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Vol. VIII. JULY, 1908. No. 1 


floRTH CflROIilNfl BoOKliET 

' ' Caroli7ia ! Carolina ! Heaven'' s blessings attend her ! 
WJiile we live we will cherish, protect and defend her.'''' 

Published by 



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


Mrs. Spiek Whitakeb. Mes. T. K. Beuner. 

Professor D. H. Hill. Mb. R. D. W. Connou. 

Mb. W. J. Peele. De. E. W. Sikes. 

Professor E. P. Moses. Db. Richard Dillabd. 

De. Kemp P. Battle. Me. James Sprunt. 

Me. Marshall DeLancey Haywood. Judge Walter Clabk. 

Miss Mary Hilliaed Hinton, Mes. E E. Moffitt. 




regent : 

mbs. e. e. moffitt. 



honorary REGENT: 





Mes. W. H. PACE. 


Mes. frank SHERWOOD. 






Mbs. spier WHITAKER. 

eegent 1902: 
Mbs. D. H. HILL, Sb.* 

eegent 1902-1906: 

* Died December 12, 1904. 


Vol. VIII JULY, 1908 No. 1 


Secretary of the North. Carolina Historical Co m m ission 

Of all the men who inaugurated the Revolution in JSTorth 
Carolina, John Harvey, perhaps, is least known. But little 
has been written of his services to his country, and the stu- 
dent of his career will search in vain outside of the bald offi- 
cial records for more than a mere mention of the official posi- 
tions which he held. These records, however, reveal a career 
that would do honor to any of his great contemporaries. 

The origin of the Harvey family in I^orth Carolina has 
been the subject of much speculation and has been accounted 
for in various ways. The traditional accounts credit Vir- 
ginia with furnishing this family to ISTorth Carolina, but 
whatever may be true of the other branches, this is not true 
of the branch from which John Harvey sprung. During the 
middle of the seventeenth century the first John Harvey of 
whom we have any record, and his wife Mar)^, lived "at ye 
Heath in Shetterfield Parish in Warwick Sheare in Ould 
Ingland." One of their sons, Thomas Harvey, came to Nortti 
Carolina some time about 1680 as private secretary to Gover- 
nor John Jenkins. He himself afterwards served as deputy 
governor during the absence of Governor Archdale. Upon 
his arrival there he found others of his name who were 

^Reprinted, with additional matter, from the "Biographical History 
of North Carolina," Volume IV, by permission of Charles L. Van Nop- 
pen, Publisher. 


already prominent in the official life of the province. They 
had settled in Perquimans County on Albemarle Sound, 
occupying a strip of land between the Yeopim and Perquim- 
ans rivers, known to this day as Harvey's ISTeck. Governor 
Jenkins died December 17, 1681. Within less than four 
months Thomas Harvey showed his devotion to the memory 
of his patron by marrying the bereaved widow, Johannah. 
In those early days in North Carolina, when the number of 
men in the province greatly exceeded the number of women, 
it was probably regarded as contrary to public jDolicy for a 
sprightly woman to hide her charms behind a widow's veil. 
Six years after her second marriage Johannah Harvey died. 
Thomas Harvey bore his loss with becoming fortitude and 
within less than six months resigned his sorrows into the 
keeping of Sarah Laker, the daughter of a prominent colonial 
official, Benjamin Laker, and his wife Jane Dey. By her 
Thomas Harvey had three children. The second son, a 
Thomas also, married Elizabeth Cole, daughter of Colonel 
James Cole, of ]S[ansemond County, Virginia. This union 
continued only a few years, Thomas Harvey dying during the 
winter of 1729. He left four sons, Thomas, John, Benjamin, 
and Miles." In his will he made provisions and left direc- 
tions for the education of these boys ; one legacy in this will 
was a hundred pounds proclamation money for the poor of 
Perquimans County. 

The second of these boys was destined to become the most 
illustrious of the Harveys. He was born some time about 
the year 1725. According to the provisions of his father's 
will he received a good education, probably under a private 
tutor, or, as w^as not unusual then, in England. "We may 
suppose that, like other boys similarly situated, he gave due 

2 Hathaway: North Carohna Historical and Genealogical Register, 
Vol. 3, No. 3, 476-480. 


attention to the sports common in frontier settlements — 
riding, hunting, fishing, swimming, rowing, and other out- 
door amusements. Early in life he was married to Mary 
Bonner, daughter of Thomas and Abigail Bonner, of Beau- 
fort County. They had ten children. It is not unworthy 
of remark that the Harveys were a prolific family. John 
Harvey's eldest son, Thomas, had eight children ; his second 
son, John, had three ; Miles, his fifth son, had four ; while 
Joseph, the seventh son, had fourteen. John Harvey's grand- 
children also proved themselves in this respect not unworthy 
of their origin.^ 

We know nothing about John Harvey's early life. As soon 
as he was old enough to understand such things he mani- 
fested a lively interest in provincial politics ; the traditions 
of his family, no less than his own inclinations, would lead 
him to do so. A promising young man, supported by family 
influence, wealth, and education, he could not fail to attract 
the attention of the local politicians of the popular party. 
He had scarcely laid aside his childish things before they 
brought him forward as a candidate for a seat in the General 
Assembly, and elected him a member of the session held at 
Xew Bern in June of 1746.* He arrived one day too late to 
take part in the organization of the House, which was effected 
by the election of Samuel Swann speaker. The journal 
quaintly states that, June 12, "Mr. John Starkey moved that 
as Mr. Samuel Swann had been speaker heretofore and no 
objection lay against his behaviour in that station he may be 
chosen speaker." To this proposition there Avas no dissent. 
John Harvey's first session was a short one, lasting only six- 
teen days. 

Harvey had entered the Assembly, however, just in time to 
become involved in one of the bitterest contests connected with 

'Ibid. * Colonial Records of North Carolina, IV, 818. 


our colonial history. The early Korth Carolina charters had 
given to the counties of Chowan, Perquimans, Pasquotank, 
Currituck, Bertie,^ and Tyrrell the privilege of sending five 
members each to the Assembly, and had allotted to all the 
other counties only two each. As these latter counties grew 
in wealth and population they looked with jealous eyes on the 
extra privilege of the older counties. Rivalries and friction 
enhanced by local prejudices arose out of this inequality. By 
having five members each the northern counties had a ma- 
jority of the Assembly, and of course controlled legislation. 
The southern counties could do nothing but patiently await 
their opportunity to strike a more nearly even balance. It 
happened that just at the time John Harvey entered the As- 
sembly the governor, Gabriel Johnston, a hard-headed Scotch- 
man, threw himself into the controversy on the side of the 
southern counties. In November, 1746, he called the As- 
sembly to meet at Wilmington.*' On account of the difficulties 
in reaching Wilmington at that season of the year, the north- 
ern members had declared that they would not attend an As- 
sembly held at that place. Relying upon the fact that they 
composed a majority of the members, they expected, of course, 
that no session could be held without them. In this they 
reckoned without their host. Little did John Harvey and his 
colleagues think that Samuel Swann and his colleagues, for 
the sake of a petty sectional advantage, would surrender one 
of the most cherished constitutional principles for which the 
colonists had ever contended — that no number less than a ma- 
jority of the Assembly ought to be considered a quorum. But 
this is just what the southern members did, for at the bidding 
of a royal governor they formed a house composed of less 
than a majority, and proceeded to business. Only two bills 

^Northampton County had afterwards been created out of Bertie and 
given two of the latter's five members. Northampton acted with the 
northern counties. ^Colonial Records, IV, 838. 


were passed at this session — one to make I^ew Bern the capi- 
tal of the province, the other to reduce the representation of 
the northern counties to two members each. After this had 
been done the governor with many honeyed words sent the 
members home. 

Of course the northern counties refused to recognize the 
validity of laws passed by this rump Assembly. So when the 
governor issued his writs for a new election, commanding 
them to choose two members each, they refused obedience, 
and chose five each as usual. John Harvey was one of those 
elected for Perquimans. But the governor declared the elec- 
tions void. Thereupon the northern counties appealed to the 
king. The controversy was long and bitter. Eight years 
passed before a decision was reached on the appeal, and dur- 
ing these years the northern counties, refusing to send only 
two members each — ^the only number the governor would 
recognize^ — were not represented in the Assembly of the 
province. It was not until March 14, 1754, that the board of 
trade filed its report with the king ; the decision was in favor 
of the northern counties.® 

Governor Johnston, dying in 1752, did not live to see the 
end of the controversy he had helped to fasten on the colony. 
His successor was Arthur Dobbs. He arrived in ISTorth Caro- 
lina in October, 1754,® bringing instructions to call a new 
Assembly in which the representation was to be distributed 
as it had been prior to 1746. This Assembly met in ISTew 
Bern, December 12th, and was the first session in eight years 
at which all the counties were represented.^" John Harvey 
was returned at the head of the Perquimans delegation. John 
Campbell was there from Bertie, leader of the northern 
forces; Samuel Swann from Onslow, leader of the southern 

^Col. Rec, IV, 856-57. ^Col. Rec, V, 81. "Col. Rec, V, 144g. 
">Col. Rec, V, 231. 


faction. The northern faction was of conrse hostile to Swann, 
and for the first time in fourteen years an opponent for the 
speakership appeared. An interesting contest ensued. There 
were fifty-eight members of the Assembly, thirty of whom 
were of the northern faction, twenty-eight of the southern. 
On the opening day, however, six members were absent, four 
of the former, two of the latter party, so that those present 
were equally divided in their allegiance. This gave the 
southern members some encouragement, for if their two ab- 
sent colleagues arrived before those of their opponents, they 
could re-elect Swann and triumph over the arrogant Xorth. 
When the house met, therefore, "Mr. Sinclair set up 
Mr. Samuel Swann ; Mr. Thomas Barker proposed and set up 
Mr. John Campbell, on which the motion was made and the 
question was put, and the house dividing there appeared an 
equality of votes." JSTeither faction was willing to give way. 
Word was therefore sent to the governor that the house could 
not yet attend upon him, and his opinion was asked as to the 
solution of the difficulty. Dobbs replied that it was an un- 
precedented case, "but in all cases where there was a right, 
there ought to be a remedy," and he thought the clerk ought 
to cast the deciding vote. The house would not agree to 
this, and Swann, realizing that the chances were against him, 
offered to withdraw. His friends demurred, but in spite of 
their opposition "Mr. Swann acquainted the members that in 
order to expedite the business of the house he gave up his 
pretentions to the said place to Mr. John Campbell, where- 
upon he was placed in the chair."^^ The next morning Gover- 
nor Dobbs wrote : "Although there may be some little spar- 
ring betwixt the parties, yet both have assured me it shall 
have no effect upon public affairs or make my administration 
uneasy." ^' 

"Col. Rec, V, 233. i^Col. Rec, V, 153-4. 


The great event of Governor Dobbs's administration was 
the French and Indian War. 'No man was more British in 
his enmity to the French or more Protestant in his hostility 
to their religion than Arthur Dobbs. He made the wringing 
of money out of the province for the prosecution of the war 
the paramount object of his administration. The Assembly 
met his demands as liberally as they thought the situation 
and circumstances of the province justified, but they could 
not satisfy the governor. Greater demands pressed in impo- 
litic language gave birth to sharp controversies over the limi- 
tations on the prerogatives of the Crown and the extent of 
the privileges of the Assembly. In these debates John Har- 
vey was one of the leaders in stoutly maintaining that the 
only authority on earth that could legally levy taxes on the 
people was their General Assembly. Dobbs's first Assembly 
voted £8,000 for war purposes.^^ John Harvey was a mem- 
ber of the committee that drafted the bill. An incident con- 
nected with its passage is significant and worthy of record. 
The Council, or upper house, having proposed an amendment, 
the Assembly, or lower house, promptly rejected it and, in- 
stead, resolved, without a dissenting vote, "that the Council 
in taking upon them to make several material alterations to 
the said bill whereby the manner of raising as well as the 
application of the aid thereby granted to his Majesty is di- 
rected in a different manner than by that said bill proposed, 
have acted contrary to custom and usage of Parliament, and 
that the same tends to infringe the rights and liberties of the 
Assembly, who have always enjoyed uninterrupted the privi- 
lege of framing and modeling all bills by virtue of which 
money has been levied on the subject for an aid for his 
Majesty." ^* Within less than a year after this session ad- 
journed all British America was thrown into consternation 

"Col. Rec., V, 243 et seq. "Col. Rec, V, 287, 


by tlie disastrous ending of Braddock's expedition. Gover- 
nor Dobbs at once convened the Assembly in special session, 
and in a sensible, well-written address suggested that "a 
proper sum cheerfully granted at once will accomplish what a 
very great sum may not do hereafter." ^^ The house went 
into committee of the whole, with John Harvey presiding, to 
consider the ways and means of raising £10,000. Harvey 
was also a member of the committee to draft the bill which 
was promptly passed. Three companies were ordered to be 
raised and placed at the disposal of the governor. The next 
session of the Assembly, 1756, voted another war appropria- 
tion, £4,400." In the meantime the war had been going 
against the British and the ministry felt that more concerted 
action by the colonies was desirable. At a meeting of south- 
ern governors at Philadelphia, March, 1757, a plan was 
adopted which apportioned 400 troops to K^orth Carolina.^^ 
When Governor Uobbs laid this plan before the Assembly, 
the house, through a committee of which Harvey was a mem- 
ber, promised to do all within its power to carry it into exe- 
cution.^** A bill carrying £5,306 was introduced. John Har- 
vey was especially instmmental in securing its passage. He 
j)resided over the committee of the whole to consider ways 
and means, was a member of the committee that drafted the 
bill, and a member of the conference committee of the two 
houses. These appropriations were all voted with ''alacrity," 
as the Assembly said, and the governor acknowledged, though 
they imposed upon the people a debt of "above forty shilling's 
each taxable," which was more than the currency in circula- 
tion in the province.^'' 

The summer of 1757 was one of the gloomiest in the annals 
of the British empire. Success everywhere cro^^^led the arm? 

i^CoI. Rec, V, 495etseq. >«Col. Rec, V, 734. "Col. Rec, 750. 
'«Col. Rec, V, 829 et seq. "Col. Rec, V, 1001. 


of France. In America, the French empire "stretched with- 
out a break over the vast territory from Louisiana to tlie St. 
Lawrence."'*^ The Indians called Montcalm the ''famou» man 
who tramples the English under his feet.""^ In July, how- 
ever, a new force was introduced into the contest which, it is 
not mere rhetoric to say, was destined in a few brief months 
to raise the banner of England from the dust of humiliation 
to float among the most exalted stars of glory. This force 
was the genius of William Pitt, "the greatest war minister 
and organizer of victory that the world has seen."'"'" The 
Assembly of jSTorth Carolina had quarreled v/ith Dobbs, but 
the words and spirit of Pitt inspired them, "notwithstanding 
the indigency of the country," to renewed efl:orts for the sup- 
port of the war. John Harvey was a member of the commit- 
tee that drafted a bill enrolling three companies to serve in 
the Virginia campaign under General Forbes and appropria- 
ting £7,000 for their subsistence.^^ The house requested that 
these troops be sent to General Forbes "without loss of time." 
The summer of 1758 was as glorious as the summer of 1757 
had been gloomy. In every quarter of the globe England's 
arms were victorious. In Europe victory followed victory 
with dazzling rapidity. In America Louisburg fell. Fort 
Frontenac surrendered, and Fort Duquesne was rebaptized 
with the name of England's gTeat war minister. The ISTorth 
Carolina Assembly at the winter session voted £2,500 for the 
North Carolina troops serving on the Ohio.^* After this Dobbs 
made a total failure in his efforts to direct the Assembly. 
More zealous than judicious, he allowed himself to become 
involved in a foolish quarrel in a matter which he was pleased 
to consider an encroachment upon the king's prerogative; 
and rather than yield a little where resistance could do no 

™Green: Short History of the English People. ^'Fiske: New France 
and New England, 309. "Fiske: Ibid, 315. '^Col. Rec, V, 1003. ^^Col. 
Eec, V, 1063. 


good, he foolishly threw away the supjDlies which a burdened 
people i-eluctantly offered. Quarrel after quarrel followed ; 
the sessions were consumed with quarrels. The Assembly re- 
fused to frame supply bills at the governor's dictation, and 
in an outburst of \vrath he wrote to the board of trade that 
the members were "as obstinate as mules," and appealed to 
the king to streng-then his authority that he might "prevent 
the rising spirit of independency stealing into this colony."'" 
AVhile the Vv'ar occupied public attention little else occurred 
to attract general interest. John Harvey had gradually 
forged his way to the front rank of the popular leaders and 
had become the recognized head of the northern party. In 
October, 1755, Governor Dobbs wrote to the board of trade, 
"parties are only smothered, yet not quite laid aside."^'' The 
truth of this observation became apparent at the session of 
September, 1756. John Oampbell was detained at home on 
account of sickness and sent in his resignation of the speaker- 
ship. The smoldering embers of faction at once broke forth. 
The North lined up behind John Harvey in one more effort to 
break the power of Samuel Swann. But as no one expected 
such a contest, several members of the Assembly were not 
present at the opening, and when the roll was called only 
thirty-eight answered. The majority of these were of the 
Swann faction, and he was accordingly elected speaker.-^ 
This was the last attempt made to defeat Swann. Events 
soon occurred that v/elded the two parties together for united 
resistance to the encroachments of the governor, and harmony 
being the first essential for success, Swann was allowed to 
preside over the Assembly until he voluntarily resigned the 
honor. Except for matters relating to the war the time and 
attention of the Assembly were given largely to schemes for 
internal improvements. John Harvey was concerned in much 

«Col Rec, VI, 251. '«Col. Rec, V, 440. "Col. Rec, V, 689. 


of this iininterestingiy necessary work. He served on most 
of the important committees and was frequently called on to 
preside over the house in committee of the whole. 

Governor Dobbs, who had grown peevish with age, was 
given permission in 1765 to surrender the cares of his office 
to a lieutenant-governor and return to England. While he 
was busily packing for his trip "his physician had no other 
means to prevent his fatiguing himself than by telling him he 
had better prepare himself for a much longer voyage." He 
set sail on this "longer voyage" March 28, 1765.'® His suc- 
cessor was William Tryon, the ablest of the colonial gover- 
nors. Tryon's first Assembly met at ISTew Bern, May 3, 
1765."^ He laid before the house some correspondence rela- 
tive to the establishment of a postal route through the prov- 
ince, and recommended that an appropriation be made for the 
purpose. This was of course a matter of the first importance, 
and the Assembly, desiring more information than was then 
available, resolved to postpone final action until the needed 
data could be collected. However, "desirous that a matter 
of such public utility should take effect" at once, the house 
appointed a committee to arrange with the postmaster general 
for a temporary route until more definite action could be 
taken. The chairman of this committee was John Harvey. 
The work was pushed with vigor and success, and a route was 
laid out from Suffolk in Virginia to the South Carolina 
boundary line, a distance of two hundred and ninety-seven 
miles. In a letter to Governor Bull of South Carolina urg- 
ing him to have the route continued to Charleston, Governor 
Tryon says, evidently referring to the committee, that the 
route was established through l^orth Carolina "by the as- 
siduity of some gentlemen" of this province.^" 

December 20, 1765, Tryon, who had until then been lieu- 

»8CoL Rec, Vn, 3, "Col. Rec, VII, 61. ^ocol. Rec., VII, 100. 


tenant-governor, qualified as governor. As was customary 
when a new governor entered upon his office, he dissolved the 
Assembly, December 21, and issued writs for a new one. 
Nearly a year passed, however, before he allowed the mem- 
bers to convene, and they did not meet until ISTovember 3, 
1766.^^ That day Richard Caswell, representing Dobbs 
County, ''moved that John Harvey, Esquire, be chosen 
speaker ; and [he] was unanimously chosen speaker and placed 
in the chair accordingly. Mr-. Howe and Mr. Fanning," con- 
tinues the journal, "waited on his excellency the governor, 
and acquainted him the members had made choice of a 
speaker, and desired to know when they should wait on him 
for his approbation ; and being returned acquainted the mem- 
bers that his excellency said he would receive them imme- 
diately. The members waited on his excellency the governor 
in the council chamber and presented John Harvey, Esquire, 
to his excellency for approbation, who M^'as pleased to approve 
of their choice. Then Mr. Speaker asked his excellency to 
confirm the usual privileges of the house, particularly of that 
of freedom of speech, to which his excellency, for answer, was 
pleased to say that the house might depend he would pre- 
serve to them all their just rights and privileges." 

Thus John Harvey at last came to his own. Since the 
people then had no voice in the choice of their governor, the 
highest office within their gift was the speakership of the 
Assembly. To this office the ambitious politician aspired, 
and to it the leader of the popular party was generally elected. 
This position, as leader of the province, which John Harvey 
now assumed, he never lost, though once temporarily laid 
aside because of ill health. It is of course impossible, from 
the bare records that have been preserved, to estimate accu- 
rately the exact share which he had in the stirring scenes 

"Col. Rec, M:I, 342. 


enacted in the province from now until his death, but we 
know that as leader of the popular party his was the mind 
that directed the inauguration of the Revolution in ISTorth 
Carolina. He was the author of many of the movements that 
culminated in the Revolution, while none were attempted 
until he had been consulted and his co-operation secured. 
How he bore himself in his responsible position the success 
of those movements, guided by him in their inception, bears 

At the winter session, of 1767-1768 Edmund Fanning 
moved in the Assembly that the speaker provide for himself, 
the clerks and other officials ''necessary robes, suitable to their 
stations, and a mace for this house and the Council at the 
expense of the public."^" The motion was passed unani- 
mously. At the next session Harvey reported that he had 
written to London to learn what the articles would cost, and 
now submitted his information to the house for instructions. 
"Whereupon the house resolved," as the journal states, "that 
the two silver maces of about two feet long and gilded, weigh- 
ing about one hundred ounces, do not exceed the sum of one 
hundred and fifteen pounds sterling, and that the robes for 
Mr. Speaker do not exceed the sum of fifteen pounds ster- 
ling." ^^ Harv^ey accordingly ordered the articles through the 
colony's agent, Henry Eustace McCulloh. McCuUoh sent 
the robe, but not the maces, because he did not have money 
enough for the latter. A resolution of the North Carolina 
Assembly evidently would not pass for currency in London. 
Referring to the robe McCulloh wrote to Harvey: "I flatter 
myself it will please, for it is rich and plain. You will 
want a handsome tye upon the occasion, but that, I recollect, 
George Gray, of Edenton, can furnish you with. ISTinety- 
nine out '.of a hundred of the sons of Adam bow the knee to 

»»Col. Rec, VII, 656. 33Col. Rec, VH, 969. 


appearances ; so far wise men approve, and make use of 

But graver matters .than the purchase of parliamentary 
paraphernalia demanded the attention of John Harvey and 
the jSTorth Carolina Assembly. The Stamp Act had been re- 
pealed, but the , continent was now in a turmoil from one end 
to the other over the Townsend Acts. Massachusetts and 
Virginia, during the summer of 1768, issued their famous 
circular letters inviting the co-operation of the other colonies 
in concerting measures of resistance, in order that their re- 
monstrances and petitions to the king "should harmonize 
with each other." jSTovember 11, 1768, John Harvey laid 
copies before the Assembly.^" Much to the disgust of some 
of the leaders the house declined to take any action except to 
give the speaker verbal directions to answer them.^'^ The 
house then resolved to present "an humble, dutiful and loyal 
address" to the king, praying the repeal of the several acts 
imposing' duties' on goods imported into America. A com- 
mittee composed of John Harvey, Joseph Montfort, Samuel 
Johnston, Joseph Hewes, and Edward Vail was appointed to 
drav7 up the address, which Henry Eustace McCulloh was in- 
structed to present.^^ Thus the Assembly missed the real 
significance of the proposition, unity of action with the other 
colonies. Union was the great bugbear of the king and 
ministry; they did not doubt that if the colonies co/ild be 
kept separated they could easily bring them to terms. The 
policy of the king, therefore, w^as to avoid as far as possible 
giving the Americans a common grievance in support of which 
they could unite. So, too, the king and ministry did not 
dispute the right of each colony alone to petition the throne 
for redress of grievances ; but they fought desperately against 
any disposition on the part of the Americans to unite in their 

"Col. Rec, VIII, 59. ^scol. Rec, VII, 928. s^Col. Rec, VIII, 9. 
"Col. Rec, VII, 973. 


petitions. Johnston and Hewes were so disgusted at the As- 
sembly's flash in the.. pan that they declined to serve on the 
committee. But John Harvey acted more wisely. He as- 
sumed that the Assembly intended for the committee to act in 
concert with the committees of the other colonies, and thus 
improved on the Assembly's verbal instructions. In his letter 
to Thomas Gushing, speaker of the Assembly of Massachu- 
setts, Harvey said : "I am directed to inform you that they 
[the IsTorth Carolina Assembly] are extremely obliged to the 
Assembly of the Massachusetts-Bay, for communicating their 
sentiments on so interesting a subject; and shall ever be ready, 
firmly to unite with their sister colonies, in pursuing every 
constitutional measure for redress of the grievances so justly 
complained of. This house is desirous to cultivate the strict- 
est harmony and friendship with the assembles of the colo- 
nies in general, and with your house in particular. * * * The 
Assembly of this colony will at all times receive with pleasure, 
the opinion of your house in matters of general concern to 
America, and be equally willing on every such occasion to 
communicate their sentiments, not doubting of their meeting 
a candid and friendly acceptance."^® In their letter of in- 
structions to McCulloh, Harvey, Montfort, and Vail, said: 
''The last thing. Sir, which we shall take leave to recommend 
to you as the sense of the people and which we doubt not will 
be equally pleasing to you as to us, will be on your part a 
spirited co-operation with the agents of our sister colonies 
and those who may be disposed to serve us in obtaining a re- 
peal of the late act imposing internal taxes on Americans 
without their consent and the which is justly dreaded by them 
to be nothing more than an introduction to other acts of the 
same injurious tendency and fatal consequences."^^ This 

38 The Boston Evening Post, May 15, 1769. '^Col. Rec, VII, 877. 



course taken by John Harvey and the other members of the 
committee, therefore, saved IsTorth Carolina from the odium 
which a failure to support the common cause would have 
heaped on the colony. 

In the address to the king, which Harvey as chairman of 
the committee probably wrote, the king* was reminded that, 
in the ]Dast whenever ''it has been found necessary to levy sup- 
plies within this colony requisitions have been made by your 
Majesty or your royal predecessors conformable to the rights 
of this peojDle, and by them cheerfully and liberally complied 
with" ; and while promising a like compliance in the future, 
the address maintained that members of the "Assembly can 
alone be the proper judges, not only of what sum they are able 
to pay, but likewise of the most eligible method of collecting 
the same. Our ancestors at their first settling, amidst the 
horrors of a long and bloody war with the savages, which noth- 
ing couldpossibly render supportable but theprospects of enjoy- 
ing here that freedom which Britons can never purchase at so 
dear a rate, brought with them inherent in their persons, and 
transmitted down to their posterity, all the rights and liberties 
of your Majesty's natural born subjects within the parent 
state, and have ever since enjoyed as Britons the privileges of 
an exemption from anytaxations but such as have been imposed 
on them by themselves or their representatives, and this privi- 
lege we esteem so invaluable that we are fully convinced no 
other can possibly exist without it. It is therefore with the 
utmost anxiety and concern we observe duties have lately been 
imposed on us by Parliament for the sole and express pur- 
pose of raising a revenue. This is a taxation which we are 
firmly persuaded the acknowledged principles of the British 
constitution ought to protect us from. Free men can not be 
legally taxed but by themselves or their representatives and 
that your Majesty's subjects within this province are repre- 


sented in Parliament we can not allow, and are convinced 
that from our situation we never can be."*'' 

McCulloh's letters to the committee and to Harvey give 
the history of the address after it reached him. To the com- 
mittee he wrote that in accordance with customary procedure 
he waited on Lord Hillsborough, secretary of state for the 
colonies, with the address and that his lordship agreed to pre- 
sent it to the king. The answer, he said, would be for- 
warded through the official channels.*^ To his friend, John 
Harvey, to whose influence McCulloh owed his appointment, 
he wrote with more freedom. "The little right I had to ex- 
pect that warmth of friendship which I have met from you," 
he said, "is an additional circumstance to the grateful sense 
I have of your partial kindness ; I am very sensible that my 
success in the affair of the agency is principally the work of 
your hand. I wish I may ever have it in my power to make 
you a more weighty return than words ; them I will spare. 
I am proud and happy in your friendship, and will endeavor 
to deserve it. 

"I don't mean a compliment, but I really think the general 
idea of your petition is the best I have seen. I should have 
blushed forever for you if you had not bore [sic] some testi- 
mony in the good cause. Surely you have been polite and 
compliant enough. 

'Tt may be proper to give you a little private history as to 
your petition. I am convinced they would have been better 
pleased had you let it alone. Many of my friends (acquaint- 
ances rather) in Carolina, have kindly hinted to me, that I 
would best judge whether I would lay the ideas of the mad 
(rebellious) Americans at the foot of the throne; and have 
been kindly concerned for the consequences to me should I 
attempt it. I am much obliged to them. I see nothing in 

*"Col. Rec, Vn, 980. «Col. Rec, Vin, 55. " 


your petition but my soul approves. My spirit as well as my 
circumstances are independent, and though my Lord H — h 
[Hillsborough] had the politeness to say that petitioning in 
my circumstances was foolish^ (his own words) I insisted I 
had no discretion to exercise — no question to ask, but that it 
should be presented in the most proper and official manner; 
had he refused I would have bent the knee myself — the way 
it has been done is the only one, and never deviated from but 
in cases of refusal. I trust in God I shall never want courage 
to execute your commands. * * * I have it from authority, 
to acquaint you, that the acts complained of by America are 
to be repealed; their proud stomachs here must come down. 
Our politics here are nothing but a scene of confusion. Men's 
minds seem greatly inflamed. The ministry, etc., seem most 
cordially detested — it is, however, my opinion that they will 
keep their seats. * * * One thing let me add — surely Messrs. 
H. [Hewes] & J. [Johnston] who have refused to act, will 
not be continued of the committee of correspondence."*^ 

This Assembly and the governor parted on good terms. 
Later, because of several deaths among the members, Tryon 
dissolved it and issued writs for a new election. ^AHien the 
new Assembly met in October, 1769, John Harvey was again 
unanimously elected speaker.*^ They met the governor in 
good spirits and everything promised smooth sailing; but un- 
exjjected reefs were in the way. In the preceding May the 
Assembly of Virginia adopted a series of resolutions on the 
questions at issue between the American colonies and the Brit- 
ish Parliament. These resolutions were sent to the speakers 
of the various colonial assemblies. John Harvey laid a copy 
before the Assembly of ISTorth Carolina, !N"ovember 2, and the 
house adopted them verbatim. They denied the right of Par- 
liament to levy taxes in America. They affirmed the right 

«Col. Rec, Vin, 58-61. «Col. Rec, VIII, 107. 


of the subject to petition the throne for redress of grievances. 
They denounced the act of Parliament requiring Americans 
accused of treason to be taken to England for trial. They 
declared "that the seizing any person or persons in this 
colony suspected of any crime whatsoever committed therein 
and sending such person or persons to places beyond the sea 
to be tried is highly derogatory to the rights of British sub- 
jects, as thereby the inestimable privilege of being tried by 
a jury from the vicinage, as well as the liberty of summoning 
and producing witnesses on such trial, will be taken away 
from the party accused." An address to the king was 
adojDted which presented in a different form the same ideas 
embodied in the resolutions ; and McCuUoh was instructed, 
after presenting it to the king, to have it printed in the Brit- 
ish papers.** Convinced by experience that the ears of the 
king were deaf to their appeals, the Americans now began to 
appeal to their British brethren. For these resolutions the 
house suffered the penalty of dissolution. 

The Assembly was dissolved November 6, 1769. But the 
members had not completed their work and they were not ready 
to go home. They thought "it necessary that some measures 
should be taken in their distressed situation, for preserving 
the true and essential interests of the province," and there- 
fore resolved to hold a meeting "for that very salutary pur- 
pose," independent of the governor. Sixty-four of the 
seventy-seven members immediately repaired to the court- 
house and organized themselves into a convention. So far as 
I have been able to ascertain no account of this meeting has 
ever appeared in any history and, therefore, at the risk of 
being tedious and of prolonging this sketch beyond the proper 
limits, I shall give the account in full as it appears in the 
South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal^ of December 

"Col. Rec, VIII, 121-124. 


8, 1769/^ Says that paper, after stating the fact of the 
meeting, "it was first proposed, for the more decent and regu- 
lar discussion of such matters as might be taken into con- 
sideration, that a moderator should he appointed, and John 
Harvey, Esq., late speaker of the house of Assembly, was 
unanimously elected. 

"The true state of the province being then opened and 
fully explained, and it being proposed that a regular associa- 
tion should be formed, a committee was appointed to prepare 
the necessary and most proper regulations for that purpose, 
and they were ordered to make their report to the general 
meeting the next day, at nine o'clock." 

The next day accordingly the committee made their report, 
"which being read, seriously considered, and approved, was 
signed by a great number of the late members of the Assem- 
bly then present, and is as follows: 

"We, his Majesty's most dutiful subjects, the late repre- 
sentatives of all the freeholders of theprovinceof Xorth-Caro- 
lina, avowing an invincible attachment and unshaken fidelity 
to our most gracious Sovereign, and protesting against every 
act that may have the least tendency to disturb the peace and 
good order of this government, which we are willing, at the 
risque of our lives and fortunes, to maintain and defend; 
but, at the same time, sensibly affected with the hardships, 
difficulties and discouragements the colonies at present labour 
under, from several taxes and impositions laid on by Parlia- 
ment, for the sole purpose of a revenue, by which our money 
is taken from us, without our consent, and applied to the sup- 

*^ For this, and the other material from the South Carolina papers used 
in this article, I am indebted to Miss Mabel L. Webber, the very effi- 
cient Secretary of the South Carolina Historical Society. Miss Webber 
has been engaged by the North Carolina Historical Commission to make 
an index to the North Carolina items in the Colonial and Revolutionary 
newspapers of Charleston, and has done her work with thoroughness and 
accuracy. These items throw much new light on the early historv of 
North Carolina.— R. D. W. C. 


port of new created commissioners of customs, and other 
placemen: And by other acts of Parliament, we are de- 
prived of that invaluable privilege of trial by our peers and 
the common law, and made subject to the arbitrary and op- 
pressive proceedings of the civil law, justly abhorred by our 
ancestors, the freemen of England: And finding, that the 
most dutiful and loyal petitions and remonstrances from the 
colonies for redress, have been rejected with contempt; and 
dreading the evils which threaten us and our posterity, by 
reducing us from freedom to a state of slavery ; and in order 
to stimulate our fellow subjects, the merchants and manufac- 
turers in Great-Britain, to aid us in this our distress, and 
to shew our readiness to join, heartily, with the other colonies, 
in every legal method which may most probably tend to pro- 
cure a redress, which we believe, will be most effectually pro- 
moted by establishing economy, encouraging American manu- 
factures in general, and of this province in particular; pro- 
moting industry, and discouraging all manner of luxury and 
extravagances : We do therefore, most earnestly, recommend 
this our association, to the serious attention of all gentlemen, 
merchants, traders, and other inhabitants of this province, not 
doubting that they will, very readily and cordially, accede 
thereto; we therefore, whose names are hereunto subscribed, 
do solemnly promise and agree, to and with each other, that 
until the colonies are restored to their former freedom, by a 
repeal of those oppressive acts, we will most truly adhere to, 
and abide by the following resolutions, to- wit: 

''First. It was unanimously agreed on and resolved, this 7th 
day of N^ovember, 1769, that the subscribers, as well by their 
own example as all other legal ways and means in their 
power, will promote and encourage industry and frugality, 
and discourage all manner of luxury and extravagance; and 
will also encourage and promote the use of North American 


manufactures in general, and those of this province in par- 
ticular; and such of the subscribers who shall or may have 
any such for sale, will sell and dispose of them at the same 
rates as heretofore. 

''Secondly. That thej will not at any time hereafter, di- 
rectly or indirectly, import or cause to be imported, any man- 
ner of goods, merchandise or manufactures, which are or shall' 
hereafter be taxed by act of Parliament for the purpose of 
raising a revenue in America, except paper, not exceeding 
eight shillings sterling per ream, and except such articles only 
as orders have already been sent for; nor purchase any such 
after the first day of January next, of any person whatever, 
but they will always consider such taxation, in every respect, 
as an absolute prohibition ; and in all future orders forbid 
their correspondents to ship them any goods whatever, taxed 
as aforesaid, except as is above excepted. 

''Thirdly. That the subscribers will not hereafter, directly 
or indirectly, import or cause to be imported from Great 
Britain, or any part of Europe, (except such articles of the 
produce and manufacture of Ireland, as may be immediately 
and legally brought from thence, and also all such goods as 
orders have been already sent for) any of the goods herein- 
after enumerated, to-wit: Spirits, wine, cyder, perry, beer, 
ale, malt, barley, pease, beef, pork, fish, butter, cheese, tal- 
low, candles, oil, fruit, sugar, pickles, confectionary, pewter, 
hoes, axes, watches, clocks, tables, chairs, looking-glasses, car- 
riages, joiners and cabinet work of all sorts, upholstery of all 
sorts, trinkets, and jewellery, plate and gold, and silversmiths 
work of all sorts, ribbons and milliner)^ of all sorts, (except 
spices), silks of all sorts, (except sewing silk), cambrick, lawn, 
muslin, gauze, (except bolting cloth), calico, or cotton stuffs, 
of more than two shillings per yard, linens of more than two 
shillings per yard, woollens, worsted 'stuffs of all sorts, of 


more than one shilling and six-pence per yard, broadcloths of 
all kinds, of more than eight shillings per yard, narrow 
cloths of all kinds, of more than three shillings per yard, hats^ 
stockings, shoes and boots, saddles and all manufactures of 
leather and skins, of all kinds, until the late act of Parlia- 
ment imposing duties on tea, paper, glass, etc., for the pur- 
pose of raising a revenue in America are [sic] repealed ; and 
they will not after the first day of January next, purchase 
any of the above enumerated goods of any person whatsoever, 
unless the above mentioned acts of Parliament are repealed. 

"Fourthly. That in all orders which any of the subscribers 
may hereafter send to Great Britain, they shall and will ex- 
pressly direct their correspondents not to ship them any of the 
above enumerated goods, until the above mentioned acts are 
repealed ; and if any goods are shipped to them contrary to 
the tenor of this agreement, they will refuse to take the same, 
or make themselves chargeable therewith. 

"Fifthly. That they will [not] import any slaves or pur- 
chase any imported, after the first day of January next, until 
the said acts of Parliament are repealed. 

"Sixthly. That they will not import any wine of any kind 
whatsoever, or purchase the same from any person whatsoever, 
after the first day of January next, (except such wines as are 
already ordered) until the act of Parliament imposing duties 
thereon are [sic] repealed. 

"Seventhly. For the better preservation of the breed of 
sheep, that they shall not kill, or suffer to be killed, any 
lambs that shall be yeaned before the first day of May, in any 
year, nor dispose of such to any butcher, or other person, 
whom they have reason to expect intends to kill the same. 

"Eighthly and Lastly. That these resolves shall be binding 
on all of the subscribers, who do hereby, each and every per- 
son for himself, upon his word and honour, agree that he will 



strictly and firmly adhere to, and abide by, every article in 
this agreement, from the time of his signing the same, for and 
during the continuance of the before mentioned acts of Par- 
liament ; and every subscriber who shall not strictly and liter- 
ally adhere to his agreement, according to the true intent and 
meaning hereof, ought to be treated with the utmost con- 

Upon the publication of these resolves the newspapers de- 
clared with triumph : "This completes the chain of union 
throughout the continent for the measure of non-importation 
and economy." 

Governor Trj^on had been pleased at the action of the As- 
sembly on the circular letter of 1768 ; but now his wrath 
boiled over. He declared that the resolutions and address 
adopted by the Assembly "have sapped the foundations of 
confidence and gratitude, have torn up by the roots every san- 
gTiine hope I entertained to render this province further ser- 
vice, if in truth I have rendered it any, and made it my indis- 
pensable duty to put an end to this session."*" To Lord 
Hillsborough he wrote: "I must confess the proceedings of 
the last Assembly have woimded my sensibility and, being 
dangerously ill at the time, their conduct took advantage of 
the then weak state of my mind, and for that reason perhaps 
has made the deeper impression upon it. I wish I could say 
with Lord Botetourt *' that my prospect brightens. Confi- 
dence, my Lord, that delicate polish in public transactions, 
has received an ugly scratch, and I fear we have no artists 
here who can restore it to its original perfection."*'^ In his 
reply Lord Hillsborough declared that the conduct of the As- 
sembly in adopting "^measures and resolves so unbecoming 
and unwarrantable" gave "gTeat concern" to his Majesty.*® 

^«Col. Rec, VIII, 134. ♦'Governor of Virginia. «Col. Rec, VIII, 
169. «Col. Rec, VIII, 170. 


But the friends of the American cause were as much pleased 
as its enemies were offended. To John Harvey, Henry Eustace 
McCulloh wrote: "A letter from Mr. Pry or acquaints me of 
the dissolution of your late Assembly and of my appointment 
as agent. I am pleased to think the Assembly had virtue to 
deserve the first event; and I am sensible I am greatly to 
thank you for the second."'''* Later he referred again to their 
resolutions: ''In my opinion the proceedings of your late As- 
sembly have vindicated the honor of the province, and I pray 
God, future assembles may ever have wisdom to see, virtue 
to assert, and courage to vindicate the just rights of them- 
selves and their constituents."^^ Ten days later he added: 
"Your governor (in my opinion) would have done wiser to 
have been less passionate ; and had he been so I do not be- 
lieve he would have been blamed here. Lord Hillsborough 
has found out at last that dissolutions do no good."°'^ 

A sentence in one of McCulloh's letters reveals the com- 
manding position in the province which Harvey had now at- 
tained. Acknowledged leader of the popular party, there 
was no political position which he could now accept that would 
have been regarded as a promotion. McCulloh says : "For the 
reasons you approve, I shall endeavor hard to get some of the 
vacant seats in the Council filled by gentlemen from the north- 
ward. I may be wrong, but I at present conceive it would 
be a lessening of your dignity and weight to take one of them. 
Pray write me unreservedly on this subject." °^ Many of the 
leaders of the Assembly had stepped up into the Council ; for 
Harvey alone it was suggested that it would be a step down- 

AYhen the new Assembly met at ISTew Bern in December, 
1770, Richard Caswell was elected speaker. It has been fre- 
quently stated that the Assembly took this step because they 

«'Col. Rec, VIII, 171. 51 Col. Rec, VIII, 181. 52Col. Rec, VIII, 183. 
53 Col. Rec, Vni, 184. 


were anxious to placate Tryon, and John Harvey on account 
of his bold stand for the privileges of the colony was not 
acceptable to the governor. Such a statement is not only 
erroneous, but does a great injustice to all the persons con- 
cerned. It is an insinuation that the Assembly could stoop 
to the sacrifice of their leader in order to please a royal gover- 
nor ; it is an insinuation that Tryon had no better sense than 
to bite at the bribe ; it is an insinuation that Richard Caswell 
was not true to the interests of the province and was willing 
to lend himself as a peace offering at the expense of his leader ; 
it is an insinuation that John Harvey was willing to show 
the white feather after having so arrogantly waved the red 
flag. There is no need to seek such a complicated explana- 
tion of such a simple event ; the plain truth is that John Har- 
vey was at home sick when the Assembly convened and so a 
substitute had to be found. What better substitute could be 
found for bold John Hai'\'^ey than the versatile Richard Cas- 
well ? It may as well be said here that John Harvey's rela- 
tions with Tryon were of the most friendly, and even confiden- 
tial, nature. In that event in Tryon's career for which he 
has been most blamed, the Regulator War, he received the 
sympathy and support of John Harvey. 

Whatever may be the sympathies of the people of l^orth 
Carolina to-day, one thing is certain — the Regulators received 
scant sympathy from those patriots of North Carolina who 
organized and conducted the Revolution and won American 
independence. In a letter to John Harvey, December 21, 
1770, while the Assembly was in session and Harvey was at 
home sick, James Iredell said : ''Before I left ISTew Bern the 
Assembly had done nothing, but since there have been appear- 
ances very alarming. The day I left town (New Bern), Mr. 
Johnston presented a. spirited bill to the house upon the sub- 
ject of punishing the Regulators. * * * This bill, I believe. 


sir, you would have thought expedient, though severe, but 
desj)erate diseases must have desperate remedies. * * * Your 
absence, sir, at so critical a period is much to be lamented, 
but yourself are equally to be pitied for the unhappy occa- 
sion, as your country for the unhappy effects of it."^* Mc- 
Culloh in a letter to Edmund Fanning, whom the Regulators 
especially detested, refers to Harvey, and two others, as '^our 
common friends."^' Tryon, too, regarded Harvey as friendly 
to his movement against the Regulators, and there is nothing 
to show that Harvey felt otherwise. When about to set out 
on his Alamance campaign, the governor wrote to Harvey : 
'^Though I am apprehensive your situation lays [sic] too re- 
mote from the seat of the disturbances in this country to give 
government in time any aid to suppress the insurgents, I, 
nevertheless, out of respect to you, take the liberty to inform 
you that I purpose the last week in next month to begin my 
march from ISTew Bern to Orange County, so as to be if pos- 
sible the first week in May in the settlements of the insur- 
gents."^^ If 'is probable that had he not been ill Harvey 
would have followed the example of Harnett, Caswell, Ashe, 
the Moores, and other leaders and marched to Alamance with 

After the battle of Alamance Tryon went to ISTew York and 
Josiah Martin came to ISTorth Carolina. Martin met his first 
Assembly November 19, 17Y1. The session was short, for 
the governor soon quarreled with the house over a measure 
which he denounced as "a monstrous usurpation of authority 
that I think provides irrefragably the propensity of this 
people to democracy." ^^ 

The Assembly did not meet again until January, 17Y3. 
Richard Caswell, whose bold conduct had been the cause of 
Martin's wrath, might very justly have demanded that the 

"Col. Rec, VIII, 270. "^Col. Rec, VIII. 223. «6Col. Eec, VIII, 697. 
"Col. Rec, IX, 234. 


members endorse his conduct by re-electing him speaker. But 
realizing that it was an improper time for self-seeking, he 
deferred to the real leader of the Assembly, and himself nomi- 
nated John Harvey. From this session till the end of royal 
rule in jSTorth Carolina John Harvey was continuously elected 
speaker of the Assembly without opposition. This January 
session ended in confusion. During the preceding summer 
Governor Martin, acting under certain instructions from the 
king which the assembly had positively declined to follow, 
had caused the boundary line between JSTorth Carolina and 
South Carolina to be run in such a way as to operate to the 
disadvantage of the former province. He now called upon 
the Assembly to defray the expenses of this work and the 
house peremptorily and sharply refused. In order to give 
them an opportunity to reconsider their action, which, under 
the rules of the house, could not be done at that session, Mar- 
tin prorogued the session from March 6th to March 9th. On 
the 9th, when he was ready to meet the Assembly again, he 
found to his astonishment that the majority of the members 
had gone home. He therefore convened those who remained 
and commanded them to form a house. They refused unless 
a majority of the members should return. WTien Martin 
asked John Harvey if he expected a sufficient number to re- 
turn to make a majority, Harvey rej)lied that he had not "tlie 
least expectation" that any such event would occur. In an 
outburst of rage Martin declared that ''the Assembly had de- 
serted the business and interests of their constituents and flag- 
rantly insulted the dignity and authority of government," 
and forthwith dissolved it.^^ He afterwards wrote to Lord 
Dartmouth, secretary of state for the colonies, that he had 
the satisfaction to find that "no ill humour or disposition has 
been discovered toward me," but "the Assembly confessed 

51 Col. Eec.IX, 594-595. ~~~ 


with one accord that I had acted in every part of this busi- 
ness with uniform and becoming firmness, an effort of can- 
dour that I will acknowledge to your lordship I did not ex- 
pect, but that is not therefore the less pleasing to me. To 
evince their regard to me the speaker and the other members 
who remained in town, at the dissolution of the Assembly, 
paid me a visit on the evening of that day, and complimented 
me in the most respectful manner. In justice to these gentle- 
men, my lord, it behooves me to remark to your lordship, 
that they were the flower of that very heterogeneous body."^'' 
One can not let pass this opportunity to remark that these 
''flowers," in the estimation of Governor Martin, soon de- 
generated into very obnoxious weeds. 

The Assembly at this session manifested their regard for 
John Harvey by voting him out of the public treasury £100 
"as a reward" for his extraordinary trouble, assiduity and 
attention to the business of the Assembly. The Council 
readily concurred in this resolution and the governor assented 
to it, declaring that he did so "with the greatest pleasure * * * 
as it is a token of the just respect of your house to Mr. 
Speaker, which I am well assured -the faithful services of 
that gentleman will always claim."*'*' A similar mark of re- 
spect, except that the sum was £200, was again shown in 1774. 

In the meantime the quarrel with the mother country had 
continued with increasing bitterness, until it had become ap- 
parent to all Americans that if they were to make a successful 
stand for their liberties they must stand together. So when 
John Harvey at the December session in 1773 laid before the 
house letters from Virginia proposing that each colony ap- 
point a committee of correspondence to keep in touch with 
the committees of the other colonies, the idea found ready 
acceptance. The following were elected a committee for 

59Col Rec, IX, 600. socol. Rec, IX, 571, 580, 936. 


ISTortli Carolina : John Harvey, Robert Howe, Cornelius Har- 
nett, William Hooper, Richard Caswell, EdAvard Vail, John 
Ashe, Joseph Hewes, and Samuel Johnston.®^ Thus North 
Carolina took her first step towards union. The next step 
was the natural consequence of the first and was easy to take. 
This was the call that now went abroad throughout the coun- 
try for a Continental Congress. When Martin learned that 
iNorth Carolina was determined to join in this congress he 
determined to prevent it by refusing to call the Assembly to- 
gether until too late to elect delegates. April 2, 1774, he 
wrote to Lord Dartmouth that "writs have been issued for 
the election of a new Assembly, returnable on the 26th of May 
next, being one day beyond the time to which the late Assem- 
bly stood prorogued, but unless some unforeseen public exi- 
gency shall make it expedient, I do not propose another meet- 
ing of the Legislature until the fall."*^" Try on had success- 
fully adopted this plan to prevent the election of delegates to 
the Stamp Act Congress; but Martin lacked a good deal of 
Tryon's tact and personal popularity, and the men with whom 
he was contending were not the kind to be caught twice in the 
same trap. When the governor's private secretary communi- 
cated his determination to John Harvey, Harvey flew into a 
rage, exclaiming, "In that case the people will convene one 
themselves." April 5, 1774, Samuel Johnston wrote to Wil- 
liam Hooper : "Colonel Harvey and myself lodged last night 
with Colonel Buncombe, and as we sat up very late the con- 
versation turned on continental and provincial affairs. Colo- 
nel Llarvey said during the night, that Mr. Biggleston told 
him, that the governor did not intend to convene another As- 
sembly luitil he saw some chance of a better one than the last ; 
and that he told the secretary that then the people would 
convene one themselves. He was in a very violent mood, 
"Col. Rec, IX, 737, 740, 741. 62Col. Rec, IX, 959. 


and declared he was for assembling a convention independent 
of the governor, and urged upon us to co-operate with him. 
He says he will lead the way and will issue handbills under 
his own name, and that the committee of correspondence 
ought to go to work at once. As for ray own part, I do not 
know what better can be done. Without courts®^ to sustain 
the property and to exercise the talents of the country, and 
the people alarmed and dissatisfied, we must do something to 
save ourselves. Colonel Harvey said that he had mentioned 
the matter only to Willie Jones, of Halifax, whom he had 
met the day before, and that he thought well of it, and prom- 
ised to exert himself in its favor. I beg your friendly coun- 
sel and advice on the subject, and hope you will speak of it to 
Mr. Harnett and Colonel Ashe, or any other such men."^^ 

Harvey's bold and revolutionary proposition fell upon will- 
ing ears. The people rallied to his support ; the convention 
was called; and in defiance of Governor Martin's proclama- 
tion forbidding it, met at ]SIew Bern, August 25, 1^74:.^'^ 
Seventy-ono delegates were present, among them the ablest 
men in the colony. When they came to choose their presid- 
ing ofiicer all eyes turned to one man, the father of the conven- 
tion, John Harvey. A series of resolutions was passed de- 
nouncing the acts of Parliament, stating the claims of the 
Americans, and expressing approval of the call for a Conti- 
nental Congress to which delegates were elected. John Har- 
vey was authorized to call another convention whenever he 
thought it necessary. Then having resolved "that the thanks 
of this meeting be given to the Hon. John Harvey, Esquire, 
moderator, for his faithful exercise of that office and the ser- 

^'This was due to the fact that the Assembl}' dedined to pass a court 
law in accordance with the king's instructions, and the king refused 
assent to any other. For a brief account of this long contest see sketch 
of Cornelius Harnett, in No. 3 of Vol. 5 of The North Carolina Booklet. 
"6 Col. Rec, IX, 968. «*Col. Rec, IX, 1029, 1041. 



vices he has thereby rendered to this province and to the 
friends of America in general/' the convention adjourned. 
No more significant step had ever been taken in Xorth Caro- 
lina than the successful meeting of this convention. It re- 
vealed the people to themselves ; they now began to under-, 
stand that there was no special magic in the writs and procla- 
mations of a royal governor; they themselves could appoint 
delegates and organize legislatures without the intervention 
of a king's authority. This was a long step toward inde- 
pendence ; John Harvey took it, the people followed. 

During the summer of 1774 the distressed situation of Bos- 
ton, because of the Boston Port Bill, touched the hearts of the 
American people. In all the colonies the cry went up that 
Boston was suifering in the common cause. The convention 
of iSTorth Carolina reiterated this cry and the people, by their 
generous contributions, showed that their sympathy lay deeper 
than words. From Wilmington, ISTew Bern, Edenton, and 
the surrounding counties ship loads of provisions were sent 
free of freight charges to the suffering poor of the 'New Eng- 
land city. September 20, 1774, John Harvey addressed the 
following letter to the committee of correspondence in Bos- 
ton, composed of James Bowdoin, John Hancock, Samuel 
Adams, and Isaac Smith : 

"Perquimans Co., 20th Sept., 1774.'° 
"Honorable Gentlemen. 

"Joseph Hewes, Esq., appointed a trustee with me, to col- 
lect the donations of the inhabitants of two or three counties 
in the neighborhood of Edenton, for the relief of our dis- 
tressed brethren of Boston, being absent attending the Consti- 
tutional Congress at Philadelphia, I have the pleasure to send 
you, as per enclosed bill of lading, of the sloop Penelope, Ed- 

«* Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, 4th Series, Vol. 4, 85-86. 


ward Herbert, master, which [I] wish safe to hand, and that 
you will cause the amount of the same to be divided among 
the poor inhabitants according to their necessities. 

"The captain has received the most of his freight here. The 
balance wall be paid him on return, the cargo to be delivered 
clear of any expense; which you would have received some 
months sooner, but the difficulty of getting a vessel on freight 
prevented. [I] hope to be able to send another cargo this 
winter, for the same charitable purpose, as the American in- 
habitants of this colony entertain a just sense of the suffer- 
ings of our brethren in Boston, and have yet hopes that when 
the united determinations of the continent reach the royal 
eai", they will have redress from the cruel, unjust, illegal and 
oppressive late acts of the British Parliament. I take the 
liberty to inclose you the resolves of our provincial meeting 
of deputies, and have the honor to be, w^ith the most perfect 
respect and esteem, in behalf of Mr. Hewes and self, 

"Honorable Gentlemen, your most obedient and very hum- 
ble servant, JoHisr Harvey." 

This cargo was received October 15. It consisted of 
2,096 bushels of corn, 22 barrels of flour, and 17 barrels of 
pork, which, as the Boston committee said in their letter of 
thanks, was a noble and generous donation froni their worthy 
brethren and fellow countrymen of the two or three counties 
in the neighborhood of Edenton. ''We thank you," con- 
tinued the Boston committee, "for the resolves of your provin- 
cial meeting of deputies, which you were so kind as to inclose. 
We esteem them as manly, spirited and noble, worthy our 
patriotic brethren of ISTorth Carolina. The tender concern 
for, and honor done, this greatly injured and oppressed town 
and province, expressed therein, demand our particular notice 
and grateful acknowledgments, which are hereby tendered by 


this committee in behalf of the town. In short, your bounty, 
of which we now partake so largely, and the encouragement 
given of the increase thereof, lay us under the greatest obli- 
gation, and make us almost forget our misery. God grant 
that our endeavors to restore and preserve the rights of our 
dear America may be attended with His favor and blessing; 
then we may hope that we shall have occasion, both he that 
soweth and he that reapeth, to rejoice together in the salvation 
of our God and Saviour. To Him be all the glory."®® 

And yet there are those who would have us believe that in 
this great contest wdth the powder of Great Britain none of 
the American colonies played other than a selfish role ! 

Foiled in his purpose to hold IS^orth Carolina aloof from 
the Continental Congress, Governor Martin determined to 
make the best of a bad situation and summoned the Assem- 
bly to meet him at New Bern, April 4, 1775. John Harvey 
immediately called a convention to meet at the same place 
April 3.®^ It was a wise precaution, for the Assembly sat 
only at the pleasure of the governor, who would certainly dis- 
solve it upon the first manifestation of disloyalty. It was 
intended that the members of the Assembly should also be 
members of the convention, and this plan was carefully car- 
ried out, though there were members of the former who were 
not members of the latter. Martin was furious and denounced 
Harvey's action in two resounding proclamations.®^ The con- 
vention replied by electing Harvey moderator ; the Assembly 
by electing him speaker.®^ The governor roundly scored both 
bodies, and both bodies roundly scored the governor. It was 
indeed a pretty situation. One set of men composed t^vo po- 
litical bodies — one legal, sitting b}^ the authority of the royal 
governor and in obedience to his writ; the other non-legal, 

««Tbid, 86-88. ^aiol. Rec, IX, 1125. «» Col. Rec, IX, 1145, 1177. 
«3Col. Rec, IX, 1178, 1187. 


sitting in defiance of his authority and in direct disregard of 
his proclamation. The governor impotently demanded that 
the former join him in denouncing and dispersing the latter, 
composed largely of the same men whose aid he solicited. 
The two bodies met in the same hall, the convention at nine 
o'clock a. m., the Assembly at ten, and were presided over by 
the same man. When the governor's private secretary was 
announced at the door, in an instant, in the twinkling of an 
eye, Mr. Moderator Harvey would become Mr. Speaker Har- 
vey and gravely receive his excellency's message.'^*' 

JSTeither body accomplished much. The convention ap- 
proved the "Association" recommended by the Continental 
Congress, agTeed to adhere to it, and recommended it to tlie 
people of the province. A resolution declaring the right of 
the people themselves, or through their representatives, to 
assemble and petition the throne for redress of grievances 
was adopted, with the conclusion that "therefore, the gover- 
nor's proclamation issued to forbid this meeting, and his 
proclamation afterwards commanding this meeting to dis- 
perse, are illegal and an infringement of our just rights and, 
therefore, ought to be disregarded as wanton and arbitrary 
exertions of power." Hooper, Hewes, and Caswell were re- 
elected delegates to the Continental Congress, and a resolu- 
tion of thanks for their services was adopted. Thereupon 
Mr. Speaker Harvey returned the thanks of the house in the 
following words : 

"Gentlemen : — The sacred trust reposed in you by your 
country, so faithfully discharged by you, does honor to your- 
selves; justifies the choice made of you by the last conven- 
tion ; and places you in a situation to receive the best reward 
a patriotic breast can fill [feel], the applause of your country, 
who, in order to bear testimony to your merit, have directed 

™Col. Rec, Prefatory Notes, IX, XXXIV. 


me to convey to you their sincere thanks for the services you 
have rendered them in the important office to which they ap- 
pointed you. And it is with great pleasure I now, gentlemen, 
in behalf of this colony in general and of this convention in 
jDarticular, return you those thanks which have been so unani- 
mously resolved by the convention to be your due." 

The next day John Harvey, or in the event of his death, 
Samuel Johnston, was authorized to call another convention 
when necessary. 

The Assembly had time only to organize and exchange mes- 
sages with the governor when it, too, came to an end. Its 
first offense was the election of John Harvey speaker. The 
governor had authority to reject the Assembly's choice if 
he saw fit, but he did not dare do so, however bitter a pill it 
was. "On the 3d instant, the time appointed for the meet- 
ing of the convention," thus he wrote to Lord Dartmouth. 
u* -x- * hearing that many deputies from the counties were 
come here, I issued the proclamation, of which I now trans- 
mit your lordship a copy numbered 1,^^ notwithstanding 
which I found this imlawful body met for a short time and 
elected Mr. Harvey moderator, by whose advertisement it 
had been convened. I still hoped the Assembly on what I 
had to say to it would secede from this convention, although 
I well knew" that many of the members had been sent as 
deputies to it. And this hope, together with my desire to lay 
no difficulties in the way of the public business, induced me 
on the next day to admit the election of Mr. Harvey, who 
was chosen speaker of the Assembly, and presented by the 
house for my approbation. Indeed, to say the truth, my 
lord, it was a measure to which I submitted upon these prin- 
ples not v/ithout repugnance even after I found the Council 
unanimously of the opinion that it would not be expedient to 

'iCol. Rec, IX, 1177. 


give a new handle of discontent to the Assembly by rejecting 
its choice if it should fall as was expected upon Mr. Harvey, 
for I considered his guilt of too conspicuous a nature to be 
passed over with neglect. The manner, however, of my ad- 
mitting him, I believe sufficiently testified my disapproba- 
tion of his conduct while it marked my respect to the election 
of the house."'" The next day the Assembly committed its 
second offense by inviting the delegates to the convention who 
were not also members of the Assembly to join in the latter's 
deliberations. The governor promptly sent the sheriff of 
Craven County with a proclamation to forbid this unhallowed 
union. The only notice taken of it was by James Coor, the 
member from Craven County, who said, after the sheriff had 
read the proclamation: "Well, you have read it and now you 
can take it back to the governor." ^^ "j^ot a man obeyed it," 
wrote Martin, who had thus far succeeded in keeping his tem- 
per admirably. But on the fourth day of the session the 
house adopted resolutions approving the "Association" of the 
Continental Congress, thanking the delegates for their ser- 
vices, and endorsing their re-election. This was more than 
the governor had bargained for, and when he learned of it his 
wrath boiled over. He promptly issued his proclamation, 
April 8, 1775, dissolving the Assembly. It was the last As- 
sembly that met m ]Srorth Carolina at the call of a royal gover- 
nor and by its dissolution Governor Martin put an end to 
British rule in that province. In a letter to Lord Dartmouth, 
describing these events, he said : "I am bound in conscience 
and duty to add, my lord, that government is here as abso- 
lutely prostrate as impotent, and that nothing but the shadow 
of it is left. * * * I must further say, too, my lord, that it 
is my serious opinion which I communicate with the last de- 
gree of concern that unless effectual measures, such as British 

"Col. Eec-, IX, 1212. '^ Col. Kec, IX, 1213^ 


spirit may dictate, are speedily taken there will not long re- 
main a trace of Britain's dominion over these colonies." '^^ 

It was impossible for Governor Martin to let slip any op- 
portunity to vent his wrath at a rival. Three days after the 
dissolution of the Assembly he called the attention of the 
Council to the proceedings of the convention "^'signed John 
Harvey, moderator, wherein are certain resolves highly de- 
rogatory to the honour and dignity of his Majesty's govern- 
ment, tending to destroy the j)eace and welfare of this prov- 
ince, in the highest degree oppressive of the people, and ut- 
terly subversive of the established constitution. He there- 
fore submitted to the consideration of this board the pro- 
priety of marking its indignation of such unlawful and dan- 
gerous proceedings by striking Mr. John Harvey out of his 
Majesty's commission of the peace for the county of Per- 
quimans, where he resides." ^^ The councilors of his 
Majesty's governor gravely concurred in these sentiments and 
John Harvey's judicial head fell at the block. 

But little did John Harvey care. His time for earthly 
honors and earthly contests was rapidly drawing to a close. 
The last days of his life were spent under the clouds of the 
rapidly coming revolution. That revolution no man had done 
more to produce than he. ISTo man watched its outcome with 
greater coniidence, or awaited it with greater hope. But it 
is one of the tragedies of human life that men often are not 
permitted to see and enjoy the fruits of their labors and sacri- 
fices. So it was with this man of the people, this political 
leader with the vision of a prophet, this organizer of revolu- 
tion destined to mark the beginning of an era in the history 
of mankind. The South Carolina Gazette and Country Jour- 
nal,'^^ in a letter dated at ISTew Bern, May 19, 1775, an- 
nounced his death in the following appreciative obituary: 

^*Col. Rec, IX, 1215. ^^Col. Rec, IX, 1215-1216. ™June 6. 1775. 


"With inexpressible grief and concern, we have received 
from Edenton the melancholy account of the death of Col. 
John Harvey, of Perquimans County, who a few days since 
died at his seat there after a very short illness, occasioned, it is 
said, by a fall from his horse. The respectable and uncom- 
mon character of this worthy member of society has, for many 
years past, placed him in the highest department of this 
province in the gift of the people, that of speaker of the 
house of Assembly; and the great assiduity and diligence 
with which he discharged that, and many other important 
trusts committed to his care, and his perseverence, in seeking 
the real and substantial good of his country, renders his 
death a public loss, which will be truly lamented by a grate- 
ful people. It is to be hoped that some abler pen will do 
justice to his manes ; we can only say, that as in public life 
all his actions were directed to the good of his country, so in 
private his house was one continued scene of hospitality and 
benevolence, and his purse, his hand and heart, were ever de- 
voted to the service and relief of the distressed. In him the 
advocates for American freedom have lost a real and true 
friend ! In him this province may mourn a substantial and 
irretrievable loss." 

On the last day of May, Robert Howe, Cornelius Harnett, 
and John Ashe, patriots who had not hesitated to follow 
where John Harvey led, wrote these words to Samuel John- 
ston: "We sincerely condole with all the friends of Ameri- 
can liberty in this province on the death of our worthy friend, 
Colonel Harvey. We regret it as a public loss, especially at 
this critical juncture."" "He will be much missed," wrote 
Joseph Hewes from Philadelphia. "I wish to God he could 

"Col. Rec, IX, 1285. McRee in his "Life and Correspondence of 
James Iredell," I, 34, states, and the statement has been repeated, that 
Harvey died June 3, 1775. Perhaps for "June" we should read "May". 


have been spared and that the G — r [Governor] and Judge 
H — d [Howard] had been called in his stead." Few the 
words, but sincere the tribute, from men who knew his vir- 
tues and appreciated his worth. '^^ 

'^John Harvey was buried at Belgrade farm, on Albemarle Sound, in 
Perquimans County, in a granite tomb said to weigh twenty tons. The 
tomb was originally on a bluff, but the waves have gradually washed the 
bluff away until the tomb now lies about three hundred yards from the 
shore. It has withstood the washing of the waves and is yet in a good 
state of preservation. It is said that there is an inscription on it, but it 
is so covered with moss and barnacles that it can not be deciphered. 



The purpose of this paper is to make a study of the mili- 
tary organizations of North Carolina, during the American 
Eevolution, with the hope of finding out whether North 
Carolina or the Continental Congress exercised final and 
sovereign authority over them. We will examine, first, the 
various military organizations of the State and, second, the 
military organizations placed upon the Continental estab- 
lishment, noting in each case how the troops were embodied, 
supported, ofiicered, and directed. Then we will deteimine, 
if we can, whether North Carolina or the Continental Con- 
gress exercised sovereign control over them. 

One of the first^ steps taken by North Carolina toward 
embodying militai'y forces for the Revolutionary War was 
to provide" (Sept. 7, 1775) for minute men and militia. 
For this purpose the Province was divided into six districts. 
Each of these districts was to raise one battalion^ of minute 
men to be enlisted for six months. It seems that they were 
not reinlisted at the expiration of their six months term, at 
least no further reference is made to them after the battle of 
Moore's Creek. 

In each of these districts, too, a brigade of militia was to 
be raised. ''The militia of every county," so read the reso- 
lution* of the Provincial Congress, May 4, 1776, ''is to con- 
sist of all the effective men from sixteen to sixty years of 
age and shall be formed into one regiment" and "the regi- 

1 On Aug. 30, 1775, two Continetal Battalions had been embodied. 

2 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, pp. 196-199. 

3 "Consisting of ten companies, of fifty men rank and file each." 

4 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, pp. 500-564. 


ments divided into companies of not less tlian fifty rank and 
file." Each company was to be divided into five divisions, 
one division to consist of all the more aged and infirm men, 
the other four divisions to draw lots for the first, second, 
third, or fourth turns to go on service. The militia, were to 
muster once a month at least. 

From time to time other military organizations were 
formed. On April 9th, 1770, three companies of Light 
Horse were created, "consisting of one captain, one lieuten- 
ant, one cornet and thirty-three privates each.^" On April 
29th, 1776, the Provincial Congress created" five Indepen- 
dent Companies "to consist of one captain, two lieutenants, 
one ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, two drummers, 
one fifer, and sixty-eight rank and file." Later, they cre- 
ated a company of rangers and embodied and equipped an 
artillery company. Thus we see that the legislative power 
of l^orth Carolina created military organizations at will and 
regulated their embodiment in detail, and that they did this 
without reference to any other sovereign body. 

LIow were these organizations supported, how officered, 
and by whom directed ? All of them were paid, armed and 
maintained^ by the State of jSTorth Carolina. The field of- 
ficers for each and every battalion of minute men were rec- 
ommended by the several districts and appointed by the Pro- 
vincial Congress.^ The field officers of each district ap- 
pointed a suitable person or persons in each county to enlist 
minute men. These minute men, when their companies 
were completed, chose their captains, lieutenants and ensigns, 
and these appointed their respective non-commissioned of- 

The field officers of the militia were appointed by the Pro- 
vincial Congress ; the captains, lieutenants, and ensigns by 

5 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 506. 

6 Col. Eecords of N. C, Vol. X, p. 546. 

7 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, pp. 570-571 ; XI, p. 529; X, p. 290-1. 

8 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, pp. 196-197. 


committees of their respective companies.^ The Provincial 
Congress named all the officers for the five Independent Com- 
panies^'' and for the Light Horse/^ In order that this power 
of appointment should always rest with the State legisla- 
ture or, in its recess, with the Governor, Sec. 14 of the State 
Constitution^" (1776) provided ''That the senate and house 
of commons shall have power to appoint the generals and 
field officers of the militia and all officers of the regTilar army 
of this State" and section 20 provided ''That in every case 
where any officer, the right of v/hose appointment is by this 
constitution vested in the General Assembly, shall, during 
the recess, die, or his office by any other means become va- 
cant, the Governor shall have power, with the advice of the 
Council of State, to fill up such vacancy by granting a tem- 
porary commission, which shall expire at the end of the next 
session of the General Assembly." The full and ultimate 
power, therefore, to support and officer these troops rested 
in the K'orth Carolina Legislature, or, during its recess, with 
the Governor. 

The first decided and effective use made by North Caro- 
lina of her military forces was the overthrow of the Loyal- 
ists at Widow Moore's Creek on February 27, 1776.^^ The 
committees of safety in the various counties, in accordance 
with the power^* vested in them by the Provincial Congress, 
ordered out a certain part of their militia. ^^ These forces 
were placed by the Provincial Council under proper com- 
mand, and other organizations were ordered to join them, 
so that by the time of the battle. Colonel Caswell, who re- 

9 Col. Eecords of N. C, Vol. X, pp. 200, 204, 207. 

10 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 546. 

11 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 519. 

12 Revised Statutes of N. C, Vol. 1, p. 13. 

13 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 482. 

"Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 200 (On Sept. 8, 1775). 
15 Tryon County ordered out "every third effective." 


pulsed and scattered the Loyalists, had under him^® 800 min- 
ute men to whom he added the 250 under Lillington. Col. 
James Moore was near at hand with an army" of 1,100 men 
made up of the First !N^orth Carolina Continental Battalion, 
150 Wilmington minute men, 200 Duplin militia and 100 
volunteer independent rangers. These forces were assembled 
and directed by North Carolina authorities alone. Again, 
May 2, 1776, the Provincial Congress drafted 1,500 mili- 
tia^* for three months^'' to ward off a threatened attack, and 
ordered them to march as quickly as possible to Wilmington. 
At divers times other uses were made of the troops by local 
or provincial authorities, such as putting"" down local upris- 
ings of the loyalists and preventing them from joining Gov- 
ernor Martin. ^^ Some of her lav/s, too, show that she was 
not expecting any other authority to make use of North 
Carolina troops. The act (April 29, 1776) creating the five 
independent companies specifically provided"^ that they 
should ''be subject only to the control of this or any future 
Congress, or to any executive power, acting in the recess of 
the same, to remove or disband them." These companies 
were also given authority to take enemies' ships as prizes of 
war — a power assumed only by sovereign States. Thus we 
see that JSTorth Carolina made use of her troops for such pur- 
poses and in such ways as her sovereign will directed. 

Whenever the urgent need for any one or more of these 
military organizations seemed to be past, the Provincial Con- 
gress disbanded them at will. On one occasion she dissolved 
the two Southern Independent Companies^^ and at another 

16 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 482. 

17 Moore's Hist, of N. C, pp. 203, 204. 

18 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 558. 

19 May 11, 1776, this. 

20 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 761. 

21 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, pp. 440, 536. 

22 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 546. 

23 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 92. 


"time certain companies of militia.'* On December 15, 177Y, 
she discharged"^ the militia companies that she had stationed 
on the coast and also those on the frontier, creating'^*' in the 
place of the latter a special company of Eangers to warn 
the militia when Indian uprisings seemed imminent. The 
Provincial CongTess and, later, the State Legislature not 
only assumed full control over these military organizations 
for itself, but, during its recess, vested its power in the Pro- 
vincial Council and, under the constitution, in the Governor. 

Xot only did Xorth Carolina assume sovereign control 
over her State troops within the State, embodying, officering, 
using, and disbanding them as she wished but, when outside 
the State, she exercised the same control over them. Jointly 
with Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia, she subdued the 
Cherokees with no interference or suggestion from the Con- 
tinental CongTess, save the following resolution-^ (J^i^^y 30, 
1776) : "Information being given to Congress by a letter 
from the President of South Carolina, that the Cherokees 
have commenced hostilities against that State, and that he 
has ordered a body of men to march against them and has 
applied for assistance to the neighboring states of North 
Carolina and Virginia: 

Resolved: That it be recommended to the states of Vir- 
ginia, N^orth Carolina and Georgia to afford all necessary 
assistance to the State of South Carolina and to cooperate 
against that state in prosecuting the war against the Indians 
with the utmost vigor." But at once the three ISTorth Caro- 
lina delegates then in the Continental Congress, lest the 
home authorities might interpret this resolution as of some 
force and sigTiificance, sent home this statement^® which they 

24 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 927. 

25 State Records of N. C, XII, p. 159. 

26 State Records of N. C, XII, p. 160. 

27 Journals of Cont. Cong., V, p. 616 (Ford ed.)- 

28 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 679. 


all signed: "This resolve is bj no means intended to alter 
the plan of military operations which you have begnn or to 
draw off the Strength of our back Country to a distant part 
merely for the sake of acting in the same place with the 
South Carolinians, if the Opposition can be made as effectu- 
ally in any manner devised by yourselves or from a part of 
your province from whence hostilities may successfully be 
carried into the bosom of the Cherokee country, hi fact, 
nothing is meant hut to subdue the Cherohees." The States 
subdued the Cherokees, and then, without any resolution on 
the part of the Continental Congress, appointed joint com- 
missioners and signed a treaty"® of peace with the Indians. 
Later in the same year (JSTovember, 1776), l^orth Carolina 
granted to South Carolina, which was then in sore need of 
troops, permission to raise troops in ISTorth Carolina terri- 
tory. At the same time she embodied two regiments and sent 
them to the aid of South Carolina,^" maintaining the while 
full control of them.^^ 

We may conclude from these facts that North Carolina 
assumed the same sovereign control over her troops when 
without the state or in joint action with other states, as when 
within the state, a thing impossible had she considered hex- 
self and the other states subject to a common sovereign 

Since IsTorth Carolina embodied, supported, officered and 
dinected her troops, maintaining full and final authority 
over them, whether serving within or mthout the State ; and 
since the Continental Congi-ess in no sense even assumed 
power over these troops, and since North Carolina in her 

29 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, pp. 650, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661-9, 
889, 895, 912. 

30 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 103. 

31 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 929. 

32 There were also many objections made by JSTorth Carolina to the 
raising of troops on her territory by other States, e. a., see X. C. R.. XI, 
p. 663. ' ■ 


military regulations never suggested that the Continental 
Congress had power to control them, we must conclude that 
so far as her State troops were concerned North Carolina 
was a sovereign and independent State. 

But there remains for consideration another military or- 
ganization embodied in North Carolina, the Continental 
Battalions. These Continental Battalions were supported 
by money advanced by the Continental Congress to Treasu- 
rers appointed by the North Carolina Legislature, to which 
they reported, and to which they looked for orders and di- 
rections.^' The Battalion officers proper were all appointed 
by the North Carolina legislature. Those officers having 
charge over one or more battalions^^ were appointed by the 
Continental Congress upon the nomination of the North 
Carolina Legislature. These troops, therefore, if any, should 
he under Continental control. 

Let us follow in some detail the embodiment of these 
troops, to find out by whom they were embodied, and if by 
N^orth Carolina upon the order of the Continental Congress, 
whether the State acted in a spirit of obedience or in one 
of prudent acquiescence. 

On June 26, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved 
"That in case the Assembly of Convention of that Colony 
shall think it absolutely necessary for the support of the 
American Association and safety of the Colony to raise a 
body of forces not exceeding 1,000 men this Congress will 
consider them as an American army and provide for their 
pay."^* The Provincial Assembly of North Carolina em- 
bodied these troops, appointed their officers (September 1, 
1775), divided them into two regiments of five hundred men 
each, subdivided these into divisions, and stationed these di- 

32 Col. Records of K C, Vol. IX, pp. 482 and 521. 

33 Journals of Cons:., Vol. IV, p. 174. 

34 Col. Eecords of N. C, Vol. X, p. 40. 



visions where they were most needed in ISTorth Carolina. In 
the same act the legislature provided that "The said two regi- 
ments, and every of the above divisions, shall from time to 
time be disposed of as this Congress or the Council of Safety 
shall direct.'"' 

The Assembly of ISTorth Carolina, one week after awrds,^^ 
declared that these troops should "be kept in pay three 
months, unless the Provincial Council shall judge it neces- 
sary to continue them longer ; and the said Council are em- 
powered to disband them at any time before or after the term 
of three months, when they shall judge that their service ig 
unnecessary.""'^ But on ^November 28th following, the Con- 
tinental Congress put these two Battalions on pay for one 
year.^* North Carolina made no change in the terms 
of her enlistment and embodied her troops on her own 
plan. The same overriding of Continental regulations oc- 
curred the next year. The jSTorth Carolina Legislature had 
declared (April 27, 1776) that the Continental troops should 
be enlisted for the term of two years and six months. ^^ On 
September 24, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved that 
these troops should be enlisted for the "continuance of the 
war."*° But to this resolution North Carolina paid no heed. 
This was not obedience nor was it acquiescence, but rather 
the natural neglect, it would seem, of a sovereign body to 
take care that its acts should coincide with the requests and 
recommendations of a Central Committee. 

Eight more battalions were finally put upon the Continen- 
tal Establishment. The embodiment of the Third to the 
Sixth of these Battalions may throw additional light upon 
the attitude of the North Carolina Congress to the Conti- 

35 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 187. 

36 September 8, 1775. 

37 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 203. 

38 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 338. 

39 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 544. 

40 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 807. 


nental Congress. On January 16th, 1776, the Continental 
Congress resolved that another Battalion should be raised 
in the Colony of North Carolina.*^ Acting upon this resolu- 
tion, the Provincial Congress of Korth Carolina created, 
April 9, 1776, not one Battalion, but three and these of 750 
privates each, and in addition three companies of Light 
Horse.*" The next day the members of the Provincial Con- 
gress bethought themselves of the Continental regulations 
that, including officers, each regiment should consist of 728 
men. jSTothing daunted, however, they created a fourth Bat- 
talion out of the extra officers and privates, and the President 
of the Assembly cheerfully wrote to the Continental Dele- 
gates at Philadelphia : "It is hoped that you will find no 
difficulty in getting them placed on the Continental Estab- 
lishment when it is considered that the Colonies of Virginia 
and South Carolina are in daily expectation of being invaded 
and that we have therefore very little reason to hope for suc- 
cour or assistance from either of them."*'^ There is in this 
a spirit of independence that can scarce be reconciled with 
obedience to sovereign power. 

When these Continental forces were needed for military 
purposes, by what power were they summoned, and, when 
in operation, by what power were they directed ? On Octo- 
ber 21, 1775, the Provincial Congress which had already 
stationed the two Continental Battalions along the coast, 
ordered them to "oppose to the utmost of their power" the 
landing of any hostile troops.** We have already seen that 
ISTorth Cai^olina used the First Continental Battalion at 
Widow Moore's Creek. Other similar uses were made of 
them. When within the State, then, ISTorth Carolina as- 
sumed full control of these troops. 

41 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 413. 

42 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 506. 

43 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 495. 

44 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 186. 


But what of their control when without the State ? On 
September 3d, 1776, the Continental Cbngress resolved that 
"Two of the Continental Battalions be ordered to march 
with all possible expedition under command of General 
Moore to reenforce the army at New York." By whom 
they were to be ordered the resolution did not state but that 
the execution of the resolution at least was to be left to 
ISTorth Carolina is shown by the following resolution*^ of the 
Continental Congress (September 16, 1776) : "It being rep- 
resented by the delegates of ISTlorth Carolina, that, from late 
accounts, it appears that the situation of affairs in that State 
is such, that it will be dangerous, if not impracticable, to 
execute the resolution of Congress of the third instant * * 
* Resolved that it be left to the discretion of the Council of 
Safety of l^orth Carolina, to execute or suspend that resolu- 
tion according as they shall think most conducive to the pub- 
lic service and the safety of their particular State."*^ 

On JSTovember 16th, 1776, the Continental Congress passed 
the following resolution :*'^ "Resolved that it be recommend- 
ed to the Convention of North Carolina to station General 
Moore with the regular troops under his command in such 
parts of that state or of the state of South Carolina where 
they will be in capacity to render immediate and seasonable 
assistance to their friends in South Carolina." The North 
Carolina Assembly evidently did not consider this as a com- 
mand of a superior authority directing its own troops, for 
on November 29th, 1776, following, it put this order into 
execution in the following words :*^ "In consequence of In- 

45 Journals of Cont. Cong., Vol. V, p. 761 (Ford ed.). 

46 It is very significant to note that the following clause was stricken 
out: "Provided, nevertheless, that they shall not have power to stop 
Brigadier-General Moore from repairing to New York." Is this a tacit 
confession that North Carolina did have full control even over a Briga- 
dier-Ceneral? Does it mean that she could have held the troops and 
not the officer? 

47 Journals of Cong., Vol. VI, p. 956 (Ford ed.). 

48 Col. Records of N. C, Vol. X, p. 947. 


formation from the Continental Congress that a considerable 
number of Troops and a large Fleet had sailed from New 
York, and are supposed to be intended against Charlestown, 
South Carolina, Resolved, That General Moore do immedi- 
ately march with the troops under his command to the Relief 
of Charlestown without delay." G-eneral Moore led his troops 
as directed and while in South Carolina looked to the ISTorth 
Carolina authorities for direction.*'* That the execution of 
the orders of the Continental Congress was left wholly to 
ISTorth Carolina we can no longer doubt, and it only remains 
for us to find out whether or not the State considered herself 
under obligations to execute implicitly Continental orders. 

In the early part of 1777^*' the Continental Congress re- 
solved that all the battalions of Continental troops in North 
Carolina should join General Washington "as soon as may 
be" after March 15th.^^ Governor Caswell on February 6th 
requested General Moore to order three complete regiments 
to march without delay and join General Washington.^' 
General Moore encountered constant delays always reporting 
to Governor Caswell, never to the Continental Congress, for 
aid^^ and orders.^* In time all of the nine Battalions by 
order of North Carolina authorities reached General Wash- 
ington. But North Carolina followed her own dictates, or- 
dering them to depart when she wished and in the way she 
wished. ^^ This may have been acquiescence, but certainly 
it was not obedience. 

Even after these Continental Battalions were in Washing- 
ton's camp they continued to look to the North Carolina 

49 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 367. 

50 February 5, 1777. 

51 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 374. 

52 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 375. 

53 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 411. 

54 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 412. 

55 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, pp. 579, 614; Vol. XII, p. 131. 
Follow particularly the new Tenth Battalion. 


autliorities as the authorities to whom alone their obedience, 
outside of their immediate field operations, was due. In the 
first place ISTorth Carolina recruited the ranks^® and punished 
the deserters. To aid in this, the IsTorth Carolina Legisla- 
ture called upon General ISTash or the Commanding officer 
of the Continental troops to report to the Assembly lists of 
the different battalions, divisions, companies, parts of com- 
panies and names of deserters." It ordered Continental 
Battalion officers to recruit in ISTorth Carolina or to repair 
to the IS^orth as it saw fit.^^ It even abolished superfluous 
Continental offices although the officers were then under Gen- 
eral Washington.^" That there was need of effective recruit- 
ing we may learn from the fact that the nine Continental 
Battalions, instead of having 6,552 men and officers had 
1,385 of whom there were only 655 privates fit for duty."*' 
Yet the Continental Congress gave no orders. Her angviish 
and feeling of helplessness were no doubt reflected in these 
words written home by the North Carolina delegate. Corn. 
Harnett : "For God's sake fill up your Battalions, Lay 
Taxes, put a stop to the sordid and avaricious spirit which 
infects all ranks and conditions of men.""^ 

]S^ot only did the ISTorth Carolina Legislature assume full 
control over these Continental troops while within and with- 
out the State, but on May 9th, 1777, vested the Governor, 
during its recess, with power*'^ at his discretion to appoint 
"officers to fill up all such vacancies as may happen in the 
Continental armies," and to remove,"* suspend and censure 

•''6 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, pp. 578-9. 456-7 : XII, pp. 9, 10, 
59, 60. 

5T State Records of N. C, Vol. XII, p. 33. 

58 State Records of N. C, Vol. XII, pp. 59 and 60. 

50 State Records of N. C, Vol. XII, pp. 48 and 50. 

60 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 690. 

61 State Records of N. C, Vol. XI, p. 696; Dec. 16, 1777. 
6^ State Records of N. C, Vol. XII, p. 99. 

63 State Records of N. C. Vol. XII, p. 93. 


any Continental officer that may behave unworthily. It par- 
ticularly required him from time to time to give such direc- 
tions respecting the securing and disposal of deserters as he 
might judge necessary, and further gave him power "To 
give such orders as he may think necessary for the removal, 
marching or disposition of the Continental Troops in this 
state or any of theni/'^* 

North Carolina, then, embdoied at will such state military 
organizations as she pleased and directed all of them as she 
thought best, exercising full and sovereign control over them. 
She embodied in her own way ten Continental battalions 
which were paid by the Continental Congress through North 
Carolina treasurer. The Continental Congress recommended 
by resolution certain military operations for these troops. 
The execution of these resolutions was left wholly to the 
State of North Carolina which maintained and exercised full 
control of the troops, both within and without the State, 
even to the extent of punishing deserters though they were 
under the immediate command of General Washington. The 
Continental Congress in no place asserted definitely that she 
had sovereign authority over them while North Carolina not 
only asserted such authority but exercised it. We must con- 
clude, then, that so far as control over her military organi- 
zations was concerned, North Carolina was a sovereign and 
independent State and that Thomas Burke expressed the 
common attitude of the people of North Carolina toward the 
Continental Congress, when he said to the General Assembly : 
"I consider the Congress at present as a general council of 
America instituted for the purpose of opposing the usurpa- 
tions of Britain." 

64 State Records of N. C, Vol. XII, p. 99. 





SEPTEMBER 25, 1768 


S«cretaiy North Caiolina Historical Commission 


On the important Duty of Subjection to the 


Preached before his EXCELLENCY 


Governor and Commander in Chief of the 
Province of North-Carolina, 


TROOPS raised to quell the late 



Hillsborough, in Orange County, 
On Sunday September 25, 1768. 


N E W B E R N : 
Printed by James Davis, 





William TuYoisr, Esquire^ 

Governor and Commander in Chief of the 

Province of NORTH-CAROLINA. 


THE Kind A]3probation with which YOU have favoured 
this DISCOURSE, is as much an Honour as it is a Satis- 
faction to me ; for which I desire Your Excellency to accept 
my grateful Acknowledgments: And as You, with many 
other Honourable Gentlemen, have, in so particularly oblig- 
ing a Manner, sigiiified Your Desire of seeing it published, 
I have complied with Your Request ; which, indeed, I must 
own. You put it out of my Power to refuse. I heartily pray 
GOD it may be attended with those beneficial Effects, which 
You seem to entertain so much Hopes of: And if it should 
be instrumental in bringing any to a just Sense of the great 
DLTTY inculcated therein, and a religious Observance of it 
for the future. My Pleasure would be greatly heightened, by 
the Happiness I am sensible You will receive Yourself. 
With My earnest Wishes for Your Excellency's present Fe- 
licity, as well as Eternal Wellfare, which it will always be 
a peculiar Joy to Me to promote, 
I remain, SIR, 


Ever faithful and obliged 
Humble Servant, 



ST. PAUL'S Epistle to the ROMANS, Chap. XIII. Verses 

1st & 2d. 

Let every Soul he subject unto the higher Powers; for 
there is no Power hut of God; the Powers thai he, are or- 
dained of God. 

Whosoever therefore resisteth the Power, resisteth the Or- 
dinance of God; and they that resist, shall receive to therpr 
selves Damnation. 

I AM persuaded, that every one who feels the least regard 
for the wellf are and happiness of his country ; and the peace 
and comfort of his fellow-subjects and countrymen, will look 
upon the subject as highly proper, and seasonable at this 

FOR who can reflect upon so many wretched and unthink- 
ing men, thus madly attempting to subvert the laws of the 
kingdom ; thus inconsiderately involving friends, relations 
and neighbours, in the most direful calamity, and foolishly 

1 Extracts from the Journal of the General Assembly of North Caro- 
lina ; 

Friday, November 18, 1768: 

Eecd from his Excellency a Written Message by Mr. Edwards rela- 
tive to, and accompanied with one hundred copies of a sermon preached 
by the Reverend Mr. Micklejohn before the Troops at Hillsborough, 
which Message is as follows, (that is to say) 
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly, 

By the particular request of the Reverend Mr. Micklejohn, I desire 
leave in his behalf to present your House with one hundred copies of 
a sermon preached before the Troops at Hillsborough. The merit and 
beneficial tendency of this admirable discourse, gave general satisfaction 
to all who heard it delivered; a testimony it will undoubtedly receive 
from everv one who reads with attention. Wm. Tkyon. 


bringing upon themselves destruction here, and damnation 
hereafter ; — who can look upon so deplorable a scene, without 
feeling the most earnest desires, that every such rash and 
misguided person could be made duly sensible of the dread- 
ful impiety of so daring and wicked an action, as well as of 
the certain misery that must inevitably be the consequence ? 
IT is possible this alarming consideration may prevail 
with some persons, when every other more laudable motive 
fails of its proper influence ; and, it is to be hoped, that a 
sight of their danger may bring them to a sense of their 

Saturday, December 3d, 1708: 

Reed from the Council the following Message Vizt 
Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly, 

We must also recommend to your consideration the Reverend Mr. 
Mieklejohn who preached to the Troops at Hillsborough printed and 
dispersed several copies of one of the sermons on the the important 

3d December 1768. In the upper House. 


Resolved the following Message be sent to the Council, Vizt, 
Gentlemen of His Majestys Honhle Council. 

* * * We do agree that the Treasurers pay the expence of print- 
ing those sermons preached by the Reverend George Mieklejohn sent to 
this House by his Excellency this session. 

3d December 1768. John Harvey Sp. 


Monday December 5th 1768. 

Resolved the following Message be sent to His Excellency the Gov- 
ernor, Vizt, 

To His Excellency William Tryon, Esquire, Captain, General Governor, 

Sib, — This House have received your Excellency's Message relative to 
the Reverend George Mieklejohn, with one hundred copies of a Sermon 
preached by him at Hillsborough, and in his behalf presented by your 
Excellency to the House, in consequence of which we have Resolved that 
the Expence of printing the said Sermon be paid by the Public. * * * 

5th December 1768. John Harvey Sp. 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, VII— 939, 976, 983.) 


WITH this view, I have singled out the words of the text 
for the subject of our present meditation: And though I 
have the pleasure to think I am speaking before those who 
stand not in need of [2] the admonition they contain, yet 
I thought it not improper for us to consider the several argu- 
ments which enforce this gTeat duty here enjoined; that we 
may not only be preserv'd stedfast in our obedience to it 
ourselves, but may be able to convince others of the danger, 
as well as error of their ways ; and keep them, for the future, 
in the paths of duty and allegiance, from which they liave 
lately so unhappily wandered. 

YOU cannot but observe then, in the first place, that this 
important duty of subjection to lawful authority, is one plain 
and principal doctrine of Christianity. It is here delivered 
to the world by an inspired Apostle of CHRIST ; by Him, 
whom our LORD, in a vision to Ananias, honours with the 
distinguishing title of "a chosen vessel to Himself." He it 
is, who, thus commissioned from above, gives us, in the name 
of the most high GOD, this solemn command in the words 
of the text; to which we are, all of us, both high and low, 
rich and poor, wise and ignorant, indispensably obliged to 
pay the highest reverence and regard ; and no rank nor sta- 
tion in life, can possibly exempt any one from the strictest 
obedience to it : For it is directed to all men in general, with- 
out any exception — Let every soul he subject to the higher 
powers — ^and it comes to us by the Authority of the same 
GOD and SAVIOUR, who has given us every other precept 
that we meet with in holy scripture: — It comes to us from 
that sovereign LORD OF ALL LORDS, whose name we 
have the honor to bear; whose subjects we profess ourselves 
at present ; and whose eternal kingdom we hope to become 
inheritors of hereafter: 'Till men, therefore, have renounced 
CHRIST, and apostatized from his religon — 'till they have 
disowned his sovereignty and dominion over them, and given 


up all expectations of future happiness from his favour, they 
must acknowledge themselves bound, by the strongest ties, 
both of interest and gratitude, to comply with this sacred in- 
junction, no less than with every other command of his Di- 
vine Gospel. 

BUT we may still further judge of the singular impor- 
tance of this duty enjoined us in the text, from that re- 
markable stress laid upon [3] it by the great Apostle in sev- 
eral other of his Epistles. When he is delivering his apos- 
tolical injunctions to Titus, and instructing him in the sev- 
eral branches of his duty as a minister of Christ, he gives 
it him in charge, in a very solemn manner, to put men in 
mind, to be subject to principalities and powers ; to obey 
Magistrates ; to speak evil of no man; to be no brawlers, but 
gentle; shewing all meekness to all men. These things, says 
he, I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have 
believed in God, that is, they who have acknowledged the 
truth of that revelation" he has made us in the Gospel, might 
be careful to maintain good works: These things are good 
and profitable unto men. 

AITD in the first Epistle to Timothy, he carries this re- 
quest and reverence for the powers that are lawfully set over 
us, to a still greater height ; making it our duty, not only 
to be subject unto them, but to implore the favour of Heaven 
upon them, and the divine blessing on their endeavours for 
the public happiness and tranquility. I exhort first of all, 
says the Apostle, that Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions, 
and givng of Thanhs, he made for all Men: For Kings, and 
for all that are in Authority; that we may lead a quiet and 
peaceaMe life, in all godliness and honesty; for this is good, 
and acceptahle in the sight of God our Saviour. 

JUDGE therefore in yourselves, my beloved brethren, and 
beseech others, in the name of God, to consider how dreadful 

2 In the text, revalation. 


a breach of this duty they must be guilty of, who, instead of 
praying for the safety of our governors and protectors, pre- 
sume to threaten their sacred persons with violence, to whom 
God has commanded us to pay the highest veneration, be- 
cause they derive their authority from him. 

AISTD this leads me to a second very material argument, 
arising from the words of the text, which strongly enforces 
this duty, and to which it becomes every one seriously to at- 
tend : For surely nothing should more fully convince us of 
our obligation to pay the most ready obedience to this pre- 
cept of Christianity, than the solemn reason which the 
Apostle has immediately subjoined : Let every soul [jJ.] he 
subject to the higher^ powers; for there is no power hut of 
God: the powers that he, are ordained of God. 

HAD this precept been delivered to mankind without 
pointing out to them at the same time, this particularly aw- 
ful sanction ; yet even then our observance of it would have 
remained indispensable : For when God commands, man is 
to obey. 

THAT God, from whom we have received life and breath, 
and all things, and to whom we are indebted for every com- 
fort and blessing we enjoy — that God, upon whom alone we 
are to depend to all eternity, and by ivhom our unalterable 
fate is to be finally determined ; — this great and adorable 
BEIJSrG has an uncontroulable right over his dependent 
creatures, to lay upon them whatever commands his wisdom 
sees proper for them, without being obliged to satisfy them 
of the reasons for such his sovereign will and pleasure. But 
in the case before us, you cannot but take notice, in how very 
different a manner God has been pleased to deal with us ; 
for while he gives us this command by his holy Apostle, he 
graciously condescends to inform us of those weighty reasons 

3 In the test, higer. 



upon which the duty is founded, and which would be most 
likely to engage us in a religious observance of it. 

WE are commanded, therefore, to be subject to the higher 
powers, because the authority they are invested with is from 
HEAVEN: The poivers that be, are ordained of God! — 
They are God's vicegerents upon earth, and instruments in 
the hand of his providence, for carrying on the grand pur- 
poses of protection and government, and for securing the 
peace and happiness of mankind. 

AISFD though, indeed, they are sometimes unhappily 
obliged, through the perverseness and wickedness that is in 
the world, to become unwilling avengers, to execute wrath 
upon every one that doth evil; yet are they, in general, the 
ministers of God to us, for good, and for the praise and re- 
ward of them that do well. 

WAS it not for this necessary power which has been com- 
mitted to them by the ALMIGHTY, every thing must soon 
be involved in the most dreadful anarchy and confusion. 
Every man's own will [5] would then be his law; and no 
language can fully describe those various scenes of misery 
and horror which would continually arise before us, from the 
discordant passions and divided interests of mankind. But 
God, in his infinite goodness, has provided a natural security 
against all these mischiefs in those different ranks and or- 
ders of men, which his wisdom has thought proper should 
subsist in the world ; and in which some are allotted to gov- 
ern, and others obliged to obey, that so the happiness of the 
whole community might the more effectually be preserved. 
And upon these guardians of the public and general wellf are, 
God has been pleased to confer a divine authority, to render 
their persons, as well as ordinances, the more sacred and 

IT is by him, therefore, that kings reign, and princes de- 
cree justice; by him princes rule, and nobles, even all the 


judges of the earth : And as it is very beautifully expressed 
in the book of Wisdom, power is given them of the LORD, 
and sovereignty from the Highest: To the truth of this im- 
portant point, we have a greater than Solomon bearing testi- 
mony; even our blessed Saviour himself; who, when Pilate 
was boasting of that power he had over him, either to crucify 
or to release him, puts him in mind from whence he had re- 
ceived his authority ; and gives him this mild and instructive 
answer, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, ex- 
cept it ivere given thee from above. 

HERE we leam from the mouth of our Redeemer him- 
self, whence is derived that dignity and sacredness, which 
belongs to those who are invested with any public power and 
oiEoe. — Here we behold the God of the universe submitting 
to that supreme authority he himself has conferred upon 
man ; and acknowledging the reverence due to that very 
power, which was shortly to pronounce the sentence of death 
against him. 

BUT we have a still more striking and remarkable in- 
stance of submission and respect to the Civil Powers, which 
our blessed Lord, upon another occasion, condescended to 
shew, and which highly deserves every one's serious attention 
and regard: It is recorded by the [6] Evangelist St. Mat- 
thew, in the lYth chapter of his Gospel, that when our Lord 
was come to Capernaum, they who received the tribute mon- 
ey, which was required of every Jew above the age of twenty, 
demanded of St. Peter, whether his Master intended to pay 
it. St. Peter very readily engages for his Lord's willing and 
chearful compliance ; as he well knew how exact had ever 
been his observance of every civil, as well as religious duty; 
But when he came into the house to inform his master of 
this demand, our blessed Saviour, by an easy similitude, 
leads him to understand, that he had been too hasty in his 


promises for Mm; for surely, if the children of earthly 
princes could plead a freedom from paying any custom or 
tribute, (as appeared by his own reply to the question our 
Lord had proposed) much more reasonably might he be ex- 
empted from it, who was himself the Lord of all thiJigs, and 
the Son of that heavenly King, for the service of whose 
temple this particular tribute was paid. — But notwithstand- 
ing our Lord might have justly claimed this privilege and 
exemption ; yet, you see, he willingly declines it ; and, Least 
we should offend them, says he, to the Apostle, go thou to the 
sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh 
up; and ivhen thou hast opened his mouth, thou shall find 
a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and 
for thee. — What condescension was this in the Son of God! — 
Who but must be struck with admiration at this amazing 
instance of goodness, in thus vouchsafing to work a miracle, 
rather than not • satisfy the demands of public authority ; 
lest, by refusing compliance himself, he might countenance 
others in disobedience and rebellion ! And who is there that 
will presume to offer insult to the powers that are in authori- 
ty, or shew the least resistance, when he considers how re- 
markably our Lord was pleased to honour them, by express- 
ing the most cautious fear of displeasing them, and thus 
wonderfully providing against giving any offence? — In or- 
der, therefor©, to guard men from incurring the guilt of so 
heinous a crime, let us, in the third place, briefly consider 
the dreadful consequences that must attend it. — This the 
Apostle gives us, in these few, but awful words. They that[^'\ 
resist, shall receive to themselves DAMlSTATIOISr ; not only 
condemnation in this ivo7-ld, but eternal vengeance in the life 
to come. — And here again, we cannot but observe, the great 
importance of this duty of subjection, from that tender care 
which the e-oodness of GOD has taken to secure our obedience 


to it. Some precepts are delivered to us without any par- 
ticular intimation of the punishment attending our neglect: 
But this was a matter of so much consequence to the general 
comfort and happiness of the world, that the divine wisdom 
thought it necessary for us, while we read the sacred injunc- 
tion, to have before our eyes that future misery which must 
follow the violation of it: So that, if the love of God, and 
reverence for his commands, should fail to produce this be- 
coming submission, a regard for our own Everlasting Interest 
might possibly prevail. 

GrOD has, therefore, been pleased, by his holy Apostle, 
to pronounce the sentence of inevitable 'perdition upon all 
those who refuse subjection to lawful power and authority; 
as hereby, they not only shew the highest contempt of his 
positive command, but do all in their power to obstruct the 
gracious designs* of his providence, for the good and well- 
fare of manki^id. So that, upon calm consideration, every 
one must acknowledge, there cannot possibly be offered a 
greater insult to Almighty GOD, than thus contemptuously 
to disregard his will, and despise those sacred powers whom 
he has ordained and appointed to carry on the best and 
noblest purposes in the world : And what wonder then is it 
that so terrible a portion is reserved in store for every such 
bold and presumptuous offender? — God is represented in 
scriptures as the God of Peace, and Lover of Concord; and 
we are, for this reason, commanded, in another place, to fol- 
low peace with all men; because, without this, no man shall 
see the LOED. Every one, therefore shall hereafter be ban- 
ished from his presence and glory who dares to disturb, in 
the least degree, that peace and harmony ; or endeavours, in 
any respect, to destroy that good order and government, 
which it is the intention of HEAVEN should be supported 
in the world. 

* In the text, desings. 


[8] BUT though we were not able to assign any particu- 
lar reason for this severe judgment mentioned in the text, 
yet ought it to be a sufficient warning to every rebellious sin- 
ner, to find how positively it is there denounced : For what 
God has so solemnly threatened, lie will most assuredly in- 

THESE then are the principal reasons which enforce the 
duty enjoined by the Apostle; but there are several others, 
which, if duly attended to, cannot but add considerable 
weight to the argaiments already offered, and which I shall, 
therefore, beg leave briefly to mention. 

LET it be considered then, that resistance to that lawful 
power and authority which God hath set over us, can never 
possibly be productive of any thing but the wildest uproar, 
and most universal confusion ; and, in the end, can never 
fail of being attended with the most shocking and dismal 

OF this we would have seen a dreadful and melancholy 
proof ; and God only knows what worse consequences might 
have ensued, had they not been happily prevented by the 
good conduct of those brave men, who distinguished them- 
selves as remarkably by their HUMAlSriTY, as by the VAL- 
OUR, they shewed on that trying occasion. 

TO their courage and intrepidity will ever be due our 
warmest gratitude and thanks; which, blessed be God, gave 
so timely a check to the desperate fury of those rash men 
who were engaged in that execrable attempt; and to their 
humanity these very men must ever acknowledge themselves 
obliged, which bore so long and patiently their repeated and 
exasperating insults, and treated them afterwards with great- 
er lenity than they could reasonably expect ; for where one 
has not fallen, twenty ought to have suffered. 

LET every one learn, that outrage and violence can never 
answer any other end but to spread slaughter and desolation 


around us ; and to introduce the most wretclied scenes of mis- 
ery and distress : Let them consider further, how impossible 
it is that any good can ever be brought about by such wicked 
means; and that tho[ugh] some [9] may only meet the 
ruin their rashness has sought, yet many others must una- 
voidably become partakers in the calamity, who were never 
partners in the crime. 

THE consideration therefore of the present misfortunes, 
in which many of their fellow-creatures must be involved, 
as well as the future destruction to which others are exposed 
by such daring acts of rebellion, will naturally restrain every 
man from uniting in them who has the least spark of hu- 
manity and compassion remaining in his breast. 

AISTOTHER motive which cannot but have great weight 
with every generous mind, is the reflection that every the 
least Insult offered to magistrates and governors, is an act 
of the basest ingratitude against those who are, under God, 
our protectors and guardians, not only from foreign Ene- 
mies, but from every domestic foe: To them we owe our 
security from all that numerous train of mischiefs to which 
we should be daily liable, from the corruption and wicked- 
ness of the world, if under no restraint from human laws, 
and unawed by proper authority ! — To them are we indebted 
for the safe and comfortable enjoyment of all the blessings 
of private life, and all the advantages we derive from civil 
society ! — Were there not some who would take upon them 
the arduous business of public government, the execution of 
laws, and administration of justice, how would vice and 
iniquity every where triumph ! And what must become of 
the welfare and tranquility of every individual, were men 
left at full liberty to plan their malicious schemes against 
them, and knew they could safely execute them whenever 
they pleased ? What must become of the general peace and 


happiness of the whole com m unity, when fraud and injus- 
tice, oppression and violence, with every other crime that is 
injurious to society, might be perpetrated with impunity, 
and without controul ? How infinitely then are we obliged 
to those persons who willingly undertake so important a 
trust, and by whose care, abilities and vigilance, these evils 
are prevented, and the public felicity preserved ? And how 
very [10] enormous and shocking is the offence, when in the 
discharge of their laborious office, they are treated with in- 
solence instead of honour, and meet with threatenings in- 
stead of thanks ! 

BUT lastly, there is one remark I have further to make, 
and which ought to have a peculiar force with the people of 
this land, in leading them chearfully to that subjection which 
is represented in the text, as the common duty of all men. — 
I would beg leave to observe therefore, that for an English- 
man to oppose the laws of his country, is an instance of the 
highest folly and contradiction we can conceive : For such 
is the singular excellence of our happy constitution, that the 
laws to which our obedience is required, are, in reality, no 
other than what we ourselves have been partly concerned in 

ALL men must know, that it is impossible for a whole 
province to meet together for this important work ; and every 
one, I believe, will acknowledge, that were they so assembled, 
very few would be found capable of carrying it on: For as 
the wise son of Sirac very justly observes, How can he get 
wisdom, that holdeth the 'plough, and that glorieth in the 
goad; that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labours; 
and tvhose talk is of Imllocl's? They shall not he sought for 
in the public council; nor sit high in the congregation; they 
cannot sit in the judges seat, nor understand the sentence 
of judgment: Since therefore, we cannot all be present in 
this great assembly, wherein the weighty business of public 


government is transacted, we have this peculiar privilege, 
and a glorious one it is, of appointing such persons, in whose 
abilities, u,nderstanding, and integrity, we think we may 
safely confide, to appear for us, in that august assembly; 
and who are, upon that account, very properly stiled our 

TN consequence then of this choice, which we have the 
liberty to make, and that full power we voluntarily give into 
their hands ; we not only yield our consent before-hand, to 
whatever laws they may judge it expedient to enact, but may 
be justly said to have had [11] a principal share in enacting 
them ourselves ; inasmuch as they are framed by their wis- 
dom, and established by their authority, whom we have ap- 
pointed for that very purpose. 

SO that every man, of the most common understanding, 
if he will allow himself a moment's reflection, may easily 
see how particularly it is the duty of every one of us, to sub- 
mit to the laws of his land ; and, how astonishing an absurdi- 
ty it must appear to all the world, if ever we refuse that be- 
coming subjection. 

HOW happy would millions think themselves at this hour, 
who know no other law than the imperious will of some arbi- 
trary prince, could they change situations with us, and taste 
the singular blessing we enjoy, in being govern'd by the laws 
we ourselves have made ! Let us take care, we set a due value 
upon this inestimable privilege ; lest, if we slight these dis- 
tinguishing marks of God's favour, and disturb that excel- 
lent form of government which his providence has so long 
preserved among us, — He may be provoked to deprive us of 
it, and bring upon us the misery which such ingratitude 
would deserve. 

I SHALL now briefly sum up what has been said in this 
discourse, that we may see how many, and powerful, are the 


arguments we are furnished with, to engage us in a stedfasi, 
observance of this duty, and enable us to convince others of 
their indispensable obligations to practice it. 

YOU find, then, it is a duty which is guarded from vio- 
lation by all the most sacred and awful sanctions that could 
possibly be thought of; and bound upon us, by every tie, 
civil, moral, and divine. — The peace and tranquility of our 
fellow-subjects and countrymen demand our obedience to it. 
— The well-being and happiness of society in general, and 
the comfort and felicity of our dear relations, friends and 
neighbours in particular, depend upon it; and without our 
conscientious performance of it, an universal scene of con- 
fusion must soon prevail, and all be involved together in 
the deepest calamity and horror. 

[12] LET all such persons therefore who dare to think of 
engaging in any act of rebellion and disobedience, be in- 
treated to contemplate a little those various and horrible mis- 
eries they will unavoidably occasion, and that may possibly 
deter them from it: — Let them listen to the cries of the dis- 
consolate' widow ; — behold the tears of the helpless orphan ; 
and consider, how they will be able to endure the sad up- 
braidings of those miserable mourners, who may justly take 
up against them the lamentation of the prophet Jeremiah: 
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if 
there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, whi-ch your rashness 
and iniquity have brought upon us! 

BUT particularly let them remember, that the blood which 
may be shed by their means, will hereafter be required at 
their hands ; and that every one of those unhappy souls who 
shall be brought to an untimely end through their evil coun- 
sels and wicked instigations, and sent into another world 
with all their sins about them, will rise up in judgment 

6 In the text, disconlat*. 


against tliem at the last day, and call for tenfold vengeance 
on their devoted heads. 

LET them be farther put in mind, that gratitude to those 
who afford us a peaceful security from every ill, should en- 
gage us in a steady adherence to this duty, at all times and 
upon every occasion: Should lead us to return obedience 
for protection, and repay the kind exertion of their abilities 
and endeavours for the public happiness, with the easy tribute 
of reverence and affection. 

BUT some men may have neither humanity nor generosity 
enough in their tempers, to be affected by such considerations 
as these. To them therefore we must open the sacred page, 
(which, perhaps, they have never before looked into) and 
point out the solemn and positive command of God enforcing 
this gTcat duty; and tho[ugh] they may not regard an 
earthly potentate, yet surely they will stand in av\^e of the 
MAJESTY of HEAVEN: Or, as holy J oh emphatically 
puts the question: Shall not HIS EXCELLENCY make 
them afraid? and shall not His DREAD fall upon them? — 
Shew them, moreover, [13] the foundation upon which the 
reasonableness of this duty is supported : Tell them, that 
obedience to the civil powers is required of us, not only be- 
cause God has commanded it, but given us also this very sol- 
emn reason, enforcing that command ; — that they were insti- 
tuted and ordained by Himself. When they read therefore, 
that there is no power but of God, beseech them seriously 
to consider how detestable they must render themselves in 
His sight, who, instead of submitting® to every ordinance of 
man for the Lord's sake, (as we are taught by another Apos- 
tle, is our bounden duty) dare to rise up themselves, and 
compel others to unite with them, in opposition to any law 
that has been legally established ; or to obstruct the ministers 

6 In the text, summitting. 


of justice in the execution of that high office thej are 
obliged hj oath to discharge, and which has been derived to 
them from the authority of the Almighty himself. 

NOTHING, one would think, could so effectually strength- 
en our obligation to the duty of subjection, as this single 
consideration, that whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth 
the ordinance of God ; and that every such wicked and des- 
perate attempt is not only treason against an earthly sove- 
reign, but rebellion against the most high God. 

AS a farther motive to this duty, and because example is 
more prevailing than precept, bid them turn their eyes upon 
the meek and blessed Jesus, and behold him in that gracious 
and condescending act of submission, I mentioned in the for- 
mer part of this discourse. — Ask them, if they are not sensi- 
ble, that He who could feed five thousand men with a few 
loaves and fishes, could have supported millions with the 
same ease, to have protected him from the resentment of the 
civil powers, if he had thought fit to have made the least 
opposition ? But instead of shewing resistance, we behold 
Him here manifesting the most tender concern and regard 
for the support of their authority ; and by that miraculous 
method he took to pay obedience to it, convincing mankind 
of the necessity and importance of this great duty. 

SHALL man then presume to refuse that submission 
which God himself has thus condescended to pay ? This ami- 
able pattern we [14] have before us in the person of our great 
Redeemer, ought to have an irresistable influence upon all who 
call themselves by liis name ; and was, no doubt, intended for 
our imitation by that gracious Being, who came from HEA- 
VEIST with this peculiar design, to leave us an example that 
we might follow his steps. 

FINALLY, whereas the more various and powerful the 
motives are, v/hich enforce any duty, so much more aggra- 


vated will be the crime which leads us to break through 
them : Oh ! beseech them therefore, in the pathetic words of 
St. Peter, to repent of this their wickedness ; and pray God, 
if perhaps the thought of their heart may be forgiven them. 
This repentence and contrition, if accompanied with future 
obedience, may not only procure them pardon at an earthly 
tribunal, but when they come to stand before the judgTaent 
seat of CHRIST, will be one means of their obtaining mercy 
from the Lord in that day, and escaping the vengeance which 
will otherwise fall upon them. And this leads me to the 
last motive we have, to enforce their observance of this Chris- 
tian duty enjoined in the text ; the consideration of that eter- 
nal misery denounced against those who neglect it. 

IF men have no love for their country; if they have no 
regard for the peace and happiness of those around them ; if 
they have neither humanity nor compassion ; neither grati- 
tude nor generosity in their breasts ; if they have no venera- 
tion for their king, nor reverence for the best constitution 
in the world ; yet they must have some affection for them- 
selves : And though they may despise the commands of GOD, 
and the example of a SAVIOUR, yet they cannot disi-egard 
their own everlasting wellfare. This motive then may pos- 
sibly bring them to repentance, and a better mind, when every 
other has failed of its influence ; and let us not omit inces- 
santly, and importunately, to urge it upon them. 

WARI^ them of the certain perdition they must inevitably 
bring upon themselves ; and exhort them to consider in time, 
how fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the LIVH^TG 
GOD ! Tell them our God is a consuming fire to such work- 
ers of iniquity, and able [15] to destroy both body and soul 
for ever ; and bid them therefore remember, that though they 
may escape from the sword of justice in this life, they cannot 
escape the DAMNATION OF HELL. 


MAY the good grace of God preserve us at all times from 
falling into the like crime, that we may never incur so dread- 
ful a condemnation. And as we of this land are peculiarly 
blessed at this time with one of the most amiable and excel- 
lent Governors that ever adorned a province, who has given 
us his promise, that the felicity of his people shall ever be 
his principal care; let it be our perj)etual study and delight, 
by every means in our power, and particularly by all dutfiul 
submission to him, and those whom he shall set over us, to 
render his government as peaceful and happy to our affec- 
tionate SOVEREIGIT, as he will endeavour to make it to us 
his grateful subjects. 

SO shall we secure the blessings of Heaven on ourselves 
and our posterity ; and whenever we are removed out of this 
troublesome world, shall become members of that blessed 
kingdom, where universal peace and love, and uninterrupted 
concord and harmony, will reign for ever and ever. Amen. 




Robert Diggs Wimberlj Connor, the author of the sketch 
of John Harvev, which appears in this number of the Book- 
let, is fast coming to the front, among that class of writers 
trained to the work of investigation and is now devoting him- 
self largely to historical research. As Secretary of the ISTorth 
Carolina Historical Commission he is discharging his official 
duties with credit to himself and honor to the State. A bio- 
graphical sketch of him may be found in the Booklet, Janu- 
ary, 1907. 


Clyde L. King, born May 1, 1879, at Burling-ton, Kansas, 
is the son of Peter and Sarah (Taliaferro) King; graduated 
f^om Kansas State Normal, Emporia, Kansas, 1904; Michi- 
gan University, 1907, A.B. ; 1908, A.M. 

He had a teaching experience three years before entering 
Kansas JSTormal Schools, Mound City, Kansas, then resigTied 
in order to enter Michigan University in the fall of 1905. In 
the summers of 1905 and 1906 he was Instructor in the 
Teachers' Institutes in different counties in Kansas. During 
the summer of 1907 he served as Instructor in the Depart- 
ment of American History in Kansas ISTormal College at Em- 
poria (a college course having been added since 1906 to this 
institution). He was elected as Fellow in American His- 
tory, 1907-'08, in Michigan University and was called upon 
to act as "quizmaster" in one of the American History courses. 

Mr. King is a member of the Kansas State Historical As- 


sociation and the American Historical Association. He be- 
longs to tlie University societies, but is more interested in 
the ''Acolytes", a Philosophers' Club of the University, and 
he prizes his membership in this club more than any other. 

In 1907 Mr, King was elected Assistant in the Depart 
ment of American History and Government in the Kansas 
Normal College, and after his election he was granted the 
"Honorable Peter White Pellowship" for 1908, when ho 
asked and received a leave-of-absence from the Kansas po- 
sition in order to profit by a year's study as Fellow in Michi- 
gan University ; after which he returns to the position in the 
ISTormal College in June. Recently he has passed success- 
fully the examination for the Master's degTee. 

It will be seen that Mr. King's course of study has brought 
him in intimate relation to [N'orth Carolina history and his 
article in the present number on the "Military Organizations 
of ISTorth Carolina during the American Eevolution" will be 
hailed -with much interest by the readers of the Booklet. 
This carefully prepared treatise is collated from approved 
ofiicial and documentary data and adds another valuable mon- 
ograph to the Booklet's collection, which will be the more 
appreciated as coming from a citizen of a distant State. 


Marshall De Lancey Haywood was born in Raleigh, ISForth 
Carolina, on March the 6th, 1871. He is the son of Dr. 
Richard Bennehan Haywood (1819-1889), an eminent physi- 
cian, at one time a surgeon in the service of the Confederacy ; 
and he is of l^ew York ancestry on the maternal side, his 
mother, whose maiden name was Julia Ogden Hicks, being 
connected with some of the first families of her native State. 

Mr. Haywood is the grandson of Sherwood Haywood 


(1762-1829), a man who was venerated and affectionately be- 
loved in private life and higiily honored as a man of sterling 
integrity. He was among the earliest settlers of Raleigh. 

This Shei-wood Haywood was a son of Colonel William 
Haywood, and a nephew of Lieutenant-Colonel Sherwood 
Haywood and Major Egbert Haywood — all patriots of the 
Revolution, and sons of Colonel John Haywood, who was 
member of the Colonial Assembly, Treasurer of the Northern 
Counties of the Province, Commissioner of Coast Fortifica- 
tions, etc., prior to the Revolution. Sherwood Haywood, of 
Raleigh, already mentioned, married a sister of Grovernor 
William Hawkins, and a daughter of Colonel Philemon Haw- 
kins, Jr., who — like his father. Colonel Philemon Hawkins, 
Sr. — ^was an officer in the Revolution. 

Through his mother, Marshall De Lancey Haywood is line- 
ally descended from Robert Hicks, who settled at Plymouth, 
Mass., in 1621 ; John Hicks, of the Colonial Assembly of 
ISTew Amsterdam; Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Hicks, High 
Sheriff of Queen's County in the Colony of New York; 
Lewis Morris, of Morrisania Manor, Chief Justice of New 
York and first Governor of New Jersey; Attorney-General 
James Graham and Surveyor-General Augustine Graham, 
both of the Colony of New York ; and Major John Graham, 
of the Second 'New York Continental Regiment. Through 
the wife of the last named, Mr. Haywood is also descended 
from the historic Ogden family of New Jersey. 

Marshall De Lancey Haywood early evinced a love for let- 
ters, and his experience as Clerk in the Attorney General's 
office and as local editor of a daily newspaper, led him into 
a broader field of literature of a higher and more substantial 
character. "WTien twenty-nine years old, he entered Johns 
Hopkins University and took a special course as a student of 
history. On returning to his State in 1901 he became As- 



sistant State Librarian ; following this lie was appointed Li- 
brarian of the State Agricultural and Mechanical College. 
All of these positions he filled with credit, besides the benefit 
of becoming conversant with standard works and particularly 
in that line of literature bearing on the history of his State. 
He has collected books and pamphlets bearing on the history 
of ISTorth Carolina and also o^^ms a most valuable collection 
of book-plates, engraved portraits, and autographs. 

With a patriotic ancestry, and rare opportunities for study- 
ing old and forgotten lore, Mr. Haywood has devoted much 
time to the service of the Society of Sons of the Revolution in 
JSTorth Carolina and is Secretary of the organization, the ob- 
ject of which is to preserve and perpetuate the memory of 
the War for Independence, devoting surplus funds to the 
painting of portraits of eminent men who have cast luster on 
the State, and to similar patriotic purposes. 

Mr. Haywood was elected an honorary member of the So- 
ciety of the Cincinnati in the year 1897 and is now its Secre- 
tary. He is equally interested in the United Sons of Con- 
federate Veterans, having seiwed on several of the committees 
of that organization. 

To the Masonic Order he is devoted, and was chosen Histo- 
rian of the Grand Lodge of ISTorth Carolina. His book on 
the ''Beginnings of Freemasonry in ISTortli Carolina and Ten- 
nessee" has given great satisfaction and has received much 

He is the author of numerous other historical sketches, 
notable among them a book entitled : "Governor William 
Tryon and His Administration in the Province of l^orth 
Carolina." Mr. Haywood has been an important factor in 
the life of the Booklet, and has contributed the following 
articles: "Governor Charles Eden" (1673-1722), VoL III, 
December, 1903 ; "The Genesis of Wake County," Vol. V, 


July, 1905 ; "■John Lawsoii" — the Colony of JSTorth Caro- 
lina's eai'liest Historian — ( — 1711), Vol. VI, April, 1907; 
"The North Carolina Peace Society, 1819-23," Vol. VII, 
April, 1908. This last mentioned article comes in oppor- 
tune time, when the Hague Tribunal, Carnegie Peace En- 
dowment, and general efforts to substitute arbitration for 
force of arms, are claiming the attention of the world, looking 
foi-ward to that brighter day when the nations shall learn 
war no more. 

At present Mr. Haywood has in preparation a work deal- 
ing with the lives of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the Diocese of North Carolina, running down to 
the division of the Diocese — this including sketches of Bish- 
ops Eavenscroft, Ives, Atkinson, and Lyman. 

Mr. Haywood's devotion to historical research, his pains- 
taking industry and literary ability led to his selection as one 
of the editors of the "Biographical History of North Caro- 
lina From Colonial Times to the Present," which is 
to be completed in ten volumes. The name of Capt. Samuel 
A' Court Ashe as editor in chief is suiffcient to attest the 
high merit of this work. It is published by Charles L. Van 
Noppen, a bookman of established reputation. The sketches 
in this publication represent the best work of some of the 
best writers of the State ; the result is meeting with the high- 
est commendation and the Booklet adds its voice to the gen- 
eral verdict — ^that "the publication is of great excellence and 
of equal merit with the historical productions of the best 
American authors." Up to the present time Mr, Haywood 
has written more than one hundred sketches for that work. 

Through a series of steady successes Mr. Haywood is daily 
adding to his reputation as a writer of history. An interest- 
ing sketch of his life, with portrait, may be found in Volume 
VI of the Biographical History, by Capt. S. A. Ashe, to whom 
the editor is indebted for the facts set forth in this sketch. 




Will of Adam Gambell, of Glascow, Scotland; Nov. 14, 
1694. — John Land, living in London; Adam Hill, in Lon- 
don ; John Argy, in France ; Eobert, Thomas and John West, 
sons-in-law of Thomas Pollock; John Hunt, brother James 
Gambell, of Glascow; Thomas Pollock and John Hunt, Exrs. 
Test: Henel Gregory, Elizabeth Hunt, W. Lynch. 

Will of Thomas Gough, Dec. 18, 1794.— Son Eobert, 
daughter Sarah, wife Sarah, whom I appoint Exx. Test : 
Anthony Dawson, John Williams, Juliana Taylor. 

William Elovell, Newton, New Hanover. Dec. 8th, 1737 ; 
Mch. 1, 1737-8. — Two hundred pounds to be paid by my 
executors in six months, to build an English Church in New- 
ton, and my pew in the English Church of Charlestown to 
be sold and the amount laid out for '^Communion Plate" 
for the said Church in Ne^\i;on: niece Elizabeth Colleton, 
now wife of George Colleton, of South Carolina ; Uncle Wil- 
liam Hale, late of Nassau, New Providence ; William Roper, 
Elizabeth Colleton, Rufus Marsden, John Davis and Jos. 
Wragg, Exrs. Test: Roger Rolfe, Mich. Higgines, Ar- 
mand deRossett, M. D. 

Mary Glaister, Pasquotank. 9th day, 4th month, 1740 ; 
Oct. Court, 1740. — Cousin Henry Palin, son of Thomas, 
deed. ; cousin Thomas Palin, cousin Ann Riding, daughter 
of Thos. Palin, deed. ; cousin Mary Glaister Palin, daugh- 
ter of Thos., deed., and cousin Mary Palin, daughter of John, 
deed. ;^ John Palin, son of John, deed. ; cousin Sarah Palin, 
cousin Susannah Pritchard, daughters Sarah Honeycutt and 


Ruth Scott; Elizabeth Scott, daughter of Stephen, Mary 
Joans, Mary Morris, Sr., Sam'l Newby, son of James, Han- 
nah Stafford, Sarah Martin, wife of Nath'l ; friend Thomas 
Pritchard, cousins Sarah Palin and Mary Clark, Exrs. Test : 
Da\dd George, John Henby and Joshua Scott. 

Dr. John Gourley, Onslow, Jan'y 2d, 1746-47; Jan'y 
7th, 1747-48. — Mother Elizabeth, if alive; brother George 
Gourley, sisters Grizzle and Mary, Sam'l Johnston Exr : 
£40 (pounds) to buy Bibles and ISTew Testaments for the 
poor children on 'New River ; nephew John Gourley. Test : 
James Glenn, Geo. Coheenaw. 

Gordin, :NTath'l; July 14, 1755; Jan'y Court, 1756.— Son 
ISTathaniel, daughter Tamer, son George, daughters Elezele 
and Elizabeth ; wife Amy, Exx. Test : Thomas Bartlift, 
Emanuel Davis. 

John Haywood, Edgecombe. Feb'y 18, 1758 ; June Court, 
1758. — ^My father, sisters Deborah and Mary, brothers Eg- 
bert and Sherwood. Test: Robert Wasson, Joseph Pope, 
Samuel Pittman. 

John Jacob Horn, Craven. Feb. 4th, 1744; Nov. 20, 
1744, Wife, sons Jacob, Henry and Samuel, daughters Mary 
and Elizabeth Slabbach, daughter Margaret ; wife Mary 
Magdalene and ISTicholas Puref oy, Exrs. Test : John Gra- 
nade, Jas. Wilcox. 

Helen DeB. Wills, 
Historian and Genealogist. 

Vol. I 

" Colonial New Bern." Sarah Beaument Kennedy. 
" Greene's Retreat," Prof. Daniel Harvey Hill. 

Vol. II 

" Our Own Pirates," Capt. S. A. Ashe. 

" Indian Massacre and Tuscarora War," Judge Walter Clark. 
'■ Moravian Settlement in North Carolina," Rev. J. E. Clewell. 
" Whigs and Tories," Prof. W. C. Allen. 
"The Revolutionary," Mr. T. M. Pittman. 
" Raleigh and the Old Town of B'oomsbury." 

" Historic Homes — Bath, Buncomb Hall, Hays," Rodman, Blount. 

"County of Clai-endon," Prof. John S. Bassett. 

" Signal and Secret Service," Dr. Charles E. Taylor. 

" Last Days of the War." Dr. Henry T. Bahnson. 

Vol. Ill 

" Trial of James Glasgow," Kemp P. Battle, LL. D 

" Volunteer State Tennessee as a Seceder," Miss Susie Gentry. 

" Historic Hillsboro," Mr. Francis Nash. 

" Life in Colonial North Carolina," Charles Lee Raper, Ph. D. 

"Was Alamance First Battle of the Revolution ? " Mrs L. A. McCorkle. 

"Governor Charles Eden," Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 

" Colony of Transylvania." Judge Walter Clark 

"Social Conditions in Colonial North Carolina," Col. Alexander Q. 
Holladay, LL D. 

" Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, 1776," Prof. M. C. S Noble. 

"North Carolina and Georgia Boundary," Daniel Goodloe. 

Vol. IV 

" Battle Ramseur's Mill, 1780." Major Wm. A. Graham. 

" Quaker Meadows," Judge A. C Avery. 

" Convention of 1788," Judge Henry Groves Connor 

" North Carolina Signers of Declaration of Independence, John Penn- 

and Joseph Hewes," by T. M, Pittman, and E. Walter Sikes. 
" Expedition to Cartagena, 1740," Judge Walter Clark. 
" First English Settlement in America," W. J. Peele, 
' Rutherford's Expedition Against the Indians." Capt. S. A. Ashe. 
" Changes in Carolina Coast Since 1585," Prof. Collier Cobb. 

Vol. VIII. OCTOBER, 1908. No. 2 


floHTH CflHOIilHfl BoOKIiET 

*^ Carolina! Carolina! Heaven' s blessings attend her ! 
Wliile 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 purposes. Editobs. 



Mbs. Spiee Whitakeb. Mrs. T. K. Beunee. 

Peofessoe D. H. Hill. Me. R. D. W. Connob. 

Me. W. J. Peele. Db. E. W. Sikes. 

Peofessoe E. P. Moses. De. Richaed Dillaed. 

Db. Kemp P. Battle. Me. James Spbunt. 

Mb. Maeshall DeLancey Haywood. Judge Waltee Claek. 

Miss Maey Hilliaed Hinton, Mrs. E E. Moffitt. 





mes. e. e. moffitt. 








Mes. W. H. PACE. 








Mbs. spier WHITAKER. 
REGENT 1902: 

Mrs. D. H. HILL, Sr.* 

REGENT 1902-1906: 

*Died December 12, 1904. 


Vol. VIII OCTOBER, 1908 No. 2 


One of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. 

The Convention which met in Raleigh, June 4, 1835, was 
one of the "Great Events in the History of ISTorth Carolina." 
It was the result of a long, sectional controversy which had 
divided the people of the State for more than fifty years, 
growing out of the Constitution of 1776. 

At the Provincial Congress of April, 1776, the question of 
forming a Constitution was considered and a committee was 
appointed to draft one, but the delegates could not agree on a 
plan and the matter was postponed until the next session. 
The next CongTess met, at Halifax, in I^ovember, 1776, and 
the delegates to it were elected with special reference to the 
adoption of a Constitution. In some of the counties full in- 
structions were drawn up and given by the people tO' their 
delegates in respect to those particular points on which they 
were to insist in the formation of the Constitution. William 
Hooper, a delegate to the Continental Congress, addressed a 
letter to the Convention giving his opinion, in regard to the 
proposed Constitution. Among other things he strongly 
urged that the Legislature should be composed of two branches, 
saying: ^'A single branch of legislation is a many-headed 
monster which, without any check, must soon defeat the very 
purpose for which it was created, and its members become a 
tyranny, dreadful in proportion to the numbers which com- 
pose it." At the opening of the Congress, ISTovember 12, 1776, 
a committee, composed of the ablest men in the body, was 
appointed to report a "Bill of Rights" and "Constitution or 


Form of Government." When tliis report came in it was 
''debated, amended," passed its several readings and adopted 
on its third reading.^ It would be interesting to read the dis- 
cussions of the delegates, some of w^hose letters and other 
writings have been preserved, that we might see what their 
views were in regard to the making of a written Constitution." 
The vote by which the report of the committee, with the 
amendments thereto, was adopted, is not given in the Journal 
of the Congress, but it is certain that there were wide diver- 
gencies of opinion among the delegates upon the most im- 
portant phases of their work. While in its general provisions 
the Constitution is a model in "style, clearness and adaptability 
to the conditions existing, like all things human, it was, in 
some respects, imperfect. It is probable, however, that but 
few changes would have been made for many years, but for 
the basis upon which representation in the Legislature was 
fixed. The Constitution as adopted, allowed each county 
one senator and two members of the House of Commons. 
The State at that time was divided into thirty-five counties, 
twenty-nine of which were east of the present capital. Six 
borough towns were permitted to send one representative each 
to the House of Commons, and this privilege was afterw^ards 
[1789] extended to Fayetteville. It was based upon the 
theory that by reason of the trade and commerce in which 
they were engaged these towns had interests peculiar to them- 
selves which entitled them to representation. The qualifica- 
tions of a senator differed from those of a mem*ber of the 
House of Commons only in regard to the number of acres of 
land which he was required to own. Both were to be free- 
holders. An elector was required to be a freeholder in order 
to vote for a senator, while to be a freeman, if his taxes were 

^Colonial Records of North Carolina, X 974. 

^ Much light is thrown on the subject in McRee's "The Life and 
Correspondence of James Iredell". 



paid, entitled him to a vote for a commoner. It was pro- 
vided that the Legislature should consist of two branches, but 
there is nothing in the Constitution suggesting that represen- 
ation in the Senate was based upon wealth, and in the House 
of Commons upon population. It is probable that it was 
deemed wise, in the conditions then existing, to make only 
such changes as were necessary to organize the State govern- 
ment. While the statesmen of that time were laying the 
foundations of States, based upon the sovereignty of the 
people instead of the Crown, they wisely avoided making 
radical changes in matters of administration. They were 
State-builders rather than scholastic theorists discussing ab- 
stract "rights of man," and were not seeking to cut loose from, 
but rather to build upon the experience and lessons of the 
past. They were familiar with the principles of English 
Constitutional liberty and the rights secured by Magna Carta, 
and other guarantees of liberty, including the common law. 
It was because these rights and liberties guaranteed in their 
charter had been denied to them, that they separated from 
the Mother Country. The "Bill of Eights" and "Form of G-ov- 
ernment" were not adopted hastily or without consideration. 
So soon as the War for Independence was over and the 
State began to increase in population, friction arose between 
the larger counties which were being formed in the central 
and western parts of the State and the smaller counties in the 
east. As population moved westward there was a demand for 
the formation of new counties in the west which was met by 
a counter demand for a corresponding increase in the east, 
without, however, there being any such increase in population. 
The East, upon the basis of county representation, held con- 
trolling power in the Legislature and refused to permit any 
amendment to the Constitution. The question, originally 
one of political power, soon became, because of increased in- 
terest in improved modes of transportation and other internal 



improvements, one of industrial and commercial importance. 
The East, content with its waterways, slave labor, and the 
produce of its rich soil, cleared into large plantations, opposed 
State aid to schemes for internal improvements. Judge Mur- 
phey originated a movement for improved methods of trans- 
portation, "by deepening the inlets from the ocean, opening 
the rivers for navigation, connecting them by canals, and con- 
structing turnpikes or macadamized roads, so as to concen- 
trate all the trade at two or three points within the limits of 
the State." The plans of this wise, far-seeing statesman and 
of those cooperating with him, were changed and given a new 
impulse by the invention and introduction of the locomotive 
engine and railroad for transportation and travel. Other 
States embarked in the construction of canals, and the build- 
ing of railroads, whereas ISTorth Carolina, with no large cities, 
no canals or other modes of transportation, and no manufac- 
tories, made but little progress in industry, wealth or popu- 

It is not difficult to see that these conditions not only inten- 
sified the complaints of the West, regarding the distribution 
of power, but created a positive antagonism of interest be- 
tween the two sections. For many years the East success- 
fully resisted every demand for a change in the Constitution, 
or compliance with the demands of the West for internal im- 
provements, which became more pronounced each year. In 
1821 resolutions were introduced in the House of Commons 
by Charles Fisher, of Salisbury, declaring "that the represen- 
tation of the people of this State, in both branches of the 
Legislature, under the Constitution, w^as greatly unequal, un- 
just and anti-republican ; that the Constitution ought to be 
so amended that each citizen should have an equal share in the 
right of representation upon the principle of free white popu- 
lation; that a Convention, therefore, should be called to amend 
the Constitution." The debate on the resolutions clearlv 



marked the line of division. It was ably conducted and at 
times aroused much bitterness of feeling. The western 
members showed that thirty-three counties, containing one- 
third of the free white population, sent ninety-nine members, 
being a majority in each branch of the General Assembly; 
thus one-third of the white population controlled the law- 
making department, and, as the Constitution then provided, 
elected the Governor and other executive and the judicial 
officers. If the representation had been based upon popula- 
tion Rowan County would have been entitled to send nine, 
and Orange seven members, whereas they sent only six, two 
senators and four representatives. Six eastern counties, with 
about the same population, sent eighteen members. Twelve 
eastern counties, with a population of 38,037, sent as many 
members as the same number of western counties, containing 
156,726. The State, at that time, contained sixty-two coun- 
ties.^ The resolutions were defeated in the House by a vote 
of 81 to 47, while in the Senate they were rejected, without 
discussion, by 36 to 23. Meetings were held by the western 
people, "addresses" were sent out, and continued agitation 
kept up for a Convention. At the session of 1831 resolu- 
tions were introduced by Mr. Whitaker, of Macon, calling a 
Convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution, 
and after a full discussion were defeated by a vote of 69 to 
66. It is not difficult to see that, in a government based upon 
the consent of the people, discord and dissension would con- 
tinue until some change was made. The State government 
was developing into an aristocracy based upon county repre- 
sentation without regard to the right of the majority of the 
people to make the laws under which they lived. 

In 1831 the State Capitol was burned. The question of 
rebuilding was complicated by a movement to make Fayette- 
ville the capital. Of course the old controversy in regard to 

'Debates of 1821. 


amending the Constitution came to the front and entered into 
the discussion. The people of the State were divided in sen- 
timent, mainly along sectional lines, involving sectional feel- 
ings and interests. The divisions, and their combinations 
are thus set forth in a letter from a member of the General 
Assembly : 

''We are distracted — rent asunder, by factions, and the re- 
sult of the legislative discussions and dissensions will be (I 
fear) that we shall separate in anger, after having proved 
most unprofitable servants. There are five parties here. The 
largest — but it does not quite constitute a majority — is for 
rebuilding the capitol and is opposed to a Convention in every 
form. This may be termed the Eastern party. The next, in 
point of magnitude, is the Western party — they want a recon- 
struction of our Constitution with respect to political power 
and want no more, but will either keep the government at 
Raleigh or remove it to Fayetteville, as the one or the other 
will favor their great end. The third, in point of size, is the 
Fayetteville party ; their main object is removal — but they 
are willing, also, to go for a general Convention. The two 
others are of about the same magnitude — the ISTorthwestern 
and Southwestern parties. The former want a modification 
of the Constitution, but are utterly opposed to a removal, and 
the latter want a removal, but resist alterations of the Consti- 

The outcome of this somewhat complicated condition was 
the rebuilding of the capitol at Raleigh, followed at the ses- 
sion of 1834, after an unsuccessful effort to make amend- 
ments to the Constitution by submitting them directly to the 
people, by the passage of an act submitting to the people the 
question of calling a Convention. 

The act provided that, if a majority of the votes cast were 
for "Convention," elections were to be held in the several 
counties for the election of delegates, each county sending 



two. The act further provided that only such amendments 
as were named therein sliould be submitted. The Convention 
was directed to form and submit an amendment providing 
for the election of not less than thirty-four, nor more than 
fifty senators, to be elected by districts, which were to be 
established on the basis of the amount of taxes j)aid into the 
public treasury; and not less than ninety nor more than one 
hundred and twenty members of the House of Commons dis- 
tributed among the counties on the basis of the "Federal 
population," i. e., of all free men and three-fifths "of all other 
persons," excluding Indians, not taxed. Each county, how- 
ever, was to have at least one member. This basis of repre- 
sentation was adopted by the General Assembly as a com- 
promise. At that time the State contained sixty-five coun- 
ties and seven borough towns, making the total number of 
senators and members of the House two hundred and two. 
The Assembly met annually. Other amendments, in the dis- 
cretion of the Convention, might be submitted. The most 
important of these were : whether borough representation 
should be abolished, or restricted ; whether the right of free 
negroes to vote should be abolished or restricted ; whether the 
Governor should be elected by the people and for what term ; 
whether there should be biennial sessions of the General As- 
sembly; whether the capitation tax on free whites and slaves 
should be equal throughout the State ; whether the salaries of 
Judges should be decreased during the term for which they 
had been elected, and whether they should be eligible to any 
other position while retaining their judicial office, except the 
Supreme Court Bench ; whether, in the election of ofiicers, 
members of the Legislature should vote viva voce; and finally, 
whether the 3 2d Article should be amended. Each delegate 
was required to take an oath, prescribed by the act, to observe 
these limitations. 

The proposition to call a Convention was approved by a 


vote of about 27,000 out of 49,224. This, according to Gover- 
nor David L. Swain, was, with, one exception (the election of 
1828), the largest vote cast at any election in this State. He 
also stated that he did not think that the population of the 
State had increased between 1830 and 1835 so much as three 
per cent, and was not sure that it had increased at all. As a 
general rule the counties sent as delegates their ablest and 
most exjjerienced citizens. Warren sent jSTathaniel Macon, 
who, after a long and distinguished service in both branches 
of the ISTational Congress, had voluntarily resigned in 1828, 
and retired to private life. His associate was Weldon IST, 
Edwards. From Buncombe came Governor Swain; from 
Burke, Burgess S. Gaither and Samuel P. Carson ; from Cas- 
well, Calvin Graves; from Cumberland, Judge John D. 
Toomer; from Granville, R.. B. Gilliam and Josiah Crudup; 
from Guilford, John M. Morehead ; from Lincoln, Bartlett 
Shipp ; from Richmond, Alfred Dockery ; from Rockingham, 
E. T. Broadnax; from Rowan, Charles Fisher; from Wake, 
Judge Henry Seawell; from Wilkes, James Wellborn and 
Edmund Jones; from Craven, Judge William Gaston and 
Richard D. Spaight ; from Greene, Jesse Speight; from ISTew 
Hanover, Owen Holmes ; from Washington, Josiah Collins ; 
from Sampson, W. B. Meares ; from Martin, Asa Biggs ; 
from Edgecombe, Louis D. Wilson; from Halifax, Governor 
John Branch and Judge Joseph J. Daniel ; from Perquimans, 
Jesse Wilson ; from Pasquotank, John L. Bailey ; from Chat- 
ham, Hugh McQueen; from Chowan, J. B. Skiimer; from 
Bertie, David Outlaw; from Hertford, Kenneth Rayner; 
from Cartaret, James W. Bryan; from Cabarrus, Daniel M. 
Barringer ; and from Lenoir, Council Wooten. 

These citizens had won at that time, or thereafter won dis- 
tinction in the service of the State and Xation. They and 
their colleagues constituted a strong, patriotic body of men, 
who recognized the importance of the work to which they 


were appointed, and approached it witli a determination to 
remove from the Constitution the source of discord and dis- 
sention. Macon was unanimously elected President ; E. B. 
Freeman, Principal Clerk, and Messrs. Gales and Son, Print- 
ers. The question was raised regarding the power of the 
Legislature to impose limitations upon the delegates repre- 
senting the people, or to prescribe a form of oath to be taken 
by them. This objection was disposed of by the pertinent 
suggestion that the people had, by adopting the act as their 
own, themselves prescribed the limits within which the dele- 
gates were to submit amendments. The Convention decided 
to discuss proposed amendments in Committee of the Whole 
before final adoption. It is impracticable, within the limits 
of this paper, to give more than the outlines of the debates 
on the most important amendments. 

The first question discussed was a proposition to abolish 
borough representation. The debate took a wide range and 
gave indications of the views of the delegates upon other ques- 
tions which were to engage the attention of the Convention, 
Judge Gaston favored retaining the right of the borough 
towns to send representatives, and gave an interesting ac- 
count of the origin of the right, and the reasons upon which it 
was based. Mr. Smith, of Orange, opposed retaining them, 
as did Mr. Pisher and several others representing counties 
which contained borough towns. A number of delegates took 
part in the debate. Governor Swain, although from the ex- 
treme west, from which there were no such representatives, 
noticed that the votes of the borough members had joined 
with the West in calling the Convention. He said : "The 
united vote of the borough members was the fiat which called 
tbis Convention into existence, and their constituents were 
the only aggregate portions of eastern communities that sus- 
tained the measure. Are they to be immolated upon the 
Altar of their o^vn patriotism ?" In this speech Governor 


Swain outlined the policy of tlie western people. Internal 
improvements, education, general progress in the develop- 
ment of the resources of the State, and encouragement to im- 
migration were the purposes of this strong, patriotic leader 
from the mountains. His speech drew fire from Mr. Macon, 
and the lines were soon drawn. Mr. Macon said that he 
could go hand in hand with the gentleman from Buncombe as 
regarded education, but he differed with him in his notions 
about internal improvements. He doubted the capacity of 
North Carolina to become a great commercial State, but they 
could diffuse the blessings of education and become a vir- 
tuous if not a great people. The opponents of borough rep- 
resentation were in the majority, and passed the amendment 
abolishing it. As the principle of representation based upon 
population was to be engrafted into our Constitution, the ac- 
tion of the Convention was logical and doubtless wise. To 
have retained it would have been a source of dissension out- 
weighing its advantages.* 

The Convention next discussed the proposition to deprive 
"free persons of color" of the privilege of voting. Judge 
Daniel favored giving to each of them the right to vote for 
members of the House of Commons provided he owned a free- 
hold estate of $250. In an interesting speech he traced the 
origin of the privilege which they had enjoyed, which he 
thought was useful to them as a means of protection and a 
stimulant to good behaviour, because it gave them a status 
Avhich appealed to their pride and manhood. He did not 
think that the right to vote was secured in the Bill of Rights, 
That embraced only free white men. He had observed that 
they uniformly voted for men to represent them of the best 
character and talents. Mr. Macon was utterly opposed to 
any free person of color having the right to vote. He did not 

*Nash: "The Borough Towns of North Carolina," in the north Caro- 
lina BOOKLET. Vol. VI. No. 2. 



think they ever had such right under the Constitution of 
1776. Mr. Crudup, a man of great wisdom and Lirge views, 
wished to see these people raised from their present degra- 
dation, but did not think giving them the right of suffrage 
would do so. His remarks upon this, and other subjects 
before the Convention, were conservative and well considered. 
Mr. Gaston did not thinlv it wise to make any change in the 
Constitution in respect to these ^'unfortunate people." If 
they had not enjoyed this privilege they would not at that 
time aspire to it. "The hardship," he said, ''lay in depriving 
them of what they had been in the enjoyment of. * ^ * Let 
them know that they are a part of the body politic, and they 
will feel an attachment to the form of government and have 
a fixed interest in the prosperity of the community, and will 
exert an important influence over the slaves." Mr. Wilson, 
of Perquimans, did not believe "free blacks qualified to vote." 
He gave expression to the opinion then held by many South- 
ern men. He said that he had heard almost everybody say- 
ing that slavery was a great evil. He believed it was no such 
thing, but thought it a great blessing to the South. Our sys- 
tem of agTiculture could not be carried on in the Southern 
States without it. The Southern people might as well at- 
tempt to build a railroad to the moon as to cultivate their 
swamp lands without slaves. It is interesting to note that 
Mr. Wilson thought there were, at that time, about five hun- 
dred and seventy-five "free persons of color" voting in Hali- 
fax and several neighboring counties. He feared that "if we 
foster and raise them up they will soon become a majority 
and we shall have negro justices, negro sheriffs," and other 
negro officials. The western men took no part in the discus- 
sion, leaving the question to be settled by the eastern dele- 
gates, and the amendment depriving negroes of the privilege 
of voting was adopted. Branch, Daniel, Gaston, Rayner, 
Toomer, Holmes, Seawell from the East, and Swain, Carson, 


Moreliead with others from the AVest, voted in the negative. 
How little the wisest know of the operations of the industrial, 
political and social forces, and what disturbances they work 
in the "nice adjustments" of human governments. 

Having disposed of these ''side issues," the Convention 
grappled with the paramount issue, the question which had 
disturbed the peace and retarded the growth of the State for 
more than a generation. The proposition submitted to the 
Convention was that the Senate be composed of fifty mem- 
bers. This was easily decided in the affirmative with but 
little debate. 

The next proposition, that the House of Commons be com- 
posed of one hundred and twenty members, met with opposi- 
tion from Mr. Speight, of Greene, who saw in this number a 
majority from the West with internal improvements, rail- 
roads, and all manner of evils for the East. He was of the 
opinion that to make a railroad from Beaufort to the moun- 
tains would be incurring an expense which could never be 
repaid by the intercourse between these distant portions of 
the country. 

Mr. Wilson, of Perquimans, also opposed any change in the 
Constitution which would give power to the West to impose 
upon the East taxes for internal improvements, saying: "But 
what benefit would accrue to the West ? Very little ; for nine- 
tenths of their lands are exhausted, and not worth cultivating, 
contrasted with hundreds and thousands of acres annually 
brought into market in the Southwestern States, l^one com- 
plain so much of the want of a market as those who have 
little or nothing to carry to it." 

Mr. Macon was opposed to any plan of internal improve- 
ments in which the government was to take any part. All 
improvements of this kind, he said, ought to be the work of 
individuals as they could always have it done at cheaper rates 
than the government. 



In response to the arguments of Governor Swain, Messrs. 
Fisher, Wellborn, Morehead, Carson and others, Mr. Speight 
said that he need not assure the committee that he was the 
friend of internal improvements, such as would afford a facil- 
ity to the farmers of our country in getting to market ; but 
he equally deprecated those wild and visionary schemes on 
which the demagogTie always mounts to power. "The gentle- 
men talk about a railroad from the seaboard to the moun- 
tains. Vfhj, sir, such a scheme is not only idle and visionary, 
but perfectly impossible." To convince the Convention that 
he favored internal improvements, Mr. Speight assured the 
delegates that, if he ever had the honor to be again a member 
of the Legislature he would ''bring forward a plan, and the 
only one which can improve our condition, viz : a railroad 
from Beaufort to K'ew Bern, and one from Fayetteville to 
some central point in the West." 

Judge Gaston discussed the question in all its aspects, in a 
spirit of moderation, with thoroughness and convincing argu- 
ment. He favored the number of senators and members 
agreed upon by the report of the committees. Among other 
things he said, "It should be borne in mind that governments 
are formed for practical purposes, and not to present themes 
for the exercise of schoolmen and declaimers." Conceding 
that the West had cause for complaint, and combatting the 
conservatism of the extreme eastern men, he said: "The 
principle which the gentleman from Greene professes, that of 
equal representation by counties, is supported by no reason 
whatever — is upheld by nothing but existing usage — stands 
condemned by the people and has had its day." He showed 
by calculations made by himself, the original of which are 
before the writer, that by adopting fifty as the number of 
senators, distributed upon the basis of taxable property, and 
one hundred and twenty as the number of the House of Com- 
mons, distributed upon the basis of Federal population, the 


East would have a small majority in the Senate, and the AVest 
in the House. He insisted that while bj this plan the result 
was satisfactory, at the time, it was also based upon a correct 
principle. Said he: "Make it right, so that it may last. 
Make it right, for the effect of it will be to obliterate those 
very sectional divisions which have heretofore prevailed." 
In conclusion, deprecating the dissensions which had divided 
the people and retarded progi'ess, he said : Who but must wish 
that the disconnected fragments of the State may be brought 
together by those facilities of communication which will make 
her people and act as one people in interest and affection. 
Much, very much, may be done for the improvement of the 
State's physical condition. But there was another point of 
view in which he most earnestly desired the improvement of 
the State. If the only secure foundation of rational liberty 
be the virtue of the people, the best safeguard of that liberty 
is to be found in their intelligence. This alone could secure 
them against the wicked acts of oligarchs and demagogues. 
ISTot a little had lately been done in the cause of education; 
and he hailed with delight the institutions which were spring- 
ing up in various jDarts of the country for the instruction of 
youth. But no efficient plans had yet been adopted for dif- 
fusing information throughout the land, and bringing it home 
to the poor and humble. If righteousness exalteth a nation, 
moral and religious culture should sustain and cherish it. It 
was in vain to hope that what ought to be done for the physi- 
cal or intellectual and moral advancement of the State, could 
ever be accomplished, without the united efforts of the good 
and the wise, without liberal councils, and systematic co- 
operation. Many an anxious, many a painful hour, had he 
spent in reflecting on the divided and distracted state of his 
country. Earnestly had he wished that he might live to see 
the day when, instead of wasting their energies in sectional 
broils — instead of w^aging against each other a foolish and 



wicked contest, in which victory was without glory, and de- 
feat without consolation, they could, like a band of brothers, 
devote all their aspirations and all their efforts to their coun- 
try's cause. He would not — he could not abandon the hope, 
that harmony and good will were about to be restored. He 
did hope that under this new order of things — under these 
favorable ausj)ices, his beloved State was about to become all 
that her sons could wish her to be — that retaining the excel- 
lencies she now possessed — her love of liberty and order — 
her steady, kind, republican and industrious population — her 
sim]3le and unobtrusive virtues, there might be added to her 
whatever was fitted to raise, and decorate, and ennoble her 

Mr. McQueen, of Chatham, followed in a very able and 
patriotic speech, advocating the same views. After an en- 
thusiastic discussion he concluded : *'I am impressed with the 
belief that the meeting of this convention holds out a more 
sublime and beautiful spectacle than ever has been before pre- 
sented to the moral or intellectual vision in North Carolina. 
And as I firmly believe that it will reveal brighter and more 
animating prospects than ever flushed Carolinians' hearts 
with joy, my heart now swells with rapture at the imperfect 
glimpse which I have caught of the bright beams that have 
occasionally darted upon the consultations we have held for 
the benefit of our country. I think that when this convention 
surrenders its powers at the feet of those who gave it, we will 
perceive the morning sun of a brighter day beaming in the 
firmament of our prosperity." 

The motion to strike out 120 members was defeated by a 
vote of 76 to 52. The affirmative vote came entirely from 
the eastern counties. Among the eastern delegates voting in 
the negative were Bonner and Tayloe, of Beaufort, Arrington 
of Nash, Faison and Meares of Sampson, Macon and Ed- 


wards of Warren, Gaston and Spaight of Craven, Holmes 
and Marsteller of New Hanover, Ruffin and Williams of 
Franklin, Toomer and McDiarmid of Cumberland, Williams 
and Joyner of Pitt. The nmnber of representatives fixed 
upon at that time has never been changed. The center of 
population has moved far westward, and the present indica- 
tions are that it will continue to do so, but happily the con- 
flict between the sections is now confined to friendly contests 
for ofiice. 

It is an interesting problem for the student of jSTorth Caro- 
lina to forecast the basis of political power in 1935. With 
the negro eliminated, as a political factor, and the industrial 
growth of the Piedmont and West, it may safely be assumed 
that a convention in 1935 would present a very different 
line of division from that of 1835. The number of senators 
and representatives will hardly be interfered with unless, as 
is not probable, the present number of counties is increased 
to more than one hmidred and twenty. 

The proposed amendments providing for biennial sessions 
of the General Assembly, and the election of the Governor bi- 
ennially by the people alarmed Mr. Macon, and he strongly 
opposed them. He said, "Democracy is dead in Xorth Caro- 
lina" ; predicted all manner of tyranny, and the destruction 
of popular rights. He quoted Mr. Jefferson as saying, "Where 
annual elections end, tyranny begins." He offered as a safe 
analogy the custom of a good farmer who, he said, always 
hired his overseer for one year. Judge Daniel quietly ob- 
served that he had lately seen a gentleman from Tennessee, 
where they elected the governor by the people, who told him 
that "candidates were traveling through the State on an 
electioneering campaign at expense and trouble to them- 
selves and great annoyance to the people." Mr. Macon ex- 
pressed the opinion that "this was a tallying government^" and 
he apprehended that the proposed change would destroy this 
safeguard of liberty. 



The convention did not share the fears of their venerable 
president, and adopted both amendments. Time has justified 
their wisdom. Certainly our liberties are in no danger from 
the change. 

The convention next entered upon a long and in many re- 
spects an able and interesting discussion on the proposition to 
amend the 32d Article of the Constitution. This Article pro- 
vided : "That no person who shall deny the being of God, or 
the truth of the Protestant religion, or the Divine authority 
either of the Old or K^ew Testament * ^ * shall be capa- 
ble of holding any office of trust or profit in the civil depart- 
ment of the State." The only proposition seriously discussed, 
although several others were considered and voted upon, was 
whether the word "Protestant" should be stricken out and 
the word "Christian" inserted; and it is difficult at this day 
to understand how so able a body of men could have spent 
so much time and taken so wide a range of debate on such a 
simple proposition. For many years different opinions had 
been held in the State whether the Article, as it stood, ex- 
cluded Roman Catholics from holding office, but the question 
had never been brought to a practical test. Judge Gaston had 
been elected to the Legislature a number of times, and two 
years prior to the meeting of the convention had been elected 
by a practically unanimous vote of the General Assembly a 
justice of the Supreme Court, and commissioned by Governor 
Swain, without any question other than the expression of pri- 
vate opinions. He was on the bench at the time of the con- 

The debate indicated a wide range of opinion in regard to 
whether any, and if any, what religious test should be ap- 
plied. The objections to any change were based upon a num- 
ber of reasons. Some thought that to admit Roman Catholics 
would meet with much opposition from the people. Mr. 
Smith of Orange thought that in some indefinite way he was 


instructed "hy his constituents not to remove the test." It is 
quite interesting to note how, by unanswerable facts and argu- 
ments his difficulty was removed, but his mind and conscience 
not satisfied. 

Mr. Macon said that so far as he w^as individually con- 
cerned it mattered not what provisions were incorporated in 
the Constitution. His time had nearly come. But this arti- 
cle was the only feature in the old Constitution which he had 
ever heard objected to outside of the State ; and the objection 
was always coupled with an expression of surprise that it 
could have got a foothold in a State where the principles of 
liberty were so well understood. There were times when a 
man must stake himself for the good of his country. The 
present was a crisis of this kind. To him it appeared too 
plain a question to argue that every man may worship God 
according to the dictates of his own conscience. But it is a 
practical denial of its truth to debar a man from office be 
cause he may entertain certain religious opinions. You might 
as well attempt to bind the air we breathe, as a man's con- 
science — it is free — liberty of thought is his inalienable birth- 
right. Referring to Judge Gaston, Mr. Macon said : ''There 
was one member of this Convention whose father had been in- 
humanly murdered by the Tories in our Revolutionary strug- 
gle — he begged pardon for the allusion, but it was history — 
and shall it be said that his son, baptized, as it were, in the 
blood of his father, is unworthy a seat in the Legislature of 
our country ?" 

As one of the many instances in which men have used lan- 
guage, in making constitutions and laAvs, capable of many 
different constructions, numerous and widely divergent views 
were expressed in respect to the purpose and meaning of the 
Constitution. Some thought that it was intended to exclude 
Roman Catholics — some that it had no reference to persons 
of that faith and was not intended to exclude them, while 



others insisted that by reason of the uncertainty of its mean- 
ing it was incapable of enforcement. 

Judge Gaston, the only member of the Convention to whom 
it could be supposed the article had any personal application, 
discussed the subject in all of its aspects in the last, and 
probably the greatest speech made by him in any deliberative 
body. While expressing his views strongly, and explaining the 
circumstances upon which he went upon the bench, he said : 
"But as an individual I beg it to be understood, that I am 
utterly indifferent as to the determination of the Convention 
and of the people, except a desire that the consitutional pro- 
vision be made explicit. If it be thought essential to the 
State that a monopoly of offices be secured to certain favored 
religious sects, let it be so disclosed. He who now addresses 
you will not feel a moment's pain, should such a decision ren- 
der it his duty to return to private life. Office sought him — 
he sought not office. An experience of its cares, its labors and 
its responsibilities has not tended to increase his attachment 
to it." 

Mr. Smith said that he wished this section to be laid aside 
as sleeping thunder, to be called up only when necessary to de- 
feat some deep-laid scheme of ambition. 

Mr. Swain disliked to keep the "sleeping thunder" of this 

section, as the gentleman from Orange termed it, to be used 

in some emergency hereafter. He did not like to leave it in 

the hands of men in power, who might hereafter abuse it by 

"Dealing damnation round the land, 
On all they deemed their foe." 

After rejecting a number of proposed amendments, the 
Convention, by a vote of Y4 to 52, struck out the word 
"Protestant" and inserted the word "Christian." The nega- 
tive vote included a number of delegates who were opposed 
to retaining any religious test. Upon the final test the Con- 
vention by a vote of 76 to 32 refused to strike out the word 
"Christian," Gaston voting with the majority. 


Upon the question of submitting the amendments to the 
people, Mr. Macon said that he could not give them his ap- 
proval as he had two decided objections to them — the one was 
the doing away with annual elections, which he considered a 
fundamental principle of Republican liberty ; the other was 
the change made in the election of Governor. He was sorry 
that he could not concur in approving the work of a body of 
men from whom he had received uniform kindness and atten- 

The vote on this question stood 81 to 20, the latter being 
generally from the East. 

The closing scenes of the Convention w^ere peculiarly in- 
teresting. Judge Gaston, Governor Sv/ain being in the chair, 
offered a resolution ''respectfully tendering thanks to the Hon- 
orable JSTathaniel Macon, their venerable President, for the 
distingTiished ability, dignity and impartiality with which he 
has discharged the duties of his station." Mr. Macon, after 
returning his thanks for ''all your kindness," said: "This I 
expect will be the last scene of my public life. We are about 
to separate ; and it is my fervent prayer that you may, each 
of you, reach home in safety, and have a happy meeting with 
your family and friends, and that your days may be long, hon- 
orable and happy. While my life is spared, if any of you 
should pass through the county in which I live, I shall be 
glad to see you.^ 

"On the President's resuming his seat and the applauses 
of the Convention having ceased," according to the Journal, 
"Mr. Carson, of Burke, arose and said that he was about to 
leave old North Carolina to reside in the far West, where he 
should be happy at all times to see any friend from the old 
State — to be a North Carolinian, would be sufficient recom- 

* Mr. Macon's prophecy was not fulfilled. He was an Elector on the 
Van Buren ticket of 1836, and presided over the Electoral College. He 
died, June 29, 1837. 



niendation — his house and corn crib should be at the service 
of his friends." 

Judge Gaston, from the Committee on Enrollment, re- 
ported that the Amendments to the Constitution correctly en- 
rolled on parchment had received the signature of the Presi- 
dent and Secretary. After Reverend Dr. McPheeters had 
offered prayer, the President announced that the business was 
finished, and on motion of Judge Gaston the Convention stood 

The amendments were ratified by a vote of 26,771 for, and 
21,606 against, the majority being 5,165. 

The votes in the following counties are of interest : 

Burke, for the 


1,359; against, 1 











































243 ' 


This is a fair average of the vote of the eastern and west- 
ern counties. They are interesting figures, and shed much 
light on the history of I^orth Carolina. They also show that 
the Convention was called none too soon. The question which 
called the Convention into existence was that upon which the 


line of division in the vote npon the amendments was formed, 
representation in the House of Commons based wpon popula- 
tion. The other questions were of but little importance in 
the opinion of the people. ISTotwithstanding the apprehension 
of Mr, Smith in regard to the "instruction" given him, the 
county of Orange ratified all of the amendments by a vote of 
1,131 to 246. 

The limitations necessarily imposed upon the length of this 
paper render it impossible to refer to many interesting dis- 
cussions in the Convention which exhibit a very high order 
of learning, eloquence and patriotism on the part of the dele- 
gates. They are worthy of and will repay study by any per- 
son interested in our history. 


[ Abridged from his Guilford Battle Ground address, by the author. 

Tlie President of the Guilford Battle-Ground Company, 
the eminent Judge Sehenck, who, with wonderful energy and 
success, made green the memories of the warriors, who. on 
the 15th of March, 1781, 127 years ago, inflicted on the dis- 
ciplined army of Comwallis the blow which saved the Caro- 
linas from slavery, caused to be transported the remains of 
General Jethro Sumner from the wilds of Warren County to 
the battle-field. The heavy stones, which by the care of his 
daughter, were over his dust, were reverently taken down and 
as reverently reerected here. 

The task of writing his history has not been an easy one. 
The facts of his career were only obtainable by diligent re- 
search through many manuscripts of a public nature and 
through numerous volumes relating to the history of Vir- 
ginia and the Carolinas and the United States. We know 
nothing of General Jethro Sumner's family in England, 
whence it came. It must have been one of respectability 
and substance, for we find his grandfather, William Sumner, 
becoming a freeholder of Virginia soon after William and 
Mary ousted from the English throne Mary's tyrranical fa- 
ther, James II. He came about the time of the removal by 
the choleric Governor Nicholson of the capitol from James- 
town to Williamsburg and of the founding of the second col- 
lege in America, the noble old William and Mary, named in 
honor of the new sovereigns, (1691). On his plantation, 
called Manor, (for English ways and English names were 
then much liked) one mile from the town of Suffolk, he 


raised his tobacco and his com and wheat, and after the 
fashion of the day, his blooded horses and fat cattle, while 
a family of five boys and one daughter grew up around him. 

The name of the daughter has not come down to us. The 
names of the five boys were, Jethro, John, James, William 
and Dempsey. It is altogether probable that Jethro was the 
oldest. The right of primogeniture then existed and was 
dear to the landholders, who had not lost their English love 
of aggTandizing the family name by entailing the principal 
homestead on the oldest son. I find that Jethro Sumner 
was in 1743 one of the first vestrymen of the Episcopal 
church at Suffolk, and his oldest son, Thomas, was in his 
stead four years afterwards. General Sumner in his will 
refers to the ''Manor plantation" of his brother in Virginia. 
These facts seem to show that Jethro, the elder, inherited 
the paternal land. 

Jethro Sumner, the elder, died early, leaving three chil- 
dren, Thomas, already named, Jethro and Sarah. Thomas 
lived many years and died a bachelor, though not childless. 
General Sumner's will shows that he did not devise his 
"Manor plantation" to him, but bequeathed him only a legacy 
in money. 

Sarah married a man with the singular name of Rush- 
worm, whose family seems to have become extinct. 

Jethro Sumner, the younger, was born in 1733 and was 
probably about twelve years of age at the death of his father. 
How long he had been deprived of a mother's care we do not 
know. There is a tradition that he was well cared for by 
his mother's mother. 

The East Virginia planters of Colonial days were a race of 
striking virtues, but with many defects both as to character 
and conduct. They were high spirited, brave and truthful. 
They Avere loyal to the English Crown, but they understood 
their rights and were always ready to defend them. They 


were devoted to horses, and boasted justly that they owned 
scions of the best racers of England. They had frequent 
races and both sexes thought it no harm to bet on them, 
the men heavily, often to the impairment of their fortunes, 
the ladies seldom venturing beyond a pair of gloves. 

The young men learned the art of horsemanship not only 
in fox-chases, but by constant habit of visiting and traveling 
on horseback. So deep-rooted was this fashion, that a trav- 
eler of that day avers that he has often seen men walk five 
miles to catch a horse in order to ride one. 

The use of firearms was learned by practice in hunting 
deer, wild turkeys and squirrels, and other game so numerous 
as to seriously threaten the existence of food crops. Shoot- 
ing matches, too, were common, the victor not only winning 
the stake, but receiving the plaudits of admiring neighbor- 

There was little of what we call education. A few boys 
received college training at William and Mary. Still fewer 
were sent to the great schools or universities of England, 
but the greater part were content mth reading and writing 
and a little arithmetic. The writing was invariably legible, 
but much liberty in spelling was allowable. In General Sum- 
ner's will the county of "Isle of Wight" is spelled "Ilewhite." 
The gallant Murfree writes of "legenary coors" (legionary 
corps). Uniform spelling came in with Webster's blue-back 
spelling-book. The colonial gentleman was likewise too proud 
to be willing to submit himself to the strict grammatical 
rules of the solemn pedant who posed as the predecessor of 
Lindley Murray. 

But while there was little education from books, there was 
a most valuable training from the exigencies of life in a 
country full of natural resources, but requiring for their 
development incessant watchfulness and incessant toil. The 


carrying the chain and the compass through thickets almost 
impenetrable and swamps almost impassable, the felling of 
forests, the defense from floods, the war of extermination 
against wild animals, the occasional march to help the set- 
tlers of the mountain lands to repel the hostile, or to barter 
for furs with the friendly Indians, the rough sports on horse 
or on foot — all these, joined with watchful criticism and a 
discussion of their rights by charter and by inheritance, made 
a hardy, self-reliant, independent, proud and daring people. 
They were, as a rule, respectful to those in authority, friendly 
and courteous to their equals, kind and considerate to their 
inferiors, but equally ready when angered by encroachment 
upon their rights to resist fiercely, to avenge insults, to crush 
insubordination even with cruelty. 

In depicting the habits and the character of the people 
among whom young Jethro Sumner was trained up to man- 
hood, I have pictured him. His removal to Xortli Carolina 
did not change him for the better or for the worse. 

Hardly had Jethro Sumner reached maturity before a con- 
test broke out, of far-reaching influence on the destinies of 
this country. This was the struggle between the French 
and the English for the ownership of the magnificent terri- 
tory, drained by the Mississippi and the Great Lakes and 
their tributaries. The French sought by connecting Quebec 
and New Orleans with chains of forts, and by gaining the 
alliances of powerful Indian tribes to confine the English be- 
tween the ocean and the Alleghanies. 

In the early stages the plans of the French were crowned 
with success. Our colonies had been designedly kept in a 
state of pupilage to the mother country. While there was 
great individual capacity, they had not been taught to organ- 
ize into armies. Looking each to England for their com- 
merce, and most of them for their chief executive and judicial 
officers and their clergy, they knew little of one another. 


Their laws were subject to the royal veto. They had not 
learned the immense value of union among themselves. Their 
levies of soldiers were badly supported and badly armed. At 
first too, the English government supported them in a manner 
feeble and actually tending to crij^ple their efforts. The offi- 
cers sent were stupid and arrogant, as full of conceit of their 
own importance as contempt for the colonists. There was 
disaster almost everywhere, while ruthless savages were lay- 
ing waste the entire l^orthwest frontier of the British colo- 

In 1757 the genius of Pitt changed disaster into victory. 
He gained the confidence of the colonies by consulting their 
legislatures about the conduct of the war. He promised 
arms and ammunition, tents and provisions, the colonies to 
raise, clothe and pay the twenty thousand troops called into 
service with promise of reimbursement by parliament. In- 
competent officers were replaced by competent officers. Am- 
herst captured Louisburg and superceded Abercrombie, who 
had lost two thousand troops in a rash assault on Ticondcroga. 
Bradstreet captured Oswego. Forbes, aided by Washington, 
seized Fort Du Quesne, and on the 13th of September the 
great contest was virtually won by Wolfe's heroic capture of 
Quebec. The French power was broken and in the following 
year (1760), which witnessed the death of old King George 
II and the succession of his grandson George III, also wit- 
nessed the final conquest of Canada and the end of a glorious 
dream of a dominating I^ew France in the ]^ew World. 
Three years later the English flag waved over all the land 
from the ocean to the Mississippi, 

Jethro Sumner was an actor in this great struggle. Bear- 
ing a letter of commendation from Governor Dinwiddle to 
Colonel Washington, he was in 1758 appointed a lieutenant 
in a Virginia regiment of which William Byrd was Colonel, 
General Joseph Forbes being Commander-in-Chief. Wash- 


ington had been endeavoring with insufficient means, to de- 
fend the long frontier from, the terrible savages, whose de- 
struction of property and slaughter and torture of the set- 
tlers, old and young, male and female, had been inconceiv- 
ably horrible. The winter was coming on. The fierce "svinds 
began to blow; the snow began to whiten the hills. The 
General and his council of war talked of delaying the march 
till spring. Washington begged to be allowed to lead the van 
with his provincials, who were clamoring for an onward move. 
Through all difficulties, watching against ambuscades, infus- 
ing his indomitable spirit into his men, he pressed on. The 
French officer saw that he had an officer of brains and daring 
in his front, and, setting fire to the woodwork of the fort, he 
fled with his trooj^s down the Ohio. On the 25th of ISTov em- 
ber, 1Y58, Washington and his brave troops marched into the 
ruined fortress. Jethro Sumner was one of those daring 
men, who gained for the Anglo-Saxon race the control of the 
Ohio, and started their onward march, which from that day 
has had no backward move, and ninety years later climbed the 
lofty Eockies and planted the starry flag on the shores of the 

His were likewise among the kindly hands which, after the 
victory was gained, reverently and tenderly gathered the 
bones of Braddock's men, whitened by the sun, and amidst 
the solemn silence of the interminable forest, gave them 
Christian burial. A gTeat city, whose smoke from a thousand 
factories overshadows the scenes of those old fightings, com- 
memorates by its name of Pittsburg the sagacious and daring 
war minister who prepared the victory. 

Sumner remained in service until his regiment was dis- 
banded in 1761. He was evidently an officer of merit. An 
order published in the Colonial Pecords of our State, dated 
November 26, 1Y60, from Colonel Bouquet, his superior, 
shows that he was entrusted with separate command at Port 


Bedford. His regiment marched twice into the Cherokee 
country as far as Holstou Kiver, while Colonel Grant with 
an army of twentj-six hundred men terribly avenged the 
massacre of the garrison of Fort Loudon. For their services 
grants of land were authorized to be given to the discharged 
officers. Sumner having reached the grade of captain, re- 
ceived three thousand acres. 

This war prepared the way for American Independence. 
It taught the colonies their own strength. It taught them 
how to fight, and what is of still more importance, that 
they could fight. They learned the value of union. They 
learned the value of organization and discipline. The war 
was a training school for their officers — for Washington and 
Mercer, Sumner and Montgomery, Putnam and Morgan and 
many others. 

After his return to E'ansemond the young officer deter- 
mined to change his home. Probably his long service among 
the hills and mountains had given him a distaste to the dreary 
flatness of the lands which adjoin the great Dismal Swamp. 
Only an imaginary line separates our State from Virginia, 
There has been for two centuries a steady movement of popu- 
lation from the dearer lands of the valley of the James to 
the cheaper lands drained by the streams which flow into the 
Albemarle and the upper waters of the Tar. The Sumners, 
the Eatons, the Mannings, the Smiths of Scotland Neck, the 
Ransoms, the Armisteads, the Riddicks, the ISTorfleets, the 
Saunderses, the Lewises, the Ruffins, the Camerons, the Bat- 
tles, the Plummers, the Bakers, the Pughs, the Winstons, 
the Winbornes, the Hunters, the Bridgerses, the Thomases, 
the Taylors, and hundreds, perhaps thousands of others, were 
all old Virginia families. Some changed their homes be- 
cause, being younger sons, they had no share in the paternal 
lands ; others, because high living or losses by gaming had 
worsted their estates ; others to exchange few acres for larger 


plantations equally fertile, or old fields for virgin forests; 
others to escape by settlement among the rolling hills of Bute 
and the country westward, the miasmatic diseases of the low 
country. But for whatever causes they migrated they 
changed neither their opinions nor their practices, nor their 
business habits. They still sent their produce to Virginia 
markets — Richmond, Petersburg, or ISTorfolk. Returning 
wagons brought back the tea and coffee and sugar and ladies' 
finery. They kept tlieir accounts in both Virginia and Xorth 
Carolina currency. Visits to these cities for shopping or 
pleasure were the summun honuni of the aspirations of young 
men and maidens. 

Most of these emigrants from Virginia became true Xorth 
Carolinians. Occasionally would be heard arrogant boasting 
of Virginia superiority, as from the old man, mentioned to 
me by my mother, who answered all who disputed with him, 
"Weren't I born in Jeems (James) River, and ough'nt I to 
know ?" But most of them, as Jethro Sumner did, devoted 
their affections and their energies to their adopted State. 

Captain Sumner settled at the court-house of the new 
county of Bute (pronounced Boot), named in honor of the 
first instructor and minister of George III, who became so 
odious that a favorite amusement among the populace was 
with groans of derision to throw an old jack-boot, often accom- 
panied by an old petticoat, to illustrate, falsely, I think, his 
suspected intimacy with George's mother, into a bonfire and 
dance around the crackling effigy. An early General Assem- 
bly of free ISTorth Carolina expunged the name of the odious 
Marquis from the map and substituted Warren and Franklin 
as names of the new counties carved from the old. The 
court-house of Bute was a few miles to the south of the pres- 
ent county seat of Warren. Here Jethro Sumner set up his 
household gods. We do not know the exact date of Sum- 
ner's settlement in Bute. It was certainly prior to 1769. 


Mr. William J. Norwood has donated to the Battle-Ground 
Company an account book kept with all the neatness of pen- 
manship and durability of black ink so remarkable among 
our ancestors. It contains the dealings of the neighbors with 
the keeper of the tavern at Bute Court-house. It shows 
among many others the account of General Sumner from jSTo- 
vember, 1769, to November, 1774. It effectually contra- 
dicts the statement of Captain Smyth, author of Smyth's 
tour, as to his occupation. He says that Sumner pursued 
the business of tavern-keeper, and that more than one-third 
of the officers of the American army had the same occupation, 
and were chiefly indebted to that circumstance for their rank. 
He gives as a reason that by this public calling their princi- 
ples became known, and their ambitious views were excited 
by the variety of the company they entertained. Smyth's 
book shows violent false prejudices throughout. In his 
opinion Washington was a very poor general, but a most cun- 
ning demagogue, his moderation and disclaimer of desire for 
office being only for electioneering purposes. The book is 
valuable in many respects, but utterly imreliable in its state- 
ments about the officers of our army. It would have been 
no discredit to Sumner if he had been the keeper of the only 
inn at the court-house, but this account book shows that he 
was the owner of it and rented it to one Elliott for thirty-six 
pounds per annum. Smyth states, as we learn from other 
sources, that he had married "a. young woman of good family, 
who brought him a handsome fortune." 

Captain Sumner was appointed sheriff in 1772. The 
office was a very dignified and responsible one. The appoint- 
ment was by the Governor of one out of three nominated by 
the justices of the county. I have a copy of his commission, 
signed by Governor Jo, Martin at Hillsborough at August 
Term, 1772. It is a proof of the high character and business 
habits of Sumner, that while there had been great uprisings of 


angry people in some of the counties almost adjoining Bute, 
and loud complaints of extortion and embezzlement in those 
and many others, there were no charges of such criminal con- 
duct in Bute. There were no Bute militia, however, in Try- 
on's Army which marched against the Regulators in 177i. 

The account book of Bute court-house tavern confirms my 
statement that Sumner and his neighbors retained the habits 
and feelings of Eastern Virginia. The New Light and Grreat 
Revival, if they made any impression on them, it was only 
transitory. We see glimpses of the same high living and love 
of fun. We see notices of a court-house ball, of a "bull- 
dance," the progenitor probably of the modern "stag,"' of a 
game of pitch, (quoits, probably, of which Chief Justice 
Marshall was especially fond) ; of games at cards, at which 
one of the players "got broke" and borrowed money of the 
landlord, of ten pounds paid by Sumner for the erection of 
a battery, which was a wooden wall for playing the good old 
game of "fives" ; of a barbecue costing six pounds, seven shil- 
lings, and three pence, given by William Park; and of fox- 
hunts of course. All these were accompanied by drinking of 
liquor in some shape. Sometimes it was rum pure and sim- 
ple, or as we say "straight" ; more seldom it was brandy, never 
whiskey, but usually it was some mixture. The most com- 
mon is bumbo, composed of rum, water, sugar, and nutmegj 
but we have also juleps (spelt julips) and frog and flip; 
sometimes we see wine and sangaree and cider too (spelt 
cyder). There is an entry which the rising generation hardly 
understands. After a "rousing frolic" there is a charge for 
"broke glasses." This suggests the foolish custom of winding 
\rp the feast with some jolly toast and, after drinking it, 
smashing the tumblers against the ceiling, typifying that 
having conferred a pleasure so divine, they should never 
henceforth^be debased to any ignoble use. 

And in this account book we detect William Person (called 


Billy Parsons) and Green Hill, members of the General As- 
sembly, engaged in what we consider a crime, but was then 
expected of all candidates — that is, treating at elections. 
They are charged with their proportions of "liquors expended 
in the court-house while voting, ten shillings" ; also toddy one 
shilling and three pence. Rum one shilling and six pence. 

There was a strange hallucination in regard to spirituous 
liquors in the "good old days." The men of that generation 
thought that they were drinking health and joy and long life. 
In truth they were drinking down gout and dropsy, and liver 
disease, and kidney troubles and short life. There were few 
old men of that generation. 

General Sumner was like the rest — he kept the prevailing 
fashion. Smyth says that he was a "facetious" man. Doubt- 
less he told good stories about his experiences in the army, 
and the peculiarities of the unlettered backwoodsmen with 
whom as sheriff he had dealings. He was "of person lusty 
and rather handsome", says Smyth, that is he had a strong 
body and vigorous health, and a fine, manly bearing. The 
cynical Englishman of a nation of griunblers, chronicles that 
his dinner was excellent. We can easily call to our mind 
the Jethro Sumner of that day, at the age of forty-two, his 
long hair combed back so as to fully expose his rubicund 
face, tied in a cue behind him, his countenance frank and 
open, looking one straight in the face with a clear, bright 
eye, his body inclining to portliness, as became the devourer 
of good cheer ; vigorous from out-door exercise, on foot or on 
horse, in sport and on business, having the air of authority 
as became the executive officer of a county in those monarchi- 
cal days when official station inspired far more awe than at 
present ; as became too a man who had learned the art of 
command in actual service in an army where officers and men 
were widely separated by social as well as by army rank, as 
became, too, the owner of a great estate and many laborers. 


At the dinner-table in the familiarity of social intercourse 
with a young military officer of wealth and good blood, he 
showed aj)preciation of a good joke, a quality which has not 
yet died out in jSTorth Carolina. I think better of him for 
that. Capt. William Biggs, an admirer of Chief Justice 
Merrimon, and Col. Henry A. Dowd, an acUnirer of Senator 
Vance, were once rather heatedly discussing the relative ex- 
cellencies of their favorites; "I admit," said Biggs, ""that 
Vance can tell a joke better than Merrimon" — "Stop right 
there", shouted Dowd, "I tell you no man but a smart man 
can tell a good joke." It is a pleasant picture — these two — 
the Bute County sheriff and the English officer, exchanging 
their army anecdotes over their nuts and wine, or rather, I 
should say, over their hickory nuts and bumbo, in the beauti- 
ful month of November, 177-i, both too polite to discuss the 
angry questions which will in three years array them in op- 
posite armies " at Germantown, thirsting for each other's 
blood, the host an American colonel, the guest a British cap- 
tain. Notwithstanding Sumner's desire to be agreeable to 
his guest, Smyth notices that he was a man "of violent princi- 
ples" in regard to the pending quarrel between the mother 
country and the colonies. 

No part of the State was more unanimous in resistance to 
English aggressiveness than the county of which Sumner was 
sheriff. "There were no Tories in Bute" was the proud 
boast. And few families contributed as much to the common 
cause as the descendants of William Sumner. One of his 
grandsons, Luke Sumner, repeatedly represented his county, 
Chowan, in the State CongTesses before and the State Senate 
during the war, and was the highly trusted chairman of the 
committee of safety from Chowan, member of the eminent 
committee which reported the Constitution of 1776, and 
many other important committees, such as those for the pur- 
chase and manufacture of arms. David Sumner was a mem- 


ber of the State Congress of August, 1775, and of the com- 
mittee of safety of Halifax and Lieutenant Colonel of 
Militia, James Sumner was lieutenant in a company of Light 
Horse. Robert Sumner was a member from Hertford of the 
convention of 1776 which formed the State Constitution, and 
of the Senate afterwards, while Elizabeth Sumner's husband, 
Elisha Battle, was representative from Edgecombe in the 
State Congresses of 1775, 1776, and State Senate under the 

But the most eminent of all the family was Jethro Sumner, 
whose "violent principles" were noticed by Smyth. As 
sheriff it was his duty to hold the elections, and he could not 
himself be elected to the convention of 1774 and of March, 
1775, but after the flight of Governor Martin to the Royal 
ship Cruiser, we find him member of the Hillsboro Congress, 
1775. The congress proceeded with firmness and wisdom to 
inaugurate a provisional government and prepare for war. 
The militia was organized, a special force of five hundred 
minute-men for each of six judicial districts was ordered to 
be raised, besides two regiments of five hundred each for the 
continental army. Bounties were offered for the manufac- 
ture of articles most needed. 

Captain Sumner was chosen major of the minute-men of 
the Halifax District. They were in effect volunteer militia, 
with the privilege of electing their company commissioned 
officers. He at once showed the superiority natural to one 
who had learned the art of war under Washington. Occa- 
sion was now had for his services. Within a few weeks after 
the adjournment of Congress the following order was issued : 

In Committee op Safety, 
November 28th, 1775, Halifax. 
Ordered that Major Jethro Sumner raise what minute-men and volun- 
teer? he can, and follow Colonel Long with the utmost dispatch. 

By order Oeoon Davis, Clerk. 

A copy. 


Most probably Colonel Long had marched to the defense of 
Norfolk, and Sumner followed with the minute-men of Bute. 
Colonel Howe, afterwards General Howe, hurried forward 
the second regiment of Continentals, and took command of 
them and of the North Carolina minute-men. He arrived 
two days after the victory of the Great Bridge, but he and 
his troops so gallantly defended Norfolk that the baffled Dun- 
more on the first day of January, 1776, burned the town and 
sailed away. Howe was emphatic in his praises of the troopa 
under his command and the legislature of Virginia thanked 
him and his men for their services. 

The Congress of 4th April, 1776, at Halifax, looked the 
great issue boldly in the face, discarded their hope of friend- 
ship from the English King or the English people, and, first 
of all the colonies, authorized its delegates in the Continental 
Congress to vote for Independence. The militia was ordered 
to consist of all between sixteen and sixty years of age. A 
brigadier-general for each distrtict was elected. Four addi- 
tional regiments were voted for the American continental 
army, and four hundred thousand pounds, or one million dol- 
lars in bills of credit, were ordered to be issued for the pur- 
pose of paying all expenses. The name of Provincial Council 
for the supreme executive power w^as found to be inappropri- 
ate, as the word "Provincial" implied a recognition of de- 
pendence on Great Britain. The name Council of Safety 
was substituted. Large executive and judicial powers were 
given, care being taken, however, that they should not be 
despotic. Three vessels of war were ordered to be built and 
officers appointed for them. 

So highly appreciated was the conduct of Major Sumner 
that at the next meeting in April of the Provincial Congress 
he was promoted to the colonelcy of the third regiment of the 
Continental troops. His field officers were William Alston, 
lieutenant-colonel; Samuel Lockhart, major. His captains 


were William Brinkley, Pinketbman Eaton, John Gray, Wil- 
liam Barrett, Jacob Turner, George Granbury, James Cook 
and James Emmett. The enlisting of men was voluntary, 
and the following instructions to recruiting officers are inter- 
esting: They were to accept "able-bodied men only, capable 
of marching well and of undisputed loyalty." Regard must 
be had as much as possible to ''moral character, particularly 
sobriety." The Colonel was authorized to reject those not fit 
for service. ISTo soldier under five feet, four inches high 
must be enlisted. They must be healthy, strong-made and 
well-limbed. The character of disqualifying bodily infirmi- 
ties sounds strange in our day. They must be "not deaf or 
subject to fits, or ulcers on their legs, or ruptures." The 
last-mentioned may have been frequent on account of log- 
rolling matches, and other violent exercises, but what caused 
the prevalence of ulcers and fits is a mystery. The recruit 
took an oath to be faithful and true to the united colonies. 

About the middle of July, 1776, the recruits were carried 
to Wilmington, where Gen. Francis j^ash was in charge of the 
brigade of six regiments. Lillington was too old to go on 
parade and Lieutenant-Colonel Lambe^ was substituted. Re- 
cruiting had been very successful and the regiments were 
full. About the middle of November the troops were marched 
north to join Washington, but were stopped for three weeks 
in Halifax on the land of Col. Nicholas Long, now Commis- 
sary-general of this State. They were marched back to par- 
ticipate in a campaign against Florida. They paused on 
their journey near the boundary line of South Carolina, about 
three weeks, "making excellent beds of the long moss on the 
trees." Here a squad of men claimed that they were enlisted 
for only six months, and, on being refused their discharges, 
deserted. "Three of them were colored people," so it ap- 
pears that free colored men helped to gain American Inde- 
pendence. From this camp they marched to Charleston, and 


lay in camp opj)osite to Fort Sullivan until the middle of 
March, living on fresh pork and rice as their constant diet, 
the expedition to Florida being abandoned. 

It has always been thought that only the first and second 
regiments under Colonels Moore and Martin, brigaded imder 
Brigadier-Greneral Howe, participated in the brilliant de- 
fense of Charleston on the 28th of June, 1776, Charles Lee 
being general-in-chief, and that they only of the Xorth Caro- 
lina soldiers were entitled to the splendid praise of General 
Lee, all the more valuable since he had been an officer in the 
English army. "Their conduct is such as does them the great 
est honor ; no men ever did and it is impossible to ever behave 
better," and again in his report to the Virginia Convention, 
"I know not which corps I have the greatest reason to be 
pleased with — Mecklenburg's Virginia's or the ISTorth Caro- 
lina troops ; they are both equally alert, zealous and spirited." 
But a letter from Col. Jethro Sumner to Lieut. -Col. William 
Alston, printed in the tenth volume of our Colonial Eecords, 
page 790, shows, I think, that Sumner and his regiment were 
at the defense of Charleston. 

The letter places Sumner in the most favorable light. He 
states that General Lee had given him leave to return to Xorth 
Carolina for the purpose of providing necessaries for the 
troops in view of the coming winter. He urges Lieutenant- 
Colonel Alston to be particularly careful of the discipline and 
to keep a good understanding among the officers and soldiers. 
He wishes them informed of the cause of his leaving, that it 
is to their benefit. He says, ''You are at all times to keep 
up a strict discipline, but to reserve a mode of clemency as 
among young troops ; now and then to throw something of a 
pro'inising hope among them of a quick return to Xorth Caro- 
lina, which I doubt not but some time hence will be the case. 
It will engage the mind and will for a time dispense with 
inconvenience. Be careful in seeins: that no fraud is done 


tliem hj the commissaries, and their pay regularly to a month 
delivered by their captains." 

We see here a kind, fatherly and careful heart. Soldiers 
with such a sympathetic commander were sure to reciprocate 
his watchfulness for them by attention to duty in camp and 
on the battle-field. 

At the same time that Colonel Sumner went to ^STorth 
Carolina, Lee was ordered north to join Washington. At the 
urgent request of the authorities of Georgia and South Caro- 
lina, the jSTorth Carolina troops remained for the defense of 
those States during the fall and winter following the Declara- 
tion of Independence. They were on the fifteenth of March, 
1777, ordered to join Washington's army. The route was by 
Wilmington, Halifax and Richmond. The story of their 
brilliant victory over the British fleet had preceded them. 
Their progress through Virginia was an ovation. They could, 
says the chronicle, hardly march two miles without being 
stopped by ladies and gentlemen who flocked to see them. 
At Georgetown those, who had not suffered from smallpox, 
were inoculated with such success that not a man was lost. 
They reached Washington's camp at Middlebrook about the 
last of June. They were placed under the command of 
General Alexander, Lord Sterling. 

Washington met the enemy on the eleventh of September 
at Brandy^vine. Sterling's division, including Xash's bri- 
gade, was under the command of Sullivan. They showed 
praiseworthy courage. The flight of Sullivan's own division 
exposed the flank of Sterling and of Stephen. As Bancroft 
says, "These two divisions, only half as numerous as their 
assailants, in spite of the imofiieer-like behavior of Stephen, 
fought in good earnest, using their artillery from a distance, 
their muskets only while within forty paces." They were 
forced to yie^d to superior numbers. Sullivan redeeflned 
his want of generalship by personal bravery, and Lafayette 


fouglit by their side as a volunteer and was shot through the 

Within five days Washington was ready for another fight, 
but the conflict was prevented by a furious rain-storm, which 
damaged the powder of both armies. On the fourth of Octo- 
ber he formed an excellent jDlan for attacking the enemy at 
Germantown. The brigades of Maxwell and x^ash under 
Sterling, formed the reseiwe in the most difiicult attack — that 
on the British left. This attack was successful and if it had 
been supported properly by the other parts of the army would 
have won the victory, l^orth Carolina lost some of her 
ablest men — General Nash, Col. Henry Irwin, Jacob Turner, 
a captain in Sumner's regiment, and soon afterwards the 
noble-hearted Col. Edward Buncombe, who was wounded and 
fell into the hands of the enemy, died at Philadelphia. 

The ]S[orth Carolina brigade went through with fortitude 
the heart-rending suffering at Valley Forge in the winter of 
1777-78. When the news of the Alliance of the United 
States and France and the sailing of the French fleet to 
America induced the British commander to retreat to Kew 
York, giving up Philadelphia, they did faithful service at 
Monmouth on the twentieth of June — a victory which would 
have been most signal for the Americans but for the miscon- 
duct of the traitor. Gen. Charles Lee. They were posted on 
the left flank of the army and prevented the turning of that 
flank by Cornwallis. 

In May, 1778, on account of the diminished numbers, the 
North Carolina battalions as they were called after joining 
Washington's army, were consolidated. The sixth was put 
into the first under Col. Thomas Clark, the fourth into the 
second under Col. John Patton, and the fifth into the third 
under Col. Jethro Sumner. 

Sumner was promoted for his faithful services to be briga- 
dier-general on January 9, 1779. The North Carolina regu- 


lars, dwindled to only seven hundred men, were ordered to 
the south, for the defense of South Carolina and Georgia. 
General Howe had been disastrously defeated near Savannah, 
and Congress had superceded him with General Lincoln. 
General Sumner and his brigade had the post of honor in the 
attack on the intrenchments of the enemy at Stono Ferry on 
June the twentieth, 17Y9. The troops were ordered to trust 
to the bayonet only, but meeting with a heavy fire, they could 
not be restrained from returning it. They behaved with 
great spirit, but as Moultrie, who had been charged with this 
duty, was unable for the want of boats to prevent the arrival 
of reinforcements to the British, Lincoln withdrew his men 
with small loss and in good order. Soon after the battle 
active operations ceased, on account of the heated air laden 
with malaria. Sumner's strong constitution, which had re- 
sisted the fierce cold of a Pennsylvania winter, could not save 
him from the prevailing fever. He was forced to ask leave 
of absence, expecting a speedy recovery in the highlands of 
Warren. His presence in North Carolina was needed to aid 
in forwarding recruits to his depleted brigade. His request 
was granted early in July, and he was therefore not engaged 
in the disastrous assault on Savannah by the French and 
American forces on October the ninth, 1779. 

In JSTovember, 1779, General Sumner was again with Lin- 
coln and joined in the advice to cross the Savannah into 
Georgia, a movement rendered of no avail by the defeat of 
General Ashe. On account of his great personal influence in 
I^orth Carolina he was detached to raise four new regiments 
of regulars and so escaped being captured at Charleston. 

Baffled in the attempt to conquer the Middle States the 
British ministry determined to transfer the theater of war to 
the South. The policy seemed for a while successful. In 
1779' occurred the disastrous failure by the Americans to cap- 
ture Savannah. In May, 1780, Charleston capitulated, and 


bj the blundering policy of General Lincoln, urged on bj the 
governor and other officers of South Carolina, two thousand 
of our best regular soldiers, the heroes of many hard-fought 
battles, including the JSTorth Carolina brigade under General 
Hogan, were lost. Georgia and South Carolina were over- 
run, only a few small partisan bodies, under Marion and 
Sumter and others, keeping alive the slumbering fires of 

To make matters worse. Congress which had already in- 
flicted one unwise general on the South, now sent another still 
worse. The defeat of Gates at Camden left Xorth Carolina 
open to invasion. 

General Sumner was one of the most active and efficient 
officers in the move^ment which led to the salvation of the 
Carolinas. As said before, the Xorth Carolina regulars, 
except those who were absent on leave, were captured under 
Lincoln at Charleston. General Greene on account of the 
unreliability of short term troops earnestly desired the organi- 
zation of another brigade of regulars. He was ably seconded 
by the General Assembly, whose determination like that of 
senators of old Rome, rose higher as the invader drew nigher. 
As the Roman senators did in times of extreme danger, they 
appointed a dictator — a Council-Extraordinary — com23osed of 
the Governor (ISTash), ex-Governor Caswell and William Sig- 
nal, of Xew Bern, and for fear that the Assembly would be 
prevented from meeting, gave it all the powers vested in the 
Board of War and Council of State, the powers of the purse 
and of the sword, the power "to do and execute every act and 
doing which may conduce to the security, defense and preser- 
vation of this State." 

Conscription, the last resort of a self-governing people, was 
adopted. A law to raise two thousand, seven hundred and 
twenty men for filling up the Continental battalions was en- 
acted and great bounties offered. All runaways and desert- 

GEjVEEAL jetheo sumnek. 131 

ers, all who harbored deserters, all who failed to appear at 
the time of drafting, were to be ipso facto privates in the 
Continental army for twelve months. 

Other strong measures were authorized, snch as power of 
impressment for supplies for the army, the confiscation of 
property of Tories, and a specific tax of one peck of corn or 
the equivalent in other provisions, for each one hundred 
pounds of property. This was afterw^ards increased to one 
bushel. These were stern measures, and could only have 
been enacted by those who valued freedom over property and 

Prior to the battle of Guilford, March the fifteenth, 1781, 
there seems to have been small success in recruiting. Greene 
was forced to replenish his small army wuth militia. Seeing 
this state of things, Sumner, with the full approval and at the 
request of Greene, offered his services as a commander of a 
brigade of militia, but the offer was not accepted on account 
of the influence, it is said, of Caswell, who dreaded the 
despotic influence of officers of the regular army. 

Governor Alexander Martin differed widely from Casw^ell. 
On the first day of January, 1782, he made an urgent request 
to General Sumner for Continental officers. He writes, ''With 
your leave Major Hogg accepts a command of Light Infantry 
of five hundred men with Major McCree ; Captain Tatum in 
command of a troop of horse attached to Major Hogg. Cap- 
tain Dixon also will command such of the State troops as are 
now at Warren Court-House until the corps can be organized 
under Lieutenant Marshall. I flatter myself with the great 
advantage this State will derive from having the honor of 
Continental officers in its service at this important period 
which may finally blast the hopes of a despairing enemy and 
cause them to fall an easy prey to our arms." 

Col. John Armstrong, in a letter to Sumner, gives graphic 
account of his trials. He says: "The General (Greene) 


seems very uneasy about the delay of the draft of the Salis- 
bury district and of the desertions that frequently happen 
by reason of the forced number of Tories into the service, 
and as soon as they receive the bounty, they desert. I have 
received nigh three hundred men and will have not above 
two hundred in the field. I did everyihing in my power to 
bring out the drafts of this district, but all to no purpose. 
There is one-half at home yet, and remain without moles- 
tation. As for clothing, there was little or none sent fit for a 
negro to wear, excej^t from Rowan. I am sorry that I ever 
had anything to do with such slothful officers and neglected 
soldiers. There is a number of them now almost naked, and 
when cold weather sets in they must be discharged, for no 
officer would pretend to put them on duty. The neglect we 
have labored under heretofore, together with the present, 
makes the service very disagreeable to every one in camp. 
We are without money, clothing, or any kind of nourishment 
for our sick ; not one gill of rum, sugar or coffee, no tents or 
camp kettles or canteens, no doctor, no medicine. Under 
these circumstances we must become very inefficient." 

"1 am afraid that in a short time you will have but few offi- 
cers in the field, by reason of the shameful neglect of the 
State. We seem rather a burden than a benefit to them ; we 
are tossed to and fro like a ship in a storm." 

The one thing praised by Armstrong is the pleasantness of 
the situation of the camp, "plenty of good water." "But," 
he adds, with a groan, "It has one failing — it will not make 
grog." Armstrong says that if Sumner had known of the 
sad condition of the soldiers a remedy would have been found. 
This is a confirmation of what I have already mentioned of 
his tender care of his troops. 

Although the required number had not been raised, yet 
Sumner was able on the fourth of July, ISYl, to march from 
Salisbury for Greene's camp in South Carolina, to take com- 
mand of a thin brigade of one thousand men, distributed into 
three battalions. 


In the pleasant hills of the Santee the raw soldiers, many 
of whom were conscripted on account of their desertion from 
their militia duties, were taught the drilling- and discipline 
of soldiers. The enemy under Stewart, was near the conflu- 
ence of the Wateree and Congaree, each army in sight of the 
watch-fires of the other. Two large rivers ran between them, 
effectually preventing surprises, and the operations were con- 
fined to cutting off convoys and foraging parties, in which the 
infantry was not employed. 

Greene was the first to move. On the twenty-second of 
August he marched up the Santee, and Stewart, divining his 
intention to cross, fell back forty miles nearer his supplies at 
Eutaw Springs, where the battle occurred. In this stubborn 
conflict, in which both sides displayed the lofty qualities for 
which the Anglo-Saxon race is distinguished, Sumner and 
his brigade, although the soldiers were new levies with only 
three months' training, and most of them had never before 
been in a battle, made such a brilliant charge as to win from 
General Greene the strong commendation, "I was at a loss 
which most to admire, the gallantry of the officers or the good 
conduct of the men." And again, "The ISTorth Carolina bri- 
gade under Sumner were ordered to support them, and 
though not above three months men, behaved nobly." Gov- 
ernor Martin wrote, "I congratulate you on the honor you 
have gained at the head of the ITorth Carolina army at the 
Eutaw." And such was the general verdict. Captain 
Smyth, the British officer, heretofore mentioned, after peace 
speaks of Sumner's having "distinguished himself in the 
course of the late war, being the General Sumner of the 
American army, who has been so active in the Carolina s." 

Although the glory of a conceded victory was denied the 
Americans, the British forces hurried off to Charleston, and 
Greene, weakened by the expiration of the term of service of 
so many of his men, retired to his camp among the hills of 


the Santee, soon to rejoice over the glorious news from York- 
to^vn. Here he waited for recruits and watched the enemy. 

As soon as the camp was reached, Sunmer at Greene's re- 
quest returned to Xorth Carolina for the second time for the 
thankless business of raising new forces and urging the sup- 
plying of his brigade with food and clothing. Colonel Arm- 
strong wrote on February the thirteenth, 1782, from camp at 
Colonel Shivers, thirty miles from Charleston: "Your offi- 
cers and soldiers are very naked and no hopes of being better." 

There was universal apathy. The currency became worth- 
less and people in defiance of stringent laws began to refuse 
to accept it. Specie began to make its appearance at the 
North, but very little found its way to our State. There 
was no provision made for the soldiers when recruited. One 
officer writes that he has men, but no food, another that he 
has not a single blanket to his company. Another that his 
drafted men have not come in, and if he obeys Sumner's 
orders to march he will go alone. Another says that the men 
came in slowly, and that numbers desert, 'Sve are very scarce 
of provisions and under the necessity of impressing from the 

inhabitants who have been greatly disturbed," 

"The people will make very little corn in this (Caswell) 

It is impossible at this late day to trace with any minute- 
ness the actions of General Sumner during the last eighteen 
months of the war. As no great movements of the armies 
were inaugurated it is probable that be remained in Xorth 
Carolina, prosecuting his duty of raising troops. In this, 
his efforts, as were similar efforts in other States, had little 
success. The ravages of disease in the low lands of South 
Carolina, where the operations were carried on, had been so 
great that each recruit, as he turned his back on his home, 
felt that he was marching to suffering and death. Drafting 
was the only remedy, and this became so odious that only 
one-third of those liable in j^ortli Carolina were procured. 


On the twenty-third of April, 1783, furloughs were granted 
to the North Carolina soldiers, and they returned gladly to 
their homes. Large grants of the fertile lands of Tennessee 
were made them, including twenty-five thousand acres to Gen- 
eral Greene, while General Sumner's share was twelve thou- 
sand acres. A commission was appointed to settle and pay 
the just dues, which the Continental Congress had failed to 

In the closing years of the war only the energy generated 
by fears of defeat and ruin had kept up the people to the 
fighting point. After the capture of Cornwallis there was 
a universal feeling that war was practically over. The exer- 
tions which were the fruit of terror and despair, gave way to 
supineness and lethargy. The poor soldiers, far from home, 
seemed to have been forgotten. In some commands there 
were mutinies and threats to enforce their rights at the point 
of the bayonet. An Alexander, a Caesar, a ISTapoleon, might 
have urged the fierce discontent of the army for the organiza- 
tion of a military despotism. The great and good Washing- 
ton, by the union of kindly feeling and occasional force, 
quieted these troubles. The brave soldiers who encountered 
all the sufferings which can afflict mankind — hunger, thirst, 
nakedness, disease, wounds, separation from loved ones, appa- 
rent ingratitude and neglect from those in civil authority — 
officers whose fame will never die, and their humble followers, 
"unnamed demigods of history," hung up their swords and 
their muskets on the bare walls of their ruined dwellings, and 
addressed themselves manfully to repairing their shattered 
fortunes and laying the foundation of the Great Republic 
of the world. As S. S. Prentice so beautifully said to the 
returned soldiers of the Mexican War: "Thus the dark 
thundercloud at ISTature's summons marshals its black batal- 
lions and lowers in the horizon, but at length, its lightning 
spent, its mission finished, its dread artillery silenced, it melts 


away into the blue ether, and the next morning may be found 
glittering in the dewdrops among the flowers, or assisting by 
its kindly moisture the gro\vth of the young and tender 

General Sumner was exempt from some of the trials suf- 
fered by his compatriots. He was a man of large posses- 
sioons. His home was not in the track of the armies and 
suffered no injurj^ from the rude soldiery. His neighbors 
were all loyal to America and we find no depredations of 
Tories or deserters in Bute. His prudence kept him from 
debt. In the midst of admiring friends, enjoying the satis- 
faction of a well-earned reputation, he spent the residue of 
his days in the management of his estate, the care of his 
slaves and his blooded horses, the training of his children 
and the exercise of a generous hospitality. His wife probably 
died during the war, as she seems to have been living in 1781, 
and was not living in 1785. 

Only once was he induced to leave his privacy. In 1784 
was formed the Society of the Cincinnati, composed of the 
officers of the Continental army. Its name was taken from 
the personification of Washington, called, like Cincinnatus of 
old, from his farm to the salvation of his country. It was 
designed to perpetuate the feelings of patriotism and broth- 
erly affection engendered by the long struggle together for 
Independence, and provide for the indigent in their ranks. 
Washington was its president-general. General Sumner was 
president of the ISTorth Carolina division and presided over a 
meeting of the delegates at Hillsboro on April the thirteenth. 
As delegates to the general body he appointed Archibald 
Lyttle, Reading Blount, and Griffith J. McCree. As in the 
original incorporation the primogeniture principle was con- 
templated, fears entered the public mind that the society was 
an entering wedge for the introduction of an aristocracy into 
our country. This hostility, coupled with tbe difficulty of 


communication in this large but thinly settled State gave it a 
short life here. In some of the States it still flourishes, and 
has been successfully revived in North Carolina. From it is 
derived the name of one of the most flourishing cities of the 

We have the inventory of Greneral Sumner's effects, re- 
turned by his executors. Including the bounty lands in 
Tennessee, he left over twenty thousand acres of land, be- 
sides town lots in Halifax, Louisburg and Smithfield, in Vir- 
ginia. He owned two valuable farms in Warren County, 
one called his '^'Manor Plantation" and the other his "Bute 
Court-House Plantation." On them were thirty-five slaves, 
nearly all able to work, and seventeen horses, some of them 
racers, and about two hundred and forty hogs, twenty sheep 
and eighty-six head of other cattle. The possession of this 
large amount of stock, together with one hundred and fifty 
ban-els of old corn and a quantity of bacon and beef and six 
hogsheads of prized tobacco and about two to prize," as late 
as the fifteenth of March, after the winter was passed, is a 
pretty good showing for his management. The mention of 
a "quantity of quart bottles, some rum, brandy, cyder and 
wine," five large China bowls, and four small ditto, shows 
that he kept up the convivial habits which distingiiished War- 
ren society for so many years, while the "one chamber chair" 
suggests that the war-worn veteran, after leaving his active 
army life, may have contracted by too generous living that 
affliction, formerly called the aristocratic disease, the gout, 
exceedingly common in that day. There is an enumeration of 
a large quantity of earthenware and china, silver and ivory- 
handled knives and forks, "two square tables, two round 
tables, and two tea ditto," which shows that he was accus- 
tomed to show bountiful hospitality. As mementos of his 
army experience we find two thousand, three hundred and 
seventy-four pounds, nine shillings and six pence of army 


certificates, his silver-handled sword, bequeathed to his eldest 
son, and "his camp-beds, bedsteads and furniture," which he 
gave to his daughter. The division of his "printed books" 
between his two sons, in that day when books were quite rare, 
indicates that he had some taste for literature. 

The end was much nearer than the age of fifty-t^^o years 
would seem to make probable. The exposures of war from 
the bitter cold of Valley Forge to the fever swamps of South 
Carolina, undermined his strong constitution. His will is 
dated March fifteenth, and he died March the eighteenth, 

I regret that I can ascertain nothing satisfactory about 
General Sumner's wife. Smyth states, as I have mentioned, 
that she was young at the time of the marriage, of good 
family and of a handsome fortune. Wheeler says that she 
was a widow Heiss, of N^ew Bern, but none of the old inhabi- 
tants of that town know anything about her. General Sum- 
ner bequeaths to his daughter the "clothing and jewels of his 
wife, now in possession of Mrs. Long, of Halifax." Mrs. 
Long, of Halifax, the widow of Col. Nicholas Long, the com- 
missary-general, was a notable lady, whose maiden name was 
McKinnie, and from the fact that Mrs. Sumner's clothing 
and jewelry were left with her, coupled with the fact that 
one of her sons was named McKinnie Hurst, and further that 
it appears from an act of the General Assembly, disentailing 
some lands, that the McKinnies and Hursts were related, the 
presumption is that she was either a McKinnie or a Hurst, 
nearly related to Mrs. Long. The presumption is strength- 
ened by the fact that one of the devisees of Sumner's lands, 
in the case of the death of all his children in their minority 
and without issue, was Nicholas Long, Jr., a son of Mrs. Long. 

General Sumner left three children, all minors. We do 
not know the dates of his marriage or of the birth of any of 
his children, except Jackv Sullivan, who married Thomas 


Blount, a brother of Col. Eeading Blount, one of Sumner's 
colonels. She changed her name to Mary Sumner Blount, 
and died in 1822. She was born in 1778 and was probably 
the youngest child. The two sons were Thomas Edward and 
McKinnie Hurst. To the former, doubtless the oldest child, 
was devised his Manor Plantation. To McKinnie Hurst the 
Bute Court-House Plantation. In case either should die in 
their minority the other was to have the whole. If all his 
children should die in their minority his lands were to go to 
^N'icholas Long, Jr., and the oldest son of Benjamin McCtil- 
lock and James Gray. His executors nominated were Benja- 
min McCullock, John Baptista Ashe, Young McLemon, and 
James Grey, but only McCullock and Grey qualified. Mc- 
Kinnie died young and Thomas, after being a member of the 
legislature of j^orth Carolina, removed to Tennessee and died 
childless, and so all the property finally vested in Mrs. Mary 
Sumner Blount and was scattered by her among sixty lega- 
tees, including the Episcopal Church of Raleigh, and friends 
who had been kind to her. Her husband was a member of 
Congress of the United States, and one of the commissioners 
to locate the capitol, and also the University. 

From the foregoing sketch, we are able to estimate what 
manner of man Jethro Sumner was. He was not a genius ; 
he had little education derived from books. But he had a 
generous nature and a big heart. One of his colonels writes : 
"Dear General, you are no stranger to our sufferings ; we 
have our eyes upon you as our support in our hour of need." 
They did not lean on a broken reed, but on a sturdy oaken 
staff. He had a strong head and sound common sense. Gen- 
eral Greene and Governor ISTash and scores of military leaders 
in the dark hours of a desolated State, of civil strife, of 
ruined currency, of despondency and of terror, asked the 
aid of his sagacity and pluck, and asked not in vain. He 
had a long experience in actual military service, in fierce 


battles, in laborious inarches, in dreary encampments, in 
thankless recruiting service, from a Lieutenant to a Brigar 
dier-General's place. He was a loyal, brave, true, gallant 
soldier. He did his whole duty and made no boast. He left 
no posterity to keep his fame burnished. Let us join in 
thanks to the giver of all good, because of His gift to North 
Carolina of *''Jethro Sumner, one of the Heroes of 1776," 

* This is the inscription on Sumner's monument. 



The Mechlenbwrg Declaration of Independence, May 20, 
1775, was tremendously significant in that it was a logical 
fruition of and a striking keynote to the unconquerable and 
indomitable free spint of the people of North Carolina. 
It was not the effect of sudden passion. It was not an ill- 
advised act of fanatics. It was instead an extraordinarily 
noticeable outcropping of a pure vein of sturdy independence 
that extends from the beginning to the end of the history of 
l^orth Carolina. This heart of the matter has been neglected 
in the intricate efforts to prove or to disprove that the event 
occurred as claimed. The simple fact of this long drawn- 
out discussion which has continued unabated for nearly one 
hundred years is evidence of the importance of the act, the 
genuineness of which can not be doubted by any unbiased 
mind in possession of the uncontrovertible testimony. The 
desire here, however, is not to present proof of established 
history, but to penetrate the outward semblance and analyze 
the motives and purposes of the spirit so powerfully mani- 
fested in advance of the other American colonies and at a 
time when the Continental Congress was declaring fealty to 
George the Third and denying any desire for national inde- 

Freedom of thought and speech is the foundation of the 
American Republic and is engrafted into every American 
constitution, hut this immortal fundamental element of true 
democracy ivas horn in North Carolina. It was the first dec- 
laration of the first settlers and in their first laws it was first 
legally guaranteed to mankind with equal rights to all and 


special privileges to none. The desire for freedom of mind 
and conscience was directly responsible for the settlement of 
America, but the Puritans and Cavaliers who sought and won 
freedom for themselves, denied it to others, thereby sacrificing 
the principle of it. Never was it guaranteed by any people 
to all other people in good faith until in 1653 the gentle 
peace-loving pioneers left Berkeley's tyranny in Virginia and 
came southward and settled around Albemarle Sound. Of 
these people Bancroft said "they were the freest of the free," 
and further, "If you would study man's capacity for self- 
government, study the history of jSTorth Carolina.'' These 
settlers included many nationalities, but they were united in 
a common cause in a sincere and abiding belief in the natural 
and inalienable rights of pure liberty. When in 1663 the 
King granted the territory to the Lords Proprietors, the first 
inducement held out to new settlers was this guaranty of reli- 
gious and industrial freedom, and though the promise was not 
held sacred by some of the British Governors, the rights were 
never surrendered by the people who submitted gracefully to 
British rule so long as it protected them_, and resisted it boldly 
and defiantly when it trampled upon their rights. 

Ill 1678, ivhen the gover7iment tuas fifteen years old and 
the colonists numbered tiveniy thousand, they accomplished 
the first successfid armed resistance to the ericroachment of 
British tyranny. The trouble began with the philosophic but 
impossible "Model Constitution" prepared by Locke and 
Shaftsbury, and which provided for high-sounding titles and 
civic and military dignitaries intended to captivate the peo- 
ple. ISTothing ever failed more completely. The offer of 
Dukedoms and Earldoms had no more attraction for these free 
people who had builded their homes with their own hands out 
of the rough-hewn logs of the forests than the offer of toys 
would have for full-grown men. The fantastic document was 
scorned with unanimity, the people thus showing their innate 


repugnance to imdemocratie government. They feared God 
and loved the brethren, were vs^illing to bear their own bur- 
dens and to help others, but never to presume to add to the 
neighbor's burden by any assumption of superiority war- 
ranted or unwarranted. Relieved from this handicap, they 
were subjected to an attempt to rigidly enforce the odious 
navigation act which stipulated that the colony could only 
trade with English vessels. This would have destroyed a 
chief source of wealth in preventing trading mth the other 
colonies, and as it was plainly an infringement of national 
rights, the people, headed by John Culpepper, threw the offi- 
cials into jail and conducted their own government in actual 
independence for two years, until their just demands were 
satisfied in the repeal of the law. 

In 1688 the colonists became incensed at Governor Seth 
Sothel (also one of the Proprietors) for his tyranny and ex- 
tortion, arrested, tried and convicted him and drove him from 
the State in disgrace. The authorities in England decided 
that the only hope of maintaining the rule over the J^orth 
Carolinians was to send one of their ovm. number over as 
Governor, so they sent the one England could spare the best. 
He was captured at sea by Algerine pirates, who might havo 
atoned for many misdeeds by keeping him, but they released 
him at the end of two years, during which time he no doubt 
added much to his store of knowledge in wicked ways. In 
his five years' administration of the colony's affairs he set the 
pace for all time for corruption in office. He was a shame- 
less libertine, briber and taker of bribes, and thievery and all 
species of corruption were as natural to him as drawing 
breath. The people endured his misdeeds until patience 
ceased to be virtue and then gave a fitting example of the 
way to deal with such abuses, even though the object of 
their wrath was the sole representative of the power of the 
greatest nation on earth. 


In 1704 a law was promulgated making the Establislied 
Church of England the State church for North Carolina, 
Delegations were sent to Queen Anne protesting that they 
paid their own preachers and would pay no others, and de- 
claring their unalterable determination to resist the injustice 
even unto death. The struggle was fierce but short and the 
authorities saw that discretion was the better part of valor. 
The people won and the obnoxious law was repealed. 

In all history there is no finer example of the spirit of free- 
dom than in the open defiance of England by these few thou- 
sand colonists living in their rude log cabins. The Lords 
Proprietors, perceiving the impossibility of conquering the 
spirit, turned the colony over to the King in 1729, and the 
people entered no protest. They recognized the English gov- 
ernment as the seat of authority and offered no resistance 
until the government abused its power. Gabriel Johnston was 
Governor from 1734 to 1752, and though he was a faithful 
servant of the King he was an able and conscientious man 
and the people enjoyed peace and were never more friendly 
disposed toward the mother country. In these years the rush- 
ing tides of immigration were settling the State as far west 
as the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but the spirit of the 
population remained unchanged. In 1749 the printing press 
was introduced into the State and the progress and prosperity 
were so noticeable that there was no suspicion of the storm 
that in twenty years was to follow the calm. 

In 176Jf^ the North Carolinians forced Governor Arthur 
Dobhs to admit that the control of the Staters revenue rested 
exclusively with the people who paid the taxes. Governor 
Dobbs, by his obstinacy and lack of tact, developed much fric- 
tion and hard feeling between the people and the government. 
He claimed that the revenues belonged to England and that 
he, as England's representative, had the right to disburse 
them without recourse to the will of the people. The people 


had no text-book of political economy and cared but little 
about theories of law and government ; they knew this was an 
attempt to destroy their liberty and they refused to pay taxes 
until the Governor, facing open rebellion, yielded to their 
demands that no money should be appropriated from the pub- 
lic funds without the consent of the General Assembly. 

William Try on came into office in 1765, when the people 
were discontented and distrustful and fearful of British rule, 
and his services began with the duty of enforcing the Stamp 
Act, which required all legal papers to be written on stamped 
paper, for which a revenue tax was collected. The declara- 
tion was unanimous that there should be no submission to this 
unjust measure, and when the ship-of-war Diligence arrived 
at Wilmington with the hated paper, September 28, 1765, 
Colonels Ashe and Waddell, leading armed men, told the 
ship's com/mander that the paper could not he landed, and he 
probably knowing something of jSTorth Carolina, history, made 
no attempt to carry out his task. Again the contest was fierce, 
brief and decisive. The Stamp Act ivas annulled hy the King, 
hut only after it had already been annulled hy the voice of the 
people, which ivas continuing to demonstrate its supremacy 
over Kings and Empires and Parliaments. Governor Tryon 
tried to pacify the enraged people by giving a great public 
feast in Wilmington, but they would have none of it, and 
showed their contempt for such patronizing methods by throw- 
ing the roasted meats in the river and pouring the beer on 
the ground. It was an open declaration that peace could only 
be maintained by submitting to the people's will and guarding 
and protecting them in their just rights ; but the government 
failed to profit by the hint, and from that time events led rap- 
idly to the Revolution. 

May 16, 1771, in the hattle of Alamance, was shed the 
first hlood in the vjar for Independence. After the repeal of 
the Stamp Act, the taxes were increased to the limit of en- 

146 THE jn^obth oakolina booklet. 

durance and the extortions of corrupt officials made the bad 
matters worse. This moved the people to organize to regulate 
the abuses, and this organization, under the leadership of 
Herman Husbands, became known as the "Regulators." They 
first appealed to the courts, which showed themselves to be 
mockeries of justice. Then they resisted the injustices of the 
extortionists, and the hostility prevailed to such an extent 
that Governor Tryon, always ready for military display, 
formed an army to intimidate the Regulators. Husbands, 
with his followers, many of whom were unarmed and none of 
whom were well armed, approached the Governor's troops for 
a parley, and the Governor, realizing his advantage, forced 
a battle. To Tryon, it gave the opportunity (which he de- 
sired) to send a message to the King proclaiming "a glorious 
victory over the rebels." The Regulators were completely 
routed and the organization was ended, but rapidly from this 
time the British authority in jSTorth Carolina tottered to its 
fall, and the shedding of patriot blood opened the eyes of 
North Carolinians to the sober fact that though the issue had 
been before them for one hundred years, now they knew thnt 
British rule was not feasible in America and that the only 
-possible permanent governrnent in North Carolina must be 
founded on the consent of the goveriied. 

April 26, 1774, William Hooper wrote to James Iredell. 
"With you I anticipate the important share the colonies must 
soon have in regulating the political balance. They are strid- 
ing fast to independence, and ere long will build an empire 
upon the ruins of Great Britain; will adopt its Constitution, 
purged of its impurities, and from an experience of its de- 
fects will guard against the evils which have wasted its vigor 
and brought it to an untimely end." It is no wonder that 
Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams that "l^o State was 
more fixed or forward than North Carolina in the struggle for 
independence." About the time Hooper's letter was written. 


Governor Martin (who succeeded Tryon in 1771) dismissed 
tlie Assembly with the statement that it should not meet again 
until peace should reign. This was a practical declaration of 
war, and the people met it as they had met previous abuses. 
There was no legal provision for them to assemble at their 
own will, but these men were of the kind who make prece- 
dents when there are none sufficient to the needs. John 
Harvey, the aged leader, even then near death, drove in his 
gig to meet Willie Jones, Samuel Johnston and Edward Bun- 
combe. These fearless patriots consulted together and threiv 
defiance to the King and his Governor hy calling on their own 
authority an Assembly to meet in Newhern, August 25, lllk- 
This Assembly, the first one in America to meet independent 
of British authority, elected Joseph Hewes, Richard Caswell 
and William Hooper delegates to the Continental Congress, 
and made it plain that further submission to the King was 
not possible. 

In view of this unparalleled record for independent charac- 
ter, there is nothing inconceivable nor inconsistent in the ac- 
tion of the sterling patriots of Mecklenburg assembled in 
Charlotte May 20, 1775, and who, upon receiving the news 
of the Battle of Lexington, adopted resolutions declaring: 
"We do hereby dissolve the political bands which have con- 
nected us with the mother country," "absolve ourselves from 
the allegiance to the British Crown," and "declare ourselves 
a free and independent people." At a second meeting May 
31, further resolutions were adopted and provisions made for 
self-government. The declaration simply described actual 
conditions, for from May 20, 1115, North Carolina was inde- 
pendent of Great Britain. The militia of the counties were 
under arms subject to the orders of the Provincial Congress, 
and early in June Governor Martin went on board a war- 
vessel at Wilmington and British authority was thereby for- 
ever brought to an end in the State. From the ship-of-war 


Governor Martin sent to England a copy of the Resolutions 
of May 31, which had been published in the Cape Fear Mer- 
cupy and the Charleston Gazette, and said they were the most 
treasonable publications he had yet seen. In August of 1775 
the independent government was fully organized, with Cor- 
nelius Harnett as Governor. February 27, 1776, the battle 
of Moore's Creek Bridge was fought and the first American 
victory won. April 12, 1776, the Provincial Congress in- 
structed the ]^orth Carolina delegates at Philadelphia to vote 
for national independence, and in this connection it is well 
to note that the three delegates from Mecklenburg went to the 
Provincial Congress with instructions to vote for the resolu- 
tion of independence. 

The story of the Revolution need not be detailed here. The 
ISTorth Carolinians left their o^vn State unprotected in order 
to aid their sister States. Cornwallis entered the State in 
September of 1780 as a conqueror and in anticipation of a 
triumphant march to join the British troops in the I^orth, but 
as a result of the fighting in Charlotte and the battles of 
King's Mountain and Guilford Court-House, he left the State 
in defeat only to go to Yorktown for unconditional surrender. 
Thus in the study of the character of the people we reach the 
logical conclusion that the MecJclenhurg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence was a ratio7ial manifestation of the will of the peo- 
ple and in perfect harmony with the histot^y of the State from 
the beginning to the end of the tremendous struggle for free 
and independent government "of the people, hy the people, 
and for the people." 




Judge Connor was born in Wilmington, IST. C, July 3d, 
1852 ; the son of David and Mary C. (Groves) Connor. He 
was educated in the town schools of Wilson ; married in Wil- 
son, Kate Whitfield, daughter of George Whitfield, after- 
wards his law partner ; he practiced law at Wilson ; was 
State Senator, 1885 ; Superior Court Judge, 1885-1893 ; 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, 1889 ; again mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives in 1901 ; was elecl^ed As- 
sociate Justice of the Supreme Court January 1, 1903, and 
still continues to perform the duties of that office. 

Judge Connor has always been a consistent Democrat, and 
his party has shown appreciation of his value, in the high 
offices to which he has been chosen. For many years he was 
President of the Branch Banking Company, Wilson, ]^. C. 
He was President of the State Literary and Historical Asso- 
ciation, 1901-1902. He delivered an address before the Law 
Class of the L^niversity of ISTorth Carolina in 1899 ; and at 
the Civic Celebration at Trinity College, February 22, 1899 ; 
before the Colonial Dames of jSTorth Carolina on their annual 
pilgrimage to Old Brunswick, 1902. He contributed to 
"Great American Lawyers" a sketch of Judge William Gas- 
ton ; to the Biographical History of ]^orth Carolina sketches 
of Judges George Howard and Charles M. Cooke; to the 
North Carolina Booklet, Vol. IV, an article entitled ''The 
Convention of 1788," and in the present number one on "The 
Convention of 1835." 

In 1908 the State University conferred on Judge Connor 
the honorary degree of LL.D. 


In preparing a sketch of sncli a man as Henry Groves Con- 
nor it is only just to mention his character as a man and a 
private citizen, which even more perhaps than his public rec- 
ord has made him beloved and honored in his own community 
and everywhere that he is known. Judge Connor has long 
been a member of the Episcopal Church. His residence con- 
tinues in Wilson, IST. C, while his office is in the Supreme 
Court Building in Raleigh. 


Note. — A sketch of Dr. Battle appeared in Vol. VII, 
October, 1907, of this Booklet. Since that time Dr. Battle 
completed the first Volume of The History of the University 
of North Carolina, and in consideration of its merit, the State 
Literary and Historical Association awarded to him, at the 
annual meeting in October, 1907, the "Patterson Memorial 


Prof. Bruce Craven, the author of '^The Significance of the 
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence," was born May 
14, 1881, in Trinity. He is the son of the late James L, 
Craven, M.D., and Mrs. Nannie Bulla Craven; grandson of 
Rev. Braxton Craven, D.D., LL.D., founder and president of 
Trinity College, and of Hon. James Ruffin Bulla, who was 
for many years one of North Carolina's most noted la^vyers ; 
was educated in Trinity College, and since leaving college in 
1900 has been superintendent of the graded schools of Mur- 
phy and Clinton and Morganton. He has achieved distinc- 
tion as a clear and strong writer, is an excellent speaker, an 
active member of the Methodist Church and an ardent advo- 
cate of thorough and effective education. November 5, 1901, 


be was man-ied to Miss Clara Chaitin, daugiiter of Mr. au'l 
Mrs. M. R. Chaffin, of Mocksville, who was his classmate in 
college. Ill the year 1907 was superintendent of the public 
schools in Elizabeth City, and has been elected super intendenc 
of the city schools of Lancaster, S. C. Mr. Craven has been 
active and prominent in educational Vvork in iS^orth Carolina 
for several years and has achieved reputation in independent 
and fearless advocacv of Pennine moral and intellectual train- 
ing. For many years pa^^t he has been a close student of Xorth 
Carolina history, particularly that of Mecklenburg County, 
and a frequent contributor of historical and educational dis- 
cussions to leading newspapers and magazines. In the recent 
campaign for Slate prohibition he was one of the spealiers 
for the cause. Though he has accepted the call to Lancaster^ 
yei he remains a genuine Xorth Carolinian for all time. 
His home people have watched with interest and pleasure his 
success in teachino; and in literarv and histoi'ical work. 

The unveiling of a tablet to the "Ladies of the Edenton 
Tea Party of October 25th, 1774," will take place on October 
24th, 190R, in the capitol of Xorth Carolina. 


iotic Societ: 

Daughters qf the Revolution*' 

The General Society was founded October 11, 181)0, — and organized 
August 20, 1891, — under the name of "Daughters of the American 
Revolution"; was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York 
as an organization national in its work and purpose. Some of the mem- 
bers of this organization becoming dissatisfied with the term.s of en- 
trance, withdrew from it and, in 1891, foi'med under the slightly differ- 
ing name "Daughters of the Revolution," eligibility to Avhich from tlie 
moment of its existence has been lineal descent from an ancestor who 
rendered patriotic service during the War of Independence. 

'' ^e North Carolina Society '' 

a subdivision of the General Society, was organized in October, 189G, 
and has continued to promote the purposes of its institution and to 
observe the Constitution and Bv-Laws. 

Membershipand Qualifications 

Any woman shall be eligible who is above the age of eighteen years, 
of good character, and a lineal descendant of an ancestor who ( 1 ) was 
a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress, Legislature or General Court, of any of the Colonies 
or States; or (2) rendered civil, military or naval service under the 
authority of any of the thirteen Colonies, or of the Continental Con- 
gress; or (3) by service rendered during the War of the Revolution 
became liable to the penalty of treason against the government of Great 
Britain: Provided, that such ancestor always remained loyal to the 
cavise of American Independence. 

Tlie chief work of the North Carolina Society for the past seven years 
has been the publication of the "North Carolina Booklet. "" It still 
continues to extend its work and to spread the knowledge of its History 
and Biography in other States. 

This Society has its headquarters in Raleigh, N. C, Room 411, Caro- 
lina Trust Company Building, 232 Fayetteville Street. 

~ — ^ 

Vol. VIII. JANUARY, 1909. No. 3 


floRTH CflROIilflfl BoOI^IiET 

** Carolina! Carolina! Heaven' s blessings attend her ! 
While we live we will cherish, protect and defe^id 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 purposes. Editoes. 


Mks. Spieb Whitaker. Mes. T. K. Bkuner. 

Professor D. H. Hill. Mr. R. D. W. Connox 

Me. W. J. Peele. Dr. E. W. Sikes. 

Professor E. P. Moses. Dr. Richard Dillabd. 

Dr. Kemp P. Battle. Mr. James Speunt. 

Mb. Maeshall DeLancey Hatwood. Judge Walteb Claek. 

Miss Mary Milliard Hinton, Mrs. E E Moffitt. 




regent : 
Mrs. E. E. MOFFITT. 

vice-regent : 


Mrs. spier WHITAKER. 




Mrs. W. H. PACE. 


Mrs. frank SHERWOOD. 





Founder of the Noeth Carolina Society and Regent 1896-1902: 

Mrs. spier WHITAKER. 

regent 1902: 

Mrs. D. H. HILL, Sr.* 

regent 1902-1906: 

*Died December 12, 1904. 


Vol. VIII JANUARY. 1909 No. 3 



For nearly ten years prior to the adoption of constitutional 
forms of government by the several British provinces of 
JSTorth America, following the breaking out of hostilities in 
1775, those constitutions had been evoluting from the extra- 
legal committees that had from time to time during those 
years been organized at toAvn and county meetings in the dif- 
ferent sections of America. With the arising of each new 
cause for political dissatisfaction the number and influence 
of these local committees increased, and as their strength 
and influence increased they assumed greater powers or were 
voted them by the people in town or county meetings. 

When the passage of the Boston Port Bill, as it was popu- 
larly called, by the Parliament of Great Britain in 1774 be- 
came known in the several provinces the local committees 
called meetings of the inhabitants, at which delegates were 
elected to provincial conventions. 

The first provincial convention of jSTorth Carolina was held 
in I^ew Bern August 25, 26, and 27, 1774. On the last day 
resolutions appropriate to the existing political conditions in 
America were adopted, wherein was incorporated the follow- 
ing recommendation looking to a closer union of the people 
of the province : 

and it is recommended to the deputies of the several Counties, That a 
Committee of five persons be chosen in each County by such persons as 
acceed to this association to take eflfectual care that these Resolves be 


properly observed and to correspond occasionally with the Provincial 
Committee of Correspondence of this province. i 

These committees were chosen soon after the adjournment 
of the convention.' The signers of the Association soon se- 
lected their committee in Mecklenburg, as was the case in the 
other counties. The date can not be fixed, but it was done 
most likely before January 26, 1775, when Grovernor Martin 
made the following statement to the Earl of Dartmouth, Brit- 
ish Secretary of State for the American Department, in a 
letter of that date : 

In this Province as in all others to the Northward Committees have 
been Chosen by the people to carry into execution the measures of the 
General Congress. Your Lordship will judge of the spirit of these 
extraordinary Tribunals by the proceedings of that of Halifax County 
(of which I herewith enclose a copy) towards a very worthy and 
respectable merchant of that place. 3 

Martin's statement is confirmed by the action of the second 
provincial convention of i^orth Carolina, held April 3-7, 
1775, when occasion was taken to "recommend to the Com- 
mittees of the several Counties to propose Premiums to the 
Inhabitants whose Industry may be a proper Subject for 
their Bounty."* Additional confirmation may be gathered 
from the fragmentary records of the committees of several 
other counties which have been published in the Colonial 
Records of North Carolina. 

1 The South-Carolina and American General Gazette, October 7, 1774; 
American Archives (Peter Force), Fourth Series, I, 734-737; Colonial 
Records of North Carolina, IX, 1043-1049. The resolution recommended 
that five persons be chosen but almost every county of which we have 
any records of the committee of selected more than that number. 
Rowan and New Hanover counties each selected twenty-five. 

2ln Rowan September 23, 1774 (See journal of the committee, Wheel- 
er's Historical Sketches of North Carolina, II, 361) ; in Pitt December 9, 
1774 (See Colonial Becord-s of North Carolina, IX, 1095) ; in New 
Hanover January 4, 1775 {Ibid., 1107). 

*Colonial Records of Noith Carolina, IX, 1115. 

«/bid., 1185. 


We are also uninformed as to who composed the Mecklen- 
burg committee, save that by two contemporaneous records it 
is shown that Ephraim Brevard was the secretary and Abra- 
ham Alexander the chairman. The first of these records was 
published in The South-Carolina Gazette; And Country Jour- 
7ial (Charles Town) for June 13, 1775; in The North-Caro- 
lina Gazette (New Bern) for June 16, 1775; and in The 
Cape-Fear Mercury (Wilmington) for June 23, 1775. The 
following are the resolutions as they appear in The North- 
Carolina Gazette: 

Charlotte Totcn, Mecklenburg County, May 31. 

This Day the Committee met, mid passed the following 

Whereas, by an address presented to his Majesty by both Houses of 
Parliament in February last, the American colonies are declared to be 
in a state of actual Rebellion, we conceive, that all Laws and Com- 
missions confirmed by, or derived from the Authority of the King or 
Parliament, are annulled and vacated, and the former civil Constitu- 
tion of these Colonies for the present wholly suspended. To provide 
in some Degree for the Exigencies of the County in the present alarm- 
ing Period, we deem it proper and necessary to pass the following 


1. That all Commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the 
Crown, to be exercised in these Colonies, are null and void, and the 
Constitution of each particular Colony wholly suspended. 

2. That the Provincial Congress of each Province, under the Direc- 
tion of the Great Continental Congress, is invested Avith all legislative 
and executive Powers within their respective Provinces; and that no 
other Legislative or Executive does or can exist, at this Time, in 
any of these Colonies. 

3. As all former Laws are now suspended in this Province, and the 
Congress have not yet provided others, we judge it necessary, for the 
better Preservation of good Order, to form certain Rules and Regula- 
tions for the internal Government of this County, until Laws shall be 
provided for us by the Congress. 

4. That the Inhabitants of this County do meet on a certain Day 
appointed by this Committee, and having formed themselves into nine 
Companies, to icit, eight for the County, and one for the Town of 
Charlotte, do choose a Colonel and other military Officers, who shall 
hold and exercise their several Powers by virtue of this Choice, and 
independent of Great Britain, and former Constitution of this Province. 


5. That for the better Preservation of the Peace, and Administration 
of Justice, each of these Companies do choose from their own Body two 
discreet Freeholders, who shall be empowered each by himself, and 
singly, to decide and determine all Matters of Controversy arising 
within said Company vinder the Sum of Twenty Shillings, and jointly 
and together all Controversies under the Sum of Forty Shillings, yet 
so as their Decisions may admit of Appeals to the Convention of the 
Select Men of the whole County ; and also, that any one of these shall 
have Power to examine, and commit to Confinement, Persons accused of 
Petit Larceny. 

6. That those two Select Men, thus chosen, do, jointly and together, 
choose from the Body of their particular Company two Persons, properly 
qualified to serve as Constables, who may assist them in the Execution 
of their Office. 

7. That upon the Complaint of any Persons to either of these Select 
Men, he do issue his Warrant, directed to the Constable, commanding 
him to bring the Aggressor before him or them, to answer said Com- 

8. That these eighteen Select Men thus appointed, do meet every 
third Tuesdayo in January, April, July, and October, at the Court-House, 
in Charlotte, to hear and determine all matters of Controversy for 
Sums exceeding Forty Shillings; also Appeals: And in Cases of Felony, 
to commit the Person or Persons convicted thereof to close Confinement, 
until the Provincial Congress shall provide and establish LaAvs and 
Modes of Proceeding in all such Cases. 

9. That these Eighteen Select Men, thus convened, do choose a Clerk 
to record the Transactions of said Convention; and that said Clerk, 
upon tlie Application of any Person or Persons aggrieved, do issue his 
Warrant to one of the Constables, to svimmons and warn said Offender 
to ajjpear before the Convention at their next sitting, to answer the 
aforesaid Complaint. 

10. That any Person making complaint upon Oath to the Clerk, or 
any Member of the Convention, that he has Reason to suspect that any 
Person or Persons indebted to him in a sum above Forty Shillings, do 
intend clandestinely to withdraw from the County without paying such 
Debt ; the Clerk, or such Member, shall issue his Warrant to the Con- 
stable, commanding him to take the said Person or Persons into safe 
Custody, until the next sitting of the Convention. 

11. That when a Debtor for a Sum below Forty Shillings shall ab- 
scond and leave the County, the Warrant granted as aforesaid shall 
extend to any Goods or Chattels of said Debtor as may be found, and 

5 The South-Carolina Gazette ; And Country Journal prints "Thurs- 
day," but all other contemporary copies and the county court records 
show "Tuesday"' to have been correct. 


such Goods or Chattels be seized and held in Custody by the Constable 
for the Space of Thirty Days; in which Term if the Debtor fails to 
return and discharge the Debt, the Constable shall return the Warrant 
to one of the Select Men of the Company where the Goods and Chattels 
are found, who shall issue Orders to the Constable to sell such a Part 
of the said Goods as shall amount to the Svim due; that when the 
Debt exceeds Forty Shillings, the Return shall be made to the Con- 
vention, who shall issue Orders for Sale. 

12. That all Receivers and Collectors of Quitrents, Public and County 
Taxes, do pay the same into the Hands of the Chairman of this Com- 
mittee, to be by them disbursed as the public Exigencies may require. 
And that such Receivers and Collectors proceed no farther in their 
Office until they be approved of by, and have given to this Committee 
good and sufficient Security for a faithful Return of such Monies when 

13. That the Committee be accountable to the County for the Appli- 
cation of all Monies received from such public Officers. 

14. That all these Officers hold their Commissions during the Plea- 
sure of their respective Constitutents. 

15. That this Committee will sustain all Damages that may ever here- 
after accrue to all or any of these Officers thus appointed, and thus 
acting, on Account of their Obedience and Conformity to these Resolves. 

16. That whatever Person shall hereafter receive a Commission from 
the Crown, or attempt to exercise any such Commission heretofore 
received, shall be deemed an Enemy to his Country ; and upon Infor- 
mation being made to the Captain of the Company where he resides, 
the said Captain shall cause him to be apprehended, and conveyed before 
the two Select Men. of the said Company, who, upon Proof of the Fact, 
shall commit him, the said Offender, to safe Custody, until the next 
sitting of the Convention, who shall deal with him as Prudence may 

17. That any Person refusing to yield Obedience to the above Re- 
solves shall be deemed equally criminal, and liable to the same Punish- 
ments as the Offenders above last mentioned. 

18. That these Resolves be in full Force and Virtue, until Instructions 
from the General Congress of this Province, regulating the Jurispru- 
dence of this Province, shall provide otherwise, or the legislative Body 
of Great Britain resign its unjust and arbitrary Pretentions with Re- 
spect to America. 

19. That the eight Militia Conpanies in this County do provide them- 
selves with proper Arms and Accoutrements, and hold themselves in 
Readiness to execute the demands and Directions of the Provincial 
Congress, and of this committee. 

20. That this committee do appoint Colonel Thomas Polk, and Doctor 
Joseph Kennedy, to purchase 3001b. of Powder, 6001b. of Lead, and 


1000 Flints, and deposit the same in some safe Place, hereafter to be 
appointed by the committee. 

Signed by Order of the Committee. 
EPH. BREVARD, Clerk of the Committee. 

Richard Cogdell enclosed a copy of The North-Carolina 
Gazette containing the foregoing resolutions to Richard Cas- 
well, in attendance on the Continental CongTess in Philadel- 
phia, in a letter, dated "New Bern IS**" June 1775", in 
which he said: "you'l Observe the Mecklinburg resolves, ex- 
ceed all other Committees, or the Congress itself. I send 
you the paper wherein they are incerted as I hope this will 
come soon to hand."*' 

Governor Martin issued a proclamation June 16, 1775, 
wherein he denied the allegations made by the committees of 
the counties in the Wilmington district of designs on the part 
of the British Ministry and Parliament to enslave Americans 
and severely denounced the associators in liorth Carolina." 

On Tuesday, June 20, 1775, the several committees in the 
Wilmington district met in the court house in Wilmington, 
and unanimously chose Richard Quince, Sr., chairman. 
Among the matters taken up was Governor Martin's procla- 
mation of the 16th, and a committee of three was appointed 
to answer it. On Wednesday, the 21st, this committee re- 
turned its answer "which was read and ordered to be printed 
in the public papers and in hand bills." The preamble closed 
with this language : 

We, then, the Committees of the counties of New Hanover, Bruns- 
wick, Bladen, Duplin and Onslow, in order to prevent the pernicious 
influence of the said Proclamation, do, unanimously, resolve, that in 
our opinion, his Excellency Josiah Martin, Esq. hath by the said Pro- 
clamation, and by the whole tenor of his conduct, since the unhappy 
disputes between Great Britain and the colonies, discovered himself 

6This letter and newspaper are in the library at Hayes, the old John- 
ston home near Edenton. 

'^Colonial Records of North Carolina-, X, 16-19. 


to be an enemy to the happiness of this colony in particular, and to 
the freedom, rights and privileges of America in general. « 

At a meeting of His Majesty's Council for iSTorth Carolina, 

held June 25, 1775, Governor Martin called the attention of 

the Council to the 

seditious Combinations that have been formed, and are still forming 
in several parts of this Colony and the violent measures they persue 
in compelling His Majesty's Subjects by various kinds of intimidations, 
to subscribe Associations, inconsistent with their Duty and allegiance 
to their Sovereign, The obliging People to frequent meetings in Arms, 
by the usurped Authority of Committees, the recent Assemblage of a 
Body of armed Men, in the town of Wilmington for the purpose of 
awing His Majesty's Loyal Subjects there into submission to the dictates 
of an illegal and tyranical tribunal erected there under that name, and 
the late most treasonable publication of a Committee in the County 
of Mecklenburg, explicitly renouncing obedience to His Majesty's 
Government and all lawfull authority whatsoever. o 

In a letter written at Fort Johnston June 30, 1775, Gov- 
ernor Martin detailed to the Earl of Dartmouth what had 
happened in !North Carolina since his last despatch (JSTo. 33). 
He recounted the causes which had induced him to issue his 
proclamation of June 16, enclosing a copy thereof, and wrote 
of the reply of the committees at Wilmington on the 21, as 
follows : 

The News Paper enclosed will shew Your Lordship that the same 
spirit of Sedition and extravagance that gave cause to that Act of 
Government, has produced an impudent and formal contradiction of the 
undeniable truths it contains, under the authority of a Committee; 
proving irrefragably that People embarked in a bad cause, scruple not 
to avail themselves of the basest falsehoods, and calumnies to support 
it according to custom, and as the last effort of malice, and falsehood. 
Your Lordship will find this Publication prescribes me as an Enemy 
to this Province in particular, and to America in General. 

Further on Governor Martin wrote : 

The Minutes of Council held at this place the other day, will make 
the impotence of Government here as apparent to your Lordship, as 
anything I can set before you. 

sihid., 27. 
sibid., 38-39. 


In the next paragraph he wrote : 

The Resolves of the Committee of Mecklenburg which Your Lordship 
will find in the enclosed News Paper, surpass all the horrid and treason- 
able publications that the inflamatory spirits of this Continent have 
j'et produced; and Your Lordship may depend, its Authors and abettors 
will not escape my due notice, whenever my hands are sufficiently 
strengthened to attempt the recovery of the lost authority of Govern- 
ment. A Copy of these Resolves I am informed were sent off by ex- 
press to the Congress at Philadelphia, as soon as they were passed 
in the 

Governor Martin marked this letter, or despatch, "ISTo. 
34."^^ In it he mentioned three enclosures : the proclamation 
of June 16, the minutes of the Council meeting of June 25, 
which he referred to twice, and a newspaper, which he re- 
ferred to twice — the first time as containing the reply made 
bj the Wilming-ton district conmiittees June 21 to his procla- 
mation of June 16, and the second time as containing the 
^'Resolves of the Committee of Mecklenburg." The procla- 
mation (endorsed: "In Governor Martins of the 30 of June 
1775 1^0. 34") and the minutes of the Coimcil are filed with 
the letter in the British Public Record Office, but the news- 
paper is missing. The original wrapper of the despatch, 
whereon there doubtless was the Earl of Dartmouth's usual 
endorsement as to who the letter was from, the number of 
enclosures, etc., is missing also and the following endorsement 
which does not state the number of enclosures, has been made 
on the back of the last page of the letter: "(Origl. mislaid) 
Gov^. Martin 30*^ June 1775. (K'o. 34.)" The following 
pencilled memorandum is also there: "Printed Paper taken 
out by M"-. Turner for MT. Stevenson, August 15'^ 1837."- 

loThese extracts have been taken from a photograph of the original 
letter, which is on file in the British Public Record Office, London. See 
also Colonial Records of No7-th Carolina, X, 41-50. 

iiThe writer has had the use of photographs of the entire letter. 

i2Andrew Stevenson was then United States minister to England. 
In the Public Record Office is also this memorandum: "1837 July 24. 
Sent to Mr. Backhouse, Foreign Office, North Carolina 1774-5-6-7. No. 


That raemorandum and the statements in Governor Martin's 
letter show that but one newspaper was sent, containing both 
the Wilmington and Mecklenburg resolutions. Unfortu- 
nately the Governor did not mention in his letter the title of 
the newspaper, but it is perfectly clear that it could only have 
been a paper issued between June 21 and 30. The two pa- 
pers then publishing in Charles Town and the one at Wil- 
liamsburg were all too far off to have received the news of 
the 21 and returned a printed paper to Fort Johnston by the 
30. The next issue of The South-Carolina and American 
General Gazette, Avhich appeared June 23, is not in the 
Charleston Library's file, but that was too soon after June 21 
to have enabled the news to reach Charles Town. The suc- 
ceeding issue was June 30, and does not contain that news 
either. The next issue of The South-Carolina Gazette; And 
Country Journal was June 27, and, even if it had contained 
the two sets of resolutions, it could not have reached Governor 
Martin by June 30, but it has already been shown that the 
Mecklenburg resolutions were published in the issue for June 
13, and the files of that paper in the Charleston Library show 
that the Wilmington resolutions were not published therein 
until July 11. 

The only papers near enough to have contained the Wil- 
mington reply of June 21 were The North-Carolina Gazette, 

96. Returned to the State Paper Office 21 February 1839." It is 
apparent, therefore, that Mr. Turner got the paper from the Foreign 
Office. That he got it for his own use and not "for Mr. Stevenson" is 
amply attested by the following statement made in 1875 by United 
States Senator J. W. Stevenson, a son of Minister Stevenson, to a 
reporter for The New York Herald who had asked him if the paper 
was among the papers left by his father and then in the Senator's 
possession : 

"That document is not among my father's papers, but in its stead 
is a memorandum which states that though the paper was withdrawn 
under the sanction of my father it was not withdrawn for his use, 
but for the use of another person whose name is there given." (See 
The New York Herald, May 15, 1875.) 


of ISTew Bern, and The Cape Fear Mercury, of Wilmington. 
These papers were issued every Friday. The only interven- 
ing issues, therefore, were those of June 23 and 30. It has 
already been shown that the New Bern paper of June 16 con- 
tained the Mecklenburg resolutions. It is hardly likely that 
they w^ere repeated immediately. It is clear, therefore, that 
it was The Cape-Fear Mercury that Governor Martin enclosed 
to the Earl of Dartmouth, and, as Wilmington was too far 
from Fort Johnston for a paper issued there June 30 to have 
reached the Governor on the same day — in time to be twice 
mentioned in the lengthy letter in which the paper was en- 
closed to Dartmouth, that day — it is also clear that the date of 
the pajDer which Governor Martin sent to Dartmouth was June 
23, 1775. This is confirmed by the following extracts from a 
proclamation which Governor Martin issued from "on board 
His Majesty's Sloop Cruizer in Cape Fear Eiver," AvigiTst 

Whereas I have seen a publication in the Cape Fear Mercury which 
appears to be proceedings of a General Meeting of People stiling them- 
selves Committees of the District of Wilmington signed Eichard Quince 
Senr Chairman, in which the well known and incontestible facts set 
forth in my Proclamation bearing date the 12th day of June last are 
most daringly and impudently contradicted, and the basest and most 
scandalous Seditious and inflammatory falsehoods are asserted evidently 
calculated to impose upon and mislead the People of this Province and 
to alienate their afl'ections from His Majesty and His Government 
and concluding in the true spirit of licentiousness and malignity that 
characterizes the production of these seditious combinations with a 
resolve declaring me an Enemy to the Interests of this Province in 

particular and America in General. 


And whereas I have also seen a most infamous publication in the 
Gape Fear Mercury importing to be resolves of a set of people stiling 
themselves a Committee of the County of Mecklenburg most traiter- 
ously declaring the entire dissolution of the Laws Government and 
Constitution of this country and setting up a system of rule and reg- 
ulation repugnant to the Laws and subversive of His Majesty's Govern- 

1-sColonial Records of North Carolina, X, 142, 144. 


On July 6, 1775, Governor Martin wrote a letter ("No. 
35") to Dartmouth wherein he said: 

I have engaged Mr Alexr Schaw whom I have now the honor to 
introduce to your Lordship to charge himself with this Lietter, and 
my Dispatch No. 34.1* 

On July 16 Governor Martin wrote ("No. 36") to Dart- 
mouth : 

Since the departure of Mr Schaw who was charged with my Dis- 
patches to your Lordship No 34 and 35, Duplicates of which are here- 
with enclosed. . . . Having an opportunity of writing safely by a 
passenger in a Merchant's Ship, I could not let it escape me without 
giving your Lordship the Accounts contained in this letter relative 
to the operations of the Army at Boston. is 

The passenger referred to was a Mr. Burgwine, and on Sep- 
tember 15 Dartmouth wrote to Governor Martin : 

I have received from the hands of Mr Burgwine your dispatches 
numbered 34, 35, 36, 37 & 38, the two first being Duplicates, the 
originals of which you mention to have been trusted to Mr Schaw, who 
has not yet appeared. i6 

The original despatches numbered 31 and 35 reached Dart- 
mouth soon thereafter, and No. 34 is in the Public Record 
Office, as already mentioned. The duplicate thereof, which was 
enclosed in No. 36 is still in the collection left by the Earl 
of Dartmouth, and was described, with its enclosures, in a 
calendar of that collection which was published in 1895. It 
retains its original wrapper and thereon is endorsed "North 
Carolina. Fort Johnston, 30. June 1775. Governor Mar- 
tin. N°. 34. (Duplicate original not rec*^) R. Sept^ 10. 
1775. 3 Inclosures." Of these enclosures the minutes of 
the Council of June 25 is on file in the Public Record Office 
and is marked "Duplicate No. 36." The duplicate of the 
proclamation of June 16 is with the duplicate of the letter 
(No. 34) in the Dartmouth papers and in lieu of a duplicate 
copy of "the enclosed News Paper^' there is a manuscript 

i4lbid., 70. I5ibid., 96, 98. lelbid., 247. 


copy of the Mecklenburg resolutions of May 31, 17Y5, which 
Governor Martin had said in his letter were printed in the 
"enclosed jSTews Paper", and it is endorsed : "In Gov''. Mar- 
tins of the 30 of June, 1775. No. 34." 

In a letter (I^o. 39) written from aboard the Cruizer in 
Cape Fear River August 28, 1775, Governor Martin said to 
the Earl of Dartmouth : 

I have found myself defeated in almost every attempt I have made 
to correspond with the well affected people in the upper Country. All 
of them who have come down here to consult me about their safety, 
have been intercepted coming or going, and searched, detained, abused, 
and stript of any Papers they have had about them except a Mes- 
senger from a considerable Body of Germans, settled in the County 
of Mecklenburg, who brought me a loyal declaration against the Very 
extraordinary and traiterous resolves of the Committee of that County, 
of which I had the honor to transmit a copy to your Lordship with 
my last Dispatches. i^ 

These resolutions, published in three contemporaneous 
newspapers of the section ; Cogdell's comments thereon in his 
letter to Caswell ; Governor Martin's comments thereon in his 
letter of June 30 and the duplicate thereof enclosed in his 
letter of July 16 ; the manuscript copy thereof which Martin 
enclosed in his duplicate letter of June 30 accompanying his 
letter of July 16, and Martin's remarks on the address of the 
German settlers of Mecklenburg all show beyond refutation 
that on May 31, 1775, the committee of Mecklenburg County 
declared the laws of the province of j^orth Carolina wholly 
suspended in Mecklenburg County and, "for the better Pres- 
ervation of good Order" formed "certain Pules and Regu- 
lations for the internal Government of this County" and pro- 
vided for the selection of certain officers for the county "who 
shall hold and exercise their several Powers by Virtue of this 
Choice, and independent of Great-Britain, and former Con- 
stitution of this Province." This action was not taken with 

^T Colonial Records of North Carolina, X, 231. 


any view of declaring absolute independence of Great Britain, 
but, as the committee themselves declared in the preamble to 
their resolutions, "To provide in some Degree for the Exi- 
gencies of the County in the present alarming Period" when, 
according to the expressed views of the committee, ail laws 
were suspended in America by the recent acts of the British 

The Mecklenburg records now available are so meager that 
we are unable to say how many of the provisions of these 
resolutions were carried out, but it is certain that some of 
them were. That the inhabitants of the county formed them- 
selves into a militia regiment, as directed, is attested by the 
fact that the Provincial Congress appointed Thomas Polk 
colonel, Adam Alexander lieutenant-colonel and John David- 
son major thereof September 9, 1775.^^ The records do not 
show whether the convention of selectmen, which was to act as 
both an executive and a judicial body, was ever organized or 
not, but the records of the County Court of Mecklenburg 
show that that court, which had been established several 
years before, continued to be convened the third Tuesday in 
every January, April, July and October thereafter up to and 
including the July, 1776, term; that the same justices who 
had composed the court before the passage of these resolutions 
continued to sit thereon after the passage of these resolutions, 
and bound men over to keep "the peace to all his Majesty's 
liege subjects" and, even at their July, 1776, term continued 
the "crown" docket to the next term ; that it was discontinued 
only after the passage of the Declaration of Independence, 
July 4, 1776, and that it was reorganized in January, 1777, 
after a new constitution had been adopted by ISTorth Caro- 

islbid., 206. 

i9See Publications of the Southern History Association, XI, 329-338. 



Another evidence that the committee had not intended a 
secession from the mother country when they passed these 
resolutions is that at the meeting of the Provincial Congress 
in August and September following, wherein Mecklenburg was 
represented by Thomas Polk, John Phifer, Waightstill Avery, 
Samuel Martin, James Houston and John McKnitt Alexan- 
der, that body issued an "Address to the Inhabitants of the 
British Empire" wherein they avowed themselves loyal sub- 
jects of Great Britain, vehemently denied that independence 
was their object and called on the Almighty to witness that 
"it is our most earnest wash and prayer to be restored with 
the other United Colonies, to the State in which we and they 
were placed before the year 1763" and finally covered the 
Mecklenburg case with the following language : 

Whenever we have departed from the Forms of the Constitution, our 
own safety and self preservation have dictated the expedient; and if 
in any Instances we have assumed powers which the laws invest in the 
Sovereign or his representatives, it has been only in defence of our 
persons, properties and those rights which God and the Constitution 
have made Unalienably ours. As soon as the cause of our Fears and 
Apprehensions are removed, with joy will we return these powers to 
their regular channels; and such Institutions formed from mere 
necessity, shall end with that necessity that created tliem.20 

That address breathed the sentiments of the whole Ameri- 
can people at that time — if we are to judge by their own re- 
peated public and private utterances. But a year later it 
was different, and the country was ready for independence 
when the Continental Congress declared it. The home rule 
government which the committee had provided for Mecklen- 
burg by the resolutions of May 31, 1775, now no longer 
acknowledged allegiance to the crown of Great Britain but to 
the State of ISTorth Carolina ; the temporary independence be- 
came permanent, and there can be no doubt that the resolutions 
of May 31, 1775, very soon began to be referred to tradi- 

^oColonial Recwds of North Carolina, X, 201-203. 


tionally (though erroneously) as a declaration of indepen- 
dence. That such was the case is evidenced by the fact that 
scattered through a period of about forty years thereafter we 
find in current records an occasional reference that indicates 
as much. The earliest of these is to be found in some remi- 
niscences of the Revolution prepared by Traugott Bagge, of 
Salem, in the neighboring county of Surry, and is as follows : 
I cannot leave iinmentioned at the end of the 1775th year that al- 
ready in the summer of this year, that is in May, June or July, the 
county of Mecklenburg declared itself free and independent of Eng- 
land, and made such arrangements for the administration of the laws 
among themselves, as later the Continental Congress made for all. 
This Congress, however, considered these proceedings premature. 21 

The next account we have of a declaration of independence 
is in some rough notes prepared by John McKnitt Alexander, 
of Mecklenburg, in 1800. It appears that his house was 
burned in April, 1800 ; that he claimed to have lost therein 
some records of the Mecklenburg committee's proceedings, 
and that some time between April 6 and September 3, 1800, 
he prepared these notes, which are as follows :"" 

On the 19th May 177523 Pursuant to the Order of Colo Tlios. Polk2* 
to each Captain of Militia in his regiment of Mecklenburg County, to 
elect nominate and appoint 2 persons of their Militia company, 
cloathed with ample powers to devise ways & means to extricate them- 
selves and ward off the dreadful impending storm bursting on them 
by the British Nation &c. &c. 

2iSee The Wachovia Moravian for April, 1906, 2-3. 

22The original notes in John McKnitt Alexander's handwriting are 
not now in evidence, but a copy thereof, which was made for Bancroft 
about 1855, is now in the New York Public Library and has been 
reproduced in fac-simile in The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independ- 
ence (New York, 1907) by William Henry Hoyt, A.M. The copy here 
given has been made from Mr. Hoyt's fac-simile. The blank spaces 
show where parts of the original had been destroyed. 

23Bancroft's copyist made explanatory notes to his copy. He states 
in one of these that a 6 was written through this 5. 

24The copyist states that "Adam Alexander" was stricken out and 
"Thos Polk" written above. 



Therefore on s<i 19th May the s^. Committee met in Charlotte Town 
(2 men from each company) Vested with all powers these their con- 
stituents had or conceived they had &c. 

After a short conference about their suffering breathren beseiged and 
suffering every hardship in Boston and the American Blood running 
in Lexington &<=. the Electrical fire iiew into every breast and to pre- 
serve order Chosse Abraham Alex Esquire chairman & J. M^K. A. 
Secretary25 After a few Hour free discussion in order to give relief 
to suffering America and protect our Just & natural right 

1st. We (the County) by a Solemn and awful vote, Dissolvedss our 
allegiance to King George & the British Nation. 

2d. Declared ourselves a free & independent people, having a right 
and capable to govern ourselves (as a part of North Carolina) 

3<3. In order to have laws as a rule of life — for our future Govern- 
ment We form-T a Code of laws ; by adopting our former wholesome 

4th. And as there was then no officers civil or Military in our 
County W^e Decreed tliat every Militia officer in s^. County should hold 
and occupy his former commission and Grade 

And tliat every member present, of this Committee shall henceforth 
as a Justice of the Peace (in the) Character of a Committee 
M hear and determine all Controversies agreeable to sd. laws — 

peace Union & harmony in sd. County — and to use every 

spread the Electrical fire of freedom among ourselves 
& w 

5th. &c. &c. many other laws and ordinances were then ma 

after sitting up in the Court house all night — neither 

After reading and maturing every paragraph they were all passed 
Nem-Con about 12 o'clock May 20 177528 

But in a few days (after cooling) a considerable part of sd. Com- 
mittee Men convened and employed Capt". James Jack (of Charlotte) 
to go express to Congress (then in Philadelphia) with a Copy of all 
sd. resolutions and Laws &c. and a letter to our 3 members there. 
Richd. Caswell, W™. Hooper & Joseph Hughes in order to get Congress 
to sanction or approve them &<= &,c. 

Captn. Jack returned with a long, full, complasent letter from sd. 
3 members, recommending our zeal perseverance order & forbearance 

25The word Secretary is interlined above J. McK. A. and thosr- 
initials are jammed up to After. 

2oThe word abjured is written above Dissolved. 

2"ed on the end stricken out. 

28The figures 180 were stricken out before 1775, showing that tfee 
writer had started to write 1800. 


&c. (We were premature) Congress never had our sd. laws on their 
table for discussion, though said Copy was left with them by Captn. 

N. B. about 1787 Doctor Hugh Williamson (then of New York: but 
formerly was member of Congress from this state) applied 

above by Colo. Wm. Polk, who was then compiling a 
in order to prove that the American people 
in the Revolution and that Congress com 

N. B. allowing the 19th. May to be a rash Act 

effects in binding all the middle & west 
firm whigs — no torys but not fvilly represented in the 


The next reference to the traditional declaration is in the 
following toast that was offered at a banquet held in Char- 
lotte the night of July 4, 1808 : 

By Jos. Pearson — The Patriots of Mecklenburg : the first to declare 
Independence — May their sons be the last to acknowledge themselves 
slaves. 29 

The next reference is in the following extract from a vale- 
dictory address delivered at Sugar Creek Academy, Mecklen- 
burg County, June 1, 1809, and printed in The Minerva 
(Raleigh) of August 10, 1809: 

On the 19th of May 1776, a day sacredly exulting to every Mecklen- 
burg bosom, two delegates duly authorized from every militia company 
in this county* met in Charlotte — After a cool and deliberate investi- 
gation of the causes and extent of our differences with G. Britain, 
and taking a view of the probable result; pledging their all in support 
of their rights and liberties; they solemnly entered into and published 
a full and determined declaration of independence, renouncing forever 
all allegiance, dependence on or connection with Great Britain; dis- 
solved all judicial and military establishments emanating from the 
British crown; established others on principles correspondent with 
their declaration, which went into emmediate operation: All which 
were transmitted to Congress by express, and probably expedited the 
general declaration of Independence. May we ever act worthy of such 

29See The Raleigh Register, July 28, 1808. 

soTo the asterisk in the foregoing extract the following note appeared 
in The Minerva: "*The present county of Cabarrus was then included 
in Mecklenburg." 


The next discussion of this traditionary declaration was 
brought forth by a discussion which arose over a statement in 
Wirt's Life of Patrich Henry, which appeared in 1817. Wirt 
claimed that Henry ''gave the first impulse to the ball of the 
Revolution/' and the discussion was as to whether the earliest 
movements toward independence took place in Virginia or in 
Massachusetts. During the session of Congress of 1818-19 
this controversy was a topic of conversation among congress- 
men, and members from i\"orth Carolina, recalling the Meck- 
lenburg tradition, avowed that Mecklenburg County had de- 
clared independence in May, 1775, but were unable to furnish 
any proof of the truth of their assertions. Senator Macon 
showed considerable interest in the matter, and Eepresenta- 
tive Davidson wrote to Dr. Joseph McKnitt Alexander, a 
son of John McKnitt Alexander who had fostered the tradi- 
tion for so many years, but who had died July 10, 1817, for 
information. In reply Dr. Alexander sent Davidson a paper 
which he gave to Senator Macon who sent it to the Baleigh 
Register and North Carolina Gazette^^ wherein it was pub- 
lished April 30, 1819, as follows: 

It is not probably known to many of our readers, that the citizens 
of Mecklenburg County, in this State made a Declaration of Inde- 
pendence more than a year before Congress made theirs. The follow- 
ing Document on the subject has lately come to the hands of the Editor 
from unqviestionable authority, and is published that it may go down 
to posterity. 

North-Carolina, Mecklenburg County, 
May 20, 1775. 

In the spring of 1775, the leading characters of Mecklenburg county, 
stimulated by that enthusiastic patriotism which elevates the mind 
above considerations of individual aggrandisement, and scorning to 
shelter themselves from the impending storm by submission to lawless 
power, &c &e held several detached meetings, in each of which the 
individual sentiments were "that the cause of Boston was the cause of 
all; that their destinies were indissolubly connected with those of their 
Eastern fellow-citizens — and that they must either submit to all the 

siSee Hoyt's The Mccklenhurg Declaration of Independence, 1-3. 


impositions which an unprincipled, and to them an unrepresented parlia- 
ment might impose — or support their brethren who were doomed to 
sustain the first shock of that power, which, if successful there, would 
ultimately overwhelm all in the common calamity. Conformably to 
these principles. Col. Adam Alexander, through solicitation, issued an 
order to each Captain's Company in the county of Mecklenburg, (then 
comprising the present county of Cabarrus) directing each militia 
company to elect two persons, and delegate to them ample power to 
devise ways and means to aid and assist their suffering brethren in 
Boston, and also generally to adopt measures to extricate themselves 
from the impending storm, and to secure unimpaired their inalienable 
rights, privileges and liberties from the dominant grasp of British 
imposition and tyranny. 

In conforming to said Order, on the 19th of May, 1775, the said 
delegation met in Charlotte, vested with unlimited powers; at which 
time official news, by express, arrived of the Battle of Lexington on that 
day of the ^'receding month. Every delegate felt the value and im- 
portance of the prize, and the awful and solemn crisis which had ar- 
rived — every bosom swelled with indignation at the malice, inveteracy 
and insatiable revenge developed in the late attack at Lexington. The 
universal sentiment was: let us not flatter ourselves that popular 
harangues — or resolves; that popular vapor will avert the storm, or 
vanquish our common enemy — let us deliberate — let us calculate the 
issue — the probable result; and then let us act with energy as brethren 
leagued to preserve our property — our lives, — and what is still more 
endearing, the liberties of America. Abraham Alexander was then 
elected Chairman, and John M'Knitt Alexander, Clerk. After a free 
and full discussion of the various objects for which the delegation had 
been convened, it was unanimously Ordained — 

1. Resolved, That whosoever directly or indirectly abetted, or in any 
way, form or manner countenanced the unchartered and dangerous 
invasion of our rights, as claimed by Great-Britain, is an enemy to this 
Country, — to America, — and to the inherant and inalienable rights of 

2. Resolved, That we the citizens of Mecklenburg County, do hereby 
dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother 
Country, and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the 
British Crown, and abjure all political connection, contract or asso- 
ciation with that Nation, who have wantonly trampled on our rights 
and liberties — and inhumanly shed the innocent blood of American 
patriots at Lexington. 

3. Resolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and inde- 
pendent People, are and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self- 
governing Association, under the control of no power other than that 


of our God and the General Government of the Congress; to the 
maintenance of which independence, we solemnly pledge to each other 
our mutual cooperation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred 

4. Resolved, That as we now acknowledge the existence and control 
of no law or legal officer, civil or military, within this County, We 
do hereby ordain and adopt, as a rule of life, all, each and every of 
our former laws, — wherein, nevertheless, the Cro^\^l of Great-Britain 
never can be considered as holding riglits, privileges, immunities or 
authority therein. 

5. Resolved, That it is also further decreed, that all, each and every 
military officer in this county is hereby reinstated to his former com- 
mand and authority, he acting conformably to these regulations. And 
that every member present of this delegation shall henceforth be a 
civil officer, viz: a Justice of the Peace, in the character of a 'Com- 
mittee man.' to issue process, hear and determine all matters of con- 
troversy, according to said adopted laws, and to preserve peace, and 
union, and harmony in said Coiinty, — and to use every exertion to 
spread the love of country and fire of freedom throughout America, 
until a more general and organized government be established in this 

A number of bye-laws were also added, merely to protect the asso- 
ciation from confusion and to regulate their general conduct as citi- 
zens. After sitting in the Courthouse all night, neither sleepy, hungry, 
or fatigued, and after discussing every paragraph, they were all 
passed, sanctioned and declared unanimously, about 2 o'clock, A. M. 
May 20. In a few days a deputation of said delegation convened, when 
Capt. James Jack of Charlotte was deputed as express to the Congress 
at Philadelphia, with a copy of said Resolves and Proceedings, together 
witli a letter addressed to our three Representatives there, viz: Richard 
Caswell, W7n. Hooper and Joseph, Hughes — under express injunction, 
personally, and through the state representation, to use all possible 
means to have said proceedings sanctioned and approved by the gen- 
eral Congress. On the return of Capt. Jack, the delegation learned 
that their proceedings were individually approved by the members of 
Congress, but that it was deemed premature to lay them before the 
House. A joint letter from said three members of Congress was also 
received, complimentary of the zeal in the common cause, and recom- 
mending perseverance, order and energy. 

The subsequent harmony, unanimity and exertion in the cause of 
liberty and independence, evidently resulting from these regulations, 
and the continued exertion of said delegation, apparently tranquilised 
this section of the State, and met with the concurrence and high appro- 
bation of the Council of Safetv. who held their sessions at Newbern 


and Wilmington alternately, and who confirmed the nomination and 
acts of the delegation in their official capacity. 

From this delegation originated the Court of Enquiry of this County, 
who constituted and held their first session in Charlotte — they then 
held their meetings regularly at Charlotte, at Col. James Harris's and 
at Col. Phifer's alternately one week at each place. It was a civil 
Court founded on military process. Before this judicature all sus- 
picious persons were made to appear, who were formally tried and 
banished, or continued under guard. Its jurisdiction was as unlimited 
as toryism, and its decrees as final as the confidence and patriotism of 
the County. Several were arrested and brought before them from 
Lincoln, Rowan and the adjacent counties — 

[The foregoing is a true copy of the papers on the above subject, 
left in my hands by John M'Knitt Alexander dec'd; I find it mentioned 
on file that the original book was burned April, 1800. That a copy of 
the proceedings was sent to Hugh Williamson in New York, then 
writing a History of North-Carolina, and that a copy was sent to 
Gen. W. R. Davie. 

J. M"KNITT.]32 

This production, however, is entirely inconsistent with the 
history of the time, both as to America in general and IS^orth 
Carolina in particular, as revealed by the authentic contem- 
porary records. There is not one contemporary record in 
evidence to sustain it. The traditionary references to a dec- 
laration of independence heretofore quoted are neither con- 
temporaneous nor specific, and will apply as readily to the 
authenticated resolutions of May 31 as to this alleged declara- 
tion of May 20. ISTeither Bagge nor Pearson states that the 
declaration to wdiich they refer w^as passed May 20, 1115, 
by a convenUon. John ]\IcKnitt Alexander gave May 20 as 
the date of the passage of the declaration that he so poorly 
jotted down what he recalled concerning, but he stated that it 
was passed by a committee and gave none of the words of the 
declaration. The valedictory address follows Alexander's notes 
as tothe day of the meeting — in fact the reference opens exactly 
as the amended notes opened: "On the 19th of May 1776" — 
but gives nothing specific in addition. A perusal of the entire 

32From the files in the Library of Congress. 


address at once discloses that it was written by a person of 
mature years, and, as the teacher of the Sugar Creek Acad- 
emy, Samuel C. Caldwell, was a son-in-law of John McKnitt 
Alexander, it is evident that this reference to the declaration 
came from the same source as the rough notes of 1800. The 
resolutions of May 31 preclude the possibility of any such 
action having been taken on May 20. The resolutions pro- 
vided for the organization of the people of Mecklenburg into 
a regiment of militia at a future date. It is evident that 
the colonel of the regiment could not have called a conven- 
tion of two men from each company when there were as yet no 
companies. The resolutions provided for the organization of 
a convention of two selectmen from each of these companies 
after their organization. It is further evident that this con- 
vention could not have been called together at a date prior to 
May 31 when provision was made for its organization. This 
narrative asserts that John McKnitt Alexander was secretary 
of the convention which passed the declaration. These reso- 
lutions show that Ephraim Brevard was clerk of the com- 
mittee. The narrative asserts that Abraham Alexander was 
chairman of the convention. The following certificate, which 
has been jDublished in several historical works, shows that he 
was "Chairman of the Committee of P. S." for Mecklenburg 
County : 

North Carolina, Mecklenburg County, 
November 28, 1775. 

These may certify to all whom they may concern, that the bearer 
hereof, William Henderson, is allowed here to be a true friend to liberty, 
and signed the Association. 

Certified by Abr'm Alexander, Chairman 

of the Committee of P. S. 

It will be observed that parts of this "declaration" bear 
close resemblance to parts of the national Declaration of In- 
dependence ; in fact the combinations of words "inherent and 
inalienable rights," "dissolve the political bands which have 


connected/' ''all allegiance," ''all political connection," "free 
and independent," "are and of right ought to be," "pledge to 
each other" and "onr lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred 
honor" are taken verbatim therefrom. That fact, together 
with the fact that there had never been any widespread knowl- 
edge of the Mecklenburg traditionary declaration, raised 
doubts as to the genuineness of this paper. Had John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander's rough notes of 1800 and the valedictory 
address been brought into evidence at that time, those doubts 
would have been increased, as critical observers would have 
seen at once that those two papers and the national Declara- 
tion had furnished nearly all of the material from which both 
the narrative and the "declaration" had been constructed. 
But, as none of the records which have been cited here to show 
exactly what it was that Mecklenburg County adopted in May, 
1775, were then in evidence, and as there were many people 
alive who had personally witnessed the passage of what they 
had long regarded as a declaration of independence, there 
were many who readily accepted this paper as authentic. 
Some of those who had witnessed the proceedings in May, 
1775, made statements. 

One of the first of these was Col. William Polk, who was 
sixteen years old in May, 1775. He stated in a letter to 
Judge Archibald DeBow Murphey, August 18, 1819, that he 
could not vouch for the accuracy of the resolutions in the 
paper which he enclosed (a copy of the foregoing narrative 
and "declaration"), and which he said he had procured from 
Dr. Joseph McKnitt Alexander, but that they were "essen- 
tially correct." The Raleigh Register for February 18, 1820, 
published a further statement to the effect that Colonel Polk 
vouched for "the correctness of the facts generally, though he 
thought there were errors as to the name of the Secretary," 
etc. There is nothing in Colonel Polk's statements to prove 
that the declaration he witnessed the passage of was passed by 


a cotwention May 20. The imperfect knowledge which he 
displayed might easily apply to the resolutions of May 31, 
and his statement as to the secretary is in accord therewith. 
The paper which he sent Judge Murphey was revised by the 
Judge and j^ublishecl in The Hillshoro Recorder in March, 

The next witness was Rev. Francis Cummins. He stated 
in a letter to Senator Macon, ISI'ovember 16, 1819, that he was 
a young man in Mecklenburg in 1775, and that ''in the same 
year 1775, I think positively before July 4th, 1776, the males 
generally of that county met on a certain day in Charlotte, 
and from the head of the court-house stairs proclaimed Inde- 
pendence of English Government, by their herald Col. Thoma;? 
Polk." He stated that he M^as present, but did not take and 
keep the date and could not be particular as to that ; that Rev. 
Hezekiah James Balch, Waightstill Avery, Hezekiah and 
John McKnitt Alexander and Col. Thomas Polk were the 
leading characters "in this business," and that Captain James 
Jack "was sent with the account of these proceedings to Con- 
gress, then in Philadelphia." He did not say that the '"decla- 
ration" published in the Raleigh Register was the one he saw 
passed, or that it was passed May 20 by a convention. What 
he said could easily apply to the resolutions of May 31, and 
his statement as to Captain Jack corroborates the statement 
in Governor Martin's letter of June 30, 1775, that a copy 
of those resolutions had been sent to Philadelphia as soon cis 
they w^ere passed. 

Captain Jack was appealed to and in a letter to Senator 
Macon, December 7, 1819, said that he had seen "in the news 
papers some pieces respecting the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence by the people of Mecklenburg Count3% in the State of 
jSTorth Carolina, in May, 1775" ; that at that time he resided 
in Charlotte and had been "privy to a number of meetings of 


some of the most influential and leading characters of that 
comity on the subject, before the final adoption of the resolu- 
tions" ; that "among those who appeared to take the lead, may 
be mentioned Hezekiah Alexander, who generally acted as 
Chairman, John McKnitt Alexander, as Secretary, Abraham 
Alexander, Adam Alexander, Maj. John Davidson, Maj. 
(afterwards Gen.) Wm. Davidson, Col. Thomas Polk, Ezekiel 
Polk, Dr. Ephraim Brevard, Samuel Martin, Duncan Ochil- 
tree, William Willson, Robert Irwin" ; that "when the reso- 
lutions were finally agreed on, they were publickly proclaimed 
from the court house door in the town of Charlotte" ; that he 
proceeded to Philadelphia in June and delivered the "Meck- 
lenburg Declaration of Independence of May, 1775, to Eich- 
ard Caswell and William Hooper, the Delegates to Congress 
from the State of jSTorth Carolina ; that court was in session 
when he passed through Salisbury. Although he had seen 
the "pieces" in the papers he did not say that the "declara- 
tion" included in those "pieces" accorded with his recollec- 
tion of that which he took to Philadelphia, nor did he men- 
tion a convention or May 20. He said he carried the decla- 
ration to Philadelphia in June. Governor Martin said the 
resolutions of jVIay 31 were sent to Philadelphia "as soon as 
they were passed in the Committee." The Powan court rec- 
ords show that court was held in Salisbury from the 1st to 
the 6th of June. Jack's statement accords with Martin's and 
the court records. It is evident that he took the resolutions 
of May 31 to Philadelphia. 

John Simeson, Sr., stated in a letter to Colonel Polk, Jan- 
uary 20, 1820, that he had conversed with many of his old 
friends and others "and all agree in the point, but few can 
state the particulars" ; that, "in the language of the day, 
every Province had its Congress, and Mecklenburg had its 


county Congress, as legally chosen as any other, and assumed 
an attitude until then without a precedent" ; that Colonel 
Thomas Polk, "as commanding officer of the county, issued 
orders to the Captains to appoint two men from each company 
to represent them in the Committee" ; that he could not re- 
member all of the committee men but that Neill Morrison, 
John Flenniken, Charles Alexander, John McKnitt Alex- 
ander, Hezekiah Alexander, Abraham Alexander, John 
Phifer, David Reese, Adam Alexander, Dickey Barry and 
John Qiieary were some of them ; that he thought Dr. Bre- 
vard drew the "declaration" ; that it was "in substance and 
form, like that great national act agreed on thirteen months 
after" ; that the action was taken towards the close of May, 
lYYS ; that the "conunittee appointed three men to secure all 
the military stores for the county's use — Thomas Polk, John 
Phifer, and Joseph Kennedy" ; that he was "near the head of 
the line, near Colonel Polk, and heard him distinctly read a 
long string of Grievances, the Declaration and Military 
Order above." He admitted that he could remember ver}'' 
little, but made several statements that apply forcibly to the 
resolutions of May 31. (See resolution 20 in regard to the 
military stores.) The "long string of Grievances" are in 
the resolutions of May 31 and the "Military Order" is there. 
They are not in the Alexander "declaration." He did not 
mention May 20 or a c07iventW7i, but said committee. 

The Raleigh Register of February 18, 1820, published a 
certificate from George Graham, William Hutchinson, Jonas 
Clark and Robert Robinson reciting that they were in Char- 
lotte May 19, 17Y5, "when two persons elected from each 
Captain's Company in said county, appeared as Delegates, to 
take into consideration the state of the country, and to adopt 
such measures as to them seemed best, to secure their lives, 
liberty, and property, from the storm which was gathering. 


and had burst upon their fellow-citizens to the Eastward, by 
a British Army, under the authority of the British King and 
Parliament" ; that "the order for the election of Delegates 
was given by Col. Thomas Polk, the commanding officer of the 
militia of the county, with a request that their powers should 
be ample, touching any measure that should be proposed" ; 
that to the best of their recollection the meeting took place in 
the court-house about 12 o'clock and Abraham Alexander was 
chosen chairman and Dr. Ephraim Brevard secretary ; that 
the "delegates continued in session until in the night of that 
day" and "on the 20th they again met" and a committee read 
some resolves "which went to declare themselves, and the peo- 
ple of Mecklenburg County, Free and Independent of the 
King and Parliament of Great Britain" ; that "from thence- 
forth, all allegiance and political relation was absolved be- 
tween the good people of Mecklenburg and the King of Grreat 
Britain" ; that the "Declaration was signed by every member 
of the Delegation" ; that they were not, "at this late period, 
able to give the names of all the Delegation," but could safely 
declare Thomas Polk, Abraham Alexander, John McKnitt 
Alexander, Adam Alexander, Ephraim Brevard, John Phifer, 
Hezekiah James Balch, Benjamin Patton, Hezekiah Alex- 
ander, Richard Barry, William Graham, Matthew McClure, 
Robert Irwin, Zacheus Wilson, ]S[eil Morrison, John Elenni- 
ken, John Queary and Ezra Alexander to have been thereof ; 
that "in a few days" after the meeting Capt. James Jack 
carried the resolutions to Philadelphia ; that "a Committee of 
Safety for the county was elected" and that its acts "were re- 
ceived as the Civil Law of the land in many cases." It is 
evident from the verbiage of that certificate that those who 
gave it refreshed their memories to a considerable extent from 
the publication in the Raleigh Begister. Nevertheless they 
put into it some nuggets of truth that will not harmonize with 


that publication near so well as with the resolutions of May 
31. They said that Colonel Polk was colonel of the militia 
regiment of the county and that Ephraim Brevard was the 
secretary of the meeting which they did not term a co7iven- 
tion. They said the delegates "on the 20th again met." They 
did not remember an all-night session of delegates free from 
hunger and fatigue and a 2 a. m. unanimous vote on the 20th. 
They had an indistinct recollection of the truth, as it is re- 
vealed by the heading put to the copies of the resolutions of 
May 31 sent to the gazettes: "Charlotte-Town, Mecklen- 
burg County, May 31, 1775. This day the Committee of this 
county met, and passed the following resolves." They did 
not say that the resolutions in the Raleigh Register were 
what they heard read that day. They said the resolutions 
"went to declare" independence, not that they declared it. 

The foregoing statements and letters were published in a 
pamphlet by J. Gales & Son, Raleigh, 1822. 

The next memory witness was Reverend Humphrey Hun- 
ter who wrote his Revolutionary recollections to a friend who 
had requested it. He said that Colonel Polk had issued 
orders to the several companies to select two men from each 
company to meet at the court house May 19, 1775, for con- 
sultation ; that a larger number met on the day appointed ; 
that there was some difficulty in choosing the "commission- 
ers," as it would have made the meeting "too numerous" to 
have chosen all thought worthy ; that the following were se- 
lected, and styled Delegates," according to the best of his 
recollection: Abraham Alexander, Thomas Polk, Richard 
Harris, Sr., Adam Alexander, Richard Barry, John Mclvnitt 
Alexander, Neil Morrison, Hezekiah Alexander, Hezekiah J. 
Balch, Zacheus Wilson, John Phifer, James Harris, William 
Kennon, John Ford, Henry Downs, Ezra Alexander, William 
Graham, John Queary, Charles Alexander, Waightstill Avery, 


Ephraim Brevard, Benjamin Patton, Matthew McClure, 
Robert Irwin, John Flenniken and David Eeece; that Abra- 
ham Alexander was made chairman and John McKnitt Alex- 
ander and Ephraim Brevard secretaries. Jle gave a copy of 
the "declaration" which had appeared in the Raleigh Register 
and followed it with comments which clearly show that he 
drew upon that newspaper article for his narrative. 

Abont 1825 the Alexander "declaration" underwent an- 
other evolntion. A broadside appeared containing the first 
three resolutions thereof, with the names appended thereto 
of Abraham Alexander, Chairman ; J. M. Alexander, Secre- 
tary; Adam Alexander, Hezekiah Alexander, Ezra Alexan- 
der, Charles Alexander, Waightstill Avery, Ephraim Bre- 
vard, Hezekiah J. Balch, Richard Barry, John Davidson, 
Vrilliam Davidson, Henry Downs, John Flenniken, John 
Ford, William Graham, James Harris, Robert Irwin, Wil- 
liam Kennon, Matthew McClure, JSTeill Morrison, Samuel 
Martin, Duncan Ochiltree, John Phifer, Thomas Polk, Eze- 
kiel Polk, Benjamin Patton, John Queary, David Reese, 
Zacheus Willson and William Willson as signers of the "dec- 
laration". The alleged copy of the "declaration", which 
xllexander had furnished to Davidson, contained no sig- 
natures and the only mention of signers in docu- 
ments then in evidence was that made in the certificate by 
Graham, Hutchinson, Clark and Robinson. This broadside 
contained the name of every man who had been mentioned by 
any of the memory witnesses as having anything to do with 
the "convention," or committee. It bore many internal evi- 
dences of not being a contemporar)' publication, and, much 
faith ha-^ang been put in its authenticity by the super-credu- 
lous, its compiler, Dr. J. G. M. Ramsey, and printer, F. S. 
Heiskell, stated that it had been printed in Knoxville, Tenn., 
"in 1825 or thereabouts." The minutes of the county court 
of Mecklenburg for the July and October, 1Y75, and Janu- 


ai-y, April and July, 1776, terms show that Robert Ilarrio, 
Abraham Alexander, Robert Irwin, Richard Barry, John 
Foard, Hezekiah Alexander and Adam Alexander, all alleged 
"signers" of the "declaration," sat as justices during that 
time ; and, notwithstanding the "declaration" they are alleged 
to have signed in May, 1775, held court in the name of the 

On October 11, 1827, James Johnson, of Knox County, 
Tenn., certified to the best of his recollection that "in the 
month of May, 1775, there were several meetings in Char- 
lotte concerning the impending war" ; that being young he 
was not called upon to take an active part, but that he posi- 
tively remembered that Mecklenburg County held a "conven- 
tion," declared independence and "sent a man to Philadelphia 
with the proceedings." He did not say this was done AIcnj 
20, and did not say that the "declaration" was in the same 
words as the Alexander production. 

July 4, 1828, The CJiarleston Mercury published another 
version of the "declaration" slightly different in verbiage 
from all ]u"evious versions. The contribution was signed 
"Guilford." In Xovember of tlie same year another slightly 
different version appeared in Garden's Anecdofes of tlie 
American Bevolidion. but it is plainly to be seen upon com- 
paring the Guilford and Garden versions that the latter was 
revised from the former. 

In 1829 Judge F. X. Martin, of Louisiana, published a 
history of Xorth Carolina in which he incorporated this 
"declaration." It is clear from the context, the circum- 
stances under which it appeared, and the absence of accurate 
references to the source from v»'hich it was obtained, despite 
the claim in his preface that his work had been prepared 
twenty years before, that this version of the "declaration" Avas 
obtained after the other chapters of his work had been pre- 


pared, and the correspondence of Judge Murphey, now in 
evidence, shows that Martin used the version Judge Murphey 
published in 1821. 

In the same year that Martin's history appeared Thomas 
Jefferson's works were published, and therein was found a 
letter from Jefferson to John Adams in which Jefferson de- 
clared that this "declaration" was sp-urious and that he had 
never heard of it before. Letters of Adams and additional 
letters of Jefferson still in manuscript show that Adams fully 
agreed with Jefferson. Jefferson's letter aroused renewed 
interest in the matter in ISTorth Carolina and drew from Dr. 
Joseph McKnitt Alexander the following contribution, which 
appeared in The Yadkin and Cataivha Journal, of Salisbury, 
of jSTov ember 9, 1830, under the caption "Declaration of In- 
dependence, by the citizens of Mecklenburg County (then in- 
cluding Cabarrus) Xorth Carolina, on the 20th day of May, 
1775", and over his full signature : 

Estimating this transaction as giving the primary impulse to our 
national independence; as directly operative in producing the Declara- 
tion subsequently made by the Legislature of North Carolina ; then 
by the Legislature of Virginia; and perfected on the 4th of July, 177G, 
by our National Congress; it becomes a matter of high importance to 
establish the fact, that the citizens of Mecklenburg county, through 
their delegates, on the 20th of May, 1775, drew up, signed and pro- 
mulgated a Declaration of Independence of the British Government, and 
transmitted the same to the Congress of the United States for their 

In claiming this as the patriotic achievement of our forefathers, we 
wish to derogate nought from the patriotism and energy of any State, 
or of any individual on earth, but at the same time, we feel bound, by the 
most sacred obligations of truth and justice, to guard this our birth- 
right with vigilance. 

To every ingenious mind, the difficulty is at once obvious of establish- 
ing by positive proof, such a transaction, 55 years after its occurrence, 
when no record of the transaction could be offlcially kept; when a long 
Revolutionary war svipervened ; the place of its occurrence, for a season, 
being in the occupation of the enemy; when all the delegates are in 


the silent grave,33 and when the validity of the transaction has never 
been called in question until Mr. Jefferson, in a letter of his recently 
published, pronounced it "a spurious and unjustifiable quiz"; — but 
difficult as the task may appear, we dread not to meet the closest 
scrutiny. [Here follow resumes of the certificate of Graham, Hutchin- 
son, Clark and Eobinson and the statements of Simeson, Cummins and 
Jack. These are followed by a resume of a certificate from William 
S. Alexander, a resume of the statement in Hunter's journal, resumes 
of statements by Joseph Graham and John Davidson, resumes of certi- 
ficates by Isaac Alexander and Samuel Wilson, and a resume of the 
statement by James Johnson.] 

There is now a paper in mj' possession, written and signed by J. M. 
Alexander, and purports to be extracted from the old minutes, &c Of 
this there is no date to show when these extracts were made, the intro- 
ductory part is similar, as far as it goes, to that placed in the hands 
of Gen. Davie. The Resolves entered into, are in this extract noticed 
as follows: [Here folloAVs a resume of the John McKnitt Alexander 
rough notes of 1800.] 

I hold these papers, certificates, &c., subject to the inspection of any 
one desirous of examining them. 

From the proceeding certificates, it appears most probable that there 
were drawn up by "a select committee, a declaration of grievances and 
a formal Declaration of Independence, which, if so, was the paper sent 
on by Captain Jack to Congress; the original of which is lost to us 
through the death, shortly afterwards, of Dr. Ephraim Brevard, the 
Chairman of the Committee, and by the occupation of Charlotte by 
Cornwallis, where the Dr. lived, and where his papers probably were. 
But be this as it may, we have an authentic copy of these resolves and 
bye-laws mentioned in so many of the certificates, in the handwriting 
of John Mclvnitt Alexander, and certified by him as Clerk, which had 
been by him deposited with Gen. Wm. R. Davie, for the use of some 
future historian ; and after the death of the General, procured and 
deposited with us, by Dr. Samuel Henderson, now Clerk of the Superior 
Court of this County. [Here follow the resolutions that he had fur- 
nished to Davidson and Polk in 1819, and which had been published in 
The Raleigh Register and The Hillsboro Recorder.'] 

These Resolves having been concurred in, bye-laws and regulations 
for the government of a standing Committee of Public Safety were en- 
acted and acknowledged, &c. &c. The whole proceedings of the dele- 
gation, though interesting, are too long for this publication ; but to 
show, in accordance with Gen. Graham's certificate, as to Dunn and 

33He overlooked the fact that Major John Davidson, an alleged 
"Signer" of the "declaration" was still alive and had lately made a 
statement for him. 


Booth, that municipal authority was assumed and acted on by the 
Committee of Public Safety, I will only copy a certificate now in my 
possession, viz: [Here follows the certificate, already quoted, from 
Abraham Alexander, Chairman, relative to William Henderson and 
following that is a digression to acts and doings of the Provincial 
Congress of North Carolina in 1776 that have not the remotest bear- 
ing on the acts and doings of Mecklenburg County in May, 1775. The 
contribution then closes with a few remarks criticising Thomas Jeffer- 

Joseph McKnitt Alexander. 

Joseph Graham, in a letter to Dr. Alexander, October 1-, 
1830, said he would give ''the details of the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence on the 20tli of May, 1775," as 
well as he could recollect them ''after a lapse of fifty-five 
years" ; that he was present on the occasion, "a lad about half 
grown" ; that during the winter and spring preceding several 
popular meetings were held in Charlotte at which papers were 
read, grievances stated and public measures discussed ; that 
on the 20th of May, 1775, "besides the two persons elected 
from each militia company (usually called Committee-men), 
a much larger number of citizens attended in Charlotte than 
at any former meeting" ; that the news of the battle of Lex- 
ington had arrived ; that the "committee were organized in 
the Court-house by appointing Abraham Alexander, Esq, 
Chairman, and John McKnitt Alexander, Esq. Clerk or Sec- 
retary to the meeting" ; that after the usual reading of papers 
and much animated discussion "they resolved to declare them- 
selves independent" ; that "among other reasons offered" was 
one "that the King or Ministry had, by proclamation or some 
edict, declared the Colonies out of the protection of the Brit- 
ish Crown" ; that Doctor Brevard, Mr. Kennon and a third 
person whom he could not recall were appointed to draft the 
declaration and retired from the court house, but that while 
they were out the "committee continued in session in it" ; 
that upon the return of the "sub-committee" Dr. Brevard 


"read their report, as near as I can recollect, in the very 
words we have since seen them several times in print" ; that 
the instrument was read at the court house door ; that he un- 
derstood afterwards that Captain Jack "undertook, on request 
of the committee, to cany a copy of their proceedings to Con- 
gress" and that on his way, at Salisbury Mr. Kennon publiel}' 
read the declaration, which was approved by the crowd pres- 
ent. It is evident that Graham's memory had been much re- 
freshed by the publications he had been reading, but, notwith- 
standing that, the facts that had imbedded themselves in his 
memory would come forth occasionally. He remembered that 
the body that passed the declaration was a committee and not 
a convention. The only reason he could remember of all 
those assigned why independence should be declared was "that 
the King or Ministry had, by proclamation or some edict, de- 
clared the Colonies out of the protection of the British 
Crown," and that is the very reason why the resolutions of 
May 31 were adopted, as set forth in the preamble thereto. 

Major Davidson, in a letter to Dr. Alexander, October 5, 
1830, said that he had been a member of the "Convention" 
and that he was the sole survivor thereof, but that "being far 
advanced in years" and not having his "mind frequently 
directed to that circumstance for some years" he conld give 
"but a very succinct history of that transaction" ; that "there 
were two chosen from each captain's company, to meet iii 
Charlotte, to take the subject into consideration" ; that when 
they met "a motion was made to declare ourselves independent 
of the Crown of Great Britain," which was carried by a large 
majority; that Dr. Brevard prepared the "sketch of the Dec- 
laration of Independence" and that Captain Jack took it to 
Philadelphia. The only participant in the proceedings whn^ 
has ever made a statement in regard thereto since the publi- 
cation of the Alexander "declaration" did not proclaim that 


the declaration lie had assisted in the passing of. He did 
not say that it was done May 20, 1775. 

The certificate which Dr. Alexander alleged that he had 
from William S. Alexander was to the effect that he "was in 
Philadephia in the Spring of 1775," and that "on the day 
General Washington left that city to take command of the 
American army in the north" he met Captain Jack who told 
him that Mecklenburg County "had declared themselves inde- 
pendent of the Government of Great Britain, and that they 
had sent him on express with their Declaration, to Congress," 
and that he had delivered it to the North Carolina delegation 
in Congress. He said nothing that could not be applied to the 
resolutions of May 31 as the declaration that Jack told him of. 

Isaac Alexander and Samuel Wilson, who had also wit- 
nessed the proceedings in May, 1775, also gave certificatco to 
Dr. Alexander reciting the fact that they had been present 
when the declaration was passed. Alexander gave the dates 
May 19 and 20, and thought that the "declaration" furnished 
by Dr. Alexander was what he had seen adopted. Wilson 
was not definite in his statements. Their testimony, like 
that of all of the others will apply as readily to the authenti- 
cated resolutions of May 31 as to the "declaration" of May 
20, which is imsupported by a single contemporary document 
or reference. 

The General Assembly of JSTorth Carolina at the session of 
December, 1830 — January, 1831, appointed a special com- 
mittee to examine the evidence bearing on the Mecklenburg 
"declaration" and other matters and report the result of their 
work. The report expressed the belief that Mecklenburg 
County did pass the "declaration" that Dr. Alexander had 
furnished to Davidson in 1819. It was then resolved that 
the Governor "be directed to cause to be published in pam- 
phlet form" the report of the special committee, "the Mecklen- 


burg Declaration, with the names of the Delegates composing 
the meeting" ; the statements of the memory witnesses hereto- 
fore cited, and other papers bearing on other matters. In 
carrying out the resolutions of the General Assembly Gov- 
ernor Stokes engaged David L. Swayne, a judge of the Supe- 
rior Court, to edit the pamphlet. His preface thereto is a 
resume of the evidence bearing on the Alexander ''declara- 
tion" and an argument for its authenticity. The "names of 
the delegates present" are declared to be Thomas Polk, 
Ephraim Brevard, Hezekiah J. Balch, John Phifer, James 
Harris, William Kennon, John Ford, Pichard Barry, Henry 
Downs, Ezra Alexander, William Graham, John Queary, 
Abraham Alexander, John Mclvnitt Alexander, Hezekiah 
Alexander, Adam Alexander, Charles Alexander, Zacheus 
Wilson, Sr., Waightstill Avery, Benjamin Patton, Matthew 
McClure, Neil Morrison, Robert Irwin, John Flenniken, 
David Reese, Richard Harris, Sr. ^o information whatever 
is given as to where this list was obtained, or how it was com- 
piled. If there is anywhere in any contemporary record a 
mention of the names of the Mecklenburg committee, or of 
the convention of selectmen provided for by the resolutions of 
May 31, it has never been put in evidence. It is quite cer- 
tain that this list was compiled from the various lists given by 
the memory witnesses. It differs from the list compiled by 
Ramsey for his broadside in 1825, and contains fewer names 
than were mentioned by the memory wntnesses. Some names 
had doubtless been edited out to avoid dilemmas. William 
Davidson and Samuel Martin, for instance, were citizens of 
Rowan County and Ezekiel Polk, of South Carolina. John 
Davidson was probably left out because his memory had not 
been clear enough on what the convention of which he claimed 
to have been a member did. William Kennon was a citizen 
of Rowan Countv and should not have been on this list. 


Waigbtstill Avery could not have been present, for his fee 
book, which is extant, shows that during the month of May, 
1775, he was in attendance upon the courts of Eowan, Guil- 
ford and Surry Counties, and the Rowan court records show 
that he was appointed "Attorney for the Crown" at Salis- 
bury August 2, 1775. There was no such person as Richard 
Harris, Sr. There was a Robert Harris in Mecklenburg tak- 
ing a conspicuous part in public affairs in 1775. John 
Foard's name is misspelled in the pamphlet. Following the 
"names of the delegates present" is a copy of the Alexander 
"declaration." Following this are the exhibits. The first 
(A) is a reprint of the article in the Raleigh Register of 
April 30, 1819. Following this is the following certifi- 
cate (B) : 

I, Samuel Henderson, do hereby certify, that the paper annexed was 
obtained by me from Maj. William Davie in its present situation, soon 
after the death of his father, Gen. William R. Davie, and given to Doet. 
Joseph M'Knitt by me. In searching for some particular paper, I 
came across this, and knowing the handwriting of John M'Knitt Alex- 
ander, took it up and examined it. Maj. Davie said to me (when 
asked how it became torn) his sisters had torn it, not kno-\ving what 
it was. 

Given under my hand, this 25th Nov. 1830. 

Sam. Henderson. 

To this certificate there is the following note : 

To this certificate of Doct. Henderson is annexed the copy of the 
paper A, originally deposited by John M'Knitt Alexander in the hands 
of Gen. Davie, whose name seems to have been mistaken by Mr. Jeffer- 
son for that of Crov. Caswell. * * * This paper is somewhat torn, 
but is entirely legible, and constitutes the "solemn and positive proof 
of authenticity," which Mr. Jefferson required, and which would dovibt- 
less have been satisfactory, had it been submitted to him. 

The certificate of William S. Alexander, who was then 
dead, was not printed in the pamphlet, but, in its stead, there 
is a certificate from Alphonso Alexander, Amos Alexander 
and J. M'Knitt that they had often heard him say that he 


had met Jack in Philadelpiiia and learned from him that he 
'Hvas there as the agent or bearer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence made in Charlotte, on the twentieth day of May, 
seventeen hundred and seventy-five, by the citizens of Meck- 
lenburg, then including Cabarrus, with instructions to present 
the same to the Delegates from I^orth Carolina, and by them 
to be laid before Congress." A glance at that certificate 
shows that the afiiants were more than "willing" witnesses. 
Captain Jack could not have told William S. Alexander all 
that they certify that he told them Jack said, nor does this cer- 
tificate accord with what is credited to him in The Yadkin 
and Catawha Journal of November 9, 1830, nor with Captain 
Jack's own statement. 

On November 12, 1776, a convention of the people of 
North Carolina met at Halifax to adopt a constitution for 
the independent State of North Carolina — so made by the 
national Declaration of Independence, passed the preceding 
4th of July. Mecklenburg was represented in that conven- 
tion by John Phifer, Robert Irwin, Zacheus Wilson, Heze- 
kiah Alexander and Waightstill Avery. They had been 
elected by the freemen of the county November 1, 1776. They 
had been given certain instructions to follow in the State 
convention. In 1837 a Charlotte newspaper published a 
draft of "Instructions for the Delegates of Mecklenburg 
County, proposed to the consideration of the County." It 
was dated September 1, 1776. Wheeler, who subsequently 
published it in his Historical Sketches of North Carolina, 
says : "It was found among the old surviving papers of John 
McKnitt Alexander, and he is the author of them." Wheeler 
probably got his information from the newspaper, which is 
not at hand, but that he is correct is attested by the instruc- 
tions that were adopted at the county meeting and which were 
printed in the North Carolina, UiUversity Magazine. 4, 259, 
with a note saying that they were "in the well-known sharp. 


angular handwriting of Colonel Avery, with the exception of 
Sections 17 and 18, which are in the small cramped hand of 
John McKnitt Alexander. Sections 10, 11 and 13, as ap- 
pears from a marginal note in the handwriting of Mr. Alex- 
ander, were rejected by the people." In addition to this di- 
rect statement as to Alexander's connection with the instruc- 
tions that were adopted, enough of the ideas of the draft 
found among Alexander's "old surviving papers" were incor- 
porated into them to confirm Wheeler's statement that he was 
the author of that draft. That draft also contains some of 
the very words and ideas of the alleged "declaration" of May 
20, 1775. "Xorth Carolina is and of right ought to be, a 
free and independent State," and "unalienable Rights" are 
familiar expressions to the point. Like the national Decla- 
ration, the rough notes of 1800 and the valedictory address it 
was evidently used in the preparation of that "declaration." 

Prior to this time no copy of the resolutions of May 31 
had been brought into the controversy, but in 1838 Peter 
Force, the well-known historical writer, called attention to an 
epitomised copy thereof in The New Yorh Journal of June 
29, 1775, credited to The South-Carolina Gazette; And 
Country Journal of June 13, 1775, and another such copy in 
The Massachusetts Spy of July 12, 1775, credited to the same 
gazette, and suggested that these resolutions probably ac- 
counted for the Mecklenburg tradition. In 1840-1841, while 
working in London, Sparks saw a copy of The South-Carolina 
Gazette; And Couniry Journal of June 13, 1775, which Gov- 
ernor Wright, of Georgia, had sent to London, and in 1848 
Bancroft also saw it. Both of these eminent historians pub- 
licly called attention to their discoveries and expressed the 
opinion that the resolutions of May 31 constituted the foun- 
dation for the tradition and the testimony of the memory wit- 
nesses. But the Alexander "declaration" had now become a 
reality with, a part of the Presbyterian religion of, and a test 


of patriotism with many jSTorth Carolinians and reliable evi- 
dence and logical deductions could not throw it dow^n from the 
jDedestal upon wliich myth-worshipping idolaters had placed it. 
About 1845, after the death of Dr. Joseph McKnitt Alex- 
ander, the papers which he had bearing on the ^'declaration" 
were given into the custody of the State. A paper before 
unmentioned was now discovered among them. It contained 
the same resolutions and historical note, with a few textual 
variations, as were published in the Raleigh Register of April 
30, 1819.^* There were several evidences on the face of the 
paper, however, to show that it was not copied but was im- 
provised as the w^'iter went along. At the end of the 5th 
resolution, for instance, the writer had written the word 
State, but seeing that it would not fit the history, struck it out 
and wrote province. Other words had been stricken out and 
better words interlined ; another evidence of improvisation 
and not copying." In the narrative the consti*uctor of this 
paper wrote : "From this delegation originated the Court of 
Enquiry of this county, who constituted and held their first 
session in Charlotte immediately on Lord Cornwallis leaving 
Charlotte in the year 1780 — they then held their meetings 
regularly at Charlotte, at Col. James Harris's," etc. But 
when the constructor saw that to mention Cornwallis and 
1780 would spoil the story he struck the references out. To 
this paper and the "half sheet" whereon John McKnitt Alex- 
ander's rough notes had been written the following certificate 


was attached : 

No. Carolina, 
Mecklenburg Covmty 

The sheet and torn half sheet to which this is attached (the sheet is 
evidently corrected in two places by John ]\IcKnitt Alexander as marked 
on itg^" — the half sheet is in his own handwriting) were found after 
the death of Jno. McKnitt Alexander in his old mansion house in the 

3*A paper, prepared for Bancroft, showing these variations, is in 
the New York Public Library. 


centre of a roll of old pamphlets, viz: "an address on public liberty 
printed Philadelphia, 1774"; one "on the Disputes with G. Britain, 
printed 1775"; and "an address on Federal policy to the Citizens of 
No. Ca. held at Halifax the 4 of April, 1776," which papers have been 
in my possession ever since. Certifyed Novr. 2oth, 1830. 

J. McKnitt. 

In an address delivered at an Academy near Charlotte, published in 
the Raleigh Minerva of 10th Augt., 1809, the Mecklenburg Declaration 
is distinctly stated, etc. 

As to the full sheet being in an unknown handwrite, it matters not 
who may have thus copyed the original record: by comparing the copy 
deposited with Genl. Davie they two will be found so perfectly the same, 
so far as his is preserved, that no imposition is possible — the one from 
the same original as the other is conclusive. I have therefore always 
taken from the one which is entire, where the other is lost, the entire 
sheet is most probably a copy taken long since from the original for 
some person, corrected by Jno. McKnitt Alexander, and now sent on. 
the roll of pamphlets with which these two papers were found 
I never knew were amongst his old surveying and other papers untill 
after his death. They may have been unrolled since 1788. 

J. McKnitt. 

About 1853 ex-Governor Swain, Historical Agent for 
]^orth Carolina, took these papers from the State archives to 
the University of jSTorth Carolina. The Davie "copy," so 
often mentioned by Dr. Alexander, was now examined by 
Professor Charles Phillips of the faculty of the University, 
who discovered that all of it was gone except the last two reso- 
lutions and the following certificate in the handwriting of 
John McKnitt Alexander, which had received no notice from 
Dr. Alexander, the legislative committee, or Swain. 

It may be worthy of notice here to observe that the foregoing state- 
ment, though fundamentally correct, may not literally correspond with 
the original record of the transactions of said delegation and court of 
inquiry, as all these records and papers were burnt with the house 
on April 6, 1800; but previous to that time of 1800 a full copy of 
said records, at the request of Dr. Hugh Williamson, then of New 
York, but formerly a representative in Congress from this State, was 
forwarded to him by Colonel William Polk, in order that those early 
transactions might fill their proper place in a history of this State, 


then writing by said Dr. Williamson, in New York. Certifyed to the 
best of my recollection and belief, this 3d day of September, 1800. 

J. McK. Alexander. 

With the documents before us that have heretofore been 
cited there can be no reasonable disputation of the conclusion 
that the paper sent to Davidson by Dr. Alexander, and subse- 
quently published in numerous newspapers and books, was a 
fabrication. That it was fabricated after the formation of 
Cabarrus County in 1792 is quite certain and, as John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander made no mention of Cabarrus in his rough 
notes of 1800, it is evident that it was fabricated after the 
publication in 1809 of the valedictory address wherein was 
incorporated that foot-note about Cabarrus ; otherwise there 
would have been no occasion to bring into the narrative that 
extraneous reference to Cabarrus. 

In the first paper which Dr. Alexander gave out he avoided 
acknowledging that John McKnitt Alexander was his father ; 
hid his identity under the signature ''J. M'Knitt" ; men- 
tioned "papers" left in his hands by "John M'Knitt Alexan- 
der dec'd," although he produced only one paper, and did not 
say how many more there were or what their import was ; and 
did not say that John McKnitt Alexander was the author of 
the pa^Der or tell how the latter came into possession of it, or 
in what shape it was. He stated that he had found it "'on 
file that the original book was burned April 1800. That a 
copy of the proceedings was sent to Hugh Williamson in ISTew 
York, then writing a History of JSTorth-Carolina, and that a 
copy was sent to Gen. Davie." He never produced that 
"file" during the whole controversy over his paper, but when 
we compare his first certificate with that of his father on the 
Davie "copy" it is evident that he was cogTiizant of the state- 
ment his father had made in that certificate in reference to 
the burned records. In his article in the Yadkin and Ca- 


tawha Journal he stated that there was '"an authentic copy of 
these resolves and bye-laws mentioned in so many of the cer- 
tificates, in the handwriting of John McKnitt Alexander, and 
certified by him as Clerk which had been deposited with- Gen. 
Wm. E. Davie, for the use of some future historian." He 
knew that that was false, for the Davie ''copy" contained the 
father's certificate that that paper was not taken from an orig- 
inal record but was j)repared from memory and was only true 
to the best of his belief, and there was nothing thereon to 
show that he claimed to have been clerk of the body that 
passed the ''Declaration" which he saw voted. He made it 
appear that he had the "whole proceedings of the delegation" 
which, "though interesting," were "too long for this publica- 
tion." He forgot that at the very outset of the same article 
he had said that it was difficult to prove a thing after fifty- 
five years "when no record of the transaction could be offi- 
daily Jcept/' As a matter of fact he never did have a single 
original record and all that he was ever able to produce was 
the rough notes, the paper of doubtful origin and the Davie 
"copy" and of that only the last two resolutions and the cer- 
tificate were left. At the outset he gave the impression that 
no records of the convention had been kept, yet at a later 
point stated that he had in his possession a paper "written 
and signed by J. M. Alexander, and purports to be extracted 
from the old minutes." The father tells us that the records 
had been burned in his house, but says not a word about his 
notes being a copy of those same original records. The son 
intimates to us that no official minutes had been kept, and 
then tells us that he has some extracts taken from the minutes 
by his father. But the Bancroft copy of those notes shows 
the evidence on their face of having been written in 1800. 
In his paper of 1819 Dr. Alexander said the paper had been 
"left in my hands by John M'Knitt Alexander dec'd"but in his 


certificate to the rough copy of the declaration and the rough 
notes he said they ^'had been found after the death of Jno. 
McKnitt Alexander in his old mansion house in the centre of 
a roll of old pamphlets" which "may have been unrolled since 
1788." ISTot only are the two statements irreconcilable, but 
contradict the father's statement that his house was burned in 
1800 and everything lost. The rough draft of the "declara- 
tion", which had been shown by evidence on its face to have 
been fabricated, was the basis for his subsequent copies for 
Davidson and Polk, for he tells us in the last certificate that 
he had "always taken from the one which is entire, where the 
other is lost." The "other" he refen'ed to was the Davie 
"copy." He also tells us that "it matters not who may have 
thus copyed the original record." It does matter, however, 
for it is evident that no "original record" was copied at all. 
This is not only shown by the face of the paper itself but by 
the certificate of the father which shows that the "original 
record" had been destroyed. 

We might excuse Dr. Alexander's failure to see that the 
paper in the unknown hand contained statements contradic- 
tory of the rough notes in his father's hand and language 
stolen from the national Declaration of Independence, on the 
ground of lack of critical discermnent, but for the fact that 
even after he got the Davie "copy," which should have set 
him straight, he, even more than before, tried to keep up the 
deception. The Davie paper was most likely a polished ver- 
sion of the rough notes of 1800, but Dr. Alexander main- 
tained in his certificate of K'ovember 25, 1830, that it was 
"perfectly the same" as the rough draft and that both had 
been copied from "the original record." The only evidences 
to connect John McKnitt Alexander with this rough draft, 
which was the prototype of what was first published in the 
Raleigh Register, are the statements of Dr. Joseph McKnitt 
Alexander that it had two corrections in his father's hand- 


writing (only one is noted by Bancroft's copyist) and that it 
was "perfectly the same" as the remaining fragment of the 
Davie "copy," which Henderson certified was in John Mc- 
Ivnitt Alexander's handwriting. It seems hardly possible 
that John McKnitt Alexander would have put only two cor- 
rections on a paper which contained statements in conflict 
with his rough notes and his certificate to the paper he gave 
General Davie. He w^ould doubtless have noticed that this 
paper said convention and not committee as he had said. 

It will be observed that Henderson did not certify that the 
fragment of the Davie "copy" which he found was "per- 
fectly the same" as corresponding parts of the resolutions in 
the Raleigh Register, nor did any one else who saw it before or 
after it fell into the hands of Dr. Alexander so certify. The 
legislative committee has left no statement to that effect, 
and the editor of the pamphlet which was issued by legislative 
authority merely appends a note to Henderson's certificate 
saying that to the certificate there is annexed the copy of the 
paper A "originally deposited by John M'Knitt Alexander in 
the hands of Gen. Davie" and that "it is somewhat torn, but 
is entirelv leo-ible." There is no evidence that Judffe Swain 
wrote that note or saw the paper himself. That he did not 
and that he accepted that note, ready made, from Alexander 
is attested by the following statement made by Professor 
Charles Phillips in letters to Lyman C. Draper, June 8, and 
June 22, 1875 : 

Gov. Swain had very little confidence in Dr. Jos. McKnitt Alexander; 
and evidently knew more about him than he told me * * * * 
treading on delicate ground when insinuating that Dr. Joseph McKnitt 
Alexander was guilty of a discreditable suppressio veri; he used to 
talk of it to me confidentially as a dirty trick but one which lie could 
not expose. 

With the Alexander papers before him Professor Phillips, 
aided and abetted by Governor Swain, published in the North 
Carolina University Magazine for May, 1853, an exposition 


of the May 20 fraud. From an official supporter thereof 
Governor Swain had now become (temporarily) a repudiator 
thereof. In one of the letters above cited Professor Phillips 
said that there was "no evidence that John McKnitt Alexan- 
der claimed for himself the Secretaryship in 1775" and that 
the "^introductory portion, with the first three of the Resolves, 
had been torn off the Davie copy," so that they had no oppor- 
tunity to test the handwriting, though he noted one difference 
in the two pajDcrs. In another letter Professor Phillips 
wrote: "The condition of the originals in our possession 
here, the diversity of handwriting, the frequent interlinea- 
tions, erasures, etc., show that the younger Alexander tried to 
set forth a poem in iVlexandrian measure." 

It is very doubtful, therefore, if the original Davie "copy" 
was "perfectly the same" as the rough draft of the "deciaia- 
tion" in the unknown hand from which Dr. Alexander had 
"always taken" his copies. By the fragment of it which was 
left it was impossible to show that it had ever contained the 
narrative which was published in the Raleigh Fegister, and 
which contains so many statements at variance with well- 
established facts, or that the first three resolutions thereof 
were in the same language as the corresponding resolutions of 
the publication in the Baleigh Begister, which contain all of 
the expressions stolen from the national Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and, in the fourth and fifth resolutions, notwith- 
standing the interlineations, erasures, etc., Professor Phil- 
lips still noted one difference. An examination of the care- 
fully made Bancroft copy of the rough notes will confirm 
Professor Phillips's statement as to the interlineations and 
erasures. Particularly is that the case in the matter of John 
McKnitt Alexander being named as secretary. A word was 
evidently erased and his initials crowded in its place and the 
w^ord secretarv interlined. 


That Dr. Alexander tried to force the Davie "copy" and his 
father's rough notes to conform to his Raleigh Register publi- 
cation seems quite likely, and that he was the fabricator of 
that document is attested by the very best of circumstantial 
evidence. The writer is not alone in that opinion. In a 
letter to Draper, July 31, 1875, Professor Phillips said that 
about 1857 Governor Swain submitted "all the original docu- 
ments in his possession touching on the subject of the Meck- 
lenburg Declaration" to former Chief-Justice Thomas Puf- 
fin, and asked him for a candid and impartial opinion there- 
of ; that, after due examination, Judge Puffin returned the 
papers with the remark : 

I want no better case to convict the parties concerned of forgery. 

In a letter to his daughter, written a few years after this, 
Professor Phillips said : 

This is Meckl. Deel. time & N. C. has made herself ridiculous as 
usual of late. When she c<3. & might read a veritable Decl. of 1775, 
she tries to perpetuate the paper of May 20, & so endorse what Judge 
RufBn called — "to all intents & purposes a forgery.'" My Presbyterian- 
ism & my patriotism boil with indignation at the fraud of Joe Mc- 
Knitt Alexander, at its unworthy success. 

There are several little internal evidences in some of the 
papers which Dr. Alexander published that tend to strengthen 
the opinions of Swain, Phillips, Rufiin and the writer. Once 
he got that idea into his head about Cabarrus County it as- 
serted itself on all occasions. It appeared with his "declara- 
tion," then in his contribution to the Yadkin and Catawba 
Journal and in the certificate which he, Amos Alexander and 
Alphonso Alexander furnished for the legislative pamphlet. 
In the certificate which he attached to the rough draft of the 
"declaration" and his father's rough notes he mentioned the 
valedictory address, wherein the fact that Cabarrus had for- 
merly been a part of Mecklenburg was first stressed, thus 



showing that there was where he first got that idea which he 
injected into his narrative accompanying his ^'declaration.'* 
Another internal evidence is that in all papers that were sub- 
mitted as proof of the fact of a declaration, from his "decla- 
ration" itself to his final certificate, he signed himself "J. 
M'Knitt," but when he wrote a defence of his evidence and 
his own position he signed his name in full. 

In concluding the writer will say that he was once a be- 
liever in this "Mecklenburg Myth," as it has now come to be 
generally known in historical circles, but that he was con- 
vinced of its lack of authenticity by the late distinguished 
historian, Edw^ard McCrady, and that a few years ago he was 
drawn into the controversy over it by the publication in Col- 
lier s of Millington Miller's forgery purporting to be an issue 
of The Cape-Fear Mercury of Friday, June 3, 1775, contain- 
ing a contemporary copy of the "declaration." The moment 
the writer saw that publication he pronounced it a forgery 
and, so far as has yet been shown, was the first to so declare 
in the public prints, and the records will show that, while 
others were still defending Miller's production as genuine, 
he was turning up the proofs which eventually convicted him 
of forgery to the satisfaction even of those who had formerly 
defended the forgery. 




"No less than seven witnesses of most unexceptionable character 
swear positively that there was a meeting of the people of Mecklenburg 
at Charlotte, on the 19th and 20th days of May, 1775; that certain 
declarations distinctly declaring independence of Great Britain were 
then and there prepared by a committee, read publicly to the people 
by Col. Thomas Polk, and adopted by acclamation ; that they were 
present and took part in the proceedings themselves, and that John 
McKnitt Alexander was a Secretary of the meeting." — Rev. Francis L. 
Hmvks, D.D., LL.D., in New York, December 16, 1852^ 

"The documentary evidence in my possession satisfies me that there 
was a meeting of the citizens of Mecklenburg at Charlotte, on the 19th 
and 20th of May, 1775, and that resolutions in relation to independence 
were discussed and adopted. I entertain the opinion that the resolu- 
tions of the 31st May, were the resolutions published in the Cape Fear 
Mercury." — Goveiifior D. L. Siomn, in a letter to Hon. George Bancroft, 
March 6, 1858. 

"The manuscript (May, 20) applies to Mecklenburg County alone; 
that county only is declared independent. The declaration (May, 31) 
is not for one county of one colony. It is a declaration of independence 
of the United Colonies, and made by men who saw far into the future — 
whose patriotism was not limited by the boundaries of their own 
county." — Col. Peter Force, December 11, 18^1, in «. letter to John 

"Thus was Mecklenburg County in North Carolina separated from 
the British Empire." — George Banci'oft's History, Volume 7, page 231, 
discussing the resolves of May, 31- 

Cui Bono f Some wise man has observed that the only jus- 
tification for anything to be said or written is that it has never 
been said before or that it has not been said so welL Judged 
by this criterion in the face of the evidence alluded to above, 
the perennial outbursts against the Mecklenburg Declaration 
of Independence are so futile as to approach banality. If all 
the variegated criticisms and witticisms could be brought to- 
gether and condensed, it would amount to merely "words, 


words, words, no matter from the heart." Omar Khayyam. 
was a little previous but he struck these anti-history people a 
sharp blow in his verse about hearing great argument "but 
evermore came out by the same door wherein he went." 

"Who can refute a sneer V asks Paley in his Moral Philos- 
ophy, and the question has not been answered. In the shadow 
of slander, virtue is at a disadvantage in defending itself. 
The suspicion-breeder is worse than the cuttle-fish, because he 
hides within pretensions to noble things. This mere ground- 
less suspicion is all there has ever been in refutation of the 
unshaken testimony of actual witnesses of the proceedings on 
the occasion of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 
— suspicion conceived in envy, born in malice, nurtured in 
conceit, and kept alive in vain imaginations. ]!*^ot one fact 
has been presented against the Declaration's authenticity 
(which has been proven by positive testimony) but it seems 
that the friends of the facts are expected to explain the end- 
less profusion of delusive suspicions and aspersions invented 
by the experts in mythology. Though obviously unfair, this 
expectation will be satisfied until there be "no hinge nor loop 
to hang a doubt on." 

Suppose at this late date some sensation monger should 
cast suspicion upon the Magna Charta signed by King John 
at Runny mede, June 15, 1215 ; that the suspicious ones 
should argue that there was only an uneventful assembly on 
that occasion ; that later some of the Barons drew up the docu- 
ment and it was accepted (not by John) but by his successor 
Henry III at the famous conference at Bristol, I^ovember 11, 
1216. Such quibbling could not shake the faith in the ac- 
cepted history, but the hypothesis could not be proven untrue 
to the satisfaction of the ones who for reasons of their own 
might wish to believe them. Yerhum sap sapienti. 

The motive in this case on the part of the detractors is self- 
evident. It is the same motive that is responsible for the fact 


that some "historians" refuse to admit that North Carolina 
furnished more troops for the Confederacy than did any of 
her sisters. The opponents of established facts have no rever- 
ence for nor interest in history as history but only as it is sel- 
fishly pleasing: they try to make the facts fit their precon- 
ceived opinions instead of making their opinions fit the facts. 
The true liistorian, on the contrary, delights in the truth 
whether it be for him or against him. These chronic doubters 
resemble the green country lad who in his supreme ignorance 
thought he knew it all and that a giraffe was a myth and a 
fraud, and when he was finally confronted with the reality, 
turned away in disgust exclaiming: "Pshaw, they ain't no 
sich anny-mule." 

Let us grant for the sake of argument that the negative 
suppositions are true ; what difference does it make ? The 
resolutions of May 31, 1775, are not now disputed, though 
formerly they were condemned along with the more formal 
declaration of May 20. These undisputed resolutions de- 
clared "all laws and commissions, confirmed by or derived 
from the authority of the King or Parliament, are annulled 
and vacated" and that "whatever person shall hereafter re- 
ceive a commission from the Crown, or attempt to exercise any 
such commission heretofore received, shall be deemed an 
enemy to his country." This in itself is a declaration of in- 
dependence that can not be denied. The argument of 
Colonel Force (paragraph 19) on this point is conclusive. 
Governor Martin, who had not heard of the Declaration of 
May 20, sent the Cape Fear Mercury containing the resolu- 
tions to Lord Dartmouth with the statement that the action of 
the Mecklenburg committee "surpasses all the horrid and 
treasonable publications that the inflammatory spirits of this 
continent have yet produced." That Josiah Martin was not 
partial to l^orth Carolina is evidenced by the fact that he fled 
from that "inflammatory spirit" to the more peaceful harbor 


of South Carolina in that same month of June of 1775, from 
which time North Carolina was independent in fact as ivell 
as in declaration. 

So if the Declaration as claimed for May 20 falls, the reso- 
lutions remain, and only eleven days are taken from Mecklen- 
burg's four hundred and eleven days of priority in defiance of 
Great Britain. Mecklenburg's only reason for maintaining 
the claim is that it is the truth and that there is no reason for 
doubting it. The difficulty of obtaining j^roof at this time 
sufficient for persons who do not want to believe, is apparent ; 
but the fact that the Mecklenburg Declaration of Indepen- 
dence of May, 1775, was accepted as "common tradition" 
before 1800 when all the people must have known whether or 
not it was genuine and when original records were avail- 
able, is good indications that the tradition was fact. 

Any unprejudiced reader of the evidence will be convinced 
that in the hundred years of activity, the maligners have not 
been able to controvert the testimony of the participants wdio 
certify })Ositively to the proceedings. In examining the argu- 
ments of these controversialists, there need be no partiality, 
but every suspicion and surmise should be considered as to 
its comparative worth in offsetting the positive declarations of 
men who were present May 20, 1775, and whose statements 
have not been and can not be disproven. It should be borne 
in mind that the negative argument admits the authenticity 
of the Eesolves of May 31, but contends that they were not 
equivalent to a Declaration of Independence and that there 
was no meeting or declaration of any kind May 20 ! We are 
noAv to see if either of the two contentions is substantiated. 

Negative Contentions. 

The foregoing review of the suppositious contentions 
against the authenticity of the Declaration, is perhaps the 
best that has ever been presented. The omissions, suppres- 


sions and misrepresentations are so few as to raise the pre- 
sumption that they are nnintentional. With a rigid cross- 
examination, the friends of the Declaration could well afford 
to let the case go to the jury without further argument. The 
author omits nothing of consequence that has ever been or 
could ever be argued for the negative. His discussion in- 
cludes all of various publications, and being in brief, is supe- 
rior to any of them. 

The one item omitted in the history of the controversy is 
the attempt to 2")rove that May 20 and May 31 came on the 
same day on account of the eleven days' change in the calendar 
in 1752. For a long time this was the chief resource, but 
that the author here omits it is to his credit, as the fallacy is 
too apparent to engage the attention of any one who professes 
to be serious. He also does himself credit in not making the 
extravagant claim that his case is complete, knowing that sur- 
mises at their best can not outweigh direct, positive evidence 
of any kind. It is to be regretted that he allowed his produc- 
tion to be marred by the vulnerable points hereinafter men- 
tioned, though otherwise he could have asked only for a ver- 
dict of ''not proven," which indeed is the most he can hope for 
as it stands. 

1. Reference is made repeatedly to the '^'Mecklenburg 

Myth" and the "May 20 fraud." This is not argimient. It 

is prima facie evidence of malice. The "criminals" guilty 

of the fraud must go for comfort to Dr. Johnson : 

"Of all the griefs that harass the distrest, 
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest : 
Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart, 
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart."' 

Sincerely disclaiming any application of the last line to 
the other participant in this discussion, yet it certainly does 
apply to the originator of the insult to the Mecklenburg 
patriots of 1775 who afterwards gave their positive statements 


ill support of the so-called "myth" and "fraud." This is of 
course entirely aj^art from the merit of the question at issue, 
though that the Declaration has never been accepted as a 
"myth" is shown by its acceptance by Washington Irving iu 
his biography of Washington ; Rev. W. H. Foote, of Virginia, 
iu "Sketches of JSTorth Carolina ;" Alexander Garden, of 
Charleston ; Andrew Jackson who in "The Hermitage" 
pointed with pride to a handsomely framed copy of the 
Declaration made in his native county of Mecklenburg ; Force, 
Lossing, Swain and a host of others. 

2. There is a continual nagging as to whether the Mecklen- 
burg meeting was a committee or a convention. This is mere 
quibbling and has about as much to do with the question as 
the distinction between tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee has with 
the bias of jurisprudence. The Declaration was made and 
it matters not what might have been the correct designation of 
the organization that made it. The national declaration was 
made by the continental congress, but the congress might 
with equal accuracy have been called a committee or a conven- 
tion. By any other name its action would have been the same. 

3. Attention is called to the petition from the ]^orth Caro- 
lina Provincial Congress of August, 1775, declaring allegi- 
ance to the King, and which had the approval of the Mecklen- 
burg representatives, some of whom had signed the Declara- 
tion. The intended implication is that this proves that these 
men could not have signed the Declaration or have had any- 
thing to do with it. Was such an apparent inconsistency so 
wonderful at a time when Edmund Burke was charging Par- 
liament wdth seeking fresh principles with every new mail 
from America ? The continental congress were then discuss- 
ing a similar petition with Thomas Jefferson as its sponsor, 
and the provinces were naturally expected to endorse it. That 
it was only an attempt to seize the last straw of hope and that 
Jefferson himself had no faith in it is known to all students 


of history. To charge that North Carolina was submissive in 

the Fall of 17 Y 5 is indefensible in view of the fact that the 

Royal Governor never dared to set foot in the State after May 

of that year. So the act of Thomas Polk and his compatriots 

is not so very inconsistent after all. Besides, it is every bit 

as incompatible with the May 31 resolutions as with the 

Declaration, and if the petition argues against one, it argaies 

against the other, and the authenticity of the resolutions is 

not denied. 

4. "With the Alexander papers before him, Professor Philips, aided 
and abetted by Governor Swain, published in the Xorth Carolina maga- 
zine for May, 1853, an exposition of the May 20 fraud. From an 
official supporter thereof. Governor Swain had now become temporarily 
a repudiater thereof." 

The opinion of Professor Phillips is worth no more than 
the opinion of any of a hundred others (which fact is evi- 
denced by the attempt to back it up with another) but the 
opinion of Governor Swain is entitled to more consideration 
than that of any one else for the reason that he studied the 
question more thoroughly and imj^artially than any one else 
ever has, and because of his known and admitted historical 
ability and his strength and fairness of mind. The implica- 
tion of the quotation given is that he had been trying to prove 
the validity of the declaration but had finally been converted 
to the side of repudiation. The truth is that he had from the 
first been a doubter but when he finally was confronted with 
the overwhelming evidence, he was then converted and became 
a supporter of what he knew to be the truth. 

This version of his conversion is founded upon his own 

statement in a letter written from Chapel Hill to Hon. George 

Bancroft, March 6, 1858 (five years after the date above 

given) and from which the following is a verbatim extract : 

"I wish very much it was in my power to have a personal conference 
with you in relation to the Mecklenburg resolutions, and other events 
in our revolutionary history. I have held very free and full dis- 


cussion with Dr. Hawks, after a minute examination of all the papers 
at my command, and we understand each other better, and are more 
nearly together in opinion than we were at the time we appeared before 
your historical society. I would like very nuich to go over the same 
ground with you. He never saw the evidence on which I rely as con- 
clusive until his arrival here in June last, after the delivery of his 
lecture in Charlotte. At the close of the examination I gave him a 
paper copied below, and expressed the opinion that everj^ fact set forth 
might be embodied in a special verdict, and established by the evidence 
before us, if an issue were made up and submitted to a jury." : 

The "special verdict," also quoted from the letter, is as 
follows : 

"The documentary evidence in my possession satisfies me that there 
was a meeting of the citizens of Mecklenburg, at Charlotte, on the 
19th and 20th of Maj^ 1775, and that resolutions in relation to inde- 
pendence were discussed and adopted. I entertain no doubt that the 
record of the proceedings of the Mecklenburg Committee was burned 
in the home of John McKnitt Alexander, in the month of April, 1800, 
and that the Davie paper contains what General Graham, Col. Wm. 
Polk, and other gentlemen of high character, whose certificates appear 
in the State pamphlet, believed to be a true narrative of the trans- 
actions of those two days. I entertain the opinion that the resolutions 
of the 31st, Ma J', were the resolutions published in the Cape Fear 
Mercury, and that there was no contemporaneous publication of the 
proceedings of the 19th and 20th of May. That a copy of the records 
of these events Avas placed in the hands of Dr. Williamson, with the 
intent that they should find a place in history of North Carolina, I 
believe to be incontrovertible." 

Was Governor Swaiu a man to say a thing like this of a 
"myth" after he had studied it for twenty years ? Was he 
the kind of man to help j)erpetrate a fraud V Instead of 
that, every one who knows anything about him, knows that he 
was one of the most broad-minded and conscientious of men, 
and a historian who sought the truth without prejudice or 
partiality. His verdict was formed with all the evidence be- 
fore him for the negative that has ever been produced but 
without much of the positive c^adence. 

So this important witness for the doubters develops on 
cross-examination into a witness for the believers. It would 


seem that the myth hunter was immindfiil of the fable about 
Daedalus who constructed the famous labyrinth for King 
Minos of Crete only to find himself imprisoned in it. 

5. Considerable space is taken up unnecessarily in proving 
that the Cape Fear Mercury sent by Governor Martin con- 
tained the resolutions of May 31; so far as is known, this is 
not denied, though there is no proof that it did not also con- 
tain the Declaration of May 20. Further, however, the erro- 
neous statement is made that the records cited ^'show be- 
yond refutation that on May 31, 1775, the committee of 
Mecklenburg County declared the laws of the province of 
North Carolina wholly suspended in Mecklenburg County," 
but ''this action was not taken with any view of declaring 
absolute independence of Great Britain." 

There is no occasion for quibbling over these resolutions 
of May 31. They are before us undisputed and can speak 
for themselves. In answer to the belittling imputation 
quoted, here is the first of the twenty resolutions: ''That all 
commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the 
Crown, to he exercised in these colonies, are null and void, and 
the constitution of each particidnr colony ivholly suspended." 

This is an absolute declaration of independence and is not 
more formal only because of the previous Declaration. That 
this meeting was an adjourned one from the former is borne 
out by the purport of the resolutions, and by the obvious fact 
that this meeting was assembled to provide laws for the inde- 
pendent people "until laws shall be provided for us by the 
congress." The laws then adopted were "to provide in some 
degree for the Exigencies of the County in the present alarm- 
ing period" ; but to attempt to limit the declaration to the 
county requires unlimited imagination in the face of that 
first resolution. (See paragraph 19.) 

6. The court records of Mecklenburg are cited to show that 
they were carried on in the name of the King after May, 


1775, and that therefore there could have been no declaration 
of independence. This indeed does suggest legitimate doubt 
but no more than that, and it is of no weight when brought to 
bear against the positive testimony of the men who were 
present May 20, 1775, when the declaration was made. This 
is as much against the undisputed resolutions of May 31 as it 
is against the declaration, but it is in accord with both. 
The resolutions adopted after the Declaration consti- 
tuted the law for Mecklenburg until the adoption of the State 
constitution December 18, 1776, and as no provision was 
made for the changing of the court customs and forms, it is 
but natural that they should have remained unchanged. As 
they remained so even after July 4, 1776, the logical infer- 
ence from the argument would be that the j)eople of Mecklen- 
burg also refused to accept the national Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, It is clear that the custom was immaterial and 
was not changed except by the new constitution ; but it is also 
well to note that there are but a few scattering instances of 
the practice and that the real affairs of Mecklenburg were in 
the hands of the independent committee. (See paragraph 
3 preceding, and paragraph 12 of Positive Evidence.) 

7. After the national Declaration, we are told : 

"The home rule government whicli the committee had provided for 
Mecklenburg by the resolutions of May 31, 1775, now no longer acknowl- 
edged allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain, but to the State of 
North Carolina." 

This insinuation as to the allegiance of the May 31 resolu- 
tions to the Crown is answered by the sixteenth of the resolu- 
tions in the words "whatever person shall hereafter receive a 
conunission from the Crown or attempt to exercise any such 
commission heretofore received, shall be deemed an enemy to 
his country." Is not this sufficient ? 

8. An exhaustive attempt is made to show that the resolu- 
tions of May 31 came to be known as a declaration of inde- 


pendence (which was eminently proper) and that this ae- 
eoimts for the claim as to May 20. Every one who ever tes- 
tified as to the declaration without mentioning the date is 
brought forward to strengthen this theory. There is "great 
argument about it and about, but evermore" he comes out by 
the same door wherein he went. No piece of evidence of any 
nature can be found to show that the declaration was not May 
20, and there is before us the testimony of men who were 
there and who testified positively, after mature deliberation, 
that the Declaration was made as claimed, May 20, 1775. 

9. "This production, however, is entirely inconsistent with the history 
of the time, both as to America in general, and North Carolina in 

The author of this remarkable statement answers it him- 
self in the details of the Fayetteville and Wilmington com- 
mittees. It is answered again in the admitted resolutions of 
May 31. It was answered by Thomas Jefferson in his letter 
to Adams wherein he said, "'No State was more fixed or for- 
ward than ISTorth Carolina." It was answered at the battle 
of Moore's Creek bridge, February 27, 1776, and it is an- 
swered in every chapter of the history of JSTorth Carolina, 
which shows from beginning to end that the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence was a rational manifestation ji 
the will of the people and in perfect harmony with the history 
of the State from the beginning to the end of the struggle for 
independence. (This part of the question was covered in the 
October number of the North Carolina Booklet in the contri- 
bution entitled "The Significance of the Mecklenburg Decla- 
ration of Independence.") 

10. "There is not one contemporary record in evidence to sustain it." 

This is answered by the citation given from the Wachoviau 
records in Salem (than which there are none more reliable) 
written during; the revolution and which declares that "The 


coiaify of Mecklenburg declared itself free and independent" 
in 1775. This is a contemporary record, the correctness of 
which no one can question. (See paragraph 2 of Positive 

11. "The traditionary references to a declaration of independence, 
heretofore quoted, are neither contemporaneous nor specific, and will 
apply as readily to the authenticated resolutions of May, 31, as to this 
alleged declaration of May, 20." 

Now wliat can this mean in connection with the writer's 
contimious contention that there was nothing in the resolu- 
tio.iis of May 31 to suggest the thought of independence? All 
of these "traditionary references" are concerning "a declara- 
fion ri independence" and if this applies "readily to the au- 
thenticated resolutions," then the authenticated resolutions 
must have had something in them to suggest the thought, 
otherwise the suggestion could have come only from the reality 
of May 20. Verily, "he falleth into his own pit." His posi- 
tion is ominously sujo'sestive of the sreat 
"Serbonian bog, 

Twixt Damiata and Mount Cassius old. 

Where armies Avhole have sunk." 

12. "The resolutions of May 31, preclude the possibility of any such 
action having been taken on May 20. The resolutions provided for the 
organization of the people of Mecklenburg into a regiment of militia 
at a future date. It is evident that the colonel of the regiment could 
not have called a convention of two men from each company when 
there were, as yet no companies." 

That ]\recklenburg County was divided into militia dis- 
tricts (»r companies from its creation in 1762 is a matter or 
record. This is proven by innumerable items. In particu- 
lar is the visit of Governor Tryon to Mecklenburg to review 
the militia companies in August of 1768, shortly after which 
time (September 12) each of the companies furnished a quota 
to march to Hillsboro to help preserve peace. 

13. "It will be observed that parts of the 'declaration' bear close 
resemblance to parts of the national Declaration of Independence." 


This is one of the stock argunients for the doubters, but it 
is not a strong one. There are some expressions in the two 
documents that are identical, but these same expressions were 
such as had been frequent in the public discussions for years 
beiore 1775. The "identical expressions" are in the resolu- 
tions of Richard Henry Lee, June 7, 1776, and some of them 
in Ihe Bond of Union of the Scotch Presbyterians of 1070. 
That lliis reasoning is conclusive is demonstrated by Jeffer- 
son's letter to Adams of July 9, 1819, in which (though pro- 
fessing disbelief in the Mecklenburg Declaration), there is no 
intimation that it occurred to him that there was any undue 
similarity in the two j)apers. He brought to bear upon it 
every possible criticism, and it is not likely he would have 
omitted this if in his opinion there had been any reason in it. 
Jefferson was also careful to state that he did not positively 
assert that the declaration was a fabrication. Aside from 
this, the similarity is only in minor details. There is no 
similarity in the form and in the details where we would 
expect to find it, as for instance in the opening paragraph, 
"When in the course of human events," etc. If the Meck- 
lenburg declaration had been a fabrication, it would have 
been fabricated by one familiar with all the papers concerned 
and who would have had before him the resolutions of May 
31 and the national declaration. The fact that it is entirely 
different in structure and general content from both of these 
documents is proof that it could not have been founded upon 
either. If, as alleged, the idea of the May 20 declaration 
grew out of a confusion about the May 31 resolutions, then it 
would be supposed that the declaration would contain some 
expressions identical with the resolutions, but there is not one 
word of the kind. There is nothing in the remote resem- 
blances of the two declarations (as against their greater dif- 
ferences) to raise a legitimate doubt of the positive and un- 
controverted testimony. That the charge of plagiarism is 


futile and that the principles and phraseology of professions 
of unalienable rights have been similar for hundreds of years, 
are statements amply confirmed by the fact that the Mecklen- 
burg Declaration and the National Declaration are no closer 
in resemblance to each other than both of these documents 
are to the Declaration of the United Provinces of the jSTether- 
lands, July 26, 1581. The Dutch defiance of Spain and the 
American defiance of England (two centuries later) recite 
their grievances and one says ''a Prince whose character is 
thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant," etc., 
while the other says "he is no longer a Prince but a tyrant." 
Both outline the objects of government and the duties of 
rulers; the one says "when he does not behave thus, the sub- 
jects may not only disallow his authority but legally proceed 
to the choice of another Prince for their defense" ; the other 
says "whenever any form of government becomes destructive 
of these ends, it is "the right of the people to alter or abolish it, 
and to institute new government and to provide new Guards 
for their future safety." These similarities are of substance, 
and the similarities in exact phrases are the verv things that 
plagiarism would have omitted. 

14. The surmises and multitudinous hypotheses concerning 
the certificates published in the State pamphlet of 1831 are 
trivial and hardly worthy of mention, though much space is 
occupied with them. Concerning the certificate signed 
jointly by Graham, Hutchison, Clark and Eobinson (given in 
full further on in this discussion) the captious criticisms are 

"It is evident from the verbiage of that certificate, that those who 
gave it refreshed their memories to a considerable extent from the 
publication in the Raleigh Register.'' "They said that Colonel Polk 
was colonel of the militia regiment, and that Ephraim Brevard was 
the secretary of the meeting which they did not term a convention."' 

The critic does not go to the trouble of attempting to dis- 


prove any of these things but expects us to accept his prognos- 
tications without question. That there was confusion as to 
whether Brevard or Alexander was. secretary (because of the 
fact that Brevard did write the declaration) is but natural, 
but the question at issue is not affected by this. As to the 
innuendo about refreshing memory and not calling it a con- 
vention, we are again reminded of tweedle-dum and tweedle- 
dee. However, they did refer to the members as ''Delegates" 
several times, and delegates to a committee would have been 
an anomaly too odd doubtless even for a surmise. It would 
be interesting to know what is meant by the "verbiage" of the 
certificate ; it is really concise and pointed. 

"They said the delegates on the 20th again met. They did not re- 
member an all-night session." 

There is certainly no discrepancy here. The statement is 
made that they met the next day and the Declaration was 
then read. This is in accord with the general statement that 
the Declaration was read from the court-house steps at noon 
of the twentieth. 

"They did not say that the resolutions in the Raleigh Register were 
what they heard read that day. They said that the resolutions went 
to declare independence, not that they declared it."" 

This lack of familiarity with the Raleigh Register does 
not agree with the theory that they "^refreshed their memo- 
ries" from it. If that had been true (which it is was not) is 
it not probable that they would have said whether or not they 
were the resolutions they were describing ? The other state- 
ment is simply incorrect, as by reference to the complete cer- 
tificate it can be seen that the action is referred to four times 
as "the Declaration of Independence." 

This is all that can be said against that definite detailed 
statement of four men who were present when the Declaration 
was made, and who testified to the facts ("and on our honor 


declare") and whose statement is supported by the strongest 
of corroborative and contemporary evidence. This certifi- 
cate, after bearing "the slings and arrows of outrageous for- 
tune" for nearly one hundred years, remains unshaken in its 
reliability and its accuracy, and so long as this holds true, the 
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence will be held as au- 
thentic by every one who is searching for the truth and who 
knows it when he sees it. 

15. We are informed that notwithstanding Martin's state- 
ment to the contrary, the Declaration as published in his his- 
tory, was obtained after he said it was. Up to this good time, 
no one had ever questioned the veracity of Francis Xavier 
Martin, who emigrated from France and settled in ISTew Bern 
in 1782, was engaged by the State for a number of years in 
editing the Statutes, was several times a member of the Gen- 
eral Assembly and associated with some of the Mecklenburg 
representatives who had signed the Declaration, and who was 
then gathering material for his history of the State. In 
1809, he was appointed by President Madison to a position in 
the Louisiana territory. In the preface to his history dated 
July 29, 1829, he says: 

"The writer imagined he had collected sufficient materials to justify 
the hope of producing a history of North Carolina worth the attention 
of his fellow citizens, and he had arranged all those that related to 
transactions anterior to the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776,) 
when in 1809, Mr. Madison thought his services were wanted." 

Further he states that he had hoped to get the time to give 
more attention to "the work he had commenced in Carolina" 
but the condition of his health made it necessary for him to 
put it to press without delay. This is absolutely conclusive 
evidence that the Martin copy of the Declaration (the one 
considered as genuine) was in existence long before the dis- 
cussion arose in the Raleigh Register and hence could not 
have been manufactured for that purpose. More than this, 


we have the testimony of Eev. Francis L. Hawks in his Char- 
lotte speech in 1857 that Judge Martin told him that "he had 
obtahied the copy of the Declaration prior to 1800,'' and that 
he did not know Garden had printed a copy. Is it likely 
that this could have been done without the knowledge of John 
McKnitt Alexander or that Alexander after the destruction 
of the original, would have certified to an incorrect copy 
while knowing that the Martin exact copy was in existence ? 
This requires too many ifs for the ordinary imagination. 
The Martin copy is undoubtedly a verbatim reproduction of 
the original which was destroyed by the burning of Alexan- 
der's house in April of 1800. 

16. All that is said against the Garden copy published in 
Garden's Anecdotes of the Revolution in 1828, is that it is 
plainly a revision of the Guilford copy published in the 
Charleston Mercury of July 4, 1828. It happens, however, 
that the Garden and Martin copies are duplicates except for 
slight variations such as might well be made by the same copy- 
ist in copying from the original, and besides Garden acknowl- 
edges as his source of information Dr. William Read (a fel- 
low-citizen of Charleston with Garden) who attended Ephraim 
Brevard in his last illness in 177Y, at the home of John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander. ISTeither Garden nor Martin knew of the 
other's publication until it appeared in print, so there could 
not have possibly been any comparison of their copies. Hence 
the only reason that can account for their similarity is that 
they were both verbatim reproductions of the original, as they 
were. There is no evidence whatever to the contrary. 

17. The various suppositions as to how the certificates 
might not mean what they say, are aired at considerable 
length, and particular attention is given to an attempt to 
demonstrate the unreliability of the papers left by Dr. Joseph 
McKnitt Alexander who was a son of John McKnitt Alex- 


ander. Governor Swain is here brought in again to testify, 
and he undoubtedly did not attach much importance to the 
papers; but as Governor Swain said that (without these 
papers) the documentaiy evidence was sufficient, it is appa- 
rent that the case is complete even without this bit of cor- 
roborative evidence. The point raised regarding Dr. Alex- 
ander's custom of signing his name to his notes as "J. Mc- 
Knitt" is of no consequence one way or the other, as he after- 
wards over his full name accepted the signature as his own. 

18. * * * "There was no such person as Richard Harris, Sr." 
* ""' * "John Davidson was probably left out because his memory had 
not been clear." * * * "Captain Jack could not have told William 
S. Alexander all that they certify that he told them Jack said." 

These are samples of unsupported and unsui3portable state- 
ments. Just how any one would go about proving that "there 
was no such person as Richard Harris, St.," presents a subject 
for speculation, as does also the statement about Captain 
Jack. As for John Davidson, he was not "left out" but is 
accredited as one of the signers of the Declaration and his 
name is inscribed on the Declaration monument in Charlotte. 
Why should he have been discriminated against because of 
defective memory when all of the Mecklenburg people are 
supposed (by the doubters) to have been similarly afflicted ? 

19. '"But the Alexander 'declaration' had now become a reality with, 
a part of the Presbyterian religion, of, and a test of patriotism with 
many North Carolinians and reliable evidence, and logical deductions 
could not throw it down from the pedestal upon which myth-worshiping 
idolators had placed it." 

This is the last stroke and immediately follows the intro- 
duction of the celebrated historian, Peter Force, as a witness 
for the prosecution. IS^o sentence of equal length ever con- 
tained more errors. The relation between the faith in the 
Declaration and the doctrine of predestination is too remote 
for discussion here, and the reflection on the Presbyterians 
generally is in part due to the false assumption that all the 


inhabitants of Mecklenburg from the earliest times have been 
Presbyterians. What is there to prove that the inhabitants 
of Mecklenburg were "myth-worshipping idolators ?" To be 
sure it is a mouth-filling phrase, but it is too far from truth 
to be passed over in silence. No people in history have been 
further from fulfilling that description than the ones to whom 
it is meant to apply. It is much better to let the facts speak 
for themselves, and the facts with regard to Peter Force prove 
the doubter a Daedalus again. 

December 11, 1841, Colonel Forcewrotefrom Washington to 
John Vaughan in Philadelphia, a letter in reply to an inquiry 
as to the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. At that 
time, Colonel Force did not have the complete resolutions of 
May 31 and was in doubt as to the date of the resolutions, 
though he had the Davie copy of the Declaration of May 20 as 
published in the Raleigh Register. He refers to the May 20 
Declaration as the "manuscript" and his views (as a witness 
for the prosecution) are especially interesting in declaring 
that the resolutions are the more important even if both are 
considered authentic. The following is the main part of his 
letter : 

"The manuscript (May 20) does not declare the entire dissolution 
of the laws, government and Constitution of this country. It applies 
to Mecklenburg County alone; that county only is declared inde- 
pendent — 'a sovereign and self-governing association' by itself, separated 
alike from the Crown and the province, and leaving North Carolina 
and all the other colonies in subjection to the Crown. The declaration in 
the printed copy (May 31) is of an entirely different character. It 
does declare 'the entire dissolution' in that the whole country is de- 
clared independent. The declaration (May 31) is not for one county 
of one colony; it is for all the colonies. It is a Declaration of Inde- 
pendence of the United Colonies, and made by men who saw far into 
the future — whose patriotism was not limited by the boundaries of 
their own county. At that early day, the men of Mecklenburg marked 
out the true course to be pursued by the whole continent for a redress 
of grievances ; this was afterwards found to be the only course. When 
they took their ground, they stood alone — their own province of North 


Carolina did not join them. They did not ask their fellow subjects 
to unite with them in so daring an enterprise without first encounter- 
ing the peril themselves. They did not wait for others to take the first 
step — they did not stand at ease until the whole were prepared to 
advance in line; but they boldly and fearlessly marched out to the 
front, inviting by their example all the rest to follow. These men were 
the first to declare that the authority of the King and Parliament 
over 'their colonies' was annulled and vacated. They Avere the first 
to incur the responsibility, whatever it might be, of making such a 
declaration, and publishing it to the world. If I have succeeded in 
establishing a single truth, or in removing a single doubt — if I have 
cleared away one of the many clouds of error, that for tvrenty years 
have thrown so much darkness around this brilliant star in our history, 
I shall be entirely satisfied." 

Colonel Force was a native of I^ew Jersey, but lived for 
the greater part of his life in Washington where he died 
January 23, 1868. For many years he was among the fore- 
most of writers and historians, and his published works are 
invaluable. There is no record that he ever visited ]S[orth 
Carolina, and he certainly had no cause for partiality, yet 
from the letter, it might be supposed that he had been one of 
the leaders among the ''myth-worshiping idolaters'' of ^"]ie 
Mecklenburg Presbyterians. Moreover, the long-desired 
conclusive contemporary record was found among the Mora- 
vians who were neither Presbyterians, myth-worshipers nor 
idolaters. No "myth" ever sustained such persistent and 
bitter opposition as has been for a hundred years directed at 
the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; and the real 
reason the Declaration grows in favor is not idolatry but that 
truth that makes doubters and traducers wince : ''Fads arc 
stubhorn things." 

20. With apologies to Disraeli for using some of his words 
in a certain celebrated saying, it may be said that the con- 
cluding paragraph of this latest attack on the Mecklenbu'"g 
Declaration of Independence, is a spectacular manifestation 
of the idiosyncrasies of a disputatious carper and historical 
apostate inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity. 


The paragraph fulfills the requirements of a maximum of 
error in a minimum of space. 

The doubter claims priority in labeling as a forgery the 
alleged lost copy of the Cape Fear Mercury published by one 
S. Millington Miller in CGlliers Weekly for July 11, 1905. 
Facts speak louder than ivords. July 14, 1905, this humble 
scribe (who has never yet believed in a myth) declared in a 
brief letter to the Charlotte Observer that the Miller publica- 
tion was a forgery and entirely indefensible. August 23, 
1905, this same humble contributor published in the same 
Charlotte Observer a lengthy communication (based on an in- 
vestigation made in the meantime in the British Public 
Record office) which according to an editorial in the Charlotte 
Observer was conclusive. In a letter to this same humble 
writer August 3, 1905, Miller made this interesting state- 
ment : ^'I can not see why you friends of the Declaration 
oppose this paper when the public is willing to accept it." 
Miller could not see that to be a friend of the Declaration is 
to be a friend of the truth. 

December 30, 1905, Miller was interviewed in a Baltimore 
hotel by Prof. Alexander Graham, Dr. George W. Graham 
and Mr. R. O. Alexander. This committee had much difficulty 
in finding Miller and only secured this interview on the 
strength of an offer of five thousand dollars for the paper if 
proven genuine. Upon inspection the forgery was self-evi- 
dent, and it was found to be a reproduction in large part of 
a document surreptitiously purloined by Miller from the 
private papers of Dr. Graham while making a "'friendly" call 
some months before. The conclusion of this committee was 
published in the Charlotte Observer of January 1, 1906, and 
the case was settled. The committee, however, had secured 
from Miller his written consent to show his paper to S. 
Worthing-ton Pord, and hence by their courtesy Mr. Ford 
January 5 saw the paper which otherwise he certainly would 


not have seen. Mr. Ford's verdict was publisked January 
12, and later lie made himself ridiculous by claiming that he 
and Mr. A. S. Salley, Jr., had done it all. It is perhaps 
w^orthy of notice that all the members of the conunittee were 
Mecklenburg Presbyterians and Miller was an Episcopalian. 
Just what the aforesaid doubter was doing all that time is 
for him to tell, but whatever it was, it most assuredly had 
nothing to do with proving the forgery. The fact that this 
publication was rejected and proven false by the most ardent 
defenders of the Declaration shows that they were sufficiently 
sure of their gTound to resent any false testimony ; and such 
is the truth. (See '"That Cape Fear Mercury," by xilexandcr 
Graham, 1906.) 

The doubter confesses that at one time he was a believer in 
a myth, which in itself ought to disqualify him from giving 
expert testimony in a matter of fact. This humble scribe not 
only never believed in myths but he never had any faith in 

The doubter says that he was convinced of his error by the 
late Edward McCrady, who was indeed a true historian and 
who did great service for the history of the great State of 
South Carolina without finding it necessary to attempt to pull 
down the history of another State. McCrady, on page 579, 
volume 1, of the History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 
does not discuss the Declaration but says that the Resolves 
"provided for an independent government." Now if the 
doubter was open to conviction about IVIay 20, why did he not 
accept McCrady 's view of May 31 ? The setting up of an in- 
dependent government is a de facto declaration of indepen- 
dence, while the doubter in the foregoing discussion says in 
direct contradiction of McCrady that the Mecklenburg gov- 
ernment "acknowledged allegiance to the Crown." 

Thus endeth the evidence for the State — of uncertainty. 
The doubter might well have taken for his motto for that con- 


eluding paragraph ''/r por lana. y volver trasquilado" — which 

is Spanish, and heing interpreted, means in effect "To go for 

wool and get shorn," 


Is there left a "hinge or loop to hang a doubt on ?" Where 
is any reasonable basis for legitimate doubt ? Is the negative 
proof conclusive on either of the points at issue — that there 
was no meeting May 20, and that the Eesolves of May 31 did 
not declare independence ? Have not the allegations failed 
completely in their own presentation ? 

For many years the doubters charged that the argument for 
the Declaration was "manufactured" to support an untenable 
theory. jSTo charge was ever more capable of complete self- 
application. jSTo one can truthfully say that any of the fol- 
lowing evidence is "manufactured," misrepresented or not au- 
thentic, but the opposition seems to have as many lives as the 
""mythical" cat. jS^inety years ago they staked their life on 
opposition to the Resolves and lost. Likewise they lost in the 
claim that the Resolves were of no consequence. They clam- 
ored for the evidence of eye-witnesses as final proof, and re- 
ceived it in abundance. They demanded contemporary evi- 
dence and it was produced. They said JSTorth Carolina his- 
tory did not bear out the independent spirit, though any 
chapter in it proves the contrary. This unashamed brazen- 
ness of the doubters suggests the story of the gourd-vine which 
ran out beyond the top of a stately palm tree and boasted that 
in a few days it had grown higher than the pahn, to which 
the latter replied : "Yes, and every year of my century of 
life, a vain hopeless thing like you has made that same boast 
only to fade away within a few days and be forgotten." 

Driven to the last ditch, the enemy now can only "suppose" 
that the evidence (that they know to be overwhelming) really 
referred to May 31 in spite of its specific reference to May 20. 

IvTote. — (This is the whole of the argument of William 


Henry Hoyt in his recent book "The Mecklenburg Declaration 
of Independence," of which no contention is omitted in the 
foregoing discussion.) This line of reasoning, on which the 
doubters now found their last hope, if applied to the biblical 
account of creation, would give us something like this : "The 
first chapter of Genesis mentions the creation of only one 
planet ; there is nothing in it that can not by skillful imagina- 
tion be made to describe Mars ; we know that Mars was cre- 
ated ; therefore the story of the creation of the earth is a myth 
and Michael Angelo's statue of Moses is a fraud." There is 
nothing deficient in the reasoning except the omission of all 
evidence proving the existence of the earth, and the fact that 
the description not only "might refer" but does refer to the 

The whole controversy "in a nutshell" is the opinions, de- 
ductions and surmises (wholly without evidence) of a few 
modern "historians" for the negative ; and for the afiirmative 
is the specific evidence of men who were present May 20, 
1775, and the contemporary records that can not be ques- 
tioned. Which is the more worthy of credence ? 

Even without the positive evidence of the action of May 20. 
1775, there is not sufiicient cause for denial of the document 
that was accepted as authentic among the people who made 
it. ^Yit]l the documentary evidence (given in the following 
pages) there is no unbiased jury that could fail to return the 
verdict claimed by Governor Swain fifty years ago — that the 
facts as to the Declaration of May 20 are incontrovertible. 

Positive Evidence. 
The proposition is that the people of Mecklenburg County, 
assembled in Charlotte, May 20, 1775, declared independence 
of Great Britain. This proposition depends for proof upon 
testimony of men who were present, and contemporary docu- 
ments. The corollary to the proposition is that an adjourned 


meeting was held May 31 wlien the formal declaration was 
extended to apply to the whole country, and rules and regula- 
tions were adopted for independent government in the county. 

The proof is conclusive that there were two different decla- 
tions made on two different dates in May of 1775. 

This fact is denied by certain disputatious critics who have 
never been able to agree among tliemselves even as to their 
own negative hypotheses or the alleged demonstration of them. 
On the other hand, there is no difference of opinion on the 
side of the proposition as above stated, and which is amply 
proven by documentary evidence of unquestioned authenticity. 

The resolutions of May 31, 1775 (printed, and held in tra- 
dition as "the Resolves") are admitted as authentic in words 
and date. 

These "Resolves" constitute a declaration of independence, 
in that the first of them declares : "That all commissions, 
civil and military, heretofore granted by the crown, to be ex- 
ercised in these colonies, are null and void, and the constitu- 
tion of each particular colony wholly suspended." 

The Resolves were so-called because all of them except the 
first were concerned with laws for the government of the in- 
dependent county; and they were never referred to as "the 
declaration" because the action of May 20 was more formal 
(though limited) and were concerned almost entirely with de- 
claring independence. 

These unquestioned "Resolves" were nevertheless ample 
justification for any "popular tradition" about a declaration 
of independence, as their scope was even wider, and there 
could therefore have been no motive for "manufacturing" 
another declaration. 

The Davie copy, made from memory by John McKnitt 
Alexander, could not have had any possible reference to the 
"Resolves" as there are no points of resemblance in either 
form or words in the two documents. 


This radical difference between the documents (except for 
the first of the Resolves) is evidence that the one was supple- 
mentary to the other. 

Alexander was undoubtedly familiar with the Resolves 
(which had been printed) and he would not have "manufac- 
tured" a false copy of an original he knew to be in existence. 

He could have had no motive for misrepresentation in the 
Davie copy of 1800, as at that time and for many years after- 
ward there was no question raised as to the authenticity of 
either of the declarations. 

That there was no misrepresentation is proven by the close 
resemblance of the Davie copy to the Martin copy (direct from 
the original) obtained before 1800, according to the state- 
ment of Martin to Hawks as given in an address by Dr. 
Hawks in Charlotte in 1857. 

The Resolves needed no proof and there was therefore no 
occasion for mention of them by the witnesses called on to 
testify as to the Declaration, and who doubtless remembered 
the Resolves as the subsequent laws that were based on the 
Declaration, but "two meetings" are Tiientioned. 

The Resolves were not mentioned as a declaration in the 
newspapers and hence the "tradition" referred to the other 

The witnesses necessarily knew the Resolves were in print, 
and therefore would not have testified to another meeting 
different in organization and results without certainty that 
their statements were correct in ever)^ detail. 

Their descripion of the two-days' meeting could not apply 
to the meeting of May 31, which was described in the pub- 
lished account in the Charleston Gazette with the words: 
"This day the committee of this county met and passed the 
following Resolves." 

The committee could not have met and adopted all these 
laws based on a Declaration of Independence in one session 


except for the fact tiiat the more formal Declaration with the 
attendant discussion had been attended to at a previous 

Also the description could not have referred to the meeting 
of May 31, because the witnesses who remembered with dis- 
tinctness the principal participants and the various details 
must have also remembered the document at least well enough 
to distinguish between the two. 

The witnesses testified to the Declaration of Independence 
with the Davie copy before them and knowing that that was 
the Declaration under discussion; and if it had not been the 
one they remembered, they would have had no reason for not 
saying so. 

That the proceedings of May 31 were printed is but natu- 
ral, as any editor of the time with both documents before him 
would have chosen the later one as being of the more general 
interest in that it applied to all the colonies. 

The theory of a confusion of the two dates on account of the 
eleven days change in the calendar in 1752 (ten years before 
the county was created) is entirely untenable. There was no 
section of America where such error would be less likely to 
exist than among the scholars of old Mecklenburg. The the- 
ory has not one particle of evidence to sustain it. It is pure 
presumption. In the thousands of private and public records 
of those times, there is not another instance of such confusion. 
In the certificate of Joseph Graham, the Declaration date is 
given as May 20 and that of the battle of Lexington as April 
19, this being conclusive that there could have been no confu- 

The theory as to the defective memories of seven witnesses, 
all of them defective in exactly the same way, demonstrates 
its fallacy by an automatic application of reductio ad absur- 
dum.: Examination of the testimony shows that the details 
were remembered with distinctness so that there was no dis- 


crepancy in the evidence of witnesses who had not consulted 

Hence we have positive concrete evidence of meetings and 
declarations on two different days in May of 1775 ; and there 
is no positive evidence to the contrary. 

The documentary evidence demonstrating these conclusions 
is here given, and they who desire the fuller details for refer- 
ence, are referred to "The Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and its Signers/' by Dr. George W. Graham ; "The 
History of Mecklenburg County," by D. A. Tompkins ; and 
"The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence," (Mora- 
vian Eecords) by Miss Adelaide L. Fries. 

w "Vv vr w w *3» w 

The Joint Certificate. 

1. The first testimony is the joint certificate (published in 
the Raleigh Register, February 18, 1820) signed by George 
Graham, William Hutchison, Jones Clark, and Robert Robin- 
son, all of whom were present when the Declaration was made. 
(For their biogra23hies see the publications above mentioned.) 
They were prominent men at the time the certificate was 
made, and no question has ever been raised as to their char- 
acter and reliability. Their testimony can be impeached only 
by positive evidence as to their defective memory or fraudu- 
lent intent, and either imputation bears its condemnation on 
its face. They considered the matter carefully and were in 
such perfect accord in their recollections that they signed the 
same certificate. No conceivable evidence could be stronger. 
There is nothing in refutation except surmise, and there is 
overwhelming evidence in corroboration. 

State of IsTorth Carolina — Mecklenburg County. 
At the request of Col. William Polk, of Raleigh, made to 
Major-General George Graham, soliciting him to procure all 


the information that could be obtained at this late period, of 
the transactions which took place in the county of Mecklen- 
burg, in the year 1775, as it respected the people of that 
county having declared Independence; of the time when the 
Declaration was made; who were the principal movers and 
leaders, and the members who composed the body of Patriots 
who made the Declaration, and signed the same. 

We, the undersigned citizens of the said county, and of the 
several ages set forth opposite to each of our names, do certify 
and on our honor declare, that we were present in the town of 
Charlotte, in the said county of Mecklenburg, on the lOtli 
day of May, 1775, when two persons elected from each Cap- 
tain's Company in said county, appeared as Delegates, to tak</ 
into consideration the state of the country, and to adopt such 
measures as to them seemed best, to secure their lives, liberty, 
and property, from the storm which was gathering, and had 
burst upon their fellow-citizens to the Eastward, by a British 
Army, under the authority of the British King and Parlia- 

The order for the election of Delegates was given by Col. 
Thomas Polk, the commanding officer of the militia of the 
county, with a request that their powers should be ample, 
touching any measure that should be proposed. 

We do further certify and declare, that to the best of our 
recollection and belief, the delegation was complete from 
every company, and that the meeting took place in the court- 
house, about 12 o'clock on the said 19th day of May, 1775, 
when Abraham Alexander was chosen Chairman, and Dr. 
Ephraim Brevard Secretary. That the Delegates continued 
in session until in the night of that day ; that on the 20th 
they again met, when a committee, under the direction of the 
Delegates, had formed several resolves, which were read, and 
which went to declare themselves, and the people of Mecklen- 
burg County, Free and Independent of the King and Parlia- 


ment of Great Britain — and that, from that day thenceforth, 
all allegiance and political relation was absolved between the 
good people of Mecklenbnrg and the King of Great Britain ; 
which Declaration was signed by every member of the Dele- 
gation, nnder the shouts and huzzas of a very large assembly 
of the people of the county, who had come to know the issue 
of the meeting. We further believe, that the Declaration of 
Independence was drawn up by the Secretary, Dr. Ephraim 
Brevard, and that it was conceived and brought about through 
the instrumentality and popularity of Col. Thomas Polk, 
Abraham Alexander, John Mclinitt Alexander, Adam Alex- 
ander, Ephraim Brevard, John Phifer, and Hezekiah Alexaii- 
der, with some others. 

We do further certify and declare, that in a few days after 
the Delegates adjourned. Captain James Jack, of the town of 
Charlotte, was engaged to carry the resolves to the President 
of Congress, and to our Representatives — one copy for each ; 
and that his expenses were paid by a voluntary subscription. 
And we do know that Capt. Jack executed the trust, and re- 
turned with answers, both from the President and our Dele- 
gates in Congress, expressive of their entire approbation of the 
course that had been adopted, recommending a continuance in 
the same ; and that the time would soon be, when the whole 
Continent would follow our example. 

We further certify and declare, that the measures which 
were adopted at the time before mentioned, had a general in- 
fluence on the people of this county to unite them in the cause 
of liberty and the country, at that time ; that the same una- 
nimity and patriotism continued unimpaired to the close of 
the war ; and that the resolutions had considerable effect in 
harmonizing the people in two or three adjoining counties. 

That a connnittee of Safety for the county were elected, 
who were clothed with civil and military power, and under 
their authority several disaffected persons in Rowan, and 


Try on (now Lincoln County,) were sent for, examined, and 
conveyed (after it was satisfactorily proven they were inimi- 
cal) to Camden, in South Carolina, for safe-keeping. 

We do further certify, that the acts passed by the committee 
of Safety, were received as the Civil Law of the land in many 
cases, and that Courts of Justice for the decision of controver- 
sies between the people were held, and we have no recollec- 
tion that dissatisfaction existed in any instance with regard to 
the judgments of said courts. 

We are not, at this late period, able to give the names of all 
the Delegation who formed the Declaration of Independence ; 
but can safely declare as to the following persons being of 
the number, viz : Thomas Polk, Abraham Alexander, John 
McKnitt Alexander, Adam Alexander, Ephraim Brevard, 
John Phifer, Hezekiah James Balch, Benjamin Patton, Lleze- 
kiah Alexander, Richard Barry, William Graham, Matthew 
M'Clure, Robert Irwin, Zacheus Wilson, ISTeil Morrison, John 
Flenniken, John Queary, Ezra Alexander. 

In testimony of all and every part herein set forth, we have 
hereunto set our hands. 

Geo. Gkaham, aged 61, near 62. 

Wm. Hutchison, 68. 

Jonas Clark, 61. ■ 

RoB^T. Robinson, 68. 

Moravian Church Records. 

2. In the American Histoncal Review for April, 1906, 
Mr. A. S. Salley, Jr., secretary of the South Carolina Histori- 
cal Commission and who has made an exhaustive study of the 
wrong side of the Declaration controversy, said : "If the con- 
troversy over the 'Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence' 
is ever settled, it will have to be done by genuine contem- 
porary documents." This from one of the most indefatigable 



of those trying to keep history crooked, voiced the forlorn 
hope of the hosts of error. They had assured themselves (as 
they had previously of so many other theories now discred- 
ited) that this demand was the one that could not be satisfied 
and hence was the proper one on which to base their last 
stand. The demand, however, like all others, was fully 
met, though the doubters (as was expected) remained of the 
same opinion still. 

*'In September, 1904, Mr. O. J. Lehman, of Bethania, X. 
C, discovered among the Moravian archives at that place" a 
diary of the Revolution written in German by Traugott Bagge 
C^'The most able man of affairs in Wachovia during the 
War") in the years from 1775 to 1783. The various events 
of the period are given in chronological order, and the ''gen- 
uine contemporary record of the Declaration is here given in 
the original and in English : 

^'Ich kan zu Ende des 1775^^^^" Jahres nicht unangemerkt 
lassen, dass schon im Sommer selbigen Jahres, das ist im 
May, Juny, oder July, die County MecJdenhurg in Nord 
Carolina sich fiir so frey u. independent von England de- 
clarirte, u. solche Einrichtung zur Verwaltung der Gesetze 
unter sich machte, als jamalen der Continental Congress 
hernach ins Ganze gethan. Dieser Congress aber sahe dieses 
Verfahren als zu fruhzeitig an." 'I can, not leave unnien- 
tioned at the end of the 1775th year, that already in the sum- 
mer of this year, that is in May, June or July, the County 
of Mecklenburg in North Carolina declared itself free and in- 
dependent of England, and made such arrangements for the 
administration of the laws among themselves, as later the 
Continental Congress made for all. This Congress, hoivever, 
considered these proceedings premature." 

The most that critical ingenaity can bring against this 
"genuine contemporary document" is the unsupported hy- 
pothesis that because of the indefinite date, the reference is 


not to May 20 but to May 31. The other items in the Bagge 
diary show the writer to have been not only well informed 
but uniformly accurate. It is not therefore within the proper 
bounds of inference to even suggest that perhaps he meant the 
Resolves when he said "The County of Mecklenburg declared 
itself free and independent of England." The Resolves were 
a declaration of independence, but they were not so known at 
that time and were not so called in the newspapers for the 
reason that their main purpose was to form laws for the inde- 
pendent government founded on the Declaration of May 20. 
The Resolves did not declare independence for "'The County 
of Mecklenburg" but for all the colonies, while the Declaration 
did declare independence for "The County of Mecklenburg." 
The indefiniteness as to the date is therefore unimportant as 
without it the "genuine contemporary document" proves that 
there was a Declaration of Independence in Mecklenburg in 
1775 which was not the Resolves of May 31. 

That this document is of unquestionable merit and in itself 
proof of the Declaration, and with the certificates of partici- 
pants conclusive proof of the date as being May 20, is evi- 
denced by the following competent expert testimony : 

As merchant, financier, politician, as a sturdy, conscientious man, 

Traugotte Bagge ranks among the first in the history of the State." — 

Miss Fries. 

"I have been much interested in the revival of the discussion concern- 
ing the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, and particularly 
gratified that through your researches among the Archives of Wachovia 
you have found records which substantiate the claims made for this im- 
portant event. I am thoroughly familiar vnth the records, particularly 
of the Colonial and Revolutionary periods, of the Moravians in America, 
and esteem them, local and general, of the highest historical value." — 
John W. Jordan, Librarian Historical Society of Pennsylvania in a 
letter, January 21, 1907, to Miss Fries. 

"The discovery of the 'Bagge Manuscript' eff'eetually sets at rest the 


question of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, except per- 
haps in the minds of those who are unwilling to consider the matter in 
a fair and unbiased light. 

"The Wachovia Archives are a series of records made contemporaneous 
with the events themselves, and form an unbroken history of the leading 
events of our section, and of the principal events of the State, and even 
of the country at large from 1753 to the present day. In no case has 
the reliability of these archives ever been brought into question." — 
Johji H. Clewell, Archivist of Wachovia and President of Salem College. 

The Academy, Jan., 1907. 

"I wish to express my enthusiastic appreciation of the extremely in- 
teresting piece of historical criticism that you have written. It is cer- 
tainly most clear and convincing and seems to me to be the final word 
with regard to the document under examination/' — Waldo G. Lelund, 
Department of Historical Research, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 
in a letter. May 9, 1906, to Miss Fries. 

Influence of Exciting News. 

3. Joseph Graham, who was present when the Declaration 
was made, said "The news of the battle of Lexington, the 19th 
of April preceding, had arrived," and ''There appeared among 
the people much excitement." This reference (corroborated 
bj Rev. Humphrey Hunter) could not have meant the meeting 
of May 31 in the proceedings of which there is no indication 
whatever of excitement; in fact the first of the Resolves (de- 
claring independence for all the colonies) is distinctly dis- 
passionate and shows that that matter had already been set- 
tled. On the other hand, the Declaration of May 20 is of 
such a nature as to fulfill the description aside from the fact 
that various participants testify as to that date, and specific 
reference is made to the battle. 

The Colonial records (Volume IX) demonstrate conclu- 
sively that the news of the battle of Lexington was received in 
Charlotte on or before the nineteenth of May, and hence it 
could not have excited the meeting of May 31 (in which there 
was no excitement.) The complete news of the battle was 
sent out from New Haven April 24 with instructions for for- 


warding it to every committee in the colonies, and this instruc- 
tion was carried out faithfully. The news was received at 
Edenton May 4, New Bern May 6, Wilmington May 7 (late), 
and at Charleston May 13. (It was printed in the Charles- 
ton Gazette of May 16.) From Edenton May 4 (with the 
note, "For God's sake forward this in haste") it was for- 
warded to the western counties in I^orth Carolina, arriving at 
Halifax May 9, and at Hillsboro May 12. From the latter 
place the news spread rapidly and it undoubtedly was received 
in Charlotte within the following seven days, and this would 
have been on or before the nineteenth of May, as Graham and 
Hunter positively testify. This is cumulative evidence that 
there were two meetings. 

The Maetin Copy. 
4. The Martin copy of the declaration, accepted as the 
authentic one, was published in the history of North Carolina, 
by Francis Xavier Martin, in 1829. Martin was then living 
in the Louisiana territory where he had gone from North 
Carolina in 1809, and according to his testimony (which is 
not open to doubt) all his manuscript was prepared before he 
left North Carolina and the copy of the declaration was ob- 
tained before 1800 before the original records in the posses- 
sion of John McKnitt Alexander were destroyed. Obviously 
an incorrect copy would not have existed with the original, 
and hence the Martin copy must be accepted as genuine and 
accurate as no evidence has ever been presented to the con- 
trary except the usual theorizing of the doubters — those sad, 
sad words "it might have been" otherwise. The Martin copy 
is here given in full, with the names of the signers as agreed 
upon by the witnesses : 

Resolved, That whosoever directly or indirectly abets or in any 
way, form or manner countenances the invasion of our rights, as at- 
tempted by the Parliament of Great Britain, is an enemy to his country, 
to America, and the rights of men. 


Resolved, That we the citizens of Mecklenburg County do hereby 
dissolve the political bands which have connected us with the mother 
country, and absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British Crown, 
abjuring all political connection with a nation that has wantonly 
trampled on our rights and liberties, and inhumanly shed the innocent 
blood of Americans at Lexington. 

Resolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent 
people, are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self-governing 
people, under the power of God and the General Congress; to the main- 
tenance of which independence, we solemnly pledge to each other our 
mutual cooperation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor. 
Resolved, That we hereby ordain and adopt as rules of conduct, all 
and each of our former laws, and the Crown of Great Britain can not 
be considered hereafter as holding any rights, privileges or immunities 
amongst us. 

Resolved, That all officers, both civil and military, in this county, 
be entitled to exercise the same powers and authorities as heretofore: 
That every member of this delegation shall henceforth be a civil officer 
and exercise the powers of a justice of the peace, issue process, hear 
and determine controversies according to law, preserve peace, union 
and harmony, in the county, and use every exertion to spread the love 
of liberty and of country, until a more general, and better organized 
system of government be established. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by ex- 
press to the President of the Continental Congress assembled in Phila- 
delphia, to be laid before that body. 

Thomas Polk, Hezekiah Alexander, 

Ephraim Brevard, Adam Alexander, 

Hezekiah J. Balch, Charles Alexander, 

John Phifer, Zacheus Wilson, Sen., 

James Harris, Waightstill A-\t:ry, 

William Kennon, Benjamin Patton, 

John Ford, Matthew M'Clure, 

Richard Barry, Neil Morrison, 

Henry Downs, Eobert Irwin, 

Ezra Alexander, John Flenniken, 

William Graham, David Reese, 

John Queary, Richard Harris, Sen., 

Abraham Alexander, John Davidson. 

Jno. M'Knitt Alexander, 

Duplicate Copies. 
5. The Garden copy corroborates the Martin copy, though 
they could not have been compared in any way before publi- 


cation. The Garden copy was published in Alexander Gar- 
den's Anecdotes of the Revolution in 1828, and it is identical 
with the Martin copy ; but as the latter was then and had for 
many years been laid away among Martin's papers, there 
could not have been any conjunction in the two publications. 
Garden acknowledges as his source of information Dr. Wil- 
liam Read who attended Ephraim Brevard (author of the 
Declaration) at his last illness in *1781 at the home of John 
McKnitt Alexander. There is no reason to doubt that the 
Garden copy was made from the original papers in the year 
*1T81, and the identity of this with the Martin copy is conclu- 
sive that both of them were direct copies from the original, 
which fact is strengthened rather than weakened by some very 
slight and unimportant variations in the two copies. As 
neither of them has any resemblance in structure or detail io 
the Resolves, the inference is incontrovertible that they are 
authentic reproductions of another meeting — that of May 20. 
There is as much difference in the three printed and one man- 
uscript copy of the Resolves as there is in the copies of the 

6. Another copy was published in the Charleston Mercury 
of July 4, 1828, which differed only in minor details from the 
Garden and Martin copies, but as it is not so exact in resem- 
blance, no sound reasoning could claim any collaboration be- 
tween the producer of it and either Martin or Garden. From 
the fact, however, that it is in substance the same as the others, 
it is evident that it must also have been a copy from the 
original, though a somewhat incorrect one. Garden's Anec- 
dotes were published about the same time as the "Guilford" 
copy, but the manuscript had of course been completed before 
the publication, and as Garden gave another source for his in- 
formation, there can be no justification for the claim that the 
Garden copy was made from the "Guilford" copy. 

*In the manuscript copy, this date was given 1777. It was changed to 1781 by the 
author.— Editors. 


7. In 1793, Dr. Hugh Williamson, who had announced his 
purpose to write a history of !North Carolina, secured a copy 
of the Declaration from John McKnitt Alexander, which copy 
Governor Stokes testifies that he saw in Fayetteville in 1793 
in the well-known handwriting of Alexander. This in itself 
is complete proof and this is completely proven. Governor 
Swain (editor of the State pamphlet of 1831) said in his letter 
to George Bancroft, March 18, 1858: "A note on page 5 of 
the State Pamphlet gives us the assurance of Governor Stokes 
that in 1793 he saw in the hands of Dr. Williamson, in Fay- 
etteville, a copy of this record, together with a letter from J. 
McKnitt Alexander in relation to it. / wrote the note myself 
under the direction of Governor Stokes ; and though I know 
he had an exceedingly retentive memory, did not at the time 
attach much importance to it. I have now before me a letter 
from Israel Pickens whom I knew familiarly from boyhood 
* * * represented my native district in Congress * * -"^ 
first Governor of Alabama * * * c[ied in Cuba after his 
election to the Senate of the United States ^- * * j 
know of no living man whose testimony is entitled to higher 
consideration than that of Governor Davie, Judge Cameron 
and Governor Pickens." The letter is then quoted to shoAV 
that John McKnitt Alexander had many years before told 
him of sending the copy to Williamson as stated. William- 
son did not complete the history as projected (stopping with 
the year 1771) and his papers were lost. (Judge Cameron 
had also testified that Alexander told him of the Davie copy 
in 1800.) 

8. The testimony as to the genuineness of the Williamson 
and other copies is corroborated by John McKnitt Alexander 
in a statement the authenticity of which is not doubted. Im- 
mediately after the burning of his house and the destruction 
of the original documents in 1800, John McKnitt Alexander 
made from memory a copy of the declaration for Governor 
Davie. This copy varies from the Martin copy in some de- 


tails but is the same in form and substance, and shows that 
Alexander was very familiar with the original. It is given 
in the past tense, but could not have had any possible refer- 
ence to the Resolves nor have been founded on the national 
declaration from which it is wholly different except in the 
common phrases of the time. It must have been the record 
of an entirely different meeting, and as Alexander also gave 
the date as May 20, there can be no doubt that it was his 
recollection of that action; and as the paper is practically 
the same as the Garden and Martin copies, its accuracy is self- 
evident. Appended to it in the handwriting of John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander is this conclusive statement: "It may be 
worthy of notice here to observe that the foregoing statement, 
though fundamentally correct, may not literally correspond 
with the original record of the transactions of said delegation 
and court of enquiry, as all those records and papers were 
burnt with the house on April 6, 1809 ; but previous to that 
time of 1800, a full copy of said records, at the request of Dr. 
Hugh Williamson, then of ISTew York, but formerly a repre- 
sentative in Congress from this State, was forwarded to him 
by Col. William Polk, in order that those early transactions 
might fill their proper place in a history of this State then 
writing by said Dr. Williamson, in ISTew York." 

From this certificate of Alexander, with the corroborative 
evidence, there can surely be no doubt that a transcript of the 
original record w^as sent to Williamson, and Alexander would 
certainly not have appealed for corroboration of the Davie 
copy to a genuine original copy without being sure that he 
was "fundamentally correct." By this alone is fully proven 
that there were two declarations, and that the more formal 
one as given in the various copies mentioned was made May 
20, 17Y5. 

John McKnitt Alexander left the record of admitted au- 
thenticity that he had furnished copies of the Declaration to 


Davie and Williamson. If he had been referring to the Re- 
solves of May 31, he would not have mentioned these "^copies" 
but would have referred to the fact that the Resolves were 
printed in various newspapers of the time. 

9. The Resolves of May 31 (given elsewhere in this dis- 
cussion) show for themselves that they constitute a declaration 
of independence, and that they are corroborative of the more 
formal declaration of May 20. There is no inconsistency to 
be found in the Resolves as supplementary to the Declaration, 
and as the two documents are available to all, they are their 
own argument. The first of the Resolves is invulnerable 
proof that Mecklenburg patriots declared independence in 
May of 1775. 

Other Certificates, 

10. Capt. James Jack, December 7, 1819, then living in 
Georgia, testified '^respecting the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence by the people of Mecklenburg County, in May, 1775," 
that he was present "at the time they were adopted," that he 
was engaged as "the bearer of the proceedings" to Philadel- 
phia, and he delivered "the Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence of May, 1775, to Richard Caswell and William 
Hooper, the delegates to Congress from the State of ISTorth 
Carolina. Captain Jack's reliability is unquestioned, as is 
the fact that he did go to Philadelphia with the proceedings, 
and there is no proof that he meant something different when 
he said in plain English that it was "the Mecklenburg Decla- 
ration of Independence." He further says that Rev. Francis 
Cummins was a student in Charlotte and present on the occa- 
sion mentioned. 

11. Rev. Francis Cunnnins, a Presbyterian minister in 
Lexington, Ga., ISTovember 10, 1819, testified that he was 
present when the people of the county met in Charlotte in 
1775 and "proclaimed independence on English Govern- 


ment" ; and that Capt. James Jack "was sent with the account 
of these proceedings to Congress." The certificates of Jack 
and Cummins are corroborative, but the authors did not con- 
sult together, as Jack suggests Cummins not knowing that his 
certificate had been made a month before. 

11. Joseph Graham, whose biography is available to all and 
whose reliability is unquestionable, testified October 4, 1830, 
that he was present "on that occasion" ; that he attended two 
meetings" ; that Captain Jack carried a copy of the proceed- 
ings to Congress ; that the news of the battle of Lexington had 
arrived; that "the committee appointed to draft the resolutions 
returned, and Dr. Ephraim Brevard read their report, as near 
as I can recollect, in the very words we have since seen them 
several times in print" ; and that his statements were "all from 
personal knowledge." This last statement in connection with 
the reference to the battle of Lexington, leaves no room for 
doubt of the plain fact that Graham was testifying to the 
Declaration of May 20, and to the Davie copy or the Martin 
or Garden copy, all of which were then in print. The Decla- 
ration of May 20 contains an explicit reference to the battle 
of Lexing-ton, while the Resolves do not refer to it in any way, 
so this witness could not have been describing the Resolves 
after having already connected the news of the battle with the 
meeting. This evidence is therefore conclusive not only of 
two meetings but of the fact that the formal Declaration as 
testified to by the witness, was a genuine document and was 
made on the date he gave — May 20. 

12. John Simieson, of Providence in Mecklenburg County, 
testified January 20, 1820, concerning "our Declaration of 
Independence," that he was present when it was made, and 
"likewise heard Colonel Polk have two warm disputes with 
two men of the county, who said the measures were rash and 
unnecessary. He was applauded and they silenced. * * -^ 
The courts likewise acted independently. I myself heard a 



dispute take place on the bench, and an acting magistrate was 
actually taken and sent to prison by an order of the Chair- 

13. Isaac Alexander, October 8, 1830, testified that he 
"was present in Charlotte on the 19th and 20th days of May, 
1775, when a regular deputation from all the Captain's com- 
panies * * * niet to consult and take measures for the 
peace and tranquility of the citizens of said county * * - 
who after due consultation, declared themselves absolved from 
their allegiance to the King of Great Britain, and drew up a 
Declaration of their Independence, which was unanimously 
adopted ; and employed Capt. James Jack to carry copies 
thereof to Congress." 

14. Samuel Wilson, of Mecklenburg Couiity, in 1830, tes- 
tified that he was present when "in May, 1775, a committee 
or delegation from the different militia companies in this 
county met in Charlotte, and after consulting t''>gethor, they 
publicly declared their independence of Great Britain." 

15. John Davidson, October 5, 1830, testified "relative to 
the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence" that he "was 
a member of that Convention" ; that he and John McKnitt 
Alexander were the delegates from his company; that "a 
motion was made to declare ourselves independent of the 
Crown of Great Britain, which was carried by a large ma- 
jority. * * * James Jack was appointed to take it to 
the American Congress." 

16. Eev. Humphrey Hunter, in his autobiography written 
in 1828, testifies specifically as to the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence of May 20 and the details of the meeting in accord 
with the foregoing testimony, and says that he was present 
and was twenty years of age, and he testifies as to the Davie 
copy being the record of the proceedings. The only thing 
in opposition to the correctness of the testimony of Hunter 
and the other witnesses is the unsupported surmise that they 


might have been talking about the Resolves of May 31 and 
have gotten the dates and the facts wrong. This same mis- 
take having (by hypothesis) been made by a dozen persons 
has been aptly described as "a marvelous involuntary error." 

17. In the Raleigh Register, April 30, 1819, Dr. Joseph 
McKnitt Alexander published a detailed account of the pro- 
ceedings of the convention of May 20, which he certified to 
as being a copy of the records left by his father John McKnitt 
Alexander, who had written this account from memory aft4er 
the destruction by fire of the original papers in 1800. There 
is no reason to question the statements that John McKnitt 
Alexander left such a record and that the paper signed by I\ 
McKnitt Alexander was a genuine copy of that record, and this 
direct testimony of John McKnitt Alexander who had kept the 
original records for twenty-five years is unimpeachable cor 
roborative evidence. The only thing against it is that sur- 
mise as to the "marvelous involuntary error" that John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander had confused the dates and facts, though 
why one person (to say nothing of a dozen) should mistake 
May 31 for May 20 has never been explained. The genuine- 
ness of the papers produced by Joseph McKnitt Alexander 
has been questioned but is accepted by Hoyt in his recent book 
attacking the authenticity of the Declaration. The copy of 
the Declaration as given by Joseph McKnitt Alexander is the 
same as the Davie copy found in Governor Davie's papers in 
1820 and which is mentioned in the notes left by John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander. This statement resulted in the discovery 
of the Davie papers which confirmed the genuineness of the 
statement in that the Davie copy made in 1800 was found lo 
be the same in substance as the other copy furnished in the 
Alexander memory record. 

18. The testimony of Governor Josiah Martin in his official 
papers is a contemporary record that is final with regard to 
the MecMenburg Declaration of Independence. Here surmises 


are of no avail. The authenticity of the documents is undis- 
puted, and it is the privilege of every one to examine them 
and perceive their meaning. June 25, 1775, Governor Mar- 
tin addressed his Council at Fort Johnston and referred to 
"the late most treasonable publication of a Committee in the 
County of Mecklenburg explicitly renouncing obedience to 
his Majesty's govermnent and all lawful authority whatso- 
ever." June 30, Governor Martin in a letter to the Earl of 
Dartmouth, said : "The Resolves of the Committee of Meck- 
lenburg which your Lordship will find in the enclosed news- 
paper, surpass all the horrid and treasonable publications that 
the inflammatory spirits of this Continent have yet produced, 
and your Lordship may depend its Authors and Abettors will 
not escape my due notice whenever my hands are sufliciently 
strengthened to attempt the recovery of the lost authority of 

This is the contemporary record left by Governor Martin, 
and the only suspicion against it is that it referred to the 
Resolves of May 31. When Governor Martin made the above 
statements, he had before him the Resolves of the general 
committees of Wilmington of June 20 in which he was de- 
scribed as "an enemy to the happiness of this colony in par- 
ticular and to the freedom, rights, and privileges of America 
in general." Is it likely that he would have passed over that 
personal thrust and have described the dispassionate Mecklen- 
burg Resolves of May 31 as "most treasonable." It is not 
likely, and the denunciatory words apply with more exactness 
to the Declaration than to the Resolves, though plainly there 
are references to both. The Resolves did not "explicitly 
renounce obedience" but state the dissohdng as having been 
already accomplished, while the Declaration says explicitly 
"we hereby dissolve the political bonds" * * * "and 
absolve ourselves from all allegiance." 

Why did Governor Martin June 25 refer to the "late pub- 


lication ?" The Eesolves were published in the Charleston 
Gazette of June 13, in the New Bern Gazette of June 16, and 
in the Cape Fear Mercury of June 23 ( ?) and doubtless Mar- 
tin had all these papers, as his connection with ]S[ew Bern 
was as friendly as with Wilmington and that with Charleston 
much more so. Then why did he choose the Cape Fear 
Mercury as best expressing the "most treasonable" publica- 
tion ? There could be no reason except that the Cape Feat 
Mercury had more treason in it than the other papers. Also, 
the only excuse for saying that the Cape Fear Mercury was 
June 23 instead of June 30 is that if it were the latter, it 
would indicate that it did contain more treason and hence 
would account for the difference of Martin's temper June 23 
and June 30. These are indications that the Mercury con- 
tained some reference to the Declaration in addition to the 
Resolves ; but from any standpoint, the Martin documents 
afford irresistible contemporary evidence of Mecklenburg's 
"most treasonable" action in May of 1775, and in connection 
with the other equally reliable evidence, points definitely to 
the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20. 
* * * * * * * 

For full details of the documents cited in the preceding 
paragraphs, reference may be had to the publications pre- 
viously mentioned (and to Moore's Defense of the Declara- 
tion, 1908,) which give biographies of the witnesses with 
their certificates and letters in full, with others in corrobora- 
tion. All of the testimony taken together proves other de- 
tails of the meetings not here mentioned ; the purpose in this 
argument was to prove that the Resolves of May 31 were in 
themselves a declaration of independence, and that a more 
formal declaration was made May 20. The first part of the 
claim is proven by the document itself in its first resolution, 
and by the comment on that resolution by Force and others. 
The second claim has in its support the positive statements of 


men who were present, and contemporary documents of un- 
questioned authenticity. That there were two meetings in 
May of 177 5 J and that the two existing documents are both 
authentic, are facts proven beyond possibility of controversion. 
The positive evidence is not hypothetical. Every item is 
authentic and undisputed. The negative surmises can not 
shake them. They are clear, strong, definite, detailed, spe- 
cific. They demonstrate every claim conclusively, and leave 
no palliation possible for slurs on the monument that stands 
in Charlotte commemorative of "this brilliant star in our 
history." All who reverence history should glory in it. It 
is not narrow. It is American, and as the Mecklenburg jja- 
triots showed their broadness of spirit by "not standing at 
ease until the whole were prepared to advance in line, but 
boldly and fearlessly marched out to the front," so every true 
citizen of the nation for which that example was set, should 
not try to increase "the clouds of error," but should turn from 
prejudice and face the truth, and as a true American take 
pride in the manifestation of that fierce spirit of freedom that 
could not be held and true to the prophecy of Mecklenburg- 
has realized the ambition of a great and free people. The 
case is complete, and "this brilliant star" shall continue to 
shine undimmed by the hazy theories of those unable or un- 
willing to accept the truth. 


The reader is requested to examine the evidence quoted or 
cited in both of the foregoing papers before accepting the con- 
clusions of either of the writers. Selected quotations from 
Hawks, Swain, Force, Bancroft, or any one else, should not 
be accepted as evidence unless the whole article from which 
a quotation has been taken is read. 

The truth-seeking reader will discover a wide difference be- 
tween the import of the statements of the "seven witnesses 
of most unexceptional character", and that ascribed to them 
by Dr. Hawks and Mr. Craven. He will find that a little 
quotation taken from Mr. Force is turned to account to show 
that Mr. Force believed in the alleged declaration of May 
20th, All of Mr. Force's writings on the subject show that 
he held only the resolutions of the 31st authentic. Bancroft 
held the same views. McCrady held the same views, and 
although Mr. Craven tries to turn a quotation from McCrady 
against the writer, the writer is satisfied that no impartial 
reader will agree that there is any inconsistency between what 
he has written and what McCrady wrote. There are wit- 
nesses who will corroborate the writer as to General Mc- 
Crady's views. 

On pages 235 and 236 there are some quotations from let- 
ters bearing on Bagge's reminiscences. These must not be 
misunderstood. Mr. Waldo G. Leland, who has been one of 
the writer's earnest collaborators on this subject, and to whom 
I am indebted for several very valuable points and authori- 
ties, agrees with me that only the resolutions of May 31st 
are authentic and that all the evidence is against the alleged 
declaration of May 20th, and he can not be quoted as favoring 
it. Mr. Craven could have found some equally apt quoca- 
tions from the writer's own statements in reference to Miss 


Fries's paper. Bagge's reminiscences were not contempor- 
aneous with 1775. They were written in 1783 and critical 
readers will appreciate the value which I have given them. 

Mr. Craven says (205) that the resolutions of the Slst 
"are not now disputed." He has not carefully read the book 
by Dr. George W. Graham. He says (211) that so far as is 
known" it is "not denied" that "the Cape Fear Mercury 
sent by Governor Martin contained the resolutions of May 
31." He has evidently not seen the communication of Dr. 
George W. Graham in The American Historical Review for 
January, 1908. Mr. Craven himself (245-246) tries to cre- 
ate the impression that Governor Martin referred to the 
alleged declaration of May 20th in some of his contempo- 
raneous records. There is not a scintilla of evidence to show 
any such thing and Mr. Craven does not offer any. 

He tries to make light (208) of the writer's distinction be- 
tween the use of "committee" and "convention." The writer 
pointed out that those witnesses who naturally knew the most 
about affairs of 1775 always said committee but that the fab- 
ricated declaration contained the word convention. Critical 
readers will appreciate the differentiation. 

He tries to show that the 31st resolutions are equally as 
inconsistent with the action of the Provincial Congress in 
August, 1775, and the proceedings of the county courts, as 
is with the alleged declaration. The critical reader can pass 
upon that matter with better judgment than can Mr. Craven. 

He tries to create (212) the impression that the court 
records show that court was still held in the name of the 
crown after July 4, 1776. ISTo court was held in October, 
1776, showing that the national Declaration of Independence 
put an end to the "crown docket." 

He insists that Mecklenburg County was divided into 
militia companies from its creation in 1762. That is not con- 
firmed by Wells's Register for 1775, which contains the mili- 

MR. salley's kepl,y. 251 

tary establishment of ISTorth Carolina. If there was a full 
regiment in the county why was one organized under the 31st 
resolutions, and why were the companies directed to "provide 
themselves with proper Arms and Accoutrements ?" 

Mr. Craven takes a different view of the 31st resolutions 
from that held by any previous advocate of the alleged decla- 
ration. He claims that those resolutions constituted a decla- 
ration of independence and quotes an extract from them 
(211) to sustain his view. That extract 7nust be construed 
with the whole document. Critical readers will observe the 
distinctions the writer has drawn. 

He wants to know why Joseph McKnitt Alexander did not 
use the 31st resolutions in his fabrication if such it was. 
Because he did not have a copy ; otherwise he would not have 
fabricated at all when Representative Davidson called for a 
copy of the traditional declaration. If he had ever had a 
copy we may be sure he vn'OuM have dragged it into the con- 
troversy with the same claim Mr. Craven makes — that they 
were secondary to the declaration and an outgrowth thereof. 
An opinion that no critical observer not afflicted with Meck- 
lenburgomania will ever accept. 

Mr. Craven says (218) : "Up to this time, no one had 
ever questioned the veracity of Francis Xavier Martin." 
Take a look at ISTote 2 on pages 32-33 of Southern Quakers 
and Slavery by Stephen B. Weeks, of IS^Torth Carolina. In 
a private letter to the writer Dr. Weeks says: "When he 
did not pervert facts he was careless in the collection of facts 
and his work is worthless when unsupported." That is con- 
firmed by the work itself. Attention is further invited to 
the account of Martin by Charles Gayarre, some time United 
States Senator from Louisiana, in Fernando de Lemos (240- 
249). It is there made evident that Martin was in his 
dotage when he told Dr. Hawks that he got that copy in 
Western ISTorth Carolina before 1800. Is it not probable that 


Dr. Hawks asked liim the leading question: "Before 1800"? 
The writer has shown where he got it. Miirphey's corres- 
pondence with him is sufhcient. Murphey had its prototype 
and shows that it came from Joseph McKnitt Alexander. 
Martin's copy contains no signers. Why does Mr. Craven 
add them to it in his work ? Readers are asked not to take 
Mr. Craven's statement as to John Davidson (220) but to 
examine the State pamphlet the writer was discussing and see 
if the name is there given as a "signer." 

Mr. Craven denies that Garden's account is the counterpart 
of Guilford's. Readers are asked to compare them. Mr. 
Craven states that Garden got his information from Dr. Wil- 
liam Read. Garden noAvhere says so. Dr. Read did not 
attend Dr. Ephraim Brevard ''in his last illness in 1777", 
for Dr. Read joined Washington's army in the North in 1770 
and served with it as Deputy Surgeon-General until 1780 
when he was detached to the South with Gates's army, and 
Dr. Brevard had no last illness in 1777 for he was at the siege 
of Charles Town in 1780. Dr. Read told Garden an anec- 
dote about General Lock of ISForth Carolina and of course 
that makes him authority for the Mecklenburg story that 
Garden published. Dr. Read was not a "fellow-citizen of 
Charleston with Garden", but resided on his plantation in 
Georgetown District about seventy-five miles from Charleston. 

As to the writer's part in showing up the fraud of Milling- 
ton Miller the reader is invited to examine his paper in The 
State (Columbia) of July 30, 1905 ; Mr. Craven's of August 
27, 1905, in the Charlotte Daily Observer; Professor Alex- 
ander Graham's paper in the same for October 4, 1905 ; the 
writer's pamphlet The True Mecklenburg Declaration of In- 
dependence published in October, 1905, and hundreds of crit- 
icisms from all over the United States and see whose work has 
counted for the most. And if any one has any curiosity to 
know the inside history of how Millington Miller was forced 

MR. SALLE y's REPLY. 253 

to "show-down" the writer is willing to display the private 
correspondence whereby that result was obtained and he has 
no fear that any one will agree for a moment that Mr. Cra- 
ven's efforts, or those of the pompous committee from Char- 
lotte that tried to ridicule a man of Worthington Ford's posi- 
tion in American historical literature, had much to do with 
bringing that event about. But that matter has nothing to 
do with this discussion, even if it does show the credulity 
of a Mecklenburg myth worshipper. 

The writer has not the slightest fear that any impartial 
reader of recognized critical ability will find in his paper any 
"omissions, suppressions and misrepresentations." He is 
equally confident that crtical readers will find his own words 
not only misconstrued, misrepresented and garbled, but im- 
properly quoted. The effort to make this writer reflect on 
the Presbyterians generally of IsTorth Carolina is a gross mis- 
representation. The reader is asked to carefully compare 
Mr. Craven's excerpts from the writer's paper and his own 
comments on those excerpts with the paper itself. 

The quotation from Disraeli (222) is apt — for a man lack- 
ing originality. It is cumulative evidence on what is appa- 
rent throughout Mr. Craven's paper: that memorized quota- 
tions constitute his chief source of originality. The use of 
"words, words, words" (203-204) is the second time he has 
availed himself of that identical argument in controversy 
with this writer. The injection of such personalities into a 
discussion of an historical question is unhistorical and in- 
ethical, but it has invariably been the favorite method of 
those who can not rebut the evidence and can not refute the 
arguments of those who have from time to time contradicted 
the authenticity of the alleged Declaration of Independence 
of May 20, 1YY5. 


"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of 
men," and I fully appreciate the concluding paragraph of the 
foregoing reply. I respectfully plead guilty to the charge of 
repetition in using the famous quotation, "words, words, 
words," with regard to certain frequent incursions into the 
rich field of Xorth Carolina History. My only defense is 
my inability to find another quotation that is sufficiently ac- 
curate and appropriate. As to the further charge of "un- 
historical and unethical" conduct in the use of personalities, 
I demur, and cite the fact that in my lengthy reply to Mr. 
Salley, his name is mentioned twice, and in his fifteen brief 
IDaragraphs replying to my reply my name is mentioned sev- 
enteen times. 

In paragraph number two of the reply, a personal opinion 
is expressed as to the views of Force, Bancroft and McCrady, 
and the statement is made : "There are witnesses who Avill 
corroborate the writer as to General McCrady's views." As 
I gave the "views" themselves, the readers have as much 
right to opinions as Siiay one else. 

Dr. George W. Graham is brought forward to confound 
my argument, but it happens that Dr. Graham has carefully 
read all of the preceding discussion and endorses my posi- 

The "crown docket" is again brought into court with the 
claim that "the national Declaration of Independence put an 
end to the crown docket." In this point I have the authority 
with me, as can be seen by reference to the bottom of page 
167 preceding, where Mr. A. S. Salley, Jr., says "and at their 
July, 17Y6, term, continued the 'crown docket' to the next 

"It is there made evident that Martin was in his dotage 

MR. craven's rejoinder. 255 

" This was one of the few friends of the Declaration 

who had not been declared defective in memory, and in the 
last days it seems that even he is not to be spared. He told 
Dr. Hawks that he obtained the copy of the declaration "be- 
fore 1800", and the baseless insinuation of "dotage" is of no 
consequence whatever. Furthermore, the unsupported and 
unsupportable statement "in a private letter" of Dr. Stephen 
B. Weeks (who is a near neighbor in my home town) is not 
sufficient to even raise a question as to the reliability of 
Francis Xavier Martin. 

It is true that Dr. Ej^hraim Brevard died in 1781 and not 
in 1777 as stated. At the time of his death, General Gates 
had his headquarters in Charlotte, and Dr. William Read 
was with him. Dr. Read attended Dr. Brevard in his last 
illness at the home of John McKnitt Alexander and there 
secured the information given later to Alexander Garden. 

The "committee from Charlotte" was not "pompous" and 
made no attempt to ridicule Worthington Ford. The com- 
mittee's report was printed January 1 and Mr. Ford's twelve 
days later, and hence Mr. Ford ridiculed himself by claiming 
that he exposed the Miller forgery. 

Regarding the reflections on the Presbyterians, this de- 
pends upon whether or not it would be considered a compli- 
ment to be called a "myth- worshiping idolator". The 
writer's animus is also shown by the coinage in the reply of 
the amorphous word "Mecklenburgomania." Instead of 
mania on his part there is simply a paretic condition of an 
otherwise able mind with regard to May 20, 1775, and inci- 
dentally to March 15, 1767. Concerning the real evidence 
as to facts on these dates he sticks to his contention: "I 
didn't see it ; therefore it isn't so". 

In conclusion, I hold these truths to be self-evident : 

1. Personal opinions and surmises and hypotheses are not 
entitled to any consideration in this discussion. 


2. The testimony of eye-witnesses is the strongest of all 
testimony, and there are seven for the Declaration of May 20 
and none against. 

3. Contemporary evidence is next strongest, and there is 
such evidence for the Declaration and none against. 

4. Corroborative evidence is next in importance and there 
is an abundance of it for the Declaration ; and corroborative 
evidence is not admissible without previous jDositive direct 
evidence of which there is none against the Declaration. 

5. The Resolves of May 31, 1775, are undisputed and are 
their own argument as to whether or not they constitute a 
Declaration of Independence. 




A biographical sketch of Professor Bruce Craven appeared 
in the Booklet for October 1908 with his contribution 
entitled "The Significance of the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion of Independence." Among his recent writings (be- 
sides various newspaper contributions) are the following: 
The Modern Schoolmaster, in Educational Foundations of 
N^ew York for September ; The Value of Words, in The Bos- 
ton Journal of Education for jSlovember 12 ; Testing the 
Teacher's Efficiency, in Educational Foundations for Decem- 
ber ; Religious Education, in American Education, of Albany, 
for January ; and ISTon-Eeligious Moral Training, in the 
New YorJc School Journal for January. 


Alexander Samuel Salley, Jr., son of A. M. Salley, was 
born in Orangeburg County, S. C, June 16, 1871. He was 
prepared for college at Sheridan's Classical School of Orange- 
burg, S. C, and afterwards was graduated from the South 
Carolina Military Academy in 1892. He studied law and 
in 1889 was admitted to the bar. He is the author of His- 
tory of Orangeburg County, S. C, 1704 to 1782 ; and com- 
piled and edited Marriage Notices from the South Carolina 
Gazette and its Successors, 1732-1801; Marriage ISTotices 
from the South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (1765- 
1775) and from the Charlestown Gazette (1778-1780). He 
has also edited the following: Register of St. Philip's 


Parish, Charlestown, S. C, 1720-1758; Journal of the Gen- 
eral Assembly of South Carolina, Mar. 26, 1776-April 11, 
1776 ; Journal of the Grand Council of South Carolina, 1671- 
1680 ; Journal of the Grand Council of South Carolina, 
April 11, 1692-Sept. 26, 1692 ; and Vols. 1-8, South Carolina 
Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 1900-1907. He is 
likewise a frequent contributor of historical, biographical, and 
bibliographical articles to various publications. He is now 
Secretary of the South Carolina Historical Commission. 

Note. — The Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, Raleigh, N. C, 
has recently published "Defence of the Mecklenburg Declaration of 
Independence," by James H. Moore, of Macon, Ga. This scholarly 
work has been well received by historical critics, and the reviews of it 
given in leading northern and southern periodicals have been, with but 
few exceptions, favorable to the author's contention. We hope to secure 
from Mr. Moore an article, summarizing the evidence in favor of the 
Mecklenburg Declaration, to be published in the Booklet. 

To the Readers of the North Carolina BooMet: 

It is the intention of the "jSI^orth Carolina Society Daugh- 
ters of the Revolution" to give a detailed account of the 
unveiling of the Bronze Tablet which they caused to be 
erected in the State Capitol on Oct. 24, 1908. This will 
appear in a future number or in an extra issue of the 

This tablet represents the first patriotic effort that the 
Society has made. It commemorates the heroism of the 
women of the Edenton Tea Party of 1771, "who by their 
patriotism, zeal, and early protest against unjust taxation by 
British authority, helped to make this Republic and our 
Commonwealth possible." 

Since the organization in 1896 of the North Carolina 
Branch of the "General Society Daughters of the Revolu- 


tioii/' its endeavor has been to carry out the tenets of the 
Constitution, the objects of which are ''to perpetuate the 
patriotic spirit of the men and women who achieved Ameri- 
can Independence ; to commemorate prominent events con- 
nected with the War of the Revolution ; to collect, publish and 
preserve the rolls, records and historic documents relating to 
that period ; and to encourage the study of the country's his- 

The first four years of the life of the organization, was 
given principally to the reading of State history, endors- 
ing patriotic movements in this State and other sister States, 
and the writing of sketches of the patriots through whom 
members became lineally eligible to membership. 

The requirements were that these sketches should be his- 
torically correct, and embodying such traditions as would 
render them more interesting and acceptable. Many of the 
members complied with these requirements, and these 
sketches after being read and approved were deposited with 
our Librarian, in the archives of this Society. 

While continuing in the work of perpetuating the deeds of 
our ancestors, a wider field was opened, that of erecting me- 
morials, as object lessons to posterity. At a meeting of the 
Society in December 1900, Mrs. Spier AVhitaker, then our 
wise patriotic and zealous Regent, suggested a memorial to 
the patriotic ladies of the "Edenton Tea Party of Oct. 25, 
1774," as an object especially appropriate for a Woman's 
Society. This suggestion met with the most hearty ap- 
proval of the members, and a resolution adopted to make this 
the first event for commemoration. 

Pertinent to the above, our honored late Regent (1902), 
Mrs. Daniel Harvey Hill, made the following clear, concise 
and authoritative statement in a preface to the Booklet : 

"These stout-hearted women are every' way worthy of ad- 
miration. On Oct. 25, 1774, seven months before the defiant 


farmers of Mecklenburg had been aroused to the point of 
signing the Declaration of Independence, nearly twenty 
months before the declaration made by the gentlemen com- 
posing the vestry of St. Paul's Church, Edenton, nearly two 
years before Jefferson penned the immortal National Decla- 
ration, these daring women solemnly subscribed to a docu- 
ment affirming that they would use no article taxed by Eng- 
land. Their example fostered in the whole State a determi- 
nation to die, or be free." 

To accomplish this purpose, various schemes were devised 
for raising the required funds without calling on the public 
for contributions. It was then decided to publish in conve- 
nient form ''Sketches of Great Events in K^orth Carolina 
History" with the twofold object — the one to raise from the 
yearly subscriptions a fund for this memorial, and the other 
to place in the hands of the reading public interesting 
sketches relating to the past history of the State, Colonial 
and Revolutionary, and that the most painstaking and com- 
petent scholars and educators in the State be requested 1o 
write the articles. 

The enterprise first took form in May, 1901, under the 
modest title of the ''JSTorth Carolina Booklet" and continued 
as a monthly publication for four years, and was changed to 
a quarterly in 1905, containing three articles instead of one. 

The work still continues as a quarterly, "supported by the 
cordial sympathy and cooperation of many of the best 
equipped scholars and writers of the State, who have so 
cheerfully contributed numerous articles, free of cost." 

The tablet which now adorns the walls of the Rotunda 
represents over five hundred dollars, the profits of four years 
arising from the publication of the Booklet^ and the profits 
of one entertainment given by the blind pupils of the State 
Institution who cheerfully aided with their talents in this 
patriotic undertaking. 


There yet remains in bank a creditable fund, Avhicli stands 
as a nucleus to which subscriptions to the Booklet will be 
added with which to erect other memorials. 

There were similar movements to that of the "Tea Party," 
which history has not recorded. Women in other counties 
of the State met to declare their determination to stand by 
principles resisting tyranny, and leading to Independence, 
which should be commemorated. 

In order to do this a larger subscription list to the Book- 
let will become necessary. Therefore we appeal to the pa- 
triotic citizenship of the State, to aid the Daughters of the 
Revolution in a venture that has proved thus far successful. 

The eighth volume is well advanced, and the outlook is 
encouraging. The Editors still continue to admit to its pages 
such articles of historical investigation as will aid the already 
awakened spirit of the people, viz, the claim of l^orth Caro- 
lina to a high place in the history of the United States. 


Concerning' the Patriotic Society 

''Daughters qf the Revolution" 

The General Society was founded October 11, 1890, — and organized 
Augiist 20, 1891, — under the name of "Daughters of the American 
Revolution" ; was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York 
as an organization national in its work and purpose. Some of the mem- 
bers of this organization becoming dissatisfied with the terms of en- 
trance, withdrew from it and, in 1891, formed under the slightly differ- 
ing name ''Daughters of the Revolution," eligibility to which from the 
moment of its existence has been lineal descent from an ancestor who 
rendered patriotic service during the War of Independence. 

" *Pte North Carolina Society " 

a subdivision of the General Society, was organized in October, 1896, 
and has eontinvied to promote the purposes of its institution and to 
observe the Constitution and By-Laws. 

Membership and Qualifications 

Any woman shall be eligible who is above the age of eighteen years, 
of good character, and a lineal descendant of an ancestor who ( 1 ) was 
a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress, Legislature or General Court, of any of the Colonies 
or States; or (2) rendered civil, military or naval service under the 
authority of any of the thirteen Colonies, or of the Continental Con- 
gress; or (3) by service rendered during the War of the Revolution 
became liable to the penalty of treason against the government of Great 
Britain: Provided, that such ancestor always remained loyal to the 
cause of American Independence. 

The chief work of the North Carolina Society for the past seven years 
has been the publication of the "North Carolina Booklet," a quarterly 
publication on great events in North Carolina history — Colonial and 
Revolutionary. $1.00 per year. It will continue to extend its work and 
to spread the knowledge of its History and Biographj^ in other States. 

This Society has its headquarters in Raleigh, N. C, Room 411, Caro- 
lina Trust Company Building, 232 Fayetteville Street. 

Bronze Tablet Uaveiled ix State Capitol of Nokth Cauloixa, October 24, 1908. 

Vol. VIII APRIL. 1909 No. 4 


floHTH CflHoiiiHfl 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 p\irposes. Editobs. 


Mrs. Spieb Whitakeb. Mr. R. D. W. Connob. 

Professob D. H. Hill. Dr. E. W. Sikes. 

Mb. W. J. Peele. Dr. Richard Uillaed. 

Peofessob E. p. Moses. Mr. James Speunt. 

De. Kemp P. Battle. Judge Walter Clark. 
Mb. Mabshall DeLancey Haywood. 

Miss Mary Milliard Hinton, Mrs. E E. Moffitt. 





Mrs. E. E. MOFFITT. 

vice-eegent : 


honorary regent: 
Mrs. spier WHITAKER. 

recording secretary: 


Mrs. PAUL H. LEE. 


Mrs. frank SHERWOOD. 






REGENT 1902: 

Mrs. D. H. hill, Sb.* 

REGENT 1902-1906: 

*Died December 12, 1904. 


Vol. VIII APRIL, 1909 No. 4 


The autumn of 1908 will be recorded in the history of 
the Daughters of the Revolution as a notable one. Our 
President-General, Mrs. Adeline F. Fitz, has just cause to be 
proud of the achievements of her Daughters, and it is to be 
hoped that the brilliant beginning of her able administration 
will be followed by even greater efforts and larger attain- 

On October the seventeenth the ISTew York Society laid 
the corner stone of the granite arch that is to mark the en- 
trance to Stony Point Park, amid fitting ceremonies. That 
same month the Daughters of the Pennsylvania Society 
placed two bronze memorial tablets in Independence Hall, 
Philadelphia. The ISTew Jersey Society suggested and aided 
extensively in erecting the monument to the "Tea Burners," 
unveiled October the fourth at Greenwich, New Jersey, while 
the Long Island Society contributed six thousand of the 
twenty-five thousand dollars expended on the beautiful col- 
umn to the memory of the Prison Ship martyrs, ISTovember 
the fourteenth in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn. The Massa- 
chusetts Society remembered her heroic Paul Revere in fur- 
nishing a room to bear his name. Last, but by no means 
least with us, the Daughters of ISTorth Carolina, was the 
placing in the rotunda of our capitol on Saturday, October 
the twenty-fourth, the handsome oval bronze tablet "to the 
memory of the fifty-one ladies of Edenton" who on October 


twenty-fifth, 1774, signed the resolves that had been adopted 
by the Provincial Congress recently held at !N^ew Bern. 

This had been a day long anticipated by the Daughters of 
the Revolution in this State. More than seven years have 
passed since the idea was first contemplated of undertaking 
this definite patriotic work. The result has been satisfac- 
tory, for we worked cautiously, fully realizing history re- 
quires careful dealing, substantiating every statement with 
well authenticated facts. 

This is the most rej)resentative monument ever placed in 
North Carolina, for the funds were raised by dimes, quarters 
and dollars — coming literally ''from Murphy to Manteo" — 
''from Carolina to California." It is also the only one 
erected by women to the memory of heroic women in the 

As much care was bestowed on the design of the tablet 
itself as has been required for the raising of the necessary 
funds. To Dr. Dillard and Mr. John J. Blair we are in- 
debted for the original suggestions. Mr. R. T. Haines Hal- 
sey, of New York, showed great interest in the work, ship- 
ping a rare piece of his Colonial silver to Gorham's works in 
Providence, R. L, from which the tea pot in the center of 
the tablet was drawn. The cut of the lady's hand emptying 
the tea caddy was taken from the cover of the pamphlet con- 
cerning the Edenton Tea Party by Dr. Dillard, and presented 
to the North Carolina Historical Exhibit at the Jamestown 
Exposition for distribution, and was the work of Miss May 
Beverly Dixon. 

One thousand invitations were issued for this event. The 
exact date of the anniversary falling on Sunday caused the 
selection of the 24th. Out-of-tovm guests from our sister 
society, the D. A. R., as well as members from our own 
order, honored us witb their presence. 

The day dawned bright and clear after a night of heavy 


rainfall, seemingly an auspicious omen. A large and repre- 
sentative audience filled the floor and galleries of the Hall of 
Representatives. The managers were: Mrs. Hubert Hay- 
wood, Miss Martha Helen Haywood, Miss Mary Hilliard 
Hinton, assisted by Colonel Bennehan Cameron, representing 
the Society of the Cincinnati, and Mr. Marshall DeLancey 
Haywood, representing the Sons of the Revolution. Thirteen 
pages were chosen, representing different Daughters of the 
Revolution, and the Revolutionary ancestors upon whose ser- 
vices eligibility in the Society was based. Each manager 
and page wore a badge of buff and blue — the Society's colors. 
Mrs. Moffitt, the State Regent, presided, annoimcing each 
subject in order. The music was furnished by the band of 
the Blind Institution and the High School choiTis. 

After the exercises the audience descended to the rotunda 
below, where the thirteen little children (typifying the thir- 
teen original States) unveiled the tablet, each pulling a tiny 
ribbon. These also were descendants of Revolutionary 

Two photogTaphs were taken in the rotunda — one before 
and one after the flag had been dra^\Ti from the tablet. 
Around and on the monument in the golden autumn sunshine, 
forming a pretty pyramid of unveilers, pages, Daughters and 
guests, an effective group was formed and the photographer 
a third time used his camera successfully. 

That afternoon from four to six the halls and music room 
of the Yarborough Hotel were graciously tendered the Daugh- 
ters of the Revolution for a reception. To this anniversary 
of the Edenton Tea Party informal invitations were extended 
to about one hundred persons — the members of the patriotic 
organizations, the officers of the Woman's Club and histo- 
rians — who had so generously given their time and labor in 
our cause. 

Mary Hilliard Hinton. 


of tije 

tinbeiling anb ©eliication of tfie l^ablet 

in iWemorp of tfje 

of tf)e 
in tije 

Capitol, l^aleifif), J^orttj Carolina 

Crccteb bp tfje 

^ortf) Carolina ^ocietg 

of tfte 

Baustiters! of tije 3^ebolution 

0ctohtv tlje ttoentj>=fourtl| 

Nineteen JIunbreb anb €igl)t 

€let)en=t|)irtj> a. m. 

I9es(centiant£i of i^eboluttonarp ^atriotsi 


Wahltt to tie unbeileb bp tfjtrteen besfcenlrantaf 
of ^eijolutionarp patriots! rcpre£(enting 
tfje 3rf)irteen Colonies! 




Representing the Society of the Cincinnati. 

Representing the Sons of the Revolution. 


Music — Star-Spangled Banner. 

Peayee — Rev. Robert Brent Drane, D.D., 

Rector of St. Paul's Church, Edenton, North Carolina. 

Inteoductory Addeess — Mrs. Patrick Matthew, 

Regent Penelope Barker Chapter, D. R-. 

Music — Carolina, by High School Chorus. 

Peesentatio]N" of Tablet — Mrs. E. E. Moffitt, 

Regent North Carolina Society Daughters of the 

Addeess of Acceptance — Hon. Francis D. Winston, 

Lieutenant-Governor of North Carolina. 

Addeess — Hon. Walter Clark, 

Chief Justice Supreme Court of North Carolina. 

Benediction — Dr. Benjamin E. Dixon. 

Music — America, by High School Chorus. 

Unveiling of Tablet in Rotunda of the Capitol. 




Repbesenting Members of N. C. D. R. Descendants of Revolu- 
tionary Patriots. 
( Compiled by the Regent and the Genealogist.) 
Adickes, Emily Browning. Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Henning F. Adiekes and wife, Emily Browning (Clawson) 
Adickes. Representing Mrs. H. F. Adickes, member of N. C. D. R. 
Lineal descendant of Maj. Robert Crawford a soldier of the 
Revolution of Waxhaw, S. C; under Sumter at Battle of 
Hanging Rock, S. C. Equipped a whole company and served 
during the whole of the Revolutionary War. 
Bruneb, Brandon. Raleigh, N. C. 

Son of Thomas Kincaid Bruner and wife, Belle (Boyden) Bruner. 
Representing Mrs. Thomas K. Bruner, member of the N. C. D. R. 
Lineal descendant of Col. James Martin (brother of Governor 
Alexander Martin ) , appointed Colonel of Guilford County, April 
22, 1776. Commanded at Battle of Guilford Court-house— "the 
most important to the cause of America in the whole South." 
Clark, Eugenia Graham. Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Judge Walter Clark and wife, Susan Washington (Gra- 
ham) Clark. Representing Mrs. Walter Clark, member of the 
N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Gen. Joseph Graham, of Lin- 
coln County, N. C. ; Adjutant and afterward Major of the 4th 
Regiment of the N". C. Continental Line. May 1778, Major- 
General of 5th Division of N. C. Militia. Commanded in fifteen 
engagements in the Revolutionary War. 
HiNTON, Bessie Cain. Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Charles Hinton and wife, Bessie Cain Hinton. Rep- 
resenting Miss Mary Hilliard Hinton (her aunt), a member of 
the N. C. D. R. Descendant of Col. John Hinton (Patriot an- 
cestor ) , delegate from Wake County to Provincial Congress held 
at Hillsboro, August 1775. Colonel of Minute Men of Wake 
County; member of Provincial Congress at Halifax April 4, 
1776; served at Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. Died 1784. 
Also descendant of Col. Jonas Johnson, Patriot of Edgecombe 
County, N. C. 
HoLLiSTER, Bessie Hoover. New Bern, N. C. 

Daughter of Charles Slover Hollister and wife, Mary (Bryan) 
Hollister. Representing Mrs. Charles Hollister, member of N. C. 
D. R. Lineal descendant of Gen. William Bryan, Lieutenant- 
Colonel of Minute Men, Craven County, N. C, 1775; member of 
Provincial Congress at Halifax April 4, 1776; served as General 
in the Revolution. 


HoLLlSTER, IVIaby Bbyan. New Bern, N. C. 

Daughter of Charles Slover Hollister and wife, Mary (Bryan) 
Hollister. Representing Mrs. Charles Hollister, member of the 
N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Gen. William Bryan, Lieutenant- 
Colonel of Minute Men, of New Bern District, 1775; member of 
Provincial Congress at Halifax, April 4, 1776; served as General 
in the Revolution. 

Haywood (Betsy John), Eoza Eagles. Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Dr. Hubert Haywood and wife, Emily Ryan (Benbury) 
Haywood. Representing Mrs. Hubert Haywood, member of the 
N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Col. William Haywood, ap- 
pointed on Committee of Safety, Halifax District, 1775; Pro- 
vincial Congress at Halifax April 4, 1776; member of Constitu- 
tional Convention, Halifax, April 13, 1776. Also descendant of 
Gen. Thomas Benbury, Brig.-Gen. William Skinner and Col. John 
Pugh Williams. 

Hill, Pauline, Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Daniel Harvey Hill and wife, Pauline (White) Hill. 
Representing Mrs. D. H. Hill (her deceased grandmother) and 
former Regent of the N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of William 
Hill, Colonel of South Carolina Militia, Hill's Iron Works, 
York District, S. C. ; participated in battle of Hanging Rock, 
S. C, August 6, 1780. Also descendant of Gen. Joseph Graham, 
of Lincoln County, who served in fifteen engagements in the 
Revolutionary War. 

Lewis, Cornelia Battle, Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Dr. Richard Henry Lewis and wife, Mary Long Gordon, 
of Virginia. Representing the Secretary of the "Edenton Tea 
Party of 1774." Lineal descendant of Winifred Wiggans Hoskins, 
of Edenton, N. C, the wife of Richard Hoskins, a brave and 
zealous Patriot who served in the Revolution until its close. 

Jackson, Evelyn Hyman, Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Herbert Worth Jackson and wife, Annie Hyman (Philips) 
Jackson. Representing Mrs. E. E. Moffitt (her grandmother), 
member of the N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Col. Archibald 
Murphey, Major and Lieutenant-Colonel N. C. Militia, member of 
Committee of Safety, 1776, Orange County, N. C. Also descend- 
ant of Col. William Burt, of Nash County, and Judge Samuel 
Spencer, of Anson County, N. C, (Revolutionary Patriots). 

PiCKELL, Virginia Bolling Holladay, Raleigh. 

Daughter of J. M. Pickell and wife, Julia Boiling (Holladay). 
Representing her grandmother, Mrs. A. Q. Holladay (deceased), 
former Vice-Regent of N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Boilings, 
Holladays, Lewises, etc., of Virginia, also of Col. Richard Ran- 
dolph, of "Curies," on the James, Virginia. 


Sherwood, Fleming Bates, Raleigh, N. C. 

Son of Francis Webber Sherwood and wife, Mary Priseilla (Bates) 
Sherwood. Representing Mrs. F. W. Sherwood, member of the 
N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Maj. James Moore, of Penn- 
sylvania. Was first Captain 7th Co., 4th Battalion, under Col. 
Anthony Wayne (1776); participated in the battles of Brandy- 
wine, Trenton, Princeton, etc. Was promoted Major 1777. Fought 
at Valley Forge, Yorktown, serving through the whole war. 

Stbonach, Van Dalen, Raleigh, N. C. 

Son of Alexander Barron Stronach and wife, Mary Augustine (Cooke) 
Stronach. Representing Mrs. A. B. Stronach, member of the 
N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Capt. Richard Donaldson 
Cooke, Captain in the 9th Regiment N. C. Continental Line from 
November 28, 1776, to January, 1778. 

Thackston, Jean, Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of John W. Thackston and wife, Annie (Beckwith) Thack- 
ston. Representing Mrs. J. W. Thackston, member of N. C. D. R. 
Lineal descendant of Sergt. John Beckwith of the Connecticut 
Continental Line (1776); Lieutenant, 1777; Captain, 1778. 

Wood, Annie Caroline, Edenton, N. C. 

Daughter of John Wood and wife, Bessie Martin Wood. Represent- 
ing Miss Sophie Wood, member of the N. C. D. R. Lineal descend- 
ant of Gen. Isaac Gregory, of Pasquotank County, member of 
Committee of Safety, 1776; member of Constitutional Conven- 
tion at Halifax, November 12, 1776; Colonel of 2d Regiment, 
afterwards promoted to General. 

Wood, Rebecca Bennehan, Edenton, N. C. 

Daughter of Frank Wood and wife, Rebecca Bennehan (Collins) 
Wood. Representing Mrs. W. D. Pruden (her aunt), member 
of the N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Charles Moore, Secre- 
tary to Military Organizations of Perquimans County, N. C. ; 
member of Provinieal Congress at Halifax, N. C, April 4, 1776. 


Baker, Katherine Boylan Haywood. Born March 24, 1901. 

Daughter of Benjamin Whiteley Baker and wife, Katherine Boylan 
(Haywood) Baker. Representing Martha Helen Haywood (her 
aunt), member of N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Col. William 
Haywood, member of Committee of Safety of Halifax County, 
N. C, 1775; of Provincial Congress at Halifax, April, 1776, also 
November, 1776, which formed the Constitution. 


Cameron, Belle Mayo. Born 1900. 

Daughter of Bennehan Cameron and wife, Sallie (Mayo) Cameron. 
Representing Mrs. Annie (Shepherd) Graham, member of the 
N. C. D. R., descendant of Capt. John Daves, of the Second North 
Carolina Continentals. Active at Battle of Stony Point, New 
York, etc. 

Cross, Elizabeth Murray. Born July 3, 1901. Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of John William Cross and wife, Carrie (Murray) Crosa. 
Representing Mrs. John W. Cross, member of the N. C. D. R. 
Lineal descendant of Capt. Richard Donaldson Cooke, Captain 
in 9th Regiment N. C, Continental Line from November 28, 
1776 to January, 1778. Also surgeon in the army. 

Danibxs, Jonathan Worth. Born April 26, 1902. 

Son of Josephus Daniels and wife, Adelaide Worth ( Bagley ) . Rep- 
resenting Mrs. Adelaide Bagley, member of N. C. D. R. De- 
scendant of Col. Archibald Murphey (Patriot ancestor), Maj. 
and Lieut. Col. N. C. Militia ; member of Committee of Safety 
for Orange County, N. C. 

Heck, Gene Gray. Born July 24, 1897. Richmond. 

Daughter of George Callendine Heck and wife, Eugene (Gray). Rep- 
resenting Mrs. Mary Louise (Heck) Pace, member of the N. C. 
D. R. Descendant of Johan Yost Heck, born in Berks County, 
Penn., 1754, served in Pennsylvania Rifles 1776, fought at Long 
Island, White Plains and Brandywine. Also descendant of Mrs. 
Kerenhappuch Turner, the heroine at Guilford Court-house, N. C. 

Haywood, John Benbury. Born December 12, 1895. « Raleigh, N. C. 
Son of Dr. Hubert Haywood and wife, Emily Ryan (Benbury) Hay- 
wood. Representing Mrs. Hubert Haywood, member of the N. C. 
D. R. Lineal descendant of Gen. Thomas Benbury, member of 
Provincial Congress, New Bern, Avig. 25, 1774 and 1776, Commit- 
tee of Safety of Edenton District. Delegate to Congress at Hali- 
fax Nov. 12, 1776. Also descendant of Col. Wm. Haywood of 
Edgecombe, Brig.-Gen. William Skinner and Capt. Jacob Turner 
of 3d Regiment. 

HiGGS, Lucy Hawkins. Born October 3, 1896. Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Sherwood Higgs and wife, Lucy (Hawkins) Higgs. Rep- 
resenting Mrs. Sherwood Higgs, member of the N. C. D. R. 
Lineal descendant of Col. Philemon Hawkins, of Bute (after- 
wards divided into Warren and Franklin counties in 1799). 
Member of Provincial Congress at Halifax April 4, 1776; mem- 
ber of Constitutional Convention, Halifax County, N. C, Novem- 
ber 12, 1776. 

Hill, Randolph. Born August 21, 1903. Raleigh, N. C. 

Daughter of Daniel Harvey Hill and wife, Pauline (White) Hill. 
Representing Mrs. D. H. Hill (deceased). Lineal descendant of 


William Hill (1740-1816), of Hills Iron Works, York District, 
S. C, Colonel of S. C. Militia. In battle of Hanging Rock, S. C, 
Aug. 6, 1780. Also descendant of Gen. Joseph Graham, of Lin- 
coln County. 

Jackson, Samuel Spencer. Born January 26, 1902. 

Son of Herbert Worth Jackson and wife, Annie Hyman ( Philips ) . 
Representing Mrs. Elvira E. Moffitt, a member of the N. C. D. R. 
Descendant of Judge Samuel Spencer, of Anson County, N. C. 
(born 1738, died 1794). Member of the Provincial Council of 
Safety 1775, Provincial Congress, Xew Bern, 1774. Also de- 
scendant of Col. Archibald Murphey (1742-1817), of Orange 
County, N. C, Major and afterward Lieutenant-Colonel of N. C. 

Parker, Annie Moore. Born May 10, 1905. 

Daughter of Bartholomew Moore Parker and wife, Elise ( Stamps ) . 
Representing Mrs. Annie Moore Parker, member of N. C. D. R., 
descendant of Nathan Boddie, of Edgecombe County; member of 
Provincial Congress at Halifax April 4, 1776. 

Pboctor, William Isaac. Born March 12, 1895. 

Son of Ivan Mariott Proctor and wife, Lucy (Biggs) Proctor. Rep- 
resenting Mrs. Ivan M. Proctor, member of N. C. D. R. Lineal 
descendant of Elisha Battle, of Edgecombe; member of Assembly 
1771; Provincial Congress, Halifax, April 4, 1776, and delegate to 
Constitutional Convention at Halifax, X. C, November 12, 1776. 

Ray, Hardy Murfree. Born July 22, 1900. 

Son of John E. Ray and wife, Finie Carter Ray. Representing Mrs. 
John E. Ray, member of N. C. D. R. Descendant of Lieut.-Col. 
Hardy Murfree, of Hertford County, N. C, who served in 2d 
Regiment N. C. Continental Troops. Prominent at Stony Point, 
N. Y., and founder of the town of Murfreesboro, Tenn. 

Smith, William Nathan Harrell. Born February 10, 1898. Raleigh, 
N. C. 
Son of Edward Chambers Smith and wife, Annie Badger (Faison) 
Smith. Representing Mrs. Ed. Chambers Smith, member of 
N. C. D. R. Lineal descendant of Col. Richard Cogdell, of 
Craven County, N. C. ; member of Provincial Congress, New Bern, 
N. C, Aug. 25, 1774; member of Committee of Safety for New 
Bern District 1775. 

Withers, William Banks. Born October 2, 1901. 

Son of William Alphonso Withers and wife, Elizabeth Witherspoon 
Daniel. Representing Mrs. W. A. Withers ( deceased ) , member 
of N. C. D. R. Descendant of Rev. John Witherspoon, "The 
Signer" from New Jersey. 




Dr. Robert Brent Drane, of Edenton, pronounced the dedicatory prayer 
at the dedication and unveiling of the Edenton Tea Party Tablet in the 
State Capitol Saturday. His prayer was as follows: 

O God, whose days are without end and whose mercies can not be 
numbered, we humbly and heartily thank Thee that, although Thou hast 
made our days as it were a span long and our age is even as nothing 
in respect to Thee, yet to us Thou hast given an inward honor of falling 
into naught and hast promised, through Thy Son, an endless life and 
a glorious immortality. Thou hast taught us that Thou requirest the 
past: it is because Thou dost promise a future. We confess that we 
are too often content to live in a sordid present; that Thy people of 
this commonwealth have done amiss in neglecting the history of this 
land to which our forefathers came as strangers and pilgrims with 
charters of civil and religious liberty, and with the high purpose of 
acknowledging Thee alone as Lord and Master. 

We praise Thee, Lord God, that Thou hast not forsaken us; that 
Thou hast put it into the hearts of an ever increasing number of Thy 
people to learn and to publish to the world the noble deeds of the 
fathers. Inspire us more and more with a zeal according to knowledge 
in their behalf, and we pray Thee, before whose eyes all history is open, 
to reward all seekers after truth and give us grace to profit by their 

We invoke Thy special blessing upon Thy Daughters who, this day, 
are blazoning to North Carolina, and to the world the patriotism of 
those Edenton women who were brave in troublous times, and self- 
denying in the great cause of American Independence. 

O, Thou, who didst publish in all the world, wheresoever the Gospel 
is preached, the good deed of that woman who anointed the Saviour's 
feet, grant that the memorial of those women whom we now com- 
memorate by this tablet, may be more enduring than brass; that our 
people may accord to them the high praise, "They did what they could 
and did it well," and may we all be moved to go and do likewise, as 
Thy providence may direct. 

That these memories of the past may enrich our present and make u» 
do better service of our country and of our country's God; and that at 
last we may be gathered into the company of the great good. Thy 
martyrs and saints of all ages and all lands, we pray, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 




Address by Mrs. Patrick Matthew at the Unveiling of the Edenix)n 
Tea Party Tablet. 

Madame Regent of the North Carolina Society and Daughters of the 
Revolution, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

An exquisite compliment was tendered me with the invitation as 
Eegent of Penelope Barker Chapter to participate in the ceremonies 
attending the unveiling of a memorial commemorative of one of the 
most important political and patriotic events connected with the 
Revolutionary period. 

Through the untiring efforts of the ladies of the Raleigh Chapter, 
inspired by State pride and supported by their love of historical per- 
petuation, to-day the Old North State will receive a priceless gift, and 
the walls of our Capitol be decorated with an ever-enduring tablet of 
bronze, a silent teacher of the greatness of our women more than a 
century ago and to point to each succeeding generation that in ex- 
tremity of need to "go thou and do likewise." 

It is with great pride I tell you that among the members of the 
Penelope Barker Daughters, eight are descendants of the signers of old 
St. Paul's and with (I do not think there is an exception) all are 
connected with the signers of the Tea-party Constitution. 

"My heart swells with gladness whenever I name them." 

It is also my privilege to dwell upon a few instances in the life of 
one of America's greatest patriotic lights, a leader and teacher of loyal 
womanhood, wife, mother, and with these elements of Christian love 
and obedience she became a jewel among her sex, a womanly woman 
of strength and vigor, — blessed be the memory of Penelope Barker. 

June 17, 1728. October 15, 1794. 

When the Georges ruled all England, 

And England ruled the seas. 
She thought to weight her treasury 
With tax from the colonies. 

No home rule did she give to them. 

In Parliament no seat, 
She never thought, perhaps. 

From England they'd retreat. 

The time soon came, the men to war 

Marched forth to win the siege. 
We shall be free from king and crown! 

From haughty, lordly liege. 


The women said, "God bless you! 

Where'er you fight and roam, 
We will bear our burdens, 

With our children here at home." 

In the Province of Carolina, 

In Edenton the town. 
There lived Penelope Barker, 

A woman of renown. 

Of Samuel and Elizabeth Paget 
She was one of daughters three. 

And to add to the family circle, 
Three brothers also had she. 

In seventeen hundred and twenty-eight, 
The summer montn of June, 

The seventeenth day, Penelope 
Raised her first infant tune. 

Elizabeth, her sister, was 

Oldest of the three 
Daughters of said parents. 

Of the Paget family tree. 

Penelope married Craven 

In her youthful age; 
He died leaving her no issue 

To inscribe on the record page. 

Elizabeth Paget married 

Mr. Hodgson, the same 
Whom Penelope afterwards 

Took his suit and name. 

Two children blessed this union. 
She was not a mother before; 

Thomas died in Halifax, 
November 20th, 1774. 

Together these two children 
Under the chancel of St. Paul's 

Lie waiting to join their mother 
When the Heavenly Father calls. 


Mr. Hodgson she survived. 

Left a widow, and alone, 
She married Thomas Barker, 

And graced his stately home. , 

Thomas Barker was a lawyer 

Of repute and ability. 
And a grand woman did he wed 

When he married Penelope. 

Nathaniel, Thomas, Penelope, 

Were the infants born to them; 
But soon the Shepherd took them 

To His own holy realm. 

Her home was on Broad street, 

To the southeast corner of Queen, 
Extending through to Court, 

Thence south'ard to the Green. 

How far south I can not say, ' 

Yet this I know quite well — 
On the spot where's now the Woodard House 

Is where she once did dwell. 

Her house was built of brick and wood. 

And bears this early date. 
On record in the structure, 

Seventeen hundred forty-eight. 

Long years of stern oppression 

By kings across the sea 
Wore out the strength of sire and son. 

They would fight and thus be free. 

Mrs. Barker called a meeting 

To abandon drinking tea; 
The picture of the party 

Is here for all to see. 

In the house of Elizabeth King 

This political body met. 
Of ladies numbering fifty-one. 

An independent set. 


They drew a constitution 

Worthy of a judge; 
They'd drink no tea, they'd give it up! 

Without a pang or grudge. 

October 25th, 1774, 

Was the night without a murmur. 
They did their names inscribe. 

As has been said before. 

They told the men of valor 
That they were women true; 

They'd see the Revolution 
To victory fought through. 

Mrs. Barker was the leader 

Of the Revolution band 
Of women, which antedated 

Old Boston's noble stand. 

The- men to arms! The gvms were fired! 

The British entered Edenton; 
They found no quarter and no men. 

Only women's frowns. 

They sought for booty far and wide 

For cattle and for steed, 
Anything to satisfy 

England's tyrant's greed. 

They boldly took her horses 
And to her coach did hitch. 

But Penelope espied them 
And, as mad as any witch. 

She snatched a keen-edged blade 

And to the stables ran, 
And with a slash she cut 

The traces like a man. 

Her coach was white. 

Emblazoned with arms. 
In which the fair Penelope 

Had graced with many charms. 


The soldiers were but human, 

They could not her resist; 
So, we conclude, her horses 

Her acceptance they did insist. 

But like the fragrant flowers. 

All things sweet must fade; 
She died leaving a record 

Of glory she had made. 

The fifteenth of October, 

Seventeen hundred ninety-four. 
She passed away to her reward 

For the noble life she bore. 


For authority of these records, 
Beyond doubt they are true, 

Two Daughters of the Revolution 

Searched the Paget Bible through. 
"Old Time shall end our story. 

But no time, if we end well. 
Will end our glory." 

***** it * 

By courtesy of Miss Margaret Bond, 

Descendant of the same 
Paget family from whom Penelope, 

Though times changed her name. 

Edenton, N. C, October 25, 1907. 


Address by Mrs. E. E. Moffitt, Regent of North Carolina Society 
Daughters of the Revolution. 

Friends and Citizens: 

We have met together to-day to commemorate an event that took place 
one hundred and thirty-four years ago, October 25, 1774. It was the 
time when the Colonies were suffering from oppressive taxation and 
bound by such stringent laws that endurance ceased to be a virtue, that 
the people arose in their might and power determined to throw off the 


British yoke. Even the women of the time exercised such influence as 
they possessed to give weight to the cause. Many instances of their 
daring and heroism have been recorded or handed down by tradition. 
Of one especial incident we have undoubted avithority, which took place 
in Edenton, North Carolina, when fifty-one of those high-metaled dames 
of that historic town met together on October 25, 1774, to endorse the 
resolutions that had been passed by the Provincial Congress the pre- 
vious August, (Colonial Eecords, Vol. IX, p. 1041,) declaring against 
the unjust taxation forced upon them by England. 

This Congress which met at New Bern, N. C, was the first assem- 
blage independent of royal authority. "It was not a conflict of arms 
or force, but it was the first act of that great drama in which battles 
and blood formed only subordinate parts" (Wheeler). These fifty-one 
heroic women of the Province met to testify their "sincere adherence to 
such resolves as appeared to affect the peace and happiness of their 
country for the iDublie good and subscribing to a paper as 'a witness of 
their fixed intention and determination to buy no more tea or wear any 
more British cloth' until the tax was removed from these necessities.'' 
This daring and heroic stand, so interesting and even so fascinating, the 
wonder is that it has not held a place on the page of every Revolutionary 
history. But has not this been the case in America that the lives of the 
generality of women are not deemed important enough to trace even in 
the histories of their distinguished sons? But it is not yet too late to 
blazon the patriotism of these ladies beside that of the heroes of the 
Revolution, and with this end in view the North Carolina Society, 
Daughters of the Revolution, have bent their efforts for several years 
past to raise suffieient funds wherewith to erect a memorial tablet in 
their honor. This bronze tablet which will be unveiled to-day, and 
presented to the State of North Carolina, recites the legend of the 
Edenton Tea Party. Tlie inscription as it stands on the imperishable- 
bronze reads thus: 









The authorities proving the incident to be true beyond doubt have 
been verified by a London paper, the Morning Chronicle and London, 
Advertiser of January 16th, 1775, in the British Museum, and the^ 
American Archives, 4th series. Vol. 1, 891. 


It may be admissible to digress from my subject for a few moments 
to give a short account of the beginnings of the patriotic organizations 
which led to the establishment of the North Carolina Society. It will 
be recalled by many who are here to-day that the idea of forming 
patriotic societies was conceived during the great Centennial of Ameri- 
can Independence at Philadelphia in 1876 and held in a city so full of 
historic memories of the struggle for liberty. The eyes of the nation 
were opened to the great strides made in a century and the possibilities 
for greater progress. The need of organizations for the preservation 
of relics was most apparent, and from the inception of this idea has 
grown The Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the Revolution, 
Daughters of the American Revolution, and Daughters of the Revolution, 
which to-day are carrying out the aims of their respective constitutions. 
The general Society was founded October 11, 1890, and organized August 
20, 1891, under the name "Daughters of the American Revolution," and 
was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York as an organi- 
zation national in its work and purpose. Some of the members becom- 
ing dissatisfied with a mistake made regarding the terms of entrance, 
withdrew from it, and in 1891 formed under the slightly differing name 
"Daughters of the Revolution," eligibility to which from the moment of 
its existence has been lineal descent from an ancestor who rendered 
patriotic service during the War of Independence. Though the mistake 
made was adjusted in 1905, these organizations have not yet united, biit 
continue their patriotic work with the utmost unanimity of feeling, 
still pursuing and still achieving the objects that lie nearest and that 
call for their help and influence. The headquarters of the General 
Society, Daughters of the Revolution, is in New York, and has branches 
in many States. 

The objects of the Society, as stated in the Constitution, are "to per- 
petuate the patriotic spirit of the men and women who achieved Ameri- 
can Independence; to commemorate prominent events connected with the 
War of the Revolution: to collect, publish and preserve the rolls, 
records and historic documents relating to that period ; to encourage 
the study of the country's history and to promote sentiments of friend- 
ship and common interest among the members of the Society." 

The North Carolina Branch was organized in Raleigh, October 19, 
1896, the anniversary of the surrender of Cornwallis; and a constitution 
and by-laws adopted on April 6, 1897, its declaration upon honor being 
that "if admitted to membership in this Society, I will endeavor to 
promote the purpose of its institution and observe the constitution and 

Mrs. Spier Whitaker, a lineal descendant of William Hooper, a signer 
of the National Declaration of Independence, was most fittingly chosen 


as Regent, and she with her co-workers steadily labored with unabating 
interest to promote the objects stated in the constitution, especially to 
commemorate the revolutionary events connected with North Carolina. 
The first four or five years were given over to the study and reading of 
State history; by sketches by the members of the ancestors in right of 
whose services they derived their eligibility; memorializing Congress 
in behalf of the Nash and Davidson monuments; also for the govern- 
ment ownership of Fort Ticonderoga ; petitioning the State Legislature 
to erect a fire-proof building as a Hall of History in which to deposit 
and preserve the State Library and other priceless records now con- 
tinually in danger of destruction by fire ; the ofi'ering yearly a medal for 
the best article on North Carolina history by a student of the public 
schools. These and other matters germane to the Society claimed its 
attention, trusting to a prosperous future to bring to pass these ideals. 

At the December meeting iii 1900 an article from the pen of Dr. 
Eichard Dillard was read concerning the "Edenton Tea Party of October 
25, 1774," and our Regent, Mrs. Whitaker, suggested as an object pecu- 
liarly appropriate to an association of women that this Society erect 
some worthy memorial to these "too much ignored ladies of the historic 
Tea Party." Surely what event in our history was more worthy 
of commemoration than this heroic act of women which took place seven 
months before that of Mecklenburg; nearly twenty months before that 
of St. Paul's Vestry in Edenton, and nearly two years before the 
immortal National Declaration? 

This suggestion, supported by such vital facts, met with enthusiastic 
approval by the Society. The ways and means for creating a fund 
for this purpose were discussed and a conclusion arrived at to publish 
"important events in our State history," and publish these monographs 
under the name and title of the "North Carolina Booklet" at $1.00 the 
year. The idea of publishing these monographs, which originated with 
Miss Martha Haywood, met with unanimous approval, and she, with 
Mrs. Hubert Haywood, (so nearly related to the early settlers of Eden- 
ton and conversant with its history,) consented to undertake the man- 
agement of the Booklet, the Regent and members of the Society stand- 
ing as sponsors for them in this patriotic movement. The Society 
furnished the necessary equipment of stationery and postage and other 
expenses necessary, and each member lent a willing hand in securing 
subscriptions. The editors met with most flattering encouragement from 
the best historians in the State, who generously responded to their 
request in furnishing sketches on important events which took place in 
North Carolina before and during the Revolutionary War. To-day the 
Booklet has a fine collection of as many as eighty-five sketches printed 
on its pages, treating of many diff'erent phases of our State's history. 


After two years of arduous labor these editors retired from the 
management, but not until they had placed the Booklet on a good basis. 
They turned into the treasury $217.00, the profits of two years work, 
giving their services entirely without remuneration, and placed this in 
bank as a nucleus for the memorial fund. Their resignation was re- 
gretfully granted by the whole Society, who felt a deep sense of grati- 
tude for the work they had carried on so successfully. The Society 
then elected Mrs. E. E. Moffitt and Miss Mary Hilliard Hinton as 
editors, who have continued the work under the same conditions and 
have labored assiduously to keep it up to the standard achieved by the 
former editors, and to-day it is yet spreading its history and biography 
in this and other States. Though the subscription list is not as satis- 
factory as one could wish, yet it justifies its continuance, and while 
our contributors continue in the generous mood that has characterized 
them through the seven and a half years of its existence, we will be 
encouraged to still achieve and still pursue. 

To-day we have the proud privilege of presenting to the State of North 
Carolina the profits of the first four years realized from the publication 
of the NoKTH Carolina Booklet, at a cost of four hundred and fifty 
dollars; in the form of a bronze tablet of exquisite workmanship, which 
will ornament the rotunda of our beautiful Capitol building. 

'Tis to the writers of articles on State history we owe the greatest 
debt of gratitude, for it is through them that the Booklet has com- 
manded the attention it has received. These writers have culled from 
ponderous volumes, rare documents and other authentic sources, and 
put in convenient and readable form mvich history not easily available 
to the general public. All of which was done to aid the Society in its 
endeavor to inspire greater State pride. 

To our advertisers we also owe a debt of gratitude, for through their 
combined help the rough places have been made smoother. Our past 
Regents, Mrs. Whitaker, Mrs. D. H. Hill, deceased, of blessed memory, 
and Mrs. Thomas K. Bruner, whose names are inscribed in the pub- 
lication, have been important factors in the success of the Booklet 
and other important undertakings of the Society. 

Voicing the sentiments of our organization, the administration of 
these ladies was entirely and happily satisfactory, besides the honor 
reflected on it by its founder, Mrs. Whitaker, who so largely inherited 
the patriotism, daring and zeal of her lineal ancestor, Hon. Wm. 
Hooper, "the signer," and to her successor, Mrs. Daniel Harvey Hill, a 
lineal descendant of Gen. Joseph Graham, the famous Revolutionary 
soldier of brave old Mecklenburg. Mrs. Hill's demise was a sad stroke 
to our organization and mourned by us all; truly can it be said of her 
that "homeward serenely she walked with God," leaving a benediction 
sensibly felt by us all to this day. This vacancy was then filled by 


Mrs. T. K. Brunei' by the unanimous vote of the members; earnest and 
faithful to her duty, this with her eloquence won our esteem and 
applause. Mrs. Bruner inherited naturally great patriotism from her 
lineal ancestor, Col. James Martin, distinguished at Guilford Court- 
house. Mrs. Bruner resigned in 1906 on account of feeble health, to 
the sincere regret of her co-workers, both here and by the General 
Society, who had learned to appreciate her talents. 

The field for historic research is broad and widening each day, and 
the great search for the truth in history is now world-wide. It will be 
the endeavor of the editors of the Booklet to receive for its columns 
only such articles that can be substantiated by a wise advisory board. 

To-day the unveiled tablet will bear silent testimony to the combined 
effort of writers, advertisers, subscribers, and a concert, given by the 
boys of the Blind Institution, who so cheerfully aided with their talents 
(under the supervision of Mrs. John E. Ray, a zealous member of our 
Society,) in raising funds for its erection. There is still in the treasury 
a substantial surplus to be devoted to such other patriotic purpose as 
may best commend itself and that may bear witness to North Carolina's 
part in the great strife for independence, and to memoralize the deeds 
of men and women whose lives should be held up as fit subjects for 
emulation by coming generations. Momentous problems await this na- 
tion. The strides of science and the passing of the dark ages of strife 
demand the thought of strong men, of strong minds, and true hearts. 

And while endeavoring to rescue from the past great events, the 
questions of the present must not be ignored. 

Shall we not lend our energies and influence to the Great Peace and 
Arbitrament Movement that is endeavoring to induce the nations to 
war no more? Looking forward to that glad day when "He shall beat 
their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, 
nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war 
anv more." 


By Lieutenant-Governor Francis D. Winston at the Unveiling o* 
THE Edenton Tea-Party Tablet. 

In the absence of the Governor, in the name of the people of North 
Carolina, I accept your tablet. 

In assuming the duties of his position, one of the able presidents of 
the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, delivered an 
interesting and stirring address on the subject, "A Plea for a Larger 
State Pride." 


You have opened the way for stimulating a larger State pride in 
placing here a permanent memorial of one of our most pointed Revolu- 
tionary events. 

The Daughters of the Revolution are most happy in the striking inci- 
dent they have selected, to mark their first contribution to the tablets 
that will adorn these walls. 

Heretofore, on the very spot in that historic old town, where your 
Revolutionary sisters passed those bold resolves, so momentous in the 
X3ause of liberty, patriotic citizens have set up a bronze "tea kettle," 
properly inscribed. 

In a corner of a brick store not a hundred yards distant a marble 
tablet records the fact that Joseph Hewes, a signer of the Declaration 
of Independence, was for many years a merchant there. In any direction 
one may look in Edenton the eye will fall upon some spot memorable in 
Colonial times. 

The county of Bertie, unusually rich in historic tradition and Revo- 
lutionary and Colonial facts, takes marked interest in the occasion. 
The illustrious lady who presided over the Edenton Tea Party was not 
native and to the manner born in the old precinct, yet she did the next 
best thing a woman can do who is not born there, and that is to marry 
a son of the county. Penelope Eelsback first married John Hodgson, a 
leading attorney of Bertie County. Upon his death she married James 
Craven, a descendant of the Earl of Craven, one of the Lords Proprietors, 
who at the May terra, 1744, of Bertie Court of Pleas and Quarter Ses- 
sions produced "to this court a license from His Excellency, the Gov- 
ernor, licensing and empowering him to practice as an attorney and 
plead the law in any court of judicature in the Province." His death 
occurring, this patriotic lady again looked to Bertie County for a help- 
meet and defender, and married Thomas Barker, of near old St. John's, 
Bertie Precinct, a distinguished lawyer, a student of the Middle Temple, 
London, and one of the four Commissioners appointed by the General 
Assembly at New Bern in 1746 "to revise and print the several Acts of 
Assembly in force in this Province." With this matrimonial training 
it is not surprising that Penelope Barker should lead her sisters in 
drafting those resolutions so directly antagonistic to royal authorit3^ 
Theirs was not the frantic heroism of the Crusader, nor the blind zeal 
of the Maid of Orleans responding to the whisper of her voices; but 
they were calmly adding to the mighty volume of protest that ended 
in free America. Their deed must not pass away. Their names must 
not wither. 

This tablet at this central point will give larger evidence of their 
patriotism and daring. 

I do not need to recite the important and daring part taken by our 
women in the Revolutionary drama. 


I can only urge you and those whose purposes and plans are alike 
patriotic to put forth greater efforts to mark these pivotal points in 
our State life. 

Of late we have erected many monuments in different sections of our 
State in memory of our mighty dead and of a dear and imperishable 
cause. But our good State has so many historic places, that a thou- 
sand monuments and tablets scarce would mark them all. 

I repeat again that the work of properly perpetuating these glories 
devolves on your honorable Society and others of like character; and 
under your sjanpathetic and wise guiding the people of North Carolina 
and the world will come not only to know who we are, but will come to 
know why we are who we are. 

In May last it was my privilege to attend in pilgrimage with the 
Diocese of East Carolina, a memorial celebration of the First Christian 
Baptism on our shores. 

The meeting was held on Roanoke Island at old Fort Raleigh, where 
the landing of the English in 1585 occurred. 

The patriotic Society — the Roanoke Colony Association — which owns 
this historic site, has erected a suitable memorial and has set up 
markers around the boundaries of the fort. 

There, too, it is the purpose of the Bishop and clergy of that Diocese 
to erect a cross to commemorate the first baptism had there. 

Permit me to assign you a duty in connection with the first landing 
on our shores. Our people have not impressed the nation with the 
importance of this first landing of the Anglo-Saxon in America. The 
celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the landing at James- 
town was fittingly and successfully had last year ; the event then cele- 
brated was no more significant than these landings on Roanoke Island. 

Raleigh's colony was the first planting of the English race in America. 
It came for that purpose. The dream of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, step- 
brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, was a commercial and an agricultural 
state. Others had come before, but not to plant a race. 

The Norsemen had come across frozen seas with the daring and 
endurance of demigods. They sought only adventure and conquest. 
The Spaniard had come, but only for love of gold. Cortez had con- 
quered Mexico and Pizarro Peru. 

The Spanish flag waved and the Spanish cross glistened on the peaks 
of the Andes and the shores of the Pacific, but nowhere in the New 
World, until Raleigh sent his colony to Roanoke Island, was heard the 
cry of an infant child of pure Caucasian blood, proclaiming the birth 
of the white race on the Western Hemisphere. 

The Norsemen and the Spaniards came with sword and cannon, with 
cross and crucifix, to conquer and plunder. Soldiers and sailors, priests 
and friars, adventurers and plunderers, pirates of the sea and robbers 


of the land, forsaking wives, children and home, they sought in the New 
World new fields for lust, avarice and conquest. They left their women 
behind and took to wife the savage women of America. Behold the 
result to-day in the hybrid races of Mexico, and of Central and South 
America ! Spanish fathers ! Indian mothers ! Hybrid children ! Homes 
of lust and tyranny! Immeasurable inequalities between father, 
mother and children ! 

Raleigh knew better ; scholar, soldier, orator, statesman and philoso- 
pher, he knew that the English race, with its splendid civilization, 
eould be transplanted to America by transplanting the English home. 
He knew that civilization everywhere is built upon the home and that 
every home is what the mother makes it. 

He filled his ships with women as well as men; he sent out colonies, 
not pirates; he planted in America, not English forts, but the English 
race. The governor of the colony set the example of taking his wife 
and family, among them a grown daughter, Eleanor, a young wife and 
expectant mother. Here was life in all its gentleness and fullness. 
What need for guns and cannon here! When the infant cry of Virginia 
Dare was heard on Roanoke Island, it sounded around the world, and 
called across the seas all the millions who since have come to build 
the American nation. It was a new cry in a new world; a mightier 
sound than the clash of sword, or the roar of cannon; a sweeter call 
than the vesper bell of hooded priest with his vows of celibacy. 

That baby cry sounded the death-knell of Spanish power in the uni- 
verse and the final overthrow everywhere of kingcraft, priestcraft, and 
lustcraft. It told anew the old story of life; how every life, not only of 
the individual human being, but also of races, nations and civilizations, 
must begin with and be dependent on a little child; a little child born 
in lawful wedlock, a pledge of holy love between man and woman, 
equally matched and equally sharing the joys and responsibilities of 

This was the lesson of Raleigh's colonies; the lesson that the Spaniard 
never learned in all his heroic efforts to conquer and possess the New 
World. In Spanish conquest and colonization no part was played by 
women and children. It was a jungle struggle for the mastery between 
human animals. 

In English conquest and colonization, women and children went hand 
in hand with men. Wherever the English race has gone, to Roanoke 
Island, to Lucknow, to Gettysburg, a little child has led them; led 
them in affection, in memory, in inspiration to deeds of daring and 
fortitude. Among all the little children of our race, none stands out 
more pathetic, more dramatic, more significant of mighty events than 
the child of Raleigh's colony, the first Anglo-Saxon born in America,^ 
little Virginia Dare, native of North Carolina. 


I urge your Society to arrange for placing here a suitable tablet to 
commemorate her birth. 

And I will go further and impose on you a greater duty in a wider 
field. The outside world Icnows but little of this landing on North 
Carolina shores. The vast importance of it can not be over-estimated. 
It was a scene worthy of the poet's pen, and the artist's brush. 

At your next meeting I urge that you begin a movement for giving 
the birth of Virginia Dare its proper world-wide significance. I shall 
not go into particulars. In this movement you should enlist your 
sister societies of the nation. As the event was of national importance, 
so should its commemoration receive national encouragement and sup- 

A picture of her christening should hang in our nation's capitol, with 
mother and babe and minister of God as the central figures, and around 
them grouped the little colony, standing on the shore of the island; to 
the east the deep blue ocean stretching far away, on its ever restless 
bosom an endless procession of ships bringing races and nations from 
the old world to new life, liberty, freedom; to the west endless multi- 
tudes of Anglo-Saxons peopling the continent and making indeed a 
new world ; and underneath this inscription, 

"And a little child shall lead them." 


At the Unveiling of the Tablet to the Ladies of the Edentox 
Tea Party in the State Capitol. 

Mrs. Regent and N. C. Daughters of the Revolution, Ladies and Gen- 

After the two admirable speeches we have had from the ladies, it is 
perilous for a mere man to attempt to follow. 

Beautifully located upon Edenton Bay, where the noble Chowan 
Eiver and the Albemarle come together, the historic city of Edenton is 
no less famous for the patriotism, intelligence and ciilture of her 
people. And it has always been so. When the great struggle for the 
right of a free people to govern themselves, in their own way, was 
beginning, liberty had no more ardent supporters upon the continent 
than in Edenton. The British newspapers of that day universally 
declared that Great Britain could manage the men but for the inde- 
pendent spirit of the rebel women. And among the high-spirited inde- 
pendent ladies of America, none are entitled to precedence over the 
fifty-one ladies of Edenton who, on the 25th of October, 1774, en- 
acted the patriotic scene which we have met to commemorate. 


Among the men of Edenton were Joseph Hewes, the signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, and Governor Samuel Johnston, one of 
the first Governors of the State under the Republic, and many another 
whose name deserves preservation at the hands of posterity, but none 
more deserve it than these fifty-one ladies to whose memory we this day 
unveil this tablet. 

Lord Byron said that fame depended less upon what a man does 
than upon his historian's style. There is this much truth in the 
sarcasm, that it is not sufficient to do great deeds, but they must be 
sufficiently and properly recorded. There was of a surety "many brave 
men before Agamemnon," but we know not who they were, nor what 
they did. The pen of Homer makes Agamemnon, king of men, the wise 
Nestor, the crafty Ulysses, the swift-footed Achilles, rash Hector, rail- 
ing Thersites, venerable Priam, and many another essentially better 
known to us than most of the men whom we meet on our streets. The 
characters of his women, too, stand out as clear and individual as 
those drawn by Shakespeare. Who does not recall Andromache, her 
tender parting from Hector, and Cassandra, and that fair face, 

"Which launched a thousand ships 
And sacked the topmost towers of Troy." 

But for the blind old bard, these would, as it were, have never lived 
for us. They would have gone down to dusty death unhonored and 

North Carolina has known how to make history grandly. She has 
been careless to record it. Years before the Boston people, disguising 
themselves as Indians, threw the tea into the harbor, the people of 
Wilmington, in broad daylight, defied a British war vessel, refused to 
let the stamps be landed, and made the stamp officer take an oath not 
to exercise his office. Every history has pictures and an entertaining 
account of the Boston transaction, but what is ever said in a Northern 
history about our Wilmington patriots? 

North Carolina at Halifax, April 12, 1776, was the first State to 
instruct its delegates in the Continental Congress to vote for inde- 
pendence. Only after the lapse of ninety-four years, in 1868, our 
Legislature bethought itself to put the date on our State flag. And to 
this day most of the histories give Virginia that credit, though she 
did not move instructions for independence till May 5, 1776, nearly a 
month later than this State. 

The first victory in the Revolution won by the patriots was won at 
Moore's Creek, N. C, February 27, 1776, and solely by North Carolina 
troops. But so little care did we take of the fame of our gallant 
soldiers, that in recent years when a North Carolina Senator in Con- 
gress referred to Moore's Creek, Senator Lodge, of Massachusetts, an 


exceedingly well-informed man, and himself an historian, denied the fact 
and said that he had never heard of such a battle. Yet it was an im- 
portant victory and had a decided effect upon the result of the great 

And there was the immortal Declaration of Independence at Char- 
lotte, more than a year before that at Philadelphia. We allowed more 
than fifty years to pass before we moved to vindicate our claims. 
Fortunately, many of the participants and witnesses were still alive 
and could substantiate the facts. Though the General Assembly put 
that on our flag in 1861, not till 1889, after one hundred and fourteen 
years had passed, did the State think to fix it in the minds of all by 
engraving the date upon our Great Seal. In these matters North 
-Carolina has moved slowly indeed. 

One would have thought, however, that the gallantry of the men of 
the State would have made them more mindful to put on record the 
patriotic event which we have met to commemorate. On 25th October, 
1774, one hundred and thirty-four years ago to-morrow, fifty-one patri- 
otic ladies of Edenton met and adopted resolutions to abstain from 
using not only tea on which the stamp tax was laid, but any British 
goods until the unjust and odious tax was repealed. It was a bold act, 
a brave act. It was treason, for it defied a law of Parliament. It was 
even more dangerous, for it assailed the profits of the British manu- 
facturers for whose profits the Colonies were governed. It was an 
early use of the power of boycott, though that word was then unknown. 

But a grateful State and people made no record of the event, though 
it attracted prompt attention in London. We owe to the files of the 
London newspapers the recovery of the resolutions and the names of 
the fair signers. In one only of these, the Morning Chronicle and London 
Advertiser^ of 16 January, 1775, are the names of the fair and patri- 
otic signers set out, though the incident itself is given and commented 
on in several of the London papers of that date. The names publishejd 
are: Abigail Charlton, Mary Blount, F. Johnstone, Elizabeth Creacy, 
Margaret Cathcart, Elizabeth Patterson, Anne Johnstone, Jane Well- 
wood, Margaret Pearson, Mary Woolard, Penelope Dawson, Sarah Beas- 
ley, Jean Blair, Susannah Vail, Grace Clayton, Elizabeth Vail, Frances 
Hall, Anne Anderson, Mary Jones, Sarah Matthews, Anne Hall, Arnie 
Haughton, Rebecca Bondfield, Elizabeth Beasley, Sarah Littlejohn, Mary 
Creacy, Penelope Barker, Ruth Benbury, Elizabeth P. Ormond, Sarah 
Howcott, M. Payne, Sarah Hoskins, Elizabeth Johnston, Mary Little- 
dale, Mary Bonner, Sarah Valentine, Lydia Bonner, Elizabeth Crickett, 
Sarah Howe, Elizabeth Green, Lydia Bennett, Mary Ramsey, Marion 
Wells, Teresia Cunningham, Anne Horniblow, Elizabeth Roberts, Mary 

The number of signers is given in the paper as fifty-one, but the 


above list has only forty-seven names; four of the fifty-one given were 
duplicated to make the number. Dr. Richard Dillard in his article on 
the Edenton Tea Party in that most valuable publication, the North 
Carolina Booklet, for August, 1901, supplies from tradition three of 
the omitted names, Elizabeth King, Isabella Johnston, Winifred Wig- 
gins Hoskins. 

Isabella Johnston was the sister of Governor Samuel Johnston, and 
was affianced to Joseph Hewes, a signer of the American Declaration 
of Independence. She died before marriage and he followed her broken- 
hearted to the grave. These fifty-one ladies constituted probably very 
nearly the entire female society of Edenton of that day, and their 
descendants are to be found scattered now throughout North Carolina 
and in many other States. 

The house in which this historic event occurred passed through the 
Civil War, and was still standing as late as 1875 and was pointed out 
to visitors. It is a great misfortune that some patriotic society or the 
town itself did not think to buy the building and preserve it. 

Some sixty-six years later, two-thirds of a century after the event, 
about 1830, W. T. Muse, a North Carolina officer in the United States 
Navy, found, by chance, a copy of the engraving of the memorable scene, 
in the Island of Minorca, while cruising in the Mediterranean. An oil 
painting made therefrom is in our State Library. 

Proud as we are of the event itself, and proud as we are of this com- 
memoration of it, there is this humiliation that the men of the State 
were not gallant enough to erect this memorial more than a century 
ago. The ladies, seeing that the memorial was more than a century 
overdue, were well justified in taking this step themselves. We owe 
the inception of this movement, of which this day is the successful 
culmination, to those two patriotic and public spirited ladies, Mrs. Dr. 
Hubert Haywood and Miss Martha Helen Haywood, the first editors of 
the Booklet. They have reflected added honors upon the distinguished 
families to which they belong. When they laid the burden down by 
resignation, it was taken up by the present distinguished Regent of 
the Society, Mrs. E. E. Moffitt, and her patriotic associate, Miss Mary 
Hilliard Hinton, and others, and carried on to the successful completion 
of the work. 

To the ladies of this Society, all of historic lineage and worthy of 
their lineage. North Carolina owes the placing of this bronze tablet in 
the rotunda of our capitol in perpetual memorial of this brave and 
fearless act of the noble women of Edenton in 1774. 

In the rotunda are four niches for busts and eight spaces for bronze 
plaques. This plaque to the ladies of Edenton is not inappropriately 
the first to be placed. The State Historical Commission will next year 
place, with appropriate ceremonies, a marble bust of William A. Graham 



in one of the niches. In the course of time, as I understand it, the 
commission will place in the other three niches busts of distinguished 
sons of the State. But seven spaces for bronze plaques remain unfilled. 
Is it not an appropriate time and place to suggest that the Cape Fear 
section, always patriotic, might well bestir itself to fill two spaces with 
bronze plaques, respectively to commemorate the destruction of the 
stamps at Wilmington in 1765, and the victory at Moore's Creek in 
1776? Charlotte and Mecklenburg should certainly place a bronze tablet 
in memory of her immortal declaration. And Halifax might well follow 
with a tablet to the memory of the resolutions of 12 April, 1776. This 
would leave three spaces for other events deserving commemoration — 
one might commemorate the landing at Roanoke Island. 

The Daughters of the Revolution have led the way with this tablet. 
As long as this Capitol shall stand on its foundations, as long as this 
tablet of bronze shall abide, there will be honor to the women of Edenton 
in 1774 who did this deed and to the women of North Carolina in 1908 
who knew how to fitly commemorate it. 

The patriotism that appreciates and records brave deeds falls short 
only of the patriotism that performs them and needs only opportunity 
to imitate and equal them. 

By Maby Hilliard Hinton. 

The afternoon of October 24th from four to six the halls 
and music room of the Yarborough were graciously tendered 
the Daughters of the Revolution by Mr. Howell Cobb for a 
tea. To this celebration of the one hundred and thirty-fourth 
anniversary of the Edenton Tea Party informal invitations 
were extended to about one hundred persons, which included 
the members of the following patriotic organizations : The 
Colonial Dames, Society of the Cincinnati, Sons of the Revo- 
lution, the officers of the Woman's Club and the Daughters 
of the Confederacy ; also the historians who had so generously 
given their time and labor in our cause. 

The music room was tastefully dressed with cut flowers, 
there being a predominance of yellow blossoms. On the 
large table at one end of the room the center-piece was of su- 
perb yellow chrysanthemums, around which were grouped 


silver candelabra and cut glass dishes filled with bonbons, etc. 
At the head was a handsome silver service, where Mrs. Helen 
DeBeruiere Wills poured the tea. Around the room were 
placed treasures bearing on this event from the Hall of His- 
tory that Colonel Olds had loaned for the occasion, chief 
among them being the very quaint little replica of the Eden- 
ton Tea Party House. It was in the original house, the home 
of Mrs. Elizabeth King, which faced the village green that 
the famous gathering was held on that autumn day in 1774. 
This unique design was a gift from Dr. Dillard, of Edenton, 
to the ISTorth Carolina Historical Exhibit at Jamestown Ex- 
position, where it was exhibited and later was presented by 
him to the Hall of History at Raleigh. Pictures of the Cu- 
pola House, "Hayes," St. Paul's Churchyard, the Court-house 
and the Burying Ground at "Hayes" were among the relics. 

A most attractive feature of the tea was the secretary. Miss 
Betsey John Haywood* officiated in that capacity, represent- 
ing Mrs. Winifred Hoskins, secretary of the tea party. In the 
spacious hall she sat at a table and invited the guests as they 
filed into the music room to register. The book and a pen 
used will be preserved among the annals of the Society. She 
was becomingly attired in a Colonial gown of peach-blow silk, 
embroidered satin, heelless slippers to match, and a collar of 
rare old lace. Her coiffeur was arranged in puffs, powdered 
(the style being copied from a very old minature of her an- 
cestress) through which was stuck an exquisitely carved tor- 
toise shell comb owned by Winifred Hoskins. 

The guests were received in the hall by Miss Mary Hilliard 
Hinton, who presented them to the secretary. After register- 
ing Mrs. Cross introduced them to the receiving line which 
was composed of Mrs. E. E. Moffitt, Regent of the IN'orth 

*Miss Betsy John Haywood's picture appears in this number of the 


Carolina Society Daughters of the Revolution and Second 
Vice-president General ; Mrs. Patrick Matthew and Mrs. Wil- 
liam D. Pruden, of Edenton, Regent and Vice-regent of the 
Penelope Chapter D. R. ; Mrs. J. E. Erwin, of Morganton ; 
Mrs. Julian Wood, of Edenton; Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, of 
Winston-Salem, Vice President-General Daughters of the 
American Revolution; Mrs. W. O. Shannon, of Henderson, 
Regent Whitmell Blount Chapter D. A. R. ; Mrs. J. Allison 
Hodges, of Richmond, and Mrs. A. B. Andrews, Chairman of 
Raleigh Circle of Colonial Dames. The Daughters of the 
Revolution who assisted in receiving were : Mesdames W. 
H. Pace, Mary B. Sherwood, Hubert Hayw^ood, John Ray, 
Adelaide Bagiey, Ivan Proctor, H. E. Adickes, Miss Grace 

Some of the pages who officiated at the unveiling exercises 
in the morning aided in serving the light, dainty refresh- 
ments. Those present were : Misses Eugenia Clark, Evelyn 
Jackson and Jean Thackston, who are members of the Junior 
Daughters of the Revolution ; Misses Mary and Bessie Hol- 
lister, Browning Adickes, Gene Gray Heck, Julia Pickell, 
Pearl Heck, Lucy Haywood, Ruth Ray and others. 

The moments sped rapidly by in pleasant conversation and 
drinking the cup of tea so heroically renounced by the daring 
fifty-one signers. 

Before the hour of departure arrived our Regent called 
on some of the eloquent guests for a few" words of greeting. 
Dr. D. H. Hill spoke delightfully of the dames of the long 
ago and the dames of to-day. Colonel Benehan Cameron, 
Mrs. Patrick Matthew, Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, Mr. Clar- 
ence H. Poe, Mr. F. M. Harper, Colonel Fred A. Olds each 
were called upon for brief remarks. To the toast to Dr. Dil- 
lard, whose efforts revived this fading historic event — ^the 
Edenton Tea Party — and whose absence was so keenly felt, 
Dr. Drane, beloved rector of the Colonial church of St. 

Eliza Eagles { "'Betsy John") Haywood, Personating the Secretary 
OF the Edextox Tea Party of 1774. 


Paul's, Edenton, and chaplain of the jSTorth Carolina Societj 
of the Sons of the Kevolution, responded most charmingly. 

The dear little maids who received the cards at the door of 
the reception room won all hearts — Catherine Hajwood 
Baker and Elizabeth Cross. 

Adieux came all too quickly, and it is hoped other similar 
purposes may gather together from various parts of our State 
the men and women who are giving their valuable time for 
the preservation of her noble history. 

The Daughters are deeply grateful to Mrs. Pace for bring- 
ing this entertainment to such a successful finish by her un- 
tiring efforts. 


Author of " The Eyrie and Other Southern Stories." 

I love thee, Carolina ! 

Broad thy rivers, bright and clear ; 
Majestic are thy mountains; 

Dense thy forests, dark and drear. 
Grows the pine tree, tall and stately ; 

Weeps the willow, drooping low ; 
Blooms the eglantinr^ and jasmine; 

JSTods the daisy, white as snow. 
Choeus : 

Let me live in Carolina 

'Till life's toil and strife are past ! 
Let me sleep in Carolina 

When my sun shall set at last ! 
Where the mocking bird is singing; 

Where my heart is fondly clinging ; 
I would sleep when life is o'er, 

Sweetly on the old home shore. 

I love thee, Carolina ! 

Peace and plenty there abide. 
How bountiful thy harvest 

Gather'd in at autumntide. 
Fair thy fields where gTows the cotton. 

Light and fleecy, soft and white ; 
And the golden wheat doth ripple. 

Like a sea of amber light. 

I love thee, Carolina ! 

Land of story and of song; 
Of patriot and hero — 

How their deeds to mem'ry throng ! 
Great in peace, and great in battle ! 

Heart of fire to love or hate ! 
Brightest star of all the Union, 

Is the fflorious Old North State ! 



The Revolution in iSJ'orth Carolina has three distinct stages. 
First of these was a period of patriotic agitation which cul- 
minated in the instruction for independence in April, 1Y76, 
and the formation of a State Constitution in the following 
November. Then came j'ears of reaction, when security from 
attack and division within the patriot party produced apathy 
and indifference toward the fortune of other colonies. Fi- 
nally danger of British invasion in 1780, accompanied as it 
was by the rising of the loyalists, aroused new interest in the 
struggle for independence, and the British campaign in i*^orth 
Carolina proved to be the prelude to Yorktown. In this last 
phase of the war belongs the battle of Kings Mountain. In 
all the long conflict with the mother country no blow was 
struck more suddenly or effectively, and few had more im- 
portant consequences. To appreciate its dramatic character 
as well as results the course of the Revolution in the South 
must be borne in mind. 

The first attempt at Southern invasion in 1776 had failed. 
When Clinton and Cornwallis approached the coast of l^orth 
Carolina in May of that year they learned of the defeat of 
the Royalists at Moore's Creek and found a military organi- 
zation ready to resist invasion. They therefore diverted the 
expedition further south and laid seige to Charleston ; there 
also fortune was against them, and in a few weeks they re- 
turned to New York. For two years the Southern colonies 
were practically unmolested. Then, in 1778, the British 
again undertook invasion. The movement was coincident 
with a crisis in the war. The attack by way of Canada had 
culminated in Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga, and the only 
result of the invasion of the middle colonies was the capture 


of ]Srew York. Washington was still at bay, and expediency 
suggested a campaign far removed from his leadership. Po- 
litical ajffairs also embarrassed the English government. Op- 
position to the political methods of George III caused sym- 
pathy for the colonies, and in June, 1778, a commission ar- 
rived in Philadelphia offering all the claims of the colonists 
except independence. These liberal terms were not accepted 
and during the remaining years of the war England had to 
reckon with the French, whose alliance with the United 
States had been concluded the preceding February. A com- 
mercial problem was now involved ; the American products 
in greatest demand in European markets were from the 
South, especially those from the Carolinas and Georgia; in- 
deed Southern products upheld American credit abroad. The 
French alliance made the control of this source of supplies 
Hjore important than ever. Finally, a large proportion of 
the people in the Carolinas and Georgia were loyalists — the 
exact per cent will never be known. As the British, after 
the rejection of compromise, treated the patriots as traitors 
and conducted the war as a conflict against rebels, the co- 
operation of the loyalist element was necessary. 

For these reasons an expedition was sent against Georgia 
in 1778. Soon Savannah was captured, Augusta taken, and 
in December, 1779, Charleston, S. C, was besieged. After 
a brave defense the city surrendered in May, 1780. An 
elaborate campaign Avas now planned, nothing less than a 
northward invasion, which would cut off the South from the 
other colonies and so limit Washington's resources. The 
leadership of the movement was given to Lord Cornwallis, 
and Sir Henry Clinton, the commander-in-chief, returned 
North. Cornwallis readily advanced to Camden, where he 
established his headquarters, and sent advance divisions of 
his army to Augusta, Ga., and Ninety-six, S. C. Many con- 
ditions favored him; the early leaders of the Revolution in 


South Carolina were dead or in prison, and the offer of parole 
as military prisoners made to the people was widely accepted ; 
some were willing for the revival of British administration 
in the interest of trade ; others, believing that the Continental 
Congress had neglected the interests of the South, were 
apathetic. While these conditions favored the British, one 
fatal policy turned the scale against them ; that was the de- 
cision to subdue one part of the people with the assistance 
of the rest, to make the war a civil conflict. To this end all 
who had taken parole were restored to their rights and duties 
as citizens and all who should fail in their allegiance to his 
Majesty were denounced as rebels. In order to enforce these 
demands and organize the people, as well as to collect sup- 
plies for invasion. Col. Patrick Ferguson was sent into upper 
South Carolina. 

This officer, the central figure in the battle of Kings Moun- 
tain, was one of the most brilliant men in the British army. 
His defeat and tragic death have robbed him of the place in 
popular knowledge which he deserves. For his age and rank 
few men have won greater distinction. Born in 1744, he 
entered the army at the age of fifteen; at twenty-four he had 
reached the rank of captain and had seen service on the con- 
tinent and in the West Indies. The possibility of war in 
America turned his energy to two aims: one, to invent a' 
breach-loading, rapid-fire rifle which would enable the British 
soldier to be a match for the riflemen of the American fron- 
tier ; the other, to collect a select band of men, instructed in 
the use of his rifle and the methods of frontier warfare. In 
1777 he was assigned to the American service and with his 
chosen band of American volunteers, about 300 in number, 
he participated in the battles of Brandywine and Monmouth, 
made several predatory expeditions into ISTew Jersey and 
Kew York, and in 1779 joined Cornwallis in the seige of 


His services as advance agent of the British army were 
eminently successful. His message to the people v^as one of 
conciliation. ''We come not to make war on women and 
children, but to relieve their distresses." He had rare pow- 
ers of persuasion. ''He would sit for hours and converse with 
the country people on the state of public affairs and point 
out to them from his view the ruinous effects of disloyalty to 
the crown. This condescension on his part was regarded as 
wonderful in a king's officer, and very naturally went very 
far to secure the respect and obedience of all who came 
■within the sphere of his almost magic influence." Ferguson 
was also an organizer of ability. Loyalists were soon formed 
into companies, and in the Ninety-six district seven battal- 
lions of about 4,000 men were soon organized, largely through 
his activity. Civil as well as military authority was con- 
ferred upon him, and as the people between the Saluda and 
the Broad rivers had never recognized the South Carolina 
State government, a good opportunity was open for the i-e- 
vival of the British administration. 

While success attended the efforts of Cornwallis and Fer- 
guson the revolutionary cause in North Carolina was disor- 
ganized. The State's entire quota in the Continental line 
had been captured and imprisoned at Charleston and tho 
militia paroled. The Tories Avere active once again. No 
less than sixty-two officers were commissioned by Ferguson 
from the counties of Anson, Chatham, Cumberland, Orange, 
and Randolph. The notorious David Fanning was gathering 
his band of outliers. A new patriot army had to be organ- 
ized. Its basis was a new draft of 4,000 militia, ordered by 
the Assembly of 1780, commanded by Richard Caswell, and 
reinforcements from the Continental army who arrived in 
North Carolina about the time of the surrender of Charles- 
ton. While Cheraw was chosen as the place of mobilization, 
Gen. Griffith Rutherford organized nearlv eiffht hundred men 


at Mallard's Creek, near Charlotte. A detachment under 
Col. Francis Locke defeated the loyalists at Ramsour's Mill 
on June 20 ; another under William L. Davidson inflicted 
defeat at Colson's Mill on the Pee Dee a month later, while 
William R. Davie, cooperating with Sumter, won another 
victory at Hanging Rock on August 5. The hope of effective 
resistance aroused by these minor victories vanished with the 
•disastrous defeat of Gates at Camden on August 15. Com- 
wallis gradually approached the State; by September 8 he 
reached the Waxhaws; by the last of the month he was in 
Charlotte, where, on October 3, Governor Martin, once again 
on North Carolina soil, issued a proclamation calling all 
loyal men to unite with the army. 

At this crisis, while Davie and Davidson were collecting 
militia in the neighborhood of Charlotte, the blow which 
checked the British invasion was made at King''s Mountain. 
It was largely the work of mountaineers from the western 
slope of the Blue Ridge. In 1771 a migration to that region 
from the western counties began. Soon a form of self gov- 
ernment, the first ever worked out by native born Americans, 
was established in the valley of the Watauga, and in 1776 
representatives from Washington District, W^atauga Settle- 
ment, were admitted to the Provincial Congress at Halifax, 
and later Washington, Greene, and Sullivan counties were 
created, under the sovereignty of North Carolina.^ To the 
resistance to British invasion Watauga had already contrib- 
uted over two hundred men under Maj. Charles Robertson 
and Col. Isaac Shelby who crossed the hills in July, and, 
cooperating with Col. Charles McDowell, made the Cherokee 
Ford of Broad River their headquarters. From that place 
expeditions were sent out against the loyalists at Thickety 
Fort, some twenty miles distant. Cedar Springs on the Paco- 
let, and Musgrove's Mill on the Enoree. But after the rout 

^See Early Relations of North Carolina and the West, Booklet, Jan- 
uary, 1908. 


of the regular army at Camden, these militia and moun- 
taineer recruits dispersed to their homes. They were fol- 
lowed by Ferguson as far as Gilbert Town, about three miles 
from Rutherfordton. The people of the country, believing 
that the struggle for independence was ended, flocked to the 
British standard and took the oath of allegiance. Detach- 
ments of Ferguson's troops engaged in skirmishes with the 
retiring patriots as far west as Old Fort. 

The retreat of McDowell and Shelby, however, was tem- 
porary. It was their aim to renew the fight after the crops 
were gathered. This decision was hastened by a well authen- 
ticated threat of Ferguson. Through a paroled patriot he 
sent a message to the mountain men "that if they did not 
desist from their opposition to the British arms he would 
march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and 
lay their country wast© with fire and sword." This was 
repeated to Shelby, Lieutenant-Colonel of Sullivan County, 
Perhaps with it came news of the loyalist expeditions be- 
tween Gilbert Town and the mountains. Shortly after he 
rode from his home to Jonesboro, county seat of Washington 
County, and visited John Sevier, the county lieutenant. 
Both concluded that the time to assume the offensive had 
come. Sevier agreed to rouse the men of Washington 
County and those troops of McDowell who had taken refuge 
there, while Shelby undertook to enlist the cooperation of the 
neighboring Virginia settlements on the Holston as well as 
secure aid from his own county. Sycamore Shoals was 
chosen as the rendezvous, and there on September 25 came 
Sevier and Shelby with 240 men each, 160 of McDowell's 
scattered troops, and Col. William Campbell, of Washington 
County, Virginia, with 400 Virginians, who had been per- 
suaded by correspondence with Shelby to aid the North Caro- 
linians rather than march eastward and join the defense of 


The arrangements for the campaign were in keeping with 
that sense of individualism which characterized the early 
days of Watauga. Besides a few beeves which were slaugh- 
tered in the early part of the march, the only food was corn 
meal mixed with maple sugar, which each man carried in his 
wallet. The arms consisted of rifles, tomahawks, and hunt- 
ing knives. There was no commander-in-chief; and during 
the battle fighting was by individuals rather than groups. 
Funds were provided by money from the land sales in the 
office of John Adair, the entry taker of Sullivan Coimty. "I 
have no authority by law to make any disposition of this 
money," he said. "It belongs to the treasury of IsTorth Caro- 
lina and I dare not appropriate a cent of it to any purpose; 
but if the country is overrun by the British our liberty i» 
gone. Let the inoney go, too. Take it. If the enemy by 
its use is driven from the country, I can trust that country to 
justify and vindicate my conduct." Nearly $13,000 was 
thus secured ; it was later refunded by the State of ISTorth 
Carolina. Finally, after an address by Rev. Samuel Doak, 
pioneer minister of Watauga, which tradition says closed by 
invoking the sword of the Lord and of Gideon, the group of 
military bands took up their march in search of Ferguson on 
September 26. 

The route lay across Roan Mountain. On the summit two 
members of the expedition were missed. Suspecting deser- 
tion the leaders turned from the more northerly route to the 
Toe River, thence up Grassy Creek through Gillespie's Gap, 
into the north branch of the Catawba. Here, on September 
29, they were joined by Col. Charles McDowell, and the next 
day at Quaker Meadows, the McDowell home, by 350 men 
from Wilkes and Surry counties under Col. Benjamin Cleve- 
land and Maj. Joseph Winston. On Sunday, October 1, they 
passed Pilot Mountain and camped just south of that famous 
beacon for travelers. On Monday, because of the rain, they 


remained in camp and in the evening the officers gathered to 
choose some common authority, for absence of one head 
had fostered rivalry and disorder ; moreover, it was believed 
that Ferguson was in the neighborhood of Gilbert Town, and 
common leadership in the hour of battle seemed especiallj 
desirable. Col. Charles McDowell was the ranking officer, 
but his leadership was not acceptable, and there was rivalrj 
among the other IS^orth Carolina leaders. Shelby, therefore, 
suggested that a request be sent to General Gates, at Hills- 
borough, for a commander and that until such one should ar- 
rive, Colonel Campbell, a Virginian, assume the leadership of 
the expedition. This was accepted, and McDowell volun- 
teered to act as messenger to Gates, the leadership of his men 
being assumed by his brother, Maj. Joseph McDowell, of 
Quaker Meadows. 

On October 4 the little army reached Gilbert Town to find 
that Ferguson had fallen back. Indeed Ferguson does not 
seem to have given the mountaineers much consideration ; his 
message was probably an idle taunt rather than a sincere 
threat. To him a more important patriot force was a small 
band under Capt. Elijah Clarke, of Georgia, which hovered 
around the Georgia-Carolina frontier. On September 27 he 
left Gilbert Town and went south in search of Clarke. Three 
days later, while at Broad River, the two deserters from the 
mountain army came to his camp and told of the enemy's ap- 

Before this new and unexpected danger there were two 
alternatives: one to join Cornwallis at Charlotte, the other to 
remain in the borderland and meet the enemy if he ap- 
proached. In making a decision three points had to be con- 
sidered : the expediency of preventing a union of Clarke and 
the mountain army, the recall of many troops that had been 
given furloughs, and the desire to prevent a reversion from 
the loyalist cause among the people at large. These prob- 


lems, as well as his own daring spirit, led Ferguson to 
hold his ground and meet the enemy. He therefore sent a 
message to Cornwallis for aid and issued the following state- 
ment to the people : 

Denard's Ford, Broad River, 
Tryon County, October 1, 1780. 

Gentlemen: — Unless you wish to be eat up by an inundation of 
barbarians, who have begun by murdering an unarmed son before his 
aged father, and afterward lopped oflf his arms, and who by their shock- 
ing cruelties and irregularities, give the best proof of their cowardice 
and want of discipline; I say if you wish to be pinioned, robbed, and 
murdered, and see your wives and daughters, in four days, abused by 
the dregs of mankind — in short, if you wish or deserve to live, and bear 
the name of men, grasp your arms in a moment and run to camp. 

The Backwater Water men have crossed the mountains; McDowell, 
Hampton, Shelby, and Cleveland are at tlieir head, so that you know 
what you have to depend upon. If you choose to be degraded forever 
and ever by a set of mongrels, say so at once, and let your women turn 
their backs upon you and look out for real men to protect them. 

Pat. Ferguson, 
Major list Regiment. 

This message to Cornwallis was delayed because the car- 
rier was pursued by some patriots, reached Cornw^allis the 
day after the battle, and consequently no reinforcements ever 
reached Ferguson. Disappointed at lack of support and be- 
lieving that Sumter and Clarke had joined the mountaineers, 
Ferguson decided to fall back toward Charlotte. On Octo- 
ber 6 he reached the southern extremity of King's Mountain. 
This is a ridge about sixteen miles in length, running from a 
point in North Carolina southwest into York County, South 
Carolina. The spur now reached by Ferguson is in York 
County, about one and one-half miles from the I*^orth Caro- 
lina line, and about six miles from the highest elevation of 
the mountain. It is about six hundred yards in length and 
rises from a base of two hundred and fifty yards to a top 

* There is no other evidence than this of violence being perpetrated by 
the mountain army. The first paragraph was probably intended by 
Ferguson to appeal to the fear of the people. 


from sixty to two hundred and twenty wide, offering a com- 
manding view of the surrounding country. On this summit 
Ferguson camped ; his intention evidently was to await rein- 
forcements and to let the enemy find him if he could. This 
decision, judged by European standards of warfare, was a 
wise one ; the shrubbery and underbrush on the sides of the 
mountain made an assault en masse difficult, while Ferguson's 
troops, well trained in the use of the bayonet, could repulse 
those who might reach the summit. On the other hand, the 
mountaineers were skilled marksmen, and the top of the 
mountain was "so narrow that a man standing on it may be 
shot from either side." The patriots also fought individ- 
ually, not collectively. These facts, with alternate charges 
on either side of the mountain, gave them an immense ad- 

In the meantime Campbell and his men, believing that 
Ferguson had retired to Ninety-six, had started south in 
pursuit. On the evening of October 5 they reached the ford 
of Green River. As some were discouraged and many ex- 
hausted, a band of 700 picked men, well mounted, was chosen 
to continue the pursuit. The next morning news was 
brought by Col. Edward Lacey of Ferguson's relative posi- 
tion and that a body of North and South Carolina militia 
was moving southward from Cherry Mountain and might be 
met at Cowpens.* By a hurried march a junction of the two 
forces was accomplished. A council was held, Campbell 
was again chosen leader, and two hundred and ten recruits 
were added from the militia. A few footmen probably in- 
creased the entire number to 993 men. Then, on the night 
of the 6th, the march in the direction of King's Mountain 
was begun. Rain and darkness caused the guides to lose 
their way, and by morning the army had advanced not more 

* There was dissension amongj these militia about joining the moun- 
tain army. See McCrady, South Carolina in the Revolution, pp. 764-775. 


than five miles. The rain continued until noon ; but bj 
straining every nerve King's ^lountain was reached about 
three in the afternoon, October 7. 

Leaving the horses one mile from the base, a plan of 
attack in keeping with the methods of frontier warfare was 
adopted, viz : to surround the mountain and make alternate 
charges and retreats, fighting individually, each man for him- 
self. Accordingly troops were arranged as follows: On the 
north side were stationed Shelby with Lacey's and Williams's 
militia ; on the south Campbell, Sevier and Joseph McDowell, 
while Cleveland and Winston, with South Carolina militia 
under Hambright, were across the N. E. part of the hill. So 
quickly were these plans effected that Ferguson knew nothing 
of them until the fire of the attacking party was heard. The 
loyalists were then quickly arranged into two battle lines 
along the height, one to resist attack by volleys of musketry, 
the other to charge the enemy under the leadership of Fer- 
guson. The patriot attack was led by Campbell's men, who 
ascended the most difiicult part of the ridge, creeping from 
tree to tree and making targets of Ferguson's troops. They 
received the volleys from the firing line and when near the 
summit a bayonet charge. Before this counter attack they 
retreated down the mountain. But before Ferguson could 
regJain the summit Shelby's men had ascended the opposite 
side of the mountain ; they, in turn, retreated before a bayo- 
net charge. When Ferguson had once more regained the 
summit, not only Campbell had returned to the fight but the 
right and left wings of the patriot army were in action. 
The engagement thus became general. Among the loyalists 
Ferguson was the commanding spirit. Riding along the 
ridge, making his presence known by a silver whistle, he led 
charge after charge against the mountain men, who simply 
continued the tactics with which the battle was begun. Fi- 
nally, while leading an attack on Sevier's men, Ferguson 


fell, pierced by half a dozen bullets. Capt. Abraham De- 
Peyster, of ISTew York, attempted to take the place of the 
fallen leader. In vain, for white flags were displayed at 
different points and DePeyster himself soon despaired and 
raised the symbol of surrender. Unfortunately not all the 
mountaineers seem to have understood the meaning of the 
signal and continued their fire. Campbell deserves most 
credit for ending the needless slaughter; he rushed among 
the troops exclaiming, ''Cease firing; for God's sake, cease 

Thus after an hour's engagement the loyalists were thor- 
oughly defeated. The battle had important results. It was 
the first decisive check to the British invasion of the Caro- 
linas, for Cornwallis, hearing of Ferguson's defeat, con- 
cluded that the patriot army numbered several thousand and 
therefore fell back from Charlotte to Winnsboro, S. C. 
Equally important was the time thus gained by the patriots 
in which to rally the militia and secure aid from the Conti- 
nental army for resistance to invasion. The moral effect 
also should not be overlooked, well summarized by Bancroft : 
^'The victory at Kings Mountain, which in the spirit of the 
American soldier was like the rising at Concord, in its effects 
like the success at Bennington, changed the aspects of the 
war. It fired the patriots of the two Carolinas with fresh 
zeal. It encouraged the fragments of the defeated and scat- 
tered American army to seek each other and organize them- 
selves anew. It quickened the l^orth Carolina Legislature to 
earnest efforts. It encouraged Virginia to devote her re- 
sources to the country south of her border." 

The story of Kings Mountain does not end with the victory. 
The spontaneous and individualistic character of the cam- 
paign have given rise to several controversies. Of these 
claims for honors and leadership among the patriots stand 
foremost, and this controversial spirit still survives. The 



services of Col. William Campbell were the earliest subject 
of dissension. The Legislature of Virginia voted him a 
sword in recognition of his part in the Kings Mountain cam- 
paign, and the jS[orth Carolina Assembly conferred a similar 
honor on Shelby and Sevier. None were immediately de- 
livered ; but after the death of Campbell Virginia presented 
a handsome sword, in commemoration of his services, to 
W. M. C. Preston, his grandson. This was in 1810. Shelby 
and Sevier then began a correspondence whose aim was to 
secure the swords promised but never presented by l^orth 
Carolina. Comparisons of their own services wdth those of 
Campbell were made, as well as the claim that at the end of 
the battle Campbell was about one mile from the firing line. 
These questions were also discussed in the newspapers of 
Tennessee in 1812. Later Shelby's letters were published 
by Sevier's son after his father's death. They called forth 
a reply by W. M. C. Preston in 1822, and the next year 
Shelby's famous pamphlet of 1823 appeared. The general 
trend of the evidence seems to indicate that Shelby and 
Sevier w^re the promoters of the campaign and that Campbell, 
who opened the attack at Kings Mountain, left his horse in 
the rear with a servant, who was thus mistaken for Campbell. 

A singular coincidence is a similar controversy among the 
loyalists. The descendants of Abraham DePeyster claim 
that to Ferguson does not belong the chief honor of defense, 
that he was killed early in the conflict, and that the com- 
mand was then taken by DePeyster. While some evidence 
has been brought forward in support of this claim, the ma- 
jority of the accounts of the battle are to the contrary and 
support the general view that the fall of Ferguson was al- 
most immediately followed by tokens of surrender. 

The relative importance of the McDowells in the campaign 
is another question full of controversy. Says one historian : 


"To the brothers Charles and Joseph McDowell, of Quaker 
Meadows, and to their no less gallant cousin, Joseph Mc- 
Dowell, of Pleasant Garden, Burke County, X. C, are due 
more credit and honour for the victory at King's Mountain 
than any other leaders who participated in that decisive and 
wonderful battle." How^ever, their names were not placed 
on the battle monument at King's Mountain. 

Another problem of the battle is that of numbers. The 
patriot force can be estimated with some degree of certainty ; 
it numbered about 993 men, as before stated. N^ot so Fer- 
guson's command. It consisted of 100 Provincial Rangers, 
picked men from New York and New Jersey, and recruits 
from the Carolinas. The exact number is unl^nown. Tarle- 
ton fixes the Rangers at 100, the militia at 1,000 ; the diary 
of Allaire, the principal loyalist account of the battle, and 
the American official report also make the total number 1,100. 
Yet there is evidence that Ferguson's full strength was not 
in the battle ; that a foraging party was sent out that morn- 
ing; that it did not return until evening, when it had a skir- 
mish with the patriots, and killed Col. James Williams. If 
this be true the numbers on both sides actually engaged were 
very nearly equal. 

The losses are far more indefinite, for the official report of 
the patriots and private accounts differ; but a fair estimate 
is 300 killed and wounded and 600 prisoners for the loyalists. 
The losses of the patriots were insignificant ; according to the 
official report 28 killed and 62 wounded ; but these returns, 
tabulated by regiments, do not include Shelby's command. 

By far the most delicate problem of the campaign was the 
treatment of the prisoners. Civil war is the most severe of 
all wars. During the battle kinsmen and neighbors were 
arraigned against one another and in some instances brother 
fought brother. Resentment and enmity naturally continued 
after the battle was ended. The march of the patriots home- 


ward was begun the day after battle. On October 11 Colonel 
Campbell was constrained to issue the following order: ^'I 
must request the officers of all ranks in the army to endearor 
to restrain the disorderly manner of slaughtering and dis- 
turbing the prisoners. If it can not be prevented by moder- 
ate measures, such effectual punishment shall be executed 
upon delinquents as will put a stop to it." However, there 
was another incentive to vengeance besides the cruelty and 
hatred of the conqueror, viz : the character of some of the 
captives. According to a statement submitted to Colonel 
Campbell, some were robbers, house burners, murderers and 
parole breakers. Moreover, news came of the atrocities com- 
mitted by Tarleton's Legion. A desire arose to retaliate 
against British policy, to punish wrongdoers, and to warn 
loyalists everywhere. Therefore, while the army was en- 
camped at Bickerstaff's, about nine miles from Rutherford- 
ton, Colonel Campbell, on the advice of other leaders, or- 
dered a court-martial to sit immediately, composed of field 
officers and captains, who were ordered to inquire into the 
complaints which had been made. For this hasty action a 
precedent was found in a J^orth Carolina law which author- 
ized two magistrates to summon a jury, conduct a trial, and 
even impose capital penalties. As most of the officers were 
magistrates at home, the tribunal hastily organized, had some- 
thing of the character of a civil as well as military court. 
According to Shelby "thirty-six men were tried and found 
guilty of breaking open houses, killing the men, turning the 
women and children out of doors, and burning the houses." 
IN'aturally the rules of evidence which protect the prisoner 
were not strictly observed. The number condemned is va- 
riously reported, ranging from thirty to forty. Fortunately 
all were not executed ; after nine had been hanged, the sense 
of mercy was aroused, and either by Campbell's orders or a 
reconsideration by the court, the sentence of the remaining 


prisoners was rescinded. Circumstances helped to bring a 
kinder fate to most of the captives. Many were paroled, as 
many as 100 on the second day after the battle. The moun- 
tain men were anxious to reach their homes as quickly as 
possible, and the hasty march and the wet weather helped 
many to escape. As there was no prison at hand, the Mora- 
vian village of Bethabara was chosen as a jilace to house and 
keep the captives until orders should be received from the 
proper authorities. There they were led by Campbell to 
await orders from the American army. Gates ordered them 
to be taken to the Lead Mines in Montgomery County, Vir- 
ginia. But the commanding officer there objected, as the 
loyalists were strong in the neighborhood. Governor Jef- 
ferson, of Virginia, was then consulted ; he referred the mat- 
ter to the Continental Congress, and Congress referred the 
care of the prisoners to the States from which they came. 
This was impractical and Gates finally ordered them to be 
transferred to Salisbury, IST. C, for imprisonment. In the 
meantime conditions at Bethabara favored the prisoners. 
The Moravians were friendly and the civil authorities, under 
guise of binding over to court, took 187 from the camp. 
Others enlisted in the patriot militia ; some faithfully, others 
jvS a means to get back to the British lines. So when the 
prisoners arrived at Salisbury the original number of 600 had 
been reduced in various ways to 60. 

The sources of the material for the study of the battle are of 
course responsible for these controversies. The patriot leaders 
drew up an official report shortly after the conflict but private 
accounts written by them differ from it in many details. The 
ofllcial report, some nonofficial descriptions, and the diary 
of Anthony Allaire, the principal loyalist source, are given 
in Draper's Kings Mountain and Its Heroes. But a large 
number of manuscripts in possession of the Tennessee His- 


torical Society and the Gates collection in the New York His- 
torical Society remain unpublished. 

Bibliography. Draper, Kings Mountain and Its Heroes 
is by far the most important study of the battle and its prob- 
lems. Roosevelt's Winning of the West contains a well writ- 
ten and critical chapter on the subject. McCready, South 
CaroUtui in the Revolution; DePeyster, TJie Affair at 
Kings Mountain (Magazine of American Plistory, vol. 5), 
and Schenck's North, Carolina, 1780-81, are of interest and 
value. From these references to magazine articles and pam- 
phlets are easily traced. See also Bailey, Sketch of the Life 
and Career of Col. James D. Williams (Cowpens, S. C.) 



During the colonial period but few schools were estab- 
lished in ISTorth Carolina. Compared with Xew England 
there is a marked difference in this respect, and historians, 
"without considering all the facts in the case, have undulj 
criticised this colony for want of zeal in educational matters. 

It should be remembered that 'New England was peopled 
by colonies, and the establishment of schools was coeval with 
the settlements. The people were forced by circumstances 
to live together. This strengthened the bonds of union be- 
tween them and tended to unite them in all objects relating 
to the common welfare. Then, too, the people of each com- 
munity were generally of the same religious faith, and their 
preachers were at the same time the teachers of their schools. 

In i^orth Carolina conditions were radically different. 
This province was occupied by individual families, and al- 
though the first permanent settlement was made about 1660 
there was no toAvn until Bath was located in 1704. The popu- 
lation was chiefly confined to the territory north of Albemarle 
Sound, west of the Chowan River, and the territory between 
the two sounds, Albemarle and Currituck. The people were 
scattered sparsely here and there along the shores of tha 
sounds and on the banks of the water courses. As late as 
1709 the Rev. William Gordon, writing to the secretary of 
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts, referring to the settlement on the Pamlico River, has 
this to say of the only town in the province: "Here is no 
ehurch, though they have begun to build a town called Bath. 

*For a fuller account of the colonial schools, see the writer's History 
of Education in North Carolina. Bureau of Education: Washington, 1888. 


It consists of about twelve houses, being the only town in the 
whole province. They have a small collection of books for a 
library, which were carried over by the Reverend Doctor 
Bray, and some land is laid out for a glebe." ^ About this 
time Beaufort was laid out for a town, and a little later New 
Bern was settled by the Swiss. The settlers represented 
many nationalities and religious sects : "Scotch Presby- 
terians, Dutch Lutherans, French Calvinists, Irish Cath- 
olics, English Ghuchmen, Quakers and Dissenters." Scat- 
tered settlements and religious dissensions not only made im- 
possible the village schools of New England but prevented 
any comprehensive social educational development. 

During the proprietary period schools were neglected, the 
government making no provision for their maintenance. Bui 
it must not be understood that the inhabitants were in dense 
ignorance and wholly devoid of educational facilities for, as 
Vass shows, "there were many highly educated citizens scat- 
tered throughout the province who lived with considerable 
style and refinement." ^ 

The first public library in North Carolina was established 
at Bath. It was the gift of Doctor Bray, who was appointed 
commissary by the Bishop of London in 1692.^ The earliest 
account of teachers is the report of John Blair, who came 
as a missionary in 1704. He states that the settlers had 
built small churches in three precincts and had appointed a 
lay reader in each, w^ho was supplied by him with books from 
the library.* We infer that these lay readers were school- 
masters from a statement by John Brickell, who visited the 
various settlements in the early part of the eighteenth century 
and published in Dublin in 1737 the Natural History of 
North Carolina, with an Account of the Trade, Manners and 

IN. C, Colonial Records, Vol. I, p. 715. 
' Vass's Eastern North Carolina, p. 21. 
» N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. I, p. 571 et seq. 
*N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. I, p. 601. 


Customs of the Christian and Indian Inhabitants. Xoting 
the scarcity of clergymen he adds that "the want of these 
Protestant clergy is generally supplied by some schoolmasters 
who read the Liturgy, and then a sermon out of Dr. Tillot- 
son or some good, practical divine every Sunday. These are 
the most numerous and are dispersed through the whole prov- 
ince." ^ 

About 1705 Charles Griffin came from some part of the 
West Indies to Pasquotank and opened a school which was 
patronized by all classes. Rev. William Gordon, who came 
from England as a missionary in 1708, in a letter to the sec- 
retary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, writ- 
ten in 1709, alludes to the fact that the Quakers in Pasquo- 
tank were sending their children to the school of a lay reader 
of the church named Griffin.'' About this time Rev. Mr. 
Gordon established a church in Chowan Precinct, at the head 
of Albemarle Sound, in the settlement which afterwards be- 
came Edenton. Rev. James Adams having settled in Pas- 
quotank, the school in that settlement was transferred to him. 
Mr. Griffin was now, at the instance of Mr. Gordon, elected 
lay reader of the church and clerk of the Chowan vestry. 
He opened a school in that parish, text-books for the pupils 
beiug furnished by the rector.' In a letter dated "Chowan, 
in North Carolina, July 25, 1712," the Rev. G. Rainsford, 
a missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gos- 
pel, tells of conferences Avith Thomas Hoyle, King of the 
Chowan Indians, who was inclined to embrace Christianity 
"^'aud proposes to send his son to school to Saruni to have him 
taught to read and write by way of foundation in order to a 
farther proficiency for the reception of Christianity," and 
adds : '^There's one Mr. Washburn who keeps a school at 
Sarrnn, on the frontiers of Virginia, between the two govern- 

^Brickell's North Carolina, p. 35. 

•N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. I, p. 714. 

'N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. I, pp. 684, 712, 714. 


ments and neighboring upon two Indian towns who, I find 
by him, highly deserves encouragement, and could heartily 
wish the Society would take it into consideration and be 
pleased to allow him a salary for the good services he has 
done and may do for the future. * * * The man upon 
a small income would teach the Indian children gratis (whose 
parents are willing to send them could they but pay for their 
schooling) as he would those of our English families had he 
but a fixed dependency for so doing, and what advantage 
would this be to private families in particular and the whole 
colony in general is easy to determine." * 

A careful examination of the records of the colony while 
under proprietary government shov*-s but one instance in 
which help was afforded to literature. This was an act** for 
the preservation of the library given by Doctor Bray, to 
which reference has been made. This act provided that a 
librarian should be appointed, that catalogues should be pre- 
pared, and that, under certain conditions, books might be 
taken from the library, fines to be paid if not returned within 
a specified time. The only author in the colony during this 
period, so far as is known, was the Surveyor-General Lawson, 
who wrote a history of the colony which was first published 
in 1709. 

The above account represents the state of education under 
the rule of the Lords Proprietors. While the school advan- 
tages of the masses were limited, the governors, judges, coun- 
cilors, lawyers and clergy, who were educated in England, 
furnish evidence from their letters and other documents that 
there was no deficiency of learning among the higher classes. 
Such men as Gale, Moseley and Swann were fit associates 
for the most intelligent men in any of the English provinces 
of their day. Libraries at Bath and Edenton contained 

8N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. I, p. 859. 

*Laws of North Carolina, Davis's Revisal (New Bern, 1752;, p. 203. 


many valuable books, showing that those who read them had 
cultivated minds. 

At the date of the transfer of authority from the Lords 
Proprietors to the Crown the population numbered about 
thirty thousand, and during the first twenty years of royal 
rule the educational condition of the masses was but little 
changed. Families of means maintained tutors, while some 
sent their sons to Harvard and other colleges in the ISTorthern 
colonies. The early governors of the province had little de- 
sire to promote popular education, but Gabriel Johnson, ap- 
pointed in 1734, was an exception to the rule. He was the 
first to recommend that the Assembly make provision for 
schools, but his efforts were without avail. 

The first legislative enactment for the promotion of schools 
was the bill to erect a schoolhouse in Edenton, passed by the 
General Assembly which met in ~Rew Bern April 8-20, 
1745. ^"^ The first act to establish a free school was passed 
in 1749," but the first school really established by the gov- 
ernment was the one located at JSTew Bern in 1764. The iSTew 
Bern school was incorporated in 1766, being the first incorpo- 
rated academy in the province. It was provided that the 
master should be a communicant of the Established Church 
of England, and that "a duty of one penny per gallon on all 
rum or spirituous liquors imported into the river ISTeuse'^ 
should be collected from the importers for seven years after 
the passage of the act, this fund to be used for the education 
of ten poor children and to enable the master to keep an as- 
sistant.^^ Prior to the Revolution this school was under the 
control of the Established Church, and for that reason it was 
not favorably regarded by dissenters, many of them prefer- 
ring to send their sons to the Presbyterian schools of the 

'"N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. IV, pp. 783, 788, 790. 

"N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. IV, p. 977. 

" Davis's Sec. Revisal (New Bern, 1773) , p. 359. 


Piedmont section. In 1770 the Edenton Academy, imder 
the control of the Established Church, was incorporated. 

During the colonial period two noteworthy bequests were 
made for schools: that of James Winwright, in 1744, to es- 
tablish a free school in Beaufort, and that of James Innis 
who, by his will made in 1754 and duly proved before Gov- 
ernor Dobbs in 1759, made provision for a free school for the 
benefit of the youth of the province.^^ From this last bequest 
the Innis Academy, of Wilmington, had its origin. This 
school was incorporated in 1759 with Samuel Ashe, A. Mc- 
Lain, William Hill and others as trustees. 

Of the thirty thousand Germans who left their country in 
the early part of the eighteenth century to find homes in 
America eighteen thousand are said to have eventually settled 
in North Carolina. Baron DeGraffenried with his Swiss 
and Palatines settled in New Bern. Later German immigra- 
tion settled principally in the Piedmont section. 

In 1751 the religious sect known as the Unitas Fratrum, 
commonly called Moravians, purchased one hundred thousand 
acres of land in Western Carolina, and in 1753 began their 
settlement, which from that time to this has been noted as one 
of the most moral, prosperous and intelligent communities 
in the commonwealth. Salem, their principal town, was laid 
out in 1765. 

These Germans, as a class, were men of fair education and 
refinement, especially the Moravians. The latter, even be- 
fore homes for all had been provided, erected a church and 
schoolhouse. One of the most noted of these early Moravian 
immigrants was John Jacob Fries, who came in 1754. He 
was a native of Denmark, where, previous to his coming to 
America, he had officiated as an assistant minister and was 
widely known as an accomplished scholar. He was one of 

*' Coon's Public Education in North Carolina, Vol. I, pp. 1-7. 


the pioneer teachers of l^s^orth Carolina, in which vocation he 
continued until his death in 1793. 

No marked educational advancement became manifest until 
the arrival of the Scotch-Irish who began to settle in the Cape 
Fear region, in large numbers, in the second quarter of the 
eighteenth century. This immigration continued till the 
Revolution, the newcomers bringing with them in great meas- 
ure the same spirit that prompted the establishing of Icolum- 
kill and Lindisfarne. From their arrival dates the impulse 
for the establishment of schools throughout the colony. For 
the most part they were disciples of John Knox, and about 
1745 the jSTew York and Pennsylvania Synods of the Presby- 
terian Church began to send missionaries to this colony. 

It is to the Presbyterian Church that North Carolina owes 
the establishment of her first classical schools, and it is to that 
denomination and" Princeton College that the higher educa- 
tion in this State owes its first impulse. The Presbyterian 
missionaries, usually graduates of Princeton, became both 
pastors and teachers. They gathered the scattered families 
of their faith into churches, and by the side of the church 
was planted a school. 

During the second half of the eighteenth century the fol- 
lowing, who were graduated at Princeton before 1776, were 
influential in the educational development of North Carolina: 
Hugh McAden, Alexander Martin, Alexander McWhorter, 
Samuel Spencer, Joseph Alexander, David Caldwell, John 
Close, Waightstill Avery, Ephraim Brevard, Adlai Osborne, 
Thomas Reese, Isaac Alexander, James Templeton, Andrew 
King, Stephen Bloomer Balch, James Hall, David Wither- 
spoon, John Ewing Calhoun and Thomas B. Craighead. In 
1776 Nathaniel Macon was a student at Princeton, but owing 
to the war he abandoned a college course that he might ac- 
tively serve his country. 

In 1760 Crowfield Academy was opened in Mecklenburg 


County, about two miles from, where Davidson College now 
stands. It is probable this was the first classical school in 
the province. About this time the Rev. James Tate, a Pres- 
byterian minister from Ireland, established a classical school 
at Wilmington. Other well-known Presbyterian schools of 
this period were Rev. Henry Patillo's school in Orange 
County and Clio's Nursery, taught by Rev. James Hall, 
D.D., in Iredell County. 

The most illustrious name in the educatiopal history of the 
province is that of Rev. David Caldwell, D.D. In 1766 or 
1767 he established a classical school iu Guilford County, at 
that time the northeastern part of Rowan County, about three 
miles from where Greensboro now stands. It soon became 
one of the most noted schools in the South, and for many 
years "Dr. Caldw^ell's log cabin served ISTorth Carolina as an 
academy, a college and a theological seminary." 

The most noted school for higher education in ISTorth Caro- 
lina during the colonial period was Queen's College, also 
known as Queen's Museum, located at Charlotte, and its his- 
tory is interesting as a bold and vigorous effort for the promo- 
tion of learning under the most discouraging circumstances. 
The beginnings of this institution are found in the classical 
school established in 1767 by the Rev. Joseph Alexander and 
a Mr. Benedict at the Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church near 
Charlotte. The community in which this school was located 
w^as noted for its intelligence. The school flourished, and 
to meet the demands of a growing and prosperous community 
it was decided to enlarge its scope. Queen's College became 
the successor of Alexander's school. An act entitled "An act 
for founding, establishing and endowing of Queen's College, 
in the town of Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County" was passed 
by the Assembly which met in New Bern on December 5, 
1770. It w^as twice chartered by the Legislature and twice 
repealed by royal proclamation. The royal government as 


& rule favored no institutions not under the control of tho 
Church of England, but notwithstanding royal disfavor 
Queen's College continued to flourish. It is probable the 
name was changed to Liberty Hall Academy in 1775, as the 
trustees did not care to continue the royal name where British 
authority had refused a charter. The coveted recognition 
came at last, but it was under the blessings of liberty and not 
by the King's favor. In the first year of American inde- 
pendence the Legislature of ISTorth Carolina, as the represent- 
ative of the sovereign authority of a free State, granted a 
charter to Liberty Hall Academy. 



Honore de Balzac wisely remarks that "every man should 
dissect at least one woman." She stands in direct antithesi* 
to man, and how little even yet does he understand the deli- 
cacy of her tissues, the quality and temper of her nerve gan- 
glia, the gentleness and generosity of her impulses, the beauty 
and strength and depth of her devotion; her voice is as the 
sweetest lute, her place her home ; her shrine is the heart of 

We all admire the character of Deborah who led the Is- 
raelitish hosts to battle, and her song of victory and thanks- 
giving still remains one of the most beautiful specimens of 
ancient Hebrew poetry. At break of dawn Mary Magdalene 
sought the sepulcher, and it was her commission to announce 
the glad tidings of the resurrection; her joyful cry, "He ia 
risen ! He is risen" ! has come rolling down the ages, and 
woman is still bringing us messages of joy and peace and 
hope. We love to read of the devotion of Ruth to IsTaomi, 
and how Rizpah watched and guarded the bodies of her dead 
kinsmen for six long months under the skies of Palestine, 
''from the beginning of the barley harvest until water dropped 
upon them out of heaven" ; and there was Artemissia, too, 
who, dazed by grief and in the anguish of despair, ate the 
heart of her dead husband that his love might be buried for- 
ever in her. All history and every age resounds with her 
deeds of heroism, her prowess, her beauty and her virtues. 

The honor belongs to woman for the discovery of the arts 
of drawing and painting, for when Debrinades, the Sycion- 
ian, was taking leave of her lover, about to start for war, 
with the aid of a candle and a piece of charcoal she sketched 


his profile upon the wall of her father's house ; this she after- 
wards perfected to comfort her in his absence, and it became 
the first picture. Then there are Iphigenia, Irene of Con- 
stantinople, Semiramis the wonderful, Zenobia the beautiful, 
Joan d'Arc the heroic, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the 
benefactress of mankind, and Angustura the maid of Sara- 
gossa, immortalized by Byron in Childe Harold who, snatch- 
ing a crucifix from a priest and a sword from the hand of 
her dying lover, rallied the wavering Spanish legions and led 
them on to victory. These, all these, shall live as long as 
noble deeds and human records last ! So much by way of 
introduction, let us now shift the scene to the women of the 
American Revolution, and particularly to those of our own 

Beginning at the barren sand dunes of Currituck listen to 
jnj story of "Betsey Dowdy's Ride." 

The bright lightwood fire from Joe Dowdy's cottage 
gleamed far out across the marshes in the chill December 
air, the cold north wind moaned like a wraith under the low 
built eaves, and the surf thundered ponderously along Curri- 
tuck beach. It was an unfriendly night, and Joe Dowdy sat 
with his pipe in the chimney corner looking vacantly into 
the fire, now and then kicking it with his coarse boots and 
sending meteoric showers of dancing, gleeful sparks pell-mell 
up the chimney. 

Betsey Dowdy and her mother sat silently carding wool 
for their winter clothes. The furniture of the room was en- 
tirely incongruous with the surroundings, and was evidently 
treasure trove from the sea ; the easy chair in which Joe 
Dowdy was sitting had evidently been plundered from the 
grand salon of some ship, which unhappy fate had driven upon 
the inhospitable beach. 

Joe Dowdy was a wrecker, and lived principally upon his 
salvage from the sea, and a rough, jolly fellow he was, broad- 


shouldered and ruddy-clieeked — the most daring of all who 
dwelt along the coast. 

His only daughter, Betsey, was of his same heroic mould. 
In her isolated home she had but little contact with the out- 
side world, but was passionately fond of books and greedily 
devoured every one which chance threw^ into her hands, most 
of w^hich were of a romantic character. Xo wonder then that 
she early developed and cherished the idea that she was the 
child of Fate, and destined to perform some great heroic 
deed. Already, during a storm, had she plucked a tiny life 
from the fury of the clo\Mipouring seas. 

There w^as a sharp knock at the door, and without cere- 
mony in stalked old Sam Jarvis, long-haired and bearded like 
a saint, he had come from the mainland in his canoe to fetch 
the news, and Betsey listened eager-eyed to his story, as he 
told in detail of Colonel HoAve's badly equipped, poorly 
drilled troops ; of Captain Benbury's delay in sending forward 
supplies, and of Captain Vail's company composed of those 
fine dressed fellows from Edenton, wdiom he did not believe 
would fight at all ; that a battle w^as imminent at Great 
Bridge,, and if Dunmore were successful he would imme- 
diately invade Eastern l!\'orth Carolina ; their homes would be 
destroyed, their goodly lands laid waste, and they would be 
nothing but British slaves again. And then the conversation 
turned to old Nick Lindsay, the infamous Tory of the neigh- 
borhood, for everybody was indignant at the way he made 
fun of the Patriot army and carried news to the British com- 
mander on the sly ; and besides, he lived on the mainland 
very near the highw^ay, and kept a pack of dogs just to annoy 
everybody who passed, and when Betsey heard all that her 
cheeks burned and she hated him in her heart. 

And her father agreed with Sam Jarvis that the situation 
was very desperate, and unless something was done immedi- 
ately, all would be lost; and they both said, too, that Gen. 


William Skinner, of Yeopim, was the man of the hour, and 
if only he could be communicated with at once the invasion 
might be checked, but he lived over fifty miles away, and 
that would be impossible on such a night, either by land or 
by water. Betsey finally went off to bed — ^but not to sleep, 
for something urged her to go to General Skinner that night ; 
she felt that the supreme moment of her destiny had arrived ; 
so after thoroughly maturing her plans she crept to the door ; 
all was still and silent in the house ; she raised her only win- 
dow, and in a moment more had saddled her pony and was 
galloping off down the beach to a ford across Currituck 
Sound to the mainland. 

Good St. Agnes protect such a child, on such a mission, 
on such a night ! jSTow Betsey knew it would be high tide 
about 12 o'clock, and it was her object to reach the ford be- 
fore the water was too deep to cross. It was a full half-hour 
of suspense and anxiety as she swept all unheeded by fisher- 
men's huts, sand dunes and across the heath to her goal. She 
halted at the water's edge ; she had miscalculated ; the tide 
was at half -flood and rising rapidly ! A girlish dread came 
over her; a moment's hesitation, but 'twas no time to waver, 
down she rode into the water up to her pony's knees. The 
night hung like a darksome pall over horse and rider; she 
spurs her pony and he plunges forward, now up to his 
haunches, now the saddle skirts drag in the water — he swims — 
she shivers, leans forward, and firmly grasps his mane. ISTow 
Betsey knew the sagacity of these wiry little banker ponies ; 
it was a natural instinct in them to swim, so she gave him 
loose reins, and as he was bearing her bravely she lifted her 
eyes above and thought how the children of Israel had passed 
through the Bed Sea, and her purpose and her faith forsook 
her not, for she knew that the Lord of Hosts was with her. 
The pony reels and flounders ; but no, he is in the shoal water 
of the other side. A few moments more they stood upon the 


mainland, dripping and cold. Another difficulty now beset 
her way, another dragon was to be passed. Old ISTick Lind- 
say, the Tory, lived but two miles further up the road, and 
she dreaded that he might interrupt her in some way and 
thwart her purpose, for he was always on the watch to see 
v\-hat the Patriots were doing; so just before she reached his 
gate she made a dash with her pony — just then over the fence 
bolted the whole pack of curs after her — old ISTick threw open 
his door and hailed. Speed Betsey, speed, like Eoderick's 
henchmen to Lanric Mead ! Speed Betsey, speed ! Down the 
road they went, rider and horse and dogs. You would have 
thought John Gilpin was repeating his famous turnpike ride 
that very night. Old Nick discharged his musket, and the 
lead showered all over them, but she sped on, and it was not 
until a turn in the road had been reached a mile further on did 
she hear old Nick harking back his dogs, for she had beaten 
the race. She and her pony were now dry, and warm and 
comfortable. All during the night she would halt and listen, 
sometimes she would seem to hear the booming of a cannon 
afar off, but she swerved not in her purpose. The air was 
crisp and clear, and the frozen road fairly resounded beneath 
her pony's hoofs as she galloped past houses dark and gray 
and silent, through cornfields white with frost, and dismal 
woodland, through endless swamps and over long bridges, and 
sometimes she heard strange noises and thought she saw fig- 
ures crouching in the road to seize her ; but when she reached 
the county of John Harvey she gave a sigh of relief, for she 
knew he had inspired the whole neighborhood with patriotism. 
Many a time she came to a fork in the road and knew not 
which one to take, but she gave her pony the reins and let 
him decide, and he was always right for Fate was guiding 
them. Day was now beginning to dawn in the east, the morn- 
ing star grew pale, and when the sun arose she was crossing 
the float bridge at Phelps's Point, now called Hertford. She 


fell into a pleasant reverie as she thoiight how General Skin- 
ner would thank her and welcome her to his house, and then 
she fancied just how the old warrior would look in his gaudy 
uniform with gold ejDaulets upon his broad shoulders and of 
the comfort and the warmth, and she leant over, and tenderly 
caressing her pony said, ''Go on — go on, my pet, w^e'll be there 
soon." Another hour brought her to General Skinner's head- 
quarters. Her message was delivered, immediate relief was 
promised — seven hours of hunger, fatigue, suspense — more 
than fifty miles had been bravely covered. Her mission was 
ended, and Betsey Dowdy's fame soon rang through the land. 

All along the route as she returned home the next day she 
heard guns and saw bonfires, and flags weaving, and her heart 
sank at first, for she thought the British invasion was surely 
at hand ; but the people were rejoicing, the battle of Great 
Bridge had been fought and won, and Dunmore was rapidly 
evacuating aSTorfolk. 

For many a day the people along the road, which Betsey 
Dowdy traversed, talked about the wild-mad horseback ridei* 
who sped by their houses like the Erl King after midnight. 
Old Nick Lindsay the Tory died suddenly that very night, 
and as for Tom Bob Ansell he declared to his dying day 
" 'Twan't no horseman at all, only Old Nick's spirit a-flying 
away with them durned Britishers." 

And this is the story of Betsey Dowdy, and how she carried 
the news to General Skinner, and that was how they brought 
the good news from Ghent to Aix : "The news which alone 
could save Aix from her fate." 

The daring exploit of Mrs. ]\Iary Slocumb is dear to tlie 
heart of every North Carolinian. She dreamed one night 
that she saw the Patriot army defeated, and the mangled body 
of her husband lying uner a certain tree upon the battle-field ; 
the scene was so vivid that she determined to go to her hus- 
band that night at all hazard; so, leaving her only child in 


the care of a slave, she rode all that night and a part of the 
next day, but when she arrived upon the field of battle the 
British had been defeated, and her husband wounded in a 
charge, but not seriously. All that day she nursed the dying 
and the wounded, and returned home in safety. Mrs. Slo- 
cumb and her gallant husband lie buried beneath modest slabs 
on their old plantation, but in the summer of 1907 a splendid 
monument was unveiled to her and other heroic women of the 
Revolution, near the very spot where she nursed and cared 
for the wounded patriots. 

It is a handsome base of blue granite surmounted by a 
statue of a beautiful heroic woman, in Italian marble, the 
inscriptions on the different sides of the monument are as 
follows : ''This monument was erected by the Moore's Creek 
Monumental Association in the year 1907." "Most honored 
of the names recorded by this historic association is that of 
Mary Slocumb, wife of Lieut. Slocumb, riding alone at night 
sixty-five miles to succor the wounded on this battlefield. 
Her heroism and self-sacrifice place her high on the pages 
of history, and should awaken in successive generations true 
patriotism and love of country." "To the honored memory 
of the heroic women of the lower Cape Fear during the Amer- 
ican Revolution — 1775-1781." "Unswerving in devotion, 
self-sacrificing in loyalty to the cause of their countrv, their 
works do follow them, and their children rise up and call 
them blessed." 

The name of Flora MacDonald must not be omitted from 
the list of jSTorth Carolina heroines of the Revolution. Foote 
tersely remarks that ''Massachusetts had her Lady Arabella, 
Virginia her Pocahontas and l^orth Carolina her Flora Mac- 
Donald." Had Flora MacDonald espoused the cause of the 
Patriots, as she should have consistently done, instead of aid- 
ing the British cause, she would have written her name higher 
than any woman in our history ; but to use her own words, 


after she returned to Scotland, referring to the failure of the 
two great enterprises of her life, she said : "1 have hazarded 
my life for the House of Stuart, and for the House of Han- 
over, and I do not see that I am a great gainer by either." 
It is to the British historian therefore that she must look 
for the glorification of her name. 

A complete roster of the Revolutionary heroines of ISTorth 
Carolina is beyond the scope of this short sketch, and the 
reader must be content with the bare mention of many of the 
most prominent names, such as Mrs. Robin Wilson, the 
heroine of Steel Creek, Rachel Caldwell, Elizabeth Steele, 
Margaret Caruthers, Ann Fergus, Sarah Logan, Margaret 
McBride and Mrs. Willie Jones. 

The Virginian points with pride to the stone which marks 
the site of the Colonial Capitol at Williamsburg, upon which 
is inscribed the resolution of Jefferson and others declaring 
they would drink no more tea, or use any stuffs of British 
manufacture. Both the men and women of Boston signed 
similar resolves, but the ''Edenton Tea Party" — where 
will you find its parallel ? Published and discussed in the 
English newspapers, cartooned by the most famous carica- 
turists of the day, ridiculed by the Tories as "Edenton Fe- 
male Artillery" ; I have said it once and I say it again, we 
can not eulogize too highly the action of those brave women, 
and particularly Penelope Barker, one of the most unique 
and interesting figures which masqueraded in our past. A 
maker of history, herself a great political character, she in- 
augurated and led a movement which takes a prominent place 
along with those acts of unselfishness, self-denial and patriot- 
ism which led up to the American Revolution. 

Very few people know that the first martyr of the Revolu- 
tion was on account of tea. After those patriotic outbursts 
at Boston on account of the "Tea tax" there were a few who 
defied public opinion. Among them was a man named The- 


ophilus Lillie and his associate, one Richardson, who con- 
tinued to import and sell tea. This came near producing a 
riot, and Richardson was attacked by boys in the street, pelt- 
ing him with dirt and stones. He discharged his old musket 
into the crowd, killing a lad named Snyder. Young Snyder's 
death produced a profound impression all over the country, 
and he was at once proclaimed the first martyr to the cause 
of liberty. His funeral was the largest ever seen in Boston. 
Upon his coffin was the inscription ''Innocence itself is not 
safe," and was borne by six of his fellows, followed by a pro- 
cession of five hundred school children and fifteen hundred 
citizens. All this is by the way. 

A public-spirited and patriotic citizen of Edenton, Mr. 
Frank Wood, has marked with an appropriate memorial (a 
huge bronze teapot surmounting a Revolutionary cannon), 
the site of that ''Edenton Tea Party, Oct. 25, 1774" ; a monu- 
ment to those fifty-one women who helped to make our com- 
monwealth possible. There it stands a perpetual inspiration 
to noble deeds and virtuous actions, and thither, as to a foun- 
tain, future generations repairing from its brazen urn shall 
draw light and liberty, for "To the souls of fire I, Pallas 
Athene, give more fire, and to those who are manful I give a 
might more than man's." 




Miss Bettie Freshwater Pool, wlio wrote the poem '"Caro- 
lina," which appears in this issue of the Booklet, was born 
at the Pool homestead in Pasquotank County, near Elizabeth 
City, and was the ninth child of George D. and Elizabeth 
(Fletcher) Pool. This old Colonial home had been in that 
family for generations and was a beautiful place. "The 
building of spacious dimensions" was surrounded by extensive 
grounds shaded by a variety of magnificent trees. 

The Pools were for many years among the most prominent 
citizens of Pasquotank and have given many brilliant and 
useful sons and daughters to Xorth Carolina. They came 
from England early in the eighteenth century and settled in 
that county. Patrick Pool in 1760 took up a large grant 
of land from his kinsman, John, Earl of Granville, which was 
situated in both Virginia and this State. He was the great- 
great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. 

Miss Pool at the early age of eight surprised her father 
by her remarkable verses, which she repeated as she sat on 
his knee. Tier vivid imagination revealed itself in the com- 
position of stories and rhymes before she could even read or 
write. Her unusual gift, displayed by reciting these, won for 
her the name of "'The story teller" among youthful com- 

A severe accident when a child rendered her an invalid 
for twenty years, during which time she was unable to attend 
school ; hence she is almost entirely self-educated. Stories 
were written to while away the tedious hours. These ap- 
peared later in a little volume entitled "The Eyrie and Other 


Southern Stories." They are well written and full of in- 

Besides this work Miss Pool has written and published 
"Under Brazilian Skies," a love story of the tropics. Sev- 
eral songs, among them "My Love is All Around Thee," "The 
Banks of the Old Pasquotank" and "Carolina," have been 
composed by her and set to music. 

During the last session of the General Assembly a bill was 
introduced to adopt this as a State song. It was read by one 
of the members in the Senate amid hearty applause, and 
the poem was recorded in the journal of the Senate. It has 
been pronounced by some to be superior to the other two State 
songs. We publish the entire poem in this issue. 

Sketch of Prof. W. K. Boyd, author of "Battle of Kings 
Mountain," in this number of the Booklet, appeared in 
Vol. VII, Xo. 3, January, 1908. 

Sketch of Dr. Richard Dillard, author of "Some jSTorth 
Carolina Heroines of the Revolution," in this number of the 
Booklet, appeared in Vol. VI, iSTo. 2, October, 1906. 


For the following sketch of the writer of the article on 
Schools and Education in Colonial Times, which appears in 
this issue, we are indebted to Wlio's ^Yho in America. 

Charles Lee Smith, son of Louis Turner Smith, M.D., and 
Nannie Green Smith, nee Howell, was born at Wilton, Gran- 
ville County, I^. C, August 29, 1865; graduated from Wake 
Forest College, 1884; teacher in Raleigh Male Academy and 
associate editor of Biblical Recorder, 1884-1885 ; graduate 
student at Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D., 1889) and in 
Germany, 1885-89; at Johns Hopkins, was successively Uni- 
versity Scholar, Fellow in History and Politics, instructor in 


History, and lecturer on Sociology; while a member of the 
faculty of Johns Hopkins (1888-1891), was also secretary 
of the Baltimore Charity Organization Society (1889-91) 
and secretary of the JSTational Conference of Charities and 
Correction (1889-90) ; married, October 24, 1889, to Sallie 
Lindsay Jones, High Point, IST. C. ; professor of History and 
Political Science in William Jewell College, 1891-1905 ; Gay 
Lecturer in Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1901 ; 
president of Mercer University, 1905-1906 ; in 1906, Wake 
Forest College conferred on him the honorary degree of 
LL.D. ; since 1906, he has been a member of the Edwards 
& Broughton Printing Company, Raleigh, IST. C. 

Dr. Smith is a contributor to leading periodicals and the 
author of The History of Education in North Carolina, The 
Money Question, etc. Governor Kitchin recently appointed 
him a member of the Library Commission of North Caro- 
lina, which was created by Act of the last Legislature. 


Volume VIII 


John Harvey 3-42 

By Mr. R. D. W. Connor. 

Military Organizations of North Carolina During the Ameri- 
can Revolution 43-55 

By Clyde L. King, A.M. 

A Sermon by Reverend George Micklejohn 57-78 

Edited by Mr. R. D. W. Connor. 
Biographical and Genealogical Memoranda: R. D. W. Connor, 

Clyde L. King, Marshall DeLancey Haywood 79-83 

By Mrs. E. E. Moffitt. 
Abstracts of Wills: Gambell, Gough, Flovell, Glaister, Gourley, 

Gordin, Haywood, Horn 84-85 

By Mrs. Helen DeB. Wells. 
Illustration: Harvey Coat of Arms. 

Convention of 1835 89-110 

By Associate Justice Henry G. Connor. 

The Life and Services of Brigadier-General Jethro Sumner 111-140 

By Kemp P. Battle, LL.D. 
The Significance of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence 141-148 

By Prof. Bruce Craven. 
Biographical and Genealogical Memoranda: Judge Henry Groves 

Connor, Kemp Plummer Battle, LL.D., Bruce Craven 149-151 

By Mrs. E. E. Moffitt. 

Information Concerning the Patriotic Society D. R 152 

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 155-202 

By Mr. A. S. Salley, Jr. 

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 203-248 

By Prof. Bruce Craven. 

Mr. Salley's Reply 249-253 

Mr. Craven's Rejoinder 254-256 

Biographical and Genealogical Memoranda: Bruce Craven, Alex- 
ander Samuel Salley, Jr., and Patriotic Objects 257-261 

By Mrs. E. E. Moffitt. 

Information Concerning the Patriotic Society D. R 262 

Illustration: Photographic Fac-simile of the Contemporary Mo- 
ravian Church Record, 1775. 

Ceremonies Attending Unveiling of Tablet, Oct. 24, 1908 265-297 

Carolina 298 

Battle Kings Mountain 299-315 

By W. K. Boyd. 

Schools in Colonial Times 316-324 

By Charles Lee Smith. 

Some North Carolina Heroines of the Revolution 325-333 

By Richard Dillard. 
Biographical and Genealogical Memoranda: Bettie Freshwater 

Pool, William K. Boyd, Charles Lee Smith, Richard Dillard....334-336 
Information Concerning Patriotic Society D. R. 

Concerning the Patriotic Society 

''Daughters qf the Revolution*' 

The General Society was founded October 11, 1890, — and organized 
August 20, 1891, — under the name of "Daughters of the American 
Revolution"; was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York 
as an organization national in its work and purpose. Some of the mem- 
bers of this organization becoming dissatisfied with the terms of en- 
trance, withdrew from it and, in 1891, formed under the slightly differ- 
ing name "Daughters of the Revolution," eligibility to which from the 
moment of its existence has been lineal descent from an ancestor who 
rendered patriotic service during the War of Independence. 

" ^e North Carolina Society " 

a subdivision of the General Society, was organized in October, 1896, 
and has continued to promote the purposes of its institution and to 
observe the Constitution and By-Laws. 

Membership and Qualitications 

Any woman shall be eligible who is above the age of eighteen years, 
of good character, and a lineal descendant of an ancestor who ( 1 ) was 
a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress, Legislature or General Court, of any of the Colonies 
or States; or (2) rendered civil, military or naval service under the 
authority of any of the thirteen Colonies, or of the Continental Con- 
gress; or (3) by service rendered during the War of the Revolution 
became liable to the penalty of treason against the government of Great 
Britain: Provided, that such ancestor always remained loyal to the 
cause of American Independence. 

The chief work of the North Carolina Societj' for the past seven years 
has been the publication of the "North Carolina Booklet," a quarterly 
publication on great events in North Carolina history — Colonial and 
Revolutionary. $1.00 per year. It will continue to extend its work and 
to spread the knowledge of its History and Biography in other States. 

This Society has its headquarters in Raleigh, N. C, Room 411, Caro- 
lina Trvist Company Building, 232 Fayetteville Street.