moments of recreation. 
His ode on the birthday of Washington, which circulated 
only among a few friends, was pronounced, by a competent 
judge, superior to any which had been published.* I have 
never been able to procure the manuscript. 

Among his friends were some of opposite political princi- 
ples, but it produced no change of regard towards them, 
nor did he in any instance depart from an inherent benevo- 
lence, by becoming the persecutor of any on account of his 
principles or prejudices. 

In his private concerns his probity and honor were unim- 
peached. His estate was moderate, and he was not avari- 

His religion was that of a sincere Christian, free from 
bigotry to any sect or denomination. 

He appears to have been free from envy. In a letter to 
Maclaine he describes the death of Judge Henderson in a 
strain of enthusiastic admiration of the talents of that extra- 
ordinary man. 

*In 1789. 


After John Haywood, now Judge Haywood, appeared 
at the bar, and before his faculties were developed, or per- 
haps even known to himself, he had to contend with men 
of great intellectual powers and profound legal science. Mr. 
Hooper sustained him in the unequal contest. This patron- 
age of rising merit, if it arose from generous feeling, is 
worthy of mention; and it is not less worthy to be noted 
if it arose from a sentiment of friendship, for that revered 
personage* who has rendered the names of Haywood dear 
to the people of JSTorth Carolina, whose boundless benevo- 
lence pointed him out as the Atticus of his native State, 
until more recent events presented him in the sterner aspect 
of Aristides the Just. 

His penetration into character was obvious in the choice 
of his friends. He always selected them from the most 
worthy; and he experienced in every instance, that warm 
reciprocal attachment which was due to the ardor and con- 
stancy of his friendship. 

The champion of that illustrious band, which in ISTorth 
Carolina first opposed the encroachments of arbitrary power, 
no man ever entered into the public service on more correct 
principles, or with purer or more disinterested motives. 
When he engaged in revolutionary measures, he was fully 
aware of the dangers to which he exposed his person and 
estate; yet in spite of untoward events, his enthusiasm 
never abated, his firmness never forsook him. In times the 
most disastrous he never desponded, but sustained his sit- 
uation with increased intrepidity. 


It seems fitting to subjoin to the foregoing memoir some 
estimates of William Hooper by more recent writers and 
who are not related to him by ties of blood. Says Wheeler : 

"The life and character of William Hooper, who was long 
a resident and representative of !N^ew Hanover county, 

♦John Haywood, Treasurer of tlie State. 


deserve our especial attention. It was most strangely 
aspersed by Mr. Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, dated 
9th July, 1819, in which he says, that Ve had not a greater 
Tory in Congress than Hooper.' This remark produced in 
1834, Jones' 'defence of ISTorth Carolina.' That his prej- 
udices had clouded Jefferson's judgment in regard to this, 
as well as to our Declaration of Independence at Charlotte, 
there can be no doubt. It is, however, a matter of no regTet, 
since these very errors have stimulated the sons of J^orth 
Carolina to examine the records and vindicate her character 
and the integrity of history. The character of William 
Hooper has been placed beyond all cavil, and the Declaration 
of Independence at Charlotte in May, 1775, now rests on 
as solid foundations for truth and reality, as the ISTational 
Declaration at Philadelphia, on 4th July, 1776." 

Mr. Griffith J. McRee, in his invaluable work. Life and 
Correspondence of James Iredell, now like Wheeler's His- 
tory out of print, noting the friendship between Iredell and 
Hooper, says : 

"Mr. Hooper was nine years Mr. Iredell's senior and 
already a man of mark at the bar and in the Assembly. To 
estimate at its full value his deference to Iredell, these facts 
must be borne in mind. Mr. Hooper was a native of Boston, 
and a graduate of Cambridge, Mass. After studying law 
with James Otis, he removed to l^orth Carolina in 1764.* 
He became a citizen of Wilmington. That town and its 
vicinity was noted for its unbounded hospitality and the ele- 
gance of its society. Men of rare talents, fortune and attain- 
ment, united to render it the home of politeness and ease 
and enjoyment. Though the footprint of the Indian had, 
as yet, scarcely been effaced, the higher civilization of the 
'Old World' had been transplanted there and had taken 
vigorous root." Then, after enumerating the eminent 
patriots and literati among whom William Hooper figured 

*Mr. Hooper did not settle permanently in Wilmington until 1767. See Memoir 
ante. — [Copyist.] 


in the Cape Fear region, lie continues: "These were no 
ordinary men. They were of the remarkable class that seem 
ever to be the product of crises in human affairs. Though 
inferior to many of them in the influence that attends years, 
opulence and extensive connections, yet in scholarship and 
genius Mr. Hooper was pre-eminent. I use the word genius 
in contradistinction to talent. He had much nervous irrita- 
bility, was imaginative and susceptible. With a well-dis- 
ciplined mind and of studious habits, he shone with lustre 
whenever he pleased to exert himself. He had generous 
impulses, and his intercourse with his family and friends 
was marked by a caressing tenderness. In the course of the 
Revolution he never wavered, though he often desponded. 
If hope seemed sometimes about to desert him forever, and 
he felt in his heart the rustle of her wings as she prepared 
for flight, his deep-rooted principles were never shaken. He 
lived long enough to see the political edifice, to whose con- 
struction he had so largely contributed, completed, and its 
soaring dome to the nations of the earth 'a lamp unto their 
feet, and a light unto their path.' As his fame is national, 
I need not dwell longer upon his career." Life of Iredell, 
VoL I., pp. 194, 195, 196. 

"Was Jefferson jealous of Hooper?" asks McRee later 
on. "Was he impatient of what he did not himself "possess 
— splendid elocution, as he was notoriously envious of mili- 
tary fame? Was there a feud between these two eminent 
men? An affirmative answer to these interrogatories will 
certainly throw much light upon the calumny of Jefferson, 
that ^there was no greater Tory in Congress than Hooper,' 
and explain Mr. Hooper's personal dislike to Jefferson and 
his followers, in the early days of the Republic. If Hooper's 
fame, so well defended by Jones, needed further vindiction, 
his letters to Iredell place upon impregnable ground his vir- 
tue and patriotism." Ibid. jSTote on p. 427. 

Dr. Alderman, now President of the University of Vir- 


ginia, then Professor in the University of iNorth Carolina, 
in his address on William Hooper delivered at Guilford Bat- 
tle Ground, July 4, 1894, says : "In the first decades of this 
century our grandfathers were filled with indignation and 
astonishment at Mr. Jeiferson's remarkable letter to John 
Adams in which he declared that 'there was no greater Tory 
in Congress than William Hooper.' Jo. Seawell Jones, 
choking with rage, rushed to the rescue in his celebrated 
Defence of ^tsTorth Carolina, and with an uncommon ming- 
ling of invective, passion, partizanship, critical power and 
insight, effectually disposed of his great antagonist. The 
charge on the face of it was absurd. * * * * It is a hard 
thing to say of so illustrious a man as Mr. Jefferson, that he 
had strange moments of liability to post-mortuary slander, 
but the poisonous scraps of the 'Anas' and the researches of 
two generations into his accusation against Hooper abun- 
dantly and mournfully attest its truth. Mr. Hooper's mental 
attitude toward the idea of independence is a matter of vital 
interest to our people, however, and his private and confi- 
dential correspondence reveals this attitude in a most com- 
plete and perfect way : 'Before April 19, 1775,' said Thomas 
Jefferson himself, 'I had never heard a whisper of a disposi- 
tion to separate from the mother country.' 'When I first 
took command of the army (July 3d, 1775) I abhorred the 
idea of independence,' said George Washington. Over one 
year before these words were uttered, April 26, 1774, Hooper 
wrote a letter to James Iredell in which occurred the follow- 
ing prophetic words : 'They (the Colonies) are striding fast 
to i7idependence, and ere long ivill build an empire upon the 
ruins of Great Britain; will adopt its Constitution purged 
of its impurities, and from an experience of its defects, will 
guard against those evils ivhich have wasted its vigor/ " 
Says Mr. McRee: "Of this letter Jones remarks, 'I look 
upon this letter as not inferior to any event in the history of 
the country ; and in the boldness and originality of its views. 


I say that it is a clociinient without a rival at the period of 
its date. It takes precedence of the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion as that does of the national Declaration of Indepen- 
dence.' " Dr. Alderman adds : "This is the most note- 
worthy personal letter of the Revolution. It antedates all 
known expressions on the subject of separation and confers 
upon William Hooper the proud title of the Prophet of 
American Independence.* Let me not conclude," says the 
same writer, "without speaking of Mr. Hooper, as a man. 
'No more fascinating and courtly figure graces the life of our 
simple, earnest past. His slight, fragile form, his serene, 
beautiful face wherein is blended masculine strength and 
womanly sweetness, 'a face that painters love to limn and 
ladies to look upon' stands out, like some finely wrought 
cameo, against a background of choas and revolution. In 
his letters we catch a glimpse of the ceremoniousness, the 
sleepless deference, the delicate punctilio of an unhurrying 
age; in his merry-makings we are able to reproduce the 
stately minuet, the vanished draperies, the personal royalty 
expressing itself in stately dignity, of a time forever gone. 
He was a tender, sensitive, loyal, happy gentleman, a fear- 
less, forceful, vigorous-minded citizen, a great orator — a 
great lawyer ; he loved his friends and was by them beloved. 
* * * * He loved the people of his state and was willing 
to spend himself in their service. * * He had that proud 
faith in family and breeding which taught him the sacred- 
ness of noblesse oblige, unfailing self-respect and freedom 
from sordidness or any sort of stain." 

Another accomplished writer of to-day thus concludes an 
account of William Hooper: "Of Mr. Hooper it may be 

*In this letter of April 26, 1774, Hooper pays a warm tribute to Iredell, as follows : 
**I am happy dear sir, that my conduct in public life has met your approbation. It 
is a suffrage which makes me vain, as it flows from a man who has wisdom to dis- 
tinguish and too much virtue to flatter. * * * * While the scene of life in which I 
was engaged would have rendered any reserve on my part not only improper but 
even culpable, you were destined for a more retired but not less useful conduct ; 




truly said, that as brilliant as were Howe, Harnett, Iredell, 
Ashe and Moore, and all those renowned names that adorned 
jSTorth Carolina's annals during his time, taking a view of 
the entire galaxy, none surpassed him in shining talents and 
fifie accomplishments, and none deserves more grateful appre- 
ciation by North Carolinians." Noting the historic friend- 
ship between Judge Iredell and Mr. Hooper, he quotes the 
former as writing to Mrs. Iredell: 'I wish to be like him,' 
adding: "Indeed, the admiration of Judge Iredell for him 
was unbounded." 

Says Capt. S. A. Ashe, of Raleigh, N. C, in a letter 
under date of June 5, 1905 : "Of late years I have come to 
still further appreciate the influence of Mr. Hooper in deter- 
mining patriotic action on the Cape Fear. I think he was 
the leader in stirring up feeling in 1774, in response to Bos- 
ton sentiment, his connection with Boston being close. And 
he certainly was the prime mover in calling together the 
meeting that issued the address requesting the voters in the 
different counties to elect delegates to the first Provincial 

Still another able writer of the present time, refers to 
William Hooper, as "one of the greatest and best men of 
whom the annals of North Carolina can boast."* 




As William Hooper, Signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, like the other founders of this Republic, belongs 
in a sense to the nation, it was hoped that the addition to 
the reprint of the preceding sketch, of a number of mis- 
cellaneous and desultory records relating to himself and his 
family would not be deemed impertinent and that they would 

*Mr. Marshall DeLancey Haywood, of Raleigh, N. C, in his Life of Govkenob 


Rev. Wm. Hooper. (1704-1767) second Rector of Trinity (Jhurcli, Boston, from 1747 to 1767; father 
of William Hooper, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. 


be found of interest to that public the foundations of whose 
existence and prosperity he aided in establishing. Further- 
more, mistakes have been made by certain persons whose 
names are on the Lineage Books of the "Daughters of the 
American Revolution," in entering that Society through 
alleged descent from him, whose claims to this descent can 
not be other than apocryphal, as a careful perusal of the doc- 
uments referred to would show. 

Doubly descended from the Rev. William Hooper, of Bos- 
ton, Mass., who was the founder of his family in this country 
and second Rector of Trinity Church in that city, from 
1747 to his death in 1767 — on my mother's side through his 
son, the Signer, and on my father's through his son George — 
and having made a study of the family history, I may be 
pardoned a double interest in its exposition as the facts 
warrant. In the pursuit of this object, by investigation and 
by the collection of all available data bearing upon the sub- 
ject, no pains have been spared and much expense has been 
incurred, and it was intended, as above-intimated, to publish, 
in connection with the foregoing memoir, the documents 
obtained, but the plan has been found ^compatible with the 
limits of this periodical, and the following outline of the 
family is submitted. 

The name Hooper is vndespread in America, only less so, 
perhaps, than those respectable and time-honored patrony- 
mics Smith and Jones, and embraces very many entirely 
unconnected families. That to which William Hooper, 
Signer of the Declaration, belongs, is restricted to well 
defined and demonstrably narrow limits. The frequent 
occurrence in this family of the names William and Thomas, 
renders somewhat difiicult, without awkward circumlocu- 
tion or repetition, a perfectly clear account of it, the Rev. 
William Hooper, of Boston, his son William, his grandson 
William and his great-grandson, Rev, William Hooper, of 
IsTorth Carolina, each having had sons by those names. It 


is convenient in this account to speak of tlie second William 
as the Signer. As stated in the memoir, he married on 
1767, Anne Clark, of Wilmington, sister to Thomas Clark, 
Jr., Colonel and Brevet-Brigadier-General in the Eevolu- 
tionary army, and his children were three in number, 
namely : 




Thomas died, unmarried, about 1806, probably in Bruns- 
wick county, where he owned considerable property and most 
likely resided. 

Elizabeth married in 1790, Col. Henry Hyrn Watters,* 
and her only child, Henry H. Watters, Jr.-, died, unmarried, 
at Wilmington, ISTov., 1809, aged eighteen years, while at 
home on vacation from the University. 

William, the eldest, married, June 26, 1791, Helen 
Hogg, daughter of James Hogg, of Hillsboro, and died 
in Brunswick county, July 15, 1804, leaving, like his father, 
three children, as follows: 

William (Eev.), 



Of these, James, born in Hillsboro in 1797, married Mar- 
garet Broadfoot, daughter of Andrew Broadfoot, of Fayette- 
ville, ]Sr. C, and died, without issue, in Fayetteville, June 
26, 1841. 

Thomas, born in Hillsboro, 1794, married. May 25, 1825, 
Eliza Donaldson, daughter of Kobert Donaldson, of Fay- 
etteville, and he also died childless, 'Nov., 1828, at Chapel 

*Col. Henry H. Watters is said to have commanded a regiment of Continental 
troops at the battle of Cowp^. He died at Wilmington, October 1809. Mrs. Wat- 
ters died June 30, 1844, aged seventy-four years. 

•hMrs. Helen Hogg Hooper married August 17, 1809, Rev. Joseph Caldwell, D. D., 
first President of University of North Carolina, and died October 30, 1846. There 
were no children by this marriage. 


Hill, his wife having died October, 1825, within five months 
of their marriage. 

The line of descent was thus left in the eldest son, Rev. 
William Hooper, of ]^orth Carolina, who was born in Hills- 
boro, 1792, married in 1814, Frances Pollock Jones,* eldets 
daughter of Edward Jones for many years Solicitor Gen- 
eral of North Carolina, and died at Chapel Hill August 19, 
1876. He was father of seven children, namely: William, 
M. D., Edward, M. D.,t Mary,:j: Joseph, | Elizabeth, 
Thomas! and Duponceau, M. D.,1^ all of whom, except 
Elizabeth and Duponceau, are represented by posterity, and 
concerning whom and their posterity, information may be 
had from the latter. 

It is thus apparent that two (Elizabeth and Thomas) of 
the Signer's three children, and three (Henry H. Watters, 
Jr., and Thomas and James Hooper) of his four grand- 
children, having died leaving no issue, the line of descent 
from him was left solely and exclusively in his grandson. 
Rev. William Hooper, of ISTorth Carolina, and that no one 
not descended from the latter has a right to claim descent 
from his grandfather, William Hooper, Signer of the Dec- 
laration. Which, as above said, may be demonstrated. 

In this account we shall go no further back than the Rev. 
William Hooper, of Boston. His children were : 

*Mrs. Hooper died iu Fayetteville, March 10, 1863. 

+Dr. Kdward Hooper's daughter, Theresa, Is wife of ex-Governor Joseph F. John- 
ston, of Alabama. 

JMary, my mother, -who married her 4th cousin, John DeBernierc Hooper, son of 
Archibald Maclaine Hooper. 

§Joseph, sole survivor of these— "84 years young"— now residing in Jacksonville, 

IIThomas spent his life in teaching. One of his sons, James S. Hooper, Is in busi- 
ness in Wilmington, N. C. 

ITDr. DuPonceau Hooper, Assistant Surgeon 8th Fla. Reg., mortally wounded at the 
battle of Fredericksburg, died at Fayetteville, unmarried, April 4. 1863. 


'William (the Signer), 

■'' George, 

"■ Thomas. 

Mary married in 1768, John Russell Spence, of London, 
who died in Boston, 'Nov. 1771. John died about 1795. 
Administration on his estate, granted in Boston in that year, 
does not mention widow or children. George and Thomas, 
like their eldest brother William, whose history is recounted 
in the foregoing pages, came to ISTorth Carolina, and both 
prospered in merchandising. Thomas married, Dec, 1778, 
Mary Heron, daughter of Capt. Benj. Heron, of Bertie 
county, Korth Carolina, removed to South Carolina and 
died without issue, Aug. 1, 1798, in the 48th year of his 
age, being survived by his widow twenty-two years. 

George, though a loyalist from conviction, was a man of 
unimpeachable integrity, and charming personality, and 
possessed the esteem and confidence of his acquaintances. 
He was considered by competent judges to be the equal of 
either of his brothers in ability and literary taste. He mar- 
ried Catharine Maclaine, only daughter of Archibald 
Maclaine, an ardent Revolutionary patriot of Korth Caro- 
lina, and died in 1820 or 1821, leaving two children, Archi- 
bald Maclaine Hooper, and Mary; Spence, an intermediate 
child, having died in infancy. 

Archibald Maclaine Hooper, lawyer and journalist, "a 
ripe scholar and one of the most graceful and accomplished 
writers of his day," was born in Wilmington, North Caro- 
lina, December 7, 1775, married, June 8, 1806, Charlotte 
DeBerniere, daughter of Lieut. Col. John A. DeBerniere,* 
of the 60th Regiment of the British Army, and died Sept. 
25, 1853, aged 78 years. Of his children may be mentioned 

*Lieut.-Ool. John A. DeBerniere, emigrated to America in 1799, grandson and name- 
sake of the Huguenot refugee, Jean Antoine DeBerniere, who fled from France 
about the time of the Revocation, and settled in Ireland. 

William Hooper, D. D., LL. D., for maiij- j-ears Professor of the University of 
North Carolina and other institutions of learninK; President Walie Forest Col- 
lege. N. C, 1816 to 184ft; an instructor of j-outh for sixty five years. He was eldest 
son of William and Helen (Hofjg) Hooper, and grandson of William Hooper, 
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, aud Anne (Clark) Hooper. Born Aug. 
31, 179-2, died at Chapel Hill, Aug 1,9. 1876. 


George D., (1809-1892), who was a member of the bar of 
Columbus, Ga., for a time chancellor of the east division 
of Alabama, and one of the best known supreme court and 
chancery lawyers of the state; John DeBerniere, (1811- 
1886) for many years Professor of Languages in the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, said by Mr. McRee to be, in his opin- 
ion, "the most accurate Greek and Latin scholar of his age 
and day;" Johnson J., (1815-1862) author of Simon Suggs 
and other humorous works, and Secretary of the Confederate 
Provisional Congress; Louisa and Mary, remarkable for 
their personal beauty and loveliness of character, of whom 
Mary died at Pittsboro, Aug. 1837, aged about eighteen 
years. Louisa married first, Rev. Daniel Cobia, of South 
Carolina, "but to smooth his path to the grave;" second 
Sept. 20, 1842, Eev. John J. Roberts,* and died June 
16, 1846, in the 30th year of her age, leaving two children, 
John DeBerniere Roberts, and Mary Charlotte Roberts. The 
latter is now the widow of Thomas McCrady, whose home 
was Charleston, S. C, and resides with her children at Cam- 
bridge, Mass. ; the former married Miss Lapham and died 
young, leaving an only child, John Lapham Roberts. 

Mary, daughter of George (brother of the Signer) and 
Catharine (Maclaine) Hooper, married, first, Mr. Shaw,t 
a daughter, Catharine, being the only child of the marriage ; 
second, June 6, 1806, James Fleming,:}: a merchant of 
Wilmington. The children of the second marriage were 
Mary, who married CoL Haynes Waddell, Elizabeth, wife 
of Rev. Thos. F. Davis, afterwards Bishop of South Caro- 
lina from 1853 to 1871 ; Charlotte, wife of Rt. Rev. Wm. 
M. Green, of iN^orth Carolina, Bishop of Mississippi from 
1850 to 1887; and James, who died young, unmarried. 
There are numerous descendants of these three sisters, prom- 

*Rev. John J. Roberts, D. D., now living, and resides alternately in New York City 
and Sandwioh, Mass. 

+The Shaw line is now extinct. //^tjC- 

JMr. Fleming was killed by a horse, about 1811. Mrs. Fleming of a lingering mal- 
ady, in 1831. /! 


inent among whom are Rev. DeBerniere Waddell, Mr. Thos. 
r. Davis, of Yazoo City, Miss., Rev. Stephen H. Green and 
many others. 

Most of the children of George D. Hooper, of Alabama, 
died in infancy. Of those who survived to maturity, the 
following may with propriety be mentioned. George W. 
and Charles M. joined volunteer companies of the Confeder- 
ate Army at the beginning of the War for Southern Indepen- 
dence. George went into the battle of Seven Pines, as Cap- 
tain in the 6th Alabama Regiment, was shot in the side, had 
the bones of both legs broken and lost the use of his right 
hand. He was highly complimented by Gen. Rhodes for his 
courage and ability and received promotion as Lieutenant 
Colonel for that day's fight. He was then about twenty years 
old and this was his only battle, but he afterwards per- 
formed for the Confederate States Army, several commis- 
sions such as were possible to a cripple. After the war he 
was Prosecuting Attorney for Russell county, Alabama, was 
a successful lawyer and died in 1883, leaving a widow and 
children. His brother, Charles, was promoted from Second 
Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel on the battle field of sec- 
ond Manassas, for distinguished gallantry in the face of the 
enemy, was afterwards awarded a medal of honor authorized 
by the Confederate Congress, and made Colonel on the rec- 
ommendation of General Lee himself. John DeBerniere, 
the youngest son, was the first Inspector of Mines in Ala- 
bama and is a Civil and Mining Engineer in that State. 

Johnson J. Hooper, author of Simon Suggs and Secretary 
of the Confederate Provisional Congress, who died in Rich- 
mond, Va., in June, 1862, left two children, William and 
Adolphus, both of whom met tragic deaths. William was 
in the Confederate Army, and after the war studied and 
practiced law at Aberdeen, Mississippi. He was a young 
man of the highest character and brilliant promise. He was 
shot down in the court-house at Aberdeen in 1875, and was 


survived by a widow, two sons and a daughter. Adolphus 
was too young to enter the army. He also was a man of tal- 
ent and lovable qualities, was successful in business and 
always had the confidence^ rf those who knew him. He was 
killed in JSTew Orleans about 1895, by a railroad train. 
There were several side tracks at the place where he was 
standing, two trains were passing at the same time, and in 
stepping back to avoid one he was struck by the other. He 
was immarried. 


Vol. V. OCTOBER, 1905 No. 2 



'Carolina ! Carolina ! Heaven's Blessings Attend Her ! 
While We Live We Will Cherish, Protect and DefeiVd Her." 




The object of the Booklet is to aid in developing and preserving 
North Carolina History. The proceeds arising from its publication 
will be devoted to patriotic purposes. Editors. 

,' •/ 

Officers of The North Carolina Society 
Daughters of the Revolution, 1903-1905: 





{Nee Hooper), 

MRS. D. H. HILL, Sr.* 




Founder op the North Carolina Society and Regent 1896-1902; 

Regent 1902: 
MRS. D. H. HILL, Sr. 

*Died December 12, 1904. 


Vol. V. OCTOBERj, 1905. No. 2. 



The history of the Capitol cannot be written without some 
account of the city of Raleigh. Raleigh is one of the few 
cities in this country, or in any country for that matter, 
which sprang into full-fledged existence without having been 
the enlargement of a previously existing town. In this it is 
unique, and to this it owes much of its beauty, since in the 
beginning there was only a wide expanse of farming land 
and forest, thus allowing streets and lots to be laid out with 
mathematical precision under the direction of skilled engi- 

The first General Assembly, of which we have much in- 
formation, met at the house of Captain Richard Sanderson, 
on Little River, in the County of Perquimans, in. the year 
1715. In 1720 the Legislative body met at the general court- 
house at Queen Anne's Creek, in Chowan precinct. In 1723 
it met at Edenton. After that it drifted about, at various 
times sitting at Edenton, Wilmington, J^ew Bern, Kinston, 
Halifax, Smithfield, Wake Court-House, Hillsboro, Salem 
and Tarborough. In 1787 at Tarborough the General As- 
sembly resolved that it : "Be recommended to the people of 
the State to authorize and direct their representatives in the 
Convention called to consider the Federal Constitution to fix 
on the place of an unalterable seat of government." 


Tliis Convention was held at Hillsboro in July and Au- 
gust, 1788, and I give below extracts from the journal of 
that body, which explain more fully than any description I 
might give just why the seat of government came to be lo- 
cated where it now is. 


^'Thursday, July 31st, 1788: On motion made by Mr. 
Kutherford, and seconded by Mr. Steele, Resolved, that the 
Convention will to-morrow at four o'clock in the afternoon, 
proceed to fix on a proper place for the seat of government 
of this State." 

"Mr. John G. Blount obta.ined leave for himself and 
others to enter a protest on the journal against the above reso- 

"Friday, August 1st, 1788 : Ordered that Mr. Iredell, Mr. 
Maclaine and Mr. Jones be a committee to prepare and bring 
in an ordinance to establish the seat of government at the 
place hereafter to be fixed on by this Convention. 

"On a motion made by Mr. Joseph McDowell and seconded 
by Mr. Benj. Smith, Resolved, that the Convention will bal- 
lot for the place at which the seat of government shall be 

"The yeas and nays were demanded on this resolution, and 
it prevailed by a vote of 134 to 117. 

"Saturday, August 2nd, 1788 : On motion of Mr. Willie 
Jones, seconded, by Mr. Thomas Alderson, it was decided to 
allow the Legislature to fix the exact place of the seat of 
government, only it must be within ten miles of the place 
designated by the Convention. 

"Resolved, that the several places hereafter named be in 
nomination for the seat of government of this State, to-wit: 
Smithfield, nominated by Mr. James Pa%me ; Tarborough, 
nominated by Mr. Robert W. Williams ; Fayetteville, nomi- 
nated by Mr. Wm. Barry Grove; Mr. Isaac Hunter's, in 


Wake Coiiuty, nominated by Mr. James Iredell; JSTewbern, 
nominated by the Hon. Mr. Spencer; Hillsborough, nomi- 
-nated by Mr. Alexander Mebane ; the Fork of Haw and Deep 
Rivers, nominated by Mr. Thomas Person. And that Mr. 
Elijah Mitchell, Mr. Benjamin Williams, Mr. l^athaniel 
Jones and Mr. John Caines be appointed Commissioners to 
superintend and conduct the balloting. 

"Adjourned until ten o'clock. 

"Met according to adjournment. The Commissioners re- 
ported no choice, and a second ballot was ordered. 

"Adjourned until four o'clock. 

"Met according to adjournment. The Commissioners re- 
ported a majority of votes in favor of Mr. Isaac Hunter's 
in Wake County. 

"Mr. Iredell, from the Committee heretofore appointed, 
brought in a bill to establish the seat of government, etc., 
which was read, passed and ordered to be ratified. 

"Ordered, that all who desired to do so should have leave 
to enter their protest on the journal. 

"Monday, August 4th, 1788 : Mr. William Barry Grove 
presented a protest signed by over one hundred members." 

ISTot until 1791 did the General Assembly, which met at 
ISTew Bern, carry into effect the ordinance passed at Hills- 
borough in 1788. The act passed by the General Assembly 
provided that nine persons should be appointed to lay off and 
locate the city within ten miles of Isaac Hunter's ; and five 
persons "To cause to be built and erected a State House 
sufficiently large to accommodate, with convenience, both the 
houses of the General Assembly, at an expense not to exceed 
ten thousand pounds." The nine persons chosen as Commis- 
sioners were: Joseph McDowell, the elder, James Martin. 
Thomas Person, Thomas Blount, William Johnston Daw- 
son, Frederick Hargett, Henry William Harrington, James 
Bloodworth and Willie Jones. The Building Committee se- 
lected were: Richard Bennehan, John Mcaon, Robert Good- 
loe, Nathan Bryan and Theophilus Hunter. 


It has been supposed that on April the -ith, 1792, there 
assembled at the house of Isaac Hunter five of the nine Com- 
missioners, and that they then proceeded to determine the 
site for the city, but I have before me an autograph letter of 
Joel Lane to General Harrington, which I give in full : 

"Wake Court-House, 13th March, 1792. 
Dear Sir; — On the 20th instant the Commissioners for 
fixing on the place for the seat of government are to meet, 
and as I am not certain you have been notified of it. I take 
the liberty to request your attendance, having reason to be- 
lieve that unless you are present the Eastern interest will fix 
it on the north side of ISTeuse River. 
"I am Dr. sir Yours, 

"Respectfully, JOEL LA^^E." 

However, General Harrington did not attend, for some 
time between the 20th and 22nd of March a majority of the 
Commission, six in number, to-wit: Frederick Hargett, Wil- 
lie Jones, Joseph McDowell, Thomas Blount, William 
Johnston Dawson and James Martin arrived on the scene. 
They proceeded to ride over and investigate the different 
tracts of land offered, and also, according to tradition, had a 
good old time generally. They seem to have kept this up 
for about a week, for on the 29th of March, 1792, the Com- 
missioners, according to their report, chose as their Chair- 
man Frederick Hargett, and proceeded to ballot, with the 
result that there were cast for John Hinton's three votes, for 
Joel Lane's two votes, and for Henry Lane's one vote. An- 
other ballot was taken and resulted in three votes for John 
Hinton's, two for Joel Lane's, and one for ^N^athaniel Jones'. 
Mr. ISTathaniel Jones lived where Cary now is. The Com- 
missioners then adjourned, and when they met at nine o'clock 
next morning Joel Lane's tract got five votes, and John Hin- 
ton's offer received only one vote, which goes to prove that. 


Joel Lane was a good politician, and would have graced 
Raleigh's present Aldermanic Board had he lived in this, 
our day and generation. It is worthy of remark that one 
of the items in the Commissioner's report reads as follows : 
''Joel Lane was allowed for entertaining the Commissioners 
fourteen days, forty-four pounds, sixteen shillings." One 
might reasonably ask, why the sixteen shillings ? 

On the 5th of April, 1792, the deed for one thousand 
acres was executed by Joel Lane, and as this deed has never 
before been published, I give it here in full. It is more 
than probable that this deed would have been lost but for the 
care and energy of our present Secretary of State, Hon. J. 
Bryan Grimes, who rescued it a short while back from some 
discarded rubbish : 

"This indenture, made the fifth day of April, in the year 
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, between Joel 
Lane, Esquire, of Wake County, of the one part, and Alex- 
ander Martin, Esquire, Governor of the State of IsTorth Caro- 
lina, of the other part, Witnesseth: that the said Joel Lane, 
for the sum of one thousand three hundred and seventy-eight 
pounds, current money of ivTorth Carolina, to him paid by 
Frederick Hargett, Esquire, Chairman of the Board of 
Commissioners appointed, by act of Assembly passed in 
Deer., in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety- 
one, to determine on the place for holding the future meet- 
ings of the General Assembly, and for the residence of the 
Chief Officers of the State of N'orth Carolina, the receipt 
whereof is hereby acknowledged : Hath granted, bargained 
and sold, aliened, enfeoffed, released and confirmed, and by 
these presents doth grant, bargain and sell, alien, enfeoff, 
release and confirm to the said Alexander Martin, Esquire, 
and his successors in office for the time being, a certain tract 
or parcel of land in Wake County, to the Eastward of and 
near to Wake Court-House, containing one thousand acres, 
more or less, and bound as follows : Beginning at four 


sasafras, two wliite oaks, two persimmons and an elm on 
Rocky Branch, thence ITorth ten degrees East three hun- 
dred and thirty-four poles to a stake in the run of a spring 
branch; then East three hundred and twenty-seven poles 
to a small hickory and red oak, near a craggy rock; then 
ISTorth forty poles to a stake near a red oak; then East one 
hundred and fifty-eight poles to a stake in the center of a 
red oak a hickory and two post oaks ; then South two hun- 
dred and eighty-one poles to a white oak in Joshua Suggs' ' 
line; then South fifty-seven degrees West two hundred and 
fifty-six poles to a young hickory; then ISTorth eighty-four 
degrees V\^est one hundred and thirty poles to a post oak; 
then West one hundred and forty-eight poles to a white oak 
on the Rocky Branch; then up the branch, the various 
courses thereof, to the beginning; and all woods, timber 
trees, ways, waters, springs, emoluments and advantages to 
said tract of land belonging: To have and to hold the said 
tract of land, with the appurtenances, to the said Alexander 
Martin, Esquire, and his successors in office, for the time 
being, for the sole use and benefit of the State of ^orth 
Carolina, forever. And the said Joel Lane, for himself and 
his heirs ; doth covenant, bargain and agree to and with the 
said Alexander Martin, Esquire, and his successors in of- 
fice, that he, the said Joel Lane and his heirs, shall and will 
warrant and defend the premises, with the appurtenances, to 
the said Alexander Martin and his successors in office, for 
the time being, for the benefit of the State as aforesaid, 
against himself and his heirs, and against the lawful claim 
of all persons forever. 

"In witness whereof, the said Joel Lane hath hereto put 
his hand and seal, the day and year first above-mentioned. 

"Ackd. JOEL LA:NTE," (SeaL) 

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of 


April 5th, 1792. JOSEPH BROWK 


"Received of Frederick Hargett, Esquire, Chairman of the 
Board of Commissioners, authorized to purchase lands for 
the permanent seat of government, a warrant on the Treas- 
urer for the sum of one thousand three hundred and seventy- 
eight pounds currency, in full, of the consideration money 

"Ackd. JOEL LAIS^E. 

"Witness: THOS. BLOUIs^T. 

"Wake County, June Term, 1792. 

"Then was the above deed duly acknowledged in open 
Court, by Joel Lane, Esq., and ordered to be registered. 

"H. LAIs^E, C. C. 

"Enrolled in the Eegister's Office of Wake County, in 
Book L, and page (illegible) this 6th day of June, 1792. 

"JAS. HmTO¥, Register. 
"Examined by Sol. Goodrich." 

Upon receiving this deed the Commissioners proceeded to 
lay oif the plan of a city containing four hundred acres, ar- 
ranged in five squares of four acres each, and 276 lots of 
one acre each. One of the squares was named Caswell 
Square, in honor of Governor Caswell. This is now the site 
of the Institution for the Blind. The JL^Tortheastern Square 
was named after Thomas Burke, also Governor, and 
here now is located the Governor's Mansion, though 
formerly the site of the old Raleigh Academy. _ 'Nash Square 
was in the southwestern portion of the city, and is now a 
beautiful resting place just opposite the Union Depot. 
Moore Square was in the southeastern section of the city, 
and is still kept open as a pleasant breathing place for the 
inhabitants of that portion of the city. The central square 
was named Union Square, and on it now stands our beautiful 
Capitol building, formerly called the State House. 


The first Gubernatorial Mansion was a plain two-story 
frame bnilding painted white, and stood on lot number 131 
of the original plan of the city. An office for the Governor 
was erected in the corner of this lot just where the present 
Raleigh Banking and Trust Company stands. In 1813 the 
General Assembly appointed a committee composed of Henry 
Porter, Henry Seawell, William Hinton, jSTathaniel Jones, 
of Crabtree, Theophilus Hunter and William Peace to 
erect a new and more commodious dwelling for the Gov- 
ernor at a cost not to exceed five thousand pounds. The site 
selected for the new Govern atorial residence, which was called 
the Governor's Palace, was at the foot of Fayetteville street, 
directly south of and fronting the Capitol, just where the 
Centennial Graded School now stands. The edifice was 
completed during Governor Miller's administration, and he 
was its first occupant. 

In 1792, with appropriate ceremonies, was laid the corner 
stone of the first State House, as it was then called. The 
term Capitol was not adopted until 1832. The architect was 
Rody Adkins. The brick were made in brick yards located 
at lots numbers 138 and 154, and the maximum cost of the 
building is said to have been fixed by the committee at twenty 
thousand dollars. The building was of brick, of a dingy, red- 
dish color. The General Assembly met for the first time in 
the completed State House in the fall of 1794. Richard 
Dobbs Speight, the elder, was then the Governor. Eight 
years afterwards he was killed in a duel by John Stanly. 
Although the exterior of the building was exceedingly plain, 
and the building itself much smaller than the present struc- 
ture, the interior arrangement was somewhat similar, having 
broad passages running the entire length of the building 
from north to south, and from east to west. There was a 
dome, and there was a rotunda at the intersection of the pas- 
sages. In this rotunda was placed the famous statue of 
Washington by the great sculptor Canova. This statue did 


not survive the destruction of the building by fire on the 
21st of June, 1831. An attempt, however, was made to re- 
store it, and three thousand dollars was appropriated for that 
purpose. At the suggestion of Judge Gaston, a sculptor 
named Hughes Avas employed to restore it. Hughes asked 
for an advance of $500 for preliminary expenses, and it is 
said that his signing the receipt for this money was the 
first, last and only act done by him in performance of the 
work. The remains of the statue are now in the Hall of 

The State House was literally the house of the people, and 
the State House bell was for many years the only bell in 
Raleigh. This bell was used for all public purposes. The 
State House itself, and the grounds about it, were often 
used for all conceivable purposes. There not being either 
church or theatre yet built in the young city, the people 
assembled in its halls on Sunday to worship God, and on 
week days, as occasion offered, to witness theatrical and 
slight-of-hand performances, and to listen to lectures and 
orations. Balls and receptions were of frequent occurrence, 
while patriotic observance of the 4th of July was always a 
feature. I can not refrain from quoting a contemporaneous 
account of the thirty-third celebration of the 4th of July: 

"The thirty-third anniversary of American Independence 
was celebrated in this city in the usual manner on the 4th 
inst. At 12 o'clock a procession of citizens and strangers 
with Capt. Willie Jones' troop of cavalry at the head, formed 
at the court-house — agreeably to previous arrangements, and 
directed by Capt. Scott, proceeded up Fayetteville street to 
the State House, during the ringing of the State House, court- 
house. Academy and town bells, and firing of cannon. Being 
seated in the Common's Chamber, an ode in honor of the 
day, composed for the occasion, was sung by a choir of about 
70 voices, conducted by Mr. Seward, accompanied by a band 
of instrumental music. 


"The Rev. Mr. Tin-ner then rose and delivered an oration 
of the merits of which we shall at present forbear to speak, 
as we intend to solicit a copy for publication. 

"At 3 o'clock the company sat down to an excellent dinner, 
prepared by Mr. Casso at the State House, at which Col. Polk 
and Judge Potter presided. 

"The Supreme Court of the State being in session, the 
celebration was honored with the presence of the judges, 
gentlemen of the bar, and many other characters of respect- 
ability from almost every part of the State. 

"In the evening a ball was given to the ladies." 

Where are now the brave fellows who proudly marched 
up Fayetteville street to the glad strains of martial music 
on that 4th of July, nearly one hundred years ago ? Where 
are now the smart young beaux and the smiling belles, who 
thread the happy mazes of the reel and bowed through the 
stately minuet at that gay ball in those halls ? Gone is the 
old State House, gone are they. Where will we be a hundred 
years hence ? 

About 1819 the Governor was authorized to improve the 
State House under the direction of the State Architect. East 
and west porticoes were added, additional elevation was given 
to the walls, and the whole was covered with stucco in the 
imitation of stone. This work was done under the super- 
vision of Wm. ]Srichols, who had recently been appointed 
State Architect, and the work was completed early in the 
summer of 1822. 

On the morning of the 21st of June, 1831, the citizens 
of Raleigh were startled by the cry of fire, and smoke was 
seen to be issuing from the eaves of the Capitol. . It was im- 
possible to stay the flames, or to remove the statue of Wash- 
ington. In a short while the building was a complete wreck. 
Most of the public documents were saved, as the fire worked 
downward from the roof. 

As a description of this fire will doubtless prove interest- 


ing, I give the account which appeared in the Raleigh Reg- 
ister of Thursday, June 23d, 1831: 

"Awful conflagration! It is our painful and melancholy 
duty again to announce to the public another appalling in- 
stance of loss by fire, which will be deeply felt and lamented 
by every individual in our State. It is nothing less than 
the total destruction of the Capitol of the State, located in 
this city. Of that noble edifice, with its splendid decorations, 
nothing now remains but the blackened walls and smoulder- 
ing ruins. The State Library is also entirely consumed, and 
the Statue of \Yashington, that proud monument of national 
gratitude, which was our pride and glory, is so mutilated and 
defaced that none can behold it but with mournful feelings, 
and the conviction involuntarily forces itself upon their 
minds, that the loss is one which can not be repaired. The 
most active exertions were made to rescue this chef d'ouvre 
of Canova from the ravishes of the devouring elements, nor 
were they desisted from until the danger became imminent. 

"The alarm was given about seven o'clock on Tuesday 
morning, and it was presently evident that all attempts to 
extinguish the fire would prove perfectly fruitless. The ef- 
forts of the bystanders were then directed towards the pro- 
tection of the public ofiices on the Square, and the adjacent 
private buildings, and to the preservation of the ofiicial ar- 
chives. We are happy to add that none of the former were 
injured, and that the latter, including the Legislative rec- 
ords, were all saved. The beautiful grove of oaks, of which 
the Capitol was the center ornament, did more towards stay- 
ing the progress of the flames than any human effort, and 
inculcates most forcibly the propriety of cultivating shade 
trees in cities, on the score of security from fire alone, to say 
nothing of other considerations. Seldom has the eye wit- 
nessed so awful a spectacle as this vast building in one con- 
centrated blaze, streaming from every window, and a vast 
column from the roof, forming altogether a scene not ade- 
quately to be described. 


"The origin of the fire is not certainly known, but we be- 
lieve the general impression is, that it was the result of most 
culpable carelessness on the part of a man who had been 
employed to assist in soldering the new zinc roof, as he was 
seen that morning carrying up a coal of fire between two 
shingles considerably ignited, a spark from which, in all 
probability, fell amongst some combustible matter between 
the roof and ceiling, which took fire while the hands were at 

"Considering the rapidity with which the fire progressed 
it is an alleviating circumstance that the public papers were 
all secured. Besides the papers of the Clerks of the two 
houses of the Legislature, and those of the Comptroller and 
of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, the fine copy of Stewart's 
painting of the Father of our Country, and some articles of 
furniture of the Legislative chambers, were preserved from 
the flames. 

"It will be seen from the accompanying resolutions, that 
the congregation and pew-holders of the Presbyterian church, 
with laudable public spirit, have tendered to the Governor 
the use of their buildings for the temporary accommodation 
of the Legislature. 

"Kaleigh, Juis-e 21st, 1831. 

"At a meeting of the congregation and pew-holders of the 
Presbyterian church of this city, the Reverend William ]\Ic- 
Pheeters was called to the chair, and H. M. Miller, Esq., was 
requested to act as secretary. 

"The meeting, taking into consideration the very distress- 
ing calamity with which the city of Ealeigh and the State 
generally has this day been visited, in the destruction by 
fire, of that noble edifice, the State House, which was the 
pride and ornament of the State, adopted unanimously the 
following resolutions : 

"Eesolved, That they do hereby respectfully offer to His 
Excellencv, the Governor of the State of ISTorth Carolina, and 


through him to the General Assembly of the State, this church 
with the Session House thereunto attached, as a temporary 
accommodation for holding the sessions of that honorable 
body until a more convenient and permanent building shall 
be provided. 

"Resolved, That should any alteration in said church be 
deemed advisable for the better accommodation of the mem- 
bers of the Assembly, that they do hereby allow and autho- 
rized said alterations to be made. 

"Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing resolutions, 
sigTied by the Chairman and counter-signed by the Secretary, 
be handed to His Excellency the Governor. 




"We learn also that the use of the Session House of the 
Presbyterian church has been politely offered to the judges 
and bar of the Supreme Court, at present in session, and the 
offer has been thankfully accepted." 

This building had previously narrowly escaped destruc- 
tion by fire. During the administration of Governor Ashe, 
and covering the period of 1796, 1797 and 1798, it was dis- 
covered that numerous frauds had been perpetrated in the 
office of the Secretary of State. James Glasgow, who had 
enjoyed a high reputation, and had the confidence of the 
public, was then the Secretary of State. It was found that 
with the assistance of confederates he had been issuing fraud- 
ulent grants of land in Tennessee and Western ISTorth Caro- 
lina. Certain documents incriminating Glasgow and his con- 
federates were in a trunk or trunks in the Secretary of State's 
office, and Governor Ashe received a confidential message 
from I^ashville warning him of a conspiracy to burn the State 


House in order to destroy tliese papers. After this infornia- 
tion was received a guard Avas kept about the Capitol for the 
next two monthsj but one night when a ball was being given 
at Casso's Hotel to the bridal party shortly after the second 
marriage of the public Treasurer, the festivities were inter- 
rupted by the hasty entrance of a messenger with the infor- 
mation that some one was forcing his way into the win- 
dow of the office where the trunlvS containing the records in 
question w^ere deposited. The man was caught, was ascer- 
tained to be the slave of one of the persons charged with 
fraud, was convicted of burglary and executed. 

After the destruction of the State House, rivalry as to the 
seat of government again broke out. Politicians all over the 
State commenced to manoeuvre with the dual object of ob- 
taining the Capitol for their own community, and at the 
same time advancing their political fortunes. To Judge 
Henry Seawell, Senator from Wake, has generally been given 
the credit of saving the day for Raleigh. It is a matter of 
tradition that the town of Haywood at the junction of the 
Haw and Deep Rivers failed to secure the Capitol by only 
one vote, but this is not borne out by the records, as the 
vote shows that the bill appropriating $50,000 for re-build- 
ing on the old site passed in the House by 73 to 60, and in 
the Senate by 35 to 28. 

The Commissioners selected to have in charge this im- 
portant work were Henry Seawell, Romulus M. Saunders, 
Duncan Cameron, William S. Mhoon and William Boylan. 
All were Raleigh men except William S. Mhoon, who was 
from Bertie, but was at that time residing in Raleigh, as 
State Treasurer. These Commissioners did the very wise 
thing of spending the whole of the small appropriation on 
the foundations. The subsequent General Assemblies had to 
make additional appropriations from time to time, until in 
1840, which year marked the completion of the Capitol, the 
cost had amounted to the not inconsiderable sum of $530,- 


The original Commissioners re-signed in 1836, and were 
succeeded by Samuel F. Patterson, Beverley Daniel, Charles 
Manly, Alfred Jones and Charles L. Hinton. Beverly 
Daniel acted as Chairman of the Commission. 

The work at first was under the supervision of the State 
Architect, William Nichols and I. Town, of ISTew York, but 
David Baton was the draughtsman and may be considered 
the real architect of the noble structure. Stone cutters and 
masons were brought from Scotland to work upon the build- 
ing, and some of Raleigh's most substantial and highly es- 
teemed citizens of to-day are descendants of those who came 
from over the waters for that purpose. The stone was taken 
from a granite quarry southeast of the Capitol, and about 
one mile distant. The stone was conveyed from the quarry 
to the workmen engaged in the erection of the building by 
means of a railroad with horse power. This, the first experi- 
mental railroad ever operated in Korth Carolina, and said to 
have suggested the building of the IsTorth Carolina Railroad, 
according to tradition, was first proposed by Mrs. Polk, the 
wife of Colonel Polk. 

The following is a full and particular description of the 
present Capitol, v^itten by the architect David Baton: 

"The State Capitol is 160 feet in length from north to 
south, by 140 feet from east to west. The whole height is 
97 1-2 feet in the centre. The apex of pediment is 64 feet 
in height. The stylobate is 18 feet in height. The columns 
of the east and west porticoes are 5 feet 2 1-2 inches in diam- 
eter. An entnblature, including blocking course, is continued 
around the building, 12 feet high. 

"The columns and entablature are Grecian Doric, and 
copied from the Temple of Minerva, commonly called the 
Parthenon, which was erected in Athens about 500 years be- 
fore Christ. An octagon tower surrounds the rotunda, which 
is ornamented with Grecian cornice, etc., and its dome is 
decorated ,it top with a similar ornament to that of the 


Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, commonly called the Lan- 
thorn of Demosthenes. 

"The interior of the Capitol is divided into three stories: 

"First, the lower story, consisting of ten rooms, eight of 
which are appropriated as offices to the Governor, Secretary, 
Treasurer and Comptroller, each having two rooms of the 
same size — the one containing an area of 649 square feet, the 
other 528 square feet — the two Committee rooms, each con- 
taining 200 square feet, and four closets ; also the rotunda, 
corridors, vestibules and piazzas, contain an area of 4,370 
square feet. The vestibules are decorated with columns and 
antse, similar to that of the Ionic Temple on the Ilissus, near 
the Acropolis of Athens. The remainder is groined with 
stone and brick, springing from columns and pilasters of the 
Koman Doric. 

"The second story consists of Senatorial and Representa- 
tives' chambers, the former containing an area of 2,545 and 
the latter 2,849 square feet. Four apartments enter from 
Senate chamber, two of which contain each an area of 169 
square feet, and the other two contain each an area of 154 
square feet; also two rooms enter from Representatives' 
chamber, each containing an area of 170 square feet; of two 
Committee rooms, each containing an area of 231 feet; of 
four presses and the passages, stairs, lobbies and colonades, 
containing an area of 3,204 square feet. 

"The lobbies and hall of Representatives have their col- 
umns and antae of the Octagon Tower of Andronicus Cyr- 
rhestes, and the plan of the hall is of the formation of the 
Greek theatre, and the columns and antae in the Senatorial 
chamber and rotunda are of the Temple of Erectheus, Mi- 
nerva Polias and Pandrosus, in the Acropolis of Athens, 
near the above-named Parthenon. 

"Third, or attic story, consists of rooms appropriated to 
the Supreme Court and Library, each containing an area of 
693 square feet. Galleries of both houses have an area of 


1,300 square feet ; also two apartments entering from Senate 
gallery, each 169 square feet, of four presses and the lobbies' 
stairs, 988 square feet. These lobbies, as well as rotunda, 
are lit with cupolas, and it is proposed to finish the Court 
and Library in the florid Gothic style." 

These halls have heard in debate the great men who have 
figured in ISTorth Carolina history for nearly a century — 
Badger, Iredell, Morehead, Graham, Vance — but why call 
the roll of the mighty host ! Their voices are hushed forever 
to our earthly ears, but as we stand where they once stood 
we can not but feel a vibrant inspiration from the atmos- 
phere which once sounded their words of counsel and re- 
sounded with the people's applause. This building is hal- 
lowed by memories of our illustrious dead — the very stones 
are sacred. It stands a beautiful monument of the past and 
the present, linking one generation with another. Leave us 
our Capitol as it is ! Let no vandal hand touch it ! The ad- 
ditional room needed for State offices can be supplied by ac- 
quiring property facing upon the square, and erecting perma- 
nent buildings thereon of a character in harmony with the 
Capitol itself. Let the Executive, Treasury, and other ofii- 
ces be arranged in these buildings, which could be made 
fire-proof as well as comfortable, and leave for the Legisla- 
ture and its committees the grand old structure in its solid 
majesty, and with its historic memories unmarred by change. 
We would indeed then have a Capitol and State buildings 
of which every ISTorth Carolinian might be proud. 

Ealeigh, K C, August 15th, 1905. 




In writing of Colonial ISTorth Carolina I can not do a bet- 
ter service than to present bare facts with sources of infor- 
mation rather than give an expression of my views and con- 
clusions as to social conditions in our province before 1750. 
Before the middle of the eighteenth century we had no press 
and the world heard of us only from the print of the out- 
sider who, from jealousy, ignorance or prejudice, did not do 
us justice. Having no historian of our oAvn in Colonial times, 
our writers have relied as an authority upon Chalmers, whose 
every chapter was a continued vituperation or misrepresenta- 
tion of our State. George Chalmers was born in Scotland, 
in 1742, and "emigrated to Maryland where he practiced 
law for ten years, till the troubles of the Revolution began, 
and then he returned to England." He was a bitter loyalist 
who had no patience with the spirit of American indepen- 
dence. The first of his historical works was published in 
1781 during the Revolutionary War. 

Of our history Col. Saunders says: "The first search 
made in London for information in regard to North Caro- 
lina affairs was doubtless that made by the historian George 
Chalmers, who, in 1780, published his Political Annals of 
the Present United Colonies, the fruit of his labors in the 
British Record Office to which the official position he held 
gave him access. This volume has been the standard au- 
thority with all later Carolina historians. Its general ac- 
curacy as to matters of fact is by no means perfect, and Mr. 


Chalmers' bitter prejudices as a loyalist render his conclu- 
sions utterly unreliable. 

At a later date the historian Williamson, who desired 
copies of certain papers in London relating to Carolina, 
hoped that Mr. Chalmers would furnish him therewith or 
assist him in obtaining them. Mr. Chalmers would do 
neither and threatened to interfere if application should 
be made to the head of the proper department." 

Let us glance at some of the writings of this "Standard 
authority with all later ]*^orth Carolina historians" and com- 
pare them with the pages of Bancroft. 

Of this colony just before the Culpeper rebellion Chalmers 

"Originally a sprout from Virginia, the unprosperous 
plantation of ISTorth Carolina naturally produced the same 
unpleasant fruits, during that boisterous season. Alteration 
of system, no less than change of governors had long pre- 
vented the revolt of a colony, which, in 1675, contained only 
four thousand inhabitants, who derived, unhappily, no bene- 
fit from the coercion of laws or the influences of religion." a 

Of this same period Bancroft says: 

"The government had for about a year been left in what 
Royalists called ^111 order and worse hands.' That is, it had 
been a government of the people themselves, favoring popular 
liberty, even to the protection of the friends of Colonial In- 
dependence." h 

Chalmers writes again : 

"ISTorth Carolina enjoyed unusual quiet for some time 
after the expulsion of Sothell, because continued anarchy 
often prompts a desire for fixed repose. * * * The 
most inconsiderable community of JSTorth Carolina has never 
relinquished the flattering gratifications of self-rule, even 
when they were inconvenient. Having refused to join in 

aCbal., p. 166. 

6 Ban., Vol. 2, p. 157. 


legislation with their Southern neighbors, the inhabitants 
were delivered over to their discontents; having denied sub- 
mission to the Deputy-Governor sent them from Charleston, 
the proprietaries seem in despair to have relinquished them 
to their own management, in 1695, without inquiring for 
seven years after, whether they prospered or declined." a 

In contrast to the above Bancroft writes : 

"Here was a double grief to the proprietaries; the 
rapacity of Sothell was a breach of trust; the judgment 
of the Assembly an ominous usurpation. * * * The 
planters of JSTorth Carolina recovered tranquility so soon as 
they escaped the misrule from abroad, and sure of am- 
nesty, esteemed themselves the happiest people on earth. 
They loved the pure air and clear skies of their 'summer 
land.'" * * * 

"The planters of Albemarle were men who had been led 
to the choice of their residence from a hatred of restraint, 
and had lost themselves among the woods in search of inde- 
pendence. Are there any who doubt man's capacity for self- 
government, let them study the history of IS'orth Carolina; 
its inhabitants were restless and turbulent in their imperfect 
submission to a government imposed on them from abroad; 
the administration of the colony was firm, humane and tran- 
quil when they were left to take care of themselves. Any 
government, but one of their own institution, was oppres- 
sive. * * * ISTorth Carolina was settled by the freest 
of the free ; by men to whom the restraints of other colonies 
were too severe. But the settlers were gentle in their temp- 
ers, of serene minds, enemies to violence and blood-shed. 
* * * Freedom, entire freedom, was enjoyed without 
anxiety as without guarantees ; the charities of life were scat- 
tered at their feet, like the flowers in their meadows; and 
the spirit of humanity maintained its influence in the Ar- 

a Chalmers, pp. 264, 399. 


cadia, as Eovalist writers will have it, of 'rogues and rebels' 
in the paradise of Quakers." a 

After a half page of sneers at ISTorth Carolina to cover a 
period of her history, he, Chalmers, ends a chapter thus: 

"And this wretched province was continually branded as 
the general receptacle of the fugitive, the smuggler and the 
pirate ; as a community, destitute of religion to meliorate the 
heart, or of laws to direct the purpose of the will. * * * 
In JSTorth Carolina disorder is said to have continued its 
natural progress from the epoch of its settlement to the ac- 
cession of George the Second. Destitute of the kindly in- 
fluences of religion and of law, the planters acquired peculiar 
habits from acting a singular part amidst perpetual tumult. 
* * * Owing to his usual inattention, the Duke of ISTew- 
castle sent Burrington, a man still more weak and corrupt, 
and intemperate than his predecessor to rule such a people 
during such a season. * * * In April, 1733, Johnston, 
a domestic of Lord Wilmington, was appointed his succes- 
sor, a man of sufficient knowledge and prudence, but whose 
experience degenerated a little into cunning. * * * 
And during the year 1749 ISTorth Carolina was found to 'be 
a little better than an asylum for fugitives since it was desti- 
tute of any regular government.' Such are the unpleasant 
incidents which occupy the story of an inconsiderable set- 
tlement, that gradually filled with people as the law offered 
protection to the vagabond, as every one lived without con- 
trol, and all enjoyed in security what a trivial labor had 
gained." h 

While the ISTorth Carolina patriots were blazing the way 
for American independence, and a year or two before their 
armed resistance to Great Britain, this man Chalmers, who 
for a century was accepted as authority on our Colonial his- 
tory, dismisses us from history in these words : 

"The story of this tumultous settlement is from this period 
filled with nothing but the play of parties, the wailings of 
imbecility and the complaint of recrimination." c 

a Ban., Vol. 2, pp. 158, 164, 165. 

6 Chalmers, Vol. 2, pp. 81, 163, 164, 165 and 197. 

cChal., Vol. 2, p. 361. 


In the earliest time of our colonization, because we gave 
protection to the defeated patriot followers of Bacon, Gov. 
Berkeley in his murderous wrath slandered and maligned us. 

In the settlement of our northern boundary line, because 
we could not be outwitted or cajoled. Col. Byrd ridiculed us, 
and the people who were esteemed as Virginians, when they 
were found to reside on the south of the boundary line, were 
aspersed as North Carolinians. * 

When ISTorth Carolina spent her blood and treasure in the 
defence of other colonies especially Virginia, in the war 
against the French and Indians on the Ohio, Sparks, writing 
of the Commander-in-Chief, James Innes, and his Carolin- 
ians, gravely and seriously remarks: "But, aside from the 
incompetency of this officer, he was an inhabitant of I^orth 
Carolina, and, as such, unacceptable to the Virginia troops" a 

"111 fares it with a State whose history is written by others 
than her own sons !" 

For a century and a half no native Carolinian attempted 
to tell the story of his people — we had neither pen nor type 
to speak for us. Printing was introduced into ISTorth Caro- 
lina by James Davis in 1749. Previous to that time our 
printing was done in London, in Virginia and at Charleston. 

The first newspaper we had was in 1Y64 — The ISTorth Car- 
olina Magazine and Universal Intelligencer, published by 
James Davis, "on a demi-sheet in quarto pages, but it was 

a The Writings of Washington, Vol. 2, p. 262 note. 

* Note. — Col. Byrd, in spite of his ridicule of onr people, seemed to 
think well of our soil and climate, as he wrote Gov. Burrington in 
1731 : "It must be owned North Carolina is a very happy country 
where people may live with the least labor that thev can in any part 
of the world." C. R.. Vol. 3, p. 194. 

In 3733 he secured twenty thousand acres of land in North Caro- 
lina on the Virginia line of which he writes as "the Land of Eden." 
Gen. Jas. D. Glenn and Hon. R. B. Glenn now own three thousand 
acres of this same tract — Gov. Glenn informs me that a beech tree, 
one of the original corners of the Byrd survey is still standing with 
the initials of Col. Byrd cut thereon. This tree is one of the corners 
of the Glenn estate, and is now fenced and carefully protected from 


filled Avith long extracts from the works of theological writers, 
or selections from British magazines." a * 

Our first newspaper controversy of which I find record was 
in 1732, when Gov. George Burrington published a procla- 
mation in Timothy's Southern Gazette in regard to our 
southern boundary line, and Gov. Johnston replied with a 
counter proclamation, setting forth South Carolina's claim 
in the same issue." b 

^'The second newspaper in IN^orth Carolina was called the 
ISTorth Carolina Gazette and Weekly Post Boy. It was 
printed at Wilmington, by Andrew Stewart, a Scotchman, 
and contained intelligence of current events. The first num- 
ber was published in September, 1764. The Cape Fear Mer- 
cury was established by Adam Boyd in October, 1767. Boyd 
was a zealous patriot, and was an active member of the Com- 
mittee of Safety of Wilmington." c 

In the space of an article of this nature it will be impos- 
sible to attempt a portrayal of conditions in ISTorth Carolina 
in the colonial period, so I will give some notes on ISTorth 
Carolina before the middle of the eighteenth century, when, 
with the fall of the fortunes of the house of Stuart, that great 
immigration set in that brought many thousands of Scot- 
land's best people to us. This immigration made ISTorth 
Carolina second in growth and development to no province 

a Lossing. 

6 Saunders, P. N., Vol. 5, 36 ; C. R., Vol. 5, 373. 

c Lossing. 

* Note. — The first newspaper in America was at Boston in 1704 
called the Boston News-Letter, a weekly gazette by Bartholomew 
Green ; Holmes' Annals, Vol. 1, p. 490, and until 1719 this was the 
only paper printed in the British North American Colonies. Printing 
was first introduced into Virginia by William Parks in 1726. Holmes' 
Annals, Vol. 1, p. 539. The first paper published in Virginia was 
issued "at Williamsburg in 1736, a sheet about twelve inches by six 
in size. It was printed weekly by William Parks, at fifteen shillings 
per annum. No other paper was published in Virginia until the 
Stamp Act excitement in 1765-6." Lossing. A printing house was 
opened in Charleston by Bleazer Phillips, in 1730, who died the fol- 
lowing year. Thomas Whitemarsh arrived soon after with a press 
and began the publication of a newspaper, the first printed in the 
Carolinas. Holmes' Annals. 


in America. It is unfortuiiate that we had no contemporary 
chronicler to draw a true picture of the social and industrial 
conditions of those times — the home-life of our people. 

The absence of cities, which are usually the literary cen- 
ters, and want of known depositories where records could be 
collected and preserved, has permitted the destruction of 
most of the literature, papers and personal correspondence 
of our early colonial times. This absence is accounted for 
by an historian as follows : 

"JSTor are the towns of any considerable note. This last 
circumstance is owing to the vast commodiousness of water 
carriage, which everywhere presents itself to the plantations 
of private planters, and scarcity of handicraft." a 

Such papers and records as have been preserved throw 
more light upon the public and political questions of the day 
than upon the personal, social and industrial life of the early 
Carolinian. Probably the richest sources from which to 
gather information of the social life of that day are the 
wills and inventories filed in the office of the Secretary of 
State. This is a field of exploration that will yet bring out 
much truth and make a fair presentation of our social con- 
ditions of which we will not be ashamed. ITorth Carolina 
authors have relied for the picture of the home-life of our 
people largely upon the writers in other colonies, who have 
denied us justice, and in some cases seemed to feel it neces- 
sary to bolster the glories of their own colonies by disparag- 
ing l^orth Carolina and making comparison therewith. 

I do not intend to exaggerate the virtues and excellencies 
of our colonists, but will try to give a brief view of our 
province, relying on the cotemporary records, and wherever 
possible, quote the words of the writers which paint her 
just as she was, "warts and all." 

It is admitted that the physical conditions of a country 
largely determine the character, industry and habits of its 

a Holmes' Annals, Vol. 2, p. 117. 


people. Under the second charter of Charles II, Carolina 
embraced over a million square miles. It included all the 
land on the American Continent between 29 and 36 degrees 
30 minutes JSTorth latitude. The northern boundary line be- 
came the line of the famous Missouri Compromise. After 
the separation of ISTorth Carolina and South Carolina, the 
northern colony was confined to the territory between 34 
degrees and 36.30 INT. latitude. This is the choicest belt of 
the temperate zone. The greatest nations of the earth have 
been the product of this latitude. In this paper we will have 
reference only to that part of ISTorth Carolina lying on the 
seaboard and watered by the Chowan, Roanoke, ilSTeuse and 
Cape Fear rivers, being the only part that was settled during 
the period under consideration. The coastal plain region 
of IsTorth Carolina lies in "the same parallel of latitude as 
the central Mediterranean basin, that climatically most fav- 
ored region of the globe, "a 

Dr. Emmons says "middle and Eastern ]l!^orth Carolina cor- 
respond to middle and Southern France, and Western ISTorth 
Carolina to ISTorthern France and Belgium — all the climates 
of Italy from Palermo to Milan and Venice are represented." 

The soil of Eastern ISTorth Carolina in variety and fer- 
tility is unsurpassed, ranging from the black or sandy loam 
to the most retentive clays — our rich swamp soils show "a 
greater capacity for endurance than the prairie soils of Illi- 
nois." h 

For agricultural and stock-raising advantages, the climatic 
and soil conditions in tide-water ISTorth Carolina are un- 
equalled. With a mean temperature of 61 degrees Fahren- 
heit, and a precipitation of 55 inches, everything can be 
raised that can be grovtoi in the N^orth temperate zone. So 
varied are her agricultural products that ISTorth Carolina is 
the only State that fills every divisional column of the cen- 

o North Carolina and its Resources. 
6 Dr. Emmons. 


sus reports. One viewing the State with a critic's eje must 
exclaim with Hon. W. D. Kelly, of Pennsylvania, ''North 
Carolina is the fairest portion of God's earth on which my 
feet have ever rested." a 

In Barlowe's account of his first voyage to ISTorth Carolina 
he says : "The soil is the most plentiful, sweet, fruitful and 
wholesome of all the world." 

Kobert Home, writing in 1664 of the Cape Fear Country, 
says : h 

"Is there therefore any younger brother who is born of 
gentle blood and whose spirit is elevated above the common 
sort, and yet the hard usage of our country hath not allowed 
a suitable fortune ? He will not surely be afraid to leave 
his native soil to advance his fortunes equal to his blood and 
spirit, and so he will avoid those unlawful ways too many 
of our young gentlemen take to maintain themselves accord- 
ing to their high education, having but small estates ; here, 
with a few servants and a small stock, a great estate may be 
raised, although his birth has not entitled him to any of the 
land of his ancestors, yet his industry may supply him so 
as to make him the head of as famous a family. Such as 
are here tormented with much care how to gain a comfort- 
able livelihood, or that with their labor can hardly get a 
suitable subsistence, shall do well to go to this place, where 
any man whatever, that is but willing to take moderate pains, 
may be assured of a most comfortable subsistence, and be in 
a way to raise his fortunes far beyond what he could ever 
hope for in England. Let no man be troubled at the thought 
of being a servant four or five years, for I can assure you 
that many men give money with their children to serve seven 
years, to take more pains and fare nothing so well as the 
servants on this plantation will do. Then it is to be con- 
sidered that so soon as he is out of his time he has land and 

a North Carolina and its Resources. 
6 Hawks, Vol. 2, p. 41. 


tools, and clothes given him, and is in a way of advance- 
ment. Therefore all artificers — as carpenters, wheelwrights, 
joiners, coopers, bricklayers, smiths, or diligent husbandmen 
and laborers, that are willing to advance their fortunes, and 
live in a most pleasant, healthful and fruitful country, where 
artificers are of high esteem, and used with all civility and 
courtesy imaginable may take notice." 

Lawson tells us that in 1700 an extensive traveller assured 
him that Carolina was the best country he could go to. 

In writing of ISTorth Carolina Lawson says : 

"A second Settlement of this Country was made about fifty 
Years ago, in that part we now call Albemarl-Country, and 
chiefly in Chuwon Precinct, by several substantial Planters 
from Virginia and other Plantations; Who, finding mild 
Winters and fertile Soil beyond Expectation, producing every- 
thing that was planted to a prodigious Increase ; their Cattle, 
Horses, Sheep and Swine, breeding very fast, and passing the 
Winters without any Assistance from the Planter; so that 
everything seemed to come by Nature, the Husbandman liv- 
ing almost void of Care, and free from those fatigues which 
are absolutely requisite in Winter-Countries. * * * 
ISTevertheless, I say, the Fame of this new-discovered summer 
country spread thro' the neighboring Colonies, and, in a few 
Years, drew a considerable ISTumber of Families thereto, who 
all found Land enough to settle themselves in (had there 
been many Thousand more), and that which was very good 
and commodiously seated, both for Profit and Pleasure. And, 
indeed, most of the Plantations in Carolina, naturally enjoy 
a noble Prospect of large and spacious Rivers, pleasant 
Savannas and fine meadows." * * * 

"The Planters possessing all these Blessings and the Pro- 
duce of great Quantities of Wheat and Indian Corn, in which 
this Country is very fruitful as likewise in Beef, Pork, Tal- 
low, Hides, Deer-Skins and Furs; For these Commodities the 
]N'ew-England-Men and Bermudians visited Carolina in their 


Barks and Sloops, and carry'd out what they made, bringing 
them in Exchange Rum, Sugar, Salt, Molasses and some 
wearing Apj)arel, tho' the last at very extravagant prices." 
* * * "The inhabitants of Carolina, thro' the richness 
of the Soil live an easy and pleasant life. * * * The 
country in general affords pleasant Seats, the Land (except in 
some few places) being dry and, high banks, parcell'd out 
into most convenient Necks (by the Creeks), easy to be 
fenced in for securing their Stocks to more strict Boun- 
daries whereby, with a small trouble of fencing, almost every 
Man may enjoy, to himself, an entire Plantation, or rather 
Park." * * * <'^g ii^Q land is very fruitful, so are the 
Planters hospitable to all that come to visit them ; there being 
very few housekeepers but what live very nobly and give 
away more Provisions to Coasters and Guests who come 
to see them, than they expend among their own Families." a 

"Carolina was settled under the auspices of the wealthiest 
and most influential nobility, and its fundamental laws were 
framed with forethought by the most sagacious politician 
and the most profound philosopher of England." Later, 
"the colonists repudiated the Constitutions of Carolina," 
adopting only those parts most suited to their needs, h 

The early settlers of JSTorth Carolina were English, from 
Virginia, ISTew England and Old England and Barbadoes ; 
French Huguenots and German Palatines. The English set- 
tled in Albemarle and Bath counties ; the French on Pamlico, 
ISTeuse and Trent Rivers in Bath, and the Germans on IsTeuse 
and Trent. The Barbadians who first settled at Cape Fear did 
not follow Yeamans to South Carolina. They went up to the 
Albemarle settlement and to IS^ansemond County, in Virginia, 
in part, and in part to Boston. In this fact is to be found an 
easy explanation of the increase at this time in Albemarle 
both from 'New England and from Barbadoes. c 

a Lawson, pp. 63. 64. 

ft Bancroft, Vol. 2, p. 128. 

oS. P. N., Vol. 1, p. 10. 


Those in New England kept up their relations with 
their kinsmen in ISTorth Carolina. The 'New Eng- 
land skipper and trader practically controlled the com- 
merce of this province by exchanging their manufactures 
for our produce. There was increasing immigration from 
JSTew England to ISTorth Carolina which continued until the 
Civil War of 1861. 

In 1700 there were only about five thousand people in the 
province — at the beginning of the Tuscarora War there were 
ten or eleven thousand inhabitants. Bath County was the 
seat of this war. This county embraced PamjDticough, Wick- 
ham and Archdale precincts, and extended into the wilder- 
ness on the South and West. Pampticough and Wickham 
precincts covered the territory between the Koanoke and 
Pamlico Rivers. Archdale precinct claimed the land between 
Pamlico and ISTeuse rivers, and also the jSTeuse settlements 
on both sides K'euse River, a These precincts are now Beau- 
fort, Hyde and Craven Counties. 

At the time of the Tuscarora war the white settlers were 
fringed along the coast and the Indians occupied all other 
lands. Chocowinity was the frontier, and tradition says that 
on the morning of the Indian massacre John Porter's house 
at Chocowinity was the first to be fired. On the Roanoke 
were the forts of the Cheeweo and Resootska. On the Tar 
near the present town of Washington, was I^akay — there was 
also a fort just about two miles above Bear Creek, on what 
is still known as Indian Port branch on Grimesland planta- 
tion. * 

a C. R. Vol. 1, p. 629. 

* Note. — A field of about ten acres cleared by the Indians on Indian 
Fort Branch in the west corner of a seventy -five-acre field (Pridgen 
cut) is still in cultivation. 


Further up the Tar about two or three miles below the 
present town of Greenville was King Blount's town, Uco- 
hnerunt. On the Contentnea were Conneghta, Tahunta and 
Hookerooka Forts and Hancock's town. a. To the South 
and West was the unknown wilderness and the Indian towns 
of Keeouwee (old town) Totero Fort, Uharee, Acconee- 
chj, etc. * 

After the war most of the Tuscaroras went to their kin- 
dred in ISTew York. King Blount and his people were given 
a reservation between Tar and Neuse River, but were soon 
moved at his own request to lands on Roanoke River where 
fifty-three thousand (53,000) acres were given them in Ber- 
tie County, and a fort was built for their defence from 
enemy Indians, h Here they lived under their Kings, Tom 
Blount and his son, James Blount, many years. They were 
afterwards joined by the Supponees and the Chowans. c 

a See map Eman. Bowen. 

b <1 R., Vol. 2, pp. 283, 484, 496. 

c C. R., Vol. 3, p. 538. 

* Note. — lu the preliminary articles of peace signed November 
25th, 1712, between Major General Thomas Pollock for the colonists 
and Tom Blount, Saroonha Hounthanohnoh, Chaunthorunthoo, Ne- 
woonttootsery and Herunttocken for a number of Indian towns, it 
was agreed among other things : "Imprimis, The af sd great men 
Doe hereby Covenant & agree to & with ye said presidt & Councill 
that they shall and will, with ye utmost expedition & Dilligence, 
make Warr agt. all ye Indyans belonging to ye Townes or Nations 
of Catechny, Cores, Nuse & Bare River and pamptico, and that they 
shall not nor will not give any Quarter to any male Indyan of those 
Towns or Nations above ye Age of fourteen yeares, and also that 
they shall & will sell off & dispose of all ye males under that age. 
And that further, after they shall have destroy'd those townes or 
soe soone as this Governm't shall think proper to require it the said 
great men doe hereby promise to Join ye English with Soe menny Men 
as may be thought proper to destroy & cutt off all ye Matchepungo 
Indyans. * * * 

4thly.— It is hereby farther Agreed by ye Great Men af-sd that 
these Severall Townes of Tostehant, Rauroota, Tarhuntah, Keutah, 
Toherooka, Juninits & Caunookehee, nor any of ye Indyans belonging 
to thein or either of them, shall not nor will not Hunt nor rainge 
among ye English plantations nor Stocks without leave, nor then 
above ye number of three at one tyme, neither shall they Claime any 
property in ye lands on ye South Side of Nuse called Chatookae 
River, nor below Catachney Creek on Nuse, nor below Bare Creek 
ate not-sha-hun-han-rough on ye Noth (south) side of pamptico 
river." See original treaty framed in State Hall of History. 


These Indians also removed to New York, but they held 
their lands on the Roanoke and collected rents for them well 
on into the nineteenth century. 

The Indians remaining in the province about 1Y30, through 
their Chiefs, King Tom Blount, of the Tuscaroras; King 
Hoyter, of the Chowans, and King Durant, of the Yawpims, 
paid a yearly tribute to the Governor, h 

The Tuscarora war and the hardships following caused 
many people to leave the province, but this war was a bless- 
ing in disguise. As soon as the Indian troubles were finally 
disposed of, settlers sought the desirable lands higher up on 
the Roanoke, Tar and IN^euse Rivers and their tributaries. 
In a few years settlements were begun on the Cape Fear. 
In the war we were aided by South Carolina and some of 
her leading citizens were so favorably impressed with our 
country that many of them and their friends soon moved 

From a population of eleven thousand two hundred (seven 
thousand five hundred white, three thousand seven hundred 
negro) in 1715 c just after the Indian war the 
province of ISTorth Carolina had grown to thirty-six thousand, 
in 1Y30 at the end of the Proprietary period. From that 
time until the Revolution probably no province in America 
grew faster in wealth and population. In 1752 our popula- 
tion was ninety thousand d^ seventy thousand white, twenty 
thousand negro, having been tripled in twenty years. 

The Indian captives, more than six hundred, taken by 
Cols. Barnwell and Moore and their soldiers and ally In- 
dians, were sent to South Carolina as slaves. Those taken 
by our people were sold into slavery in the West Indies or 
kept in bondage here. An Indian slave was valued at about 
£10, and was generally sold away from home. ITegroes 

6 C. R., Vol. 4, pp. 34, 446. 

c Clialmei;s. 

d S. P. N., Vol. 4, 22. 


commanded higher prices as they were niore docile and ca- 
pable of greater labor. 

In the Indian war our ally Indians were offered "a reward 
of six blanlvcts for the head of each man of the said Indians 
killed by the (friendly) Tuscaroras, and the usual price of 
slaves for each woman and child delivered captives." a 
The white people after capturing Indians sometimes 
indulged in barbarities, as DeGraffenreid gives us an account 
of the roasting of an Indian King in 1711. & 

Even as late as 1760 a law was passed making Indian 
captives slaves and "the absolute right and property of who 
shall be the captor of such Indian," and ten pounds was 
given for an Indan scalp taken by a citizen, and five pounds 
was given for a scalp captured by a solider. To some of 
our people it seemed profitable for the Indians to raise dis- 
turbances, but this province was never directly charged with 
inciting them to war for sinister purposes. Of one of 
our neighbors an historian says : "This province long con- 
tinued 'that barbarous practice' which was then introduced 
(1680) of promoting Indian hostility that they might gain 
by the traffic of Indian slaves." c 

"The moving causes of immigration to Albemarle were its 
delightful climate, magnificent bottom lands and bountiful 
products." d 

Land-holding gave dignity and importance. The large 
land-holders, then as now, wielded great influence in their 
communities. They were the aristocracy of the country and 
the governing classes ; their sons inheriting prestige and 
leadership with their estates. 

Many of the early settlers came from other colonies for 
the rich lands along our river bottoms, which were found to 
be cheap, fertile and abundant. These "river plantations" 

aQ. R., Vol. 1, p. 15. 
bC. R., Vol. 1, p. 946. 
c Chalmers, Vol. 2, p. 172. 
d Saundei's. 


of l^orth Carolina and the South were to become famous all 
over the world. Land could be easily secured. A planter 
starting life with modest beginnings would, by the productive- 
ness of this soil and the natural fruitfulness of his slaves, 
horses, cattle and hogs, die rich in old age. 

Brickell, who for awhile lived at Edenton, writing about 
1735 says the Albemarle Country was settled by "Persons 
from Virginia and other N^orthern Colonies who, finding the 
Soil so very good and fertile, settled here, and are become 
very ISTumerous and Rich; for the lands here produce every- 
thing Planted in them in great abundance. Horses, Cows, 
Sheep and Swine breeding in vast numbers, the winter being 
very short, and that so mild that the Planters are at little or 
no Labour or Expense in providing Fodder for their Stock 
to what other jSTortherly Countries are." a 

Among the planters were gentry who lived as much like 
their relations in England and Scotland as conditions in a 
sparsely settled country would admit. Some of the early 
planters came here in ofiicial positions as deputies of the 
Lords Proprietors, bringing with them their friends, retain- 
ers and tenants. With the various governors came their 
kinsmen, supporters and adherents. An examination of the 
wills in the ofiice of the Secretary of State will show from 
the signatures with seals bearing imprinted theron crests 
and coats of arms of signers, that many of the leading men 
of Carolina belonged to the gentry of England and Scot- 
land. Many of them were highly educated and classical 
scholars of great learning. The drafts of old laws, state 
papers, wills and letters of that day will, in phraseology 
and elegance of diction, compare most favorably with the 
productions of the best scholars of to-day. 

At the close of the Proprietary period, it may not be far 
wrong to suggest that the per cent of highly educated and 
leading men in the colony in proportion to population (which 

ffl Brickell, p. 9. 


was thirty-five thousand) was as great as it is in jSTorth 
Carolina to-day, but the masses for many years had little 
opportunity for education. 

Of the great families of the province at that time, during 
the second quarter of the eighteenth century, may be men- 
tioned the Swanns, Porters, Gales, Moseleys, Moores, Pol- 
locks, Vails, Blounts, Bryans, Maules, Ashes, Johnstons, 
Herritages and others. It is safe to say that in honor, char- 
acter, virtue and accomplishments, they were not excelled 
by any families on the American continent. They were 
people of education, refinement, culture and abundance. 
Without great wealth they lived in comfort and plenty. With 
lands, slaves, books, plate, horses and carriages they were 
leaders in a social life that rivaled the best in the adjoining 

The early settlers took up the choicest lands on the rivers 
to sucli an extent that laws were passed to prevent the entering 
of too much land on the rivers to the exclusion of other set- 
tlers. In laying out the lands the enterer was at first al- 
lowed to take up 640 acres or a square mile in one tract 
on the river, a, but the act further provided that 
the surveyor should not "lay out two several tracts 
of land for any one person within two miles at 
least of each other, unless by particular warrant from the 
Lords Proprietors for that purpose." It must have been 
easy to obtain this "particular warrant from the Lords Pro- 
prietors for that purpose," or the law was not strictly ob- 
served, as we find many men in the province owning large 
bodies of land before l^orth Carolina became a Royal 
Province. Of the large landed proprietors, some of them 
owning as much as fifty thousand acres, may be mentioned 
George Burrington, Frederick Jones, Roger Moore, Edward 
Moseley, Maurice Moore, John Lovick, William Maule, Dr. 
Patrick Maule, Seth Sothell, Robert Forster, Martin Franks, 

a Chap. 33, Sec. 4, Laws 1715. 


Christopher Gale, John Porter, Thomas Pollock, Cullen Pol- 
lock, William Stephenson, John Baptista Ashe and others. * 
To prevent non-residents entering land for speculation, one 
was required to have resided in the province for two years 
before they could sell their rights and lands, a All 
persons entering land were required to pay on the 
29th of September one shilling for every fifty acres as 
quit rents, and were to be allowed three years to seat and 
plant, and the patentee was required to build a habitable 
house and to clear and fence and plant at least one (1) acre 
of land within the time limited, h In the Coun- 
cil Journal March 31, 1726, we read: "Por saving 
of lands for the future, every house shall be fifteen foot long, 
ten Broad, Made tight and habitable of Clapboards or Loggs 
squared, with a roof and chimney-place and a Door-place 
The whole acre cleared well, the major part of it broke up 
and planted with either fruite, trees or grain." c 
The large land-owners probably built one or two 
log houses on each tract of land, and placed thereon an over- 
seer with several slaves. The overseers were frequently in- 
dentured servants in bond or those who had served their term 
and were in the employment of their former masters. They 
were sometimes hired for wages, but often for a part of the 
produce of the land. The customary wages being "for which 
Service he is allowed every seventh Calfe, seventh Pole and 
half of all young hogs that are bred during his stewardship, 

a Laws 1715, C. 2. 

6 Laws 1715, Ch. 26. 

cG. R., Vol. 2, p. 607. 

* Note. — Bernheim, Vann and other writers say Martin Franks 
came to North Carolina in 1732. This is an error. He was treasurer 
of Craven precinct before that time (Page manuscript laws, in 
Everard's time) and was one of the signers of a petition in 1711-12. 
(Hawks.) In Grant records, Book 2, page 254, is recorded, Apr. 
14, 1730, a grant in Craven Precinct, Bath County, to Martin Franks 
for Ten thousand one hundred and seventy-five (10,175) acres. The 
grant recites that "All of which land was granted to the sd Martin 
Frank by a warrant dated June 15th, 1711." 


and likewise the seventh part of all sorts of grain and to- 
bacco that is produced on the said plantation, "a 

* The slaves also made tar and turpentine in the spring and 
summer season, clearing land in the fall and winter ; the 
women and children worked the corn raising sufficient for 
the men and animals. 

During the wars between England and France, the Swedish 
merchants, who controlled the naval stores trade of the world, 
put the price of tar to such an extortionate figure that Eng- 
land gave bounties to her colonists to produce it. ** About 
1Y04, jSTorth Carolina commenced its production, and for two 
hundred years it has been one of the chief products of the 
State. In the year 1753 North Carolina exported 61,528 
barrels of tar; 12,052 do. of pitch; 10,429 do. turpentine, 
762,000 staves; 61,580 bus. corn, 100 (?) hhds. tobacco, and 
about 30,000 deer skins, besides lumber and other commodi- 
ties. In 1708 the exports from all America was 6,089 bar- 
rels of pitch and tar to England, h 

aBriekell, p. 269. 
1) Chalmers. 

* XoTE.- — In Cnrroll's Historical Collections of South Carolina, Vol. 
2, p. 201, we are told that overseers, when hired for wages, were 
pnid fifteen to forty pounds per annum, and laborers from one shill- 
ing and three pence to two shillings a day "with Lodging and Diet." 

* * * 

** The following is taken from the English Statutes at Large, Vol. 4, 

"Chap. X. 1704— 

** The following is taken from the English Statutes at Large, Vol. 4, 
Majesty's plantations in America. 

* * * any of the naval stores hereafter mentioned, shall have 
anrl e^^iov. ns a Reward or Praeraium for such Importation, after 
and according to the several rates for such Naval Stores as fol- 
lo"'«, vi'^ : 

II. For good and mei'chantahle Tar per Tun, containing eight 
Barrels. ,ind each Barrel to gage thirty-one Gallons and an half, 
FoTir Pounds. 

For good and merchantable Pitch per Tun, each Tun containing 
twenty Gross hundreds (Net Pitch) to be brought in eight barrels, 
four Pounds. 

For good and merchantable Rozin or Turpentine per Tun, each 
Tun contnining twenty Gross hundred (Net Rozin or Turpentine) to 
be brought in ei^ht Barrels, three Pounds. 

For TTemp. Water rotted, bright and clean, per Tun, each Tun 
contnining twenty Gross hundreds, six Pounds. 

For all Masts. Yards and Bowsprits, per Tun, allowing forty Foot 
to each Tun. Girt measure, according to the customary way of 
measuring round bodies, one Found. 

This Act was later repealed.) 


Every planter of ordinary thrift soon became independent. 
In the most primitive period of our history the first houses 
of the planters were built of logs. The house was of notched 
logs and was probably such as is seen in many sections of 
the State to-day. Between the logs were fastened split poles 
which were chinked with mud. The chimneys were mostly 
wooden, the base, body and brast of chimney being logged 
up to the funnel, after which a square pen or stack of sticks 
was made and daubed inside and out with clay to cement 
together and to protect from burning. The inside of the 
fire-place was covered with mud in the same way. Lumber 
was scarce and expensive, and such as they had was sawed 
by hand in saw-pits or imported from Boston, a It was prob- 
ably about 1730, before saw mills made their appearance in 
JSTorth Carolina, h Just before 1750 these mills sawed about 
150,000 feet a year. 

Col. Byrd, in his "History of the Dividing Line," c says : 
"Most of the houses in this part of the Country are log 
houses, covered with Pine or Cypress shingles three feet 
long and one broad. They are hung upon laths with Peggs, 
and their doors too turn upon Wooden Hinges, and have 
Wooden Locks to secure them, so that the Building is finisht 
without nails or other iron work." 

It may be interesting to note what was regarded as a 
habitable house as shown by the size of houses required to be 
built in the various towns within eighteen months or two 
years after purchasing lots. Pollock in 1720 required that 
the houses built on lots in iN'ew Bern (which town he owned) 
should be "not less than Fifteen Foot square." d As 
late as 1756, eighteen months' time was given for 
building on lots taken up, and a habitable house of sixteen 

a Thomas Pollock's Will. 

6 C. R., Vol. 3, pp. 427, 432, (1732) ; C. R., Vol. 4. pp. 52, 61, (1735). 

c Vol. 1, p. 59. 

d C. R., Vol. 2, p. 886. 


feet by twenty- four feet required, a In Edenton h houses were 
required to be "not of less Dimensions tban Twenty Feet long, 
Fifteen Feet in width and Eight Feet in Height between the 
first floor and the joists, etc." ISTo wooden chimneys were 
allowed to be built there after the first day of May, 1741. c 
At Brunswick houses were to be 20 feetxl6 feet, d When 
the town of Johnston, in Onslow, which was afterwards de- 
stroyed by a wind storm in September, 1752, e was incorpor- 
ated/ the inhabitants buying lots were required to build within 
two years a "good, substantial habitable frame-house not of 
less dimensions than Twenty Four feet in length and Six- 
teen feet wide, besides sheds and Leantos." When Capt. 
Kichard Sanderson attempted to build a town on Roanoke 
Island g it was required that the houses should be 20 feetxl5 
feet. In the establishment of ISTe^vtown (which afterwards 
became Wilmnigton), it was made a town, "Provided, the 
Inhabitants thereof do, within the space of two years from 
the date hereof build and erect six Brick Houses in the princ- 
ipal streets, of forty feet long and thirty feet deep." Ji When 
the village of ISTewton was changed into the town of Wil- 
mington i it was required that before one was allowed to vote 
for a representative for the said town in the General As- 
sembly he must be "a Tenant of a Brick, Stone or framed 
habitable House, of the Length of Twenty Feet, and Sixteen 
Feet Broad ; or an inhabitant of a Brick House of the Length 
of Thirty Feet, and Sixteen Feet Broad, between the Boiinds 
of said Town, upwards, and Smith's Creek, and within One 
Hundred and Twenty Poles to the Cape Fear Biver." This 

a Laws 1756, Ch. 12. 
6 Laws, 1740, Ch. 1, Sec. 2. 
c Sec. 13. 

d Laws 174.5. Ch. 12, Sec. 8. 
e Martin. Vol. 2, p. 61. 
f Laws 1741, Ch. 12, Sec. 6. 
.9 Laws 1715, Ch. 59. 
li C. R., Vol. 4, p. 43. 

■iLaws 1739, Ch. 4, Sees. 4 and 5, and Laws 1740, Ch. 4, Sees. 7 
and 8. 


was probably intended to include several of the prominent 
men who lived near to town. 

The planters lived upon their estates with residences gen- 
erally more pretentious than the town houses. A few of these 
houses were of brick, but they were commonly frame houses. 
Some of them were of considerable dimensions even early in 
the eighteenth century. There were few brick houses in 
ISTorth Carolina. Even after the planters became wealthy 
they did not affect them. In a humid climate brick houses 
were probably damp and unhealthy. In ISTew Bern there 
were only two brick dwelling houses as late as 1792. a 

There are to-day standing houses of well-to-do planters 
that were built prior to 1750. Some of them brick, but 
mostly of wood. These houses are about forty feet long and 
twenty feet wide, to which are added shed rooms or "leantos." 
The basements or cellars are about 7 or 8 feet pitch, the walls 
to the cellar being massive masonry of rock, the rock having 
come from the West Indies as ballast for vessels. In the 
cellar is generally a large room about 19x19 feet at one end, 
and the other end divided into small rooms which are used 
for storage. The walls of the cellar rise several feet above 
the ground. In the large cellar room there is a fire-place 
several feet deep, about eight feet wide and four feet high. 

a Morse Geog., Mrs. Powell's "New Bern." 

Note. — All the earlier brick buildings are said to have been built 
with "brick brought from England." This probably means of "Eng- 
lish Brick" except a few press brick for tiles and ornamental pur- 
poses. In Harriot's Narrative (1586) we read: "The planters may 
be well supplied with brick, for the making whereof in divers places 
of the country there is clay both excellent, good and plenty, and also 
by lime made of oyster shells and others burnt, etc." 

When Bacon burned Jamestown in 1675 there were a number of 
brick houses in the town. Drummond, the former Governor of North 
Carolina owning one which in an excess of patriotism he fired with 
his own hands. An old grant in Virginia in 1637 for lands at James- 
town calls for the "Brick Mill" ; Lawson says in 1700 that there were 
"Large Brick Buildings" in Charleston at that time ; he further says 
"Good Brick and Tiles" were made in North Carolina. Brickell also 
informs us that "Brick and Tile" were made here in his time. The 
light tonnage of the vessels averaging probably not more than 100 
tons burden coming into these waters after a month's sail from Eng- 
land, would have made the importing of brick quite expensive. 


There were receptables or ovens built in the sides of the fire- 
place. Across the chimney, inside, ran a heavy iron rod on 
which were the cranes for hanging pots. These cranes were 
made in two pieces and so adjusted that pots could be raised 
or lowered at will. In the cellar rooms were small windows. 
Resting on the cellar walls were the sills of tt^e house, gener- 
ally 10x12 inches or 12x12 inches, hewn out of heart pine 
running the full length and breadth of the house; on these 
were the sleepers, six inches by eight inches or eight inches 
by ten inches, hewn out of heart pine, joined at the ends, 
mortised, tenoned and truncheoned with lightwood trunch- 
eons about one and a half or two inches in diameter. The 
sills were sometimes tarred with hot tar and wrapped in 
tarred canvas as a further protection against moisture. On 
the first floor is a large square room 19x19 feet. For sev- 
eral feet from the floor around the room, coming up to the 
base of the windows is panelling. The fire-place is four or 
five feet wide, and above it about six feet tall is the old 
wooden mantel of best workmanship. Adjoining the big room 
is a narrow passage with stairs ascending to the second floor 
and garret; across the passage are two small rooms. 

The second floor is a duplicate of the first and the garret 
is divided into small rooms with small windows at end of 
house. These houses frequently had brick ends as is so often 
seen in tidewater Virginia. All the timbers are of unbled 
pine and the nails used are hand-wrought. 

Note. — There are three of these houses still stfiucTing in Beaufort 
County : The Cotanche or Marsh House at Bath, the Maule House 
at Maule's Point and the old house at the Grimes Plantation on 
Tranters Creek. The old Cotanche House at Bath has closets in its 
massive chimney in which valuables could be placed to secure from 
fire. The chimney closets have small windows in the chimney. It 
was not uncommon to have an excavation bricked up on each side 
of the chimney opening inside by the hearth in which valuables 
could be placed. In some old chimneys under fire-places have been 
discovered a box or barrel with covers neatly fixed in the chimney 
foundation, so that by raking away the ashes and taking up part of 
the hearth these little vaults could be reached. These deposit places 
were safe from discovery and secure from fire. 


The planter's liome residence was called the Manor or 
Manor House, The House, The Great House, etc. The 
family servants were settled near at hnad, while the overseer's 
house and quarters were some distance away. The estates 
were generally named, sometimes after the family or family 
estates in England, and often after the place in England 
from whence the planter came. The large planters prided 
themselves upon being "gentlemen" — the owner of lands with 
laborers to work for them. He was truly lord of all he sur- 
veyed, governed his own household and was law-giver to his 
poor neighbors. He arbitrated their disputes and settled 
their differences — he doctored them in sickness and helped 
them in time of need. The title of head or master of an 
estate carried with it position and hereditary dignity and 
power little less than an inherited title carried with it in the 
mother country. 

Labor was in the greatest demand. In January, 1733, 
Gov. Burrington, in writing to the Lords of Trade and Plan- 
tations, says : "Land is not wanting for men in Carolina, but 
men for land." * * * "j compute the white men, 
women and children in ISTorth Carolina to be fully thirty 
thousand, and the negroes about six thousand. The Indians, 
men, women and children, less than eight hundred. * * * 
Great is the loss this country has sustained in not being sup- 
ply'd by vessels from Guinea with negroes; in any part of 
the province the people are able to pay for a ships load ; but 
as none come directly from Africa, we are under a necessity 
to buy the refuse, refractory and distempered negroes, 
brought from other governments; it is hoped some merchants 
in England will speedily furnish this colony with negroes to 
increase the produce and its trade to England." a 

The planter's wealth was generally estimated by the num- 
ber of his slaves. All planters of any pretentions owned 

a C. R., Vol. 3, pp. 430, 431. See also Vol. 4, p. 172. 


slaves — negroes, Indians, mulatoes and mustees. The gold 
and silver that came into the hands of planters from sale of 
produce was saved to purchase slaves with, as the traders re- 
quired specie payments. Female slaves under 20 years of 
age were especially desired. 

In 1733 the value of products exported to Virginia for 
which our people received cash was about £50,000 a year, a 
Quit rents, dues, taxes and all other debts, public and private, 
were paid to the government or creditors in commodities 
which were rated in 1715 as follows: 

£. s. d. 

"Tobacco, per cwt ' 10 

Indian corn per bushel 1 8 

Wheat per bushel 3 6 

Tallow tryped, per lb 5 

Leather tanned and uncured, per lb 8 

Beaver and other skins per lb 2 6 

Wild cat skins per piece 1 

Butter per lb 6 

Cheese per lb 4 

Buck and doe skins (raw) per lb 9 

Buck and doe skins (drest) per lb 1 4 

Feathers per lb 1 4 

Pitch (full gauged) per barl 1 

Whale oil " " 1 10 

Porke " " 2 5 

Beef " " 1 10 0" 

Pates were later somewhat changed. Plax and hemp were 
also added, b 

There was little currency in the province even at a much 
later period. In writing of ISTorth Carolina just before the 
Revolution a traveler says: "There is but little specie in 

6 C. R., Vol. 3, p. 622. 

cC. R., Vol. 4, pp. 469, 920. 


circulation ; indeed, there is no great occasion for it ; for a 
planter raises his owti meats, beef and bacon, his own corn 
and bread, his drink, cyder and brandy, his fruit, apples, 
peaches, etc., and a great part of his clothing which is cot- 
ton." a Almost all wealth was in land, slaves and stock. 
There was not much loaning of money; the legal rate of in- 
terest was 6 per cent, and the penalty for usury was for- 
feitiire of twice the amount of the principal, h There was a 
considerable amount of Mexican, Peruvian and Spanish coin 
in circulation in the province, the value of which was fixed 
by proclamation of Queen Anne. 

a Smyth's Tour in America, p. 99. 

&Laws 1741, Ch. 11. 

Note. — "An act for ascertaining the rates of foreign coins in Her 
Majesty's Plantations in America. 

WHEREAS, for remedying the inconveniences which had arisen 
from the different rates at which the same species of Foreign Silver 
coins did pass in Her Majesty's several Colonies and Plantations in 
America, Her Most Excellent Majesty has thought fit by her Royal 
Proclamation bearing date the eighteenth day of June one thousand 
seven hundred and four, and in the third year of her Reign, to settle 
and ascertain the currency of foreign coins in her said Colonies and 
Plantations in the manner and words following : 

We having had under our Consideration the different rates at 
which the same Species of Foreign Coins do pass in our several 
Colonies and Plantations in America, and the inconveniences thereof 
by the indirect practice of drawing the money from one Plantation 
to another to the great Prejudice of the Trade of our Subjects ; and 
being sensible that the same cannot be otherwise remedied than by 
reducing all foreign coins to the same current Rate within all our 
Dominions in America ; and the principal oQicers of our Mint having 
laid before us a table of the value of the several Foreign Coins 
which usually pass in Payments in our said Plantations according 
to their Weight and Assays made of them in our Mint, thereby 
shewing the just proportion which each coin ought to have to the 
other which is as followeth ; * * * 

II. And whereas, notwithstanding the said Proclamation the 
same indirect practices as are therein mentioned are still carried 
on within some of the said Colonies or Plantations and the money 
thereby drawn from one Plantation to another, in Prejudice of the 
Trade of Her Majesty's subjects ; Wherefore for the better enforcing 
the due Execution of her Majesty's said Proclamation throughout 
all the said Colonies and Plantations, and for the more effectual 
remedying the said Inconvenieucies, thereby intended to be remedied, 
Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with 
the Advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and 
Commons in this present Parliament assembled and bv the authority 
of the same * * * ." Statutes at Large, Vol. 4, 1699-1715. Cap. 
30, p. 324, 1707. 

The penalty for the violation of this law was six months' imprison- 
ment and a fine of Ten pounds for each offence. 


Slaves were generally bought in Virginia or South Caro- 
lina at high prices, and after the most select ones had been 
chosen by the planters of those States. With the opening 
of the Cape Fear, the planters had an opportunity to buy 
slaves at first hands. Some of the planters who first settled 
on the Cape Fear took with them a considerable number of 
slaves from their plantations in Chowan and Pamlico. 
Among these may be mentioned: 

Edward Moseley with 62 slaves. 
Roger Moore with 100 slaves. 
John Porter with 62 slaves. 

John Lovick with 34 slaves, a 

They moved that many in 1732 and were allowed head- 
rights of fifty acres for each member of their families. Roger 
Moore at the time of his death in 1751 o^vned 250 negroes. 

Slavery was the greatest eleemosynary and educational in- 
stitution for a weak and inferior race that the world has ever 
known. Some of the planters freed their slaves, but this 
does not seem to have met the approval of the colonists as 
freed slaves were required to leave the province or to be sold 
again into slavery, b 

In disposing of slaves care was taken not to separate the 
men and their wives and children; an instance of this kind 
is sho^vn in the will of Cullen Pollock, 1749. Occasionally 
negro slaves could read and Avrite even in the earliest period, 
and negroes were allowed to raise "side crops" of tobacco, 
to gather herbs, etc., and the money derived from these was 
theirs individually and to do as they pleased with, c 

When it became necessary to execute a slave the owner 
was repaid his value, which was assessed by the Justices and 
allowed by the Assembly, d 

aC. R., Vol. 3, p. 426, etc. 
ftLaws 1741, Ch. 24, Sec. 56. 
cBrickell, p. 275. 
dl741, Ch. 24, Sec. 46. 


All slaves were tythable at the age of 12 years, a 
Every master was allowed to permit one slave on every plan- 
tation to carry a gun for the protection of stock and for hunt- 
ing game for the table, h All slaves away from their mas- 
ters' plantations were required to have "certificate of leave 
in writing for so doing, from his or her master or overseer 
(negroes wearing liveries always excepted)." c It seemed to 
please the fancy of the planters to name their slaves after the 
great characters in mythology and history, or to give them 
some whimsical name. Every large plantation had its Csesar, 
Hannibal, Scipio, Jupiter, Moses, Aaron, Pompey, Mars, 
Venus, Dido, Diana, Africa, Mustapha, etc. 

Indentured white servants were not as numerous in this 
country as in Virginia and Maryland. These unfortunates 
represented many classes and conditions. "Some of the con- 
victs sold as indentured servants were persons of family and 
education." d Convicts were sent to the colonies and 
sold into bondage. Others were sent into servitude 
for political offences. Many of the supporters of 
the Duke of Monmouth were deported to the American 
colonies and sentenced to ten years' servitude. Some in- 
dentured themselves to pay their passage money, which was 
about £5 in cash, and were sold upon arrival here by the 
sailing master. Christian servants above 16 years old im- 
ported into this government without indenture, were required 
to serve five years. All under 16 years of age were to serve 
till they were 22 years old. e All Christians were to be al- 
lowed by their master or mistress at the expiration of their 
service three barrels of Indian corn, two new suits of ap- 
parel valued at £5 at best, or in lieu of a suit of "apparell" 
"a good well-fixed gun if he be a man servant" ; they were 
also enttiled to fifty acres of land which they seldom took up. 

a 1741, Ch. 24. 

6 Laws 1741, Ch. 24, Sec. 41. 

C1741, Ch. 24, Sec. 5.3. 

fZ Bancroft, Vol. 2, p. 2.51. 

eLaws 1715, Ch. 46, Sec. 6. 


Many people, especially women and children, were kidnap- 
ped in London and other cities and brought to America to 
be sold as bond servants. The Colony passed an 
act a whereby the person kidnapped, if a Chris- 
tian or a subject of a friendly power, might recover 
from the Importer or Seller double the amount for which 
he was sold, and the defendant was required to give bond 
to transport the person back to the land from whence he 
came within one year. 

Writing to the Lords of Trade and Plantations Gov. Bur- 
rington says : h "It is by breeding Horses, Hoggs, 
and Cattle that people without slaves gain substance 
here at first, not by their labor." The abundance 
of grass, reeds and rich vegetation caused the horses, cattle 
and hogs to multiply in vast numbers ; the stock were branded 
or marked and turned loose in the woods, being penned and 
fed enough to keep them from going entirely wild. Lawson 
says (1Y07) he had seen as many as one thousand cattle be- 
longing to one owner, and Brickell says he had seen one hun- 
dred calves in one pen belonging to one person. The calves 
were confined to insure the return of the cows each evening, 
a custom that prevails with cattle raisers in Eastern Caro- 
lina to this day. 

About 1728 there was a disease that destroyed half the 
cattle in the Province ; c again about 1760 another cattle 
distemper was brought in the Province from South Caro- 
lina by which near 7-8 of the stock was lost, d The impor- 
tance of the cattle industry seems to have declined from that 

a Laws 1741, Ch. 25, Sec. 23. 

& C. R., Vol. 3. p. 148. 

cC. R., Vol. 3, p. 28. 

(I C. R., Vol. 6, p. 1,029. 

Note. — We are told that in South Carolina the writer Peter Purry 
in 1731 had known "one Planter to mark two hundred calves last 
sprinsr" ; Again, another writer states that in South Carolina "Black 
Cattle are extremely plentiful, manv gentlemen owning from five 
hundred to fifteen hundred head. Carr. Coll., Vol. 2, pp. 123, 482. 


Horses were raised in considerable numbers. They were 
turned out to range, it being necessary to feed them only in 
the winter time. In almost every locality in the early settled 
sections of ISTorth Carolina there are to-day places where tra- 
dition tells us were "horse pens." Many localities have such 
names as the "Horse neck pocoson," "Horse Pen branch," 
etc. These horses are described as smaller than the average 
horses now in use but of great endurance. Many of them 
are said to have gone wild. 

Hogs were raised in vast numbers, the woods abounding 
in berries, fruits, acorns and mast of all kinds. The Coastal 
Plain was heavily set in oaks of all kinds and the acorns 
furnished abundant food for hogs. Hogs were kept until 
grown, and it became a custom on account of their uniform 
size to count the pieces, hams, shoulders, sides, etc., instead 
of weighing. This custom prevailed until the middle of the 
past century. Planters now living tell me that they have sold 
dried meats that way which were transported in flat boats 
down the rivers to be loaded in vessels for the West Indies. 
Beef and pork barrelled dry, and in pickle, were of the rated 
commodities, and for many years were two of the chief ex- 
ports of the colony. 

Gov. Burrington reported in 1736 that there were fifty 
thousand hogs and ten thousand fat oxen driven into Vir- 
ginia yearly, a The want of salt made this necessary. 
These came from Pamlico and Albemarle, and were in ad- 
dition to the amount of barrelled meat shipped. 

Horses were branded and Cattle and Hogs were marked 
in the ears, a custom that still prevails. 

For altering or defacing brands or the mismarking of 
stock there was a penalty of ten pounds proclamation money 
over and above the value of the animal, and "forty lashes on 

aC. R., Vol. 4, p. 172. 

(Note. — The writer's mark now in use "a crop slit and under bit 
both ears," has been the family stock mark for more than a cen- 


his bare back well laid on, and for the second offence he 
shall pay the price above-mentioned, stand in the Pillorv 
Two Hours and be branded in the left hand with a red hot 
iron the letter T." * * * ''Such slave or slaves shall, 
for first offence, suffer both his ears to be cut off, and be pub- 
licly whipt, at the Discretion of the Justices and Freeholders 
before whom he shall be tried; and for the second offence 
shall suffer death." a 

The discovery of the rich Cape Fear bottoms where the 
rice lands are as fertile as any in the world, attracted at- 
tention near the close of the Proprietary period, and quite 
a colony of the leading men from Albemarle and Bath coun- 
ties went there ; among them the Porters, Ashes, Moores, Lil- 
lingtons, Moseleys, etc. Of these the Hon. Geo. Davis says : 
"They were no needy adventurers, driven by necessity, no 
unlettered boors, ill at ease in the haunts of civilization, and 
seeking their proper sphere amidst the barbarism of the sav- 
ages. They were gentlemen of birth and education, bred in 
the refinements of polished society, and bringing with them 
ample fortunes, gentle manners, and cultivated minds — most 
of them united by ties of blood, and all by those of friend- 
ship, they came as one household, sufficient to themselves, and 
reared their family altars in love and peace." 
, It was not an uncommon thing for a wealthy planter to 
own twenty or thirty thousand acres of land. & 

Provoked by a charge that some of them owned more than 
one hundred thousand acres each, John Porter, Edward 
Hyrne, Jno. Swann, Sam Swann, J. Davis, M. Moore, Thos. 
Jones, ]S[athaniel Moore and Jno. Davis signed a memorial, 
saying they together did not own more than seventy-five 
thousand acres, and had "not more than twelve hundred per- 
sons in their families." c 

a Laws 1741, Ch. 8. 
6 C. R., Vol. 4, p. 426. 
cC. R., Vol. 4, p. 315. 


The planters lived on the streams, and every family had 
its perianger, canoe, sloop or brigantine. 

The water-ways were the chief mode of transportation. 
To the planters' doors came the ships of the old world, and 
especially the sloops of the liew England and West India 

Many of the more substantial planters owned vessels that 
traded with New England, the Barbadoes and occasionally 
made trips to Europe. The periaugers would carry eight or 
ten tons or fifty or sixty barrels of pork or tar, and were welt 
adapted to the shallow creeks and landings that they oftenest 
frequented. The usual vessels in our waters were not of 
more than fifty or seventy-five tons, mainly the jSTew England 
sloops. At an early period an effort was made to encourage 
!N^orth Carolina ship owners, and in an act of 
1715, a vessels entering the government were re- 
quired to pay one pound of powder, four pounds swan shot 
and twelve flints for every three tons' measure, and for want 
thereof ten shillings for every three tons — this was not to 
apply to vessels built in this country or owned in whole or 
in part here, nor to those vessels loaded wtih salt to unload 

The absence of deep water shipping ports was the greatest 
handicap under which this province labored. Eor many 
years its importations were through the Virginia capes. Most 
of its commodities were brought from ISTew England where 
they were imported and re-shipped to us. 

Tobacco promised at one time to be our chief money crop, 
but there was an over production. The first Carolina law of 
which we have any record was "An Act prohibiting the sow- 
ing, setting, planting or in any way tending any tobacco" 
from Eeby. 1st., " 166Y, to Eeby. 1st., 1668. h A 
similar effort was made by Virginia and Maryland 

ffl7].5. Ch. 3.5. 

6 S. P. N., Vol 1, p. 34. 


at tlie same time. The next blow to our tobacco interests 
came about 1679 in "An act against importing tobacco from 
Carolina, and other ports without the Capes of Virginia." 
it was enacted: "That such importation from henceforth 
be, and bj virtue of this, remain prohibited and forbidden; 
and that if any tobacco hereafter, in anywise whatsoever, 
shall be imported from Carolina or other ports without the 
Capes, into this colony and dominion in order to be laid here 
on shore, sold or shipped, the same shall be thereby forfeited 
and lost." a 

Another act similar to the above was passed by Virginia 
against North Carolina in 1726. Against this the inhabitants 
of Albemarle protested, setting forth "That the Inlets to that 
part of ]S[orth Carolina are not capable of receiving vessels 
of Burthen fitt for the transportating of Tobacco from thence 
to Great Brittain." This eifectually prohibited shipping, and 
thereby destroyed our market for tobacco. The planters 
could raise tobacco sufficient to pay quit rents, etc,, which the 
government accepted at the rated price, but they could not 
sell it profitably and were forced to leave off planting in 
quantity for profit. "Endeavoring to cloathe themselves with 
their own manufactures" would compete with British manu- 
facturers, so the British Board of Trade repealed these acts 
July 29, 1731. h 

According to Lawson Roanoke Inlet was ten feet over the 
bar, but the sands were shifting and uncertain after coming 
within. Hatteras had four or five fathom on bar, but after 
getting into the sound not more than six feet of water was 
to be found. At Ocracoke, in Lawson's time, there was 
thirteen feet at low water and eighteen feet at high water, 
and after crossing the bar safe anchorage was found in seven 
or eight fathom water. Wimble (1738) says there was 17 
feet on bar ; in Teach's hole 4 fathoms of water, and in the 
sound an eie:ht to nine feet channel was to be found. 

oC. R., A^ol. 1, p. 628. 
6 C. R., Vol. 3, p. 211. 


At Beaufort, on Topsail Inlet, was two fathoms of water, 
according to Lawson, and five or six fathoms in the harbor. 
Wimble says there was seventeen feet on the bar. Prof. 
Bache, Superintendent of Coast Survey in 1851, gives seven- 
teen feet at low water. In report to Congress Prof. Bache 
states that "a ship drawing twenty feet of water can leave at 
any state of tide, with almost any wind and discharge her 
pilot at sea in from thirty to forty-five minutes after weighing 

Roanoke Inlet was early abandoned because it was shifting, 
shallow and dangerous, and Ocracoke became the customary 
entrance as about nine feet of water could be secured from 
Ocracoke to Bath, JSTewberne and Edenton. From Bath town 
to Ocracoke was reckoned seventy miles, a 

Bath promised at one time to be the commercial metropolis 
of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and was an important port 
of entry. When it was determined to have a permanent 
capital the General Assembly voted to make Bath the seat 
of government, but "by management" Gov. Johnston secured 
the selection of ISTewberne. h 

Burrington, who had considerable wisdom, wished to make 
Ocracoke the port of entry, abolishing collection districts of 
Roanoke (Edenton), Currituck and Bath town. At Ocra- 
coke we could have a direct trade with Europe, receiving the 
larger sea-going vessels there and distributing the produce 
to the various parts of our colony in smaller vessels and have 
direct importation of negroes. He did not, however, have 
sufficient influence at Court for that purpose, and for years 
our neighbors to the north and south of us received the great 

a C. R., Vol. 3, p. 170. 
& C. R., Vol. 4, p. 833. 


ships and re-shipped to our waters in smaller vessels, receiv- 
ing the profits and benefits that should have been ours. * 

Gov. Burrington in 1731 writes: 

"The pilots I have appointed assure me that at Ocracoke 
they bring in vessels that draw sixteen or eighteen feet water, 
at Port Beaufort that draw twenty, and at Cape Fear near 
two and twenty— this account the Pilots offered to swear 
too. Currituck Inlet is shut up, and Roanoke is so dangerous 
that few people care to use it, but go round to Ocracoke." a 

Port Beaufort had but a very small quantity of land be- 
longing to its district and was very inconvenient to traders on 
^euse River, and the traders in that section were "forced to 
ride forty miles to enter and clear at Beaufort thro' a low, 
watery and uninhabited country, which after great rains is 
not passable in many days." h 

At Cape Pear Lawson found "seven fathom on barr with 
fine harbor" and this was, and is, probably the best natural 
port south of ITew York. Tryon said in 1Y64: "The en- 
trance over this bar is esteemed equal to that of Charleston." c 

aC. R., Vol. 3, p. 210. 

6 C. R., Vol. 4, p. 169. 

cC. R.. Vol. 6, p. 1,059. 

* Note. — Burrington says, C. R., Vol. 3. p. 336, "At the south end 
of an island called Ocracock there is sufBcient depth of water for 
any merchantman to come in and a secure harbor, this Island is 
separated from the main land by a Sound about fourteen leagues 
over that cannot be passed by a Vessell that draws tenn foot water, 
it has communications with many large rivers that water so great 
a part of this country as contain four parts m five of all the Inhabi- 
tants within the Province. On this Island there is a hill whereon 
if a small fort was Erected Cannon would from thence Command the 
Barr. Channell and Harbour, there is no one thing that would cause 
the trade of this Province to flourish like setting a Custom House on 
this Place, this would procure a trade from England, in a little time 
put an end to the Pedling carried on by the Virginians and People of 
New England." 

Note. — A letter from Capt. Winslow of the U. S. Corps of Engi- 
neers gives the distance from Ocracoke Inlet to Washington, N. C, 
7.5 miles; (about 12 miles above Bath). Ocracoke Inlet to New 
Berne, N. C. 70 miles : Ocracoke Inlet to Edenton. N. C. 130 miles." 

Regarding Roanoke Inlet he gives the following data : 

"It was open in 1585; depth not known. It was navigable for (9) 
nine feet in 1708; for eight (8) feet in 17.38 and 1775; it was open 
in 1795 ; depth not known, and was closed in 1875. The time of the 
closure not being definitely known." 


"The distance from Charleston bar to that of Cape Fear is 
sixty leagues, and has been frequently run in twenty hours." 

In a letter to the Lords of the Board of Trade, Dec. 12, 
1Y34, Gab Johnson says the Cape Fear was "the best navi- 
gation of any betwixt Chesapeak Bay and Cape Florida, and 
that the past year forty-two ships went loaded from this 
river." He said that the first settlement there was about 
eight years before. 

When direct trade commenced at Wilmington the Cape 
Fear country soon became one of the most important com- 
mercial sections in America. 

The leading men of the province were well educated, 
though little provision was made for the laboring classes. 
Gentlemen's sons were sent to Williamsburg, Charleston, 
l^ew England and Old England ; some had tutors at home. 
The daughters were taught by their own mothers or placed 
with ladies who undertook to educate them. 

The ministers and lay readers were generally also teachers^ 
and educated indentured servants were sometimes used for 
that purpose. Charles Griffin about 1705 was probably the 
first professional teacher in the Province, and otKers fol- 
lowed. Brickell a says : "The want of the Protest- 
ant clergy is generally supplied by some School-Masters, who 
read the Liturgy. These are most numerous and are dis- 
persed through the whole Province." A free school for the 
education of Indian and negro children was established by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel at Bath about 
1720. h 

The law required c "That all orphans shall be 
Educated and provided for according to their Rank 
and degree" out of the "Income or Interest of their 
Estate and Stock, if the same will be sufficient, otherwise such 

a Page 35. 

See Rainsford's letter. 

c Ch. 49, Laws 1715. Sec. 4. 


orphan shall be bound apprentice to some Handycraft Trade 
(the Master or Mistress of such Orphan not being of the Pro- 
fession of the People called Quakers) till they shall come 
of age." 

Religion was established by law, but the people were al- 
lowed to worship God in their o^ti way and no one was re- 
quired to conform to the faith and forms of The Church unless 
they wished to. The Established Church was supposed to be 
supported by taxes, but the inhabitants do not seem to have 
been liberal or prompt in their settlements : 

■^'With absolute freedom of sonscience, benevolent reason 
was the simple rule of their conduct." a 

All Protestant Dissenters were allowed to have their meet- 
ings for the exercise of their religion without molestation, 
but no Quaker was qualified or permitted to give evidence in 
any criminal causes or to serve on any jury, or bear any 
office or place of profit or trust in the government. 1) 

The early settlers were governed by the laws of England 
and such additional laws as were not repugnant thereto. 

In the revision of 1715 the first of the "Six Confirmed 
Laws" was "An Act concerning Marriages." After reciting 
the absence of ministers in the Province to join "in wedlock 
according to the Rites and Customs of our natural Country 
the Kingdom of England : that none may be hindered from 
so necessary a work for the preservation of Mankind and 
settlement of this country." Sec. 2 reads. "It is enacted and 
be it enacted by the Palatin and Lords Proprietors, of Caro- 
lina, by and with the consent and Advice of the present 
Grand Assembly and the authority thereof, that any two 
persons desirous to be joined together in the Holy Estate of 
Matrimony, taking three or four neighbours along with them 
and repairing to the Governor or any one of the Council, 
before him declaring that they do join together in the Holy 

a Bancroft, Vol. 2. p. 154. 

6 1715, Ch. 9, Sees. 2, 6. Re-enacted in 1749.. 


Estate of Wedlock and do accept one the other for Man and 
Wife, and the said Governor or Councellor before whom 
such Act is performed, giving certificate thereof, and the 
said certificate being registered in the Secretary's ofiice, or by 
the Register of the Precinct or in such office as shall here- 
after be appointed for that use. It shall be deemed a Lawful 
Marriage, & the persons violating that marriage shall be 
punished as they had been married according to the Rites 
and Customs of England." 

Later magistrates were allowed to perform the marriage 
ceremony: a Registration of marriages, births and 
deaths were required, & and "every Planter, Owner, 
Attorney or Overseer of every settled plantation in 
this Government, or that hereafter shall be settled 
shall set apart a Burial place, and fence the same for the 
interring of all such Christian persons whether bond or free 
that shall die on their plantations." * 

In this day of temperance agitation the following law may 
be worth mentioning, and the idea of requiring a bond of 
liquor dealers for the faithful observance of the law may be 
worth reviving: c "An act concerning Ordinary 
keepers and Tippling houses." The keepers of Taverns or 
Ordinaries were required to have license to sell liquor and 
to give bond for the due observance of the law; it further 

ffll741, Ch. 1, Sec. 9. 

6Ch. 47, 1715. 

C1715, Ch. 53. 

* Note. — It seems to have been a custom at buryings to feed the 
people attending. The following bill pasted in "Minute Docket 
1695-1712" may not be uninteresting, 
lett: (1703.) 

f. s. d. 

My trouble in ye sickness 10 

coffin 10 

sheat 8 

digging grave, etc 5 6 

funeral dinner 1 10 

By looking after hogs, etc 1 5 


provided that ''nothing in this act shall be adjudged to hinder 
any Man from selling Cyder or other liquors, the produce of 
his own plantation, at any time hereafter by full and Lawful 
measures (the same not being drunk in the cellar house or 
plantation.)" The rate of charges for ''Drink, Dyet, Lodg- 
ing, Fodder, Provender, Corn or Pasturage" was fixed by 
the Justices of the County Court, a There were 
very few poor in the province as there was great 
demand for labor, and every one who would exert himself 
had an abundance of "hog and hominy." The fines collected 
for Sabbath breaking and swearing, profaneness, etc., were 
paid by the Justices to the Church Warden for the use of 
the poor of the parish, h If any person was 
wounded, maimed or hurt in his country's service 
"and not of ability to maintain himself or pay for 
his cure, he or they shall be cured at the Publick charge, 
and have one good negro man-slave allowed and purchased 
for him for his maintenance, and in the same case if any one 
shall be killed, the Publick shall make the same provision for 
his wife and family." 

To vote for a member of the Assembly one was required 
to be 21 years of age and to have been an inhabitant of the 
government six months, and a free-holder with fifty 
acres, c This property qualification was not hard 
to attain, as every resident was entitled to fifty acres 
for himself and the same for each member of his family, if 
he chose to enter it. To be a member of the Assembly it was 
necessary to have been a resident of the Province for one full 
year and to be 21 years of age and own 100 acres of land. 

There were a number of good roads in the province before 
1Y50 — that from Edenton to Williamsburg, a distance of 

«. 1741, Cli. 20. Sec. 4. 
&Laws 1715. Ch. 25. Sec. 8. 
C1743, Ch. 1, Sec. 5. 


100 miles, being very good and a great highway of traveL 
The road from ''Edenton to Virginia, being made broad and 
convenient for all sorts of carriages, such as Coaches, Chaises, 
Waggons and Carts, and especially for Horsemen." a 
There was a road from Edenton to Bath, from 
Bath to ISTew Berne, and from ISTew Berne to Brunswick — 
distance, two hundred miles. 

The road system was not much inferior to that in many 
counties in ISTorth Carolina to-day. Every male person, 
white or black, from sixteen years of age to sixty, was re- 
quired to work the roads, h 

An effort to secure the carrying of letters was made early 
in our history. All letters superscribed for his Majesty's 
service directed to or subsigned by the Governor or other 
"Publick Officer" or by some Field Officer in the Militia at 
such time when the government is actually engaged in war 
against the "Indyan Enemie" shall be "Immediately con- 
veyed from Plantation to the place and persons to whom 
they are directed under the Penalty of Eive pounds for 
each default — one half e to the Government and the other half 
to him or them which shall sue for the same." c 
It was further enacted that "where any person in 
the family the said letter comes to can write such person is 
hereby required to endorse the day and houre of the Receipt 
of it that the neglect or Contempt of any person therein may 
be the better discovered and punishment inflicted accord- 
ingly." The bill, costs and charges of carriages was ad- 
judged by the Court of each Precinct and paid by the Gen- 
eral Assembly, d Burring-ton said in 1T31 "this law never an- 
swered the end, and is now entirely useless." e 

aBrickell, page 262. 

&1745, Ch. 3; C. R.. Vol. 3, p. 435. 

C1715, Ch. 15, Sec. 56. 

(7 Laws 1715, Ch. 56. 

eBurrington, 1731; C. R., Vol. 3, p. 188. 


A general post-office was established in 'New York in 1710 
for tlie Continent, with several branches, including Charles- 
ton in Carolina. Act Parliament 1710, Queen Anne. * 

In 1755 Gov. Dobbs in a message to the General Assembly 
called attention to the necessity of an "Established Post thro' 
this Province" and the necessity of correspondence with the 
neighboring Colonies, whereon James Davis, Printer, was 
employed for the sum of one hundred pounds, six shillings 
and eight pence Proclamation money for one year, "to convey 
all Publick Letters, Expresses and Dispatches relating to this 
Province to any part thereof, and every fifteen days send a 
messenger to Suffolk, in Virginia, and to Wilmington." a 

In a message to the General Assembly in 1764 Gov. Dobbs 
states that a "Packet Boat" has been established from Eng- 
land to Charleston. He urges the establishment of a post 
"once a Fortnight to carry letters from Suffolk, in Virginia, 
thro' this Province at least to our Sounthern Boundary." 

aC. R., Vol. 5, p. 516. 

* Note. — "An Act for establishing a General Post Office for all 
Her Majesty's Dominions and for settling a weekly Sum out of the 
Revenues thereof, for the Service of the War, and other Her Maj- 
esty's occasions." Statutes at Large, Vol. 4, 1699-1713. (A. D., 
1710), page 434. 

"All letters and packets from London to New York in North 
America, and thence to London: Single, one shilling. Double (letters) 
two shillings, treble (letters) three shillings, Ounce four Shillings. 

All letters and Packets from any Part of the West Indies, to New 
York aforesaid : Single four pence ; Double eight pence, Treble one 
shilling. Ounce one shilling and four pence. 

All letters and I'ackets from New York to any place within Sixty 
English Miles thereof, and thence back to New York: Single, four 
Pence, Double eight pence, treble one shilling. Ounce, one shilling 
and four Pence. 

All letters and Packets from New York aforesaid, to Charlestown, 
the Chief town in North and South Carolina, and from Charlestown 
aforesaid to New York : Single, one shilling six Pence ; Double, three 
Shillings ; Treble four shillings six Pence ; Ounce six shillings. 

All letters and Packets from Charlestown aforesaid to any Place 
not exceeding one hundred English Miles, and thence back again : 
Single, six pence ; Double, one shilling ; Treble, one Shilling, six 
pence. Ounce two shillings." 

Mail carriers were allowed immediate and free ferriage over the 
rivers and for delaying more than half an hour or charging, the fer- 
ryman was to forfeit and pay for every offence the sum of £5. 


The General Assembly appropriated £133 6s. 8d. to be paid 
to the Postmaster if he establish this post, a 

The distribution of mails was made from Williamsburg 
and Charleston. In a letter from Governor Tryon, Dec. 8, 
1764, to Lord Hyde, Postmaster-General, he states that the 
Assembly voted £133 1-2 to establish a post from Williams- 
burg to Charleston "charging the customary postage on let- 
ters," by the following route: 

From Williamsburg to Edenton 100 miles 

From Edenton to Brunswick 200 miles 

From Brunswick to Charleston 180 miles 

480 miles 

(This included the to^vns of Bath, !N^ewbern and Wilming- 

The post had just been established from ]^ew York to 
Williamsburg. He also petitioned that his Majesty's packet 
be ordered to touch at Cape Fear River at Fort Johnston. 
He stated that dispatches sometimes laid six weeks at Charles- 
ton and occasionally months in Virginia before they were 
received, h Later Tryon recommended the foUo^ving route 
to avoid the "broad ferries of ISTeuse River, Pamlico and 
Albemarle Sounds" from Suffolk, c 

Route from Suffolk, in Virginia, to the Boundary House 
of ]*^orth and South Carolina on the sea coast. 

From Suffolk to Cotton's Ferry on Chowan River .... 40 

Appletree Ferry on the Roanoke 30 

* Salters on Tar or Pamlico River. .... 35 

Kemps' Ferry on ISTeuse 28 

ISTewbern 10 

Trentbridge 13 

ffC. R., Vol. 6, pp. 1.291, 1,300. 
& C. R., Vol. 6, p. 1,058. 
cC. R., Vol. 7, p. 149. 

*]SroTR. — wSalt^rs was afterwards Watkins' Ferry and is now Boyd's 
Ferry on Grimesland Plantation. 


Mrs. Warburtons 13 

Sneads on Xew River ferry 26 

Sage's 13 

Collins' 14 

Wilmington 15 

Brunswick 15 

The Ferry 2 

To Bells' 20 

The Boundary House 23 

Total miles 297 

Gov. Tryon used special messengers for carrying his dis- 

It seems that the first post route actually established thro' 
ISTorth Carolina was in January, 1769, though it was carried 
but once a month, a 

In 1770 the General Assembly passed "an Act to encourage 
and support the establishment of a Post-ofiice within this 
Province." Of this act Martin says: "Davis says that this 
act was repealed by proclamation. I have no certificate of 
that ; However, it was only to be in force for two years, and 
from thence to the end of the next session of Assembly." * 

One of the first acts of the Continental Congress was to 
establish a post-office with post routes from Falmouth, Me., 
to Savannah, Ga. 

The large plantations were miniature republics, raising 
their own beef, pork, horses, corn, grain, tobacco, wool, cot- 
ton, tallow, myrtle-wax, ** beeswax, etc., and catching fish in 
the nearby streams. 

aC. R., Vol. 8, pp. 3, 4. 

* Note. — I cannot find the manuscript law among the records in the 
Secretary of State's office. G. 

**NoTE. — The myrtle-wax was mixed with tallow and used for 
making candles and is said to have emitted a delightful and fragrant 
perfume while burning. 


Each planter had his own saw pit, carpenter and cooper 
and blacksmith shop, tannery, etc. He raised wool and cot- 
ton enough to clothe his j)eoj)le, carded, spun and wove his 
owai cloth and made his own shoes. 

In 17 o 5 Brickell says 'The Cloathings used by the Men 
are English Cloaths, Druggets, Durois, Green Linnen, etc. 
The women have their silks, Calicoes, Stamp-Linnen, Cali- 
manchoes and all kind of Stuffs, some whereof are manu- 
factured in the Province." a 

In a few years after this "negro cloth" was made in con- 
siderable quantities and old inventories show us that almost 
every family had their spinning wheel, linen wheel, flax 
brake, hackles, looms, etc. Little cotton was exported. Only 
seven bags of two hundred and twenty-five pounds each being 
exported from Charleston in 1747, and none from any other 
province, h 

In 1781 fifteen thousand nine hundred and seventy-five 
pounds (seventy-one bags two hundred and twenty-five 
pounds each), were shipped to England and seized on the 
ground that the United States could not produce so much. 

a Page 38. 

b Carr. Coll., Vol. 2, p. 234. 

Note. — When Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1794 cotton grow- 
ing was greatly enrouraged. He was paid $90,000 by the cotton-grow- 
ing States (N. C. paying thirty thousand dollars, South Carolina fifty 
thousand dollars, and Georgia ten thousand dollars) that their plant- 
ers could have the privilege of using his invention. The "Saw-Gin" 
was a circular saw revolving between iron ribs, tearing the lint from 
the seeds. One of these of ten saws can be now seen in the State 
Museum. A tax was laid by the State of 2s. 6d. per annum for each 
saw used. 

In 1810 North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and Virginia 
manufactured more than all of New England. 

North Carolina manufactured 7,376,154 yards of cloth. 

Virginia manufactured 3.007,255 yards of cloth. 

South Carolina manufactured 3,08.3,188 yards of cloth. 

Georgia manufactured 3,688,534 yards of cloth. 

In 1810, at a military review in North Carolina where 1,500 persons 
were present, all but forty wore homespun. 
J. L. Watkins. Dept. Ag. Year Book 1903. 


Considerable linen cloth was made and the French colon- 
ists had introduced silk culture as well as wine-making. 

From 1731 to 1755 there were 40756 lbs. of raw and 
"Wrought Silk" exported from ISTorth and South Carolina 
into Great Britain, and 38621 lbs. of mixed "Silken Stuffs" 
imported into ISTorth Carolina and South Carolina from Great 
Britain, a * 

The gentry for themselves and wives generally imported 
their clothing and dressed in a similar style to people of their 
station in England. England discouraged manufacturing in 
the colonies in every way possible, and up to the Revolution 
the gentry and better classes imported their clothing, but 
when we separated from England we began to make every- 
thing we needed. 

ISTails were made in blacksmith shops on plantations ; and 
all ironware, pewter, etc., were imported. By an act of 
Parliament, a 

a Carr. Coll., 272. 

a Holmes' Annals, Vol. 2, p. 42. 

* Note. — In connection with silk it may be interesting to quote a few 
lines from Coxe in his Caralana, p. 92. "Besides we have a grass, as 
they call Silk grass, which makes very pretty stuffs, such as come 
from the East Indies, which they call Herba Stuffs, whereof a gar- 
ment was made for Queen Elizabeth, whose ingredient came from Sir 
Walter Raleigh's colony, by him called Virginia, now North Carolina, 
a part of this Province, which, to encourage colonies and plantations, 
she was pleased to wear for divers weeks." 

flolmes' Annals, Vol. 1, p. 486. 

Master Ralph Lane writing to Mr. Richard Hakluyt from the '' new 
fort in Virginia" Sept. 3. 1585, mentions "several kinds of flax and 
one kind like silk, the same gathered as a grass as common there as 
grass here." 

Hawks 1, p. 100. 

Thomas Harriot in his narrative writes of "silk of grass or grass- 
silk. There is a kind of grass in the country upon the blades whereof 
there groweth very good silk in form of a thin glittering skin to be 
stript off." 

Hawks 1, p. 154. 

The Rev. Dr. Curtis, the Botanist, says the plants mentioned by 
Lane and Harriot are evidently the same thing. "We have a plant 
(chrysopsis graminifolia) in the pine woods, almost "as common as 
grass" and now known as silk weed, which answers well to the ac- 
counts of these writers, and which I have no doubt is the one intended 
by them." 


the "Erection of any mill or other machine for slitting 
or rolling iron or any plating forge to work with a tilt ham- 
mer or any furnace for making steel" in any of the colonies 
was forbidden. * 

The poorer planters at first used stone hand-mortars for 
pounding their grain tho' the better classes had hand-mills. 
These mills were of stones with about twenty inches or two 
feet face, and at first brought from England, though it was 
soon found that the calcareous rock on JSTeuse River h 
made admirable ones. This rock when first quarried 
was soft and easily shaped, but when exposed became hard 
and durable. These hand mills were worth five or six 
pounds, c 

In 1710 DeGraffenreid said there was only one water 
mill in the province. As late as 1Y30 there were only two 
or three water mills in the province and no wind mills, d 
The Assembly of 1715 a to encourage mills passed 
an act permitting the condemnation by the Pre- 
cinct Court of two acres for a water mill, and one-half acre 
for wind mill by any one engaging to erect a mill thereon 
within two years. If the owner of the land w^ould obligate to 
build such mill himself, then the motion of the applicant for 
mill was denied. 

?)Brickell, 263. 
c See inventories. 
d Brickell. 
a Ch. 37. 

*NoTE. — In 1731 Gov. Burrington states that there was an abun- 
dance of iron ore in North Carolina. 

Note. — In 1775 at Hillpboro, the Provincial Congress made an 
effort to encourage manufactures. "Premiums were voted for the 
manufacture of saltpetre, gunpowder, cotton and woolen cards, pins, 
needles, linen and woolen cloth, and for the erection of rolling and 
slitting mills, furnaces for the manufacture of steel and iron, paper 
mills, salt works, and for refining sulphur." Lossing, Vol. 2, p. 582 ; 
see also C. R., Vol. 9, p. 1,185 and Vol. 10, pp. 216-219. Immediately 
manufactures sprung into existence. 


In 1722 there were nine precincts in JSTortli Carolina, and 
an act of that year provided for the erection of court-houses 
at the following places : 

For the Precinct of Chowan at Edenton ; 

For the Precinct of Perquimans at Jonathan Phelps Point 
at the Mouth of the ISTarrows; 

For the Precinct of Currituck on the land of Mr. William 
Peyner next to the land of ]\[r. William Parker; or at Mr. 
Parker's, ''as the justices shall appoint" ; 

For the Precincts of Beaufort and Hyde at Bath to^^Ti ; 

For the Precinct of Craven at ISTew Bern; 

For the Precinct of Carteret at Beaufort town; 

For the Precinct of Bertie, now by this Assembly laid out 
at some convenient place at Ahotsky where the Justices shall 

For the Precinct of Pasquotank at such place as the Jus- 
tices shall appoint. 

Hyde was afterwards separated from Beaufort a 
and biult a court-house of its own. In the next few 
years the following additional counties were erected. On the 
site of old Clarendon I^ew Hanover (1728) was established. 
From 'New Hanover were formed Onslow (1734) and Bladen 
(1734) and Duplin (1749). From the territory of old Bath 
County was erected Edgecombe (1733) Johnston (1746) 
and Granville (1746). Beaufort, Hyde and Craven having 
been previously made therefrom. From Albemarle the Pre- 
cincts of Pasquotank, Currituck, Perquimans, Chowan, Ber- 
tie and Tyrrell had been taken, and from it Northampton 
was also erected in 1741. All court-houses built in the vari- 
ous precincts were required by law to be at least 24 feet long 
and 16 feet wide, h 

The "Precincts" were changed to "Counties" in 1738. 

a 1729. Ch. 3. 

6L. 1722, Ch. 8, Sec. 5. 


In 1Y49 realizing that the colony was becoming too im- 
portant to continue to have a migratory capital an act was 
passed fixing the seat of government at ISTew Berne and ap- 
pointing John Starkey, Edward Griffith and Jeremiah Vail 
Commissioners to erect necessary public buildings. At this 
time circuit courts were established; a commission appointed 
to revise and print the laws ; the militia better regulated ; a 
list of tasables arranged for; and £6000 appropriated for 
public schools. Direct trade had recently been opened from 
the Cape Fear to Europe, every ship brought high class immi- 
grants, and a new era had dawned for the colony. All 
the roads and trails to North Carolina from South Carolina, 
Virginia and Pennsylvania were filled with the wagons of 
the home-seeker. The growth of ISTorth Carolina from this 
time forward for the next half-century was probably the 
most remarkable in the history of American Colonization. 

The following extracts from a table in Holmes' Annals, 
Vol. 2, page 543, of exports to Great Britain and imports 
from Great Britain is most interesting: 

Imports from G. B. 

£. s. d. 

13908 8 3% 

19613 18 1134 

18290 12 11 

61785 11 5 

181821 14 11 

133037 9 

1773. 456513 8 4 344859 9 1 

Exports to G. 




s. d. 


























JN'ew England. 

Exports to G. 


Imports from G. B. 





s. d. 






13 111/4 






6 4 






2 11 






5 5 






2 5 





6 8 






15 10 

In 1773 the exports from the Carolinas greatly exceeded 
the exports of Georgia, New York, ISTew England and Penn- 
sylvania. Virginia and Maryland alone exceeded us, and 
probably more than half the ^North Carolina exports were 
shipped from Virginia waters and classed as Virginia pro- 

Exports to G. 

B. 1773. 

Imports from G. 






















ISTew England, 







ISTew York, 













Va. and Md., 














As illustrative of conditions in the Colonial period the following 
extracts from wills will prove interesting : 


LIONEL READING, Bath County, July 12, 1708, probated Feb- 
ruary, 1725. Item. I give and bequeath to my well beloved Son Na- 
thaniel Reading the said plantation after his mother's decease * * * 
and one feather Bed with Furniture, with a hand Mill. * * * The 
Same not to be paid out of his own Cattle wch are of a different mark 
from mine which by record appears. Item I give & bequeath to my 
Daughter Sarah * * * the youngest of my horses now running in 
the Woods * * * ." 

THOMAS POLLOCK of Chowan County, 1721. Plantations aggre- 
gating about 55,000 acres of land. The names of some of them as 
follows : "Five hundred and sixty acres in the fork of Raquis called 
Springfield ; * * * pjyg hundred acres of land lying on the 
South Side of Moratock River called Canecarora ; * * * six 
hundred and forty acres of land * * * on Bridges Creek at 
Weekacanaan A tract of land containing Two thousand eight hun- 
dred acres Lying on Cassayah called Rose-field ; * * * Nine 
hundred Acres of Land on Neuse River fork Called New-Bern. 

* * * Where Wilson lived at Weekacoon Creek : and where John 
Mainard lived at Pettishore also two thousand four hundred acres 
called Crany Island ; * * * Seven Hundred and Ten acres Lying 
on the North side of Trent River Called Ye Halfe-Way House. 

* * * also six hundred and Forty acres on Nuse River Called 
Wilkeson's Point." 

About eighty slaves were bequeathed the names of some of which 
are as follows : Scipio, Abraham, Diego, Mingo, Venus, Csesar, 
Caramante Will, Sharper, London, Diana, Tomboy, Pompey. 

Land on Salmon Creek is given to son Thomas "Reserving free 
liberty to my son George to make what Pitch and Tar he sees fitting 
on the same with his hands for the space of three or four years 
after My Death." Also, "as to ye crop on ye Ground and what 
Pitch and Tar ye hands in ye woods makes until ye first of Aprill 
Next shall be Equally divided, etc." 

As to importations from and business dealings with New England : 
"I give and bequeath to my son Cullen one hundred pound to be paid 
in Boston and also five thousand foot of plank which I have sent 
for from Boston. * * * x give and bequeath unto my son George 
sixty pound to be paid in Boston." 


"Also I give and bequeath unto my Son Thomas one Third Part 
of all the vessels clearances whether it be in money, bills to New- 
England or elsewhere 

also I give and Bequeath to my Son Cnllen six Pound to be paid 
him in the first goods from New England at first cost I owing him 
so much 

also I give and bequeath to my Son George twenty pound to be 
paid him in the first goods I have come in from Boston I oweing him 
so much." "New England plank" is mentioned two or three times 
in the will. 

Codicil provides for building houses for sons of testator : "And 
whereas * * * j have Expended and Laid out for a house at 
Black Rock (when mr West the Carpentare is paid what is due to 
him for his worke ther) for my son Thomas Twoe hundred Pound 
and also Ten Pound more for New England plank. * * * And 
v/hereas also I have been out and expended upon a house for my 
son Cullen on the South Shore (when mr West the Carpentare is 
paid for what worke he hath done ther (to wit) the covering of the 
house doeing the Dormant Windoes and makeing upe the Gavell end 
of the Sd House and when Cullen hath what Glass is in the House 
that will answer his purposes and what nailes he shall have occa- 
sion for said House * * * In my accounting above in this co- 
dicill concerning Cullens House standing in Three Hundred Pound 
I made a mistake in not mentioning that mr Coke the Bricklayer 
wages for making Laying the Bricks in the chimneys Sellar Under- 
piniug and doeing all the other worke agreed for is part of the Three 
hundred Pound and is to be paid out of my personall estate. Also 
he is to have what lands are necessary for him for burning the 
Bricks or what other worke he hath occasion for to finish the worke 
he hath agreed for wherefore my will is that the Bricklayer aforesd 
be paid out of my personall estate befor Shared." 


* * * One Silver Tankard Weighing 1 :1b, 1 :Z 15 :pw 16 :gr 
Eight Good Spoons Two Dram Cups one little Spoon One do broke 
One do large melted a Seal 9Z 3pw Total of the weight 1 lb lOZ 
18p wlGgr One Silver Hilted Sword one pair of Buckles not weighed 
four Diamond Rings two plain do. * * * 


Chowan Precinct. * * * "I Give devise and bequeath unto my 
Eldest daughter Jane My Indian Girle named Nanny My Negro 
Woman named Dinah, together with her three Children and all the 
increase that shall be borne of any of them Her Mothers Diamond 
wedding ring and large pair of Diamond ear rings, Gold Watch with 
the Chain, Seal & other things fixed thereto ; her Mothers Wearing 


Apparell such as is already made up & such things as was designed 
for her but not made up. All her Mothers Child bede Linnen with 
white silk Damask Gown, All the China Ware and Tea furniture 
with the Dressing table and furniture, Also a Dozen of my finest 
Damask Napkins and Table Clothe a Dozen of fine Diaper Napkins 
& Table Clothe, One pair of my finest Holland sheets with Pillow 
Cases ; and one other pair of Holland Sheets with Pillow Cases. 
Item I give devise and bequeath unto my Daughter Martha Four 
young negroes, two male and two female, not under ten years of 
age to be set apart from the rest of my Estate for the use of my 
said daughter together with the increase thereof ; Also the smaller 
pair of Diamond Ear-rings, One Diamond Ring, her Mothers Gold 
Shoe Buckles thimble & Bodkin one Dozen of my finest damask 
Napkins and table clothe, one Dozen of fine Diaper Napkins & Table 
Clothe One pair of my finest holland Sheets & pillow Cases and one 
other pair of holland sheets with Pillow cases ; Also the Sum of 
one hundred and fifty pounds Boston Money. Item I give devise 
and bequeath unto my daughter Rebeckah four young negroes two 
male & two female, not imder ten years of Age to be set apart from 
the rest of my estate for the use of my said daughter together with 
the increase thereof, One Diamond Ring, One Dozen fine Damask 
Napkins and Table Clothe, One Dozen fine Diaper Napkins and 
Table Clothe, Two pair of fine holland Sheets and pillow eases. 
Also the Sum of Two hundred pounds Boston Money. * * * 
Item I give devise and bequeath unto my Eldest Son William Hard- 
ing Jones, all my land on the South side of Moratoke River being 
part of a large tract of nine Thousand one hundred acres by me 
taken up. Also all my lands in Hyde precinct. * * * Item I 
Give devise and bequeath unto my Son Frederick .Tones all my Lands 
in Craven precinct. * * * Item I Give Devise and bequeath 
unto my Son Thomas Jones all my Lands at or near Meherrin 
Creek in Chowan precinct. Also those Lands belonging to me on the 
North Side Moratoke River. * * * Item I give unto each of my 
Sons one Diamond Ring; Item I Give unto my three Sons to be 
equally divided among them all my Library of Books ; Eycept those 
books commonly used by my wife, which I have ordered to be put 
into her closets which books I give unto my Daughter Jane. * * * 
Lands lying in King William County in Virginia commonly called 
Horns Quarter, * * * Item I Give unto my Loveing brother Ten 
pounds Sterling to buy a Suit of Mourning. * * * A Codicil to 
be annexed to the Will of Frederick Jones Esqr. I Give and be- 
queath unto my daughter Jane, My Wifes Side Saddle and furniture 
thereto belonging with the horse called Blaze. To my daughter 
Martha a Sett of Silver tea spoons double gilded. To my daughter 
Rebeckah two pair of filigreen gold Shift buckles and all the gold 
rings and Ear-rings. * * * to my good friend and Neighbour 


Edward Moseley of Chowan precinct my pair of pistolls mounted 
with Silver caps etc. * * * with bridle Locks and stocked with 
English Walnut." 

EMANUEL LOW. 1726 Pasquotank precinct. "* * * Sly I 
give and bequeath unto my Grandson George Low Son of my be- 
loved Son Nevil Low Dd and now in the kingdom of Great Britain 
the Plantation where my Cousin Robinson now Lives & the Plan- 
tation called New ABBey with four Hundred Acres of land adjoin- 
ing to it to * * * also my Seal Scutcheon of arms. * * * 
Lands commonly called the Town point Lying on the mouth of 
the North West side of Newbegun Creek & now in the possession 
of Jno Conner. It is my Will that my daughter Anna Letitia her 
heirs or assigns shall keep in possession all ye before mentioned 
Legacies wth Lands &c &c &c &c." 

"of ye eastern Parish of Chowan * * * (Jq gjyg * * * 
Ann Jones my wife * * * One certain piece or parcel of Land 
containing four thousand Acres on Ronoak river in Bertie Precinct 
it being that Trackt of Land out of wch I have sold three hundred 
to Ellis Hodges of the same precinct I also give to her during her 
natural Life the house and plantation whereon I now live with all & 
singular the rights, hereditaments appertenances & appendants what- 
soever to the said piece or parcel of Land in anywise appertaining 
with all Cattle, hogs, horses, sheep belonging to the said plantation 
with one third part of the negroes I now possess, and also all my 
household goods belonging to the sd house Excepting the family 
pictures and Court of Arms. * * * likewise all my books in ye 
sd. house I give to my brothers Preddick and Thomas Jones 


"of Bath County in the province of North Carolina Gent. * * * 
Item. I give devise and bequeath unto my Son Samuel and unto 
my daughter Mary my Lands up the north west branch of Cape 
Fear River called Ashwood which are situate lying and being on 
the South side of said river between the lands of John Porter of 
Virginia Mercht, and the Plantation whereon Daniel Donahoe lately 
deceased dwelt. Together with my other lands on the north Side of 
the River directly opposite to those aforementioned to be equally 

* * * Item, I give, devise and bequeath * * * land on 
Stumpy Sound called Turkey Point * * * other tract called 
Stump Island. Four hundred acres of land * * * qq the Main 
Branch of Old town creek. Item I will that my slaves be kept to 
work on my lands that my Estate may be managed to the best ad- 
vantage so as my sons may have as liberal an education as the 


profits thereof will afford; and in their Education I pray my Exors 
to observe this method. Let them be taught to read and write and 
be introduced into the practical part of Arithmetick not too hastily 
hurrying them into Latin or Grammar but after they are pretty well 
versed in these let them be taught Latin & Greek. I propose this 
may be done in Virginia ; After which let them learn French ; per- 
haps some Frenchman at Santee wile undertake this ; when they 
are arrived to years of discretion Let them study the Mathematicks. 
To my Sons when they arrive at age I recommend the pursuit & 
Study of Some profession or business (I wish one to ye Law, the 
other to Merchandize) In which let them follow their own inclina- 
tions. Item I will that my daughter be taught to write and read 
& some feminine accomplishments which may render her agreeable ; 
And that she be not kept ignorant as to what appertains to a good 
house wife in the management of household affairs. Item I give to 
each of my Esors a Gold Ring a token of the respect which In my 
life I bore them Item I will that a Brick Vault may be built at 
Groveley and my Dear Wifes body taken up out of the Earth & 
brought and laid therein ; and if it should be my fortune to die in 
Carolina so as my Corpse may be Conveyed thither I desire that 
one large Coffin may be made and both our body's laid together 
therein and lodged in the said Vault." 


"of Bertie Precinct." Plantations called Black Rock, Great Quar- 
ter, Manuels or Crickits, Springfield, and lands lying on Salmon 
Creek & Chowan River, Trent River, Unaroye Meadows, "nigh of 
Tuskarora Indian Town," Moratuck River. Fishing Creek. Forty 
six negroes are bequeathed. "Item I will & Order & give by this 
will to all Such persons who are Setled on my lands at Trenton 
Condition of a Certain writng I give to Jacob Miller that those 
already settled there, have leases on ye same terms I promised 


Bath County. Plantations on Derhams Creek one known 
as Sand Hills. Negroes, Mustees and Indians are given to 
wife, and mourning rings to friends. "It is my further will and 
desire that my Son and Daughter may be Carefully learnt to read 
& write & Cypher & yt they be duly Educated * * * ." 


Perquimans precinct. "Ye island of Ocreecock," land on the Sandy 
Bank "by the name of Point Lookout" ; "Manner Plantation." One 
hundred and forty seven acres of land in Perquimans ; lots in 
Roanoak Town devised to son Richard. The brigantine "Sea 


Flower" and sloop "Swallow" are given to son and son in law. 
Thirteen negro and one Indian slave bequeathed. 


Bertie precinct. Provides for "bringing up my children at School 
Plantation at Emperor's Fields bought of Christian Hitteburch. 
"Whereas, * * * I have begun to build a brigantine which is 
now in the Stocks in Bertie precinct * * * finish and Compleat 
the said Brigantine with Anchors Masts Cables Sails ' &g." 

"Item it is my will and pleasure that after the said Vessel is 
finished my executors & my Trustees herein named do * * * 
purchase a Loading of Tobacco black Wallnut or other merchandise 
fitt for the British market and that they do send the said Vessel to 
great Britain from thence to return to No. Carolina, * * * ." 

"Item It is my will and pleasure that after my Sloop Carolina 

returns from New England that my Executors & Trustee do * * * 

purchase a cargo and send the said Sloop to the West Indies 
* * * " 

"Item It is my will that my dear wife & Execrs do receive from 
Captn Grainger the Cargo brought in a Schooner into this province 
which belongs to Mr. Coleman provided the said Grainger allows to 
my E:.;ecrs twelve pounds pr Barrel for good & well pickled pork 
vizt for so much as is produced from my own stock * * * ." 


Pasquotank precinct. Two plantations are conveyed to sons Sam- 
uel and William with the provision that if either shall sell or con- 
vey his part "out of the name of ye Swanns" the other shall enter 
and take possession. Provision is made for "ye Christian education 
of my Children." Horse, bridle and saddle is given to each of two 


Bath County. Plantation on Pamplico river "called in the patent 
Mount Calvert ; six hundred and forty acres of land on Bear creek. 
About twenty negro slaves bequeathed. To daughter Sarah is be- 
queathed forty three cattle and horses, one hundred pounds "of the 
said Province bills or their value" ; Madam Sarah Porter is men- 
tioned as having care and tuition of daughter. To three children is 
given "my largest periauger with anchors and sails." "Item I be- 
queath unto my son in law John Harvey Ten pounds in order to 
purchase him a good Beaver Hat and a pair of gloves. * * * 
Item I bequeath unto my beloved son Edward Salter my best Saddle 
and bridle and one pair of Silver Spurs and Richard Bloom's his- 
tory of the Holy Bible together with all the books that I shall own 
at my Death (be they Divinity, History or Mathematical) * * * 
also my large China Punch Bowl. * * * My will is that my 


Brigantine now on the stocks at John Smiths be got finished and. 
made fit for the Sea as soon as may be * * * be loaden with 
tar *. * * (for Boston). * * * My will further is that my 
Executors may write two or three ways * * * to Collo. Jacob 
Windall and Company to Insure the sum of Twelve Hundred pounds 
(Boston Money) upon the said Brigantine * * * ." Money 
arising from the sale of the brigantine to be "remitted in youngeable 
slaves (none to exceed the age of twenty years)." Provision is 
made for education of children and for Edward "a thorough educa- 
tion to make him a compleat merchant." 


To sons John, Edward & William is given land purchased of 
Martin Frank called "New Gei-many" ; lots (3) in Newbern town 
with a store house on one of them ; plantation on the west side of 
Swifts Creek called Paradice. Sixteen negro slaves bequeathed. 
Large number of cattle and horses bequeathed — five riding horses. 
Provision is made for Seven years schooling for children the school- 
ing to be given them at some time betv\-een the ages of seven and 
seventeen years. 


New Hanover County. Plantation at Rockey Point containing 
3500 acres ; Plantation in Chowan County containing 2000 acres ; 
plantation on the North East branch of Cape Fear River containing 
3500 acres lying between Holly Shelter Creek and the "bald white 
Sand hills" ; plantation opposite Rockey Point plantation containing 
1650 acres ; 1280 acres at Rockfish Creek ; 600 acres on the East Side 
of the North West branch of Cape Fear River ; lot and houses in 
Brunswick ; plantation below Brunswick called Macknights ; lot & 
house in Wilmington ; 600 acres of land opposite Cabbage Inlet ; 
500 acres in Tyrrell called Coopers ; 450 acres in Tyrrell called 
Whitemarsh ; lands on East side Cape Fear River ; plantation at the 
Sound where "there is a large vineyard Planted ; 3200 acres in 
Edgecombe called Alden of the hill ; 1650 acres on West side of Neuse 
River "about twenty four miles above New Bern town ; 10,000 acres 
in Edgecombe County called Clur ; aggregating about 35,000 acres, 
88 slaves bequeathed. "Item I give and bequeath to my Loving 
wife Anne my New Chaise Harness and the Pair of Bay horses 
Smoker and Toby. * * * I also give unto her out of my stocks 
ten cows & ten calves ten steers of Different ages & Twenty sheep 
and the horse Spark. 

* * * It is my will that the slaves usually kept about the 
house shall be kept in the same employment for my Wifes easier 
life and care of my children untill she marries. * * * item. I 
give unto my six children all my Stock of horses Mares neat cattle 
sheep and swine to run & increase for ther benefit and I will that 


proper slaves be appointed for managing ttiereof of which increase 
& profit made thereby of such as are necessary to be sold or killed 
at proper seasons Accot to be rendered to the County Court for my 
children advantage without charges deducting first thereout what 
may be necessary for such kind of provision for housekeeping for 
my said wife and children. Item It is my will that the profits 
arising from the labour of my two sons slaves & their part of the 
profits arising by the stocks be laid out in purchasing young female 
slaves to be added to their stocks of slaves. * * * item. When 
it shall be necessary to give all or any of my sons other Education 
than is to be had from the Common Masters in this Province for I 
would have my children well educated it is then my will &c &c &c. 
Item. I recommend it to my dear and loving wife that one of my 
sons as shall be Thought best qualified for it be bred to the Law it 
being highly necessary in so large a Family and to him I give all 
my Law books being upwards of 200 Volumes. * * * Item. I 
give to my dear wife Blomes History of the Bible in folio, three 
volumes in folio of Archbishop Tillotsons works, four Volumes in 
Octavo of Dr. Stanhopes on the Epistles & Gospels and all the books 
of Physick. Item I give to my daughter Ann Humfries 3 volumes 
in folio on the Old & New Testament and I will that my Exors buy 
for her the work of the author of the Whole Duty of Man I give to 
the eldest of my sons that shall not study the law Chambers Dic- 
tionary two Volumes in folio Locks Works three volumes in folio 
Millers Dictionary two volumes in folio and LeBlond on Gardening 
in Quarto : and the rest of my books about 150 volumes. * * * 
Item I give * * * my large Silver Tea Kettle, Lamp & Server 
for it to stand on weighing in all about 170 ounces * * * jjjy 
Large Silver Coffee Pot * * * my Large Silver Tea Pot * * * 
my Large Silver Tankard * * * a pair of lai-ge Square Silver 
Servers, my cases of knifes, forks, spoons. Salts, Casters & Other 
my Plate to be * * * 


Tyrrell County Gen. Plantation at Matchapungo River in Hide 
County, lott of land in Bath town; 710 acres of land on a branch 
of Trent River called "the halfe way House" ; 12S0 acres lying on 
Coneto Creek in Tyrrell County called the "deaded Woods" ; 640 
acres in Bertie County on "ye Roonaroy Meadows" ; 4700 acres in 
Bertie County; aggregating about 8000 acres. 78 negroes. "Item 
It is my will and desire that my three daughters have as good Edu- 
cation as can be had in this Province & that my two sons when they 
have got what learning they can have in this province that they be 
sent to Boston for further education * * * ." 



New Hanover County, Parish of St. Phillips, 1750. Plantations 
called Kendall, Maultby's Point, Mount Misery; Orton Lands lying 
on Island opposite Black River. 2500 acres where Mill stands, 640 
acres at Rockey Point, 55.000 acres in the Neck known as Mount 
Misery, 3025 acres in Saxpahaw Old Fields, 5000 acres near Eno Old 
Fields, and 20,000 acres mentioned in latter part of will, aggregating 
about 100,000 acres; 250 slaves mentioned. To each of daughters 
is bequeathed eighteen hundred pounds. Testator mentions saw mill 
"I entend to build on Brice's Creek." 

"It is my will that each of my daughters Mary and Anne doe at 
their marriage take each their choyce of any One of the House 
slaves, except the Negro wench Bess who I leave to her liberty to 
make choyce of any one of my children for her Master or Mistress." 


Plantations called Possum Quarter, Conahoe ; 1000 acres on Cy- 
press Creek, 980 acres on South side of Trent, 400 acres on the head 
of Trent and New Rivers, 7000 acres on Deep River in Bladen Co., 
"all the small islands lying in Roanoke River and in the neighbour- 
hood of Mount Gallard, land on Salmon Creek in Bertie County." 
* * * my said Wife shall have the use of all my said Daughters 
plantations and for her Encouragement to Cultivate & Improve 
these Plantations especially in Raising Silk. * * * And I earn- 
estly request my Dearest wife to be a kind tender mother to my Dear 
little girl and to bring her up in the Fear of God and under a deep 
sense of her being always in his presence, and in Sobriety and moder- 
ation Confining her Desires to things plain and neat and Elegant 
and not aspiring after the Gayety Splendor and Extravagances and 
especially to take Care to keep within the bounds of her income and 
by no Means to Run in Debt. * * * It I give and bequeath to 
Henry Johnston now at school in Newhaven in the Colony of Con- 
necticut. * * * My Books I leave to William Cathcart Esqr. 
after my Wife and Brother have choose out them any Number not 
Exceeding forty each. It To my sister Elizabeth Smear of the 
County of Fife North Britain my large Repeating Gold Watch after 
it has been put in order at the Expence of my estate." 


Chowan County. One plantation. " * * * i gjye and be- 
queath * * * Three negroes, viz ; Sharper, Finn & Tom, with all 
my brewing kettles, tubs and Fxts and all my brewing works and 
my writing Desk * * * My desire is that my Chaise, Boat, 
Blacksmith's tools, watch and other tools or anything else that is 
likely to perish be sold * * * item. I give and bequeath to my 
brother Charles Blount my best Broad Cloth Suit of Clothes my 


best Beaver Hatt & Wigg. My will is that none of the timber should 
be cut or Sold excepting for the use of the plantation and that no 
Stranger shall be admitted to live on any part of the Back Land 
to destroy the Timber, and that no Person shall on any consideration 
whatsoever be admitted to live on any part of my Land Excepting 
an Overseer. * * * that no other negroes shall be permitted 
to work on my plantation excepting they are the property of my 
wife and children. 

And my vi-ill is that all the money that shall arise out of my 
Estate * * * should be laid out to purchase likely young ne- 
groes at the Discretion of my Executors for the use and Benefit of 
my children." Provisiou is made for the education of the children 
in "a Christian like manner." 


Perquimans County. 450 acres of land "where I now dwell" and 
"Allegator land." "I give to my Daughter Mary Claton my pickle 
case and Bottles. Item I do hereby give to my brother John Vail 
my Silver Seal and Stock Buckle." 


"In the name of God, Amen. I James Innes of Cape Fear in 
North Carolina in America Coll of the Regiment of sd. Province 
Raised for His Majesty's immediate service and Commander in 
Chief of this Expedition to the Ohio against the French & there 
Indians whoe have most unjustly Invaided & fortified themselves 
on His Majesty's lands— Being now readdey to Enter upon Action 
* * * I recomend the paying of all my Just and Lawfull Debts 
instantly, or when demanded. I direct a remittance may be made 
to Edinburgh, Sufficient to pay for a Church Bell for the Parish 
Church of Cannesby, in Caithness agreeable to my Letter to mr. 
Jams Broadee Minister there. 

I also appoint and direct that there may be a furder remittance 
made of One hundred Pounds Sterll : for the use of the Poor of said 
Parish of Cannesby & the said Summ of One hundred Pounds to 
be put at interest for the use of the poor of Said Parish as formerly 
directed by me. 

I also give and bequeath att the Death of my Loving Wife Jean 
Innes my Plantation called Point Pleasant & the Opposite Mash 
Land over the River for which there is a Separate Patent, Two 
negro young Women, One Negroe Young man and there Increase 
all the Stock of Cattle and Hogs, halfe the Stock of Horses belonging 
att the time to that Plantation With all my Books & One hundred 
Pounds Sterling or the Equivalent thereunto in the currency of the 
Country For the use of a Free School for the Benefite of the Youth 


of North Carolina. And to see that this part of my will is dewly 
executed att the time, I appoint the Colonell of the New Hanover 
Regiment, the Parson of Willmington Church & the Vestrey for the 
time being, or the majority of them as they Shall from time to time 
be Choised or Appointed." 


Legacies: Wedding ring to Niece ("as a particular mark of my 
affection and a memento of my Conjugal happiness, not doubting hers 
is equal and may it be as lasting." Gold watch, gold chain mourning 
ring. Silver chased tea kettle, cream pot, lamp. "Walnut tree 
fineered Tea chest containing three pieces of plate chased as the 
tea kettle" ; Silver waiters, dozen tea spoons and strainer in black 
Shagreen case ; Silver Sauce pan, mahogany dressing table, gilt 
smelling bottle ; "books of modern taste." 


Bertie County. "***]; Give and Devise unto my son 
Ouleln Pollock all my Books, also a mouning ring." Several ne- 
groes are bequeathed to different relatives. " * * * i give and 
devise * * * my still with the appurtenances * * * ," 


Craven County. Plantations called Springfield, Jemmys Necl^ 
Harrow, Atkins Banks, Fort Barnwell ; lands in Johnson County, lots 
Nos. 21, 22, 191 and 84 in the town of Newbern. About seventy 
five negro slaves bequeathed the names of some of which are as 
follows : Pompey, Venus, Phillis, Balaam, Csesar, London, Big Rose, 
Big Bess, Mercury, Tortola, Cado, Tamer, Judy, Jupiter, Sabina, 
Peter ("a cooper"). 



"The Poetical Literature of North Carolina" is the theme of a 
somewhat extended study by Mr. Moore, embodying a general intro- 
duction, a review of the work by the half dozen foremost native poets 
(Fuller, Hill and Mrs. Clarke being the earlier), a briefer critical 
mention of others who have wrought worthily, an estimate of North 
State verse in the mass, a collection of about twenty-five of the best 
Carolina carols, and the fullest available bibliography including 
more than sixty volumes. The Booklet is permitted herewith to 
publish the paragraphs relating to the three most distinguished of 
our later native poets : Boner, not long deceased ; Stockard now in 
the midst of his usefulness and at the height of his fame ; and 
McNeill who (let us hope) is just at the threshold of a brilliant 


The work of Mr. Boner, more than that of any other native 
poet, breathes the air of the old North State. "Whispering 
Pines" he named his first volume and it is pervaded bj the 
odor of Carolina fields and woodland. The Yadkin river is 
in one poem "golden," in another "gentle," and it inspires 
"The Lone Cool ITook." "Saddle Bags of Gold" are safe 
under the roof of the pious mountaineer. "The Light'ood 
Fire" is "old Carolina's own." The scene of his one long 
poem, "The Recluse of Appalachia," is laid among our wes- 
tern peaks. "Hatteras" and "The Cliff" (Pilot Mountain) 
are themes of worthy verse. From the busy crowded city he 
comes back to his Salem birthplace and weeps over its deso- 
lation. The. Graveyard there "where thick dark cedars 
grow" he sings as "the most restful spot I know." And in 
"City Bells" the inspiration and climax are found in the 
poet's native town : 


One simple spire points to the sliies 
Above the leafy trees. I hear 
The old Moravian bell ring clear, 

But see no more — tears fill my eyes. 

Strong local attacliment and fervent patriotism were so 
evidently the marks of the poet that even when kindling his 
first fire in Cricket Lodge, his Staten Island home, he reverts 
to old scenes: 

Rather had I hewn my beam 
By old Yadkin's gentle stream — 
Rather there on wintry days 
Felt the cheery lightwood blaze, 
Heard the cawing of the crow 
And the wild geese honking go — 
Rather there the summer long 
Melon, fig, and scuppernong 
Seen and tasted — rather there 
Felt the ever balmy air ; 
But not thus the stern fates would. 
Be it so — and God is good. 

The reverence and resignation of the poet are notable 
characteristics shining in his verse. 

No being knows 
What life would be without consuming pains 
But He who shapes the beauty of the rose 

And sheds its leaves, is Wisdom — and He reigns. 

In "Lodge or Mansion" he disclaims "heaven-offending 
pride" and says : 

I earn my bread, nor feel the labor sore ; 
Have little but no spite for who has more. 

In "Unrest" he tells of 

the perfect rest 
Of energy subservient to God's will. 


That this conception and attainment were not marks of a 
passive nature but of one chastened and disciplined is mani' 
fest; for while in earlier days he could say "I brood not on 
my pangs" he adds: 

Yet have done so — O have arrayed 

Hot curses 'gainst the ruling stars, 
Then compassed, foiled, and forced, have frayed ^^ 

My very life against the bars. 

In "Our American God, Hustle" (a title, by the way, 
which does not strike one as being quite worthy of its ele- 
vated lines) the poet after saying "the crime of haste is 
man's" goes on to voice a personal yearning after the In- 
finite : 

God of our nobler fathers, I adore Thee! 

Too late I live to dedicate my ways 
To Thee divinely, and I can restore Thee 

Only a starving soul, but that with praise 
That I have set no other god before Thee 

And have despised the Moloch of my days. 

In "Immortality" and "The Way of Blessedness" we have 
probably his best distinctively religious pieces. The theol- 
ogy of his poetry admits the feeling that departed loved ones 
are near us and conscious of our acts ; the craving of human 
benediction after death has done its work; and almost the 
belief in animal immortality, as in the sonnet on his dog 
"Jack" whom he called "the little Scot, dear as a child." 
He pictures "the pitiful agony" of the inebriate who knows 
"the anguish of desire bereft of will," and anathematizes 
"the treacherous imp that lurks in alcohol." And "a simple 
faith in Jesus Christ" he proclaims as 

a faith which hath sufficed 
Men mourning in a land of woe. 

Some of the saddest notes in Carolina verse were struck 
by Mr. Boner, but they are interfused with the spirit of 


faith and hope. "We Walked Among the Whispering 
Pines" is one of the most touching memorials of a dead love. 
The sweet romances of early life are unforgotten, but by- 
gone loves do not reappear: 

We parted like the sparkling streams 
That from the forest laughing spring 

And never, never meet again, 

And nevermore flow clear and free, 
And leave at last the tranquil plain 

To mingle with the unpeaceful sea. 

The verses on "A Dead Poet" close with the melancholy 

lines : 

His was the saddest fate — to love and lose; 
And then, most pitiful, to strive for fame 
And die with finger-tips against the wreath. 

Out of an aching heart came "Broken and Desolate" — a 
poem marking the decay of the poet's birthplace: 

All sadly altered — home no more. 

Who has not had the feeling so beautifully expressed in 
the opening stanzas of "A Prayerful Trust?" 

The thought will sometimes come to me — 
Where will I die, and in what way, 
In gloom of night or light of day, 

When will the solemn moment be? 

Will any one a vigil keep. 

Will I from the ordeal shrink 

Or calmly in the dark sea sink ; 
Will any grieve — will any weep? 

When, broken in health, the poet was driven to retirement 
he sought the shrine of Solitude in his pathetic "Song at 
Evening" : 


And slowly he comes that went springing, 
And dolefully he that went singing, 
No laurel leaf holding, and bringing 
No hope but to die. 

In the removal of the poet's remains from Washington 
City where he died to the old Graveyard at Salem was ful- 
filled the wish expressed years before : 

Where'er it be my fate to die, 
Beneath those trees in whose dark shade 
The first loved of my life are laid 

I want to lie. 

But Mr. Boner wrote also in lighter vein. See the sun- 
shine of youth in ''Hunting Muscadines" ; glimpse the love- 
sick in "Sweet Little Fool" ; mark "the romping game of 
life bucolic" in "A Boy in the Piney Woods" ; note the rol- 
licking glee which pervades "The Wanderer Back Home" ; 
and hear the swinging lines in "Crismus Times is Come," 
which Mr. Stockard declares to be "the whole negro race at 
a touch." 

The wealth of imagination marking Mr. Boner's work 
may be illustrated by some random phrases. Broadway he 
calls "Niagara of streets" ; the snow-covered earth he styles 
"a marble world" ; home is described as "mothernook" ; he 
addresses the ocean as "Thou visible eternity, O Sea" ! He 
has seen "magnolia's creamy bloom," "the sun-fed roses," 
"moon-silvered leaves," "the pine trees weep great drops of 
dew," and "the land enmeshed and ablaze with vines." He 
has felt "the pain of pleasure," and "the sweet strength of a 
tear" ; has kept "sharp curses in unspoken sheath." By his 
swift keel "dancing Zephyr strews foam-flowers upon the 
waters." Above him "the morning star like a torch-light 
glowed," and around him "the meadow grasses fed the air," 
and "the field flowers wake from their swoon." And de- 
licious to him was 


the music shower 
That fell from orient pipes in luminous rain 
Upon our spirits. 

In a few of Mr. Boner's poems there is a deficiency of 
climax. For instance, the closing line of the otherwise beau- 
tiful sonnet on ''The Return of the Crickets" is 

But pshaw ! I'd never learn to play your fiddle. 

And the capital verses on "Solitude" close with the prosy 
exhortation : 

When for true loneliness your soul entreats 
Come to New York and walk these crowded streets. 

The couplet concluding "Winter Breakfast by Candlelight" 
is hardly more inspiring: 

And who would find his Java appetizing 
Let him the aroma get by candlelight. 

And yet that Homer was in these lines simply nodding 
is shown in the fine climax to "America," synonym of lib- 
erty — "that name which, rising with a luminous flush, 
gleamed rocket-like 

Rifting the night with white and crimson bars, 
And, poising heavenward, blossomed into stars. 

To Mr. Boner we are indebted for many charming bits of 
description. Take the opening lines of "An Evening in 
Early Spring" : 

A settled rain is making in from sea ; 

A slate-blue drifting mist has blurred the white 
Of apple blossoms and the dogwood's light, 

And mezzotinted every greening tree. 


Something of a similar scene re-appears in "Easter Lilies" : 

Winter is gone, and yet in sunless places 

Snow-wraiths of Christmas lurked till yesterday — 
Pale stragglers from that pageant far away. 

Down cloudy ways one wind another chases, 

Whistling mad ditties in averted faces. 
Blue lakes of sky to beaches pearly gray 
Run brightly, dimpling, where flotillas gay 

With silken sails leave foam in flying traces. 

Vivid is the vision of the "Moonrise in the Pines" : 

far through the trees I see 
The rim of a globe of fire 
That rolls through the darkness to me. 

It is in the "Time of Drought" that 

The tender flowers, like pious hearts. 
When tortured by scorn's ireful darts. 
Fold their mute leaves, accept the doom. 
And die in their own sweet perfume. 

And "The Moon-Loved Land" is 

in the South 
Where the clear moon kisses with large cool mouth 
The land she loves. 

"There's a Lone Cool ISTook" which is sung in notes of 
soothing melody and charm: 

At night when the sky is full of stars 

When shadowy birds flit down the shore. 
And the water-snake glides to the sandy bars. 

You may touch the waves with a noiseless oar 
Till you float far out in the shining stream. 

Where winds from the corn-land freshly blow. 
And there you may gently drift and dream 

With stars above you and stars below — 
Drifting, drifting, may dream and rest 

On the peaceful river's cool, sweet breast. 


Passing elegant passages from such poems as "Sparrows 
in the Snow," "Christmas Eve in the Country," and "Song 
of the Old Mill Wheel" we may quote in full the less known 
but exquisite martial sonnet of nature, entitled "The Old 
Guard" : 

Summer is routed from her rosy plains. 
The splendid queen with colors flying fled 
Far to the south, leaving her legions dead 

Upon the fields all in the dismal rains. 

The minstrels of her camp most plaintive strains 
Piped as they flew ; then vandal armies spread 
About the hills their tattered tents of red 

And gold and purple, and their gaudy trains 

Usurped the valleys, firing as they went, 
Till halted by a cordon of grim pines 

That would not yield or furl their banners green. 

Wounded they fought and moaned, though well-nigh spent. 
With blood-drops trickling down their chevron vines 
They fought and stood — the Old Guard of their queen. 

With Mr. Boner's masterpiece our review of his verse may 
culminate and close. The poet himself regarded "Poe's Cot- 
tage at Fordham" as his best piece of work — an opinion in 
which his critics generally concur, Mr. Stockard, for ex- 
ample, referring to its "matchless stanzas." In it are hap- 
pily combined insight, melody, finish and force. It is a 
poem worthy of the theme and one that will live. Read it, 
and you see Mr. Boner at his best: 

Here lived the soul enchanted 

By melody of song; 
Here dwelt the spirit haunted 

By a demoniac throng ; 
Here sang the lips elated ; 
Here grief and death were sated; 
Here loved and here unmated 

Was he, so frail, so strong. 


Here wintry winds and cheerless 

The dying firelight blew 
While he whose song was peerless 

Dreamed the drear midnight through, 
And from dull embers chilling 
Crept shadows darkly filling 
The silent place, and thrilling 

His fancy as they grew. 

Here, with brow bared to heaven, 
In starry night he stood, 

With the lost star of seven 
Feeling sad brotherhood. 

Here in the sobbing showers 

Of dark autumnal hours 

He heard suspected powers 

Shriek through the stormy wood. 

From visions of Apollo 

And of Astarte's bliss. 
He gazed into the hollow 

And hopeless vale of Dis ; 
And though earth were surrounded 
By heaven, it still was mounded 
With graves. His soul had sounded 

The dolorous abyss. 

Proud, mad, but not defiant. 

He touched at heaven and hell. 
Fate found a rare soul pliant 

And rung her changes well. 
Alternately his lyre, 
Stranded with strings of fire, 
Led earth's most happy choir 
Or flashed with Israfel. 

No singer of old story 

Luting accustomed lays. 
No harper for new glory. 

No mendicant for praise. 
He struck high chords and splendid. 
Wherein were fiercely blended 
Tones that unfinished ended 

With his unfinished days. 


Here through this lowly portal, 

Made sacred by his name, 
Unheralded immortal 

The mortal went and came. 
And fate that then denied him, 
And envy that decried him. 
And malice that belied him. 

Have cenotaphed his fame. 


For years our most distinguished native resident poet Mr. 
Stockard has really been the uncrowned laureate of ISTorth 
Carolina. He has been frequently called upon for Christ- 
mas, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Easter and other 
special verse. The centennial celebration at the State Uni- 
versity was adorned by an excellent sonnet which he recited 
to three thousand people. "Sir Walter Raleigh" was writ- 
ten for and read before the State Literary and Historical 
Association. Composed for the occasion, "The Man With 
the Hoe" was presented at the laying of the corner stone 
of the Agricultural Building of the ^orth Carolina College 
of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. At the unveiling of the 
Appomattox monument (April, 1905), marking the spot on 
which was fired by ISTorth Carolina troops the last volley 
of the war, the poem of the day was given by Mr. Stockard 
and, in keeping with his other work, it was in every way 
worthy of the great occasion. 

A loyal son of the old ITorth State Mr. Stockard has oc- 
casionally attuned his lyre to patriotic song. His descriptive 
work has quite distinctly a Carolina setting and two of his 
themes are "On Hatteras Bar" and "In the Light House 
at Point Lookout." "The Spirit of Vance" commemorates 
the illustrious commoner whose statue adorns the Capitol 
Square. In "Sir Walter Raleigh" he sings of 


This splendid land to sunward laid, 
With opulent fields and many a winding stream 
And virgin wood ; with stores of gems and veins 
Of richest ore ; with mills and thronging marts, 
The domain of the freest of the free. 

And in the same poem he continues: 

What though no sage may read the riddle dark 
Of Croatan, diffused through marsh and waste 
And solitude? Their valor did not die, 
But is incorporate in our civic life. 
They were of those who fought at Bannockburn ; 
Their vital spirits spake at Mecklenburg ; 
They rose at Alamance, at Bethel led. 
And steered at Cardenas straight through blinding shells. 

Sincere and merited are the lines "To a One-Armed Con- 
federate" closing with the tribute : 

A more unfading chaplet thou should'st wear 
Than e'er the bravest Gaul or Spartan wore. 

Similar patriotic sentiment abounds in "The Pines," 
"Washington," "The Southern Dead," and "Over their 
Graves," but the acme of Mr. Stockard's poetry in this field 
is reached in the stirring and immortal lyric "The Last 
Charge at Appomattox" : 

Scarred on a hundred fields before, 
Naked and starved and travel-sore, 

Each man a tiger, hunted, 
They stood at bay as brave as Huns, 
Last of the Old South's splendid sons. 
Flanked by ten thousand shotted guns. 

And by ten thousand fronted. 

Scorched by the cannon's molten breath. 
They'd climbed the trembling walls of death 

And set their standards tattered- 
Had charged at the bugle's stirring blare 
Through bolted gloom and godless glare 
From the dead's reddened gulches, where 

The searching shrapnel shattered. 


They formed — that Carolina band — 
With Grimes, the Spartan, in command, 

And, at the word of Gordon, 
Through splintered fire and stifling smoke — 
They struck with lightning's scathing stroke 
Those doomed and desperate men — and broke 

Across that iron cordon. 

They turned in sullen, slow retreat — 
Ah, there are laurels of defeat ! — 

Turned for the Chief had spoken ; 
With one last shot hurled back the foe, 
And prayed the trump of doom to blow. 
Now that the Southern stars were low. 

The Southern bars were broken. 

Sometime the calm, impatrial years 

Will tell what made them dead to tears 

Of loved ones left to languish ; — 
What nerved them for the lonely guard, 
For cleaving blade and mangling shard, — 
What gave them strength in tent and ward 

To drain the dregs of anguish. 

But the far ages will propound 

What never Sphinx had lore to sound, — 

Why, in such fires of rancor, 
The God of Love should find it meet 
For Him, with Grant as sledge, to beat 
On Lee, the anvil, at such heat. 

Our Nation's great sheet-anchor. 

The voices of JSTatiire have smitten upon no more sympa- 
thetic ear than that of Mr. Stockard. 

"Knee deep ! Knee deep !" I am a child again. 

and every reader is transported with the poet to the bright 
never-to-be-forgotten days of rosy youth. "The Song of the 
Whippoorwill" — what hearer of it does not join in the senti- 

It wakens in my soul such memories tender 
Of childhood's far-receding land of dreams ! 

Down lilied meads I stray in the evening's splendor 
By willowed, wimpling streams. 


And as we pass up and down the poet's pages we find these 
vivid ISTature etchings recurring again and again. We see 
"night-hawks fall from lambent skies," "the owl flit forth on 
fluffy wings," "the bastioned clouds adown the westering day," 
"the sunset's ember," "the scabbard of the dark," the "starry 
archipelagoes," and "space's sea." He paints for us "the 
purling stream," the "fabled amaranthine vales," "the er- 
mined pine-trees" of winter, "the pool's wind-chiseled 
grooves," "the chinquapins that blink jet-black from the 
burs." Through him we hear "the killdee's plaintive cry," 
the "clear flutings" of "the herald whippoorwills" ; also "the 
frogs wake many a rolling drum," and "the ocean pounds 
with sledges fell." One afternoon "across the sky the loiter- 
ing Wind drives his cloud-flocks to the west" ; at twilight, "the 
firefly strikes its spectral spark" ; and at evening 

The full moon wavers on the hills 
And, loosening, swims into the deep ! 

Among Mr. Stockard's poems there are several voicing 
the deeper spiritual needs and heart-longings ; and we find 
them as chaste and charming as they are refined and spirit- 
ual. "The Prayer of Life" may be cited as one of the finest 
poems of its kind to be found anywhere : 

Lead me, O God ; in life's brave early day. 
While skies are clear and all the world is gay ; 

So many hurtful blooms my vision greet ! 

So many paths diverge to lure my feet 
Far from Thy peaceful, sinless road astray ! 

And when the morning can no longer stay, 
And songs are mute, and noontide's fervent ray 
Upon the weary track must fiercely beat, 
Lead me, O God! 

Nor leave me when the eventide shall lay 
Upon life's happy fields its vapors gray : — 

Clasp then my hand in thine more close and sweet 
Than thou hast ever held it ; and, while fleet 
The night is falling, down the unknown way 
Lead me, O God! 


Verses elegiac are rare in Mr. Stockard's work thus far. 
Sweet and tender are the lines entitled "Baby Margaret/' 
as evinced in the following stanza: 

For, though word was never thine 

Little Margaret, 
Still with syllables divine ' 

Out of great eternity 
You are calling, calling me, 

Baby Margaret. 

The great author of "Crossing the Bar" was perhaps mem- 
orialized in no finer tribute than that by Mr. Stockard on 
"The Dead Laureate." Recall the last of its three stanzas: 

Nor cried the Wind, nor made the Sea its moan 

Upon the harbor bar, 
As out he drifted to the great Unknown, 

So far away — so far ! 

To some and at first reading Mr. Stockard's work appears 
to have a melancholy tone. A more thorough study, how- 
ever, will probably reveal the fact that it is serious without 
being dolorous. Thus in one sonnet which contains the 
lines : 

When bloom and song and life seem far away, — 
Lost in some sweet, sad unreturning May 

the poet is passing on to the brighter side when 

these somber hills and fields inane 
Resume the radiance of an earlier day ; 

And mirth revives as when at morning's gray 
The waking bird takes up its silenced strain ! 
In another sonnet we have a lament upon the dearth of 
summer's foliage and it strikes a vibrant chord in most 
natures : 

Although beyond this gloom and dearth, you say 
The spring will come with flower and bird and bee, 
And all these scenes forlorn again be glad. 

My soul keeps sighing this dark autumn day, 
The summer too must follow, and ah me! 
Once more the fall with empty fields and sad! 


Yet compare with this "An Autumn Song" which is as 
merry in sentiment as it is melodious in expression. The 
spirit and sparkle of it may be caught in two stanzas : 

But hail to the fall, and hail! 

To her hills of flame and gold, 
Her starlit nights, her frost that whites 

At morning mead and wold ! 

No threne for the vanished spring 

And the summer's faded blee, 
But a song of praise for the autumn days, 

And a harvest-home for me ! 

In "A Winter Song" the lilt of joy abounds though 
sometimes saddening storms are rife : 

I love the rattling hail 

And the snowflakes tempest-sown, 
The woods in mail that creak in the gale. 

And the night wind's baritone. 

The fact is, Mr. Stockard's poetry is cheerful and up- 
ward-looking. In "The Unattained" there is comfort for 
every aspirant. "The Past" is not a lament but an assur- 

O ye that pine for the vanished years, as pined 
Odysseus for one glimpse of Hellas more; 
That toward them lean, as toward their fading shore 

Poor exiles unto earth's far ends consigned — 

Lean to reclaim some echo which, confined, 

Bird-like shall sing in memory's mournful door, — 
Know this : life's earlier land lies on before — 

Not over widening seasons far behind ! 

And we shall find it in the great To-be. 
It lapses not away, as to our eyes 
Doth seem, but swiftly and forever nears ! 

As brave Magellan who sailed the uncharted sea. 
Full circling earth, saw his home shores arise. 
So shall we come again on our lost, happy years ! 


'No less inspiring than insistent is the message of the son- 
net on "The Soul" : 

Uplift thine eartti-bent eyes, O man, and learn 

The loi'e writ by the stars that whiten space ; 

There onward and forever lies thy race. 

Orion and old Arcturus blaze for thee; 
For thee heaven's deepest sunken sun doth burn — 

Behold thy mansions built from all eternity ! 

The reach of Mr. Stockard's imagination may be illus- 
trated in "The Closing Century" where he declares that a 
century "is but a vanished hour tolled on the deep" and that 
time itself "is but a swing of the vast pendulum of eternity." 
And "Imagination" with all its power and achievement will 
never explore 

The date of Him before whose veiled face 

The Universe with its eternity 

Is but a mote a moment poised in space ! 

The range and richness of the poet's culture appear in 
such poems as "My Library," "Some Verses Carol," and 
"After Reading a Treasury of Sonnets." A ripe acquaint- 
ance with the ancient scenes and sages is manifest ; as in the 
climax and closing line of the sonnet on "Homer" there lies 
before the seer 

The unveiled shore of old sea-cinctured Greece. 

As to the best individual piece of Mr. Stockard's writings 
there will be difference of opinion, but certainly in his su- 
perb lines on "The Eagle" he takes a flight poetic far into 
the upper air — we wonder not that Mr. Boner almost 
tumbled out of his sick-bed in admiration of it: 

Brooded on crags, his down the rocks, 

He holds the skies for his domain ; 
Serene, he preens where thunder shocks. 

And rides the hurricane. 


The scream of shells is in his shriek; 

As swords, his wings whiz down the air ; 
His claws, as bayonets, gride ; his beak, 

As shrapnel-shards, doth tear. 

Where Shasta shapes its mighty cone. 

Where Mitchell heaves into the skies. 
Silent he glares, austere, alone, 

With sun-outstaring eyes. 

In volume Mr. Stockard's work is not extensive; he does 
not write every day nor on everything nor at great length. 
In fact, he apparently writes only a few poems a year; his 
themes are never trivial ; and the longest of his poems barely 
covers three pages, the bulk of his work, piece by piece, ap- 
pearing on one with ample margins. In all his published 
poems there is not a humorous line nor a scrap of dialect; 
all is elevated and serious. His thoughts are clothed in a 
variety of poetic forms, the sonnet in particular being 
handled with unusual skill. His vocabulary is remarkably 
rich ; the reader is all the while coming upon felicitous 
phrases and picturesque, unfamiliar words. As a whole his 
work is marked by freshness and vigor of thought, by finish, 
strength, and symmetry. A genuine poet he is worthy of the 
tribute embodied in a recent sonnet to him : 

Pure as a maiden's heart thy word, thy thought. 

Serene amid the clash of traffic's wars 

Thou standest with face upturned toward the gleaming stars. 
Poet we name thee. 



Mr. McNeill, more than any other of our poets, writes 
dialect fluently and frequently. He thoroughly understands 
the negro, presents him in vivid sketches, and quite truly 
interprets his customs and character. For example, "A Tar 
Heel" sings : 

Oh I gits my strength fum white side meat, 
I sops all the sorghum a nigger kin eat. 

And another rejoices in "Supp'n Strength'nin' " : 

Good buttermilk hung in de spring whar hit's cool 
Is de stuff fer de nigger wut follers a mule. 
He kin feel hit er creepin' along es whole len'th 
Er he'pin es spirrits en givin' 'im stren'th, 
T'well he make de dirt fly fum de turnin' plow whing, 
When he's full er cool buttermilk jis fum de spring. 

"A Protest" pictures the sentiment of the colored agricul- 
turalist pessimistically inclined: 

De cawn is drapped en civered 

Fer de crow to grabble out 
De shoat gits in de tater bed 

Befo' dey 'gins to sprout. 

De hen hatch out her chickens 

Whiles de hawk bees lookin' on 
En fo' de cherries ripens good 

De birds is gut 'em gone. 

The pickaninnies, the inevitable dogs, and the long winter- 
neglected bath are sketched in the four lines on "Spring" : 

Leave yo' clothes at home, chillen, 

Call ol' Tige and Rover. 
We'se gwine to de swimmin' hole 

To wash ourse'ves all over! 


The prettiest, purest, and most polished of Mr. Mcl^eill's 
love songs is "Oh Ask Me ISTot." It is lofty throughout and 
its closing stanza touches the warmest heart-chords struck by 
a Carolinian. The author considers it his best production 
thus far. The poem in full is as follows: 

Love, should I set my heart upon a crown, 

Squander my years and gain it, 
What recompense of pleasure could I own 

For youth's red drops that stain it? 

Much have I thought on what our life may mean, 

And what its best endeavour ; 
Seeing we may not come again to glean. 

But, losing, lose forever. 

Seeing how zealots, making choice of pain, 

From home and country parted. 
Have thought it life to leave their fellows slain, 

Their women broken-hearted ; 

How teasing truth a thousand faces claims. 

As in a broken mirror, 
And what a father died for in the flames 

His own son scorns as error ; 

How even they whose hearts were sweet with song 

Must quaff oblivion's portion, 
And soon or late their sails be lost along 

The all-surrounding ocean. 

Oh, ask me not the haven of our ships, 

Nor what flag floats above you ! 
I hold you close, I kiss your sweet, sweet lips. 

And love you, love you, love you ! 

The more serious side of life is sketched here and there. 
Take the opening lines of "Oblivion" : 

Green moss will creep 

Upon the shady graves where we shall sleep. 

Each year will bring 

Another brood of birds to nest and sing. 

At dawn will go 

New ploughmen to the flelds we used to know. 

Dusk will call home 

The hunter from the hills we loved to roam. 


In the realm of the tragic and the pathetic Mr. McjSTeill 
has done some excellent work. "The Drudge" is a fine illus- 
tration of his power in this direction, but we should say it 
does not surpass two of the stanzas "To Melvin Gardner: 
Suicide" : 

To have seen the sun come back, to have seen 

Children again at play, 
To have heard the thrush where the woods are green 

Welcome the new-born day, 
To have felt the soft grass cool to the feet, 
To have smelt earth's incense, heavenly sweet, 
To have shared the laughter along the street, 

And, then, to have died in May ! 

A thousand roses will blossom red, 

A thousand hearts be gay. 
For the summer lingers just ahead 

And June is on her way ; 
The bee must bestir him to fill his cells, 
The moon and the stars will weave new spells 
Of love and the music of marriage bells — 

And, oh, to be dead in May ! 

In "Away Down Home" the aroma of devotion makes 
fragrant every line. For example: 

When dogwood blossoms mingle 

With the maple's modest red. 
And sweet arbutus wakes at last 

From out her fragrant bed, 
'Twould not seem strange at all to meet 

A dryad or a gnome 
A Pan or Psyche in the woods 

Away down home. 

"September" and "October" afford choice glimpses of 
^N'ature, but no finer lines have come from Mr. McNeill's 
pen than the two brief stanzas entitled "Sundown." They 
show most strikingly how the sublime stirs a sympathetic 
and reverential spirit; and we believe they will take their 
place among the future treasures of our English tongue: 


Hills, wrapped in gray, standing along the west; 

Clouds, dimly lighted, gathering slowly ; 
The star of peace at watch above the crest — 

Oh, holy, holy, holy ! 

We know, O Lord, so little what is best ; 

Wingless we move so lowly ; 
But in thy calm all-knowledge let us rest — 

Oh, holy, holy, holy ! 

Lightness of touch, smoothness and melody, occasional 
classic flavor, themes of human interest, freshness and sweet- 
ness of sentiment, are among the leading traits of his work, 
A young man not far in his twenties, Mr. McNeill has al- 
ready won a high place among our poets and with further 
maturity of thought, breadth of experience, and continued 
poetical practice and polish, he gives promise of being one of 
the great verse-writers of our time and country. 



Vol. V. JANUARY, 1906 ^ No. 3 



. % 
THE 1^ 


"Carolina! Carolina! Heaven's Blessings Attend Her! 
While We Live We Will Cherish, Protect and Defend Her. 




The object of the Booklet is to aid in developing and preserving 
North Carolina History. The proceeds arising from its publication 
will be devoted to patriotic purposes. Editors. 

Officers of The North Carolina Society 
Daughters OF the Revolution, 1903-1905: 






(Nee Hooper), 

MRS. D. H. HILL, Sr.* 





Founder of the North Carolina Society and'Regent 1896-1902; 

Regent 1902: 
MRS. D. H. HILL, Sr; 

*Died December 12, 1904. 




Vol. V. JANUARY, 1906. No. 3, ^ 





By R. D. W. CONNOR, 
Secretary of the North Carolina Historical Commission 

The life and character of Cornelius Harnett have been the 
subject of eulogy from the pen of every student of his career. 
Bancroft praises his "disinterested zeal" in the public cause. 
Eichard Frothinghani says: "Harnett was the foremost 
actor in the movement for independence." mentions 
him as "the representative man of the Cape Fear." 
Archibald Maclaine Hooper, whose name betrays his parent- 
age, says that Harnett was "the favorite of the Cape Fear 
and the idol of the town of Wilmington." "He was incom- 
parably the first man of the Cape Fear country," writes an- 
other, "and second to none in the state." Mr. George Davis 
calls him "the pride of the Cape Fear * * * the life-breath- 
ing spirit among the people." Governor Swain wrote that 
"no true ISTorth Carolinian will read his public letters with- 
out increased respect and affection for the state and without 
very high admiration of the courage wdiich sustained the 
writer in the darkest days of the revolution, and the lofty and 
disinterested patriotism exhibited throughout the whole course 
of his legislative career." 

These expressions of eulogy are justified not only by his 
public and private services to the state, but also by the con- 
fidence and admiration in which he was held by his friends, 
and the fear and hatred expressed for him by the enemies of 


his country. The former manifested their confidence and 
regard in every possible way. They elected him to almost 
every post of honor they had to bestow; they followed him 
in the perilous path of civil war and revolution ; they accepted 
his guidance in the overthrow of one form of government and 
the establishment of another ; and never once did they waver 
in their support. Josiah Quincy, Jr., of Massachusetts, at a 
time when that colony was dominated by the genius of 
Samuel Adams, wrote in his diary that Harnett was "the 
Samuel Adams of ISTorth Carolina." ISTor were the enemies 
of American independence unmindful of his worth and in- 
fluence. Governor Martin marked him down as one of the 
four men in the colony who "by their unremitting labours to 
promote sedition and rebellion" placed themselves "foremost 
among the patrons of revolt and anarchy." Sir Henry Clin- 
ton, too, sought to destroy him by excepting Cornelius Har- 
nett, together with Robert Howe, from his proclamation of 
pardon in May, 17Y6. 

Cornelius Harnett was born April 20, 1723. The place of 
his birth is in doubt. There seems to be no evidence in sup- 
port of McRee's statement that he was born "in the land of 
Sydney and Hampden." His father, a Cornelius Harnett 
also, had been living in Chowan county, j^orth Carolina, at 
least a year before the birth of his son. His mother, Mary 
Holt, was a ISTorth Carolina woman. It seems clear therefore 
that he was born in this province, and probably in Chowan 
county, where his father resided at the time of the birth of his 
son. In June, 1726, the elder Harnett bought from Colonel 
Maurice Moore two lots within the town of Brunswick. One 
of the conditions of the sale was that he should build on 
them "good habitable houses" within eight months. The con- 
ditions were fulfilled and Harnett became a resident of 
Brunswick. The younger Harnett therefore had the good 
fortune of growing up with the Cape Fear settlement, becom- 
ing early in life identified with the interests of its people. 


The original settlement of tlie Cape Fear was made at 
Brunswick, but shortly after the Harnetts became residents 
of the town, a new town was begun farther up the river at a 
more favorable location. From that time the growth of Wil- 
mington was accompanied by the decline of Brunswick. 
Cornelius Harnett early became identified with the interests 
of the former. The earliest mention we have of him is a 
record of the purchase of 300 acres of land in ISlew Hanover 
county. May 21, 1741. I think this probably marks the date 
of his removal to Wilmington, but of this there is no cer- 
tainty. But he was certainly living in Wilmington in 1750. 
On April 7 of that year he was appointed by Governor 
Johnston to his first public ofiice — justice of the peace for 
Xew Hanover county. A few months later, August 14, he 
was elected a commissioner for the town, and during the 
period from 1750 to 1771 he served in that capacity eleven 
years, though not continuously. The duties of a commis- 
sioner in a frontier village, containing at the most only a few 
hundred inhabitants, appear to be insignificant, if not 
trifling ; yet this was no mean training school for the greater 
duties that awaited Harnett in the broad fields to which he 
was shortly to be called. It was in the faithful discharge of 
these minor duties that he displayed his capacity for the 
greater ones, and won his way into the hearts of his people. 

Harnett's first call to this larger work came in 1754. In 
the spring of 1753, Lewis Henry DeRosset, member of the 
colonial assembly from Wilmington, resigned his seat to be- 
come a member of the governor's council. Harnett was 
elected to succeed him, and took his seat February 19, 1754, 
at a special session held in Wilmington. Twelve other as- 
semblies were elected in ISTorth Carolina under the authority 
of the royal governor, in every one of which Cornelius Har- 
nett was the member from Wilmington, His legislative 
career covered a period of twenty-seven years, embracing ser- 
vice in the colonial assembly, in the provincial congresses, 
and in the continental congress. 


nial assembly, in the provincial congresses, and in the conti- 
nental congress. 

His career in the assembly historically falls into two parts. 
The first covers the period between the years 1754 and 1765 ; 
the second that between the years 1765 and 1775. One em- 
braced the administration of Governor Dobbs and the war 
with France for the possession of the continent, closing with 
the coming of William Tryon and the stamp act. The other 
was ushered in by the stamp act and witnessed the gathering 
of the storm which broke into revolution in 1775. 

The first of these periods may be dismissed with a few 
words. The work in which Harnett and his associates were 
engaged, while not without interest and value, was of second- 
ary importance to that which followed. It consisted largely 
in efforts to curb the governor's demands for money within 
such limits as the wealth of the colony justified. The province 
was willing to contribute her full quota to the general cause, 
and greatly burdened herself in doing so ; but there was no 
limit beyond which the governor was unwilling to go. There 
were a few sharp encounters between the assembly and the 
council, the former resenting the attempts of the latter to 
amend appropriation bills ; the latter indignant that the house 
should treat it with such scant respect. There was a long and 
unprofitable fight, too, over the court law; the assembly in- 
sisting upon keeping the courts independent of the crown; 
the governor resenting the efforts as encroachments upon the 
prerogative of the king. The assembly and the governor also 
found a subject of dispute in the king's instruction to the 
latter to consider fifteen members of the former a quorum; 
the assembly refusing, greatly to the indignation of his excel- 
lency, to recognize less than a majority of their number. An 
affair which brought on a three-cornered fight in which the 
governor, the council, and the assembly all took different 
grounds, was the appointment of a colonial agent to represent 
the interests of the province before the various boards in 


England. The governor objected to any agent at all; the 
council insisted upon its right to a voice in his appointment ; 
the assembly was determined both to have an agent and to 
exercise the sole right of electing him. Aside from these 
disputes and bickerings the work of the assembly was con- 
cerned largely with matters relating to internal improve- 
ments, matters in which Cornelius Harnett actively inter- 
ested himself. To write an account of his services during 
these years would be to write the history of the assembly for 
that decade. There were few committees of any importance 
on which he did not serve; few debates in which he did not 
take a leading part. He was one of the leaders of the leaders. 

But the chief value of this work lay in its being pre- 
paratory to the more strenuous work that the next two de- 
cades were to bring. Harnett received during these years 
valuable training in the art of debate, in the tactics and 
strategy of parliamentary warfare, in the theories and prin- 
ciples underlying the British constitution. 

Of no less importance to Harnett than this training, was 
the broadening of his circle of associates and friends through 
his services in the legislature. Here he came in contact with 
the master-spirits of the province; and here he learned to 
appreciate and estimate 'the characters and abilities of those 
with whom he was to fight the battles of the future. When 
he entered the assembly he found it dominated by such lead- 
ers as Samuel Swann, John Starkey, and John Campbell. 
Among those who were to be his associates in the coming 
struggles there were John Ashe, the splendid cavalier of the 
Cape Fear ; Richard Caswell probably the most versatile man 
in the province ; John Harvey, the sturdy and uncompromis- 
ing leader of the popular party ; the soldierly Robert Howe, 
who was to share with Harnett the honor of being excepted 
from the general amnesty of May 1776 ; Samuel Johnston, 
learned in the law and leader of the anti-republican forces in 
the province ; Edenton's accomplished merchant-statesman. 


Joseph Hewes, signer of the Declaration of Independence ,- 
Alexander Lillington, who was to dispute with Caswell the 
glory of Moore's Creek Bridge; William Hooper, distin- 
guished in the continental congress for his eloquence. It was 
in their preliminary fights for self-government during the de- 
cade from 1754 to 1765 that these men learned to know and 
to trust each other. 

On Thursday, March 28, 1765, Governor Dobbs died. He 
was succeeded by William Tryon. Tryon's first asembly met 
at JSTew Bern, May 3, 1765. The session was a short one. 
After the adjournment Saturday afternoon, May 18, Gov- 
ernor Tryon asked Speaker Ashe what course the assembly 
would pursue in regard to the stamp act. Promptly came 
the bold reply: "We will fight it to the death." Tryon pru- 
dently prorogued the session. 

But the people did not wait for the assembly to act. The 
attempt to enforce the stamp act on the banks of the Cape 
Fear produced a resistance that Tryon was unable to cope 
with. Lord Bute was burned in efiigy; the stamp agent, 
William Houston, was forced to resign; Andrew Stewart, 
editor of the Cape Tear Gazette, was compelled to print his 
paper without affixing the stamp ; the people of Wilmington 
refused to supply the king's ships with provisions because 
Captain Lobb of his majesty's cruiser Viper seized two ves- 
sels which came into port without stamps on their clearance 
papers; they threw into jail the sailors sent ashore from the 
Viper to purchase supplies, and kept them there until Captain 
Lobb came to terms. 

When he seized the two vessels, Dobbs and Patience, 
Captain Lobb referred the matter to William Dry, collector 
of the port of Brunswick, demanding that he prosecute their 
captains. Dry consulted the attorney-general, asking if the 
seizures were legal ; if judgment ought to be given against 
the defendants in spite of the fact that they could not obtain 
stamps at the ports from which they sailed ; and if the case 



should be tried in the admiralty court in Halifax, IST. S., in- _ 
stead of at Brunswick. To all of these questions the attorney- 
general replied in the affirmative. This was a signal for an- 
other explosion. During Saturday afternoon of February, 
1766, a letter signed by Cornelius Harnett and a number §[ 
of other prominent citizens of Wilmington, was handed to ^ 
Dry warning him that the people would not permit the Dobbs ^ 
and Patience to be carried out of the Cape Fear river with- ^ 
out their papers properly signed. Dry thereupon consulted ^/^ 
the governor who advised him to place the papers on board the ^ 
Viper. This he neglected to do, and three days later his desk '^ 
was broken open and the papers taken out. r* 

In the forenoon of February 19, George Moore and ^ 

Cornelius Harnett delivered to the governor a letter warning > 

him that a mob was about to march to Brunswick to obtain ^ 

redress of grievances. The mob had gathered at Wilmington 
and practically compelled Harnett and one or two others to 
lead them. These leaders thereupon offered the governor a 
guard to protect him from insult. Of course he refused it. 
About 300 armed men then proceeded to Brunswick to en- 
force their demands. 

Among the objects which this crowd had in view, was to 
force the resignation of Mr. Pennington, the king's comp- 
troller, and an active supporter' of the stamp act. Pennington 
sought refuge in Tryon's house. But this did not deter the 
mob. With their number now swelled to about 500 men, they 
surrounded the house and sent a delegation of sixty men, 
led by Harnett, to bring Pennington out. Harnett alone 
entered the governor's house. Tryon was determined to pro- 
tect the comptroller, but much to his disgust Pennington be- 
came frightened and offered his resignation. Harnett then 
returned to his friends acompanied by the ex-comptroller. 
The mob took him to the town where they compelled, not 
only Pennington, but also William Dry, and the clerks of the 
court, and all other public officers to take an oath not to sell 


any stamps in IsTorth Carolina. They then dispersed without 
doing any damage to property or person. The most remark- 
able features of these events were the absolute openness of the 
resistance, and the orderliness of the crowd. The work was 
done by men on terms of familiar intercourse with the gov- 
ernor, under his very nose, and in the broad open day-light, 
without disguising themselves as Indians, or otherwise. Thejv' 
carried their point on every issue, but offered neither insult 
nor injury to anybody. 

While these things were happening the commissioners of 
AVilmington manifested their approval of Harnett's course 
by unanimously electing him to represent the town in the 
next assembly. But the assembly was not to meet any time 
soon. The wily politician who held the reigns of government 
was too wise to convene the assembly while the people were in 
such a rebellious mood. He wished to prevent the election of 
delegates to the stamp act congress, which was to meet in 
'New York some time in October. It was not until ISTovember, 
therefore, after the repeal of the obnoxious act and after the 
meeting of the congress, that Tryon ventured to face the rep- 
resentatives of the people. He opened the session with a con- 
ciliatory message. But the members were not in the best of 
tempers. They were angry at the governor's delay in calling 
them together, and wished to let him know it. Harnett was 
a member of the coromittee to reply to his message. Tryon 
was severely taken to task for his action, but he could afford 
to smile at the assembly's wrath, for in his first contest 
with the people, he had broken even with them. 

Among the governors of JSTorth Carolina there have been 
few abler ones than "William Tryon. Courtly, versatile, 
politic, clear -minded, full of resources, he knew the secret 
of winning the favor of men. Within less than two years 
after the stamp act riots he had so ingratiated himself witli 
the men of Eastern Carolina that he received their almost 
undivided support when he marched against the Regulators. 


Even Cornelius Harnett was not only in hearty sympathy 
with Tryon's course, but accompanied him on his Alamance 
campaign and contributed largely from his private means to 
the support of the provincial troops. When the first assembly 
met after the battle of Alamance, the house entered this 
record upon its journal: "This house taking into considera- 
that the account of Mr. Cornelius Harnett in the late expedi- 
tion against the insurgents and fully convinced of the great 
service rendered his country by his zeal and activity therein. 

"Resolvedj That he be allowed one hundred pounds to de- 
fray the extraordinary expenses he was at in that service." 

When this resolution was sent to the council for concur- 
rence, that house replied as follows : "This house has ob- 
served with pleasure the attention which you have shown to 
the merit and good service of Mr. Harnett on the late expedi- 
tion against the insurgents." The request was then made 
that for similar service, a similar allowance be made to 
Samuel Cornell, member of the council. To this the as- 
sembly replied: "This house cannot agree to the allowance 
proposed to be made to Hon. Samuel Cornell, Esq., though 
thoroughly convinced of his merit and activity in the late 
expedition. The allowance to Mr. Harnett was made, not 
only because his services entitle him to the notice of this 
house, but in consideration of his not having been in any 
office or employment from which he could possibly derive 
any compensation for the great expense he was at in that 

Soon after his victory at Alamance Grovernor Tryon left 
ISTorth Carolina. He was succeeded by Josiah Martin who 
arrived in the province in August, 17Y1. Martin was a com- 
mon-place man, servilely obsequious to those in authority; 
tyrannically over-bearing to those under authority. !N^o worse 
selection could have been made by the king at this time ; the 
people of ISTorth Carolina were in no mood to brook the petty 
tyranny of a provincial governor. It is not strange there- 



fore that the poor old province was in a continual turmoil 
from the time that Josiah Martin took the oath of office 
until an outraged people took the law into their own hands 
and drove him forever from their shores. 

Martin's failure, however, was not due altogether to his 
own fault. As Colonel Saunders sajs: "Governor Martin 
was unfortunate in the time at which he assumed office in 
l^orth Carolina; indeed it may be said, that his administra- 
tion was a sort of general legatee of the ill consequences of 
all the bad blood and bad government of his predecessors' 
administrations. And then, too, the harvest of a century and 
more of seed time was about ripe." Among the legacies left 
him by his immediate predecessor there were three that were 
especially difficult to handle. They were: the debt left by 
the Regulator troubles ; the boundary line dispute with South 
Carolina; and the court-law difficulties. The first of these 
was settled without much dispute ; the second was disposed of 
by the assembly's absolutely refusing to obey the king's com- 
mands; the third was a source of trouble for years to come 
and was never settled until there were no more royal gov- 
ernors and kings to interfere. 

The dispute over the court-law arose over the attachment 
clause. British merchants carried on business in ISTorth Caro- 
lina through agents, never once setting foot here themselves. 
In course of time many of them came to be large land owners 
here. In order to secure debts owed by these merchants to 
iN'orth Carolinians, the assembly in the Tryon court-law, in- 
serted a clause impowering the colonial courts to attach this 
property to secure those debts. The British merchants ob- 
jected to this, but the act was not repealed by the king be- 
cause he expected, when a new law was enacted to have this 
clause omitted without interfering with the sessions of the 
courts. Accordingly he instructed Martin not to pass any 
act including the attachment clause. The dispute began in 
the assembly of 17Y3. The committee to prepare the superior 


court bill was composed of Caswell of Dobbs, Starkey of Ons- 
low, Hooper of Campellton, MacKnight of Currituck, Mont- 
ford of Halifax, Martin of Guilford, Harnett of Wilming- 
ton, Howe of Brunswick, and Lane of Wake. Cornelius 
Harnett was chairman of the committee to prepare the in- 
ferior court bill. Some of the other members of this commit- 
tee were Howe, Ashe, Hooper, Thomas Person and Allen 
Jones. The committees at first reported two separate bills, 
but as it appeared likely the inferior court bill would be 
rejected by the" council because it extended the jurisdiction of 
that court, another committee was appointed to join the two 
into one bill that they might stand or fall together. This 
committee was composed of Robert Howe, William Hooper, 
Alexander Martin, Samuel Johnston and Cornelius Harnett. 
The final bill as reported by them contained in full the at- 
tachment clause. The governor informed the assembly that 
he would not consent to it. A motion was then made to con- 
tinue the Tryon court law. But this, too, contained the 
objectionable clause. The governor would not agree to break 
through his instruction; the assembly was stubborn and 
would not recede from its position. 

Both sides maintained their positions with ability. The 
governor, bound by his instruction, urged the assembly to 
leave out the clause and look to the British statute for pro- 
tection by attachment proceedings. To this the assembly re- 
plied that in England proceeding by attachment existed by 
municipal custom and not by any act of parliament. To 
leave the remedy out of their law and look to parliamentary 
statutes for it, was to lose the security altogether. "To secure 
a privilege so important," said this interesting document, 
"the mode of obtaining it should be grounded in certainty, 
the law positive and express and nothing left for the exer- 
cise of doubt or discretion." But it was all useless; they 
were compelled to fall back on their original bill, and to this 
the governor consented only when the assembly added a 


clause suspending its operation until the king's pleasure 
could be learned. The assembly then spread upon the journal 
a resolution declaring the justice of their demand and in- 
structing the colonial agent in London to use his full powers 
in getting the king's consent. He was instructed to say to the 
king that so important did the people regard this point they 
would rather be without courts altogether than to lose this 
protection. But the king refused ; the fight continued through 
several sessions ; neither side would yield and several sessions 
of the assembly went to wreck on this reef. It was useless, 
however, for the governor to dissolve the assembly and ap- 
peal to the people ; it was but an appeal from the teachers to 
the taught. To send the former back to their constituents was 
but to send them to gather fresh endorsements and to re- 
ceive renewed support in the fight they were waging. In 
every stage of the contest the people upheld their represen- 
tatives, and ]^orth Carolina was without courts as long as 
she remained under royal rule. The governor attempted to 
create courts by the exercise of the king's prerogative, but 
the people refused to honor their decrees and the assmbly 
declined to vote funds for their maintenance. The governor 
was thoroughly beaten because the people made anarchy 

The condition of the province and the growing breach be- 
tween the governor and the assembly, made it imperative 
that the leaders should not rest in idleness during the recesses 
between the sessions. They had much information to gather, 
much to dispense ; many lessons to learn, many to teach ; 
numerous plans to conceive, numerous ones to execute. By 
this time Harnett had become before all other men the leader 
of the Cape Fear; to him the people looked for guidance in 
political affairs. It had now become apparent to all thoughtful 
men that the time had come when it was necessary to de- 
vise some scheme for united action among the various colonies. 
A common oppression had driven them to a common resist- 


ance. We are prepared therefore to find foresighted nien lay- 
ing plans to meet this necessity. In March of 1TY3 Josiah 
Quincy, Jr., of Massachusetts, visited the Cape Fear section. 
He left an interesting account of this visit. The night of 
March 30, he spent at the home of Cornelius Harnett, whom 
he calls the Samuel Adams of ISTorth Carolina, "except in 
point of fortune." Robert Howe was also present. They 
spent the evening in discussing the plan of continental corre- 
spondence promulgated by Virginia and Massachusetts. 
Quincy says that the plan was "highly relished, much wished 
for, and resolved upon as proper to be pursued." 

The next session of the assembly began December 4, at 
!N^ew Bern. Soon after the opening of the session Mr. Speaker 
Harvey laid before the house a number of letters and reso- 
lutions received from the assemblies of Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island, Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware. These were 
resolutions passed by those assemblies in response to the sug- 
gestion made by Virginia, that each province appoint a com- 
mittee of correspondence to keep in communication with 
similar committees in other provinces concerning matters of 
general interest. The proposition met with cordial approval 
in the IN'orth Carolina assembly. A committee composed of 
Samuel Johnston, Robert Howe and Cornelius Harnett, was 
appointed to draw up a reply. After adopting this commit- 
tee's report the house resolved that a committee of nine per- 
sons be appointed to act as a committee of correspondence 
for ]S[orth Carolina. The resolution named the committee 
as follows : John Harvey, Robert Howe, Cornelius Harnett, 
William Hooper, Richard Caswell, Edward Vail, John Ashe, 
Joseph Hewes and Samuel Johnston. 

It is difficult for us at this day to appreciate the signifi- 
cance of this act. It was the first step toward that 
union of the colonies which resulted in July 4, 1776. The 
only political bond that had held the colonies together here- 
tofore was the fact that they owed allegiance to the same 


throne. Otherwise they were absolutely separate and dis- 
tinct political units. JSTot only did they not desire union, but 
even looked upon such a proposition with fear and aversion. 
But the stupid policy of the king had given them a bond of 
union stronger than any political bond yet devised by the 
ingenuity of man — that of a common oppression. They 
were driven into it in spite of themselves; and the commit- 
tees of correspondence were its germs. Of this system, Mr. 
riske says: "It was nothing less than the beginning of the 
American union. * * * It only remained for the various 
intercolonial committees to assemble together, and then there 
would be a congress speaking in the name of the continent." 

It is not to be expected that Martin looked with approval 
on these proceedings in the ISTorth Carolina assembly. See- 
ing whither their policy tended he told them they were con- 
suming time and incurring expense to no purpose and had 
better go home to consult their constituents. Accordingly he 
prorogued the session on December 21, 1Y73. 

Shortly after this Martin learned of the proposition to 
hold a continental congress at Philadelphia in September. 
He knew that the plan contemplated the election of the dele- 
gates by the various provincial assemblies, and he determined 
to follow Tryon's example to prevent ISTorth Carolina's being 
represented. But Martin lacked a good deal of having the 
shrewdness of his predecessor; and the men in control of 
the assembly were not the kind to be caught twice in the 
same trap. Martin's purpose not to call another assembly 
until too late to choose delegates, was communicated to John- 
Harvey by the governor's private secretary. "Then the peo- 
ple," exclaimed Harvey in an outburst of wrath, "will con- 
vene one themselves." He determined to issue over his own 
signature, a call for a provincial congress. This scheme was 
laid before Samuel Johnston and Colonel Edward Buncombe. 
Both approved it, and Johnston at once consulted William 
Hooper, John Ashe and Cornelius Harnett. It was just the 


kind of proposition that suited Harnett's genius. He at once 
threw himself into the movement. On July 21, a meeting 
of the inhabitants of the Wilmington district was held at 
Wilmington to discuss the plan. A circular letter was issued 
inviting the people of the province to send delegates to a 
provincial congress at Johnston court-house August 20. The 
place was afterwards changed to I^ew Bern and the time f 

to August 25. j 

Governor Martin issued a proclamation forbiding the con- j 

vention. The people laughed at him and the delegates met j 

on the day appointed. We are surprised to find that Cornelius z 

Harnett was not a member of this convention, Wilmington ^ 

being represented by Francis Clayton. The business of the fc 

session consisted in drawing up a series of resolutions de- ' 

nouncing the recent acts of parliament in respect to America i^' 

and setting forth the principles that should guide the actions ^ 

of the delegates and those of their constituents. It was re- ^ 

solved that a continental congress ought to be held at Phila- t:j 

delphia, and William Hooper, Joseph Hewes and Richard ^ 

Caswell were elected delegates from ISTorth Carolina. The ^j, 

convention closed by authorizing John Harvey, the modera- 
tor, to call another convention whenever he should deem it 

Among the most important actions of the convention was 
the resolution authorizing each county and certain of the 
larger towns to organize committees of safety. It will, of 
course, be remembered that there were no courts in the 
province, and the convention properly felt that something 
ought to be done to relieve the situation. Besides this it was 
necessary to have some executive authority to enforce the 
resolves of the provincial convention and of the continental 
congress. But the time was not yet ripe for the formation 
of a permanent organization. The committees were there- 
fore temporary expedients. The system finally developed so 
as to cover the whole province, one committee in each of the 


towns, one in each of the counties, one in each of the military 
districts, and one for the province at large. The committees 
were admirably organized, and worked so successfully that 
their powers were gradually enlarged and increased until 
they assumed a jurisdiction that would not have been toler- 
ated in the royal government. 

In all the history of our people there has been nothing else 
like these committees. It would be difficult to find another 
example of government which touched the lives of the people 
so closely as they did. Born of necessity, originating in the 
political and economic conditions of the time, they make one 
of the most interesting and instructive chapters in our his- 
tory. Of them Colonel Saunders says: "Usurping some 
new authority every day, executive, judicial or legislative, 
as the case might be, their powers soon became practically 
unlimited." Governor Martin properly characterized them 
as "extraordinary tribunals." In every respect they were 
extraordinary, insurrectionary, revolutionary. Illegally con- 
stituted, they demanded and executed such authority as the 
royal government had never dreamed of, and received such 
obedience as it had not dared aspire to. Yet not only 
did they not abuse their power, but voluntarily resigned it 
when the public welfare no longer needed their services. 
They were the offsprings of misrule and rose and fell with 
their parent. 

The Wilmington and ]!S[ew Hanover committees were the 
most perfectly organized, the most active and the most readily 
obeyed of any in the province. It is impossible to give even 
the faintest idea of their work within the limits of this 
sketch. There was the work of enforcing the resolves of the 
continental congress and of the provincial convention, some 
of them most exacting and most burdensome in their opera- 
tions. There was the duty of inquiring into the conduct and 
actions of individuals, for these committees not only deter- 
mined "what acts and opinions constituted a man an enemy 


of bis coimtry, but passed upon bis guilt or innocence and 
fixed bis punisbment." Tbere was tbe necessity of raising- 
money by subscriptions and fines — for gunpowder, arms, and 
all tbe implements of war bad to be purcbased. Tbe militia 
bad to be enlisted, organized, armed and drilled. Corre- 
spondence witb otber committees bad to be kept up. In 
sbort, a revolution bad to be inaugurated, and it fell to tbese 
committees to do it. Tbe success of tbat revolution bears 
witness to tbe ability witb wbicb tbeir work was done. Of 
tbese committees, Cornelius Harnett was tbe master-spirit, 
tbe genius, tbe soul. Tbeir work was bis work. Tbrougbout 
tbeir existence be dominated tbeir actions and tbe great work 
wbicb tbey did in tbe cause of freedom is bis monument. 
Wben tbe Wilmington committee was organized be was 
unanimously elected its first cbairman. Wben tbe New Han- 
over committee was organized a few montbs later be was at 
once unanimously elected cbairman of tbe joint committee. 
His work bere won for bim later still, after tbe provincial 
committee was establisbed, not only a place on tbat commit- 
tee but tbe cbairmansbip of it, a place tbat made bim tbe 
cbief executive of tbe new born state. 

Wben Governor Martin saw tbe way tbe current was setting 
and learned tbat be was foiled in bis effort to prevent tbe 
election of delegates to tbe continental congress, be determined 
to make tbe best of a bad situation and so called an assembly 
to meet at jSTew Bern April 4, 1Y75. Jobn Harvey at once 
issued circulars calling for a convention to meet at tbe same 
place April 3. It was intended, and so carried out, 
tbat tbe members of tbe assembly sbould also be members of 
tbe convention. Cornelius Harnett again came forward as 
tbe representative in botb bodies from Wilmington. Grov- 
ernor Martin was furious and denounced tbe action of 
Harvey in a tbunderous proclamation. Tbe members re- 
plied by re-electing Harvey moderator of tbe convention and 
speaker of tbe assembly. ISTever was sucb an anomalous situa- 


tion seen before or since, I believe, in the liistory of the 
world. One set of men forming two bodies — one legal, 
sitting by the authority of the royal governor and in obed- 
ience to his writ; the other illegal, sitting in defiance of his 
authority and in direct disobedience of his proclamation. 
The curious spectacle is presented of the governor 
calling on the former body to join him in denouncing and 
dispersing the latter, composed of the same men 
whose aid he solicited. The two bodies met in the same room 
and were presided over by the same man. "When 
the governor's private secretary was announced at the door," 
writes Colonel Saunders, "in an instant, in the twinkling of 
an eye, Mr. Moderator Harvey would become Mr. Speaker 
Harvey * * * and gravely receive his excellency's mes- 
sage." The convention lasted five days. On April 7, a 
resolution was passed renewing Harvey's authority to call 
another convention whenever he deemed it necessary, and 
giving the same power to Samuel Johnston in the event of 
Harvey's death. The assembly's life was not prolonged any 
longer than the life of the convention. Having passed some 
resolutions endorsing the course of ISTorth Carolina's dele- 
gates in the continental congress, it was dissolved by the 
angry governor, April 8, 1775. This was the last time a royal 
governor was to dissolved a ]!Torth Carolina assembly. 

April of 1775 was a stirring month in ITorth Carolina. It 
witnessed the convocation and adjournment of the most revo- 
lutionary body ever held in the state. It saw the convening 
and the dissolution of the last assembly ever held here under 
the authority of the British crown. It saw the governor of 
the province openly defied in his palace at the capital, closely 
watched by armed men, and virtually beseiged in his own 
house. It saw the guns he had set up for his own protection 
seized and carried off by the men he had been sent to rule. 
It closed upon the flight of the terrified governor from the 
capital to the protection of the guns of Fort Johnston at the 
mouth of the Cape Fear river. 


The atmospliere was charged with the revolutionary spirit. 
Men breathed it in with the very air they sucked into their 
lungs and then showed it forth to the world by their actions. 
Events crowded one upon another in rapid succession. The 
committees of safety were everywhere active in the discharge 
of their various duties, legislating, judging, executing, com- 
bining in themselves all the functions of government. The 
news of the battle of Lexington spread like wild fire through 
the province, arousing the forward, stirring the backward, 
and putting an end everywhere to all hope of a peaceful con- 
clusion of the difficulties. The news was sped on its way by 
the committees and in no other instance did they give better 
evidence of their usefulness. Governor Martin complained 
that the rebel leaders knew about the battle at least two 
months before he did, and that he did not learn of it in 
time to counteract the influence which the "infamous and 
false reports of that transactions" had on the people. The 
news reached Cornelius Harnett on the Cape Fear in the 
afternoon of May 8, and he at once hurried it on to the 
Brunswick committee with the admonition, "For God's sake 
send the man on without the least delay and write to Mr. 
Marion to forward it by night and day." - The proceedings 
of the second continental congress, which met amid all this 
excitement, were followed with the closest attention. John 
Harvey, after a life devoted to the interest and liberty of his 
country, died at his home in Perquimans county, leaving a 
gap in the ranks of the patriots impossible to be filled. 
Scarcely had this sad news reached the Cape Fear before 
Cornelius Harnett was joined by Robert Howe and John 
Ashe in a letter to Samuel Johnston urging him to call a 
provincial convention without delay. The suggestion met 
with favor, was endorsed by the committees of several coun- 
ties, and approved by Johnston. He issued his call July 
10. Six days later Governor Martin wrote to Lord Dart- 
mouth: "Hearing of a proclamation of the king, proscribing 


John Hancock and Samuel xidams, of Massacliiisetts Bay, 
and seeing clearly that further proscriptions will be necessary 
before government can be settled again upon sure foundations 
in America, I hold it my indispensable duty to mention to 
your lordship Cornelius Harnett, John Ashe, Robert Howe, 
and Abner ISTash, as persons who have marked themselves out 
as proper persons for such distinction in this colony by their 
unremitting labours to promote sedition and rebellion here 
from the beginnings of the discontents in America to this 
time, that they stand foremost among the patrons of revolt 
and anarchy." Within less than a week after this letter was 
written 500 men, wearied of Governor Martin's abusive 
proclamations, placed themselves under the leadership of 
John Ashe and Cornelius Harnett, marched to Fort John- 
ston, and burned the hated structure to the ground. "Mr. 
John Ashe and Mr. Cornelius Harnett," wrote the frightened 
governor, "were the ring-leaders of this savage and audacious 
mob." Thirty days later, at the time and place appointed, a 
third provincial congress met in open session in defiance of 
the rewards offered by the impotent ruler for the arrest of 
the leaders. 

The congress met at Hillsborough, August 20. One hun- 
dred and eighty-four delegates were present. Cornelius Har- 
nett was there from Wilmington, associated, however, with 
another distinguished and able Cape Fear leader, Archibald 
Maclaine. Harnett's share in the work of the convention was 
of the greatest importance, but lack of space forbids an ac- 
count of it here. The one thing that can be noticed was the 
reorganization of the committee system. At the head of the 
new system and acting as executive head of the new govern- 
ment, was placed a provincial committee, called the provin- 
cial council. Its membership was composed of thirteen per- 
sons, one from the province at large and two from each of the 
six military districts into which the province had been 
organized. Serving under this council were to be committees 
in the several districts. 


Extensive powers were given to the provincial council; it 
was, as I have said, the executive head of the government, 
subject to no authority except that of the general congress. 
The success of this new scheme depended entirely upon the 
character and ability of the men who were to put it into 
operation. They were chosen as follows: Samuel Johnston, 
for the province at large; Cornelius Harnett and Samuel 
Ashe, for the Wilming1;on district ; Thomas Jones and Whit- 
mill Hill, for the Edenton district; Abner ISTash and James 
Cook, for the JSTew Bern district; Thomas Person and John 
Kinchen, for the Hillsborough district ; Willie Jones and 
Thomas Eaton for the Halifax district ; Samuel Spencer and 
Waightstill Avery, for the Salisbury district. We can esti- 
mate the importance of this organization from the fact that 
Governor Martin denounced it in unmeasured terms. 

The first meeting was held October 18, at Johnston court- 
house. Of this meeting Bancroft writes : "Among its mem- 
bers were Samuel Johnston, Samuel Ashe, a man whose 
integrity even his enemies never questioned, whose name a 
mountain county and the fairest town in the western part of 
the commonwealth keep in memory ; Abner jSTash, an eminent 
lawyer, described by Martin as ^the oracle of the committee 
of JSTewbern and a principal supporter of sedition' ; but on 
none of these three did the choice of president fall ; that office 
of peril and power was bestowed unanimously on Cornelius 
Harnett, of Xew Hanover, whose disinterested zeal had made 
him honored as the Samuel Adams of j^orth Carolina." By 
virtue of this office Harnett became the chief executive of 
the new government. The establishment of this central com- 
mittee with adequate powers and authority inunediately bore 
good fruit. Governor Martin wrote that the authority, the 
edicts and the ordinances of the congTesses and conventions 
and committees had become supreme and omnipotent and 
that "lawful government" was completely annihilated. There 
can be no better comment upon the effectiveness of the ad- 


ministration of Harnett and his colleagues. Everywhere the 
spirits and activity of the patriots took on nevi^ life, and 
everywhere, according to- Martin himself, the spirits of the 
loyalists drooped and declined daily. So effective was the 
work and so necessary did the council prove itseK to be to 
the welfare of the province, the next convention passed a 
resolution requiring it to sit continuously instead of only once 
every three months. The council, now called the council of 
safety, continued at the head of the government until the 
adoption of the state constitution; and Cornelius Harnett re- 
mained at the head of the council until elected a delegate to 
the continental congress. 

It was under the direction of this council that the ISTorth 
Carolina troops marched to Moore's Creek Bridge and on 
the 27 of February, won the initial victory of the revolu- 
tion. General Moore's report of his victory was made to 
President Harnett. This battle entirely changed the aspect 
of affairs in JSTorth Carolina. Heretofore the people had not 
considered seriously the question of independence; but now 
no other proposition met with such nearly universal ac- 
ceptance. Day by day the conviction steadily grew upon 
them that there was no hope of coming to terms with the 
royal government, except upon humiliating conditions, and 
rather than submit to these the people preferred to risk all 
in a cast for independence. The convention, which met at 
Halifax April 4, 17Y6, was expected to take some definite 
steps to give official expression to the prevailing desire. The 
day after the assembling of the convention Samuel Johnston 
"wrote to James Iredell: "All our people here are up for in- 
dependence." Accordingly on April 8, a committee 
was appointed, composed of Cornelius Harnett, Allen 
Jones, Thomas Burke, Abner ISTash, John Kinchen, Thomas 
Person and Thomas Jones, "to take into consideration the 
usurpations and violences attempted by the king and parlia- 
ment of Great Britain against America, and the further 



measures to be taken for frustrating the same, and for the ^ 

better defence of this province." Cornelius Harnett was t;;" 

elected chairman, and it was he who prepared and read the ^ 

report which the committee submitted April 12, On that - o^ 
day he arose in the convention and in a clear ringing voice ^ 

read the following bold and epoch-making report : [q 

"It appears to your committee, that pursuant to the plan t-* 

concerted by the British ministry for subjugating America, ^ 

the king and parliament of Great Britain have usurped a Ih 

power over the persons and properties of the people, un- >. 

limited and uncontrolled and disregarding their humble peti- 
tions for peace, liberty and safety, have made divers legisla- 
tive acts, denouncing war, famine and every species of calam- 
ity, against the continent in general. The British fleets and 
armies have been, and still are, daily employed in destroying 
the people, and committing the most horrid devastations on 
the country. That governors in different colonies have de- 
clared protection to slaves, who should imbrue their hands 
in the blood of their masters. That ships belonging to 
America are declared prizes of war, and many of them have 
been violently seized and confiscated. In consequence of all 
which multitudes of the people have been destroyed, or from 
easy circumstances reduced to the most lamentable distress. 

"And whereas, the moderation hitherto manifested by the 
united colonies and their sincere desire to be reconciled to 
the mother country on constitutional principles, have pro- 
cured no mitigation of the aforesaid wrongs and usurpations, 
and no hopes remain of obtaining redress by those means 
alone which have hitherto been tried, your committee are of 
opinion that the house should enter into the following re- 
solve, to-vnt: 

"Eesolved, That the delegates for this colony in the con- 
tinental congress be impowered to concur with the delegates 
of the other colonies in declaring independency, and form- 
ing foreign alliances, reserving to this colony the sole and 



exclusive right of forming a constitution and laws for tliis 
colony, and of appointing delegates from time to time (under 
the direction of the general representation thereof), to meet 
the delegates of the other colonies for such purposes as shall 
be hereafter pointed out." 

The convention unanimously adopted the report. ^ Comment 
is unnecessary. The actors, the place, the occasion, the time, 
the action itself, tell their own story far beyond the power 
of the pen to add to it or detract from it. Discussing the 
growth of the sentiment for independence in America, Mr. 
Bancroft says: 

"The American congress needed an impulse from the 
resolute spirit of some colonial convention, and the example 
of a government springing wholly from the people." Fol- 
lowing an account of how South Carolina let slip the honor 
of giving this impulse, Mr. Bancroft continues : "The word 
which South Carolina hesitated to pronounce was given by 
ISTorth Carolina. That colony, proud of its victory over 
domestic enemies, and roused to defiance by the presence of 
Clinton, the British general, in one of their river, * * * 
unanimously" voted for independence. "IsTorth Carolina was 
the first colony to vote explicit sanction to independence."] 

Immediately after the adoption of this report the conven- 
tion took up the consideration of a constitution for the state. 


Harnett was a member of the committee to prepare the docu- 
ment. But this was a matter too important for slight con- 
sideration, and the committee recommended that it be post- 
poned until the next session of the convention. At the same 
time the powers and authority of the council of safety were 
extended and the council was ordered to sit continuously in- 
stead of quarterly. 

A few days before the adjournment of the convention the 
enemy again paid their compliments to Harnett's zeal and 
influence. This time they came from Sir Henry Clinton. 
Sir Henry had reached the Cape Fear too late to co-operate 
with the Highlanders in their disastrous attempts to subdue 
the colony, so there was nothing left for him to do but to issue 
a proclamation, and sail away again. Accordingly, just be- 
fore sailing, he proclaimed from the deck of his majesty's 
man-of-war, Pallisser, that a horrid rebellion existed in N'orth 
Carolina, but that in the name of his sacred majesty, he now 
offered a free pardon to all who would acknowledge the error 
of their way, lay down their arms, and return to their duty 
to the king, "excepting only from the benefits of such pardon 
Cornelius Harnett and Robert Howes." 

To this proclamation the council of safety replied by unani- 
mously re-electing Cornelius Harnett president. This oc- 
curred at their Wilmington session in June. In July they 
adjourned to meet at Halifax. On the 22 of the month 
the council received news of the action of the continental 
congress on July 4. 

Five days later they resolved that August 1, be the day 
for proclaiming the declaration at Halifax. Thursday, Au- 
gust 1, 1776, becomes therefore, a marked day in the annals 
of the state. The sim rose clear on this first day of the new 
month, symbolic of the new state just rising out of a night of 
oppression and wrong. With the rising of the sun came the 
vanguard of the large crowd that was to assemble that day 
from the surrounding country to hear the official announce- 


ment of l^orth Carolina's new-born independence. By noon 
the village was alive with the eager throng. The ceremony 
was simple hut none the less impressive. The provincial 
troops and militia companies, proudly bedecked in such uni- 
forms as they could boast, were present in full battle array. 
With drums beating and flags unfurled to catch the first 
breath of freedom, this martial escort conducted the presi- 
dent of the council to the front of the court-house. As the 
August sun reached its mid-course in the heavens, Cornelius 
Harnett, bare-headed, bearing in his hand the document 
which bore the words so full of meaning for all future genera- 
tions, cheered by the enthusiastic throng, solemnly ascended 
the platform and faced the people. Even as he unrolled the 
scroll the enthusiam of the crowd gave vent in one prolonged 
cheer, and then a solemn hush fell on the audience. Every 
ear was strained to catch the words that fell from the lips 
of the popular speaker. As he closed with those solemn words 
pledging the lives, the fortunes and the sacred honor of the 
people to the declaration, the tumultuous shouts of joy, the 
waving of flags, and the booming of cannon, proclaimed that 
ISTorth Carolina was prepared to uphold her part. As Har- 
nett came down from the platform the soldiers dashed at 
him, seized him, and bore him aloft on their shoulders 
through the crowded street, cheering him as their champion 
and swearing allegiance to the new nation. It must have 
been a proud moment in his life and one that compensated 
somewhat for the sacrifices he was yet to make for his people.* 
Soon after this the fifth and last provincial convention as- 
sembled at Halifax. Harnett sat for Brunswick county. This 
convention adopted the first constitution of the state of ITorth 
Carolina. Harnett was a member of the committee which 
drafted it and exercised a large influence in its preparation. 
His influence and efforts caused the insertion of that imper- 
ishable clause which forbids the establishment of a state 
church in !N"orth Carolina, and secures forever to every per- 


son in the state the right to worship God '^'^according to the 
dictates of his own conscience." If Thomas Jefferson rightly 
considered the authorship of a similar clause in the Virginia 
constitution, one of the three really great events of his life, 
surely the authorship of this clause in the JSTorth Carolina 
constitution was none the less one of the great events of 
Cornelius Harnett's useful career. But he did not blazon it 
to the world by having it recorded on his tomb. 

This convention elected the first ofiicers of the new state. 
Richard Caswell was elected governor. Harnett was chosen 
first councillor of state. By the election of Caswell as gov- 
ernor the chairmanship of the convention became vacant, and 
Harnett was elected to fill the vacancy. The journal of the 
last one of those remarkable conventions that separated ISTorth 
X^arolina from the British empire is signed by "Cornelius 
Harnett, President." 

Harnett was re-elected to the council by the first legisla- 
ture which met under the constitution. He did not serve 
long, however, as he was soon afterward selected a delegate to 
the continental congress and resigned his seat in the council. 
He took this action reluctantly. It meant loss of comfort and 
ease, sacrifice of both money and health, but he did not feel 
justified in declining, for purely personal reasons, the service 
the state desired of him. He, therefore, entered upon his 
duties in -June, 177Y, and served three years in congress. 
A detailed account of his services there is impossible in this 
sketch. They were faithful and able. The field was narrow, 
however; the situation disagreeable; his health poor; and 
the expense of living great. He wrote to his friend Burke 
that living in Philadelphia cost him £6,000 more than his 
salary, but he adds : "Do not mention this complaint to any 
person. I am content to sit down with this loss and much 
more if my country requires it." He missed the comforts 
of home, wearied of the quarrels and bickerings of congress, 
suffered with the gout, until he was thoroughly worn out. 


Harnett's letters are among the most valuable in the corre- 
spondence of the revolution, tlirowing such a flood of light 
on that interesting period as few other letters do. It has 
already been seen the estimate that Governor Swain put upon 
them. Any one who reads them carefully in the light of the 
events they describe will readily concur in that estiniate. 

In February, 1Y80, Harnett made his last journey from 
Philadelphia to Wilmington, "the most fatiguing and most 
disagreeable journey any old fellow ever took." He had not 
long to rest under the shade of his vine and fig tree as he had 
hoped to do. Only one year of life remained to him, a year 
of gloom, hardship and suffering. The summer of 1780 was 
the gloomiest time of the war for the Americans. Charleston 
fell; Colonel Bufort's Virginia regiment was annihilated 
at Waxhaws ; Gates exchanged his northern laurels for south- 
ern willows at Camden ; jSTinety-Six was captured, and Corn- 
wallis marched into ISTorth Carolina. Here came relief. On 
the top of King's Mountain came the first break in the 
clouds ; and soon after this Tarleton's renowned corps was cut 
to pieces at Cowpens. 

Scarcely had this good news revived the drooping spirits of 
the patriots when a great disaster befell the Cape Fear coun 
try. On January 29, 1781, Major James H. Craige, one 
of the most energetic officers of the British army, sailed into 
the Cape Fear river with a flcot of eighteen vessels and four 
hundred and fifty men. Wilrxdngton was occupied without 
opposition. Major Craige had come with express orders to 
capture Cornelius Harnett, and one of his first expeditions 
from Wilmington was sent out for this purpose. Harnett 
was warned in time and attempted to escape ; but he had gone 
only about thirty miles when he was seized by a paroxysm 
of the gout and was compelled to take to his bed at the home 
of his friend. Colonel Spicer, in Onslow county. The enemy 
overtook him here, and regardless of his age and condition, 
in a manner unusually brutal, carried him to Wilmington. 


Here lie was confined for three days in a block-house. His 
condition had now become so precarious that Craige Was in- 
duced to release him on parole- 
He had not long to enjoy hie freedom, and none realized 
it better than he. Yet he politely declined the services of the 
physicians, though grateful for their attention. On April 28, 
he wrote with his own hand his will, bequeathing "to my be- 
loved wife, Mary, all my estate, real, personal, and mixed, of 
what nature or kind soever, to her, her heirs and assigns, for- 
ever." He then breathed his last, 

Harnett's grave is in the northeast corner of St. James 
church-yard in the city of Wilmington. He contributed 
liberally to the erection of the first St. James church, was 
for a long time a member of the vestry, and always retained 
a pew in the church. In spite of this, and of a great deal of 
other evidence to the contrary, a tradition has been handed 
down, repeated by Hooper, and after him by others, that Har- 
nett was an infidel. The train of evidence is too long to be 
followed here and I must content myself with merely ob- 
serving that in my opinion the statement is an erroneous one. 
Much has been made of the epitaph on his tomb-stone, se- 
lected by himself. 

"cok:n^elius hae^ett. 

Died April 20, 1781. 
Age 58. 
" 'Slave to no sect, he took no private road, 

But looked through ISTature up to JSTature's God.' " 

It should be noted here that the date on the stone must be 
incorrect, as his will is in his own hand-writing and is dated 
April 28. 

Mr. Harnett lived just outside of Wilmington. His house, 
surrounded by a grove of magnificent live-oaks, stood on an 


eminence on tlie east bank of the Cape Fear, commanding a 
fine view of the river. Here Harnett lived at ease, for he 
was a man of wealth, entertaining upon such a scale as to 
win a reputation for his hospitality, even in the hospitable 
Cape Fear country. 

"His stature," says Hooper, "was about five feet nine 
inches. In his person he was rather slender than stout. His 
hair was of a light-brown, and his eyes hazel. The contour of 
his face was not striking; nor were his features, which were 
small, remarkable for symmetry; but his countenance was 
pleasing, and his figure, though not commanding, was neither 
inelegant nor ungraceful. 

"In his private transactions he was guided by a spirit of 
probity, honor and liberality; and in his political career he 
was animated by an ardent and enlightened and disinterested 
zeal for liberty, in whose cause he exposed his life and en- 
dangered his fortune. He had no tinge of the visionary or 
of the fanatic in the complexion of his politics. ^He read 
the volume of human nature and understood it.' He studied 
closely that complicated machine, man, and he managed it to 
the greatest advantage for the cause of liberty, and for the 
good of his country. That he sometimes adopted artifice, 
when it seemed necessary for the attainment of his purpose, 
may be admitted with little imputation on his morals and 
without disparagement to his understanding. His general 
course of action in public life was marked by boldness and 

"He practiced all the duties of a kind and charitable and 
elegant hospitality; and yet with all this liberality he was 
an exact and minute economist. 

"Easy in his manner, affable, courteous, with a fine taste 
for letters and a genius for music, he was always an interest- 
ing, sometimes a fascinating companion. 

"He had read extensively, for one engaged so much in the 
bustle of the world, and he had read with a critical eye and 


inquisitive mind. * * In conversation be was never voluble. 
Tbe tongue, an unruly member in most men, was in bim 
nicely regulated by a sound and discriminating judgment. 
He paid,nevertbeless, bis full quota into tbe common stock, 
for wbat was wanting in continuity or fullness of expression, 
was supplied by a glance of bis eye, tbe movement of bis 
band and tbe impressiveness of bis pause. Occasionally, too, 
be imparted animation to bis discourse by a cbaracteristic 
smile of sucb peculiar sweetness and benignity, as enlivened 
every mind and cbeered every bosom, witbin tbe spbere of 
its radiance. 

"Altbougb affable in address, be was reserved in opinion. 
He could be wary and circumspect, or decided and daring as 
exigency dictated or emergency required. At one moment 
abandoned to tbe gratifications of sense, in tbe next be could 
recover bis self-possession and resume bis dignity. Addicted 
to pleasure, be was always ready to devote bimself to busi- 
ness, and always prompt in execution. An inflexible republi- 
can, be was beloved and bonored by tbe adberents of mon- 
arcby amid tbe fury of a civil war. * * * Sucb was Cor- 
nelius Harnett. Once tbe favorite of tbe Cape Fear and tbe 
idol of tbe town of Wilmington ; bis applauses filled tbe ears. 
as bis cbaracter filled tbe eyes of tbe public." , 


By D. H. hill. 

"Of all the men who watched and guided the tottering footsteps 
of our infant State, there was not one who in intellectual ability, in 
solid and polite learning, in scholarly cultivation and refinement, in 
courage and endurance, in high Christian morality, in generous con- 
sideration for the welfare of others, in all true merit in fine, which 
makes a man among men, who could equal Edward Moseley. 

Hon. Geokge Davis. 

Fortunately for men of action the judgment of their con- 
temporaries is often modified or reversed by the clearer judg- 
ment of posterity. Of Wycliffe, the first translator of the 
Bible into our "modir tonge" and one of the stoutest oppon- 
ents of ecclesiastical tyranny, a contemporary, Lewis, says, in 
his "Life of Wycliffe:" 

"On the feast of the passion of Saint Thomas, of Canter- 
bury, John Wycliffe, the organ of the devil, the enemy of the 
church, the idol of heretics, the image of hypocrites, the re- 
storer of schism, the storehouse of lies, the sink of flattery, 
being struck by the horrible judgment of God, was seized with 
the palsy throughout his whole body, and that mouth, which 
was to have spoken huge things against God and his saints, 
and Holy church, was miserably drawn aside, and afforded a 
frightful spectacle to beholders ; his tongue was speechless and 
his head shook, showing plainly that the curse which God 
had thundered forth against Cain was also inflicted on him." 

Of this same Wycliffe Dr. Patterson Smyth says, in the 
tempered judgment of 1899 : 

'Tn him England lost one of her best and greatest sons, a 
]tatriot sternly resenting all dishonor to his country, a re- 
former who ventured his life for the purity of the church and 
tlie freedom of the Bible — an earnest, faithful 'parsoun of 


a tonne' standing out conspicuously among the clergj' of the 

'For christes lore and his apostles twelve 

He taiighte — and first be folwede it hiinselve.' " 

In like manner if we should credit the official contempo- 
raries of Edward Moseley, he was "of all men most base." 
Gov. Hyde and his followers in the Legislature of 1711 joined 
in a petition to "The Palatin and Lord Proprietors" to "re- 
move those three restless Incendiaries Col. Carey, Mr. Porter 
and jMr. ]\loseley froni having any share in the government." 
Gov. Pollock, smooth and suave, complains that "he was 
the chief contriver and carry-er on of Col. Carey's rebellion." 
Gov. Burrington, passing rich in the vocabulary of expletive, 
brands him as "the great land-jobber of this country," and 
further declares to the Legislature that Moseley is "a person 
of sufficient ability" to be "Publick Treasurer," but wishes 
that his "integrity was equal to his ability." Gov. Johnston 
writes the Board of Trade that "the only remains of faction 
in this colony is kept up by Mr. Moseley and the Moors." 

The remarkable continuity of this courteous attention from 
crown officers, extending as it does over a good many years, 
reveals the dynamics inherent in the man. Even if we had 
no record of Moseley' s life other than this continuous guber- 
national vituperation, we should still be inclined to say, "Offi- 
cial lions found no hind in him; here was a man." 

Hence it is no surprise to find modern writers, who have 
tried to roll the mists away, saying, as AVeeks does : "He 
(Moseley) was the broadest-minded man who lived in J^orth 
Carolina during the first half of the ISth century. He 
was a patriot rather than a partisan and as such espoused 
the cause of religious fredom against the bigotry and narrow- 
ness of his age and country;" 

Or to find Shinn saying: "It can not be doubted that he 
was hot tempered and was perhaps often too hasty and liable 


to cultivate strong antipathies ; yet he was a patriot in his 
day and did more than any other early character to make the 
unlettered Carolinians feel that by royal charter 'it Is granted 
that the inhabitants of this province shall have, possess and 
enjoy all libertys, franchises and privileges as are held, pos- 
sessed and enjoyed in the Kingdom of England.' In every 
contest he was on the side of the people." 

That Moseley was always "on the side of the people" and 
that in spite of royal governors he retained their confidence 
is abundantly shown by such facts as these. One year after 
Gov. Hyde's assembly petitioned for Moseley's 'removal from 
having any part in the government,' the people elected him 
a member of the Assembly. In 1715, in the face of Pol- 
lock's charge and just two years after it was made, that he 
was the backbone of the Gary trouble, the representatives 
of the people elected him their Speaker. Gov. Burrington's 
epithet of "land grabber," and doubt as to his having integ- 
rity enough to be Treasurer did not deter the Assembly of 
1731 from electing Moseley Speaker nor from saying with 
some heat: "The Members of the House declare that they 
are very well satisfied as well with his integrity as his ability, 
his accounts always appearing just and true." 

Of the early life of the man thus so differently judged, we 
have few records ; his later life is almost literally a history 
of the province, so large is his part in its doings. He held 
almost every office then open to a citizen. Indeed for robust 
persistence in office-holding Moseley is without a peer in Caro- 
lina history. The first year that he appears in our records 
he was a member of the Cary Council : he dies still a Council 
member, although his service was not continuous. The office 
of magistrate, then a very honorable and responsible one, he 
held nearly all his life. From perhaps 1708 until near his 
death he was Treasurer of the Colony, and also part of the 
time precinct treasurer. For many years he was Surveyor- 
General. He was a Commissioner for running the boundary 


line between JSTorth Carolina and Virginia and also between 
North Carolina and South Carolina. He was judge of the 
Court of Admiralty, five or six times Speaker of the House, 
President of the Council and thus Acting-Governor, Commis- 
sioner on Wages, and for Revisal of laws, chief baron of the 
Exchequer, and finally Chief Justice of the Colony. This per- 
petuity and variety of office-holding seem too to have come, 
not because he was a chronic seeker of office, but solely be- 
cause he was the fittest man to fill the office. 

What were the characteristics of the man who was thus 
honored by his people ? 

In the first place it was not necessary for him "to usurp 
a patriot's all-atoning name," for he seems to have sincerely 
loved his adopted colony, and to have served it with the stead- 
fast purpose of making it a home fit for free men. Although 
himself a member of the established church of England, a 
contributor equal in generosity to the Governor towards its 
support, and a propagandist of its faith to the extent of send- 
ing to England for Prayer Books for distribution, yet there 
seems no doubt that he set his face like flint against an alli- 
ance of church and State in America. Although frequently 
on terms of such intimacy with crown officers that it would 
have been to his interest to wink at their usurpations of 
authority, he steadily resisted all such encroachments on the 
rights of the people. Pie was Speaker of the House that in 
1715 dared to pass the memorable resolution "that the im- 
pressing of the inhabitants, or their property, under pre- 
tense of its being for public service, without authority from 
the General Assembly is unwarrantable, a great infringement 
of the liberty of the subject, and very much weakens the 
government by causing many to leave it." 

Col. Saunders says of this resolution : "The man who, at 
that early day, in the wild woods of America, could formu- 
late that resolution, and the people whose assembly could fling 
it in the face of the government, were worthy of each other." 


While holding a royal commission as member of the Coun- 
cil, Moseley refused to pay his quit rents to the royal Re- 
ceiver at a rate different from what he thought the laws of 
the colony prescribed, and encouraged others to take the same 

In the second place he had the boldness of thought and of 
action that people admire in their leaders. When but a com- 
parative stranger in the province, he did not hesitate to join 
with Gary in actions which though in themselves illegal re- 
dounded to public good. When he believed that Gov. Eden's 
relations to the pirate Thache or Teach were suspiciously 
criminal, he with the aid of his brother-in-law, Maurice 
Moore, made bold to forcibly enter the office of the Governor's 
secretary and seize official papers apparently for the purpose 
of disclosing criminality on the part of the officers of the 
province. On his arrest for this attempt "to bring the good 
government, diligent and just administration of him the said 
Charles Eden as Governor to detract, asperse and contempt • 
and to move and stir up debates, strifes and differences, 
sedition and discord and dissention in this province," as the 
warrant charged, he could not forbear saying that the gov- 
ernor, chief justice and others with him could procure armed 
men to come and arrest him but could not raise them to de- 
stroy the pirate. He incurred the hostility of Gov. Burrington 
and was committed to the common jail for interposing in be- 
half of a poor man without legal counsel, whom the Gov- 
ernor was prosecuting with acrimonious speed. It is not hard 
to imagine that it was his influence as Speaker that led the 
Assembly of 1733 to protest against Gov. Burrington's "long 
disuse of assemblies," and to declare that "the Affairs of the 
Province in our humble Opinion required the Meeting of an 
Assembly before this time, not only for an Application to 
his Majesty toward the Good and happy settlement of this 
province, but also for the suppressing the many Oppressions, 
which so loudly have been complained of through the whole 


province, which could in no other way so properly be repre- 
sented as in an Assembly.'' 

In the third place Moseley had the common sense and self- 
poise on which people rely in troublous times. There was 
no sham, no affectation, no sounding hollow in his make-up. 
This is nowhere shown more conspicuously than in the reply 
that he, Christopher Gale, John Lovick and William Little 
sent to the Virginia Commissioners who had written them 
as jS^orth Carolina's Commissioners to settle the disputed 
boundary line between the two States. With lordly pomp the 
Virginia Commissioners had written: "We think it very 
proper to acquaint you in what manner we intend to come 
provided, that so you, being appointed in the same station, 
may, if you please, do the same honor to your country. We 
shall bring with us about twenty men, furnished with pro- 
visions for thirty days : we shall have with us a tent and 
marquees for the convenience of ourselves and our servants. 
We bring as much wine and rum as will enable us and our 
men to drink every night to do the good success of the follow- 
ing day ; and because we understand that there are gentiles on 
the frontiers, who never had an opportunity to be baptized, 
we shall have a chaplain with us to make them Christians." 

Men of less common sense than the Carolina Commission- 
ers would have been at a loss to know what reply to make 
to this startling announcement. But the sturdy sense of 
Moseley and his associates did not desert them. 

"We are at a loss, gentlemen," wrote these downright men, 
"w^hether to thank you for the particulars you give us of your 
tent stores, and the manner you design to meet us. Had you 
been silent about it, we had not wanted an excuse for not 
meeting you in the same manner; but now you force us to 
expose the nakedness of our country, and to tell you we cannot 
possibly meet you in the manner our great respect for you 
would make us glad to do ; whom we are not emulous of out- 
doing, unless in care and diligence in the affair we come to 
meet you about." 


"That keen thrust under the guard," comments Mr. Davis, 
"delivered too with all the glowing courtesy of knighthood, is 
exquisite. My lord Chesterfield could not have improved it. 
Tf the Virginians were as familiar with sweet Will as they 
undoubtedly were with the value of tent stores, they must 
have had an uncomfortable remembrance of Sir Andrew 
Aguecheek — ^An I thought he had been so cunning in fence, 
I'd have seen him damned ere I'd have challenged him." 

But there is another side to the man's character that is 
pleasant to recall. Active man of affairs as he was, accumu- 
lating a fortune as he did, he was withal, in the best sense of 
the words, a man of letters. His private library, including 
books on law, on theology, and on general literature, was per- 
haps the most extensive in the province. A part of his library 
was left by him as a foundation for a public library in the 
town of Edenton. 

A devoted lover of ISTorth Carolina and a diligent student 
of its history pays this hearty tribute to Col. Moseley's worth : 

"The great debt of gratitude that l^orth Carolina will ever 
owe him is due to his undying love of free government, and 
his indomitable maintenance of the rights of his people. 
Doubtless no man ever more fully realized than he 'that eter- 
nal vigilance is the price of liberty,' nor was there ever upon 
any watch tower a more faithful sentinel than he. And to 
him, above all others, should ISTorth Carolina erect her first 
statute, for to him, above all others, is she indebted for stimu- 
lating that love of liberty regulated by law, and that hatred of 
arbitrary government that has ever characterized her people." 



OF THE "^ 


1775 \ 



Giving Reminiscences of the Day and Other 
Mecklenburg Revolutionary Events 


CHARLOTTE, N, C, MAY 20, 1735 

Lincoln County, North Carolina 

MAY 20, 1775. 

bt w. a. graham. 

The first celebration of the anniversary of the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence, Charlotte, May 20, 1835. 

The attendance was estimated to be at least five thousand, 
ceremonies were held in the "church grove" now First Pres- 
byterian church. The Governor of the State (Swain) was 
present and reviewed the troops. 

James W. Osborne (afterwards judge) father of Judge 
Frank I. Osborne, after a brief and eloquent preface read the 
Mecklenburg Declaration. 

Franklin Smith was "orator of the day." He gave a suc- 
cint account of the aggressions of England which led up to 
the Declaration; sketched the character of the convention 
and commemorated the virtues of its members. 

At the dinner U. S. Senator Willie P. Mangum, Governor 
Swain and others spoke at length upon- the political questions, 
probably upon General Jackson vs. the United States Bank. 

In response to the toast "Our guest, General Joseph Gra- 
ham, the living witness of the scene we have met to commemo- 
rate and the bold and intrepid defender of its principles," 
General Graham spoke as follows : 

Fellow Citizens:— On this day three-score years ago, I was 
in this place, and heard the discussion of those venerable 
fathers, and finally their unanimous vote on the adoption of 
those resolutions, and in a short time after when proclama- 
tion was made, the people assembled and they were read at 
the Court-House door, where they were highly approved by all. 
Perhaps upwards of half the men in Mecklenburg and now 
Cabarrus counties were present. This and some previous 


meetings had a tendency to give tone to public sentiment, that 
was manifest throughout the Revolutionary War, and for 
many years after. I had the honor to be personally ac- 
quainted with each of the fathers who signed those resolu- 
tions ; they were men of sound common sense, actuated by 
pure patriotism, appeared to be governed by no motive but 
their country's welfare, perhaps a majority of them too old 
to do military duty, but always ready with their counsel to 
their families and neighbors, to assist the common cause. 
It yet may be remembered that before the fall of Charleston, 
a magazine of gun powder was moved from Camden to this 
place for greater safety and was guarded sometime by the 
students of the Academy at this place — that an alarm of the 
vailed, and several of the old fathers, signers of those Eesolu- 
enemy's advancing here, some weeks before they came, pre- 
tions, with others, came to Charlotte on a certain day with 
bags in which they filled the gunpowder, and carried it off in 
different directions — they appeared like so many boys who 
had been to mill. It was concealed in separate places — after- 
wards it afforded us a seasonable supply — ^not much of it got 
damaged and the enemy got none. * 

At that time we had no parties among us, we were but one 
party and that for our country. Then and for a dozen years 
afterwards, a man who was popular, and had the public con- 
fidence, was called on to face the greatest dangers, and to 
make large sacrifices of his time and property in the common 
cause. What nominal pay he received was in a depreciated 
currency — it was evident that money was not the motive by 
which he was governed, but to drive the enemy from our. 
country and to establish the Independence which they had 
declared, — the fact is there were no loaves and fishes to divide, 
as in modern times, to scufile about, for it now appears the 

* General Davidson to General Sumner. October 10. 17S0, at Rocky River, reports 
receipt of 29 " caigs " of this powder from within four miles of Charlotte, of 
which he knew nothing until a day or two before.— Col. Records, Vol. XIV, p. 683. 


plentier tliej are the greater the risque that the public tran- 
quility may be disturbed, and finally may produce more evil 
than at present anticipated. 

It would be tedious to recount all the effect produced by 
the discussion and Eesolutions passed in this place sixty years 
past, how faithfully those men, their neighbors and their off- 
spring, acted up to the professions they then made — how 
they regularly furnished their quota of men while the war 
was at a distance, but after the fall of Charleston and Bu- 
ford's defeat, they were called out en viasse, when Mecklen- 
burg became a frontier against a powerful enemy, — need I 
mention that several of her brave sons fell in the battle at 
Ramsour's Mill, — that in the well-fought battle of Hanging 
Rock, she lost the lamented Capt. David Reid, and six pri- 
vates and had eleven wounded — had her proportion of men 
and suffering in the disastrous defeat of General Gates on the 
16th of August, 1780, or the affair at Wahab's, under Col. 
Davie in September in the same year, when a party superior 
in numbers was surprised and beat in the vicinity of the main 
British army or when the British army of 5,000 Regulars 
marched into this village in all the pomp of War, on the 
26th of Sept., 1780, was opposed by Col. Davie in a kind of 
Parthian fight with 350, chiefly of this County, and our well- 
tried friends of Rowan, — or that during the 12 days they 
stayed, their sentries were shot down, their piquets harassed, 
and a foraging party of 400 driven back from Mclntyre's 
farm about 7 miles ISTorth of this place, with some loss, by 
only a few men of your native sons — that waggons with stores 
from Camden were captured and destroyed, two or three 
miles to the South of this place. These circumstances in- 
duced Col. Tarleton in conversation with a lady in the neigh- 
borhood, to compliment this place with the name of "The Hor- 
nets' ^est." 

When General Green took command of the Southern 
Army, on the 3rd of December, 1780, this County having 


been the seat of war so long, supplies of provisions and forage 
being nearly exhausted, he detached General Morgan over 
Broad River, and moved with his Army down near Cheraw. 
As an evidence of the estimate in which you were held, he 
relied upon the inhabitants between the Catawba and Yadkin 
Eivers as a central Army, otherwise his dispositions would 
have been inconsistent with the general rules of war in such 
cases. ISTeed I mention that after Tarleton's defeat at the 
Cowpens, when the enemy advanced in full force on the 
banlcs of the Catawba, on the memorable 1st of February, 
1781, in that cloudy and drisly morning when they passed 
at Cowan's Ford, were opposed by about 350 men, a majority 
of your native sons, endeavoring to defend their domicils 
under command of the brave and lamented General Davidson, 
who there fell, and two of your citizens who may be well 
remembered by several of those present, Robert Beatty and 
James Scott — that the atmosphere was so dense the sound of 
the artillery and platoons were distinctly heard by all the 
mothers, wives and sisters of those engaged, who lived here 
and to the ISTorth of this place. That our friends of Rowan 
and some other counties who had retreated from Beattie's 
Ford, were defeated at Torrence's Tavern on the same day 
by Col. Tarleton — ^that afterwards the British passed on to 
Salisbury — about 700 men were collected in their rear com- 
posed of the citizens between the Yadkin and Catawba, and 
having none but field officers, they could not agree among 
themselves who should take the command, and finally they 
selected Gen. Andrew Pickens, (of S. C.,) who with six or 
eight South Carolina refugees, had been at the defeat at 
Torrence's Tavern, where he was without command. After 
his appointment and the Brigade organized, it moved on 
after the enemy; when arrived near Hillsboro, he sent a de- 
tachment of men of this county, who at Hart's Mill within 
1 1-2 miles of Hillsboro, the enemy's headquarters, killed and 
captured a piquet of 25 Regulars and some Tories' — that at 
Pile's defeat, — at the battle of Whitesell's Mill, and other 


places of minor importance they acted a conspicuous part, 
that at the battle of Alamance, at Clap's Mill on the 2d of 
March, 1781, when about 500 on each side were engaged, 
vou sustained more loss in proportion to numbers than any 
corps engaged, — John Ford (a carpenter) who built some of 
the houses now standing in this village, and David Johnston, 
were killed — Robert Morris, Esq (of Mill Grove), Samuel 
Martin, Clerk of your Court, and JohnBarnett were wounded, 
Joseph Mitchell (of Stoney Creek) and John Stinson, who 
I believe is yet living, were taken prisoners. But why need 
I refer to all the occurrences of this eventful campaign. The 
historians, Doctor Ramsey and Judge Johnston, (both of 
South Carolina), atrributed those actions to the militia of 
South Carolina because the officer, who had the command 
was from that State ; great injustice is likewise done by said 
historians to the affair of Hanging Rock and other move- 
ments. While General Sumpter commanded, the milita of 
this county frequently were his greatest force, and after he 
was appointed to raise a Brigade of State Troops, it may be 
remembered that the Regiments of Hampton, Polk and Hill 
were chiefly raised between the Yadkin and the Catawba, 
and the many brilliant actions they performed are placed to 
the credit of South Carolina because the Generals from that 
State happened to have the command. As well might the 
salvation of the South be placed to the credit of the State of 
Rhode Island, because General Green was commander. 

At the time those Resolutions were adopted, there were 
13 militia companies in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, 
the practice was at company muster, each company elected 
two of their number as committee men, usually those for 
whom they had the most confidence in for intelligence. As 
well as I can remember, it was first practiced in the autumn 
of the year 1774, and had several meetings in the Winter 
and Spring previous to the meeting of May, 1775. The Com- 
mittee were continued for 15 years after. What time they 
ceased is unknown to me. In the year 1789 and 1790, when 


I had the honor to represent this County, they usually met 
after the election and formed instructions to their Represen- 
tatives in the General Assembly. You have several public 
laws on your Statute Book, that originated in those commit- 
tees, that have never been repealed or amended in 45 years. 

On taking a retrospective view for 60 years back, the diffi- 
culties, embarrassments and dangers, that were before us, 
and comparing it with the present flourishing and happy 
condition the country is now in — what great cause of grati- 
tude to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. How many bless- 
ings we are and have been favored with, that in the common 
course of human events can not be attributed to any other 

Having merely glanced at the reminiscences of the Revo- 
lutionary War, all but the expedition to Wilmington in the 
fall of the year 1781, under the command of General Ruther- 
ford where a detachment of cavalry of 100, mostly from this 
County, and Rowan, at the Raft Swamp, charged and de- 
feated upwards of 400 Tories, and at the Brick House oppo- 
site Wilmington, defeated a superior number to our own, a 
few days before the British evacuated Wilming-ton. This 
campaign was the last in which your militia was engaged 
in the Revolutionary War, and I think fully redeemed the 
pledge made by those fathers in their behalf on the 20th of 
May, 1775. The occurences of note which took place since 
that time, perhaps most of you who are advanced in life, 

The account of the celebration is given in full in General 
Joseph Graham and his Revolutionary Papers — it is from 
the Miners and Farmers Journal, Charlotte, I*T. C, May 
22nd, 1835. The address is from the Western Carolinian, 
Salisbury, I^. C, June 20th, 1835. I regret that I did not 
obtain it in time to put in the book. 

W. A. Graham. 

Machpelah, IT. C, liTov. 1st, 1905. 

Vol. V. APRIL, 1906. No. 4. 


floRTH CflHOIimfl BoOKIiET 

^'Carolina! Carolina! Heaven'' s blessings attend her ! 
While we live we will cherish, protect and defend her.^^ 

Published by 



The object of the Booklet is to aid in developing and preserving 
North Carolina History. The proceeds arising from its publication will 
be devoted to patriotic piu-posea. Editobs. 





Mrs. E. E. MOFFITT. 

vice-kegent : 

honorary regent : 

Mrs. spier WHITAKER, 

( Nee Hooper.) 




Mrs. W. H. PACE. 


Mrs. frank SHERWOOD. 





Founder of the North Carolina Society and Regent 1896-1902 : 
Mrs. spier WHITAKER. 

regent 1902 : 
Mrs. D. H. HILL, Sr.* 

regent 1902-1906: 

*Dled December 12, 1904. 

v.. -^-'^ 



Vol. V APRIL, 1906 No. 4 



The crest of a Stricken Boar, with the motto: ^'Strong 
and Stout," were conferred by James IV. of Scotland upon 
Pollok of Balgra, who saved the life of his sovereign, when 
he was attacked while hunting, by a furious wild boar. These 
arms have been honorably borne by his descendants since that 
time. i i ,- ^ 

Thomas Pollok was born on the 6th day of March, 1864. 
He was the son of Thomas Pollok of Balgra, near Glasco, in 
County Renfrew, Scotland. His grandfather was Thomas, 
his great-grandfather was David Pollok, of Balgra, who 
married Margaret, a daughter of the Rev. Zachery Boyd, an 
eminent Scotch divine, who was born before 1590 and died 
in 1653, one year before the birth of his great-grandson. 

Zachery Boyd was a professor in the University of Saumur, 
in France, until the persecutions of the Protestants in that 
country in 1621 forced him to return to Scotland. He was 
the author of many religious works, and in his will he be- 
queathed the sum of 20,000 pounds Scots to the University of 
Glasco, on the condition that his rhymical version of the Old 
Testament should be published by the faculty. The bequest 
was accepted and one voliune of the work was printed. This 
book is now preserved in a glass case in the university, his 
stone bust surmounts the court gateway, while his portrait is 
in the Divinity Hall of this seat of learning. 

The following is an example of the rude versification em- 
ployed by Dr. Boyd : 







H ■ 






Pharaoh was a great rascal, 
Because he would not let 
The children of Israel 
With their flocks and herds, 
Wives and little ones, 
Go three days' journey 
Into the wilderness, 
To keep the Paschal. 

The wi'iter is obliged to use modern spelling, as this couplet 
has been handed down by word of mouth, and was never seen 
in print. 

Of the childhood of Thomas PoUok we know nothing, and 
but little of his early life. His elder brother James died 
when past middle age. His sister Margaret married her kins- 
man George Pollok, minister of Erskin, and his sister Helen 
married the Rev. David Robe, minister at Ballantree, who, 
after the accession of King William, moved with his family 
to Ireland. 

Thomas Pollok landed in ISTorth Carolina on June 27, 
1683. He came in the capacity of Deputy to Lord Carteret, 
one of the seven Lords Proprietors, to whom was granted by 
Charles II. on May 23, 1663, "all territory extending from 
the north of Luke Island, which lieth in the southern Vir- 
ginian seas, southward as far as the river to St. Matthias, 
which bordereth upon the coast Cf Florida." (Col. Rec, vol. 
1, p. 21.) 

At this time the colony contained about five thousand in- 
habitants and was composed of a few settlements fringing 
the shores of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and extending 
for a short distance on each side of the streams, which empty 
into these bodies of water. 

At this time the fisheries were undeveloped, and with the 
exception of one grist mill, the inhabitants were without me- 
chanical appliances. Many of the settlers pounded their 
grain in stone mortars, others were the happy possessors of 
hand-mills, which were so highly prized as to be bequeathed 


along with other personal property. Many of the houses 
were built of hewn logs and roofed with slabs, and as hard- 
ware was almost unattainable they were put together with 
wooden pins and the doors were hung on hinges of the same 
material ; the chimneys were built of rough stone, which was 
brought as ballast in the ships from Barbadoes. 

We know neither the size of Mr.. Pollok's house, nor the 
material of which it was made, but from his letters we find 
that he was surrounded with many of the comforts of life 
and by some of its elegancies; a silver ladle which belonged 
to him, and a great arm chair, made of walnut wood, in 
which he used to sit, are now the property of Mrs. John 
Devereux, of Raleigh. 

About this time Boston plank was first imported, and the 
first brick were burned. In his will, Mr. PoUok left direc- 
tions in regard to a house with brick chimneys and cellar, 
which was then in process of building for his son Cullen. 

Great droves of hogs and cattle, which constituted the chief 
source of the wealth of the planters, roamed through the 
forests on the higher ground or "second lands," where they 
found abundant food in the wild fruits and mast, and in the 
natural herbage, which were produced in such quantities that 
no further supplies were needed. The winters were then, 
as now, so mild that no shelter was needed. The only care 
necessary was that they should be marked by cutting the ears. 
This was done at stated intervals, each planter having his 
own device; that adopted by Mr. Pollok was a "swallow 
fork and keel" (a notch and a crescent), and this mark was 
used by his descendants until after the Civil War. To change 
or to deface these marks was an offense severely punished by 
law. The soil was wonderfully productive, great crops of 
corn being raised in the river bottoms, or "low grounds." 

As transportation with wheeled vehicles was impossible, 
each plantation had its water front, with wharves and land- 
ings, and each planter was the owner of many canoes, besides 


one or more vessels ; some of these were small and only used 
locally, while others were o'f sufficient size to make the voyage 
to Boston and to the West Indies, and even sometimes to cross 
the ocean. 

As there were no towns of sufficient size to serve as depots 
for the products of the colony, the mercantile transactions 
were principally in the hands of New England traders, who 
would visit the plantations, bringing their cargoes almost to 
the doors of the planters. As coin was scarce, they had 
recourse to a system of barter, exchanging their imported 
wares for skins, salt beef and pork, tallow, staves and tar, the 
Assembly having fixed a money value upon each of these 
rated commodities. These ISTew Englanders also sold both 
negro and Indian slaves, Mr. PoUok's heirs o^vning many 
descendants of ]!^arraganset Indians bought from these 

Many of the colonists were men of refinement and culture, 
as is shown by the chirography and diction of their letters, 
wills, etc. Some of them had left their homes for political 
reasons, and others were younger sons whom a spirit of 
adventure had prompted to seek their fortunes in a new land. 
As the plantations embraced great bodies of land, communi- 
cation between their owners was often difficult, yet a pleasant 
social intercourse was kept up. Many were the gatherings 
beneath the hospitable roofs, and around the cheerful fire- 
sides, where the gentlemen enjoyed their "bumbo," or rum 
punch, and the ladies sipped their milder cups of tea and 
chocolate. Into this charmed circle Mr. PoUok was wel- 
comed, and soon became prominent, both socially and in the 
government of the colony. 

Being a strong churchman, he was one of the organizers of 
St. Paul's Parish, Edenton (then called Queen Anne's 
Creek). The first vestry met at the house of Mr. Thomas 
Gilliam, December 12, 1701, when Mr. Pollok was made a 
vestryman, and steps were at once taken to build the first 


church ever erected in North Carolina. It was a wooden 
building, "twenty-five feet long, posts in the ground and held 
to the cellar beams." (Col. Rec, vol. 1, p. 543.) It stood 
upon an acre of land given by Mr. Edward Smithwick, near 
the present site of Hays, once the historic home of the John- 
ston family. The first service was held in this church in 
January, 1703, yet the building was not completed until 
1705. The delay was caused by the difficulty in procuring 
competent workmen, and also by the want of hinges, nails, 
screws, etc., needed for the interior finishing, which articles 
had to be brought from England. Mr. PoUok was also made 
church warden, but declined the position, preferring to pay 
the tax imposed for so doing, rather than perform the duties 
of the office. 

"At a vestry meet of 29th day of September, 1705," Mr. 
Henry Gerrard was chosen minister to Chowan district, the 
church wardens agreeing to pay him 30 pounds sterling per 
annum besides voluntary contributions. The following 

amounts were given: 

L. S. D. 

Col. Thomas Pollok 5 

Wm. Duckingfield, Esq 4 

John Ard en, Esq 3 

Mr. Edward Mosley 5 

Capt. Thomas Luten 1 

Mr. Nicholas Crisp 15 

Mr. Edward Smithwick 1 

Mr. John Blount 10 

Mr. William Banbery 8 

Mr. Matt. Chevin 10 

John Wheatley 10 

Richard Rose 10 

John Linnington 15 

Capt. David Henderson 20 

Henry Bonner 10 

As Mr. Gerrard proved unworthy to fill this sacred office, 
he was removed, to be succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Gordon. 
Mr. Pollok wrote to the Lords Proprietors thanking them 


for the appointment of this good man to be minister to the 

Before 1690, when Mr. PoUok returned to Scotland for 
a brief period, he had acquired great bodies of land lying 
along the Koanoke, Chowan and Trent Rivers. He resided 
sometimes on his plantation Balgra, near Queen Anne's 
Creek, and sometimes on another plantation called Salmon 
Creek. This year he was married to Mistress Martha West, 
widow o'f Robert West, Esq., and "daughter of Thomas Cul- 
len, Esq., at Dover." She was the mother of his four chil- 
dren and died in 1701. Late in life he married Mistress 
Esther Wilkinson, whom he survived ; there were no children 
by this marriage. He was a tender and a judicious father, 
sending his children to England that they might be educated 
as became their birth and station, thus fitting them for the 
high positions which they were to fill in after life. His eldest 
son, Thomas, succeeded his father as deputy to two of the 
Lords Proprietors. He was also surveyor-general to the col- 
ony and after Avar ds its Chief Justice. His second son, 
Cullen, entered the English army and served in the Low Coun- 
tries under the Duke of Cumberland, holding the rank of 
Major at the battle of Fontenoy. Late in life he returned to 
Carolina and married, but left no sons. 

George, the third son, married Sarah Swann. They left 
no children. 

His daughter Martha married the Rev. Thomas Bray, who 
was sent to the colony as a missionary by the Rt. Rev. Dr. 
Compton, Bishop of London. Dr. Bray was a man of much 
learning and was the first to found a public library in North 
Carolina. He is also entitled to the honor of having origin- 
ated the first systematic movement of the Church of Eng- 
land in the work of missions. (Hawks Hist, o'f N. C, vol. 
2, page 339.) 

Mrs. Bray died in 1719 without children. 

.Vfter Culpepper's rebellion, Seth Stothel was appointed 


Governor of North Carolina. On the voyage from England 
his ship was taken by pirates and he v^as held a prisoner for 
some months. Pehaps it was from his Algerian captors that 
he acquired a thorough contempt for justice and virtue, for 
during the six years in which he misruled Korth Carolina 
his character showed not a single redeeming trait; no one 
was safe from his rapacity and cruelty. He unjustly impris- 
oned Mr. Pollok without permitting him to see the cause of 
his '^mittimus." For this and for still more heinous crimes 
he was severely reprimanded by the Lords Proprietors, yet ^ft 
was allowed to remain in office. Finally the patience of the ^ 
people was exhausted and they seized upon him in order to ^> 
send him to England, but he prayed that he might be tried by 
the next Assembly. This was accordingly done, and his 
judges decreed that he should immediately resign his govern- 
ment and depart the country in twelve months. (William- 
son's Hist, of jST. C, vol. 1, page 141.) 

He was succeeded by Sir Philip Ludwell, who held office 
for four years. At the end of this time, 1694, Thomas Har- 
vey was appointed Governor, and he at once made Mr. Pol- 
lok one of his council. For the next thirty years Mr. Pollok 
held office in the colony, both civil and military, being for 
a long period Major-General of its forces. It is true these 
were but a handful of men, ununiformed, undisciplined, and 
often unpaid, yet under the valiant leadership of their com- 
mander they saved the colony from destruction. 

The period from 1708 to 1711, known as the "Gary Rebel- 
lion," was a time of chaos in North Carolina. The trouble 
arose from the negligence on Cary's part to render an account 
to the Lords Proprietors of the quit-rents accruing while he 
held the office of collector, as well as that of governor ; he was 
superseded by William Glover, to whose authority he at first 
submitted, but soon after listened to bad advice and attempted 
to resume the government with an armed force. The citi- 
zens in general not caring to commit themselves to either 


party, "for two years and upwards there was no law, no 
justice, assembly or judicature, so that people did and said as 
they list." (Prefatory notes to C. R., vol. 1, page 28.) Mr. 
Pollok strongly opposed the Gary faction, but as he was un- 
able to resist its power, he sought refuge in Virginia for the 
six months in which it held sway, returning to ISTorth Caro- 
lina upon the arrival of Governor Hyde in August, 1711. 

Both sides now resorted to arms, and Gary attacked Queen 
Anne's Creek in hopes of carrying off the Governor in his 
brigantine, then lying in the Sound, but was repulsed without 
loss of life, and Governor Spottswood sending troops from 
Virginia, the rebels soon dispersed. 

Mr. Pollok administered the oath of office to Governor 
Hyde "Friday ye ninth day of May, Ano. Di. 1712," being 
the same day confirmed in his office as deputy to John, Lord 
Carteret, son to Sir George Carteret, one of the original Lords 
Proprietors (C. R., vol. 1, p. 811). 

On the ninth of September of the same year, Governor 
Hyde died of yellow fever, and on the twelfth Ma j. -Gen. 
Pollok was unanimously chosen Governor pro tem. The 
position of Governor had already been tendered to him several 
times. An extract from a letter to the Lords Proprietors, 
dated September 20, 1712, says: "The real desire to serve 
her majesty, your lordships, and the poor people here, with 
the importunity of the council, has forced me to accept of the 
administration at this time when the country seems to laboi 
under insuperable difficulties when in more peaceable times I 
have refused it. And I assure your lordships that I will 
faithfully and truly serve you to the uttermost of my power 
and knowledge until you are pleased to appoint some other. 
In the meantime, I think it is my duty, as briefly as I can, to 
lay before you the true state of the country." (PoUok's let- 
ter book. Hawks' Hist, of N. C, vol. 2, p. 407.) 

At this time the condition of the colony was most preca- 
rious ; not only was it torn by internal dissensions, distressed 


by a succession of bad crops, and crippled by an insufficient 
currency, but it was constantly threatened by a repetition of 
the Indian invasion, which had begun the previous year on 
the 11th of September with the massacre of all the white set- 
tlers south of Albemarle Sound. This day was long observed, 
by order of the Assembly, as a day of fasting and prayer. 

Through the courage, firmness and moderation of Governor 
Pollok, the distressed colony was safely steered through 
these perils ; with a cool head and a steady hand he put down 
the machinations of the Quakers, who refused to bear arms 
for the general defense, yet sedulously stirred up strife among 
their neighbors, thus adding to the already troubled state of 
affairs. Governor Pollok wrote to Lord Carteret on Sep- 
tember 20th, 1712 : "Governor Hyde has labored under great 
difficulties by the divisions and differences amongst the inhab- 
itance, and by the Indian War, all of which, I believe, I may 
truly declare hath been directly occasioned by . . . and some 
few evil-disposed persons, with the whole body of Quakers, 
who joined them, and were their instruments to stir up Col. 
Gary to act as he did ; and albeit these Quakers were very 
active in persuading and assisting the people to rise for Col. 
Gary, against Governor Hyde, yet now in this Indian war 
wherein ISTeuse and Pamlico are in great danger to be greatly 
deserted, yet they will neither assist themselves nor suffer 
others and will not so much as send their arms to those who 
are willing to go, and, as I am credibly informed, hide them 
for fear of their being pressed. So that now we labor under 
these difficulties following . . . chiefly by these Quakers, and 
some 'few evil-disposed persons, who have been a plague to 
this government these four or five years past and who may be 
easily known by Governor Hyde's reiterated complaints 
against them to your lordships." (Pollok Mss. Hawks' 
Hist, of K C, vol. 2, p. 411.) 

Every resource was now called into action, and the Quakers 
were temporarily frightened into a state of quiescence, while 


the manhood of the colony gathered around their intrepid 
leader. Assisted by an armed force from South Carolina 
under Colonel Barnwell, the Carolinians defeated the In- 
dians in battle and captured their forts, thus rendering them 
comparatively harmless. 

On IsTovember 25, 1Y12, a treaty of peace was signed be- 
tween Governor Pollok, on the one side, and Tom Blount, 
Chief of the Tuscaroras, and five of his braves, on the other, 
by which the whites bound themselves to allow certain privi- 
leges to this tribe, to protect them from the inroads of the 
Cores and Mattamuskeets, their enemies ; and also that their 
chief should henceforth be called "King Blount." While the 
red men promised to abstain from all acts of hostility, to give 
warning of any threatened invasion, to remain on their own 
lands and never to cross Contechney Creek, without blowing 
a horn, to attract the attention of the near settlers, and so 
obtain their permission to cross this boundary. This agree- 
ment was honorably respected by both parties, and thus was 
the colony saved from years of bloodshed and disaster. The 
original of this treaty with the signature of Grovernor Pollok 
and the tokens and marks of the Indians is now owned by 
Mrs. John Devereux, and can be seen in the Hall of History, 
Kaleigh, I^. C. 

Soon after this an Indian belonging to the Five Nations 
was captured along with a hunting party from another tribe, 
who were strongly suspected of being on the war-path. Under 
the law which then existed the captive became the slave of the 
captor. As the evil intentions of this band could not be 
proved, and as the colony was at this time at peace with the 
Five l^ations, Governor Pollok purchased the Indian at hig 
private expense and sent him by sea, with a letter to Governor 
Schuyler of New York, asking tliat he be restored to his 

During the winter of 1712-'13, when the forces under 
Colonel Barnwell wintered in North Carolina, so great was 


the scarcity of food in parts of the settlement, and so poor 
were the means of transportation, that it was impossible to 
collect at any one point a sufficient amount of provisions with 
which to feed the troops, and they were therefore divided into 
small parties, which were quartered in different localities 
wherever supplies were most abundant. To such straits was 
the colony reduced, before it readjusted itself under the lead- 
ership of this executive man. 

In 1710, Christopher Baron DeGraffenreid, assisted by 
Colonel Mitchell, a Swiss gentleman, brought into the colony 
a number of Swiss and Palatins, six hundred souls all told, 
whom he settled near New Bern, promising to give to each 
family 250 acres of land, to furnish their farming imple- 
ments, and for two years to supply them with necessary food 
and clothing. These immigrants were a simple and an indus- 
trious people, who, had they prospered, would have made for 
themselves comfortable and happy homes on the rich lands of 
Carolina, where the forests were full of game, the swamps 
and water-courses teemed with wild fowl and fish, and where 
a grain of corn dropped into the earth returned an hundred 
fold. No doubt De Graffenreid and his associate were honest 
in their intentions towards these unfortunate people, but dis- 
aster had marked them for her own. Internal dissensions, 
sickness, poverty and attacks from blood-thirsty Indians 
proved their ruin, and although large sums of money were 
advanced by Governor Pollok from his private purse and 
other material aid given by him, the settlement was broken up, 
and its members scattered amongst neighboring plantations. 
Many of the names of these people can still be found in 
Craven and the adjacent counties. Among the Pollok papers 
are many notes of hand and renewals, bearing the signature 
of Christopher De Graffenreid. An account of these transac- 
tions will be found in. the Pollok letter book (C. K., vol. 2, 
p. 166). 


Charles Eden was appointed Governor, on May 4, 1714, on 
which day Governor Pollok retired from office, and for the 
ensuing eight years lived on his plantations, devoting himself 
to his private interests, to those of the Lords Carteret and 
Beaufort, to whom he held the part of deputy for forty years, 
and in assisting the administration in every way in his power. 

Upon the death of Governor Eden in 1722, the Assembly 
for the second time called upon Mr. Pollok to fill the execu- 
tive chair. He was the first governor to hold two terms of 

At this time he was sixty-eight years of age, not an old 
man, but no doubt enfeebled by the harassing cares and anx- 
ieties of his arduous life, yet he did not shrink from this 
renewed responsibility and entered at once upon the duties 
of his position. Six months later he was attacked by fever, 
which is said to have been aggravated by fresh annoyance 
from the Quakers, who had never ceased to cause him trouble. 
He died in office on August 30, 1722, having given the best 
years of his life to his adopted country. He was buried by 
the side of Martha, his wife, on his plantation Balgra, near 
the Roanoke River. Here they rested until about 1891, when 
the river had changed its course to such an extent as to under- 
mine its banks and thus endanger the graves ; the remains 
were therefore removed to St. Paul's churchyard, Edenton, 
as that was thought to be the fittest resting place for one of 
its founders. 

Mr. Pollok's will shows that he bequeathed to his three 
sons, Thomas, Cullen and George, fifty-five thousand acres of 
land, including that on which the city of 'New Bern now 
stands, besides a large amount of personal property. 

The eldest son, Thomas, married Elizabeth Sanderson, 
daughter of Col. Richard Sanderson, of Pasquotank, at whose 
house the first Colonial Assembly was held. 

Cullen married, but left no sons. 

George married Sarah Swan, and died childless. 


Thomas PoUok and Elizabeth Sanderson left three sons — 
Thomas, Cullen and George. The last-named died an infant. 
Cullen married Anne Boothe, of Bath, England ; there were 
many children by this marriage, all of whom died in infancy. 

Thomas married Eunice Edwards, daughter of the Rev. 
Jonathan Edwards, of Connecticut. They had four children 
— Elizabeth, Thomas, Frances, and George. 

Elizabeth married and died childless. 

Thomas died in Italy in 1803. He was never married. 

George will be hereafter mentioned. 

Frances married John Devereux, Esq. They had three 
children, the Hon. Thomas Pollok Devereux, who was the 
father of the late Maj. John Devereux, Frances who married 
the Rt. Rev. Leonidas Polk, and George Devereux, Esq., who 
married Miss Johnson of Connecticutt. ^_ 

George Pollok, son of Eunice Edwards and Thomas Pollok, |* 

and great-grandson of Governor Pollok, was killed by a fall 
from his horse in June, 1836. He was the last descendant }>.., 

C' ^ 

to bear the name of Pollok. ,»; 

This genealogy is taken from the family Bible, and also f 

from an affidavit of Mrs. Eunice Pollok, made in 1820, in a ^i 

suit involving the title to a tract of land which was decided in >. ,: 

her favor. o 

The writer, who is in the seventh generation from Governor 
Pollok, has retained the original spelling of the name as found 
in the family Bible and in the private papers and letter-book 
of Governor Pollok. 

Thanks are due to Mr. Marshall DeLancey Haywood for 
valuable references. 




FEBRUARY 1, 1781. 


When General Greene succeeded General Gates in the 
command of the Southern Army at Charlotte, December, 
1780, he, with the main portion of the armj, took position 
near Cheraw, S. C, to antagonize any movement of the 
enemy from Charleston or from Winnsboro into ISTorth Caro- 
lina. General Morgan, with whom was Colonel Washington 
and some of the N^orth Carolina militia under Maj. Joseph 
McDowell, of Burke County, was placed between Cornwallis 
and the "loyalist" settlements of Try on County and contigu- 
ous Tory territory in South Carolina. It was expected that 
McDowell, if necessity required, could be reinforced by other 
"over-the-mountain men." These men seem to have been 
almost unanimously true to the American cause, and promptly 
responded to all calls for service. When they left home 
there were none left behind to annoy their families or pillage 
their property.. Morgan was about equidistant from Corn- 
wallis at Winnsboro and the British post at l^inety-Six (so 
called from its distance from Charleston), and could move to 
annoy either as occasion required. For a central army con- 
necting witli these two wings, General Greene relied upon the 
militia of Rowan and Mecklenburg, reinforced by that por- 
tion of Tryon County men who were true to the cause of lib- 
ert3^ These men, although not as numerous as could have 
been desired, were as patriotic as any in the colonies, and 
answered every call to service, notwithstanding that in doing 
so they left their property and families exposed to the depre- 
dations of their Tory neighbors. 

The militia of these coimties were divided into ''details" or 
assignments ; one of which was called into service as occasion 


demanded, for generally terms of three months and not to 
serve again until each of the other assignments had served a 
term. But when the enemy appeared in the adjacent terri- 
tory the militia was called out "en masse" and they generally 
responded without claiming exemptions due for other service 
either as militia or in the "Line." 

History of the Revolution does not show any people equal 
to the inhabitants of these counties in service in the struggle 
for independence — they w^ere in fact soldiers cantonned upon 
their own families, ready to immediately respond to a call to- 
service and to provide their own findings ; in clothes, arms 
and ammunition. When notice was received, while the horse 
"ate a bite" the man cleaned his gun, "ran" some bullets and 
greased his patching; while the wife or mother cooked some 
rations, which no doubt included a few pies — a ration very^ 
popular with the citizens of that time and still much enjoyed 
by their descendants of the third and fourth generations. 
They would not remain in camp unless a fight was immedi- 
ately on hand, but returned home, with or without leave, as 
soon as the enemy disappeared from the front or a battle had 
been fought. The reinforcements going to Ramsaur's Mill 
met participants in the fight returning home within an hour 
after the close of the action, two miles from the scene. Col- 
onel Davie could never keep over a third of his numbers avail- 
able unless he could assure them that there would be a fight 
in a day or two. 

General Greene immediately ordered General Davidson to 
call a detail of the militia into service for three months. 
General Davidson commanded the militia of the district (Sal- 
isbury), and assumed direct command of the detachments in 
service. General Davie had heretofore recruited and com- 
manded the cavalry deemed necessary to act with the militia ; 
he had accepted the position of Commissary-General; the 
term of service of his last command had expired in November. 



General Davidson, in January, when it became evident that 
Cornwallis was about to begin his campaign, proposed to Ad- 
jutant Joseph Graham to raise the necessary cavalry com- 
mand ; promising him such rank as commanding officer as the 
number of men recruited would justify. In a short time he 
had enlisted from among the young men, most of whom had 
served one or more terms of service, fifty-six; only five of 
whom were married. These men were to furnish their own 
horses, arms and accoutrements, and upon serving six weeks 
were to be credited with a three-months' tour. The swords 
and scabbards were made principally by the smiths and shoe- 
makers of the vicinity in which the men lived. They no 
doubt when formed in line presented an appearance similar 
to that of some of their descendants in the commencement of 
hostilities in 1861. Most of them had rifles, and they were 
prepared for action either mounted or on foot. The first 
move of Cornwallis was to destroy Morgan's force, or to push 
it before him out of South Carolina so as to prevent him, if 
further reinforced by the ''over-the-mountam men," from 
capturing the post of ISTinety-Six and subduing the Tories in 
that section. For this purpose he dispatched Colonel Tarle- 

In the battle of Cowpens, January iTth, Morgan defeated 
Tarleton, killing ten officers and ninety men and capturing 
twenty-three officers and five hundred men — the casualties 
being about two-thirds of Tarleton's force. In his "Cam- 
paigns," Tarleton attributes his defeat to Lord Cornwallis not 
moving his army up Broad River, as he had requested and ex- 
pected him to do, so as to be in supporting distance. The 
place was called Cowpens, being a point where "the range" 
cattle were annually gathered that the calves might be 
marked with the ear-mark of the owner of the mother. 
Cornwallis, being nearer the fords of the Catawba tlian 
Morgan, now endeavored to anticipate him in reaching that 


river — but being uncertain as to the route Morgan would 
pursue, delayed by swollen streams, and thinking he would 
pursue one of the most direct routes, moved so as to change 
his course as information he might receive would require. 
He reached Kamsaur's iiill (Lincolnton) on the afternoon of 
the 24:th and, having about abandoned the idea of overtak- 
ing Morgan, remained there, collecting a supply of bread- 
stuffs and grain, three days. Before leaving this point he 
reduced his wagon train to the lowest amount that could ac- 
commodate his army, and destroyed all surplus baggage and 
wagons. The loss of the six hundred men at Cowpens, which 
was equal to at least a sixth of his available force, — aided in 
the reduction of transportation necessary for his command. 

Tarleton gives this account of the transaction: "Earl Corn- 
wallis reduced the size and quantity of his own baggage and 
his laudable example was followed by general and other offi- 
cers under his command." The surplus baggage and wagons 
were burned. After the battle of Cowpens, Morgan, perhaps 
to avoid delays which might be incurred on account of swollen 
streams, passed around the mountains that divide the head- 
waters of the South Fork from those of the main Catawba, 
and through the present site of Morganton and arrived at the 
present location of Maiden, only ten miles from Cornwallis, 
on the 25th. After this he was not over twenty miles dis- 
tant from him until he crossed the Catawba. Upon learning 
of Cornwallis' position he committed the prisoners to Colonel 
Washington and the militia, who turned to the left, and 
crossed the Catawba at Island Ford. 

Morgan, with his immediate command, taking the Sherrill's 
Ford road, which placed him between Washington and Corn- 
wallis, crossed the Catawba at Sherrill's Ford on the after- 
noon of the 30th of January. After crossing the river Wash- 
ington turned down the stream and united with Morgan's 
forces. The militia with the prisoners passed on, by way of 
Statesville and probably to Salem by Shallow Ford, and 


thence to Virginia. I have never seen a statement as to the 
route pursued. Morgan and Washington's troops followed 
the Sherrill's Ford road to Salisbury. Cornwallis reached 
the Catawba at Beattie's Ford on the afternoon of the 28th, 
and says he found the river too swollen to cross and retired 
about four miles to the plantation of Jacob Forney, a wealthy 
farmer and prominent Whig, (the place is now owned by Mrs. 
Sallie Hall — near it stands the rock, about six feet long, 
three wide and two high, which Cornwallis used as a table, 
and which has since been known as ''Cornwallis' table"), 
where he had been directed by a Tory (Deck) of the vicinity 
as a place that provisions could be had. When Cornwallis 
left the country, Forney sought for Deck and informed him 
that he would kill him, but upon Deck's entreaty and promise 
to leave the State, he permitted him to emigrate. As to the 
swollen condition of the river. General Graham says : ''It 
was not more flush than usual at this season and that it was 
fordable from a week before until two days after this ; that 
General Davidson's cavalry frequently crossed it during these 
days." Some historians have Cornwallis pursuing Morgan 
and arriving at Sherrill's Ford a very short time (a few 
hours) after Morgan had crossed, and finding the river had 
suddenly risen and enabled him to escape. The Yadkin on 
account of the rain on the 1st rose on the 2d and 3d of Febru- 
ary so that, although Morgan's forces and some other troops 
had crossed that day, General O'Hara found some militia un- 
able to cross, with whom there was an engagement that after- 
noon. It is confusion of these two points that causes error 
as to the condition of the Catawba. 

Beattie's Ford, while the best Ford on the river, has always 
had a deep current near each bank, which a very slight rise 
causes to be too deep for wagons to cross without getting their 
contents wet. The road at this time went above the island 




and was probably deeper than now at the east bank (see map). 
Cornwallis' train had a large quantity of flour which had just 
been procured at Eamsaur's Mill ; it was probably in order to 
preserve this that he delayed his crossing, or perhaps finding 
the public fords guarded, delayed to find passage by a private 
one. Cornwallis informed Tarleton before the campaign 
opened that he would cross "at some public ford above Tuck- 
asegee." Toole's was the only one between Tuckasegee and 
Beattie's, and when Cornwallis learned that Morgan had 
escaped, he naturally turned to Beattie's for the passage of his 
artillery and provision train. It was the most suitable for 
this purpose. General Davidson, u;^on the approach of Corn- 
wallis, made disposition of his forces to oppose his crossing. 
He placed at Tuckasegee two hundred militia under Col. 
John Williams, of Surrey County; at Toole's seventy men 
under Captain Potts, of Mecklenburg; at Cowan's, twenty- 
five under Lieut. Thomas Davidson, of Mecklenburg. Trees 
were felled and fortifications erected at Toole's and Tuckase- 
gee. At Beattie's he assembled the Mecklenburg infantry 
under Col. William Polk ; the Orange militia under Colonel 
Parmer; and the Rowan militia, also Graham's company of 
cavalry. Orange County seems to have been the only 
troops from a distance who had promptly responded; the 
others under Butler and Eaton not joining General Greene 
until a day or two before the battle of Guilford Court-house. 
Graham's cavalry crossed at Beattie's Pord on January 30th, 
and ascertained that the enemy were at Porney's. Their 
cavalry was at Colonel Black's, within two miles of the ford. 
General Greene, learning of the movements of Cornwallis, 
ordered the forces at Cheraw to immediately proceed to Beat- 
tie's Pord. He went in advance, directing General Davidson 
to notify General Morgan and Colonel Washington that he 
wished to meet them at Beattie's Pord on the afternoon of 
January 31st, perhaps naming the hour. They arrived at 


the appointed place at two o'clock, and in ten minutes General 
Greene and his aide, Major Pierce, rode up. These, with 
General Davidson, retired out of camp, took a seat on a log, 
and after twenty minutes' conference, Morgan and Washing- 
ton departed by a route that led to their command under 
General Howard. General Greene went direct to Salisbury. 
Why General Greene did not order these troops to Beattie's 
Ford I have never seen suggested by any one. The five 
hundred men under Howard and Washington were a more 
efficient force than all Davidson's command. He writes at 
Beattie's Ford a most earnest appeal to Col. Francis Locke 
to assemble the Rowan militia en masse; chides the militia 
for slow response to General Davidson's call, and tells him 
that the "Continental army is marching with all possible 
dispatch from the Pee Dee (Cheraw) to this place." Then 
why not bring Morgan and Washington, one or both, as rein- 
forcements ? Colonel Locke did not get his men organized 
in time to meet Cornwallis at Beattie's Ford, but we find him 
in his front when he leaves Salisbury on February 4th. There 
was no more meritorious officer than Francis Locke in the 
war. The cause of the slow response was probably the aver- 
sion of the men to camp life and the uncertainty as to when 
there would be an engagement. Wheeler states that Morgan 
was dissatisfied with the route General Greene insisted he 
should take on his retreat, and when the forces were all united 
at Guilford Court-house Morgan retired from service before 
the battle and went to his farm in Virginia. He either 
wished to join the prisoners via Salem or to come to Beattie's 
Ford, as he followed the only remaining route via Salisbury ; 
to connect with which Howard was moving when he came to 
meet Greene. While the American officers were in consulta- 
tion, a detachment of some four or five hundred British ap- 
peared on the hills on the west side of the river, and the officers 


seemed to be viewing the American position through spy- 
glasses. This was thought to be Cornwallis and his staff. 
Shortly after General Greene left, General Davidson ordered 
the Mecklenburg militia, under Colonel Polk, and Graham's 
cavalry to move to Cowan's Ford, leaving Colonel Farmer 
in command of the forces at Beattie's Ford. General Greene 
told General Davidson that he thought that "the enemy in- 
tended to cross the river ; that the cavalry would probably be 
passed by some private ford that night, and in the morning 
when the infantry attempted a passage, would attack the 
forces at the point in the rear." He ordered that patrols of 
those best acquainted with the country should be maintained 
all night between Beattie's and Tuckasegee fords, and any dis- 
covery of the enemy be reported immediately to headquarters. 
The troops arrived at Cowan's Ford after dark and too late to 
examine positions. 

"The river here is supposed to be about four hundred yards 
wide, of different depths and rocky bottom. That called the 
wagon ford went directly across and was at that time gener- 
ally used for the passage of vehicles. At the eastern shore 
the road turns dovm the river and winds up the point of the 
ridge in order to graduate the ascent. Above the coming out 
place a flat piece of ground not much higher than the water ; 
overgrown with haw and persimmon bushes and bambo briars ; 
five or six yards wide extends up the river about thirty-one 
poles to the mouth of a small branch and a deep ravine. Out- 
side of this the bank rises thirty or forty feet at an angle of 
thirty degrees of elevation; then the ascent is more gradual." 

The "horse ford" (which is now more generally used, in 
fact almost universally for both horses and vehicles) "comes 
in on the west at the same place as the Svagon' ; goes obliquely 
to the right down the river about two thirds of the way across, 
to the upper point of a large island, thence through the island 
and across the other third of the river to the end of a rocky 


hill. This way is longer but much shallower and smoother, 
and reaches the bank about a fourth of a mile below the wagon 
route." General Davidson thought that if the enemy at- 
tempted to cross here it would be by way of the horse ford, 
and placed Colonel Polk with the Mecklenburg militia and 
Graham's cavalry upon the hill which overlooks it. Lieu- 
tenant Davidson, with his picket, remained at his station 
about forty steps above the wagon ford. Cornwallis, by 
patrols finding that all the principal fords were occupied by 
Americans, used Tory guides and spies to ascertain the con- 
dition of the private fords ; and determined to cross his first 
force at Cowan's (McCowan's, he and Tarleton call it) while 
making a demonstration with his other force at Beattie's. 
It will be recollected that up to dark of the night before only 
Lieutenant Davidson and twenty-five men were here and they 
were at the wagon ford. This was probably the last informa- 
tion he received before reaching the river. He says : "I 
approached the river by short marches so as to give the enemy 
equal apprehension for several fords, and after having pro- 
cured the best information in my power, I resolved to attempt 
the passage at a private ford then slightly guarded near Mc- 
Cowan's Ford." 

This would indicate that his intention was to have crossed 
by the wagon ford where there was no opposing force at his 
last report ; not having learned of the moving of General Da- 
vidson with the Mecklenburg troops from Beattie's to Cowan's 
Ford, as they did not reach position until after dark. Upon 
reaching the river he says : 'Tt was evident from the number 
of fires on the other side that there would be greater opposi- 
tion than I had expected." He probably, as the fires upon 
the hill at the horse ford were so much more numerous than 
at the wagon, concluded at once to travel the latter route, and 
did not do so, as Steadman says, because the "guide fled in 
the middle of the stream," and he determined to go directly 


across. This would have landed him about half way between 
the out-go of the fords and where there was no road up the 
bank of the river. The fords separated as soon as the river 
was entered and the guide took him by the wagon ford from 
bank to bank (see map). 

Having ordered Colonel Webster to move with his com- 
mand and the wagon train, so as to be at Beattie's Ford, six 
miles above Cowan's, by daylight, and ''to make every possible 
demonstration" of intention tO' force a passage, as soon as he 
heard firing at Cowan's, Cornwallis, at 1 o'clock a. m., Feb- 
ruary 1st, took up line of march for Cowan's with following 
force, viz., brigade of guards, regiment of Bose, 23d Regi- 
ment, two hundred cavalry under Tarleton, and two three- 
pounders. Part of the way a new road was cut, and on 
account of darkness one cannon was overturned and part of 
the troops losing the line of march were delayed. The 
head of the column reached the river as "day began to break." 
Cornwallis determined to move on immediately without wait- 
ing for arrival of the delayed troops. He committed the 
immediate command to General O'Hara. This has caused 
the error of General Graham and others that Cornwallis per- 
sonally did not cross here, but at Beattie's. Orders were not 
to fire until they gained the opposite bank. Fred Hager, a 
Tory who lived in the neighborhood, was guide. General 
O'Hara formed his command in column of fours, muskets 
with fixed bayonets carried upon the left shoulder and car- 
tridge boxes upon the same shoulder; each footman had a 
staff about eight feet long, which he used when necessary to 
support himself against the rapidity of the current, the water 
being waist deep and sometimes deeper. The infantry was in 
front, the Brigade Guards leading and Tarleton's cavalry 
bringing up the rear. On account of the fog Lieutenant 
Davidson's picket did not perceive the enemy until they were 
one hundred yards in the water. The picket immediately 


opened fire. General Davidson formed at the horse ford and 
ordered Graham to move rapidly to reinforce Lieutenant 
Davidson; by the time they reached the point, tied their 
horses and went into action the enemy were within fifty yards 
of the bank. The effect of their fire was visible and' the front 
ranlcs looked thin. They halted ; Colonel Hall, the first man 
to appear mounted, was about one hundred yards from the 
bank and came pressing forward, giving orders. The col- 
umn again moved forward. Thomas Barnett, one of Gra- 
ham's men, by a well-aimed shot, unhorsed Colonel Hall and 
at the same time a shot from some one else threw his horse; 
several soldiers went to his aid and brought him to land. 
ISTotwithstanding the fire was steadily continued the enemy 
pressed on. As each section reached the shore the men dropped 
their poles and brought their muskets and cartridge boxes to 
proper position; faced to the left and moved up the narrow 
strip of low ground, so that the others as they landed could 
form on their right. They immediately began to load and 
fire up the bank. The Americans gave back, and upon load- 
ing would advance to the summit of the hill, thirty steps 
from the enemy and fire. General Davidson, arriving upon 
the scene and finding Graham's Cavalry in the position he 
wished the infantry to occupy, also impressed with General 
Greene's opinion that the enemy's cavalry would attack him 
in the rear, ordered Graham to retire, mount his men and 
form on the ridge two hundred yards in his rear, in order 
to meet any attack in that quarter. 

As the cavalry moved off the infantry took their places, and 
the fire became brisk upon both sides. The enemy moved 
steadily forward, their fire increasing until their left reached 
the mouth of the branch; thirty poles from the ford. The 
ravine was too steep to be passed. The rear of their infantry 
and front of their cavalry was about the middle of the river ; 
when the bugle sounded on their left, their fire slackened and 


nearly ceased; they were loading their pieces. In about a 
minute it sounded again, when their whole line from the ford 
to the branch advanced up the bank with their arms at a 
trail. The hill was so steep in many places that they had to 
pull up by the bushes. General Davidson, finding them ad- 
vancing with loaded arms, ordered a retreat down the river 
for one hundred yards — the fire being so severe he continued 
his retreat fifty yards further, and ordered his men to renew 
the battle taking position behind the trees — the enemy was 
advancing slowly and firing scatteringiy when General David- 
son was pierced by a ball and fell dead from his horse.. 

The militia immediately broke and fled through the thick- 
ets to avoid the enemy's cavalry: Graham's cavalry retired 
in good order and preserved their formation. General David- 
son was shot by a small rifle ball, and supposed to be by the 
Tory guide Fred Hager, as he owned a gun of that descrip- 
tion, and the British had none of this kind. Cornwallis' 
horse was shot and fell dead as he emerged from the river. 
On February 2nd Cornwallis, in general orders returns his 
thanks to the ''^Brigade of Guards for their cool and deter- 
mined bravery in the passage of the Catawba while rushing 
through that long and diflicult ford under a galling fire." 
The American loss beside General Davidson was Kobert 
Beatty, of Graham's Cavalry, James Scott, of Lieutenant 
Davidson's picket, and one of the militia. The British admit 
a loss of Colonel Hall and three privates killed and thirty- 
six privates wounded. General Graham says an ofiicial state- 
ment in the Charleston Gazette two months afterwards, states 
the killed to have been Colonel Hall and another ofiicer and 
twenty-nine privates, total, thirty-one ; and thirty-five 
wounded. The number of dead in this account may be too 
large, and it is hardly probable that any ofiicer beside Colonel 
Hall was killed, as he was buried by himself, unless he was 
among several dead who were found on fish rraps just below 


the ford and on rocks and brush along the banks, and whom 
Comwallis may not have counted. The dead of both armies 
were buried on the hill, near the field of battle, except Gen- 
eral Davidson whose body was not discovered by the enemy. 
Upon effecting his crossing Cornwallis directed Tarleton to 
go immediately to Webster's assistance by attacking Farmer 
in the rear — but learning that the Americans had retired 
from Beattie's Ford he dispatched him to gain information 
of their movements. 

A tree marking the place where General Davidson fell is 
still shown. He was buried that night by torchlight at Hope- 
well Church. For many years the grave of Colonel Hall was ^ 
marked by the rocks at the head and feet, but the river has <^ e> 

covered it with sand in its overflows and the knowledge of I* 

the exact location has been lost. ^^ fZ 

The changing of position of Graham's Cavalry before the ttl p 

infantry had occupied their position and become actively en- ri ' 

gaged seems to be the mistake of the action and the advantage S * 

thus gained by the enemy could not be overcome. It would tj^ 

also seem that if the approach of the enemy could have been 
discerned in time to have placed the militia at the wagon 
ford, they would have been seriously crippled if not defeated, 
but Cornwallis did not change the route he intended to cross 
and of which Davidson had been apprised, until he discerned 
by the fires that the horse ford was well protected. 

Webster was on time at Beattie's Ford, and as soon as he 
heard firing at Cowan's opened with his artillery and sent a 
company into the river who fired several rounds. The Ameri- 
cans suffered no loss as they were masked by the point of the 
hill — the ford then coming out on the eastern bank some dis- 
tance above present place. (See map.) Tiie firing of the 
cannon and platoons of musketry at Beattie's Ford reverber- 
ated down the river and across the country — it could be 
heard for a distance of twenty-five miles by the families and 



friends of the Americans in tlie engagement. Colonel Farmer 
being notified by an aide of General Davidson that the 
enemy had crossed, retired toward Salisbury. The pickets 
at other points on the river were notified and retired to Jno. 
McKitt Alexander's that afternoon, eight miles from Char- 
lotte, and by noon on the 2d of February all who still remained 
for service were collected at Harris' Mill on Rocky Eiver. 

Cornwallis thus without serious loss had overcome one of 
the most formidable obstacles in his route. That night he 
united his forces at Given's farm, two miles from Beattie's 
Ford, and again assumed command. He had been in pursuit 
of Morgan since the battle of Cowpens — but never struck 
his trail until February 3rd, about sixteen miles from Salis- 
bury, where the road from Sherrill's intersects that from 
Beattie's Ford. 

I deem it unnecessary to refer in this connection to the 
''Henry pamphlet" concerning this battle. Reference is made 
to it in Gen. Jos. Graham and his Revolutionary Papers, the 
quotations in this paper from the British commanders corrob- 
orate General Graham's statements even more fully. 

Authorities : 

Gen. Joseph Graham and his Revolutionary Papers. 

Tar'leton's Campaign, 1Y80 and 1Y81, in the Southern 
Provinces of ISTorth America. 

Hunter's Sketches of Western ISTorth Carolina. 

Wheeler's History of North Carolina. 

Colonial Records. 



(Bishop of North Carolina.) 

All the local histories of iSTorth Carolina, and such of the 
general histories of the United States as have treated particu- 
larly of our affairs, agree in the statement that the first set- 
tlers on the north side of Albemarle Sound were Quakers 
and other religious refugees, fleeing from the intolerance of 
Churchmen in Virginia and of the Puritans in jSTew England. 
Williamson, Martin, Wheeler, Hawks, Moore, are at one with 
Bancroft thus far, that the first settlers sought in ISTorth Caro- 
lina a haven of rest from religious persecution. It is not 
hard to understand how such a theory originated, and ob- 
tained popular acceptance, in times long subsequent to the 
settlement. It is not easy, however, to understand how such 
an account should have been accepted, and solemnly repeated 
from mouth to mouth, by men who have professed to give us 
history from the original documents and authorities. 

It fell to the lot of the present writer, in a brief pamphlet 
published early in 1886, to challenge this accepted theory, and 
to point out how contemporary witnesses and records show it 
to be utterly false. Convinced by this slight performance, the 
late Col. Wm. L. Saunders, in his prefatory note to the first 
volume of the l^orth Carolina Colonial Records, rejected the 
tradition of our former historians, and gave the first true and 
rational account of the inducements which led the first immi- 
grants to Albemarle.^ A few years later Mr. Stephen B. 

* I had it from Col. Saunders himself that my pamphlet of 1886 had 
convinced him. "You have not only proved, you have demonstrated 
your case," were his words. 


Weeks published a more extended study on the same subject, 
which however was little more than an elaboration of the 
argument of the pamphlet of 1886, illustrated by more copi- 
ous citations of the authorities referred to. The importance 
of the PubJT'Ct and the very limited circulation of the publica- 
tions referred to, seem to justify this attempt to set forth the 
truth as to this question : whether our first settlers were relig- 
ious refugees. 

In the absence of explicit accounts of the religious opinions 
of the settlers along the Albemarle Sound in the latter half 
of the seventeenth century, our historians have indulged their 
imagination in helping them to conclusions. Because Drum- 
mond was a Scotchman, Bancroft, without the least shadow 
of evidence, assumes that he was a Presbyterian ; and George 
Durant must needs be a Puritan, because in 1649 (when, as 
we now know, George Durant was a lad of seventeen). Gov- 
ernor Berkley had banished from Virginia one ]\[r. Durand, 
"the elder of a Puritan very orthodox congregation." Leav- 
ing such discreditable guess-work, let us examine the scanty 
records of those days, and follow whither they lead. 

In the spring of 16Y2, ten years after Durant's settlement 
and nine years after the first charter and the appointment of 
Drummond as Governor, William Edmundson, a Quaker 
preacher and a companion of George Fox, left Fox in Mary- 
land and came by way of Virginia into the settlements on the 
north side of the Albemarle. Two of his brethren accom- 
panied him, and after a painful and dangerous journey 
through the woods and swamps, they arrived on a Sunday 
morning at the house of Henry Phillips on Perquimans River. 
This man and his wife had been converted to Quakerism in 
New England, and had removed to Carolina in 1665 ; "and 
not having seen a Friend" [i. e. a Quaker] "in seven years 
before, they wept for joy to see us," writes Edmundson in his 
journal. Though wearied and wet to the skin from traveling 


all night in the rain, Edmnndson desired that notice should 
be sent through the neighborhood for a meeting at midday, 
and in the meantime he lay down to rest. "About the time 
appointed," he writes, '"many people came, but they had little 
or no religion, for they came and sat down in the meeting 
smoking their pipes. In a short time the Lord's testimony 
arose in the authority of His power, and their hearts being 
reached by it, several of them were tendered and received the 
testimony. After meeting they desired me to stay with them, 
and let them have more meetings. 

"One Tems, a justice of the peace, and his wife, were at the 
meeting, who received the truth wdth gladness, and desired to 
have the next meeting at their house, about three miles off 
on the other side of the water ; so we had a meeting there the 
next day, and a blessed time it was, for several were tendered 
with a sense of the power of God, and received the truth, and 
abode in it." The next morning Edmundson left them and 
journeyed back to Virginia. 

It is plain from the foregoing narrative that Henry Phil- 
lips and his family were the only Quakers in that part of the 
settlement. It is not an unfair inference that they were the 
only Quakers then in Albemarle. Having taken so long and 
painful a journey into Carolina to visit this family, wdio do 
not seem to have been personally known to him before, it is 
not probable that Edmundson would have departed without 
visiting any others who might have been in the Albemarle 
country; it being a comparatively easy journey by water to 
almost any part of the settlements. 

In November of this same year 1772,^ George Fox made 
his first visit to Carolina. He gives in his journal very few 
names of places, and those which he gives do not correspond 

* Dr. Hawks says that this visit of Fox was in September. Fox says 
" the ninth month." At that time the year began with " Lady Day "— 
March 25th— so that November was the ninth month, hence its name. 


with any other writing of that day, or with any known map 
of the regions he traversed. But the physical features of the 
country enable us to follow his steps fairly well. He came 
from aSTansemond in Virginia, and having traveled several 
days through woods and swamps, he spent a night at "Sum- 
mertown." This place is well known, and from this point his 
journal proceeds: 

''Next day, the twenty-first of the ninth month, having 
travelled hard through the woods, and over many bogs and 
swamps, we reached Bonner's Creek^ ; there we lay that night 
by the fire side, the woman lending us a mat to lie on. 

^'This was the first house we came to in Carolina; here we 
left our horses, over-wearied with travel. From hence we 
v\'ent down the creek in a canoe to Macocomocock river, and 
came to Hugh Smith's, where people of other professions 
came to see us (no Friends inhabiting that part of the coun- 
try), and many of them received us gladly. Amongst others 
came aSTathaniel Batts, who had been governor of Roan-oak. 
He went by the name of Captain Batts, and had been a rude, 
desperate man. He asked me about a woman in Cumberland, 
who, he said, he was told, had been healed by our prayers and 
laying on of hands, after she had been long sick and given 
OA^er by the physicians : he desired to know the certainty of it. 
I told him we did not glory in such things, but many such 
tilings had been done by the power of Christ. 

"'Not far from hence we had a meeting among the people, 
and they were taken with the truth ; blessed be the Lord ! 
Then passing doA\m the river Maratic in a canoe, we went 
down the bay Connie-oak, to a captain's, who was loving unto 
us, and lent us his boat, for we were mucb wetted in the 
canoe, the water flashing in on us. With this boat we went 

' This is plainly meant for " Bennett's Creek," by a mistake either of 
Fox or his printer. It is a mistake very readily made by those not 
familiar with the peculiarities of manuscript of that date. 


to the governor's, but the water in some places was so shallow 
that the boat being loaded, could not swim ; so that we put off 
our shoes and stockings, and waded through the water a pretty 
way. The governor and his wife received us lovingly; but 
a doctor there would needs dispute with us. And truly his 
opposing us was of good service, giving occasion for the open- 
ing of many things to the people concerning the Light and 
Spirit of God, which he denied to be in every one; and af- 
firmed it was not in the Indians. Whereupon I called an 
Indian to us, and asked him, 'Whether or no, when he did lie, 
or do wrong to any one, there was not something in him that 
did reprove him for it.' He said 'There was such a thing in 
him that did so reprove him ; and he was ashamed when he 
had done wrong, or spoken wrong.' So we shamed the doc- 
tor before the governor and people, insomuch that the poor 
man ran out so far, that at length he would not own the 
Scriptures. We tarried at the governor's that night ; and next 
morning he very courteously walked with us himself about 
tv7o miles through the woods, to a place whither he had sent 
our boat about to meet us. Taking leave of him we entered 
our boat and went about thirty miles to Joseph Scot's, one of 
the representatives of the country. There we had a sound, 
precious meeting; the people were tender, and much desired 
after meetings. Wherefore at a house about four miles fur- 
ther, we had another meeting ; to which the governor's secre- 
tary came, who was the chief secretary of the province, and 
had been formerly convinced. 

"I went from this place among the Indians, and spoke to 
them by an interpreter, showing them, 'That God made all 
things in six days, and made but one woman for one man; 
and that God did drown the old world because of their wick- 
edness. Afterwards I spoke to them concerning Christ, show- 
ing them that he died for all men, for their sins, as well as 
for others,' and had enlightened them as well as others, and 


that if they did that which was evil he would burn them, but 
if they did well they should not be burned.' There was 
among them their young king and others of their chief men, 
who seemed to receive kindly what I said to them. 

^'Having visited the north part of Carolina, and made a 
little entrance for truth among the people there, we began 
to return again towards Virginia, having several meetings on 
our way, wherein we had good service for the Lord, the people 
being generally tender and open ; blessed be the Lord ! We 
lay one night at the secretary's, to which we had much ado 
to get; for the water being shallow, we could not bring our 
boat to shore. But the secretary's wife, seeing our strait, 
came herself in a canoe, her husband being from home, and 
brought us to land. By next morning our boat was sunk and 
full of water, but we got her up and mended her, and went 
in her that day about twenty-four miles, the water being 
rough and the winds high ; but the great power of God was 
seen, in carrying us safe in that rotten boat. In our return 
we had a very precious meeting at Hugh Smith's ; praised be 
the Lord forever! There was at this meeting an Indian Cap- 
tain, who was very loving, and acknowledged it to be the 
truth that was spoken. There was also one of the Indian 
priests, whom they call a Pauwaw, who sat soberly among the 
people. The ninth of tlie tenth month we got back to Bon- 
ner's-Creek, having spent about eighteen days in ISTorth Caro- 

Fox seems to have been accompanied by a number of his 
brethren, whose names he does not give. William Edmund- 
son was not one of them, as Dr. Hawks asserts, for Edmund- 
son's Journal shows that before this time he had left Fox and 
had sailed for Ireland. 

Notwithstanding the singularity of some of Fox's names, 
one point settles the route by which he entered Carolina. He 


spent a night at Somerton, and the next day's journey brought 
him to "Bonner's Creek," where he says, 'Vas the first house 
we came to in Carolina." 

Xow whether the conjecture that ''Bonner's"' is Fox's or his 
printer's mistake for ''Bennett's" be correct or not, one thing 
is plain — that this creek was within one day's ride, on jaded 
horses, of Somerton, and that it was just within the Carolina 
border. The creek, therefore, whatever its name, was an 
affluent of the Chowan river, which Fox calls by the strange 
name of "Macocomocock." A glance at a map of this region 
makes this quite evident. Dr. Hawk's contention that this 
"Macocomocock" river was the Roanoke is not only baseless, 
it is impossible. Fox's route, as detailed by him, cannot be 
made to bring him at this point to any river, but the Chowan. 
And at Hugh Smith's on this river he says that "people of 
other professions came to see us (no friends inliabiting that 
part of the country)." "Then passing down the river Ma- 
ratic in a canoe we went down the bay Connie-oak," Thence 
he goes to "the governor's," and then the next day thirty miles 
in his boat brings him apparently into contact with those 
who had heard Edmundson's preaching, and been "formerly 
convinced." Plainly then Fox came in by way of Chowan 
river, and the bay called by him "Connie-oak," must have 
been Edenton bay. The waters between the mouth of the 
river and this bay he calls "Maratic" — probably from Mora- 
toe — the Indian name of the river Roanoke. From "Connie- 
oak" to the residence of the governor, and then thirty miles 
eastward, as he traversed the waterways of the colony, prob- 
ably brought him to the eastern limits of the settlements. 
Thus he practically covered the whole colony in his visit of 
eighteen days. He tells us expressly that no Friends inhab- 
ited the country along the Chowan, from the Virginia line 
down toward Edenton, and his narrative distinctly reveals 
the fact that there were none in the other sections which he 


visited, except one or two scattered individuals. At the same 
time it is apparent that his influence was felt by the people, 
and that he had some effect in introducing his peculiar form 
of religion into the colony. He may have done more in the 
way of organizing congregations than his narrative discloses ; 
but certainly his journal and Edmundson's prove beyond 
question that the country had not been settled by their co- 
religionists. They nowhere speak of meeting any number 
of their brethren, or of any evidence that their peculiar form 
of worship w^as known to the people. Fox's words when, hav- 
ing reached the eastern limits of his journey, he turns back 
towards Virginia, are a sufficient proof that no considerable 
number of his followers had preceded him into these regions : 
''Having visited the north parts of Carolina and made a little 
entrance for the truth among the people there, we began to 
return again towards Virginia." 

Edmundson and Fox w^ere the first Quaker preachers who 
visited Albemarle and they give us the first accounts we have 
of the religious condition of the country. From them it 
seems dear that there had been up to that time no public re- 
ligious worship regularly established or used, and that the 
people had no special sectarian prejudices but were ready to 
accept any simple form of Christian teaching and worship 
which might be presented to them. Edmundson's services, if 
they may be so called, were the first exercises of public wor- 
ship ever held in the colony, so far as we know. If there 
had been any number of Quakers scattered among the people, 
is it possible to believe that, with their strong religious feel- 
ings and their simple methods of worship, requiring no min- 
ister, and expressing itself in no sacrament or formal ordi- 
nance, they would not have gathered themselves into "meet- 
ings," and made their unconventional mode of worship famil- 
iar to the people, as they began to do immediately after these 
visits of Fox and Edmundson ? The direct testimony of 


these first preachers is really not necessary, though it is on 
record, to show that the first settlers were not Quakers. 

It is also to be noted that in the first act of the Assembly 
of Albemarle which has come down to us, ratified by the 
Proprietors in January, 1670, and certainly adopted by the 
Assembly before there had been the least interference on the 
part of the Proprietors in the matter of religion, no provision 
is made for recognizing the form of marriage practised among 
the "Friends," which would have been quite as valid upon 
the principles of the Common Law as the marriage by a mag- 
istrate; and if the Quaker infiuence had at that time pre- 
vailed in the Colony there seems to be no good reason why 
they might not have made provision for validating their pe- 
culiar form of marriage. As early as 1667 Fox had delivered 
himself on tliis subject for the guidance of his followers : "'I 
was moved to open the state of our marriages, declaring 'How 
the people of God took one another in the assembly of the 
elders; and that it was God who joined man and woman to- 
gether before the fall. And though men had taken upon them 
to join in the fall, yet in the restoration it is God's joining 
that is right and honorable marriage ; but never any priest 
did marry any, that we read of in the Scriptures, from Gene- 
sis to Revelations.' " Tiiis was a point on which the Quakers 
laid great stress, and which they consistently carried out in 
practice, even when it must have been at the risk of great 
scandal and inconvenience. Here in Albemarle where there 
were no ministers, and therefore none of those religious rites 
to Avhich they objected ; and where the Assembly framed the 
law for their peculiar local necessities, they would surely have 
provided for legalizing their o^vn customs had they formed 
any influential element in the population. So far from this 
act; concerning marriages showing any trace of Quaker influ- 
ence, there is a distinct note of feeling in the way in which it 
mentions "the rites and customs of our native country, the 


Kingdom of England ;" the rites and customs here alluded to 
being those that were consistently repudiated and reviled by 
the Quakers. 

It should further be remembered that at this very time the 
Proprietors were careful, both in their Fundamental Constitu- 
tions and in their instructions to Governor Stevens, to respect 
the principles and feelings of the Quakers both in regard to 
this very matter of marriage and in regard to the taking of 
oaths. So we have the curious spectacle of the Lords Pro- 
prietors showing more solicitude to avoid wounding the sen- 
sibilities of the Quakers than is exhibited by the Assembly 
of Albemarle, This can only mean that the former were 
aware of the trouble already arising in England and in some 
of her colonies from the peculiar customs of this new sect, 
while in the remote settlements of Carolina Quakers were too 
few to have attracted any public attention. 

Edmundson made a second visit to Albemarle in 1675 or 
1676, probably the latter year. He says little about it in 
his journal, and he remained only a few days, but the seed 
before i3lanted seem to have been bearing fruit. After men- 
tioning "several precious meetings" he thus concludes: "Peo- 
ple were tender and loving, and there was no room for the 
jDriests, for Friends were finely settled, and I left things well 
among them." 

But may not these first settlers have been Presbyterians or 
Congregationalists fleeing from the rigor of the religious es- 
tablishment in Virginia, or Baptists, driven out of the same 
colony, or escaping from the still more rigid Calvinistic estab- 
lishments in New England ? This question has in effect been 
answered already. If these settlers had been men fleeing 
from religious persecution, or even from religious intoler- 
ance, they would have been of distinct religious convictions 
and of fixed religious habits. The careless and indifferent do 
not go out into the wilderness to escape religious persecution. 


Laws of religious conformity require only such outward acts 
of compliance with established institutions as create no 
special grievance, and work no intolerable hardship, to him 
who is equally unconcerned about all religion. It is not 
claimed that the mere burden of the tax for the support of the 
religious establislunent in Virginia, or in JSTew England, 
made men exchange the comforts of civilization for the hard- 
ships of the wilderness. It is only the man of real religious 
feeling and of firm religious convictions, to whom an insin- 
cere compliance even in the most trifling act is intolerable, 
who re'fuses to conform. It was not the tithe in England to 
which the Quakers objected, as a matter of pecuniary loss ; 
it was to the principle which they imagined to be involved in 
tlie payment of it. And so it will be found that religious 
refugees and persistent non-conformists have ever been men 
of distinct and positive convictions and of rigid religious 
habits. The Covenanters upon the mountains of Scotland, 
and the Xon-jurors in the back alleys of Edinburgh and of 
Aberdeen, — such men were unwilling to conform to the estab- 
lished religion because they had the most intense religious 
feelings and convictions, which forbade them to conform. 
And strong religious feelings and convictions, shared by con- 
siderable numbers of people in the same community, always 
find expression, in face of every danger and difficulty, in com- 
mon religious worship. In Albemarle when the first Quaker 
preachers visited the country there seems to have been among 
the people no custom of public religious worship. Dr. 
Hawks and Mr. Bancroft may see, under the rude guise of 
Edmundson's gaping congregations, natural reverence and 
unconventional piety; and the smoke of their pipes may 
seem to those amiable historians a sort of extemporized in- 
cense ; but the honest Quaker saw in their conduct the expres- 
sion of simple ignorance and indifference. 


That there were no zealous Presbyterians or Baptists 
among the colonists at this period is further indicated by the 
absence of any opposition to these Quaker preachers. Fox's 
journal shows that these were not less earnest than Church- 
men in resisting the Quaker doctrine. The only note of op- 
position which we hear is from the doctor at the house of 
Governor Stevens, and he seems to have been a free-thinker, 
since he denied the authority of the Scriptures. 

The truth seems to be that like most pioneers in new set- 
tlements, the first white inhabitants of Carolina were restless 
and enterprising spirits, pushing out from the older settle- 
ments of Virginia, to find new homes, and to secure rich 
lands, in the unoccupied regions beyond the bounds of civili- 
zation, with no thoughts of religion, so far as this movement 
is concerned, and, from the circumstances of their new situa- 
tion, apt to forget such religious habits as they had before 
formed. In a letter to Sir John Colleton, one of the Pro- 
prietors, of date June 2nd, 1665, Thos. Woodward, the ^'Sur- 
veyor General of Albemarle," writes: 

''But for the present to think that any men will remove 
from Virginia upon harder condition than they can live 
there, will prove (I fear) a vain imagination, it being land 
only that they come for." He therefore urges the Proprietors 
to make their terms easier. ISFeither he nor any other con- 
temporary authority gives the least intimation of a religious 
element entering into the problem of immigration. The ref- 
erences in the Charters, the Fundamental Constitutions, and 
the several "Proposals," etc., of the Proprietors, to the religi- 
ous liberty allowed in the Colony, are the only allusions to be 
found to the subject. 

This movement onward from civilization to the wilderness 
has been, and is, one of the marked characteristics of our 
race in America. After the first stage of exploration and 
discovery in Albemarle, a few Quakers may have been 


brought thither by the prospect of religious freedom, but no 
such movement can be observed. On the contraiy, at this 
very time when Fox found we may say almost none of his 
brethren in Albemarle, there were a considerable number 
of Quakers in Virginia, with several organized and flourish- 
ing ''Meetings" among them. 

Along with the vanishing myth of the "Religious Refugee" 
settler, disappears also all necessity for the ingenious and 
wholly unfounded guesses of Bancroft and Hawks as to the 
religious opinions of Governor Drummond and of George 
Durant. These conjectures arose wholly from the supposed 
necessity of adapting their characters to suit their supposed 
positions as the Governor and the pioneer of a colony of re- 
ligious refugees. It must indeed have been felt to be a dire 
necessity which enabled any man to believe that Governor 
Berkley would have appointed a Presbyterian as his deputy. 
Drummond, like most Scotch politicians of that time, prob- 
ably professed to be a churchman — and the same may be said 
of George Durant. There never was the least ground for 
supposing that Durant was a Quaker. During Culpepper's 
Rebellion he acted as Attorney-General when Miller was in- 
dicted and prosecuted for speaking disrespectfully of the 
King, the Cavaliers and the doctrines of the Church! This 
is hardly a sufficient guarantee of Durant's piety, but it cer- 
tainly puts him out of the role of a Quaker.* 

In support of the foregoing conclusions as to the religious 
character of the original settlers of Albemarle, drawn wholly 
from contemporary evidence, some later witnesses may not 
improperly be examined. Henderson Walker w^as, during the 
closing years of the seventeenth century and the opening 
years of the eighteenth, one of the most prominent and thor- 

*Geo. Durant's immediate descendants are found associated and iden- 
tified with the Church in the Province of North Carolina, and the cer- 
tificate of his marriage by a clergyman in Virginia has lately been found. 


ouglily admirable characters in the Colony. He filled a num- 
ber of the most im23ortant ofiices, having been for years a 
member of the Council, and at the time of his death acting as 
Governor. He had also been Attorney-General. As early 
as 1679 he was Clerk of the Council, and had enjoyed every 
opportunity of becoming fully acquainted with the affairs of 
the Colony from the very first. As a member of the Coun- 
cil sitting as a Court of Equity in 1697 he had assisted in 
the trial of a cause involving the title of George Durant, and 
the right of his heirs, to the land bought by Durant from the 
Indian "King of Yeopim" in 1662. Among the witnesses 
examined were several who spoke from personal knowledge 
of the circumstances of Durant's settlement. One had 
signed as a witness Durant's deed from the Indian. The de- 
position of this particular witness appears to have been taken 
before Walker himself. We can hardly imagine any witness 
better qualified than Walker to speak of the character and 
condition of the people of Albemarle from 1662 down to his 
own day. In a letter to Bishop Compton, of London, dated 
October 21st, 1703, he says that for twenty-one years (he 
seems to mean for twenty-one years before 1700) he can 
testify of his o\'vm knowledge that they had been without priest 
or altar, and from all that he could learn it had been much 
Av<jrse before that. This may refer to the rise of the Quaker 
worship, for he adds : "George Fox, some years ago, came 
into these parts, and by strange infatuations did infuse the 
Quakers' principles into some small number of the people ; 
which did and hath continued to grow ever since very numer- 
ous, by reason of their yearly sending in men to encourage 
and exhort them to their wicked principles." Here we have 
a plain, direct statement, by a man in a position to know the 
truth, and with no motive whatever for perverting it, that 
Quakerism in Albemarle had been the result of Fox's mis- 
sionary labors. And this statement is in exact accord with 


Fox's own account, and the testimony of every contemporary 

The Rev. William Gordon, a missionary of the Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel, and minister in Chowan in 
1708, in a report to the Society dated May 13, 1709, says: 
"■There are few or no Dissenters in the government but Quak- 
ers." In the same report he says: "And now, sir, I shall 
examine a little the Quakers' pretences, who plead that they 
were the first settlers in that country; but this (according to 
the best accounts I could get) seems false in fact that religion 
being scarce heard of there till some years after the settle- 
ment; it is true some of the most ancient inhabitants, after 
George Fox went over, did turn Quakers." 

Here we have another testimony from a man in a position 
to have learned the truth, and it corresponds accurately with 
that of other witnesses. In this connection it is interesting to 
observe that in an address signed by a number of Quakers in 
1679, intended as a vindication of themselves and other 
Quakers, inhabitants of Albemarle, against charges of being 
implicated in the disorders and seditions of the preceding 
years, the subscribers state that most of them had been inhabi- 
tants of Carolina since 1663 or 1664. jSTow we have seen 
that Fox and Edmundson found no Quakers to speak of in 
1672. The above document therefore affords incidental proof 
of the correctness of Mr. Gordon's statement that "some of 
tJie most ancient inhabitants, after George Fox went over, 
did turn Quakers." 

Quakerism was the only organized form of religion in the 
Colony, with no rival worship among the people, for the rest 
of the seventeenth century, having been thus introduced and 
nurtured. It drew to itself a number of the intelligent and 
well-disposed inhabitants, especially of Perquimans and Pas- 
quotank, though it seems not to have made any progress in the 
other precincts or counties.. Those zealous and self-sacrificing 


men deserve to be held in honorable memory, who at the 
expense of so much time, labor and bodily suffering, culti- 
vated the spiritual harvest in that distant and unattractive 
field. Quakerism did not begin the work of settlement, and 
of re-claiming the wilderness for civilization, but it has the 
greater honor of having first brought some organized form of 
Christianity to the infant colony, and of having cared for 
those wandering sheep whom others neglected. 
Ergo omnibus dehita; quihus honor ^ Jionorem. 


That our historians, both general and local, have examined 
the evidence on this subject carelessly, and that they have 
read into the simple narratives of Edmundson and Fox their 
own preconceptions, is manifest. 

Martin says that when Edmundson made his visit in the 
spring of 1672 to the family of Elenry Phillips (whom he 
calls Plielps), ''they were greatly rejoiced at their interview, 
not having seen any leader of this society for years." Where- 
as Edmundson says nothing about any "leader of this so- 
ciety." He says plainly that they had not seen "a Friend," 
i. e., a Quaker, in seven years. This was in 1672. The 
Phillips family had come to Carolina from iSTeAv England in 
1665, as we learn from Bowden's history of the Quakers, 
Edmundson therefore, in effect, says that they had not seen 
a Quaker since they had come into Carolina ! 

Martin further says of this same visit of Edmundson that 
before leaving Albemarle ''meetings were held in other parts 
of the precinct of Berkley and in that of Carteret, and a 
quarterly meeting of discipline was established in Berkley," 
whereas Edmundson's journal records a visit of less than two 
full days, and two meetings in the same neighborhood. The 
morning of the third day he set out on his return to Vir- 


Dr. liawks makes Fox go from jS'ansemond, in Virginia, to 
the settlements on the Albemarle hy ivay of Roanoke river; 
and makes him accomplish the journey from Somerton to 
some imaginary creek emptying into the Roanoke in one day : 
the first absurd ; the second impossible ! And all this won- 
derful detour for the sole purpose of getting rid of Fox's 
plain statement that in the region which he traversed there 
were no Quakers. Both Martin and Hawks have it so solidly 
fixed in their minds that the settlers were Quakers, that when 
Fox and Edmundson assert the contrary, their testimony 
must be corrected, and their plainest statements misquoted 
and perverted in order that they may not contradict the 
groundless opinions of later times. 

Bancroft, in the thirteenth chapter of his History of the 
United States, speaking of this same visit of Fox, says that, 
"Carolina had ever been the refuge of Quakers and rene- 
gades from ecclesiastical oppression," and cites as his au- 
thority for this statement Lord Culpepper in Chalmers, 356. 
At the place referred to Chalmers gives a letter from Lord 
Culpepper dated in 1681, in which he says that Carolina 
was "the refuge of our renegades," but not a word about 
"ecclesiastical oppression," that being Mr. Bancroft's own ad- 
dition for which there is no pretence of contemporary au-