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North Carolina State Library 



North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXX 

Issued Quarterly 

Numbers 1-4 


Published by 


Corner of Edenton and Salisbury streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 

H V\3V\ 


Published by the State Department of Archives and History 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 


Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lefler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Franklin Brown, Chairman 

Gertrude Sprague Carraway McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 192 A, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. Members of the State Literary and Historical As- 
sociation, for which the annual dues are $3.00, receive this publication 
without further payment. Back numbers may be procured at the regular 
price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 



NORTH CAROLINA, 1823-1865 1 

Henry S. Stroupe 


Hugh F. Rankin 

1800-1850 61 

Hugh Hill Wooten 



Jack K. Williams 


PART I 86 

John L. Sanders 


White's The Frank C. Broivn Collection of North Caro- 
lina Folklore, volumes I and II — By I. G. Greer; 
Davidson's ^Piedmont Partisan — By Merritt B. 
Pound ; Kilpatrick's Roosevelt and Daniels, A Friend- 
ship in Politics — By Arthur S. Link; Range's The 
Rise and Progress of Negro Colleges in Georgia, 1865- 
19J>9 — By A. A. Taylor; Sebba's Georgia Studies: 
Selected Writings of Robert Preston Brooks — By 
James Rabun; Oliphant's, Odell's, and Eave's The 
Letters of William Gilmore Simms: VOLUME I — 1830- 
18kU — By Roger P. Marshall; Julien's and Dabbs's 
Pee Bee Panorama — By Lawrence F. Brewster ; Brid- 
enbaugh's Seat of Empire: The Political Role of Eight- 
eenth-Century Williamsburg — By Alice B. Keith ; 
Black's The Railroads of the Confederacy — By Clem- 
ent Eaton; Heard's A Two-Party South? — By Paul 
Murray; Callahan's Smoky Mountain Country — By 
Philip D. Jordan; McCann's English Discovery of 
America to 1585 — By David B. Quinn ; Bryan's George 



iv Contents 

Washington in American Literature, 1775-1865 — BY 
Curtis Carroll Davis ; Blumenthal's Women Camp 
Followers of the American Revolution — By Hugh F. 
Rankin; Kauffman's Early American Gunsmiths, 

The Army Air Forces in World War II, volume III, 
Argument to V-E Day, January 19 Uh to May 191+5 — By 
Robert S. Milner. 


NUMBER 2, APRIL, 1953 



James Howard Brewer 


Hugh Hill Wooten 



Christopher Crittenden 



Frontis W. Johnston 



J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton 


George W. McCoy 


Kermit Hunter 


FOR 1952 223 

LeGette Blythe 

Edited by John L. Sanders 


Mary Lindsay Thornton 


Harriss's Lawson's History of North Carolina — By Paul 
Murray ; Pound's Benjamin Haivkins, Indian Agent — 
By Frontis W. Johnston; Shearer's Robert Potter, 
Remarkable North Carolinian and Texan — By Philip 

Contents v 

M. Rice ; Johnson's Making of a Southern Industrial- 
ist: A Biographical Study of Simpson Bobo Tanner — 
By Clarence W. Griffin ; Hamilton's Fifty Years of 
the South Atlantic Quarterly — By J. Merton Eng- 
land; The First Twenty Years: A History of the Duke 
University Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health 
Services, and Duke Hospital, 1930-1950 — By Loren C. 
MacKinney; Waynick's North Carolina Roads and 
Their Builders — By C. K. Brown ; White's The Frank 
C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, volume 
III — By Philip D. Jordan ; Sydnor's Gentlemen Free- 
holders — By Joseph Davis Applewhite ; Shulim's The 
Old Dominion and Napoleon Bonaparte: A Study in 
American Opinion — By W. Edwin Hemphill; Bink- 
ley's The Texas Revolution — By William R. Hogan ; 
Bridenbaugh's Myths and Realities: Societies of the 
Colonial South — By Donald Sheehan; Postell's The 
Health of Slaves on Southern Plantations — By W. A. 
Mabry; Hotze's Three Months in the Confederate 
Army — By Frank E. Vandiver; Vandiver's Plough- 
shares Into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate 
Ordnance — By Frontis W. Johnston; Rossman's 
Thomas Mifflin and the Politics of the American Revo- 
lution — By W. S. Tarlton ; Freeman's George Wash- 
ington: A Biography, volume V — By William T. 
Miller ; Carter's The Territorial Papers of the United 
States: volume XVIII, The Territory of Alabama, 1817- 
1819 — By Thomas Perkins Abernethy; Milhollen's 
Kaplan's, and Stuart's Divided We Fought — By 
Frank E. Vandiver. 


NUMBER 3, JULY, 1953 

1840-1950; Part I: 1840-1900 305 

Rosser H. Taylor 

1820-1860 329 

Fannie Memory Farmer 


1880-1922 354 

Harley E. Jolley 



Daniel Miles McFarland 

vi Contents 


IN 1865 415 

Kenneth E. St. Clair 


North Carolina Authors: A Selective Handbook — By 
Thomas G Henny; BOYD'S The Papers of Thomas 
Jefferson, volume VI — By Gilbert L. Lycan; MOR- 
GAN'S Virginians at Home: Family Life in the Eight- 
eenth Century— By Hugh T. Lefler ; SANGER'S AND 
HAY'S James Longstreet — By George V. Irons ; MIR- 
SKY'S AND NEVINS' The World of Eli Whitney— By 
James F. Hopkins ; WARD'S The War of the Revolu- 
tion — By Horace W. Raper; DEARING'S Veterans in 
Politics: The Story of the G.A.R. — By Harold M. Helf- 
man; MARTIN'S AND GELBER'S The New Diction- 
ary of American History — By D. L. Corbitt. 





M. H. Ross 


1840-1950; PART II: 1900-1950 483 

Rosser H. Taylor 

J. M. LEGARE 524 

Curtis Carroll Davis 



P. J. Wallis 



Edited by Richard L. Morton 


Karraker's Piracy Was a Business — By David Stick; 
Morgan's, Brown's, and Hall's History of the Luther- 
an Church in North Carolina, 1803-1953— -By E. Clin- 
ton Gardner; Watkins's "Co. Aytch," Maury Grays, 

Contents vii 

First Tennessee Regiment; or A Side Show of the Big 
Show — By James Rabun ; Caldwell's A Tour Through 
Part of Virginia in the Summer of 1808 ... Also ... Some 
Account of the Islands of the Azores — By Beth Crab- 
tree; Cohen's The South Carolina Gazette, 1732-1775 
— By Richard Walser; McGill's Narrative of Remi- 
niscences in Williamsburg County — By James W. Pat- 
ton ; Easterby's The Colonial Records of South Caro- 
lina. The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, 
May 18, 17U-July 10, 1742— By Paul M. McCain; 
Oliphant's, Odell's, and Eaves's The Letters of Wil- 
liam Gilmore Simms. Volume II — By C. Hugh Holman ; 
Easterby's Wadboo Barony: Its Fate as Told in Colleton 
Family Papers, 1773-1793 — By Robert H. Woody; 
Bryan's Confederate Georgia — By Horace W. Raper; 
Morgan's and Morgan's The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue ^ 
to Revolution — By Clara G. Roe; Sitterson's Sugar 
Country: The Cane Sugar Industry in the South, 1753- 
1950 — By Percival Perry; Duffy's Epidemics in Colo- 
nial America — By H. H. Cunningham; Massey's 
Ersatz in the Confederacy — By James W. Patton ; Dor- 
son's America Rebels: Narratives of the Patriots — By 
Robert C. Pugh ; Mark's and Schwaab's The Faith of 
Our Fathers: An Anthology Expressing the Aspirations 
of the American Common Man, 1790-1860 — By Stuart 
Noblin; Merrill's Bourbon Democracy of the Middle 
West, 1865-1896 — By Percival Perry ; Swanton's The 
Indian Tribes of North America — By Douglas L. 
Rights ; Craven's and Cate's The Army Air Forces in 
World War II, Volume V, The Pacific: Matterhorn to 
Nagasaki, June 19 Uh to August 19 U5 — By William D. 


•.••• • • .•• .% :•. .•. : 

. . i . •. *. • 

• ••••••• • •••••». • *•»* J 

•••• • ••••. •••,»> 

• • • •• • • ••• •• • • •• 11 

• •••• • •••••••••• * 

• •• ••• ••••••*• •• •• * 1 




Volume XXX 


Published Quarterly By 

State Department of Archives and History 

Corner of Edenton and Salisbury Streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 


Published Ly the State Department of Archives and History 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 


Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lefler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Franklin Brown, Chairman 

Gertrude Sprague Carraway McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 192U, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. To members of the State Literary and Historical 
Association there is a special price of $1.00 per year. Back numbers may be 
procured at the regular price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

COVER — The campus of the University of North Carolina as 
it appeared in the 1840's, from a print in the North Carolina 
Collection of the University Library in Chapel Hill. See "The 
Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson, the University of North Caro- 
lina, 1841-1842/' pages 86-114. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXX JANUARY, 1953 Number 1 


NORTH CAROLINA, 1823-1865 1 

Henry S. Stroupe 


Hugh F. Rankin 

1800-1850 61 

Hugh Hill Wooten 



Jack K. Williams 


John L. Sanders 


White's The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Caro- 
lina Folklore, volumes I and II — By I. G. Greer;- 
Davidson's Piedmont Partisan — By Merritt B. 
Pound ; Kilpatrick's Roosevelt and Daniels, A Friend- 
ship in Politics — By Arthur S. Link; Range's The 
Rise and Progress of Negro Colleges in Georgia, 1865- 
1949 — By A. A. Taylor; Sebba's Georgia Studies: 
Selected Writings of Robert Preston Brooks — By 
James Rabun; Oliphant's, Odell's, and Eave's The 
Letters of William Gilmore Simms: volume I — 1830- 
18M — By Roger P. Marshall; Julien's and Dabbs's 
Pee Dee Panorama — By Lawrence F. Brewster ; Brid- 
ENBAUGH's Seat of Empire: The Political Role of Eight- 
eenth-Century Williamsburg — By Alice B. Keith ; 
Black's The Railroads of the Confederacy — By Clem- 
ent Eaton; Heard's A Two-Party South? — By Paul 
Murray; Callahan's Smoky Mountain Country — By 
Philip D. Jordan; McCann's English Discovery of 
America to 1585 — By David B. Quinn ; Bryan's George 
Washington in American Literature, 1775-1865 — BY 


Curtis Carroll Davis; Blumenthal's Women Camp 
Followers of the American Revolution — By Hugh F. 
Rankin; Kauffman's Early American Gunsmiths, 
1650-1850 — By Joye E. Jordan; Craven's and Cate's 
The Army Air Forces in World War II, volume III, 
Argument to V-E Day, January 19 UU to May 19 U5 — By 
Robert S. Milner. 


Entered as second-class matter September 29, 1928, at the Post Office at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, under the act of March 3, 1879. 


The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXX JANUARY, 1953 Number 1 


NORTH CAROLINA, 1823-1865 1 

By Henry S. Stroupe 

For about two score years, since James Harvey Robinson's The 
New History appeared in 1912, social, economic, and cultural 
developments have received much of the attention formerly be- 
stowed by historians upon political or military themes. The role 
of religious thought and organized churches in the life of the 
American people is now recognized by their historians. Each 
year finds an ever increasing number of books and articles on 
this or related subjects rolling from American presses. 

Since the early decades of the nineteenth century the publica- 
tion of religious magazines and newspapers has been a feature 
of the history of American churches. Immediately prior to that 
time religious and moral conditions had been at the lowest ebb 
in the history of the American people. Some Episcopal bishops, 
a few years after the Revolution, expected their church to disin- 
tegrate, and Methodists reported a steady decline in membership. 
Had religious enthusiasm remained thus, it is highly probable 
that religious journalism could not have made noticeable progress 
during the first half of the nineteenth century. The founding of 
church newspapers and magazines was, however, preceded by and 
doubtless made possible by an extensive religious revival, an up- 
heaval known in the East as the Second Great Awakening and 
in the West and South as the Great Revival. Spiritual impulse 
for the religious activities of the nineteenth century came largely 
from these revivals. 2 The spread of infidelity was checked, the 
missionary impulse began to express itself, institutions for higher 

1 Part of the research for this article was made possible by a grant from the Carnegie 
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

2 Colin Brummitt Goodykoontz, Home Missions on the American Frontier (Caldwell, 
Idaho, 1939), 122-123; and William Warren Sweet, The Story of Religions in America (New 
York, 1930), 323-324. 


2 The North Carolina Historical Review 

education were founded, philanthropic organizations appeared, 
and religious journalism had its beginnings. 

The first religious periodical published in North Carolina was 
the Roanoke Religious Correspondent; or Monthly Evangelical 
Visitant, which migrated from Virginia in 1823. John Jenkins, a 
Baptist minister who taught school and preached to small 
churches in the Roanoke and Dan river valleys, founded the 
magazine at Danville in August, 1821. Printed for the editor at 
the office of the Roanoke Sentinel, the publication was an octavo 
of sixteen pages, with a subscription price of $1.25. With the 
June, 1823, issue Jenkins moved the place of publication from 
Danville to Milton, North Carolina, just south of the state line 
in Caswell County. The magazine died with the issue for Decem- 
ber, 1823, volume II, number 12, for lack of patronage, the editor 
being too destitute to support it privately. 3 Jenkins' periodical 
contained a long continued article entitled "The Virginia Baptist 
Chronicle," which was based on Semple's History of the Rise and 
Progress of the Baptists in Virginia, a series of "Letters to a 
Young Minister of the Gospel," church news and proceedings, cor- 
respondence, editorials, poems, missionary journals, and ser- 
mons. 4 

North Carolina's second venture into the realm of religious 
journalism was made by a Presbyterian minister. On January 
27, 1826, there appeared from the press of the Fayetteville Senti- 
nel a weekly octavo newspaper of sixteen pages called the North 
Carolina Telegraph. Robert Hall Morrison, a graduate of the 
University of North Carolina and at that time pastor of the 
Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, was editor and proprietor. 
A press which he had ordered from Philadelphia arrived later in 
the year, enabling him to do his own printing. The first number 
contained, in addition to an editorial page and a few advertise- 
ments, five departments, which were entitled "Religious," "Mis- 
cellany," "Religious Intelligence," "Foreign Intelligence," and 
"Poetical." Later numbers added "Fayetteville Prices" and "Poli- 
tical Intelligence." The subscription price was $2.50 in advance, 

3 James B. Taylor, Lives of Virginia Baptist Ministers (2nd ed., Richmond, 1838), 349-353, 
349, 353. 

* The three known files of this rare magazine are located at Colgate University, 
Hamilton, N. Y., Wake Forest College, Wake Forest, and the Virginia Baptist Historical 
Society, Richmond. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 3 

three dollars at the end of the year ; the postage one cent in North 
Carolina, and one and one-half cents outside the state. 

An example of the way Morrison handled religious news may 
be cited from the issue of May 26, 1826. He copied from the New 
York Religious Chronicle dated May 13 accounts of the anniver- 
sary meetings in New York of several societies for Christian 
benevolence: American Home Missionary, New York Sunday 
School Union, American Tract, United Foreign Missionary, and 
American Bible. Calling attention to the work of these organiza- 
tions, Morrison gave them a hearty endorsement. 'These societies 
are not," he wrote, "sectarian in their views, or local in their 
influence. . . . They aim at nothing more or less than the greatest 
good of our country. . . . With what gratitude then should every 
christian and every patriot regard these noble institutions which 
work together in diffusing the light of the gospel, . . . This is not 
the benevolence which exhausts itself in sighs and tears and 
sentiments. . . . But it is the benevolence of action." Not many 
years later, after the slavery controversy had begun, editors of 
other southern religious journals denounced the activities of 
most of these same societies. 

Several North Carolina Presbyterians were at this time at- 
tempting to launch a movement to establish a theological semi- 
nary in the state. "Aliquis," a contributor, opposed the project 
on the ground that the Synod of North Carolina had already 
pledged $15,000 to Princeton, that it had pledged to support 
Hampden-Sydney, and that not enough students could be found 
to justify having such an institution. Morrison, on the other hand, 
endorsed the idea of a seminary, pointing out that there were 
not over 200 competent ministers of all denominations among 
the state's 650,000 people, that one man could not preach to more 
than 1,000 people, and that outsiders in sufficient numbers could 
not be expected to come in. 5 The movement culminated the next 
year in the establishment of joint control by the synods of North 
Carolina and Virginia of the seminary at Hampden-Sydney, 
which was called thereafter the Union Theological Seminary of 
the Presbyterian Church, Prince Edward County, Virginia. 6 

5 North Carolina Telegraph, February 24, July 7, 1826. 

6 Union Theological Seminary in Virginia Centennial Celebration (Richmond, 1912), 23. 

4 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Before the close of 1826 Morrison decided to leave Fayetteville 
to become pastor of Sugar Creek Congregation, which included 
the village of Charlotte. The subscribers to the North Carolina 
Telegraph were not, however, abandoned, for the subscription 
list was sold to Nathan Pollard, editor and proprietor of the 
Richmond Family Visitor, and the two papers merged to form 
the Visitor and Telegraph, Richmond. After issuing the last 
number of the North Carolina Telegraph on December 29, 1826, 
Morrison moved to Mecklenburg County, where he became, a dec- 
ade later, the first president of Davidson College and also reared 
a large family. Three sons became officers in the Confederate 
Army and five daughters married officers of the Confederate 
Army, one of whom was General Stonewall Jackson. 7 

Very little is known of North Carolina's third religious journal, 
the Liberalist, founded in Wilmington in 1826 by Jacob Frieze, a 
Universalist minister. Frieze had recently come to the state from 
Rhode Island and is listed by historians of the denomination as 
the organizer of the Universalist State Convention of North Caro- 
lina. Begun as a semimonthly octavo, the Liberalist was enlarged 
in 1827 into a weekly folio, publication of which continued until 
the next year. 8 

January, 1828, marked the appearance of two Presbyterian 
journals with Fayetteville date lines. The last issue of the North 
Carolina Telegraph had contained notice that the Reverend Colin 
Mclver, who purchased Morrison's printing establishment, would 
issue two new periodicals as soon as he received sufficient en- 
couragement in the form of subscribers. Mclver, a native of 
Scotland, had come to Fayetteville in 1809 to teach. Though never 
pastor in Fayetteville, he became a leader in the religious and 
literary life of that community. 9 

A year's efforts secured only very limited patronage, but hav- 
ing, as he said, "embarked in this undertaking from a sense of 
duty" Mclver nevertheless launched his ventures in 1828 with the 
beginning of the year. The more ambitious of the two projects 
bore the name Evangelical Museum and contained three sheets in 

7 Mary Anna Morrison became Jackson's second wife in 1857. See Cornelia Rebekah 
Shaw, Davidson College (New York, 1923), 26-28. Duke University, Durham, has the only 
complete file of the North Carolina Telegraph located. 

8 Richard Eddy, Universalism in America: A History (2 vols. Boston, 1894), II, 391-392. 
No copy of the Liberalist has been found. 

8 John A. Oates, The Story of Fayetteville and the Upper Cape Fear (Fayetteville, 
Privately printed, 1950), 850. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 5 

octavo form, making forty-eight pages in each monthly number. 
The subscription price was three dollars a year plus postage; 
advertisements $1.50 per page for each insertion. Mclver promis- 
ed little original matter, intending instead to make judicious se- 
lections from the best religious periodicals appearing in the 
United States and Great Britain, but readers were invited to 
contribute original articles. The content included theological dis- 
cussions, biographical sketches, church history, book notices, re- 
ligious and secular news, and considerable material in support of 

Mdver's other publication was first called The Virginia and 
North Carolina Presbyterian Preacher, or Monthly Sermons, 
from the Manuscripts of Presbyterians, Who Either now Reside, 
or have Formerly Resided in Virginia and North Carolina. After 
one year the title became The Presbyterian Preacher Or Month- 
ly Sermons from American Presbyterian Ministers. Each six- 
teen-page number contained one or two sermons, with notices and 
advertisements limited to the covers. Six of those who contri- 
buted sermons were from Virginia, five from North Carolina, and 
five from other states. 10 Mclver published the Evangelical Mu- 
seum for only a year and no issue of the Presbyterian Preacher 
later than the nineteenth number has been found. The rather 
vigorous effort of Morrison and Mclver to make Fayetteville a 
center for the publication of Presbyterian newspapers and maga- 
zines has been short-lived. Richmond and Charleston supplied 
North Carolina Presbyterians with most of their religious 
journals for the next thirty years. 

No further periodicals appeared until 1833, when the Baptists 
returned in strength to the field. During the decade that followed 
other denominations launched no periodicals, but Baptist editors 
sent out eight. The moving force behind these efforts came from 
Thomas Meredith, dynamic editor, preacher, and organizer. Sam- 
uel Wait, John Armstrong, Patrick Dowd, Meredith, and the 
other leaders who organized the North Carolina Baptist State 

w The Virginia contributors included John Matthews, Shepherdstown; William Hill, 
Winchester; John Montgomery, Augusta County; John B. Hoge, Richmond; Robert H. 
Anderson, Prince Edward County; and Shepard K. Kollock, Norfolk. The North Carolinians 
were James Hall, Iredell County; Joseph Caldwell, President of the University of North 
Carolina; Samuel L. Graham, Granville County; Robert H. Chapman, Iredell County; and 
Robert H. Morrison, Charlotte. From other states came sermons by John E. Latta, New 
Castle, Delaware; Andrew Flinn, Charleston, South Carolina; James Muir, Alexandria, 
District of Columbia; John M. Mason, New York; and Benjamin M. Palmer, Charleston, 
South Carolina. Good files of Mclver's periodicals are in the Historical Foundation of the 
Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina. 

6 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Convention in the barn of J. C. Gorham in Greenville on March 
20, 1830, realized that they would need a periodical to coordinate 
their work. A prospectus soon appeared for publishing in Raleigh 
a newspaper to be called The Messenger of Peace, and North 
Carolina Evangelical Herald. 11 The proposed publication appar- 
ently never reached the first number, but Meredith did not let 
the matter rest. 

A native of Pennsylvania, Meredith had received the degree 
of A.M. from the university of the state. Sent to North Carolina 
as a missionary by the Home Mission Board of the Baptist Gen- 
eral Convention for Missionary Purposes, he settled permanently 
in eastern Carolina. It was in Edenton that he issued, after pur- 
chasing the press of the Edenton Gazette, the first number of the 
North Carolina Baptist Interpreter, January, 1833. In magazine 
form, it contained twenty-four pages and cost only one dollar a 
year. For the first year publication was monthly, but in 1834 it 
became monthly and semimonthly in alternate issues. 12 

Since Meredith's principal aim was the promotion of the objects 
of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, his magazine 
contained articles on missions, education, and Sunday schools, 
as well as theological discussions and church news. James G. Hall 
sought to encourage Meredith, who had only one hundred sub- 
scribers at the beginning, by writing to him from Raleigh as 
follows : "Religious newspapers have always been found valuable 
auxiliaries to the cause of truth. In addition to the valuable in- 
formation which they contain and the intelligence which they 
promote ; they act as a stimulus to activity and as a bond of Union 
among christians." Samuel Wait, then touring North Carolina as 
the agent of the Baptist Convention, wrote that nowhere else 
in the United States was a paper more needed. "One reason," 
said Wait, "and a most important one it is too, why there has been 
in times past so little concert of action among the Baptists in 
North Carolina, is to be found in the fact that we have had no 
proper medium of communication amongst us, by which we could 
conveniently become acquainted with each other." Feeling that a 

11 This prospectus, signed by "an association of gentlemen," appeared in the Religious 
Herald (Richmond), November 18, 1831. 

12 Complete files may be found in the libraries of the University of North Carolina, Chapel 
Hill, and Wake Forest College. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 7 

brighter day was beginning to dawn, he asked for space in which 
to report from time to time the progress of his agency. 13 

Meredith gave considerable attention to one of the big religious 
controversies of the day in which North Carolina Baptists were 
involved, namely, the spread of the teachings of Alexander 
Campbell, principal founder of the Disciples of Christ. Thomas 
Campbell, father of Alexander, visited Edenton, causing Meredith 
to pen an editorial designed to "put our brethen on their guard" 
against the innovations of this "reformer." Meredith took the 
Campbells to task for contending that all articles of faith, church 
covenants, and systems of discipline were unscriptural, and for 
discarding the doctrines of election, regeneration by the Holy 
Ghost, and justification by faith. "Such teachers," wrote Mere- 
dith, "are predicted by Christ ; . . . The churches are directed to 
'try their spirits' — to 'know them by their fruits/ and to beware 
of their seductions. From all such disturbers of the peace of 
Jerusalem, 'Good Lord deliver us/ " 14 Meredith was able to per- 
suade all members of the Edenton Baptist Church except "about 
a dozen, including two deacons," to avoid embracing the teachings 
of Campbell. In fact, Campbellism, because of Meredith's opposi- 
tion, made little progress among North Carolina Baptists. 15 

During the summer of 1834 Meredith moved his publication to 
Newbern, where he continued to issue it for the remainder of the 
year. Meantime he had launched plans for enlarging the North 
Carolina Baptist Interpreter into a weekly newspaper with a 
different name. This was done on January 7, 1835, when the first 
number of the Biblical Recorder appeared. It was a folio of four 
pages of five columns each, with a subscription price of two dol- 
lars. The paper had about 1,000 subscribers then and averaged 
nearly 2,000 for the next thirty years. The place of publication 
was moved on January 13, 1838, from Newbern to the more 
central location of Raleigh, where, except for some suspensions, 
it has appeared to date. 

Early in 1838 Meredith received the subscription list and good 
will of the Southern Watchman, the South Carolina Baptist 
paper, merging the two papers under the title Biblical Recorder 

13 North Carolina Baptist Interpreter, I (January, 1833), 6. 

14 North Carolina Baptist Interpreter, I (July, 1833), 161. 

15 George W. Paschal in Biblical Recorder (Raleigh, N. C), January 2, 1935. 

8 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and Southern Watchman. 16 Because of non-paying subscribers, 
publication had to be suspended during 1842. At that time Mere- 
dith published as a substitute a monthly magazine called the 
Southern Christian Repository. Revived in 1843, the Biblical 
Recorder ("and Southern Watchman" having been dropped), 
was not again suspended until April, 1865. The paper was made 
up, ready for the press, when Sherman entered Raleigh, and with 
the confusion that followed publication ceased for six months. 17 

Although privately owned, the Biblical Recorder was the organ 
of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. As such it 
worked for missions, education, and other cooperative ventures, 
at the same time that it served as a vehicle of communication be- 
tween officers and members. This weekly was of the character 
widely described at that time as a family religious newspaper. 
It contained essays, editorials, Biblical criticism, religious and 
secular news, poetry, stories, sermons, advertisements, and mer- 
cantile, agricultural, legislative, and miscellaneous items. 18 

The launching of ventures in missions, education, and other 
benevolences was displeasing to many North Carolina Baptists. 
In fact, the Kehukee Association severed relations with the others 
in 1827, beginning the Anti-Missionary, Primitive, or Old School 
Baptist schism. Survival necessitated that the Old School Baptists 
voice their views through a periodical. Accordingly, Joshua Law- 
rence, aggressive but unlearned Old School Baptist leader, per- 
suaded Mark Bennett to edit a proposed paper. Known as the 
Primitive Baptist, a specimen number appeared in Tarborough 
October 3, 1835. It made clear, in the following passage, the 
founder's position: "This publication is principally intended to 
defend the old school United Baptists from the many aspersions 
cast upon them by deluded persons professing their own faith, 
because they cannot conscientiously engage in the various money- 
making schemes of the day, . . . Believing that Theological 
Schools, Bible, Missionary, Tract, and Sunday School Union 
Societies are the same in principle — unscriptural — savor more 
of 'lucre' than of 'good-will towards men/ we are opposed to 

16 The demise of the Southern Watchman, Charleston, and the transfer of its list to the 
Biblical Recorder are described in the Southern Christian Herald (Cheraw, S. C), 
March 8, 1838. 

« C. T. Bailey in Biblical Recorder, August 16, 1876. 

18 The Wake Forest College file, which has only a few gaps, is the most nearly complete 
collection of this outstanding religious paper known. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 9 

Lawrence, who wrote frequently for the Primitive Baptist, 
and Bennett, the editor, soon had an altercation over the conduct 
of the paper. Bennett's fidelity to scriptural views having been 
questioned, he examined the policy of the paper more carefully. 
As a result he decided that the Old School Baptists were wrong, 
resigned the editorship, and wrote Thomas Meredith that he had 
yielded his heart to missions, as heaven's instrument, and ceased 
his opposition. 19 

For eight years George Howard, the printer, got out the Primi- 
tive Baptist without the help of an editor. In 1848, however, 
Burwell Temple, an Old School minister, acquired ownership and 
moved the paper from Tarborough to his farm nine miles east of 
Raleigh. Here he edited and published this semimonthly news- 
paper until after the Civil War. 20 

The state's next important religious journal was the Christian 
Sun, founded in Hillsboro in 1844 as the organ of the Virginia 
and North Carolina Christian Conference. Daniel Wilson Kerr, 
an associate of James O'Kelly, became the first editor; Dennis 
Heartt, publisher of the Hillsborough Recorder, the first printer. 
After five years in Hillsboro this weekly folio began a migration 
which took it to Pittsboro, Raleigh, Suffolk, Virginia, and Peters- 
burg, Virginia, by the close of the Civil War. Shortly after the 
death of Kerr in 1850 W. B. Wellons became the principal editor. 

Wellons reported that his widely-read paper had caused many 
to ask what religious group it represented. In 1794, he explained 
in an article entitled "Who are the Christians," James O'Kelly 
withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church because of dis- 
satisfaction with its government, especially the authority of 
bishops. First known as Republican Methodists, the seceding 
party soon adopted the name Christians. About the same time 
Barton W. Stone, without knowing of the O'Kelly schism, with- 
drew from the Presbyterian Church and adopted the name Chris- 
tians. Also about the same time Abner Jones and Elias Smith 
seceded from the Baptist Church in New England and chose the 
name Christians. Through Smith's newspaper, the Herald of 
Gospel Liberty, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, these three groups 

19 Christian Index (Penfield, Georgia), April 12, 1844. 

20 Incomplete files may be found in the Libraries of Duke University, the University of 
North Carolina, and Wake Forest College. 

10 The North Carolina Historical Review 

eventually came together, with Stone later going over to the 
Disciples of Christ and Smith to the Unitarians. 21 

Before the Civil War Christians in the South withdrew fellow- 
ship from their northern brethren because of the criticism of 
slavery and in order to remain free of Unitarian influence. The 
Reverend James W. Hunnicutt, Virginia Free Will Baptist, anti- 
secessionist, and leader of the "Union Baptists," toured North 
Carolina in 1857 trying to unite Christians with his group. When 
the Christians refused, Hunnicutt called Wellons an Unitarian. 
The offended editor branded the declaration "a base fabrication, 
proceeding, as we have reason to believe, from a corrupt heart," 
and challenged Hunnicutt to produce proof. The editors of the 
day regarded strong language as a necessary feature of religious 
controversy and many readers liked it. Hunnicutt was barred 
from making inroads among North Carolina Christians, and Wel- 
lons was able to point out that neither his paper nor church had 
ever been more prosperous. 22 

Two Baptist weeklies appeared in 1849 in areas served sparing- 
ly by the Biblical Recorder. James McDaniel founded the Reli- 
gious and General Intelligencer in Wilmington and Charles R. 
Hendrickson the Baptist Messenger in Elizabeth City. Deeming 
magazines "indispensable to the cultivation and preservation of 
a creditable literature among our ministers and people in the 
Southern States," Meredith published seven numbers of his 
Southern Baptist Review that same year. 23 Shortly after Mere- 
dith's death in 1850 both McDaniel and Hendrickson transferred 
their subscription lists to Meredith's widow, Georgia Meredith, 
proprietress of the Biblical Recorder. This did not, however, give 
the Raleigh paper a free hand throughout the state. Baptists in 
the western counties had organized the Western North Carolina 
Baptist Convention and during most of the fifties some paper 
appeared as the organ of this body. These included the North 
Carolina Baptist, Asheville; Carolina Baptist, Hendersonville ; 
and Baptist Telescope, Hendersonville. 

The North Carolina Baptist, founded in 1851, was owned and 
edited by W. C. Berry, James Blythe, and J. M. Bryan. After a 

2i Christian Sun (Suffolk, Virginia), April 29, 1859. 

22 Christian Sun (Suffolk, Virginia), August 26, September 30, 1859. No file of the 
Christian Sun of the ante-bellum years is known which contains more than a few 
scattering numbers. 

23 Southern Baptist Review (Raleigh, N. C), I (January, 1849), 5. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 11 

run of two years it was superseded by the Carolina Baptist, which 
Blythe and N. Bowen established in Hendersonville. "A Family 
Newspaper — Devoted to Religion, Religious Literature, Agricul- 
ture, and General Intelligence," the Carolina Baptist survived 
until absorbed by the Biblical Recorder in 1858. 24 Since western 
North Carolina Baptists still preferred a paper of their own, 
Bowen and W. A. G. Brown tried again in 1859 with the establish- 
ment of the Baptist Telescope. They sought to maintain pleasant 
relations with the Biblical Recorder, writing, "Though the Re- 
corder and Telescope are both published in the same State, they 
are not rivals, nor do their interests conflict — there being ample 
room for both to operate in a wide sphere of usefulness, and 
among the sixty thousand Baptists in the State each ought to 
have 5,000 subscribers." 25 The Baptist Telescope, which never 
became self-supporting and ceased to appear in 1860, marked 
the last effort of western North Carolina Baptists to maintain a 
separate newspaper before the close of the Civil War. 

The Methodist system of church government did not encourage 
the unrestricted establishment of newspapers and magazines by 
any person who wanted to write. In spite of the fact that by 1851 
there were 38,464 Methodists in North Carolina (only Baptists 
with 42,674 were more numerous) , no Methodist periodical had 
as yet published in the state. 26 In that year Sidney D. Bum- 
pass began issuing in Greensboro a folio called the Weekly Mes- 
sage and devoted to Methodism and morality. Without becoming 
the organ of a conference, this paper survived until 1872. Bum- 
pass died the year it was founded, leaving his widow, Frances 
M. Bumpass, to become ante-bellum North Carolina's best-known 
editress of a religious journal. 27 

The same year in which the Weekly Message first appeared, 
Charles F. Deems, President of Greensboro Female College, trans- 
ferred his Southern Methodist Pulpit from Richmond to Greens- 
boro. Deems had founded the magazine "to disprove what has 
already been said, that neither for love nor money could we secure 

2 * The Biblical Recorder, Raleigh, announced November 11, 1858, that it had "purchased 
the list" of the Carolina Baptist. 

25 Baptist Telescope. January 18, 1860. Actually there were fewer than 3,000 subscribers 
and many of these had not paid. 

26 Joseph Belcher, The Religious Denominations in the United States: Their History, 
Doctrine, Government and Statistics (Philadelphia, 1857), 242, 604. 

27 Scattering numbers of this rare newspaper may be found in the Libraries of Duke 
University, the North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, and the 
University of North Carolina. 

12 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a dozen sermons a year from Southern Methodist preachers," 
and published it until forced by his other duties to discontinue 
at the close of 1852. His publication was more prosperous finan- 
cially than most, enabling him to write in his valedictory, "We 
do not die of neglect." 28 

In 1855 William Hicks, Methodist minister of the Holston Con- 
ference, founded the Herald of Truth in Hendersonville as an 
individual enterprise not supported by any conference. 29 It sur- 
vived two years. 

The North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, having finally decided to issue a state 
paper, published the first number of the North Carolina Christian 
Advocate in Raleigh, not Greensboro where it is now published, 
on January 4, 1856. With Rufus T. Heflin as editor this four-page 
folio became North Carolina's third outstanding family weekly. 
Struck down by the war in 1861, it was revived in 1863 by a 
"Joint Stock Company Under the Patronage of the North Caro- 
lina Conference." For the remainder of the war it had about 
3,000 subscribers and sent 2,000 additional copies weekly to the 
Confederate Army. 30 

Meantime, John T. Walsh, aggressive Disciples of Christ lead- 
er, had moved from Virginia to North Carolina and founded a 
religious periodical in Wilson. First known as the Christian 
Friend, the name was changed six times during the eight years 
(1853-1860) the publication survived. 31 Walsh's periodical was 
devoted to the advancement of "Primitive Christianity," a new 
version of the Bible, temperance, letters, and denominational 
news. In 1860 he transferred his list to the Family Visitor, about 
which little is known beyond the fact that it was published in 
North Carolina. 32 

During the thirty years that had elapsed since Mclver's Pres- 
byterian publications appeared, the Synod of North Carolina, 
with 13,409 communicants, had become the largest in the South. 

38 Southern Methodist Pulpit, I (1848), 19; V (December, 1852), 379. 

29 Nashville Christian Advocate, February 8, 1855. 

30 The editor called on the 20,000 North Carolina Methodist families he said were rep- 
resented in the army to contribute funds with which to send papers to the camps. He was 
sending bundles of about 20 papers each to 39 North Carolina regiments and 16 miscellaneous 
batteries, forts, and hospitals. By the summer of 1863 the number of copies sent weekly 
to the armed services had leveled off at 2,000. See North Carolina Christian Advocate, May 6, 
June 17, 1863. 

31 Charles C. Ware, North Carolina Disciples of Christ (St. Louis, 1927), 203-214. 

32 Christian Intelligencer, Richmond, July 10, November 13, 1860. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 13 

Yet the circulation of both the Central Presbyterian, Richmond, 
and the Southern Presbyterian, Charleston, which were supposed 
to serve the state, did not exceed 500 in North Carolina. 33 Toward 
the close of the fifties, George McNeill, native North Carolinian 
and graduate of Princeton, decided that these papers did not meet 
the needs of North Carolina Old School Presbyterians and sought 
approval by the Synod of a publication he proposed. Though the 
Central Presbyterian had been the official organ of both the 
Virginia and North Carolina Synods, the latter heartily approved 
McNeill's undertaking. 34 The initial number of the North Caro- 
lina Presbyterian, a large weekly folio, appeared in Fayetteville 
January 1, 1858, with a subscription list of 1,200. This figure, 
counting the 1,600 copies sent to the Confederate Army, had 
reached 4,600 by 1863. 35 

While McNeill was making his plans, the editor of the Central 
Presbyterian was deeply exercised over the multiplication of re- 
ligious newspapers, considering it "degrading to religious litera- 
ture" to establish a new journal at that time. Reviewing the first 
two years of publication, McNeill revealed in 1860 how he had 
managed, in spite of the prophets of failure, to launch and main- 
tain the venture. Critics had said that North Carolina had always 
been behind the age and that there was no earthly use in her 
trying to "catch up" and overtake it. Disregarding difficulties, 
forty-six men and two women subscribed $100 each to furnish 
the printing outfit, and they said they were willing to risk that 
amount for the sake of the experiment. 30 After George McNeill 
died in 1861, his brother, James H. McNeill, became editor. With 
the help of other local ministers, McNeill, who was also Colonel 
of the Fifth North Carolina Regiment of Cavalry, got out the 
paper until he was killed before Petersburg, March 31, 1865. On 
March 12 Sherman's men had destroyed all the materials belong- 
ing to the North Carolina Presbyterian Publishing Company in 
Fayetteville. They demolished the office, broke the press, and 
melted the type, because Sherman did not, according to a later 

33 North Carolina Presbyterian, January 1, 1858. 

34 Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina, Minutes, 1857, 14. 

35 An editorial note in the issue of January 7, 1860, declared that at the end of its 
second year the North Carolina Presbyterian's "list of subscribers was larger than that 
of any paper in North Carolina, or any Presbyterian paper south of Mason's and Dixon's 
line, . . ." Before the close of 1860 the list exceeded 3,000. The 800 "Macs" on the 
subscription list indicate which element in the population supported McNeill's paper. See 
North Carolina Presbyterian, February 4, October 27, 1860; December 26, 1863. 

36 North Carolina Presbyterian, January 7, 1860. 

14 The North Carolina Historical Review 

editor of the North Carolina Presbyterian, want the paper to 
continue encouraging the Confederacy or tell of the destruction 
wrought by Federal troops. Being unable after the war to restore 
the damaged property, the old stock company bestowed its sub- 
scription books and good will upon William McKay, who, with 
Bartholomew Fuller as editor, resurrected the journal on January 
10, 1866. 37 It is still published as one of several papers forming 
the Presbyterian of the South, Richmond. 

The last major denomination to establish a journal in North 
Carolina before 1865 was the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
Thomas S. W. Mott, the proprietor, took the initiative, and with 
Frederick Fitzgerald, a teacher in Saint Mary's School, as editor, 
issued the first number of the Church Intelligencer in Raleigh on 
March 14, 1860. A small weekly folio, it was the accredited organ 
of ten southern bishops and the special advocate of the University 
of the South. After the fall of several Confederate states had 
greatly reduced his list of subscribers, Mott, who had conducted 
the journal alone since Fitzgerald became a Confederate chaplain, 
suspended publication April 8, 1864, and turned the paper over 
to the Council of Bishops. They brought about the resumption of 
publication in Charlotte, September 14, 1864, with Fordyce M. 
Hubbard and George M. Everhart as editors. The Church In- 
telligencer professed to be, "not a religious journal exclusively, 
but a scientific and literary one" as well. The content included 
church news, poetry, letters, book reviews, selections, secular 
news, stories, and editorials. Publication was suspended per- 
manently before 1870. 38 

Between 1823 and the close of the Civil War, twenty-nine re- 
ligious periodicals, not counting those proposed but apparently 
not published, were founded in North Carolina. Though most of 
these survived for only a year or two and the average run before 
1865 was five years, six were well established by 1861 and, except 
for some temporary suspensions, achieved the rather remarkable 
feat of staying alive throughout the war. Fourteen of the twenty- 
nine periodicals were Baptist, four Methodist, four Presbyterian, 

37 North Carolina Presbyterian, March 14, 1866. Montreat and Duke have the most 
complete files of the North Carolina Presbyterian before 1865. 

38 Marshall D. Haywood, Lives of the Bishops of North Carolina (Raleigh, 1910), 180. 
The Library of Congress file of the Church Intelligencer includes most of the first two 
years; the incomplete files of Duke University, the North Carolina Department of Archives 
and History, and the University of North Carolina include scattering numbers for most 
of the years. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 15 

two Disciples of Christ, and four denominations — Christian, 
Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, and Universalist — had one 
each. 39 One publication remains unclassified. With a weekly circu- 
lation of two or three thousand copies each, the leading papers 
were significant means of communication between denomina- 
tional leaders and their constituents. Without these papers or 
those that came in from other states, the conducting of organized 
projects of Christian benevolence would have been next to im- 
possible. Contemporaries often stated that the best support for 
missions, education, Bible societies, and the like, came from the 
areas where the church papers had the most subscribers. It is 
also true that the denominations which were most active in 
journalism also enjoyed the greatest success in adding to their 
church membership. 40 News of revivals and progress elsewhere 
stimulated readers to greater activity in their own communities. 

Check List and Finding List 

The alphabetical list which appears below includes all the re- 
ligious newspapers and magazines known to have been proposed 
or published in North Carolina before the close of the Civil War. 
Information concerning each publication is given in the following 
order: title, place, dates (inclusive of beginning and ending), 
periodicity, denomination, and editor and publisher or editor 
and proprietor. The term "publisher" as used herein means a 
proprietor who owned his own printing establishment, while a 
"proprietor" owned the publication but no printing equipment. 
In some cases the printers employed by the latter are given. 

This list also indicates where files of North Carolina religious 
publications may now be found. When a title is included in the 
Union List of Serials or the Union List of Newspapers a ref- 

39 In 1863 the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church established 
the Watchman and Harbinger in Greensboro. With J. L. Michaux as editor, it was the 
seventh North Carolina religious newspaper published during the Civil War years. 

North Carolina Lutherans did not found a journal until 1866 when the Evangelical 
Lutheran appeared in Charlotte. No evidence of Moravians, Quakers, Catholics, Reformed, 
or members of other small denominations having periodicals in North Carolina before 
1865 has been found. 

40 Since on the basis of facts given above the Methodists may appear to be an exception 
to this statement, it should be pointed out that North Carolina Methodists were fairly well 
supplied with papers by Virginia and South Carolina. The Richmond Christian Advocate 
had been called earlier the Virginia and North Carolina Journal and had been published 
by a committee for the Virginia and North Carolina Annual Conferences. The Wesleyan 
Journal, founded in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1825 was authorized by the South 
Carolina Conference meeting in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the Southern Christian 
Advocate, Charleston, successor to the Wesleyan Journal, was a regional paper. See Mason 
Crum, History of the Southern Christian Advocate (Duke University, 1945), 28. 

16 The North Carolina Historical Review 

erence to this listing appears. Files located by the author but 

not listed in the above volumes are given under the heading 

"Other holdings." Brackets ( [ ] ) indicate that the files for the 

years so inclosed include a large portion of the issues but are 

incomplete. Dates connected by a hyphen (-) are inclusive. A 

question mark (?) indicates incomplete or uncertain information. 

The symbols used in locating files follow : 

DLC Library of Congress 

Nc North Carolina State Library, Raleigh 

NcD Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 

NcMHi Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, 

Montreat, North Carolina 
NcR North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh 

NcU University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 

NcW Wake Forest College, Wake Forest, North Carolina 

NcWiA Archives of the North Carolina Disciples of Christ, Wilson 
PCA American Baptist Historical Society, Chester, Pennsylvania 

PPPrHi Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia 
ScGF Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina 
ScU University of South Carolina, Columbia 

U.L.N. American Newspapers, 1821-1936, A Union List of Files Available 

in the United States and Canada, edited by Winifred Gregory 

(New York, 1937). 
U.L.S., 2nd ed. Union List of Serials in Libraries of the United States and 

Canada, second edition, edited by Winifred Gregory (New York, 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., (1). Union List of Serials in Libraries of the United 

States and Canada, second edition, Supplement January 1941- 

December 1943, edited by Gabrielle E. Malikoff (New York, 1945). 
VRB Virginia Baptist Historical Society, Richmond 

VRT Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia 

Baptist Messenger 

Elizabeth City. July, 1849-June, 1851. Semimonthly. 

Editor : Charles R. Hendrickson. 

Publisher: W. E. Mann. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., (1),164. 

Other holdings : NcW Sept. 5, Nov. 5, 20, Dec. 20, 1849 ; Feb. 
5, March 20, Oct. 20, Dec. 20, 1850 ; March 5, 1851. 

Baptist Telescope 

Hendersonville. 1859-1860. Weekly. 

Editors and proprietors : W. A. G. Brown and N. Bowen. 

Printer : William Dedman. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., (1), 165. 

Biblical Recorder 

Biblical Recorder and Southern Watchman 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 17 

Newbern, Jan. 7, 1835-Dec, 1837 ; Raleigh, Jan. 13, 1838-April, 
1865. Jan. 7, 1835-April, 1865. Resumed Nov., 1865, and pub- 
lished to the present. Baptist. 

Editors : Thomas Meredith, Jan. 7, 1835-Nov. 13, 1850 ; J. W. 
Tobey, Nov. 30, 1850-July 15, 1853 ; Joshua John James, Jan. 13, 
1854-April 17, 1861 ; James Dunn Hufham, April 24, 1861-April, 

Publishers : Meredith, Jan. 7, 1835-Nov. 13, 1850 ; Marcus A. 
Meredith, Jan. 26, 1851-Oct. 5, 1854; G[eorgia] Meredith and 
Co., Oct. 12, 1854-Sept. 20, 1855 ; James and Co., Sept. 27, 1855- 
April 17, 1861 ; Hufham, April 24, 1861-April, 1865. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 439; (1), 177. 

Other holdings : NcR July 29, 1863 ; Nov. 30, 1864. NcW [1835- 
1841], [1843-1846] - 1847-1848 - [1849-1856] -1857- [1858-1861]- 
1862- [1863-1864]. ScGF Dec. 15, 1838. 

Carolina Baptist 

Hendersonville. 1853-Nov. 14, 1855 ; 1857-1858. Weekly. 
Editors and publishers : James Blythe and N. Bowen. 
Not listed U.L.S. 
Holdings: NcU Feb. 7, 1855. 

Carolina Intelligencer 

Shelby. 1853 (?) -1855. Weekly. Baptist. 

Editor and proprietor: Alexander J. Cansler. 

No copy known. 

Christian Friend, 1853-1854 

Christian Friend and Bible Unionist, 1854-1855 

American Christian Preacher and Disciples Miscellany, 

Christian Preacher, 1857 
Disciples' Advocate, 1857-1858 
Christian Baptist, 1859 
Carolina Christian Monthly, 1860 

Wilson, 1853; Goldsboro, 1853-1854; Hookerton, 1854-1855; 
Kinston, 1855-1860. 1853-1860. Monthly. Disciples of Christ. 

Editor and proprietor : John T. Walsh. 

Not listed U.L.S. 

Holdings: NcWiA [1853-1860]. PCA Jan., 1859. 

Christian Sun 

Hillsboro, 1844-1849; Pittsboro, 1849-1850 (?) ; Raleigh, 
1853 (?) -1854; Suffolk, Va., 1855 and later. Jan., 1844-1864. Re- 
sumed in 1867 and published to the present. Monthly, 1844- 
1846 (?); semimonthly, 1850; weekly, 1853 (?) and later. 

Editors: Daniel Wilson Kerr, Jan., 1844-March, 1850; Mrs. 
Daniel Wilson Kerr and W. S. Gunter, March, 1850- (?) ; H. B. 

18 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Hayes, W. B. Wellons, and J. R. Holt, April 20, 1853, or earlier- 
Dec. 26, 1854 ; W. B. Wellons, 1855 and later. 

Proprietors: North Carolina and Virginia Christian Confer- 
ence, 1844-1847; Southern Christian Association, 1847-1855 and 

Printers: Dennis Heartt (Hillsboro), Alexander Dismarks 
(Pittsboro), and others. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 682; (1), 276. 

Other holdings : Nc April 20, 1853. NcD [April 8, 1859-Oct. 18, 
1861] ; Nov. 11, 1864. NcR vol. 3, nos. 1-12, 1846. NcU Dec. 2, 9, 
16, 23, 1859 ; Jan. 6, 1860. 

Christian Telescope 

Montpelier, Richmond County. 1835 (?), 1850 (?). Semimonth- 
ly. Baptist. 

Editor and proprietor: John Monroe. 

No copy known. 

Church Intelligencer 

Raleigh, March 14, 1860-April 8, 1864; Charlotte, Sept. 14, 
1864-May 4, 1865. March 14, 1860-May 4, 1865. Resumed Aug. 
31, 1865, and published until about 1869. Weekly. Episcopal. 

Editors: Frederick Fitzgerald, March 14, 1860-June, 1861; 
T. S. W. Mott, July, 1861-April 8, 1864; F. M. Hubbard and 
George M. Everhart, Sept. 14, 1864-May 4, 1865. 

Proprietors : Mott, March 14, 1860-April 8, 1864 ; Prostestant 
Episcopal Church Publishing Association, Sept. 14, 1864-May 4, 

Printers: Printed at the office of the Raleigh Register, 1860- 
1861; Mott, 1861- (?). 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 688. 

Other holdings: DLC May 1, 1863; Jan. 8, Feb. 12, 19, March 
4, 26, April 8, 1864. Nc March 14, Aug. 30, Sept. 20, Dec. 13, 
1860; Jan. 24, June 6, July 18, Aug. 2, Oct. 4, 11, Nov. 29, 1861; 
Jan. 24, 31, 1862; Oct. 23, 30, 1863; Nov. 23, 1864. NcR [March 
14, 1860-April 6, 1865]. NcU [March 14, 1860-April 20, 1865]. 
ScU Oct. 5, 1864-Feb. 9, 1865. 

Evangelical Museum 

Fayetteville. Jan.-Nov., 1828, or later. Monthly. Presbyterian. 
Editor and publisher : Colin Mclver. 
U.L.S., 2nd ed., 975 ; (1) , 391. 
Other holdings: NcD Jan., 1828. 

Evangelical Port-Folio (proposed) 

Fayetteville. 1829 ( ?) . Weekly. Presbyterian. 
Editor and publisher : Colin Mclver. 
No copy known. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 19 

Family Visitor 

1860. Disciples of Christ. 
No copy known. 

Herald of Truth 

Hendersonville. 1855-1856 or later. Methodist. 
Editor and proprietor : William Hicks. 
No copy known. 

Herald of Truth (proposed) 

Newton. 1861. Weekly. Non-sectarian. 
Editor : R. L. Abernethy. 
No copy known. 

T trfralist 

Wilmington. 1826-1828(7). Semimonthly, 1826; weekly, 1827- 
1828 (?). Universalist. 

Editor : Jacob Frieze. 

No copy known. U.L.N., p. 510, lists the Liberalist and Wil- 
mington Reporter for Sept. 8, 1829, as a secular newspaper. It 
probably superseded the Liberalist. 

Messenger of Peace, and North Carolina Evangelical 
Herald (proposed) 
Raleigh. 1832. Monthly. Baptist. 
No copy known. 

North Carolina Baptist 

Asheville. 1851 (?) -1853. Weekly. 

Editors and proprietors : W. C. Berry, James Blythe, and J. M. 

No copy known. 

North Carolina Baptist Interpreter 

Edenton, Jan., 1833-June, 1834; Newbern, July-Dec, 1834. 
Jan., 1833-Dec, 1834. Monthly, 1833 ; monthly and semimonthly 
in alternate months, 1834. 

Editor and publisher : Thomas Meredith. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 2026. 

Other holdings: NcW complete file. 

North Carolina Christian Advocate 

Raleigh. Jan. 4, 1856-May ( ?) , 1861 ; April 2, 1863-March 28, 
1865. Reestablished in 1867 as the Espicopal Methodist; now 
published in Greensboro under the original title. Weekly. Method- 

Editors : Ruf us T. Heflin, Jan. 4, 1856-May ( ?) , 1861 ; William 
E. Pell, April 2, 1863-March 28, 1865. 

Proprietors : North Carolina Annual Conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, Jan. 4, 1856-May ( ?) , 1861 ; "A 

20 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Joint Stock Company Under the Patronage of the North Caro- 
lina Conference," April 2, 1863-March 28, 1865. 

Printers : A. M. Gorman, R. H. Whitaker, and others. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 2027. 

Other holdings : Nc April 9, 23, June 10, July 1, 22, Sept. 16, 
Oct. 28, Dec. 9, 1863. NcD [1856-1857, 1863-1865]. NcR Nov. 7, 
1856 ; Feb. 4, 1858 ; Sept. 29, 1859 ; Sept. 23, Dec. 2, 1863 ; April 
30, May 7, Sept. 2, 9, 1864. NcU [1856-1861, 1863-1865]. 

North Carolina Presbyterian 

Fayetteville. Jan. 1, 1858-March 8, 1865. Reestablished Jan. 
10, 1866 ; now published as the Presbyterian of the South, Rich- 
mond. Weekly. 

Editors: George McNeill, Jan. 1, 1858-Aug., 1861; James H. 
McNeill, Aug. 24, 1861-March 8, 1865. 

Publishers : North Carolina Presbyterian Publishing Company. 
The first numbers were printed on the press of the Fayetteville 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 2257. 

Other holdings : Nc May 28, 1859 ; June 9, 16, 30, 1860 ; Feb. 2, 
July 13, 1861 ; May 10, 1862 ; Jan. 31, 1863. NcD [Jan. 1, 1858- 
March 8, 1865]. NcMHi [1858-1864]. NcR Jan. 8, Feb. 12, March 

5, June 26, Aug. 21, Sept. 11, 25, Nov. 6, 1858; Jan. 1, 1859; July 

6, Aug. 24, 1861 ; May 24, Nov. 29, 1862 ; Jan. 17, 1863 ; Aug. 8, 
22, 29, 1863; Dec. 7, 1864. PPPrHi Jan. 1, 1858-May 18, 1861. 
VRT [June 4, 1858-Oct. 10, 1863]. 

North Carolina Telegraph 

Fayetteville. Jan. 27-Dec. 29, 1826. Weekly. Presbyterian. 

Editor and publisher: Robert Hall Morrison. The first issues 
were printed by Hunter and McDonald on the press of the 

U.L.S., 2nded., (1), 768. 

Primitive Baptist 

Tarborough, Jan. 9, 1836-Dec. 4, 1847; Raleigh, Jan., 1848- 
Sept. 24, 1864 (?). Jan. 9, 1836-Sept. 24, 1864, or later. Resumed 
about 1870 and published for a short time. Semimonthly, Jan. 9, 
1836-Dec, 1845; monthly, Jan. 3, 1846-Dec. 4, 1847; semi- 
monthly, Jan., 1848-Sept. 24, 1864 (?). 

Editors : Mark Bennett, Jan. 9, 1836-Dec. 22, 1838 ; "Primitive 
(or Old School) Baptists," Jan. 12, 1839-Dec. 4, 1847; Burwell 
Temple, Jan., 1848-Sept. 24, 1864 (?). 

Publishers : George Howard, Jan. 9, 1836-Dec. 4, 1847 ; Burwell 
Temple, Jan., 1848-Sept. 24, 1864 (?). 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 2260; (1), 855. 

Other holdings: NcD [1844-1848]. NcR Sept. 25, 1858; March 
12, 1859; Oct. 24, 1863. NcU [1860-1864]. NcW [1836-1841]- 
[1843, 1849-1864]. 

Beginnings of Religious Journalism 21 

Religious and General Intellingencer 
Wilmington. 1849-1850. Weekly. Baptist. 
Editor : James McDaniel. 
Publishers : W. J. Yopp and W. P. Smith. 
U.L.S., 2nd ed., (1),888. 

Roanoke Religious Correspondent; or, Monthly Evangeli- 
cal Visitant 
Danville, Va., Aug., 1821-May, 1823 ; Milton, June-Dec, 1823. 

Aug., 1821-Dec, 1823. Monthly. Baptist. 
Editor and proprietor : John Jenkins. 
Printed at the office of the Roanoke Sentinel. 
U.L.S., 2nd ed., 2429. 
Other holdings: NcW Aug., 1821-July, 1822; Jan.-May, July, 

Sept., Nov., 1823. VRB April-Dec, 1823. 

Southern Advocate 
Raleigh. 1850. Semimonthly. Denomination unknown. 
No copy known. 

Southern Baptist Pulpit or Monthly Sermons 
Southern Baptist Pulpit And Monthly Record 

Fayetteville, Nov., 1839-April, 1840 ; Cheraw, S. C, May-Oct., 
1840 (?). Nov., 1839-Oct., 1840 (?). 

Editor and publisher : William Potter. 

Not listed U.L.S. 

Holdings : NcD Dec, 1839 ; Jan., April-May, 1840. NcU Nov., 
1839. NcW March, 1840. 

Southern Baptist Review 

Raleigh. Jan.-Dec, 1849. Monthly, Jan.-Feb. ; bimonthly, 
March-Dec, 1849. 

Editor and publisher: Thomas Meredith. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., (1), 990. 

Other holdings : NcD Dec, 1849. VRB complete file. 

Southern Christian Repository 

Raleigh. May-Oct., 1842. Monthly. Baptist. 
Editor and publisher : Thomas Meredith. 
Not listed U.L.S. 
Holdings : NcW May-June, 1842. 

Southern Methodist Pulpit 

Richmond, Va., June, 1848-Dec, 1850 ; Greensboro, Jan., 1851- 
Dec, 1852. June, 1848-Dec, 1852. Monthly. 

Editor and proprietor : Charles F. Deems. 

Printers : C. H. Wynne at the office of the Richmond Christian 
Advocate; Swain and Sherwood at the office of the Greensboro 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 2652; (1), 993. 

Other holdings: NcU [1849-1850, 1852]. 

22 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Southern Preacher (proposed) 
Newbern. 1837. Monthly. Baptist. 
Editor and publisher : Thomas Meredith. 
No copy known. 

Virginia And North Carolina Presbyterian Preacher 
Presbyterian Preacher 

Fayetteville. Jan., 1828-July, 1829, or later. Monthly. 

Editor and publisher : Colin Mclver. 

U.L.S., 2nd ed., 2889; (1), 854, 1079. 

Other holdings : NcMHi April-May, Oct., 1828. 

Watchman and Harbinger 

Greensboro. 1863-1865 (?). Weekly. Methodist Protestant. 

Editor : J. L. Michaux. 

Publishers : R. H. Wills and T. H. Pegram for the North Caro- 
lina Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church. 

U.L.N., 502. 

Other holdings: NcU Feb. 17, 1865. 

Weekly Message 

Greensboro. 1851-1865. Resumed soon after the war and pub- 
lished until 1872. Methodist. 

Editors and proprietors : Sidney D. Bumpass, 1851 ; Mrs. 
Frances M. Bumpass, 1851 ( ?) -1865. 

Printer : Orin Churchill. 

Not listed U.L.S. 

Holdings: Nc July 7, 1853. NcD July 13, Oct. 5, 1854; Sept. 13, 
1855 ; May 29, 1856 ; April 25, June 20, 1859 ; July 27, Oct. 5, 
1860; March 29, Aug. 31, 1861. NcR July 19, 1855; April 10, 
1856 ; Jan. 27, Feb. 20, 26, 1857 ; Dec. 25, 1858. NcU Oct. 13, 1853 ; 
March 23, June 1, 1854 ; Feb. 8, 22, 1855 ; March 19, 1857. 

By Hugh F. Rankin 

Violence and civil strife were characteristics of the early days 
of the American Revolution. In North Carolina the struggle for 
political and physical control was particularly bitter, for this 
colony probably contained a greater number of loyalists in pro- 
portion to its population than any other. 1 The Whigs, or rebels, 
began early to take the initiative, and as they grew in political 
stature one loyalist lady recorded a doleful lament in her journal : 
"Oh Britannia, what are you doing, while your true obedient sons 
are thus insulted by their unlawful brethren ; are they also forgot 
by their natural parents?" 2 But these "true obedient sons" grew 
weary of passively turning the other cheek and they too began 
to organize themselves into small opposition groups. 

The logical leader for these loyalist groups was Josiah Martin, 
royal governor of the colony, but he was also having difficulty in 
performing his duties. Martin was young, energetic and a strong 
supporter of the prerogatives of the King, but he had a penchant 
for overenthusiasm and his approach to political problems was 
not always tactful or cautious. The decline in his fortunes had 
begun with his attempts to prevent the meeting of the Provincial 
Congress of 1774, and since that time he had seen his authority 
gradually melt away as the Provincial Congress gained political 
domination over the colony through the committees of safety. 

But Josiah Martin was a persistent man and valiantly at- 
tempted the protection of the interests of his royal master. In a 
speech to the Assembly on April 4, 1775, he urged that body to 
resist "the monster, sedition" who had "dared to raise his 
impious head in America." 3 Despite this vigorous declamation 
Martin apparently felt that his efforts were in vain, for three 
days later in a dispatch to Lord Dartmouth, Secretary of State 
for Colonies, he wrote that "Government is here as absolutely 
prostrate as impotent, and nothing but the shadow of it is left," 

1 Robert O. Demond, The Loyalists in North Carolina during the Revolution (Durham: 
Duke University Press, 1940), vii. 

2 Evangeline Walker Andrews and Charles McLean Andrews (eds.). Journal of a Lady 
of Quality (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939), 192. 

3 Legislative Journals, William R. Sanders (ed.), The Colonial Records of North Carolina 
(10 vols. Raleigh, Goldsboro, etc., 1886-1898), IX, 1194. Hereafter cited as C. R. 


24 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and he concluded his report with the prophetic warning that 
"unless effectual measures such as British Spirit may dictate are 
speedily taken, there will not long remain a trace of Britain's 
dominion over these colonies." 4 

These efforts by the governor had not gone unnoticed. He was 
under the constant surveillance of the New Bern Committee of 
Safety. As a means of discouraging the use of force by Governor 
Martin, militia companies were embodied in the town and sur- 
rounding countryside which had the avowed purpose of opposi- 
tion to royal authority. Alarmed at these warlike preparations, 
Martin sent his wife, "big with child," 5 and his children off to 
the comparative safety of New York on the same vessels by which 
dispatches were sent to General Thomas Gage. 6 

The voices of anger and discontent increased in volume as the 
governor dismounted the palace cannon, and were raised in 
genuine alarm at the persistent rumor that the Negroes were 
going to rise in revolt and after being armed by the British would 
fall upon their former masters. 7 Although these rumors were 
denied by Martin, 8 a number of Negroes were accused and pun- 
ished, and armed bands of runaway slaves were discovered hiding 
in the swamps and forests along the coast. 9 

The mounting wave of resistance to royal authority forecast 
violence and upheaval, and the governor began to fear for his 
life. With the aid of a few faithful servants he spiked the palace 
cannon and then buried his ammunition in the cellar and beneath 
the cabbage bed in the palace garden. 10 Then, loudly proclaiming 
that he was going to visit Chief Justice Hand, he fled to the 
relative safety of Fort Johnston on the Cape Fear, arriving there 
on June 2. 11 

Fort Johnston offered little more protection than the Gov- 
ernor's Palace, but there was the added security of the Cruizer, 
a sloop of war of the Royal Navy, anchored offshore in the river. 
The fort was normally manned by a housekeeping force of 

4 Martin to Dartmouth, April 7, 1775, C. R., IX, 1214-1215. 

5 Andrews and Andrews, Journal of a Lady of Quality, 99. 

6 Martin to Dartmouth, June 30, 1775, C. R., X, 43. 

7 John Stuart to Dartmouth, June 30, 1775, C. R., X, 118. 

8 Martin to Dartmouth, June 30, 1775, C. R., X, 43 

9 John Simpson to Richard Cogdell, July 15, 1775, C. R., X, 94; Andrews and Andrews, 
Journal of a Lady of Quality, 99. 

10 J. Almon (compiler), The Remembrancer; or, Impartial Repository of Public Events 
for the Year 1776 (London: J. Almon, 1776), Part I, 114. 

11 Martin to Dartmouth, June 30, 1775, C. R., X, 44 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 25 

twenty-five men, but desertions had reduced that number to less 
than half. The supply of powder was so low that the commandant 
assured Martin that the supply on hand was not sufficient for the 
fort to defend its own artillery. Despite this depressing informa- 
tion, the governor decided upon an aggressive course of action. 
The majority of his council had deserted him in April, but he 
called a meeting of the remaining loyal members. This skeleton 
council, meeting within the confines of the fort on June 25, 
authorized Governor Martin to issue militia commissions, recruit 
replacements for the garrison, and petition General Gage for 
funds with which to repair the fort. 12 

These activities of the governor were a source of alarm for 
the nearby Wilmington Committee of Safety. To them the fort 
represented a permanent bridgehead offering protection in the 
event of a landing by British reinforcements. Orders were issued 
forbidding anyone to communicate with the fort without first 
obtaining the permission of the committee. As a means of re- 
moving the source of their apprehension, they dispatched a call 
for men throughout the neighboring counties, preparatory to an 
attack on Fort Johnston. 13 

This force of militia and minute men was united under the 
command of Colonel Robert Howe, and on July 15 it left the town 
of Brunswick for the attack on the governor's stronghold. There 
was no attempt at secrecy on the part of this attacking force. 
They sent a letter to the governor, informing him that they were 
on their way to remove the guns from the fort. 14 Martin had 
earlier expressed the opinion that the fort in its present condition 
was indefensible against a force of any size 15 and now, declaring 
it to be "a most contemptible thing, fit neither for a place of 
Arms, or an Asylum for the friends of Government," he dis- 
mounted the cannon, removed all provisions, and took refuge 
aboard the Cruizer. 16 On July 18, from the protection of the 
sloop's guns, the governor watched a "savage and audacious 
mob," under the leadership of Howe, John Ashe, and Cornelius 
Harnett, burn the fort and the surrounding buildings. 17 

12 Council Journal, June 25, 1775, C. R., X, 38-40. 

13 Proceedings of the Wilmington Committee of Safety, C. R., X, 87-92. 
i* "The People" to Martin, July 16, 1775, C. R., X, 103. 

15 Martin to Gage, March 16, 1775, C. R., IX, 1167. 

16 Martin to Dartmouth, July 16, 1775, C. R., X, 96-97. 

17 Martin to Dartmouth, July 20, 1775, C. R., X, 108-109. 

26 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Gubernatorial proclamations were issued decrying these dep- 
redations, but he soon found that, compared to gunpowder, 
words and paper were poor ammunition with which to put down 
an insurrection. In view of his previous military experience and 
his present political position, Martin felt that he was the natural 
leader for any attempt to return the province to royal authority. 
Shortly after his arrival at Fort Johnston he had written his 
business representative in New York instructing him to send a 
royal standard, bed and bedding, and a tent "of the size of the 
Colonel's tent in the army." 18 

Then with his imagination running rampant, Martin devised 
a grandiose scheme of conquest. Forwarding it to Lord Dart- 
mouth, he expressed the desire that it be presented to the Crown 
for consideration. This strategy was not limited to the subjuga- 
tion of North Carolina, but was a scheme for the restoration of 
the entire South to royal jurisdiction. A note of confidence was 
evident as the governor revealed his plan. The first and basic 
phase would necessitate arms and ammunition from General 
Gage. With these he could embody and arm at least 3,000 of the 
settlers from the Scotch highlands, and then with this group 
offering protection, he felt that at least 20,000 of the province's 
estimated 30,000 fighting men would repair to the King's stand- 
ard. The existence of such a sizeable force would hold Virginia 
"in such awe" that no reinforcements would be sent from that 
colony to aid the Carolina Whigs, and the remaining southern 
colonies could be subjugated with little effort. In addition to 
10,000 stand of arms, six brass six-pounders, and all other sup- 
plies necessary for an army in the field, Martin also asked for 
the restoration of his commission as lieutenant-colonel, 19 which 
he had sold in 1769 because of ill health. 

As additional insurance for this plan's adoption Alexander 
Schaw, a planter of the Cape Fear region and brother of the 
"Lady of Quality," was persuaded to go to London and lay before 
Lord Dartmouth his extensive knowledge of the country. 20 

18 Martin to Henry White, June 13, 1775, C. 72., X, 16. 

19 Martin to Dartmouth, June 30, 1775, C. R., X, 45-47. This elaborate scheme of conquest 
was not unknown to the patriots. When received by Dartmouth this letter bore the notation, 
"Opened by the Committee of Inspection at Charles Town. G. Roupell." C. R., X, 69-70. 

20 Schaw to Dartmouth, October 31, 1775, Dartmouth Manuscripts, 1720-1783 (transcrip- 
tions ) , North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; Martin to Dartmouth, 
July 6, 1775, C. R., X, 71. Schaw was paid £100 for expenses incurred on this mission. 
Declaration of the Account of Josiah Martin, Esq., English Records: Audit Office, 1779 
(transcriptions), North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 27 

On the whole, this plan of the governor's made sense to British 
government officials. In England, it was generally felt that North 
Carolina was, with the exception of Georgia, the weakest colony 
in America. 21 Letters from loyalist reporters in the colonies con- 
tained encouraging information. According to them, the chief 
opposition in North Carolina would be found in the coastal areas. 
The settlers from Scotland's Highlands would certainly take up 
arms for the government, and the ex-Regulators, or "back- 
Settlers" would at least remain neutral if they did not join the 
forces of the King. 22 This was in itself a reassuring report for 
the ministry, for it was the general impression in England that 
the people of North Carolina "stood in perpetual awe of the regu- 
lators." 23 John Stuart, Indian Agent for the Southern Depart- 
ment, reported that the majority of the frontiersmen were 
loyalist in sentiment and would support the King's cause. He also 
suggested the possibility of Indian uprisings in conjunction with 
any action on the coast. 24 As an indication of the low esteem 
which the other colonies held of the resistance powers of North 
Carolina, a Pennsylvania loyalist wrote : 

North Carolina is in general the poorest country on the Continent, 
Nova Scotia excepted, and one of the Floridas. With a few very 
honourable exceptions, much of the same character must be given 
of the people. The bulk of them are renegades from the other 
Colonies. 25 

These accounts of the weakness of North Carolina aroused 
enthusiasm among certain officials and there was some agitation 
for the King to order immediately a battalion of troops from 
Boston to support Governor Martin in his activities. 26 The minis- 
try, however, refused to act hastily, as the dispatches of other 
southern governors were equally as enthusiastic as those of 

21 Annual Register for the Year 1776 (London), XIX, 156. 

22 Lord Townshend to Dartmouth, July 21, 1775, Dartmouth Manuscripts. Apparently 
it was unknown to both Governor Martin and British officials that many leaders of the 
Regulation were signing oaths of allegiance to the patriot cause. C. R., X, 243. 

23 John Andrews, History of the War with America, France, Spain, and Holland; Com- 
mencing in 1775 and Ending in 1783 (London: John Fielding and John Jarvis, 1785) 
II, 171. 

2 * Stuart to Gage, October 3, 1775, Peter Force (compiler), American Archives, 4th 
series (Washington: M. St. Clair Clarke and Peter Force, 1837-1846), IV, 317. 

25 Jonathan Boucher to [?J, November 27, 1775, Historical Manuscripts Commission (eds.), 
Report on the Manuscripts of Mrs. Slopford-Sackville of Drayton House, Northamptonshire, 
(London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1904), II, 18. Hereafter cited as Stopford-Sackville 

26 Thomas Pownall to George III, September 12, 1775, Sir John Fortescue (ed.), The 
Correspondence of King George the Third from 1760 to December 1783 (London: Macmillan 
and Co., Ltd., 1928), III, 260. 

28 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Martin 27 and the prevailing opinion was that any of the southern 
colonies would be quick to avail themselves of any aid sent to that 
region. 28 

A southern campaign, with troops from England acting in con- 
junction with detachments from Boston, was discussed in council. 
A proposal was made that the first attempt be made on Charles- 
ton. The capture of this city would provide an excellent port — a 
necessity as a base of operations in any campaign. It was then 
that Alexander Schaw, Martin's personal emissary, proved his 
worth. He ably argued the cause for North Carolina. He pointed 
out that if North Carolina were returned to royal control, the 
reduction of Charleston would prove an easier task, as a route to 
the "well-affected people" in the back settlements of South Caro- 
lina would be opened. The campaign in North Carolina would 
delay the expedition for only a short period, and once the loyalists 
were placed in control of the province, it would remain secure 
for the Crown for the remainder of the insurrection and "I wish 
one could be sure of the same thing in South Carolina/' 29 

Schaw's arguments apparently were convincing, for a strike 
at North Carolina was included in the basic plan for the expedi- 
tion. The necessary troops were to be conveyed by a fleet under 
the command of Sir Peter Parker. There was an interesting de- 
velopment in the selection of a commander for the army forces. 
Lord Charles Cornwallis, then stationed with his regiment in 
Ireland, had requested that he be allowed to accompany the ex- 
pedition. This was a pleasing innovation, and in forwarding this 
application to the King, Lord North pointed out: "The Ardor 
of the Nation in this cause has not hitherto arisen to the pitch one 
could wish, & it certainly should be encouraged whenever it ap- 
pears." 30 As a reward for his patriotism, Lord Cornwallis was 
placed in command of the troops sailing from England and Ire- 

The approved draught of the expedition was communicated to 
General Howe, who had replaced General Gage as commander of 
British troops in America, and Governor Martin by Lord Dart- 

27 Lord North to George III, October 15, 1775, Fortesque, The Correspondence of King 
George the Third, III, 266-267. 

28 William Eden to Lord George Germain, October 3, 1775, Stopford-Sackville MSS, II 10-11. 

29 Schaw to Dartmouth, November 8, 1775, Dartmouth Manuscripts. 

30 Lord North to George III, November 26, 1775, Fortescue, The Correspondence of King 
George the Third, III, 294-295. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 29 

mouth. Howe was instructed to dispatch a detachment from New 
York to the Cape Fear, there to make a junction with the seven 
regiments under Cornwallis and the fleet commanded by Parker, 
the two forces to act jointly under the command of an officer to 
be selected by Howe. Dartmouth was dubious as to the success 
they would meet in North Carolina, as the larger vessels of the 
fleet would find it impossible to cross the bar in the mouth of the 
Cape Fear, and thus could not adequately support the operations 
of the land forces. Nevertheless, the commanding officer was to 
be instructed to confer with Governor Martin as a means of de- 
termining the practicability of landing troops in the province. If 
this proved feasible, the required number of the military would 
be set ashore, the remainder to continue toward the primary ob- 
jective of the operation — the reduction of Charleston. 31 On 
December 23, Lord George Germain, who had succeeded Dart- 
mouth in office, notified Martin that the troops were ready for 
embarkation, and were to be convoyed by nine warships of the 
Royal Navy. 32 

Dartmouth's dispatches outlining the proposed expedition had 
reached the governor on January 3, 33 and Martin immediately 
initiated the local phase of the operation. On January 10 he 
issued a proclamation declaring the Royal Standard to be raised 
in North Carolina, and calling upon all loyal subjects to unite 
and suppress the rebellion in the province. 34 On the same day 
loyalist leaders in the counties of Anson, Cumberland, Chatham, 
Guilford, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Surry, and Bute were issued the 
necessary powers and authority to recruit militia, commission 
officers, seize the arms of the rebels, and to impress all necessary 
provisions and transportation. A place of rendezvous was to be 
selected and after they were united, they were to march in a body 
to Brunswick, so timing their progress as to arrive no later than 
February 15. 35 

31 Dartmouth to Howe, November 8, 1775, C. R., X, 313. Sir Henry Clinton was selected 
to command this expedition. John Wesley, then in England, had in mind a more passive 
method for the restoration of the colonies which was based on "Love and tender Measures." 
He suggested to a missionary that the people of North and South Carolina would be more 
susceptible to the "Gospel of Peace" as they were further removed from the din of war 
John Wesley to Thomas Rankin, October 20, 1775, English Records: Colonial Office, 1773- 
1775 (transcriptions), North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

32 Germain to Martin, December 23, 1775, C. R., X, 364. 

33 Martin to Dartmouth, January 12, 1776, C. R., X, 406. 

34 Martin's Proclamation, January 10, 1776, C. R., X, 397. 

35 Order for raising the King's Standard in North Carolina, January 10, 1776, C. R., 
X, 441-442. 

30 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Tories of Bladen, Surry, Anson, and Guilford counties had 
for some time been formed into militia companies by their local 
officers. 36 Thomas Rutherford, a former member of the provincial 
legislature and Colonel of the Cumberland County militia, issued 
a call for a general muster of the Cumberland County loyalists to 
be held at Cross Creek on February 12. 37 

The key to Martin's plan of mobilization was the embodiment 
of the Scotch Highlanders of Cumberland County. As late as 
November, 1775, a ship loaded with immigrants had arrived in 
the Cape Fear from Scotland. They had been granted lands by 
Governor Martin, after a renewal of their oaths of allegiance to 
the Crown. 38 These Highlanders had long been famed for their 
fighting qualities. The British considered them to be "naturally 
warlike/' 39 and the Continental Congress had early recognized 
their worth as military men. In November, 1775, the Congress 
had directed that two ministers be selected to go among these 
people and explain the nature of the conflict with Great Britain. 40 
An unofficial function of their mission was to combat the royalist 
tendencies of one John McLeod, the Presbyterian minister among 
the Highlanders. 41 This scheme of the Congress, although well 
intentioned, met with little success because of the inability of the 
envoys to speak Gaelic. 42 

The older and more established Highlanders in the community 
entertained neutral sentiments, and it was the later arrivals who 
favored the cause of the Crown. The wily Martin had forced 
this latter group to renew their allegiance and swear to "their 
readiness to lay down their lives in the defence of his Majesty's 
government" before he would grant lands to them. 43 

36 Report of the Committee to Inquire into the Conduct of Insurgents and other Suspected 
Persons to the Halifax Congress, April 10, 1776, C. R., X, 594-601. 

37 Rutherford's Manifesto, January 13, 1776, C. R., X, 452. 

38 Martin to Dartmouth, November 12, 1775, C. R., X, 327. 

39 Anonymous, Impartial History of the War in America between Great Britain and Her 
Colonies, from Its Commencement to the End of the Year 1779 (London: R. Foulder and 
J. Milliken, 1780), 307. 

40 Worthington C. Ford and others (eds.), Journals of the Continental Congress, 177 U- 
1789 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905), III, 388. These ministers were to be 
paid forty dollars a month for their efforts and were to be selected by the North Carolina 
delegates. Elihu Spencer and Alexander McWhorter were selected for the mission. Joseph 
Hewes to Samuel Johnston, January 4, 1776, Edmund C. Burnett (ed.), Letters of Members 
of the Continental Congress (Washington: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1921), I, 296. 

41 Journal of the Provincial Congress, C. R., X, 577. 

* 2 J. P. MacLean, An Historical Account of the Settlement of Scotch Highlanders in 
America Prior to the Peace of 1783 together with Notices of Highland Regiments and 
Biographical Sketches (Cleveland: Helman-Taylor Co., 1900), 116. Hereafter cited as Mac- 
Lean, Scotch Highlanders in America. 

43 Martin to Dartmouth, November 12, 1775, C. R., X, 324. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 31 

Although Martin had flaunted the loyalty of the Highlanders, 
he entertained certain doubts as to their fidelity. In 1766 they 
had demonstrated rebellious tendencies in the North Carolina 
Gazette by protesting the passage of the Stamp Act. 44 In October, 
1775, he had been horrified at the information that they had de- 
clared themselves to be neutral, a result of the activity of a com- 
mittee from the Provincial Congress of North Carolina which 
included Farquard Campbell. Martin had relied upon Campbell 
for support and, at the reports of his defection, now condemned 
him as "an ignorant man." 45 But less than a month later the 
governor was again declaring that the Highlanders were almost 
"without exception staunch to government." 46 

This temporary attachment to neutrality may have been the 
result of increasing commercial regulations imposed by the Com- 
mittee of Safety. One such order specified that no salt could be 
sold at the "landing places" unless the purchaser was able to 
produce a certificate from the Committee certifying him as a 
good "Liberty Man." This restriction appeared to be only tem- 
porary insofar as the Cross Creek merchants were concerned, and 
they were soon selling again without discrimination to all those 
who could afford their inflated prices. 47 

Commerce alone, however, was not the only activity in the 
Highlanders' settlements, and notwithstanding the rumors of 
neutrality, many of their number were openly espousing the 
King's cause. As early as July 3, 1775, Allan MacDonald, a person 
of influence among his countrymen and husband of the renowned 
Flora, had journeyed to Fort Johnston and proposed to Governor 
Martin that he raise a battalion of "the good and faithful High- 
landers" from among the recently settled MacDonalds and Mc- 
Leods. 48 

The governor's dispatches had described the loyalty of these 
people in such glowing terms that they were considered a valu- 
able source of recruits for the British Army. Agents of General 
Gage had earlier attempted to enlist 800 of the Highlanders in 

** MacLean, Scotch Highlanders in America, 110. 

45 Martin to Dartmouth, October 16, 1775, C. R., X, 266. Farquard Campbell was a man 
of great influence among the Highlanders, and Campbell Town had been so named to 
honor him. 

» Martin to Dartmouth, November 12, 1775, C. R., X, 325. 

47 Adelaide L. Fries (ed.), Records of the Moravians in North Carolina (7 vols. Raleigh, 
1922-1947), II, 861. Hereafter cited as Moravian Records. 

48 MacLean, Scotch Highlanders in America, 115. 

32 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the service of the King. The required number were found among 
the more recent arrivals to America, but the activities of the local 
patriots prevented these agents' execution of their orders. Dis- 
regarding this reversal, Gage had, in July, 1775, ordered two 
Scotch officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Donald MacDonald and Cap- 
tain Donald McLeod, to North Carolina to recruit men for a 
battalion of the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment. 49 To facili- 
tate their task, they were given letters from Lord Dartmouth, 
to be presented to Governor Martin, soliciting his aid in enlisting 
troops for the King. 50 

MacDonald and McLeod landed at New Bern and the Commit- 
tee of Safety there was immediately warned, "There is reason to 
suspect their errand of a base nature." 51 The two strangers were 
ordered to appear before the Committee and in the course of the 
investigation they declared themselves to be officers who had 
been wounded at Bunker Hill, but they were no longer in the 
army and had come to North Carolina to seek out friends and 
relatives and possibly settle among them. Their stories convinced 
the Committee that they were bent on no evil, and they were re- 
leased with a warning against the activities of the King's sup- 
porters. 52 

Meanwhile, Governor Martin had his individual dream of 
personal military glory punctured in a communication from Lord 
Dartmouth. Dartmouth flatly refused to restore his commission, 
asserting his power and authority as governor was sufficient to 
execute all measures expected of him. To restore his commission 
as lieutenant-colonel which he had sold in 1769 would be an in- 
justice to other officers who held that rank. 53 Martin did not allow 
this frustrating development to thwart his plans, but continued 
to increase his machinations in an attempt to defeat the insurrec- 
tion against his sovereign. 

Many residents of Brunswick County came aboard the Cruizer, 
complaining bitterly of the treatment they were receiving from 

49 Alexander McDonald to Lord Amherst, August, 1777, "Letter Book of Captain Alexander 
McDonald of the Royal Highland Emigrants, 1775-1779," Collections of the New-York 
Historical Society for the Year 1882 (New York: Printed for the Society, 1893), XV, 356. 

60 Certificate by Colonel MacDonald, English Records: Foreign Office, 1783-1794 (transcrip- 
tions), North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

61 Samuel Johnston to the Committee at Wilmington, July 21, 1775, C. R., X, 117. 

62 Gentleman's Magazine (London), XLVI (June, 1776), 281-282; Remembrancer (1776), 
Part II, 74; C. R., X, 325. MacDonald and McLeod had fought at Bunker Hill and it is a 
probability that the former had been wounded there. MacDonald, by many years the older 
of the two, had also fought in the Battle of Culloden. 

« Dartmouth to Martin, September 15, 1776, C. R., X, 248. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 33 

their former friends and neighbors. They assured the governor 
that at the proper time they could embody between 2,000 and 
3,000 troops. Reports indicating that the rebels were low on arms 
and ammunition suggested the time for action was near. With 
this in mind Martin determined to draw upon that vast man- 
power pool that he felt existed in the interior of the province — 
the Highlanders and the ex-Regulators. He planned to unite this 
group with the coastal loyalists and then stand off the rebels 
until the arrival of the fleet. To acquaint the loyalist chieftains of 
the interior with these developments, he selected one of the men 
of Brunswick as courier. This messenger proved untrustworthy 
and promptly handed over his information to the Whigs. 54 

For a representative on whom he could rely, the governor sent 
for a Highlander, one Alexander McLean. McLean's orders were 
to contact the local leaders and determine "with certainty" the 
number of men each could bring to the royal standard. These men 
were to be instructed to have their troops on the coast no later 
than February 15. Upon reaching Cross Creek, McLean called 
the loyalist leaders together in a council and, after swearing 
them to secrecy, disclosed the governor's plans. These men were 
cautious in their estimates. Their conclusion was that they could 
enlist 3,000 men, but could secure no more than 1,000 stand of 
arms. 55 McLean's report to Martin stated that the loyalists were 
in "high spirits and very fast collecting" and his personal esti- 
mate of the size of the army was 6,000 men, well equipped with 
horses and wagons. It had been decided, however, that the entire 
force would not march for the coast. One thousand of their num- 
ber were to remain at Cross Creek to protect the families and 
property of those engaging in the expedition. The main body of 
troops expected to be in possession of Wilmington as early as 
February 20, and certainly no later than February 25. 56 

This encouraging information led Martin, on January 10, 1776, 
to issue commissions to the Scotch and other loyalist leaders, 

54 Martin to Germain, March 21, 1776, C. JR., X, 486-490. 

65 A Narrative of the Proceedings of a Body of Loyalists in North Carolina. In Genl. 
Howe's Letter of the 25th April 1776. English Records: Colonial Office, 1776 (transcriptions), 
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. Hereafter cited as Loyalist 
Narrative. Alexander McLean was one of the authors of this narrative, written as a report 
after the rout of the loyalists at Moore's Creek Bridge. The shortage of firearms among 
the Highlanders was possibly due to English orders disarming the Scots after the battle 
of Culloden. 

» Martin to Germain, March 21, 1776, C. R., X, 487. 

34 The North Carolina Historical Review 

empowering them to embody troops and appoint officers. 57 Mc- 
Lean, after consulting the Highlanders, sent a circular letter to 
the other loyalist leaders in the province, calling them to a meet- 
ing in Cross Creek on February 5. 58 

The meeting was stormy. All of the Highland leaders were 
present, but only four came from the other sections of the prov- 
ince. The Scots were of the opinion that they should wait at least 
until March 1 before assembling the troops unless the British 
fleet arrived before that date. The Regulators and other loyalist 
leaders would not hear of a delay and called for immediate action. 
As these men supposedly controlled the greater number of troops, 
the Highlanders assented to their demands, but declared that 
they could only be held responsible for raising 700 men. The 
militants shrugged this aside with the assertion that instead of 
the 3,000 men they had previously promised, they would bring 
at least 5,000 into the field. Why even now, they boasted, they 
had collected 500 men who were ready to march at a moment's 
notice. The council then agreed that Captain McLeod, as a regular 
officer of the British army, should return with the loyalist leaders 
and conduct this group to Cross Creek. 59 

Donald MacDonald had been appointed brigadier-general of 
militia "for the time being" by Governor Martin and had been 
given the command of the loyalist forces. 60 McLeod was made 
lieutenant-colonel and given the post of second in command. The 
remaining officers were to be selected by the council. 61 The 300 
recruits which MacDonald had collected for the Royal Highland 
Emigrant Regiment were to be added to the expedition. 62 As 
commanding officer he issued a manifesto on the same day of the 
meeting at Cross Creek. All loyal subjects were called upon to 
repair to the royal standard, and they were assured that no harm 
would come to their women, children, or private property. All 
provisions taken by the King's troops were to be paid for, and 
retaliation was promised to all those who harmed the families 
of the loyalists while they were away. 63 

57 Orders from Governor Martin, etc., January 10, 1776, C. R., X, 441-442; Loyalist 

68 Loyalist Narrative. 
59 Loyalist Narrative. 
« MacDonald's Manifesto, February 5, 1776, C. R., X, 443. 

61 C. Stedman, The History of the Origin, Progress, and Termination of the American War 
(London: Printed for the Author, 1794), I, 179. 

62 Certificate of Donald MacDonald, English Records: Foreign Office, 1783-1794. 
« MacDonald's Manifesto, February 5, 1776, C. R., X, 443. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 35 

In the back country, despite MacDonald's promises, the loyal- 
ists were finding it difficult to organize. In the Yadkin Valley 
many of those who voiced an affection for George III were driven 
from their homes and were forced to conceal themselves in the 
forests, thus gaining for themselves the sobriquet of "Outlyers." 
Only when they were informed that the loyalists were rallying 
at Cross Creek did they come out of hiding, and then only in small 
groups, cautiously making their way to the Cape Fear. 64 The 
Tories of Surry County had speedily been dispersed, and the 
Guilford group, led by the four Fields brothers, had been opposed 
by a hastily organized company under Captain William Dent. 
In the ensuing skirmish Dent had been killed, thus becoming the 
first casualty of the campaign. 65 Although these Tories pushed 
resolutely on, others in the Regulator country concealed their 
political views, indicating there was a scarcity of armament 
among them and that they would rise when the Highlanders re- 
turned from the coast. 66 These people also suffered from the lack 
of leadership. There was not a man of property or political in- 
fluence among them upon whom they could call for direction. 67 

The 500 men that Donald McLeod was to escort to Cross Creek 
were a rough and raucous group. The young officer was not im- 
pressed by their appearance and the men disliked the idea of a 
foreign officer in command. To placate injured feelings a hogs- 
head of rum was brought out, "which most of them visited in- 
dustriously/' A rumor spread through the group of celebrants 
that a large body of Whigs were marching against them, 68 and 
the 500 loyalists vanished even more rapidly than had the hogs- 
head of rum. McLeod, alone in a strange country, was unable to 
persuade anyone to act as his guide back to Cross Creek. An un- 
comfortable situation was avoided when he was joined by four 
Highland officers. Messages were dispatched to the confident 
back-country men who sat in the council at Cross Creek, but they 
were not to be found. The messenger was informed by their 
neighbors that "they were Sculking & hiding themselves through 

6i Moravian Records, III, 1026. 

65 Report of Committee to enquire into the conduct of insurgents and suspected persons, 
C. R., X, 599. 

66 Andrews, History of the War with America, France, Spain and Holland, II, 171. The 
Regulators had been forced to surrender their arms to Governor Tryon after their unsuccess- 
ful attempt at insurrection in 1771. 

67 Samuel Johnston to Joseph Hewes, March 10, 1776, Hayes Collection (transcriptions), 
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

68 Moravian Records, III, 1026. 

36 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Swamps & such concealed places." The disappointed McLeod and 
his officers returned to Cross Hill, the place which had been 
designated as a rendezvous. 69 

Cross Hill was alive with activity. The British had offered many 
inducements for enlistment, and the thrifty Scots were taking full 
advantage of their opportunities. There was a standing offer of 
200 acres of land to all Highlanders in America who joined the 
service of the Crown. 70 In addition, Dartmouth had instructed 
Martin to promise that they would be issued arms, receive the 
same pay as regular troops, would be liberally compensated for 
any equipment used such as horses and wagons, and they would 
not be required to fight beyond the boundaries of the colony. As 
a bonus, all arrears in quitrents were to be remitted and a quit- 
rent exemption for twenty years would be granted. 71 Many joined 
because they had recently renewed the oath of allegiance to the 
King and they had not been in the new country long enough to 
have formed an attachment for the cause of the rebels. Most of 
the older settlers among the Scots refused to commit themselves. 
On the whole, the Tory army was composed of late arrivals to 
the colony and the poor. With the exception of the leaders, there 
was not one man among them who owned property to the extent 
of £100. 72 Possibly the most outstanding of the native organizers 
was Thomas Rutherford, formerly a member of the provincial 
legislature, but now classed as a "poor Creature" by his former 
associates. 73 Other loyalist leaders of prominence were Samuel 
Williams, James Cotton, John Colson, and Dr. John Pyle. 74 

There were about 500 Highlanders gathered at Cross Hill, and 
Rutherford had promised MacDonald he would join him at Cross 
Creek with an additional 500 loyalists. The Tory general decided 
to unite these two groups immediately in order to present as 
formidable a body as possible. 75 

Arriving at Cross Creek on February 12, MacDonald's hopes 
fell far short of expectation. There was no sign of the Regulators 

69 Loyalist Narrative. Cross Hill was near the site of present-day Carthage in Moore 

70 Alexander McDonald to General Howe, September 30, 1775, "Letter Book of Captain 
Alexander McDonald. . . . ," 222. 

i Dartmouth to Martin, November 7, 1776, C. R., X, 308. 

72 Johnston to Hewes, March 10, 1776, Hayes Collection. 

73 Johnston to Hewes, March 10, 1776, Hayes Collection. 

74 This was the same John Pyle who was involved in the so-called "Pyle's Massacre," 
February 23, 1781. His group was annihilated by members of Henry Lee's Legion and 
Andrew Pickens' militia. The site of this battle was about three miles southwest of the 
present-day site of Graham, in Alamance County. 

75 Loyalist Narrative. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 37 

or back-country loyalists. The Guilford County contingent, one 
of the stronger units expected at the rendezvous, had met with 
adversity. Seven of their leaders had been arrested and clapped 
into the gaol at Halifax, whereupon their followers turned back 
and made their way home. 76 Other groups of the Regulator fac- 
tion had arrived at Cross Creek, expecting to find Governor 
Martin and at least 1,000 British regulars there, as had been 
promised by their leaders. Angered at this duplicity, they re- 
turned to their homes. 77 A council of officers resolved to send 
Donald McLeod and Alexander McLean to contact the back- 
country loyalists in an attempt to revive the earlier enthusiasm 
of these people. About thirty-five miles out of Cross Creek the 
two officers met Dr. John Pyle with about forty men on their 
way to the rendezvous. After escorting these newcomers back to 
camp, it was decided that these two officers should remain with 
the army, for the situation had grown tense and feelings were 
running high throughout the province. Messengers familiar with 
the country were dispatched to the back country. As a result of 
this action, an additional ninety men arrived, bringing the total 
number from the Regulator country to 130. 78 

The activity in the Highland settlements and groups of armed 
men marching toward Cross Creek had alarmed the Whigs of 
North Carolina. The governor's ambitions for the restoration of 
the colony to the Crown were well known. As early as July, 1775, 
the opinion had been that "he intends kindling the flames of a 
Civil war," and county committees of safety had been warned 
to keep a "strict look out" for signs of an uprising. 79 

At the signs of increasing activity among the Tories, a des- 
perate plea was sent to neighboring provinces for aid in relieving 
the dire shortage of ammunition. In answer, the Provincial 
Council of Virginia lent North Carolina 500 pounds of gun- 
powder and 100 pounds of lead, 80 while South Carolina replied 
with an offer of 1,000 pounds of gunpowder. 81 

79 Johnston to Hewes, March 10, 1776, Hayes Collection; American Archives, 4th series, 
IV, 1488; C. R., XI, 282-283. 

77 Martin to Germain. March 21, 1776, C. R., X, 491-492. 

78 Loyalist Narrative. 

79 Proceedings of Safety Committee at Wilmington, July 1, 1775, C. R., X, 124. 

80 Edmund Pendleton to the North Carolina Council of Safety, February 17, 1776, C. R., 
XI, 273. 

81 Journal of Council of Safety of South Carolina, January 30, 1776, C. R., XI, 271, 272. 

38 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The western part of the province, being far removed from the 
seat of action, was a hotbed of rumors. In early December, 1775, 
a report had been circulated that Governor Tryon of New York, 
ex-governor of North Carolina, had landed on the coast with a 
detachment of 700 Highlanders and had been joined by Governor 
Martin with an additional 700 Highlanders from the Cape Fear 
region. Even now, ran the report, this force was marching on 
Rowan and Mecklenburg counties. 82 No sooner had this gossip 
been disproven than a rumor based on more reliable information 
was circulated that Captain Fields of Guilford County had re- 
ceived orders from the east directing him to hold his loyalist 
militia in readiness for immediate action. 83 The people of the 
upper Yadkin, supposedly neutral, had been angered by reports 
that the Cross Creek merchants refused to buy surplus produce 
or sell iron, sugar, and salt unless the vendor or purchaser agreed 
to take an oath of allegiance to the King. 84 

These anger-provoking reports had led to the gradual organiza- 
tion of local minute men and militia units, and when word came 
of the embodiment of the loyalists, many units were ready to 
march with little preparation. Although orders were issued re- 
quiring each unit to bring six weeks' provisions with them, 85 
many groups chose to march unencumbered. Several of these 
groups, marching through the Moravian towns, seized all avail- 
able lead and commandeered other provisions from the stores. 
They promised payment at a later date, but the gentle Moravians 
were of the opinion that they would receive no compensation. 86 

In the low country along the coast, mobilization was conducted 
with more precision. In this section two regiments of the Conti- 
nental Line were in the process of being organized: the first 
regiment under Colonel James Moore, the second under the com- 
mand of Colonel Robert Howe. 87 Of the two men, Moore was the 

82 Moravian Records, II, 891. 

83 Moravian Records, II, 892. 

84 Lyman C. Draper, King's Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's 
Mountain, October 7th, 1780 and the Events Which Led to It (Cincinnati: Peter G. 
Thompson, 1881), 432. 

85 Thomas Polk to Ely Kershaw, February 23, 1776, Miscellaneous Papers, 1697-1912, 
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

86 Moravian Records, IV, 1877. 

87 Journals of the Provincial Congress, C. R., X, 187, 243. Just two days after the 
engagement at Moore's Creek Bridge, March 1, 1776, both Moore and Howe were promoted 
to the rank of brigadier-general in the Continental establishment. Moore was to remain in 
North Carolina, while Howe was to be stationed in Virginia. Hewes to Johnston, March 1, 
1776, C. R., X, 482-483. On April 15, 1777, Moore died of an attack of "gout in the stomach." 
Samuel A'Court Ashe, History of North Carolina (Greensboro: Charles L. Van Noppen, 
1925), I, 571. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 

•W *"••'« T6E' No#th"Carolina Historical Review 

iftbre^popuWr'anldng'the Whigs, but Howe was preferred by the 
Tories as an opponent. To the loyalists, Moore was a dangerous 
adversary and they felt "Compelled at once to dread and esteem" 
him. 88 

Home defense units of militia and minute men were also popu- 
lar in the eastern section of North Carolina. The personnel of 
these troops was ragged and motley in appearance, and rum was 
a necessary item at their musters, but their ludicrous display 
carried a veiled threat of terrible efficiency as reported by one 
observer : 

I must really laugh while I recollect their figures: 2000 men 
in their shirts and trousers, preceded by a very ill-beat drum and 
a fiddler, who was also in his shirt with a long sword and a cue at 
his hair, who played with all his might. They indeed made a most 
unmartial appearance, But the worst figure there can shoot from 
behind a bush and kill even a general Wolfe. 89 

It was these men who answered the call to arms on February 10, 
when the lower Cape Fear was alerted to the danger then fer- 
menting at Cross Creek. Colonel Alexander Lillington, militia 
commander for the Wilmington district, was the commanding 
officer of this particular group. 90 

The New Bern Committee of Safety ordered out the districts 
militia and minute men under Colonel Richard Caswell. This unit 
was equipped with artillery, and Caswell was empowered to pur- 
chase necessary provisions and wagons along his line of march. 
The military contingents of Dobbs, Johnston, Pitt, and Craven 
counties were instructed to join Caswell. 91 

The town of Wilmington suddenly retired behind hastily 
thrown up breastworks. These defensive preparations had been 
initiated by a report that the Cruizer was on the way upriver for 
an attack on the town. Martial law was in effect, and all those 
who refused to take an oath to support the patriot cause were 
forced to work on the fortifications. Twenty professed Tories 
were taken into custody. Guns were mounted on the parapets; 
fire rafts were prepared; stores removed; and the women and 
children were sent to safety outside the town. 92 

88 Andrews and Andrews, Journal of a Lady of Quality, 167. 

89 Andrews and Andrews, Journal of a Lady of Quality, 190. 

90 American Archives, 4 th series, IV, 1129. 

S1 Proceedings of Safety Committee at New Bern, February 10, 1776, C. R., X, 444-445. 
82 William Purviance to the Provincial Council, February 23, 1776, C. R., X, 465-467. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 41 

These frenzied preparations soon proved their worth. The 
Cruizer approached the town but was frightened away by its 
formidable appearance. As the primary objective of this voyage 
was aid to the loyalists upstream, an attempt was made to by-pass 
Wilmington by sailing up the channel on the west side of Grand 
Island which lay opposite the town. The sloop was forced back 
by shallow water. After a small skirmish in which a raiding 
party was forced back to the ship, the Cruizer dropped down- 
stream to Brunswick, harassed by rifle fire from each side of 
the river. 93 

There was also activity on the upper Cape Fear. At Cross 
Creek MacDonald was industriously applying his talents to the 
organization of the loyalist army. On February 15 an order was 
issued directing the officers to make a return of their men. Ap- 
proximately 1,400 men were present, but only 520 of them pos- 
sessed firearms. A detachment of light cavalry was hastily 
formed and sent out on a raid through the surrounding country- 
side. This unit returned with an additional 130 stand of arms 
which they had seized from the Whigs. Powder which had been 
stored with the Cumberland County Committee of Safety for 
safekeeping was confiscated 94 and was in turn augmented by 
purchases from local merchants. Provisions and other necessary 
supplies were also procured locally. 95 Items such as British colors, 
not carried in stock by the local merchants, were made from 
"camp equipage" by the more skilled members of the army. 96 

Time was fast running out for MacDonald and his loyalists. 
Not only was the estimated date for the arrival of the British 
fleet near, but the Whigs were gradually drawing in a tight circle 
of men around Cross Creek. Colonel James Moore and a reported 
2,000 men were within seven miles of the town and had fortified 
the bridge over Rockfish Creek, blocking the most direct route 
to the sea. 

Moore, with a much smaller force than reported, had arrived 
at Rockfish on February 15. His force was supported by five artil- 
lery pieces, and with this decided advantage he determined to 
prepare for defensive action at the bridge in an effort to gain the 

83 Purviance to the Provincial Council, February 24, 1776, C. R., X, 467-468. 

84 Loyalist Narrative. 

95 Declaration of the Account of Josiah Martin, Esq., English Records: Audit Office, 1779. 
98 Memorial of Donald McDougall, English Records: American Loyalist Claims, 1775-1789, 
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

42 The North Carolina Historical Review 

necessary time for reinforcements to arrive. 97 Intelligence with 
reference to MacDonald's movements was gained from the nearly 
sixty residents of the vicinity of Cross Creek who had made their 
way to the Whig camp and offered their services to Moore. 98 By 
February 19, his force had been increased to a total of approxi- 
mately 1,100 men by the addition of a number of small militia 
and minute man units. The loyalist army was estimated to con- 
tain about 1,500 fighting men. 99 Outnumbered, Moore's best 
chance for victory still lay in defensive action. 

On February 18, MacDonald made his first move. The loyalist 
army marched out of Cross Creek and that night lay encamped 
within four miles of Moore's position. The following morning 
the troops were paraded; their gear was inspected and other 
preparations for battle were completed. 100 

Despite these militant preparations, MacDonald was in no 
mood for battle. As an officer of the British army, his primary 
objective was to deliver the recruits for the Royal Highland 
Emigrant Regiment to the coast, and thence to New York by sea. 
His command of the loyalist militia was of secondary importance. 
With a view toward the avoidance of violence, a messenger was 
sent to the Whig camp under a flag of truce. Inclosed in a letter 
to Moore was a copy of Martin's proclamation and MacDonald's 
manifesto. In his message MacDonald stated that Moore was 
apparently not familiar with these two documents, or he would 
have enlisted in the service of the King. He warned that unless 
the Whigs had joined the royal standard by noon of the following 
day, it would be necessary to consider them as enemies, and "the 
necessary steps for the support of regal authority" would be 
taken. 101 

Moore still played for time. His reply was couched in evasive 
terms and was noncommital as to his future course of action. He 
assured MacDonald that insofar as he was concerned, neither his 
inclinations nor his duty would permit him to accept the terms 
offered. He declared, however, that before any definite reply 
could be composed the other officers in the vicinity must be con- 

97 James Moore to Cornelius Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., XI, 283. 

98 Robert Rowan to Caswell, September 18, 1777, C. R., I, 628. 

99 Moore to Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., X, 283. 

100 Loyalist Narrative. 

ioi MacDonald to Moore, February 19, 1776, C. R., XI, 276-77. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 43 

suited. A final decision was promised by noon of the following 
day. 102 

The Highland general possibly suspected that his opponent was 
procrastinating. Moore's reply had indicated that the ultimate 
decision of the Whigs would be a rejection of the proposed terms. 
Any plan of immediate action was forestalled, as both command- 
ers has designated noon of the twentieth as an hour of ultimatum. 
A council of officers was called, at the conclusion of which was 
announced the possibility of a battle the following day. With this 
proclamation, two companies of Colonel Cotton's Anson County 
Regiment, led by a Captain Snead, immediately picked up their 
arms and returned home. 103 This sudden defection in the loyalists' 
ranks decreased their strength in both manpower and armament, 
with the latter shortage the more serious. 

Farquard Campbell, now back in favor with the Tories, and on 
parole from the Whigs, entered the loyalist camp with the in- 
formation that Colonel Caswell with a force of 600 men was 
marching in support of Moore. 104 In the face of the recent loss 
in men and arms, this intelligence was disturbing and suggested 
an alteration in strategy. The younger officers insisted upon 
immediate action, but cooler heads prevailed and a motion for 
evasive action was adopted. Again Campbell came forward with 
advice. He proposed that the loyalist army retreat to Cross Creek, 
cross the Cape Fear at Campbell Town, and then strike for Negro 
Head Point on the coast before the Whigs could reorganize their 
forces to block their progress. He also promised to report all 
future developments initiated by Moore's group. 105 The propriety 
of this suggestion was recognized and the army was placed under 
marching orders for the following day. 

Promptly at noon on February 20, Moore's reply was delivered 
to MacDonald. He reported that his officers unanimously agreed 
with his own sentiments and he referred to their great cause, 
"the defense of the liberties of mankind." He included for Mac- 
Donald a copy of the test oath which had been advocated by the 
Continental Congress. In conclusion, MacDonald was chided for 

102 Moore to MacDonald, February 19, 1776, C. R., XI, 277. 

103 Loyalist Narrative. 

i°* Loyalist Narrative; C. R., X, 595. 

105 Loyalist Narrative; James Moore to Chairman of the Committee of Wilmington, 
February 28, 1776, F. M. Hubbard, "Who Commanded at Moore's Creek Bridge?" North 
Carolina University Magazine, VII (November, 1857), 139; C. R., X, 595. 

44 The North Carolina Historical Review 

his perjury during his investigation by the New Bern Committee 
of Safety. 106 

MacDonald replied, but the message contained no comment as 
to his future course of action, other than to remind his adversary 
that as an officer of the King it was his "duty to conquer" and 
"extricate this country from anarchy and licentiousness." 107 

With military formalities and niceties behind him, the Tory 
general made his preparations for the march. Drawing up his 
men in formation he addressed them in stirring tones, declaring 
them to be the instrument by which the country was to be re- 
trieved, and ridiculing "those base Rascals" who had deserted 
the night before. In conclusion he dramatically called upon all 
those who were so faint-hearted as not to want to conquer or die 
to make their decision now. With this alternative of glory or 
death, twenty men stepped from the ranks of Colonel Cotton's 
regiment and, declaring "their Courage was not Warproof," laid 
down their arms and quietly disappeared into the surrounding 
forest. But among the remainder of his forces MacDonald had 
fanned the flames of patriotism and a general "huza" rang across 
the field as the army marched off. 108 

Moore's intelligence failed. Expecting an attack and drawn up 
within his fortifications, he did not learn of the departure of the 
loyalists until the following day. Anticipating their objective, he 
dispatched messengers to all commanders in the field, shifting 
their troops to block all routes to the sea. An express to Colonel 
Caswell directed that officer to take possession of Corbett's Ferry 
on the Black River. Colonels James Martin and James Thackston 
were ordered to occupy Cross Creek, thus eliminating the last 
refuge for the Tories. Colonels Alexander Lillington and James 
Ashe were sent as reinforcements to Caswell, and if a junction 
could not be effected they were to secure Moore's Creek Bridge. 
Moore marched his own troops to Elizabeth Town in the expecta- 
tion of intercepting MacDonald on the march for Corbett's Ferry. 
If he failed in this he planned to fall in behind the loyalist army 
and harass them until they could be brought to battle, at which 
time he could close in on their rear in an enveloping action. 109 By 

i« Moore to MacDonald, February 20, 1776, C. R., XI, 277-278. 

10 7 MacDonald to Moore, n. d., C. R., XI, 278-279. 

108 Loyalist Narrative. 

109 Moore to Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., XI, 284. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 45 

these skillfully executed maneuvers, Moore slammed the gate- 
ways to the sea in MacDonald's face. 

Caswell, after receiving his orders, moved in on Corbett's 
Ferry and deployed his troops. "Old Mother Covington and her 
daughter," as the two light artillery pieces were affectionately 
termed, 110 were placed to cover the approaches to the crossing. 
Riders were sent through the countryside, instructing the in- 
habitants to destroy the bridges in the path of the enemy. To 
prevent the use of the river for transportation of or aid sent to 
the Tories, the narrow points along the Cape Fear were secured 
and a boom was thrown across the stream above Wilmington by 
Colonel William Purviance, commanding the defenses of that 
town. 111 

The loyalists, unaware of these moves to check their progress, 
crossed the Cape Fear at Campbell Town. In an effort to dis- 
courage pursuit, their boats were destroyed. As the troops were 
formed on the northern bank of the stream, Donald McLeod was 
ordered to form a cavalry troop of 100 Highlanders, whose mis- 
sion was to scout and secure bridges in advance of the main body 
of troops. 112 

MacDonald's army moved forward at a sluggish pace. A num- 
ber of bridges required strengthening before the wagons could 
cross safely. Information that Caswell had changed his line of 
march was obtained through the capture of one of the riders who 
had been sent to alert the countryside. 113 This knowledge further 
slowed the rate of march as MacDonald, fearing ambush, moved 
with extreme caution. 

As the Black River was neared on February 23, word was sent 
back from the vanguard that Caswell was encamped at Corbett's 
Ferry, only four miles ahead. A halt was called and the army was 
drawn up in battle formation. All broadswords or claymores, the 
traditional hand weapon of the Scots, were collected and reissued 
to a company of volunteers under the command of Captain John 
Campbell. The function of this unit was of the nature of shock 

110 E. W. Caruthers, Interesting Revolutionary Incidents: And Sketches of Character, 
Chiefly in the "Old North State" (Philadelphia: Hayes & Zell, 1854). 92. 

111 William Purviance to the Provincial Council, February 24, 1776, C. R., X, 467-468. 
The country people only partially destroyed the bridges, but held themselves in readiness to 
demolish them upon the approach of the enemy. C. R., X, 467-468. Bridges were a 
luxury in 1776. 

112 Loyalist Narrative. 

113 Loyalist Narrative. This rider, classed as a "Spy" by the Tories, apparently did not 
reveal the ultimate destination of Caswell's forces, as demonstrated by subsequent events. 

46 The North Carolina Historical Review 

troops, and its battle position was in the center of the formation. 
With this detail of reorganization complete, MacDonald marched 
his army to battle. A five-man patrol of the enemy was captured 
and interrogation of the prisoners revealed that Caswell had en- 
trenched himself on the far side of the river. The army was 
ordered into camp while measures to counteract this new de- 
velopment were being considered. 114 

McLeod's mounted troops were dispatched on a scouting ex- 
pedition. Four miles above the ferry they discovered a Negro 
who reported that he knew of a flat sunk on the far side of the 
river which could be raised with little trouble. This man was em- 
ployed to raise the boat and a message was dispatched to Mac- 
Donald informing him of this development. McLeod remained to 
guard his find and inaugurate the construction of a bridge. 115 

Before marching his troops to this site, MacDonald detached 
a small group "to amuse Casswell" and cover his own movements. 
This unit stationed themselves across the river from Caswell's 
entrenchments, moving noisily through the woods, playing bag- 
pipes, beating drums, and interspersing this bedlam with oc- 
casional rifle shots in an attempt to keep Whig heads down. 116 

As the main body marched in and took over construction of 
the bridge McLeod and his horsemen crossed to the other shore 
and resumed their scouting operations. Three miles beyond the 
river a supply train destined for Caswell was captured. This un- 
expected prize consisted of twenty-one bullocks and two wagons 
loaded with meal. Twenty men and two officers were taken 
prisoner. From them it was learned that Caswell was expecting 
reinforcements. 117 

Construction of the bridge was completed, and by eight o'clock 
on Monday, February 26, the passage of the stream was achieved. 
The detachments were called in and once again the march to the 
sea began. The unopposed river crossing had inflated the spirit 
of the men, and the general feeling among them was that Caswell 
should be attacked at the first opportunity, "the Army being in 
Motion for that Purpose." 118 

114 Loyalist Narrative. 

115 Loyalist Narrative; Moore to Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., XI, 284. 

116 Loyalist Narrative. 

117 Loyalist Narrative. 

118 Loyalist Narrative. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 47 

Caswell, in the meantime, had learned he had been duped by a 
few rifles, drums, and bagpipes, and the enemy had successfully 
effected a passage of the river. Colonel Moore was still at Eliza- 
beth Town awaiting supplies for Caswell's troops. A message 
arrived from Caswell informing Moore that the loyalists had out- 
maneuvered him. The Whig commander moved fast. Caswell was 
ordered to march at once for Moore's Creek Bridge, and if this 
did not prove expedient, he was to close in on the rear of the 
Tory army in an harassing action. Moore loaded his troops aboard 
boats and floated sixty miles down river to Dollison's Landing, 
from whence he planned to march overland to Moore's Creek. He 
arrived at Dollison's late in the afternoon of February 26, and 
camped for the night. Dispatch riders, late that evening, brought 
the news that Caswell had made a junction with Lillington at 
Moore's Creek and had entrenched himself after destroying a 
portion of the bridge. 119 

Moore's Creek Bridge provided a perfect defensive situation, 
a narrow bridge in the midst of a swamp. The creek itself flows 
into the Black River about ten miles above that tributary's con- 
fluence with the Cape Fear. The creek at the bridge site is about 
fifty feet wide, with a water depth of five feet and a tidal varia- 
tion of three feet. Here the creek crawls through the swamp in a 
series of twisting loops. Beneath the dark waters lay a bottom, 
miry with the accumulation of many years of swamp wastes. The 
bridge itself was located on a sand bar, the highest point in the 

Colonel Alexander Lillington had earlier occupied this position 
with 150 men and had fortified a slightly elevated knoll on the 
east bank of the stream. Caswell, arriving at the scene with 800 
men, assumed command, as Lillington's force consisted only of 
the Wilmington battalion of minute-men. 120 Soon after his arrival 
Caswell had his men cross the bridge and begin to throw up en- 
trenchments on the west bank. 

The Tories had examined Caswell's camp site at Corbett's 
Ferry after his departure, which had been executed with such 
haste that several footsore horses and some provisions had been 
left behind. MacDonald increased his march, but when his troops 

*» Moore to Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., XI, 284. 

120 Caswell to Harnett, February 29, 1776, C. R., X, 482; American Archives, 4th series, 
V, 62-63. 

48 The North Carolina Historical Review 

were within six miles of Moore's Creek, his scouts informed him 
that Caswell had won the race. 121 

MacDonald was an old man. He had long been active in the 
service of his King, but the forced marches and constant tension 
of the campaign had so exhausted him that he fell ill. 122 

As a means of securing information of Caswell's present posi- 
tion James Hepburn, MacDonald's secretary and a former mem- 
ber of the Provincial Congress, was sent as a messenger to the 
Whig camp under a flag of truce. In his message MacDonald 
urged Caswell to submit to British authority, and the pardon 
of the King was proffered if they would lay down their arms and 
take an oath of allegiance to the Crown. Stress was applied to 
these statements by the declaration that unless the rebels com- 
plied with these terms he would be forced to "take the necessary 
steps to Conquer and Subdue you." A copy of Governor Martin's 
proclamation and MacDonald's manifesto accompanied this ulti- 
matum. 123 

Caswell flatly refused to consider the contents of the message, 
but its purpose was accomplished. Hepburn was very observant 
during his short stay in the camp of the rebels. When he returned 
he reported that Caswell was camped on the near side of the 
creek and, with this barrier at his back, it would be practicable 
to attack him. 124 

MacDonald followed his usual procedure and called a council 
of his officers. Sentiment was divided on the advisability of at- 
tacking the entrenched rebels. 125 MacDonald, according to his 
later statements, was not in favor of attacking Caswell, as he felt 
that he was outnumbered and half of his group were without 
firearms. 126 

121 Loyalist Narrative. 

122 MacDonald's age is variously given in the range between fifty and eighty. A con- 
temporary, Smyth, says that he was "near seventy years of age." J. F. D. Smyth, A Tour 
in the United States of America (London: G. Robinson, J. Robinson, and J. Sewall, 
1784), I, 232. 

123 MacDonald to Caswell, February 26, 1776, Donald MacDonald Paper, North Carolina 
Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. This letter is in Hepburn's handwriting, 
but was signed by MacDonald. Although of minor importance, this letter establishes the 
correct spelling of MacDonald's surname. In most accounts he is usually referred to as 
McDonald or M'Donald. 

124 Loyalist Narrative. 

125 Smyth, Tour in the United States of America, I, 230; Thomas Jones, History of New 
York during the Revolutionary War, and of the Leading Events in the Other Colonies at 
that Period, edited by Edward Floyd de Lancey (New York: New- York Historical Society, 
1879), I, 95. Jones was a prominent Tory, and a justice of the highest court in the Colony 
of New York. He apparently received his information of the battle from North Carolina 
loyalist refugees. His description of Moore's Creek Bridge was long considered the leading 
account of the battle from the Tory point of view. 

128 Certificate of Colonel MacDonald, English Records: Foreign Office, 1783-1794. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 49 

So persuasively did the more aggressive group argue that it 
was finally unanimously agreed to take the offensive the follow- 
ing morning. MacDonald, exhausted and ill, was in no condition 
to participate in the battle and Donald McLeod was appointed to 
lead the assault. 127 

The hour of attack had been set for daybreak. This decision 
called for immediate action, as the loyalists were still six miles 
from the battleground. The severe shortage in arms now became 
evident as only 500 men out of a total of approximately 1,600 
were found to be equipped for combat. 128 

The approach march began at one o'clock in the morning. The 
loyalists, being unfamiliar with the terrain, were soon lost and 
floundering in the mire of the swamps. This so delayed their 
progress that it was only an hour before dawn when the dying 
flames of Caswell's campfires were sighted. To utilize the element 
of surprise, the force was divided into three columns and silently 
entered the enemy's camp, only to discover that Caswell had de- 
camped during the night, leaving his fires burning to cover his 
movements. 129 

As it was still dark and the exact location of the bridge was 
not known, McLeod ordered his troops back into the cover of the 
trees while the three columns were reformed into a battle line. 
A rallying cry, so dear to the hearts of Highland warriors, was 
passed along the line. This was to be "King George and Broad 
Swords," and the signal for the attack was to be three cheers. 
As the line was being formed, rifle shots were heard near the 
spot where they thought the bridge to be. The impetuous McLeod 
decided to wait no longer. As the three cheers rang out, the 
drums began to roll and the shrill squeal of the bagpipes rent the 
cool morning air. The line moved forward, led by Campbell's 
broadswordsmen in the center of the formation. 130 

Alexander McLean, leading a patrol, had come upon the bridge 
quite unexpectedly. His movements were observed by the Whig 
sentries. To their challenge he answered that he was a friend. 

127 Loyalist Narrative. 

128 Loyalist Narrative. 

129 Loyalist Narrative; Thomas Burke to Caswell, January 22, 1777, Walter Clark (ed.), 
The State Records of North Carolina (20 vols. XI-XXX. Goldsboro, Winston, etc., 1895-1914), 
XI, 368. Hereafter cited as S. R. 

130 S. R., XI, 368; "Journal of Hugh McDonald," Caruthers, Interesting Revolutionary 
Incidents, 190. The first part of this journal, covering the Battle of Moore's Creek, is 
printed only in Caruthers. The remainder of McDonald's journal is in S. R., XI, 828j[f. 

50 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"A friend to whom ?" was the next query. At his reply of "to the 
King," the shapes on the opposite shore suddenly disappeared as 
the men fell to the ground in an effort to conceal themselves. 
McLean, believing them to be his own men who had managed to 
cross the bridge, issued a challenge in Gaelic. When he received 
no answer, he ordered his men to take cover and open fire at the 
opposite bank of the stream. 131 

McLeod, accompanied by Campbell's broadswordsmen, came up 
to determine the reason for the outburst of firing. The bridge was 
examined and it was discovered that approximately half of the 
flooring had been removed, and there were only two log sleepers 
on which to cross. To make the passage more difficult, Caswell 
had ordered that these girders be greased with soft soap and 
tallow. 132 

McLeod on one of the slippery logs, Campbell on the other, led 
the Highlanders on a foolhardy charge across the bridge. The 
broadswordsmen found they were able to retain their footing by 
thrusting the points of their weapons into the sleepers. As their 
leaders reached the opposite shore "old Mother Covington and 
her daughter" boomed their disapproval, accompanied by a burst 
of rifle fire. 133 With this "very proper reception," both McLeod 
and Campbell fell, mortally wounded. McLeod, an exceptionally 
brave man, 134 tried to regain his feet, shouting encouragement to 
his men, and waving his sword forward in the direction of the 
enemy until a hail of bullets ended his life. The first volley by 
the defenders had swept the bridge clean. Many of the High- 
landers, wounded, fell into the creek and drowned. Others, thrown 
into the water by the shock of the sudden volley, were pulled 
below the surface by the weight of their heavy clothing. All of 
those who managed to cross the bridge were shot down, although 
McLeod's body lay within a few paces of the earthworks. 135 

131 Loyalist Narrative. 

132 Smyth, Tour of the United States of America, I, 231; Stedman, The History of 
the . . . American War, I, 181; "Journal of Hugh McDonald," 84-85. 

133 Tradition has it that several ineffectual efforts had been made to fire the cannon by 
the application of the match, and that just as the loyalists reached the shore, Caswell rode 
up and set them off by firing his pistols into the touch holes. A. O. Grady to E. W. 
Caruthers, October 29, 1853, quoted in Caruthers, Interesting Revolutionary Incidents, 118. 

134 James Moore said of him, "he was a brave soldier and would have done honor to a 

good cause." James Moore to , February 28, 1776, Hubbard, "Who Commanded 

at Moore's Creek Bridge?" 139. 

135 Moore to Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., XI, 285, Disposition of James Devane, C. R., 
XV, 784-785. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 


On the opposite side of the creek the Highlanders had taken 
cover and returned the fire of the Whigs, but many of the Regu- 
lators and other loyalists fled the field of action. Rallying efforts 

-40 vl//f M/// ytf/t 




// fortifications 

* 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 \ i * i 

i l I i i j i t r i 1 1 i 

*/■* tfohbcU- sz^ 

The Battlefield at Moore's Creek Bridge 

by the officers were to no avail, but on the whole, their attempts 
were feeble. Colonel Cotton fled at the first fire, and Thomas 
Rutherford "ran like a lusty fellow." 136 The fire of the High- 

139 New York Packet, March 28, 1776, and Pennsylvania Evening Post, March 23, 1776, 
quoted in Frank Moore (ed.), Diary of the American Revolution from Newspapers and 
Original Documents (New York: Charles T. Evans, 1863), I, 209-210; American Archives, 
4th series, V, 170; C. R., XI, 289-290. 

52 The North Carolina Historical Review 

landers was hasty and wild, most of their shots going high above 
the heads of Caswell's men. 137 Their aim was not improved by the 
precipitate flight of officers and men and they soon joined the 
flight. There was a general rush for the spot in which the supply 
wagons had been left. But wagons are no vehicles for headlong 
retreat; horses were cut loose from their harness, and with as 
many as three men mounted on one animal, they fled toward their 
camp of the previous night. 138 

The Whigs, with a shout of triumph, leaped over the parapets 
in pursuit. A few loyalists, not so fleet of foot as their com- 
panions, were captured. The victors, however, did not immedi- 
ately follow up their advantage, but stopped to pillage the 
wagons and collect the wounded. Only two of their number were 
wounded and only one, John Grady of Anson County, seriously 
so. 139 It was impossible to determine the casualties suffered by 
the loyalists. There were at least thirty, but it was assumed that 
a number had fallen into the creek and drowned, or had died of 
their wounds in the swamps after fleeing from the field of action. 
Caswell's first estimate was later revised upward to seventy by 
Moore. 140 An examination of the body of McLeod revealed that 
he had been virtually riddled by nine bullets and twenty-four 
swan shot. 141 

Moore and his army arrived in Caswell's camp several hours 
after the battle. He immediately organized a pursuit. Scouts were 
sent out in an effort to determine the escape route of the loyalists, 
with orders to collect articles of value which had been thrown 
away by the enemy. Troops were dispatched to key points to 
discourage any further attempts to reach the coast. 142 Other 
parties were ordered out with instructions to apprehend all 
suspected persons and all Highlanders and Regulators were to 
be disarmed. 143 The garrison troops of Wilmington joined in the 
chase. At reports that the flight of the enemy was toward Cross 
Creek, Moore dispatched a rider to Colonel James Martin, com- 

137 Loyalist Narrative; Stedman, The History of the . . . American War, I, 181. 

138 Moore, Diary of the American Revolution, I, 210; American Archives, 4th series, V, 170. 
M9 Grady died of his wounds four days after the battle. Ashe, History of North 

Carolina, I, 504. 

«° Caswell to Harnett, February 29, 1776, C. R., X, 482; American Archives, 4th series, 
V, 63; Moore to Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., XI, 285. 

141 Moore, Diary of the American Revolution, I, 209. 

142 Moore to , February 28, 1776, Hubbard, "Who Commanded at Moore'p 

Creek Bridge?" 140. 

i* 3 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), March 23, 1776, 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 53 

manding the occupation troops in that town, ordering him to close 
in on the Tories. 144 

The escaping loyalists had fled wildly through the swamps to 
their camp of the night before, and had there found General Mac- 
Donald peacefully sleeping in his tent, 145 unaware of the disaster 
which had overtaken his army. The officers were immediately 
called into council and a survey was conducted to determine the 
quantity of supplies still on hand. Only two barrels of flour re- 
mained to feed the defeated army. It was proposed that the army 
return to Cross Creek, fortify the town, and hold out until further 
instructions were received from Governor Martin. This sugges- 
tion was discarded when it was learned that the town had been 
occupied by the Whigs. The final decision was to divide the re- 
maining ammunition among the survivors and then disband. 146 
For protection, it was decided to march in a body to Smith's 
Ferry, about twenty-five miles above Cross Creek, where the men 
would be discharged and allowed to make their way home as best 
they could. 147 

MacDonald was too weak to travel and, remaining in his tent, 
he was soon captured. He was taken to the rebel camp, but he 
still retained enough of his military dignity to insist upon a 
formal surrender. He tendered his sword to Colonel Moore who, 
following the accepted practice of the day, returned it to him, 
assuring the prisoner that he would be well treated. After his 
baggage had been searched for papers, he was conducted to Hali- 
fax by way of New Bern. 148 

The loyalist army soon suffered the same fate as their general. 
They had proceeded only a few miles to Black Mingo Creek, 
where they were surrounded by a small group of mounted Whig 
militia, who demanded their surrender. To resist would have been 
futile, and the loyalists laid down their arms. They were marched 
to Smith's Ferry by their captors, who were joined there with 
500 men under Colonel Nicholas Long. 149 The captives were 
searched, and their weapons, ammunition and wagons were 
seized. Nearly 850 rank and file were paroled and allowed to 

iu Purviance to the Provincial Council, February 29, 1776, C. R., XI, 281. 
i« "Journal of Hugh McDonald," 91. 

146 Loyalist Narrative. 

147 "Journal of Hugh McDonald," 91. 

148 MacDonald's Report to the Continental Congress, May 29, 1776, American Archives, 
4th series, VI, 613-614. 

149 Letter from an Unknown Source, March 10, 1776, C. R., X, 486, 

54 The North Carolina Historical Review 

return to their homes on their oaths not to take up arms against 
the patriot cause in the future. 150 The officers, however, were in- 
carcerated in the tiny gaol at Halifax, which was soon bulging 
with loyalist prisoners of war. In addition to Donald MacDonald, 
there were at least thirty other officers confined, among whom 
was Allen MacDonald, Flora's husband. 151 

In addition to the prisoners taken, much of material worth had 
been gained. Listed among the booty seized from the loyalists 
were : 350 gun and shot bags ; nearly 150 dirks and swords ; 1,500 
rifles; 152 and two medicine chests which had just arrived from 
England, one of which was valued at £300. Thirteen wagons, com- 
plete with teams, were confiscated. In Cross Creek a Negro re- 
vealed the hiding place of a chest, buried beneath the floor of a 
stable, containing £15,000 sterling in gold coins. 153 

This was the official list of articles legally seized by the Prov- 
ince, but the Highlanders and loyalists suffered much more as a 
result of the deluge of troops which had descended upon the Cape 
Fear region. The large stock of merchandise in the stores of the 
Highland settlements were a source of great temptation to the 
poor back-country settlers. The militia groups occupying Cross 
Creek called a conference of their officers in which it was resolved 
that each member of the militia would be entitled to one bushel 
of salt if he would assume the responsibility of transporting it 
to his home. 154 The merchants of the community were also taken 
to Halifax and held for a short time, but they were soon released 
on bail and allowed to resume their business activities. 155 The in- 
habitants of the settlements suffered along with their merchants 
in the interval following the battle. As the Surry County militia 
returned to their homes by way of the Moravian town of Salem, 
it was noticed that many of their number were wearing "Scot- 
tish clothes." 156 

150 Letter from an Unknown Source, March 10, 1776, C. R., X, 486; "Journal of Hugh 
McDonald," 108-109. 

151 Letter from an Unknown Source, March 10, 1776, C. R., X, 485-486; Martin to Germain, 
September 15, 1777, S. R., XI, 503. 

162 This figure obviously does not refer entirely to the number taken in combat, but also 
includes those taken from the Tories and Regulators in the disarmament operations following 
the battle. The greatest number of firearms listed in MacDonald's force at any one time 
was 650. Loyalist Narrative. 

153 Virginia Gazette, March 23, 1776; Letter from an Unknown Source, March 10, 
1776, C. R., X, 485-486. 

154 Moravian Records, III, 1029. This pillaging of the Scotch merchants did not completely 
exhaust the salt supply of the Highland settlements. In less than three months the Provincial 
Congress had requisitioned from the Cross Creek merchants. C. R., X, 577. In July of the 
same year, 200 bushels of salt from Cross Creek were alloted to Wake and Granville counties 
to be distributed among the veterans of the Moore's Creek campaign. C. R., X, 690. 

155 Moravian Records, III, 1058. Within a month after the battle all was "quiet and peace- 
ful" in Cross Creek, and "goods were willingly and gladly sold." Moravian Records, III, 1058. 

lsa Moravian Records, III, 1029. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 55 

Plundering, however, is not always a monopoly of the victors. 
Those Regulators who had sullenly left Cross Creek during the 
mobilization of the loyalists had organized themselves into 
groups, some including as many as 180 men, and had bettered 
themselves by raiding the farms of those professed Whigs who 
were so unfortunate as to lie on their homeward route. 157 The 
Whigs added to this temporary display of violence by retaliation 
in kind. As the militia of the upper Yadkin valley, under the 
command of Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, returned to their 
homes, they "scoured" the forests of Wake County, flushing out 
a number of Tories, one of whom they hanged. 158 

Josiah Martin, the person indirectly responsible for this out- 
burst of turbulent passion, was still safe aboard the Cruizer and 
was still writing lengthy letters to England. He explained Moore's 
Creek Bridge as only a "little check the loyalists here have re- 
ceived" and insisted that the prospects of returning the colony 
to royal authority were as strong as ever. However, he did feel 
that any future expedition should be planned with the expectation 
of uniting with the loyalists in the interior, rather than on the 
coast. 159 To intimidate the local inhabitants, Martin used the 
threat of the Cruizer' 's guns in requisitioning supplies from the 
citizens of Wilmington. The townspeople called his bluff, refused 
his demands, and quietly strengthened their fortifications. 160 As 
an added precaution, Colonel Moore moved his regulars into the 
port town, but the militia and minute men were sent home, as 
were the irregulars who had been stationed with Colonel James 
Martin at Cross Creek. 161 

As these groups returned to their homes and the hysteria of 
combat subsided, rebellion once more became a mental rather 
than a physical process. Violence once again became a community 
affair. Despite their parole, many loyalists were not allowed by 
their neighbors to return to their homes. Many were forced to 
conceal themselves in the forests and remain in hiding until the 

157 John Johnston to James Iredell, March 17, 1776, Griffith J. McRee, Life and Cor- 
respondence of James Iredell, One of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the 
United States (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1853), I, 273. 

158 Draper, King's Mountain and, Its Heroes, 432-433. 
^Martin to Germain, March 21, 1776, C. R., X, 492-493. 

leo p U rviance to the Provincial Council, February 29, 1776, C. R., XI, 279-281. 
"i Moore to Harnett, March 2, 1776, C. R., XI, 285. 

56 The North Carolina Historical Review 

British invasion of North Carolina in 1781. 162 Others, although 
they returned to their farms, would scurry for the protection of 
the nearest swamp at the report of Whig militia in the neighbor- 
hood. 163 

The decline of British authority in the province had a salutary 
effect on what had been a major problem — the fear of a slave in- 
surrection under British sponsorship. One planter wrote shortly 
after the battle : "The Negroes at Cape Fear were never known to 
behave so well as they have lately." 164 

The solution of these problems gave rise to others, the more 
irritating of the later developments being the disposition of the 
prisoners of war. The problem was large in proportion to its im- 
portance, for this was a new experience for the inexperienced 
government and there were no precedents to guide them. 

Donald MacDonald had proved himself to be a troublesome 
prisoner. Because of his ill health, the congestion of the Halifax 
gaol, and the efforts of Brigadier-General Robert Howe, he was 
allowed to give his parole, on the condition that he remain within 
the limits of the town of Halifax. 165 But MacDonald sulked and 
refused to leave his cell, declaring that he should be allowed to 
go to some "gentleman's house" in the country. 166 

The behavior of the Tory General led to attempts to make an 
early disposition of the problem. On April 20 the Provincial 
Congress drew up a code by which to judge the accused loyalists. 
Prisoners were grouped under four classifications i prisoners who 
had served in Congress; prisoners who had signed test oaths; 
prisoners who had taken up arms, but who were not included in 
the first two categories ; and a catch-all division entitled simply, 
"Prisoners under suspicious circumstances." 167 

The anticipated visit by the British fleet indirectly aided in 
solving the prisoner problem. It was recommended that, in view 
of the expected invasion, twenty-six of the more influential 

162 English Records: American Loyalist Claims, 1775-1789. Although Cornwallis's stay in 
Cross Creek in 1781 was of short duration, 100 Highlanders joined his army. They were 
later organized into two companies and sent to reinforce the garrison at Charleston, South 
Carolina. Martin to the British Government, March 7, 1781, S. R., XXII, 617. 

163 "Journal of Hugh McDonald," S. R., XI, 829. 

164 Letter from North-Carolina to Philadelphia, March 10, 1776, American Archives, 4th 
series, V, 170. 

165 MacDonald's Report to the Continental Congress, May 29, 1776, American Archives, 
4th series, VI, 613-614. 

166 Samuel Johnston to James Iredell, April 5, 1776, McRee, Life and Correspondence of 
James Iredell, I, 275. 

167 Report of Committee appointed to enquire into the conduct of insurgents and suspected 
persons, April 20, 1776, C. R., X, 594-595. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 57 

prisoners be sent to Philadelphia, there to become the responsi- 
bility of the Continental Congress. The less important prisoners 
were to be sent to western Maryland and Virginia. 168 In less than 
a week this resolution had been passed, 169 and the prisoners were 
marched, under escort, to Philadelphia. 170 After their departure, 
little thought was given to the prisoners other than the confisca- 
tion of their property. 

In ridding themselves of the Tory prisoners, the Provincial 
Congress refused to concern itself with the families of the men 
sent away. These people, often in the midst of vindictive neigh- 
bors, lived in terror. Pillaging Whigs declared open season upon 
them, and they were often the victims of marauders masquerad- 
ing as patriots. Even the Tories joined in the sport, cursing these 
people for Whig supporters while robbing them of their valu- 
ables. 171 

In some cases the excuse of loyalist control was employed as 
an instrument to gain political control. William Rand, appointed 
to inventory Tory property in Cross Creek, set himself up as a 
local dictator, seizing political power through the appointment 
of local justices. So harsh were his measures that from Whig and 
Tory alike arose the cry: "We have not the shadow of liberty 
among us." 172 

The Provincial Congress also sought to gain its share of the 
spoils. By November, 1776, an act confiscating loyalist property 
was passed, 173 and the following April a similar law was enacted 
but included the death penalty for certain crimes. 174 Many loyal- 
ists, especially those who had held office under the Crown, sailed 
for the British strongholds of New York and Nova Scotia on the 
first ships on which they could book passage. 175 

168 Committee of Secrecy, War and Intelligence of North Carolina to John Hancock, April 
22, 1776, C. R., X, 293-295. The eventual places of confinement for the loyalists were Read- 
ing, Pennsylvania, Staunton, Virginia, and Frederick, Maryland. Ashe, History of North 
Carolina, I, 52 On. 

189 Journal of the Provincial Congress, April 27, 1776, C. R., X, 544. 

170 MacDonald, in the fall of 1776, was exchanged, along with General Prescott, for the 
American Generals Sullivan and Stirling. MacDonald to "The Secretary of War," September 
6. 1776, S. R., XV, 764-765. 

171 Memorial of James Green, English Records: American Loyalist Claims, 1775-1789. 

1 72 Robert Rowan to Caswell, September 18, 1777, S. R., XI, 627-630. 
" 3 Journals of the Provincial Congress, S. R., XXIII, 985-986. 

174 Journals of the Provincial Congress, S. R., XXIV, 9-12. Later laws confiscating 
loyalist property were enacted in 1778, 1779, 1781, 1782, 1784, and 1787. 

175 Martin to Germain, September 15, 1777, S. R., XI, 756-766. The case of Chief Justice 
Hand is of particular interest, for this marked the second time that he had lost all of his 
property as a result of insurrection. His first loss had occurred during the Stamp Act riots 
in Rhode Island. S. R., XI, 756-766. 

58 The North Carolina Historical Review 

North Carolina only evaluated the immediate results of Moore's 
Creek Bridge and gave no thought to the future. The jubilance of 
the populace soon turned to complacency. The militia had been 
disbanded and had gone home by the middle of April, 176 and the 
Congress had fulfilled the obligations of the province by formally 
extending the thanks of that body to Caswell. 177 

In May their complacency exploded in the faces of the North 
Carolinians. The British fleet, after battling high winds and 
heavy seas for more than two months, 178 finally dropped anchor in 
the Cape Fear. Although this fleet subsequently sailed for 
Charleston and British activities consisted mostly of plundering 
and burning by raiding parties, the threat of their presence 
threw the province into a state of frantic preparation. Appeals 
for aid were sent to the Continental Congress 179 and neighboring 
colonies, 180 but before they could be answered the fleet weighed 
anchor and sailed south. 

Although Cornwallis lamented the tardiness of the fleet, and 
was convinced that an earlier arrival would have produced "the 
most happy effects," 181 the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge was 
generally disregarded or brushed aside without comment in Eng- 
land. The London Gazette completely ignored the engagement, 182 
and the Gentleman's Magazine dismissed the incident by declar- 
ing it to be of little consequence, as "they only reduced a body of 
their own people, supported by no one company of regular 
troops." 183 Only the Annual Register, of the leading periodicals, 
saw the danger the battle portended, and warned that the loyal- 
ists could not be expected to rise so readily again. Attention was 
directed to the rapid manner in which the colony had raised ap- 
proximately 10,000 men, but the magazine asserted that the most 
significant result was that "they had encountered Europeans 
(who were supposed to hold them in the most sovereign contempt, 
both as men and as soldiers) and had defeated them with an in- 
ferior force." 184 

i™ Proceedings of the Provincial Congress, April 15, 1776, C. R., X, 515. 

177 Proceedings of the Provincial Congress, April 15, 1776. C. R., X, 513. 

178 Cornwallis to Germain, May 7, 1776, Charles Ross (ed.), Correspondence of Charles, 
First Marquis Cornwallis (London: John Murray, 1859), I, 21. 

17 » Harnett to John Hancock, June 24, 1776, C. R., XI, 299-300. 
i 80 Burke to Charles Lee, May 6, 1776, C. R., XI, 296-297. 

181 Cornwallis to Germain, May 16, 1776, Ross, I, 22. Correspondence of Charles, First 
Marquis Cornwallis, I, 22. 

182 The Remembrancer, or Impartial Repository for the Year 1776, Part II, 155. 
^Gentleman's Magazine, XL VI (June, 1776), 281. 

is* Annual Register for 1776, 157-158. 

Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 59 

The rapid embodiment of fighting men was also a source of 
pride to the Americans, and in North Carolina it was freely- 
predicted that Governor Martin was gone for good and that any 
attempt to return by the British army would surely meet de- 
feat. 185 

In the northern colonies this victory attained an importance 
out of all proportion. This was one of the first absolute decisions 
that had been won by the force of American arms and the 
abilities of the North Carolina colonels, even those who played 
minor roles, reached astronomical heights in northern eyes. 
Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College, reflected the general 
elation in his diary : 

The Colonels Moore, Martin, Caswell, Polk, Thackston, Lilling- 
ton & Long, have great Merit; any one of these Gent, in this 
Country would be an over match for a Howe, Burgoyne, or a 
Clinton. Their knowledge of the Country and necessary Modes of 
Attack would frustrate any Attempt fallen upon by the Charac- 
ters last mentioned. The Whole Province in general consider 
Regulars in the Woods an easy Conquest. 186 

This victory, like all battles, eventually ended in controversy, 
although the dispute was of a local nature. The point of argu- 
ment was — who had been in command at Moore's Creek — Lilling- 
ton or Caswell? This controversy was long argued in the eastern 
part of North Carolina, and the Lillington adherents went so 
far as to set their protests to music : 

Moore's Creek field, the bloody story, 

Where Lillington fought for Caswell's glory. 187 

From the available evidence there seems to be little doubt that 
Caswell was in command, but the point of question is of little 
consequence when the results are weighed. 

The real hero of the campaign was James Moore, although he 
was not a participant in the ultimate battle. It was Moore who, 
with all the finesse of an experienced chess player, maneuvered 
his troops in such a manner as effectively to block the loyalists 
from their objective and forced them to do battle on ground of 

185 Extract of a Letter dated North Carolina, March 10, 1776, C. R., XI, 287. 

186 Franklin Bowditch Dexter (ed.), The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D., Presi- 
dent of Yale College (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901), II, 6-7. 

187 McRee, Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, 1, 272. 

60 The North Carolina Historical Review 

his own choosing. His early death robbed North Carolina of a 
native son who would certainly have ranked high among the 
military heroes of the American Revolution. 

The Moore's Creek Bridge campaign, viewed from the per- 
spective of 176 years, assumes greater importance than in 1776. 
If the loyalists had reached the sea on their fateful march, it 
is not improbable to suppose that their ranks would have been 
greatly increased by the Tories of the coastal region. If contact 
had been made with Governor Martin, and arms in sufficient 
number had been acquired, large numbers of additional High- 
landers and Regulators would have flocked to the royal standard. 
But time, terrain, the sea, Richard Caswell, and James Moore 
all cooperated in defeating the Tory hopes. 

One of the intangible results of the battle was of a negative 
nature. The success of the militia in this engagement so raised 
the estimates of the value of the occasional soldier that North 
Carolina constantly failed to fill her quota for the Continental 
Line throughout the remaining period of the Revolution. 

The most positive immediate result of the victory was that it 
probably played an important role in North Carolina's decision, 
on April 12, 1776, to instruct ,her delegates to vote for inde- 

The significance of the campaign lies in the fact that the story 
of Moore's Creek Bridge is the story of the disintegration of 
royal government in North Carolina. 


1800-1850 1 
By Hugh Hill Wooten 

At the midpoint of another century it may be worth while to 
look back at the causes and effects of the heavy migration from 
Iredell County between 1800 and 1850. Land records and wills 
indicate that the first migrants were influenced to some extent 
by receipt of military bounty lands in Tennessee and by land 
sales in Kentucky. The news of successful locations filtered back 
home by visitors and by letters. Much of the information was 
spread by the spoken word and by letters rather than printed 
matter. Several groups of families made the long journey by 
wagon and horseback and settled near each other in central and 
western Tennessee and in western Kentucky. Among these 
were settlements in Tipton County, Tennessee, and in Christian 
County, Kentucky. Later, some of these people, or their chil- 
dren, plus others from the home county, moved to Bellevue, 
Missouri, and to Bloomington, Illinois, and from there to other 
points in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming, Utah, 
California, and other western states. 

So great was the westward migration from the Southeast 
about 1845 that Calvin H. Wiley, State Superintendent of Com- 
mon Schools, declared that North Carolina sometimes seemed 
like "one vast camping ground/ ' where people were only tented 
around campfires or in their covered wagons for the night on 
their way to some new home far away. Apropos of their moving 
many communities held services of prayer and song to bid the 
movers Godspeed the night before parties set off by wagon for 
the long overland journey westward. 2 

The movement from Iredell County from 1800 to 1850 is part 
of the great movement described by Archibald D. Murphey in 
1815 when he wrote that "within twenty-five years past more 
than two hundred thousand of our inhabitants have removed 
to the waters of the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mobile; . . ." and 

1 Much of the material on which this article is based was drawn from a collection of family 
papers of the Adams, Hall, Hill, McClelland, and Stevenson families, furnished for study by 
Miss Mattie R. Hall, 237 Bost Street, Statesville, N. C. 

2 See cover picture by Arthur Becker, "Leaving Carolina for Texas: The Great Westward 
Migration of Pioneers," The Progressive Farmer, LXI (January 1946), cover and p. 13. 


62 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"In this state of things our agriculture is at a stand [still] ; . . ." 3 
After 1800 population pressure in many counties and lack of 
opportunities for land and employment prodded settlers west- 
ward. After the War of 1812 there began a heavy and persistent 
migration to Tennessee and Kentucky which, in the course of 
time, was stimulated more and more by opening of lands for 
settlement in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. The fron- 
tier and the West have been looked upon as almost synonymous in 
the history of the United States. The large migration to the 
West and Midwest from the southern piedmont in the first half 
of the nineteenth century has been obscured by the political 
events of the times and the general movement of people from 
the Atlantic seaboard. 

Trend Toward Commercial Farming 

In the first decades after 1800 a rapidly expanding population 
led to occupancy of remaining vacant land in Iredell County and 
to creation of many new family-sized farms. The farmer and his 
family did all the work of carving out the first farms and in 
farming and other necessary occupations. 

From 1820 to 1830 revolutionary changes in agriculture and 
type of farming had begun. Commercialized cotton growing had 
jumped into prominence as a result of increased demand and 
cheaper production and processing practices. By this time, farm 
lands had become less productive, and this led to increased 
clearing of new lands and abandonment of old lands. Among 
the widely discussed problems in the early decades of the nine- 
teenth century were those that centered about poor crop yields, 
declining productivity of the land, and poor markets. 

Westward Migration 1800-1850 

By 1840 abandoned farm lands and houses gave evidence of 
the downward trend in agriculture. After the opening of lands 
in Tennessee, Kentucky, and other western states, many people 
left the county for the new country. From 1800 to 1850, hundreds 
of families moved from the county to the West. 4 The good soil 

8 For accounts of this migration refer to : William Henry Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. 
Murphey, II, 20, 42, 178; and Samuel A'Court Ashe, History of North Carolina, II, 167. 

* For a general account of emigration from North Carolina from 1800 to 1850, see Hoyt, 
Paper 8 of Archibald D. Murphey, II, 20; and for reasons influencing the migration refer 

Westward Migration from Iredell County 63 

of the Mississippi Valley and the prairies called and the hill 
country farms were sold or abandoned. The county lost people 
and wealth or stood still, while the new areas gained. With 
increase in commercial farming, cultivated land holdings were 
enlarged somewhat in parts of the county. 

Migration and New Lands 

Probably a reason for the relative stability of tenure for the 
first fifty years in the county's history was the fact that large 
acreages of good land lay just over the mountains to the west 
in Tennessee and Kentucky, and as this land was available 
almost for the taking by enterprising young people, there was 
no necessity for them to work long as wage hands or tenants on 
the lands of others. Family histories and correspondence show 
that from time to time in the early 1800's, every community in 
the county sent forth wagon trains bearing family and neighbor- 
hood groups westward to claim military bounty lands and state 
grants, to buy from land dealers, or otherwise to obtain public 
land. Lands granted Revolutionary War soldiers in Tennessee 
and Kentucky in many instances were not settled until the sons 
or grandsons came of age and growing families made it necessary 
to develop more farms. 

The fact that a large company of men in addition to numerous 
individuals from Fourth Creek community served in several 
battles of the Revolution indicates something of the probable 
volume of military land grants available to the people of this one 
area. State lands also were bought, often in advance of settle- 
ment across the mountains. Old wills show that some of these 
grants were several hundred acres in extent and were divided 
between sons, grandsons, or other relatives of the recipients. 5 

to: S. A. Ashe, "Social Conditions in North Carolina in 1783," The North Carolina Booklet, 
X (April, 1911), 200; and R. D. W. Connor, North Carolina, Rebuilding an Ancient Common- 
wealth, I, 445. 

For a sample of detailed family histories recounting westward migration see the following: 
William Francis Stevenson and others, "A History and Genealogical Record of the Stevenson 
Family, from 1748 to 1926" (238 pp.), and Mrs. T. L. Adams, The Hall Family History, 
1949 (443 pp.). 

5 Excerpt from Will of Thomas Hall, August 13, 1800, A Revolutionary War Soldier. 
"Again I bequeath and devise to my son Thomas, five hundred acres out of an entry con- 


The North Carolina Historical Review 


<&& s^rr 

* ma ■//&<£ rJ^r^^ 

"3* /■/' / f/7 


z^/trfteWC'S/tf' y? '/jajss {7?s^ 


Notice op Sale of Farm and Household Property by Adlai Ewing, 1816, Preparatory 
Moving to Christian County, Kentucky. 

This public sale of farm land and household property by Adlai Ewing in 1816, Iredi 
County, North Carolina, was held preparatory to moving to Christian County, Kentuc] 
Such sale notices customarily were posted at the nearest store, mill, post office, a 
county courthouse. The Ewing farm was located about four miles north of Statesville, 
the North Branch of Fourth Creek, and between the Chipley Ford and Wilkesboro Roa 

Westward Migration from Iredell County 65 

Early migration to middle and west Tennessee undoubtedly was 
influenced by receipt of these lands. This movement followed 
the frontier line as new territory was settled and organized. For 
example, family records show settlement in middle Tennessee 
around 1800 and in Tipton and other western Tennessee counties 
as late as the 1830's. 

The story of this movement of farm people is by no means 
dead because of the passage of time. A number of communities 
across the country are rooted like trees in the lives of the people 
from the Carolina piedmont frontier — a part of the first western 
frontier of American history. Iredell County is little different 
from other piedmont counties. It is a typical county with Scotch- 
Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch backgrounds. Indeed, tracing the 
migration of many of its families first from the old countries 
to southeastern Pennsylvania, thence to the North Carolina Pied- 
mont, and finally to the Midwest and West has much in common 
with tracing the westward growth and expansion of farming in 
the United States. 

In the early years after these migrations, letters and visits 
were exchanged with the folks back home. At various times from 
about 1810 to 1860 many families, either singly or in groups, 
followed the early pioneers to the Midwest. Sometimes they 
settled in the same communities as previous migrants. If going 
farther west, they visited relatives and acquaintances en route 
and thereby obtained information about land and other matters 
of interest. Two letters are quoted here written by Moses Steven- 
son and his wife, Ann Ewing Etevenson, in 1817, from Hopkins- 
ville, Kentucky, to William McClelland and wife, Jane Ewing 
McClelland, brother-in-law and sister respectively, and to David 
Hampton, another brother-in-law. 6 These letters show how in- 
formation regarding new land was spread. 

taining three thousand acres located on Elk River, State of Tennessee; likewise a horse and 


"To my daughter Prudence (Hall) Stevenson I bequeath and devise one hundred and sixty 

acres out of a tract containing three thousand acres located on Elk River, State of Ten- 

Four other daughters were specified to receive 160 acres of land each out of the same tract, 
the remainder to be divided between other children. Three brothers of Thomas Hall also were 
Revolutionary War soldiers and received grants of land. Adams, The Hall Family History, 

6 Letters furnished by Miss Mattie R. Hall, 237 Bost Street, Statesville, N. C, great- 
granddaughter of William McClelland and Jane Ewing McClelland. 

66 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Hopkinsville, Kentucky- 
March 25th 1817 
Mr. William McClelland 
Iredell County North Carolina 
Near Statesville 
Dear Brother and Sister — 

We all arrived here in good health — and with as much safety, as 
any set of travellers, that have ever travelled the road I suppose 
— We found our friends all well here — And we have all enjoyed 
very good health since here — except Bro. Jas. who has been com- 
plaining a little, as in Carolina. 

All appear well pleased with our move since we came here — 
Sally Ewing — as we came out talked very frequently of the 
N. C. friends — but appears pretty well satisfied now. 
We not being able to affect a puchase till very lately we have 
rented a farm of about one hundred acres, all fresh land, with 
every necessary building and an excellent spring on the place. 
The place lies one mile and a half east of Bro. Jas. Stevenson's 
and ten miles from town. 

We have lately purchased one thousand acres of land from Judge 
Broadnax — our choice of all the lands in this country — Bro. 
Wm. if I could have my wish — a part of it — would be — to have 
you situate about two miles west of us on a little river — where 
you could get lands plenty from Wm. Broadnax at three dollars 
per acre with an excellent mill seat on it — or for two thousand 
dollars you may purchase a mill ready built, about two miles 
further down the river in excellent neighborhood for custom. I 
do wish, if convenient, that you and Dvd. Hamton would come 
out this summer and see for yourselves — rest assured there are 
advantages here you know nothing about and if I was to tell you 
you could not believe it. 

I have now a very fine beginning of stock — I have of grown 
cattle — twelve head and 6 or eight calves — and twelve sheep and 
7 lambs — with a very good beginning of hogs — Our stock appears 
to thrive very well — Again I think we have as kind a set of 
neighbors, as far as we have made trial of them, as I would 
ever wish to settle beside — There is a friendship among neigh- 
bors here, that the people in Carolina know nothing about — Sir 
with reluctance I must here quit. I have wrote a number of 
letters to my friends (as I thought) in Carolina — but have not 
received a line from one of them yet. Please to remember me 
and my family to Grandpa if alive and tell him we think of him 
often and to all enquiring friends — This from your still affec- 

Bro. and Sister M. and A. Stevenson 
postage 25c 

Westward Migration from Iredell County 67 

Christian County- 
July the 17th 1817 
Mr. William McClelland and 
Mr. David Hamton 
North Carolina, Iredell County 
Near Statesville 
Dear Brothers and Sisters — 

Having at present an opportunity of safe conveyance — I again 
take hold of my pen to let you know where we stopped at and 
where we rented and where we purchased — which you complain 
I have not done — (I mean Bro. Wm. McClelland) Sir I should 
have wrote more particularly- on that subject — to you — only I 
thought you were sufficiently apprised of the state and county 
both in which I intended to stop in. However be it known to you 
now, that I have taken up my place of residence in Kentucky, 
Christian County on the waters of Little River ten miles South 
of Hopkinsville — I have purchased about the same distance from 
town on the same w T aters and about one mile and half South of 
Bro. Jas. Stevenson's — and in the state and cty. aforesaid. 
My friends I have nothing strange or new to communicate to you 
at present — Only that Grandpa slipt over the 17th of June to see 
how we were coming on — at a very unexpected moment to any 
of us. He had his health very well coming out — though some- 
what fatigued — He has since had his health very well considering 
everything — as we all have had ever since we came here — Only 
Bro. Jas. Ewing who is still weakly though evidently better for 
some weeks past. 

Bro. Wm. you say the situation of sister Jane with some other 
things will not admit your visiting this country soon — Sir I am 
truly sorry for that — You ought to come to this or some other 
new country where you could live more easy and more plentiful 
— You have invited us over and take a cup of coffee with you — 
As you have plenty — Well sir if health permits I will take you 
at your word but I believe I will wait a while to see if you get 
anything to eat with it — As you complain of grain being very 
scarce with you at present — but sir let me inform you that we 
have plenty of everything in this country (thanks to the Giver 
of all good) . 

I must now leave you and turn my attention to Bro. Hamton and 
family. Sister Nancy I congratulate you, on the birth of your 
son — May it be a fresh spur to move you towards Kentucky if 
you ever intend coming — as land is rising fast in this country you 
may be sure. Bro. David I would not begrudge five dollars 
you could see my corn fields this day — I am conscious you have 
no idea hardly how it grows — but I must here stop after enter- 
taining myself as usual — Your still affectionate Bro. and Sister. 

M and A Stevenson 
Favored by Wm. Jacob Stevenson 

68 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The writer of the letters quoted above — Moses Stevenson — 
after his marriage to Ann Ewing lived in Iredell County for 
some years. His children were born there. He was willed a two- 
thirds interest in a farm of 527 acres by his father, William 
Stevenson, Sr., in 1809. In 1816 in company with his brother 
James Stevenson and his brothers-in-law. Adlai Ewing and 
Andrew McKenzie, and their families and a large party of other 
emigrants, he and his family crossed the mountains and settled 
in Christian County, Kentucky. Here he and the party established 
their homes, reared their families, and saw many of them move 
on to Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. 

Distinguished descendants of this group of settlers include 
Hon. Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Vice-President of the United 
States, 1893-1897 ; his grandson, Governor Adlai Ewing Steven- 
son, Governor of Illinois, 1949-1953; and the Hon. Alben W. 
Barkley, Vice-President, 1949-1953. 7 

A brother, Robert Stevenson, his wife, and William Sloan and 
others had moved west in 1807. They stopped in Christian County, 
Kentucky, in the early fall. A party of men went on across the 
Mississippi River and explored for a site for settlement. Having 
found the beautiful Bellevue Valley in Missouri they returned 
and took their families over and founded a settlement there in 
1808 that became a center of life for the area. Robert Stevenson 
was a member of the constitutional convention that framed the 
first constitution for Missouri. 

Of the eleven children of William Stevenson, Sr., one of the 
early settlers of Iredell County, six with their families moved 
west between 1807 and 1816. Only two sons settled permanently 
in the home county, but a number of their descendants moved 
west. The eldest son, Thomas Stevenson, was killed in the Revo- 
lutionary War, and one son died in infancy. 8 The Stevenson 
family history is typical of that of many other first settlers. 
Some names of people, long residents, disappeared entirely from 
the county because of migration of whole families. 

7 Stevenson and others. A History and Genealogical Record of the Stevenson Family from 
1748 to 1926. 

8 Stevenson and others, A History and Genealogical Record of the Stevenson Family from 
1748 to 1926. 

Westward Migration from Iredell County 69 

Causes of Migration 

The migration from the county and state in large numbers 
naturally raised the question, "Why did they go?" Anyone re- 
viewing economic conditions in the county and region in this 
period will find them far from encouraging. Not only was the 
fertility of the land being exhausted but prices received for the 
low yields were small, considering the long hauls to markets and 
the costs of necessities that had to be bought. At times heavy 
products like grain and fruit were lost because of poor roads and 
want of markets. In order to sell their grain and fruit many 
farmers converted them to whiskey and brandy which was more 
easily hauled long distances and which had a ready market. 

Population growth also began to press on the available re- 
sources and actual necessity forced many to migrate westward 
to find a place of livelihood. A comparison of the rural population 
of 10,000 to 15,000, dependent almost entirely on a hand-labor 
agriculture from 1800 to 1850, and the farm population of some 
18,000 in 1950, and the greatly expanded, partly mechanized 
production of today shows in a measure the urgency our early 
farmers felt in migrating to new land areas. 

This area, which was developed upon a grain-livestock self- 
sufficing type of farm economy, over the years gradually added 
more row crops like tobacco, cotton, and corn. Not only were 
acreages of cotton and tobacco increased, but silk was grown and 
other products were tried in order to find better sources of in- 
come. Moreover, erosion impoverished and washed the sandy 
loam and clay loam soils so that many acres once cleared and 
farmed were allowed to revert to forest growth. Fertile bottom- 
lands were farmed or in hay meadows and pastures in the early 
years, but they too were damaged by increasing floods and clay, 
sand, and gravel deposits as the stream channels became clogged 
with debris washed down from the hills. Thus many once pro- 
ductive acres went out of cultivation. 

Settlement and cultivation from 1800 to 1850 brought pro- 
found changes in the original vegetation and in the topsoil. 
Valleys and prairies were converted into farms. Much upland 
and hilly forest land likewise was cleared for farming. The 
dense forests which so universally covered the steep hill land 

70 The North Carolina Historical Review 

were cut over and many acres were placed under cultivation. 
Erosion of topsoil was rapid, with resultant abandonment and 
growth of brush fields and young stands of forest growth, even 
in the early 1800's. Later many of these old fields were recleared 
and abandoned one or more times. For these reasons there oc- 
curred a long-time rotation of forest and farm crops on much 
land. 9 

In addition to compelling economic reasons for migration there 
also were bothersome social questions. Disagreement between 
families and neighbors arose as to whether distilling grain and 
manufacture of liquor was right or wrong. Speculation in town 
lots and other ventures increased. Some people did this hoping 
to gain a profit and at the same time to build up market towns 
in the region. Slavery was a serious question, even though of slow 
growth in the county for years. Many people openly disapproved. 
They not only felt it morally wrong, but they also considered it 
a handicap to the community, dividing it sharply into two classes, 
slaveholders and non-slaveholders. 

Prior to 1800 slavery was quite generally opposed. The Rowan 
County committees of safety in the resolutions of 1774 evidently 
expressed the feeling of the people of the area on this subject 
by stating that ". . . the slave trade is injurious to this colony 
and obstructs the population of it by free men. . . ." 10 This view 
relative to slavery prevailed in the minds of numerous farmers 
even after the beginning of more commercial types of farming. 
The family-type farmers by hard work, careful management, 
and frugal living were able to continue farming even in competi- 
tion with slavery. Gradually, however, the small farmers who 
worked their own land lost in influence in the county. Likewise 
the piedmont counties, lacking as they were in wealth, were less 
influential in public affairs in the state than other regions. 

About 1800 according to Clark, "before its development was 
arrested by slavery/' the piedmont section of North Carolina 
promised to become a manufacturing region. 11 But between 1810 

9 U. S. Department of Agriculture, "Early American Soil Conservationists," (Miscellaneous 
Publication No. 449, October, 1941), 44-47, 58-61. T. L. Copley, Lake A. Forrest. A. G. 
McCall, and F. G. Bell, "Investigations in Erosion Control and Reclamation of Eroded Land 
at the Central Peidmont Conservation Experiment Station, Statesville, N. C," 1930-1940. U. S. 
Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin No. 873, (August, 1944, 66 pp.), 12-17. 

10 Jethro Rumple, A History of Rowan County (Salisbury, 1881; 1929 edition), 131. 

11 Victor S. Clark, History of Manufactures in the United States (2 vols. Washington, 1916), 
I, 464, 529. 

Westward Migration from Iredell County 71 

and 1830 when textile manufactures shifted largely from the 
fireside to the factory, the state lost in textile production. The 
transition from household manufactures for home use to special- 
ized manufacturing was delayed longer in North Carolina than in 
the non-slaveholding states. 

An unfortunate development for the piedmont region was the 
increased emphasis on cotton production by the use of slave 
labor. 12 A number of the larger farms in Iredell County were 
shifted to slave labor and along with this a general social dis- 
favor was placed on the independent farmers who did not own 
slaves. Furthermore, wealth went into slaves and cotton land 
rather than into improvement of farms and into machines and 

Coupled with these discouraging factors at home was the low 
cost for entry or purchase of western lands, and the speedy in- 
crease in their value because of the streams of people going west 
to possess and cultivate them. Not only were these lands believed 
to be very fertile but they also possessed advantages from loca- 
tion on navigable streams, and in growing communities with 
opportunities for productive employment. 

This brief narrative shows that in this county, as elsewhere, 
one of the great quests of people is for stability. They strive for 
it in their surroundings, and in the things which will assure a 
fair standard of living, freedom from want, and a reasonable 
degree of comfort in old age. The large number of people moving 
westward from 1800 to 1850 and afterwards indicates that the 
economy of the piedmont did not always provide that stability. 
Rapid strides have been made in the last generation toward ob- 
taining a better understanding of the resources peculiar to the 
piedmont. With this understanding, methods are being developed 
and put into practice for making better use of these resources. 

12 Herschel L. Macon, "A Fiscal History of North Carolina, 1776-1860" (Ph.D. thesis, 
University of North Carolina, 1932), 164. 


By Jack K. Williams 

The Civil War and its tumultuous aftermath were factors 
sufficient to erase from the minds of historians a hitherto adopted 
thesis that the American South was an elementary, nicely fitted 
segment of the whole, and could be thus treated. From the latter 
years of the nineteenth century, certainly, the South has been 
accepted as a single and special field for historical investigation : 
a field which has called forth the varied talents of visionary and 
realist, of democrat and Marxist, of scholar and literary hack — 
one, indeed, which has lured both the revisionist and the revisor 
of revisionists. The prominent pioneers of such a field properly 
assume positions of considerable importance in American his- 

The list of capable scholars who, after 1900, began serious 
study of the South is an imposing one. Three names, however, 
have been recognized as outstanding: William Archibald Dun- 
ning, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, and William Edward Dodd. The 
careers of Dunning and Phillips ended earlier than that of Dodd, 
and bibliographies of their contributions to historical scholarship 
have been gathered. Dodd, the less scientific but more imaginative 
and controversial of the three, no less deserves similar recogni- 

Born October 21, 1869, near Clayton, North Carolina, William 
E. Dodd was of the New South's first generation. Steeped in the 
lore of the great war and conversant with the period of political 
readjustment, he was as a youth witness to and participant in 
the efforts of southern people to rebuild on a new pattern their 
economic and social structure. His adolescent years, in short, 
like those of the younger U. B. Phillips of Georgia, were in a 
tangible fashion conducive to a future interest in southern 

Dodd's collegiate education began in 1891 at the Virginia 
Polytechnic Institute. He was graduated with honor in 1895, and, 
accepting a teaching fellowship offered by the Institute, remained 


The Printed Writings of William Edward Dodd 73 

to receive in 1897 a Master of Science degree in history. He 
embarked the following year for Germany, enrolled in the Uni- 
versity of Leipzig, and won his Doctor of Philosophy degree 
there in 1900. His doctoral dissertation bore the title, Thomas 
Jefferson's Riickkehr zur Politik, 1796. Although published (in 
1899 ), x this brief study attracted little attention and is of no 
special importance to the bibliography of Jefferson. It was, 
nonetheless, the key to Dodd's future as a historian. From 1900 
forward he was Jeff ersonian to a fault. His philosophy of history, 
indeed his philosophy of life was thereafter rooted in what he 
understood to be the philosophy of the eminent Virginian. 

Dodd returned from Germany in 1900, married Martha Jones 
of Auburn, North Carolina, and accepted the following year a 
teaching position offered by Randolph-Macon Woman's College 
in Virginia. There he began a steady pace, teaching, writing, 
editing papers and articles, and organizing historical groups. 
Five productive years at the small Virginia school sufficed to 
make his name well known professionally, and in 1908 he was 
offered a position by the University of Chicago. Accepting the 
offer, he entered upon a second phase of an ascensive career. 

The Chicago libraries and manuscript depositories of the early 
1900's were inviting to any researcher, and Dodd fell to work 
with a tireless determination. In twenty-six years at the Uni- 
versity he published under his name five volumes of history, 
edited a four-volume series on the United States, collected and 
edited with Ray S. Baker six volumes of Woodrow Wilson 
materials, and, with Eugene C. Barker, Walter P. Webb, and, 
later, Henry S. Commager, wrote five school texts. In addition he 
found time to contribute chapters and essays to the works of 
others, to pen in excess of one hundred articles and reviews for 
publication, to take an active part in the work of historical so- 
cieties, and to accept a large number of invitations to lecture 
on historical subjects at colleges, 2 clubs, history groups, even 
political rallies. Nor did his reputation as a teacher suffer as a 
result of this heavy work load. During the two decades graduate 
students arrived at Chicago in increasing numbers to enroll for 

1 Leipzig, 1899. 90 pp. 

2 Two of these schools, Emory University and the University of Alabama, subsequently 
awarded Dodd Doctor of Literature degrees. 

74 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Dodd's seminars and lecture classes. These graduate students, by 
propagandizing their major professor, have made Dodd perhaps 
more famed as a teacher than as an author. 

Dodd's books on Wilson, his strong attachment to the ideals 
of Jeffersonian democracy, and his several political articles and 
speeches combined to bring his career to the attention of the 
nation's leaders, who considered assigning him a public duty far 
removed from the classroom and library. Late in 1933 this as- 
signment came, and the historian who admired near-pure democ- 
racy was unwisely sent as ambassador to totalitarian Germany. 
Here again was a phase in his career, a phase in which he found 
little honor and no pleasure. 

As ambassador to Hitler's Germany, Dodd has been judged by 
many critics to have been a failure. 3 With American diplomats 
of the time being forced to attempt compromise between the 
opposed demands of evangelistic isolationists and irascible inter- 
ventionists, perhaps no American could have been a successful 
minister to 1933-1939 Germany. Dodd, at any rate, was in- 
gloriously recalled. In so far as historical work was concerned, he 
had, for the most part, lost four important years. His return to 
the United States was followed by a country-wide lecture tour, 
but he was sick in body and spirit and lacked the stamina for a 
rigorous research schedule. During the afternoon of February 
9, 1940, at Round Hill, Virginia, death claimed him. 

In an analysis of Dodd's nine volumes, several facts of classi- 
fication may be noted. Five of the nine are biographical, one is a 
specialized study of political history, and three are general his- 
torical studies. All deal with men and events of the American 
South from the colonial period through the Civil War. The central 
accent in the volumes is on the interpretation of facts rather 
than their mere presentation. The author of the nine works may 
be indexed as a historian whose field of concentration was the 
ante-bellum South, a scholar whose interest lay in determining 
trends and drawing generalizations, and a writer whose greatest 
skill was in the condensed presentation of great events and great 

3 For typical pro and con estimates of Dodd as ambassador, see anonymous, Unofficial 
Observer (New York, 1934), 382; Robert M. Lovett, "Cassandra: Ambassador to the Third 
Reich," in New Republic, CIV (March 3, 1941), 315-316; Charles E. Merriam, "William E. 
Dodd as Statesman," in University of Chicago Magazine, May, 1940, 9; L. F. Gittler, "Am- 
bassador Extraordinary," in Survey Graphic, XXVII (July, 1938), 388-389. 

The Printed Writings of William Edward Dodd 75 

The published writings of Dodd are not, of course, a full 
measure of his professional stature. He was for thirty-two years 
a teacher who advised and directed the preparatory studies of 
many of today's well-known historians. 4 Soft-spoken and given 
to awkward gestures, Dodd is not remembered as a good plat- 
form speaker. Yet his lectures rarely failed to command close 
attention and to inspire the listener. He held his audience by 
"unexpected turns of thought and language." Possessed with a 
fine but quiet sense of humor, with an indefinable intuition about 
what should be the facts of history, and with an enthusiastic 
desire to recreate the scenes of the past, he sent students from 
his lectures in what one writer describes as "almost a state of 
hypnosis." 5 A noteworthy number of students left Dodd and the 
University of Chicago to do considerable research and writing of 
their own, and in a final analysis they may well constitute his 
greatest contribution. 6 Many of Dodd's students, writes one his- 
torian, were so impressed and inspired by their teacher that they 
"became scholarly against their wills and better judgment/' 7 
That, certainly, is to a teacher the culmination of compliments. 

In summary, William E. Dodd occupies a prominent although 
controversial position on the list of twentieth-century historians 
and in the annals of American historiography. As an author 
his fame came from his work on the Old South. He knew his 
South as Stark Young knows it, writes one of his students, "in an 
intimate family way, knew who married who, and who was 
cousin to who, and all that." 8 One of the first of the few southern 
historians who have not felt it necessary to apologize for the 
South, he "did much to enlighten a skeptical North as to the 
real nature of Southern civilization." 9 His books, censured at 
times for their sparsity of documentary evidence, their abundance 
of undraped bias, and their prolix literary style, are nevertheless 

4 A representative list of scholars who did graduate work under Dodd includes Henry S. 
Commager, Avery Craven, Philip Davidson, Wesley M. Gewehr, William T. Hutchinson, 
Theodore H. Jack, Alfred P. James, Reginald C. McGrane, R. L. Meriwether, Albert B. 
Moore, Herman C. Nixon, Frank L. Owsley, Bessie L. Pierce, Julius W. Pratt, Percy L. 
Rainwater, Donald B. Sanger, Louis M. Sears, Henry T. Shanks, Donnal V. Smith, Walter 
P. Webb, Laura A. White, and Maude H. Woodfin. 

5 Frank L. Owsley to the writer, December 24, 1949. For information pertaining to Dodd 
as a teacher, the compiler is also indebted to Louis M. Sears, Reginald C. McGrane, Julius 
W. Pratt, Henry S. Commager, Philip Davidson, Walter P. Webb, Alfred P. James, Henry 
T. Shanks, R. L. Meriwether, and Wesley M. Gewehr. 

6 Thomas D. Clark to the writer, February 17, 1947; James W. Patton to the writer, Febru- 
ary 11, 1947. 

7 Avery O. Craven, "William E. Dodd as Teacher," in University of Chicago Magazine 
(May, 1940), 7. 

8 Henry S. Commager to the writer, January 10, 1950. 

9 Thomas P. Abernethy to the writer, February 11, 1947. 

76 The North Carolina Historical Review 

praised for their interpretative passages and their variety of 
challenging suggestion. Dodd was not fond of "grubbing in the 
documents," and was often wrong in his facts. Yet his intuitive 
sense about history, his uncanny ability to ferret out the larger 
truths, allowed him to "rise triumphant over his errors." 10 As 
a teacher he impressed some as being inaccessible, cold and aloof, 
while to others he was the ready critic, the fellow student, the 
intensely personal advisor. To all he presented a challenge, and 
for many he struck the spark of inspiration. He was at once 
an author, teacher, muckraker, diplomat, and democrat. Any 
historian able to lay claim to those diverse titles must be cata- 
logued as an eccentric character within his profession, an ex- 
trovert among his colleagues. 

The following bibliography, a tribute to Dodd's industry and 
versatility, should be practically complete, save for remote and 
elusive articles, newspaper items, and book reviews printed in 
popular periodicals. 11 

I. General Works 
The Cotton Kingdom: A Chronicle of the Old South. New Haven : 

Yale University Press, 1921. Number twenty-seven of the 

Chronicles of America, edited by Allen Johnson. 
Expansion and Conflict. New York : Houghton Mifflin Company, 

[1915]. Volume three of the Riverside History of the United 

States, edited by Dodd. A second edition of the book appeared 

in 1919. 
The Old South; Struggles for Democracy. New York: The Mac- 

millan Company, 1937. 
Statesmen of the Old South; or, from Radicalism to Conservative 

Revolt. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1911. Reprinted 

in 1921. 

II. Biographical and Autobiographical 
Ambassador Dodd's Diary, 1933-1938. New York: Harcourt, 

Brace and Company, [1941]. Edited by William E. Dodd, Jr., 

and Martha Dodd, with an introduction by C. A. Beard. 
Jefferson Davis. Philadelphia : George W. Jacobs and Company, 

[1907]. One of the American Crisis Biographies, edited by 

Ellis P. Oberholtzer. 

10 Henry S. Commager to the writer, January 10, 1950. 

11 The compiler wishes here to acknowledge the assistance of the following people in the 
gathering of certain bibliographical items: Lila Chandra, University of California; Lavinia 
Dudley, New York City; Georgia H. Faison, University of North Carolina; R. Gerald Mc- 
Murty, Lincoln Memorial University; Mrs. Theodore G. Owen, Randolph-Macon College; 
Mrs. Catherine J. Pierce, Duke University; Harris E. Starr, New Haven, Connecticut; 
Constance M. Winchell, Columbia University; and Marella Walker, Emory University. 

The Printed Writings of William Edward Dodd 77 

The Life of Nathaniel Macon, Raleigh, N. C. : Edwards and 
Brougton, Printers, 1903. 

Lincoln or Lee; Comparison and Contrast of the Two Greatest 
Leaders in the War between the States. The Narrow and Ac- 
cidental Margins of Success. New York: The Century Com- 
pany, [1928]. 

Thomas Jefferson's Ruckkehr zur Politik, 1796. Leipzig : Grubel 
und Sommerlatte, 1899. 

Woodrow Wilson and His Work. New York: Doubleday, Page 
and Company, 1926. This company put the book through five 
printings. A new edition appeared in 1932 (New York: Peter 
Smith) . 

III. Cooperative Works 

The Growth of a Nation, the United States of America. New 
York : Row, Peterson and Company, 1928. Written in coopera- 
tion with Eugene C. Barker and Walter P. Webb. A text for 
college students. 

Our Nation Begins. New York: Row, Peterson and Company, 
1933. Written in cooperation with Eugene C. Barker and 
Walter P. Webb. A text for children of "9-10 years." 

Our Nation's Development. New York : Row, Peterson and Com- 
pany, 1934. Written in cooperation with Eugene C. Barker and 
Henry S. Commager. A text for secondary schools. 

Our Nation Groivs Up. New York : Row, Peterson and Company, 
1933. Written in cooperation with Eugene C. Barker and 
Walter P. Webb. A text for the primary grades. 

The Story of Our Nation, the United States of America. New 
York : Row, Peterson and Company, 1929. Written in coopera- 
tion with Eugene C. Barker and Walter P. Webb. A text for 
high school students. 

IV. Edited Works 

The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Authorized Edition. 
College and State, Educational, Literary, and Political Papers 
(1875-1913). New York: Harper and Brothers, 1925, 2 vols. 
Edited in cooperation with Ray S. Baker. 

The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Authorized Edition. The 
New Democracy: Presidential Messages, Addresses, and Other 
Papers (1913-1917). New York: Harper and Brothers, 1926. 
2 vols. Edited in cooperation with Ray S. Baker. 

The Public Papers o/ Woodrotv Wilson, Authorized Edition. War 
and Peace: Presidential Messages, Addresses, and Public 
Papers (19 17 -192 U). New York: Harper and Brothers, 1927. 
2 vols. Edited in cooperation with Ray S. Baker. 

V. Articles and Edited Documents in Periodicals 

"Abraham Lincoln and His Problem, 1861," in Research and 

Progress, I (1935), 106-110. 
"Andrew Jackson and His Enemies, and the Great Noise They 

78 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Made in the World," in Century Magazine, CXI (1926), 

"Andrew Johnson," in New Republic, LV (1928), 205-206. Es- 
sentially a review of Robert W. Winston's Andrew Johnson, 
Plebian and Patriot (New York, 1928) . 

"Another View of Our Educational Progress," in South Atlantic 
Quarterly, II (1903), 325-333. 

"The Bible of a Political Church," in [Fritz Brennecke], The 
Nazi Primer (Harwood L. Child's translation, New York, 
1938), 256-280. 

"Bishop John Cowper Granbery," in John P. Branch Historical 
Papers of Randolph-Macon College, II, Nos. 3-4 (1908), 187- 

"British-American Difficulties," in Public, XXII (1919), 572-574. 

"Chief Justice Marshall and Virginia, 1813-1821," in American 
Historical Review, XII (1907), 776-787. 

"Converging Democracies," in Yale Review, New Series VIII 
(1919), 449-465. 

"Converging Democracies of England and America," in Proceed- 
ings, Nineteenth Annual Session, State Literary and Historical 
Association of North Carolina, 1919, 85-98. 

"Correspondence of Col. Leven Powell, M.C., Relating to the 
Election of 1800," in John P. Branch Historical Papers of 
Randolph-Macon College, I, No. 1 (1901), 54-63. 

"Correspondence of Leven Powell: Letters on Jefferson's Elec- 
tion," in John P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon 
College, I, No. 3 (1903), 217-255. 

"Correspondence of Leven Powell: Some Monroe Letters — Col- 
lecting French Spoliation Claims," in John P. Branch Histori- 
cal Papers of Randolph Macon College, I, No. 3 (1903), 

"Correspondence of Revolutionary Leaders: Letters from Col. 
Leven Powell to His Wife," in John P. Branch Historical 
Papers of Randolph-Macon College, I, No. 1 (1901) , 22-38. 

"Correspondence of Revolutionary Leaders : Letters of the Rev. 
David Griffith to Col. Leven Powell," in John P. Branch His- 
torical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, I, No. 1 (1901), 

"The Declaration of Independence," in Virginia Quarterly Re- 
view, II (1926), 334-349. 

"Democracy and Learning," in Nation, LXXXIX (1909), 

"Democracy and the University," in Nation, CI (1915), 463-465. 

"The Democratic Party and the National Outlook," in pamphlet 
printed by the Democratic Women's Luncheon Club of Phila- 
delphia, November 27, 1922. 25 pp. 

"Difficulties of the History Teacher in the South," in South At- 
lantic Quarterly, III (1904), 117-122. 

"The Dilemma of Democracy in the United States," in Virginia 
Quarterly Review, I, (1925), 350-363. 

The Printed Writings of William Edward Dodd 79 

"Dilemma of the German-Americans," in Public, XXII (1919), 

"Dilemma of Modern Civilization," in Quincy Wright, ed., Neu- 
trality and Collective Security (Chicago, 1936), 93-106. 
"Economic Interpretations of American History," in Journal of 

Political Economy, XXIV (1918), 489-495. 
"The Effect of the Adoption of the Constitution upon the Fi- 
nances of Virginia," in Virginia Magazine of History and 

Biography, X (1903), 360-370. 
"The Emergence of the First Social Order in the United States," 

in American Historical Review, XL (1935), 217-231. 
"End of an Era," in Atlantic Monthly, CXLIX (1932) , 367-373. 
"End of Europe as a Leader of Mankind," in World's Work, 

XXXVIII (1919), 254-257. 
"The Federal Constitution and Its Application, 1789 to 1933," 

in Bulletin, College of William and Mary, XXVII (No. 5, 1933) . 

69 pp. 
"The Fight for the Northwest, 1860," in American Historical 

Review, XVI (1911), 774-788. 
"Freedom of Speech in the South," in Nation, LXXXIV (1907), 

"George Washington, Nationalist," in Annual Report, American 

Historical Association, 1932 (Washington, 1933), 133-148. 
"Germany Shocked Me," in Nation, CXLVII (1920), 176-178. 
"The Great Loyalty in America," in Historical Outlook, X (1919) , 

"The Habit of Crime in the United States," in Rice Institute 

Pamphlet, XVI (1929), 143-151. 
"Have the Scientists Done a Better Job," in Christian Century, 

XLVI (1929), 138-141. 
"History and Patriotism," in South Atlantic Quarterly, XII 

(1913), 109-121. 
"John Taylor, of Caroline, Prophet of Secession," in John P. 

Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, II, Nos. 

3-4 (1908), 214-252. 
"Josephus Daniels," in Public, XXI (1918), 791-794, 822-825. 
"Karl Lamprecht and Kulturgeschichte," in Popular Science 

Monthly, LXIII (1903), 418-424. 
"Leven Powell Correspondence — 1775-1787," in John P. Branch 

Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, I, No. 2 (1902) , 

"Letters Bearing on the War of 1812," in John P. Branch His- 
torical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, I, No. 2 (1902), 

"Letters of John Taylor, of Caroline County, Virginia," in John 

P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, II, 

Nos. 3-4 (1908), 253-353. 
"Letters of Thomas Ritchie — Glimpses of the Year 1830," in 

John P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, 

I, No. 2 (1902), 147-154. 

80 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"Lincoln or Lee : No Peace without Victory in a War-mad World," 
in Century Magazine, CXIII (1927), 661-673. 

"Lincoln's Dilemma," in M. Llewellyn Raney and others, // 
Lincoln Had Lived (Chicago, 1935), 43-58. 

"Lincoln's Last Struggle and the End of His Long Career," in 
Century Magazine, CXIV (1927), 46-61. 

"Lincoln's Last Struggle — Victory?" in Lincoln Centennial As- 
sociation Papers, Springfield, Illinois, 1927, 49-98. 

"The Making of Andrew Jackson ; All Things Worked Together 
for Good to Old Hickory," in Century Magazine, CXI (1926), 

"Napoleon Breaks Thomas Jefferson," in American Mercury, V 
(1925), 303-313. 

"Nationalism in American History," in Texas History Teacher's 
Bulletin, VIII (1920), 55-66. 

"North Carolina in the Revolution," in South Atlantic Quarterly, 
I (1902), 156-161. 

"Our Ingrowing Habit of Lawlessness," in Century Magazine, 
CXVI (1928), 691-698. 

"The Passing of the Old United States: How Has the Change 
Been Wrought?" in Century Magazine, CXIX (1929), 39-51. 

"The Place of Nathaniel Macon in Southern History," in Ameri- 
can Historical Review, VII (1902), 663-675. 

"Political Corruption and the Public: Fifty Years Ago and To- 
day," in New Republic, XXXIX (1924) , 63-64. 

"President Wilson and the World Peace," in Nation, CVII 
(1918), 557-558. 

"President Wilson, His Treaty, and His Reward," in World's 
Work, XXXIX (1920), 440-447. 

"The Principle of Instructing United States Senators," in South 
Atlantic Quarterly, I (1902), 326-332. 

"Profitable Fields of Investigation in American History, 1815- 
1860," in American Historical Review, XVIII (1913) , 522-536. 

"Responsibility of the Senate Majority," in New Republic, XXIII 
(1920), 58-59. 

"Rise of Abraham Lincoln," in Century Magazine, CXIII (1927) , 

"R. J. Walker, Lincoln's Press Agent," in Magazine of History, 
XXXV (Extra Number 140, No. 4, 1928), 219-220. Consists 
of excerpts from a lecture given by Dodd. 

"Roane Correspondence," in John P. Branch Historical Papers 
of Randolph-Macon College, II, No. 1 (1905), 123-142. 

"Roane on the National Constitution — Reprints from the Rich- 
mond Chronicle and Richmond Enquirer," in John P. Branch 
Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, II, No. 1 (1905) 

"Robert E. Lee and Reconstruction," in South Atlantic Quarterly, 
IV (1905), 63-70. 

"Robert J. Walker, Imperialist," in Club Papers, Chicago Lit- 
erary Club (1914), 7-40. 

"Roosevelt," in Public, XXII (1919), 1140-1141. 

The Printed Writings of William Edward Dodd 81 

"Shall Our Farmers Become Peasants?" in Century Magazine, 
CXVI (1928), 30-44. 

"The Slavery Problem/' in Andrew C. McLaughlin and others, 
Source Problems in United States History (New York, 1918) , 

"Social and Economic Background of Woodrow Wilson," in 
Journal of Political Economy, XXV (1917), 261-285. 

"Social Philosophy of the Old South," in American Journal of 
Sociology, XXIV (1918), 735-746. 

"Spencer Roane — Reprints from the Richmond Enquirer,'* in 
John P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College, 
I, No. 4 (1904), 325-373. 

"Status of History in Southern Education," in Nation, LXXV 
(1902), 109-111. 

"Struggle for Democracy in the United States," in International 
Journal of Ethics, XXVIII (1918), 465-484. 

"Tom Paine," in American Mercury, XXI (1930), 477-483. 

"United States of Tomorrow," in Nation, CIV (1917), 74-75. 

"The University and the Public," in Proceedings, Southern Con- 
ference on Education (1930), 95-103. 

"The University and the Totalitarian State," in Educational Rec- 
ord, XIX (1938), 312-322. 

"Virginia Opposition to Chief Justice Marshall — Reprints from 
the Richmond Enquirer, 1821," in John P. Branch Historical 
Papers of Randolph-Macon College, II, No. 2 (1906), 78-183. 

"Virginia Takes the High Road to Revolution," in Carl L. Beck- 
er and others, The Spirit of '76 and Other Essays (Washing- 
ton, 1927), 101-135. 

"The West and the War With Mexico," in Journal of the Illinois 
State Historical Society, V (1912), 159-172. 

"When Washington Tried Isolation," in American Mercury, IV 
(1925), 342-352. 

"Wilson and the American Tradition," in The Pacific Review, I 
(1921), 576-581. 

"Wilsonism," in Political Science Quarterly, XXXVIII (1923), 

"Woodrow Wilson, 1918-1920, and the World Situation, 1938," in 
pamphlet printed by the Democratic Women's Luncheon Club 
of Philadelphia, December 28, 1938. 28 pp. 

"Woodrow Wilson — Ten Years After," in Contemporary Review, 
CXXXV (1929), 26-38. 

VI. Contributions to Encylopedias and Biographical Dictionaries 
(1) Chandler, Julian A. C, and others, eds., The South in the 
Building of the Nation. Richmond: Southern Historical 
Publication Society, 1909. 12 vols. 

"Contributions of the South to Economic Thought and 
Writing to 1865," V, 564-576. 

"Contributions of the South to Economic Thought and 
Writing, 1865-1909," VI, 546-551. 

82 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"Economic Effects upon the South of the United States 
Tariff Policy, 1865-1909," VI, 476-480. 
"Economic Influence of the Tariff Policy of the United 
States in the South, 1607-1865," V, 487-493. 
"Plantation and Farm Systems in Southern Agriculture, 
1607-1865," V, 73-80. 

(2) McLaughlin, Andrew C, and Albert B. Hart, eds., Cyclo- 

pedia of American Government. New York: D. Appleton 
and Company, 1914. 3 vols. 

"Judah P. Benjamin," I, 124. 

"John C. Calhoun," I, 202-203. 

"Confederate States," I, 369-375. 

"Jefferson Davis," I, 540-541. 

"Robert Young Hayne," II, 115. 

"Patrick Henry," II, 121-122. 

"Thomas Jefferson," II, 250. 

"London Company," II, 320. 

"John Slidell," III, 322. 

"John Taylor," III, 509-510. 

"Transylvania," III, 559. 

"Virginia," III, 617-620. 

(3) Johnson, Allen, ed., Dictionary of American Biography. 

New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928- 

"Henry Winter Davis," V, 119-121. 
"Patrick Henry," VIII, 554-559. 
"Franklin Stringfellow," XVIII, 138-139. 

(4) Encyclopedia Americana. New York: Americana Corpora- 

tion, 1949. 30 vols. 

"Henry Clay," VII, 66-69. 

"Jefferson Davis," VIII, 509-511. 

"Millard Fillmore," XI, 210-211. 

"James Knox Polk," XXII, 317-318. 

"United States— Causes of the War of 1812," XXVII, 


"United States— Annexation of Texas," XXVII, 384- 


"United States— Secession," XXVII, 405-410. 

"J. Robert Walker," XXVIII, 229. 

"Daniel Webster," XXIX, 146-149. 

"Thomas Woodrow Wilson," XXIX, 363-368. 

(5) Seligman, Edwin R. A., ed., Encyclopaedia of the Social 

Sciences. New York : The Macmillan Company, 1930-1935. 
15 vols. 

"T. Woodrow Wilson," XV, 426-428. 

VII. Book Reviews 
(1) American Historical Revieiv 

Edwin Anderson Alderman and Armistead C. Gordon, 
J. L. M. Curry: A Biography (New York, 1911), in 
XVII (1912), 854-855. 
Charles Henry Ambler, ed., Correspondence of R. M. T. 

The Printed Writings of William Edward Dodd 83 

Hunter, 1826-1876 (Washington, 1918), in XXV 

(1920), 727-729. 
Charles Henry Ambler, Sectionalism in Virginia from 

1776 to 1861 (Chicago, 1910), in XVI (1910), 15-51. 
Thomas J. Arnold, Early Life and Letters of General 

Thomas J. Jackson; (< Stonewall Jackson" (New York, 

1916), in XXIII (1918), 413-415. 
Charles A. Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the 

Constitution of the United States (New York, 1913), in 

XIX (1913), 162-163. 
Gamaliel Bradford, Jr., Lee the American (Boston, 1912), 

in XVIII (1912), 154-156. 
Johnson Brigham, James Harlan (Iowa City, 1913), in 

XIX (1913), 693-694. 
John H. Claiborne, Seventy-Five Years in Old Virginia, 

with Some Account of the Life of the Author and Some 

History of the People amongst Whom His Lot Was Cast 

(New York, 1904), in X (1905), 218-219. 
Arthur C. Cole, The Whig Party in the South (Washing- 
ton, 1913), in XX (1915), 649-650. 
Elizabeth Cutting, Jefferson Davis, Political Soldier (New 

York, 1930), in XXXVI (1931), 611-613. 
W. E. Burghardt DuBois, John Brown (Philadelphia, 

1909), in XV (1910), 633-634. 
Hamilton J. Eckenrode, The Political History of Virginia 

during the Reconstruction (Baltimore, 1904), in X 

(1905), 700-701. 
Armistead C. Gordon, William Fitzhugh Gordon. A Vir- 
ginian of the Old School: His Life, Times, and Con- 
temporaries, (1787-1858) (New York, 1909), in XV 

(1910), 922-923. 
J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, ed., The Papers of Thomas 

Ruffin (3 vols., Raleigh, 1918-1920), in XXIV (1919), 

299-300, XXV (1919), 122-123, and XXVI (1921), 

Burton J. Hendrick, The Life and Letters of Walter H. 

Page (Garden City, 1922), in XXVIII (1923), 566-570. 
Von Richard Kotzschke, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: Sein 

Lehen und sein Wirken (Dresden, 1931), in XXXVII 

(1932), 779-780. 
Von Karl Lamprecht, Zur jilngsten Duetschen Vergangen- 

heit (Berlin, 1902) , in VII (1903) , 789-791. 
William M. Meigs, The Life of John Caldwell Calhoun (2 

vols., New York, 1917), in XXIII (1918), 872-874. 
Elizabeth Merritt, James Henry Hammond, 1807 -186 If 

(Baltimore, 1923), in XXIX (1924), 611-612. 
George Morgan, The True Patrick Henry (Philadelphia, 

1907), in XIII (1908), 652-653. 
Beverley B. Munford, Virginia's Attitude toward Slavery 

and Secession (New York, 1909), in XV (1910), 


84 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Eleanor Wilson McAdoo, The Woodrow Wilsons (New 

York, 1937), in XLIII (1937), 171-172. 
Walter F. McCaleb, ed., John H. Regan's Memoirs with 

Special Reference to Secession and the Civil War (New 

York, 1906), in XII (1907), 679-680. 
Robert McElroy, Jefferson Davis, the Unreal and the Real 

(2 vols., New York, 1937), in XLIV (1938), 160-162. 
Charles T. O'Ferrall, Forty Years of Active Service (New 

York, 1904), in X (1905), 925-926. 
Thomas Nelson Page, The Old Dominion: Her Making and 

Her Manners (New York, 1908), in XIV (1908), 182- 

Mrs. Roger A. Pryor, Reminiscences of Peace and War 

(New York, 1904), in X (1905), 924-925. 
Edith Gittings Reid, Woodrow Wilson: The Caricature, 

the Myth, and the Man (New York, 1934), in XL 

(1934), 155-156. 
Dunbar Rowland, ed., Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist: 

His Letters, Papers, and Speeches (10 vols., Jackson, 

Miss., 1923), in XXIX (1924), 352-356. 
John H. Russell, The Free Negro in Virginia, 1619-1865 

(Baltimore, 1913), in XIX (1914), 688-689. 
Lyon G. Tyler, Williamsburg, the Old Colonial Capital 

(Richmond, 1907), in XIII (1908), 650-651. 
Walter C. Whitaker, Richard Hooker Wilmer, Second 

Bishop of Alabama (New York, 1907), in XIII (1908), 


(2) Journal of Modern History 

Carl L. Becker, Everyman His Own Historian (New York, 
1935), in VII (1935), 465-466. 

(3) Mississippi Valley Historical Review 

William E. Barton, The Life of Clara Barton, Founder of 
the American Red Cross (2 vols., Boston, 1922), in IX 
(1923), 331-333. 

Claude G. Bowers, The Party Battles of the Jackson Period 
(Boston, 1922), in X (1924), 80-82. 

Robert Preston Brooks, The Agrarian Revolution in 
Georgia, 1865-1912 (Madison, 1914), in I (1914), 299. 

Walter L. Fleming, The Sequel of Appomattox: A Chroni- 
cle of the Reunion of the States (New Haven, 1919), 
in VII (1920), 279-281. 

Armistead C. Gordon, Virginia Portraits; Essays in Biog- 
raphy (Staunton, Va., 1924), in XII (1925), 287. 

Anne Wintermute Lane and Louise Herrick Wall, eds., 
The Letters of Franklin K. Lane, Personal and Political 
(Boston, 1922), in IX (1923), 342-345. 

William McDonald, From Jefferson to Lincoln (New York, 
1913), in I (1914), 293. 

George Sylvester Viereck, The Strangest Friendship in 
History: Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House (New 
York, 1932), in XX (1933), 142-143. 

The Printed Writings of William Edward Dodd 85 

Jennings C. Wise, Woodrow Wilson: Disciple of Revolu- 
tion (New York, 1938), in XXV (1938), 433-434. 

(4) New England Quarterly 

Elizabeth Donnan, ed., Documents Illustrative of the Slave 
Trade to America (4 vols., Washington, 1930-1935), 
in IV (1931), 368-371, V (1932), 630-631, VII (1934), 
190-191, and VIII (1935), 592-594. 

(5) North Carolina Historical Revieiv 

J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, ed., The Best Letters of 
Thomas Jefferson (Boston, 1926), in IV (1927), 127- 

Daniel H. Hill, A History of North Carolina in the War 
between the States. Volumes I and II, Bethel to Sharps- 
burg (Raleigh, 1926), in V (1928), 464-468. 

(6) Publications of the Southern History Association 

Albert E. Hancock, Henry Bourland, the Passing of the 
Cavalier (New York, 1901), in VI (1902), 449-450. 

(7) South Atlantic Quarterly 

John S. Bassett, The Federalist System, 1789-1801 (New 
York, 1906), in V (1906), 299-301. 

(8) Virginia Quarterly Review 

Ray Stannard Baker, Woodrow Wilson, Life and Letters 
(vols. 3-4, Garden City, 1931), in VIII (1932), 270-275. 

W. E. Burghardt DuBois, Black Reconstruction. An Essay 
toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played 
in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 
1860-1900 (New York, 1935), in XII (1936), 138-141. 

Louis M. Hacker and Benjamin B. Kendrick, The United 
States Since 1865 (New York, 1932), in VIII (1932), 

Willis Fletcher Johnson, George Harvey, A Passionate 
Patriot (Boston, 1929), in VI (1930), 268-274. 

Dumas Malone, ed., and Linwood Lehman, translator, 
Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and Pierre 
Samuel Du Pont de Nemours, 1798-1817 (Boston, 1931) , 
in VII (1931), 280-282. 

Lincoln Steffens, The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens 
(2 vols., New York, 1931), in VII (1931), 441-447. 

Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, The Founding of Ameri- 
can Civilization; The Middle Colonies (New York, 
1938), in XIV (1938), 634-637. 




Edited by John L. Sanders 

This journal, kept during his senior year at the University of 
North Carolina, constitutes the only significant record of Ruffin 
Wirt Tomlinson's life. Except for mention as one of the heirs in 
the settlement of his father's estate, 1 no record has been found 
of his existence prior to his appearance on the Chapel Hill scene. 
In the records of the University, and chiefly in the minutes of the 
Philanthropic Society, Tomlinson's collegiate career can be fol- 
lowed in rough outline. Of his life and activities subsequent to 
his graduation in June, 1842, we have almost no record beyond 
the appearance of the young man's name in sundry legal records. 
His early death, coming scarcely more than two years after 
leaving Chapel Hill, cut short a career with beginnings of 

Of the journalist's early life and preparation for the Univer- 
sity, we are almost entirely ignorant. His father, Harrass Tom- 
linson, resided on a plantation in the northwestern part of 
Johnston County, near the Wake County line. He married Edith 
Lockhart, also of Johnston, in 1802, and they had at least six 
children — James, Bernice H., Patsy, Cassandra, Lucy, and Ruffin 
Wirt, the youngest, born in 1817. 2 The elder Tomlinson died in 
1826, and his property was divided among the widow and chil- 
dren, Ruffin's portion of the home plantation, 161 acres, being 
taken subject to his mother's dower. 3 

It is a matter of conjecture just where Tomlinson received 
his preparation for the University. The earlier phases may very 
well have been passed at an "old field" school in the neighborhood. 
There was in operation at that time in Smithfield, some ten miles 
from the Tomlinson home, a private preparatory school such as 

1 Division of Estate of Harass Tomlinson, November 18, 1826, made in obedience to order 
of tbe Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, issued November 13, 1826, Land Divisions, 
[Book] A, MS in Johnston County Register of Deeds Office, Smithfield, North Carolina, 

2 Division of Estate of Harass Tomlinson, 128-130. 

3 Division of Estate of Harass Tomlinson, 128-130, 133-134. 


Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 




O g 

[Cameron /Vv#n*'eJ 

4D ,fl7 

a 5 




FranA/to Street 


l { 



Campus of the University op North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ca. 1841. 

Legend : 




South Building 8. 
Gerrard Hall (New Chapel) 9. 

Steward's Hall 10. 

Old East Building 11. 

Old Well 12. 

Belfry 13. 

Old West Building 14. 

First Monument to President Caldwell 
Residence of Dr. Elisha Mitchell 
Davie Popular 
Person Hall (Old Chapel) 
Residence of Cornelia Phillips 
Residence of President Swain 
Eagle Hotel (Miss Nancy Hilliard) 

were numerous in the state at the time, the Smithfield Academy. 
It would seem likely that here in this school, boasting a classical 
course ". . . adapted to that observed at Chapel Hill," 4 Tomlinson 
pursued the later phase of his pre-University studies. 

Tomlinson entered the University at Chapel Hill in January, 
1839, where he was placed in the freshman class. Evidently his 
academic accomplishments were such as to allow him to omit the 
first half-year's work. The first official note of Tomlinson as a 

4 Charles L. Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, 
History (Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton, 1915), 195. 

1790-18^0, A Documentary 

88 The North Carolina Historical Review 

member of the student body appears in the Faculty Report to the 
Board of Trustees of the following June. 5 

Within a month after entering college, Tomlinson was initiated 
into the Philanthropic Society, one of two literary societies on 
campus dating from 1795. 6 Custom required that each student 
join either the "Phi" or its senior sister organization, the Dialec- 
tic Society, or "Di." By this time there had developed a fairly 
strong tradition dictating that men from the east of Chapel Hill 
join the Phi, those from the west the Di. The membership of the 
Phi at this time totalled 63, 7 considerably less than half the en- 
rollment of 160 then claimed by the University. 8 Both societies 
occupied halls on the third floor of South Building, other portions 
of which served as recitation and dormitory rooms. 

The Phi minutes show that Tomlinson participated regularly 
in the activities of his Society, composing, declaiming, and de- 
bating in his turn. 9 He saw service on various committees, served 
as monitor of South Building, 10 and was elected treasurer of the 
Phi during his sophomore year 11 and again in his senior year. 12 

Tomlinson's reading, as evidenced by the books borrowed from 
the Phi library, was rather serious — Plutarch, Shakespeare, 
Hume's History of Scotland, and the like — but relieved by an 
occasional sortie into lighter literature, such as the novels of 
Cooper. 13 

Following the subject's academic pathway is made difficult by 
the meagerness of scholastic records of the University for that 
period. For his senior year (1841-1842), Tomlinson's own ac- 
count is relatively complete and, supplemented by the archives of 
the University and the Philanthropic Society, forms a coherent 
picture of his life for those months. 

No record has been found of the journalist's activities during 
the year immediately following his graduation. Probably he 

5 Reports from the Faculty to the Trustees of the University of N. C, 1830 to 1839, MS 
in the University of North Carolina Lihrary, June 27, 1839. 

8 Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society from Nov. 3 rd 1832 to Aug. 20 th , 1840 Inclusive, 
MS in University of North Carolina Library, February 15, 1839. 

7 Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1832-1840, February 16, 1839. 

8 From the Address of Governor Edward B. Dudley to the General Assembly of North Caro- 
lina, December 22, 1840, quoted in Minutes of the Trustees, 1823-1840, MS in University of 
North Carolina Library. 

9 Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1832-1840, August 23, 1839; The Proceedings of 
the Philanthropic Society, August 28 th 1840 [to] Aug 30 th 1844, MS in University of 
North Carolina Library, July 31, 1841. 

10 Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1832-1840, August 28, 1840. 

11 Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1832-1840, April 24, 1840. 

12 Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, February 25, 1842. 

13 Philanthropic Society Library Register, 1838-1841, MS in University of North Carolina 
Library, 45. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 89 

settled down on his farm and, perhaps after reading law in the 
office of some lawyer of the vicinity, began the practice of his pro- 
fession. Beginning in August, 1843, there are in the Johnston 
County Register of Deeds Office several deeds of trust in which 
Tomlinson appears as trustee, 14 a grant of forty acres of land 
from the state in 1844, 15 and a number of security bonds on which 
his name appears as bondsman along with those of several 
others. 16 

Five random entries, all dated in 1844, are all that were made 
by the diarist after his departure from the University. They 
evidence a growing interest and involvement in local political 
affairs — a logical course, as both of his brothers were active in 
Democratic politics in the county, holding various local offices 
and representing Johnston County at times in the General As- 

Tomlinson's first public office was attained in March, 1844, 
when he became clerk and master in equity for Johnston County 
through appointment by Richmond Pearson, Judge of the Su- 
perior Court. 

Details surrounding the death of young Tomlinson in Septem- 
ber, 1844, are unknown. The Raleigh newspapers carried the 
following brief note of his passing : 

"DIED, At the residence of his Mother, in Johnston County, of 
billious congestion, Ruffin W. Tomlinson, Esq. in the 27th year of 
his age." 17 

The value of Tomlinson's Journal is two-fold. Not only does it 
tell an intimate and intrinsically interesting story of the life of 
the author during an important period of his life, but it consti- 
tutes, more significantly, almost the only contemporary personal 
student account of that era in the history of the University. I 
have found only one other student diary of the early 1840's, that 
of James Lawrence Dusenberry (1841-1842), which devotes any 
attention to the day-to-day happenings in the University, and it 

14 [Book] U2, MS in Johnston County Register of Deeds Office, Smithfield, 81, 89-90, 175-177, 

^State of North Carolina to Ruffin W. Tomlinson, August 24, 1844, [Book] V2, MS in 
Johnston County Register of Deeds Office, Smithfield, 378-379. 

i« [Book] U2, 123-125, 266, 266-268. 

17 North Carolina Standard (Raleigh), September 18, 1844. 

90 The North Carolina Historical Review 

is rather brief and sketchy. 18 However lacking in literary polish 
and sense of historical importance Tomlinson' s may have been, 
his journal has the advantage of giving a fresh and lively picture 
of the life of a student seen, not through the rosy glass of retro- 
spect, but rather as it was lived. 

That portion of the journal kept while Tomlinson was in 
Chapel Hill is presented here in full. I have attempted to identify, 
with brief biographical notes, each of the persons referred to by 
Tomlinson in association with the University or Chapel Hill. 
Where it appeared advisable, explanatory footnotes have been 
added to clarify certain of his references to activities and events 
of the day. Generally, I have sought to supplement the account of 
the diarist in such manner as to present a more complete sketch 
of the framework of student life and activity in which he moved. 
Corrections in the original text have been made only where 
necessary to clarify the apparent meaning of the writer. The 
pagination of the manuscript is indicated by bracketed numbers. 19 

[1] [Ru]ffin W Tomlinson's 


[Forsan et haec] olim meminisse juvabit 20 

[June] 16th Anno Domini 1841 

[Sou]th Building Number 26 21 

Pleasures of Memory 

[3] University of N. Ca [Saturday] June 19 th 1841 

This morning I rose before sun-rise, with my heart glowing 
with the highest anticipations and panting to accomplish my in- 
tended days journey. The morning was foggy and sultry, but I 
thought I saw by the runing of the clouds that there would not be 

18 Diary of James Lawrence Dusenberry, 1841-1842, typed copy in Southern Historical 
Collection, University of North Carolina. 

19 1 should like to thank, first of all, my cousin, Miss Emma Tomlinson, owner of the 
manuscript journal, for her generosity in permitting me to make it a public record; Dr. 
Archibald Henderson, for his initial encouragement and continuing assistance; Miss Ann 
Beal, for help in research and proofreading; Charles C. Kauffman, for assistance in typing; 
Mr. William M. Greer, for criticism and advice: Mr. D. L. Corbitt and the staff of the North 
Carolina State Department of Archives and History; and Miss Mary Lindsay Thornton, for 
aid in the use of materials under her care in the North Carolina Collection of the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Library. 

20 Perchance it will be pleasant to remember these things sometimes. Virgil, Aeneid. 

21 South Building served in part as a dormitory for over a century after its completion in 
1814. Tomlinson seems to have occupied a room in the west end of the building, overlooking 
the Chapel (Gerrard Hall). On the first floor was located the laboratory; the recitation rooms 
of Dr. Phillips and Governor Swain were on the second floor, that of the latter also serving as 
the University Library. The halls and libraries of the Philanthropic and Dialectic Societies 
were situated on the third floor. Dormitory rooms were located on the second and third 
floors, and perhaps the first. Archibald Henderson, The Campus of the First State University 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1949), 75, 81, 280; and Kemp P. 
Battle, History of the University of North Carolina from Its Beginning to the Death of 
President Swain, 1789-1868 (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, 1907), I, 555. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 91 

much rain before evening. Boyd 22 and myself proceeded to the 
bath 23 and took a good bathing — from there we took a short walk 
and returned to College — when I dressed myself to go to Pitts- 
boro. The object of my business was to form an acquaintance 
with Miss Mary Womach 24 of that (place) I ate breakfast at the 
usual hour at the tavern. 25 I am now prepared to make my exit 
as soon as the horse which I hired from Tiney is put in the sulkey 
which I hired from Charles the (Barber) . I had all things ready 
at a little past eight in the morning when I seated myself in the 
sulkey with a determination to dine in Pittsboro. I drove up to 
College and took some bosoms and collars along with me in my 
sulkey box. I now consider myself under sail travelling solus 
and in deep meditation though with great with great reluctance 
for fear of a very unpleasant trip. I had but one male acquaint- 
ance (Barnes of Alabama) 26 two female acquaintances (Mrs. 
(Cabia and Miss Susan Harden) . The road was hilly but in good 
order for travelling. I drove slowly and found the way there very 
easily. There were but few houses on the road and what few there 
were, were log houses of comparitively small deminsions indi- 
cating that the occupants were upon a level with the common 
class of people. I viewed well the beautiful land [sea] pes, the hills 
and valleys as I journeyed along noticing [pa] rticularly the 
fields of growing corn, wheat [and] other small grain now and 
then a small [pa]tch of cotton (half an acre at a time) The day 
was [4] warm but cloudy, which made it pleasant for travelling. 
About eleven oclock I arrived at Haw River and was greatly 
astonished to find the bridge so long and the river so wide and 
deep. If I were gifted with any Poetic inspiration this would be 
an object worthy of description. I have now five miles to go — my 
feelings are indescribable though not very unpleasant every one 
when entering a strange place has similar feelings I imagine. I 
am now in sight of the village, the houses in suberbs look well. 
When you get in the main street the first thing that presents 
itself to view is the court House in the middle of the street and 
centre of town, just above that is the tavern at which I put up 
kept by Mr Ramsay. I arrived at twelve o'clock had my horse 
taken and fed and ate dinner About two in the evening I dressed 
myself to visit Miss Mary Womach whom I had never seen before 
with an intention if I liked her I thought it probable that I would 
court her. Mr Woten went to give me an introduction — on ar- 
riving there the girl of the house informed us that she had taken 

22 James McClure Boyd, A. B. ( 1843; Camden, Wilcox County, Alabama; physician. Kemp 
P. Battle, Sketches of the History of the University of North Carolina, together with a 
Catalogue of Officers and Students, 1789-1889 (n. p.: Published by the University, 1889), 97. 

23 Tomlinson here makes reference to the ". . . Twin Sisters, two small brooks arising in 
springs . . . canalized by troughs and delightedly used by the University students as an 
open-air shower bath." The bath was probably located northeast of the present intersection 
of Rosemary and Henderson streets. Henderson, The Campus of the First State University, 57. 

24 Mary Ann Womack was the daughter of Green Womack of Pittsboro. Raleigh Register 
and North Carolina Gazette, October 10, 1843. 

25 The Eagle Hotel, where Tomlinson regularly boarded, was operated by the universally 
popular Miss Nancy Hilliard (1798-1873), and stood on the site of the present Graham 
Memorial Student Union. Battle, History, I, 612. 

26 John Patterson Barnes (1826-1875), student, 1841-1842; Suggsville, Alabama; physician. 
Battle, Sketches, 90. 

92 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a ride out in the country but would be back in the evening. We 
now returned back to the tavern and sat there in conversation 
with several other gentlemen. I proposed to him that I should be 
very thankful if he would take me all over town so that I might 
see all the buildings and the churches both Methodist and Epis- 
copalian which he did with great pleasure & said that he would 
be very glad to have the pleasure of giving me an introduction to 
some of the Pittsboro ladies. I thanked him very kindly and told 
him we would visit some after super. We have now returned 
back to the tavern after taking a long walk all over town when 
returning I saw Miss [Womack?] riding in town. We ate supper 
about candlelig [ht] [5] Wotin and myself went to her fathers 
house where we found her playing the Piano-forte, he gave me 
an introduction she invited us to take seats. We started a conver- 
sation which was both lively and agreeable. She is a lady of much 
intelligence, beauty and refinement. I think she is very pretty 
but rather too corpulent. She has had a good many beaux and has 
discarded them all. At ten in the night we returned to the tavern 
to enjoy the sweet embraces of somnus in solitude and retirement 
until the next morning. [Sunday, June 20] After breakfast Wil- 
liam Cowin 27 and Duncan Toomer 28 went with me to the Episco- 
palian Church where we had a sermon delivered by the Epi s . 
minister Mr Thurston 29 When the sermon was over I conducted 
Miss Susan Harden and Mrs. Cabia home. Mrs. Cabia would not 
come in the room where I was for fear I would court her she 
said I pronounce her a mistaken fool and a woman that will not 
tell the truth. I never gave her any reason to believe that I loved 
her — I would not have her for the world. I think her a despicable 
character and one to be abhored by every body that finds her out. 
At one o'clock I ate dinner and returned to Capel Hill in the 
evening much delighted with my trip Thus ends my first trip 
to Pittsboro. I record this that it may be an amusement to me at 
some future day 

Ruffin. . W. . Tomlinson 

University of N. . Ca r . [Wednesday] July 14 th 1841 

This morning I received a letter from Mother, and one from 

Brother Bernice. 30 both informing me of Mother's loss in her 

negro woman Julia who was killed by killed by lightning on the 

7 th of this month. I shall preserve both letter. The fall session 

27 William Dick Cowan (1821-1859), A. B., 1843; Wilmington; physician. Battle, Sketches, 

28 Alexander Duncan Toomer, student, 1841-1843; Pittsboro. Battle, Sketches, 221. 

29 Rev. Mr. William Thurston, rector of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Parish, 1839-1845. 
Royal Graham Shannonhouse, History of St. Bartholomew's Parish, Pittsboro, N. C, 1833- 
1933 (n. p.: 1933), 7. 

30 Bernice H. Tomlinson (1807-1863) lived on a plantation adjoining that of his mother 
and younger brother, Ruffin, in Johnston County. He served as county surveyor and as 
member of the House of Commons from Johnston, 1854-1858. R. D. W. Connor, ed., A 
Manual of North Carolina, Issued by the North Carolina Historical Commission for the Use 
of the Members of the General Assembly, Session 1913 (Raleigh: E. M. Uzzell, 1913), 671. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 93 

commences to morrow. 31 Good many of the students have come 
in. We 32 have a good many newes. I think we shall beat the Dis 33 
in number in the present fresh class. Quantum sufficit RWT 

[6] College Curiosities 

William H Owen 34 to a servant. 

Boy take that quadruped circumambulate him around that 
terrestial habitation Lead him to yon sparkling brook and satiate 
his burning thirst with the aqueous particles therein contain 
Stabulate him and bounteously provide for his wants with a suf- 
ficient quantity of provender : and when on tomorrow the Aurora 
with her rosy fingers has opened the eastern portals of Coelus 
and Titan with all his rays has illumined this our western hemi- 
sphere lead him forth and I will amply recompense you for your 
most amicable hospitality 

W H Owen speech to the Faculty when a student was brought 
before that august body on the charge of ringing the bell a night. 

Reverrentissimi Auditores 

I was awaked at the dead hour of night from the refreshing 
arms of Somnus by the loud reverberations of the Collegiate 
toscin, grating with harsh and discordant cacophony against 
the tympanum of my orracular appendage. I resiled from my 
dormitory hastened on my habiliments and in pursuing the young 
rebels I impinged my pedestrian member against an excrescence 
of nature and fell supinely on my Alma Mater This young rebel 
yelled a shout of defiance and brandished a club in triumph over 
my devoted pericranium 

The same [Owen] to the members of the youngest class in the 


Titan it is, who by his calescent rays produces the insolubrious 
miasma which being deleterious to convalescence emanate from 
pestiferous swamps 

31 The fall session, by order of the Board of Trustees, began six weeks after the first 
Thursday in June, the regular date of Commencement. The second or winter session began 
six weeks after the fourth Friday in November, the date on which the Christmas vacation 
started. Catalogue of the Trustees, Faculty and Students of the University of North Carolina, 
September, 18U1 (Raleigh: Raleigh Register, 1841), 16. 

32 The Philanthropic Society is the younger of the two literary societies on campus, both 
of which date from 1795. The Phi met each Friday evening in their hall on the third floor 
of South Building and debated some query agreed upon the previous week. On Saturday 
morning, they again assembled for the purpose of declaiming memorized extracts and com- 
posing essays. The latter meeting was the outgrowth of a student movement to abolish 
Saturday recitations. In granting the student demand, the faculty conditioned their release 
from the mutually onerous classes by directing that the societies require their members to at- 
tend Saturday meetings, which were to be devoted to these instructive activities. Seniors seem 
not to have been required to declaim or compose. 

33 The Dialectic Society, parent and rival organization of the Philanthropic Society, was 
very similar in organization and activities to the latter. 

3 ± William Hayes Owen, A. B. 1833, and native of Oxford, North Carolina, was at this time 
Tutor of Ancient Languages, Librarian of the University, and Clerk of the Faculty, Cata- 
logue . . . 18U1, 6. 

The first story attributed to Owen is by no means original, for substantially the same tale 
appears in the Raleigh Star of June 1, 1809. Battle gives somewhat more credence to 
Tomlinson's second tale on Owen, although the version printed in the History of the Uni- 
versity is considerably less flambouyant than that of the journalist. Battle, History, I 550 

94 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[7] University of N. . Car Sunday July 18. th 1841 

This morning I attended divine worship 35 and read some few 
pages of Burke's "Reflections on the French revolution" 36 and 
slept until breakfast. After breakfasting I came back to my room 
and read matters and things in general until eleven oclock when 
I went to church and heard a fine sermon from Professor 
Greene 37 upon the following text "Ecclesiastes Chap 12 th first 
verse." "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth 
while the evil days come not nor the years draw nigh when thou 
shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" I can say as far as my 
judgement will permit that it was an admirable sermon and 
moreover I think that he improves much in his preaches. It was 
intended mostly for those who have just joined the University 
but not without its having its desired effect upon those who have 
been here for some time. After dining and returning to my room 
I prepared the three first chapters in the book of Genesis to 
recite to Gov r . Swain 38 between the hours of fiwe and six. I read it 
over with the comments upon the text in the Pictorial Bible 
which our Society has just purchased. It is a most splendid book 
but a very costly one — it is three large volume Gov r . Swain gave 
a lecture upon reading the Bible to the great satisfaction of the 
Class. And it was astonishing to see how little our Class new 
about it — none could answer the most simple questions. He 
recommended us to read and study it well not only as christians, 
but [for] the benefit that it will [be] to us in after life 

35 Attendance at church services on Sunday morning, and at morning and evening prayers 
daily, was required of each student from the earliest days of the University. Careful account 
was kept of absences from these assemblies and entered in the records of each student for 
the session. Catalogue . . . 1841, 16. 

36 Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Procedings in 
Certain Societies in London Relative to That Event, In a Letter Intended to Have Been 
Sent to a Gentleman in Paris (London: J. Dodsley, 1790). 

37 William Mercer Green (1798-1887), a native of Wilmington, was a graduate of the 
University in the class of 1818. In later years, he was granted the degrees of A.M., D.D., and 
LL.D. Ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church, he served as rector of the Hillsboro 
Episcopal Church for thirteen years immediately prior to coming to the University in 1838 
to assume the duties of professor of rhetoric and logic. During most of his tenure at the 
University, Dr. Green was chaplain, his chief duties in that office being the holding of Sun- 
day services and morning prayers. He alternated with Dr. Mitchell, a Presbyterian, in filling 
the pulpit, the latter officiating at evening prayers. Leaving Chapel Hill in 1849, Dr. Green 
became in the same year bishop of Mississippi, a post which he held until his death. For 
some years he was also chancellor of the University of the South. Battle, Sketches, 135; 
History, I, 455. 

38 David Lowry Swain (1801-1868) had come to the presidency of the University from the 
office of chief executive of the state. Born in Buncombe County, Swain attended the Uni- 
versity briefly in 1820-1821, and later read law in the office of Judge John Louis Taylor in 
Raleigh. Admitted to the state bar late in 1822, he began the practice of law in his home 
county, which in 1824 and for four succeeding years elected him to the House of Commons. 
Swain proceeded from the solicitorship of the Edenton Circuit, gained in 1829, to the 
Superior Court bench in 1830. In 1832 Swain, a Whig, was elected governor of North Caro- 
lina, and was re-elected to that position twice. Near the end of his last term, seeing no 
immediate prospects for further political advancement, Swain actively sought and attained 
the presidency of the University, vacant since the death of President Caldwell in January, 
1835. Inaugurated in January, 1836, Swain headed the University until a few months before 
his death in 1868. 

President Swain was universally referred to as "the Governor." His residence stood on the 
southwest corner of Franklin and Raleigh streets, on which Spencer Hall now stands. 

In addition to his duties as an administrative officer, Swain taught courses in national and 
constitutional law, mental and moral philosophy, and political economy. Thus he provided 
the entirety of legal training available at the University until the establishment of the Law 
School under William H. Battle in 1845. Swain is credited by Vance with having originated 
the study of the Bible as a part of the curriculum, serving himself as instructor. Zebulon B. 
Vance, Life and Character of Hon. David L. Swain, Late President of the University of 
North Carolina, A Memorial Oration by Gov. Zebulon B. Vance, Delivered in Gerrard Hall, 
on Commencement Day, June 7, 1877, at the Request of the Trustees and Faculty of the 
University (Durham: W. T. Blackwell, 1878), 2, 4-5, 18; Catalogue . . . 18U1, 16; Battle, 
History, I, 462. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 95 

University of N Ca Monday [July] 19 th 1841 
As usual I attended prays at sunrise. 39 After prays I returned 
to my room to prepare the ninth Chapter in Norton's 
Astr [onomy] 40 for recitation in the evening between five and six. 
I devoted myself exclusively to Norton until breakfast Immedi- 
ately after breakfasting I returned to my room to studying of 
Norton until eleven o clock when I went [8] to the Senior recita- 
tion room 41 to hear a lecture from Go v . Swain upon "matters and 
things in general" his words He read us a part of Judge Gaston's 
address before the two literary Societies of this University 42 and 
commented upon it at large. He also furnished the class with the 
constitution of N. Car. and the United States He lectured largely 
upon the Declaration of Rights and spouted most magnanimously 
[upon the] Magna Chata He recommended us not to read too 
much, but what we do read, read thoroughly. He told us how to 
read a book to the best advantage but in discoursing upon that I 
did not exactly understand what he meant, but one thing I recall- 
ed very distinctly he wants us all to make an analysis to what we 
read. 43 The hour between 12 an [d] one I receive company. After 
dining I studied my Nortin until recitation but did not come up. 
After supper Hunt of Alabama 44 Mullins of Fayetteville 45 and 
myself took a long walk. Other matters but not worth recording. 
Hug[h]es 46 has come with his books. 

39 The inconvenience of this element of the religious life of the University, particularly 
during 1 the winter, is noted bv Battle, who recollects that students often apoeared at morning 
pravers ". . . in shirt and drawers, covered by a bed quilt. . . ." Battle, History, I, 518-519. 

40 William Augustus Norton, An Elementary Treatise on Astronomy, in Four Parts, Con- 
taining a Systematic and Comprehensive Exposition of the Theory, and the More Important 
Practical Problems; with Solar, Lunar, and Other Agronomical Tables, Designed for Use as a 
Text-book in Colleaes and AcaAem ; e* (New York: Wilev & Putnam, 1839). 

41 The senior recitation room, used chiefly bv President Swain, was located on the second 
floor of South Building. It also housed the University Library, then of insignificant size. 
Battle, History, I, 408. 

42 William Gaston, Address Del've-red Before the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, at 
Chapel HW, N. C, June 20, 1832, by Hon. William Gaston, LL.D. (Chapel Hill: James M. 
Henderson. 1858). 

43 Governor Vance writes illuminatingly of Swain's lectures: 

"I shall never, nover foreet . . . the verv first recitation in which I ever appeared 
before him. ... In 1851, I entered the University, and joined the senior class as an 
irregular. This first lesson was in Constitutional Law. A single general question was 
asked and answered as to the subject in hand, and then he began to discourse of Chan- 
cellor Kent, whose treatise we were studying; from Kent he went to Story, from Story 
to Marshall, reoeatine - anecdotes of the great Americans who had framed and in- 
terpreted our oreranic law; and touching upon the debate between Hayne and Webster. 
From these, he went back and back to the men and the times when the great seminal 
principles of Anglo-Saxon liberty were eliminated from feudal chaos, and placed one 
by one as stones polished by the genius of the wise, and cemented by the blood of the 
brave, in the walls of the temple of human freedom. He told us of the eloquence of 
Burke, of the genius of Chatham; he took us into the prison of Eliott and went with 
us to the death-bed of Hampden; into the closet with Coke and Seargent Maynard; 
and to the Forum where Somers spoke; to the deck of the Brill where William, the 
deliverer, stood as he gazed unon the shores of England; to the scaffolds of Sydney 
and of our own glorious Raleigh. Warminsr as he went with the glowing theme, walk- 
ing up and down the recitation room, which was then the Library of the "old South," 
with long and awkward strides, heaving those heavy passionate sighs, which were 
always with him the witnesses of deep emotion, he would now and then stop, reach 
down from its shelf a volume of some old Poet, and read with trembling voice some 
grand and glowing words addressed to man's truest ambition, that thrilled our souls 
like a song of the chief musician. A profound silence was evidence of the deep atten- 
tion of the class, and the hour passed almost before we knew it had began." Vance, 
Life and Character of Hon. David L. Swain, 11. 

44 William C Hunt, student, 1842-1843; Eutaw, Alabama. Battle, Sketches, 151. 

45 William Sidney Mullins, A. B., 1842, A. M., 1845; Fayetteville; lawyer. Battle, Sketches, 

46 Hughes was associated with Henry D. Turner in the operation of Turner and Hughes' 
book store in Raleigh. They conveyed books to the various schools and towns in the state 
by means of wagons especially built for the purpose. Moses N. Amis, Historical Raleigh, 
with Sketches of Wake County and Its Important Towns (Raleigh: Commercial Printing 
Company, 1913), 76. 

96 The North Carolina Historical Review 

University Tuesday [July] 20 th 1841 
I attended prays this morning and studied the Declaration of 
Rights until breakfast. After breakfast I procured a copy of 
Tytlers Universal History 47 for the Ph 1 Society. At eleven o'clock 
the Senior Class of which I am a member recited to President 
Swain upon the Decl a of Rights. I came up upon the 7 Section. 
Gov r Swain commented finely upon it. There being an impossi- 
bility to purchase an Abercrombie 48 and Political Economy 49 I 
was reduced to the necessity to write to Willis H McLeod 50 of 
Johson [Johnston] for his. In the evening we had the Constitu- 
tion of N.. Carolina to prepare for recitation. Go v Morehead 51 
was up upon a visit and was present at the recitation. This 
evening Mr Bruce and his wife came to Chapel Hill with his 
brother 52 to join college and to see the place R. R.. Bridgers 53 
went to Pittsboro yesterday purposely to see my sweetheart M 
Ann W[omack] and has not yet returned I know not what to 
think of it 

R W Tomlinson 

[9] University of N.. Ca r Wednesday July 21 th 1841 

I made my first recitation to Professor Mitchell 54 to day at 
eleven oclock upon Chemistry. He gave us a lecture between 
eight and nine He is one of the most vulgar old men I ever 
saw, he brings in vulgarity upon every occasion he possible can 
— his experiments were fine. In the evening we had another 
lecture and recitation to Professor Mitchel. I feel melancholy, 
I hardly know how to account for it. Bridgers has not yet 
returned from Pittsboro. he must be enjoying himself very well. 
I somewhat fear he will do me more injury than good. He has 
got sense enough just about to tell Miss M.. W.. that I have a 
notion to address her — to tell her he is my confident. He told 
me that if he liked her he might court her himself, if he should, 

47 Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, Universal History, from the Creation of 
the World to the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century ( Boston : Hilliard, Gray, & Company, 

48 John Abercrombie, The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings, by John Abercrombie . . . 
From the Second Edinburgh Edition, with Questions for the Examination of Students (New- 
York: Harper & Brothers, 1836). 

49 Francis Wayland, The Elements of Political Economy: 3 rd Edition, Improved (Boston: 
Gould, Kendall, & Lincoln, 1840). 

60 Willis Hunter McLeod (1815-1841), A. B., 1840, was a boyhood friend and neighbor of 
Tomlinson's in Johnston County. Battle, Sketches, 171. 

6 *John Motley Morehead (1796-1866), A. B., 1817, A. M., 1827, was governor of North 
Carolina from 1841 to 1845. Battle, Sketches, 181. 

82 Charles Bruce, A. B., 1845; Halifax Court House, Virginia. Battle, Sketches, 101. 

63 Robert Rufus Bridgers (1819-1888), A. B., 1841; Edgecombe County; one of the founders 
of the University Alumni Association, 1843; trustee of the University, 1858-1868; member of 
the General Assembly; member of the Confederate Congress; Colonel, C. S. A.; president, 
Wilmington and Weldon Rail Road. Battle, Sketches, 72, 99. 

^Elisha Mitchell (1793-1857), a native of Connecticut, came to Chapel Hill in 1818 to 
assume the duties of professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. An 1813 graduate of 
Yale, he was five years later ordained a minister of the Congregational Church. In 1825 he 
accepted the professorship of chemistry, which he held until his death. In addition to his 
teaching duties, Mitchell served as acting president of the University during the absence of 
Dr. Caldwell in Europe, during the latter's sickness, and from his death until the inauguration 
of Swain. He was also bursar of the University for twenty years, and as Superintendent 
of Buildings and Lands, was responsible for great improvement in the appearance of the 
campus. For many years, Mitchell served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in the 

An accomplished scholar in several fields, a highly respected divine, Dr. Mitchell was per- 
haps the greatest intellectual force of the University for the first half of the nineteenth 
century. Battle, Sketches, 52, 79, and History, I, 250-251. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 97 

I mean to challenge him upon the spot and never to go to see her 
any more. I expect he will bring me back bad news, for if it was 
good he would not tell me so. he is too envious. He thinks he is 
one of the greatest men among the ladies now living. He is a 
vain., vain., man 55 

University of N.. Car Thursday July 22 th 1841 
To day I attended to all my College duties. I recited to Prof 
Fetter 56 two lessons in Greek Medea. . I am not very well — quite 
melancholy. Bridgers has not yet come from Pittsboro. I expect 
he has taken a great likeness to my Miss M.. A.. W. I know not 
what to think of the man — he has been gone now four days. 
Our Class stands bad upon Greek. I want to hear from my girl 
very bad indeed. Bridgers will bring me back bad news whether 
he thinks my chance is good or not. If I succeed I do [ ;] if I do 
not I do not much care These are my private sentiments I 
record nothing in th [is] Journal but what comes from my f undo- 
cordis; I have no reason to do otherwise because I intend no 
person shall ever read what I write though it is not of much 
importance. To night I intend to employ myself in reading 
Tytler's Universal History I think it is a fine history I think 
of reading it though. I should be glad to hear from my friend 
Willis H McLeo[d.] 

[10] University of N.. Carolina Friday July 24 th [23 rd ] 1841 
Today as usual — exceedingly warm weather. I have paid par- 
ticular attention to my college duties. After breakfast I attended 
a chemical lecture. Professor MitcheFs daughters were present. 57 
At eleven oClock the Senior Class of which I am a member 
recited a lesson to him in Chemistry The Class do not recite 
very well, our professor is a man of the most extensive learning 
— there is a great deal of information to be gained from his 
recitations. This evening our Class recited to goveror Swain upon 
the Constitution of the United States I learnt and gained some 
very important information from him Our Society met to 
night. Transacted business very well — no quarreling — all peace- 
able — adjourned about ten I sat in my window some time and 
meditated to myself the conduct of R.. R.. Bridges. I concluded 
to myself that Bridgers was more of a gentleman than to slander 
me. I lay down between ten and eleven of this conviction in mind. 
In about two hours after this he arrived. I got up out of my bed 
and lit a candle and we had a long conversation. He said I was 
the subject of conversation both among the ladies and gentlemen 

65 Cornelia Phillips Spencer, a contemporary of Bridgers, observed in a somewhat similar 
vein in a letter to a friend, "I think you have done him [Bridgers] vast injustice by rating 
him of 'third magnitude' for according to all accounts first would never satisfy him." Cornelia 
Phillips to Ellen Mitchell Summerell, Chapel Hill, February 27, 1845, in Hope Summerell 
Chamberlain, Old Days in Chapel Hill, Being the Life and Letters of Cornelia Phillips 
Spencer (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1926), 53. 

56 Manuel Fetter, A. M., first professor of Greek language and literature (1838-1868), 
was a native of Pennsylvania and was educated at Andover. Battle, History, I, 451. 

57 Although no coeds were officially admitted to the University until 1897, occasional at- 
tendance at classroom recitations by the young ladies of Chapel Hill seems not to have been 
unusual. The particular interest which they evidenced in chemistry probably arose from Dr. 
Mitchell's practice of supplementing his lectures with experiments. 

98 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of Pittsboro. He would not tell me how he thought my case stood. 
I conjecture that it is tolerably good I think that he has fallen 
in love with her himself My last words to him before he started 
were these "sink or swim succeed or fail I wanted him to say for 
me nothing more than he could with a clear conscience and an 
open heart. I want to paddle my own canoe through life for if 
my qualities let them be good or bad and my standing in life will 
not enable me to surmount the turmoils strifes and difficulties 
of this life I sincerely do not wish to rise by the praise of a 
friend. These are my private opinions expressed in this Journal 
These are the true sentiments of my heart. And by the blessing of 
God I hope they will be my last. 

[11] University N. C. Saturday July 25 th [24 th ] 1841 

I went to the P Office before breakfast and took out the Nag's 
Head Advocate 58 to read. After breakfast about nine Go v Swain 
sent for our law Class of which John Bridgers 59 Hunt, Mullins 
and myself are members — he gave us a short lecture upon Magna 
Charta [and] told us to [read] the history of King John in 
Hume 60 and The Feudal System in Charles V. 61 The students 
have got up a singing school and likewise a dancing school 62 — 
about 25 students going to each. Bridgers is not the gentleman 
that I thought he was. I purchased of Huges [Hughes] Aber- 
crombie's Moral Philosophy price one dollar. The weather is 
exceedingly warm. I don't believe I care to write any thing more 
of to days doings 

University of N. Ca r Sunday [July] 26 th [25 th ] 1841 
To day Professor Mitchel delivered the worst sermon I ever 
heard from any man. No Sunday recitation from the Governor. 
All things as usual. 

University of N Car Monday [July] 27 th [26 th ] 1841 
At eleven oclock we recited to Gov r Swain upon the second 
Article of the Constitution of the U States. In the evening to 
Professor Phillips 63 upon Norton's Astronomy the most ungodly 
lesson I ever saw I came up made a better recitation than usual 
The Class recited very well. I joined a singing school to night in 
the village — all the ladies on the Hill go — four dollars for 24 
lessons. The teacher is from Massachusetts by the name of Davis. 

58 North Carolina Advocate [?], Elizabeth City, N. C. Weekly. 

5 »John Luther Bridgers (1821-1884), A. B., 1843; Edgecombe County; lawyer, planter; 
Colonel, C. S. A. Battle, Sketches, 99. 

60 David Hume, The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Abdica- 
tion of James II, 1688. 

61 William Robertson, The History of the Reign of Charles the Fifth, Emperor of Germany. 

62 Evidently these informal classes were subscription affairs kept by itinerant instructors 
in the social graces. Although having no connection with the University, the approval of the 
president was almost certainly necessary for the operation of such "schools." 

63 Dr. James Phillips (1792-1867) A. M., D. D., was professor of mathematics and natural 
philosophy from 1826 until 1867. Born in England, Dr. Phillips came to the United States 
in 1818, and settled in New York City, where he operated a small boys' school until his 
departure for the South in 1826. A Presbyterian minister of some note, he frequently con- 
ducted services in the village and officiated at prayers in addition to teaching. Battle, 
History, I, 323, 627, 740, 758. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 99 

University of N Carolina Tuesday [July] 27 th 1841 
The senior class recited the Declaration of rights to Gov and 
French to Roberts. 64 R. R. Bridgers left this evening for good. 
I have not learnt Bridgers. He says my chance is good at Pitts- 
boro so say some others say it is not. He says they plague her 
about me. He praises her much — he thinks she is a fine girl. She 
was much prettyr than he expected to see her. I think of going 
there again shortly. To night I joined a dancing school [of] 
about thirty students I was the only Phi. Price ten Dollars I 
am spending a great deal of money here. I think dancing is a 
great accomplishment and enjoyment — quantum sufficit 

[12] University of N Car Wednesday July 28 th 1841 

The senior Class recited to Professor Mitchel all day the 
lecture at ten was very bad — upon the Air Pump — some eight 
or ten ladies present. The lecture upon Zoology in the evening 
was very good Professor Mitchel said he had seen a white black 
bird Smith 65 said he had seen a speckle negro— Mitchel said 
said he had seen a white black negro Smith said he had seen 
a family of white rats laughter.. laughter. laughter one lied and 
the other lied. Mitchel said the rats came from Norway to 
England and took up in those large walls and from there in ships 
to America very probable I have just come from dancing and 
singing school May 66 and Mrs Utley 67 are too thick for their 
good She has got a husband but she takes a fresh scut now 
and then 

University of N C Thursday July 29 th 1841 

Hot weather — need rain — I attended to all my College duties 
regularly I have not been absent thus far in the session from 
anything The Senior Class recited all day to Professor Fhetter. 
Bell 68 first mite man 69 in our Class., recites not tolerably, but 
badly He is a poor scholar only [except] on Mathematicks. he 
do not deserve more than third mite. Lent Prof Fetter my re- 
views This evening I attended dancing school This morning 
got the North Carolina Standard. I think a heap of my Miss Mary 
but I do not know whether I shall ever go to see her any more 
I donot care about marrying I have not heard any thing to say 

Redundance places memory on the rack 

For brains may be o'erloaded, like the back 

64 John Jones Roberts, A. B., 1838, A. M., 1841, was professor of modern languages, 1841r 
1842. An Episcopal minister, Roberts was a native of New Bern. After leaving the Univer- 
sity, he was principal of high schools for young ladies in New York and Massachusetts. 
Battle, Sketches, 79-80, 200, and History, I, 440. 

65 John Baptist Smith, A. B., 1842; Granville County. Battle, Sketches, 210. 

e« James T. May (d. 1856), student, 1840-1842; Eutaw, Alabama. Battle, Sketches, 176. 

67 Perhaps Mrs. Benton Utley, who assisted Miss Nancy Hilliard in the operation of the 
Eagle Hotel. Chamberlain, Old Days in Chapel Hill, 202. 

^William Alexander Bell (1825-1850), A. B., 1842; Eutaw, Alabama. Battle, Sketches, 93. 

60 Battle notes that in the campus parlance of the 'forties, the honor men were classified 
as first, second, and third "might" or "mite" men. The meaning of the term is unknown. 
Battle, History, I, 553. 

100 The North Carolina Historical Review 

University of N C Friday July 30 th 1841 
Recited upon Chemistry in the forenoon, French in the after- 
noon A fine rain to day. I spoke to the Gove r about bolishing 
representatives our Society 70 He said he would have [it] done 
he lays the subject before the Faculty I will mention this again 
at some future time I was elected by our Society to night sub 
Treasurer to keep the monies set apart for the erection of a new 
hall. 71 

[13] [Saturday, July 31,] 1841 72 

. . . Last night. Prof. Mitchel told ... it passed in my favor 
unanimously. 73 Go v Swain will lay it before the board of trustees 
on next Tuesday. 74 If it only passes that body I shall have accom- 
plished every thing that I wish to do while in College. It will be 
one of the proudest moments of my life. I shall glory in it. I do 
think that I shall have done more for it than any other man 
living. I do sincerely hope that the trustees will grant me my 

University of N C Sunday August 1 th 1841 
This morning I received a letter from Willis H McLeod about 
some books I tried to borrow from him. He did not send them 
to me — he said that it was current that I had betrothed myself 
to a young widow. It never was so nor moreover I never had 
such a thought. I have been studying the third Chapter in Second 
blackstone 75 all day Of [In] Corporeal hereditaments Professor 
Green delivered us a fine sermon to day upon the following text. 
*S Mathew Chap V verse 34 But I say unto you Swear not at air. 
This evening we recited to Gove r Swain upon the three first 
chapters of Genesis. Our Class know very little about the Bible. 

70 Tomlinson probably refers to the custom of having six representatives of the two 
literary societies deliver original speeches as a part of the Commencement program. Due 
to their burdensome length, these speeches were ordered discontinued by the faculty after 1840 
unless the society representatives should agree to shorten them. The societies refusing to com- 
ply, subsquent commencements were held without this feature of the program. Tomlinson's 
object here is not clear; perhaps he sought through the agency of Swain some mitigation 
of the faculty restriction. Battle, History, I, 469, 473. 

71 For several years, the two societies had been negotiating with President Swain and the 
Board of Trustees concerning the enlargement of their quarters, or the erection of a separate 
building or buildings to house the organizations and their libraries. From the time of the 
completion of South Building, the society halls had been located in the third story of that 
structure. Evidently efforts at securing more desirable halls were being continued, or perhaps 
renewed, at this time. The minutes of the Phi meeting of July 30, 1841, bear no record of 
the matter having been discussed, or of an election. Having been treasurer of the organiza- 
tion, however, Tomlinson would have been a logical choice for the position. Proceedings of 
the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, July 30, 1841; Battle, History, I, 511-513. 

72 The upper portion of this and five successive pages has been cut from the original 
manuscript, leaving portions of the inner margins intact. The entry headings being missing, 
conjectural dates have been supplied from context. This entry is obviously out of order. 

73 Tomlinson is possibly referring to a motion before the Phi, introduced by William S. 
Mullins, to ". . . examine into the amt. expended by Society for all the repairs that have 
been made at any recent period and report the same to Society at its next meeting, what 
sum we have a right to demand from the Trustees [.]" Their claim, amounting to $133.25, 
was granted by the executive committee of the Board of Trustees. Proceedings of the 
Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, July 31, 1841, August 6, 1841, and Journal entry for 
Friday, September 3, 1841, below, p. 103. 

7 * The writer means the executive committee of the Board of Trustees. If Tomlinson is 
referring only to the claim of the Society against the Board of Trustees, it is difficult to 
understand his enthusiasm. It is entirely possible however, that Swain was to approach the 
executive committee on some matter relating to the erection of a new hall for the Society. 
See entry for Friday, July 30, 1841, and footnotes. 

76 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books, (1765-1769). 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 101 

There is a camp meeting about eleven miles from here in the 


Embrace again, my sons be foes no more 
Nor stain your country with her children's gore 
For thee, fair freedom, welcome all the past 
For thee, my country, welcome e'ven the last. 

[14] [Monday, August 2, 1841] 

. . . the American law differ of the English. We recited a very 
fine lesson indeed. G[overnor Swain] is gone to Raleigh to see 
how they are coming on with the law class there 76 and to lay 
my proposition before the board of trustees. 77 I have made men- 
tion of it a few pages back. This evening the Class recited to 
Prof. Philips on Nortons Astronomy. To night our Anniversary 
came on in the Ph 1 Hall the oration was delivered by Martin 78 
he acquitted himself very well. We all adjourned very well satis- 
fied with the preceedings. I heard from my Miss Mary She was 
at a campmeeting yesterday the fellows that were there said 
she was the prettiest lady there. Miss Nancy Hilliard asked her 
was she acquainted with me and she would not tell her. She is 
one of the prettiest ladies I ever saw 

University N. C Wednesday August 3 th [4] 1841 
The morning foggy and cloudy — some prospects of rain Lec- 
ture between 9 and 10 the fellows behave so badly Prof Mitchel 
had to dismiss us. The ladies on the Hill were present Miss 
Wiley from Pittsboro likewise she is not very pretty. Lecture 
not interesting At eleven Mr. Mitchel & Jack 79 had a stiff 
quarrel. He had up several members of the Class I have 
never been had up by any of the Faculty. In the evening another 
lecture and recitat[ion] I have read some twenty or 30 pages 
in Tytler's History. Attended singing school to night. I did not 
do very well at singing. I want to see Miss Mary very bad and 
mean to see her in less time than ten days. Our class recite badly 
on every thing 

[15] [Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 13, 14, 15 ( ?) , 1841] 
She 80 is quite an intelligent lady, very talkative and very interest- 
ing, she is pretty, handsome, and lovely she is a lady of a fine 
disposition. I have thus far this opinion of her that she has a 
good many fine qualities combined — she paints, sings, plays on 
the Piano admirably. I was much delighted with my visit After 
supper I visited Miss Susan Harden and we had a very fine 

76 The "law Class" of which Tomlinson writes was probably the law school conducted by 
Judge William H. Battle and ex-Governor James Iredell in Raleigh at this time. Guion 
Griffis Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina, a Social History (Chapel Hill: The University 
of North Carolina Press, 1937), 288-289. 

77 See entry for July 31, 1841, and footnote 74, above, p. 100. 

78 "A silence then ensued indicative of the greatest anxiety. During which Mr. Martin arose 
and delivered a very eloquent and appropriate address. . . . Society adjourned with a 
mingled degree of satisfaction and regret." Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840- 
1844, August 2, 1841. 

79 John Findley Jack, A. B., 1842; Rutledge, Tennessee. Battle, Sketches, 152. 

80 Mary Ann Womack [?]. 

102 The North Carolina Historical Review 

conversation — She told me I was very much disappointed I 
asked her in what way because I did not find Mrs. Cabia there 
she said. I told her I was greatly disappointed but in the mean 
time very agreeable so. She said she could hardly believe me but 
then said she believed me I told her I came purposely to see 
her for she was the only inducement that brought me to Pitts- 
boro. My visit was about an hour and half long. Next evening I 
visited Miss Ramsay she is a pretty, sweet little girl, she showed 
me some of her paintings that she did at school at Salem. 81 She 
said she was going to school at Salem for the next twelve months. 
She is interesting and very talkative. After supper I went to see 
my dear Miss Mary and also went with her to a singing party at 
Mr Holmes. There were a good many ladies present Mr Houze 
a young lawyer there gave me an introduction to several of them. 
Some of the ladies were very pritty and we had fine singing. I 
conducted Miss Mary back, with as much politeness as I possibly 
well could I bade her an affectionate farewell. Thus far I have 
not made the first word of courtship to her The report is out 
that I am going to see her. Sunday morning about sunrise I made 
my exit for Chapel Hill This ends my second visit My pros- 
pects thus far I think are tolerable. 

[16] [Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 27, 28, 29 (?),] 1841 82 
. . . invited by Mr. Benjamin J House to a Thespian rehearsal. We 
broke up about ten o clock — went back to the tavern to my room. 
Next morning I went to see my Miss Mary — paid her a visit of 
about two hours length — [s]he played me a tune called the 
bachelor and one the lisping lover I think [they] were beautiful 
after these two some melancholy ones. I went from visiting her 
to the methodist church and heard a sermon from Elder Brock. 
After supper I went and waited upon my Miss Mary to church I 
had a very agreeable walk I engaged her for Church next day. 
Next day (Sunday) I waited upon her to church one of her 
cousins went with us so I had no chance to address. But returning 
from church I had a good opportunity and I made use of it she 
told me she would deal candidly with me and she hardly thought 
it was worth while to carry the matter any further and said she 
hoped I would ever remain her friend. I most assuredly will. I 
love her for her candor and admire her for her virtues 83 

University N.. Car. Tuesday August 31th 1841 
I received a letter through the hands of Brother James Tom- 

81 Salem Female Academy, a young ladies' boarding school dating from 1802, was located 
in Salem, North Carolina. Adelaide L. Fries, Historical Sketch of Salem Female Academy 

(Salem, N. C: Crist and Keehln, 1902), 6. 

82 The date of this entry cannot be determined with exactness. 

83 Here ends Tomlinson's romance with the young lady from Pittsboro. She was evidently 
still running true to form, for the journalist had noted in his first sketch of her that "She 
has had a good many beaux and has discarded them all." In 1843, Miss Womack married 
the Rev. Mr. Amos W. Jones. Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, October 10, 1843, 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 103 

linson 84 with $20.00, he said they were all well and I should hear 
from him again in a few days. Mother has been sick but she is 
mendind — fine weather 

R.. W.. Tomlinson 

"Science" says Sir John Herschel "is the knowledge of a few, 

methodically adjusted and arranged so as to become attainable 

by all["]. The first bank was established in N. Carolina in the 

year 1804. She was the last State that adoption the constitution. 

[17] [Wednesday, September 1, 1841] 

. . . took us about the 3 m[i]les from College we went up and 
down hills, valleys, thickets, fences, bryers, cornfields, by fish 
traps. I never had such a walk — he tried to outrun us every one 
and get back to College first Jack[,] Haise 85 and myself run the 
old gentleman clear down. The students all complained very 
much of being tired. 86 I attended singing school to night and 
treated all the ladies with candy. Mrs Cabia was so mad with me 
that she would not take any. She did not hurt my feelings by 
not taking some I do not care a damn I have never said or 
done her any harm but have always wished her good luck. 

University of N Car Friday Sept 3 rd 41 
I have attended punctually to all my collegiate duties to day 
The Society met to night at the usual hour. I went in and read 
before Society a letter from J.. H.. Bryan which informed me 
that we could get $133. 25 / 100 for the loss we sustained on 
account of its raining in the roof upon the ceiling of our Hall 87 — 
then retired to my room dressed myself and went to see the 
Misses Owen and found the dancing master Rochetti there my 
visit was tolerably agreeable I returned about ten went in 
the Hall and brought up a motion to have a new motto put up in 
our hall the motion was not carried on account of not having 
enough money to pay our debts. After this the roll was [called 
and] the House adjourned. Now comes a disgraceful scene the 
moment the President announced adjournment Joseph Bunch of 
Tennessee 88 presented a loaded pistol 89 

84 James Tomlinson, a planter, was an elder brother of Ruffin. He was a resident of 
Johnston County, which he represented in the House of Commons, 1834-1840, and in the 
Senate, 1842-1846. Connor, ed., A Manual of North Carolina . . . 1913, 670. 

^William James Hayes, A. B., 1842; Lincolnton; physician. Battle, Sketches, 141. 

88 The occasion seems to have been a geological field trip under the leadership of Dr. Mitchell. 

87 The executive committee of the Board of Trustees had acted favorably on this request 
of the Philanthropic Society on August 27, 1841. Minutes of the Executive Committee of 
the University of N. C, 1835-1873, MS in University of North Carolina Library, August 27, 

88 Joseph M. Bunch, student, 1840-1843, Rutledge, Tennessee. Battle, Sketches, 102. 

89 Here the narrative breaks off unaccountably. The two following pages were left blank 
for its continuation at a later date, as Tomlinson notes, but this was never done. While it 
is regretable that we do not have his account of this dramatic incident and subsequent 
developments, other contemporary records give a clear picture of what occurred. Quite 
naturally, the Phi was very concerned over this breach of decorum by two of its members, 
and the Supervisor and his council investigated the matter thoroughly. Their report, submitted 
the following week, declared: 

"It is now our painful duty to present the case of our unfortunate fellow members, who, 
during the last week have been removed from us. As we have to propose a resolution 
touching their case it becomes necessary to record a brief statement of the facts connected 
with it, so that the nature of the conduct referred to in the resolution, may be always 
understood. We made an investigation of the affair on Monday last, when the parties were 
brought before us, and allowed to relate their own motives and conduct. Information was 
sought from other witnesses, but nothing could be obtained, either in addition or contradiction 

104 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[18-19 blank] 

[20] University of N. C. Tuesday Sept 14 th '41 

I have neglected writing for the last ten days not for the want 
of matter but partly throughly negligenc and partly on account 
of other subjects that engaged my most serious attention. The 
transactions which I have been engaged in for the last ten days 
have been of the most serious nature. I allude to the fight and 

to the statement of Messrs. Bunch and Rice. These were correctly written down by the 
Supervisor and shall be read to the house, upon the conclusion of this report. It appears, 
that in the early part of our last meeting, when Messrs Bunch and Rice were sitting next 
to each other before the window at the east end of the hall, the latter turned himself in his 
chair on the side next Mr. Bunch. According to his own account to look out of the window. 
Mr. Bunch says that at the same time he placed his leg against him, while Rice admits that 
he brought his leg near him, but did not touch him. Bunch however requested him 'not to 
be so intimate if he pleased.' Upon which he alleges that Rice put his own face close to 
his, shook his fist at him, cursed him and insulted him with a most obscene and provoking 
expression, which may better be conjectured than repeated before the house. Rice only admits 
that he cursed and shook his fist at him and told him to stand his distance. All this we find 
was perfectly unobserved by any one else in the Hall. A moment after wards Mr. Bunch 
left his seat, went and whispered to Mr. Spaight, who arose and walked with him out of the 
Hall. A short time afterwards, Rice also went out and turned into Mr. Picken's room, told 
him what has passed between Bunch and himself and borrowed from him, his stick. He 
returned to the Hall and took the same seat. Mr Bunch was absent more than an hour. Bunch 
says that he heard Rice talking to Pickens in the passage and was informed that he had 
been with him in his room. He and his friends thought that there was good grounds for 
suspecting, that he would borrow Picken's pistol. He therefore changed his purpose of 
attacking him with a stick only as he at first intended, and determined to meet him on his 
own ground. He returned to the Hall in company with Spaight, armed with a pistol & stick 
and took his seat by Spaight near the centre table. When the adjournment of Society was 
announced, Rice who had his eye on Bunch had only stepped so far as to be in line with the 
front row of chairs or just before the nearest side of the fireplace, and halted a second 
facing Mr. Bunch, when the latter had drawn his pistol and placed himself within three or 
four feet of him pointing it at him. Rice instantly walked out of the Hall, while Mr. Bunch 
was as quickly siezed and surrounded by a crowd. A scuffle ensued among several of the 
members, and a noise, which might have given alarming impressions to a person at some 
distance from the building. It is proper to say that most of the noise proceeded from Mr. 
Bunch: He cursed scuffled and clung to his pistol, which was loaded and cocked 
manner, almost passionate resolution to pursue Mr Rice and shoot him, if permitted by 
the crowd. 

"Now considering the wild and inconsistant manner in which other cases equally flagrant, 
have been treated by society, and that the law which imposes a fine of five dollars on a 
man who may strike another in anger in the Hall, may perhaps be strained to apply. If 
such as offense should be committed during the meeting of Society, we must admit that 
Mr. Bunch had but little right to expect that he would be in any manner excommunicated 
from Society. It is on this account also that we think that Society cannot be justified in 
proceeding to expel him. But yet this is a case that should by no means be permitted to go 
entirely unpunished & as they are removed where suspension is useless, the only resolution 
which we could agree to submit for the adoption of the house is the following, 

"1 st Resolved that while we censure Mr W D Rice for the manner in which, he menaced 
Mr Bunch in the hall, we yet regard the conduct of Mr Bunch in presenting his pistol and 
occasioning the disturbance which occured at the instant of adjournment as most highly 
reprehensible, being an outrage upon the sacred reverence which is due to our hall and 
hurtful to the reputation of our Society. 

"2 nd Resolved that the committee of correspondence be directed to transmit to each of 
the Gentlemen, a copy of the foregoing resolutions. 

"Consistency and duty would seem to require that we should recommend more severe 
and efficient laws for the prevention and disposition of such cases in future. We are all of 
the opinion that a law should be passed to expel a member who may hereafter draw a deadly 
weapon at anytime in the hall against another. But the Supervisor and one of the council, 
thought that they could not consistently sign a motion to this effect without annexing 
another, which should provide the same punishment for the case of making any violent 
attack, while the Society may be in session, the rest of the council on the contrary considered 
this latter case to be worthy of nothing higher than suspension. We can only commend the 
subject therefore to the early attention of the house and earnestly hope that such laws will 
be adopted as the preservation of our character demands. 

"Signed by 

Al Brown Supervisor 

G. L. W. Bridgers 1 

George W. Ruffin 

James Horner f council 

P. G. Holmes" j 

After a short discussion, the yeas and nays were called. The tabulation shows 35 for the 
report, 11 against. 
Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, September 10, 1841. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 105 

the active part I took in it. I intend writing an account of it 
on the preceding pages. To day I have attended to all my College 
duties. We recited to the Gov., upon Political Economy. I gain 
a great deal of information from his recitations. He is both 
instructive and interesting he is very amusing in his anecdotes. 
I go to both dancing and singing, both will be up shortly. Dancing 
master's name Dagranvil singing master Davis. I give tell [?] 
ten Dollars for dancing and waltezing $4.00 for singin. I recieve 
the news that Tyler vetoed the second bank bill. Stanly 90 and 
Wise 91 have had a fight in Congress. Gov Swain says he wants 
Wise expelled. I expect that Congress has adjourned to day. 
The Intelligencer 92 speaks of the Cabinets resinging. All things 
are going on very well in College pro tempore, not much studying. 
I wrote a letter to my old friend Willis H.. McLeod night before 
last upon a mammoth sheet of paper. I expect he will laugh a 
good deal over it I had a great deal of egotism in it. I believe I 
will stop writing and read the balance of the night. 

University of N. C. [Thursday] Sept 16 th 1841 
This morning after prays I went to the P office And received 
the news through the National Intelligencer that all the members 
of the Federal Cabinet had resigned with the exception of Mr 
Webster The following nominations to fill the vacancies were 
sent to the Senate on the after noon of the 11 th inst [21] Walter 
Forward of Pennsylvania (now First Comptroller of the Treas- 
ury) Secretary of the Treasery. John McLean of Ohio (now of 
the supreme Court) Secretary of War. Judge Upshur of Virginia 
Se c of the Navy. Hugh S Legare of South Carolina Attorney 
General. The above men I have never heard mention of with the 
exception of Mr Legare whom I think to be a very able man. 
I think Mr Tyler has made a bad selection this time. Our govern- 
ment is in a bad situation. The whigs cuss and abuse Tyler much, 
all that I have to say is he is his own President. This is afflicting 
news to the people. The Whigs do worse when in power than out 
I believe. I have read Ovid's Art of Love to day it makes one 

Evidently determined to have the matter out, Bunch and Rice engaged in a pitched 
battle the next day in the streets of the village. The Faculty Journal records: 

"J. M. Bunch & W. D Rice were called before the Faculty, and made their own statement 
with respect to a fracas in which they were engaged this morning. It seems that a difference 
having taken place between them in the Hall of their Society last night, Bunch went out 
and returned armed with a pistol. Immediately after breakfast this morning, Rice went to 
Bunch's boarding house, armed in like manner. A fight in the Street ensued, in the presence 
of many Students, in the course of which Bunch's pistol was discharged, and Rice's cane 
was used freely, his pistol having dropped from his pocket. The pistol of each was charged 
with three buck shot. 

They were immediately dismissed and directed to retire from the village in forty eight 
Faculty Journal, 1841-1848, MS in University of North Carolina Library, September 4, 1841. 

Bunch was evidently readmitted to the University, for Battle shows that he remained 
there until 1843. Rice did not return however, and in February, 1842, he petitioned the 
faculty to grant him ". . . an honorable dismission, or at least such a letter from the Presi- 
dent as would enable him to get admission into the College, at Wake Forest." The matter was 
referred to President Swain with discretionary power, and no further record of Rice appears. 
Battle, Sketches, 102, 198; and Faculty Journal, 1841-1848, February 11, 1842. 

80 Edward Stanly (1810-1872), a Whig, was a member of the United States House of 
Representatives from North Carolina, 1837-1843 and 1849-1853. Biographical Directory of 
the American Congress, 1774-1927 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1928), 1560. 

91 Henry Alexander Wise (1806-1876), a Jacksonian Democrat, was a member of Congress 
from Virginia, 1833-1844. Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1720. 

82 The National Intelligencer, Washington, D. C. Tri-weekly. 

106 The North Carolina Historical Review 

feell quite horny. He paints human nature very well I have 
prepared a law lesson to night for the Gov to morrow No 
College news nor any thing worthey of recording 

University of N.. Carolina Friday Sept. 
17th 1841 
We had to go to prays this morning in a very hard shower. 
After prays I went to the post Office in the rain — the rain came 
from the east and it looked very much like we are about to have 
a long wet spell — it has been raining all day it is now about 
11 oclock in the night and it has faired off, so I expect we shall 
have no rain to morrow I heard that my friend R. R. Bridgers 
is upon the point of Death, his brother has left College to go 
home to see him. it would be a pitty if he should die just having 
finished his education and got his profession. We recite to day 
at eleven to Prof Mitchel upon Chemistry He has put us to 
reviewing. I like Chemistry tolerably well. At twelve.. Hunt.. 
Mullins.. McLeace 93 and myself recited to the Go v upon law. We 
all made a fine recitation — . I asked the Go v opinion about the 
Cabinet's resigning. He said he thought they did it without 
sufficient reflection, it was too precipitate an act [22] He thinks 
that the Cabinet that Tyler has chosen is quite an able one. I 
forgot one thing that is he says Granger ought to have resigned 
but none others. He thinks Wise ought to have been expelled 
from the house. He said he would be willing to have his tax for 
the next four years quadrupled if they would expell such worth- 
less members. This recitation he quoted a good deal of poetry 
from the Lady of the Lake. I could say a good many more things 
but these will answer for the present 

University of N C Tuesday Sept 21 th 1841 
This morning I received a letter from my friend Willis.. H.. 
McLeod of Johnston reprimanding me pritty severely for the 
part that I took in the late fight that occured here. He wrote me 
little news, he said the young ladies and Gentlemen were anxious 
to get married and go to making babies My folks were all well. 
He said nothing of his health. I take the advice he gave me much 
at heart and in future will try to keep out of such. We recited 
to day to the Gov., upon Political Economy. 

University of N.. C Wednesday [September] 22 nd 1841 
I received no papers from the office this morning. Read Kent 
upon taxation 94 this morning befor breakfast I have attended 
to all my College duties to day. We recited to the Gov all day 
upon Political Economy. He gave us a fine lecture upon taxation 
before noon. This after noon another one. Last week forty one 
men were returned to court for playing cards in Hillsboro. That 
does not speak much for the morrality of the place. Kad Jones 95 

83 Joseph McClees (1820-1856), A. B., 1843; Alligator, Tyrrell County; lawyer, planter; 
member of the General Assembly. Battle, Sketches, 168. 

94 James Kent, Commentaries on American Law (4 vols. New York: O. Halstead, 1826-1830). 

95 Probably Cadwallader Jones, A. B., 1832; Hillsboro; lawyer; member of the General 
Assembly; Colonel, C. S. A.; Solicitor of Fifth North Carolina District. Battle, Sketches, 155. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 107 

and Judge Nash's son 96 both lawyers were of the number Noth- 
ing news — College is quite calm, nothing to do but study. Our 
singing school is up our dancing school will be up to morrow- 
night R W Tomlinson 

"The qualifications necessary to be a perfect statesman" 

[23] "You know my passion is sincere and true 
I love you to excess ; you know I do 
No Tongue, no Pen, can what I feel express 
E'en Poetry it self must make it less." 
David Hume the author of the history of England on reading the 
manuscript of the history of Charles V written by Roberson 
(Roberson sent him the manuscript before it was [p]ublished) 
wrote back to him in a letter that to say that the work was very 
good and would be to say too little, that it was most excellent 
and he pronounced it one of the best works in english history 
now extant. The histories read by John C Calhoun when fourteen 
years old In the course of fourteen weeks Rollins Ancient His- 
tory 97 Robertson's Charles V and America 98 Voltaire Charles 
XII 99 the large edition of Cooke's Voyages 100 the first volume of 
Locke on the Human Understanding, 101 and several smaller 

University of N. C Friday Oc* 1 th "41 
The morning and day have been beautiful. I received no papers 
nor Reviews this morning. I recited upon Chemistry at Eleven, 
Law at twelve, French in the afternoon. Last night I bought 
Opossum supper and a jar of pickles invited Willis Sanders 102 
McLeace 103 G.. W.. Ruffin 104 I L Pickens 105 W.. F.. Lewis 106 to 
eat them with me. After eating W.. Hunt Mullins McLeace,, 
W. Sanders, Lewis, James May, R Cambell 107 and myself went 
down to Pelleer's and bought some sugar and brandy and got 
tolerable tight. 108 We enjoyed ourselves very much and retired 
to bed at the usual hour. The Society meet tonight I had nothing 
to do but to move the Agent of Reviews be authorized to draw 
from Society $11.00 to pay Mr McDade for postage — the motion 
passed and I retired to my room. Hunt and Myself have just had 
a long discourse upon reading history and likewise upon uses 
and trust in the twentieth Chapter of Blackstone 

96 Henry Kollock Nash, A. B., 1836, A. M., 1843; Hillsboro; lawyer; member of the General 
Assembly. Battle, Sketches, 184. 

97 Charles Rollin, The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylon- 
ians, Medes and Persians, Grecians, and Macedonians. 

98 William Robertson, The History of the Discovery and Settlement of America. 

99 Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire, The History of Charles XII, King of Sweden. 

100 Edward Cooke, A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World, Perform'd in the 
Years 1708, 1709, 1710 and 1711. 

101 John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 

102 Willis Henry Sanders (1823-1891), A. B., 1843; Pleasant Grove, Johnston County; 
planter; member of the General Assembly, 1852, 1858; Lieutenant-Colonel, C S. A. Sanders 
was a neighbor of Tomlinson's in Johnston County. Battle, Sketches, 203. 

103 Joseph McClees. 

104 George Washington Ruffin, A. B., 1842; Franklin County. Battle, Sketches, 201. 

105 Israel Leonidas Pickens, A. B., 1842; Greensboro, Alabama. Battle, Sketches, 192. 

106 William Figures Lewis, A. B., 1842; Edgecombe County; planter. Battle, Sketches, 163. 

107 Robert McGregor Campbell, A. B., 1842; Marengo County, Alabama; Captain, C S. A. 
Battle, Sketches, 106. 

108 The sale of intoxicants to students within Chapel Hill or its immediate environs was 
strictly prohibited, as was the drinking of "ardent spirits" by students. 

108 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[24] University of N Carolina Tuesday Oct 5 th 1841 

We have recited all day upon Chemistry. The weather is 
beautiful — frost yesterday morning and this — first we have had 
this year. I read yesterday Milton upon education one of the 
best pieces in the english language. I found there his definition 
to the question What is the object of an education. He says, 

I call therefore a complete and generous education, that 
which fits a man to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously 
all the offices both private and public, of peace and war Milton 

Gov.. D L.. Swa[i]n's answer is. The object of an education 
is to write and to speak. D L Swain Author 

Dr. Mitchel answer is, To fit a man for after life. 

My own definition is. To enable a man to discharge the duties 
of life to the best advantage to himself and his fellow beings. 
R. W.. Tomlinson 

I do not write my own down because I think it is better but 
because the question was put to me and the above was my 
answer. This is my private Journal which I want no man to read 
wh[i]le I live nor after my death I intend to write nothing in 
here that would make the most virtuous female blush. Although 
I write something about them now and then. I have neglected 
my Journal very much this session more than I intend in future 
William C. Hunt's definition. To put a man in the possession of 
the power to think for himself. Mr Hunt is an irregular student 
in the present Senior class he is a man fond of big words and 
a man of very fine sense he converses remarkably well and 

[25] University of N C Wednesday Oc* 6 th 1841 

This morning read my lesson over between prays and breakfast 
in Chemistry upon Galvinism a new science. At nine o'clock Prof 
Mitchel showed the Class some beautiful experiments upon the 
Electro Magnet which he has just received from Philadelphia 
The first that was ever exhibited to any class in the University. 
The ladies were present, Dr Mitchel cracked several jokes for us 
and has been exceedingly witty all day. Between twelve and one 
I read Bancroft's History of the U States. 109 After dinner we 
had a recitation upon Bigalow's Technology 110 and Lecture both 
of which were very interesting. I have been reading Blackstone 
to night The weather is beautiful. But little excitement in 
College. Not very much studying done. 

University of N.. C Saturday Oct. 7 th [9] 1841 
Hav'nt read much to day. After breakfast had my head ex- 
amined by a deaf and dumb phrenologist, the examination was 
favorable. He is quite a good scholar — a well read man — very 

109 George Bancroft, A History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American 
Continent . . . (Boston: vol. 1, C. Bowen. 1838; vols. 2, 3, C. C. Little & J. Brown, 1840). 

110 Jacob Bigelow, Elements of Technology, Taken Chiefly from a Course of Lectures 
Delivered at Cambridge, on the Application of the Sciences to the Useful Arts, Now Published 
for the Use of Seminaries and Students (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little, & Wilkins, 1831). 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 109 

intelligent countenance. I wish he could speak so he might defend 
his science — I never believed in the science before I saw him. 
He has made a good deal of money out of the students. I read a 
fine article in the brittish Review to day "on the state of learning 
in the United States of America." I slept the whole of the after- 
noon I feel well prepared now for a good night's studying 

University of N C Wednesday Oct 13 th 1841 
We commenced reciting to the Gov on Abercrombie on monday 
this the introduction we have been reciting to him the last three 
days. I am very much taken up with his lessons. He tells us a 
good many very interesting jokes in way of illustration. He 
illustrates everything by a lady. [26] He loves to talk about 
the ladies better than any man I ever saw. He has had very lately 
L. L.. D conferred upon him at Princeton. It pleased him no 
little. Our recitation today have been exceedingly interesting. I 
received yesterday morning the North American 111 & Democratic 
Reviews 112 yesterday morning — some very fine articles in both 
of them. I have studied very hard for the last week. I want my 
College course to end so I may go home and live with my Mother. 
I don't think I will get married in several years after I leave 
College & not then unless I can get the girl I want. Our Society 
is at a low ebb. Times are remarkably dull in College at the 
present. I think I must make one of my old trips tonight. Our 
law class is nearly through Blackst[one.] 

"Oh who can tell how hard it is to climb the steep 
Where fame's proud temple shines afar," 

University Thursday [October] 14 th 1841 
I have just received from Brother James Tomlinson a letter 
dated Oct 8 th 1841 with fifty dollars. I am compelled to have as 
much as seventy five dollars more this session. Good lord how I 
do hate to write home for money I am spending so much. I am 
just as economical as I can be. I mean to make it back some day 
or other. I fail to write as much as I intend every day. We recited 
upon Greek all day. I feel badly and not much like writing now. 
oh : when will my muse be propicious ? will it be tomorrow or next 
week or will it ever be. I have neglected it too much for my future 
good writing and speaking are every thing in this country. I 
have studied very hard this week I wish I could do so always. 
I went to the store and purchase some few articles to day . . 
to wit . . a pair of shoes $1.25 a scarf to wear around my neck 
$1.25. There are two good stores in Chapel Hill at present 
Tower's & Barbee's; Hargraves [27] has one also. They do a 
good deal of trading. Chapel Hill is improving some little. Society 
is not very good. I have quit going to see any of the ladies it is 
too pin hook business. The ladies here on the Hill are not like 
they are any where else. They are too fond of cutting the fellows 
think themselves too smart and too well accomplished I think 

111 North American Review, Boston, New York. Quarterly. 

112 United States Magazine and Democratic Review, Washington, New York. Monthly. 

110 The North Carolina Historical Review 

they are somewhat deficient in both. Miss Mary Hall is a very 
fine girl in every sense of the word. She knows how to behave 
herself. I wrote to Dr Mitchel yesterday for his sermon he de- 
livered in the Chapel last sundy I have not heard from him 
since. I do not know whether he will let me have it or no nor do 
I now care. My College life is mixed with of sweets and bitters. 
I feel unwell tonight, very melancholy and despairing of future 
sucess in life. My Mother's being at home by herself renders me 
very unhappy The fruits of my labors shall be at her disposal 
as long as I and she live. I mean to do all that I can to render 
her [secure] after I leave College. I mean to live with her and 
take care of her in her old age. It is my duty. I am her youngest 

University of N.. C. Friday Oc* 15 th 1841 
I have undergone the same old routine of College duties punc- 
tually Our law class recited to the Gov., at twelve to day upon 
XXVII & XXVIII Chapters in second Blackstone. Our recitation 
was short but sweet. The senior class recited to the Gov before 
noon upon Abercrombie's mental philosophy he read us some 
extracts from Lord Brouhan 113 and a part of Judge Gaston's 
Address before the two literary Societies here in connection with 
our lesson. In the afternoon we recited french to Proffessor 
Roberts. I attended Society to night, heard some good declama- 
tion and compositions. I do not feel like doing any thing to 
night — I am unwell I bought me a gown this evening gave 
seven dollars for it — paid the ct cash and some shaving soap, 
nothing more to night 

[28] University of N C Saturday [October] 16 th 1841 

I awoke up with a violent headach this morning I received 
the New York Review 114 this morning some articles in it very 
valuabl. I sent it to the Go v before I read it. I had the North 
American and Democratic on hand. I have not done any thing to 
day, one day with me has passed off in perfect idleness. 

"Time is the warp of life. Oh tell 

The young the fair, the gay, to weave it well" 

I tried repeatedly to do something but found it utterly impossible 
"Minerva Invita" nothing done. No news Stiring. I heard from 
Miss Mary Womach yesterday she was well I should like to 
see her again. Joseph McLeace and myself took a walk after 
supper. Coming back to college by Miss Nancy's she invited us 
down about eight oclock to eat some broil squirrels, eggs, coffee, 
&c. et cettera cider After this I went with some of the students 
to serenade the Misses Mitchel and Miss Hall. As soon as we 
were were done I retired to my bed as quick as possible. 

113 Henry Peter Brougham, first Lord Brougham and Vaux. 

114 New York Review, New York. Quarterly. 

Journal of Rufpin Wirt Tomli;nson 111 

University of N. C. Sunday Oct. 17 th 1841 
This morning with great surprise to most of the students when 
assembling in the Chapel found a yearling up in the tutor pen 115 
where some of the students put him last night. The parson Greene 
gave us a talk and dismissed us without praying. It was a right 
trifling trick, if I k[n]ew any of the fellows* names I would 
record them. Head acke again to day. I did not do any thing 
before time for church Professor Greene preached to day. Good 
many ladies were present. After dinner I prepared 3 chapters 
in Genisis to recite to Gov Swain 

Pope says wit is "that which has been often thought but was 
never before so well expressed." 

[29] University of N.. C [Monday] Oct 18 th 1841 

The political situation of our country [state] in 1799 [:] it 
was the most federal in its measure at that time of any state in 
the union with Gov Davie at its head. In way of complimenting 
N Carolina and Davie President Adams appointed him minister 
to france he was absence nine months — left no man at the head 
of his party — during his absence the election came on between 
Adams and Jefferson the state turned republican as much in 
that time as it was federal when he left The state at that time 
gave seven votes for President they being cast for Jefferson 
elected him. Just see the circumstances upon which the destinies 
of this nation rested at that time. Oh how fortunate it was for 
the American people. Well ought they to glory in such a man as 
Jefferson. We recited before noon upon Abercrombie, at twelve 
our law class Hunt, Lancaster, 116 Mullins and myself upon law. 
In the evening upon Nortons Astronomy to Professor Phillips. 
Thus closes the labor of the day. 

University of N C Oc* Tuesday 19 th 1841 
For my own special benefit and in obedience to the laws of of of 
College I have punctually attend to all my duties. We have had 
Abercrombie all day. There is nothing going on in College worth 
noting. In reading an article in the London Quartily Review 117 
compiled by E.. B.. Willison I saw the following in substance 
relating to M r D Webster. The bulk of his poetical reading con- 
sisted of Milton Dryden and Shakespeare. Willison says we are 
by no means sure that it is useful for an orator to be familiar 
with any poet but those which are in the mouths and memories 
of the people for what avail allusions which it requires notes or 
an appendix to explain. Mr Webster has made a careful study 
of the best English Orators particularly Burke. 

115 The "tutor pen," sometimes called the "bull pen," was a semi-circular row of high-backed 
benches situated in the center of the chapel (Gerrard Hall), and reserved for the use of 
speakers and special guests. It has been suggested that the latter nickname might very well 
have derived from just such incidents as that described, of which this was doubtless neither 
the first nor the last occurrence. Henderson, The Campus of the First State University, 91n. 

116 James Warren Lancaster. A. B., 1843, A. M., 1846; Edgecombe County; lawyer; member 
of the General Assembly, 1854-1855. Battle, Sketches, 160. 

117 London Quarterly Review (American Edition), New York. Quarterly. 

112 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[30] University of N.. C Wednesday Oct 20 th 1841 

Rain last night, but a splendid morning this. Read until break- 
fast. After breakfast recited to Prof Mitchel upon chemistry, in 
the afternoon upon Bigalow's technology. The day has not been 
very interesting neither were our lessons. I see that every state 
election since the president election has gone for the anti admin- 
istration that were thoroughly federal before hurra for the 
Dems. La [s] t night I loafed about College from room to room 

University Thursday Oct 21 th 1841 
We had Greek all day, things are as usual nothing of much 
importance going home in the morning 

University 118 Friday Oct 22 nd 1841 
This morning before sunrise Willis, Robert, 119 and Lucien 
Sanders 120 and myself left here upon horses to go home, we got 
to Raleigh by twelve oclock ate dinner, and had our horses fed. 
I went to see David Barnes, 121 Thomas Ruffin 122 and S.. Gra- 
ham 123 three young school mates of mine studying law in Raleigh 
under Battle and Iredell we talked over matters and things in 
general. We left about two oclock and got home at sun set. Found 
Mother well and every body in the neighborhood at the Camp- 

University Saturday Oct 23 rd 1841 
This morning Ransom Bridgers and myself rose early and ate 
breakfast with Mother. After breakfast we went up to see Simeon 
and sister We staid there about half an hour while there we 
three drank a tickler of brandy. We then came down to Mothers 
had our hourses caught and went on down to the Campmeeting. 
Harry Durham Ransom Myself went over to his house looked 
about at his cotton and returned back to the C. meeting. I saw 
a good many of my old acquaintances. Willis McLeod 

we talked over many matters and things in general [31] I saw 
no pretty girls — I spoke to no young lady while down. I amused 
myself with the young fellows by talking about fox hunting and 
the girls — talked with some old fellows about the price of cotton 
and the scarcity of money and hard times. There were seven or 
eight preachers we did not have as good preaching as I an- 
ticipated. In the evening I went home with brother James and 
toock supper with him and returned. That night we had one or 

118 This and the two succeeding entry headings are obviously careless errors on the part 
of the journalist, the result of these entries' having been made subsequent to his return 
to Chapel Hill from home. 

"» Robert Alexander Sanders, A. B., 1844, A. M., 1848, was the brother of Willis H. 
Sanders and uncle of Lucian H. Sanders, and Tomlinson's roommate. Sanders lived on Pleas- 
ant Grove plantation, about a mile from the home of Tomlinson in Johnston County. Battle 
Sketches, 203. 

120 Lucian Holmes Sanders (1823-1875), A. B., 1845; Johnston County; planter. Battle, 
Sketches, 202. 

121 David Alexander Barnes, A. B., 1840; Northampton County; lawyer; Judge of Superior 
Court, 1865-1868; member of the Convention of 1861. Battle, Sketches, 90. 

V2 Thomas Ruffin, A. B., 1841, A. M., 1846; Franklin County; lawyer; Attorney, Ninth 
District, Missouri; member of Congress from Missouri, 1853-1861; Colonel, C. S. A. Battle, 
Sketches, 202. 

123 Stephen Graham, A. B., 1841; Duplin County; planter; member of the General Assembly. 
Battle, Sketches, 133. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 113 

two converts some shouting the weather was rather cold — not 
very many people. Agrippa Mitchener and Myself stayed in in 
Mr John Waltons tent. 

University Sunday Oct 24 th 1841 
To day nearly the same as yesterday. Edwards preached the 
eleven oclock sermon, and a very good one indeed it was. Elder 
Jameison sprinkled some three children I know not who they 
were. In the evening I returned home just before sun set and 
staid with my Mother. Simeon and sister came down and staid 
with us until bed time. 

University of N.. C. Sunday November 7 th 1841 
I have neglected my Journal so long that I am really ashamed 
of myself. Several days I have had a good deal of matter to write 
but have omitted it to my sorrow. Our law class finished Black- 
stone's second volume upon real property last Wednesday and 
friday we recited the VII Chapter (turned back) we shall recite 
next friday again the chapter upon uses and Trust. Last night I 
finished my senior speech ready to hand in to Professor Green for 
correction — subject (The qualifications necessary to a perfect 
statesman) it comprises just one sheet of Fools cap paper. I 
have not studied much for the last three or four weeks. I read in a 
News paper yesterday that there were about 30,000 professional 
men in in the United States. I have a great anxiety for the end 
of the session to come I want to get home. I expect to have a 
small farm carried on next year. [32] I do not think much of 
getting married under two or three years after I leave College. 
I shall not be prepared to take a wife. I am going to devote myself 
diligently to my profession for the next three or four years. I 
have spent so-much money that I must endeavor to make it back 
some way or another. 

University N. C. Tuesday Nov 9 th 1841 
To say I have been very busily engaged in getting two lessons 
in Abercronbe for the Go y in Insantz he told us several very fine 
anecdotes in way of illustration. Times in College are as dull as 
I ever saw them every one seems to be afflicted with the blues. 
R R Bridges and a cousin of his left here to day on their way to 
Alabama. I do not believe he will ever do much. He is a man of 
the most consummate vanity I ever saw. He says nothing but 
what relates to himself. I am deficient of something to set down 
so I will stop. 

University of N C Saturday Nov 13 th 1841 
I have employed myself at nothing very well to day. read but 
little — drawn off part of my speech. It is my private opinion that 
Pool 124 will marry old Nancy 125 He is about 20 years old She 
about 45 I think both of them ought to be whipt like hell for 
their disgusting conduct they are enough to make a dog puke. 

^Anderson J. Pool, student, 1840-1842; Marion, Alabama. Battle, Sketches, 193. 
125 Perhaps Miss Nancy Hilliard, hostess of the Eagle Hotel. Tomlinson's expectations 
apparently went unfulfilled. 

114 The North Carolina Historical Review 

University of N.. C. No v Wednesday 17 th 1841 

We have recited Chemistry all day. The session will soon be 

at a close when I shall go home. I am going to copy a few extracts 

' dragged 

A stagnant dul predestinated fool 

Through learning's halls and made to labor much 

Abortively, till to his home returned 

He made his simple mother think that she 

Had born a man" [33] 

"Sweet sensibility; oh la 

Methought I heard a little lamb cry ba" 

There is something connected with these two extracts which will 
always make me recur to the two persons in allusions, one is an 
Alumnus who lives in Tarbory the other a member of the present 
Junior Class now in College The initials of their names first 
W F D 126 2 nd J. W.. L 127 

[To be concluded] 

v* William Francis Dancy (1818-1860), A. B., 1841: Tarboro; lawyer, planter. Battle, 
Sketches, 116. 

327 James Warren Lancaster. 


The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore. Volume I, 
Proverbs, Riddles, Customs, Speech, Games, Tales. Volume II, Folk 
Ballads. Edited by Newman I. White. (Durham: Duke University Press, 
1952. Pp. xiv, 712; xxiii, 747. $7.50 each volume.) 

It is difficult, if not impossible for me to give an appraisal of 
the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore 
without injecting a personal note. 

While I lived in Boone, Brown was a frequent visitor to my 
home during the summer seasons. Since I had grown up in 
Watauga County and knew most of the people in that section 
we found it rather easy to approach those accustomed to singing 
ballads. Dr. Brown was so courteous and affable that they were 
seldom ill at ease in his presence. To hear these lovely, natural 
voices as they interpreted the ballads and folk songs and un- 
folded the proverbs, riddles, and customs which were a part of 
their daily lives in the presence of this scholar and stranger was 
an experience long to be remembered. 

For many years the people of North Carolina who are inter- 
ested in folklore have awaited with keen interest the publication 
of the Brown Collection. As a result of Dr. Brown's untimely 
passing, the editors have, in some instances, had to work under 
considerable handicap, but they have done, on the whole, an 
excellent job. Both volumes are well edited. 

Volume I, which contains the superstitions, the folk speech, 
the customs, the games, and the beliefs of the native people, 
is most unusual. It is stimulating, and will enrich the vocabulary 
and literature of North Carolina and other sections. In this 
volume is to be found the classic language of the simple folk. 
It will preserve for all time the laconic expressions of a people 
that otherwise might have been lost. 

Volume II contains 314 ballads and folk songs. Among these 
are many, if not all the familiar English ballads known and 
loved by all ballad collectors. In addition to these there are a 
number of very rare folk ballads seldom if ever heard, except 
in the extremely rural areas where they have been pocketed 
for generations. Many of these ballads are incomplete — frag- 
ments of those sung by the early pioneers of the Appalachians 


116 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and other sections. Extensive space has been given to American 
and North Carolina ballads. All in all, Volume II of the Brown 
Collection is one of the best, if not the best product of folklore 
yet published. This achievement will do much to preserve this 
literature and music for future generations; for ballads are 
"voices from secret places, from silent people and old times long 
dead!" They spring from the very heart of people, lift us out 
of the ugly narrow places of life, and cause us to appreciate the 
simple, genuinely beautiful things of the world. 

I. G. Greer. 
Chapel Hill. 

Roosevelt and Daniels, A Friendship in Politics. Edited with an introduction 
by Carroll Kilpatrick. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 
1952. Pp. xvi, 226. $3.50.) 

Beginning in 1913 and ending with the latter's death, these 
letters between Josephus Daniels and Franklin D. Roosevelt tell 
the story of one of the interesting friendships of recent American 
history. Edited with an introduction and brief explanatory notes 
by Carroll Kilpatrick, this long interchange sheds some new 
light on the most important and controversial figures in Amer- 
ican politics since Woodrow Wilson. 

A rural North Carolina democrat, unsophisticated and puri- 
tanical in the southern Methodist manner, Josephus Daniels was 
called to be Secretary of the Navy in the Wilson administration 
in 1913. After reading this book, one still wonders why he chose 
as his chief assistant the rising young anti-Tammany Democrat 
from Hyde Park, New York. It was an odd combination, and 
the mystery is that it survived the social and temperamental 
differences that kept the two men from becoming really intimate 
friends during their tenure in the Navy Department. Roosevelt 
at times obviously thought his chief ridiculous and incompetent. 
On the important questions involving the navy and American 
foreign policy before April, 1917, the two were miles apart. But 
Daniels was generous and tolerated insubordination, while 
Roosevelt was ambitious and never carried his expressions of 
discontent to the breaking point. 

Even so, during his apprenticeship Roosevelt undoubtedly 
learned more than he realized. Daniels taught him a lesson in 

Book Reviews 117 

tolerance and kindly human relations that he never forgot; and 
this lesson was soon reinforced by Roosevelt's desperate struggle 
to recover his health that was shattered by an attack of polio 
in 1921. During this period of Roosevelt's long convalescence, 
from 1921 to 1928, the relations between the two men for the first 
time reached the point of mutual affection, and the letters written 
during these years are intimate and politically revealing. Both 
men worked hard for Smith's election in 1928, although both 
realized he had no chance. Both men realized, moreover, that 
Roosevelt's election as governor of New York in 1928 made him 
the logical Democratic nominee in 1932, and Daniels did his part 
to win the nomination for his friend. 

Daniels obviously wanted above all else to return to Wash- 
ington as Secretary of the Navy. As he probably expected the 
nomination in 1933, he did not ask for it. Six years later, after 
Roosevelt's first Secretary of the Navy died, Daniels asked for 
the appointment. Instead, in 1933 Roosevelt sent his old friend 
as Ambassador to Mexico and did not answer his request in 
1939. Daniels accepted his exile with good grace and no apparent 
diminution of affection. He resigned in 1941, only after doctors 
had warned him that further residence in Mexico City would 
injure his wife's health. 

This is not by any means the most important book on Daniels 
or on Roosevelt. Neither was a good letter writer, and these 
are certainly not the most important letters either of them wrote. 
But it is a charming interchange, quickly read, which enlarges 
our understanding of the growth of Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

Arthur S. Link. 

Northwestern University, 

Evanston, Illinois. 

Piedmont Partisan. By Chalmers G. Davidson. (Davidson, N. C: Davidson 
College. 1951. Pp. 190. $3.00.) 

Brigadier General William Lee Davidson is perhaps the best 
known of the "partisan" commanders of Revolutionary North 
Carolina. His accomplishments compare favorably with those of 
Elijah Clarke in Georgia and of Sumter, Marion, and Pickens 
in South Carolina. Though his fame has been a part of the 
folklore of southwestern North Carolina, it has been largely 

118 The North Carolina Historical Review 

legendary. It is fitting that a man whose name is commemorated 
in a distinguished liberal arts college, and in counties in both 
North Carolina and Tennessee, should be the subject of a biog- 
raphy based on scholarly research. Such a book has been pro- 
duced by the author, Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson, probably a 
collateral kinsman of his subject. 

William Lee Davidson, born in 1746 in Lancaster County, 
Pennsylvania, was carried by his parents to Rowan County, 
North Carolina, three years later. There he grew to manhood 
in a strict Scotch-Irish Presbyterian environment. In his early 
twenties he became active in the militia and rose in rank until 
the state troops in the western third of North Carolina were 
under his command from the battle of Camden until his death 
at thirty-five at Cowan's Ford in 1781, just before final victory 
was won. He narrowly missed being in command at King's 
Mountain, in which battle some of his troops, but not he, partici- 
pated, but he rendered conspicuous service elsewhere. He won 
no important battles. His contributions were in his ability to 
raise men, to handle undisciplined militia, and to preserve their 

Dr. Davidson, the author, writes exceptionally well, and has 
done an excellent job in locating and exploring his sources. The 
sub-title, reminiscent of nineteenth-century writers, The Life and 
Times of Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, is indicative 
of the contents of this book, for it is something more than a 
biography. Approximately one-third of the narrative is devoted 
to environment. The first three chapters contain excellent des- 
criptions of pre-Revolutionary North Carolina society and are 
a veritable storehouse of Presbyterian genealogy. To this re- 
viewer these chapters are most interesting despite the numerous 
characters introduced. The concluding chapter is an excellent 
summary of Davidson's contributions. 

Placing of notes by chapters at the end of a volume is a de- 
batable technique for books primarily designed for scholarly 
perusal. A critical bibliography, a general bibliography, an in- 
dex, and appendixes are included. 

Merritt B. Pound. 

The University of Georgia, 


Book Reviews 119 

The Rise and Progress of Negro Colleges in Georgia, 1865-1949. By Willard 
Range. (Athens: The University of Georgia Press. 1951. Pp. x, 254. 

"This study is one of the University of Georgia Phelps-Stokes 
Studies on Negro Life" (p. ix) . Presented in two parts, its aim 
has been to create "a detailed picture of the development of 
Negro higher education in Georgia . . . [within the framework] 
of 'movements' that were experienced throughout most of the 
South" (p. ix). Developing a concept of the "crusade," Part 
One has dealt with two "waves" of crusaders who came to teach 
the Georgia freedmen. The first, supported mainly by the federal 
government and widespread northern philanthropy, undertook 
to provide the blacks with an academic and a religious educa- 
tion. They experienced failures and successes. But "with almost 
no foundation to build on then, the achievements of the crusade 
[were] little short of amazing" (p. 46) . The second "wave" of 
crusaders, influenced less than the first by sentiment and sup- 
ported in part by well-known philanthropists, introduced among 
the blacks a species of vocational training. During this period, too, 
there were founded a female college, a theological seminary, a 
Negro-controlled denominational college, and a church organized 
by southern whites. The state of Georgia founded and sponsored 
an industrial college, sustained mainly by federal funds. Part 
Two considers the transition to the modern college. Here it has 
taken note of the development of a college program of consider- 
able balance and range, including cultural, business, \scientific, 
and industrial subjects; the accreditation of institutions; the 
emergence of one as a graduate school ; the merger and affiliation 
of several located in Atlanta; and the provision under federal 
impulsion of support and graduate and professional instruction 
in subjects provided by the state, on those levels and within its- 
bounds, for white students. 

The study has appraised movements, institutions, men, and 
measures and discussed lucidly the forces social, economic, 
political, and psychological which have tended to shape develop- 
ments. Well documented, it has a good factual coverage, an 
adequate bibliography, and a serviceable index. Its appendix 
presents a set of valuable chronological tables with reference 
to the institutions considered. Throughout, the study is notably 

120 The North Carolina Historical Review 

objective and interestingly written. Its tone is sympathetic. 
Its main conclusions admit of little criticism. 

A. A. Taylor. 

Fisk University, 
Nashville, Tennessee. 

Georgia Studies: Selected Writings of Robert Preston Brooks. Edited and 
with an introduction by Gregor Sebba. (Athens: University of Georgia 
Press. 1952. Pp. xii, 309. $3.50.) 

To know how to pay fitting tribute to a teacher and scholar at 
the end of a long and useful career sometimes presents diffi- 
culties. These difficulties multiply when the publication of a 
scholarly volume is the desideratum of his friends and when his 
primary interests for forty-five years have been undergraduate 
teaching and administration. Just what merits inclusion in such 
a volume ? This question seems not to have given great perplexity 
to the friends of Dr. Brooks at the University of Georgia; and 
the resulting volume is an uneven hodge-podge, some of it valu- 
able, but much of it inconsequential. 

Nearly all of Dr. Brooks's scholarly writing fell within the 
years 1911 to 1916, when he bore none of the burdens of a dean. 
It is understandable, therefore, that four historical essays, writ- 
ten during this five-year period, should provide the meat of this 
volume. The first two articles describe the rise of farm tenancy 
out of the ruins of Georgia's plantation system. The second of 
these essays, "The Agrarian Revolution in Georgia, 1865-1912," 
is a 72-page reproduction (without tables and bibliography) of 
Dr. Brooks's doctoral thesis, published by the University of Wis- 
consin in 1914 and now long out of print. It is still the most 
authoritative work on the development of farm tenancy in 
Georgia ; and this reprint is the most useful and substantial part 
of the book. Of the other two historical essays, one (written in 
1916) reviewed Howell Cobb's important role in combatting 
secession in the crisis of 1850, and the other (also written in 
1916) summarized the conflicts over conscription in the Con- 

The rest of the book is a mishmash of speeches and pamphlets, 
and of articles taken from magazines and newspapers, which, 
considered together, reflect four leading aspects of Dr. Brooks's 

Book Reviews 121 

career and character: 1) his constant interest in tax reform and 
public finances in twentieth-century Georgia; 2) his devotion to 
the University of Georgia, and his consistent advocacy of higher 
standards of study and research there; 3) his sharply defensive 
feeling about northern criticisms of southern shortcomings ; and 
4) the dry wit that often characterizes his informal writing and 

Gregor Sebba, who has taught economics at the University 
of Georgia since 1947, edited the book and wrote a 27-page 
introduction. This introduction is mainly biographical, but at 
times it becomes peculiarly psychographical and occasionally 
even falls into treacly sloughs. 

James Rabun. 

Emory University, 


The Letters of William Gilmore Simms: Volume 1—1830-1844. Collected and 
edited by Mrs. Mary C. Simms Oliphant, Alfred Taylor Odell, and T. C. 
Duncan Eaves. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. 1952. 
Pp. clii, 456. Illustrated. $8.50 per volume, $31.25 the set of five.) 

Volume I of the Simms letters contains much besides letters. 
Major features are an historical and critical introduction by 
Donald Davidson; a biographical sketch of Simms by Dr. Alex- 
ander S. Salley ; and biographical sketches of "Simms' Circle" — 
more than eighty acquaintances (many of them nationally em- 
inent), as well as pages on "The Family Circle" and "The 
Negroes at Woodland." Occupying relatively less space are a 
preface by Mrs. Oliphant, a detailed listing of the 224 letters, 
an index of proper names, and nine illustrations. 

The letters (July, 1830-December, 1844) are those of Simms 
as a young man, from his twenty-fifth to his thirty-ninth year. 
Seventy-nine letters are placed within the first ten years of the 
fifteen-year period, and one hundred and forty-five within the 
last five years. Some of the earlier years (such as 1830, 1833, 
and 1834) are only meager ly represented. 

More than half of the letters constitute a record of friendship 
with one man, James Lawson (1799-1880), a Scottish-born 
New York litterateur and business man. In spite of misunder- 
standings, quarrels, and the fact that Lawson — according to 

122 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Simms — was the "Prince of Poor Correspondents," the friend- 
ship endured for forty years, through the Civil War, to the end 
of Simms's life. 

Eight or more letters were addressed to such distinguished 
South Carolinians as Governor James Henry Hammond and 
Major Benjamin Franklin Perry, editor of the Greenville Moun- 
taineer. Among the well-known Americans in other states who 
received letters from Simms were Robert Montgomery Bird, 
James Kirke Paulding, Evert Augustus Duyckinck, and William 
Cullen Bryant. 

Some of the letters were composed for publication. In 1831 
ten brief letters were published serially in the Charleston City 
Gazette as "Notes of a Small Tourist." Letters to Philip C. Pen- 
dleton on "Southern Literature: Its Condition, Prospects and 
History" were published in the Magnolia in 1841. 

Most of the letters, however, were dashed off spontaneously 
— without thought of permanence — much as if the author were 
addressing a friend viva voce. The reader comes close to a per- 
sonality of heroic stature, many-sided, but characteristically 
forthright, generous, and loyal. (The editors of The North Caro- 
lina Historical Review are wise to admonish the reviewer not 
to use his review as a springboard for bringing out some of his 
own pet ideas, for the far-ranging William Gilmore Simms 
offers many tempting "springboards.") 

Upon the massive evidence of Volume I it is reasonable for 
one to remark that the work has been pursued not only with 
scholarly thoroughness but also with loving care. Copious de- 
tailed footnotes, supported by numerous cross references, appear 
throughout. In design and make-up the book is admirable. The 
typography is pleasing, and the general appearance is notably 

There are a few typographical errors (as for example on 
pages lxxii, ci, and 455) . A sentence on page lxxiv contains a 
superfluous that. On page 199 a footnote seems to be erroneous. 
Writing in December, 1840, Simms refers to five writers then 
living, of whom one is Drayton. In the footnote John Drayton 
(1766-1822) is identified, whereas William Drayton (1776- 
1846), for whom an introductory sketch is given (page ci), is 
probably intended. 

Book Reviews 123 

Mrs. Oliphant dedicates Volume I to her collaborator, Alfred 
Taylor Odell, whose death occurred when the preparation of the 
volume was in its final phases. 

Roger P. Marshall. 

North Carolina State College, 


Pee Dee Panorama. Photographs by Carl Julien and introduction by James 
McBride Dabbs. (Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press. 1951. 
Pp. 117. 82 photographs. $7.50.) 

Once again, photographer and writer have collaborated to 
portray, in a production of appropriate quality, a section of 
South Carolina. The area is clearly delimited, but a larger and 
more detailed map than the one on the title page would aid the 
viewer of the panorama. Both text and pictures seek and capture 
the "feel of the past," for they focus largely on the remains of 
ante-bellum life with only a slight suggestion of the present — 
one paragraph, a few plates, the end papers. As Mr. Babb says 
(p. 27) , the houses pictured represent an expansive society and 
economic system that have passed into history, leaving these 
ghostly reminders endowed with easy dignity, with "sweet for- 
mality," and, it might be added, with sufficient loving care to 
keep some of them preserved for future generations, while others 
decay despite the soundness originally built into them. 

The Introduction is rather sketchy and contains no formal 
documentation. References to authorities are included, however, 
within the text itself. There are quaint and informative quota- 
tions from diaries, letters, and other contemporary writings, as 
well as more recent monographs. Mr. Babb's brief but penetrat- 
ing observations reveal both the expansiveness and the weakness 
of the rice-indigo economy. The economic, religious, and military 
aspects of Pee Dee life receive more attention in the text than do 
the political, social and cultural. One is led to ask whether these 
latter were less developed in the Pee Dee or only less tangible 
to the researcher. Mention is made (p. 9) of the state govern- 
ment's slight impact on the section, but nothing is said about 
local government. The influence of St. David's Academy receives 
scant substantiation. Interesting local incidents of the Revolution 
and the Civil War are given. In the former, Francis Marion and 

124 The North Carolina Historical Review 

his men are featured ; in the latter, the gunboat Pee Dee. Intro- 
duced also are some of the section's favorite sons and benefactors, 
notably David Rogerson Williams and David Coker. A few minor 
textual errors occur — for example, 1832 for 1732 (p. 6) ; Scotch, 
Irish for Scotch-Irish (p. 8). 

Plantation scenes, town houses, town halls, courthouses, 
churches, and river views are found among the photographs. 
Ably executed by Mr. Julian and followed by descriptive notes, 
these are the life and purpose of the book and they make it 
pleasant perusing for the reader. 

Lawrence F. Brewster. 

East Carolina College, 


Seat of Empire: The Political Role of Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg. By 
Carl Bridenbaugh. (Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg, Inc. 
1950. Pp. ix, 85. $1.75.) 

John Randolph is quoted as having said, "When I speak of my 
country, I mean the Commonwealth of Virginia." This same 
philosophy is the red line of interest running through Carl 
Bridenbaugh's slender little volume, Seat of Empire: The Po- 
litical Role of Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg , the chief dif- 
ference being that the colonial Virginian thought in terms of 
Williamsburg, instead of John Randolph's Virginia. In the former 
case, Virginians, growing sure of their own abilities, scorned 
relegation to the realm; nevertheless, they looked through Wil- 
liamsburg to the king with a sense of personal attachment and 
a great degree of loyalty. 

All roads led to Williamsburg, where "Business and sociability 
competed with the rendering of justice/ ' Although suffrage was 
not as free as in some other colonies "it was more widely exer- 
cised" and Virginians would travel many miles to assume their 
public duties. The high integrity of the gentility went far in 
soothing querulous spirits which might have chafed under this 
practice of class-rule. By combining integrity and inquisitiveness 
of mind with justice and a sense of responsibility, the Virginia 
gentry became effective statesmen. 

This little volume, almost a pocket-sized edition, is far weighti- 
er in sound, authentic history than first appearance might indi- 

Book Reviews 125 

cate. The reader cannot long remain unconscious of the amount 
of learning upon which the narrative rests. The imprint of the 
intelligent scholarship never mars the colorfulness of the story. 

The format of the book is attractive. Numbers of good, well- 
placed pictures are used, and the index is fairly adequate. Since 
this is designed for a "popular" history, sources are mentioned 
in a general summary instead of in individual footnotes. 

All in all, historical literature has been enriched by Professor 
Bridenbaugh's Seat of Empire. 

Alice B. Keith. 

Meredith College, 


The Railroads of the Confederacy. By Robert C. Black III. (Chapel Hill: 
The University of North Carolina Press. 1952. Pp. xiv, 360. $6.00.) 

It has been long recognized by scholars that the break-down 
of the railroads was a major factor in the collapse of the Con- 
federacy. But apart from an article by Professor Ramsdell there 
has not been any serious investigation of this important subject 
until the appearance of this volume. Robert Black has written 
an excellent volume on the Confederate railroads based on a 
sound technical knowledge of railroads and a critical use of a 
wide variety of sources, including pertinent manuscript col- 
lections, diaries, newspapers, railroad reports, old maps, and 
official records of the Confederate States. He has made a most 
valuable map of the railroads in the Confederate States as of 
June 1, 1861, with additions of railroads built during the course 
of the war. This map vividly illustrates the fragmentary nature 
of the railroad network of the South, composed of 113 small 
railroads, as well as varying gauges of these roads. 

The outstanding fact in this study is that the Confederate 
government failed signally to control the railroads in the interest 
of military efficiency. Able railroad men were appointed as 
military superintendents, William Shepperd Ashe, Assistant 
Quartermaster in Charge of Railroads, 1861-1862, William Wad- 
ley, Military Superintendent of Railroads, 1862-1863, and Fred- 
erick W. Sims, Military Superintendent of Railroads, 1863-1865. 
But Quartermaster General Abraham C. Myers, who had general 
charge of the government's relations with the carriers, was 

126 The North Carolina Historical Review 

opposed to strong government control and the military super- 
intendents were not given the authority and the support neces- 
sary to do the job. One of the fascinating aspects of this volume 
is the account of the personalities of these men and of their 
frustrations in trying to secure the cooperation of the railroads, 
whose presidents formed a roster of aristocrats like William 
Shepperd Ashe of North Carolina, Peter V. Daniel, Jr., and 
John S. Barbour of Virginia, and of plebeians, like William 
Mahone, the Confederate General, and William M. Wadley, a 
Yankee, ablest railroad man of all of them, and Senator David 
Levy Yulee of Florida. These men operated railroads that had 
largely been built with southern capital, particularly state aid, 
and they made large paper profits for their companies. After 
the initial outburst of patriotism during which the railroads 
charged the Confederate government only half of the regular 
rate, they began on October 4, 1861, charging the Confederate 
government higher rates than civilians were required to pay. 
The "prodigious dividends," distributed during the war, how- 
ever, were made at the expense of steadily deteriorating rail- 
road property. 

Mr. Black has well described the tremendous difficulties of 
operating railroads under the abnormal strain of war. Not only 
were there many "bottlenecks" at the principal southern cities 
where the railroads did not meet, but the differences of gauge 
made it impossible to carry on through shipment of freight. The 
railroads were single track with very inadequate sidings for the 
passage of trains going in the opposite direction. There was a 
tremendous shortage of iron rails, since virtually none were im- 
ported through the blockade or manufactured in the rolling 
mills of the South, and when the rails of unimportant lines were 
torn up to replace the worn-out rails of the main lines or to 
construct vital links, the Confederate authorities had terrific 
fights with stubborn railroad owners, such as the fire-eating 
Senator David Levy Yulee. Among their most serious difficulties 
were the problems of getting skilled labor detailed from the 
armies and the extreme reluctance of railroads to trust their 
freight cars to other lines. State rights also strongly interfered 
with the unified operation of the railroads. 

Book Reviews 127 

The author has described practically every phase of railroad 
activity in the Confederate states in a style that is clear and 
pleasing. He gives an excellent picture of the railroads in 1860 
and shows how inadequate they were for the task of transporting 
troops and war supplies efficiently. Nevertheless, they performed 
an immense service to the Confederate army in concentrating 
troops and played a decisive role at the battle of Manassas, in 
the movement of Bragg's army from Tupelo, Mississippi, to 
Chattanooga in "the largest single Confederate troop movement 
by rail/' and in the battle of Chickamauga. The story of the 
railroads in the latter days of the Confederacy is told with 
restraint, but from the Confederate point of view they were days 
of stark tragedy. 

Clement Eaton. 

University of Kentucky, 


A Two-Party South? By Alexander Heard. (Chapel Hill: The University of 
North Carolina Press. 1952. Pp. xviii, 334. $4.75.) 

Alexander Heard was associated with 0. V. Key, Jr., in the 
voluminous research for Southern Politics in State and Nation 
(Knopf, 1949) . Though the present work utilizes that experience 
and is based on the same general fund of information as the 
earlier book, it is written from an entirely different angle, affects 
a more popular style, and puts the emphasis in southern politics 
on a different set of factors and circumstances. It is, therefore, 
entitled to stand on its own merits. 

The work tacitly assumes the continued existence of the 
Democratic party and denies any vitality in the State Rights 
Democrat movement ; it makes its real contribution in an analysis 
and an evaluation of forces leading in the general direction of 
a genuinely effective second party in the South. The Republican 
party is described as presently a rather hopeless combination of 
political selfishness, ingrained conservatism, and unimaginative 
leadership. Paradoxically, "for those with the courage to face it, 
the hope of the South for real party politics rests with the 
Republican party." (p. 32) 

The demonstration of this impending transition to a more 
delicate balance of party strength involves the reader in two 

128 The North Carolina Historical Review 

charts, eleven maps, and twenty-seven tables in the approved 
pattern of factual analysis which brings the genius of mechanical 
calculating devices to the support of the political scientist's intui- 
tion. Attention is also given to the possibilities of changes in the 
framework of the political structure by action of the Federal 
and state governments. The general character of the thesis is 
a confident prediction that the Democratic party must soon 
repudiate its conservative leadership that has carried on the 
Bourbon tradition for half a century. The circumstances that are 
forcing this change are: 1) pressure from liberal thought; 2) 
growing literacy of voters; 3) increasing political activity of 
Negroes. It is further predicted that these former Bourbons and 
other Democrats already voting as "presidential Republicans" 
in general elections will, in turn, augment the strength of the 
Republicans and infuse the leadership of that party with the hope 
of something more than the crumbs from the political feast at 
state and local level. Hence, the two-party South. 

On the whole, the presentation is clear and the logic irre- 
proachable. But the manner of effecting these far-reaching 
changes in the South' s political structure is not clearly demon- 
strated or adequately illustrated. Granted that the work is a 
portent for the future rather than a blueprint for immediate 
action, there is still room for doubting that the social and in- 
dustrial revolution of the twentieth century has prepared the 
South for conformity to the national pattern of two-party poli- 
tics. Democratic nominations for United States senators in North 
Carolina and Florida in 1950 point up and intensify this doubt. 
It is significant that these clear cases of Bourbon leadership and 
race prejudice in the ranks of the Democratic party are treated 
rather lightly by Professor Heard. When this sort of thing can 
still happen in the second most Republican state of the Upper 
South and the most Yankee state of the Deep South it seems a 
little early to herald the end of conservative Democratic domina- 
tion in the section. There is no assurance that the Republican 
leaders of the South are going to permit their state organizations 
to remain attached to the conservative, machine element of the 
party ; in like manner, there is little reason to assume that both 
major parties are going to discontinue the old American balanc- 
ing act of nominating pleasant-faced conservatives who can get 

Book Reviews 129 

liberal votes and fighting liberals who will rest on their laurels 
and listen to reason once they get into high office. The sudden 
death of the Progressive party and the haste of the State Rights 
Democrats to wipe the stolen jam off their faces certainly seems 
to point in the direction of a quick return of southern Democrats 
to this time-worn practice. 

Paul Murray. 

East Carolina College, 


Smoky Mountain Country. By North Callahan. (New York and Boston: 
Duell, Sloan and Pearce and Little, Brown and Company. 1952. Pp. vii, 
257. $4.00.) 

North Callahan, born and bred in mountain country and now 
a New York journalist, has contributed a pleasantly informal 
volume to the American Folkways series under the general edi- 
torship of Erskine Caldwell. Mr. Callahan's book concerns itself 
generally with an area which begins at the Kentucky- Virginia 
line and extends through eastern Tennessee and western North 
Carolina to the northern border of Georgia. Actually, however, 
major emphasis is laid upon Tennessee history and folkways. 
In the vast Smoky Mountain country, where primitive cultural 
patterns exist side by side with such mighty monuments of tech- 
nology as the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Oak Ridge 
Atomic development, there are many stories. And Mr. Callahan, 
who writes with zest and enthusiasm, tells them in popular 
fashion for the general reader. 

He recounts tales of pioneer hardship and settlement, sketches 
old-time feuds and long-forgotten war, and describes daily chores 
and amusements of mountain folk. He takes obvious pleasure in 
the music of lilting ballads, catches the spirit of soul-stirring 
revivals, and talks of prohibition and moonshine. After reviewing 
rather rapidly the historic backgrounds of the area, the author 
shows the impact of the Civil War and reconstruction, devotes 
space to Tennessee's unique War of the Roses, and then comments 
in charming fashion on regional matters. He dwells upon the 
place of women in mountain society, shows the superstitions 
that are a part of every people's folklore, chuckles at rural humor, 
and comments upon native cookery and festivals. Another sec- 

130 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tion concerns itself with ballads, white spirituals, hillbilly tunes, 
and Nashville's Grand Ole Opry radio show. Mr. Callahan seems 
more at home with the facets of folk mores than with the facts of 
history, but his book was not intended to be serious history and 
the author obviously is not a trained historian. 

The second half of Mr. Callahan's survey deals with more 
recent trends and developments — from about the time of the 
famous "Monkey Trial" and the great depression of 1929, 
through the revolutionary changes brought about by the New 
Deal, to contemporary politics as exemplified by Estes Kefauver. 
It shows also that a static society has become dynamic in terms 
of railroads, paved highways, electricity, and great industries, 
some native and some coming from the North. Not too much is 
said of education or the rights of minority groups. Mr. Callahan 
predicts that the people on the land and in urban centers can 
have confidence in the future, maintaining that days to come will 
bring a better economy, a higher standard of living, and a "new 
realization of the power of the people." He says further — without 
offering adequate evidence — that the country of the Smoky 
Mountains is the "most significant social laboratory in the na- 

Both natives and tourists, wishing an easy-to-read overview 
of a colorful and important region, will be delighted with this 
survey. It is an adequate addition to a series that has explored 
so many other areas that are a part of our national heritage. 

Philip D. Jordan. 

University of Minnesota, 


English Discovery of America to 1585. By Franklin T. McCann. (New York: 
King's Crown Press, Columbia University. 1952. Pp. xiv, 246. $3.50.) 

Mr. McCann has attempted in this concise and sensible book 
to trace the various strands of thought and action in England 
which led towards the first colony on Roanoke Island in 1585 
and its successors. With considerable enterprise and effect he 
illustrates the gradual emergence of the concept of America and 
the fitting of it into a medieval framework, though, proportion- 
ately, this takes rather too much space. Thereafter, the story 
of the voyages, with reference both to theory and practice, is 

Book Reviews 131 

balanced by discussion of American influences in English litera- 
ture down to Tamburlaine. A good level of treatment is main- 
tained throughout, and a particularly valuable feature is the 
chapter on "Eden's America," with its conspectus of the topo- 
graphical knowledge of the Americas available in England by 
1555. There are systematic references and a bibliography. 

The book will be invaluable in giving the student a clear view 
of a tangled process, where no precisely comparable survey is 
available. Though he has based his work throughout on published 
texts and on the more outstanding modern writers, Mr. McCann 
has missed perhaps a dozen papers which would have led him to 
modify a sentence here and an emphasis there. He is not afraid 
to cite contemporary authorities in their own spelling and he 
is well aware of their inconsistency, vagueness, and credulity. 
There is, perhaps, a touch of credulity and inconsistency in his 
own discussions of David Ingram's travels (pp. 149, 180-182) — 
of which it may be said, incidentally, that they brought St. 
Mary's Bay (as the Spaniards called Chesapeake Bay) into 
English nomenclature for probably the first time, however much 
one may continue to doubt the Caribbean to Cape Breton walk. 
Edward "Hay" is "Hayes" and his account of Gilbert's voyage 
in 1583 was printed by Hakluyt in 1589 and not held over until 
1600 (p. 160). There are other slips, but generally the standard 
of accuracy is high. At times Mr. McCann tries to get too much 
information into too little space and the result is somewhat in- 
digestible, but his style is clear and adequate if not exciting. 
What he fails to bring out fully is the counterpoint of Anglo- 
Franco-Spanish relations in North America, but this is a very 
tricky story and one which is only gradually becoming intel- 

David B. Quinn. 

University College of Swansea, 

University of Wales. 

George Washington in American Literature, 1775-1865. By William Alfred 
Bryan. (New York: Columbia University Press. 1952. Pp. xii, 280. $4.00.) 

This Duke University doctoral dissertation is an entirely com- 
petent treatment of its subject which was first begun something 
over a decade ago. Then, as now, it was well worth the doing. 

132 The North Carolina Historical Review 

A twenty-page introduction summarizes the facts of Washing- 
ton's life and the trends of his posthumous reputation, while 
Chapter II discusses the two extremes of opinion which, by and 
large, constituted the contemporary public estimate of the Com- 
mander in Chief. There follow individual chapters on the blos- 
soming of his reputation — and the drift of his legendry — in the 
fields of oratory, biography, verse, drama, and fiction. An ortho- 
dox conclusion terminates the study. In the twenty-two-page 
bibliography, the section devoted to primary sources is likewise 
divided by fields, as above. An appendix offers a helpful, three- 
page chronology of the First President's life. 

Now, since Washington is our prime historical personality, 
and since the vast majority of authors who wrote about him 
during this period were no better than third-rate, George Wash- 
ington in American Literature perforce becomes less an aesthetic 
treatise than a case study in the development of a myth. As 
such, it is a useful addition to the corpus of American cultural 

While the Father of His Country was still living — and a 
Federalist to boot — opinions of him could run the gamut from 
George Mercer's or Thomas Jefferson's admiring appraisals on 
the one hand to General Charles Lee's avowal, on the other, 
that the Commander in Chief was "a man without fashion, air, 
manners, or language enough to relieve a Corporals Guard. . . ." 
Yet by the end of the Revolution, Washington "had about half- 
way completed his progress toward Olympus," and by the time 
of his death in 1799 he was fairly astride it. With the advent of 
the Lincoln Legend in 1865, these literary productions had so 
embalmed the reputation of the Virginia planter that he had 
become not a man but a mummy. First was Chief Justice John 
Marshall's official Life (1804-1807), which introduced more his- 
tory than biography and presented to the public an exalted ab- 
straction, not a man. Second was Mason L. Weems' 1806 revision 
of his popular little fairy tale, which presented to the public a 
tattle-telling prig, not a man. Last came Jared Sparks's edition 
of the Writings (1834-1837), which, though it put into print 
for the first time a mass of original material, nevertheless per- 
petuated the Weems-Marshall tradition by a near-criminal 

Book Reviews 133 

bowdlerizing of Washington's language so as to place him quite 
above and beyond the call of humankind. 

Serviceable analyses of all three of these phenomena, and a 
good many more of their ramifications and variations, are pro- 
vided by the late Mr. Bryan in a clear and organized fashion. 
The author quite literally put his life into this book, for shortly 
after finishing the manuscript, he dropped dead of a heart attack. 
If the volume lacks that stylistic polish and Augustan wit which 
one would like to see in a work of cultural history, it is, after all, 
not these that are of the first importance. The materials are of 
the first importance. And the materials are here. 

Curtis Carroll Davis. 

Baltimore, Maryland. 

Women Camp Followers of the American Revolution. By Walter Hart Blu- 
menthal. (Philadelphia: George S. MacManus. 1952. Pp. 104. $3.75.) 

The presence of women camp followers with military forces 
was not an innovation with the armies of the American Revolu- 
tion. There had been women with the British Army in 1755 at 
Braddock's defeat in the French and Indian War, as well as in 
previous wars. By the time of the American Revolution there 
seems to have developed the tradition that "men-at-arms needed 

In this work the author distributes his attention equally be- 
tween the women of the American and British revolutionary 
armies. It must be admitted, however, that the women of the 
British Army, especially those who bestowed their favors upon 
British officers, appear in a more attractive light than those of 
the American forces. Many of these women were wives in the 
strictest sense of the word ; many were other men's wives ; while 
many were local Tory maidens who had contracted "scarlet 
fever from the lobsterbacks." From the available information of 
August, 1781, the author gives useful and interesting statistics 
concerning the women camp followers of the British Army at 
that time. In that year the English regiments contained 9,686 
men and 2,173 women ; the Germanic regiments 10,251 men and 
679 women ; while in the civil departments there were 3,512 men 
and 763 women. There were probably more, as the above figures 
include only those who were on the British ration lists. Mr. 

134 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Blumenthal also points out that in the four years after 1777 
the feminine ratio in the British army had doubled, "doubtless 
by roadside accretion." 

The treatment of the camp followers of the American army 
is not so harsh, morally, as that accorded the British women. 
This is partially explained by the fact that there were not so 
many women with the American forces, mainly because supplies 
were not so plentiful, nor were the prospects for plunder so 
bright. In treating the American camp women, the implication 
is that their chief duties were to wash, mend clothes, and cook 
for the men, which is a rather sad commentary on the American 
soldier of the day. But there are also indications that the Amer- 
ican camp followers were not without their rewards. The author 
cites one incident in the Saratoga campaign when the women of 
Gates' American Army stripped both the British and the Amer- 
ican dead to such an extent that later identification was impos- 

This is a local study in one sense of the word. There is little 
information concerning either the British or the American 
armies in the South, although after 1779 most of the military 
activity was concentrated in that region. Actually the southern 
army of the American forces had few if any women attached to 
it because of the short terms served by the militia who made up 
a large part of that army. Shortages in supplies of all kinds also 
prohibited any excess human baggage. But the British Army in 
the South was burdened with camp followers, both male and 
female. It is a distinct probability that this fringe factor played 
a significant part in the ultimate defeat of Cornwallis. A study 
of his orderly book would have revealed that many staunch 
loyalists were alienated by the activities of those who travelled 
with his army, and repeated orders were issued forbidding fur- 
ther depredations. 

This small volume of limited publication (300 copies) is the 
first step toward what could develop into an interesting and fas- 
cinating study of a phase of the American Revolution. Its scope 
could be enlarged to include loyalists, renegades, and runaway 

An appendix includes the returns of Daniel Weir, Commissary 
of the British Army in North America, which further breaks 

Book Reviews 135 

down the author's subject into facts and figures. Documentation 
throughout the book appears rather sporadic. An adequate bib- 
liography is the concluding feature of this work. The absence 
of an index destroys much of the usefulness of the volume. 

Hugh F. Rankin. 

Chapel Hill. 

Early American Gunsmiths, 1650-1850. By Henry J. Kauffman. (Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania: The Stackpole Company. 1952. Pp. xx, 94. Map, illustrations. 

This book is primarily a list of early American gunsmiths 
who worked from 1650 to 1850, a date which marks the end of 
the period in which gunmaking was still a craft. Along with the 
preface, which tells how the list was compiled, and a page and a 
half of acknowledgements to various institutions and individuals, 
Mr. Kauffman has written an introduction of eleven pages which 
is directed primarily to the gun collector. In it he describes some 
of the problems of identifying gunsmiths and indicates sources 
of materials for the researcher in the field. The list, alphabetized 
by surname, gives the documentary source for the nearly 800 
gunsmiths named. For perhaps 10 per cent of the names listed 
some additional information is given, usually from the gun- 
smith's advertisement in a local paper. 

Although official documents and newspapers were used, the 
research is thorough only in limited areas. Readers interested in 
gunsmiths from southeastern Pennsylvania and from Charleston, 
South Carolina, will find a great many names listed. For North 
Carolina, however, only eight names are listed, all of whom were 
from the Moravian settlement in or near the town of Salem. 
They are: John Valentine Beck — 1764; Andreas Betz — 1754; 
Herman Butner — 1815 ; Jacob Loesch, Jr. — 1781 ; Joseph Muller 
—1774; Christopher Vogler— 1784; John Vogler— 1803; and 
Timothy Vogler— 1820. 

The work is well organized for the most part. Since the con- 
tents are alphabetized, an index is not essential, but if the author 
had made an additional listing of the gunsmiths by states it 
would have served as a useful reference. Also, if the introduction 
had included something of the history of gunmaking in general 
for the period, the book would have much more to offer the 

136 The North Carolina Historical Review 

students of colonial crafts. The illustrations are numerous and 
well done. They are mostly "close-ups" showing detail that is 
needed in gun identification. The real value of the book lies in 
its usefulness and interest to the gun collector. 

Joye E. Jordan. 

Department of Archives and History, 

The Army Air Forces in World War II, Volume III, Europe: Argument to 
V-E Day, January 1944 to May 1945. By Wesley Frank Craven and James 
Lea Cate. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1951. Pp. xxix, 948. 

In this volume, the fourth to be published by the USAF His- 
torical Division, editors Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate 
complete "the story of the AAF's war against Hitler's Germany 
and his satellite nations." From build-up, to invasion, to mission 
accomplished, the reader will have an opportunity to learn how 
the most complex military machine in the world's history de- 
feated one of the strongest, in spite of and not because of the 
alliance of the United States, Great Britain and Russia. 

The days and weeks of planning before the invasion of Western 
Europe were filled with problems for the Air Force and its 
commanders. General Eisenhower desired to utilize the air forces 
of Great Britain and the United States under one command, 
along with the ground forces and navies. His desires were not 
fully concurred in by the British and, as a result, considerable 
argument ensued before agreements were reached. Shortly there- 
after, the V-bomb menace diverted large numbers of our heavy 
bombers in Operation Crossbow. Although this operation could 
have been conducted with fighter bombers and medium bombers, 
the British felt that the heavy bombers, principally B-17's, should 
also be used. This deployment of heavy bombers from their stra- 
tegic targets proved unwise. The use of tactical air power at 
this time, however, was very effective. The Ninth Air Force 
began to strike railways and highways leading into the invasion 
area, at German air fields, strategic railway centers, and selected 
coastal batteries. Also, "unarmed reconnaisance planes made 
photographs of every possible yard of the beaches and areas 
immediately behind them, zooming and swerving to avoid cliffs 

Book Reviews 137 

and sand-dunes, in order to provide Ground Force officers with 
up-to-date information about the shore they would soon find 
themselves on." 

On 6 June 1944, more than 8,000 planes were dispatched on 
missions directly related to the invasion of Western Europe. 
Fighters were strafing the beaches ahead of the troops. Hundreds 
of transport planes were towing gliders filled with paratroopers. 
Light, medium and heavy bombers struck constantly to isolate 
the battlefield. These operations were flown with masterful pre- 
cision, to a degree that the operations seemed more routine than 

In addition to the tactical operations of the Air Force, other 
operations of great importance were also conducted. First there 
was the leaflet operation, in which one squadron alone dropped 
more than IV2 billion leaflets. Operation Carpetbagger dropped 
agents to work with the underground and supplies to assist them 
in their mission. Then began the tremendous airlift of fuel, 
supplies for the ground forces, hospital ships for the wounded, 
and matting for the engineers to use in constructing airfields 
close to the front lines. 

The most important operations in the Battle of Europe were 
those of strategic bombardment. The editors have admirably 
shown how the combined strategic air forces systematically tore 
the heart out of Germany. The oil industry was selected as of 
primary importance ; then the chemical industry, the ball-bearing 
industry, the vast highway and railroad system, submarines, 
and V-weapons. These operations "absorbed German man-power, 
scientific energies and guns and ammunition from war activities 
that might have been much more dangerous to the United Na- 
tions." Strategic bombing was literally driving Germany to her 

There were failures in this effort, however : mainly, the failure 
to strike the highly vulnerable electric power stations and the 
powder and explosive plants. Further, our Intelligence failed to 
comprehend how closely the German oil, chemical and rubber 
industries were related. 

The editors have compiled a history that will make interesting 
and exciting reading for those who are concerned with the em- 

138 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ployment of air power, defensively and offensively, in war today. 
Although this book is concerned primarily with air operations, 
"it is not intended to suggest that the air forces won the war, 
or even that they could have won single-handedly a war de- 
liberately planned on the principle of inter-dependent land, sea 
and air forces. Rather, the purpose is to emphasize that the final 
triumph owed much of its completeness to an extraordinarily 
effective coordination of the ground and air effort/' 

Robert S. Milner, Major. 

United States Air Force, 

Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. 


The history department of the University of North Carolina 
reports the following staff changes : Dr. George V. Taylor has 
been appointed assistant professor of history and Dr. Frank W. 
Klingberg, Dr. James E. King, and Dr. C. 0. Cathey have 
been promoted from assistant professors to associate professors. 
Dr. King spent the summer of 1952 doing research in the 
Library of Congress, and Dr. Klingberg taught in the 1952 
summer session of the University of California at Los Angeles. 
Dr. James R. Caldwell, Jr., has been promoted from instructor 
to assistant professor of social science. Dr. Mitchell B. Garrett, 
professor of history at the University since 1927, retired in 
June, 1952, and is now living in Canton, New York. 

Dr. Fletcher M. Green taught at Duke University during the 
summer, 1952. Dr. Cecil Johnson is engaged in a study of the 
pre- Whitney cotton gin and would appreciate information on 
sources, however fugitive, for that subject. Dr. Hugh T. Lefler 
is chairman of a committee to prepare a history of Orange 
County for its two-hundredth anniversary. Dr. Harold A. Bierck, 
associate professor of Latin American history, participated in a 
round-table discussion of "Problems in Teaching Latin American 
Studies" at the Pan American Union in April, 1952, and in the 
American Council of Learned Societies "Survey of Latin Amer- 
ican Studies in the United States" in New Orleans in May, 1952. 

The following publications by members of the history depart- 
ment at the University of North Carolina have appeared re- 
cently: James L. Godfrey, "Battle of the Margins" and "The 
New Toryism" in the Virginia Quarterly Review; Frank W. 
Klingberg (coeditor), The Correspondence Between Henry 
Stephens Randall and Hugh Blair Grigsby, 1856-1861 (Univer- 
sity of California Press, 1952) ; Hugh T. Lefler (coauthor) , 
The United States: A Survey of National Development (2 vols. 
Ronald Press, 1952) and "Grandpa Had Good Roads, Too: A 
Sketch of the Plank Road Movement in North Carolina" in The 
State; Loren C. MacKinney, "Multiple Explicits of a Medieval 
Medical Dynamedia" in Osiris, "A Half Century of Medical 
Medieval Historiography in America" in Medievalia et Humanis- 

[ 139 ] 

140 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tica, "Ethics versus Practics in the Hippocratic Oath" in 
Southern Philosopher, "Medical Ethics and Etiquette in the 
Early Middle Ages" in Bulletin of History of Medicine, and 
"F. Gilbert's Machiavelli's Virtu" in Renaissance News ; Carl H. 
Pegg, "Die Meinung Amerikas zum Schuman Plan" in Europa 
Union and "Die Resistance als Trager der europaischen Einig- 
ungsbestrebungen in Frankreich wahrend des Zweiten Welt- 
kreiges" in Europa Archiv. 

The following alumni of the graduate history department at 
the University have new positions: James C. Bonner, visiting 
professor at Emory University for the fall quarter, 1952; 
James S. Brawley, commissioned to write a history of Rowan 
County; Peter Penn Cooper II, regional director of World Fed- 
eralists in the Virginia-Carolina area; J. Isaac Copeland, libra- 
rian at Peabody College; W. Magruder Drake, instructor in 
history at the University of Mississippi for 1952-1953 ; Alvin A. 
Fahrner, associate professor of history at Coker College; James 
S. Ferguson, on leave from Millsaps College, Jackson, Miss., to 
do special work at Yale University as a Ford Fellow, 1952-1953 ; 
Robert S. Lambert, professor of history at Vincennes University 
in Indiana; Robert A. Lively, assistant professor of history at 
the University of Wisconsin; Malcolm C. McMillan, research 
professor of history at Alabama Polytechnic Institute ; Joseph B. 
Mahan, Jr., assistant professor of history at the Columbus 
Extension Center of the University of Georgia ; Jack Z. Rabun, 
visiting professor of history at the University of Wisconsin for 
the fall semester, 1952; Walter K. Roberts, teacher of history 
at Oak Grove High School, Durham ; Frank W. Ryan, Jr., acting 
assistant professor at the Citadel; Sally M. Carter (Mrs. Leigh 
Skinner) teacher of history in the High School, Durham; Ed- 
ward M. Steel, Jr., with the editorial department of Cosmopolitan 
Magazine; William J. Wade, professor of history at King Col- 
lege, Bristol, Tenn. ; Vernon L. Wharton, dean of Texas State 
College for Women at Denton. 

The Woman's College of the University of North Carolina 
reports that Dr. Franklin D. Parker, assistant professor of his- 
tory, has been received into membership in the Sociedad de 
Geografia e Historia de Guatemala as a socio correspondiente, 

Historical News 141 

in recognition of his doctoral study entitled "The Histories and 
Historians of Central America to 1850." An article written by 
Dr. Parker on Central America in English literature is due to 
appear in the Anales published by the Guatemalan society, and 
he is also the author of an article on the public life of Jose 
Cecilio del Valle, writer of the Central American declaration of 
independence in the November, 1952, issue of the Hispanic 
American Historical Review. Dr. John Beeler, while on military 
leave, worked under the Chief of Military History in Washing- 
ton and collaborated in the preparation of a monograph on the 
"Replacement Problem in the Union Armies During the Civil 
War," part of a book entitled History of the Replacement System 
in the U. S. Army published in December by the Office of the 

The Wake Forest department of social sciences announces 
the following staff changes: Dr. C. C. Pearson in the summer 
of 1952 retired from active teaching and as head of the depart- 
ment. Before joining the faculty in 1916 Dr. Pearson had taught 
at Washington and Lee and at Yale. For fifteen years he taught 
in the summer sessions at the University of Virginia or at Duke 
University. Professor F. W. Clonts is serving as chairman of 
the social sciences department for the year 1952-1953. Mr. 
David Smiley is on leave of absence this year preparing a life 
of Cassius M. Clay. Dr. Noble E. Cunningham, Jr., who received 
his Ph.D. degree from Duke in June, 1952, has replaced Mr. 
Smiley for the year. 

Meredith College reports that Dr. Lillian Parker Wallace 
suffered an illness late in November and until she could resume 
her duties as head of the history department the first of the 
year Mrs. O. N. Rich of Raleigh assisted in the work of the 
department. Dr. Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, assistant professor 
of history, was elected to membership in the Historical Society 
of North Carolina at its fall meeting. 

At Duke University, Dr. Alexander DeConde and Dr. Robert 
F. Durden have joined the faculty of the history department 
this year. Dr. Durden is a native of Georgia, graduate of Emory, 

142 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and Ph.D. from Stanford University and until recently taught 
at Whittier College in California. Dr. William B. Hamilton has 
been promoted to professor of history. Dr. Charles S. Sydnor 
taught at the summer session at Harvard University, and Dr. 
Harry Stevens, who is retiring president of Trinity College 
Historical Society, after teaching in the Duke summer session 
spent a month at Fort Benning, Ga., where he taught in the 
Infantry Center. In August at a conference on Southeast Asia 
held in Washington by Johns Hopkins University and the School 
of Advanced International Studies, Dr. Paul H. Clyde read a 
paper entitled " 'Final and Definitive' : Some historical reflec- 
tions on American Policy in the Far East." At a meeting of the 
Trinity College Historical Society held on December 4, Dr. 
Alexander DeConde read a paper entitled "The Diplomacy of 
Peace : 1797-1800." 

The following recent publications are by members of the 
faculty of the Duke University history department: William T. 
Laprade, "Funds and Foundations: A Neglected Phase" in the 
South Atlantic Quarterly; Charles S. Sydnor, Gentlemen Free- 
holders, Political Practices in Washington's Virginia (The Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early Amer- 
ican History and Culture, 1952) ; E. Malcolm Carroll, "Recent 
German Publications and German Foreign Policy, 1933-1945" 
in American Political Science Review; William B. Hamilton 
(compiler), A Preliminary List of the Printed Writings of 
William Thomas Laprade, Professor of History in Duke Univer- 
sity (Durham, The Seeman Printery, 1952). 

New positions among the Duke alumni are reported as fol- 
lows : Thomas D. Clark, who is chairman of the department of 
history at the University of Kentucky and editor of the Journal 
of Southern History, mission to India and Pakistan; Harold 
Schultz of the University of Vermont, chairman of the history 
department; Charles S. Davis, formerly associate dean of the 
College of Liberal Arts at the Florida State University, dean; 
Roy Curry, teacher at Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pitts- 
burgh; James F. Hopkins of the University of Kentucky; Paul 
McCain, president of Arkansas College at Batesville; Cary V. 
Stabler, dean of Florence State Teachers' College in Alabama; 
William C. Asker of Colgate University, Guggenheim Fellow- 

Historical News 143 

ship ; William A. Mabry, chairman of the department of history 
and political science at Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Va., 
dean of men and director of admissions ; Rodolf o 0. Rivera, who 
is public affairs officer in the office of the American Consulate 
General, Barcelona, Spain, lecturer on "Books and Art in the 
United States" ; Glenn Sisk, who is head of the department of 
social sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, Carnegie 
grant-in-aid through the University Center of Georgia to study 
Alabama social history. 

Mr. Robert C. Pugh has accepted a position in the history 
department of the University of Illinois at Urbana. 

On December 7, 1952, the major Protestant congregations of 
Kinston joined at Queen Street Methodist Church in a service 
commemorating the 165th anniversary of the founding of Saint 
John's Lodge, No. 4, Free and Accepted Masons. The principal 
address, "North Carolina's Heritage in Masonic History," was 
delivered by Dr. Paul Murray of East Carolina College, Green- 

The town of Thomasville celebrated its centennial September 
14 through 20 with a week-long festival which included parades, 
special exhibitions, religious services, and social affairs with 
historical themes. A pageant based on the history of the town, 
which was founded by John Warwick Thomas on the route of 
the North Carolina Railroad, was presented each night during 
the week. In connection with the celebration, the Thomasville 
Centennial Historical Committee has published a 216-page book 
entitled Wheels of Faith and Courage, by Mary Green Matthews 
and M. Jewell Sink with a foreword by Gerald W. Johnson. 
The price of the book is $5.00. 

A celebration of the 176th anniversary of the Battle of Moore's 
Creek took place at Moore's Creek National Military Park in 
Currie, N. C, on October 10. The program included three 
addresses, band music, and a presentation of historical data by 
Dr. Christopher Crittenden of the Department of Archives and 
History and was followed by a picnic lunch. 

144 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The town of Lumberton held its centennial celebration from 
November 30 through December 2. A pageant entitled "Progress 
on the Lumbee since 1787," written by Mrs. Kate Britt Biggs of 
Lumberton and others, was presented on December 1. The pro- 
gram for December 2 included the dedication of a new water 
plant, a band concert, parade, and ball. A distinguishing feature 
of this celebration was that it was planned and produced entirely 
by the citizens of Lumberton. 

A portrait of Robert Digges Wimberly Connor (1878-1950), 
first Archivist of the United States, 1934-1941, was unveiled on 
October 10, 1952, in the National Archives Conference Room in 
Washington, D. C. The portrait was painted by Mrs. Arthur M. 
Nash of Washington, well-known portrait artist and long-time 
friend of the Connor family, and it was unveiled before a gath- 
ering of relatives, friends, and colleagues of the late archivist 
by his grandnephew, Thomas Connor Murray. Dr. Waldo G. 
Leland, former director of the American Council of Learned 
Societies and sometime president of the Society of American 
Archivists, read a tribute to Dr. Connor. 

A state historical marker commemorating Thalian Hall was 
unveiled in Wilmington on September 17. Thalian Hall, erected 
1855-1858, houses the Wilmington City Hall and Library as 
well as the theater for the Thalian Association, an amateur 
dramatic organization formed about 1788. Mr. Louis T. Moore, 
chairman of the New Hanover Historical Commission, presided 
at the ceremonies. Other participants on the program were 
Mayor E. L. White of Wilmington, Miss Emma Bellamy William- 
son of the Thalian Association, the Rev. Thomas P. Noe, and 
Mr. Edwin A. Miles of the Department of Archives and History. 

On October 3, in ceremonies near Lucia, Gaston County, a 
historical marker was unveiled for Oak Grove, the home of 
Colonel James Johnston, soldier and political leader during the 
American Revolution. Oak Grove, which has been called the 
oldest brick building in North Carolina west of the Catawba, 
was erected about 1782. Dr. Christopher Crittenden, director of 

Historical News 145 

the State Department of Archives and History, was master of 
ceremonies and Mrs. Ray S. Ferguson, the Rev. Raymond 
Ratchford, Mr. F. A. Cathey, Jr., and Mr. J. W. Atkins also 
participated in the exercises. 

On October 4 two historical markers were erected in Buncombe 
County in ceremonies presided over by Dr. Crittenden. One 
marker commemorates the birthplace of Dr. L. B. McBrayer, 
a pioneer in the fight against tuberculosis in North Carolina, 
and the other points to the location of "Richmond Hill," home 
of Richmond Pearson, former congressman and diplomat. Fol- 
lowing the latter ceremony Mr. Thomas Pearson and Miss Mar- 
jorie N. Pearson entertained members of the Western North 
Carolina Historical Association with a reception at "Richmond 

Near Norwood in Stanly County on October 10 a historical 
highway marker was unveiled commemorating the fight at 
Colson's Mill in which Colonel William Lee Davidson led the 
Whigs in a victory over Tories led by Colonel Samuel Bryan in 
July, 1780. Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the Department of Archives 
and History presided at the ceremony which preceded the un- 
veiling by Master Douglas Eury and Miss Judy Starnes. The 
program included greetings brought by Mr. Edwin A. Miles of 
the Department of Archives and History, an account of the work 
of the Stanly County Historical Society by Mrs. G. D. B. 
Reynolds of Albemarle, chairman of the Society, a report on the 
history of the Colson family by Mr. J. H. Colson of Norwood, 
a paper on historical incidents in the community by Colonel 
Jeffrey F. Stanback of Mount Gilead, and an address on Wil- 
liam Lee Davidson by Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson, who was 
introduced by Mr. Charles A. Reap. 

Prior to the unveiling of the Colson marker on October 10, 
a brief meeting of the Stanly County Historical Society was 
held in the Norwood Methodist Church Hut for the appointing 
of committees. A committee on constitution and bylaws was 
appointed consisting of Mr. Charles H. McSwain, Mrs. G. D. B. 
Reynolds, and Mr. Arthur S. Lynn. A nominating committee 

146 The North Carolina Historical Review 

was appointed consisting of Mr. W. Kemp Littleton, Mrs. T. L. 
Hartsell, and Mrs. J. N. Lilly. 

The Alamance County Historical Committee was organized 
in September and held its first meeting in Burlington on October 
15. The committee was organized in order that records of all 
historical events pertaining to the development of Alamance 
County may be properly preserved and promoted. The members, 
appointed by Mr. L. P. Best, chairman of the Alamance County 
Board of Commissioners, are Mr. George Colclough, Mr. Staley 
Cook, Mrs. G. A. Kernodle, Dr. Will Long, Professor R. H. 
Hutchinson, the Rev. D. I. Offman, Mr. L. M. Adcock, Mr. J. Sam 
White, Dr. J. A. Hunter, Mrs. N. N. Fleming, Mrs. Ralph Scott, 
Mr. E. P. Dixon, Mr. Clyde Gordon, Mrs. Ernest Thompson, 
Mrs. Walter H. Garrison, Mr. Erwin Holt, and Mr. Thomas D. 

The Craven County Historical Association held its first meet- 
ing in New Bern on November 12. Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the 
Department of Archives and History assisted in the work of 
organizing the group. About forty people were in attendance, 
and Mr. H. B. Smith was elected temporary chairman. 

The Southeastern Museums Conference was held in Raleigh 
on October 17 and 18, with the Hall of History, the Museum 
of Natural History, and the State Art Gallery as conference 
hosts. A panel and forum were held on the afternoon of October 
17 on "Basic Essentials of Good Exhibition," in the evening 
of the same day on "The Museum in the Community, ,, and on 
the morning of October 18 on "Good Public Relations and How 
to Achieve Them." A tea at the Governor's Mansion, an open 
house at the State Art Gallery, a tour of Raleigh, and a luncheon 
were included in the program. Mrs. Joye E. Jordan of the De- 
partment of Archives and History was re-elected secretary of 
the Conference. 

The Historical Society of North Carolina held its annual 
meeting at Greensboro College in Greensboro on October 24. 
At the afternoon session Miss Dorothy Lloyd Gilbert of Guilford 

Historical News 147 

College read a paper on "North Carolina Quakers and the 
Revolution," and Dr. Preston W. Edsall of State College, Raleigh, 
presented a paper discussing North Carolina's activities at 
the national Democratic Convention of 1952 in Chicago. At the 
night session Dr. Fletcher M. Green of the University of North 
Carolina, Chapel Hill, spoke on ways of celebrating July 4 in 
North Carolina for one hundred years after Independence Day. 
At a brief business session which followed, Mr. Aubrey Lee 
Brooks of Greensboro was elected president of the Society, Dr. 
Henry S. Stroupe of Wake Forest College, vice-president, Dr. 
Frontis W. Johnston of Davidson College, secretary-treasurer. 

North Carolinians who attended the sixteenth annual meeting 
of the Society of American Archivists in Lexington, Kentucky, 
on October 27 and 28 were Dr. James W. Patton of the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Mr. W. Frank Burton, 
Mr. D. L. Corbitt, and Dr. Christopher Crittenden of the Depart- 
ment of Archives and History. Dr. Crittenden is a member of 
the council of the organization. 

Many North Carolinians attended the annual meeting of the 
Southern Historical Association in Knoxville, Tennessee, on No- 
vember 6, 7, and 8. Those who appeared on the program were 
Dr. Loren C. MacKinney of the University of North Carolina, 
who read a paper on "Medieval Contributions to Medical Ethics" ; 
Dr. Fletcher M. Green of the University of North Carolina, who 
read a paper on "An Intellectual Awakening in the Old South" ; 
Dr. John Tate Lanning of Duke University, who read a paper 
on "Language in the Colonial University" ; Dr. George B. Tindall 
of the Woman's College, who read a paper on "The Color Line 
in South Carolina, 1877-1900"; and Dr. James L. Godfrey of 
the University of North Carolina, who was one of the two dis- 
cussion leaders in the section on British history. 

The twenty-sixth annual meeting of the North Carolina State 
Art Society was held in Raleigh on Wednesday, December 3. 
At the luncheon meeting, which was presided over by Mrs. 
Jacques Busbee of Jugtown, Mr. Paul Green of Chapel Hill 
gave a talk based on the world tour which he made last year 

148 The North Carolina Historical Review 

under the auspices of the General Board of the Rockefeller 
Foundation and the University of North Carolina. He was intro- 
duced by Mr. Jonathan Daniels. Governor W. Kerr Scott pre- 
sided at the meeting session in the absence of Mrs. Katherine 
Pendleton Arrington of Warrenton, who was ill. Mr. Robert 
Lee Humber of Greenville, chairman of the executive committee, 
reported on the possible new acquisitions for the collections of 
the Society and Dr. Clarence Poe of Raleigh gave a financial 
report which included an account of the Phif er bequest to the 
Society. Miss Lucy Cherry Crisp, executive secretary, listed the 
new acquisitions for the year. Purchase awards were presented 
to Jerry L. Caplan of Durham for his painting, "Carousel" ; 
to Roy Gussow of Raleigh for his sculpture, "Metaphase" ; and 
to Robert Broderson of Durham for his painting, "Landscape." 
The speaker of the evening was Mrs. Adelyn D. Breeskin, 
director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, whose subject was 
"The Function of the Art Museum in a Community." After the 
meeting a reception and preview were held in the State Art 
Gallery. At the business meeting held earlier in the day Mr. 
Henry Bridges and Mr. Henry Kamphoefner of Raleigh were 
elected directors. The other officers of the Society were re-elected. 

The Roanoke Island Historical Association held a luncheon 
meeting in Raleigh on December 3, with Mr. Martin Kellogg, Jr., 
of Manteo presiding. Mr. Richard Jordan of Nags Head was 
elected general manager of the outdoor drama, "The Lost Col- 
ony," succeeding Mr. William Hardy, who had resigned. Mr. 
Sam Selden was named supervising director and Mr. Clifton 
Britton, director. Members of the Association unanimously 
adopted resolutions of regret at the death of Mr. Herbert Peele 
of Elizabeth City. 

The twelfth annual session of the North Carolina Society for 
the Preservation of Antiquities was held in Raleigh on Decem- 
ber 4. At the morning meeting reports were made on restoration 
projects such as the Salem restoration project, the colonial jail 
at Halifax, the Hezekiah Alexander House at Charlotte, the 
Bellamy House at Wilmington, St. Thomas Church at Bath, and 
the four covered bridges in the state. Dr. Christopher Crittenden 

Historical News 149 

told of a project for a Wright Brothers Memorial Museum at 
Kitty Hawk and asked the Society to support the project. Mr. 
William Graves Perry, architect for the Tryon Palace restora- 
tion, gave an address at the luncheon meeting. The evening 
meeting was presided over by Mrs. Charles A. Cannon of Con- 
cord, president of the Society, and Mr. Paul Green of Chapel 
Hill presented the Cannon Cup awards to Mr. Lawrence Sprunt 
of Wilmington, Mr. Kermit Hunter of Chapel Hill, Mr. Richard 
Walser of Raleigh, Mr. James Stenhouse of Charlotte, Miss 
Virginia Home of Wadesboro, Miss Clara Booth Byrd of 
Greensboro, Mr. and Mrs. John A. Kellenberger of Greensboro, 
and Mr. George Ross of Raleigh. Mr. Lyman A. Cotten presided 
over a program on the restoration of St. John's Church at 
Williamsboro which included a paper on "The Restoration of 
St. John's and Its Progress" by Dr. Lawrence F. London of 
Chapel Hill; a showing of slides of the church made by the 
architect for the restoration, Mr. Milton L. Grigg ; "The Story of 
Williamsboro and St. John's Church," told by Dr. Archibald 
Henderson of Chapel Hill ; a sketch of "John Stark Ravenscrof t, 
Rector of St. John's and Bishop of North Carolina" by the Rt. 
Rev. Edwin A. Penick; and the singing of "Jerusalem, the 
Golden" by the choir of Christ Church in Raleigh. A reception 
followed the program. At the business meeting Mrs. Cannon 
was re-elected president of the society and Mrs. Inglis Fletcher 
of Edenton and Mrs. Ernest A. Branch of Raleigh were re- 
elected vice-president and secretary-treasurer respectively. 

The State Literary and Historical Association held its fifty- 
second annual session in Raleigh on Friday, December 5. At the 
morning session Mr. George W. McCoy of Asheville read a 
paper on "Asheville and Thomas Wolfe," Mr. Kermit Hunter 
of Chapel Hill spoke on "The Outdoor Historical Drama," and 
Mr. LeGette Blythe of Huntersville gave a review of North 
Carolina non-fiction books of the year. Dr. J. G. de Roulhac 
Hamilton, speaker at the luncheon meeting, presented an address 
on "George Patterson, North Carolinian by Adoption," and at 
the dinner meeting Mr. Lambert Davis of Chapel Hill conducted 
an informal "Meet the Authors" program in which the following 
authors participated: Mrs. Mebane Holoman Burgwyn of 

150 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Jackson, Mrs. Inglis Fletcher of Edenton, Dr. Hugh T. Lefler 
of Chapel Hill, Mr. David Stick of Kitty Hawk, Mr. Richard 
Walser of Raleigh, and Mrs. Margery Wilson of New York. 
The evening session was held in the Hugh Morson High School 
Auditorium this year because the membership has been doubled 
in the past year so that the Virginia Dare Ballroom would not 
have held the crowd. Dr. Frontis W. Johnston presented the 
presidential address, "Zebulon B. Vance — A Personality Sketch," 
and Mr. J. Donald Adams of New York spoke on "The Writer's 
Responsibility." Mrs. Preston B. Wilkes, Jr., of Charlotte, gov- 
ernor of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in North Caro- 
lina, presented the Mayflower award for the best non-fiction 
work of the year to Mr. John S. McKnight of Shelby, who ac- 
cepted it on behalf of his son, Mr. John P. McKnight, for his 
work, The Papacy: A New Appraisal. Miss Clara Booth Byrd 
of Greensboro, president of the Historical Book Club, presented 
the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, a new award for fiction to be 
presented each year by the club, to Paul Green of Chapel Hill 
for outstanding literary achievement. A reception followed the 
evening's program. 

At the business meeting which preceded the Association's 
morning meeting Dr. Johnston was re-elected president, Dr. 
Alice B. Keith of Raleigh, Mr. Burnham S. Colburn of Asheville, 
and Miss Gertrude Weil of Goldsboro were re-elected vice-presi- 
dents, and Dr. Christopher Crittenden was re-elected secretary- 
treasurer. A new nominating committee was elected, consisting 
of Mr. John R. Jordan, Dr. J. D. Clark, and Mr. L. Walter 
Seegers of Raleigh, Mrs. Ford S. Worthy of Washington, and 
Mr. Gilbert Stephenson of Pendleton. 

The North Carolina Folklore Society held its forty-first annual 
session in Raleigh on December 5. Dr. Joseph D. Clark of Raleigh 
read a paper on "The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Caro- 
lina Folklore, Volumes I-III," Mr. Norman E. Eliason of Chapel 
Hill read a paper on "Early North Carolina Folk Speech," and 
Miss Joan Moser of Swannanoa sang a group of Swannanoa 
folksongs. Resolutions in memory of Dr. Richard Jente were 
presented by Mr. Russell M. Grumman of Chapel Hill and 
adopted by the society. At the business meeting Dr. I. G. Greer 

Historical News 151 

of Chapel Hill was elected president, Mr. James York of Olin, 
first vice-president, and Dr. B. E. Washburn of Rutherfordton, 
second vice-president. Dr. Arthur P. Hudson of Chapel Hill was 
re-elected secretary and treasurer. 

The North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians 
held its annual meeting in Raleigh on December 5. Mr. Manly 
Wade Wellman of Chapel Hill addressed the society on the need 
and value of county histories, and at the business meeting 
which followed the address Dr. W. P. Jacocks of Chapel Hill 
was re-elected president, Mr. Wellman was elected first vice- 
president to succeed the late Charles McGee Heck, and Colonel 
Jeffrey F. Stanback of Mount Gilead was elected third vice- 
president. The other officers who were retained are Miss Mary 
Louise Medley of Wadesboro, second vice-president; Mr. Leon 
MacDonald of Olivia, secretary-treasurer; and the district vice- 

The Society will award a silver loving cup in December, 1953, 
to the most acceptable county or local history or local historical 
paper written between July 1, 1950, and July 1, 1953. Newspaper 
feature articles are included in the material to be considered, 
and the appeal of the subject, its local or state interest, and the 
manner in which it is presented will determine its acceptability. 
Dr. D. T. Smith wick of Louisburg, a former president of the 
society and Franklin County Historian, will donate the cup, 
which is to be known as "The Smithwick Cup" and will be 
presented biennially to the winner. 

Early in November the Department of Archives and History 
published the first of a three-volume series, The John Gray 
Blount Papers, which covers the period from 1764 to 1789. 
The editor of the volume is Dr. Alice Barnwell Keith, associate 
professor of history at Meredith College, Raleigh. The Blount 
brothers, with whom the work deals, John Gray, William, and 
Thomas, were influential business and political figures in North 
Carolina and Tennessee whose shipping interests extended to 
the West Indies and beyond. This first volume contains 572 
pages and may be obtained from the Department of Archives 

152 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and History, Box 1881, Raleigh, for a wrapping and mailing 
fee of $1.00. 

The Department of Archives and History has recently re- 
ceived twenty cubic feet of Blount papers, given by the Rodman 
family of Washington, North Carolina. 

The Department of Archives and History has received a copy 
of The Charleston Unitarianism Gilman Began With, by Ray- 
mond Adams, an historical address made at the Gilman cen- 
tennial celebration at the Unitarian Church in Charleston, South 
Carolina, April 6, 1952. 

Thirteen juniors and seniors from Meredith College are now 
taking the internship course given by the Department of Archives 
and History. Several Meredith graduates who have taken this 
course have been employed on the staff of the Department. 

Juanita Oxendine, assistant librarian at Pembroke College, 
in November spent three days studying museum techniques in 
the Hall of History. Pembroke is opening a small museum de- 
voted to the history of the Indians in Robeson County. 

Currently on display in the portrait gallery in the Hall of 
History is an exhibit of colored photographs of North Carolina 
scenes by Albert Barden, Raleigh photographer. For the Christ- 
mas season the Hall of History again this year decorated an 
old-fashioned tree with popcorn, cranberries, candles, and paper 
decorations and surrounded it with toys covering a 200-year 
period. Seated beside the tree was a mannequin in a green wool 
dress of 1870 vintage, embroidered with holly leaves and berries. 

On November 10 in Raleigh Mr. W. Frank Burton talked to 
the finance officers of the North Carolina League of Municipali- 
ties on the preservation, disposal, and microfilming of municipal 
records. On December 11 he addressed the Registers of Deeds 
meeting at the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill. 

Historical News 153 

On October 13 Dr. Christopher Crittenden attended in Wash- 
ington, D. C, a meeting of the Executive Board of the National 
Council on Historic Sites and Buildings, and on November 14-15 
in the same city he was present at a meeting of the full Council 
and also of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the 
United States. He was elected a member of the Board of Di- 
rectors of the Trust. On November 1 in Atlanta, Georgia, he 
addressed the College and University Section of the Southeastern 
Library Association on the subject, "Let's Look at Manuscripts." 
On November 4 (Election Day) he spoke to the New Bern Rotary 
Club on certain presidential elections of the past. On November 
17 in Raleigh he addressed the North Carolina Conservation 
Congress on "The Preservation of Historic Sites." On November 
21 he attended a meeting of the Tryon Palace Commission in 
New Bern and addressed the Johnston County Library Boards 
of Trustees, meeting in Selma, on the Department of Archives 
and History and its program. On December 1 with Mr. Edwin 
A. Miles he attended the one-hundredth anniversary pageant 
on the history of Lumberton. On December 10 with Mrs. Joye E. 
Jordan he attended a meeting of the Board of Directors of the 
Durham Children's Museum in order to advise regarding plans 
for Durham's centennial celebration in 1953. On December 12 
with Mrs. Jordan he inspected the historical collection of the 
late J. P. Keech of Tarboro. On December 15 in Washington, 
D. C, he attended a meeting of the Wright Museum Committee, 
which is promoting the establishment at Kill Devil Hill of a 
museum telling the story of the Wright brothers and their 
experiments and inventions in aviation. 


Dr. Henry S. Stroupe is associate professor of history at 
Wake Forest College, Wake Forest. 

Mr. Hugh F. Rankin is a doctoral candidate in history at the 
University of North Carolina, where he holds a John Motley 
Morehead scholarship. 

Mr. Hugh Hill Wooten is an agricultural economist with the 
United States Bureau of Agricultural Economics, where he is 
head of the Land Utilization Section. 

Mr. Jack K. Williams is a doctoral candidate at Emory Uni- 
versity, Georgia, on leave from Clemson College, South Carolina, 
where he is associate professor of history. 

Mr. John L. Sanders is a law student at the University of 
North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 




APRIL 1953 

Volume XXX 

Number 2 

Published Quarterly By 

State Department of Archives and History 

Corner of Edenton and Salisbury Streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 

1 I • * « « 

c .' ' ' ' ' * • I ' 

,(C |tl I f <<<< 

I I • • « C • II 


Published by the State Department of Archives and History 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 


Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lefler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Franklin Brown, Chairman 

Gertrude Sprague Carraway McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 192 A, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. Members of the State Literary and Historical As- 
sociation, for which the annual dues are $3.00, receive this publication 
without further payment. Back numbers may be procured at the regular 
price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

COVER— Old Kentucky Home, 48 Spruce Street, Asheville, 
as it appeared in the summer of 1907. The house was made 
famous as "Dixieland" in Thomas Wolfe's novel Look Homeward, 
Angel. Seated in the yard is Tom's father, an unidentified young 
man on the side steps, Tom's mother is in the chair on the porch, 
his sister is seated on the lawn below the porch, and Tom is 
sitting on the wall beside the steps. See "Asheville and Thomas 
Wolfe," pages 200-217. This picture is printed through the 
courtesy of Mr, George W. McCoy. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXX APRIL, 1953 Number 2 



James Howard Brewer 


Hugh Hill Wooten 



Christopher Crittenden 



Frontis W. Johnston 


J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton 


George W. McCoy 


Kermit Hunter 


FOR 1952 223 

LeGette Blythe 


Edited by John L. Sanders 


Mary Lindsay Thornton 



Harriss's LawsorCs History of North Carolina — By Paul 
Murray ; Pound's Benjamin Hawkins, Indian Agent — 
By Frontis W. Johnston; Shearer's Robert Potter, 
Remarkable North Carolinian and Texas — By Philip 
M. Rice; Johnson's Making of a Southern Industrial- 
ist: A Biographical Study of Simpson Bobo Tanner — 
By Clarence W. Griffin ; Hamilton's Fifty Years of 
the South Atlantic Quarterly — By J. Merton Eng- 
land ; The First Twenty Years : A History of the Duke 
University Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health 
Services, and Duke Hospital, 1930-1950 — By Loren C. 
MacKinney; Waynick's North Carolina Roads and 
Their Builders — By C. K. Brown ; White's The Frank 
C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, volume 
III — By Philip D. Jordan ; Sydnor's Gentlemen Free- 
holders — By Joseph Davis Applewhite ; Shulim's The 
Old Dominion and Napoleon Bonaparte: A Study in 
American Opinion — By W. Edwin Hemphill; Bink- 
ley's The Texas Revolution — By William R. Hogan; 
Bridenbaugh's Myths and Realities: Societies of the 
Colonial South — By Donald Sheehan; Postell's The 
Health of Slaves on Southern Plantations — By W. A. 
Mabry ; Hotze's Three Months in the Confederate Army 
By Frank E. Vandiver; Vandiver's Ploughshares Into 
Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance — By 
Frontis W. Johnston ; Rossman's Thomas Mifflin and 
the Politics of the American Revolution — By W. S. 
Tarlton; Freeman's George Washington: A Biogra- 
phy, volume V — By William T. Miller; Carter's 
The Territorial Papers of the United States: volume 
XVIII, The Territory of Alabama, 1817-1819— -By 
Thomas Perkins Abernethy; Milhollen's, Kap- 
lan's, and Stuart's Divided We Fought — By Frank 
E. Vandiver. 


Entered as second-class matter September 29, 1928, at the Post Office at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, under the act of March 3, 1879. 


The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXX APRIL, 1953 Number 2 



By James Howard Brewer 

Laxity and indifference toward the enforcement of slave con- 
trols in the towns of Wilmington and Fayetteville created a 
dilemma within the North Carolina legislature in the colonial 
and ante-bellum periods. Whereas some lawmakers deemed it 
proper and wise to make special concession to the slave in- 
terests of both cities, legislative sentiment generally favored the 
passage of additional statutes designed to restrict the slave 
population. Thus, differences of opinion within the General As- 
sembly over the question of the status of the slaves brought 
significant changes in the regulation of the Negro bondsmen. 

Geographic and economic factors were largely responsible for 
the different views of the legislators regarding slave controls. 
The commercial and the industrial development of both cities 
was facilitated by the presence of the Cape Fear River, which 
was navigable from Wilmington to Fayetteville, with its mouth 
accessible to ocean-going vessels. The absence, other than at the 
mouth of the Cape Fear River, of good harbors and an ocean port 
city in North Carolina enabled Wilmington to become the princi- 
pal channel of commerce during the colonial and ante-bellum 
periods. Both Wilmington and Fayetteville became the nucleus 
of the state's industrial and commercial structure, creating a 
wealthy and powerful slavocracy of merchants and industrialists 
who dominated the political life of the state until the 1830's. The 
economy of both cities was inextricably bound up with slave labor 
and, when circumstances demanded a decision, the occupational 
pursuits of the slaves were largely responsible for the slave- 
owners' casting their lot together in defense of their peculiar 
slave controls. The legislators frequently concurred in and sup- 
ported the decisions. 


156 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The most perplexing phase of slavery in Wilmington and Fay- 
etteville centers around the social life and the economic pursuits 
of the Negro slaves. Contemporary records vary somewhat, but 
disclose a distinct way of slave life. The North Carolina legisla- 
ture, famed for its independent action throughout its existence, 
exhibited this same tendency in their attempts to solve the prob- 
lems of slavery within the town regime. Many of the laws govern- 
ing the actions of the slaves were responses to petitions and 
agitation brought about by the indifference and laxity of slave- 
owners over (a) slaves' keeping separate quarters in town apart 
from their masters, (b) the disruption of normal community 
relations by the unwholesome leisure activities of the slaves, and 
(c) the inability of white labor to compete with slave labor. 

The expediency of masters' permitting slaves to keep their 
own homes in town evoked prolonged and acrimonious discussions 
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Several lawmakers 
and the majority of townsmen feared the social consequences of 
such action. They entertained grave apprehension lest this prac- 
tice provoke additional desires for social equality and freedom 
among the servile population. For this reason the legislators 
opposed slaves' keeping private residences in town without 
proper supervision on the ground that it was incompatible with 
slavery. Thus, in 1767 the town commissioners of Wilmington 
were "impowered to pass such orders as they may judge neces- 
sary to prevent slaves from keeping houses." 1 Evidently it had 
become habitual for some masters to ignore this statute, as 
numerous complaints were received by the General Assembly. To 
offset this a law was promulgated in 1771 decreeing that the 
town commissioners had been delegated the authority to prevent 
slaves from maintaining private residences. 2 A rapid increase in 
the number of slaves who kept their own dwellings as well as 
the provocations caused by such action forced the legislature to 
enact more severe measures. In 1784 a law was passed imposing 
fines and penalties on the owners and tenants of houses "who shall 
suffer the same to» be occupied by slaves." 3 This law became a 
mockery and was generally disregarded, as evidenced by the 

1 Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina (20 vols., XI-XXX. Goldsboro, 
Winston, etc., 1895-1914), XXV, 513. Hereafter referred to as State Records. 

2 State Records, XXIII, 868. 

3 State Records, XXIV, 621. 

Legislation Designed to Control Slavery 157 

passage of another act the following year. The preamble of this 
act mentioned that in spite of the harsh measures imposed upon 
persons guilty of permitting slaves to occupy their homes, many 
slaves contrary to the law "have their own houses, or are per- 
mitted to reside in the outhouses or kitchens of divers of the 
inhabitants, or in the houses of free negroes." 4 For almost two 
decades the General Assembly attempted to find an adequate 
solution to this problem. Delegation of authority to the town 
commissioners to prevent slaves from maintaining private resi- 
dences found the commissioners unable to cope with the flagrant 
violations brought to their attention. There appeared to be only 
one feasible solution to this predicament in light of the constant 
pressure exerted by the slave interests for relaxed controls. Thus, 
in 1787 the lawmakers made a special concession to the slave 
owners whereby the town commissioners were authorized to issue 
licenses to slaves, when requested by their owners, permitting 
the Negro bondsmen to maintain their own homes in Wilmington 
and Fayetteville. 5 

The failure of the town commissioners to enforce laws pro- 
hibiting slaves from keeping private dwellings in town, and the 
sudden reversal of legislative sentiment, may be ascribed to three 
causes. First, these acts were rendered innocuous by the attitude 
of the powerful town slavocracy, which was directed against the 
restrictive measures as the profits from the hiring of their slaves 
steadily increased; secondly, town life — except for domestic 
service — because of its complex nature was never suitable to the 
enforcement of slave controls ; and thirdly, many influential slave- 
owners had labored zealously to effect a change of legislative sen- 
timent in their favor. Seemingly, a peculiar aspect of the slave 
regime in Wilmington and Fayetteville was the political privilege 
associated with it. 

Indifference of slaveowners towards the leisure activities of 
the town slaves was as offensive to both legislators and townsmen 
as the practice of slaves' maintaining private residences in town. 
The attitudes of slaveowners toward their slaves frequently made 
them the target of scathing invectives. Many felt that their 
laxity was responsible for the frequent and boisterous carousings 
of slaves as well as the general breakdown of slave controls. One 

4 State Recorda, XXIV, 621. 

5 State Records, XXIV, 925. 

158 The North Carolina Historical Review 

must keep in mind that the various activities of the slaves en- 
compassed considerably more than performing their daily tasks. 
There were many hours when they were not working, and during 
that time they, like any other group of human beings, sought 
companionship and association with other slaves and free blacks. 
Most of the restrictive measures which the legislature passed 
with respect to the town slaves were responses to public opinion 
and were designed to minimize the possible sources of the slaves' 
mental and moral corruption. 

Perhaps the greatest single factor responsible for a vast por- 
tion of the misspent free moments of the servile population was 
the presence of a class of free Negroes. Social intercourse between 
both groups tremendously increased the problem of managing the 
black chattel. Thus, it is not surprising that many lawmakers and 
townsmen sought to regulate the relationship between the Negro, 
free and slave. The attitudes of the legislators toward the way 
slaves spent their off-duty hours are clearly illustrated in statutes 
enacted to curtail the various kinds of social contact between 
slaves and free blacks. 

Although the marriage of a free black and a slave was from the 
first considered exceedingly undesirable, the legislators for some 
time refrained from enacting rash measures against such unions. 
In 1729 an act was passed to control the mobility and the leisure 
activities of the slave population. By way of proviso, this statute 
affirmed that nothing in the act should be construed "to hinder 
neighbors' negroes intermarrying together, license first being 
had of their several masters." 6 While this act dealt primarily 
with matrimony between slaves, it did not prohibit the uniting 
of slaves and free blacks. By 1780 the laws controlling the marital 
status of both groups were usually disregarded. The confusion 
caused by the intermarriage of slaves and free blacks resulted 
in the passage in 1787 of a law carefully regulating the marriage 
of slaves. If a free black married a slave without the written per- 
mission of the master "he shall be liable and held to pay the 
master or mistress of such slave the sum of ten pounds ; and on 
failing to pay such sum, shall be held in service to the master or 
mistress . . . for and during the term of one year." 7 

6 Legislative Papers, 1729, MS, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 

7 State Records, XXIV, 891. 

Legislation Designed to Control Slavery 159 

The act of 1787, it seems, was a precautionary measure taken 
by the legislators to discourage the marriage of free Negroes and 
slaves. Free blacks, however, continued to marry slaves. In some 
instances free blacks purchased their mates and afterwards 
petitioned the legislators for their freedom. The petition of Betsy, 
a free mulatto of Fayetteville, is typical. In part her petition 
reads : 

That it appears to your Committee that the Petitioner . . . inter- 
married with said Nelson, that since she has . . . purchased said 
Nelson and now holds property on him, and that she is desirous 
to have him emancipated. 8 

It is a mistake to assume that the appeal of matrimony between 
slaves and free blacks was purely emotional. Many slaves, it 
seems, preferred to marry free blacks in order that their off-duty 
hours would not be hedged by numerous restrictions. This factor 
only further confused the problem of maintaining effective slave 

No concerted efforts were made by the General Assembly to 
stop the union of slaves and free blacks until the beginning of 
the militant period of the slave controversy. Then, in 1830 the 
North Carolina legislature passed a law which prohibited the 
intermarriage of free Negroes and slaves altogether. Free blacks 
who violated this statute were upon conviction to be "fined and 
imprisoned or whipped at the discretion of the court." 9 The silence 
of the court records in Wilmington and Fayetteville on this mat- 
ter is quite suggestive. It is difficult to believe that all free 
Negroes observed this law. One is inclined to believe that the law 
was not enforced, inasmuch as after 1830 the legislators still 
received petitions from free blacks seeking the freedom of their 
mates or children. For example, in 1835 Solomon W. Nash of 
Fayetteville petitioned for the freedom of his children. Nash 
mentioned that his slave mate was deceased. As late as 1855 
George E. Fennell of Wilmington petitioned the lawmakers to 
free his wife and child. 10 It is obvious that many petitioners had 
reason to feel or to believe that their pleas would be granted by 
sympathetic legislators. 

8 Legislative Papers, 1835. 
8 Legislative Papers, 1830. 
10 Legislative Papers, 1855. 

160 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Another area in which the social relationships between slaves 
and free blacks resulted in grave concern for the legislators was 
their fraternization. Most of the town slaves were not prone to 
accept moves to limit their contact with outside influences. 
Whenever possible they sought opportunities to mix with the 
growing class of free blacks. To counteract the harmful effects 
of this trend the legislature in 1787 imposed fines upon any free 
Negro who entertained "any slave in his or her house during the 
Sabbath, or in the night between sun-set and sun rise." 11 In 1794 
the General Assembly passed an act directed toward the slave- 
owners. This statute forbade masters to give permission to slaves 
or to free Negroes to gather together "for the purpose of drink- 
ing and dancing under the penalty of forfeiting twenty dollars, on 
conviction of such offense." 12 Seemingly these laws were easily 
evaded, but the legislature did not react for some time to curb 
the ill effects of the demoralization of the town slaves. After 
the Nat Turner insurrection a series of acts was passed in re- 
sponse to a widespread feeling of uneasiness among the whites 
throughout North Carolina. The law directed toward the leisure 
activities of the slaves forbade "any white person or free negro 
... to play any game of cards, dice, nine pens, or any game of 
chance or hazard whether for money, liquor or property or not, 
with any slave or slaves." 13 This law was obviously designed to 
cope with the problem of regulating the free moments of the 

The excessive mobility of the town slaves was equally as 
troublesome to the legislators as the problem of controlling the 
leisure activities of slaves. The slaves of Wilmington and Fay- 
etteville had undue freedom of movement, as disclosed through 
(a) the preambles of the laws, (b) the frequent complaints sent 
to the legislature, and (c) the reports of special committees of 
the General Assembly. Throughout the colonial and ante-bellum 
periods the preambles to the various statutes enacted to confine 
the town slaves to a definite area give substantial evidence of 
their movements. By the use of such phrases as "contrary to 
law," "whereas it is to the best interest of the state to regulate 

11 Legislative Papers, 1787. 
13 Legislative Papers, 1794. 
13 Legislative Papers, 1830. 

Legislation Designed to Control Slavery 161 

slaves," "in spite of numerous restrictions slaves still continue/' 
and "whereas the citizens of Wilmington and Fayetteville, have 
petitioned this General Assembly, setting forth that their slaves," 
the research student is able to gain an insight into the activities 
of the servile population of the towns. 

Perhaps the most frequent grievance listed in the petitions 
submitted to the lawmakers was the apparent total indifference 
of many slaveowners toward their slaves' traveling from city to 
city without supervision or proper authority. 14 It was not diffi- 
cult for slaves to travel unmolested. Some light is shed on their 
freedom of movement through a bill enacted to prevent slaves 
from administering medicine without proper authority. This 
statute shows it was not uncommon for a slave to travel freely. 

As it was to be expected, the decade of the 183 O's disclosed the 
alarm of the legislators over the unchecked movements of the 
town slaves. Earlier bills proposed in the legislature, such as one 
in 1824, acknowledged that slaves had little difficulty in moving 
about as freemen. 15 The Governor's Committee on Slavery set 
forth the slave problem and reported that they "observed a radical 
difference between the slaves of the present day, and those of 
twenty years since." The committee asserted that "it may be 
said with truth, the slave is happier than his master and is better 
off than free persons of colour." The conclusion of their report 
read that "unless some change in our general policy is effected, 
the most ruinous consequences may be apprehended." 16 At the 
same time the governor's select body was making their study, a 
special committee of the General Assembly argued that the free 
black was a bad influence upon the slave. This committee asserted 
that free persons of color "gambled with the slaves, . . . and con- 
tributed in every way, together with the free slaves towards 
rendering the slaves dissatisfied." 17 Another report of the legis- 
lators mentioned that many slaves were "perfect masters of their 
own time and employment, to all intents as fully as freemen." 18 
Other manuscripts speak of the chaotic state of slave controls. 19 

"Legislative Papers, 1790, 1821, 1822, 1828, 1830, 1835, 1846, 1856. 

15 Legislative Papers, 1824-1825. 

16 Report of the Governor's Committee on Slavery, MS found in the Legislative Papers, 

17 Legislative Papers, 1831. "Free slaves" was a term designated by the legislature to 
identify slaves who were permitted to go about at large acting as freemen. 

18 Legislative Papers, 1831. 

19 Legislative Papers, 1831. 

162 The North Carolina Historical Review 

There was sentiment in both cities in favor of granting slaves 
special privileges. Joe, the slave of Phillis Dennis of Fayetteville, 
provides a good example of a person in bondage enjoying the priv- 
ileges of a freeman. Joe was permitted to hire his own time and 
was accorded the opportunities of any freeman. In her last will 
and testament, Joe's mistress conveyed him to Augustus I. Eram- 
bert and Charles A. MacMillan. Her will read that they should 
permit Joe "to exercise his trade without interference." Erambert 
and MacMillan were instructed to allow Joe to "occupy, possess, 
and enjoy her dwelling house during his life." Upon the death 
of either party the survivor at the request of Joe was to appoint 
some prudent and discreet man to be named by Joe as a trustee. 20 
Another technique used by many slaves was to purchase their 
freedom and remain in technical bondage under liberal masters. 
As late as 1860 this practice was still brought to the attention of 
the General Assembly. 21 

The unrestrained social life of the town slave and the apparent 
indifference of their owners constantly troubled the legislature. 
Particularly during the opening of the third decade of the nine- 
teenth century it was the despair of the most competent legisla- 
tors. The cause of this looseness was due largely to the economic 
conditions in Wilmington and Fayetteville. The rapid growth in 
commercial and industrial importance of these cities led to in- 
creasing profits, which were enhanced by the hiring of slave 
labor. These circumstances afforded the slaves unusual oppor- 
tunities in their social relationships with each other and free 
blacks. The majority of slaveowners, for reasons of either laxity 
or economic necessity, refused to cooperate in the enforcement of 
slave controls. Subsequently, the walls of restriction that en- 
circled slaves throughout agrarian areas were not visible in 
Wilmington and Fayetteville. 

The economic conditions surrounding slavery in the two cities 
resulted in the legislators, in spite of opposition, making commit- 
ments to the slave interests. In the late eighteenth century there 
developed in both cities a sentiment toward slave labor which 
led to confusion and conflict. The opportunities for white laborers 
to earn a living either by working for themselves or for others 

20 The Last Will and Testament of Phillis Dennis, MS, Cumberland County Courthouse, 
Will-Book C, 148. 

21 Legislative Papers, 1860. 

Legislation Designed to Control Slavery 163 

were limited by circumstances which vitally affected their eco- 
nomic status in their community. Thus, the apprehension with 
which free labor viewed competition from slave labor was nor- 
mal. The hostility which grew to considerable proportions be- 
tween both groups had its effect in the legislature. The General 
Assembly was presented a variety of objections against the evils 
of the hiring out of slaves. Negro bondsmen hired out, it said, 
were in a state of semi-freedom, and the development of con- 
comitant habits made them difficult to control. Slaves hired out, 
moreover, might take advantage of the opportunity to participate 
in conspiracies to revolt. Finally, free labor argued that the hiring 
out of slaves was the preliminary step to emancipation, which 
was not desirable. In spite of these objections the slave interests 
insisted that the lawmakers ignore them and refrain from passing 
any acts which would have a tendency to reduce the profits from 
the labors of their slaves. 

In the post-Revolutionary period a controversy over the use 
of slave pilots flared up in Wilmington and Fayetteville. The 
fight was led by white pilots who were hampered from engaging 
in this pursuit. Slave pilots engrossed a large portion of the river 
traffic, and their owners were determined that this monopoly 
must continue. Seemingly, the basic concern of the merchant 
groups was to utilize their slaves for reasons of economy. For 
example, John Du Bois, a wealthy merchant of Wilmington, 
ordered the executor of his will to purchase four intelligent slaves 
to work his boats. 22 

The problem of the slave pilots' monopoly of the river traffic 
was presented to the General Assembly through a series of 
memorials from white pilots requesting relief. 23 Vessels entering 
the Wilmington ports frequently had slave pilots in charge of 
their navigation through the shallow waters. Constant agitation 
against this practice forced the legislators to respond. Ample 
consideration, however, had to be given to the commercial in- 
terests. Thus, in 1800 a compromise measure was passed, and 
the owners of slaves were required to secure licenses and post 
bond of $500 to guarantee the conduct of the slaves. 24 This act 

22 J. Bryan Grimes, North Carolina Wills and Inventories (Raleigh, 1912), 310. 
^William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina (10 vols., Raleigh, 
Goldshoro, etc., 1886-1896), IX, 802. Hereafter cited as Colonial Records. 
24 Legislative Papers, 1800-1801. 

164 The North Carolina Historical Review 

did not satisfy the white pilots and by 1816 they had mustered 
ample support in the legislature to have a bill presented pro- 
hibiting slaves from acting as pilots. The merchants of Wilming- 
ton and Fayetteville were not unaware of this action and solicited 
sufficient votes to have this measure defeated in the Senate by 
a wide margin. 25 

The unrest among the slave population caused by the activities 
of the abolitionists gave the pilots a temporary advantage, and 
in 1831 a statute was passed which prevented slaves from work- 
ing on vessels. 26 This action caused great concern among the 
commercial groups in the seaport town of Wilmington, and 
memorials from influential citizens were sent to the legislators 
protesting their action. Constant pressure from various business 
enterprises in both cities resulted in the repeal of this statute and 
slaves were again allowed to pilot vessels. 27 

It was customary for slaveowners to hire their slaves out in 
other capacities than as pilots. The practice of renting the serv- 
ices of one's slaves was practically synonymous with the commer- 
cial and industrial development of the various industries of Wil- 
mington and Fayetteville. At no time was it illegal for a person 
to hire his slaves to others during the colonial or ante-bellum 
periods. However, the practice of slaves hiring themselves out 
for wages and allotting a portion to their masters was forbidden 
by law. 28 Nevertheless the trend continued despite the fact that 
it deprived the poor whites of chances to gain employment. The 
legislators' spasmodic attempts at stronger slave controls were 
crippled by their own inconsistent policies. In 1777 the lawmakers 
ruled that it was illegal for a slave to hire his own time. 29 How- 
ever, in 1785 they passed a special act which excluded the slaves 
of Wilmington and Fayetteville from compliance with the act 
of 1777. 30 No doubt this can be traced to the tremendous influence 
which the slaveowners in both cities exerted upon the legislature. 
It may also be said that the paucity of free workers in both cities 
was responsible for the action. Yet the abundance of petitions 

25 Legislative Papers, 1816. 
28 Legislative Papers, 1830. 
27 Legislative Papers, 1835. 
^State Records, XXIV, 15. 
^State Records, XXIV, 15. 
80 Legislative Papers, 1785. 

Legislation Designed to Control Slavery 165 

submitted to the General Assembly by the non-servile laborers 
protesting slave competition hardly merits such a conclusion. 31 

The act of 1785 merely required slaves to produce written per- 
mission from their owners, which was to be "entered by the town 
clerk in their books and filed, for which the owner of said slave 
shall pay a fee of one shilling. ,, The town commissioners were to 
have a "leaden pewter badge to be affixed to some conspicious 
part of such slave/' 32 Along with this act went two others. The 
first law disclosed that it was not an unusual practice for slaves 
to contract for work and "designate the wages they were to re- 
ceive ; and set prices to be paid them for implements they manu- 
factured." 33 Slaves under the direct supervision of their owners 
were not to receive any monetary benefits for their physical or 
mental labors. The second act was intended to give the town in 
which the slaves were hired out an additional income by levying 
a tax, payable to the town commissioners, on slaves hired out. 
Male slaves who were tradesmen were to pay sixteen shillings; 
male slaves who were nontradesmen the sum of ten shillings; 
male slaves who were nonresidents, fifteen shillings ; and female 
slaves, twelve shillings. 34 Conservative sentiment in the legisla- 
ture was against the practice of slaves' hiring themselves out 
and mustered sufficient votes in 1794 to pass another act making 
it unlawful for a slave to hire himself out "under any pretence 
whatever." 35 However, they failed to prevent the passage of a 
sister act which exempted the slaves of Wilmington. 

Nineteenth-century legislation directed toward the hire of 
slaves was also inconsistent when one considers that some of the 
laws passed had a tendency to render slave controls in Wilming- 
ton and Fayetteville ineffective. During the first three decades 
six laws to deal with the hire of slaves were proposed in the 
General Assembly. Two of these acts were designed to prevent 
slaves from contracting their own work anywhere in the state. 
The first statute was rejected in 1818, while the second act was 
tabled in 1827, after considerable legislative discussion. 36 The 
other four acts merely continued legislative sanction of the 

31 Legislative Papers, 1785-1840. 

32 State Records, XXIV, 727. 
^State Records, XXIV, 727. 
3 * State Records, XXIV, 727. 

35 Legislative Papers, 1794. 

36 Legislative Papers, 1818. 

166 The North Carolina Historical Review 

slaves in both cities hiring their own time. 37 These laws also indi- 
cate that the slave interests were able to wield sufficient influence 
to have their vested interests protected through the special con- 
cessions granted them by the legislators. This fact is apparent 
when one considers that the growing fiction over the occupational 
pursuits of the town slaves was seemingly ignored by the General 

The existence of laws in Wilmington and Fayetteville that were 
not compatible with effective slave controls must be associated 
with the political influence of the commercial and the industrial 
groups in both cities. The varied economy of the two towns pro- 
vided a means for the slaves to elude repressive legislation. Con- 
sequently, the failure of the General Assembly to solve the social 
and economic problems created by slavery within the town regime 
must be attributed to the lawmaker's own shortcomings, which 
brought about the numerous legislative concessions granted to 
the urban slave interests. 

37 Legislative Papers, 1827. 

By Hugh Hill Wooten 

An inventory of property and various deeds, bills, and letters 
concerning a 368-acre farm on Fourth Creek, Iredell County, 
North Carolina, from 1800 to 1830 supplies some detailed in- 
formation of interest on farming and farm life of that period in 
the county. 1 This farm was located on the middle branch of 
Fourth Creek, two miles north of Statesville, in one of the better 
developed farm communities. It was occupied by a fairly large 

The land for this farm was acquired from the Earl of Gran- 
ville about 1750 by a deed in which reference is made to an 
annual quit-rent of three shillings for each hundred acres in addi- 
tion to the purchase price of ten shillings sterling money. The 
place was settled sometime between 1750 and 1760. A house and 
barn were built of logs near a spring and land was cleared on the 
southern slope and the bottom along the creek. Land clearing, 
fencing, building, and other improvements extended over many 
years. By 1800, however, the farm was considered fairly well 

In 1802 the buildings consisted of a substantial story-and-a- 
half frame house with cellar and kitchen, and a large barn with 
threshing floor in center, cribs, granary, smokehouse, spring- 
house, a shop, stillhouse, and other outbuildings. The dwelling 
was built about 1802. A rock wall with iron gate enclosed the 
front yard. An upping block of flat rock for horseback riders and 
a hitching rack were near the gate. Already the grounds were 
planted with elm shade trees. Box bushes, lilacs, and other shrubs 
bordered the rock walk to the house. It is estimated that about 

1 A collection of family papers of the Adams and the McClelland families preserved by- 
John Rufus and Rebecca McClelland Adams, and John and William McClelland from about 
1765 to 1900 are owned and were made available for study through the kindness of a descen- 
dant, Miss Mattie R. Hall, 237 Bost Street, Statesville, N. C. The papers consist of land deeds, 
land warrants, land plats, surveyors' notes, wills, property inventories for farm sales, 
bills of sale, invoices or bills showing sales of farm products and purchases for the farms 
and for family use, and personal letters. 

In addition to personal papers consulted belonging to the Adams, Hall, Hill, and 
McClelland families, the following family histories supplied a substantiating record of 
family names, places and events: William Francis Stevenson, "A History and Genealogical 
Record of the Stevenson Family from 1748 to 1926 (238 pp.), and Mrs. T. L. Adams, The 
Hall Family (Athens, Ga.: Speering Printing Co. 1949). 


168 The North Carolina Historical Review 

THIS INDENTURE -*«*^- ;s ~^ d "£^**& */ • 

inthe year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and V^*-***? Prrcs Between oPear*. eAXfcKfrar'Sgf**" **■ 

of the county of J***e*& ■ in the state of *4&r& <S>*<*/£.^ 

of the one part, and J9iir1r*,»*n. t^jr&tsrmmc^ of the county of o£t*0C*^£. ■—<x ,n, l 

state of *4i,/)t £+*•&*—** of the other part, witnesseth, that the said ^^«- « *£}£# /&***?■ 

for and in the consideration of the sura of a^***^- * . S/?4? JSt*^ 
A~K~<*- to S^~ in hand paid by the said ^^-~~- *6%f' / ' s *" w 

the receipt whereof the said c ^»s*rv -Jfe* /~/4*r,*&^~~.*- 

— — . — doth hereby acknowledge, hath given granted bargained, and sold 

aliened and confirmed, and by these presents doth give, grant, bargain, and sell alien and confirm, unto 

the said /fr^t^m. 1-6%/''''**. 9- Jry — — .- heirs and assi gns forever, all that tract 

and parcel of Land, situate, lying and being in the bounty of »/»»***& >-»»■■ ,»- . g t ^ ^ m [ m ^^ ?,,#.,/<**/ if /&. S*aj£ 

p?<~&~ ~<, s~f- s.*. *fi^ tjrt^J* ~yr~/.p \sct4/&~9 /. *.fs m .te>.~~ ^.ix/r^ e.t? 6 r &*£*. *£~- ^ /at Jf&afaJu, a>>zf~ei~a 6.$ s.-/~, s~~ 

t? /L.J>t*(~ ^rsbrS a ACS Jt*"J%A*S &?#*, J~9 4„r.±-, *t~~ #~^ ^ti,/;„^^/«L../-^ i>~ j^r.-*,^ #L.s*£r tts^ ^j/~&Jj SUA 
Al—^^rr/.. ^~"-'/~>*J..« /^Av.~.-*r/>«t «i.r-— / — s& ^ &*.— **-~Z,~-s~* £# t£- ***? /id ~q£r? >*?•/£- 

r,W~*~"- £\*j-u *JJ[4mn.. and also, all the woods, wajs, water and water courses, and all an' 4 every the appurtenances thereunto 
' • belonging.or in any wise appertaining, and the reversion and revcrron* remainder and remainders, rents, 

issues, and profits, of the aforesaid Lands and premises, and every part thereof, and all the estafe, tight, 
title, interest, claim, property and demand Whatsoever of the said Jf**** **£r£A4b'~~9 y t'~~< 1 

of, in and to the Land and premises hereby granted : to have and to hold 
the aforesaid Lands and premises, with the appurtct'Ances, unto the said /r«-«"'— •»*• <^f.Xo S^^c *^y a*^ 
heirs and ; ssigns, to the proper use and behoof of ifu- said fcf/.'m*** ^j^lu^S} ><V heirs and assignn 
forever : and the said ^'*~ *^.%/>-£<.—"0 /~~~? 

ior *~~S- //. an d > 'y heirs the aforesaid Land and premises ; and every part thereof, against 
jft-^-y, and £•}* heirs and, against the claim or claims of all and every other person or persons 
whatsoever, to the said jflkt^a^. *#z/*^ : ''~~'^ -t'S heirs r.r.d assigns, shall and will forever war», 
rent and defend by these presents. In witness whereof the said ^<*~ «^?£v£A'.-. P^/~»-r 

li.-i^C" hereunto set /•/ hand and affixed /y seal the day and year 
first above written. 

ieo/rrf and delivered } 
of \ 


ti the presence of $ y .. s Ss (S* 

Deed from John McClelland, Jr. to William McClelland, 1821. 

This deed, dated August 24, 1821, transfers the 368-acre Fourth Creek Farm, de- 
scribed in this article, from John McClelland, Jr., father, to William McClelland, his 
son, for a consideration of $3 per acre. Available information indicates that this farm 
was fairly typical of the improved farms of the Fourth Creek community at that time. 

A Fourth Creek Farm From 1800 to 1830 169 

200 acres of the total 368 acres were in cleared fields, pasture, and 
meadow. Much of the farm was fenced and cross-fenced with 
split rails. There were numerous gates. 

In 1821 the farm was sold or transferred from father to son. 
The value given in the deed was $3 an acre or a total of $1,104. 
The farm had changed hands in 1806 between members of the 
same family for the same price of $3 per acre. That this price of 
$3 an acre for a farm was fairly high is indicated by other deeds 
of the period for neighboring farms. 

Farming Tools 
An inventory of farming tools on this 368-acre Fourth Creek 
farm in 1827 shows that hand labor was one of the chief factors 
in farm production. With the exception of two bar share plows, 
four shovel plows, and one wagon, all tools were entirely for hand 
use. Prominent among these were five hilling hoes, two mattocks, 
four sickles, two scythes and cradles, five axes, two iron wedges, 
one pitchfork, and two dung shovels. Evidences of improvement 
in farming are indicated by bar share or turning plows for break- 
ing land, the windmill for cleaning grain, and the cutting box 
for preparing feed for cattle and horses. The bar share plow was 
a simple turning plow with iron point, flat wing, and staff at- 
tached to wooden beam and handles. All harvesting of hay and 
small grain was by sickles, scythes and cradles, hand rakes, and 
pitchfork. Much of the cultivation was probably performed with 
the hilling hoes and mattocks. Clearing land, cutting wood and 
timber, and splitting rails were done with axes and iron wedges. 
In addition to the metal tools listed, frequently there were others 
made of wood, such as rakes, forks and even shovels. 

170 The North Carolina Historical Review 


Farming Tools on a Fourth Creek Farm in 1827 

2 Bar share ploughs 1 Pitchfork 

4 Shovel ploughs 5 Axes 

4 Pairs gears 2 Iron wedges 

4 Horse collars 2 Log chains 

5 Bridles 2 Neck chains 

1 Wagon and gear 1 Light harness 

4 Sickles 1 Saddle and bridle 

2 Scythes and cradles 1 Hand screw 
2 Mattocks 1 Cutting box 

5 Hilling hoes 1 Windmill 

2 Dung shovels 1 Grindstone 

1 Claw hammer 


An inventory, lists of things sold, and letters show that corn, 

wheat, oats, and hay were the chief crops. Flax both for fiber and 

seed was grown. Small acreages were in potatoes, cotton, and 

possibly tobacco. The orchard and the garden were cultivated 

with care. There were numerous herbs and shrubs. Clover and 

grass occasionally were rotated with wheat. Bottom lands were 

used for hay meadows and corn. There was some fenced pasture. 

Fields frequently were pastured following crops to glean grain 

and roughage left after harvest. Fields, meadows, and farmsteads 

were fenced, as uncultivated land and woodland were open range 

for common grazing. Horizontal or contour plowing and hillside 

ditching were practiced as methods of controlling erosion. Wet 

bottom land was drained by ditching. Manure was applied to 

wheat land and other crops. The value of leaves, wood ashes, and 

other compost materials as fertilizer also was recognized. Among 

the farm topics mentioned in correspondence were poor markets, 

the dangerous condition of the roads, the advantages of ridge and 

hill cultivation, improved driving and saddle horses, and the 

opening of western lands for settlement. 

The farm was well supplied with livestock, judged even by to- 
day's standard for a general farm. The inventory in 1827 shows 
six horses for farm work, hauling, driving, and riding. Horses 
for hauling and for riding were a necessity when there was pro- 
duce for market and for going to church and visiting neighbors 
at considerable distances. 

A Fourth Creek Farm From 1800 to 1830 171 


Livestock on a Fourth Creek Farm in 1827 

6 Horses 18 Sheep 

12 Cattle 18 Hogs 

8 Calves 5 Pigs 

13 Geese 
Twenty head of cattle and calves and 23 hogs and pigs probably 
meant production of meat and other products for sale. Hides and 
leather were important for harness, saddles, and shoes. The wool 
from eighteen sheep probably was used in weaving woolen cloth 
and some wool may have been sold as well. The inventory men- 
tions wool, clean cotton, flax, leather, and hides on hand, thus 
showing that materials for much of the family's clothing was 
produced on the home farm. Geese furnished a supply of feathers 
for feather beds and pillows. 

Farm Product Sales and Purchases 

Times were slow-moving in the early decades in Iredell County. 
Money and well-paid work were scarce. On the piedmont frontier 
there were no big houses and but few improved roads. Postal 
service was slow. Occasional log or square frame houses with 
small fields surrounded with zigzag rail fences were about the 
only evidence of settlement. Farmers got their cash by hauling 
farm products to Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Camden and 
Cheraw, South Carolina. This money was dear in the earning and 
naturally it was spent very carefully. 2 Often on the shoulders of 
men and on plodding horses bags of grain were taken to grist 
mills. As the county filled up, roads were opened for lumbering 
wagons pulled by horses or dependable oxen. Some efforts were 
made to improve roads by ditching, crosswaying wet spots with 
logs or lumber, and bridging streams. The men who lived on or 
near a road were responsible for its maintenance. 

A chief handicap of the central piedmont then was inadequate 
transportation facilities and markets. The most accessible mar- 
ket towns were in Virginia and South Carolina, several days 
journey by wagon and team. The products of the farm were of 
small value at home and if carried to market led to the building 

2 S. W. Stevenson. History of Concord Church, Iredell County, North Carolina, 1775-1913 
(Statesville, 1913), 13. 


The North Carolina Historical Review 



<s- /^— 


" //. it *3 


Products Sold and Purchased by William McClelland 

This bill shows on December 10, 1807, William McClelland sold wheat, 
linseed, cotton, and oats to Donaldson and McMillan at Fayetteville, 
and received in return, salt, sugar, coffee, molasses, and cash. The 
total exchange being valued at 21 pounds. Several similar bills indicate that 
twice or more per year surplus products were hauled to market and sup- 
plies purchased. 

A Fourth Creek Farm From 1800 to 1830 173 

up of markets in other states and delayed development of nearby- 
regional towns. 

As shown by several bills the Fourth Creek farm sold wheat, 
oats, flaxseed, wool, pork, bacon, beef, hides, occasionally cloth 
and cotton, and quite frequently a barrel or two of whiskey and 
brandy. The bills or invoices nearly always represented barter or 
trade, there being listed the sales or credits at the top of the 
sheet with the purchases, and cash payments or debits below. 
Often the sales and purchases balanced, there being no cash left 
over. Sometimes balances unpaid were carried over. In addition 
to sales in Statesville, Salisbury, and Charlotte apparently there 
were one or more trips a year to either Fayetteville, North Caro- 
lina, and Camden or Cheraw, South Carolina. Occasionally there 
was a trip to Charleston or Columbia. 

Prices and calculations in several bills, even as late as 1820, 
were in pounds, shillings, and pence. Some carried a second set 
of columns at the right-hand side with conversion into dollars 
and cents (Table 3) . Prices for some grocery items appear almost 
on a par with today's prices. Generally, however, prices were 
much lower. Among frequent items bought were salt, sugar, 
coffee, pepper, sewing thread, buttons, and shoe thread. 

Purchases for the farm were iron, steel, nails, hoes, plows, 
horse collars, rope, sickles, scythes, grindstones, axes, chains, 
sheep shears, and curry combs. Apparently iron was bought in 
bars and rods for making in farm and local shops many of the 
plows and other articles needed for the farm and household. 

Occasionally purchases were made for the house or kitchen of 
such articles as waffle irons, pothooks, skillets, looking glasses, 
spoons, table knives and forks, cutting knives, tin cups, and 
combs. Articles of fine clothing were bought occasionally, such as 
silk, velvet, handkerchiefs, gloves, etc. The bills and accompany- 
ing notes indicate that credit was good and that salesmen were 
alert to sell goods and please the customer. 

Judging by the price per pound — 10 to 13 cents in 1810 to 
1831 — iron nails were a valuable item. These prices are similar to 
those prevailing in 1950. Numerous entries show that bar or rod 
iron was bought at 5 cents a pound. In 1828, trace chains sold 
for $1.13 a pair, horse collars for 75 cents, and shoes for $1.50. 
Salt and sugar were expensive, salt being $3.00 to $3.25 a sack 

174 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in 1821 to 1831 and sugar 11 to 12% cents a pound. From 1821 to 
1831, coffee was listed at 16 to 20 cents a pound. In 1807 to 1810, 
these articles were higher. 

Prices received on this farm in 1807 to 1810 were: wheat 7 to 
8 shillings per bushel ; oats, 4 shillings ; flaxseed, 7 to 10 shillings ; 
cotton, 1.6 shillings per pound; brandy and whiskey, 6 shillings 
per gallon. In 1821, corn was sold at 50 cents a bushel; pork 4 
cents a pound ; whiskey 56 cents a gallon ; and homespun woolen 
linsey cloth 50 cents a yard. Prices received for farm products 
were lower in 1821 to 1831; wheat was 50 to 60 cents a bushel; 
corn 40 cents a bushel ; whiskey 30 to 40 cents a gallon. In com- 
paring these prices with those of today, it should be recalled that 
generally the farm products were marketed only after a haul by 
wagon and team of 150 miles over rough dirt roads to Fayette- 
ville, Camden, or other distant markets. 

In scanning the wills, letters, bills, and other papers pertaining 
to this farm family, the reader had a guilty feeling. Learning 
what property people gave their children, and the things they 
bought, was something like overhearing a private conversation. 
Living conditions on the farm must have been discouraging at 
times, with produce yielding only a small return for the work 
involved, while prices of necessities bought were high. Frequently 
the sales only balanced the purchases. At times the bills showed 
that unpaid balances were carried over from year to year on 
open account, while larger debts were secured by notes. Yet, there 
is evidence in the list of books owned, the share in the local union 
library, the subscription receipts for a newspaper and for postage 
paid, school tuition, money bequeathed to grandchildren for edu- 
cation, contributions to churches and schools, the carefully kept 
family and farm records, and the letters written and received, 
that much forethought and time was given to self -improvement 
and betterment of conditions in the community. 

A Fourth Creek Farm From 1800 to 1830 175 


Prices received for products sold and prices paid for goods 

bought on a fourth creek farm, 1807-1831 3 

Items Prices of products sold 

Shillings and pence Dollars and cents 

1807 1810 1821 1828 1831 

Wheat, bushel 8s 7s 

Corn, bushel 50 ^ 

Oats, bushel 4 s 

Flaxseed, bushel 7 s 10 s 

Cotton, pound 1.6 s 

Pork, pound 4 ^ 

Whiskey, gallon 56 f 31 1 40 1 

Brandy, gallon 6 s 

Linsey woolen cloth, yard 50 I 

Prices of products bought 
Shillings and pence Dollars and cents 

1807 1810 1821 1828 1831 

Salt, bushel 10 s 10 s 

Salt, sack $3.25 $3.00 

Sugar, pound 12i/ 2 ^ Is 12y 2 I 11 1 

6 d 
Coffee, pound 4 s 3 s 20 1 16 1 

Molasses, gallon ...5s 50 1 40 1 


Cheese, pound 12!/2 # 

Nails, pound 13i/ 3 ^ 10 I 

Iron, pound 5 I 

Plough trace 

chains, pair $1.13 

Horse collars 75 ^ 

Shoes, pair $1.50 

s — shilling; d — pence; 4 — cents; $ — dollars. 

3 Taken from bills of John and William McClelland, owners of the farm from 1807 to 1831, 
from merchants in Statesville and Fayetteville, N. C. and Camden and Columbia, S. C. 





By Christopher Crittenden 

The fifty-second annual session of the State Literary and 
Historical Association was held at the Sir Walter Hotel and 
Hugh Morson High School Auditorium in Raleigh, Friday, De- 
cember 5, 1952. Meeting concurrently with the Association were 
the North Carolina Folklore Society, the North Carolina State 
Art Society, the North Carolina Society for the Preservation 
of Antiquities, the North Carolina Society of County and Local 
Historians, the Roanoke Island Historical Association, and the 
North Carolina Symphony Society. At the morning meeting of 
the Association, with President Frontis W. Johnston of David- 
son presiding, the following papers were read: "Asheville and 
Thomas Wolfe," by George W. McCoy of Asheville ; "The Out- 
door Historical Drama," by Kermit Hunter of Chapel Hill; and 
"North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1952," by LeGette 
Blythe of Huntersville. At the luncheon meeting, Dr. J. G. 
de Roulhac Hamilton presented an address on "George Patter- 
son, North Carolinian by Adoption," and at the dinner meeting 
Mr. Lambert Davis of Chapel Hill conducted an informal "Meet 
the Authors" program in which six North Carolina authors 

The membership of the Association had more than doubled 
within the year, and the evening meeting therefore had to be 
held in the auditorium of Hugh Morson High School so that 
there would be enough room. President Johnston presided and 
presented an address, "Zebulon Baird Vance: A Personality 
Sketch." Another address, "The Writer's Responsibility," was 
delivered by J. Donald Adams of New York. Mrs. Preston W. 
Wilkes, Jr., of Charlotte, governor of the Society of Mayflower 
Descendants in North Carolina, announced that the Mayflower 
Cup award for the best non-fiction work of the year had been 
made to John P. McKnight for his book, The Papacy: A New 


Papers 177 

Appraisal. Miss Clara Booth Byrd of Greensboro, president of 
the Historical Book Club, presented to Paul Green of Chapel Hill 
for outstanding literary achievement the Sir Walter Award, a 
new award for fiction to be presented annually. 

Five of these papers are included in the pages that follow, 
and it is believed that they will be read with interest both by 
those who did not have the opportunity to hear them in the first 
instance and also by those who, though they were present when 
the papers were delivered, will nevertheless enjoy the oppor- 
tunity to refresh their memories as to what was said. In some 
cases the editors have made certain revisions and the usual 
editing has been done, but in no instance has the original 
meaning been materially altered. 

By Frontis W. Johnston 

North Carolina has loved, idolized, and rewarded no other 
man in her history as she has Zebulon Baird Vance. 1 No other 
native has enjoyed such continuous popularity or such lasting 
devotion, "and his name is still potent to set eyes alight in the 
mountains." 2 Tar Heel villages have swarmed with literally hun- 
dreds of little Zebulons, so named to honor the beloved leader 
and doubtless in the hope that they might emulate his career. 
That career is distinguished and historically important. Lawyer, 
editor, lecturer, county solicitor at the age of twenty-one, mem- 
ber of North Carolina house of commons at twenty-four, United 
States congressman at twenty-eight, Confederate colonel at 
thirty-one, governor at thirty-two, Vance was three times the 
chief executive of North Carolina, and four times selected United 
States senator. In a public career of more than forty years of 
turbulent politics he was defeated for office only once by the 
people of his district and once by the legislature of his state. 
The fact that he was elected to these offices successively as Whig, 
Know-Nothing, Conservative, and Democrat reflects his secure 
hold on the affections of his people as well as the political insta- 
bility of the times in which he lived. But whatever the party 
label, for Vance North Carolina could never do enough. She 
bestowed on him the highest honors within her gift and wished 
for more that she might fit her measure of the man. And 
doubtless there were not a few nineteenth-century worshippers 
who would be astonished at the temerity of anyone who, like 
myself tonight, attempts merely to inquire into the personality 
and the popularity of Zeb Vance in the space of thirty minutes. 

More responsible for the unparalleled affection of North Caro- 
lina for Zeb Vance than any other one thing was his record as 
war governor. 3 One of the mystifying paradoxes of war is 
the truth that it is both a divisive and a unifying factor in the 

1 This article was read as the presidential address at the annual meeting of the North 
Carolina State Literary and Historical Association in Raleigh, December 5, 1952. It was 
not presented there as the definitive estimate of Vance, nor is it printed here as the author's 
final judgment upon him; nor is it intended as a critical study. 

2 Phillips Russell, "Hooraw for Vance!" in American Mercury, XXII (February, 1931), 40. 

3 A convenient and satisfactory summary is Richard E. Yates, "Zebulon B. Vance as 
War Governor of North Carolina, 1862-1865," in The Journal of Southern History, III (Feb- 
ruary, 1937), 1-33. 


Zebulon Baird Vance — A Personality Sketch 179 

experiences of a people, and Vance's political task was to en- 
courage those unifying forces within the state and prevent the 
serious divisions among her people from becoming fatal to the 
cause. During the hard years of this conflict he exhibited these 
qualities of popular leadership; he knew the way to the hearts 
of the people. He sounded all their depths, interpreted their 
feelings, took their part, sympathized with their wants, and 
they showered upon him the rich plenitude of their affection. 
Beleaguered with obstacles which threatened the destruction of 
their aspirations and hopes, they turned to the young governor. 
He emerged from the ruin encircled with the halo of renown, 
and it remained untarnished for the rest of his life. 

Suspicion of Confederate leadership in North Carolina was 
not merely the result of the war and of the extraordinary 
conditions it initiated. Months before, while the border states 
were debating the question of secession, the state of North 
Carolina revealed distrust of the program of southern leader- 
ship. War did not diminish this distrust and Conservative, or 
anti-administration, strength grew in North Carolina, waxing 
stronger with military reverses along the vulnerable eastern 
shore. Vance was elected governor in 1862 by those opposed 
to the course of Confederate administration. 4 Rightly or wrongly, 
North Carolina felt that she had more to fear from the con- 
solidation tendencies of the Confederate government than from 
the enemy. So Vance gave up the nationalistic tendencies of 
his Whig antecedents and stood on the ground of states' rights 
of the Confederate Constitution. Otherwise he would have 
courted political ruin. 

His administrations were characterized by an executive ver- 
satility combining courage, energy, boldness, and vision beyond 
the expectations of his most enthusiastic supporters. In public 
he rarely joked any more. He captured the imagination and the 
admiration of North Carolina by his successful blockade-run- 
ning operations whereby the troops were supplied with shoes, 
blankets, and medicines and their families with many needed 
articles of subsistence. 5 The affections of the common people, 
who had heretofore been alienated by the legal exemptions of 

4 Fayetteville Observer, August 4, 1862; Weekly Standard (Raleigh), July 30, 1862; 
Weekly Raleigh Register, July 23, 30, 1862. 

5 Vance Letter Book, I. 327, 328, 346; Weekly Conservative (Raleigh), April 20, 1864; 
Clement Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte, 1897), 70-71. 

180 The North Carolina Historical Review 

large slaveowners and to whom the war had already begun to 
appear to be primarily one for the protection of slavery — "a 
rich man's war and a poor man's fight" — were regained not 
only by denouncing and curbing profiteers and speculators, or 
at least attempting to do it, but by the establishment of depots 
of provisions for the subsistence of the people and by organizing 
in every county relief agencies to save them from starvation or 
hardship. 6 The crowning glory of his administrations remains 
the untiring care and the unstinted labor he devoted to the pro- 
vision of every possible comfort for the soldiers and for their 
families. The weeping gratitude of hundreds of humble folk, 
eloquently if sometimes ungrammatically expressed, increased 
the burden of his labors, but he always saw that their letters 
were answered, though their requests could not always be 

At the same time he reflected in his actions the sentiments 
of a people who, though ardent for the Confederate cause, were 
afraid of Confederate militarism. When the government at 
Richmond, its nationalistic necessities now harassed by the very 
states' rights doctrines by which it had justified its own exist- 
ence, began to show its strength, to override states' rights, and 
to disregard civil authority, Vance held it to a strict accounta- 
bility. He insisted on the sacredness of North Carolina citizens 
and their property, delivered stump speeches to Davis and to 
Seddon nearly every time he wrote them a letter and, on the 
whole, was successful in tempering and taming centralization 
in North Carolina. 7 He was often stubborn and he was some- 
times rash, but he maintained the supremacy of the civil law, 
and after the war it was his proudest boast that "the laws were 
heard amidst all the roar of cannon." 8 Whether or not these 
actions contributed to the winning of the war, North Carolinians 
loved him for them, because Vance seemed to stand between 
them and their danger from their own government. 

If these things displeased multitudes of the disaffected, at 

6 Vance Letter Book, I, 6, 7; The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and 
Confederate Armies (Washington, 1880-1901), Ser. IV, II, 182, hereafter cited as Official 
Records; Journal of the Senate of the General Assembly of the State of North-Carolina, at 
its First Session, 1862, 30-32, 34, 35; Public Laws of North Carolina, Adjourned Session, 
1862-1863, 63, 64; 1863, 26, 27; 186 U, 16-18. 

7 Vance Letter Book, I, 258; Z. B. Vance to J. A. Seddon, Official Records, Ser. IV, III, 
176-177; J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, "The North Carolina Courts and the Confederacy," in 
The North Carolina Historical Review, IV (October, 1927), 399; Vance Letter Book, II, 135. 

8 Z. B. Vance, "The Political and Social South During the War." Lecture delivered in 
Boston, December 8, 1886. 

Zebulon Baird Vance — A Personality Sketch 181 

the same time the record showed policies which the most ardent 
Confederates were forced to applaud. He defended publicly the 
Conscription Acts, always unpopular in North Carolina, and 
supported them vigorously throughout the war. 9 He denounced 
desertion in terms that dripped with vitriol enough to satisfy 
even General D. H. Hill, and he had periodic success in inducing 
many deserters to return to their regiments. 10 Above all, by a 
campaign of eloquence, boldness, and political acumen, which 
his old enemies, the original secessionists, were forced to sup- 
port, he defeated the dangerous peace movement of 1864 and 
thereby, in the eyes of many, saved the state from perfidy and 
dishonor. 11 This was the great crisis of his gubernatorial career, 
and he met it with courage and firmness long remembered by 
the whole state. As the hour of decision approached he wrote 
William A. Graham: 

I can not of course favor such a thing [as the peace movement] 
for any existing cause. I will see the Conservative party blown 
into a thousand atoms and Holden and his understrappers in 
Hell (if you will pardon the violence of the expression) before 
I will consent to a course which I think would bring dishonor 
and ruin upon both State and Confederacy! We are already 
ruined, almost, but are not yet dishonored. . . . 12 

The next day he wrote even more revealingly to David L. Swain, 
an old Buncombe intimate from boyhood days: 

The final plunge which I have been dreading and avoiding, that 
is to separate me from a large number of my political friends, 
is about to be made. It is now a fixed policy ... to take North 
Carolina back to the United States. . . . For any cause now 
existing or likely to exist, I can never consent to this course. 
Never. But should it be inevitable and I be unable to prevent it 
— as I have no right to suppose I could — believing that it would 
be ruin alike to State and Confederacy, producing war and 
devastation at home, and that it would steep the name of North 
Carolina in infamy and make her memory a reproach among 
the nations, it is my determination to quietly retire to the army 
and find a death which will enable my children to say that their 
father was not consenting to their degradation. This sounds, 
no doubt, a little wild and bombastic, not to say foolish, but it 
is for your eye only. ... No great political or moral blessing 
ever has been or can be attained without suffering. Such is our 

8 North Carolina Legislative Documents, 1862-1863, Doc. No. 18. 

™ Official Records, Ser. I, XVIII, 1027-1028; 860-861; LI, Pt. II, 706-708. 

11 Weekly Conservative (Raleigh), July 6, 1864. 

12 Z. B. Vance to W. A. Graham, January 1, 1864, William A. Graham Papers, North Caro- 
lina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

182 The North Carolina Historical Review 

moral constitution, that liberty and independence can only be 
gathered of blood and misery sustained and fostered by devoted 
patriotism and heroic manhood. This requires a deep hold on 
the popular heart, and our people will not pay this price, I am 
satisfied, for their national independence. I am convinced of it. 
But Sir, in tracing the sad story of the backing down, the self- 
imposed degradation of a great people, the historian shall not 
say it was due to the weakness of their Governor and that Saul 
was consenting unto their death! ... As God liveth, there 
is nothing I would not do or dare, for the people. . . . But in 
resisting this attempt to lead them back, humbled and degraded, 
to the army of their enemies ... I say that I feel that I am 
serving them truly, worthily. 13 

North Carolina has thought so too, and when the flash of failure 
illumined the Confederate sky and he, alone of North Caro- 
linians, was arrested and imprisoned and seemingly made to 
suffer, vicariously, for the failure of policies for which he was 
not responsible and which he had originally opposed, the love 
of the people, which he had already won, became adoration and 
devotion. There are times when something less than death will 
make a martyr. 

"I am aware/' wrote Vance to Mrs. Cornelia Spencer, "that 
my character is somewhat two-fold — that from cultivating the 
practical part of life, and especially the rough and unpolished 
ways which I so early affected as stepping stones to popularity 
among a rude mountain people I stand in great danger of being 
mistaken for a man of little sentiment and heavy nerves. But 
those who suppose so will seriously mistake me. I am quite 
the contrary/' 14 He need not have worried. North Carolina 
already knew him as a humane and merciful man, full of sym- 
pathy for the unfortunate and the down-trodden, and with a 
kindness of heart which was frequently fatal to that sternness 
of will which is often more necessary to great public purposes 
than depth of intellect. In his papers are hundreds of 
pleading letters from the plain people beseeching his help in 
their extremity. His tender heart could not resist their cries. 
Once he wrote: "Almost every argument can be answered 
against the chances of our success, but one. That is, the cries 
of women and little children for bread! Of all things, that is 

13 Z. B. Vance to D. L. Smith, January 2, 1864, Z. B. Vance Papers, North Carolina 
Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

14 Z. B. Vance to Mrs. Cornelia Spencer, February 27, 1869, Cornelia P. Spencer Papers, 
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

Zebulon Baird Vance — A Personality Sketch 183 

the hardest for a man of humane sentiments to meet. . . . 15 
If he yielded to this unstrained quality of mercy too often, 
if he exempted too many North Carolinians during the war, 1G 
if he pardoned too many convicts as governor, it was a weakness 
easily forgiven by the masses. 

For it was humanity in the abstract that Zeb Vance loved 
and in whom he believed. Because he sincerely loved them he 
could convince the rank and file in North Carolina that he never 
failed to use his best efforts for their interest and welfare. 
During his first political canvass, as he remembered it many 
years later, he was "introduced to that important section of 
humanity called the common people. There were a good many in 
North Carolina." The common people were, as he understood it, 
"that great mass who live by their own labor, are moved by no 
ulterior designs and have no other ambition than the common 
good. A knowledge of other good qualities and their simple 
virtues caused me early to fall in love with them : for I believed 
then, as I believe now, that I had found among them the true 
source of liberty and public virtue. This youthful impression 
has only been confirmed by age and experience." They produce 
not only the raw material of commerce but of character. And 
the fickleness of the mob? "I have never seen such exhibitions 
. . . my experience teaches me no such lesson. On the contrary 
I have found the populace remarkably constant in their affec- 
tions. ,,17 

Unquestionably the best-known trait of the personality of 
Vance was his wit, and this quality played an important part 
in his success as a political figure. His wit was characterized 
not by the biting satire of some men, nor the too broad humor 
that hurts more than it pleases, but it was rather the sort of 
humor that might be called the love of life, an innate chuckling 
appreciation of the true value of happenings and of men. This 
stood him in good stead on many an occasion. By it he won 
multitudes as his friends. His was a bright, spontaneous wit, 
but of a brightness that illumined rather than burned. And it 
was not humor merely for the sake of laughter; his anecdotes 
were effective because they were always germane to the point. 

15 Z. B. Vance to D. L. Swain, January 2, 1864, Z. B. Vance Papers. 

16 Public Laws of North Carolina, Adjourned Session, 1863, 11-12. 

17 Z. B. Vance, "The Humorous Side of Politics," in Z. B. Vance Papers, Vol. XVII. 

184 The North Carolina Historical Review 

As there was no gloom in his philosophy so there was no sting 
in his humor. 

But there was danger to an ambitious man in a reputation 
for humor, if the reputation was for nothing else. His status 
with the people reminded him of the melancholy monkey de- 
scribed by George Eliot: 

A serious ape whom none take seriously, 

Obliged in this fool's world to earn his nuts by hard buffonery. 

Once full of sallies and impromptu feats, 

Now cautious not to light on ought that's new 

Lest he be whipped to do it o'er again. 18 

But Vance was often whipped into the performance of old tricks. 
He, like humanity in general, could not endure to cohabit inces- 
santly with sorrow, for it destroyed his every energy and 
choked his every aspiration. Merriment, he believed, was given 
by the same divine hand that bestowed courage or honesty or 
any other attribute on man. "Mirth does for the soul what sleep 
does for the body," he said, as he offered a reasoned defense 
of the man with a reputation for wit. There is a dual opinion 
abroad in the world, he believed, in regard to those who make 
mirth — the wits and the humorists of society. There is, first, 
the solemn fellow who feels that the man who does the amusing 
is an inferior sort of being whom it is dignified and becoming 
to look down upon. Another set expresses a patronizing pity 
for the author of that which amuses them, since they are sure 
he has no depth because he is not serious. So by dispraising 
him they 

praise themselves by the unmistakable implication that they 
are profound and fitted for great things because they are not 
witty. By this modest and unselfish logic they prove themselves 
possessed of one quality because they lack another ; that a man 
must necessarily have big bills in his pocket because he has 
no small change. 19 

To them it is necessary to depreciate the witty man in order 
to assert the superiority of the witless. Is this Vance's way of 
saying that the smartest man in the circus may be the clown? 

"Vance, "The Humorous Side of Politics.' 
19 Vance, "The Humorous Side of Politics.' 

Zebulon B. Vance in 1862. 

Zebulon Baird Vance — A Personality Sketch 185 

Certainly in the memory of one who knew him well he was 
"the only public man I ever knew who strove how not to shine." 20 

His appearance and manner contributed to his reputation. He 
came to the governor's chair wearing his hair down on his neck, 
weighing little more than 160 pounds, and having a slight 
sailor's roll to his walk, the result of an injury to one foot when 
a lad. During the war the hair was cut and began to turn gray, 
but remained plentiful throughout his life. A large, impressive 
head, a flashing and ever mischievous gleam in his eye, and an 
irrepressible spontaneity of manner and voice were distinguish- 
ing features. Their effect on people was only enhanced when 
he advanced beyond 200 pounds later in life. His health was 
usually good during his earlier career, but the effects of many 
strenuous campaigns with many, many speeches upon a touchy 
throat frequently silenced him in later life. In 1889 he had to 
have one of his eyes removed. What most people remembered 
about it was one of the remarks he afterwards made: no one 
can now say that I am not a senator with "an eye single to the 
welfare of his people." 

He was always a most approachable person; even when gov- 
ernor his office door was always open and when he toured the 
state on a speaking trip the lobbies of the hotels where he 
stayed were constantly filled with friends and acquaintances 
who had come to hear "Vance's latest." Gregarious in the ex- 
treme, he had no boon companions. Constant in love and friend- 
ship, he could boast that he had "lost but few friends in the 
course of a quite eventful life and these chiefly by unavoidable 
circumstances." 21 All his life he loved books and he read avidly, 
especially during the more leisurely years of the decade after 
the war. He delighted in feminine company ; with men there was 
about him a certain earthy quality which gave him a reputation 
for vulgarity, but which never permitted him to become so 
dignified as to appear exclusive. He never joined any church 
until he was forty-eight years of age ; then he joined the church 
of his extremely pious first wife — the Presbyterian. He had 
long been a regular attendant but had refrained from identifying 
himself formally with the church because he considered the 

20 Robert Watson Winston, Vance and Aycock ( The University of North Carolina, October 
12, 1941), 7. 

21 Z. B. Vance to Mrs. Florence Steele Martin, February 24, 1880, Zebulon B. Vance Papers. 

186 The North Carolina Historical Review 

lives of some within it to be hypocritical. He was a faithful 
and devoted member until his death, in spite of the example of 
an ardently Catholic second wife. He studied its doctrines and 
its theology, but was doubtless always most interested in its 
views of election. 

Ground rags and printer's ink, not to mention the vacuum 
tube, have done much to eliminate the glory of the hustings, an 
art in which Vance excelled, and which he liked to call "the 
manhood of politics." He loved to speak and was at his best with 
the rude mountain men of the countryside, or before a rural 
jury where he sometimes won verdicts by breaking down the 
prosecution with funny stories. Adept at mimicry and the use 
of dialect, he knew also the value of a Biblical phrase. He never 
depended upon strident tones to win hearers. The persuasive 
method he found almost invariably better than the bitter and 
the denunciatory, for he believed that if you reach a man's 
kindly feelings you reach his judgment also. At the great Union 
meeting in Salisbury in the fall of 1860, where Whig greats 
such as Graham, Badger, Morehead, and Dockery gathered with 
thousands from over the countryside to try to save the state 
for Bell and Everett, Vance won the greatest of his earlier 
triumphs on the stump. By popular demand, like a scene-stealer 
taking curtain calls from the stars of the show, he was forced 
to speak several times that afternoon and evening, and the 
venerable Badger, in reply to a compliment of a friend con- 
cerning his own great speech, said : "but you should have heard 
young Vance. He is the greatest stump speaker that ever was." 
And then, repeating with emphasis: "the greatest that ever 
was." 22 A new power in North Carolina politics had appeared 
on the horizon: the oratory of Zebulon B. Vance. Henceforth 
no man withstood him on the stump. 

But his was not the oratory of the polished phrases of a 
Mangum, or the florid eloquence of a Ransom. It was more 
simple, more direct, and more effective. His voice was never 
fierce, but marked by a softness and a pungency that thrilled 
his hearers. His speeches were marked by apt illustrations, by 
originality and wit, and by an abiding sincerity. He knew how 
to capture an audience with a telling illustration or with homely 

22 Quoted in Richard H. Battle, "Z. B. Vance," in Literary and Historical Activities in 
North Carolina, 1900-1905 (Raleigh, 1907), 21. 

Zebulon Baird Vance — A Personality Sketch 187 

humor ; often he got its sympathy by telling a joke on himself. 
Politics was a high art, he believed, and a politician, he knew, 
was like the mother-in-law in that he was the common game 
of mankind. Nowhere was this high art more necessary to 
success than on the stump. "I found very soon," he remembered 
later in life, 

that one of the most successful ways of approaching the common 
people of the mountains was by an appeal to that sense of 
humor and by an exhibition of entire candor in the expression 
of opinion and courage in the maintenance thereof. Talk as 
people please about deceiving the crowd and pandering to their 
passions or the feeling of the hour, my experience has been 
to the contrary. 23 

A spirit of give and take he encouraged because he knew they 
delighted in it, but woe be unto the man who could not take a 
joke on himself! Learning to concede the greatness of the other 
fellow helped Vance make his own name immortal in the 
mountains. Against deep-rooted preconceptions, against ignor- 
ance and groundless custom he quickly learned that cold-blooded 
reason is often utterly unavailing. But humor will find an en- 
trance through the joints of any harness that bigotry and pre- 
judice ever forged for the protection of error. Shafts of gentle 
wit and the relaxing influences of humor were proved more 
powerful than logic. Men often defy reason, he observed, but 
seldom ridicule. 

All his life, in or out of office, Vance was a politician. That 
he never had any machine or organization and depended abso- 
lutely upon the voluntary support of the rank and file made 
him no less a conscious politician. He possessed by nature 
what one writer has aptly called a "Lincoln-like intuition," and 
he strove to improve upon the talent which nature had bestowed 
upon him. He was politically ambitious from his youth up, 
energetic and aggressive in his search for political reward. 
Political sagacity might make him courageous — as it did in the 
struggle with Holden in 1864, which he began convinced that 
the majority of the people were opposed to the war. 24 Political 
sagacity might make him cautious, and even silent, as in the 

23 Z. B. Vance, "The Humorous Side of Politics." 

24 Z. B. Vance to E. J. Hale, Sept. 11, 1863, E. J. Hale Papers, North Carolina State De- 
partment of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

188 The North Carolina Historical Review 

uncertain shiftings of politics during Reconstruction. It might 
allow him to indulge in sentiment, as when, in 1880, he married 
Mrs. Florence Steele Martin. She was a charming Kentucky 
widow, of great beauty and some money, but she was also as 
devout a Roman Catholic as his first wife had been a Presby- 
terian. More than one of his old friends pointed out to Vance 
that North Carolina was predominately a Protestant state and 
that marrying a Catholic — especially for a former Know-Nothing 
— might result in political defeat. Vance treated the warning in 
a typical way that ended discussion. Thanking one old friend 
for his frankness he closed the letter by saying: "You wish to 
know why I am to marry a lady whose religion is different from 
that of most of us. I will tell you : In my time I have tried both 
Rum and Rebellion, and have decided it was up to me to add 
Romanism." 25 This answer set everyone to laughing and he was 
twice re-elected thereafter. 

Along with political ambition went a measure of political 
selfishness. If he served the people well, as he sincerely thought 
he did, he expected the people's reward. His usually joyous and 
happy temperament would sink into the depths of gloom when, 
rarely, defeat came. After his defeat for senator in 1872 he 
became a man who, when he does not get what he wants from 
that party, begins to recount his services and sacrifices for that 
party, but knowing that it would never do to admit that he 
was influenced by merely personal desires and disappointments, 
searches for some higher ground upon which to base his com- 
plaints. The only fair elections he ever knew were his own 
victories. And when the party called on him to give up his 
senatorial ambitions and to run the third time for governor, 
in 1876, he complained that 

when there is a forlorn hope to be led, an office to be carried 
at the point of the bayonet which is ruin to a poor man when 
he gets it, I am astonished at my popularity. When an easy and 
comfortable place is to be disposed of I find I have more and 
treacherous enemies than any man in the State." 26 

When the more customary success came the same volatile tem- 
perament was quick to acknowledge support with gratitude. 

^Quoted in Josephus Daniels, Tar Heel Editor (Chapel Hill, 1939), 453. 
26 Z. B. Vance to Samuel McDowell Tate, February 12, 1876, Samuel McDowell Tate Papers, 
Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Zebulon Baird Vance — A Personality Sketch 189 

The people of North Carolina, he wrote, "have been mighty good 
to me : in peace and in war, in prosperity and adversity, in days 
of humiliation and sorrow and in times of rejoicing and triumph 
they have never forsaken me." 27 It was a life of strife in which 
there were some enemies to make the host of friends all the 
more appreciated, and he gloried in both. 

If the whip of ambition were not sufficient there remained 
the spur of the need of money to drive him on. When there was 
no office there was no salary. To wealth and luxury he was 
always indifferent, but subsistence for a wife and four sons 
required some money. If man does not live by bread alone, still 
he finds it hard to live without any at all. The lawyer's career, 
scarcely more than a back-log to depend on between offices, 
he never took seriously enough to make of it a financial success ; 
and frequent lectures and occasional articles augmented the 
slender income but little. Occasionally, in moments of despond- 
ency and disappointment, he wondered if he had not made a 
mistake in not pursuing his legal career to financial independ- 
ence, but in his heart he knew that his life was politics, and 
that he would not have been living outside it. For actually he 
believed politics to be the highest calling of man, the one field 
of endeavor where a real knowledge of the nature and qualities 
of a people might best be learned. If the proper study of man- 
kind is man, then the politician is the most educated of men. 

. . . are a class, if not a law, unto themselves ; qualified, separate 
and a peculiar people, though not in any extraordinary degree 
zealous for good works. They are the product of our institutions, 
and with all their faults they are the very outward and visible 
sign and seal of free government. 28 

As a consequence, he reasoned, the politician could be more 
useful than any other professional man in preserving the insti- 
tutions and values of a people, their law and liberties — the 
things which make a people great. In such a calling the lack of 
money was not altogether a handicap ; indeed he wrote that 

One great element of my success has been this very thing ; from 
my first entrance into public life I have been placed in the very 

27 Z. B. Vance to Mrs. Florence Steele Martin, February 24, 1880, Zebulon B. Vance Papers. 

28 Z. B. Vance, "The Humorous Side of Politics," in Z. B. Vance Papers, Vol. XVII. 

190 The North Carolina Historical Review 

trying situation of occupying high political positions without 
money to live in a style commensurate with their supposed 
dignity. Instead of trying to cut a swell at the expense of my 
friends and by going into debt to everybody I lived scrupulously 
within my means and paid every man the last cent I owed him. 
When we (my wife and I) had money to keep a carriage we 
rode in it, when we didn't have the money we walked. When 
we had the money to spare in summers we went to the springs, 
when we didn't we stayed at home and went to the branch! 
What we lost in display I found we more than made up in the 
respect of all sensible people and in the comfort of a good 
conscience. Holding so many high positions and remaining poor 
is accepted by my kind people as proof of my honesty and 
incorruption. . . . Nevertheless I believe in enjoying to the 
full what one has " 29 

This he did; when he died a month before his sixty-fourth 
birthday he had $152.07 in the bank. Four years later, when 
the estate was settled and his personal effects such as books 
and furniture had been sold, together with his Charlotte prop- 
erty, the total was less than $5,000. 30 Appropriately might it 
be said that he lived up to his motto: "Work hard, live well, 
die poor." 

The death of Senator Vance in 1894 was a signal for the state 
to take stock of her loss. The verdict was virtually unanimous. 
If he had not the wisdom and virtue of a Macon, or the dignity 
and learning of a Graham, he had, more than any other leader, 
possessed and held the hearts of North Carolina's people. Nor 
did this unsurpassed devotion seem unreasonable. For a third 
of a century he had stood by them — a defender, a preserver, a 
deliverer. He was their martyr and had suffered for their acts. 
He was their shield and had protected them from peril. He had 
been with them in the burning light of battle. They remembered 
the gray uniforms, the warm blankets, the good shoes, the 
blessed medicines which his energy and sympathy had provided 
amidst the famine and pestilence of evil days. He had defended 
their liberties and preserved their priceless honor. He had lit 
no fires of hate in a day of passion. These were the solid founda- 
tions of his place in their minds and hearts; he was a part of 
their history and with both they were content. 

20 Z. B. Vance to Mrs. Florence Steele Martin, March 8, 1880, Zebulon B. Vance Papers. 
30 Record of Settlements, Buncombe County, Nov. 1, 1898, Book No. 2, 252-253, Buncombe 
County Courthouse, Asheville, N. C. 


By J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton 

The Reverend George Patterson, with a chuckle, frequently 
described himself as "the devil of a combination — a cross be- 
tween a Boston Yankee and a Greek." Actually he was a much 
more remarkable combination. Deeply religious, with the trusting 
faith that a young child has in a tender parent, possessed of a 
keen mind developed by training, by wide reading and thinking, 
and by life, full of lusty and gusty humor, a man among men, 
he was at home in any company, whether of young or old, 
learned or unlearned, white or black, bond or free. No one who 
met him ever forgot him, and most of them loved him almost at 
sight. I never heard of anyone who disliked him. Of the dwin- 
dling number of those who knew him there are many who will 
agree that he was the most unforgettable character they ever 

The son of Petro Papathakes, a native Greek and a member 
of the Orthodox Church, and Louisa Miles, a Unitarian, whose 
forebears came to Massachusetts about 1636, he was born in 
1828, was baptized in the Episcopal Church, and his surname 
was changed to Patterson, an equivalent translation. Practically 
nothing is known of his early life and education beyond the 
fact that he became a deeply learned man and that his mother 
carried out faithfully the father's wish that he should be brought 
up in the Episcopal faith. In speaking of this, Dr. Patterson 
would gratefully say, "I tell you, of all these earthly religions, 
give me the Unitarians." 

He decided to enter the ministry, was trained at Nashotah 
House in Wisconsin, and in 1850 applied to the Bishop of North 

1 In presenting this paper I realize that I am departing from established precedent, but I 
feel justified since I am introducing to this generation of North Carolinians a well-known 
figure of the past who identified himself so closely with the state that, to borrow an expressive 
phrase from an old-time colored woman of this town (Raleigh), he "decided to make it his 
native place," and indeed, thereafter, even when living far away, always regarded himself 
as part of it. In character, in personality, and in his contacts he was so magnificently 
unique that his memory should be preserved for the generations that knew him not. 

There is but little in this paper that is based on recognized historical sources. It grows in 
part out of reminiscence of a delightful acquaintance with him, and in part from what was 
told me, mostly in his lifetime, by older people who knew him far more intimately than I 
did and who, like myself, held him in high respect and deep affection. I am also indebted 
to a sketch of him by Bishop Thomas F. Gailor of Tennessee, one of the most intimate 
friends of his later life. 


192 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Carolina and was admitted to candidacy for orders. He was 
ordained deacon in 1852 and priest in 1856. He taught in a 
church school at Valle Crucis and one in Washington County, 
served there, chiefly among the plantation Negroes, and then 
took charge of the chapel at "Somerset Place," the plantation 
of Josiah Collins on Lake Scuppernong. A defender of slavery 
on Biblical grounds, he was deeply interested in the welfare of 
the slaves, endeared himself to them by his evident liking and 
interest, and was very successful in his work with them. 

In 1862 he became chaplain of the Third North Carolina 
Regiment, where his work was magnificent. His personality 
and eagerness to serve attracted the men at once. Utterly fear- 
less, he shared every hardship with them, was in the thick of 
every fight, and ministered to them, not only in camp and 
hospital, but in the midst of the hail of shot and shell of the 
battlefield. He never held himself aloof, but, as utterly human 
as they, established with them a perfect understanding. He 
preached to them forcefully, frankly, and directly, but always 
as one of them. Naturally they liked him, trusted him, and 
presently adored him, then and forever. 

Late in the war he was made post chaplain at the Chimborazo 
Hospital in Richmond, where he won the devotion of the sick 
and wounded whom he served. As a tribute to his work there 
and in the field, Mrs. Jefferson Davis made and embroidered 
for him a beautiful stole which he treasured to the end of his 

While regimental chaplain there came to him what was 
probably the proudest moment of his life. In March, 1864, 
Governor Vance of North Carolina spent a week with the troops 
from his state in the Army of Northern Virginia, then in 
winter quarters. He spoke every day to different gatherings to 
which came thousands of men from other states, including 
many officers of high rank. Among them I have noted Generals 
D. H. Hill, Ramseur, A. R. Stewart, Rodes, and Ewell. There 
were many others. Jeb Stuart followed him, fascinated, and 
heard every speech. At the close General Lee said the visit had 
been worth to the army as much as a reinforcement of fifty 
thousand men. By his order a review in Vance's honor was held 
on the last day, the only time during the war that such a thing 

George Patterson, North Carolinian by Adoption 193 

The North Carolinians, constituting half of the army, polished 
their muskets and attempted to make presentable their ragged 
clothing, now scarcely to be called uniforms. The chaplain was 
asked what he was going to wear. "My uniform, of course.'' He 
repaired his worn, faded, and ragged cassock and took his 
place with the regimental staff. 

When the reviewing officers, headed by Lee and Vance, passed, 
Lee caught sight of the figure in priestly robe, bared his head, 
and bowing it to Traveler's neck, said in a clear voice, "I salute 
the minister of the church of God." The pride Mr. Patterson 
felt was not personal, but was a glorification in the recognition 
by the great soldier and leader of his office and the church to 
which his life was devoted. 

Vance's speech, which followed the review, was regarded as 
the best of the series. In it, possibly for the first time, he publicly 
applied the name "Tar Heels" to the North Carolinians, who 
accepted it thenceforth. 

Countless stories about his army life — and, indeed, of his 
whole life — have been told, many of them exaggerated and 
some, undoubtedly, apocryphal, but not one of them that I ever 
heard was unkind. I asked him once if the story was true of 
his refusing to read the declaration of absolution to a wounded 
Union soldier unless he would confess to having committed a 
mortal sin in fighting against the South and declare himself 
repentant. "No," he replied, "that is one of the lies they tell 
about me. I did no such thing. I told him if I were a Roman 
Catholic and claimed the power personally to grant absolution, 
I might have to consider the matter, but as I was not, I'd leave 
it between him and Almighty God." 

Another war story — undoubtedly, in part at least, apocryphal 
— had an amusing climax and shows two interesting sides of 
the man. Kneeling under fire beside an apparently mortally 
wounded boy of his regiment, he received from him his watch 
and some papers, accompanied by a last message to his parents. 
The boy then asked him to read the burial service over to him. 
Mr. Patterson said, "But you are not dead." "I am dying," 
replied the boy, "and it will mean a lot to me to have you do it." 
The chaplain then read the service including the commitment, 
when the boy dropped the earth upon himself at the words 

194 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"Dust to dust, ashes to ashes." "Go now," he said, "or you will 
be captured." 

Years passed, and in 1897 Dr. Patterson attended the Con- 
federate reunion at Nashville. According to the story a number 
of people were interested in the apparent efforts of one of the 
veterans to get near enough to Dr. Patterson to speak to him 
and in the evident determination of the latter to avoid him. 
But the veteran finally reached him, caught his arm, and said, 
"Mr. Patterson, don't you know me?" "No, I don't. I never saw 
you." "But Mr. Patterson I am — " and he gave the name of 
the boy. Dr. Patterson then said, "That is not so. You are dead, 
and I buried you on the battlefield." 

Slowly he was convinced. The boy had been captured and 
taken to a Federal hospital and had recovered. Released at the 
close of the war, he had, after a brief stay at home, moved to the 
West which was far away from Dr. Patterson's home. 

I cannot speak with authority, but, if the story is true — which 
I must confess I question — I doubt if anybody ever questioned 
the good man as to what he thought was happening to him. 

He treasured deeply the memory of his army service and of 
the host of devoted friends then made, and while by no means 
an "unreconstructed rebel" — he was too good an American for 
that — he was a devoted Confederate to the end of his days, 
and among his greatest joys were meetings with his old com- 
rades. He loved to smoke his pipe and to talk of the war and 
was full of delightful stories, grave and gay, of his experiences. 

I cannot resist including one of these : "You see, I was Chap- 
lain of the Third North Carolina Regiment. Well, did you ever 
see any of those butternut jeans we used to wear during the 
war ? We thought they were mighty good trousers in those days, 
and I had just one pair. It was along in '63, and clothes were 
not plentiful, and that pair of pants was a treasure to me. 
Well, our brigade was in camp, waiting for orders to march, 
and I had been preaching to our men and trying to get them 
into good ways, when one morning a young fellow came to me 
and said that he wanted to be baptized. 'Of course,' I said, 'You 
ought to be baptized.' 'But,' said he, 'I want to be immersed in 
the river.' 'Immersed?' I said; 'Why a dipper of water will do 
as much good as a barrel full. It's not the water that does the 

George Patterson, North Carolinian by Adoption 195 

good, anyhow. It's only a symbol/ But the young fellow said he 
had promised his Mother to be immersed, and so I just had to 
decide quick. Of course the Church allows immersion ; but there 
were those pants of mine, and what would I do if I had to march 
that day ? So I went to the colonel and said : 'Colonel, there is a 
boy who wants to be baptized — baptized by immersion — and I 
want to know whether we're going to stay here long enough 
for my pants to get dry.' The Colonel said: 'Chaplain, you go 
ahead and baptize him.' So off I went and had the service down 
at the river, and then I rushed to my tent, undressed, and went 
to bed, while my darky hung up my pants to dry. Do you know 
— Do you know — I hadn't been lying there ten minutes before 
the orders came to march, and away I had to go with those wet 
butternut jeans? Well, I never see a pair of them in a country 
store that I don't think of that march and that baptism." 

After the close of the war he served successively two churches 
in Wilmington. There he established a unique place in the life 
of the community. He was soon surrounded by a group of young 
men upon whom he exerted a remarkable influence. He did an 
enormous amount of work among the poor and ailing, but his 
activities were not confined to these groups. Men and women of 
all ages, classes and creeds looked to him for advice, guidance 
and comfort, not only in religion but in living, and were uplifted 
by his wisdom and his joyous personality. 

Called upon often to find and bring home erring brothers, he 
spent many hours in the night seeking them, going into all sorts 
of undesirable places from which he might reclaim them. He 
went one night into a saloon full of a roistering crowd. Recog- 
nized, he was greeted with a shout, "Here's Dr. Patterson. Come 
and have a drink." He walked to the bar, poured out a small 
amount, and saying, "Thank you, gentlemen. To your health," 
drank it. He then said, "Gentlemen, I have accepted your hos- 
pitality, and you must now accept mine. Let us pray." He knelt 
on the floor, offered a prayer suitable to the occasion, and then 
walked out. Years later, I asked the saloon-keeper, then an old 
man, if the thing ever happened. "Certainly it did, and when 
he left the last d — d one of them followed him, and I had to 
close up." 

196 The North Carolina Historical Review 

He was an effective and eloquent preacher, but one was more 
likely to hear more comment upon his peculiarities of voice 
and manner than upon his clear and beautiful language. The 
combination, however, never failed to hold the attention an<J 
interest of his hearers. Bishop Gailor told the following char- 
acteristic story of one of his sermons. 

"In one Southern parish, it is said, he was invited to preach, 
and, upon inquiry, found that the congregation was composed 
largely of sugar planters, who sent their wives and children to 
Church and Sunday school, while they themselves went hunting 
and fishing. Membership in this church was a kind of passport 
to 'good society.' So the Doctor took his text from St. Luke XII, 
20 (about the rich man who would pull down his barns and 
build greater, and would take his ease) and read it very de- 
liberately: 'But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy 
soul shall be required of thee/ Then, throwing his spectacles on 
top of his head, and looking earnestly at the people, he said: 
'My brethren, it doesn't say that this was a bad man nor a 
vicious man. He was a prosperous and popular man. He was a 
man that we all know very well. He was a wealthy planter. He 
owned a sugar plantation up the river, and lived in town, and 
on Sunday went fishing or lounged at the club while his family 
went to church. He patronized the Lord by paying his pew 
rent, and when he knew he would get his name in the paper 
he would give something to charity. People said: 'What a fine 
man he is! He's one of our representative citizens! He is such 
a charming gentleman!' But, my friends, the Lord said, 'Thou 
fool !' and I reckon, I RECKON when Almighty God calls a man 
a fool he's a fool'." 

In 1880 he resigned his Wilmington charge, was briefly finan- 
cial agent for the University of the South, and then, refusing 
many attractive calls, went to a missionary post in Tyler, Texas. 
In 1886, after several calls in Texas, he became rector of Grace 
Church, Memphis, where he remained until his death in 1901. 
During his residence in North Carolina he had come to love 
the state and its people so deeply as to think of himself as a 
North Carolinian. He left it, but his heart was always there, 
and he never lost an opportunity to revisit it. Many years before 
his death he arranged for his burial in Hillsboro, but finally 

George Patterson, North Carolinian by Adoption 197 

yielded to the wish of his Memphis flock that he should rest 
under the chancel of his church there. 

To his mother, who opposed his becoming a minister, he took 
a vow of celibacy from which she later, after he had presented 
her for confirmation, tried to absolve him. He refused, and said 
of it later, "Vows are not a very good thing to take, but when 
you take them you ought to stick to them." All during his life 
he used his unmarried state as a basis for whimsical jests, 
such as his saying to a new parishioner, to her great horror, 
"Well, I have to get home to that horrible wife of mine, she 
makes my life a burden." Telling of it she said, "I was very much 
impressed with him at first, but in my opinion any man who 
speaks of his wife that way ought not to be permitted to be a 

Once at a dinner party he was harassed by a maiden lady 
of uncertain age who wanted to know why he was a celibate. 
He finally escaped her — he was good at that — but in the middle 
of the meal she called from the opposite end of the table, "Dr. 
Patterson, what did you say was the reason you never married? 
Was it for the Lord's sake, or because you couldn't help your 
self?" Replied the Doctor, "A little of both ma'am. How is it 
with yourself?" 

I knew him first when I was a small boy in Hillsboro, where 
he was a frequent visitor. My parents were devoted to him, 
and he was the godfather of an elder sister of mine, who shared 
that distinction and privilege with more than two hundred 
others. In later years I asked him how he had been able to 
fulfill the numerous obligations thus assumed, and he replied, 
"I pray for them, Sir, twice every day." "Individually?" I 
asked. "No, Sir. Collectively, of course." I never heard of a 
clergyman who was in such demand, not only as godfather, but 
to baptize and bury. Many people not only felt, but thought 
they knew, that those rites when celebrated by him had special 

My early acquaintance with him was largely made up, on my 
part, of watchful waiting for manifestations of the queer things 
I had heard of him, including his well-known and utterly amaz- 
ing laugh. I have never heard the scream of a hyena, but many 
times I heard Dr. Patterson's laugh, and I doubt if a hyena had 

198 The North Carolina Historical Review 

any superiority over it in volume of weird sound. But it was 
known and loved all over the South. Combined with it was an 
exaggerated sense of humor, which was at times out of control. 
He told my father, however, that he had only once laughed in 
church, and then at the absurd difficulties of four strong men in 
carrying out of the "Lake Chapel" a two hundred-pound negro 
woman who had been so stirred by his sermon that she had 
"gotten religion" very violently. 

There was another story of his uncontrolled laughter which I 
always doubted because it was out of character. Conducting 
a funeral service in a strange town, he was standing while the 
grave was being filled before the benediction and saw on a beauti- 
ful white monument to a dead wife the inscription, "The light 
of mine eyes has gone out." Evidently the bereaved husband had 
remarried, for in heavy black letters was written under the 
inscription, "But I have struck a match." According to the story 
the effect upon Dr. Patterson, considering the place and the 
occasion, was disgraceful, and another pronounced the benedic- 
tion. I am sure it was "one of the lies they are always telling," 
because no man ever had more tender feeling and consideration 
for those in distress than he had, and his sense of humor would 
have been, for the time at least, completely submerged. I need 
not add that I never asked him about it. 

While I was a student at Sewanee, Dr. Patterson spent part 
of several summers there and I saw much of him, and on quite 
intimate terms, considering the disparity of ages. As a matter 
of fact nobody ever thought of that in connection with him. 
Growing old, he was nevertheless ageless. I never had a more 
enjoyable and stimulating experience. Twice we shared a cottage. 
He was ageing, had a serious heart condition, and was forbidden 
to indulge in hearty laughter. It was missed, but he was still 
joyous. We would sit on the porch and talk about everything 
under the sun. As soon as he heard me moving in the morning 
he would come in for me to button his clerical collar, which he 
found difficult to reach. One morning very early I heard him 
walking about and talking, and when he came in I asked him 
who his early visitor was. "I was walking and conversing with 
my Maker, Sir, I can't kneel down any more." 

George Patterson, North Carolinian by Adoption 199 

The college students thronged to him. I saw many times pro- 
cessions of them following him about. I was present one night 
when he sat on a porch facing a semi-circle of more than fifty 
of them, sitting on the grass, who listened to him, firing questions 
at him with perfect freedom, and enjoying his ready answers, 
whether witty or serious. 

Bishop Thomas F. Gailor described him as "fearless, faithful, 
diligent, devout, loving, with a frankness and directness of speech 
which carried him at once to the mind and heart of his hearers," 
and said of him, "His strength was so gentle and his gentleness 
so strong." 

An even finer tribute was that of the Memphis Commercial 
Appeal. "With the turning of day into night he passed from the 
gathering gloom into the light beyond. A good priest, a lover of 
his kind, loyal to his country, his city, and his people, believing 
there was more of virtue than vice in man, he went about his 
work with the judgment of mature years and the buoyancy of 
youth. He was an optimist. He was never cast down. No matter 
what shadows crossed his path he stood in them that others 
might walk in brightness. Dr. Patterson knew more old people 
and young people than any other clergyman in Memphis. Episco- 
palian or Catholic, Methodist or Hebrew, was not a concern of 
his when he met a man or woman. They were God's children, 
made in the image of their Creator, and the good old man loved 
them. He enjoyed life by making others happy, he enjoyed his 
religion for it gave him comfort. He knew the weaknesses of men, 
and he pitied them; he knew there was good in men, and he 
loved them." 

Proud of his calling and responsibilities he was, but he walked 
humbly and was ever a "servant of the servants of God" and, 
as well, of all mankind. Perhaps not less important, he was a 
perpetual delight to all who knew him. 

By George W. McCoy 

The most famous battle of Asheville was not a military en- 
gagement. It was a verbal battle over a book — a dispute between 
the resentful forces of the community and the author, a native 
son. Since that book is a classic of American literature and its 
author was a genius, the story of that event merits recording as 
a part of our literary history. 

The book was Look Homeward, Angel. The author, Thomas 
Wolfe. The scene, Asheville. The year, 1929. 

The first intimation I had of the ferment to come was in 
September, 1929, when Tom Wolfe visited me late one night in 
the news office of The Asheville Citizen. After I had finished my 
work, Tom and I rode for a long time over the quiet streets of 
the city. As I drove and listened, Tom poured out, with intensity 
and eloquence, his hopes and fears for his first novel that was to 
come from Scribner's in October. He insisted that it was fiction ; 
that he meditated no man's portrait. He asked that I understand 
this and explain it to his friends. 

What he told me was substantially the same as the message he 
recorded for the reader in the preface of his novel : 

This is a first book, and in it the author has written of ex- 
perience which is now far and lost, but which was once part of 
the fabric of his life. If any reader, therefore, should say that 
the book is "autobiographical" the writer has no answer for him : 
it seems to him that all serious work in fiction is autobiographi- 
cal. . . . 

This note, however, is addressed principally to those persons 
whom the writer may have known in the period covered by these 
pages. To these persons, he would say what he believes they 
understand already : that this book was written in innocence and 
nakedness of spirit, and that the writer's main concern was to 
give fullness, life, and intensity to the actions and people in the 
book he was creating. Now that it is to be published, he would 
insist that this book is a fiction, and that he meditated no man's 
portrait here. 

But we are the sum of all the moments of our lives — all that 
is ours is in them : we cannot escape or conceal it. If the writer 
has used the clay of life to make his book, he has only used what 
all men must, what none can keep from using. Fiction is not fact, 

[200 ] 


but fiction is fact selected and understood, fiction is fact arranged 
and charged with purpose. Dr. Johnson remarked that a man 
would turn over half a library to make a single book: in the 
same way, a novelist may turn over half the people in a town 
to make a single figure in his novel. This is not the whole method 
but the writer believes it illustrates the whole method in a book 
that is written from a middle distance and is without rancour or 
bitter intention. 1 

Here, then, was a plea for understanding, a plea made urgent 
in his mind by his foreboding of Asheville's reaction. He was con- 
cerned by the prospect, for he valued the good opinion of the 
people of his native city. In a letter to me, dated August 17, 1929, 
some two months before the publication of Look Homeward, 
Angel, he had said : 

I think you will believe me when I tell you I value the respect 
and friendship of no group of people more than that of the people 
in the town where I was born, and where a large part of my life 
has been passed. I earnestly hope I may always keep it. . . . 2 

Review copies of Look Homeward, Angel were received early 
by The Asheville Citizen and The Asheville Times. 

One of the first persons to read the book was D. Hiden Ramsey, 
then vice-president and former editor of the Times. A long-time 
friend of the Wolfe family, he had lived in the same neighbor- 
hood when Tom was growing up and had made such a brilliant 
record at the University of Virginia that Tom's mother held him 
up as an example worthy of emulation. 

By chance, Tom's sister, Mabel, met the newspaper man. After 
they had exchanged greetings, she asked his opinion of the book 
which she had not as yet read. 

"Are we going to be able to live in Asheville?" she inquired. 

Mr. Ramsey, fresh from reading the book, noted she was 
anxious about it. He replied: "It's pretty raw in spots, Mabel. 
People will talk, of course. But it will blow over. The book has 
greatness." 3 

1 For his later views on this subject, see The Story of a Novel, p. 21. 

2 Now in the possession of the writer. 

3 Related orally to the writer by D. Hiden Ramsey, now vice-president and general 
manager of the Asheville Citizen-Times Company. Mabel (Mrs. Ralph Wheaton) later 
related the incident to Tom, and he recorded it in the book, You Can't Go Home Again, 
pp. 330-32. In that book she is Margaret Shepperton and D. Hiden Ramsey is Harley McNabb. 

202 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Thus did the Wolfe family gain an inkling 4 of what was to 

Then came Sunday, October 20, 1929, the day reviews of the 
book appeared in the newspapers. The reviews in the Citizen and 
the Times were sharply different, forecasting, to a degree, the 
reactions of the Asheville public. 

The Citizen review by Lola M. Love 5 gave emphasis to Look 
Homeward, Angel as a work of literature. It said, in part : 

This first novel by Thomas Wolfe of Asheville is, according 
to those who have been already privileged to read it, destined to 
be the sensation of the fall literary season. . . . [It] has been 
eagerly awaited by literary circles in New York and it is expected 
that it will be one of the most discussed novels of the fall. 

The book is a genius' combination of reality, which will not 
shrink from even the most sordid details of everyday life, and of 
a child-like expression of the most delightful fantasy. . . . 

Many books of today have, like "Look Homeward, Angel," 
revealed the life of the small American city. But they have shown 
it as dull and drab. Mr. Wolfe's book shows that, under condi- 
tions imposed by ethics and "culture," life burns with the deep 
colors of human emotions and richly marked characters. 

The characterizations in the book are excellent — made so by 
the way in which the author has brought to them the little 
charms which accompany the day-by-day knowledge of a person's 
habits and entirely human emotions. The hero in real life does 
not speak in impassioned periods always, nor does he always act 
after prayerful premeditation. He is like Mr. Wolfe's characters, 
who snore and swear, eat and drink, and have their earthly de- 
sires as do the best of living men. 

The Times front-page review by Walter S. Adams gave em- 
phasis to the book as a realistic story. It said, in part : 

An amazing new novel is just off the press which is of great 
and unique interest to Asheville. This community in fact is going 
to be astounded by it. Some few well-known residents may be 
shocked into chills. Others will probably be severely annoyed. 
Many others will snicker and laugh. 

The reason is that the book is written about Asheville and 
Asheville people in the plainest of plain language. It is the 
autobiography of an Asheville boy. The story of the first twenty 

* Thomas Wolfe's "An Angel on the Porch," in Scribner's Magazine, August, 1929, was read 
with interest in Asheville, hut caused no stir. Mrs. Hortense R. Pattison, an educator and 
a sister of Prof. J. M. Roberts, Sr., saw literary significance in it. She wrote: "Go get a 
Scribner's and put it away and in after years you may point to it as the firstling of Ashe- 
ville's, of Carolina's most distinguished son. . . . Watch for the book, Look Homeward, Angel, 
and be glad that a free soul has arisen in our land expressing our aspirations in artistic 
form." (From an undated typescript in possession of this writer.) 

5 Now Mrs. George W. McCoy. 


years of his life is bared with a frankness and detail rarely ever 
seen in print. The author paints himself and his home circle, as 
well as neighbors, friends and acquaintances with bold, daring 
lines, sparing nothing and shielding nothing. . . . 

While the characters in the book are undoubtedly painted true 
to life, according to the author's idea of it, the names are chang- 
ed and juggled around. However, any resident of Asheville who 
knew this city and its people during the period 1900 to 1920, will 
not have the slightest trouble in filling in the names of the real 
persons whom Wolfe made characters in his book. . . . 

Most of the Asheville people who appear in the novel wear 
their most unpleasant guises. If there attaches to them any 
scandal which has enjoyed only a subterranean circulation, it is 
dragged forth into the light. If they have any weaknesses which 
more tolerant friends are considerate enough to overlook, these 
defects are faithfully described. 

The novel will be acclaimed by critics as a work of real distinc- 
tion. But the suspicion is strong that Asheville people will read 
it . . . because it is the story, told with bitterness and without 
compassion, of many Asheville people. 

Then came the storm. 

The newspapers broke the news that Sunday morning to a 
city whose people had gone through the real estate boom-and- 
bust cycle of the middle 1920's, but were yet to travel the valley 
of stern personal and civic discipline imposed by bank failures 
and the great depression. It was a much more neighborly town 
than it is today and the people were proud, sensitive, and inde- 

The reaction was natural — as natural as sunshine and rain, 
a fact not clearly understood by people elsewhere. It followed 
the pattern of people everywhere when they consider themselves 
affronted or are placed on the defensive. 

Did the American people see only literary greatness when 
Charles Dickens, in Martin Chuzzlewit, directed criticism at us ? 

Did they see only the work of a literary master when Rud- 
yard Kipling delivered his severe strictures on America ? 

Did Catiline see only style and eloquence in the orations of 
Cicero when the latter exclaimed, "How long, pray, Catiline, 
will you abuse our patience?" 

Did the people of Asheville see only great writing in a book 
which told much of the story of their lives? 

For days and weeks and months the book was a lively topic 
on the streets, at club gatherings, bridge games, parties and 

204 The North Carolina Historical Review 

teas. Conversations were started and carried on with remarks 
similar to these: 

"Well, have you read it?" 

"Isn't it awful?" 

"Such a terrible thing to write about his own people !" 

"He's a mad genius." 

"Did you recognize so-and-so?" 

"Now that Tom mentions it, I remember quite clearly that. . ." 

These were the remarks of people who saw the book as an 
almanac of gossip, a collection of scandal. 

The reaction of the community was not organized. It was 
simply the sum of its many parts, the personal viewpoints of the 
citizens. Depending on the individual, they expressed hurt, 
shock, anger, irritation, resentment, indignation, or disgust. 
They felt the mores of the community had been violated; that 
Tom had been disloyal to his own family, to his friends, and 
to his native city. His characters and incidents, they said, had 
been too thinly disguised. 

Some were loud in their expressions of opinions, others whis- 
pered, some laughed. It is possible, also, that some were disap- 
pointed when they could not identify themselves as characters in 
the book. 

The greatest shock — caused both by the book and by the com- 
munity's reaction to it — was felt in Tom's own family. 

They had been proud of Tom. He had gone to two universi- 
ties, was the best educated member of the family. They looked 
up to him, expected him to achieve distinction. 

And now this ! Their pride was hurt. 

Then came resentment. Why should he do this to them? 

And there was a brief period of bitterness. 

Mabel was secretary of a woman's club which held a meeting 
a few days after the book was published. As she entered the 
room, the heavy buzz of conversation ceased and "you could 
have heard a pin drop." After the meeting was over, she was 
rather generally ignored. One member looked up and said, "Hello, 
Mabel, how are you?" That was all. During refreshments, anoth- 
er member said, "Well, Mabel, it's pretty strong meat. I don't 
know how they'll take it." 6 

6 Mrs. Ralph Wheaton related this orally to the writer. 


Within a couple of weeks, however, the family rallied, calling 
on its reserves of strength and courage, self-respect and dignity, 
and defended Tom. Mabel sent to him a letter which he described 
as "wonderful" in replying by telegram 7 on October 28. 

"No book," he said, "should be read as gossip nor judged on 
isolated passages. When the book and leading characters are 
judged as a whole they are seen to be fine people. 

"No matter what Asheville thinks now they will understand 
in time that I tried to write [a] moving, honest book about great 
people. That is the way the world outside Asheville is taking it." 

The family's emotional crisis soon ran full cycle. Within a 
fairly short time, pride reasserted itself and the family again 
found itself proud of Tom, proud of his literary success. 

The thunderhead over Asheville was not without its silver 

To say that the entire community was upset would be an over- 
statement. Those who felt personal affront, either direct or in- 
direct, were the most vocal. There was a calmer group who 
looked at the book and saw that it was, without dispute, a great 
contribution to literature. Quite a few persons spoke out for 
the book and the author. Others understood both sides: The 
community's natural reaction to the raw spots in the book — the 
temporary side; and the greatness of the book — the permanent 
side. There were, also, many persons who were not particularly 
interested and did not read the novel. 

An unhappy consequence of the publication of Look Homeward, 
Angel was the interruption of the close and years-long friend- 
ship of Tom and his favorite teacher, Mrs. J. M. Roberts, Sr. 8 
It was Mrs. Roberts who had discovered signs of genius in his 
early schoolboy writings and had concluded that "he was destined 
to travel the uplands." 9 Calm, dignified, and sensible, with a mind 
stored with the treasures of literature, she was a constant source 
of inspiration and encouragement to Tom throughout his school 
and college days. 10 

7 In the Thomas Wolfe Collection of Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, N. C. 

8 Nee Margaret Elizabeth Hines. She was born September 8, 1876, in Chillicothe, Ohio, 
and died May 9, 1947, in Asheville where she and her family had lived since 1911. The 
Asheville Times, May 9, 1947. 

9 From the private writings of Mrs. J. M. Roberts, Sr., now in the possession of her 
husband, J. M. Roberts, Sr. The quotations from her writings are used here by his permission. 

10 From the personal knowledge of the writer, who also had the privilege of having Mrs. 
Roberts for his teacher in the North State School (1917-19). 

206 The North Carolina Historical Review 

This relationship of teacher and student has been expressed 
in eloquent and moving language in Tom's letters published in 
the Atlantic Monthly for December, 1946, and January and 
February, 1947, under the general title "Writing Is My Life.' , 
He said to her : ". . . You mother the minds and spirits of young 
men until they grow incandescent. . . . Before I come to death, 
I shall use the last thrust of my talent — whatever it is — to put 
your beauty into words." 

In moments of success or failure, of doubt or exultation, Tom's 
thoughts went back to her — to the woman who, in his formative 
years, helped open and illuminate his mind. 

Mrs. Roberts first heard of Tom when he was eleven years of 
age and a pupil in the sixth grade of Orange Street School. Her 
husband was the principal. During the school year Professor 
Roberts decided to have the students in the upper classes under- 
take an exercise in composition. Gathering up the papers, he took 
them home and asked Mrs. Roberts to read a portion. One paper 
attracted her attention, for it had outstanding merit. Its author 
was Tom Wolfe. In this simple way, Tom's genius was discovered 
by a teacher who had the capacity to understand and to see. 

Principal Roberts, on returning to school the next day, com- 
mended Tom for his fine work. Tom reciprocated by forming an 
attachment for the educator. 

Professor Roberts — a courtly gentleman, an idealist and a 
classical scholar of sincere and warm friendliness — opened the 
private North State Fitting School 11 for boys in the autumn of 
1912, and Tom enrolled as its first student. 

There the "huge-handed, bulging-browed" boy, "with the body 
of a cornstalk," 12 who had bright eyes and a remarkable quality 
of awareness, spent four years under the guiding care of Pro- 
fessor and Mrs. Roberts and then left to attend the University 
of North Carolina. 

Through correspondence and vacation visits, pupil and teach- 
ers kept in close touch with each other, and Mrs. Roberts never 
failed Tom when he was in need of advice and encouragement. 
This close friendship continued after college days, and Tom 

11 The school was located on Buxton Hill, where it was operated for three years. It moved 
to Austin Avenue in 1915, when the word "Fitting" was dropped from its name. The school 
was closed in 1920. The Asheville Times, May 9, 1947. 

12 From the private writings of Mrs. J. M. Roberts, Sr., now in the possession of her 


would write voluminous letters expressing his hopes and fears. 
In particular, he described plans for his first book. After he had 
finished the manuscript he wrote to her under date of January 
12, 1929, months before its publication : 

I wrote this book in a white heat, simply and passionately, 
with no idea of being either ugly, obscene, tender, cruel, beauti- 
ful, or anything else — only of saying what I had to say because 
I had to. The only morality I had was in me ; the only master I 
had was in me and stronger than me. I went into myself more 
mercilessly than into anyone else — but I am afraid there is much 
in this book which will wound and anger people deeply — particu- 
larly those at home. Yet terrible as parts are, there is little bitter- 
ness in it. . . . If the people of Asheville some day want to heap 
coals of fire on my head by giving me a cup, perhaps I shall fill 
it with my tears of penitence — but I doubt that this will come 
for a long time. The people of Asheville, I fear, may not under- 
stand me after this book and may speak of me only with a 
curse — but some day, if I write other books, they will. 13 

Mrs. Roberts was very ill when the postman brought to her 
house a copy of the book on October 17. "By some bit of irony," 
she said, "the book opened exactly at the chapter on the North 
State School. With natural curiosity I read those pages first, 
numb with misery as I read. Then, as I laid the book aside, 
feeling hurt and helpless, as a further bit of irony, my eye fell 
upon his so-familiar scrawl upon the fly-leaf, To Margaret 
Roberts, who was the mother of my spirit, I present this copy 
of my first book, with hope and with devotion. Thomas Wolfe. 
Oct. 15, 1929.' " 14 

Tom, in the book, had paid a beautiful tribute to her, but hurt 
was caused by his treatment of her husband. 

Mrs. Roberts continued: "I had a brief, but significant and 
moving letter from him in answer to one I wrote him after 
finishing Look Homeward, Angel. In this letter of mine, brief 
because I had so little strength, I tried to be objective in my 
comments on the quality of the book. The only sentence I can 
remember is the closing one: 'You have crucified your family 
and devastated mine.' " 15 

13 The Atlantic Monthly, February, 1947. 

14 From the private writings of Mrs. J. M. Roberts, Sr., now in the possession of her 

^From the private writings of Mrs. J. M. Roberts, Sr., now in the possession of her 

208 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In a letter dated February 2, 1930, Tom wrote to Mrs. Roberts, 
saying that "the saddest thing about all of this to me is not that 
some people have misunderstood the intention and meaning of 
my first book, but that some people I still love and honor have 
misunderstood me. I will not say a word against them — the 
really sad thing is that we lead a dozen lives rather than one, 
and that two or three of mine have gone by since I was a kid in 
Asheville. If people now draw back when they see the man, and 
say: 'I do not know him. This is not the boy I knew' — I can 
only hope they will not think the man a bad one, and that they 
will be patient and wait until the boy comes back. And I think 
he will, after the man has made a long journey. " 16 

Weeks before his letter of February 2, Tom had written a 
very long letter to Mrs. Roberts in reply to her own, but it was 
never mailed. And Mrs. Roberts, who continued very ill until 
March, wrote a long letter to Tom, but it, too, was never mailed, 
"not because of deliberate intention, but . . ." 17 

Then there were no more letters for more than six years. 

In the weeks following the publication of Look Homeward, 
Angel, Tom's feelings were mixed. In New York, he was enjoying 
the critical acclaim of numerous reviewers, but the news from 
Asheville distressed him. 

On November 3, in a letter to me he said : 

I am intensely sorry that other people in Asheville have at- 
tempted to make the book an almanac of personal gossip. I think 
it is only fair that a book should be read in a writer's home town 
in the same spirit it is read outside. . . . Certainly I feel more 
strongly than ever the truth of the book's meaning — it is not 
written about people North, South, East or West but about all 
the people who ever lived — and that meaning is clearly put at 
the very beginning. It is that we are strangers, that we are born 
alone, live alone, and die alone, and that we never come to know 
one another. 18 

Before the publication of the book Tom had expressed a strong 
desire that the people of Asheville understand his purpose, but 
he feared that they would not. The surprise he felt, as told in 
The Story of a Novel, was not so much over the reaction itself, 
as at the intensity of it. 

™ The Atlantic Monthly, February, 1947. 

17 From the private writings of Mrs. J. M. Roberts, Sr., now in the possession of her 

18 Now in the possession of the writer. 


"My joy at the success my book had won," he said, "was mixed 
with bitter chagrin at its reception in my native town." 19 

Since Tom was surprised only at the intensity of the reaction 
to his book, the question arises: Why, then, did he write it? 

The answer is, because he felt that he had to; there was an 
inner compulsion not only to write a book, but to write, to make 
that book. There was a force in him that "finally burst through 
and found a channel." 20 

But why did he use the materials he did, the scenes of home 
and the lives of Asheville persons, many of whom were still 

Because they were the materials he knew best ; they were part 
and parcel of his very life. He selected or rejected, he accepted 
or changed the materials to suit his purpose — to give life and 
color and substance to his novel. 

His conviction was "that all serious creative work must be at 
bottom autobiographical, and that a man must use the material 
and experience of his own life if he is to create anything that 
has substantial value. But I also believed now that the young 
writer is often led through inexperience to a use of the materials 
of life which are, perhaps, somewhat too naked and direct for 
the purpose of a work of art. The thing a young writer is likely 
to do is to confuse the limits between actuality and reality. He 
tends unconsciously to describe an event in such a way because 
it actually happened that way, and from an artistic point of 
view, I can now see that this is wrong . . . although my book 
was not true to fact, it was true to the general experience of 
the town I came from and I hope, of course, to the general 
experience of all men living." 21 

The result, then, was a book, like life itself, that includes things 
that are sordid and ugly, but much that is wonderful and beauti- 
ful; a novel that includes autobiography, often thinly disguised 
biography, fact and fiction, truth and fantasy, portraits and 
caricatures : Portraits that glorified persons or devastated them ; 
caricatures that blasted individuals or froze them in postures 
that made them look ridiculous forever. 

Then came the period of calm, of healing. 

19 The Story of a Novel, p. 19. 

20 The Story of a Novel, pp. 4-5. 

21 The Story of a Novel, pp. 21-22. 

210 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The passing of weeks and months tended to dissipate the 
tempest, to close the wounds. Silence followed public discussion 
and the people of Asheville turned their major attention to the 
struggle for economic survival after banks failed and the de- 
pression came. 

Tom, in New York, threw the great force of his genius into 
his writings. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and 
traveled in Europe. He became more philosophical and gained 
a clearer understanding of why Asheville reacted as it did. In 
a letter to me, dated April 5, 1930, he said he hoped to "write a 
beautiful book that everyone will like — particularly the folks in 
Asheville/ ' 

More than two years passed and Tom, in self-imposed exile, 
did not visit Asheville. He explained the reason for this in a 
letter to me under date of March 22, 1932 : 

I was deeply distressed to know that the book had caused any 
misunderstanding, or resentment, at home. . . . Frankly, I don't 
want to come home until I have done more work and until people 
understand plainly, as I hope and believe they will, what it is 
I am trying to do and what my work is about. I know you under- 
stand . . . that I do not say this in any resentful or truculent 
spirit. . . . My first tendency two years ago was to take pen 
and paper at once and make some kind of a hot answer or im- 
passioned defense; but I feel that a man's work itself must be 
his answer. ... I have no apology and defense to make and at 
the same time I want you to know, as I think you do know, that 
I am bound to my home and the people I knew there by the 
warmest and deepest ties. 22 

Additional years passed and still Tom did not come home. 
It must be understood that he hesitated to do so because of his 
uncertainty over the degree of his welcome. 

Meanwhile, the process of healing continued in Asheville. A 
symbol of this was the action of Pack Memorial Public Library. 

In 1929, the librarian borrowed a copy of Look Homeward, 
Angel, read portions of it, did not like it, and did not put it on 
the acquisition list. 

When prospective readers called for the book at the circulation 
desk, the reply was : 

22 From a photostatic copy in the possession of the writer, who does not know what 
became of the typewritten original. 


"I'm sorry, we do not have it." 

There was no explanation. 

For six years the library remained without a book by Wolfe. 
Notice of this was taken by Phillips Russell, then an associate 
professor of English at the University of North Carolina, in a 
speech he delivered at a banquet held by the North Carolina 
Library Association in the Battery Park Hotel in Asheville on 
October 11, 1935. 

"I understand that in his home town," he said, "the public 
library has not yet admitted one copy of his books." 23 

Not long after Professor Russell's speech, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 
the author, called at Pack Library to borrow a copy of Look 
Homeward, Angel. When he was told it did not have one, he 
walked out, went to a book store, purchased two copies of the 
book, and presented them to the library. They were accepted, 
catalogued, and placed in open circulation. 

In the meantime, the library board, moving to repair the situa- 
tion, asked the librarian to purchase and shelve books by Wolfe. 
This was done. 

The State Literary and Historical Association of North Caro- 
lina played a part in persuading Tom that he should end his 
exile. In June, 1936, William T. Polk, as president of the As- 
sociation, wrote to Tom, inviting him to speak at the December 
meeting in Raleigh. The fact that Tom did not appear is not 
the main point. What was important is that the invitation helped 
convince him that he could go home again, and he began planning 
a trip to North Carolina, including Asheville. 

Then he came — early in May, 1937 — after an absence of more 
than seven years. 

Perhaps he was still uncertain of his welcome, but he was soon 

He was not cursed. He was not reviled. No one expressed 
bitterness or hatred or scorn. 

He was not met with silence. 

Instead, with friendliness and warmth, he was acclaimed in 
his home town as a famous author. 

Tom bubbled over, bear-hugging some of his old-time friends. 

The Asheville Citizen, October 12, 1935. 

212 The North Carolina Historical Review 

When word spread that he was home again, the telephone rang 
at his mother's home all day long and friends, well-wishers, 
and autograph hunters called. He was interviewed, stories and 
his picture appeared in the newspapers, and, as a celebrity, he 
addressed a civic club. 

Introduced by an old friend, James S. Howell, Tom spoke to 
the American Business Club at a luncheon meeting held in the 
George Vanderbilt Hotel: 

I find that the first work of many young writers is usually 
devoted to the raw material of their home towns. This is usually 
the beginning or the ending. I should like now to take Asheville 
and tell the real story of the courage and fortitude displayed 
by its citizens during the dark days, months and years of the 
depression. It would make a good story. 24 

Tom was both delighted and excited by his visit home. It was 
one of the happiest moments of his life. And it was, also, a 
great emotional experience. It was the home town he had known 
as an awkward, long-legged boy. It looked much as it did when 
he left in 1929. But time and circumstance had left their marks 
on the people. The familiar faces were older, and much had 
happened. There had been many changes. Tom realized he could 
come home again in space, physically, but he could not go back 
in time. He was sensitive to this and it cut deep, crystallizing 
a conviction that found expression in his book, You Can't Go 
Home Again — a conviction that the home of everyone is in the 

Tom's joy at being home again was not complete. 

The passage of time had brought no reconciliation with his 
former teacher, Mrs. Roberts, although she had initiated a step 
toward that the year before. 

In May, 1936, Professor and Mrs. Roberts visited their daugh- 
ter, Margaret, and niece, Penelope Pattison, in New York City. 
While there, Mrs. Roberts sent a letter to Tom, inviting him 
to have dinner with them. Tom sent his acceptance, saying 
he would be glad to come, but suggesting that certain painful 
subjects not be discussed. Mrs. Roberts replied to this, telling 
Tom to come and that they would do as they had always done, 
have a free discussion and let the chips fall where they may. 

24 The Asheville Times, May 4, 1937. 


But Tom did not want to discuss any subject that was painful 
to Mrs. Roberts, so he did not appear at the appointed time and 
sent no further word. 

Although there had been no reconciliation, Mrs. Roberts's in- 
terest in and affection for her former pupil had not abated, and 
Tom continued to feel deep affection for her. 

When Tom came home in May, 1937, he told me he would like 
to visit Professor and Mrs. Roberts, but hesitated to do so with- 
out an invitation. Mrs. Roberts also told me she would welcome 
Tom if he came to her home, but she hesitated to extend an 
invitation since he had not kept the appointment to have dinner 
with her and Professor Roberts when they were in New York 
the previous year. 

The situation appeared to call for the offices of a third party 
and I became a willing volunteer. Having persuaded Tom to go, 
we drove to the Roberts home at 14 Fairway Drive in Beverly 
Hills near Asheville. There he was warmly welcomed and the 
long period of estrangement was ended. After the amenities were 
completed, I withdrew, leaving Tom and Mrs. Roberts to talk 
about every subject from Dan to Beersheba, with one exception. 
I learned 25 a long time later that the subject of Look Homeward, 
Angel was not mentioned. 

What were Tom's feelings at being home again? What were 
his views now on Asheville's reaction to his first book? Toward 
the end of his visit, I asked him to write an article for the Ashe- 
ville Citizen-Times and he consented. He waited until he was 
almost ready to return to New York before he wrote it. I called 
on him at his home at 48 Spruce Street and waited while he 
finished it. Sitting at a table in an upstairs front room, he wrote 
in pencil on yellow sheets of paper and then read the article to 
me, asking my opinion of it. In this article, which he entitled 
"Return," 26 he said, in part: 

I have been seven years from home, but now I have come back 
again. And what is there to say? 

Where are the words I thought that I must say, the arguments 
I thought that I should make, the debates and demonstrations 
that so often, in those years of absence, memory, wandering, 
youth, and new discovery I had so hotly made to solitude, and to 

25 Related orally to the writer by Professor J. M. Roberts, Sr. 

26 Asheville Citizen-Times, May 16, 1937. 

214 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the ghostly audience of an absent fellowship, the thousand things 
that I would prove and show when I returned — where are they 

For now I have come home again — and what is there to say? 
I think that there is nothing — save the silence of our speech. I 
think that there is nothing — save the knowledge of our glance. 
I think that there is nothing — save the silent and unspoken con- 
science in us now that needs no speech but silence, because we 
know what we know, we have what we have, we are what we are. 

So what is there to say? 27 

Tom returned to New York, but soon came back to Asheville to 
spend the summer writing and relaxing at Max Whitson's cabin 
on a wooded hilltop near the City Recreation Park. He talked 
of returning to live in Yancey County and of writing a novel 
on the Confederate soldier. 

That was his last visit home. Time was running out on Tom. 
In July, 1938, he developed pneumonia while on a tour of the 
Pacific Northwest. Complications set in and he was taken to 
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he died on Septem- 
ber 15, 1938. The next day The Asheville Citizen said editorially: 

Tom Wolfe is dead. The shocking and sorrowful news came 
on the wires yesterday morning to cast a cloud of deep grief 
over all who knew the big, lovable, overgrown boy. . . . 

Our city mourns the passing of genius, but it grieves much 
more deeply the death of a son. ... As time wore on the com- 
munity almost forgot what Tom had written about it and watch- 
ed with glowing satisfaction his development into one of the 
leading literary figures of his time. ... He loved his native hills 
and city, and nothing ever alienated this affection. 

Now Tom has gone. ... To us he has left the poignant silence — 
the silence left by the going of a proud and brave spirit. 

In the midst of an outpouring of tributes to his memory, to 
his greatness as an author, and to his personal qualities, Tom's 
giant body was brought home to Asheville for funeral services in 
the First Presbyterian Church and burial in Riverside Cemetery. 

27 Although Tom made no apology for his book, he did say in an interview with a 
reporter "that he was sorry if he had displeased anyone and blamed his youth for drawing 
perhaps too much on the only raw material with which he had to work." The Asheville 
Citizen, May 4, 1937. Also, in a letter to Mabel written from New York and dated March 
19, 1938, he said: "I am sorry for some things I may have said in my first book, they were 
written in the heat of creation and of youth, and some of them may have been exaggerated 
and unfair." The context of the letter indicates Tom was referring to his family. The 
letter is now in the Thomas Wolfe Collection of the University of North Carolina Library 
at Chapel Hill. 


Hundreds of persons were in the sanctuary of the First Church 
as Dr. C. Grier Davis, the pastor, and Dr. Robert F. Campbell, 
pastor emeritus, conducted the services. The usual form of such 
a service includes Scripture reading, prayer, and music if the 
latter is desired. Dr. Campbell departed from this, however, and 
added a eulogy, including a quotation from the author's fore- 
word to Book I, Of Time and the River. 

This assembly of his fellow citizens is gathered to honor the 
memory and mourn the untimely death of one who went forth 
from us to literary fame. ... He undoubtedly had within a flame 
of genius which shone forth brilliantly and gave promise of a 
star of the first magnitude, had he lived to reach the maturity 
of his powers. . . . 

I wish I had something definite to say about his religious life. 
As there was a restlessness and lack of definite form in his 
intellectual and emotional processes, it is natural to conclude 
that the same was true of his religious beliefs and aspirations. 
This seems to find illustration in the words that appear on the 
preface page of his latest novel, Of Time and the River: 

"Where shall the weary rest? When shall the lonely of heart 
come home? What doors are open for the wanderer? And which 
of us shall find his father, know his face, and in what place, and 
in what time, and in what land? Where? Where the weary of 
heart can abide forever, where the weary of wandering can find 
peace, where the tumult, the fever, and the fret shall be forever 
stilled. ,, 

As Tom's friend and pastor, I shall always cherish the hope 
and the belief that in the yearning desire of his restless heart 
to find his rest, his home, his peace in the heavenly Father's 
presence, there was the pith and substance of the Christian 
faith. 28 

Then came the period of formal recognition in Asheville. 

Recognition came to Tom in the world outside Asheville with 
the publication of his first novel. In Asheville, at that time, there 
were people who recognized his great qualities, but it was natural 
that formal recognition should be delayed in a case where a book 
had taken the hide off a community and the community, in turn, 
had taken the hide off the author. 

The world outside Asheville was critical of the community for 
its delay in formal recognition. This criticism was based largely 
on a lack of clear understanding, for it could not conceive of 

28 The Asheville Citizen, September 19, 1938. 

216 The North Carolina Historical Review 

how thoroughly Tom had drawn on the community in shaping 
his scenes and characters. 

The attrition of the years has removed very largely any 
personal animus over the book. Many of the characters have 
passed away and it is doubtful if the average Asheville person 
of today has much knowledge of the dispute of 1929, although 
undoubtedly there remains in the population a small, hard core 
of mostly silent disapproval. 

Formal recognition came within less than a decade after Tom's 
death. The world outside had something to do with this, but no 
amount of pressure would have persuaded Asheville had it not 
welcomed the opportunities. It welcomed them, for was not Tom 
a native son? Was he not a genius? Was not Asheville the place 
of its first discovery? 

In 1947, Pack Memorial Public Library adopted, as a major 
project, the collection and assembling of materials relating to 
the author's life, career, and works. Today, the library has an 
excellent Wolfe collection and, at intervals, presents special dis- 
plays. Much of the credit for this belongs to Miss Margaret 
Ligon, who became librarian in 1945, and to Miss Myra Cham- 
pion of the reference department. 

Also in 1947, the Chamber of Commerce, finding that many 
of the inquiries it received were about the author, his birth- 
place, his old home, and his grave, initiated a movement to 
memorialize Wolfe. Under the leadership of Don C. Shoemaker, 
editor of The Citizen, this resulted in the incorporation of the 
Thomas Wolfe Memorial Association in July, 1948. 

The Association adopted three major objectives : the purchase 
and preservation of the Old Kentucky Home ("Dixieland") at 
48 Spruce Street as a memorial and literary shrine ; 29 the estab- 
lishment of Thomas Wolfe Memorial scholarships at the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina and Harvard; and the erection of a 
Wolfe memorial arts center. 

The first of these objectives has been achieved. Funds were 
raised by public subscription and the old home was purchased 
from the Wolfe heirs. Since it was opened to the public on July 
19, 1949, it has been visited by thousands of people from all parts 
of the country. 

29 The Thomas Wolfe Memorial, by Lola Love McCoy, a booklet published under the auspices 
of the Association by the Stephens Press, Asheville, in July, 1949. 


Commenting on this memorial, Walter S. Adams, the present 
editor of The Asheville Times, who wrote the review of Look 
Homeward, Angel for the Times in 1929, said in an editorial in 
the issue of July 21, 1949 : 

Nearly everybody in this region knows, of course, that Look 
Homeward, Angel is the famous story of that house and this 
community and the people thereof during the first twenty years 
of this century. The sensitive local boy who grew up in that 
rambling old structure and whose literary genius created that 
book, has been recognized for many years now as one of the 
greatest novelists America ever produced. 

When Tom's first book, Look Homeward, Angel was published 
in 1929 his home community felt scandalized and mortified. We 
were so close to the great picture he painted it looked crude and 
grotesque. We couldn't see the forest for the trees. In a few years, 
after this novel had been acclaimed by authorities everywhere 
as distinguished American literature, the attitude of the local 
public changed. We understand Tom Wolfe better now, admire 
his works, take pride in the colorful legends that have grown up 
around his old haunts here. ... A re-reading of Look Homeward, 
Angel will disclose rich nuggets we didn't recognize or fully ap- 
preciate at the first reading. 

Formal recognition, then, has come to Tom Wolfe in the city 
whose good opinion he cherished above that of any other com- 
munity on earth. 

By Kermit Hunter 

In many sections of the United States it is difficult for people 
to believe that the South is marching ahead in a cultural way. 
We are of course proud of our industries, our social gains, and 
our general material ways of life, but we are apt to forget the 
tremendous new fields which have been opened in the South in 
cultural pursuits. 

Virginia, for example, has the first state-supported theatre in 
America — the famous Barter Players, who from their head- 
quarters in Abingdon take plays to all parts of the state. The 
same is true of the State Art Museum in Richmond, where a 
state-wide program of art education and appreciation is under 
way. In North Carolina we have one of the first, and surely the 
best, of state-supported symphony orchestras. This does not 
mean that the South is becoming socialistic, that the state is 
coming to control our art. It means, simply, that an area-wide 
appreciation of cultural pursuits is becoming a recognized thing. 

Thus, North Carolina leads the nation in the field of the out- 
door drama. The Lost Colony, a going concern since 1937 on the 
coast of North Carolina, continues to have the earnest support of 
the state legislature, and in return for this support The Lost 
Colony is responsible for bringing thousands of tourists into the 
state and for maintaining another lucrative industry. Unto These 
Hills, at Cherokee, was helped on its way through a gift of $35,000 
from the state treasury, and in return for this grant the Cherokee 
play has attracted to North Carolina nearly half a million people 
in its three seasons since 1950. Horn in the West, at Boone, while 
receiving no outright grant from the state funds, has had in- 
numerable favors and boosts from the state agencies, and it is 
doubtful whether the play could have opened for its first season 
last summer without assistance from these sources. 

As North Carolina takes the lead, then, in the outdoor drama, 
it is important to understand what this art form is, and what we 
are endeavoring to show on the stages at Manteo, Cherokee, and 
Boone. Someone has said that there are three kinds of art : folk 
art, commercial art, and fine art. Folk art is that which rises out 


The Outdoor Historical Drama 219 

of the need of the people for expression, the medium through 
which the basic elements of a particular culture are portrayed, 
either in the theatre, in painting, in music, or in literature. No 
matter how sophisticated an art form may eventually become, it 
is important, we feel, to retain a goodly portion of the folk ele- 
ment, because of the basic human appeal that it provides, and 
that certain timelessness and nobility which come from the ex- 
pression of profound human values. 

Commercial art is that which has for its primary purpose the 
providing of some useful end, some material result, some tangible 
reward. It includes such fields as commercial photography, com- 
mercial drawing and draftsmanship, advertising, architecture, 
etc. It is concerned with financial stability and with return on 
investment. It appeals to the mass understanding by means of 
quick impressions and pointed attacks. It has its place most par- 
ticularly in a society such as ours, where art forms are quickly 
adapted for commercial purposes. 

Fine art implies that some eternal and timeless truth has been 
born, either in the soul of the artist or in the ability of the in- 
terpreter. It suggests a close communion with the Infinite, with 
beauty and with truth; it provides a glimpse of "something far 
more deeply interfused,' ' that "presence that disturbs me with 
the joy of elevated thoughts." 

Our point is that the outdoor drama, as it is conceived and 
carried on in Chapel Hill by the University, is the one art form 
in America today which embodies all these three conceptions of 
art. It is folk art in that it is built mainly upon the manners, 
customs, beliefs, and ideals of the more primitive American past, 
in that it glorifies the basic elements of our national or regional 
culture, and seeks to preserve and promulgate the history and 
traditions of certain areas of our national life. It is commercial 
art, in that it produces dividends, in that it sells, in that it brings 
money into North Carolina. Consider for a moment that each 
tourist who visits an area will spend an average of $15 a day, 
and bear in mind that Manteo, Cherokee, and Boone each year 
bring about 250,000 people into this state — that means about 
half a million dollars in box office receipts, but it also means a 
minimum of about four million dollars a year in tourist trade. 
More far-reaching than this, it means that a quarter of a million 

220 The North Carolina Historical Review 

people each year become more and more acquainted with the 
state of North Carolina as they drive along our highways, stop 
overnight in our towns, and get acquainted with the Tar Heel 
way of life. 

As fine art, the outdoor drama is now coming into its own. 
Last summer Brooks Atkinson, of the New York Times, stated 
that the one thing he most appreciated in this kind of theater 
was the sense of intellectual integrity which pervades the out- 
door plays; slick and sophisticated works of modern drama too 
often neglect to say anything lasting, or to leave the audience 
with any tangible thought which might be remembered later. In 
the outdoor theater there is a conscious effort to present char- 
acters, scenes, and ideas which are based on fundamental and 
timeless truths — the basic relationship of man to man, of race to 
race, of nation to nation — to portray ideals which have brought 
light and hope into the world since the dawn of man, such things 
as honesty, loyalty, kindness, reverence, love of the land. Tech- 
nically speaking, it is our responsibility to keep these ideals 
from appearing melodramatic and trite; we feel, however, that 
if we err in the direction of sentimentality, we are better off than 
if we err in the direction of abstract fatalism, or unintelligible, 
super-sophisticated verbiage, or toward the present predilection 
for synthetic sexual extravagance. In other words, we believe 
firmly in the existence of God, and we do not feel that saying so 
makes us sentimental or old-fashioned or unartistic. 

When Shakespeare was writing his famous history plays, elab- 
orating on the earlier times and traditions of the English people, 
he used various heroes : Prince Hal, Philip Faulconbridge, Henry 
IV, and many others — but as the student of literature knows, 
the real hero of Shakespeare's history plays was England her- 
self. So, in our outdoor dramas the real hero is America. What- 
ever we say, whatever era we select for the drama, and what- 
ever people we put on the stage, the final hero is America. We 
find buried deep in the American past a great wealth of ideals 
and attitudes which, although they are often ignored and forgot- 
ten, were in reality the very forces which shaped the American 
dream ; and it is these forces which concern us. At Manteo one 
sees the driving urge for religious and social freedom, the urge 
to explore and build, to open the wilderness. At Cherokee one 

The Outdoor Historical Drama 221 

sees the desperate struggle of a primitive people to maintain its 
dignity and its national honor in the face of westward expansion 
by a stronger people. At Boone there is the problem of American 
men and women who in 1776 had to make up their minds, once 
and for all, whether to follow their mother country or to set out 
upon a great revolution and break all ties with their past. 

Throughout each of these plays there is, we hope, an earnest 
devotion to America as it was originally conceived. Where our 
government or its representatives have shown weakness or in- 
decision or actual error, we make no effort to minimize or color- 
up such errors, because we feel that the lesson of America's 
birth and growth is important in the world today, and because we 
feel it is important to show what America is. We sometimes feel 
that if the world must depend on our inventive genius, our 
international trade, our military policies, or our vast material 
picture for its concept of this country, the impression will be a 
false one. Somewhere in the world of our time we must show 
America as it really is : the devotion to freedom and democracy, 
the belief in the dignity of man, the sense of fair play, and above 
all the great American ability to laugh at itself. 

There are many kinds of truth, many concepts of what truth 
is ; and too often a thing which by one standard is truth may by 
another equally appropriate standard be only half-truth, or even 
dangerous untruth. There is scientific truth ; there is situational 
truth; there is ultimate truth. From the situational standpoint 
we can easily justify war and international slaughter. From the 
scientific standpoint truth may consist in constant and ever 
increasing pursuit of material progress. From the standpoint 
of ultimate truth, however, neither war nor material progress 
is worthy of the whole energy of man. What will help to make 
mankind reach ultimate perfection in all ways, what will estab- 
lish and maintain the most permanent and dignified peace of 
mind for all mankind, what will most quickly and effectively 
bring about the kingdom of God on earth, these are the roads to 
ultimate truth. 

In the outdoor drama we make a very earnest effort to seek 
ultimate truth. Of course, the dramatist, like any other artist, has 
no business preaching to his audience. What he can inject of his 
own personal beliefs and ideals must be injected unobtrusively. 

222 The North Carolina Historical Review 

However, they must be injected. Art which divorces itself en- 
tirely from human experience will ultimately wither and die, 
because it has no ultimate meaning. For art to be a part of 
human experience it must deal with eternal verities. And it must 
have the courage to speak the whole truth. 

When you sit in the Mountainside Theatre in the Great 
Smokies, in the Boone Theatre in the Blue Ridge, or in the Water- 
side Theatre on the dunes of the Atlantic Coast, remember that 
the efforts of the writers, the producers, the directors, and the 
actors all have been primarily to say, for the benefit of this age, 
the things which we believe are part and parcel of our heritage, 
so that audiences may find not only guidance and suggestion and 
reminder, but also inspiration. Two hundred years ago the whole 
theme of the outdoor drama was notably expressed by Bishop 
Berkeley : 

Whatever the world thinks, he who hath not much meditated 
upon God, the human mind, and the highest good, may possibly 
make a thriving earthworm, but he will most indubitably make a 
sorry patriot and a sorry statesman. 

By LeGette Blythe 

On a disheveled sofa in my upstairs workroom at home — 
which before this august assemblage no doubt I should call a 
studio couch in my study — are several stacks of books varying 
in size, binding, and type of jacket, and even more so, in content 
and style of writing. 

In the aggregate these books constitute the 1952 offering for 
the Mayflower Cup; in the various stacks they represent my 
effort to classify them into certain rather definite groups, as for 
instance, those principally in the field of history, those relating 
generally to religion, those in the category of criticism, and so on. 

At first I had in mind listing these books by groups, but now I 
don't think that's a very good idea. In the first place, several 
of the authors doubtless would declare that I had put them in the 
wrong stalls. (Again I am using language that may grate upon 
the ears of this Raleigh-assembled choicest flowering of North 
Carolina's literarily and culturally elite, but I'll remind you that 
even literary agents speak of their authors as their stables of 
writers.) Secondly, you would probably contend that I had got a 
number of the books sadly out of place. And lastly, I'm quite 
sure I would agree. In fact, if someone should stir up the stacks 
I have arranged, I don't believe I could put them back the way 
I have them. 

And, ladies and gentlemen, I am very glad it is that way. In 
attempting to group these books, I believe I came upon a most 
happy realization. That is that you cannot divide the 1952 May- 
flower books — or any other year's output of North Carolina 
authors — into severely defined categories. Each stands alone in 
many respects from its fellows. Each is the work of an individual 
seeing things and recording them in his own way. Many resemble 
others, of course, and certainly you can catalogue them roughly 
into the several broad fields of writing. 

They are all non-fiction, for the Mayflower award is now 
limited to non-fiction. But several of the books even have quali- 
ties of fiction. And isn't it still true that to praise a non-fiction 
work's qualities of appeal we say that "it reads like fiction?" 


224 The North Carolina Historical Review 

So I will give you a quick look at the books, generally without 
reference to possible classification. In doing that I face a hazard. 
I was one of the Mayflower Cup judges. I know who won it. 
Consequently, I must do everything possible not to let out the 
secret so that you may be thrilled properly this evening when the 
award is presented. And that makes it difficult for me to give 
as much attention to the winning book as I would like to. I faced 
the same hazard a few years ago when Josephina Niggli's Mexi- 
can Village won the cup. I tried then to keep the signals crossed 
and I'll try to do so today. But I would like to say, without reveal- 
ing the title, that I think the 1952 Mayflower Cup winner a most 
creditable piece of writing. The author should be proud of it. He 
did — or she (I didn't slip on that one!) — a notable job. 

Three times I have been a Mayflower award judge and three 
times I picked the winner. I'm still batting a thousand. I say that 
not boastfully, but to emphasize the fact that frequently the 
judges — and able judges, too — do not agree. Miss Niggli, I 
understand, won all five votes (and without any judge knowing 
how the others were voting), but usually the award is not 
unanimously bestowed. I think that is a tribute to the quality 
of North Carolina writing. 

One other thing I'd like to say. That is to express appreciation 
of every North Carolinian who writes a book. For myself and all 
the other North Carolina authors who have had books published, 
I say that we are greatly thrilled every time a new author is 
announced. Authors like to see other authors arrive and succeed. 
Perhaps that is why professional writers are usually the most 
generous book reviewers. They know too that writing is a dif- 
ficult business. They know that an author, say of historical fic- 
tion, may search for weeks before he discovers some small but 
much-needed fact, as for instance the various kinds of fish in the 
Sea of Galilee 2,000 years ago, and then expend all that research 
in one short sentence over which the reader sails blithely with 
never a second glance at those sorely discovered fish. So you will 
forgive my tendency to overlook shortcomings and to point out 
instead virtues. 

I shall begin with an unusual book, not because its subject is of 
especial interest to this group or conspicuously in evidence dur- 
ing, or descriptive of, Culture Week in Raleigh, but because it's 

N. C. Non-Fiction Works for 1952 225 

first on the list alphabetically: Alcohol, Culture, and Society. 
A good title, no doubt, for many statewide convocations. 

It is a study by Professor Clarence H. Patrick of Wake Forest 
College and a publication of Duke University Press. Bound in 
bright red, it has a jacket in morning-after blue with the title 
encircled by a wreath of tall tumblers, cocktail glasses, mugs, bot- 
tles, flagons, steins, and demijohns. Alcohol, Dr. Patrick points 
out, has been the subject of countless discussions, sermons, lec- 
tures, scoldings, not to say 100,000 books, papers and pamphlets. 
In adding one more book to this avalanche he develops his theme 
that culture is perhaps the most important factor involved in the 
use of alcoholic beverages. Having set out his cultural approach, 
he discusses in turn drinking customs from the Stone Age to the 
Atomic Age, why mankind uses alcoholic beverages, and their 
effects upon him and he then sets forth suggestions toward con- 

In his quick look at drinking customs of the ages he quotes a 
paragraph that I feel should not be overlooked in any discussion 
relating to the Mayflower Cup award. 

"In the small cargo which the Mayflower carried was a supply 
of liquor for our Pilgrim Fathers," says Dr. Patrick. "Accord- 
ing to the records, the ship Arabella, which brought Governor 
Winthrop to Massachusetts Bay, had among its supplies the fol- 
lowing: '42 tuns of beer, 14 tuns of water!' (Notice the beer is 
exactly three times the water. And I hasten to explain that tun — 
tun and not ton was a great cask holding 252 gallons) '1 hogs- 
head of vinegar, 2 hogsheads of cider and 4 pumps for water and 
beer/ " 

Dr. Patrick's work, as I said, is a Duke University Press book. 
It is significant, I think, that so many of the 1952 Mayflower 
books are products of university presses. Other university press- 
es represented are those of the University of North Carolina, 
Princeton, and the University of Wisconsin; and the related 
University of North Carolina Library also presents a volume 
in the competition, Professor Richard Walser's highly readable 
short biography of Inglis Fletcher and discussion of her novels, 
with emphasis upon the Carolina series through "Bennett's 
Welcome." Here I would like to pause a moment to express the 
appreciation of the writers of North Carolina for the work 

226 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Dick Walser has been doing through the years to give emphasis 
to Tar Heel writing, including his anthology of North Carolina 
poetry and his forthcoming volume on North Carolina authors. 
His Inglis Fletcher of Bandon Plantation is another contribution 
in that field. 

The books by university presses, in fact, might be grouped for 
discussion. In a sense they are all studies, most of them "pro- 
fessor" books, a term that has come to include everything from 
a rather dull dissertation on a subject of small general interest 
to a very lively volume done in entertaining fashion and develop- 
ing a subject both important and unique. 

Let me list the other books published by university presses : 

Professor Paull Franklin Baum's The Other Harmony of Prose 
is a study of prose rhythm in English in which this Duke profes- 
sor of English is concerned in the main with outlining for read- 
ers interested in prose style the general principles of a subject 
about which little is known but many glib words are spoken. 

Daily Living in the Twelfth Century, by Professor Urban T. 
Holmes, Jr., of the University of North Carolina, published by 
the University of Wisconsin Press, is a veritable storehouse of 
information on mediaeval man — the houses he lived in, what 
he wore and ate, how he moved about, how he entertained him- 
self, the schools he attended, his day-to-day life. But it is not 
simply a compilation of information, a source book for the his- 
torical novelist to gloat over once he has come upon it. It is a 
book in its own right, a highly readable volume as well as one 
lavishly documented, a book any university press — or any other 
publisher — might be proud to have on its list. 

The Princeton University Press book is Mr. Justice Suther- 
land, by Joel Francis Paschal, a Raleigh attorney, a straight- 
forward, liberally documented biography of George Sutherland, 
member of the United States Supreme Court from 1922 to 1938, 
stalwart defender of the old order, resolute anchor man of the 
court's right wing. Mr. Paschal has pictured with objectivity the 
man described by James Bryce as "the living voice of the Consti- 
tution" and in doing so has provided likewise interesting views of 
the various presidents in office during Mr. Justice Sutherland's 
long career. 

N. C. Non-Fiction Works for 1952 227 

Four of the volumes were published by the University of North 
Carolina Press. Three of these are similar in that they are 
studies ; they are entirely unlike in content. Revolutionary Jus- 
tice, by James Logan Godfrey, is one of the James Sprunt studies 
in history and political science. It is a detailed, lavishly annotated 
examination of the organization, personnel, and procedure of the 
Paris Tribunal, 1793-1795. This volume, of much interest to 
students of that period, is likewise a gold mine of information 
for the writer of historical novels of the time of the French 
Revolution — I might point out to any interested colleague. 

Browning and America is a study of the poet, as the title sug- 
gests, and his discovery of and by the United States and particu- 
larly this nation's literati of that era. Louise Greer, the author, 
a native of Virginia teaching at East Carolina College, uses much 
fresh material in developing a new story of the spread into many 
sections of America of a Browning cult that saw the organiza- 
tion of Browning clubs and societies, and the volume has the 
added value of providing a comprehensive listing of Browning's 
American publications. 

Charles S. Mangum, Jr., of Chapel Hill is author of the third 
of these studies, titled The Legal Status of the Tenant Farmer 
in the Southeast. Mr. Mangum, author of The Legal Status of the 
Negro, sl University of North Carolina Press book published in 
1940, once again has completed an exhaustive study, this one of 
the landlord-tenant relationship with particular emphasis upon 
the rights and obligations of the landowner, the tenant, the 
sharecropper, the merchant, the mortgage-holder. Of somewhat 
limited interest, the volume nevertheless will be of tremendous 
use to lawyers, agricultural economists, legislators, sociologists, 
and others interested in the problems of the tenant farmer in 
our region. 

The fourth of the University of North Carolina Press books, 
however, is unique. It is Graveyard of the Atlantic, by David 
Stick, with illustrations by his father, Frank Stick. The Sticks, 
who live down on the North Carolina coast, have produced this 
book of materials found in their very front yard. Graveyard of 
the Atlantic is the story of treacherous Hatteras and the many 
ships that have been wrecked in the dangerous shoal waters 
there and at other places along the North Carolina coast. 

228 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Sticks have done a tremendous job of research and the 
book deserves the compliments it has received. Factual and pack- 
ed with information, it is at the same time a very readable 
book, one filled with stories of heroism, mystery, thrilling rescue, 
tragedy, suspense, terror, even humor. It is the type of book 
that can be read over long periods, a story or two at a time. The 
stories are not long and are well written, each of the short story 
type, and the elder Stick's drawings add much to development 
of the atmosphere. 

Amazing to many readers will be the fact that losses in the 
vicinity of Hatteras have been staggering, particularly during 
World War II when Nazi submarines almost every day, and 
sometimes several times in one day, were sending American 
ships and their very valuable cargoes to the bottom. A list of 
lost ships, from the earliest days to the compiling of the book, 
with the dates on which they went down, demonstrates the im- 
pressiveness of the research that preceded the writing of this 

But I must be moving along. 

One unusual fact about this year's competition, I noticed, 
is that only three of the books were published by regular pub- 
lishing houses. Quite a number were actually manufactured in 
North Carolina. 

Top Secrets of Successful Selling: Thought Plus Action is the 
title of one of the three, written by a topflight Raleigh insurance 
salesman, Jack Wardlaw, who for the last five years has sold 
$1,000,000 worth of life insurance or more each year and for 
that reason should be equipped to produce a how-to book. It is 
published by Wilfred Funk. 

The other two deal with subjects relating to religion: Both 
have been well publicized and the critics generally have praised 
them. The first I will mention is You Can Believe, subtitled 
A Lawyer's Brief for Christianity. Professor Frank Hanft of 
the University of North Carolina's law school in recent years has 
been increasingly disturbed by the effects that scientific material- 
ism has been having, or certainly seems to have been having, 
upon religious faith and thought. So he began giving lectures on 
the case, as a lawyer sees it, for religion and the Christian way. 
The book grew out of the lectures. Bobbs-Merrill published it. 

N. C. Non-Fiction Works for 1952 229 

Is there in this modern day of scientific advancement — if we 
may rightfully call it advancement — an arguable case for the 
existence of God, for the Christian view of life? Can one be a 
modern intellectual and a believer? Mr. Hanft says yes, and he 
presents the case as a lawyer would do it. He advances the 
arguments for atheism "with which the village unbeliever has 
plagued the faithful" and then proceeds methodically to develop 
the case for religion. Man is not what he thinks he is, says 
Professor Hanft, but what he thinks, he is. Consequently, the 
purpose of his book, says he, is to help the modern intelligent 
reader, the reader who already knows that a collection of min- 
erals, perhaps altogether not as large as a baseball when brought 
together under certain conditions, possesses sufficient power to 
thrust an ocean's surface a mile in diameter thousands of feet 
into the air — to help this reader face and accept religious truths. 

The professor has no apology for belief in God, for his accept- 
ance of Jesus as the Son of God, for his declaration that "in the 
conflict between Christianity and Materialism the danger . . . 
is not that Christianity will be lost but that men will be." The 
more intellectual one becomes the more logically one looks upon 
the world about him and ponders the unseen world, the profes- 
sor reasons, the more surely is one led to the Christian belief in 
God's power, intelligence, justice, and love, and to comprehend 
Christianity itself as "the completion of religion." 

The Papacy: A New Appraisal is the second of these two vol- 
umes. John P. McKnight is a native of Shelby, a former news- 
paperman and for years a world-roving correspondent of the 
Associated Press. He went to Rome and a personal acquaintance- 
ship with Pope Pius XII and other great figures of the Catholic 
church and with literally hundreds of books, pamphlets, and peri- 
odicals for the material out of which he compounded what his 
publishers, Rinehart, describe as a "unique book which ex- 
plains — as no other book on the subject has — the papacy and its 
impact and influence on the modern world." 

As a North Carolinian of Presbyterian heritage Mr. McKnight 
set himself a hard task "to study the influence of the Roman 
Church and her papacy, and especially of the present pope, on 
our times" and do it with as much objectivity as possible. That 
he has succeeded remarkably well and at the same time produced 

230 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a book both informative and readable is the general verdict — and 
this volume of all those in the competition has received the largest 
share of book page notice. 

The first section, which constitutes about two-thirds of the 
study, develops background material into which, as Elizabeth 
and Edward Graham in the Greensboro Daily News express it, 
"a little bit of everything seems to have found its way . . . the 
antiquity of worship, the warfare of science and religion, Chris- 
tianity in crisis and in recovery, manifestations of modern re- 
ligious fervor, the appeal of Catholicism, and a condensed history 
of the papacy. And everybody seems to get into the act, from 
Plato and Pithecanthropus Erectus to Louis Budenz and Billy 
Graham." But, as the Grahams agree, "it is good stuff withal" 
and helpful to an understanding of the second part, which to my 
mind is the most interesting as well as the most valuable. 

In this section Mr. McKnight carefully pictures Eugenio Pacel- 
li, by any measuring one of the world's great men, by general 
agreement a truly good man, of whom an American Protestant 
journalist recently wrote: "No one can question his piety, good- 
ness, humility, charity, self-sacrifice and other characteristics 
which go to make up a saint." In this part he discusses the 
papacy in relationship to world order, fascism, communism, and 
American democracy, giving particular attention to the fast- 
strengthening alliance of Catholicism and the democracy of the 
western world in their struggle against world communism. 

The book is thoroughly annotated and indexed and a compre- 
hensive bibliography of books and articles studied is provided. 
In fact, Mr. McKnight has developed out of an amazing chore 
of research an important contribution to American writing in 

Two of the books remaining for consideration might be group- 
ed in the religious field, though strictly speaking one is the 
autobiography of a religious leader and the other is the biography 
of a denomination within a particular section with emphasis upon 
two churches. 

The first is Dr. Marion Timothy Plyler's Through Eight De- 
cades. It is the story of this distinguished Methodist minister, 
editor and author, his early struggles to get a start in the dis- 

N. C. Non-Fiction Works for 1952 231 

couraging days of the fearful Reconstruction era, his schooling 
at old Trinity College, his score of years as a minister and the 
succeeding two decades as editor of the North Carolina Christian 
Advocate. A story interestingly related, it provides much valu- 
able information on North Carolina during the long period of 
his contribution to its advancement. 

Northampton Parishes, by Henry Wilkins Lewis, is the other 
book, an illustrated volume recording the history of the Anglican 
church in Northampton County in three principal divisions : the 
church in the colonial period, the Church of the Savior at Jack- 
son, and St. Luke's Church at Gaston. Written after long and 
patient research, this volume is a readable chapter in the record- 
ed story of North Carolina. 

Three of the five remaining volumes are local histories and of 
great value to the communities whose stories they record. History 
of Rutherford County, 1937-1951 is a continuation of Clarence 
W. Griffin's History of Old Tryon and Rutherford Counties, 
1750-1936 and deals in considerable detail with World War II 
activities of that section. Included is a list of the county's par- 
ticipants in that war. 

R. L. Stowe, Sr. of Belmont in his Early History of Belmont 
and Gaston County provides among many interesting facts a 
picture of the beginning of the textile industry in Gaston, which 
has grown to be the principal textile manufacturing county in 
the nation. 

Wheels of Faith and Courage, by Mary Green Matthews and 
M. Jewell Sink, with a foreword by Thomasville's famous writing 
son, Gerald W. Johnson, is a comprehensive review of that enter- 
prising municipality's century and a quarter of history since its 
founding by John Warwick Thomas. It would be fortunate if 
every community could have such a book done to preserve in 
readily accessible form the more interesting and important 
segments of its rounded story. 

At the beginning of World War II young men from every part 
of the nation began to train at Seymour Johnson Field near 
Goldsboro. Thousands came, and with them their wives and 
children, and countless sweethearts, journeyed to Goldsboro. 
Mrs. Blanche Egerton Baker and her husband, who lived in 
Goldsboro, made a home for many of these wives and children. 

232 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Some stayed a few days, some remained for months. Out of her 
experiences with them she wrote her book, "Mrs. G. I. Joe." The 
volume is a chatty, pleasant series of stories about these young 
people, their daily doings and small talk. It is material for a 
novel — or many of them — should she decide later to try fiction. 

I come now to the last book, written by my nearest writing 
neighbor, Professor Chalmers Davidson of Davidson College, 
who chose as subject of his latest volume in his series of biogra- 
phies of Carolinians the Revolutionary soldier for whom David- 
son College and counties in North Carolina and Tennessee were 
named. General William Lee Davidson, killed at Cowan's Ford 
in Mecklenburg County, February 1, 1781, in resisting the ad- 
vance of Cornwallis, was one of the notable partisan generals in 
the War of the Revolution and perhaps the best known of North 
Carolina's fighting men, and yet the present book, Piedmont 
Partisan, is the first full-length biography of the general. 

Chalmers Davidson, a descendant of Major John Davidson, 
cousin of the general, has done much research in the period of 
the Revolution. Previously he has published a short biography of 
Major John Davidson. His searching has brought to light or back 
into focus much material that helps our generation to appreciate 
the stature of those men in this region who contributed to the 
establishment of the nation. In doing this, he deserves — as do 
all, in my opinion, who produce such works — much commenda- 
tion. Often books of this type are factual and dull. Some his- 
torians, I am tempted to say, seem to measure a historical work's 
importance by its dullness — but not Professor Davidson. The 
book is entertaining and at times lighted with the author's humor. 
It is lavishly annotated, has a critical bibliography, a bibliogra- 
phy of primary and secondary sources, an appendix containing 
the will of William Lee Davidson and members of his family, 
and an index. 

I wish to add one other observation. Several of the 1952 May- 
flower Cup books have had excellent critical notes and some have 
had good sales. Some received little notice and the sales, no doubt, 
were disappointing. But all, I maintain, have contributed to the 
advancement of writing in North Carolina and thereby to the 
progress of our state. To each of the authors I say, "Don't stop 
with this one. Keep writing." After all, the next one may sell a 
million. It might even win the 1953 Mayflower Cup. 




Edited by John L. Sanders 


Chapel Hill January. Monday 10 th 1842 
It gives me great pleasure to return once more to the seat of 
learning where I shall have to undergo the bitters and sweets of 
another Collegiate session. I hope I shall enjoy the present ses- 
sion much more agreeable than I did the last one. I am determined 
nothing shall interrupt my studies I am going to devote myself 
assiduously to the study of the law. I arrived here on the 7 th of 
this month had my room secured and every thing fixed for the 
commencement of the Session The first two days I read Todds 
manual 1 with a great deal of delight. Most of the students have re- 
turned, no new ones hardly, every one complains of the scarcity 
of money. The prospects of the session seem to be fair. The Gov- 
ernor beseeches us to study hard Constitutional law. Our class 
recited this fore noon the twentieth lecture of Kent's Commen- 
taries This afternoon Professor Greene set our class to studying 
of the Prosody of the English Grammar, which I think is a very 
fine thing — most of the class seem to hoot at it. Those who know 
least always make the most fuss. I have read over to night the 
first chapter in third Blackstone — it is divided into a great many 
heads. I hope to read this volume with a great deal of pleasure. 
[34] I spent my vacation pincipally in fox hunting and riding 
over the neighborhood, read but little The democratic convention 
was held in Raleigh to day for the purpose of selecting some 
suitable man to run for our next Governor upon the democratic 
ticket (it is thought that Lewis D Henry of Fayetteville will be 
the man) I arrived here on the Hill with only forty five cents 
in my pocket. Brother James sent some money by Prof Roberts 
to me so I will get that tomorrow. 

Un. . of N. C. Tuesday January 11 th 1842 
This morning the weather was cloudy and rainy I attended 
prays-read Kents Commentaries until breakfast, at eleven oclock 
we recited to the President upon the same in the evening recited 
upon the first seventy five lines in Horace's Art of Poetry to 
Prof. Hooper. 2 The Gover [n] or takes great delight in imparting 

1 John Todd, The Student's Manual; Designed, by Specific Directions, to Aid in the Form- 
ing and Strengthening the Intellectual and Moral Character and Habits of the Student 
(Northampton: J. H. Butler, 1835). 

2 John DeBerniere Hooper (1811-1886), first honor man of the class of 1831, had been a 
tutor at the University, 1831-1833, and professor of modern languages, 1836-1838. At this 
time, he occupied the chair of Latin language and literature. After leaving the University 
in 1848, he was principal of classical schools in Warren County and in Fayetteville, and of 
the Wilson Collegiate Seminary for Young Ladies. Battle, Sketches, 79, 81, 149; Battle, 
History, I, 338, 437. 


234 The North Carolina Historical Review 

good and useful information to the Senior Class. He is a man of 
great learning and wisdom, and much to be admired. Chief Justice 
Wirt 3 once said "I desire popularity but it is that which follows 
a man and is not run after." Senator Mangum 4 said in his recent 
speech before congress the people need not expect any relief from 
the government he ought to have told them that [35] before the 
election of Harrison. Our country is in a lamentable situation and 
there is no telling when the times will become better. When I was 
at home all my folks seemed to take great interest in my welfare 
and when I came off the neighbors that I saw gave me a hearty 
shake & wished me good luck, this was very consoling to my 
melancholy feelings. Good many of my folks think I have a strong 
notion of going to see Harriet Lockhart but I have not nor never 
have had, nor neither do I intend— she is an amiable girl [and] 
would make a smart spouse but she would not [suit] me. I think 
myself she rather expects for me to court her. If I was a graduate 
now I should not be prepared to marry. I have finished to day 
the perusal of Todd's Manual with much pleasure, it gives ex- 
cellent advice to every young man — my reading this session will 
be chiefly Blackstone. it takes a man of undaunted courage ever 
to think to make himself a distinguished lawyer, for myself I am 
discouraged with it a ready but I mean to give it a fair shake. 
Hug[h]es is up here selling his books at his accustomed high 

[36] University of N C January Wednesday 12 th 1842 

This day has been a beautiful one. I tended prays and recitation 
regularly through the day. We have had Chemistry all day. Dr 
Mitchel told the class several very fine anecdotes, that the Egyp- 
tian Mummies were formerly used as medicine to give to sick 
people, a small piece was considered as a sure remedy for almost 
any disease. The Jews made the same use of dead persons He 
said an eminent physician at Paris in France told the people if 
they new the value of urine that it would make them groan to see 
a drop lost. At twelve oclock I received through the hands of Prof. 
Roberts twenty dollars which Brother James gave to him in 
smithfield on last Saturday to bring to me I stand in need of 
some money now very much My expenses through College will 
be something between fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars. 5 

3 William Wirt (1772-1834), of Virginia, was United States Attorney General, 1817-1829, 
and presidential candidate on the anti-Masonic ticket in 1832. Dictionary of American 
Biography, XX, 418-421. 

4 Willie Person Mangum (1792-1861), an 1815 graduate of the University, represented 
North Carolina in the United States Senate, 1831-1837, 1841-1847, and 1848-1853. Daniel 
Lindsey Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (Durham: Christian & 
King, 1924), 410. 

5 The University Catalogue for 1841, in the vein of optimism common to such publica- 
tions, estimates annual expenses for each student as follows: 


Room rent 

Servant hire 


Board for 40 weeks, 

at $8 to $11, per month 
Bed and Washing 

Catalogue . . . 18H, 17. Total from $161 [to] $195' 



















Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 235 

When I shall make the money back I cannot tell. I purchased for 
the Phi Society the North American Almanac to day from Huges. 
No news from the Democratic convention yet. Miss Nancy Hil- 
liard has not so many boarders this session as last 
[37] January Thursday 13 th 1842 

I have been very punctual in my college duties to day At 
eleven oclock the senior class recited to the President upon consti- 
tutional law. At twelve, our class recited to him upon the first 
Chapter in third Blackstone, the class is composed of the follow- 
ing Members Bridgers, Caldwell, 6 Hunt, Mullins and Myself. The 
class recited well. An anecdote of his I will relate in the back 
part of this Journal This evening the class recited latin, Hooper 
took us upon prosody there was scarcely a man who said a word 
correctly. Lewis D Henry was nominated by the Democratic con- 
vention to run for our next governor. I wish him success but he 
has a great many political sins to answer for. To night I have read 
news papers and other miscellaneous works. I feel dull and drowsy. 
I like [lack] exercise 

On the 14 th of December, in about 24 hours from the time of 
his usual health, he expired, in the sixty-eight year of his age. 7 
[38] C Hill January 14 th 1842 Friday 

To day I have attended regularly to prays and recitations The 
class recited to Prof. Mitchel upon Chemistry at eleven (Chlorine 
was the lesson) In the afternoon we recited to Prof Roberts the 
first three pages in La Henriade 8 second Canto. To night the 
Society met at the usual hour no business before the house 
standing committees were appointed for the session. I had some 
resolutions passed relative to the death of Willis H. McLeod. 9 
I have written them off and sent them down to the Register for 
publication. 10 The subject for next night's discussion reads as 
follows which is more preferable a private or a public education 
The two Societies have unanimously abolished the publication of 
any addresses hereafter and likewise abolished the Alumni ad- 

6 James Augustus Caldwell (1820-1876), A.B., 1842; Morganton; planter; member of the 
General Assembly. Battle, Sketches, 105. 

7 Perhaps President George Washington. 

8 Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire, La Henriade. 

9 "Whereas it has been announced to us that since we last assembled here our friend and 
brother Willis H. McLeod, who has but lately left his accustomed seat in this Hall, hath gone 
down to the grave leaving a wide and bereaved circle of friends plunged in the deepest 
mourning : and whereas it is right and fitting that we who were his former friends and 
associates and thus alike the witnesses of his tallents and the sharers of his gentle kindness 
of heart should offer some testimonial of our former regard, and our present grief: 

"Be it therefore unanimously Resolved that it is with the profoundest sorrow we have 
received the melancholy intelligence of his death and though we have some consolation in 
the assurance that he has gone to a purer and better world we cannot refrain from dropping 
a tear of regret at his untimely fate. 

"Be it further resolved that we will fondly cherish the memory of those abilities and 
virtues which we had hoped to see rendering him pride of his friends, an ornament to our 
association and an honour to our Alma Mater, and that we most deeply sympathize with 
those upon whom this despensation of Divine Providence has inflicted such an appalling 

"Resolved that we will wear crape on the left arm for thirty days as a public token of 
our grief and that a copy of these resolutions be furnished to his afflicted family and to the 
Raleigh Register with a request for their publication. 

R. W. Tomlinson Auct." 
Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, January 14, 1842. McLeod had died 
on December 22, 1841, at "Buena Vista," his home in Johnston County. North Carolina 
Standard (Raleigh), January 5, 1842. 

10 Tomlinson's resolutions on McLeod's death appear in full in the Raleigh Register and 
North Carolina Gazette, January 18, 1842. 

236 The North Carolina Historical Review 

or two. He is a man of great reputation. He is an eloquent preach- 
preacher) who is sent on here by the Pennslyvania bible Society. 
He is a young man aged about 21 years. He has written a poem 
dress altogether This was recommended by the board of trustees 
Our Society have spent 1400 hundred dollars for their publication 
without receiving one dollar's worth for remuneration. I spoke 
in favor of its being abolished — very little discussi [on] n There 
being no further business before the house the Society adjourned, 
to meet on next Friday night. 
[39] University of N C January Saturday 15 th 1842 

From prays I went to the P.. Office and took out a New York 
Review. After breakfast I wrote some notices that there would 
be an election held in the Chapel for an orator for the 22 nd of 
February. Read Blackstone until twelve. The students assembled 
in the Chapel the election was held and resulted in favor of R 
Cambel — he resigned an other election was held and resulted in 
favor of his brother J B Cambell 12 — he resigned, an other elec- 
tion was held and resulted in favor of Thomas J Morisey 13 who 
has accepted. He is vain enough to have accepted any thing. John 
Mares 14 was elected Marshal. 15 The managers for the ball were 
likewise elected. 16 I have commenced reading the life of Aaron 
Burr. As far as I have read I think it to be a very ably written 
work and does great honor to the author, but before I finish it I 
may have reason to change my mind. I think I will write a piece 
about the university and have it published in some paper during 
this session. To night I have been engaged principally in con- 
versation and upon various subjects with different students. I 
am at a loss what to read to the best advantage and how to ac- 
cumulate knowledge to the best advantage. A great deal depends 
upon my this session's devotion to study. 
[40] Chapel Hill January Sunday 16 th 1842 

We had prays at the usual hour. The morning was beautiful. 
At eleven we had preaching by the Rev Mr Deems 17 (Methodist 

11 The Alumni Address was regularly delivered before the members of the two societies on 
Wednesday night of Commencement week. The societies alternated in choosing a prominent 
alumnus of the University to speak on these occasions. By joint resolution the Di and Phi 
discontinued the publication of these addresses, except in special cases, as the Board of 
Trustees had refused to assume responsibility for the cost of printing them. Tomlinson 
signed the report of the joint Di-Phi committee on the subject. Proceedings of the Philan- 
thropic Society, 1840-1844, January 14, 1842. 

12 James Williamson Campbell (1820-1844), A.B., 1842; Marengo, Alabama; lawyer. Battle, 
Sketches, 106. 

13 Thomas Junius Morisey (b. 1818), A.B., 1842, A.M., 1845; Clinton; lawyer, planter; 
member of the General Assembly. Battle, Sketches, 182. 

14 John London Meares, A.B., 1843; Wilmington; physician. Battle, Sketches, 177. 

15 Battle notes that "As the Chief Marshall was elected out of the Junior Class by all 
the students there was generally active electioneering, sometimes lasting for two years or 
more. As treating to ardent spirits was fashionable everywhere in the country, there was no 
lack of it here. It was a serious evil. Libations were offered to secure victory and then to 
celebrate it. Sometimes the quantity furnished was the cause of a general spree. One Marshall, 
on account of his wealth, natural generosity and determination to win, left the University 
two thousand dollars in debt. Such results of universal suffrage led to the election of a 
Junior by the Senior class by order of the Trustees." Battle, History, I, 569. 

16 The Chief Ball Manager was elected by all the students, and he in turn appointed three 
assistants from each Society. Battle, History, I, 570. 

17 Charles Force Deems (1820-1893), came to North Carolina as an agent of the American 
Bible Society in 1840. Appointed Adjunct Professor of Rhetoric and Logic in 1842, he re- 
mained at the University for eight years. Professor of Natural Sciences at Randolph-Macon 
College, 1848 to 1849, Deems returned to North Carolina in 1850 to assume the presidency of 
Greensboro Women's College, which he held until 1854. A Methodist minister of considerable 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 237 

er. He looks quite childish in the pulpit He commanded the whole 
attention of the house while preaching. In the afternoon we had 
a bible lesson in the 20, 21, 22 Chapters of Exodus. The Governor 
gave us a most excellent discourse upon the [chapters ?] He told 
us the resemblance between the Decalogue and the Twelve Tables 
of the romans. He tried to impress upon us the importance of 
studying the bible. To night I have read over the tenth lecture in 
Kent. The work upon the whole is very well written. 
[41] U.. of N C January Monday 17 th 1842 

I was at prays before sunrise. Read Blackstone until breakfast. 
After breakfast prepared the Governor's lesson He said that 
Nova Scotia was settled by emigrants from England. The New 
England States by the Puritans New York by the Duch, Pennsyl- 
vania by the Quakers, Virginia by the Cavalliers, North Carolina 
by Rouges and Runaways, Georgia by the Methodists under Ogle- 
thorp and Wesley, Mississippi and the western territory by 
Frenchmen, Louisianna by the Spaniards It seems wonderful to 
me that these people having different religion, speaking different 
Languages, and differing in almost every respect, should have 
confederated together, and fought against Great Britain and 
formed a constitution of their own. It is said that Mr. Jefferson 
wrote the Declaration of Independence after the manner of that 
of the United Netherlands. To read the history of this 
government it is astonishing to see the difficulties under which the 
people labored to obtain their Independence. At twelve our law 
Class recited the second and third chapters of third Blackstone 
to the Governor. This evening the Senior Class recited to Profes- 
sor Greene on Prosody in the English Grammar. 
[42] Un.. of N C January Tuesday 18 th 1842 

I went to prays first thing. At 11 A. M. the senior class recited 
upon the eleventh chapter in Kent, very good lesson and an ex- 
ceedingly interesting one. From eleven until one finished reading 
the life of Aaron Burr. At 4 P. M. we prepared a lesson in 
Horace's Ars Poetica Hooper gave me an insult which I never 
will forget I mean to pay him for it some way or another so sure 
as he is a man. Dr Hanks came up from Pittsboro to day — he lives 
in that place I got acquainted with him some few months agoe 
while down there on a visit to see a certain young lady. In con- 
versation about her he told me what she was worth. She has 
ten negroes worth about four thousand dollars. His opinion is 
that she is rather slovenly. If I knew that I would have nothing 
more to do with her. McLeesa [McClees] got back to night. 

note, Dr. Deems founded the Church of the Strangers in New York City, the American 
Institute of Christian Philosophy, and several other organizations and publications of a 
religious nature. He edited various publications and was author of several books, chiefly 

While at Chapel Hill, Dr. Deems was pastor of the Methodist congregation in the village, 
and occasionally occupied the pulpit at the regular non-sectarian services of the University. 
Of his preaching President Battle writes that he was ". . . the pioneer [in Chapel Hill] 
of discoursing on live subjects ... a preacher of clearness, force and eloquence . . . , his 
manner was simple and unaffected, and his discourses so impressive as not easily to be 
forgotten." Battle, History, I, 516, 517, 519, 548-549; Dictionary of American Biography, V, 

238 The North Carolina Historical Review 

recited a french lesson in La Henriade, it is most elegant french. 
To night the Society met at the usual hour. The supervisor 20 
brought up a report to suspend Barnes 21 and Pew 22 for two 
months, for having disgraced them selves at the last public 
[43] University of N C January Wednesday 19 th 1842 

Prays and recitations regularly all day. Shaved and put on clean 
linen before breakfast. At 9 oclock we had a chenical lecture. Dr 
Hanks went in there with me to hear Dr Mitchel experiment. 
The ladies were all in attendence. Old Mike told no ned [?] 
anecdote this time. Whitaker from Halifax was in there likewise. 
This afternoon we recited to him again. The Rev Mr Deems gave 
us a short discourse in the Chapel to night and likewise two 
members of each class he appointed to collect money from the 
students to aid in sending the Bible to all nations I do not see 
the use in giving the Bible to a man who cannot read. We are all 
Heathens here for the Bible is scarcely ever read by any man in 
College. The people in the Sandwich islands read the Bible more 
than we do taking every thing into consideration. I should like 
to have had the chance to have made a speech against him 
Every damned loafer comes here and throws himself upon the 
liberality of the students. Every man who is not too mean to live 
can buy him a Bible. 18 
[44] University of N C Jan.. Thursday 20 [1842] 

In the morning dressed myself and went to prays. Read Mis- 
celaneous works until breakfast At eleven the senior class 
recited to the Presi [dent] upon constitutional law. At twelve our 
law class recited to him upon the fourth chapter in third volume 
of Chief Justice Blackstone In the evening we recited to Hooper 
upon Horace's Ars Poetica eighty limes. To night I have been 
engaged in reading and writing diffirent things. Received the 
Santard 19 which had the proceedings of the late Democratic Con- 
vention. The meeting was addressed by several distinguished 
Democrats. I see in the last Standard that but nine representa- 
tives are to be sent from this state in future according to the last 
Census. I think six would be a plenty for then we should be more 
likely to get smarter men. 
[45] University of N C Friday January 21 th 1842 

I went to prays and studied chemistry until breakfast Thus 
far I have not been absent from any of my college duties. We had 
a chemical lecture at 9 oclock the ladies were in attendance. At 
eleven we recited to Proffessor Mitchel upon Chemistry. At twelve 
our law Class recited to the Governor the fourth chapter in 3 rd 
Blackstone — the class made a fine recitation. In the afternoon we 

18 The Faculty seems not to have shared Tomlinson's lack of enthusiasm of the establish- 
ment of a Bible society on the campus, for two days later they passed the following 
resolution : 

"Resolved unanimously that the Faculty will contribute annually to the funds of such Bible 
Society as may be constituted and sustained by the Students of the University the requisite 
amount to procure a neat Bible to be presented to each member of the Graduating Class[.]" 
Thus originated the practice, continued to this day, of presenting graduates with Bibles. 
Faculty Journal, 1841-1848, January 21, 1842; Battle, History, I, 475. 

19 The North Carolina Standard, Raleigh, N. C. Weekly. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 239 

down and sat and talked with Miss Nancy and Mrs Utley 26 until 
eight oclock was there introduced to a Greek who has come over 
here to deliver lectures upon Greece Returning to my room read 
law until ten. quit reading and commenced conversation with 
examination — It created an animated discussion between Mullins 
and myself. They were not suspended. Mullins then drew up a 
resolution to revise the law which said suspend them, and if any 
one should come under the law twice, he should be expelled from 
Society In this case, Mullins was the plaintiff and myself the 
defendant, we argued about an hour and a half. It finally resulted 
in my favor 63 against the resolution and five for it. 23 It is now 
killed forever. Mullins and myself cut at each other severely. The 
subject for discussion was very well argued. Thus far we seem 
to be getting along in the Hall very well. 
[46] University of N C Ja n . Saturday 22 nd 1842 

As usual — read Edinburg Review 24 until breakfast The So- 
ciety met at 9 oclock I heard some compos read and some very 
good declamation. There was not much business before the house, 
Society adjourned about half after ten. Between then and dinner 
I read Miscellaneous works. After eating a very hearty dinner 
King of Alabama 25 and myself walk out to Durham's plantation 
and knocked the funnel of a brick chimney down — we romanced 
about until nearly supper when we returned. 

Sunday [January] 23 rd 1842 

Prays and &c. I shaved and dressed myself by breakfast. After 
breakfast read law until time to go to church. The Rev Mr Deems 
preached for us. At four in the afternoon the Senior Class recited 
three chapters in Exodus to the Governor. After supper I went 

20 "The Supervisor shall consider it his general duty to attend to the conduct of the 
members, both as to scholarship and morals, and should he discover any so grossly deficient 
in either as to bring discredit on himself or Society, he shall deliberate with his council on 
what shall appear most proper to be done." Constitution of the Philanthropic Society 
[ca. 1842], The Constitution, Laws and Formulae, Of the Philanthropic Society, Instituted 
in the year of our Lord, 1795, MS in University of North Carolina Library. 

21 John Patterson Barnes. 

22 Whitmell S. Pugh, 1841-1842; Bertie County. Battle, Sketches, 195. 

23 The minutes of the Phi show that the case of Barnes and Pugh was taken up after some 
debate as to the advisability of so doing. The Supervisor's Council, in its report to the 
Society, stated that while there was precedent for letting the offenders off easily, ". . . we 
singly and collectively are opposed to the too prevalent practice of putting precedent before 
law." Although the council did "deeply regret" that they had to take such a course, they 
saw no reasonable alternative but to recommend imposition of the law of the Society, and 
suspend the two men. If the law should not be carried out, the council recommended that 
it be expunged from the by-laws. The first part of the report, relating to the charges, was 
accepted; the latter portion, recommending the suspension of the offenders, was rejected 
by the Society. 

There is no record of Mullin's resolution, nor of the fight which Tomlinson says ensued 
over it. Eventually the quandary of the relative merits of precedent versus the law was 
resolved, in this instance at least, by the simple expedient of expunging the law. Pro- 
ceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1848, January 23 [21], 1842. 

From the earliest years of the societies, they had exercised wide authority over the con- 
duct, scholastic and moral, of their respective members. Over the years, they gradually 
relieved the faculty of most of this burden, particularly as regarded the personal conduct 
of members. Expulsion from one of the societies virtually meant expulsion from the Uni- 
versity, even though the Faculty might not consider the offense in question to be of such 
seriousness as to merit "shipping." Herein lies the historical basis for the extensive 
autonomy which students today enjoy in the supervision of their own lives and the main- 
tenance of law and order in the student community at the University. 

24 The Edinburgh Review, or Critical Journal, Edinburgh. Quarterly. 

^Michael Angelo King, A. B., 1843; Huntsville, Alabama; lawyer. Battle, Sketches, 159. 
26 Mrs. Benton Utley, sister of Miss Nancy Hilliard, assisted the latter in the management 
of the Eagle Hotel. 

240 The North Carolina Historical Review 

several fellows upon various topics. — after this went to my bed 
and had a pleasant night's sleep. 

When I swear by my two black eyes I will 
kill you, you better let me alone 

Praise undeserved is satire in disguise 


[47] University of N C January Monday 24 th 1842 

Very cold weather, fair and windy. I was present at Prays — 
read law until breakfast. — prepared a lesson upon constitutional 
law and recited it to the Go v . at el [e] ven. I received a letter from 
Harry Durham this morning stating that his family were well 
that he had brought three negroes and has fallen in debt $310. 
He says by good luck and strait mule tails he will be able to get 
out of debt next fall. He writes to me for advice to know if I 
think he is competent to discharge the arduous duties of a Briga- 
dier General. I have no difficulty in saying that I believe he is well 
qualified to discharge the duties attached to a Brigadier to the 
satisfaction of every intelligent military man, and moreover that 
he would dispatch them with honor to himself and credit to his 
country. My advice is get the office if he can. He says that his 
folks are nearly done coming to see him he is getting rich so fast. 
He writes that Mr Hobbs are dead and likewise Mrs Jane Walton. 
He speaks of coming up here next commencement. This afternoon 
the Senior Class recited upon Prosody (english) to Professor 
Greene. Mr Castanis a grecian delivered us a lecture upon Greece 
it was very instructive, eloquent and amusing — he exhibited us 
a sword which was once in the possession of Lord Byron. He had 
on the dress of a grecian warrior, it was elegant and costly. He 
speaks several Languages, but does not speak the english very 
distinctly but so as to be understood. He is making of a tour 
through the United States, intends writing out his travels and 
likewise publishing a Greek Grammar. He says he has been 
treated very hospitably by the citizens of U. S. 
[48] South Building No 26 January Tuesday 25 th 1842 

I have not been absent from any of my college duties this ses- 
sion. Read until breakfast — went in the rain — we had a fine 
breakfast — came back and studied constitutional law very hard 
until eleven when we recited to the Go v . Mr Castanis a (Greek) 
delivered us a lecture upon the Odysey, & Iliad, of Homer at 
twelve it was tolerably good This afternoon we recited latin to 
Deberneir Hooper. Mr. Castanis likewise delivered a lecture in the 
Chapel to night I read law until half after eight then went down 
to Miss Nancy's she gave me a good loaf dram, some broiled 
sausages, toast cheese and [I] sat there and talked with her and 
Mrs Utley somtime. I like Miss Nancy and Mrs Utley because 
they are such fine ladies. They are always ready and willing to 
please any of their boarders. The day has been rainy. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 241 

South Building Jan Wednesday 26 th 1842 

The ladies were present at our chemical lecture there were 

but few experiments — the Dr shewed us several minerals. I read 

several articles in the Reviews to day. I have been reading law to 

night severerely. 

[Thursday] January 27 th 1842 
Prays and recitations I attended of course. The Senior Class 
recited upon constitutional law at eleven The lesson was exceed- 
ingly difficult. In the evening finished Horace's Ars Poetica. I read 
in the New York Review to night a criticism upon William Cost 
Johnson's 27 speech upon the distribution of the proceeds of the 
public lands among the several States. It speaks highly both of 
the speech and man Miss Nancy and Mrs Utley about nine 

clock gave me a very fine supper of oysters, toast cheese 
venison ham, buscuit and coffee 

[49] University of N C January Friday 28 th 1842 

This morning the Senior Class recited to Prof Mitchel upon 
Chemistry. The students behave very badly at his recitations, pay 
him but very little respect He admonishes them of their conduct, 
but they reform not. In the evening Gov er . Swain visited me 
borrowed the New York Review. I got him to read me some 
french he is a pretty good french scholar. No man after having 
become acquainted with him can keep from esteeming him. We 
prepared three pages in La Henriade. The Governor was present 
at our recitation. The students behaved so badly that he had to 
dismiss us. The society met at the usual hour. Dr. Hollifield 
(Dentis) 28 joined our society as an itenerant member. He came 
and stayed with me until the Society was prepared to initiate him. 
He told me that he had seen all the big men in Congress. He 
seemed to be very well pleased with our Society. He is making a 
heap of money here. I went with him to his room and he intro- 
duced me to Mr. Parker of Petersburg a merchant. We then went 
in for discussing the distinguished men in Virginia He told me 
that John Y Mason lived in Jerusalem Southhampton Virginia. 

1 then went and ate some good venison ham, cheese, & sausages 
with Miss Nancy and Mrs Utley. Retired to my room read some 
and then went to sleep 

[50] University of N. C. January Saturday 29 th 1842 

This morning after prays I went to the P. Office and received 
an address delivered by Rev H G Lee of Randolph and Macon 
College, one likewise delivered by Mr Cochran of the University 
of Alabama I sent one of Bruce's 29 to each place in retirn From 
9 A.M until eleven, I read Chesterfields letters 30 with the greatest 
pleasure. They should be read by every one, they are written in 

^William Cost Johnson (1806-1860), was a member of Congress from Maryland, 1833- 
1835, and 1837-1843. Biographical Dictionary of the American Congress, 177U-1927, 1157. 

28 See Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, January 28, 1842. 

29 James C. Bruce, An Address Delivered Before the Alumni and Graduating Class of the 
University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, on the Afternoon of June Third, 18A1, by 
James C. Bruce, Esq., of Halifax, Virginia (Raleigh: North Carolina Standard, 1841). 

30 Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, Letters Written by the Late 
Right Honorable Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stan- 
hope, Esq. ... 

242 The North Carolina Historical Review 

such beautiful and elegant language, they contain so much good 
paternal advice, the author himself is a man of such varied at- 
tainments. After dinner read some law, slept awhile and went to 
supper. To night read various things and did about. 
Sunday [January] 30 th 1842 

I went to prays this morning and to my great surprise found 
two dead hogs upon the rostrum and a dead dog in the tutor 
pen which had been killed during the night and placed there for 
the amusement of the students next morning. To the great 
astonishment of the perpetrators the deed was look upon with 
scorn and contempt I was sitting in my window and saw four 
men carry them there, but did not know at the time that was 
what they were doing. The men were Barns of Alabama (Fresh) 31 
McLeese of Tyrel county this State (Junior) 32 Scims of Franklin 
this state (Fresh) 33 Bascoe of Tennessee (Fresh) 34 The suspicion 
has not finally fallen on them, the crime is spoken of as degrading 
to humanity. 35 Professor Greene preached to us at eleve[n] 
oclock. This afternoon recited a bible lesson to the President. To 
night read law like a Clever fellow. The lesson is hard though of 
much importance and interest 
[51] " Chapel Hill Monday January 31 th 1842 

This morning received no news. Read until breakfast prepared 
for eleven o clock a lecture in Kent. Between twelve and one re- 
cited law to Governor Swain lesson quite interesting. To day 
commenced reading of Juvenal. I like to read it very much, better 
than any latin I have ever read. To night devoted myself to 
reading Lord Chesterfield's letter. I think him a great letter 
writing. He was Secretary of State in England while he wrote a 
good many of his letters. In old age he retired from office to 
enjoy otium cum dignitate. This son whom he took much pains to 
educate was illegitimate. He gave him all the advantages that 
England & Germany afforded permitted him to travel over all 
Europe. He never made so great a man as the promises of his 
youth indicated. 

C. H.. Tuesday February 1 th 1842 

No papers nor letters from the office this morning either. Pre- 
pared a lecture in Kent for eleven. Recited upon english Prosody 
this evening to Professor Greene. The lesson was in punctuation. 
Wrote a letter to Harry Durham in answer to one I received from 

31 John Patterson Barnes (1826-1875), student, 1841-1842; Suggsville, Alabama; physician. 
Battle, Sketches, 90. 

32 Joseph McClees. 

33 James B. Sims, A. B., 1843; Louisburg, Franklin County. Battle, Sketches, 208. 

34 Unknown. 

35 The Faculty acted slowly but finally in exacting justice upon at least one of the 
offenders. Their minutes record that: 

"Messrs. R. M. Allison & J. P. Barnes of the Freshman Class were called before the 
Faculty. Evidence having transpired that these two individuals had been engaged in 
two of the most outrageous disorders of the Session, the former in stoning or throwing 
at a window of one of the tutors, and the other in killing and conveying two of Dr. 
Mitchell's hogs into the old Chapel [Person Hall], and both of them being characterized 
by a constant neglect of their studies, and other improprieties, they were unanimously 
dismissed, with the Suggestion that if they felt themselves innocent, they might resort 
to a legal investigation to establish their innocence." 
Faculty Journal, 1841-1848, May 2, 1842. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 243 

him a few days ago. He if he should live will become a wealthy 
man. To night I did not feel much like reading, went to bed about 
ten o clock. I have not visited any of the girls this session but just 
before I leave I think of trying one for the marriage line. She is 
not very pretty but she is one of those whom I call the very sub- 
stantial She would be a fortune to any man. She is one of the 
best educated ladies in the state. She is rather arbitrary in her 
disposition. She wants every one to follow her ipse d[i]xit. 36 
[52] College Wednesday February 2 nd 1842 

No mail on Wednesdays, consequently no news. Read and &c 
until breakfast. At 9 o clock the Senior Class attended lecture 
upon Chemistry, the ladies were present of course. Mr. 
Mitchel after calling the roll pulled a letter out of his pocket 
which he rec d . from the office this morning. The letter was writ- 
ten by the students who killed his hogs last Saturday night, it 
was a very polite one, and had ten dollars enclosed to pay for 
them. The old man was in the best humor I ever saw him. Said 
several witty thinghs that created great laughter. He gave Dave 37 
(servant) six dollars to give back to the men, and told Dave never 
to tell the mans name who should come to him for it. His lecture 
was quite interesting, in the afternoon, we had another lecture 
and likewise a recitation. To night read law as one. 

College Thursday February 3 rd 1842 

This morning I received the Standard saw the death of Mr 
Hobbs in it. Prepared a lecture in Kent for recitation at eleven 
oclock. Between twelve and one our law class recited In the after- 
noon prepared a lesson in Juvenal the class recites very well on 
Juvenal. Read to night, went to Miss Nancy's and got to eat 
something she seems somewhat to have fallen in love with me. 
She and Mrs Utley are very fine women 
[53] University of N C Friday February 4 th 1842 

I went to prays. Recited to Profss. Mitchel at eleven A. M. 
between twelve and one I read. After dinner prepare a french 
lesson in La Henriade for P Roberts. This evening the Society met 
at the usual hour the question for debate read as follows "ought 
the veto power be extended to the president" there was a right 
smart discussion I made a small talk in favor of the veto power. 38 
The election for valedictorian on Wednesday night preceding com- 
mencement resulted in [favor] of Mullins of Fayetteville. 39 The 
seniors say they will not go up there to hear him, I think him a 
scoundrel and not a gentlemanly principle in him. He is always 
trying to get in office by intrigue and chicanery. He is very un- 
popular in College. The Society adjourned about ten — retired to 
my room read some and went to bed. Moore of Edenton 40 was 
elected to preside at commencement in our Hall.. 

39 Very possibly Cornelia Phillips [Spencer], daughter of Dr. James Phillips. 

37 Dave Barham served Dr. Mitchell as janitor for twenty years. Chamberlain, Old Days 
in Chapel Hill, 46. 

^Tomlinson is in error in his version of the query under debate. According to the 
minutes of the Phi, it should read, "Ought the Veto power to be repealed[?]" It was decided 
in the negative. Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, January 29, 1842. 

39 William Sydney Mullins. 

^William Augustus Moore, Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, June 
1, 1842. 

244 The North Carolina Historical Review 

College Saturday February 5 th 1842 

This morning was both agreeable and pleasant the sun shone 
beautiful, I read from breakfast until twelve when there was a 
meeting in the Chapel for the purpose of establishing a Univer- 
sity Temperance Society I was called to the chair and had to 
explain the object of the meeting. Smith of Franklin 41 movd that 
I appoint five persons to write a constitution I then nominated 
James Cambell, Barbee, 42 Smith, Summerl 43 and Mullins. There 
were several short speeches made but I will take no notice of them 
here. 44 In the afternoon I lounged about to night I read and 
wrote some. 
[54] University of N C [Sunday] February 6 th 1842 

I attended prays, it was beautiful weather and the sun shone 
out brightly. At eleven o clock Bishop Ives 45 preached to us in 
the Chapel his sermon was a most excellent one. In the after 
noon we recited to Gov Swain upon the bible. Bishop Ives is a 
large portly looking man He preached for us again to night by 
candle light. After preaching I retired to my room and read some 
University of N C [Monday] February 7 th 1842 

This morning I read law until breakfast. We recited upon Con- 
stitutional law at eleven. We did not recite upon law between 
twelve and one. This afternoon we recited upon english prosody. 
To night went down to Miss Nancy's to see Dr Hollifield of Balti- 
more and Dr McLeneham of Pittsboro Hollifield told a good many 
funny stories. McLenhan plays the violin splendidly. 

University of N C Tuesday Febr 8 th 1842 

We recited to the Gov at eleven upon constitutional law. In the 
afternoon upon Juvenal to Pro Hooper, to night read. 

University of N C Wednesday [February] 9 th 1842 

Chemistry all day. The girls were present at the lectures. To 
night. Morisey Lewis and myself petitioned for a map. The pe- 
tition was granted. 

University of N C Thursday [February] 10 th 1842 

This morning I received from Col John McLeod of Johnston 46 a 
very polite letter in which he states that he wishes me to see if 
Mr Bentin Utley 47 will correct the note he traded to Brother 
James upon his son Willis, he wrote to Govr Swain upon the same 
business, for him to give me enstruns [55] how to proceed. He 
stated that there was no news worthy of communication. The 

41 John Baptist Smith, A. B., 1842; Granville County. Battle, Sketches, 210. 
^Chesley Page Patterson Barbee, A. B., 1843; Madison County, Tennessee. Battle, 
Sketches, 89. 

43 Joseph John Summerell, A. B„ 1842, A. M., 1845; M. D., University of Pennsylvania; 
Northampton County; physician; president of the North Carolina Medical Society. Married 
Ellen Mitchell daughter of Professor Mitchell. Battle, Sketches, 215; Chamberlain, Old Days 
in Chapel Hill, 52. 

44 More than a decade earlier, a temperance society had been formed at Chapel Hill. 
Although Battle notes that it effected a considerable decline in the drinking of "spirituous 
liquors" at the time, the group evidently did not flourish. Battle, History, I, 340. 

45 Levi Silliman Ives, LL. D., was bishop of the North Carolina Diocese of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. Battle, History, I, 356. 

46 John McLeod (1789-1849) was the father of Willis H. McLeod and a neighbor of 

47 Benton Utley was the brother-in-law of Miss Nancy Hilliard and assisted her in the 
operation of the Eagle Hotel. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 245 

University Cabinet of Minerals 48 arrived this morning. They 
were purchased in Vienna by John Randolph Clay Charge 
d'affairs to St Petersburg. It is a most splendid collection they 
cost between 12 and 15 hundred dollars. Dr. Mitchel is the best 
pleased I ever saw a man. He showed me several specimens of 
minerals as soon as the boxes were opened. To day the college 
duties have been suspended to give the students permission to 
skate. We expected the ice would be sufficiently strong ; but it is 
not. 49 This afternoon we had french. The Society met at the 
usual hour, a motion was brought up for us to begin to lay up 
money for the erection of a new hall — I opposed the motion but 
it passed, it will never affect me. The debate then came on — the 
question read as follows "Ought John Quincy Adams to be ex- 
pelled for bringing up a motion to dissolve the union" the ques- 
tion was debated at large. They determined to expel him. 50 I did 
one thing to night which I have been in the habit of doing for 
the last two years along at times. A tremendous rain fell to night. 
At some future time I will say more about the Cabinet of Min- 
erals hereafter 
[56] University of N. C Saturday 12 th 1842 February 

I received no news by the mail this morning — read &c. the so- 
ciety met at the usual hour — the classes of society performed the 
duties of composing and declamation. There were a few motions 
discussed at some length. At twelve the college bell rang — the 
students assembled in the Chapel for the further organization of 
a Temperance Society I was called to the Chair and explained the 
object of the meetting in a short speech. The constitution of the 
society was then read by John B Smith and adopted unanimously. 
There were one or two speeches made by C. Page Barbee and 
Smith twenty five members joined right off and we expect 
nearly all college. The Temperance Society is formed entirely 
through the agency of of Smith and myself. We have brought 
ourselves in much note among the Faculty and students. I held 
a conference with Gov Swain at his house this afternoon about 
some business Col John McLeod wrote to us about A few pages 
back I have spoken more at large upon this subject. This after- 
noon I have not done much being Saturday evening To night I 
read and went down to Miss Nancys and got something to eat. 

Noah Webster in speaking of the arts and sciences says that 
art is that which depends on practice or performance science is 
that which depends on abstract or speculative principles. 

48 The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees had in 1840 authorized the expenditure 
of "... a sum not to exceed Fifteen hundred dollars [to] be placed subject to the order 
of. . ." the Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology for the purchase of a "Miner- 
alogical Cabinet." Clay, Secretary of the United States Legation in Vienna, had offered to 
make the purchase in 1839, and his offer was accepted. Minutes of the Executive Com- 
mittee . . . 1835-1873, February 15, 1840, 85. 

49 According to Battle, it was customary for the faculty to grant, on petition, an occasional 
"skating holiday" during the winter. Battle, History, I, 593. 

50 See Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, February 11, 1842. 

246 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[57] University of N C February 20 th 1842 Sunday 

It has been one week and a day precisely since I have written 
any in my Journal; the reason is I have been too negligent and 
not from the want of matter. Last Sunday I wrote a communica- 
tion for the North C Standard. I expect It will be out this week. 
The subject of the communication was our forming a Temperance 
Society 51 Monday I recited upon Constitutional law and Black- 
stone. Last Wednesday the Senior Class recited to Dr Mitchel 
throughout the day upon Chemistry Thursday again upon con- 
stitutional law and Blackstone This morning I received the 
Standard; it had Lewis D. Henry's letter of Fayetteville in it; 
written to the Committee, which were appointed by the late 
democratic convention to inform him of his nomination for 
Governor. This letter is lengthy, well written and contains much 
political matter. 52 I think unless times become much better than 
they are he will be elected. I hope I shall be able to give him my 
support in electioneering and vote It has come out in several 
papers that Danil Webster has been helt of one of his Clerk's 
wives this is shameful in the extreme, he has a wife, women of 
late have become very unfaithful to their husbands. Some women 
I dont believe can be satisfied if they were shaged every hour in 
the day. Friday night Society met, George W Ruffin in the Chair, 
the question for debate read as follows "is foreign travelling 
beneficial to youth" it was not debated more than an hour. 
Saturday morning declamation and composition, Sherrard 53 was 
tried before Society for non attendance, he will be dismissed in- 
definitely if he does not attend regularly. 

[58] Chapel Hill February Monday 21 th 1842 

Read Blackstone until breakfast. Prepared a lecture in Kent 

for eleven oclock. Recited upon Blackstone between the hours of 

twelve and one. This afternoon the Senior Class recited to the 

51 "For the North Carolina Standard, University of N. C. Feb. 12th, 1842 

Mr. Editor: It is very seldom, I imagine, that you ever hear any thing about our Univer- 
sity that is interesting, more than that there are a certain number of students who 
graduate and receive their sheepskin at the end of every collegiate year. I know that you 
feel and take a lively interest in the welfare of the institutions of our State; and I cannot 
refrain from addressing you a few lines upon a subject for which I know you go hand 
and heart. It is the subject of Temperance. The students have resolved and determined to 
redeem the character of the University. She has borne a bad name abroad long enough — 
"it is a bad wind that never changes." And, we are not ashamed, nay we are thrice happy 
to proclaim to you and the world that we have formed a temperance society to be called the 
University Temperance Society, and that nearly all the students have become members. We 
only have to say to those who have not joined us, 
" 'He, who the rules of temperance neglects 
May, from some good cause produce most vile effects.' 
"The following gentlemen were appointed a committee to draw up the Constitution: 
Messrs. Campbell, Barbee, Mullins, Smith, and Summerill. Today being the time for the 
committee to report, the students assembled in the Chapel, and R. W. Tomlinson was then 
elected President pro. tern, and explained the object of the meeting in a few but very 
explicit remarks. The Constitution was then read by John B. Smith, and passed unanimously. 
The students signed the pledges with the greatest pleasure. Such a society is compelled to 
raise the character of the University, and no one can now raise any objection to having 
their sons educated here. We wish this to be known over the State, and therefore request 
the Raleigh papers to publish or notice the same. 

North Carolina Standard (Raleigh), February 23, 1842. 

52 North Carolina Standard (Raleigh), February 16, 1842. 

53 John Victor Sherrard, A. B., 1846; Wayne County; lawyer; State Solicitor. Battle, 
Sketches, 206. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 247 

Professor of Rhetoric 54 He conducted the recitation very agree- 
ably and instructively It was what may be called, a lecture, upon 
the propriety of attending punctually to the rules of Orthography, 
Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody. The Senior Class assembled 
to night to appoint three members to petition to the Faculty for a 
suspension of College duties on to-morrow. I was called to the 
Chair and presided over the meeting. Bell, 55 Spaight, 56 and Robert 
Cambell, were appointed by the Chair. The news was received in 
College about ten oclock that the petition was granted. There was 
an universal shout. I feel very little like writing to night. My 
room has been full of company ever since supper. Dr. Hollifield 
W Sanders, L Sanders, Quenten Busbee 57 Thomas Ruffin 58 were 
my visitors. I retired to bed with the headach. good deal of noise 
in College to night. 

[59] February 22 nd 1842 Tuesday 

To day is set apart, for the purpose of celebrating it in token 
of our respect to Ge n . Washington. College duties have been 
suspended. And the students are all at liberty. I visited the Go vr . 
at 9 clock upon business — Returned and wrote Co 1 . McLeod a 
letter. At eleven o clock a procession of the students was formed 
at the South building door, and marched of two by two through 
the grove around in the Chapel where we heard an oration de- 
livered by Thomas J. Morisey of Sampson. The oration was 
tolerably good, its length was twenty five minutes. He had too 
much of politics and made an attempt to run down Jefferson and 
his measures. He is not a pretty speaker, speaks too fast and not 
distinctly enough. John Mares [Meares] of Wilmington was the 
Marshal of the day. He did very well most too small a man Bell 
and Cambell sat upon the stage with Morisey The fellows did 
not go after many of the ladies they came by themselves. Miss 
Nancy Hilliard prepared a very fine table for dinner. The Gov. 
took dinner with us. There were several toasts drunk. We had the 
best dinner of any one upon the Hill After dinner I came to my 
room and read by my self until supper. Some few fellows were 
drunk this afternoon. 59 After supper King and myself took a 
walk and I came back to Miss Nancy's and talked with her and 
Mrs. Utley until eight o clock. I think a heap of those two ladies. 
After this I came to my room and found Busbee and Thomas 
Ruffin in talking with my room mate R Sanders. After they re- 
tired I turned in and wrote the above with ease and pleasure. 
Then I read some and went to bed. 

54 Professor William Mercer Green. 

55 William Alexander Bell. 

66 Ashley Wood Spaight, A. B., 1842; Selma, Alabama; Brigadier General, C. S. A.; member 
of the General Assembly of Texas, Secretary of State of Texas. Battle, Sketches, 212. 

57 Quentin Durward Busbee, student, 1841-1842; Wake County; lawyer. Battle, Sketches, 104. 

58 Thomas Ruffin, A. B., 1844; Orange County; Colonel, C. S. A.; Judge of Superior and 
Supreme Courts. Battle, Sketches, 202. 

69 The faculty, evidently anticipating overexuberance on the part of the students in 
celebrating their holiday, directed on February 18, ". . . That Profs. Greene & Mitchell 
should see the boarding house keepers and urge them the necessity of caution and moderation 
in regard to the kind and amount of intoxicating liquors furnished their boarders on the 
22nd Inst." Apparently their precautions were not entirely successful, for they found it 
necessary to hail before their tribunal "Mr. Joseph McClees ... on the report of Prof. 

248 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[60] University February 23 rd 1842 Wednesday 

This morning no mail — attended prays — read law until break- 
fast. After breakfast attended a lecture upon Chemistry There 
were ten ladies present, Mrs. Cabia and her school girls — they 
know just as much about Chemistry as a hog does of holliday. 
If I were a lady I would not attend the lectures upon any con- 
sideration to be gazed at by the fellows. I don't belive they come 
to learn Chemistry but Just to see and be seen. Our lecture was 
upon iron. Dr Mitchel gave us a very good lecture. This afternoon 
another lecture and recitation upon Chemistry the same girls 
were in attendance. To night I have read Blackstone with a great 
deal of pleasure. I have nothing new of any importance to record 
to day. The weather seems very much like spring. I have not 
visited any of the ladies this session. I do not care a damn for any 
of them. They have made themselves complete fools of late. I 
do not expect any of them will ever get married. The above will 
suffice for to night. 

C. Hill February Thursday 24 th 1842 
This morning and the day throughout have been most beauti- 
ful. I prepared a lesson upon Kent for eleven o clock. We recited 
no law lession to day at twelve. The Faculty have dismissed two 
fellows and suspended three for getting drunk on the 22 nd . 60 This 

Green that he had reasons for believing that there were spirituous liquors and a drinking 

party in his room on the night of the 21st Inst. Said McClees having admitted the fact 

was accordingly suspended for three weeks from the above date." 

Those involved in the incident described by Tomlinson likewise came before the faculty, 

whose minutes bear the following account of the occurences of the 22nd: 

"The Faculty all assembled at the call of the President to act on the following case 
Viz. About 3'Oclock in the afternoon of the 22nd Inst, as Dr. Mitchell was going from 
his house to the Laboratory in the South Building, he was hailed from the passage of 
the third Story of the South end of the West Building. Coarse epithets were applied 
to him. He passed on without seeming to notice them. On his return he was accosted 
rudely and profanely accompanied with threats of violence. He proceeded immediately 
to trace the disorder, which heded [headed?] to the room occupied by Messrs. Dick, 
McNairy, and Williamson, where about a dozen persons were assembled, for the purpose, 
as was admitted by all, of drinking ardent spirits, which had been procured and brought 
into the room[.] 

"The occupants disclaim, and the Faculty have confidence in the truth of their State- 
ment any participation in the disorder beyond the mere permission to others to use their 
room for an unlawful purpose. Mr. McNairy was not present. Mr. Dick and Mr. William- 
son were both sober, and are believed not to have tasted ardent spirits. 
"The Faculty, on Viewing the premises in connexion with the late ordinance of the 
Trustees in regard to Intemperance, believed that the only option left them was between 
dismission and suspension. In consideration therefore of their previous good conduct, they 
were only suspended for three weeks from the above date. 

"Allen J. Polk of the Soph, and T. G. Polk of the Freshman classes having been of 
the party mentioned in the foregoing statement, having been intoxicated on that occasion, 
having used highly indecorous language towards D. Mitchell, and having been for some 
time past characterized by bad conduct and bad scholarship notwithstanding earnest, & 
repeated advice and warning, particularly to the latter, they were both unanimously 
dismissed." Faculty Journal, 1841-1848, February 18, 24, 25, 1842. 

Another student diarist of the day comments on the events of the turbulent holiday: 

"Tuesday was the 22 — the birthday of Washington, the day was celebrated by a speech 
by Morrisey — The procession formed in front of S[outh]. B[uilding]. & marched around 
by Caldwell monument to the Chapel, Meares was Marshall of the day. The amount of 
liquor drank by the students was tremendous. More than 1/3 of the college was intoxi- 
cated. Pink and I went over to the East and were gloriously tight before breakfast. We 
kept the things hot throughout the day. Nutall had an excellent dinner. Parson Green 
dined with us for the purpose of preserving order & preventing us from drinking too 
much wine. A member of the Faculty dined at each of the boarding houses for the 
same purpose. 

"In the evening Mike was passing thru the campus & some drinken fellow cursed him 
from McNairy's window. He came up & found the room full of drunken students while 
the sugar was scattered about & the floor was drenched with brandy which had been 
spilled. He sat down and gave them a long talk etc." 

Diary of James Lawrence Dusenberry, February 27, 1842, 6-7. 
60 See note 59. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 249 

afternoon the Senior Class recited upon Juvenal. After supper 
Miss Nancy Hilliard and myself went to see Mrs Barbee. Mrs 
Utley came afterwards and we three Mrs Barbee, Utley, and my- 
self played dross. I do love Mrs. Barbee, and Mrs Utley they are 
married ladies — they are such fine ladies, and are so pretty — good 
natured and all 
[61] Chape H February 25 tb Friday 1842 

This morning the communication which I wrote for the North 
Carolina Standard came out — a piece likewise in the Fayetteville 
Observer. 61 This morning I got a London Quartly Review. One or 
two very fine articles in it. At ten oclock ten or fifteen ladies were 
present at our lecture. We had but few experiments and the lec- 
ture was only tolerable. Between twelve and one I read one of 
Webster's speeches. In the evening the Senior Class recited 
French. To night the Society met at the usual hour. I introduced 
two motions but neither passed one was about the valedictory, 
the other about Seniors holding the offices of Society. The Society 
elected me treasurer to night but it is not customary to elect 
Seniors, the manner in which I was elected caused me to accept of 
the office. 62 The subject of debate was about the right of instruc- 
tion, but very little was said upon the question. The Society 
passed a motion to take the literary Messenger 63 and likewise to 
get all the numbers as far back as we can even to the very first 
publication of the work. I think it is a very valuable periodical. 
One of the best in the southern country. 

University of [N. C] Saturday [February] 26 th 1842 

Beautiful weather — Read until breakfast. After breakfast 
settled with the treasurer and took the office myself. There were 
two hundred and ninety five dollars and seventy five cents, in the 
treasury. The society met at nine but I did not attend. There was 
but very little business before Society Read the national In- 
telligencer and some other papers this morning. I heard of the 
Hon Lewis [62] William's 64 death to day in Congress — he was 
the oldest member in the house of Representatives After dinner 
I took a walk out about a mile from town with several other fel- 
lows. This evening I became acquainted with Swaim the author 
of the Man of business) 65 and Justice of the Peace) 66 he was a 
little intoxicated, not a very good looking man. He was on his 

61 Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville. Weekly. 

62 George W. Ruffin was also elected to a second term as president, but on his "declining 
to serve," the Society proceeded to elect Joseph John Summerell. Proceedings of the 
Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, February 25, 1842. 

63 Southern Literary Messenger, Richmond, Monthly. 

e± Lewis Williams (1786-1842), A. B., U. N. C, 1808, was a member of Congress from 
North Carolina from 1815 until 1842. Battle, Sketches, 232. 

65 Benjamin Swaim, The Man of Business; or Every Man's Law Books; Showing How to 
Execute Properly All Deeds and Writings Obligatory, With Approved Forms and Precedents 
Suited to Every Class According to Modern Practice . . . (New Salem, N. C, 1834). 

66 Benjamin Swaim, The North-Carolina Justice; Containing a Summary Statement of the 
Statutes and Common Law of this State, Together With the Decisions of the Supreme 
Court, and All the Most Approved Forms and Precedents, Relating to the Office and Duty of 
a Justice of the Peace and Other Public Officers, According to Modern Practices; the Whole 
Intended as a Complete Practical Application of the New Revised Statutes of North-Carolina. 
(Raleigh: Raleigh Register, 1839). 

250 The North Carolina Historical Review 

way to Raleigh to have another work published. 67 . I paid Miss 
Nancy and Mrs Utley a visit to night. Retired to my room read 
some and went to bed 

Sunday [February] 27 th 1842 

The first thing I did this morning was go to prays shave myself 
and dressed ready to breakfast. After breakfast studied law 
hard until time for church. The Chapel was fuller than usual Dr 
Mitchel preached a very fine sermon. Prepared a bible lesson this 
evening for the Gove r . Lewis D Henry arrived here this evening 
on his way to Hillsboro, He will make a political speech there 
Tuesday next court week. To night studied law like a horse 
Monday [February] 28 th 1842 

This morning very busily engaged in studying law until break- 
fast, after breakfast constitutional law. Recited upon Blackstone 
between twelve and one. After dinner no lesson to get, Professor 
Greene gave the Senior Class a lecture upon the pronunciation of 
the elementary letters of the english language. To night I have 
the blues, melancholy and dejected in spirits feel bad want to 
leave College Go home and do something I want to live with my 
Mother and take care of her in her old age — she has done much 
for me in her lifetime — I inte[n]d to remunerate her for it. 
[63] C Hill [Monday,] March 7 th 1842 

The first seven days of this month have been characterized, for 
warm weather and beautiful days. The students are wearing 
their summer gowns and white pantaloons, — peach trees are in 
full bloom, and the whole vegetable kingdom is as forward as if it 
were in the month of April Every thing looks lively and gay and 
seems full of life. Last night we had a heavy rain, and severe 
claps of thunder and lightning. There has nothing taken place in 
college which I want to put in my Journal. For the last seven days 
I have performed punctual the whole routine of my college duties. 
I paid Mrs Barbee a visit last week and was very well entertained 
by playing backgammon with her. that was the first time I ever 
played. I think our temperance Society is going down. I have 
received three letters from home this week one from Mother, one 
from Brother Bernice, and one from B James his had twenty dol- 
lars in it. Mother wished to know if I were going to get married. 
Brother Bernice told me he was elected county surveyor. Brother 
James has been buying more negroes Brother Bernice told me 
I should be called upon to deliver an address on the 4 th of July 
in Smithfield ; if the day should be celebrated. I think I shall court 
Miss Mary Mitchel 68 before I leave college. I have but very little 
acquaintance with her thus far. Money is very scarce I think 
of going home in three or four weeks I do hate for Mother to 
live by herself, I feel for her every day and night of my life I 

67 Benjamin Swaim, [probably] North Carolina Road Law, Now in Force; Containing All 
the Acts of Assembly and Decisions of the Supreme Court on the Subject of Roads, Ferries, 
and Bridges . . . ( Asheborough : Southern Citizen, 1842). 

68 Mary Mitchell, daughter of Dr. Mitchell, married Richard James Ashe, of the Class 
of 1842. Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, November 4, 1845. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 251 

mean to do all that I can to render her happy the remainder of 

her life 

[64] University March 8 th 1842 Tuesday 

This morning after prays I went to the P office and got a letter 
from the Editor informing me that he could not furnish the 
Philanthropic Society with the Southern Literary messenger 
from the commencement of its publication, but could from the 
beginning of the year 1840. I received the sixth Census of the 
U States of 1840 From William R King 69 U S Senator in Congress 
for the Philanthropic Society, it is a very fine document — nothing 
else from the office. Recited to the President constitutional law 
at eleven oclock. between twelve and one read a review. This 
afternoon prepared a lesson in Juvenal — he took up every man in 
the class. Ruffin [,] Stone, 70 and myself took a walk this evening 
and the ladies walking out. To night I have read in Blackstone the 
chapter on the trial by jury. It is an elegant chapter. I feel now 
like going to bed. 

[65] University of N Carolina April 17 th 1842 


Since the eight of March my attention has been engaged but not 
sufficiently to have kept me from writing in my Journal. A great 
many things have occurred which I regret very much because, I 
did not record them. I went home the last week in March — was 
at the great Whig Convention in Raleigh on the fourth of April. 
Neglected to record any thing I saw while gone. I feel weak and 
dejected in spirits; I am not in very good health. I have not 
visited any of the ladies on the Hill this session. I think of doing 
so very shortly. I am reading Blackstone a second time. This 
session I have not studied as much as I ought to have done — read 
but little. The senior class spoke last week. I wrote upon "The 
present condition of College, it created a great deal of laughter 
and was considered the best speech on the stage that night. 1 Bar- 
ringer, 71 2 Caldwell, 3 Holmes, 72 4 myself, and Dick Ash 73 5 spoke 
in the order in which I have written them down. Subjects 1, 
Poetry in the U States 2 Matrimony, 3 Republicanism 4 The con- 
dition of College, 5 Religions. 74 Several ladies have sent to me for 
a copy of my speech I refused them all. 

69 William Rufus King (1786-1853), was a student at the University in 1801. He served 
as United States Senator from Alabama, 1819-1845, and 1847-1853, and was elected Vice- 
President of the United States in 1852. Battle, Sketches, 159. 

TODe Witt Clinton Stone (1825-1884), A. B., 1845, A.M., 1849; Louisburg; Trustee of the 
University, 1858-1863; Mayor of Galveston, Texas. Battle, Sketches, 72, 214. 

71 Rufus Barringer, A. B., 1842; Cabarrus County; lawyer; member of the General 
Assembly; Brigadier General, C. S. A. Battle, Sketches, 90. 

™ Peter James Holmes (1824-1879), A. B., 1842; Southampton, Virginia. Battle, Sketches. 

73 Richard James Ashe, A. B., 1842; Hillsboro; lawyer, merchant; Captain, C. S. A.; 
married Mary Mitchell, daughter of Dr. Mitchell. Battle, Sketches, 87. 

7 * "To the Seniors was given a month's holiday anterior to Commencement. This was 
preceded by 'Senior Speaking' original orations being delivered in Gerrard Hall, before the 
public. The orations were of the usual dignity and solemnity, but there was always what 
was called a 'funny' [evidently Tomlinson 's speech was such]. The speeches were submitted 
to the censorship of the Professor of Rhetoric. These exercises were attended by the ladies 
and gentlemen of the village. Perfect decorum was observed. The speakers wore black silk 
gowns, belonging to the two Societies. No manuscripts or prompting were allowed." Battle, 
History, I, 555-556. 

252 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[66] University of N C April Saturday 23 nd 1842 

I went to see Governor Swain since breakfast and have just 
returned. The object of my visit was this; He promised me that 
I might read his letters to his Father ; which he wrote soon after 
he stood for College in the year 1822 for the Junior class. He 
wrote that he was much displeased, — as many as six fellows 
roomed together and it was doubtful whether he could get any 
where to room There were then 170 students here. He joined 
College 18 th April 1822 went to Raleigh and read law under Judge 
Tailor 75 until July following when he came to the University. He 
never recited but one lesson, was then taken sick and was confined 
to his bed for three months. He then left the University com- 
menced the law, was elected Judge in 1831. elected Governor of 
N Carolina in 1832 and was elected President of the University 
in the winter of 1835 and came here January 1836. and has been 
here ever since. He gave me a good deal of information about the 
early history of the University. He talked with me a good deal 
about the distinguished men of the state. About his marrying 
and visiting the ladies while a law student in Raly. about his 
prosecuting his studies. He was very much delighted with Ra- 
leigh. He is one of the finest men I ever saw, he takes much de- 
light in giving instruction to his pupils. He has one of the 
smartest little boys 76 1 ever saw. His daughter 77 is an amiable girl 
but not pretty. He is a man of an extraordinary mind. His dress 
is plain but very neat. He is a very economical man, puts his 
money to the best use. And advises every body else to do so 
[67] University of N Carolina Saturday April 30 th 1842 

This morning the report of the Senior Class was read out, and 
distinctions conferred. The Faculty and students were all at 
prays, (the Faculty never attend only upon such an occasion) 
After prays the Governor proceeded to reading the report, and 
confer ed distinctions upon the following members of the Class. 
To wit, the first distinction to Messrs Bell, 78 Bryant, 79 Morisey, 80 
and Quince. 81 Second Distinctions to Messrs Lewis, 82 Martin, 83 
Mullins, 84 Summerill [,] 85 Spaight. 86 Third to Haigh. 87 Bell drew 
the valedictory but gave it to Morisey. 88 Bryant the Latin. 
There was scarcely any interest whatever taken in the repart by 
any members of the Class. Morisey and Bell are considered by the 

75 John Louis Taylor. 

76 David Lowry Swain, Jr. 

77 Anne Swain. 

78 William Alexander Bell. 

79 Francis Theodore Bryan, A. B., 1842, A. M., 1845; Raleigh; topographical engineer; 
officer, U. S. A., Mexican War. Battle, Sketches, 101. 

80 Thomas Junius Morisey. 

«• Nathaniel Hill Quince, A. B., 1842; Wilmington. Battle, Sketches, 196. 

82 William Figures Lewis. 

83 William Francis Martin, A. B., 1842; Elizabeth City; physician; Colonel, C. S. A. 
Battle, Sketches, 176. 

84 William Sydney Mullins. 

85 Joseph John Summerell. 
83 Ashley Wood Spaight. 

87 William Hooper Haigh, A. B., 1842; Fayetteville. Battle, Sketches, 136. 

88 The valedictorian and salutatorian were chosen by ballot from among the first honor 
men, rather than according to academic standing alone. Battle, History, I, 477. The remain- 
ing nineteen got no distinction. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 253 

Class as never deserving first distinction and as ordinary schol- 
ars. Morisey is decidedly a very weak man. After breakfast I 
went to see the Governor to know how much he charged me for 
studying law. The Faculty had assembled for a meeting and told 
me to call another time. Several of the Seniors are leaving upon 
pleasure trips some to Fayetteville some to Caswell and person 
and the western part of the State. 89 I shall remain here and 
study law under the Governor and read History and write me a 
fourth of July oration to deliver in Smithfield on the 4 th of July 
next. I have received no distinction in my class nor never did I 
study for any. My ambition is very limited if I can make myself 
a good and worthy citizen and a good husband I shall have ac- 
complished all in this life that I wish. My pursuit through life 
will be the law. I have but few friends and less money so I am 
dependent upon myself 
[68] Richard Ashe 

The subject of this memoir is Richard Ashe, was born in 
Wilmington, raised in Hillsboro educated in the University of 
North Carolina, is a member of the present Senior Class which 
will graduate in June. He is about 21 years old small and slender 
as ugly as hell and as trifling as damnation. He is looked upon by 
the Students and Faculty as a mere nullity and in common college 
parlance is called the refuse of creation. He is a man of very 
lazy and indolent habits and is very disagreeable every way, and 
always talking how well his boots and pants fit him and how far 
he can jump. His general deportment has never been good. 
Through out his college course he has been considered a man of 
ordinary intellect and has allways received an ordinary standing 
in his class. I call him a very nasty and filthy looking man. We 
are on familiar terms and I am not actuated by any sinister 
motives for giving him this sketch in my Journal which I have. 
He is a member of the Dialectic Society. 
[69] [blank] 

[70] University of North-Carolina Saturday May 21 st 


This morning is exceedingly cold for this season of the year. 
I have had fire in my room until dinner and it would be by no 
means disagreeable tonight. Yesterday was oppressively warm. 
There has been more sickness in College this season than there 
was during the first three years of my college course. The 
attacks were princply billious and quincy or the sore throat. 
College has never been clear of the clap. I have amused myself 
some to day by playing smut (alias cards) just learning now I 
am about to leave college. Montezuma Jones of Tennessee 90 
Jamison Rice of Alabama 91 Robert Sanders and myself of Jons- 

89 Their studies and examinations completed, the Senior Class was customarily granted a 
vacation until Commencement. Battle, History, I, 555. 

90 Montezuma Jones, student, 1841-1843; Tennessee. Battle, Sketches, 156 
^Jemison W. Rice, student, 1841-1843; Eutaw, Alabama. Battle, Sketches, 197. 

254 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ton. I never heard the like every one is playing cards. 92 Last 
Tuesday Mrs Barbee and myself went out to Mr Charles John- 
son's to see his daughter Miss Martha she has just recovered 
from a spell of sickness and looks pale. She played us a good 
many fine tunes upon the piano-forte. She is much more intelli- 
gent than I anticipated. She converses well upon most any sub- 
ject. Her father is tolerably wealthy, but has five or six children. 
He lives about four miles from the Hill [on the] Hillsboro course, 
last night I did something which I never expect to do again, a 
thing which I have frequently done for the last two years. I left 
her crying We shook hands for good, I was exceedingly mad 
I rejoice in the two lines above. Miss Cornelia Phillips 93 is a 
very fine girl. I am almost is love with her, if she was wealthy 
I would cou[rt] her. She is the smartest girl I ever was 
acquainted with]. 

[71] The Society met at the usual hour and after the different 
Committees reported, Some resolutions relative to the exclusion 
of every freshman class from Society came on and a very ani- 
mated discussion ensued. Lewis, Mullins, and myself in favor 
of them, it was discussed the last night and laid over until 
tonight, The same resolutions passed in the Dialectic Hall but 
were finally killed in ours; To night I spoke at some length in 
favor of them but no one on the opposite side replied. Some 
personal allusions were thrown out at Mullins and Lewis (about 
electioneering for them) which elicited them selves upon the 
floor and threw back the false and calumnious charges with 
great success. The ayes and nays were then called for by me, 
the vote then stood against 30 for them 10 The Society ad- 
journed about twelve o clock, after a long and protracted meet- 
ing. 94 The election for one to deliver the anniversary resulted in 
favor of James Lancaster 

[73] A letter which I wrote the morning after my separation 
from the University, to a young lady [Cornelia Phillips] living 
in Chapel Hill, but did not send it and consequently never have. 

92 "That horrendum-monstrum which is designated under the name of Card-playing . . ." 
was given cursory condemnation by both the faculty and the societies, though one wonders 
just how far the latter had tongue-in-check in describing the pastime in the above terms. 
Even the faculty took note of this epidemic of card playing by ordering three students before 
them on a charge of playing cards. Their decision indicates that the practice was not 
heavily censured by that body, for they merely voted that Professor Greene be directed to 
". . . have an interview with them and administer suitable reproof." Supervisor's Council's 
Report, Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1832-1840, March 2, 1838, and Faculty 
Journal, 1841-1848, May 13, 1842. 

93 Cornelia Phillips [Spencer] (1825-1908), was the daughter of Dr. James Phillips. 

94 "Resolved, that the Dialectic & Philanthropic Societies mutually agree to admit no 
members of the next Freshman Class or any person intending to become a member thereof, 
until three weeks before the end of the first college session; nor any member of any 
succeeding Freshman Class, or any member intending to become a member thereof, until 
six weeks before Commencement. Resolved, that this agreement continue in effect for three 
years from its passage, repealable at any time thereafter by either Society: provided the 
body wishing to repeal the same give the other three months previous notice in writing 
of its intentions to do so at the expiration of that time. 

"Rel.d. That when repealed by one society, it shall not be considered as binding upon 
the other. 

"The report and resolutions having undergone a long and animated discussion were at 
length put to the house, and the ayes and nays called for. 

Ayes — 34 

Nays— 12[.]" 
Proceedings of the Philanthropic Society, 1840-1844, May 20, 1842. 

Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson 255 

Chapel Hill June 3 rd 1842 
Miss Cornelia: 

My departure from the University has at length arrived, and 
I hail it as one of the proudest moments of my life. I wish now 
to spend the remainder of my life in ease and retirement with 
one, with whom I think I could be happy. But, before my de- 
parture from this place, nothing would have given me more 
pleasure than to have had another conversation with you and 
that upon a subject which I forbid mentioning here, as your own 
thoughts will suggest to you what it is. The propriety of re- 
sorting to epistalary writing I do not much like though there is no 
other alternative our acquaintance has been but of short 
duration, though, I esteem it no less had it been longer and more 
intimate. I have no doubt but that you will receive this letter 
with great surprise and astonishment and with my present feel- 
ings I cannot refrain from writing you this. If it should meet 
with your approbation I shall be more than pleased ; if not I am 
thrice willing to beg pardon for trespassing upon your patience. 
If you feel disposed to correspond with me upon the subject 
alluded to above I assure you it shall never cause you any un- 
easiness on my part. Gratify me, Miss Cornelia, in answering 
this and therein state yur willingness or unwillingness to [comply 
with my] wish. I should have called upon you before I left [but] 
for fear that my company would not have been [ver] y acceptable 
as Miss Wilson 95 was there very sick. [74] I cannot but expect 
that you will treat this letter as its merits deserve in yours to 
me. Some ladies are willing to make their communications upon 
paper others again are not. Your opinion upon the matter I 
know not, but I sincerely wish to gain your consent. 

I remain yours, very affectionately &c . . . 

Ruffin. . W. . Tomlinson 96 
[72] At Home Wednesday 8 th June 1842 

I graduated last Thursday and received my Diploma and a very 
elegantly bound Bible was presented to each individual of the 
Class by Gov. . Swain. Brother Bernice and Harry Durham were 
there to see me graduate They were very much delighted with 
every thing they saw there. I made my exit Friday morning 
and arrived at Raleigh at three o clock and stayed that night in 
Raleigh and came home Saturday about two o'clock. Sunday I 
went to Elizabeth 97 singing all the girls and boys in the neigh- 
borhood were there. The girls and boys looked beautiful and 

Ransom Bridgers John Avera and myself after singing over to 
Harry Durham's for dinner. We had lively times just to hear 

95 Miss Jane Wilson became ill and died while a student in the private school of Mrs. 
James Phillips. She was the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Alexander Wilson, President of the 
Caldwell Institute in Greensboro. Battle, History, I, 470. 

96 It is interesting to muse upon the possible consequences had Tomlinson sent this letter. 
Cornelia Phillips married James Monroe Spencer in 1855, and was widowed after only six 
years. Returning to Chapel Hill to live, Mrs. Spencer unstintingly gave to the University of 
her energy and talents, particularly during the dark days of the Civil War and Reconstruction. 
Chamberlain, Old Days in Chapel Hill, 8, 315. 

97 Elizabeth Methodist Church is located about three miles east of Tomlinson 's home. 

256 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Harry give a description of what he saw there at commencement. 
On my arrival home I found my Mother well — my farm in very 
good order. I have visited most of my neighbors and found them 
well. Every body is busily engaged in their farms and the news 
of the neighborhood seems dull. My feelings since my arrival 
home have been indescribable. No mortal call tell how I have felt 
since leaving my old associates in college never to see them 
again. I am now living with my Mother and enjoying the 
products of a small farm. If I were compelled to choose any 
situation in life it should be within the walls of a college. I saw 
more real pleasure during the three years and a half I was in 
College than I ever expect to see again 



Curriculum of the Senior Class 


First Session: 
Chemistry and Mineralogy- 
Mental Philosophy- 
Moral Philosophy 
Graeca Majora (Tragedians) 
Horace (Art of Poetry) 
Exercises in Latin Construction 

Second Session: 
Political Economy 
National and Constitutional Law 
Chemistry and Geology 
Graeca Majora (Tragedians 


Dr. Mitchell 
President Swain 
President Swain 
Professor Fetter 
Professor Hooper 
Professor Hooper 
Professor Phillips 
Professor Roberts 

President Swain 
President Swain 
Dr. Mitchell 

Professor Fetter 
Professor Hooper 
Professor Roberts 


Scheme of the Exercises 

at THE 


op THE 

University of North Carolina 

June 2nd, 1842. 


1. Prayer. 

2. Salutatory Oration. Francis T. Bryan, Raleigh 

3. Oration. "Obligations of Joseph J. Summerell, 
Educated Men." Northampton 

4. Oration. "Principles of the Rufus Barringer, Cabarrus 
Old Federal Party." 

5. Oration. "Spirit of Re- William H. Haigh, Fayetteville 

6. Oration. "Reciprocal Influ- William F. Lewis, Edgecombe 
ence of Science and Reli- 



1. Eloge de Louis-Philippe. 

2. Oration. "Reverence for 
the Past." 

3. Oration.' "The Middle 

4. Degrees conferred. 

5. Report of the Faculty. 

6. Valedictory. 

7. Prayer. 

William A. Bell, Greene Co., Ala. 
William S. Mullins, Fayetteville 

William F. Martin, 
Elizabeth City 

Thomas J. Morisey, Sampson 


Graduates of the Class of 1842 

Richard J. Ashe 
Ruf us Barringer 
William A. Bell 
Francis T. Bryan 
James A. Caldwell 
James W. Campbell 
Robert Campbell 
David Coleman 
James L. Dusenbury 
Stephen S. Green 
William H. Haigh 
William White Harriss 
Charles P. Hartwell 
William J. Hayes 
Peter J. Holmes 
Joseph C. Huske 
John Findley Jack 
William F. Lewis 
William F. Martin 
William P. McBee 
Thomas J. Morissey 
William S. Mullins 
Israel Leonidas Pickens 
Nathaniel H. Quince 
George W. Ruffin 
John Baptist Smith 
Ashley W. Spaight 
Joseph J. Summerell 
Ruffin W. Tomlinson 
Richard D. Wilson 

Chapel Hill 
Cabarrus County 
Eutaw, Alabama 
Burke County 
Marengo, Alabama 
Marengo, Alabama 
Buncombe County 
Chapel Hill 
Brunswick, Virginia 
Lincoln, Georgia 
Southampton, Virginia 
Grainger, Tennessee 
Edgecombe County 
Elizabeth City 
Greenville, South Carolina 
Sampson County 
Greensboro, Alabama 
Franklin County 
Granville County 
Selma, Alabama 
Northampton County 
Johnston County 
Caswell County 



Faculty of The 

University of North Carolina 

1841-1842 1 

David L. Swain, President and Professor of National and Con- 
stitutional Law 

Elisha Mitchell, Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology 

James Phillips, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philos- 

J. DeBerniere Hooper, Professor of the Latin Language and 

Manuel Fetter, Professor of the Greek Language and Literature 

William M. Green, Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres 

John J. Roberts, Professor of the French Language and Litera- 

William H. Owen, Tutor of Ancient Languages, and Librarian 

Ralph W. Graves, Tutor of Mathematics 

Charles Force Deems, Adjunct Professor of Rhetoric and Logic. 

1 Battle, Sketches, 79-81. 


By Mary Lindsay Thornton 

Bibliography and Libraries 

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BIXLER, HAROLD HENCH. Spelling for everyday life (grades 
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CASTELLANO, JUAN R. Spanish through speech. New York, 
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illus., maps. Apply. 

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Applied Science and Useful Arts 

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southern Piedmont. Columbia, University of South Carolina 

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72 p. illus. $1.00. 
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264 The North Carolina Historical Review 


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the poems of Cynthia de Ford Adams. [Four Oaks, N. C, 
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versity of North Carolina Press, [1952] 165 p. $3.00. 

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and west ; the record of a planter migration in 1835. Columbia, 
University of South Carolina Press, 1952. vi, 51 p. $1.50 pa. 

GRIFFIN, CLARENCE W. History of Rutherford County, 1937- 
1951. Asheville, Inland Press, 1952. 136 p. $4.00. 

HOLMES, URBAN TIGNER. Daily living in the twelfth century, 
based on the observations of Alexander Neckam in London and 
Paris. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1952. 337 p. 
illus. $3.85. 

MACRAE, DAVID. The Americans at home. New York, E. P. 
Dutton and Co., 1952. 606 p. $4.50. Chapters 21-27 deal with 
North Carolina in the Reconstruction period. 

STICK, DAVID. Graveyard of the Atlantic; shipwrecks of the 
North Carolina coast. Chapel Hill, University of North Caro- 
lina Press, [1952] ix, 276 p. illus. maps. $5.00. 

STOWE, ROBERT LEE, Early history of Belmont and Gaston 
County, North Carolina, with preface. [Belmont, Author] 
1951. 61 p. illus. 

Autobiography and Biography 

ADAIR, JAMES R. Saints alive. Wheaton, 111., Van Kampen 

Press, 1952. 159 p. $2.00. 
BAKER, BLANCHE EGERTON. Mrs. G. I. Joe. [Goldsboro? 

N. C, 1951] 247 p. illus. $2.50. 
CANADA, JOHN WILLIAM. Life at eighty ; memories and com- 
ments by a Tarheel in Texas. [LaPorte, Tex., Author, 1952] 

198 p. $3.75. 
CHESNUTT, HELEN M. Charles Waddell Chesnutt, pioneer of 

the color line. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 

[1952] viii, 324 p. port. $5.00. 
DANIELS, JOSEPHUS. Roosevelt and Daniels, a friendship in 

politics, edited with an introduction by Carroll Kilpatrick. 

Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, [1952] xvi, 

226 p. $3.50. 
DAVIDSON, CHALMERS GASTON. Piedmont partisan; the 

life and times of Brigadier-General William Lee Davidson. 

Davidson, N. C, Davidson College, 1951. 190 p. $3.15. 
DELAKAS, DANIEL L. Thomas Wolfe, La France et les ro- 

mancier frangois. Paris, Jouve et Cie, [1952?] xii, 154 p. $3.50. 
DOWELL, SPIGHT. Columbus Roberts: Christian steward ex- 
traordinary. Nashville, Broadman Press, 1951. xiv, 171 p. 

illus. $3.00. 

N. C. Bibliography, 1951-1952 267 

GREER, LOUISE. Browning and America. Chapel Hill, Univer- 
sity of North Carolina Press, [1952] xiii, 355 p. illus. $4.00. 

HOOLE, WILLIAM STANLEY. Alias Simon Suggs; the life and 
times of Johnson Jones Hooper. University, Ala., University 
of Alabama Press, 1952. xxiii, 283 p. port. $5.00. 

KANE, HARNETT THOMAS. Gentlemen, swords and pistols. 
New York, Morrow, 1951. 306 p. illus. $4.00. North Caro- 
linians included are Robert B. Vance, Samuel Carson, Andrew 
Jackson, and Thomas H. Benton. 

MULLEN, JAMES MORFIT. Let justice be done. Philadelphia, 
Dorrance, [1952] 371 p. $3.00. 

PLYLER, MARION TIMOTHY. Through eight decades, as min- 
ister, editor, author. Durham, N. C, Seeman Printery for 
Author, 1951. v, 138 p. ports. Apply Author, 1415 N. Gregson 
St., Durham, N. C. 

POLK, JAMES KNOX. Pres., U. S. Polk, the diary of a president, 
1845-1849, covering the Mexican War, the acquisition of Ore- 
gon, and the conquest of California and the Southwest, edited 
by Allan Nevins. London, New York, Longmans, Green, 1952. 
xxxiv, 412 p. $6.00. 

SHEARER, ERNEST CHARLES. Robert Potter, remarkable 
North Carolinian and Texan. [Houston] University of Hous- 
ton Press, 1951. xii, 133 p. $3.50. 

WALSER, RICHARD GAITHER. Inglis Fletcher of Bandon 
Plantation. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Library, 
1952. viii, 79 p. illus. port. $2.00 bound, $.75 pa. Order from 
Library Extension Division, University of North Carolina 
Library, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

New Editions and Reprints 

BRIGGS, THOMAS HENRY. Improving instruction through 
supervision, a revision of Improving instruction. New York, 
Macmillan, c. 1938, c. 1952. $5.00. 

CLYDE, PAUL HIBBERT. The Far East, a history of the im- 
pact of the West on Eastern Asia. 2d. ed. New York, Prentice- 
Hall, 1952. xxvi, 942 p. $9.00, to schools $6.75. 

FLETCHER, INGLIS. Bennett's welcome. Garden City, N. Y., 
Garden City Books [1951, c. 1950] 451 p. $1.98. 

New York, Permabooks, 1952. $.35 pa. 

Lusty wind for Carolina. Garden City 

N. Y., Garden City Books [1951, c. 1944] 470 p. $1.98. 

— — New York, Permabooks, 1951. $.35. 

Men of Albemarle. Garden City, N. Y., 

Garden City Books, [1951, c. 1942] 566 p. $1.98. 

Raleigh's Eden, a novel. Garden City, N. 

Y., Garden City Books [1951, c. 1940] 662 p. $1.98. 
GARRISON, KARL CLAUDIUS. Growth and development. New 

York, Longmans, 1952. 571 p. illus. $5.00. 
HARIOT, THOMAS, 1560-1621. A brief and true report of the 

new found land of Virginia ... a facsimile edition of the 1588 

268 The North Carolina Historical Review 

quarto, with an introduction by the late Randolph G. Adams. 
New York, The History Book Club, 1951. xvii [48] p. Sub- 

KENAN, WILLIAM RAND. Incidents by the way, more reflec- 
tions. 3d ed. [Lockport? N. Y., Author, 1952] 85 p. illus. Apply. 

SAWYER, LEMUEL, 1777-1852. Facsimile edition of Lemuel 
Sawyer's Blackbeard; introduction by Richard Walser. Ra- 
leigh, North Carolina State Department of Archives and His- 
tory, 1952. xxxii, 66 p. $1.00 mailing charge. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. Divine mistress. New York, Per- 
mabooks, 1951. $.35. pa. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. Sangaree. New York, Popular 
Library, c. 1948, c. 1952. 382 p. $.35 pa. 

SMITH, BETTY. A tree grows in Brooklyn, a musical play by 
Betty Smith and George Abbott, based on Betty Smith's novel. 
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. New York, Harper and Bros., [1952] 
179 p. illus. $2.75. 

STREET, JAMES HOWELL. Tap roots. New York, Pocket 
Books, c. 1942, c. 1952. 510 p. $.35 pa. 

WALSER, RICHARD GAITHER. North Carolina poetry. Rev. 
ed. Richmond, Garrett & Massie, 1951. 200 p. $4.00. 

WOLFE, THOMAS. Au fil du temps (Of time and the river) 
roman, traduction R. N. Raimbault, Manoel Faucher et Charles 
P. Vorce. Paris, Librarie Stock, Delamain et Boutelleau, 1951. 
602 p. 

Uns bleibt die Erde; die "Geschichte eines 

Romans" mit breif en und 4 abbildungen. [Munchen, Die Arche, 
c. 1951] 160 p. $2.25. 

Mannerhouse. Copenhagen, Steen Hasselbalchs 

Forlag, 1952. 65 p. 

Schau heimwarts, Engel! Eline Geschichte 

vom begrabnen Leben. Hamburg, Rowohlt Verlag, [1951] 
556 p. 

A story of the buried life: Look homeward, 

angel . . . illustrated by Douglas W. Gorsline, with an introduc- 
tion by Maxwell Perkins. New York, Chas. Scribners Sons, 
[c. 1929 c. 1947, c. 1952] xvi, 662 p. $2.75. 

Selections from works, edited by Maxwell Geis- 

mar. London, William Heinemann, 1952, viii, 712 p. 12 s 6 d. 


Lawson's History of North Carolina: Containing the Exact Description 
and Natural History of that Country, together with the Present State 
Thereof and a Journal of a Thousand Miles traveled through Several 
Nations of Indians, Giving a Particular Account of Their Customs, 
Manners, etc. Edited by Frances Latham Harriss. (Richmond: Garrett & 
Massie, Incorporated. 1952. Pp. xxvii, 259. $4.00.) 

A review of a book that has been published in one form or 
another for two hundred and forty-three years can hardly be 
fitted into the framework of our modern and somewhat blase 
habit of literary dissection and criticism. Nor would a serious 
reviewer of this volume care to obliterate the individuality and 
uniqueness of Lawson's work by such a procedure. Fortunately 
for the students of the origins of our social order, the author 
has studiously avoided any attempt at modernization. The result 
is a well-printed reproduction of one of the best firsthand reports 
on the white man's reaction to his contact with the aboriginal 
flora, fauna, and human society of America. 

The present edition is a reproduction of a publication issued 
in 1937 under the sponsorship of the North Carolina Society of 
the Colonial Dames of America. A short "Foreword" and "Bio- 
graphical Sketch of John Lawson" are valuable contributions to 
the work. In the former the editor presents some of the best 
evaluations of Lawson's work by those rare historians who have 
abstained from the erroneous statement that its value lies in 
the fact that it was the first history of North Carolina. In the 
latter she has brought together the few known facts about 
Lawson's life and spiced them with a lively and unrestrained 
imagination. Though she admits, for example, that nothing is 
known of the manner of Lawson's death at the hands of the 
Tuscarora Indians she reaches the conclusion : "We may be sure 
that he died as he had lived, a gallant gentleman." (p. xvii) 

After a careful reading of the volume one is more likely to 
agree with the editor's imaginative conclusion than to criticize 
her aberration from strict historical methodology in interpreta- 
tion. Lawson's work fell far short of accepted historical stand- 
ards in that no tests or comparisons of sources were made; 
personal recollections, vague reports of Indian customs, and rank 


270 The North Carolina Historical Review 

superstitions concerning plants and animals were all laid down in 
the same genial and gullible vein. Though his observations are 
unscientific to the point of naivete, yet they are often more 
incisive and colorful than one could expect from the best of 
amateur historians. His work is sometimes a little boresome 
by virtue of extreme moralization, and occasionally it presents 
Lawson himself in a suspicious superiority over his white com- 
panions in their moral lapses in dealing with the Indians. But 
it does not make any claim for finality or exactitude ; and though 
the work was undoubtedly designed to stimulate migration to 
Carolina it never approaches the extent of prevarication by ex- 
aggeration that can be found in any circular for current real 
estate promotion. 

The worst judgment that can be passed on Lawson's work is 
that as the first history in North Carolina it has received much 
commendation that it did not deserve. The most unfortunate 
circumstance concerning it is that as source material in an 
interesting and thoroughly human form it has been read and 
understood by so few recent historians. The highest praise that 
can be given to it is that according to the common literary and 
scientific standards of its day it still conforms gracefully to the 
modest ideal set by its author in his preface: 

Having spent most of my Time, during my eight Years Abode 
in Carolina, in travelling, I not only surveyed the Sea-Coast, and 
those Parts which are already inhabited by the Christians, but 
likewise viewed a spacious Tract of Land lying betwixt the 
Inhabitants and the Ledges of Mountains, from whence our 
noblest Rivers have their Rise, running towards the Ocean, where 
they water as pleasant a Country as any in Europe ; the Discovery 
of which never yet made public, I have, in the following Sheets, 
given you a Faithful Account thereof; wherein I have laid down 
Everything with Impartiality, and Truth, which is indeed, the 
Duty of every Author, and preferable to a smooth Stile, accom- 
panied with Falsities and Hyperboles (pp. xix-xx) . 

Paul Murray. 

East Carolina College, 


Benjamin Hawkins, Indian Agent. By Merritt B. Pound. (Athens: Univer- 
sity of Georgia Press, 1951. Pp. ix, 270. Frontispiece, map, bibliography, 
and index. $4.00.) 
Benjamin Hawkins enjoyed two careers in public life: one as 

a North Carolina representative in the Continental Congress and 

Book Reviews 271 

as Senator from North Carolina in the United States Senate; 
the other as United States Commissioner and later as Principal 
Agent of the United States to the southern Indian tribes. Pro- 
fessor Pound explains both careers, but makes it plain why the 
latter was the more important. 

Hawkins's political career was creditable, but undistinguished. 
He was never a talented speaker and his nationalist views were 
always vigorously opposed by many in North Carolina. He 
favored the ratification of the United States Constitution and 
voted accordingly at the Fayetteville convention in 1789. He 
was elected a United States Senator in 1790 where he was known 
as a Federalist, but his career there offers many contradictions. 
He was a nationalist, but he voted for southern sectional interests 
consistently. He opposed the Bank, Britain, and John Jay, none 
of which good Federalists were apt to do, but he favored the 
exercise and assumption. He respected Washington, but grew 
to have affection for both Jefferson and Madison. He was demo- 
cratic in his personal tastes and, politically, was more liberal than 

Even as a delegate to the Continental Congress Hawkins's 
interest in Indian affairs was evident. From 1783 until his death 
in 1816 he labored, usually officially, to reduce the constant fric- 
tion between the frontier states and the Indian nations. His 
sympathy with Indian claims won him high respect from Creek 
and Cherokee, but brought him many enemies among the land- 
hungry frontiersmen who continually endeavored to have the 
Indians removed. He was mediator and counselor, and he was 
usually successful in preventing serious incidents along the 

For almost twenty years Hawkins lived among the Indians, 
principally at the agency on the Flint River. Here he lived as 
neighbor, friend, and benefactor, as well as representative of the 
United States. Here he revealed political and administrative 
aptitudes which helped to make his labors successful. Here he 
studied the Indian language and wrote his journals of his life 
at the agency; here he worked tirelessly to bring about agri- 
cultural development in order to settle the Indians to the land; 
here he married an Indian wife and reared a family; here he 
died and was buried among his adopted people. 

272 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Many details of these varied experiences are described in 
Professor Pound's book. It is based principally on official records 
and correspondence, both published and in manuscript, and on 
contemporary newspapers, together with many records from 
the Indian Office of the National Archives. The greatest single 
source, however, is the collection of manuscript journals and 
letters in the care of the Georgia Historical Society. Although 
much material was doubtless destroyed in the agency fire shortly 
after Hawkins's death, enough has survived to enable the 
author to give a comprehensive view of the social and diplomatic 
work Hawkins performed in behalf of the Indians and the United 

A helpful map of the Indian country facilitates understanding. 

Frontis W. Johnston. 

Davidson College, 


Robert Potter, Remarkable North Carolinian and Texan. By Ernest C. 
Shearer. (Houston: The University of Houston Press. 1951. Pp. xii, 133. 

The controversial figure who serves as the subject of this brief 
biography is generally known more for his escapades than for 
his accomplishments, but there have been numerous attempts 
to evaluate the meritorious as well as the infamous side of his 
career. So many and so conflicting were the reports that they 
aroused the interest of Professor Shearer who consequently 
has tried to clarify the picture by retelling the life of Robert 
Potter in relation to the historical development of the time. 

Touching only briefly upon Potter's childhood and midshipman 
days, the author has selected the North Carolina political scene 
of the 1820's for the initial introduction to his subject. It was 
in that setting that the youthful lawyer first demonstrated both 
the legislative ability that won for him a seat in Congress and 
the hot headedness that later brought about his imprisonment 
and disgrace. As an ardent advocate of educational measures 
and banking reform, Potter achieved some degree of fame and 
was well on the road to success when he permitted a streak of 
emotional instability to wreck his promising career. Through 
his vicious attack upon Taylor and Wiley, the young Congress- 

Book Reviews 273 

man stirred up a storm of public indignation that overshadowed 
the praise previously bestowed upon him. Yet, in spite of the 
subsequent trial and incarceration that removed him from the 
national scene, Potter still retained a sizable political following 
and was once again elected to the North Carolina House of 
Commons. When a further display of temper brought about his 
expulsion from that body, Potter left the state and turned to 
newer fields in the southwest. 

Life in Texas moved at a rapid pace and provided the more 
enterprising with ample opportunity for quick success. Arriving 
there almost on the eve of the Revolution, Robert Potter readily 
seized upon the advantages of the situation. Having, within the 
space of a few months, served variously as army volunteer, 
naval officer, privateer, and delegate to the Constitutional Con- 
vention, the newcomer soon emerged as Secretary of the Texas 
Navy. With the achievement of cabinet rank, however, Potters 
political ambitions temporarily subsided. Paying but scant atten- 
tion to his newly acquired office, he entered upon a life of matri- 
mony and planting, leading a typical frontier existence until his 
election as senator of the Fifth Texas Congress. This last and 
brief venture into politics was closed by another crime, but this 
time Potter was the victim and his career was not ended by 
imprisonment but by a murderer's bullet. 

In relating the story of Robert Potter's life, Professor Shearer 
has been hard-pressed to find material relating directly to his 
subject. Since little attention has been given to sources bearing 
upon Potter's six years in the United States Navy, and since 
practically the whole of the North Carolina episode has been 
drawn from previously published accounts, the first part of the 
book offers little that is new. Some attempt might have been made 
to fill in the more serious gaps of the early period or rectify obvi- 
ous discrepancies. A little research into readily available sources, 
for example, would undoubtedly have suggested a more logical 
reason for Potter's resignation from the Navy than that sug- 
gested by the author, and would have probably explained how 
Potter's six-month prison term stretched from his trial in Sep- 
tember, 1831, to his release in March, 1834. 

It is with the Texas period, however, that the author has been 
mainly concerned. Some new material has been found in the 

274 The North Carolina Historical Review 

manuscripts and papers of the Kemp collection and it is in the 
use of these that Professor Shearer has made his chief contri- 
bution. It is unfortunate that most of the available information 
deals with the life of Potter's second wife rather than with Potter 
himself, for there is thus a tendency to lose sight of the principal 
character. The author has attempted to overcome the deficiency 
by interposing large and sometimes irrelevant doses of local 
history, but the reader is apt to feel that the main thread of the 
story has been sacrificed and that, in spite of a varied career, 
Robert Potter actually accomplished very little of lasting im- 

Philip M. Rice. 

North Carolina State College, 


The Making of a Southern Industrialist: A Biographical Study of Simpson 
Bobo Tanner. By Gerald W. Johnson. (Chapel Hill: The University of 
North Carolina Press. 1952. Pp. viii, 84. $2.00.) 

Gerald W. Johnson's A Biographical Study of Simpson Bobo 
Tanner, Rutherford County industrialist and pioneer textile op- 
erator, is more of a composite picture of the pioneer textile 
executives of the early '70's than a definitive biography of S. B. 

Following the Civil War North Carolina was economically 
broke. Its money was worthless and the farm economy was 
wrecked. Mr. Tanner, like dozens of other North Carolinians 
of the period, set about to industrialize the state. Mr. Johnson 
records in detail the difficulties encountered in securing capital 
and breaking in the potential independent residents of the area 
to make good textile workers. 

Mr. Johnson says, "much more than any political or military 
campaign the industrialization of the South, and specifically 
North Carolina, has changed the manners and customs of the 
people, their ways of acting, talking, thinking and even feeling. 
The men who created Southern industry are, therefore, tre- 
mendously significant figures in the history of the South, yet 
we know less about them than we do about the statesmen, 
educators, clergymen and journalists of the same period. The 
really illuminating studies of Southern industrialists can be num- 

Book Reviews 275 

bered on the fingers, perhaps on the fingers of one hand; yet we 
ought to know these men if we are really to know ourselves. 
This biographical essay, not a picture but a bare outline of one 
of these figures, will attain a value far beyond its intrinsic worth 
if it suggests to Southern biographers the richness — one is 
tempted to say the fabulous richness — of this neglected field." 

Simpson Bobo Tanner, like so many of the region's giants, 
began his career in the South's dismal age of Reconstruction. 
As a youth, he clerked in a general store, attended a business 
college for a year, and worked on a railroad job. He reached 
maturity, says Mr. Johnson, with the talents to be a successful 
speculator in a great age of cotton speculation or a successful 
banker in an age that saw the founding of many trusts. But 
his deep-rooted desire to create things led him to textile manu- 
facturing with the world as his market and, in 1887, with the 
father-in-law, J. S. Spencer, he founded the Henrietta Mills at 
Henrietta. His success in his initial adventure was doubled and 
redoubled through the years. Such was the universal respect 
which he won for himself that his very name spelled triumph 
for a new enterprise and his presence at a trouble spot was 
almost sure to soothe labor unrest. 

Johnson, a skilled biographer, tells not only the Tanner story, 
but in microcosm the story of those significant southern insti- 
tutions, mill stores and villages, and the story of the rise of an 
industrial South from the ashes of an agrarian economy. 

When S. B. Tanner was born, Rutherford County was strictly 
an agricultural region in a country that was rapidly being 
industrialized, which is to say, its economy was badly adjusted 
to the times. When he died in 1924, the county was well to the 
front in industrialization and its economic status, already good, 
was steadily improving. This was his work to so large an extent 
that it would be no great distortion to the truth to carve, almost 
anywhere in Rutherford County, the inscription they carved to 
the memory of Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul's Cathedral: 
Si monumentum requiris circumspice. "If you seek his monu- 
ment, look around you." 

There is a superstition abroad, sedulously cultivated by critics 
of the South, that such people as Tanner never lived. The in- 
dustrialization of the South — so runs current mythology — was 

276 The North Carolina Historical Review 

effected entirely by outsiders, mostly from New England, who 
moved in to batten on what was, in effect, peon labor. Some 
New Englanders have moved in, in impressive numbers, within 
the past twenty years; but the truth is that they had to move 
because they were driven from their original stronghold by the 
fierce, aggressive competition of southern-born, southern-bred 
industrialists heading a labor force that may have been in peon- 
age but didn't know it and was therefore rapidly increasing in 
energy and efficiency. Simpson Bobo Tanner is especially worthy 
of this study because he was an almost perfect example of this 
type. Comprehend what he did and you will know, not only how 
North Carolina was industrialized, but also to what an astonish- 
ing extent it raised itself by its own bootstraps, having already 
emerged from economic stagnation before New England dis- 
covered its existence. 

After founding Henrietta Mills at Henrietta he organized the 
Florence Mills at Forest City and then bought controlling interest 
of the Cleghorn Mill at Rutherfordton. Later he organized the 
Green River Mill at Tuxedo. His son, Kenneth Spencer Tanner of 
Spindale, is today chairman of the board of Stonecutter Mills, 
Inc. A daughter married Dr. Robert H. Crawford of the Ruther- 
ford Hospital. Another son, S. B. Tanner, Jr., of the Doncaster 
Shirt and Collar Co. of Rutherfordton, died recently. 

Clarence W. Griffin. 

Forest City. 

Fifty Years of the South Atlantic Quarterly. Edited by William Baskerville 
Hamilton. (Durham: Duke University Press. 1952. Pp. viii, 397. $5.00.) 

From the two hundred issues of the South Atlantic Quarterly 
published in the fifty years since John Spencer Bassett brought 
out the first number in January, 1902, William B. Hamilton 
has selected thirty-four articles that illustrate the magazine's 
crusade for liberalism and learning in the South. Mr. Hamilton's 
excellent, critical introduction traces the history of the South 
Atlantic, suggests the role it has played in stimulating regional 
progress, and offers hints of the good fare he has omitted. He 
also records the "outstanding failure" of the magazine to fulfill 
one of the aims of its early editors, the fostering of literature in 
the South; indeed, the Quarterly, inclined to look backward at 

Book Reviews 277 

Lanier and Timrod, has not even noticed the twentieth-century 
renascence of southern letters. 

The articles reprinted here display the magazine's zeal, es- 
pecially in its early years, for southern educational reform, 
academic freedom, justice for the Negro, reunion with the North, 
and industrialization. Most of the essays are contributions either 
to literary criticism or to social, economic, or literary history, 
and are valuable both for their factual or interpretative material 
and for their indication of the broadening and deepening of the 
stream of American scholarship. 

One notable feature of the South Atlantic, which these essays 
show, is its concern for communication with a wide audience. 
Whether the subject is "The Problem of the Constitution of 
Matter" (William Howell Pegram, 1911), "What is Philosophy?" 
(Katharine Gilbert, 1928), or the influence of A. C. Benson's 
biography of Edward FitzGerald upon T. S. Eliot's poetry (John 
Abbott Clark, 1949), a reasonably literate person can read the 
Quarterly with unf rustrated pleasure. 

The last three essays offer hopeful signs that the South 
Atlantic at last recognizes contemporary literature, and that it 
may be returning in a new spirit to one of Bassett's crusading 
themes, race relations. L. Ruth Middlebrook's "Higher Learning 
and Literary Scholarship" (1950) stingingly attacks literature 
professors for pottering around with third-rate poets of the 
obscure past. The Quarterly's acceptance of Betty Thompson's 
"Thomas Wolfe: Two Decades of Literary Criticism" (1950) 
shows that it is now giving attention to recent southern writers. 
Elizabeth Stevenson's eloquent personal statement, "Southern 
Manners" (1949)— my favorite essay in the anthology — reveals 
both how far the South has come in the improvement of race 
relations since Bassett's "Stirring up the Fires of Race Anti- 
pathy" aroused a storm in 1903 and how much remains undone. 
Some of the phrases of her final paragraph also show that the 
spirit of the early editors still finds expression in the South 
Atlantic's pages: ". . . satisfaction with the land will not do. 
... I see a hope only in our unsettled state. . . . What set of 
new Southern manners can we find to match new facts?" 

J. Merton England. 

University of Kentucky, 

278 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The First Twenty Years: A History of the Duke University Schools of 
Medicine, Nursing and Health Services, and Duke Hospital, 1930-1950; 
comprising No. 7A of Vol. XXIV of Bulletin of Duke University. 
(Durham: Duke University. 1952. Pp. 314.) 

The lengthy title of this bulletin gives a general idea of its 
contents, which comprise chapters on the following : Organization 
and Development, School of Medicine (with reports of various 
departments, from "Anatomy" to "Urology"), Duke Hospital, 
School of Nursing, The War Years (1941-1947), Postwar Activi- 
ties, and twenty-five appendices constituting two-thirds of the 
book. They are composed, for the most part, of statistical matter, 
both on finances and personnel (chiefly the latter). There are 
lists of the faculty, graduates and undergraduates, past and 
present, arranged alphabetically or by regions or by war services. 
The hundred-page directory of present and former students and 
faculty members is less interesting than the two-page chrono- 
logical outline of the school's history. 

In general, the appendices, like the rest of the volume, contain 
much statistical data, more valuable for reference than for casual 
reading. In fact, the "Bulletin" resembles a college catalogue in 
many respects, except that it is interesting in spots. For example, 
page one starts out with a quotation to the effect that "all 
universities should be burned down every twenty years lest they 
get into a rut." (Perhaps extra arson-guards should be placed 
about Duke Campus for a while.) The reader's attention having 
been captured by this idea, he is plied with useful, and not 
uninteresting, information such as the following. In 1934 and 
1949 Duke was rated among the top per cent of the nation's 
medical schools. In 1930 the school got off to a good financial 
start, thanks not only to $4,000,000 from James B. Duke, but 
also to a $300,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. At 
that time, an open court occupied the space which is now a 
comfortably furnished library reading room. Student discipline 
is handled by an honor council. Twenty-five per cent of the 
students are from North Carolina. In the senior year medical 
students are encouraged to spend at least one semester at some 
other school; nine per cent of them do so. Forty per cent or 
more of each class plan to become general practitioners rather 
than specialists. 

Book Reviews 279 

Yes, this book makes better reading than a college catalogue. 
Page 13 outlines (rather naively, we thought) the following 
virtues which a student and physician should have: "honesty, 
intelligence, memory, accuracy, application, intellectual curiosity, 
charity, faith, humility, hope and patience." That's all very well, 
but we can furnish a longer list, from a ninth-century medieval 
manuscript; it has fifty virtues, plus a list of twenty-five vices 
to be avoided (copies available from this reviewer on request). 
But we are wandering from our subject. It is actually "interesting 
to note" in this volume that the Duke-sponsored "65th General 
Hospital" which served in England, 1943-1945, was the successor 
of "Base Hospital 65" which was "colonel-ed" by Dr. Fred Hanes 
in World War I. Pages 20 and following discuss the problem of 
rural and urban health, urging that family physicians in village 
and county collaborate by means of group practice. To make 
another short detour, the exhortation to general rural practice 
reminds us of Dr. Floyd Scott's "country-doctor" setup in Ala- 
mance County. In spite of low charges, such as $1.00 for office 
calls, $25.00 for baby deliveries, etc., this doctor-brother of the 
ex-governor maintains that he makes close to $35,000 a year. 

The volume also describes the two-week summer pediatrics 
course at Saluda, established by the late Dr. D. L. Smith for 
general practitioners, as a sort of refresher. Several pages are 
taken up with hospital costs and a defense of the "inclusive, or 
flat, rate," which (in our opinion) needs considerable defending. 
Twenty-some dollars per day tends to scale all thought of hos- 
pitalization out of the minds of middle-class folk. But we are not 
here to argue the demerits of capitalistic medicine, so back to 
our task. 

The First Twenty Years is adorned with excellent pictures of 
some remarkable characters. There is a delightfully informal 
portrait of Dean Davison (the frontispiece) ; further on are 
portraits of Dr. Fred Hanes and of his lovely wife (both generous 
donors to Duke Hospital), of Dr. Josiah Trent (whose early 
death saddened many of us), and of his vivacious wife, shown 
hard at work on a library book under the watchful eye of that 
lovable librarian Miss Judith Farrar. To be sure there are some 
unlovely pictures, notably those of the first graduating classes, 
which are slightly reminiscent of a police court lineup. 

280 The North Carolina Historical Review 

None the less, as college bulletins go, this one is worthy of 
praise and of the casual reader's attention. To whom the credit 
should go for the accomplishment is a mystery; no trace of 
authorship anywhere in the three hundred pages. 

Loren C. MacKinney. 

University of North Carolina, 

Chapel Hill. 

North Carolina Roads and Their Builders. By Capus Waynick. (Raleigh: 
Superior Stone Co. 1952. Pp. 308.) 

This book bears the imprimatur of the Superior Stone Com- 
pany, a large producer of crushed rock in North Carolina. A 
presentation page, having the signature of the president of that 
company, implies that it was privately printed for distribution 
by gift. The "compiler and editor" of the volume is the Honorable 
Capus Waynick, who was chairman of the North Carolina State 
Highway Commission from 1934 to 1937 and who is at present 
United States Ambassador to Colombia. 

The volume is a magnificent example of the printer's art. 
Nine by twelve inches in size, it is printed on slick paper, three 
columns to the page. The type is large and the lines well leaded. 
The text is profusely illustrated. Among the full-page photo- 
graphs are those of Governor Cameron Morrison, to whom the 
volume is dedicated, and the eight succeeding governors to the 

Part One, covering about sixty-five pages, probably less than 
half of which is text, "Presents a Brief Historical Sketch of 
North Carolina Roads." While most of the important events in 
the development of public highways in the state are mentioned, 
the compiler or author has been somewhat eclectic in his choice 
of material. The main theme is that during most of North 
Carolina's history she has had trouble with roads, and that the 
present system of motor roads is the culmination of a long 
struggle that began with the earliest settlement. Interesting bits 
of history more or less directly related to this theme are thrown 
in rather freely. The material is not so organized as to make a 
smooth, swiftly-moving story. A disproportionate emphasis is 
given to the colonial period. The treatment does, however, lead 

Book Reviews 281 

to a climax in an account, mostly legislative and financial, of 
the present state highway system. 

The 180 pages of Part Two are filled with biographical sketches 
and photographs of scores of persons who have had a part in the 
actual construction of the state's highways during the past gen- 
eration. These persons include the highway commissioners, tech- 
nical personnel, contractors, and suppliers of materials. For 
reference purposes this is a useful collection. 

The third and final part, comprising about fifty pages, is en- 
tirely pictorial except for brief explanations. The scenes are 
mostly attractive landscapes selected so as to show the variety 
to which the modern highways give access within the state. 

Professor William P. Cumming, an authority on old maps of 

the South Atlantic area, prepared a brief but scholarly appendix 

explaining early maps of the Carolina region. Reproductions of 

three of these maps, all from the eighteenth century, are included 

as inserts within the main text. A French map of the same period 

is reproduced on front and back covers. Several other early maps 

are included with the text. 

C. K. Brown. 
Davidson College, 

The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore. Volume III, 
Folk Songs from North Carolina. Edited by Henry M. Belden and 
Arthur Palmer Hudson, under the general editorship of Newman Ivey 
White and associates. (Durham: Duke University Press. 1952. Pp. 709. 

Here, in handsome format and with five wood engravings by 
Clare Leighton, is another distinguished contribution to a grow- 
ing literature of native folk song and singing. This collection 
of 658 titles concerns itself exclusively with "folk" songs, where- 
as a previous volume was devoted to the ballad. This distinction 
between the two types, the editors point out, lies in the fact 
that a ballad describes or implies action, while the folk song 
concerns itself primarily with sentiment. In all fairness, however, 
those in charge of this volume make it clear that this definition 
has been applied in a most elastic manner. This is as it should be, 
for nothing is more baffling than the classification of music that 
the common man of America composed, loved, and sang spirit- 

282 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The words of the songs here printedare grouped under thirteen 
subject headings, each with a brief introduction. Subjects range 
from wonderfully affectionate courting songs, through drinking 
and gambling ditties, homiletic songs, and play-party and dance 
tunes, to gentle lullabies, pert animal jingles, rollicking work 
songs, and such satirical verses as "Hard Times" and "Bob 
Ingersoll and the Devil." There are prisoner and tramp songs, 
political and patriotic airs, and old-time revival thumpers. A 
hundred and eleven different blackface minstrel and Negro secu- 
lar titles comprise a really important area that still needs investi- 
gation by the social historian. The final group gathers together 
manifestations of the religious spirit. 

Obviously such a brief summary of contents cannot catch the 
zest and social significance of the collection nor does it reveal 
adequately its importance in the development of national thought 
and manners. Actually, here is a rich treasure of documentary 
sources every bit as imperative to a comprehension of the "Amer- 
ican way" as is a compilation of political papers. Folklorists 
will be interested in variants and perhaps will find new versions 
of older and better-known verses. Both researcher and layman 
will rejoice that cross references are given to many of the songs. 

In a sense, this bulky and hard-to-handle volume is only half 
a book, for it omits the tuneful music that makes a ballad or 
folk song really meaningful. The people did not recite verses, but 
lifted their voices and "gave out." No jnatter how hard one tries, 
one cannot capture the spirit of a singing nation merely by 
reading words. In all justice, it must be said that music for this 
and the previous volume (Folk Ballads from North Carolina) 
will appear in the fourth volume. This means, of course, that 
anyone who wishes to use both words and music at the same 
time must juggle two ponderous books and, what is equally 
important, must fit words to music. Such a procedure is awkward 
and quite unnecessary. This reviewer feels strongly that the 
plan adopted, for example, by the State Historical Society of 
Missouri when it published its four volumes of Ozark Folksongs 
is much better, for both words and music were given together. 

Nevertheless, the Brown collection of folk songs gathered in 
North Carolina deserves the genuine appreciation of folklorists 

Book Reviews 283 

and scholars in other areas for, bit by bit, the pattern of a 
people's culture is being filled in. 

Philip D. Jordan. 

University of Minnesota, 

Gentlemen Freeholders. By Charles S. Sydnor. (Chapel Hill: The University 
of North Carolina Press. 1952. Pp. vii, 173. $3.50.) 

"Statesmen come to the helm of government," begins Dr. 
Sydnor, "only if society has a way of discovering men of extra- 
ordinary talent, character, and training, and of elevating them, 
rather than their inferiors, to office." This little book is a fas- 
cinating study of just how the galaxy of near-statesmen were 
"discovered, trained, and elevated" in eighteenth-century Vir- 

As the author details the basically undemocratic county court 
system with almost hereditary officials, pre-selected candidates 
for House of Burgesses chosen by the oral vote of a restricted 
electorate, most readers begin to wonder at the paradox of this 
system producing any statesmen. That it did is obvious from 
history; how it worked is explained with sound reasoning by 
the author. This seems to Dr. Sydnor to have resulted from an 
agrarian unity in the colony combined with the willingness of 
leading citizens to undertake the responsibilities of governing 
their fellows. The author concludes with a chapter which poses 
intriguing comparisons between present-day political practices 
and those of Washington's day. 

The material used to draw this picture is admirably blended. 
The facts are supported with statistics compiled from tax records 
of the counties and spiced with delightful illustrations. Since 
the author used sample counties as a basis for generalizing about 
the state as a whole, he may encounter slight criticism from 
some historians. This reviewer finds such results used with care 
and quite illuminating. The only possible drawback in the un- 
usually fine style of the author is a tendency to begin several 
of the chapters with a recapitulation of what had been written 
already. This may, of course, be only a reflection of the necessity 
for such action in classroom lecturing. 

284 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Both the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 
which published the book, and the University of North Carolina 
Press are to be congratulated on the fine appearance of the 
volume, although the inclusion of a map of the counties of 
Virginia would have been a great help to those not intimately 
acquainted with the state. 

Such minor objections in no way detract from the value of 
Dr. Sydnor's study in making known to both historians and the 
general reading public the political background of Washington's 
Virginia. Joseph Davis Applewhite. 

University of Redlands, 

Redlands, California. 

The Old Dominion and Napoleon Bonaparte: A Study in American Opinion. 
By Joseph I. Shulim. (Columbia University Studies in History, Eco- 
nomics and Public Law, no. 572. New York: Columbia University Press. 
1952. Pp. 332. $4.50.) 

All of us can enjoy with satisfaction the ironic spectacle of 
the leaders of our thinking reversing their positions. With 
knowing, not entirely unsympathetic amusement we chuckle at 
the sight of them jumping from one side of the fence to the other 
and sometimes back again. Napoleon produced several such shifts 
in public opinion in Virginia, and some may find inherent bits 
of mild humor in Dr. Shulim's analytical narrative of these 

But the author has written as a methodical scholar who is in 
earnest. It was not his purpose to expose for a laugh the em- 
barrassment of Virginia's traditionally Francophile Republicans 
in their reactions to successive stages in the career of that con- 
troversial Corsican, who seemed at first to be a welcome son of 
the French Revolution destined to consolidate the gains of 
"liberty, equality, and fraternity" and at last to be the diabolical 
epitome of almost everything against which the United States 
and the French Revolution stood. Between these two extremes 
there lie some fifteen years and roughly fifteen hundred shades 
of opinion among Virginia's politicians, newspaper editors, and 
men of the soil who produced agricultural surpluses for sale in 
England and France. Dr. Shulim has traced these gradations 
with thoroughness through the ten years which ended with 
Thomas Jefferson's presidency in 1809. 

Book Reviews 285 

When news of the French consulate first reached the United 
States, Jefferson confided that he was "without much faith in 
Bonaparte's heart." But, he added, "I have so much in his head, 
as to indulge" the hope that the French were abandoning their 
plural executive, the Directory, for a single one. That further 
imitation of the American republics would have been flattering, 
but later ships brought news of despotism in France. Every 
Napoleonic step toward imperialism at home and abroad, each 
international crisis and attack, gave Jefferson and his fellow 
Virginians new cause to distrust the judgment of the emperor 
as much as they did his intentions. 

Dr. Shulim's introductory chapter provides a survey of the 
Old Dominion covering a couple of decades around 1800 which 
has thirty-five pages of suggestive, even provocative synthesis. 
It should be of somewhat general interest. The remaining pages 
are undoubtedly so detailed in their content as to appeal only to 
scholars whose research overlaps his. They will find that the 
author has made his chief contribution to human knowledge by 
culling systematically from Virginia newspapers representative 
items commenting on international affairs. This reviewer thinks 
they may agree with him in being least convinced when this 
analyst of public opinion is dealing with the economic factors 
which helped to mold that opinion. 

W. Edwin Hemphill. 

Virginia State Library, 


The Texas Revolution. By William C. Binkley. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana 
State University Press. 1952. Pp. viii, 131. $2.50.) 

This small volume is a clear, almost coldly objective evaluation 
of the events that ended in the establishment of the Republic of 
Texas. As an "interpretative study" delivered as the Walter Lyn- 
wood Fleming Lectures in Southern History at Louisiana State 
University in 1950, it does not follow the complexities of military 
operations, finance, or diplomacy of the Texan revolt. Although 
it is based on an intimate knowledge of the Texan sources, it does 
not pretend to be a detailed history of the Texan Revolution. The 
emphasis is rather upon public opinion in Texas at various stages 
of the conflict: What were the principal issues and what were 
Texan attitudes toward them? 

286 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The first two lectures, which are concerned with events pre- 
liminary to the hostilities of 1835-1836, serve to confirm the 
findings of Professor Eugene C. Barker that the Texas Revolu- 
tion was neither a conspiracy of slaveholders to incorporate 
Texas into the United States nor of land speculators to create an 
independent government which they might control. The "peace 
party" was in ascendancy in Texas as late as the middle of 1835. 

The "immediate cause" of revolt was "the substitution of cen- 
tralism for federalism in Mexico and the determination of the 
Mexican authorities to use force rather than reason to compel an 
unqualified acceptance of the change." The revolution was begun 
in opposition to the threat of military invasion, continued as an 
effort to defend the Mexican constitution of 1824, and concluded 
as a war for independence. 

Professor Binkley's special contributions to the delineation 
of the situation in 1835-1836 are two: (1) No individual Texan 
stood out in sustained leadership in either civil or military af- 
fairs; the familiar picture of Sam Houston as the savior and 
founder of the Republic of Texas has vanished. (2) The mis- 
management and confusion on the Texas side is strikingly demon- 

While this volume fails to show how the Mexicans managed to 
lose a war in which the opposition was so disorganized, the 
general Mexican position is treated briefly but sympathetically. 

The historian who eventually places the Texas Revolution in 
its proper place in continental history will of necessity approach 
the subject from both sides of the Rio Grande. But he will not 
use the long discredited term "racial distrust," as this volume 
does, in his treatment of cultural differences between Anglo- 
Americans and Mexicans. 

William R. Hogan. 

Tulane University, 

New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Myths and Realities : Societies of the Colonial South. By Carl Bridenbaugh. 
(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 1952. Pp. x, 208. $3.25.) 

To those interested in colonial history, any book by Carl 
Bridenbaugh is a welcome event. Myths and Realities is certainly 
a useful addition in an underdeveloped field, although it is less 

Book Reviews 287 

ambitious than his Cities in the Wilderness. A relatively brief 
treatise taking the form of three lectures, it is designed to be 
suggestive rather than exhaustive in any sense. 

The work is devoted most of all to dispelling the notion that 
the pre-Revolutionary South was a homogeneous whole, similiar 
to the society which formed the Confederacy in 1861. "The Old 
South," writes Mr. Bridenbaugh, "was preceded in time by the 
'Old South.' " The exposition which follows analyzes three dis- 
tinct southern cultures chiefly during the neglected period be- 
tween 1730 and 1760 : the settled "Chesapeake Society" of tobacco 
plantations, the "Carolina Society" with its flourishing rice 
business and glittering social capital at Charles Town, and the 
"Back Settlements" extending from Maryland to South Carolina. 
The approach is broadly sociological and the analysis rests upon 
a rich assortment of economic, political, religious, and social 
facts culled from a multitude of contemporary documents. 

Many of the "myths" with which it concerns itself have been 
identified before. The basic theme of southern diversity is well 
worth emphasizing, but it is scarcely a new discovery. Indeed, it 
is now generally agreed in principle — though often ignored in 
fact — that a homogeneous "Old South" has never existed. Neither 
are there many memorable surprises in the descriptions of the 
Chesapeake and Carolina societies. That the Virginia gentry 
were bourgeois and intelligent rather than intellectual, that the 
planters of Charles Town were cultural dilettantes, consumers 
rather than producers of the arts, have been made clear before — 
although Mr. Bridenbaugh's presentation is much too lively and 
incisive to be called repetitious. 

What seems most valuable to this reader is the section dealing 
with the back country. By means of a new factual emphasis and 
a reappraisal of familiar materials, the author reveals a more 
diverse and less democratic frontier area than we are accustomed 
to. Fierce sectarian struggles and cultural antagonisms are cited 
to refute the "west-as-a-melting-pot" idea. Descriptions of in- 
land villages establishing themselves in the image of older eastern 
communities help to explain the presence of social castes and to 
attach the concept of a self-conscious western culture with new 
ideals and social practices. Special attention is given to qualifying 
the persistent theme of political struggle between a democratic 

288 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and idealistic west and a conservative east. Mr. Bridenbaugh 
asserts that this contest did not exist in Maryland and Virginia 
and that in the Carolinas the east was less oppressive than the 
"Regulators" were unjustifiably cantankerous. 

Like all of Mr. Bridenbaugh's books, this one is both stimulat- 
ing and instructive. 

Donald Sheehan. 

Smith College, 

Northampton, Massachusetts. 

The Health of Slaves on Southern Plantations. By William Dosite Postell. 
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 1951. Pp. iv, 231. $3.00.) 

Despite the existence of an already extensive collection of 
monographic material on the general subject of American Negro 
slavery, historians of the ante-bellum South continue to delve 
into plantation records and come up with fresh material on cer- 
tain aspects of the "peculiar institution." This little volume is a 
case in point. Mr. Postell devoted perhaps too much space to a 
review of the well-known characteristics of the plantation econ- 
omy but he has assembled in quite readable form detailed in- 
formation, not readily available elsewhere, about the ailments 
which afflicted Negro slaves and the measures taken to combat 

As a class, the Negro slaves were found to be about as healthy 
— or unhealthy — as their white masters and certainly they were 
better situated in this respect than their "poor white" neighbors 
who had no one to supervise their living conditions or to pay for 
professional medical attention. One is impressed with the evi- 
dences cited to show that, on the whole, plantation owners were 
far from indifferent as to the health of the slaves. On many 
plantations there were periodic inspections of the slave quarters. 
Plantation hospitals were maintained in a few instances. The 
same physician who treated members of the planter's family 
was commonly summoned to prescribe for a sick or injured slave. 
Pregnant women were assigned lighter tasks during the weeks 
preceding childbirth, and nursing mothers were allowed extra 
time off from field work. The aged and infirm were accorded 
reasonable care. 

But there was another side of the picture which was given due 
treatment. Epidemic diseases such as malaria and yellow fever 

Book Reviews 289 

sometimes struck with devastating effects. The rice swamps and 
river bottom lands were particularly unhealthful areas. Expo- 
sure sometimes led to pneumonia, and "consumption" killed 
Negroes as well as whites. Plantation accidents were not un- 

Slaves normally did not go hungry, but rations of meat, meal, 
and molasses were not often enough varied or supplemented to 
provide needed nutritional elements. Slaves sometimes fell victim 
to pellagra. 

While doctors were called in on occasions, much of the medical 
care depended on the master and mistress of the plantation. 
Published medical guides were studied and information thus 
derived was supplemented by folklore — some traceable to the 
Negroes themselves. Superstition inspired many remedies ; others 
were based on practical experience. Roots and herbs were not 
without medical value. And the greatest restorer was nature 
itself. The Negro race in bondage increased in about the same 
proportion as the whites living in the same area. 

The book, done in offset printing, is not elaborate, but is at- 
tractively illustrated. The material is well documented and the 
conclusions are sound. Numerous excerpts taken from plantation 
diaries add interest and value. 

W. A. Mabry. 

Randolph Macon College, 
Ashland, Virginia 

Three Months in the Confederate Army. By Henry Hotze. Edited by 
Richard Barksdale Harwell. (University, Ala.: University of Alabama 
Press. 1952. Pp. 38. $1.00.) 

Mr. Harwell has rendered another service to Confederate 
history — this time by making Henry Hotze's Three Months in the 
Confederate Army available in monograph form. 

This edition of Hotze's work is presented in facsimile from 
several issues of the London Index, 1862. An able propagandist, 
Hotze first served a "hitch" in Confederate ranks (three months) , 
and was then sent to England as Commercial Agent. He estab- 
lished the Index on his own initiative as a newspaper designed 
to present a favorable view of events in the South to an influential 
English audience. Hotze's paper was a success, but could not 
survive the Confederacy's collapse. 

290 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Three Months in the Confederate Army was Hotze's unsigned 
narrative of his experiences in the Army. Restricted in scope, 
this series sought to give English readers an insight into south- 
ern spirit. 

Hotze's work remains of value to historians for the informa- 
tion it affords about the early days of the war. 

Frank E. Vandiver. 

Washington University, 

Saint Louis, Missouri. 

Ploughshares Into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance 
By Frank E. Vandiver. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1952. Pp. 
xiv, 349. Frontispiece, bibliography, and index. $5.00.) 

In the many histories of Confederate affairs war heroes of the 
South have been plentiful, but most of them have been military 
figures whose glamorous exploits on the battlefield have over- 
shadowed equally significant achievements of others behind the 
lines. Dr. Vandiver has now rescued an obscure figure of that 
struggle, if not from oblivion at least from neglect, and has 
given us a very fine biography of General Josiah Gorgas, Chief 
of the Ordnance Bureau of the Confederate States of America. 

There was little in Gorgas* early career to prophesy his out- 
standing success during the war years. A native of Pennsylvania, 
he was graduated sixth in a class of fifty-two at the Military 
Academy at West Point in 1841. For the next twenty years he 
served as an ordnance officer in the United States Army, most 
of it in southern arsenals. These years were filled with hard 
work, but also with frustration and disappointment, and were 
characterized by much pettiness and more than one personal 
difficulty. But when, in 1861, Gorgas joined the Confederate 
cause, he began to show qualities of military administration 
akin to genius. The bulk of this volume, appropriately enough, 
describes in detail his achievements as chief of Ordnance. In this 
post Gorgas became an exceptionally able and intelligent ad- 
ministrator, demonstrating an unusual degree of executive abili- 
ty, scientific knowledge, and technical skill, and a positive genius 
for efficient organization and for the selection of subordinates 
of great loyalty and ability. Together with imaginative resource- 
fulness these qualities enabled Gorgas and his assistants ". . . to 
supply an almost completely agrarian nation with the arms, 

Book Reviews 291 

ammunition, and industries necessary to keep its armies in the 
field against a mighty industrial foe. The soldiers of the South 
frequently were without adequate food, the winds knifed 
through the tattered rags which they called clothing, and their 
bare feet left bloody footprints on the rutted Southern roads; 
but never, until the end, did they lack for munitions. The world 
has hardly seen such a miraculous transformation of plough- 
shares into swords." 

In describing the achievements of these years Dr. Vandiver 
has been obliged to engage in much technical discussion about 
the manufacture of munitions, about arsenals and guns and 
finance, but out of it all there emerges a clear picture of the 
personality and character of Gorgas himself. The last three 
chapters are devoted to the post-war years, and are largely de- 
scriptions of his failure in the iron business in Alabama and his 
educational venture at Sewanee. Somehow this period of his life 
appears as anticlimax, but so it was to most others in the South 
after 1865. 

The extensive bibliography gives abundant evidence of the 
sound and scholarly basis of this volume. Not only has the author 
used the obvious printed sources, such as the Official Records, 
but also extensive manuscript sources in the National Archives 
and in private hands. Most important of all were the several 
diaries and journals kept by Gorgas himself and preserved by 
his descendants. These sources, together with the skill and 
scholarship of the author, make for a rich and rewarding study 
of great value for any student of the Confederacy. 

Frontis W. Johnston. 

Davidson College, 


Thomas Mifflin and the Politics of the American Revolution. By Kenneth R. 
Rossman. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1952. 
Pp. xii, 344. $5.00.) 

This book is primarily intended as a biography, although it 
has a secondary purpose of almost equal weight. As a biography, 
it deals with Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800), who, with many other 
things, was an important Pennsylvania Revolutionary leader and 
a controversial figure in Washington's military organization. 

292 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The work is an effort to set Mifflin's record straight, i.e., to bring 
into fresh focus the career of a Revolutionary figure who, the 
author believes, has been accorded too much adverse fame as a 
supposed conspirator against General Washington and not 
enough credit for his real contribution to the American cause. 
As an adjunct to the biographic intent, the work has the second- 
ary purpose of illuminating the course of Revolutionary politics, 
as conceived in the narrow sense of personal conflict and intrigue. 
This story involves many of the leading political and military 
figures of the time (including Mifflin and Washington) and is 
exemplified by the Conway Cabal episode, the persistent mystery 
of which is not here dispelled. 

The purpose behind the biography is too narrow for a complete 
biography, and, in adhering to it, the author does not portray 
a whole man or a whole career so much as he presents a series 
of events (often in the form of character impeachments) in 
which the man was involved and to which he reacted. This was 
as far as Mr. Rossman intended to go with the biography ; but it 
is probably an unfortunate limitation, as Mifflin's relation to 
many of these events eludes the biographer's clarification and 
other elements are often lacking for a compensatory general 
understanding. Mr. Rossman probably emphasizes too much 
the charges growing out of Mifflin's wartime activities as keys 
to evaluating his career, charges which he leaves unresolved 
despite warm and often astute presentation of evidence. 

In indicating in considerable detail an atmosphere of personal 
rivalry and intrigue in the politics of the Revolution years, as 
distinct from settling the particular questions raised within this 
setting, the book probably reaches its high point of achievement 
and renders its greatest service. It is a credit, too, that it reflects 
the essential timelessness of the history of vicissitude and pre- 
dicament that often trails a politician of Mifflin's stamp. 

W. S. Tarlton. 


George Washington: A Biography. Volume V. By Douglas Southall Free- 
man. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1952. Pp. xvi, 570. $7.50.) 

Four of the cardinal characteristics which Dr. Freeman says 
Washington possessed, he, himself, certainly possesses : patience, 

Book Reviews 293 

diligence, courage, and caution. This volume, subtitled Victory 
with the Help of France, covers about five and a half years of 
Washington's career, from April 30, 1778, when he received with 
"heartfelt joy" the news of the French alliance, to Christmas 
Eve, 1783, when, once again a private citizen, he returned to 
the "beloved trees, the yard, the doorway" of Mount Vernon. 
Within these limits the two major military operations of Mon- 
mouth and Yorktown and many lesser episodes, including the 
arrest of Charles Lee, Wayne's storming of Stony Point, Henry 
Lee's raid on Powles Hook, starving time at Morristown, the 
eternal problem of men and supplies, Arnold's treason, the 
Pennsylvania mutiny, entry into New York City, and the fare- 
well at Fraunces Tavern are narrated. 

The Washington sources have been gone over with a fine- 
tooth comb. As to verifiable detail the work is monumental. In 
the finished product, however, at the expense of literary quality, 
the raw materials stand out a bit too prominently. Dr. Freeman's 
approach is by way of Washington's point of view. So much 
of his vision is the vision of Washington that his work bears vir- 
tually the character of a journal that might have been written 
from day to day by the General himself. As to Washington's 
military competence, Dr. Freeman suggests that his sound judg- 
ment in the Yorktown operation, and the "speed with which he 
effected the concentration," warrants "a higher place among 
famous commanders than has been accorded him." 

By and large, Washington is presented, not "as a complicated 
personality," but "as an individual who became simpler as he 
grew older." Have we all these years been searching for a man 
behind the unexpressive exterior who was not there? If that be 
true, then no amount of inferential thought, psychological in- 
sight, and psycho-social techniques can result in anything more 
than fiction. Surely it will be conceded, though, that actualities 
which are most easily verified are often the least significant; 
that elusive fact, impossible to establish save by interpretation, 
is frequently the more important if understanding is to be 

William T. Miller. 
Nebraska State Teachers College, 
Chadron, Nebraska. 

294 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Territorial Papers of the United States : Volume XVIII, The Territory 
of Alabama, 1817-1819. Compiled and edited by Clarence Edwin Carter. 
(Washington: United States Government Printing Office. 1952. Pp. xiii, 
875. $5.50.) 

Dr. Carter's masterly edition of The Territorial Papers of the 
United States is so well-known to American historians that any 
comment upon the excellence of his technique or the importance 
of the work would be superfluous here. The present volume, con- 
sisting of the papers of the Alabama Territory, contains a con- 
siderable number of documents which belong to the period when 
the Alabama country was still a part of Mississippi Territory, 
and it is, in fact, a continuation of volumes V and VI, which 
relate to that government. 

Alabama was a territory for only a little more than two years, 
and its annals are hardly exciting; yet the student who is in- 
terested in public lands, Indian affairs, frontier defense, the ex- 
tension of the postal system, or any phase of territorial admin- 
istration will find a wealth of material in this collection. But, 
in the opinion of the reviewer, the most interesting subject with 
which these papers deal is the process of frontier settlement. 

The reason why Alabama remained a territory for so short a 
period is the rapidity with which her lands were settled. This 
was due to the vast quantity of good soil recently acquired from 
the Indians, the high price of cotton during the boom which 
followed the War of 1812, the good navigable rivers which 
drained the southern half of the Territory, and relative security 
from Indian attacks. This region, therefore, did not go through 
a long period of frontier hardship and border warfare like 
those which characterized the settlement of Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee. White hunters and trappers had rarely penetrated the 
Alabama forests, nor was self-sustaining agriculture ever the 
rule on the better Alabama lands. 

It is true that there were old and primitive settlements in the 
region about Mobile and St. Stephens, the latter serving as the 
first Territorial capital ; but the men here were herdsmen, farm- 
ers and "Indian countrymen," not woodsmen or hunters, and 
they rarely ventured far from their settlements. Furthermore, 
they were so greatly outnumbered by the cotton planters who 
flocked in after 1815 that they played no great part in the de- 

Book Reviews 295 

velopment of the region. There had been no previous frontier 
advance like that which took place in Alabama, and it is worth 
studying for the contrasts which it affords. 
Our debt to Dr. Carter continues to grow. 

Thomas Perkins Abernethy. 

University of Virginia, 

Divided We Fought: A Pictorial History of the War, 1861-1865. By Hirst D. 
Milhollen, Milton Kaplan, and Hulen Stuart. General Editor David 
Donald. (New York: The MacMillan Company. 1952. Pp. x, 452. $10.00.) 

Divided We Fought is a remarkable pictorial history for 
several reasons. The quality of the pictures is superb, their se- 
lection reflects sensitive understanding, and the text accompany- 
ing them is not only illuminating, but warmly sympathetic as 
well. All these elements combine to produce a moving human 

Messrs. Milhollen, Kaplan, and Stuart have brought together 
in this volume the best photographs of Brady and of many less 
famous war photographers and artists. David Donald's text 
maintains the standard set by the illustrations. He has found 
pertinent comments for each picture and has deftly included 
these at the proper place in his narrative. This adroit teamwork 
almost makes the reader of Divided We Fought feel like an 
eyewitness to the whole heroic, daily, and tragic course of the 
Civil War. 

That this book could be compiled is in large measure due to 
Matthew Brady and his able assistants, who rank as the first 
battle cameramen. These men, and some of the war artists whose 
work is included in the volume, caught the desperately human 
character of the Civil War in their lenses and on their easels. 
The essential similarity of both armies is clearly revealed. 

Illustrations representing all phases of military life are in- 
cluded, as are examples of many types of equipment. Numerous 
portraits serve to emphasize the importance of the personal 
element in the war. Here, clearly shown, is individuality and 
regimentation, curiously, and yet somehow naturally, combined. 

A sincere attempt was made to portray North and South 
equally, but pictures from the Confederate side are, perforce, 

296 The North Carolina Historical Review 

less numerous and sometimes less clear. Happily, though, the 
over-all effect is so powerful that the southern reader will 
hardly feel slighted. 

Frank E. Vandiver. 

Washington University, 

Saint Louis, Missouri 


The Robert D. W. Connor Award will be made by the State 
Literary and Historical Association for the first time in 1953 
and annually thereafter for the best article, based on original 
research in the field of North Carolina history, written by an 
undergraduate or graduate college or university student and 
published in The North Carolina Historical Review in one 
or more of the four issues ending with and including the July 
issue preceding the annual meeting of the Association. The 
award will be announced at the morning session and will be in 
the form of a check for $25. The judges for this year will be Dr. 
Christopher Crittenden, editor of The Review, Dr. Paul Murray 
of East Carolina College, and Dr. D. J. Whitener of Appalachian 
State Teachers College. 

Any student having one or more articles to submit should send 
them to Mr. D. L. Corbitt, managing editor of The Review, who 
will pass them on to the editorial board to be considered for 
possible publication. 

The new award was recently approved by the executive com- 
mittee of the Association. The necessary plans and procedures 
were worked out by the awards committee, composed of Pro- 
fessor Richard Walser, chairman, Miss Clara Booth Byrd, Dean 
Katherine Carmichael, Mr. Burnham S. Colburn, Dr. Fletcher 
M. Green, Mrs. Bernice Kelly Harris, Mr. Robert Lee Humber, 
and Mr. William T. Polk. 

The North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians 
has announced the establishment of the Smithwick Award, an 
award given by Dr. D. T. Smithwick of Louisburg. It is to be 
given biennially at the December meeting of the Society for a 
published county or local history, or historical, or biographical 
work. The first award will be given in 1953 for an article pub- 
lished between July 1, 1950 and July 1, 1953. All papers, to be 
considered, must be in the hands of the chairman of the commit- 
tee of award by July 1, 1953. Subsequent awards will be made at 
biennial intervals for articles submitted by July 1 of the award 
year. Willis C. Briggs is chairman of the 1953 committee of 


298 The North Carolina Historical Review 

award; other members are Mrs. S. T. Peace, Henderson, Mr. 
John H. Monger, Sanford, Mr. William S. Powell, Chapel Hill, 
Miss Mary Louise Medley, Sanford, Mrs. Louis A. Froelich, 
Jackson, Mr. John E. Tyler, Roxobel, and Mr. Leon M. McDonald 
of Olivia. Mr. McDonald is secretary of the Society and ex officio 
secretary to the committee of award. 

Dr. Sara McCulloh Lemmon of Meredith College has an article 
entitled "Transportation Segregation in the Federal Courts 
Since 1865" in the April issue of the Journal of Negro History. 

Dr. Lemmon will teach in the first summer session at Western 
Carolina Teachers College, Cullowhee. 

Appalachian State Teachers College will have the following 
visiting teachers in the Social Studies Department of the gradu- 
ate school for the summer 1953 : Dr. Gilbert L. Lycan, chairman 
of the Social Studies Department, Stetson University, DeLand, 
Florida; Dr. Thomas B. Alexander, chairman Social Studies 
Department, Georgia State Teachers College, Statesboro, 
Georgia; Dr. W. E. Hopkins, chairman Social Studies Depart- 
ment, Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia ; and Dr. Rosamonde W. 
Boyd, chairman Social Studies Department, Converse College, 
Spartanburg, South Carolina. Also during the summer, Dr. Ina 
Woestemeyer Van Noppen of the college faculty will teach at 
the Georgia State Teachers College, Statesboro, Georgia; Pro- 
fessor Edwin Dougherty will study at George Peabody College 
for Teachers, and Professor John M. Justice will study at the 
University of North Carolina. 

Dr. D. J. Whitener, head of the Social Studies Department at 
Appalachian State Teachers College, was recently reelected Ex- 
ecutive Vice President of the Southern Appalachian Historical 

At the January meeting of the Western North Carolina His- 
torical Society two addresses were given : "A Phase of the His- 
toric Sites Development of the National Park Service" by Mr. 
Edward A. Hummel, Superintendent of the Great Smoky Moun- 
tains Park, Gatlinburg, and "Asheville and Thomas Wolfe" by 

Historical News 299 

Mr. George W. McCoy, managing editor of The Asheville Citizen. 
Dr. Whitener and Professor Edwin Dougherty of Appalachian 
State Teachers College attended this meeting. 

The Board of Directors of the Southern Appalachian His- 
torical Association recently announced that Kermit Hunter's 
"Horn in the West" will open in Boone on June 26 and will close 
on September 7, 1953. 

It has also been announced that the "Lost Colony" will open on 
Saturday, June 27, 1953. 

The spring meeting of the State Literary and Historical Asso- 
ciation will be held in Winston-Salem, Friday and Saturday, 
May 22-23. Dr. Douglas L. Rights, archivist of the Moravian 
Church, Southern Province, is chairman of the committee on 
arrangements. The Association will hold its summer meeting at 
Cullowhee, August 27-29, with Dean W. E. Bird of Western 
Carolina Teachers College as chairman of the local committee. 

Dr. Edward 0. Guerrant, associate professor of history at 
Davidson College, has been promoted to professor of history and 
international relations. He is now on leave under a Ford Fellow- 
ship. He will teach at the University of Southern California this 
summer, returning to Davidson in the fall. 

Dr. Frontis W. Johnston, chairman of the History Department 
at Davidson, will teach for the first term of summer school at 
Duke University this year. 

At a meeting of the Craven County Historical Association on 
February 19, Dr. Christopher Crittenden led a discussion as to 
what the organization can do to preserve houses and sites, mark 
such places, and otherwise develop an active historical program 
for the Town of New Bern. 

The Archaeological Society of North Carolina met in Winston- 
Salem on January 10. The following papers were presented at 
the meeting: "Field Work — Bugg's Island Reservoir" by John E. 
Heimnick of Chapel Hill ; "Renewing the Archaeological Survey 

300 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of North Carolina" by Ernest Lewis of Mt. Gilead ; "Archaeology 
of the Badin Area" by H. M. Doerschuk; and "Archaeological 
Surprises" by Douglas L. Rights of Winston-Salem. New 
officers for the Society are : President, Mrs. John M. Parker, III, 
of Raleigh; Vice-President, Dr. Samuel E. Beck of Asheville; 
Secretary-Treasurer, Harry T. Davis of Raleigh; Editor, Dr. 
Joffre L. Coe ; and members of the Executive Board, Mr. H. M. 
Doerschuk and Dr. J. P. Harland. 

American Heritage, published quarterly by the American 
Association for State and Local History, had Dr. Christopher 
Crittenden as its guest editor for the winter issue. Among the 
articles in this issue are : "Southern No Man's Land" by Chris- 
topher Crittenden; "Proprietors and Pioneers" by Edwin S. 
Miles; "North Carolina Foods," "Sir Walter Raleigh," and "Roa- 
noke" by William S. Powell. It also carries numerous articles 
dealing particularly with the history of the South. 

The Papers of Willie Person Mangum, Volume II, 1833-1838, 
edited by Dr. Henry T. Shanks, has been published by the State 
Department of Archives and History. Copies may be procured 
by applying to the department and enclosing a wrapping and 
mailing fee of $1.00. The department has considered it advisable, 
due to the increased cost of printing, to charge $1.00 for all of its 
case-bound volumes, whether mailed or obtained directly from 
the office. 

Mr. D. L. Corbitt, of the Department of Archives and His- 
tory, spoke to the Bloomsbury Chapter of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution, January 9, on "North Carolina's Part in 
the Revolution." On January 15, he talked to members of the 
Raleigh Junior League on the subject, "Establishing the City 
of Raleigh." 

On February 10 Dr. Christopher Crittenden gave an illustrated 
talk to the Sir Walter Cabinet on the State Department of Ar- 
chives and History and its program, pointing out the need for a 
new building. 

Historical News 301 

Two North Carolina counties recently transferred some of 
their older records to the State Archives. From Davidson County 
came such records as court minutes, tax lists, marriage bonds, 
and inventories of estates. Duplin County transferred tax lists, 
minutes of the Board of County Commissioners, and meridian 


Dr. James Howard Brewer is an associate professor of history 
at Virginia State College, Petersburg, Virginia. 

Mr. Hugh Hill Wooten, an agricultural economist, is head of 
the Land Utilization Section of the United States Bureau of 
Agricultural Economics, Washington, D. C. 

Dr. Frontis W. Johnston is head of the history department at 
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, and president of the 
State Literary and Historical Association. 

Dr. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton is director emeritus of the 
Southern Historical Collection in the Library of the University 
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Mr. George W. McCoy is managing editor of The Asheville 
Citizen, Asheville, North Carolina. 

Mr. Kermit Hunter is an instructor of English at the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Mr. LeGette Blythe is a free lance writer of Huntersville, 
North Carolina. 

Mr. John L. Sanders is a law student at the University of 
North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Miss Mary Lindsay Thornton is librarian of the North Caro- 
lina Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel 
Hill, North Carolina. 

[ 302 ] 

JANUARY, 1953 

The Beginnings of Religious Journalism in 
North Carolina, 1823-1865 1 

Henry S. Stroupe 

The Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign, 1776 23 

Hugh F. Rankin 

Westward Migration from Iredell 
County, 1800-1850 61 

Hugh Hill Wooten 

A Bibliography of the Printed Writings of 
William Edward Dodd 72 

Jack K. Williams 

The Journal of Ruffin Wirt Tomlinson, The 
University of North Carolina, 1841-1842 86 

John L. Sanders 

Book Reviews 115 

Historical News 139 

[303 ] 


."•Vv ; 

JULY 1953 

Volume XXX 

Number 3 

Published Quarterly By 

State Department of Archives and History 

Corner of Edenton and Salisbury Streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 



Published by the State Department of Archives and History 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 


Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lefler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Franklin Brown, Chairman 

Gertrude Sprague Carraway McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 192 U, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. Members of the State Literary and Historical As- 
sociation, for which the annual dues are $3.00, receive this publication 
without further payment. Back numbers may be procured at the regular 
price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

COVER — Courthouse of Chowan County in Edenton. Built 
about 1767, it is the oldest courthouse in North Carolina still in 
use. See pages 329-353 for "Legal Practice and Ethics in 
North Carolina, 1820-1860," in which much is said about court- 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXX July, 1953 Number 3 



1840-1950 ; Part 1 : 1840-1900 305 

Rosser H. Taylor 

1820-1860 329 

Fannie Memory Farmer 


1880-1922 354 

Harley E. Jolley 



Daniel Miles McFarland 


IN 1865 415 

Kenneth E. St. Clair 


North Carolina Authors: A Selective Handbook — By 
Thomas G. Henney; BOYD'S The Papers of Thomas 
Jefferson, Volume VI — By Gilbert L. Lycan; MOR- 
GAN'S Virginians at Home: Family Life in the Eigh- 
teenth Century — By Hugh T. Lefler; SANGER'S 
AND HAY'S James Longstreet^-By George V. IRONS ; 
MIRSKY'S AND NEVIN'S The World of Eli Whitney 
—By James F. Hopkins; WARD'S The War of the 
Revolution — By Horace W. Raper; DEARING'S Vet- 
erans in Politics: The Story of the G.A.R. — By HAROLD 
M. Helfman ; MARTIN'S AND GELBER'S The New 
Dictionary of American History — By D. L. CORBITT. 


Entered as second-class matter SeptemJ^ r 29, 1928, at the Post Office at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, under | -he act of March 3, 1879. 


The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXX July, 1953 Number 3 


SOUTHEAST, 1840-1950 1 

By Rosser H. Taylor 

PART 1 : 1840-1900 
Introduction of Guano 

For many years prior to the introduction of commercial 
fertilizers in the South Atlantic states in the early 1840's, the 
matter of improving old and worn-out lands engaged the at- 
tention of gentleman farmers and the editors of agricultural 
journals. Much timely advice was broadcast and many interest- 
ing experiments were conducted without substantially changing 
the traditional agricultural pattern. 

As a result of the agitation for resuscitating old fields, one 
development, the increased interest in manures, stands out. In 
the ante-bellum period the use of domestic or lot manure, com- 
posted or otherwise, was well-nigh universal. The supply, how- 
ever, was never sufficient to cover the broad acres in cotton and 
corn which must be planted to keep the labor force employed. 
Experiments with marsh mud on the coast, land plaster, marl 
and cottonseed evoked considerable interest but failed to arouse 
a general response. James H. Hammond's prolonged use of marl 
in South Carolina was watched with interest. Hammond's be- 
lated admission that "old lands marled heavily have been as 
much injured in some places as they were benefited in others" 2 
was not calculated to incite many to follow his example. 

1 This study was financed by a Carnegie Grant awarded the author by Furman University 
when he was a member of the Furman University faculty. The author acknowledges his 
indebtedness to Professor H. J. Webb of Clemson College and to Professor Ralph Cummings 
of North Carolina State College for helpful criticism. 

2 James H- Hammond to Edmund Ruffin, Silver Bluff, South Carolina, July 10, 1849. MS 
in Hammond-Ruftin Correspondence, Southern Historical Collection, the University of North 
Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. Hammond suspected that Virginia marl contained some 
substance other than lime or that the crops and climate of Virginia responded more 
readily to marl. 

[ 305 ] 

306 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Instead of crop rotation, strongly recommended by agricul- 
tural journals, most farmers and planters turned old fields out 
to rest. James H. Hammond, rated as a progressive planter, 
deemed "rest" the only rotation worth consideration. 3 In the 
absence of crop diversification, rotation and adequate fertiliza- 
tion, more and more land was cultivated until exhausted and 
then turned out to grow up in broomsedge and pines. Meanwhile, 
erosion took its toll of topsoil until worn-out hillsides seamed 
with gullies became a disturbing feature of landscapes of the 
southern piedmont. People who did not move west to escape the 
consequences of their folly were more and more faced with the 
problems of improving old fields and of changing the inherited 
pattern of clearing land, cultivating it until it was exhausted, 
and then moving on. Obviously, the old land-killing method of 
farming if pursued indefinitely would eventually result in im- 
poverishing both land and tenants. 

In casting about for some remedy, more attention was given 
to manures. By 1850 composting was widely practiced and more 
and more litter was being hauled out and scattered over the 
fields. J. D. Ashmore of Anderson, South Carolina, was one 
among many planters who made extensive use of compost and 
litter. In 1853 he had his hands haul 475 loads of litter into his 
fields for the 1854 crop. 4 In 1854 John S. Dancy, of Edgecombe 
County, North Carolina, was credited with making and hauling 
out 35,000 loads of compost, enough to manure 350 acres with 
one load for every twenty square feet. 5 The use of lime and 
marl, where available, was stepped up. These measures, while 
admittedly beneficial, could not in all instances suffice. Only a 
portion of the farm or plantation received the annual contri- 
bution. Planters owned a labor force capable of cultivating vastly 
more acres than they could possibly cover with domestic ma- 
nures. If some nutrient in sufficient quantity for extensive use 
and priced within the means of the farmer could be made avail- 
able, agriculture might be raised to a more profitable level. 

3 James H. Hammond to Edmund Ruffin, Silver Bluff, August 15, 1849. James Hamilton 
Couper of Hopeton Plantation on the Altamaha River practiced rotation of crops syste- 
matically. He was, however, a notable exception. Guion Griffis Johnson, A Social History 
of the Sea Islands: With Special Reference to St. Helena Island, South Carolina, 60. 

4 Plantation Journal of J. D. Ashmore, February, 1853. Southern Historical Collection, 
the University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. Ashmore's hands were heaping and 
scattering manure on his fields from February 7 to March 23, 1853. 

6 The Soil of the South (Columbus, Georgia), November, 1854. 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 307 

In the midst of the cry for agricultural reform reports began 
to reach the United States from England regarding experiments 
there with cormorant or gull manure from Peru, commonly 
called guano, 6 It is virtually certain that guano was used in 
England in 1840. 7 Various dates have been assigned for the 
introduction of guano into the United States. While it is difficult 
to establish a definite date with certainty, it is safe to state that 
its introduction followed shortly upon the first tests made in 
England. A. B. Allen of New York, agent for the Peruvian 
guano, in a signed statement, asserted: "It is six years since it 
[guano] has been used to any considerable extent in this neigh- 
borhood and its immediate efforts are truly wonderful." 8 Guano 
was introduced before 1845 along the coast of Long Island, New 
Jersey, and Maryland, and as early as 1845 J. Jenkins Mikell of 
Edisto Island, South Carolina, used 200 pounds of guano. 9 South 
Carolina planters did not receive shipments of guano until after 
it had been tested in Virginia and Maryland. 

The introduction of guano kindled high hopes that it would 
prove to be a panacea for the ills of southern agriculture. Editors 
of farm periodicals were deluged with requests for information 
concerning the price, availability, and proper use of the Peru- 
vian guano. 10 When reliable data were published, it was revealed 
that Peruvian guano was undoubtedly efficacious. The price was 
high, 11 however, and the quantity limited. 

The most active ingredient in the original Peruvian guano 
was nitrogen, stored in the excrement of sea birds on the islands 
along the coast of Peru. These deposits, the accumulation of 
centuries, attained a depth of fifty to sixty feet. By reason of the 
dry climate and the absence of rainfall in the area, the nitrogen 
content of the bird dung suffered very little loss as a result of 
leaching and volatilization. 12 

6 The Farmers' Register (Petersburg, Virginia), IX (July 31, 1841). 

7 A number of farmers in England had been supplied with samples by the importer. 
George Harriott of North Waltham, Basingstoke, asserted that he used guano on some 
barley in Norfolk in 1840. The Farmers' Register, IX (December 31, 1841). 

8 The Southern Cultivator, (Augusta, Georgia), July, 1851, 98. 

9 Rosser H. Taylor, "Commercial Fertilizers in South Carolina," The South Atlantic 
Quarterly, XXIX (April, 1930), 181. In a letter written by A. B. Davis of Montgomery 
County, Maryland, to John D. Freeman of Mississippi and published in the Farmers' 
Journal (Bath, North Carolina), I (September, 1852), 170, Davis held that the first 
boatload of Peruvian guano was imported at Baltimore in 1844. 

10 Inquiries regarding guano are found in The Soil of the South, February, 1853, and 
The Southern Cultivator, VII (1853). 

11 The Peruvian sold for $50 a ton in 1855. The price, which was fixed by the Peruvian 
government, subsequently rose to $60 per ton. Agencies for the sale of Peruvian guano 
were established in Baltimore, Charleston, and New York. The Southern Cultivator, 
March, 1851, 35. 

™The Farmers' Register, X (February 28, 1842); IX (December 31, 1841), 

308 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The original Peruvian was superior to all other commercial 
fertilizers; however, the richest deposits were soon exhausted, 
and maximum importation probably was reached in 1856. By 
1870 the Chincha Guano, the best of the Peruvian, was practically 
exhausted; nonetheless, dealers continued to advertise and to 
sell the genuine Peruvian long after it declined in quality. 13 

So great was the demand for the Peruvian that the supply 
was never adequate. 14 The rather prohibitive price ($60 per ton) , 
together with the smallness of supply of the Peruvian, induced 
domestic manufacturers to prepare manipulated fertilizers for 
sale at a reduced price, alleging that they were equal to or 
superior to the Peruvian. 15 Notable among the domestic brands 
were Rhodes Super Phosphate of Lime, Mapes Super Phosphate 
of Lime, and the Columbian Guano, sold in barrels of 320 
pounds each. 16 

While there were numerous complaints regarding the price 
of the Peruvian, there were more complaints with reference to 
its unavailability. So insistent was the demand that efforts were 
launched to secure direct importation to Charleston and Savan- 
nah. John Cunningham, of Greensboro, Georgia, a Peruvian 
guano enthusiast, wished to start a campaign for direct importa- 
tion to Savannah. Savannah importers informed him that the 
article could be had but they "gravely doubted that the consump- 
tion of guano has reached the point in our state that will warrant 
direct importation." 17 According to a subscriber to the Southern 
Agriculturist who desired assistance in getting Peruvian guano 
imported directly to Charleston in 1853, Baltimore and New 
York were the only cities "which have direct importation." 18 

It should be remembered that the farmers and planters of the 
South had no experience to guide them in the use of guano. 

13 The Plantation (Atlanta, Georgia), December 10, 1870. 

14 Avery Odelle Craven, "Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of 
Virginia and Maryland, 1606-1860," University of Illinois Studies, XIII, No. 1 (March, 
1925), 149. The term "guano" was subsequently applied loosely to all manipulated fertilizers. 
Correctly used, the term applied only to the natural manure collected and shipped from 
the islands off the coast of Peru and from those in the Pacific. 

16 The Farmer and Planter (Columbia, South Carolina), February, 1860, 44-45. 

16 The Farmer and Planter, January, 1860, 13; March, 1860, 82-83. Superphosphates were 
originally made by treating bones of animals with sulphuric acid. The same process was 
subsequently used in the manufacture of South Carolina phosphates from phosphatic rocks. 
Superphosphates stood next to guano in popularity. 

17 The Southern Cultivator, XI (April, 1853), 105. 

18 Southern Agriculturist ( Laurensville, South Carolina), August, 1853, 233. In October, 
1853, William Allston Gourdin of Charleston notified the public that he was sole agent 
for the genuine Peruvian guano in the states of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, 
Alabama, and Tennessee. Gourdin was in reality a subagent. All guano shipped by him 
was shipped from Baltimore. Southern Agriculturist, October, 1853, 290, 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 309 

Necessarily, much costly and wasteful experimentation took 
place. Nearly everyone who used guano was pleased to publish 
the results of his tests and those who contemplated using it were 
curious to learn how best to apply it. Solon Robinson, writing 
from Charleston, April 14, 1851, stated that guano was used 
more extensively in Virginia than in the Southeast. He had 
observed the use of guano in Virginia and was convinced that 
sowing guano on the surface was absolutely wasteful of the 
substance. 19 A. B. Allen of New York, after seven years' ex- 
perience with guano, advised users to broadcast and plow under 
in the fall, then replow in the spring for the crop. 20 Editors of 
farm journals generally advised their correspondents to broad- 
cast guano for wheat and oats and drill it for cotton. As for corn, 
the editor of the Southern Agriculturist recommended the ap- 
plication of about a tablespoonful to the hill. 21 By 1853 the 
opinion was quite general that guano should be combined with 
plaster to fix the ammonia. Due in part to the price of the article, 
most editors advised the use of small quantities per acre. For 
example, editor James M. Chambers of The Soil of the South 
recommended sowing guano in the drill for cotton and broad- 
casting for corn before planting at the rate of 125 pounds per 
acre. "Too much guano," he opined, "would be too expensive." 22 
J. D. Ashmore of Anderson, South Carolina, applied 140 pounds 
of guano in the drill under cotton in 1854. It was combined, how- 
ever, "with five wagon loads of light pine straw manure made 
in my lane." 23 

Much interest was expressed in the effects of guano on the 
soil and its benefits beyond the first year. There was also a great 
deal of speculation as to whether the benefits derived from 
guano were not more than offset by the cost of the article. 24 Not 
all users of guano were satisfied with the results and editorial 
opinion was divided, but the demand for the commercial manures 
never abated. The editor of The Southern Planter (Richmond) 

19 The Southern Cultivator, May, 1851, 71. 

20 Southern Agriculturist, October, 1858, 293. 

21 Southern Agriculturist, August, 1853, 235. 

22 The Soil of the South, February, 1853. 

23 Plantation Journal of J. D. Ashmore, March 27, 1854. Ashmore thought guano was 
much overrated for the reason that in 1853 he rubbed or rolled his cottonseed in guano 
and plaster of Paris mixed and killed the seed. Plantation Journal of J. D. Ashmore, 
April 5, 1853. 

2* The Southern Cultivator, XI (October, 1853), 292; The Soil of the South, February, 
1854, 34. Those who handled guano were warned to beware of inhaling the dust, as it 
might be detrimental to health. Guano in the early stage of the industry was Jumpy and 
had to be passed through a sieye before sowing, 

310 The North Carolina Historical Review 

noted that in Virginia the majority of the farmers were paying 
less attention to domestic manures since guano became available. 
He then ventured the opinion that "in relying upon it [guano] 
entirely as a means of making a crop we are satisfied that all who 
have done so have committed an error, which they have probably 
at this time regretted." 25 On the other hand, Editor Daniel Lee 
of The Southern Cultivator (Augusta, Georgia) gave it as his 
considered opinion that "farmers should use more guano — . . . 
instead of investing their money in more Negroes the sooner to 
impoverish the best lands of South." 26 

By 1860, the volume of guano available had been augmented 
by a supply from the Pacific islands of Jarvis and Baker offered 
for sale at a price 35 per cent less than the Peruvian. 27 Statistics 
as to the volume of fertilizers used in the South Atlantic states 
before the Civil War are not conclusive. What is apparent is 
that they were being used more widely each succeeding year. 
In Georgia, for example, the railroads hauled 15,353,000 pounds 
of commercial fertilizer from December, 1859, to June, 1860, as 
against 3,854,850 pounds the preceding year. 28 In August, 1860, 
the editor of The Farmer and Planter asserted that "the increase 
in the use of guano in South Carolina during the last year has 

been immense whether it [guano] will work out the 

problem we have been so ardently bent upon or only hasten the 
exhaustion of an already impoverished region is yet to be deter- 
mined." 29 

W. M. Seward, of Isle of Wight County in Virginia, applied 
guano to a variety of crops every year from 1854 to 1860. 

Following are some entries in his farm diary : 

May 16, 1854. I bought to put on wheat guano worth $173.45. 
Apr. 5, 1855. I bought to put on tobacco $53 worth of guano. 
Apr. 5, 1855. 1 bought to put on corn $53 worth of guano. 
July 27, 1855. Bought to put on wheat Peruvian guano worth 

26 Excerpt from The Southern Planter in The Farmer and Planter, September, 1859, 267. 

26 The Southern Cultivator, XI (November, 1853), 329. A correspondent of the American 
Quarterly Journal of Agriculture and Science (Albany, New York) stated that he was 
sorry to see guano imported into the United States because he believed it would cause 
farmers to neglect their own resources. American Quarterly Journal of Agriculture and 
Science. Ill (1846). 87. 

27 The Farmer and Planter, November, 1859. The guano from the Pacific islands was 
said to contain a large percentage of bone phosphate of lime and phosphoric acid. 

28 Ralph Betts Flanders, Plantation Slavery in Georgia, 93. The railroads in Georgia, 
according to Flanders, hauled commercial fertilizers at reduced rates, 

29 fhe Farmer and Planter, August, 1860, 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 311 

Apr. 28, 1856. Bought 2104 lbs. of guano at $64.09 to go on 
tobacco and corn. 30 

David Dickson of Hancock County, Georgia, a successful 
planter, did much to advertise and to popularize the commercial 
manures. In a letter to the Rev. C. W. Howard, July 1, 1859, 
Dickson stated that he commenced using guano at the rate of 
seventy-five pounds per acre and "have gradually increased the 
quality each year up to the present time to 175 pounds per acre 
for cotton." 31 

With the onset of the Civil War and the Federal blockade com- 
mercial fertilizers were no longer available south of Maryland. 
Nor did they again become available until after the termination 
of hostilities when the Baltimore merchants once more placed 
their fertilizer advertisements in southern farm journals and 
almanacs. 32 

Sale and Application After the Civil War 

After the war a number of factors obtained which supplied 
incentive for the increased sale and consumption of commercial 
fertilizers. In the first place, farm lands as a result of wartime 
conditions had undergone a considerable decline in productivity 
and there was less stable and lot manure of quality with which 
to fertilize barren acres. In the second place, there was neither 
capital nor a dependable labor supply for clearing new fields on a 
scale comparable with that of the prewar period. Old fields must 
be cultivated and if possible made more productive. In 1867, 
when cotton was selling at twenty cents a pound, planters could 
afford to hire Negro labor by the day or month at $150 to $200 
per year. With the tumble in cotton prices in 1868, money for 
hiring a gang of Negroes to support the old plantation system 
economy was difficult to command. If, however, planters had 
been able to hire Negroes for cash wages, the arrangement was 
far from satisfactory. Farmers and planters found from experi- 

30 Seward Farm Journal, 1854-1888. MS in the Manuscripts Division, University of Virginia 
Library, Charlottesville. Seward was one of the first planters to advise the free use of 
guano, i.e., the use of guano by itself. 

31 Letter published in The Farmer and Planter, October, 1859. 

32 Baltimore was the center from which southern planters received their fertilizer supplies 
before the Civil War, 

312 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ence that paid Negro laborers would not work regularly. 33 When 
most needed in a crisis the Negro who received his pay on Satur- 
day frequently failed to show up for work on Monday. "No 
man . . . ," wrote the Honorable Willoughby Newton, "can sup- 
pose it possible to cultivate profitably, poor land with hired 
labour ; and under our new system fertilizers must be used to a 
much greater extent than formerly." 34 

In the absence of slave labor it was not so convenient or eco- 
nomical to clear new fields. Before the war the cost of labor 
scarcely counted in the clearing of new fields. After the war the 
clearing of a tract of woodland involved extra expense and labor ; 
besides, the original forests were rapidly receding. Nonetheless, 
in the postwar period the clearing of "new ground" in early 
spring with hired labor continued but on a diminishing scale, 
until landowners came to realize the monetary value of the trees 
which were usually sacrificed in the clearing of the forests. 

The old fields of the Southeast would not produce good crops 
without the use of manures. Since domestic manures were scarce, 
and since the clearing of fresh land when available was ex- 
pensive and limited as to scope, it was natural for farmers to 
turn to commercial fertilizers, now procurable in quantity, for 
fertilizing old upland fields which never received the annual 
accumulation of the stables. A third factor which augmented the 
sale of commercial fertilizers was the spread of sharecropping 
with its emphasis on market crops which require fertilization for 
the best results. Bottom lands were ditched and planted in corn 
without fertilization. Upland fields, progressively leached as a 
result of clean row culture, exhibited a declining fertility. Tenant 
farmers who did not use commercial fertilizers under cotton and 
tobacco on the impoverished lands of the Southeast were con- 
sidered poor risks by the time or furnishing merchant on whom 
they depended for supplies. Landlords also expected tenants to 
use commercial fertilizers and frequently the landlord paid for 
half the fertilizer used on the crop. 35 

Despite the demand for and the obvious need of commercial 
fertilizers in the period immediately following the Civil War, 

33 Robert Preston Brooks, The Agrarian Revolution in Georgia, 1865-1912 (Bulletin No. 
639 of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1914), 21. So general was the objection to 
free Negro labor that Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia undertook to 
induce white immigrants to settle in these states. 

^The American Farmer (Baltimore), 6th ser., I (September, 1866), 92, 

85 Brooks, The Agrarian Revolution in Georgia, 92, 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 313 

sharp warnings were sounded by those who looked beyond the 
needs of the hour against the extensive use of commercial fer- 
tilizer and especially against its use as a substitute for compost 
and other domestic manures. E. M. Bateman of Houston County, 
Georgia, asserted that guano had caused the price of cotton to 
drop from 40 to 16% cents per pound. It was estimated that the 
cotton crop for 1870 would be around 4,000,000 bales. Without 
guano the crop would, according to Mr. Bateman, be around 
2,000,000 bales. A crop of 2,000,000 bales, he contended, would 
sell for more than a crop of 4,000,000 bales. What then? "Raise 
more provisions, plant less cotton and discard guano." 36 

During the 'seventies and 'eighties and to a lesser degree in the 
'nineties, editors of farm journals deplored the extensive use of 
commercial fertilizers. Editor L. L. Polk of The Progressive 
Farmer (Raleigh, North Carolina) was especially outspoken. He 
was convinced that farmers were wasting millions of dollars an- 
nually on fertilizers. 37 He took issue with Governor Scales of 
North Carolina when in 1887 the governor maintained that the 
impoverished lands of the State needed "strong and stimulating 
fertilizers." Editor Polk wrote: "A fallacious theory, a theory 
which has cost the farmers of North Carolina millions and mil- 
lions of dollars since the War and wellnigh bankrupted everyone 
who has relied on it." 38 

While the state of agriculture in the South Atlantic states did 
not noticeably improve, one can only surmise what agricultural 
yields might have been without the chemical plant food. Apropos 
of the state of agriculture in Virginia in 1885, the author of an 
unsigned article in The Southern Planter noted with concern 
that agriculture in Virginia had lagged for twenty years. "In 
almost every neighborhood," he affirmed, "we find the farms on 
a downward tendency and the farms with few exceptions are 
becoming poorer each year." 39 In another unsigned communica- 
tion, a correspondent of The Rural Carolinian (Charleston) 
stated that he had visited cotton lands in Union and Chester 
counties in South Carolina and had found a drab and lean 
economy. "Barring the increased use of commercial fertilizers . . . 

36 The Plantation, November 5, 1870. 

37 The Progressive Farmer (Raleigh, North Carolina), III (January 29, 1889). 

38 The Progressive Farmer, I (January 19, 1887). Among the editors of agricultural 
journals only one, the editor of The American Farmer (Baltimore), heartily endorsed the 
commercial fertilizers. See The American Farmer, April, 1875. 

*°TJie Southern Planter (Richmond, Virginia), April, 1885, 178-189, 

314 The North Carolina Historical Keview 

I saw few evidences of improvement in my travels. The same 
old tumble-down barns, gin houses, corn cribs and stables. . . . All 
the inside fences moved out to repair the outside lines, miserable 
shanties by the wayside, surrounded by a bush fence and a truck 
patch; the old pine fields all being cleared for cotton, poor 
broken-down horses turned out to shift for themselves. The 
freedman's horse is fast becoming an institution." 40 

It was hardly to be expected, however, that sharecropping 
and other forms of farm tenancy which had come to prevail 
would lend themselves to soil building or any marked change in 
the agricultural pattern. Without incentive for soil improvement, 
the cropper (and, for that matter, the landowner without capi- 
tal) must pursue a short-sighted program. Debts must be paid 
when the crops were harvested and in order to pay debts one 
must plant row crops which could be converted readily into 
cash. The time-merchant, successor to the ante-bellum factor, 41 
would not supply a farmer who did not grow cotton or tobacco 
in conformity to his wishes. The net result was that few farmers 
could afford to engage in a long-range program of soil improve- 
ment. In view of the prevailing low prices of farm products, most 
farmers lived in a chronic and uncomfortable state of debt, while 
their farms and buildings suffered further deterioration. 

Concerning land exhaustion as a result of sharecropping in 
tidewater Virginia, Aubrey H. Jones wrote in 1880: "With 
hardly an exception such tracts under this system are greatly 
impoverished and many so barren as not to pay the cost of 
tillage." 42 There was truth in the published statement of George 
W. Williams and Company of Charleston, South Carolina, when 
they asserted that "without commercial fertilizers few of us 
could afford to carry on cotton farming at all." 43 

It is important to note that commercial fertilizers were sold 
on long-term credit, as indeed were most farm supplies ; and, in 
order that landlords and tenants might share in buying guano 
and other farm supplies without cash, state legislatures oblig- 
ingly enacted crop lien laws. These laws were designed not only 
to enable farmers to obtain credit for agricultural purposes, but 

40 The Rural Carolinian (Charleston, South Carolina), October, 1872, 34. 

41 The time-merchant did not duplicate all the services of a factor, but he did extend 
credit, without which many people could not engage in farming. 

42 Southern Planter and Farmer, XLI (March, 1880), 130. 

43 Carolina Fertilizer Almanac and Farmers' Journal (Charleston, South Carolina, 1873), 37. 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 315 

also to protect the general merchant and the special guano agent 
in extending such credit. Farmers of character and substance 
could buy fertilizers on "open account ;" others could give a note 
secured by land or chattels or both. The majority of farmers 
without capital or credit must needs resort to the crop lien 
wherein the landlord or tenant, with the consent of the landlord, 
gave the furnishing merchant a lien or first mortgage on all 
or a portion of his crop to secure "advances for agricultural 
purposes." 44 While there was some variation in the lien laws of 
the South Atlantic states, all of them manifested more solicitude 
for the creditor than for the debtor. 45 

Some examples of the way crop liens were executed may now 
be cited. A. Bras well, a fertilizer merchant of Edgecombe Coun- 
ty, North Carolina, agreed in the year 1881 "to furnish" R. C. 
Burgess "guano not to exceed in value of 562 pounds of mer- 
chantable cotton" to enable Burgess to carry on his agricultural 
operations on the land of Mrs. William H. A. Knight. Burgess 
gave to Braswell a lien on all his crops to secure payment "before 
November first next." Should Burgess default, Braswell was 
authorized to enter the premises and to seize the crops. 46 W. T. 
Pugh, a time-merchant of Charlotte County, Virginia, began sell- 
ing fertilizers on commission around 1880, taking farmers' notes 
to secure payment. At the same time, along with other time- 
merchants, he sold fertilizers and other farm supplies secured by 
crop liens. In the Pugh Store Records, 1822-1904, 47 there are a 
large number of crop liens in standard form in which the debtors 
waived the homestead exemption "as to this debt," and in many 
instances Pugh was promised the entire market and food crop to 
satisfy the advance. A rather interesting variation from the 
over-all crop lien was the lien W. T. Pugh required of James T. 
Crawley for an advance of seventy-five dollars in cash. For 
security, Pugh took a lien on Crawley's entire crop of tobacco. 
Crawley declared that he had not given a previous lien on the 
crop except a note for guano in the amount of about $50. The 
contract covering this transaction stipulated that Crawley should 
pay the guano note first and merchant Pugh second. 48 So avid 

**See Statutes at Large of South Carolina (1878), XVI, 743-744. 

45 Lien Laws later encountered severe condemnation. 

46 Miscellaneous Edgecombe County Papers, Southern Historical Collection. 

47 MS in the Manuscripts Division, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville. 

48 Entry in Pugh Store Records, 1822-1904, February 22, 1878. MS in the Manuscript 
Division, University of Virginia Library. 

316 The North Carolina Historical Review 

were farmers for commercial fertilizers in the 'eighties that they 
would sometimes enter into one-sided agreements to get them. 
For example, Elisha Charles mortgaged his entire crop of to- 
bacco for one bag of fertilizer valued at $4.50. 49 

J. N. Robson, of Charleston, South Carolina, was general agent 
for Soluble Pacific Guano in South Carolina, North Carolina, and 
Georgia. In his capacity as general agent he supplied dealers in 
the three states, but at the same time he sold fertilizers to indi- 
viduals by taking personal notes bearing 7 per cent interest. In 
many instances he accepted cotton in payment. 50 His agents when 
selling on credit were required to protect him by receiving in ex- 
change for the plant food crop liens, negotiable notes payable 
in November, and sometimes cotton at a designated price per 
pound. 51 Robson was constantly importuned during the selling 
season to sell fertilizers with or without crop liens and negotiable 
notes. John L. Conyers of Manning, South Carolina, wrote Rob- 
son in January, 1872 : 

I would like very much to get one ton of Soluble Pacific Guano. 
I am not able to pay you the cash, nor am I able to give you city 
acceptance; but if you will send me the guano I shall certainly 
pay you for it by the middle of November with interest. . . ." 52 

Robson experienced great difficulty in keeping his agents sup- 
plied with Soluble Pacific. As W. H. Hardin, writing from 
Chester, South Carolina, in November, 1873, to J. N. Robson, 
observed, "We think that our people are certainly guano struck 
or have guano on the brain. Hope it may pay them." 53 

W. H. Young, fertilizer agent at Columbus, Georgia, wrote 
Robson that he could not supply the demand for guano. He stated 
that he had already sold 1796 tons of Pacific. "I am," he wrote, 
"entirely out and if on the spot I could sell 200 tons in five days." 54 
There were fertilizer agents delivering fertilizers at nearly every 
railroad siding and farmers were hauling their favorite brands 
home in wagons. Adair and Brothers, commission merchants in 
Atlanta were in the spring of 1872 ordering about a thousand 

4 » Vestal W. Perry Papers, 1877-1887. MS in Duke University Library, Durham, North 
50 J. N. Robson Papers, 1872-1882, MS in Duke University Library. 

61 J. N. Robson Papers, file for the year 1882. 

62 J. N. Robson Papers, file for the year 1872. 
53 J. N. Robson Papers, file for the year 1873. 

51 W. H. Young to J. N. Robson, March 6, 1873, J. N. Robson Papers. 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 317 

tons per month from J. N. Robson and selling it without any 
analysis. Apropos of this state of affairs, Adair and Brothers 
wrote Robson: 

Will you please send us the analysis of S. P. Guano as we 
have lost the old one. None of our new circulars have it. While 
we know about what it is, sometimes a planter wants to see the 
analysis and we like to have it. 55 

Wherever sold there was a substantial difference between 
cash and credit prices. According to the editor of the Augusta 
Chronicle and Sentinel, March 26, 1870, "fertilizers now in the 
market range in price from fifty to eighty dollars per ton." 
Dealers made a difference of $10 a ton between the cash and 
credit prices. "Time sales are made payable Nov. 1st. with 
factors' acceptance." 56 In Georgia in 1870 it was the opinion of 
A. Means, State Inspector of Fertilizers, that about two-thirds of 
the commercial fertilizers were sold on time at an average of $75 
a ton. Breaking his estimate down into categories he found : 

Fertilizers sold for cash $2,000,000 

Fertilizers sold on credit $5,000,000 

Cost of freight $ 500,000 

Interest accruing $ 875,000 

Hauling $ 25,000 

Total ...$8,400,000 57 

The fact that commercial fertilizers were sold on credit ac- 
counts in large part for the tremendous volume consumed. If 
farmers had been forced to pay cash they, no doubt, would have 
given more attention to the preparation of domestic manures. 
Less labor was required to haul and sow commercial fertilizers 
than was required for loading, hauling and scattering stable 
manure and compost; hence, most farmers pursued the line of 
least resistance. 

An examination of the Pulliam-Connolly Papers at Duke 

66 Adair & Bros, to J. N. Robson, January 13, 1872, J. N. Robson Papers. 

66 Reprinted from The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel in The Plantation, March 6, 1870. 

67 Reprinted from The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel in The Plantation, April 29, 1871. 
These figures probably run a bit high for the average. The federal government's estimate 

of the cost of fertilizers in Georgia in 1880 was $4,346,920. Statistics of Agriculture, 
Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1883), 
4, table I. 

318 The North Carolina Historical Review 

University 58 discloses the terms on which manufacturers sold 
fertilizers to dealers and also the profit which a dealer was ex- 
pected to realize, provided he collected his accounts. These mer- 
chants sold fertilizers on commission, ranging from 5 to 10 per 
cent. They, however, were required to guarantee payment by 
endorsing the farmers' notes and drafts drawn in proper form. 
In 1876 P. Zell and Sons of Baltimore asked Pulliam and Con- 
nolly to sell their tobacco fertilizer. They were to pay $44 a ton 
and to sell for $50 a ton. The Leesburg merchants were allowed 
a credit of from four to six months with interest added. Pur- 
chasers' negotiable notes were accepted in payment when en- 
dorsed by Pulliam and Connolly. 59 Q. De C. Ruth, Jr., Baltimore 
manufacturer, advised Pulliam and Connolly that he would fur- 
nish them Giant Phosphate at $40 per ton "net to me." Settlement 
was to be made . . . "by paying over to me the notes and drafts 
of the farmers in proper form endorsed or accepted by you 
payable at some bank and maturing not later than November and 
December, 1877." For cash settlement, a discount of three dollars 
on the ton was allowed. 60 The Stono Phosphate Company of 
Charleston, desirous of introducing its fertilizers into Caswell 
County, offered Pulliam and Connolly a commission of 10 per 
cent on all sales "which we would expect you to secure by taking 
purchasers' notes payable November next." By way of added in- 
ducement, the Charleston firm quoted special rates to agents for 
Soluble Guano and acid phosphate. The agent was to pay $38 
a ton for the Soluble Guano and to sell it at a profit of $6 on the 
ton. Eight tons constituted a carload, and the freight from 
Charleston to Leesburg was $4 a ton. 61 Hill and Skinker, com- 
mission merchants of Richmond, Virginia, notified Pulliam and 
Connolly that they did not consign fertilizers to agents. All guano 
ordered was considered sold. On time sales agents received $5 
a ton above the regular price ; when sold for cash the commission 
was $7 a ton. 62 

Manufacturers were not always successful in fixing the retail 
price of fertilizers. This is admitted in a letter from John Ott 

58 Pulliam-Connolly Papers, 1801-1877. Pulliam and Connolly were merchants at Leesburg 
in Caswell County, North Carolina. They sold commercial fertilizers for both Richmond 
and Baltimore manufacturers and commission merchants. 

59 Item dated February 11, 1876, Pulliam-Connolly Papers. 

60 Item dated January 13, 1877, Pulliam-Connolly Papers. 

61 Form letter dated March 24, 1876, Pulliam-Connolly Papers. 
« 2 Item dated February 17, 1876, Pulliam-Connolly Papers. 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 319 

of the Southern Fertilizer Company of Richmond to Pulliam and 
Connolly. "As to the Danville merchants selling at $55," wrote 
Ott, "we have done our best to regulate this/' 63 

The success of the retail dealer depended upon his ability to 
secure prompt payment of the fertilizer notes. An unpaid note 
was returned to the retail dealer for collection and in some cases 
the retailers engaged in collection at the source. When Edward 
King visited Greenville, South Carolina, in 1873 or 1874 he 
found the place swarming with fertilizer agents "looking after 
their interests, for many a planter had given them a lien on his 
crop and they wished to claim their money when the crop was 
brought to the market." 64 

The Complete Fertilizer 

After the War, farmers continued to use cottonseed, compost, 
and stable manure ; but more and more mineral manures became 
the main reliance and domestic manures the supplement. Since 
the Peruvian guano was high in price and inferior in quality, 
farmers purchased larger quantities of superphosphates for cot- 
ton. 65 It was not until the late 'eighties that the sale of the "com- 
plete fertilizers" 66 came to eclipse the sale of superphosphates. 
Possibly, the main reason for the extensive use of the superphos- 
phates was that they were relatively cheap and abundant. The 
chief source of supply was the phosphatic rocks or nodules found 
near the surface or in the streams in the coastal region of South 
Carolina. The richest deposits were located along the Ashley, 
Cooper, and Wando Rivers. 67 The first phosphates were mined 
commercially in South Carolina in 1867, when six tons were 
processed. The largest quantity ever mined was in 1889, when 
541,645 tons were washed, crushed, and treated with sulphuric 
acid. 68 The superphosphates manufactured from the South Caro- 
lina rock contained from 9V 2 to 15% per cent soluble phosphoric 

; e 3 Item dated May 20, 1887, Pulliam-Connolly Papers. 

64 Edward King, The Great South (Hartford, Connecticut: American Publishing Company, 
1875), 517. 

65 The Southern Planter and Farmer, February, 1879, 73. 

66 For a description of the "complete fertilizer" see p. 320, below. 

6T Article by Professor Charles N. Shepard in the First Annual Report of the Commis- 
sioner of Agriculture of the State of South Carolina (1880), 68-111. Subsequently, the 
phosphate deposits of Florida and Tennessee came into the market. Superphosphates were 
also called acid phosphates. 

88 Year Book of the Department of Agriculture (1894), 178. According to W. W. 
Memminger, the fertilizer industry began in South Carolina in 1868. See The Rural 
Carolinian, January, 1873, 202, 

320 The North Carolina Historical Review 

acid. Phosphate rock, sold in the crude pulverized state, was 
called "floats." 69 The appearance of South Carolina phosphates on 
the market forced the Baltimore processors to reduce the price of 
their superphosphates from $50 to $35 per ton in order to meet 
the competition. 70 Baugh and Sons, manufacturers of Baugh's 
Raw Bone Superphosphate, wrote C. N. Robson of Charleston, 
South Carolina, January 3, 1872, that they were aware of the 
reduction in price of phosphates "in your market but cannot see 
why we should sell Baugh's Raw Bone Superphosphate below 
cost." They did agree, however, to sell 500 tons at competitive 
prices. 71 

Neither phosphates where used alone or combined with potash 
salts, 72 commonly called German Kainit, nor the Peruvian guano 
satisfied completely the desire for a "complete fertilizer," the 
need for which had been demonstrated by the celebrated German 
chemist, Justus von Liebig. 73 The complete fertilizer, as defined 
by George Ville of France, was a manure which would supply 
all the essential plant needs in nitrogen, phosphoric acid, lime, 
and potash and at the same time restore to the soil all the ele- 
ments absorbed by the growing crops. 74 The complete fertilizer 
when placed on the market around 1870 did not include lime as 
such, but contained 2% per cent to 3 per cent available ammonia, 
9 to 10 per cent phosphoric acid, and \y% to 2 per cent potash in a 
filler of sand, ground rock, slate, or cinders. The available ammo- 
nia promoted the growth of the plant, potash imparted strength to 
plant fiber, and prevented rust, while phosphoric acid increased 
yields. Prior to the Civil War, manipulated fertilizers frequently 
contained two essential plant foods, ammonia and phosphate. 
When combined with the Peruvian, 75 as was frequently the case, 

"Twelfth Census of the United States (1900), Agriculture 1, ii. 

70 B. C. Flannigan & Co., Charlottesville, Virginia, to C. N. Robson & Co., January 13, 
1872, C. N. Robson Papers. Superphosphates were manufactured in Baltimore as early as 
1850 by treating bones with sulphuric acid. The Maryland superphosphates were not 
marketed extensively in the South until after the Civil War. 

71 B. C. Flannigan & Co., Charlottesville, Virginia, to C. N. Robson & Co., January 13, 
1872, C. N. Robson Papers. 

72 Potash salts were introduced from Germany soon after the Civil War and were 
combined with acid phosphate and ammonia by both farmers and manufacturers. 

73 Justus von Liebig (1802-1873), through his experiments in agricultural chemistry, 
laid the foundation for the modern fertilizer industry. See The Rural Carolinian, January, 

74 Ville's theory was widely discussed in the United States. A series of articles by George 
Ville was published in The Rural Carolinian in 1870 and 1871. David Dickson of Sparta, 
Georgia, claimed credit with Ville for experiments in the preparation of a complete 
fertilizer. The Rural Carolinian, IV (March, 1873), 301. 

75 Farmers mixed the Peruvian guano with superphosphates. David Dickson wrote in 
1868 that "no manure will pay without the addition to it of Peruvian guano." The 
Southern Cultivator, January, 1868, 64. 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 321 

they also contained a trace of potash. It was not, however, until 
potash salts from Germany came to be imported in quantity that 
the complete fertilizer gained wide currency. A typical example 
of the complete fertilizer is described in a booklet issued by the 
Baltimore Guano Company in 1883. The guaranteed analysis 
certified that game guano contained the following: available 
ammonia 2 to 3 per cent, available phosphoric acid 9 to 11 per 
cent, and potash 1% to 2 per cent. 76 The demand for the complete 
fertilizer soon easily placed it in the lead, a position it maintains 
to this day. 

With the advent of cottonseed oil mills in the 'eighties, 77 a new 
product, cottonseed meal, came to be extensively used as a fer- 
tilizer. In some degree it was a complete fertilizer; however, it 
was commonly combined with Kainit and acid phosphate by 
farmers who mixed their fertilizing ingredients at home. Results 
of experiments conducted by the North Carolina Experiment 
Station showed that cottonseed meal in both large and small 
quantities increased yields. Acid phosphate alone increased yields 
slightly. Acid phosphate and cottonseed meal made a better 
showing. A complete fertilizer of 200 pounds of acid phosphate, 
100 pounds of cottonseed meal and fifty pounds of Kainit per 
acre in the main proved satisfactory. 78 

Further Experimentation 

Sidedressing of crops, practiced experimentally in the 'seven- 
ties, 79 received much impetus with the appearance of nitrate of 
soda from Chile. This potent substance, analyzed as around 16 
per cent soluble nitrogen, came to be used increasingly with 
satisfying results on a variety of crops. 80 

76 Booklet found in Alonzo T. and Millard Mial Papers, 1845-1867. MS in the North 
Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

77 In 1860 there were seven cottonseed oil mills in the South; in 1867 there were only 
four. In 1870 the number had increased to twenty-six. The Southern Planter, LXII (January, 
1901), 18; Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Agriculture and of the Commissioner of 
Agriculture of South Carolina (1888), 94. The Greenville, South Carolina, oil mill was 
established in 1882. See News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), September 29, 

78 The Progressive Farmer, V (July 8, 1890). 

79 The Rural Carolinian, IV (May, 1873), 398. 

80 In 1878 the University of Virginia experimental farm was conducting experiments with 
nitrate of soda. University of Virginia Farm Journals, 1873-1886, MS in the University of 
Virginia Library. During the 'eighties nitrate of soda was applied as a top dressing for 
cotton and oats in South Carolina. See Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Agriculture 
and of the Commissioner of Agriculture of South Carolina (1888), 94. Chancellor W. J. 
Johnson of Marion, South Carolina, said he first used nitrate of soda in 1882. Ninth 
Annual Report of the Board of Agriculture and of the Commissioner of Agriculture of 
South Carolina (1888), 59. 

322 The North Carolina Historical Review 

After the war, experimentation with various quantities, combi- 
nations, and ways of distributing fertilizers continued, with 
broadcasting at planting time for wheat and oats and drilling 
for row crops as the prevailing pattern. Since the fertilizers 
were high in price, they were reserved for the most valuable 
money crops; hence corn received very little manure of any 
kind. 81 From 1873 to 1886 the University of Virginia conducted 
an experimental farm on which repeated tests were made of dif- 
ferent brands of fertilizers in the growing of Virginia crops, 
with a view to determining what formulas were best adapted 
to certain crops. While some progress was made, one cannot be 
sure from a study of these records that the experiments proved 
that any one brand produced the highest yields from year to 
year. In view of the inconclusive nature of the results, farmers 
were urged to conduct their own experiments. This advice a few 
farmers heeded; a majority, however, purchased whatever was 
available in mixed fertilizers, noting only the price and that it 
was recommended for tobacco or cotton. 

A singular situation obtained. Editors of farm journals were 
urging farmers to use less artificial plant food ; to practice crop 
rotation and deep ploughing, and to rely more on domestic ma- 
nures and cover crops. 82 At the same time, farmers were buying 
more commercial fertilizers and giving little attention to crop 
rotation, deep ploughing, 83 and cover crops. State commission- 
ers of agriculture were generally content to give advice about 
formulas and plant needs without commitment as to desirability 
of use; however, by 1891 Thomas Whitehead, State Commis- 
sioner of Agriculture of Virginia, in his report to the State Board 
of Agriculture, asserted that "commercial fertilizers are a neces- 
sity to the proper and profitable production of at least three 
money crops in this state — tobacco, peanuts and cotton." 84 

The consumption of fertilizers increased in Virginia from 
57,600 tons in 1887 to over 150,000 tons in 1893. 85 In North Caro- 
lina from 1879 to 1881 sales increased from 60,000 tons to 85,000 

81 It was estimated that not half the corn crop of Virginia received any fertilization in 
1880. Statistics on Agriculture, Tenth Census of the United States (1880), 98. 

83 The Progressive Farmer, I (January 19, 1887), 7; The Southern Cultivator, September 
15, 1899; The Southern Planter, February, 1897, 54-55. 

83 Deep ploughing or subsoiling is now little stressed. 

84 Report of the State Board of Agriculture of Virginia (1891), 12. 

85 Report of the State Board of Agriculture of Virginia (1893), 12. In 1893, 971 different 
brands were registered with the State Board of Agriculture. Report of the State Board of 
Agriculture of Virginia (1893), 168. 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 323 

tons. 86 Sales in South Carolina increased from about 100,000 
tons in 1880 to 165,000 tons in 1890. 87 The South Atlantic states 
led all the rest in total tonnage consumed. Official government 
figures show that in 1899 Georgia was spending $5,738,520 an- 
nually for commercial fertilizers, with South Carolina and North 
Carolina nearly tied for second place. 88 "The smallest farms had 
the highest average expenditure per acre and the largest farms 
the lowest." 89 It is also interesting to note that the average 
expenditure per acre was more for share and cash tenants than 
"for farms of part owners and managers." 90 

The quantity of fertilizer used per acre depended upon the 
kind of crop and the means and judgment of the planter. Corn 
and small grain generally escaped fertilization. Bottom land 
corn seldom required manure; and upland corn, usually planted 
on the poorest land, showed small response to the scant quantity 
of fertilizers applied. Cotton usually received from 200 to 300 
pounds of mixed fertilizer per acre sown in the drill at planting 
time. 91 By 1900 the broadcasting of fertilizer for cotton had been 
generally discarded for sowing in the drill. Some farmers split 
the total amount by applying a portion at planting time and the 
remainder later. An approved formula for cotton in 1899 was 
8-2-2. 92 Tobacco invariably received a heavier application, usually 
from 400 to 500 pounds per acre in the 'eighties and from 600 to 
800 pounds in the 'nineties. By 1900 some farmers were using 
1000 pounds per acre with pleasing results. 93 It was customary 
for farmers to sow the fertilizer in the drill for tobacco and then 
make a list with two furrows. The plants were then set on the 
list without danger of direct contact with the fertilizer. There 

86 Report of the Board of Agriculture of North Carolina (1883), 43. 

87 First Annual Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of South Carolina 
(1880), 8; Eleventh Annual Report of the Board of Agriculture and the Commissioner 
of Agriculture of the State of South Carolina (1890), 17. 

88 North Carolina subsequently assumed first place among all the states in the Union. 

89 Twelfth Census of the United States, part 1 (1900), cxlii. 

90 Twelfth Census of the United States, part 1 (1900), cxlii. 

91 Experiments conducted by the Georgia Experiment Station in 1900 definitely demon- 
strated that drilling produced larger yields of cotton per acre than broadcasting. Bulletin 52 
(Georgia Experiment Station, Experiment, Georgia), January, 1901, 26. 

93 Bulletin U7 (Georgia Experiment Station, Experiment, Georgia), December, 1899, 108. 
Prior to about 1930 to 1933 manufacturers of commercial fertilizers invariably presented 
the guaranteed formula in terms first of phosphoric acid percentage, second of ammonia 
percentage, and third of potash percentage. Beginning with the early 'thirties, state laws 
required that nitrogen rather than the ammonia percentage be listed first, followed by 
phosphoric acid and potash. Hence the old 8-2-2 became 2-8-2. 

93 In 1878 G. B. S. of Amelia County, Virginia, used 400 pounds of fertilizer per acre 
on tobacco. The Southern Planter and Farmer, XLI (January, 1880), 15. B. N. Sykes of 
Hertford County, North Carolina, stated in a communication to The Progressive Farmer, 
XXI (June 21, 1906), that he used 1,000 pounds of fertilizer per acre op tobacco and 

harvested 1,000 pounds of tobacco per acre. 

324 The North Carolina Historical Review 

was no general agreement as to the best formula for tobacco. 
It was, however, generally recognized that a tobacco fertilizer 
should contain a higher percentage of potash than a cotton fer- 
tilizer. A formula applicable to the Virginia piedmont would not 
insure the best results in the coastal plain of North Carolina. 

In the cultivation of both cotton and tobacco, many farmers 
"bedded" the fertilizers several days in advance of the planting. 
This practice, on the basis of carefully conducted experiments, 
received the endorsement of the Georgia Experiment Station. 94 

Whether broadcast on wheat and oats or sown in the drill 
under cotton and tobacco, the amount of fertilizer applied prior 
to 1900 was woefully inadequate. Before the introduction of the 
mechanical distributor, much of what was sown by hand was 
blown by the wind to far-away places. When one considers the 
extremely low plant food content of the 8-2-2, coupled with the 
meager contribution per acre, it is quite understandable that 
many farmers seriously pondered the question, "Does guano 
pay?" In many instances commerical fertilizers alone did not 
pay on poor land. Both effort and money were wasted. Farmers 
could have derived some benefits from soil analyses had they been 
disposed to avail themselves of this service. Due, however, to 
mass indifference and skepticism, the laboratory services of the 
states were generally neglected. It must be remembered that in 
the 'eighties and 'nineties of the nineteenth century agronomy 
was still in its infancy. Cover crops of the leguminous variety 
would store the soil with nitrogen; but where a soil analysis 
disclosed a potash or a phosphate deficiency the individual farm- 
er, in the absence of a county agricultural agent to direct opera- 
tions, found it difficult to apply a suitable corrective. 95 All but a 
few educated farmers preferred to stake their prospects on the 
complete fertilizers which supplied all three essential plant foods 
in limited quantities. 

Conditions Prescribed for Sale 

Due to the increased consumption of commercial fertilizers 
and to the frequent complaints of farmers that fertilizers were 

94 Bulletin 70 (Georgia Experiment Station, Experiment, Georgia), December, 1905, 74. 

95 In 1891 the State Board of Agriculture of "Virginia did not encourage soil analyses 
because of difficulty in interpreting the results, Report of the State Board of Agriculture 
of Virginia, (1891), 65. 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 325 

adulterated, state legislatures, in order to protect farmers 
against the purchase of fraudulent and adulterated fertilizers, 
passed laws requiring manufacturers of fertilizers to comply 
with certain standards before offering their products for sale. 
Reports of adulteration were rife just before and immediately 
after the Civil War ; and, in the absence of any guaranteed analy- 
sis or any state inspection, the charge that spurious goods were 
being sold may have been well founded. At any rate, Georgia in 
1868-1869, 96 South Carolina in 1872, 97 North Carolina in 1877, 98 
and Virginia in 1877," passed laws providing for the inspection 
and labeling of all commercial fertilizers sold or offered for sale 
in these states. The early laws provided only limited protection. 
They were, however, subsequently strengthened so as to protect 
the consumer against the most flagrant abuses. 

All states stipulated that the guaranteed analysis be printed 
on the bag or tag or both. All allowed a small tolerance or de- 
ficiency without penalty and all provided for inspection by a 
trained chemist. Georgia charged 50 cents a ton for inspection, 100 
North Carolina imposed on the manufacturer a tax of $500 on 
each brand sold in the State, 101 while South Carolina levied a 
privilege tax on the manufacturer on each ton of fertilizer intro- 
duced or manufactured in the State. 102 In 1883, after the Com- 
missioner of Agriculture alleged that his funds were inadequate 
to provide for analysis of more than one-half the fertilizers sold 
in the State, the legislature of Virginia required the manufac- 
turer or dealer to pay an annual fee of one dollar for each brand 
sold in the State. 103 The law was amended in 1894 so as to limit 
the number of brands which could be sold for one dollar to ten. 
For each and every brand in excess of ten the dealer or manu- 

™ Statutes of Georgia (1868), 5. The original law was amended in 1869 to require the 
inspector to analyze fertilizers. Statutes of Georgia (1869), 5. 

97 Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina 
(session of 1871-1872), 33. 

98 Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina (1876-1877), 510-511. 

99 First Annual Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of Virginia 
(1877), 2. Act approved March 28, 1877. 

100 Statutes of Georgia (1870), 37. The inspection fee was reduced to ten cents per ton 
in 1889. Statutes of Georgia (1889), 67. 

101 Law 8 and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina (1876-1877), 510-514. The North 
Carolina law was sharply criticized by the fertilizer manufacturers. It was subsequently 
voided by the Supreme Court of the United States on grounds of constitutionality. 

102 Revised Statutes of South Carolina (1893), I, 450-452. 

^Acts and Resolutions Passed by the General Assembly of the State of Virginia 
(1889-1890), XXI, 82-85, 

326 The North Carolina Historical Review 

facturer was to pay an additional fee of ten dollars. 104 This 
change was effected to discourage multiplication of brands, of 
which there were registered 1,772 with the State Board of Agri- 
culture in 1905, "an increase of 138 over last year." 105 

During the early stages of the fertilizer trade, inspection was 
limited and therefore unsatisfactory by reason of a lack of funds 
and personnel. Samples drawn and analyzed in South Carolina 
in 1887 numbered 331, of which number complete fertilizer ac- 
counted for 185, acid phosphates 66, Kainit 29, cottonseed meal 
16, dissolved bone 18, miscellaneous 17. 106 In North Carolina in 
1878 the state chemist was behind with his analyses; 107 and, as 
previously stated, 108 Commissioner Pollard of Virginia com- 
plained of not being able to provide the farmers of his state with 
suitable protection against inferior brands. As a matter of fact, 
South Carolina did not employ a corps of inspectors until 1899. 109 
Farmers, however, were urged to send samples of fertilizers 
drawn under strict regulations to Clemson Agricultural College 
for analysis. The report of the state chemist shows that in 1898 
he analyzed 314 samples and found six deficient "under the pres- 
ent law." A few of these samples were sent to the state chemist 
by farmers. 110 

On the whole, the percentage of samples drawn and analyzed 
which showed deficiencies below the guaranteed analysis was 
small. The reputations of the manufacturers of fertilizers were 
at stake ; consequently, all manufacturers wished to avoid having 
their products exposed as deficient. A "stop order" on the sale 
of any company's brand was publicized with resultant embar- 
rassment and possible loss of business. 

10 * Acts and Resolutions Passed by the General Assembly of the State of Virginia 
(1893-1894), XXI, 917-919. A tonnage fee of fifteen cents was imposed in 1899 in lieu of 
the brand fee. The brand fee was restored in 1910. Acts and Resolutions Passed by the 
General Assembly of the State of Virginia (1910), 329-330. North Carolina likewise im- 
posed a tonnage tax in 1891 of twenty-five cents per ton. See Laws and Resolutions of 
the State of North Carolina (1891), 40. The South Carolina privilege tax was in effect a 
tonnage tax. 

105 Annual Report for the Year 1905 (Department of Agriculture of the State of Virginia), 

106 Eighth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture of South Carolina (1887), 4. 

107 Second Quarterly Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture, for the Year 1878, 4. 

108 See p. 325, above. 

109 Statutes at Large of South Carolina (1898), XXIII, 94. 

no Annual Report of the South Carolina Experiment Station at Clemson Agricultural 
College for the Year 1898, 12. In 1890 the farmers of South Carolina sent sixty-eight 
samples of fertilizers to the state chemist for examination. Eleventh Annual Report of the 
Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of South Carolina (1890), 17t 

Fertilizers and Farming in The Southeast, 1840-1950 327 

Summary of Results 

By 1900 the use of commercial fertilizers in the South Atlantic 
states had become general. Here and there individual farmers 
resisted the trend and others, on paying their fertilizer bills, 
resolved to buy less; however, with the return of spring, fer- 
tilizer agents encountered very little sales resistance when taking 

We may now point out some of the most significant results of 
the use of commercial fertilizers in the South Atlantic states 
prior to 1900. 

It was generally conceded that commercial fertilizers were 
partly responsible for the extension of the cotton and tobacco 
belts. The spread of cotton was strongly indicated in the wire- 
grass country of southern Georgia 111 and in the piedmont section 
of the Carolinas. According to H. B. Battle, director of the 
North Carolina Experiment Station in 1888, the proper control 
and sale of fertilizers accounted for the western extension of 
the cotton belt in North Carolina for a distance of fifty miles. 
"Tobacco acreage," he declared, "has likewise increased." 112 In 
the extension of the bright-leaf tobacco belt into eastern North 
Carolina after the Civil War, commercial fertilizers were of 
prime importance. Without the fertilizers, bright-leaf tobacco 
could not be extensively and profitably grown. 

After commercial fertilizers came to be generally available, 
farmers gradually neglected homemade manures such as litter 
and compost. Stable manure, always highly prized, retained its 
position; but the compost heap, prepared with much care and 
labor, began to disappear. 

Commercial fertilizers made intensive farming feasible, par- 
ticularly in the trucking areas around Norfolk, 113 Wilmington 
and Charleston. When the physical limits of trucking over- 
reached the supply of domestic manures, commercial fertilizers 
were applied in large quantities. Prompt and plentiful yields 
resulted. Since the size of the average farm was shrinking, 114 

in Brooks, The Agrarian Revolution in Georgia, 104. 

v&The Progressive Farmer, II (February 9, 1888). Report of the Board of Agriculture 
(1883), 42. 

113 The three great trucking counties of Virginia, Norfolk, Accomac, and Northampton, 
led all the rest in the use of commercial fertilizers. Percival Hicks, "A Study of the 
Virginia Agricultural Census," The Southern Planter, May, 1912, 592-595. 

u *In 1899 there were 167,800 farms in Virginia; in 1909 there were 184,018 farms. The 
size of the average farm dropped from 127 acres to 105 acres in ten years. Compendium 
gf the Eleventh Census, Part III, 606. 

328 The North Carolina Historical Review 

there was a clear need of larger yields per acre of the smaller 
units of production. In meeting this need commercial fertilizers 
received the first call. 

Lastly, commercial fertilizers were responsible for bringing 
the fertilizer industry to the South, and for the exploitation 
of the phosphate deposits of South Carolina, Florida and Ten- 
nessee. For many years after the Civil War, Baltimore remained 
the fertilizer capital of the United States. Before the end of 
the century Baltimore had to yield first place to cities located 
nearer the scene of the greatest consumption of plant food, 
notably the South Atlantic states. The presence of the phos- 
phatic fertilizer industry in and around Charleston was due 
almost entirely to the presence of commercially profitable phos- 
phate mines in that area. Elsewhere, the controlling factor in 
the migration of the fertilizer industry was doubtless the cost 
of transportation. In 1878 there was, according to H. P. Battle, 
only one fertilizer factory in North Carolina. In 1888 there 
were ten such factories. 115 The number of fertilizer factories in 
Virginia increased from twenty-five in 1891 to thirty-one in 
1893. 116 

Commercial fertilizers prior to 1900 did not produce an 
agricultural revolution. On the contrary, the blanketing of fields 
with factory-mixed fertilizers probably retarded the pursuit of 
sound farming practices. Nonetheless, when one takes into 
account the run-down condition of farm lands, the emphasis 
on cash crops, lack of capital, and the general apathy of the 
people, one cannot escape the conclusion that, despite wasteful 
methods of application, commercial fertilizers served a useful 
purpose in bolstering a languishing farm economy. 117 

115 The Progressive Farmer, II (February, 1888). In 1881 the legislature of North 
Carolina passed an act requesting the Board of Agriculture to report upon "the feasibility 
of establishing a state guano works . . . for the manufacture of fertilizers for the 
farmers and truckers at cost." The project was doubtless considered too socialistic. Biennial 
Report of Samuel L. Patterson, Commissioner of Agriculture (1905), 13. 

116 Report of the State Board of Agriculture of Virginia (1891), 12, and (1893), 167. 

117 In summarizing the general results of the use of commercial fertilizers in the South 
Atlantic States, the writer has borrowed heavily from his article, "The Sale and Appli- 
cation of Commercial Fertilizers in the South Atlantic States to 1900," Agricultural History, 
XXI (January, 1947), 46-52. 



By Fannie Memory Farmer 

So far as physical endurance is concerned, the practice of law 
was much harder one hundred years ago than it is today. Riding 
the circuits was a time-consuming and laborious undertaking. 
Because of transportation difficulties, lawyers had to be away 
from their families for long weeks on end ; the lodgings found on 
certain of the routes were far from ideal ; law offices were small 
and crude; and rowdiness at many of the courts prevented dig- 
nified legal proceedings. A major disadvantage of practicing law 
was that fees were comparatively small. 

During the time when they were not traveling to the various 
courts of the circuit, lawyers practiced in offices which were, for 
the most part, cubbyholes — not elaborate suites with fine libra- 
ries as may be found in many twentieth century cities. The Ra- 
leigh Register advertised a law office for rent in 1842 ; it opened 
on the courthouse yard, and the owner offered to furnish it with 
a bed and other necessary furniture if the occupant so desired. 1 
Being near the courthouse was obviously a great advantage. 
Kemp P. Battle made a mistake when he rented a large room in 
Raleigh to be used as an office and home. Much to his consterna- 
tion he discovered that the room faced the west ; it had a flat, tin 
roof, and in summer the heat was stifling. In addition to those 
difficulties, the place was a long distance from the courthouse. 2 

Lawyers frequently inserted notices in newspapers announcing 
the location of their offices. The information given was sometimes 
vague, and persons lacking a detailed knowledge of the town 
probably had trouble locating the barristers. Other notices con- 
tained explicit directions. For example : H. W. Miller and G. W. 
Brooks announced that their office was located on Fayetteville 
Street, Raleigh, over the Lawrence Hotel ; 3 Julius Guion advertis- 
ed that his office was at Guion's Hotel ; 4 "P. Busbee & Brother" 
advertised that they had moved their office from the courthouse 
to the Henry Cannon office, which was owned by Willis Scott, 

1 Raleigh Register, March 18, 1842. 

2 Kemp Plummer Battle, Memories of an Old-Time Tar Heel, edited by William James 
Battle, (Chapel Hill, 1945), 108. 

3 Raleigh Register, September 7, 1859. 
« Raleigh Register, January 23, 1§5§, 

{ 329 ] 

330 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Esq., and which was located on the corner of Wilmington and 
Martin streets in Raleigh. 5 Vague notices must have often neces- 
sitated inquiry by a prospective client who did not know the 
town's history and geography. For example, William S. Mason 
stated that he could be found at his office "at the corner of the 
square upon which Mr. McKimmon's residence is situated." 6 
Edward Graham Haywood was to be found "at the office lately 
occupied by Hon. Wm. H. Haywood, Jr., deceased." 7 In such 
notices as the last two mentioned, there was neither indication 
as to where the deceased Haywood had had his office nor on which 
corner McKimmon's residence was located ; in fact, there was not 
even a hint as to which McKimmon was meant. 

Legal advertisements show that lawyers generally practiced 
alone, though partnerships were sometimes formed. Kemp P. 
Battle and Quentin Busbee, for example, were partners for two 
years. Battle gave $500 to Busbee; in return the two were to 
form a partnership for a year, with Battle receiving one-third of 
the proceeds. The partnership enabled Battle to get into the 
swing of things, to learn what went on in a law office, and to 
learn how to conduct a trial. The arrangement did not work out 
satisfactorily, because Busbee began to drink; and, after two 
years, Battle withdrew and practiced alone. 8 Now and then the 
Raleigh Register carried notices that two lawyers had formed a 
partnership ; however, large firms with specialists in the various 
fields of law were unknown. The majority of lawyers preferred 
to practice without associates. 

Notices of the location of their offices were not the only vague 
factors incident to the relation of attorney and client. Contracts 
of employment were very indefinite in many cases. Thomas Ruffin 
received a letter giving him the following inadequate information 
about a case : 

A. — made a Verbal Contract with B. — for a lot in Haywood 
(Chatham City) — In consequence of unfair dealing, A, is not 
willing to comply with the said Verbal Contract. I am A, — and 
hereby employ You, & George E. Badger Esq. to defend me, if I 
should be sued, (which I expect,.) Of this you will be pleased to 
inform M. Badger. — 

6 Raleigh Register, January 15, 1853. 

6 Raleigh Register, February 2, 1853 

7 Raleigh Register, January 5, 1853. 

s Battle, Memories of an Old-Time Tar Heel, 109-110, 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 331 

I will inform you more fully of the matter hereafter. 9 

Often the contracts seemed to presume that the lawyer knew 
all the circumstances of the case. For example, Robert Mebane 
wrote to Ruffin, "I suppose it is not necessary at present to relate 
the circumstances particularly as I expect to see you before 
Court, and you have I suppose, heard a correct account from 
brother William [,]" 10 A lawyer today would feel very uneasy if 
he had no hope of getting the details of the case until he met his 
client at court ; indefiniteness seemed to be the usual thing a cen- 
tury ago. Most agreements between lawyers and their clients 
were oral and informal, however, just as they are in the twentieth 

Lawyers actively engaged in practicing had to ride the circuits 
to get from court to court. This method of practicing law was 
very time-consuming ; but, by pursuing such a course, an attorney 
was able to serve a large clientele. On the circuits he was busy at 
all hours, for at night the lawyer had to consult clients and study 
for his cases the following day. The descriptions of trips to court 
left by contemporary journalists show the difficult experiences 
which lawyers faced. The roads over which they traveled to 
courts in remote sections of the state were often rough and almost 
impassable. Hotel accommodations were far from luxurious, and 
often the circuit riders suffered from the cold and snow and rain. 
Rarely did a lawyer travel over thirty or thirty-five miles in one 
day. On mule or horseback, often through freezing, wet weather, 
over mountains and across streams and rivers the lawyers went, 
hoping to get to the next town before nightfall. Such a life was 
strenuous and often unremunerative. 

Augustus S. Merrimon, a member of the bar, kept a journal 
in which he described his experiences while riding the circuits. 
On December 1, 1853, he wrote that he traveled thirty-five miles 
over a bad road. Only rough accommodations were offered at the 
house where he spent the night; the hostess was a plain, un- 
fashionable old lady, but her several daughters enlivened things 
a bit. Many stories were told, and the host and his family and 

9 John Van Hook, Jr., to Thomas Ruffin, February 5, 1820. Ruffin Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

10 Robert Mebane to Thomas Ruffin, December 23, 1820. Ruffin Papers, Southern Historical 
Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

332 The North Carolina Historical Review 

friends laughed heartily, but Merrimon thought none of them 
funny. The beds were all in the same room; the cover was stiff 
and the pillows were small ; the bill for the room and board was 
fifty cents. The following day was pleasant and at the end of the 
journey the lawyer found a good room, food, and bed. 11 It is easy 
to see that sometimes accommodations were most unpleasant and 
at other times they were good ; there was little uniformity, and 
traveling lawyers had to put up with all kinds of places as they 
went from court to court. Merrimon had another kind of trouble 
when he found that his horse's back had been injured by the 
saddle ; he had to swap the animal off at a sacrifice. 12 

The muddy roads and the cold weather often discommoded 
traveling attorneys. Frederick Nash noted the difficult time he 
had in traveling during the winter months. He wrote to his 
daughter that he had had a dreadful time since he set out on the 
circuit, having crossed three mountains. "I crossed each in a 
snow-storm, the mountain was very steep — when not rocky, mud- 
dy — the wind blowing a gale and the snow falling so fast that 
you could not see an object twenty steps from you. Twenty and 
twenty five miles a day was as much as I could make" 13 

Though winter traveling was difficult the autumn months af- 
forded circuit riders pleasant trips. Merrimon rode down the 
French Broad in October, finding the trip satisfactory in all 
respects. The accommodations on that road were good, and he had 
a "clever supper" at the house of Smith and Baird. 14 The 
"Journal" does not intimate what the menu of a "clever supper" 

To make circuit riding pay, a young lawyer found it necessary 
to be present at courts in a large area. The more courts he at- 
tended, the more people he met and the more quickly his reputa- 
tion grew. Augustus Merrimon noted that fact when he set out 
for the Cherokee County Court, over a hundred miles from 
Asheville, a court he had not at first intended to include in his 
circuit. 15 

11 Albert Ray Newsome, editor, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina 
Historical Review, VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 312-314. 

12 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 317-318. 

13 Frederick Nash to Sally K. Nash, April 3, 1843. Nash Papers, North Carolina Depart- 
ment of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

14 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 309-310. 

15 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 312. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 333 

Because riding the circuits and attending trials consumed 
nearly all of the daylight hours, the conscientious members of 
the legal profession studied and interviewed clients at night. 
Merrimon sometimes read after supper ; and on one occasion he 
wrote that clients had stayed in his room till late that night. 
Another evening he worked on a road case which he had coming 
up for trial the next day. 16 

Most lawyers kept busy while riding the circuits ; of necessity, 
they were away from home for weeks at a time. Thomas Ruffin 
spent approximately forty-three weeks of each year away at 
court; he hardly ever failed to be at court, no matter what the 
weather. 17 The absences from home were sometimes long and 
lonesome. Frederick Nash wrote to his wife in September, 1833, 
that he was planning to leave for the Chatham Superior Court 
and would not be back, in all probability, until the middle or 
latter part of October. 18 Indulging in a bit of self-pity in a letter 
to his daughter, he wrote : "Four weeks have I now been upon my 
circuit & this will make the sixth letter I have written home — & 
one — only one have I received in return — You, are all together, 
chearing [sic~\ , animating [,] supporting each other — while I am 
here — alone — litterally [sic] alone — for every lawyer is gone — 
each to the place he calls by the endearing name of home — " 19 On 
another occasion Nash wrote: "This is Friday — tomorrow this 
court closes. . . & my face will be turned homeward — Home — oh 
the magic that is in that word — home, dear home — the center of 
my world. . . ." 20 

In spite of the desire to be with family and friends, lawyers 
were not always miserable and lonesome while on the circuits. 
There was recreation away from home, though it might be noth- 
ing more exciting than amusing oneself with a "pamphlet of 
trashy reading." 21 One of the chief pleasures and advantages of 
the old circuit system was that it enabled the younger members 

16 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 316, 320-322. 

17 William A. Graham, "Life and Character of the Hon. Thomas Ruffin, Late Chief Justice 
of North Carolina: A Memorial Oration," in Joseph Gregoire de Roulhac Hamilton, editor, 
The Papers of Thomas Ruffin (Raleigh, 1920), I, 23. Hereinafter cited "Ruffin Oration." 

13 Frederick Nash to Mrs. Mary G. Nash, September 15, 1833. Nash Papers, N. C. Depart- 
ment of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

19 Frederick Nash to Ann Eliza Nash, undated. Nash Papers, N. C. Department of Archives 
and History, Raleigh. 

20 Frederick Nash to Sally K. Nash, April 23, 1841. Nash Papers, N. C. Department of 
Archives and History, Raleigh. 

21 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 327. 

334 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of the bar to become closer acquaintances of the older, well-known 
lawyers. The contacts proved of value to new lawyers; meeting 
fellow attorneys on the circuit was one of the chief ways of 
becoming associated with them, for there were no bar organiza- 
tions a century ago. The advantages of the system probably out- 
weighed the numerous disadvantages. As was pointed out in an 
address before the North Carolina Bar Association, in 1885: 

. . . the labor and fatigue and the discomforts of the circuit 
were not without their advantages and blessings; besides the 
joyous social feature of judge and lawyers traveling in company 
through the country from court to court, with Attic wit and 
sparkling jest, and laughter-provoking joke, the healthful exer- 
cise gave strength and vigor to the body, making strong the 
casket which held the bright intellectual gems gathered from 
books and their own reflections. From this city [Raleigh] lawyers 
used to go by private conveyance, or by stage, or hack, not only 
to the adjoining counties, but to distant parts of the State — to 
Halifax, Edgecombe, Bertie, Pitt, Craven and other counties. The 
abler, and more distinguished members of the bar who did not 
care for the practice of the county courts would, many of them, 
begin the circuit with the judge and attend all the courts of the 
judicial districts. 22 

Attorneys enjoyed the fellowship incident to circuit riding; 
they led adventuresome lives, never knowing what would 
happen at court or on the roads as they traveled. Their en- 
joyment and excitement was nothing, however, compared to that 
of spectators, who found a favorite means of relaxation in attend- 
ing trials. The court was the center of activity ; most men went 
— both to see their friends and for the diversion of watching 
court proceedings. The spectators not only watched the trials, 
but often indulged in drinking while at court. Merrimon fre- 
quently referred to the large amount of drinking and drunkenness 
at court. For example, he wrote in October, 1853, "I noticed a 
good deal of drinking going on to day, and whisky drinkers have 
to day, I suppose, been carrying out this very consistent principle 
of that class : That to drink in damp and cold weather will warm 
them and to drink in hot weather it will cool them. Ah! consis- 
tency thou art a Jewel!" On one day he saw several people who 

22 J. J. Davis, "Address," Proceedings of the North Carolina Bar Association at a Meeting 
Held in Raleigh, the Hth of October, 18S5 (Raleigh, 1886), 9. 


Beaufort County Courthouse, Washington, N. C. 
Erected ca. 1785. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 335 

were so drunk that they could not walk and their friends were 
dragging them home. 23 Merrimon noted that often many could be 
seen snoozing over drunkenness. When a man with a fiddle would 
"saw off some silly ditty two or three drunken fools would dance 
to the same." A number of the court officials were drunk all of 
one day ; part of the time, while suits were being tried, the whole 
court was off the bench. Merrimon thought that the county 
courts should be abolished because of the lack of dignity and the 
disreputable way in which trials were conducted in those tri- 
bunals. 24 

Despite the fact that drunkenness was prevalent on many 
court days, the spectators took a keen delight in watching the 
administration of justice. Most of the people who went to court 
stayed sober enough to enjoy the trials. The Raleigh Register 
described a trial in Fayetteville in which the jury returned a 
verdict of not guilty. "The annunciation of this verdict pro- 
duced, as we understand, a very audible expression of the ap- 
probation of the large crowd which had thronged the Court 
House from the commencement to the close of the trial." 25 Kemp 
P. Battle recorded an incident, which he seemed to think not at all 
out of the ordinary, of a fight between two lawyers in the court- 
room. He said that fights between attorneys were common and 
that at the conclusion of a bout the judge would fine the offenders 
and resume court. He added that generally the lawyers made up, 
asked the pardon of the court, and the fines would be remitted. 26 

Perhaps the most interesting and spectacular happening in a 
courtroom during this period occurred in 1853, during the George 
Carawan trial. Carawan, a Baptist preacher, was tried and found 
guilty of murder. The judge ordered a recess of one hour ; at that 
moment, the prisoner drew a pistol and aimed at the solicitor. 
The bullet struck above the heart, cut the cloth of his suit, struck 
the padding, and fell to the floor. The prisoner dropped his pistol, 
took another, and, despite the efforts of the sheriff to stop him, 
shot himself. 27 No wonder the courts attracted a large crowd! 

23 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 306, 311. 

24 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 329-330. 

25 Raleigh Register, December 8, 1835. 

26 Battle, Memories of an Old-Time Tar Heel, 141. 

27 Trial of the Rev. Geo. W. Carawan, Baptist Preacher, for the Murder of Clement H. 
Lassiter, Schoolmaster, before the Superior Court of Law of Beaufort County, North Carolina, 
Fall Term, 1853 (New York, 1854), 114-115. Hereinafter cited George Carawan Trial. 

336 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The court was an exciting place. Another diverting episode, re- 
ported by the Raleigh Register, took place at the Wake County 
Court in 1851. The constable of the county, James H. Murray, 
was sitting within the bar when a man named John Williamson 
came up from behind and struck him with a rock, causing Murray 
to fall to the floor. Williamson was immediately imprisoned, but 
he was released on bail and later sentenced to two months and 
fined $50.00 for contempt of court. The newspaper reported that 
the constable was recovering. 28 

The judicial proceedings were so interesting that great crowds 
attended court despite the uncomfortable physical surroundings 
which existed in many courthouses. The rooms were often poorly 
heated and the benches hard; accommodations for consultation 
between attorneys and clients were frequently non-existent. At 
the Jackson County Court, Merrimon wrote that the trial was 
held in an open house with no floor in it. The room was cold and 
Merrimon felt that the atmosphere of the place made everybody 
feel revengeful. 29 At the end of one winter's day, writing in his 
"Journal," Merrimon stated that it had been so cold that he did 
not wait to hear the charge. 30 In October Judge David Caldwell 
opened court in an open house, where the seats were not "fit to 
sit on . . ." and where there was no place for attorneys and their 
clients to conduct business. 31 

Not all courthouses were uncomfortable; in fact, some were 
rather elegant buildings. An advertisement for sealed bids for 
a courthouse in Granville County stated that the building was to 
consist of two stories, to be of brick, with two chimneys and six 
fireplaces, and was to be 44' x 60'. The lower floor was to be 
divided into five rooms for offices and the upper floor into the 
courtroom and jury rooms. 32 

No matter what the building was like, the courthouse was 
the center of activity in practically every town. In the 1850's it 
was common for fairs to take place at the courthouse; exhibits 
were placed within the courtroom itself and in the yard ; prizes 

23 Raleigh Register, February 26, 1851. 

29 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931) No. 3, 318. 

so Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 327. 

31 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 315. 

32 Raleigh Register, December 4, 1837. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 337 

were announced at the courts, 33 and contests and discussions were 
held there. Discussions, speeches, and recreational activities at 
the courthouse contributed to the enlightenment of the people, 
many of whom would have found no similar instruction else- 
where. 34 

Not only was the courthouse valuable because of the recreation- 
al and judicial facilities it afforded, but the building itself general- 
ly formed the nucleus around which the town was built. 35 Juliana 
M. Conner, in her diary, frequently elaborated on the fact that 
the court was the central building in the town. She wrote, on 
going to Waynesboro, that she and her husband "rode out of the 
town which consisted of 8 or 10 log houses and a small frame 
court house ! ! !" About Newport she said it was "a small town, 
one description will usually answer for all such — a main st. 
Tavern, Court House. . . ." She also wrote that the courthouses 
were "always the most prominent building in towns and are 
usually placed in the middle of the main street." 36 

While fairs were conducted at the courthouses, and while 
numerous social events took place there, trials were the most 
important occurrences. In the midst of drunkenness, crowds, and 
fights, trials in civil and criminal cases continued. North Carolina 
lawyers journeyed to sundry courts and attended to the legal 
business at hand. Merrimon wrote of David E. Caldwell, who 
presided over the Superior Court of Buncombe County, as a stern 
judge, who saw to it that the law was properly enforced. He 
punished anyone who infringed on the dignity of the court in 
the least. 37 Unfortunately not all judges were as conscientious as 

The administration of justice varied widely from court to 
court. Sometimes minor, relatively insignificant cases occupied 
more time than they were worth, and cases were often tried 
without much system or efficiency. The judges and other court 
officials, including lawyers, were largely responsible for the 

33 Guion Griffis Johnson, Ante-bellum North Carolina: A Social History (Chapel Hill, 1937), 

^William Henry Hoyt, editor, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphy (Raleigh, 1914), II, 

35 Johnson, Ante-bellum North Carolina, 116. 

36 Diary of Juliana M. Conner, 51, 52, 41, 42, 20-21. Typed copy in N. C. Department of 
Archives and History, Raleigh. 

37 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 300-301. 

338 The North Carolina Historical Review 

manner in which court was conducted. Sometimes trials ran 
smoothly; on other occasions, time was wasted and the entire 
trial was handled in a haphazard way. Inefficiency and confusion 
were particularly prevalent in the county courts, where many of 
the officials were ignorant men, caring little about the public 
interest. Court was sometimes conducted in the midst of talking, 
noise, and confusion ; in fact, on one occasion, Merrimon observed 
that the noise was so loud that the testimony could not be heard. 38 
Lawyers sometimes magnified relatively insignificant cases into 
all-day affairs. 39 The lowest courts did not command respect from 
the populace, but the superior courts were generally presided 
over by intelligent men who sought fair administration of justice 
in the midst of dignified legal proceedings. 

The trial of cases in the superior courts did not differ radically 
from trials of today. A study of the George Carawan trial, which 
occurred in the Beaufort County Superior Court, shows that the 
procedure and evidence were handled much as they would be 
handled in modern trial. Witnesses were examined and cross- 
examined; tangible exhibits were offered in evidence; and law- 
yers argued vehemently before the judge and jury. 40 Expert 
testimony was used in trials of a century ago, just as it is now. 
Doctors testified at length in the Ann K. Simpson trial on the 
question of poisons and the possibility of death by various types 
of poisons. 41 

Though the procedure in the introduction of evidence and 
the examination of witnesses was similar to that in twentieth 
century trials, one difference in the courts of a century ago and 
today stands out. This difference is that evening, Saturday after- 
noon, and holiday sessions of court were not at all unusual. To 
cite a few examples: Merrimon recorded an account of a riot 
case which occupied the court from 2:00 to 7:00 o'clock; 42 part 
of the Carawan trial was held on Saturday afternoon; 43 and 

38 Newsorae, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 328. 

39 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, No. 3, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical 
Review, VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 303-304. 

40 See George Carawan Trial. 

41 William H. Haigh, reporter, The Trial of Mrs. Ann K. Simpson, Charged with the 
Murder of Her Husband, Alexander C. Simpson, by Poisoning with Arsenic ( Fayetteville, 
1861). Hereinafter cited Ann K. Simpson Trial. 

42 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 324-325. 

43 George Carawan Trial, 75. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 339 

Ann K. Simpson's trial was set for Thursday, Thanksgiving 
day. 44 

The conduct of lawyers in court was as varied as the individuals 
who practiced before the different courts. For instance, Murphey 
was a safe counsellor in his office, a man who never encouraged 
litigation. He was calm and polite at all times. Ruffin was at the 
opposite pole; he was rough toward opposing witnesses and 
would get very excited while a case was being tried. 

Murphey' s conduct was described by Judge Jesse Turner in 
a letter to Archibald Murphey Aikes. He said: 

In the Court House, he was adroit and successful in the manage- 
ment of his cases. His speeches whether addressing the Court 
or Jury were remarkable for simplicity of style yet his thoughts 
and arguments were always couched in chaste and elegant 
English but never using words and phrases unsuited to the 
Common understanding. His ordinary manner of speaking . . . 
was like earnest, animated Conversation and he never at any time 
became boisterous or vehement. Although on rare occasions when 
warmly enlisted in the cause of a greatly wronged client he be- 
came wrought up to an unusually animated presentation of his 
client's cause, and at these times the force of his logic and power 
of his eloquence were almost irresistible, yet he never seemed to 
labor, or make an effort for display, but his speeches ordinarily 
seemed extemporaneous or rather grew out of the facts and 
revelations of the particular causes in which he was engaged as 
Counsel. Yet Judge Murphey was always well equipped, and 
being learned in his profession prepared himself well in all cases 
requiring preparation, but his speeches never seemed to smell of 
the midnight lamp. 45 

Turner, who was one of Murphey' s pupils, wrote that Murphey 
was a "Model of decorum and propriety in every walk of life." 46 
Thomas Ruffin was thought to have been rough toward oppos- 
ing litigants and witnesses. He was unpopular with the common 
people and "with many who were not very common." 47 Ruffin 
was "a vehement speaker, and would sometimes knock the floor 
instead of the table with his knuckles. . . ," 48 His powerful cross- 
examinations were such an ordeal that frightened witnesses 

44 Ann K. Simpson Trial, 7. 

^Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, II, 421-422. 

46 Aubrey Lee Brooks and Hugh Talmage Lefler, editors, The Papers of Walter Clark, 
1857-1901 (Chapel Hill, 1948), I, 264. 

47 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, II, 426-427. 

48 Edwin Godwin Reade, Address Delivered by the Hon. Edwin Godwin Reade, LL.D., 
before the Convention of the Legal Profession of North Carolina, at Asheville, N. C, July 
9th, 188$ (Raleigh, 1884), U. Hereinafter cited Address, 

340 The North Carolina Historical Review 

frequently trembled when they took the stand. Though Ruffin 
was noted for his attitude toward witnesses, he does not seem 
to have been the only lawyer to have behaved in an unseemly 
manner. Judge Jesse Turner, in discussing the conduct of certain 
lawyers, said : 

The practice of almost tvholesome, indiscriminate abuse of op- 
posing parties and witnesses obtained so extensively in the N. C. 
Courts of that day as to produce widespread discontent among 
the people. I remember public Meetings called in Orange County 
to consider this abuse as it was considered of the legitimate 
functions of an Attorney and Advocate. At these Meetings 
Resolutions were passed expressing the indignant condemnation 
by the people of this reprehensible practice. I think Ruffin' s man- 
ner at the bar contributed more largely than any thing else to 
these Meetings. In the resolutions this sort of practice at the bar 
was styled "Bullyragging" parties and witnesses in Court. 49 

But Murphey was respectful to witnesses at all times, and never 
tried to embarrass them. 50 He "was as soft as the lute, and would 
steal on the jury, and tap his snuff box and offer a pinch." 51 The 
actions of Murphey and Ruffin represented two extremes; most 
lawyers spoke and acted in a normal manner and did not cause 
any comment among the legal profession or the spectators at 
court. The crowds who thronged to court probably enjoyed 
watching Ruffin more than other lawyers because they liked action 
and oratory. 

Oratory was of far more importance in the trial of a case a 
century ago than it is today. Newspapers frequently mentioned 
the forceful speeches made by attorneys. For example, the Ra- 
leigh Star commented that in a particular case 

The Attorney General with his accustomed eloquence, con- 
tended that the circumstances of this homicide justified a verdict 
of murder, which he endeavored to shew, from various prece- 
dents. He spoke about 2 1-2 hours, very animatedly. . . . 

Henry Seawell and George E. Barger, attorneys for the defend- 
ant, replied at length "and with that ability for which these 
learned and eloquent gentlemen are so justly distinguished/' 52 

49 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, II, 426-427. 
60 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, II 424-425. 

51 Reade, Address, 11. 

52 Raleigh Star, April 28, 1820, 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 341 

Since such a large number of people attended court, the at- 
torneys probably felt that eloquence and flowery oratory were 
necessities. Kemp Plummer Battle, a poor speaker, had such a 
feeling, and he worried because of an unwritten family law which 
required that he study law. A friend advised him to speak in a 
conversational manner, prepare his subject, and talk as if he 
were trying to persuade one man of his views. He took this 
advice and became a successful practitioner. 53 Oratory was not 
absolutely essential, but it was endorsed heartily by the populace. 
The crowd went to court for the display to be found there ; when 
the lawyers spoke to the jury in soft, natural voices, the audience 
was apt to be greatly disappointed. 

The importance of a single lawyer at a term of court was 
amazing ; in fact, sometimes a session of court would not be held 
if one or two of the busiest lawyers failed to appear. Frederick 
Nash wrote that he had a short court because of the absence of a 
lawyer who had a "commanding" business. 54 The Raleigh Register 
of April 9, 1838, reported that the superior court had been in 
session for a week, but, in the absence of one of the leading law- 
yers, had transacted little business. 55 

The practice of law had its disadvantages as well as its ad- 
vantages. Comments from contemporaries show what lawyers 
had to contend with in the courts, and the small amount paid 
by clients for some types of legal services. George S. Attmore 
wrote : 

I hope this may find you realizing all the pleasures and enjoy- 
ments which flow from health and rest — the last of which can 
be appreciated by none more truly than those who have under- 
gon[e] the fatigues and trials inseperably [sic'] incident to our 
Courts. Indeed I look upon it as one of the peculiar and almost 
exclusive advantages of the profession that it confers such happi- 
ness on a fellow after a circuit is over and when he can look 
ahead to a "Millenium" of a few weeks rest and comfort. 56 

Henry Sea well wrote to Ruffin: 

I despair of reaching home in time for Wake Supr. Court. The 
clients from whom I have received fees in that court, already 
begin the refunding system — it is ruinous to me — for the ex- 
penses of my situation, are almost equal to the emoluments. 

53 Battle, Memories of an Old-Time Tar Heel, 74-75. 

54 Frederick Nash to Sarah K. Nash, undated. Nash Papers, N. C. Department of Archives 
and History, Raleigh. 

65 Raleigh Register, April 9, 1838. 

66 Hamilton, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, I, 351, 

342 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Hainds, our client in Jail, wrote me a note when I was at home 
enquiring whether in case of failure, I would refund what he had 
paid me? I have visited him half a dozen times in a loathsome 
dungeon; done more drugery than I would perform for the 
seventy dollars he had paid me, (I think it is about that sum I 
have received) and now he calls on me to return that unless I go 
through with him. 57 

Riding the circuits was strenuous, and the fees were many 
times inadequate to compensate for the immense amount of time 
and work of the lawyers. Those people unable to afford legal aid 
had assigned to them "learned counsel" who served without fee. 58 
Thomas Ruffin had a practice rarely exceeded by any North Caro- 
lina lawyer; 59 few lawyers were so fortunate as to have the 
income he had. Lawyers who put on a good show often attracted 
more clients than those who practiced in a quiet, dignified 
manner. Ruffin's showmanship in court probably contributed to 
his success as a practitioner. 

Small fees and tiresome journeys were disadvantages which 
had to be met by circuit riders. Another discouraging factor to 
be considered by lawyers starting out on the circuits was the 
likelihood of ill health caused by travels through all kinds of 
weather and climate. Lawyers frequently discussed the perils 
to health incurred by those of their group who rode the eastern 
circuits. For example, Archibald D. Murphey inquired of Thomas 
Ruffin, "Where will you go this Fall? If to the low Country, 
prepare yourself before you set out, by getting rid of all super- 
fluous Bile." 60 The judges often expressed their lack of desire to 
ride the circuits in the eastern part of the state because of the 
fear that ill health would result. On the other hand, Frederick 
Nash pointed out the value of the exercise one was forced to take 
in riding the circuits. 61 

The physical discomforts were slight compared to the pro- 
fessional disadvantages. The opportunities to confer with clients 
and witnesses were limited ; reference to written authorities was 
confined to those books that could be carried in saddlebags. 62 

67 Hamilton, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, I, 298. 

68 Revised Code of 1852, chap. 31, sec. 43, 47-48. 

69 Graham, "Ruffin Oration," The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, I, 23. 

60 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, I, 310-311. 

61 Frederick Nash to Mary G. Nash, undated. Nash Papers, N. C. Department of Archives 
and History, Raleigh. 

62 John Allen Krout and Dixon Ryan Fox, The Completion of Independence, 1790-1830 
(New York, 1944), 287, 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 343 

Sometimes the lawyer did not meet his client for a conference 
until he got to court ; many courthouses lacked adequate facilities 
for conferences between attorneys and their clients. Law libraries 
were scarce, but lawyers could not be encumbered in their travels 
by any great number of books. The lawyers had to rely on their 
memories and their common sense to a greater extent than they 
do in the twentieth century. 

The difficulties connected with circuit riding also prevented 
many lawyers from engaging in appellate work. Quite a few 
attorneys hesitated to appeal their cases from the superior courts 
to the Supreme Court because of transportation difficulties in- 
volved in the journeys to the Supreme Court. For the same rea- 
son, many lawyers did not engage in federal court practice. 
However, appeals from county courts to the superior courts were 
common. For instance, Augustus Merrimon wrote, in complaining 
of a county court decision against him, "The Court decided 
against me verry [sic] improperly and I made my Client appeal 
to the Superior Court. — A County Court is more influenced by 
their own wishes, most generally, than by what is really their 
duty. It is not well therefore, for a litigant to get his suit into this 
Court." 63 Lawyers were not always eager to make their clients 
appeal to the Supreme Court ; as a matter of fact, many of them 
would not undertake the traveling involved in appellate practice. 
In 1838, when the Supreme Court calendar was called, it was 
agreed that precedence would be given to causes in which the 
lawyers had come a great distance. Unless such an exception 
arose, the court proceeded regularly with the docket. 64 A natural 
consequence of the difficulties incident to appellate practice was 
that a group of lawyers began specializing in state Supreme 
Court and United States inferior court practice. 65 

Such men as Peter Brown, Moses Mordecai, William Gaston, 
George E. Badger, Thomas RufRn, Archibald D. Murphey, Henry 
A. Seawell, Gavin Hogg, Duncan Cameron, Joseph Wilson, and 
James Martin were included in the group who did a great deal 

83 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 320-322. 

64 "Rules of Court," 20 North Carolina Reports (1838), 324. The Supreme Court required 
hard work for the judges as well as for the lawyers. Frederick Nash wrote that he did not 
"rightly" appreciate the work of a Supreme Court justice when he accepted appointment on 
that bench. He had written until after 12:00 o'clock several nights and had had trouble with 
his eyes ever since. See Frederick Nash to Mary G. Nash, undated. Nash Papers, N. C. 
Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

85 "Legal Education," North Carolina Journal of Law, I (May, 1904), 222. 

344 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of appellate work and were often seen in the North Carolina 
Supreme Court. 66 The same men, together with other leaders of 
the legal profession, comprised the active members of the bar 
of the United States courts within North Carolina. 67 These men 
found it profitable to devote much of their time to state appellate 
and federal court practice, despite the rocky and miry roads, the 
infrequent bridges, and the distances from the seat of govern- 
ment. 68 The majority of a legal profession contented themselves 
with riding the circuits in their own vicinities, leaving the appel- 
late work to the more adventuresome and ambitious members of 
the group. 

After the War of 1812 and until after the Civil War, the 
federal courts did not touch the lives of the common people to any 
great extent. There was no such thing as a federal courthouse at 
that time; federal court was held in the county courthouse, by 
courtesy of the local authorities. 69 The principal business in the 
federal courts was that involving violations of postal laws, 
counterfeiting, and some admiralty cases at Wilmington and 
Edenton. The federal circuit court at Raleigh was presided over 
by John Marshall from 1801 until 1835.™ It is interesting to note 
that the names which appear in the lists of Supreme Court and 
federal bars, with few exceptions, are the same names which are 
recognized as those of the leading lawyers in the lower courts. 
It is safe to make the generalization that the most enterprising 
lawyers made their services known, and attended all courts for 
the benefit of their clients. 

In their trial and appellate practice, lawyers were aided by 
forms and books just as they are today. The first seven volumes 
of the North Carolina Supreme Court Reports were not officially 
printed but were published at private expense and as a private 
enterprise. The court reporters charged lawyers one cent a page ; 
thus reports were printed at great length, with no compression 
of the facts of the cases. For this privilege of printing the reports, 

66 Archibald Henderson, North Carolina: The Old North State and the New (Chicago, 1941), 
II, 31. 

67 Henry Groves Connor, Remarks upon the Opening of the Federal Court Room, Raleigh, 
N. C, January 18, 1915, and in Accepting the Portraits of Hon. Asa Biggs, Judge of the 
United States District Court for the District of North Carolina, 1858-1861 and Hon. George 
W. Brooks, Judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Carolina, 
1867-1882 (Raleigh, 1915), Hereinafter cited Remarks on Court Room. 

68 Kemp Plummer Battle, History of the Supreme Court (Raleigh, 1889), 42. 

69 Connor, Remarks on Court Room, 11. 

70 Connor, Remarks on Caurt Room, 9-10. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 345 

the reporter was required to furnish copies to the State. The 
State also paid him $500.00, which was increased by $100.00 in 
1852. 71 

Other aids included such materials as Benjamin Swaim's 
magazine, The Man of Business, which included much law, with 
supporting citations. Swaim had every number of the publication 
scrutinized by a member of the profession in the hope of eliminat- 
ing errors. 72 He said that the purpose of his publication was to 
set forth the principles of law in an easy and familiar style so 
that any man with common sense could ascertain what his legal 
rights were without the necessity of going to counsel. The ad- 
vertisement of the magazine stated that the forms alone were 
worth the price of the subscription. 73 Swaim also edited a book 
containing forms, statutes, digests of state Supreme Court de- 
cisions, and other pertinent information. 74 When one remembers 
that he was a lawyer, one is amazed that Swaim was eager to help 
the common man and to assist him in being his own attorney. 

The Raleigh Register frequently carried advertisements of law 
books and forms for lawyers' use. A set of forms, advertised in 
1845, had been carefully prepared by a lawyer and were "believed 
to be accurate." The purpose of the forms was to encourage 
uniform pleadings in the state. 75 Another publication, prepared 
by a "sound lawyer," was advertised as embodying useful legal 
information in simple language. 76 A newspaper notice, calling 
attention to a new book on civil procedure, insisted that attorneys 
"just coming to the Bar, should get this work by all means. In 
some Towns, every Lawyer has it, old and young. Citizens ought 
to favor it too, for it is by one of our own people." 77 It is hard to 
imagine any laymen being interested in a book on civil procedure 

71 Walter Clark, History of the Supreme Court Reports of North Carolina and of the 
Annotated Reports (Raleigh, 1918) is a brief account of the publication of the high court 

72 Benjamin Swaim, editor. The Man of Business; or Every Man's Law Book: Showing how 
to execute properly all deeds and writings obligatory, with approved forms and precedents 
suited to every class of cases according to modern practice. Interspersed with legal advice, 
useful statistics, tables for reference, improving anecdotes, scientific suggestions, &. The whole 
intended to form a book of convenient reference: and a safe guide to all classes in the com- 
munity, whether public officers or private citizens (New Salem, 1834-1835), II. 147. Herein- 
after cited The Man of Business. 

73 Raleigh Register, May 23, 1837. 

74 Benjamin Swaim, The North-Carolina Justice: Containing a Summary Statement of the 
Statutes and Common Law of this State, Together with the Decisions of the Supreme Court 
and all the most approved Forms and Precedents, Relating to the Office and Duty of a 
Justice of the Peace and Other Public Officers, according to Modern Practice: The Whole 
Intended as a Complete Practical Application of the New Revised Statutes of North-Carolina 
(Raleigh, 1839). 

75 Raleigh Register, April 8, 1845. 

76 Raleigh Register, January 1, 1838. 

77 Raleigh Register, June 8, 1847. 

346 The North Carolina Historical Review 

— even though it was by a native son! Advertisements of law 
books were numerous. Virtually every issue of the contemporary 
newspapers carried notices of new or old law books, without 
which no lawyer could ever hope to be successful at the bar. 
Members of the bar whose incomes were large enough to justify 
the expenditure could buy form books and commentaries which 
simplified their practice. 

Many attorneys could not afford extensive libraries, and public 
law libraries were few and small. Borrowing was a common 
practice among lawyers who had a few books. As is often true of 
borrowers, particularly of book borrowers, they not infrequently 
failed to return the volumes promptly. For example, "H. Potter" 
advertised that his "2nd Blackstone's Commentaries has been 
out of my library for several years. I will thank the borrower to 
return it." 78 It would be interesting to know if the second volume 
of Blackstone was ever returned to Potter's library. 

Some few attorneys had extensive libraries containing many 
reference books and classics as well as legal treatises. For in- 
stance, Archibald D. Murphey's library contained eighty-nine 
volumes of history; thirty of biography; three of philology; 
twenty-six of statistics, political economy, politics, and political 
law ; seventeen of religion ; sixteen of morals ; fifty-five of science ; 
sixteen of belles lettres and rhetoric; ten of philosophy of the 
mind and philosophical essays; ninety-six of reviews and peri- 
odical works; one hundred of miscellaneous subjects, including 
Advice to Mothers, Krafts Distiller, and Gentleman Farmer; 
twelve of travels and voyages ; forty-five of poetry ; five of Greek 
classics ; nine of Latin classics ; twelve novels ; forty books in the 
French library; and two hundred forty-four volumes of legal 
treatises. 79 Murphey's was an exceptionally good library, but 
other lawyers had numerous publications. William Gaston read 
widely in law, history, biography, theology, economics, and 
literature. He read in the English, Greek, Latin, and French 
languages. 80 Augustus Moore's office was lined with books — both 
legal and non-legal works. 81 

™ Raleigh Register, July 14, 1820. 

79 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, II, 4,38-442. 

80 Robert Digges Wimberly Connor, William Gaston: A Southern Federalist of the Old 
School and His Yankee Friends, 1778-18U (Worcester, Massachusetts, 1934), 12. 

81 Pulaski Cowper, "Reminiscences and Anecdotes of the North Carolina Bar," North 
Carolina University Magazine, XIV (April, 1895), 347-350. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 347 

Many lawyers, not so fortunate as the men mentioned above, 
did not have a large selection of books. There were practically no 
public law libraries, save those of the Supreme Court at Raleigh 
and Morganton. The paucity of available books undoubtedly help- 
ed create a spirit of fraternity among lawyers. Though no such 
thing as present-day bar associations existed, the members of 
the bar felt an intangible unity. They were willing to help each 
other by lending books ; looking up statutes in sources unavailable 
to their friends ; and by assisting clients of lawyers who, for one 
reason or another, were unable to appear in court on time. For 
example, Thomas Ruffin wrote to Bartlett Yancey in Raleigh in 
1824, asking him to look up certain statutes he needed and send 
copies to him. 82 In 1821 Ruffin wrote to Murphey saying that he 
had been sick and did not feel that he could properly attend to 
business at Caswell superior court. He asked Murphey to take 
charge of his cases, stating that he would "leave my clients to the 
tender mercies of you and the brethren." 83 

Lawyers felt a kind of unity merely because of the fact that 
they were all members of the same profession; however, there 
was no formal organization of lawyers. The only thing that drew 
the members of the bar together as a body was the death of one 
of the members. On such occasions the lawyers met to pass resolu- 
tions bemoaning the death of their fellow attorney and to agree 
to wear the customary badge of mourning for thirty days. The 
members of the Salisbury bar met to raise a sum to erect a 
monument over the grave of Archibald Henderson. This they did 
in addition to passing the following resolution: 

No lawyer of this State has left an earthly bar to appear at a 
heavenly one within our remembrance, whose memory presents 
stronger claims to the grateful veneration of his brethren, than 
that of Mr. Henderson. 84 

The Nash County bar met in 1824 to testify to their high esteem 
for, and adopt resolutions honoring, Thomas N. Mann, who died 
shortly before. 85 The lawyers of a community generally attended 
the funeral of a deceased counsellor in a body. The procession at 
William Gaston's funeral shows that lawyers served as pallbear- 
ers, and that members of the bar went in to the funeral together. 

82 Hamilton, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, I, 320. 

83 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, I, 206. 

84 Raleigh Register, October 7, 1825. 
86 Raleigh Register, August 20, 1824. 

348 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Clergy and attending Physician. 

Mr. Attorney General, § 



Mr. Bryan, & 



Mr. J. T. Morehead, T* 



Mr. Badger, gj 



Family of the Deceased. 

The Chief Justice, the Governor, Judge Daniel. 

Officers of the Court. 

Members of the Bar. 

Heads of Departments. 

Intendent of the City and Commissioners. 

Citizens and Strangers. 86 

Gaston was an outstanding lawyer and judge of the Supreme 
Court, but his funeral was not an unusual one. Lawyers nearly 
always were requested to attend the funeral of fellow attorneys 
and to wear mourning badges. The Supreme Court passed a 
resolution including a recommendation that all lawyers wear the 
accepted badge of mourning in honor of Gaston. 87 

Though the members of the bar did not have meetings, except 
on the occasion of the death of a member, the feeling among the 
lawyers was a fraternal one. William K. Ruffin wrote that he 
would like to be a member of the legal profession because "There 
prevails among the members of the Bar so much good feeling and 
harmony." 88 

Perhaps lack of organization was one of the causes of the 
laxness of rules of ethics. Today bar associations have lengthy 
and elaborate codes of ethics. 89 In the nineteenth century there 
was no such thing, but most lawyers probably felt a certain 
amount of responsibility toward maintaining reasonably high 
standards. It is now considered unethical to advertise one's serv- 
ices as a lawyer ; one hundred years ago, such action was con- 
sidered perfectly normal and justifiable. During the early 1820 , s 
advertisements were comparatively rare; 90 as the years passed, 
it became more and more common for lawyers to advertise. M. J. 
Coman advertised in 1824 that he would practice in Wake, Hali- 
fax, Nash, Northampton, and Washington counties ; he promised 

86 Raleigh Register, January 30, 1841. 

87 38 North Carolina Reports, 502-504. 

88 Hamilton, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, I, 520-521. 

89 For North Carolina's present code, see A. Newson Michie, Charles W. Sublett, and Beirne 
Stedman, editors, The General Statutes of North Carolina (Charlottesville, Virginia, 1943), 
IV, 53-64. 

80 See Raleigh Register for the years 1820 to 1824. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 349 

to attend to business faithfully and punctually; he would exe- 
cute legal conveyances "in a correct, legal and technical 
manner." 91 William S. Ransom promised "assiduity and prompti- 
tude in the discharge of the duties of his vocation." 92 Quentin 
Busbee and Kemp P. Battle wanted it known that they practiced 
law in the central counties of North Carolina and that any 
business intrusted to their care would be attended to promptly. 93 
J. W. Johnson of Raleigh announced that he would attend "par- 
ticularly and promptly to the collection of all kinds of claims, 
renewing and discounting notes in Bank, hiring and renting 
property, and buying and selling real estate on commission. Refer 
to Charles Dewey, Cashier Bank of the State, and W. H. Jones, 
Cashier Bank of Cape Fear." 94 Johnson was undoubtedly busy 
since his real estate business was only a side line. The practice of 
giving references in the advertisements was common during 
these years. 95 

A. S. Merrimon elaborated at length on his idea of ethics in the 
legal profession. He wrote : 

I do not consider it the duty of a Lawyer to bewilder a Jury or 
the Court and lead their minds astray. This is not what a lawyer 
ought to do, and I consider it highly dishonorable for him to do 
it. It is every lawyer's duty to seek after the true and just rights 
of his clients, and to present his case in the most forcible light 
to the court and jury and he has not done his duty until he has 
done this; but it is not part of the duty of a lawyer to assist 
a scoundrel at law or in regard to the facts and whenever this is 
done, the man who does it is to some extent and [sic'] accomplice. 
... A Lawyer, in the true sense of the term, never studies 
Chikenery [sic'] and low cunning. No, a man who is a lawyer, 
never fears to meet the question and battle face to face. 96 

In all probability many lawyers failed to adhere to the high 
ideals held by Merrimon. Benjamin Swaim printed an article 
which indicated that the good advocate was one who would not 
plead a cause if "his tongue must be confuted by his conscience." 

81 Raleigh Register, July 2, 1824. 
92 Raleigh Register, June 17, 1829. 
03 Raleigh Register, October 4, 1854. 
84 Raleigh Register, September 30, 1857. 

95 See for example, the notice of Henry B. S. Williams in the Raleigh Register for February 
28, 1840, and that of Nathaniel J. Palmer in the Raleigh Register for March 2, 1841. 

96 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," North Carolina Historical Review, 
VIII (July, 1931), No. 3, 304. 

350 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The good lawyer would not grow lazy ; he would be "more care- 
ful to deserve, than greedy to take fees." 97 

Some lawyers evidently failed to deserve all the fees they took. 
William Hooper, speaking at Wake Forest on The Sacredness of 
Human Life, expressed the opinion that lawyers would have no 
fees if they followed the principle of justice to every man. The 
section of his speech entitled "The Blood of the Bar and the 
Jury-Box" contained vituperations galore against the legal pro- 
fession. Hooper felt that the more desperate the case and the 
more odious the offender, "the greater is the harvest of renown 
and wealth to the successful pleader." Any criminal would be 
acquitted if he had enough money to retain a good criminal 
lawyer, Hooper contended. 98 

In 1833 the Raleigh Register quoted one Brougham who had 
expressed the opinion, in an address on the privileges of the bar, 
that the lawyer owed his first duty to his client, and that he 
should act "reckless of consequences." The Register disagreed, 
saying that this was false in principle. The editor observed "it 
will never be maintained in an American Court of justice, that 
the acceptance of a fee releases a man from the obligations of 
social virtue and future responsibility." 99 

A lawyer who practiced gross improprieties could be punished 
by the courts and stricken from the roll of attorneys, because the 
legal profession held strict surveillance over its members. A law- 
yer taking the oath was admitted to practice during good be- 
havior. 100 However, prior to 1868, no court, so far as the records 
show, was called upon to disbar an attorney. 101 

Statutory regulations, designed to protect the public from 
fraudulent practices on the part of lawyers, provided that if any 
practicing lawyer should neglect to perform his duty or should 
act fraudulently, in any action in which he was retained, he would 
be liable to the injured party to the extent of double damages 

97 Swaim, The Man of Business, II, 135-138. 

98 William Hooper, The Sacredness of Human Life, and American Indifference to Its 
Destruction: An Address before the Literary Societies of Wake Forest College, June 10th, 
1857 (Raleigh, 1857), 24, 19. 

99 Raleigh Register, September 10, 1833. 

100 [Edwin G. Reade], A Vindication of the Legal Profession against the Unjust Accusa- 
tions contained in an Address delivered by William Hooper, DD., LL.D., at Wake-Forest 
College, in June, 1857, By "An Advocate" (Raleigh, 1858), 22, 23. 

101 L. H. Clement, "Address of President," Report of the Eleventh Annual Meeting of 
the North Carolina Bar Association, Held at the Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, June 30th, 
1909. 18. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 351 

and court costs. 102 The taking of a greater fee than was allowed 
by law was also a misdemeanor. 103 

The statutes did not establish fees to be charged for many types 
of legal services. Fees varied, depending on the lawyer and on 
the work done. The charges were not generally exorbitant, how- 
ever. For example, in December, 1840, the state paid $12.00 to 
Thomas C. Miller for drawing a contract. In January, 1841, 
$100.00 was paid to Thomas L. Clingman, attorney for the state, 
to appear in suits which might be brought against the state in- 
volving reservations of land under treaty between the United 
States and the Cherokee Indians. 104 

Frederick Nash was much pleased when one client gave him 
a note for $500.00 as a fee and another note for $330.00, con- 
ditioned upon Nash's success in the case. He wrote, "I wish 
there were a few more such — but alas! They come like angels 
visits — few & far between." 105 Benjamin Swaim wrote that 
attorneys received $20.00 for a suit in equity, $10.00 for a suit 
in the superior or county courts where a land title was involved, 
$4.00 for any other suit in the superior courts, and $2.00 for an 
appeal from the judgments of justices of the peace to the county 
courts. The attorney general, solicitor general, and solicitors re- 
ceived $20.00 for attending court, $10.00 for every conviction of 
murder, perjury, forgery, or burglary, $5.00 for every conviction 
of grand or petit larceny, arson, fraud, deceit, or mayhem, and 
$4.00 for all other convictions; the attorney general received 
$100.00 for attending each term of the Supreme Court. For every 
conviction of petit larcency, county solicitors were paid $10.00; 
for a conviction of a misdemeanor, $4.00. 106 Edward Cantwell, 
a lawyer, observed that, strictly speaking, an attorney was en- 
titled to no more than he would recover in an action of assumpsit 
for work and labor done. He continued by saying that the practice 
was for lawyers to receive a retainer on all notes placed with 
them for collection. Commissions on the amount collected de- 
pended on the sum in controversy and the trouble and length of 
the litigation. Contingent fees depended on the same circum- 

102 Revised Code of 1821, I, Ch. 37, Sec. 1, 169. 

103 Revised Code of 1852, Ch. VIII, Sec. 7, 18. 

i(H "Comptroller's Report for the Year Ending Nov. 1, 1841," Documents Printed by Order 
of the General Assembly of North Carolina, at Its Session, of 18^2-^3, 32, 41. 

105 Frederick Nash to Mary G. Nash, undated. Nash Papers, N. C. Department of Archives 
and History, Raleigh. 

ice Swaim, The Man of Business, I, 276-277. 

352 The North Carolina Historical Review 

stances plus the difficulty of the case, and the client's ability to 
pay. The agreement as to the fee was generally made at the time 
of employment. 107 John Livingston, in 1851, estimated the aver- 
age United States lawyer's income to be $1,500.00 a year ; in 1860 
he gave the average earnings as about $1,000.00 annually. 108 No 
estimates for average earnings of North Carolina lawyers are 
available ; however, they were undoubtedly less than the average 
for the United States as a whole. 

James H. Ruffin wrote in 1826 that he and other lawyers were 
attending court but that there was little trial work and fees 
were small. He said that citizens dreaded litigation and were 
using other means of settling their disputes. 

If there be not an improvement in the business of our Courts, 
some of us, honorable Attornies at Law, will have to resign our 
Credentials and betake ourselves to employment more suited to 
our capacities and more congenial with our dispositions, the 
pursuits of agriculture or the acquisition of the knowledge 
necessary for the performance of some trade which will secure 
to us the means of an honest livelihood. , . . 

He added that part of the lawyer's particular difficulty was due 
to the fact that he gave much advice "without having the req- 
uisite knack of asking a gratuity in return, but that must stop." 109 
Archibald D. Murphey wrote to Thomas Ruffin in 1825 that he 
had had as good fortune on the circuit as he could expect. At the 
end of the fifth court he had received about $300.00 in cash and 
had notes for about $600.00. He said that he would probably re- 
ceive in money and notes $200.00 the next week, but after that his 
prospects were poor. 110 He wrote to William Duffy that one could 
make very little at superior courts except in criminal matters, 
"and that is very precarious." 111 The North Carolina Supreme 
Court held that attorneys were entitled to the reasonable worth 
of their services; 112 it also held that reasonable attorney's fees 
were a necessary and reasonable expense in the settlement of an 
estate. 113 

107 Edward Cantwell, The Practice at Law in North Carolina (Raleigh, 1860), I, 124-125. 

108 John Livingston, editor, The United States Monthly Law Magazine, IV ( July-December, 
1851), xiv; John Livingston, Livingston's United States Law Register and Official Directory 
for 1860; Being a Hand-book of Information Useful to Every Lawyer and Business Man, as 
well as to all Executive, Judicial, Legislative and County Officers (New York, 1860), ix. 

109 Hamilton, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, I, 345-346. 

110 Hoyt, The Pavers of Archibald D. Murphey, I, 317. 

111 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, I, 6-9. 

112 Leach v. Strange, 10 North Carolina Reports, (1825), 601-603. 
^Fairbairn v. Fisher, 58 North Carolina Reports (1860), 385. 

Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina 353 

In the discussion of fees, not once does it appear that any 
lawyer thought he overcharged a client; neither does one ever 
suggest that a fellow lawyer overcharged anybody. If the senti- 
ments of the lawyers can be accepted, no lawyer ever charged 
exorbitant fees; instead, every member of the bar was a poor 
struggling individual, who barely made a living. It is true that 
some lawyers suffered hardships and were often indebted to 
their creditors. Archibald D. Murphey, for example, was ac- 
tually imprisoned for debt. 114 

Lawyers, dentists, doctors, and others whose salaries or fees 
yielded an income of not less than $500.00 yearly, had to pay an 
income tax of $3.00. The legislators thoughtfully provided that 
every physician, surgeon, dentist, and lawyer should be exempt 
from this tax for the first five years of his practice. 115 A law of 
1856-1857 raised the tax to $5.00 for the first $500.00 and one 
per cent for all above $500.00. 116 The amount of the income tax 
was changed the next year so that one paid one per cent of his 
income, provided the total exceeded $500. 00. 117 

Despite income taxes, low fees, miry roads, blinding snow 
storms, dirty courthouses, and drunkenness and brawls in the 
courtrooms, the attorneys who practiced law in the years 1820 
to 1860 seem to have enjoyed the fellowship which the circuit 
system offered ; they learned to bear hardship without complaint 
(except for a touch of homesickness now and then) ; they grew 
to respect other members of the bar and bench, and many lawyers 
formed intimate friendships with those whom they met on the 
circuits. The lawyers who went through all of the discomforts 
which had to be endured for the sake of the law must have been 
devoted to their calling; perhaps that is one reason why the 
names of many of the lawyers in this period are synonymous 
with the great names of North Carolina. 

1U See Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, II, 431-437. See also Brooks and Lefler, 
The Papers of Walter Clark, 1857-1901, I, 265. 
i« North Carolina Public Laws, (1848-1849), Ch. LXXVII, Sec. 6, 131. 

116 North Carolina Public Laws, (1856-1857), Ch. 34, Sec. 39, 39-40. 

117 North Carolina Public Laws, (1858-1859), Ch. 25, Sec. 27(16), 36. 

By Harley E. Jolley 

There is no single factor in the public life of today which has 
more devoted friends or more uncompromising enemies than 
organized labor. Its members and friends claim that it is the 
pillar of cloud and pillar of fire which will lead the workingman 
into the promised land of justice. While its enemies represent it 
as a great devouring monster which will, unless restrained, make 
all business impossible. Which view is right? In our opinion 
neither. There seems to be no doubt of the fact that organized 
labor has come and come to stay. 1 

In the pre-Civil War days North Carolina and the other south- 
ern states were at a disadvantage in the consideration of the 
rights of labor for the obvious reason that a goodly portion of 
southern labor was under bondage, directly or indirectly, to the 
institution of slavery; hence, there was little attention paid to 
what in later days has been called the "dignity of labor." Yet, 
one of the heritages of the Civil War was that at long last it 
became considered honorable to toil with one's hands. 2 

Nevertheless, North Carolina and her sister southern states 
proved to be very infertile fields for an organized labor move- 
ment and to a great extent this is still basically true of the present 
day South. Various theories have been advanced to account for 
the slow growth of a labor movement in the South. For example, 
it has been claimed that the southerner's Calvinistic outlook 
caused him to frown upon strikes as being contrary to the will of 
God ; i.e., men should accept whatever befell them and trust that 
an all-wise God would prosper them in due time. This same out- 
look created the attitude, so the story goes, that the mills were 
the property of the owners and as the master of such property 
the owner had the right to set his own wage rate. Should the 
workman object to the offered rate it was a free country and the 
worker had the right to reject the wage or quit working, but 
"if the workman did reject the wage, then he plainly ought to 
get off the premises and go on somewhere else to look for a job, 

1 Daily Industrial News (Greensboro) Editorial, October 18, 1905. 

a Labor Day Address of Chief Justice Walter Clark of the North Carolina Supreme Court, 
Wilmington, North Carolina, September 7, 19H, 18. 


The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 355 

and not gang up with others of his sorry sort to deprive more 
honest men of the right to take the vacated job " 3 

Again, the theory was propounded that it was partially fear 
of Catholicism which helped to retard organized labor in the 
South. This was explained by pointing out that most of the south- 
ern laborers were Protestants, who had a tendency to distrust 
the labor organizer from the North since to them he represented 
Catholicism and foreigners. 4 

The contention has also been made that the reason why the 
South made such slow progress toward organizing labor was that 
the workers in the post-Civil War era had been saved from 
economic ruin through the benevolence of the southern indus- 
trialists and had therefore, out of a sense of gratitude remained 
fervently loyal to them, under a system which came to bear the 
label "paternalism." 5 

Too, sectionalism has been cited as playing its role. This par- 
tially derives from the fact that more often than not the labor 
agitator was from some northern state, rather than being a 
native son. The following remark is indicative of how these men 
were regarded in the South: ". . . labor leaders are 'alien' in- 
vaders, racketeers, stick-up men, mad Yankee guerrillas waging 
war on the South. . . ." 6 

Perhaps all of the theories were best summed up in this 
fashion : 

The mill workers of the South are 300,000 Rip Van Winkles. 
Slavery and cotton penned them in the untaught poverty of the 
back country for four or five generations. They know less about 
union meetings, negotiations with employers or strike discipline 
than the immigrant workers of Lowell or Lawrence. Deep preju- 
dices — sectional jealousy, bitter Protestantism, and a stimulated 
Anglo-Saxonism — add bitter difficulties for a Northern, partly 
Catholic and somewhat non-Nordic union. 7 

Most of the theories had some basic elements of the truth in 
them, but when the whole story is examined two key factors seem 

8 Wilbur Joseph Cash, The Mind of the South (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1941), 349-350. 

4 Broadus Mitchell and George Sinclair Mitchell, The Industrial Revolution in the South 
(Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1930), 126. (Hereinafter cited as Mitchell and Mitchell, 
Industrial Revolution.) 

6 E. T. H. Shaffer, "Southern Mill People," Yale Review, XIX (September, 1929), 326. 

6 Wilbur Joseph Cash, "The War in the South," American Mercury, XIX (February, 1930), 

7 Mitchell and Mitchell, Industrial Revolution, 182, 

356 The North Carolina Historical Review 

to stand out. First, it appears that the objects and processes of 
organization, as set forth by those who have urged it have not 
met the worker's needs nor suited his or his employer's tastes. 8 
In the second place, there stands the simple fact that the South 
was, to say the least, somewhat slow in becoming industrialized 
and thus the industrial revolution with its accompaniments, such 
as organized labor, didn't make much of a showing in the South 
until the beginning of the twentieth century or, more specifically, 
the First World War period. Yet throughout the years attempts 
were made to alert the southern workmen to the benefits and 
possibilities of organized labor. The story of this attempt in 
North Carolina is the concern of the remainder of this article. 

There is evidence to show that the idea of organization had 
borne fruit in North Carolina's skilled labor ranks even prior 
to the Civil War. For example, there is an existing account of an 
address delivered before the Wake County Workingmen's Asso- 
ciation in Raleigh, February, 1860. It is of interest to note that 
the speaker informed his audience that they were charged with 
being abolitionists, stirring up strife, being opposed to internal 
improvements, organizing a new political party, arraying class 
against class, and with being poor. All except the last were, of 
course, denied fervently. 9 

The speaker, in the flowery language of the day, painted a 
dark and what proved to be a prophetic picture for labor : 

. . . Workingmen, We have fallen on evil times. Dark and troubled 
clouds are lowering around us. Compelled to disgrace of labor, 
either mental [or] physical, to maintain ourselves, our wives and 
children, the keen scented nostrils of aristocratic patriots smell 
treason in every movement of our muscles, and in every idea of 
our brains. In every pulse-throb of the blood that courses through 
our veins, they feel a jar to the temple of Liberty ; and in every 
word we utter they hear the thunder tones of intolerable im- 
pudence and insolence. Ever and anon their wrath, like arrowy 
lightnings, cleaves the gloom above and around us, with a light 
whose lurid gleam is quite as substantial, if not as fearful as 
Chaos itself 10 

The foregoing description of the wrath of the employing class 

8 Harriet L. Herring, Worker and Public in the Southern Textile Problem (Greensboro: 
Industrial Seminar for Ministers, 1930), 4. 

9 Frank I. Wilson, Address Delivered before the Wake County Workingmen's Association, 
in the Court House at Raleigh, February 6, 1860, (J, 

10 Wilson, Address, 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 357 

against organized labor is so apt and so revealing that it might 
readily be used as the basic guide to the employers' reactions to 
labor unions throughout the period being studied. 

As might have been expected, the first steps toward labor orga- 
nization in North Carolina developed among the groups of skilled 
workers in some of the larger towns. One of the earliest such 
organizations was the Raleigh Typographical Union, which was 
organized in 1854 and became a member of the National Typo- 
graphical Union in 1860. The primary objects of the union were 
to maintain a fair rate of wages, to help the members secure 
and keep employment, to encourage good workmanship, and to 
elevate printers generally, as well as to protect the members from 
dishonorable competition, and "to elevate the social, moral, and 
intellectual conditions of its members, and for burying the 
dead." 11 

To accomplish these aims the union established a set price 
scale for labor and placed into operation an apprentice law 
whereby apprentices were limited to one for every four journey- 
men and were required to serve an apprenticeship of four years 
before being admitted to membership. By the early 1880's the 
printers of Wilmington, Charlotte, and Raleigh were organized. 
Due to the nature and level of the occupation involved, these 
printers' unions enjoyed a long and relatively successful career. 12 

Organizers were busy in other fields also. According to the 
Carolina Watchman of April 1, 1886, everybody was getting the 
organizing fever. Under the headline "They All Organize" it was 
reported that : 

Bakers, Truck Drivers and Shipping Clerks, Tailors, Shoe- 
salesmen, "progressive" painters, Tin and Slate roofers, Cigar 
Makers, Wholesale Drug Clerks, Barbers, Wood Carvers, Hotel 
Clerks, and lots and lots of other folks are organizing to demand 
more pay and to reduce working hours. If it don't beat bob tail. 
Had not the press better organize to demand more readers at 
better prices. . . . 

u Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State of North Carolina, 
for the Year 1893. (Raleigh: Josephus Daniels, State Printer, 1894), 120. The North Carolina 
Labor Statistics Bureau changed into the Bureau of Labor and Printing, and finally adopted 
its present-day title, Department of Labor. (Hereinafter referred to as Annual Report.) 

12 Harry Mortimer Douty, "Early Labor Organization in North Carolina, 1800-1900," 
South Atlantic Quarterly, XXIV (July, 1935), 260. (Hereinafter cited as Douty, "Early 
L&bor Organization.") 

358 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Although the writer undoubtedly had in mind the national 
scene, rather than the state of North Carolina in general, it is 
nevertheless worthy of noting that organized labor was now be- 
ginning to attract attention even in the South. 

In addition to the craft unions among the skilled mechanics 
there gradually developed a more widespread and more inclusive 
labor movement which slowly assumed the aspects of a truly 
bona fide labor organization. For example, William Sylvis, found- 
er of the National Labor Union, one of the nation's earliest 
national unions, made an organizing trip to the South in 1869 
with the purpose of "evangelizing" among the workers in order 
to spread trade-unionism. Among the places visited was Wilming- 
ton, North Carolina. Sylvis's biographer states that he had ex- 
pected considerable support of his National Labor Union in the 
South "because everybody is poor, and ours is a war of poverty 
against a monied aristocracy." 13 

Yet his hopes were doomed to disappointment, just as were 
the similar hopes of later organizers in the same district. His 
failure was probably partially due to the fact that the South was 
too busy with Reconstruction to pay much attention to the rant- 
ings of a labor organizer. Furthermore, the South of that day 
very likely was too poor to support and/or finance a labor move- 
ment, even had one been desirable. 

It was not until the advent of the Noble Order of the Knights 
of Labor that North Carolina experienced any noticeable state- 
wide labor movement. The Knights of Labor began in Philadel- 
phia, 1869, as a secret society of garment cutters under the 
leadership of Uriah S. Stephens. By 1873 the order had attained 
national scope. According to the doctrines of the order, any per- 
son who worked for a living was eligible for membership. Notable 
exceptions, however, were those persons who sold or made a 
living, directly or indirectly, by the sale of intoxicating drinks; 
furthermore, no lawyer, banker, professional gambler or stock 
broker would be admitted. No distinction was to be made of race 
or sex. Strikes were opposed and arbitration was favored as the 
best means of settling all differences between employee and em- 
ployer. The order was also non-partisan. Workers were grouped 

M Jonathan Philip Grossman, William Sylvis, Pioneer of American Labor; a Study of the 
Labor Movement During the Era of the Civil War (New York; Columbia University Press, 
1945), 186. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 359 

into local assemblies on the basis of residence rather than occu- 
pation. The industrial program called for such things as the 
creation of producers' and consumers' cooperatives, equal pay 
for equal work for both sexes, and the eight-hour work day. 14 

The Knights of Labor first appeared in North Carolina in 1884 
at which time John R. Ray, a printer from Raleigh, organized 
in that city the first North Carolina local assembly. By 1887 the 
State Commissioner of Labor was reporting that the order had 
grown very rapidly in North Carolina and that there were local 
assemblies in most of the counties of the state. He further re- 
ported that "The membership of the order in the State ... is 
large, and is composed of male and female, white and colored." 13 

Some light on the reaction of the press to the Knights of Labor 
may be gained from the following statement which appeared in 
a North Carolina paper of that day : 

There can be little doubt that many who join the Knights of 
Labor are activated by no special concern for working men, but 
rather by a desire for personal gain. Some wish the trade of the 
Knights of Labor and others seek votes. . . . For the special 
purpose of elevating the condition of labor the order is admirably 
adopted. . . . For the general protection and amelioration of so- 
ciety, we have already the church and the state. We cannot see 
how any other instrumentality is needed. 16 

The diversified occupations of the order's members is indicated 
by the fact that at one meeting of the local assembly in Raleigh 
among those accepted for membership were "two merchants, two 
farmers, a salesman, machinist, tailor, bookkeeper, clerk, car- 
penter, locomotive engineer, blacksmith, stationary engineer, and 
a printer." 17 With such a membership it might readily be gath- 
ered that the union was entirely too broad in its scope, and this 
eventually was to cause its decay. 

Meanwhile, in 1886 the national labor movement had attracted 
world attention through the Haymarket affair. Strangely enough, 
the ramifications of the affair reached into the North Carolina 
Knights of Labor organization with the charge that the same 
John R. Ray who had founded the first local assembly in the 

11 Annual Report, 1887, 202-222; Louis M. Hacker and Benjamin B. Kendrick. The United 
States Since 1865 (New York: F. S. Crofts and Co., 1947), 226. (Hereinafter referred to as 
Hacker and Kendrick, United States Since 1865.) 

15 Annual Report, 1887, 224. 

18 Carolina Watchman, (Salisbury) June 17, 1886, quoting the Shelby New Era. 

17 Douty, "Early Labor Organization," 261, 

360 The North Carolina Historical Review 

state was an anarchist. It was reported that the Chicago police, 
in a raid on a radical center, had found a communication from 
one of Durham's assemblies of the Knights of Labor in which it 
was stated that the red flag would yet fly over Durham, North 
Carolina. A Durham tobacco worker, J. A. Strickland, who 
allegedly had written the message, in some way implicated Ray 
who immediately and strenuously denied that he was an an- 
archist. The affair, so far as North Carolina was concerned, 
closed out with Ray's being acquitted by his local assembly of 
misconduct charges while Strickland was expelled from his 
Durham assembly. 18 That Ray was probably innocent of the 
charges might be deduced from the fact that as early as April, 
1886, prior to the Haymarket affair, Ray had issued public 
notices warning that there were persons in the state who were 
falsely using the name of the Knights of Labor to teach "com- 
munistic and revolutionary doctrines, contrary to the principles 
of our order and dangerous to the people of our common coun- 
try." 19 

So far as the activities and influences of the Knights of Labor 
were concerned, one of their most important accomplishments 
was the organization of the North Carolina Bureau of Labor 
Statistics in 1887. It was organized largely through the Knights' 
agitation and over the repeated protests of the employing class. 
The order was also responsible for the introduction of several 
labor legislation bills in the State General Assembly. These bills 
embodied such things as a ten-hour working day, and the pro- 
hibition of the employment of children under fifteen years of 
age in certain occupations. 20 Too, the Raleigh Assembly, in April, 
1886, donated money for the relief of strikers who were striking 
against Jay Gould's railroad system in the Southwest. One of the 
local's members even proposed the following epitaph for Gould : 

While heat and cold, sunshine and rain, 
When the oppressor Jay Gould 
In the silent grave shall lay cold 
And starless night and deathly form 
Shall hover o'er the tyrant's tomb 

13 Douty, "Early Labor Organization," 263. 

u Carolina Watchman, April 29, 1886. 

20 United States Senate, The Beginning of Child Labor Legislation in Certain States; a 
Comparative Study, Senate Document No. 645, 61st Congress, 2nd Session (Washington; 
Government Printing Office, 1910), 131. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 361 

And his last sleep no waking knows, 
While heat and cold, sunshine and rain, 
their dominion shall maintain 
All o'er the land and o'er the main 
The Knights of Labor still shall reign 
Triumphant over all their foes. 21 

As to further influences, the Commissioner of Labor declared, 
1893, that the order's "sweet influences" had won some of its 
members away from strong drink, had reduced the hours of 
labor in many of the cotton mills, and had elevated labor in 
general. 22 

Although the Knights of Labor supposedly did not approve 
of strikes, they were generally given credit for a strike which 
occurred in April, 1887, against the Raleigh City Waterworks. 
The strikers, colored laborers, "nearly all Knights of Labor," 
were demanding an increase of pay. A Carolina newsman prophe- 
sied that it was quite probable that the Waterworks would hold 
no conference with the strikers nor grant them any increase in 
pay. Instead the Waterworks "will proceed to take in others who 
are not bound like slaves to obey the commands of official 
Knights." 23 Information is not available as to just what the con- 
clusion of the strike really was, but it is more than likely that 
the strike was a failure. 

By 1886 the Knights of Labor were beginning to decline in 
national importance, and after 1887 the decline began in the 
South with such devastating effect that the 1894 report of the 
Labor Commissioner stated that there were no Knights of Labor 
in the state. 24 Nevertheless, the order had rendered at least one 
service: it had acquainted the laboring classes with the po- 
tentialities and advantages which might be gained through or- 

It was also during the mid-1880's that one of the earliest labor 
disputes developed in North Carolina's tobacco industry. This 
dispute is of interest for several reasons. For one thing, it con- 
cerns one of the few instances in which an employer imported 
outside labor to work in a North Carolina mill, that is, on a 
fairly large scale. It is also notable in that it furnished one of the 

21 Douty, "Early Labor Organization," 264. 

22 Annual Report, 1893, 116. 

23 Carolina Watchman, April 21, 1887. 
2 * Annual Report, 1895, 262, 

362 The North Carolina Historical Review 

earliest examples of workers in North Carolina protesting 
against technological improvements which were encroaching 
upon their labor rights. 

The Durham plant of W. Duke, Sons and Company, had found 
it necessary, or so they thought, to import some 125 Polish Jews, 
formerly employed by a New York tobacco firm, to work as 
cigarette rollers. In 1884 cigarette rolling machines were installed 
in the Durham plant and immediately the immigrant workers 
threatened to destroy not only the machines but also the me- 
chanics who serviced them. Apparently matters could not be 
settled to these workers* satisfaction because they are reported 
as having left the Duke's employ in September, 1886, at which 
time they returned to New York. Several years later, in com- 
menting upon this matter, Washington Duke declared: "We 
have never had any trouble in the help except when 125 Polish 
Jews were hired to come down to Durham to work in the factory. 
They gave us no end of trouble. We worked out of that, and we 
now employ our own people." 25 

The extent of organization existing in North Carolina during 
the '90's is to some extent reflected in the annual reports of the 
State Department of Labor. The report for 1896 declared that 
"Labor organizations have not as yet obtained a very strong 
footing in North Carolina." The 1899 report listed the following 
organizations as being in operation in the State: Bricklayers, 
Masons and Plasterers Union ; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi- 
neers ; Typographical Union ; Federation of Labor ; Order of Rail- 
way Conductors; and the Bookbinders Union. It will be noted 
that most, if not all, of these fall into the craft union bracket. 
Also, as might have been expected, the majority of these unions 
were located in the larger towns, especially in Asheville, Char- 
lotte, and Raleigh. 

However, for several years following the decline of the Knights 
of Labor there was no major activity in North Carolina by a 
national labor organization. Nevertheless, the American Federa- 
tion of Labor, which had been organized in 1881 and reorganized 
in 1886 under the leadership of Samuel Gompers, eventually 
began to take notice of the South. The American Federation of 

25 Nannie May Tilley, The Bright-Tobacco Industry, 1860-1929 (Chapel Hill: University of 
North Carolina Press, 1948), 519. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 363 

Labor, unlike the Knights of Labor, restricted its members to 
workers in the skilled classification. Some of the aims of the 
union were: compulsory education for children, the use of the 
strike as a bargaining weapon, child labor legislation, a national 
eight-hour work day, and a protective tariff. 26 

As early as 1895 a resolution was introduced at the annual con- 
vention of the American Federation of Labor whereby it was 
requested that an effort be made by the union to organize the 
textile industries in the South. The following year President 
Gompers announced that, "In accordance with your directions, 
two special organizers have been commissioned to proceed to the 
South for the purpose of organizing thoroughly the textile work- 
ers upon trade union lines." 27 

In the 1898 convention a delegate from Nashville, Tennessee, 
introduced a resolution proposing that the American Federation 
of Labor provide and salary an organizer to travel in the South 
for at least six months for the purpose of encouraging a trade- 
union organization, as well as for agitating in favor of union- 
made goods. This delegate reminded the convention that if the 
American Federation of Labor did not take action in the South 
then the result would be that the low wages prevalent in the 
South would eventually force down wages in the North. His 
appeal was championed by other delegates, one of whom stated 
that the South was truly a splendid field for organization. An- 
other spoke up to say that if some steps were not taken to 
organize the workers in the South, the South's low-wage compe- 
tition would force Massachusetts to "drop back from the position 
she occupies in the front rank of the states of the Union, so far 
as labor legislation is concerned/' 28 

In this same tone, the Arkwright Club of Boston, Massachu- 
setts had, in 1897, predicted the ruin of New England industry 
unless something were done to offset the advantages of long 
hours and cheap wages which the South enjoyed. Also, in 1899 
it was even proposed that the northern manufacturers cooperate 
in raising a fund to be spent in unionizing the southern workers 

28 Hacker and Kendrick, United States Since 1865, 231. 

27 Labor Omnia Vincit. Report of the Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Convention of 
the American Federation of Labor. Held at New York, N. Y. December 9th to 17th Inclusive, 
1895, 30. (Hereinafter cited as Proceedings, A.F.L.; Proceedings, A.F.L., 1896, 21.) 

28 Proceedings, A.F.L., 1898, 92. 

364 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and it is believed that some money was contributed for this very 
purpose. 29 

These continued urgings for organizing activities in the South 
by members of the American Federation of Labor finally brought 
forth the desired results. The official press organ of the American 
Federation of Labor, May, 1899, contained this announcement: 

It is well known that the "peculiar institution" which until 
the commencement of the present generation, dominated the 
social and industrial life of the Southern States, has hitherto pre- 
vented any very great expansion of the voluntary organization 
of labor, and has therefore imposed upon the American Federa- 
tion of Labor today an immense and most difficult task, a task 
unparalleled in the history of the world. As a commencement 
then, of this herculean yet delicate mission, three of our brothers 
... all of them well acquainted with Southern conditions, were 
chosen as general organizers in that hitherto neglected field. 30 

Among the cities listed for visitation by these special or- 
ganizers were Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington. One 
of the three men later reported that he had succeeded in strength- 
ening the Typographical Union in Asheville. Two of the or- 
ganizers went to Charlotte where they received "all manner of 
opposition" from the mill owners. It was alleged that the mill 
owners denounced them as agitators and "stooped to the vilest 
methods" to thwart their organizing efforts. Nevertheless, the 
two did succeed in organizing what they described as a monster 
meeting, out of which came the organization of a local union. 
This prompted one of the organizers to proclaim that he was 
prouder of that union than any previously organized because it 
represented an outpost "in the enemy's country." 31 

The American Federation of Labor had also come to the sup- 
port of North Carolina in another field. The 1896 convention 
adopted a resolution endorsing a bill introduced in the United 
States Senate by Senator Marion Butler from North Carolina, 
which favored the government ownership and operation of the 
telegraph service as a branch of the postal system. 32 The bill 
never got anywhere but this action by a North Carolina senator 

20 Holland, Thompson, From the Cotton Field to the Cotton Mill (New York: The Macmillan 
Company, 1906), 190. (Hereinafter cited as Thompson, Cotton Field to Cotton Mill.) 

30 American Federationist, VI (May, 1899), 57. 

31 American Federationist, VI (May, 1899), 58. 

32 Proceedings, A.F.L., 1896, 76. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 365 

and the American Federation of Labor was a sign of the tendency 
away from the old conservatism of former days. 

The American Federation of Labor had not been long in exist- 
ence before it was evoking comments from the North Carolina 
press. In 1889 one newspaper editor, commenting upon the 
American Federation of Labor's eight-hour day movement, de- 
clared : 

The sentimental side of the question, with its suggestions of 
rest at home and time for the cultivation of the intellect, is at- 
tractive, but it is probable that the practical side, involving the 
necessity for bread and meat and clothing, will continue to make 
differences in the length of the working day in spite of all that 
labor federations may do. The great stern facts of life are stub- 
born things to deal with. 33 

Meanwhile the organizing efforts of the American Federation 
of Labor continued. In 1899 one of the union's organizers told 
of "agitating the movement" in Salisbury, Haw River, Spray, 
and McAdamsville. He added that he felt hopeful of securing 
strong locals in all four places as he had left the "work in good 
reliable hands." 34 He described the working conditions in the 
South in very uncomplimentary terms : "The awful and pitiable 
condition of these overworked, oppressed people is a curse to 
humanity, a shame to civilization, and presents a striking ex- 
ample of the reign of selfishness instituted by men of the pro- 
prietary classes." 35 

Although the description might have been generally true, it is 
more than likely that the very workers and "proprietary classes" 
of whom he was speaking were not aware that there was any- 
thing radically wrong with either their condition or attitude, nor 
would they have recognized themselves from the organizer's 
descriptions. Such are the problems of labor organizing. 

During the same time another organizer was busy at Greens- 
boro, Lexington, Winston-Salem, and other North Carolina 
towns. He organized a union of the Woodworkers of Winston- 
Salem and hoped to have similar success in the other places 
visited. 36 

33 The News and Observer (Raleigh), February 26, 1889. 
3i American Federationist, VI (June, 1899), 77. 
35 American Federationist, VI (June, 1899), 126. 
86 American Federationist, VI (June, 1899), 226. 

366 The North Carolina Historical Review 

By 1903 the Federation was receiving requests that it sponsor 
colored organizers to be sent among the colored workers to or- 
ganize them. 37 It is not known whether this proposal ever re- 
ceived actual execution but it is a fact that in 1899, four years 
prior to the above request, a local of the International Tobacco 
Workers Union, affiliated with the Federation, was organized in 
Winston-Salem, and by 1901 two more locals had been formed 
in Winston-Salem as well as two in Mt. Airy, and two in Wilson. 
Thus there is the possibility that these locals had Negro members 
since a major portion of the tobacco workers were Negroes. 

The members of the Federation in North Carolina agitated 
against child labor and sought the passage of a child labor law. 
They were highly critical of the father who sent his children into 
the factories and then loafed himself. An organizer from Gas- 
tonia, in a letter to the Commissioner of Labor, 1901, declared : 

I will say hail to the day when the old lazy, tobacco-chewing, 
whiskey-drinking, union cursing fathers, who sit around the 
company's store and whittle on goods boxes and talk politics, 
and make unmanly remarks about the virtue of women, will be 
put into the mills to work, and those little children of theirs taken 
out and sent to school. . . . 38 

The attempt to institute child labor legislation aroused the ire 
of the manufacturing groups. In 1903 the manufacturers even 
became so aroused as to describe the proposed legislation as 
"Yankee doings." One, in a letter to the News and Observer, 
declared that the whole thing was a * 'Yankee trick, started in 
New England, the home of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' and all the aboli- 
tion deviltry." 39 

Despite the employers' objections, the State Legislature in 1903 
passed an act prohibiting the employment of any child under 
twelve years of age in any factory or manufacturing establish- 
ment within the state. 40 

Yet it was in the southern textile industry upon which the 
Federation spent most of its efforts. The organizers assigned to 
this region were given instructions to pay particular attention 
to the labor movement among the textile workers. Furthermore, 

37 Proceedings A.F.L., 1903, 131. 

38 Annual Report, 1901, 421. 

39 Elizabeth H. Davidson, "The Child Labor Problem in North Carolina, 1883-1903," North 
Carolina Historical Review, VIII (April, 1936), No. 2, 120. 

40 Annual Report, 1906, 2. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 367 

during the period 1898-1901 the Federation provided the mill 
unions with funds as well as leadership for organizing. 41 

Even so, the total efforts of the American Federation toward 
organizing the North Carolina workers during this particular 
period must not have been very great. This statement is based 
upon the fact that the union's financial reports indicate that less 
than nine hundred dollars was expended for organization pur- 
poses in North Carolina, 1900-1901. The growth of the union's 
activity in later years, however, is shown by the expenditure of 
more than fifteen thousand dollars for organizational purposes 
in North Carolina and some five other states in 1921. 42 

Another indication that the North Carolina region did not 
prove very receptive in these early efforts of the Federation is 
that President Gompers was informed by one of his ablest agents 
in the South that the Carolinas presented an unique problem 
since they were states having many isolated mills. And besides, 
said he, the people of the South were not yet ready to receive 
organized labor. 

Meanwhile organization among the textile workers of North 
Carolina was interesting others. Especially was the 1898-1900 
period a busy one. According to the Commissioner of Labor's re- 
port "organization has progressed so rapidly that we find it im- 
possible to keep pace with it." He also saw such a great increase 
in the labor union activity that he believed that in five years 
time every textile worker in North Carolina would be a union 
member. He was about 100 per cent too optimistic. 43 

Around 1900 the National Union of Textile Workers, headed 
by a southerner, Prince W. Greene, began activities in North 
Carolina. This union was affiliated with the American Federation 
of Labor and probably received support for its activities through 
American Federation of Labor subsidy. By 1901 the National 
Union had established locals in such towns as Charlotte, Greens- 
boro, Concord, Salisbury, Lexington, Gastonia, Burlington, Bes- 
semer City, and Spray, or in other words, the chief textile centers 
of the state. 44 

41 George Sinclair Mitchell, Textile Unionism and the South (Chapel Hill: The University 
of North Carolina Press, 1931), 26. (Hereinafter cited as Mitchell, Textile Unionism.) 

42 Proceedings, A.F.L., 1901, 52; 1921, 23-24. 

43 Annual Report, 1901, 386, 400. 

"Harry Mortimer Douty, "The North Carolina Industrial Worker, 1880-1930" (Ph.D. 
thesis, University of North Carolina, 1936), 267. (Hereinafter cited as Douty, "North 
Carolina Industrial Worker.)" 

368 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Yet, southern membership in the National Union Textile Work- 
ers was never large. In fact, one writer states that "most locals 
probably counted their paid-up members by scores instead of by 
hundreds." 45 

It was through the work of the National Union of Textile 
Workers that North Carolina experienced one of her first major 
strikes. This strike took place in Alamance County, beginning 
in the fall of 1900, and centering around Haw River and Burling- 
ton. Some eighteen to twenty-five mills were involved, most of 
them belonging to one family. 46 

Apparently the strike was brought about over disagreement 
between management and labor in regard to the firing or reten- 
tion of an unpopular mill overseer. The members of the local 
union demanded that the overseer be fired inasmuch as his treat- 
ment of the workers, especially the women, was "harsh and in- 
considerate." The management refused to comply with the union 
request and also refused to negotiate with the union representa- 
tives. When the strike was called other nearby mills struck with 
sympathy strikes. 47 

The strike, which was expected to be short-lived, lasted for 
more than a month during which time both sides brought charges 
and counter-charges against the other. The union claimed that 
the management had failed to accept a proposal to meet and talk 
the matter over. Said the management: "We will not receive a 
committee such as you suggest in relation to the management of 
the help in any of our mills. We do not hire the help through 
committees but individually, and we certainly will not treat with 
them in any other way as individuals." 48 

Finally, October 3, 1900, the management announced that 
since the recent developments had demonstrated that the mills 
could not be operated with the necessary harmony between work- 
ers and employers so long as the workers were subject to inter- 
ference by "outside parties," the management had decided, there- 
fore, to operate its plants with non-union labor only, effective 
October 15, 1900. Furthermore, any worker who objected to this 
decision and who would not withdraw from the labor union was 

^Mitchell, Textile Unionism, 27. 

46 Thompson, Cotton Field to Cotton Mill, 192. 

47 The News and Observer, October 5. 1900. 

48 The News and Observer, October 6, 1900. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 369 

to evacuate any and all company property occupied by him on or 
before October 15, 1900. 49 

In speaking of the strike a feature writer for the News and 
Observer made the remark that : 

The mill owners will win, but their victory will be short-lived. 
They are trying to crush out organized labor. They will not suc- 
ceed. It is in the North, in the West — all over the world — and it 
will come in the South, He is a wise mill owner who realizes this 
and prepares to make the best of the changed conditions. 50 

The mill owners did win, thanks to evictions, hard times gen- 
erally, blacklisting, etc., coupled with the lack of adequate strike 
relief funds. This defeat of organized labor was so complete that 
it practically ended textile organization efforts in North Carolina 
for a considerable period. One writer states that in 1903 the 
United Textile Workers Union (which had absorbed the National 
Union of Textiles Workers, 1901) "practically threw overboard 
the Southern unions." 51 Another authority declares that the 
American Federation of Labor had formed the United Textile 
Workers Union partially as a means of relieving itself of the 
problem of the South and that for eight or nine years after 1903 
no United Textile Workers Union agent visited the region. 52 

Thus from around 1903 until the beginning of World War I 
the southern branch of the United Textile Workers Union was 
practically non-existent. A branch office of the Union was kept 
open in Charlotte but its activities were of very limited im- 
portance. 53 

The above is not intended, however, to convey the idea that 
organized labor lost out completely in North Carolina in the 
1902-1914 period. Not at all, as is proven by the fact that on 
October 18, 1905, there was organized in Raleigh a State Federa- 
tion of Labor, which, according to the News and Observer, was 
formed by delegates representing more than a thousand union 
members. 54 

On the day prior to this meeting, the editor of a leading North 
Carolina newspaper had issued a warning both to the employers 

* 9 The News and Observer, October 5, 1900. 

50 The News and Observer, October 20, 1900. 

51 Thompson, Cotton Field to Cotton Mill, 192. 
62 Mitchell, Textile Unionism, 32. 

^Myra Page, Southern Cotton Mills and Labor (New York: Workers Library Publishers, 
1929), 71. 

54 The News and Observer, October 19, 1905. 

370 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and the employees of the state informing them that a successful 
Federation would require the utmost wisdom and fullest coopera- 
tion of both workers and employers. Said the editor : 

To the leaders who are launching the new movement for a 
State federation we say: "Be careful. Go slowly. Do nothing 
which will turn against you the great mass of the people who are 
neither employers nor employees. Do nothing you would after- 
wards wish undone. ,, And to the host of employers who are 
anxiously awaiting the result we say: "Give them a fair show, 
a square deal. Do not condemn until you have cause. Meet them 
in a spirit of conciliation rather than defiance." 55 

The Raleigh Central Labor Union appears to have been the 
chief force bringing about the final organization of the state's 
unions into a State Federation of Labor. That the membership 
was drawn from the larger towns in the state is indicated by the 
selection of the officers: the president came from Raleigh; the 
vice president from Charlotte ; and the secretary-treasurer came 
from Greensboro. 56 

From 1905 to the First World War there were no major union- 
izing activities in North Carolina. The craft unions more or less 
held their own but the industrial workers, for the most part, re- 
mained outside the pale of organized labor. For example, the 
State Labor Commissioner in 1910 stated that so far as he knew 
there was no textile union in the state at that time. 57 

The coming of the war once more brought forth efforts to 
organize the southern laborers, and also brought with it the usual 
union struggles. Strikes once more occurred in North Carolina 
beginning around 1913, in such places as Charlotte, and continu- 
ing throughout the war period. During the 1914 period the 
I.W.W. is reported as conducting some "spontaneous strikes" in 
both North and South Carolina but no permanent organization 
came from its activities. 

It was not until 1919 that any prolonged strikes occurred dur- 
ing this time of union activity. By 1919 the United Textile Work- 
ers union had made considerable headway in North Carolina. It 
claimed a membership of some 45,000 in the two Carolinas with 
sixty-seven locals, one of which was Negro. 58 

55 Daily Industrial News, October 18, 1905. 
66 The News and Observer, October 19, 1905. 
57 Annual Report, 1910. 42. 
68 Page, Southern Cotton Mills and Labor, 73. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 371 

In 1919 also the Tobacco Workers International Union finally- 
succeeded in establishing a union in the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco 
Company in Winston-Salem, with provisions for an eight-hour 
day. This foothold lasted until 1922, during which time the union 
claimed upwards of 14,000 members. After 1922 the union lost 
its power and declined rapidly. 59 Yet, this union had succeeded 
for the first time in the history of the North Carolina labor move- 
ment in bringing Negroes into the union camp in any significant 
numbers. 60 

Labor organization in North Carolina developed now so rapidly 
that once again the State Federation of Labor merited an edi- 
torial comment which stated that the war had brought North 
Carolina labor solidarity along with other things and henceforth 
"The Labor Federation is to be heard and recognized in North 
Carolina, as in every other state." 61 

The year 1919 brought what to many North Carolina people 
seemed to be an epidemic of strikes. The street car operators in 
Winston-Salem struck for an eight-hour day at the same pay for 
which they had been working ten hours. 62 There was a strike in 
Charlotte, also of the street car workers. In High Point strikes 
occurred which, in at least one case, lasted seven weeks and re- 
quired the governor's personal intervention to settle it. 63 

There were other strikes at various points throughout the 
state. Many of these 1919 strikes were fairly successful due to 
relatively high wages and the shortage of labor brought by the 
war. So promising did the union situation look, one writer has 
maintained that had "the prosperity of the textile industry con- 
tinued for several years the union might have entrenched itself 
strongly in the state." 64 

But by 1920 there were signs that the labor organizations were 
beginning to lose their grip and desertion of members became 
more and more pronounced. The national depression which struck 
the country in 1920-21 dealt a great blow to the labor movement 
in North Carolina, as elsewhere, and almost sounded the death 
knell of Carolina textile unions. 

59 Harry M. Cassidy, "Trade Unionism in the South, "Editorial Research Reports, III 
(July, 1929), 577. 

60 John Donald Rice, "The Negro Tobacco Worker and His Union in Durham, North 
Carolina" (M.A. thesis, University of North Carolina, 1941). 

61 The News and Observer, August 12, 1919. 

62 The News and Observer, August 13, 1919. 

63 The News and Observer, September 14, 1919. 

64 Douty, North Carolina Industrial Worker, 283, 

372 The North Carolina Historical Review 

By the spring of 1921 the textile industry was suffering very 
seriously from the depression. Wages had been cut in the state 
anywhere from 30 to 50 per cent and many of the mills were 
operating only part time. Despite this fact some of the union 
members decided to put up a fight against wage cuts, recalling 
that in the recent 1919 period they had been able to wring con- 
cessions from the employers. Their strike was doomed from the 
start; even the president of the national union warned that it 
was not a wise time to spring a strike but his warning was not 
heeded. 65 

The national union claimed that it was financially bankrupt 
and would be unable to finance the strike whereupon the local 
union representatives waived strike benefits, a move they were 
to later regret. 66 

This strike was not one of the so-called "spontaneous strikes." 
It had long been threatened by Thomas J. McMahon, vice presi- 
dent of the United Textile Workers Union. The manufacturers 
greeted the threat with the remark that they would gladly wel- 
come a general strike as it might improve the general strain on 
the market by cutting down production. They also claimed that 
many of them had been keeping their plants open only to provide 
the workers with enough work to keep them from starving and 
that the owners were losing money by operating. 67 

On June 1, 1921, some 9,000 workers struck in Charlotte, 
Huntersville, Concord, and Kannapolis. As the strike progressed 
there were the usual outbursts of charges and counter-charges 
only this time the charges were more heated. The manufacturers, 
for example, charged that a portion of the fund used in calling 
the strike was contributed by a few New England cotton manu- 
facturers who hoped thereby to strike a blow at their southern 
competitors. 68 That vociferous enemy of labor unions, David 
Clark, editor of the Southern Textile Bulletin — an anti-union 
organ — pounced upon the fact that the national union claimed to 
have no money in its treasury and demanded of McMahon what 
he had done with the dues which the poor working men had paid 
into his treasury. At the same time Clark informed the workers 

65 The News and Observer, September 14. 1919. 

66 The Charlotte Observer, June 2, 1921. 

67 The Charlotte Observer, June 2, 1921. 
88 The News and Observer, July 13, 1921. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 373 

that the union organizers, especially McMahon, were interested 
in their welfare, perhaps, but were more interested in the dues 
they paid into the national treasury. 69 

The strike lasted throughout most of the summer of 1921, and 
at times it became necessary to call out the national guard to 
preserve order. At times, too, the governor timidly intervened, 
apparently hoping to settle the affair but fearing to step on any 
toes in so doing. 70 

When the strike finally ended in the autumn of 1921, work 
was resumed on terms which spelled complete defeat for the 
union. The wage scale which was in operation when the strike 
began was continued; many labor leaders were refused employ- 
ment; and for several weeks after the strike was officially de- 
clared "over" several hundred workers were still without work. 71 

Thus ended what had been the most serious strike ever to occur 
in North Carolina up to that time. For several years after this 
the labor movement in North Carolina, so far as the industrial 
worker was concerned, was at a standstill, if not in marked 
decline. Not until 1929 would there be an effective renewal of 
efforts to organize the North Carolina industrial worker. 

During the 1921-1929 period, then, most of the industries in 
North Carolina operated on the "open shop" system of employ- 
ment, a method wittily described by Peter Finley Dunne's in- 
imitable "Mr. Dooley" in this manner : 

"What's all this that's in the papers about the open shop?" 
asked Mr. Hennessey. 

"Why, don't ye know?" said Mr. Dooley. "Really, I'm surprised 
at yer ignorance, Hennessey. What is th' open shop? Shure, 'tis 
where they kape the doors open to accommodate th' constant 
stream av' min comin' in what has th' jobs. . . . 

"But," said Mr. Hennessey, "These open-shop min ye menshun 
say they are f'r unions if properly conducted." 

"Shure," said Mr. Dooley, "If properly conducted. An' there 
we are: an' how would they have them conducted? No strikes, 
no rules, no contracts, no scales, hardly any wages, an' dam few 
members." 72 

Out of the open shop practice came a strike, involving the 
Raleigh Typographical Union, which began May 1, 1921, when 

69 Southern Textile Bulletin, XXII (September, 1921), 12. 

70 The News and Observer, August 20, 1921. 

71 Mitchell, Textile Unionism, 53. 

~ 2 The Literary Digest, LXVH (November, 1920), 18-19, 

374 The North Carolina Historical Review 

five out of the six printing firms in Raleigh declared they would 
not meet the Union's demands for a forty-four-hour week and 
instead would thereafter operate their firms on an open shop 
basis. This was considered one of the hardest blows received by 
organized labor in the state because for a long time Raleigh had 
been most sympathetic toward the union movement. 73 

This strike lasted throughout the summer and the efforts of 
the union to picket the printing firms and thus prevent "scab- 
bing" led to the issuance of what quite possibly was the first 
labor injunction in North Carolina. A female non-union worker, 
Marguerite McGinnis, and other non-union workers sought pro- 
tection via the Raleigh city courts from the activities of the 
union pickets, charging that the 

. . . defendants have devised and are executing a systematic 
course of espionage, annoyance, intimidation, threats, abuses and 
insults, which are intended to make, are calculated to make, and 
are making the lives of the complainants . . . miserable, intoler- 
able and unendurable. . . . 74 

The counsel for the plaintiffs argued that the case was some- 
thing new under the sun, claiming that it was the first time in 
legal history that labor had come into court begging protection 
from idle labor. The court issued a restraining order against 
the union men, forbidding them to molest, disturb, or otherwise 
interfere with the non-union workers. The first restraining order 
was issued on August 18, 1921 ; it was later renewed and then 
was finally dissolved by the State Supreme Court, "without 
prejudice to either side," on the grounds that there was not 
enough evidence to warrant its continuance. 75 

Little was gained by this particular strike and the whole labor 
movement in the state more or less stagnated until the depression 
years beginning in 1929 brought forth a further surge of orga- 

In retrospect, it has been seen that although North Carolina 
never in the 1880-1921 period experienced the growth of unionism 
which took place in some of the northern states, there did take 

73 The Charlotte Observer, May 7, 1921. 

74 Marguerite McGinnis and others vs Raleigh Typographical Union and others, Brief of 
Plaintiffs, 2. 

75 Marguerite McGinnis, et al., vs. Raleigh Typographical Union No. 54, et al., 182 N. C. 

The Labor Movement in North Carolina, 1880-1922 375 

place at least some semblance of a labor movement. This move- 
ment was characterized by spasmodic ups and downs, with peak 
organization successes falling in the early 1900's and the 1919- 
1920's, only to be succeeded in each case by a counter-attack 
of the movement. This was particularly true of the 1902-1905 and 
1920-1921 periods and was to prove true in later years with con- 
tinued ups and downs. 

Thus, as of 1921, little remained of the organizing efforts so 
far as actual unions were concerned. Yet, and most important 
to the movement, the workers had been acquainted with the op- 
eration and potentialities of organization and this in later years 
was to serve as an aid in the third major attempt to unionize 
the North Carolina workmen, beginning in 1929. 



By Daniel Miles McFarland 

The years from 1815 to 1835 in North Carolina were filled 
with interesting and complicated political maneuvers. Between 
the end of the war with England and the state Constitutional 
Convention of 1835 a new generation of political leaders came of 
age, and during these twenty years a political revolution was 
accomplished. The complexity of this period is best seen in its 
newspapers. Many of these papers are still available to the 
public, but few complete files remain. Many copies have long 
since disappeared, and we know of them only through passing 
references in other newspapers or in the letters of those times. 

Journalism was a precarious profession in the North Carolina 
of 1815 to 1835. Some 125 men tried their hands at publishing 
in the state during that time. None of them became rich through 
their presses alone, and many of these men never did more than 
dream of publishing a paper. It seems that only one woman tried 
her fortune at the editor's desk during this period. Sarah M. Wills 
edited the Edenton Gazette for a time in 1826 and 1827. 

Most of the journals of that day had pitifully small subscrip- 
tion lists and editors were forced to supplement their incomes in 
many ways. A few fortunate printers could hope to get national 
or state government printing contracts, but these agreements 
depended on the rapidly changing political currents of the day. 
Many of the newspaper men were lawyers ; a few of them served 
in the state General Assembly or even the United States Con- 
gress. A. J. Maurice, William Potter and T. J. Lemay were 
ministers; Calvin Jones was a physician and soldier; William 
Boylan and Joseph Gales were bankers and business men of 
great ability. Many of them served as postmasters in their com- 
munities, and their printing offices generally sold printed blanks, 
stationery and books. Often worm-destroying lozenges and other 
medicines could be purchased from the local editor. Agricultural 
hints in the newspaper were more than likely based on the prac- 
tical experience of the printer in his own fields. After a hard day 


North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 377 

of work any citizen could always find interesting political dis- 
cussion at the newspaper office, and publishers usually posed 
as the community experts on any subject. 

The small four-page sheets printed during this period would 
amaze those used to the more elaborate journals of today. The 
lack of news was astounding. Most of the papers were filled with 
lottery advertisements, lists of unclaimed letters in the post 
offices, current prices, court orders, notices of rewards for run- 
away slaves, notices of sales for taxes, and public laws and 
stories copied from other papers or magazines. Much of the news 
was weeks old and copied from other papers. It is difficult to 
determine where the news ended and where the editoralizing 
began, though the editorials appeared usually on the first and 
perhaps second columns of the third page. There were no news 
agencies at that time, and most of the news published for the 
first time in a paper probably came from some stage driver, 
postmaster, member of the General Assembly or Congress, friend 
of the editor, or from the editor himself. 

Subscription rates were often never collected, and when they 
were the payment was frequently in farm produce. It was a cus- 
tom to send a slice of wedding cake for the insertion of a wedding 
notice. Editors usually served as subscription agents for their 
fellow editors, and postmasters sometimes aided in collection 
of money due for subscriptions. Many of the journals proposed 
during this period were never published because enough sub- 
scribers could not be found. More than two-thirds of the ones 
actually published soon died from a lack of paying readers. The 
slightest period of hard times would mean the end of the journal- 
istic careers of many publishers. In the May 12, 1825, issue of 
the Fayetteville Carolina Observer it was estimated that there 
were 75,000 copies of newspapers being published in North 
Carolina each week. Editors felt that many more could have been 
published if the people of the state ceased reading second-hand 
copies bought by their neighbors, or stopped subscribing to out- 
of-state papers. 

At no time between 1815 and 1835 were there more than thirty 
papers published in the state. Most of these were weeklies, but 
there were at least two semi-weeklies which lasted for a time. 

378 The North Carolina Historical Review 

During the prosperous years immediately after 1815, quite a 
few papers were begun with hopeful prospects, but the depres- 
sion of 1819 ended most of them. The Salisbury Western Caro- 
linian for December 9, 1823, noted that there were twelve papers 
in the state. The same paper in May, 1825, listed fifteen papers, 
and pointed out that seven of these had been started in the pre- 
ceding six years. In the March 12, 1830, issue of the Tarborough 
Free Press, twenty-one papers were listed for North Carolina. 
By June 14, 1832, the Raleigh Star said the number had grown 
to twenty-five. Hard times in 1833 and 1834 again caused the 
number to drop to twenty-one, according to the Charlotte Miners' 
and Farmers' Journal of June 7, 1834, but with the excitement 
of the 1836 election the number again rose. 

The student of political history will find much of interest in 
the "gazettes" of this period. Before 1815 there was a clear 
division between the Federalist press and the Republican press 
of the state, with the Federalists usually stronger. 1 Yet between 
1815 and 1820 it is very difficult to trace the political readjust- 
ment. Several editors did not even mention the elections of 1816 
and 1820. 

After 1821 there was a rapid growth of interest in national 
politics. Before the election of 1824 the Milton Gazette, the 
Raleigh Register, the Warrenton Reporter and the Wilmington 
Recorder supported William H. Crawford. The rest of the press 
in the state supported John Quincy Adams and John C. Calhoun. 
After the formation of the People's Party in early 1824, most of 
these latter papers rather reluctantly supported Andrew Jackson 
in order to beat William H. Crawford. During the 1828 cam- 
paign some eight journals supported Jackson and Calhoun, but 
it is surprising, in view of the outcome in popular vote, that 
almost as many supported John Quincy Adams. A few of the 
editors in the state remained neutral. 

By 1832 the Jackson press was split in two factions. The na- 
tional branch of the Jackson forces supported Martin Van Buren 
for the vice presidency, while the States' rights group supported 
Philip P. Barbour of Virginia. The Raleigh Star, June 15, 1832, 
claimed that there were five papers in the state for Van Buren 
and fifteen opposed, with five taking no position. As the election 

ip. H. Gilpatrick, Jeffersonian Democracy in North Carolina (New York, 1931), 171-175. 

North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 379 

neared, however, ten papers seem to have committed themselves 
to Jackson and Van Buren, seven to Jackson and Barbour, five 
to Henry Clay ; the three remaining papers took no stand. 

After 1832 two issues in national affairs tended to detract from 
Jackson's popularity among the property holders in North Caro- 
lina. One was Jackson's conflict with the second United States 
Bank, and the other was the nullification controversy over the 
tariff. The Salisbury Western Carolinian, the Halifax Roanoke 
Advocate, the New Bern Sentinel, the Tarborough North Caro- 
lina Free Press, and to a certain extent the Raleigh Star took the 
pro-nullification position. At least twelve other papers were 
strongly opposed to nullification. By the campaign of 1836, these 
two issues had been largely responsible for turning the press 
away from the Jackson party. In the election of 1836 Jackson's 
candidate, Martin Van Buren, received active support from only 
seven editors. Hugh L. White of Tennessee, the southern candi- 
date opposed to Van Buren, received active support from at least 
seventeen papers. The people of the state did not follow their 
editors, however, for Van Buren carried the state by a small 

The editors of this period show a disappointing lack of interest 
in state and local political affairs. The conflicts over a constitu- 
tional convention, internal improvements, and public education 
received a good deal of attention in the papers west of Tar- 
borough, but few other issues are discussed. One must be satisfied 
with scattered election returns during the years before 1832. 

In the following pages it is our purpose to discuss briefly the 
editors and newspapers in North Carolina history from 1815 to 
1835. Where it is possible, the political position of these papers is 
also noted. 


The Census of 1830 listed Buncombe as one of the most popu- 
lous counties in North Carolina; yet no newspapers were pub- 
lished within a hundred miles of Asheville, the county seat. In 
1832 William Potter, who had already aided in establishing at 
least two papers in the state, attempted to establish a paper at 
Asheville. 2 

2 Miners' and Farmers' Journal (Charlotte), March 14, 1832. 

380 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Potter wrote to Willie P. Mangum early in 1832 asking for a 
loan from any "Jacksonian Republicans" who might be willing 
to give aid. John H. Coleman, postmaster of Asheville, and others 
had promised aid, but Potter still needed more subscribers. He 
asked Mangum if it would be possible to get a contract to do 
government printing. He promised that his paper would be "a 
consistent Jackson republican and State's Rights paper . . ." and 
would "advocate the Convention question." 3 

There is no evidence that Potter ever received the needed aid 
to begin his paper, and it is doubtful that he even visited Ashe- 
ville. At a later date he did work on other papers in the state. 


Soon after the War of 1812 a new village in Montgomery 
County was named for the state's best-known hero of that war. 
The short era of prosperity led many to believe that the new town 
was destined for a considerable role in the future of the state. 
Blakely, it was hoped, would soon be a gateway through which 
much of the trade of North and South Carolina would flow. 

In anticipation of the growth expected of Blakely, Thomas 
Loring of Wilmington announced late in the fall of 1818 that he 
would publish a paper in the new village if he got enough sub- 
scribers to make the venture profitable. 4 Loring never began his 
paper, but the following year Alexander H. Dismukes and John 
Carney of the Fayetteville Carolina Observer did begin a paper 
in Blakely. Carney moved to Blakely to publish the Gazette, while 
Dismukes remained in charge of the Carolina Observer. The first 
issue of the Gazette appeared on July 19, 1819. In less than a year 
the paper had failed and Carney had returned to Fayetteville. 
The depression of 1819 seems to have ended the dreams of the 
little village in Montgomery. 5 

Chapel Hill 

William B. Crittenden, a lawyer from New York, issued pro- 
posals in March, 1832, to publish the Harbinger in Chapel Hill. 6 

3 William Potter to Willie P. Mangum, January 22, 1832. Henry T. Shanks, ed., The Papers 
of Willie Person Mangum (Raleigh, 1950) I, 458-459. 

4 Raleigh Register, November 6, 1818. (Issued under various titles such as Raleigh Register 
and North Carolina Gazette, but hereafter referred to as Raleigh Register.) 

5 The National Intelligencer (Washington, D. C), July 28, 1819. 

6 North Carolina Free Press ( Tarborough ) , March 13, 1832. 

North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 381 

Crittenden does not seem to have started the paper, but in Au- 
gust, 1833, the Harbinger was begun in that university village. 
It was published by Isaac C. Patridge, "under the supervision 
of the Professors of the University of North Carolina/ ' The 
Harbinger lasted exactly one year. 7 

In April, 1836, Hugh McQueen proposed to publish the Colum- 
bian Repository in Chapel Hill. He promised to support the cause 
of Hugh L. White in the presidential race. 8 The first issue ap- 
peared two months later. 


When Lemuel Bingham moved to Charlotte in the fall of 1824, 
he had already gained valuable journalistic experience in both 
Salisbury and Fayetteville. It was well-known that in the five- 
way presidential race of 1824, he favored Adams first and then 
Calhoun. Consequently, he was not happy over the moves of the 
Jackson forces to unite the followers of Adams and Calhoun with 
those of Jackson. In October, 1824, the Fayetteville Carolina 
Observer announced that its former editor had established the 
Catawba Journal in Charlotte. This was just in time for Bingham 
to support the rather drawn-out election of Adams. He was much 
pleased with the results of the election and gave support to the 
Adams administration. 9 In May, 1828, Bingham moved his paper 
to Salisbury, where it was continued as the Yadkin and Catawba 
Journal. He felt that his paper would have more influence in its 
new location. 

For two years after Bingham left Charlotte, no paper was 
published in that place. By 1830, however, the population had in- 
creased to 717, and the discovery of gold in the vicinity gave 
promise of rapid progress. Early in June of that year Thomas J. 
Holton and H. S. Noble announced that they would soon begin a 
paper in Charlotte, which they hoped would be impartial in the 
arena of political warfare, but which would support all move- 
ments for internal improvements. 10 Holton had formerly been a 
journalist in Fayetteville and Noble had been with a newspaper 
in Salem. The first issue of the Miners' and Farmers' Journal 

7 The Star (Raleigh), August 30, 1833; Carolina Observer (Fayetteville), September 3, 1833. 

8 The Star, April 14, 1836. 

6 Carolina Observer, October 14, 1824. 
10 Carolina Observer, June 17, 1830. 

382 The North Carolina Historical Review 

appeared late in September. After March 21, 1832, Holton was in 
sole control of the paper. The Miners' and Farmers' Journal took 
no clear stand in the election of 1832, but it was opposed to the 
doctrine of nullification. Holton opposed many of the policies 
of Jackson, especially the removal of federal deposits to pet 
banks ; by 1834 he was in decided opposition to the administra- 
tion. The paper took an active part in demands for a reform of 
the constitution of North Carolina. 

The fifth volume, number 247, of the Miners' and Farmers' 
Journal appeared on June 26, 1835, and the following week the 
next number was published as the Charlotte Journal. T. J. Holton 
continued as proprietor and publisher, but R. H. Madra became 
editor. The new editor, who a few months before had planned to 
publish a paper in Morganton, announced that he was for "Hugh 
L. White . . . and for Southern Interests." Madra continued with 
the paper for only a year, and with the July 1, 1836, issue Holton 
again assumed sole control of the Journal. 

In 1834 supporters of the Jackson administration issued pro- 
posals to publish a pro-Jackson newspaper, to be called the Char- 
lotte "Republican," but they were unsuccessful. 11 


The Edenton Gazette, in 1815, had been in existence for ten 
years and its editor was James Wills. In 1824 the Gazette leaned 
toward the People's Party, but Jackson was their last choice. In 
keeping with the strong Federalist tradition of the town, the 
paper supported Adams after his election as President. Wills died 
August 7, 1826, and for about a year his wife, Sarah M. Wills, 
edited the Gazette. In June of 1827, Mrs. Wills sold her interest 
in the paper to Nathaniel Bruer and Daniel H. Goodman. 12 

J. H. Barclift was publisher of the Gazette for a time in 1827, 
but by 1830 William E. Pell had gained control. In December', 
1832, he formed a partnership with Thomas Meredith, and the 
name of the paper was changed to the Carolina Miscellany. Pell 
and Meredith announced that they would remain neutral in 
political controversy. 13 Early in 1833, Theo. J. Bland was editing 

11 Miners' and Farmers' Journal, August 9, 1834. 

12 Western Carolinian (Salisbury), June 8, 1824; Raleigh Register, August 18, 1826; Raleigh 
Register (semi- weekly), June, 1827. 

13 North Carolina Free Press, January 3, 1832. 

North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 383 

the paper. The following year the Miscellany was discontinued 
and after a time Bland began a new weekly called the Edenton 
Gazette and Albemarle Intelligencer. This new paper was also 
to follow a neutral course in regard to politics. 14 

Elizabeth City 

Franklin S. Meyer began publishing the Elizabeth City Re- 
publican in April, 1823, but this newspaper lasted less than a 
year. 15 A short time after the end of the Republican, William 
Albertson issued the first number of the Elizabeth City Star. 16 
The Star at first favored the candidacy of John Quincy Adams, 
but later stated that it would support Jackson in opposition to 
W. H. Crawford. Benjamin Albertson was publishing the Star 
in 1828, and he supported President Adams. The name of the 
paper had been changed by this time to the Elizabeth City Star 
and North Carolina Eastern Intelligencer. In 1834 Albertson 
discontinued his paper and contemplated moving to Portsmouth, 
Virginia, where he hoped to establish a paper. 17 Later in the year 
he must have changed his mind, because he decided to remain 
in Elizabeth City, where he revived the old Star under the new 
name, Herald of the Times. 18 The Herald, Albertson announced, 
would remain aloof from the political arena. It was published 
until after 1835. 19 

Edward A. McNally began the North Carolina Advocate in 
May, 1832, announcing that he would support Jackson for the 
presidency but would be uncommitted for the vice presidency. 
Later in the year he agreed to support Van Buren for the second 
position. 20 After publishing his paper for only a year, McNally 
discontinued publication in Elizabeth City and moved to Ports- 
mouth, Virginia, where he hoped to start another paper. 


Situated on the upper Cape Fear River, Fayetteville was the 
second largest town in North Carolina from 1815 to 1835. It was 

14 Carolina Miscellany (Edenton), February 20, 1833; The Star, February 20, 1834. 

15 Raleigh Register, April 25, 1823; Western Carolinian, October 21, 1823. 

16 Star (Elizabeth City), December 13, 1823, was the first issue. 

17 The Star, May 29, 1834. 

18 North Carolina Free Press, August 22, 1834. 
10 Raleigh Register, August 19, 1834. 

20 Prospectus, North Carolina Free Press, January 17, 1832; North Carolina Journal 
(Fayetteville), June 6, 1832. 

384 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the leading town in a section which had often supported Federa- 
list candidates after the formation of the United States. 

The Fayetteville American was founded early in 1813 by A. F. 
Bowell. Duncan Black joined Bowell on the staff of the American 
in 1816, after several unsuccessful attempts to establish a paper 
in Fayetteville. His luck did not change with the American, for 
in 1818, after Black had assumed sole control, the American too 
ceased to be published. Black continued to live in Fayetteville 
until his death in 1829. 21 

Alexander Macalaster established the People's Friend in No- 
vember, 1815, coming to Fayetteville after working for a time 
on the Wilmington Gazette. There is no record of how long the 
People's Friend was published. 22 

Fayetteville' s longest-lived paper was first printed in June, 
1816, by Francis W. Waldo, and was named the Carolina Ob- 
server. Early in 1818 Waldo transferred the paper to Alexander 
H. Dismukes, who had once lived in Raleigh. John Carney was 
also listed at this time as a publisher. 23 

Dismukes did not confine his interest to the Carolina Observer; 
in July, 1819, John Carney went to Blakely to publish a paper 
which he owned with Dismukes. Early in 1820 Dismukes began 
another paper in Fayetteville, called the Gazette, and was aided 
in this enterprise by a man named Ward. Sometime after June, 
1822, the Gazette was combined with the Observer. During the 
existence of both the Blakely paper and the Gazette, Dismukes 
continued with the Observer. After the failure of the paper in 
Blakely, John Carney also returned to the Observer. 24 

On April 3, 1823, John McRae announced that he had pur- 
chased the Observer. 25 In October of the same year, in the issue 
of the 23rd, Lemuel Bingham was listed as printer and publisher. 
Bingham, who had aided in beginning the Salisbury Western 
Carolinian a few years before, supported the campaign of John 
Quincy Adams in 1824 with Calhoun as his second choice. 26 The 
last copy of the Observer printed under Bingham's name was the 
September 23, 1824, issue. The following week Edwin W. Brewer 

21 Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers: 1690-1820 
(Worcester, Massachusetts, 1947) II, 1377; The Star, March 26, 1829. 

22 Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, II, 764. 

23 Raleigh Register, February 27, 1818. 

24 Raleigh Register, June 7, 1822. 

25 Carolina Observer, April 3, 1823. 

26 Western Carolinian, November 11, 1823. 

Edward Jones Hale (1802-1883) was editor and publisher of 
the Carolina Observer (renamed the Fayetteville Observer IN 
1834) from 1825 until 1865. 

North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 385 

was listed as printer and publisher, but for the rest of the year 
no name is given. MacRae probably owned the paper during all 
this period. 

From January, 1825, Edward J. Hale was owner and editor 
of the Observer, a position he retained until Union forces de- 
stroyed his presses some forty years later. John Carney seems 
to have been associated with him until sometime in 1830. Hale 
was a native of Chatham County and was about twenty-three 
when he assumed control of the Observer. While still a child, 
he was apprenticed on the Raleigh Register and later he worked 
on the Washington National Intelligencer. The Gales family, 
owner of both these papers, was thus in a position to exert an 
important influence on the young printer's political philosophy. 27 

Hale wrote in March, 1827, that had he edited a paper in 1824, 
he would have supported W. H. Crawford for the presidency. 
In 1828, however, he had no particular attachment for either 
candidate, but supported Jackson as the lesser evil. He was dis- 
appointed that Calhoun did not run against Adams and Jackson, 
since he preferred him to either of the others. As his objections 
to Adams he listed the conflict with Governor Troup of Georgia, 
the Panama Mission, the tariff policy and the loss of West Indian 

Jackson had been in office but a short time when it became 
evident that Hale would soon join the opposition to the President. 
The Observer was allied with the Calhoun faction until it was 
clear that Calhoun was openly avowing the nullification doctrines 
of his home state. Hale then turned to the National Republicans, 
hoping that they would nominate William Wirt. Disappointed 
when this group selected Henry Clay rather than Wirt, he fol- 
lowed many other of the pro-Calhoun people of North Carolina 
in support of the Barbour faction of the Jackson party. After 
the defeat of Barbour, he at last entered the Whig ranks. 28 

Benjamin H. Talbot, in May, 1824, announced that he expected 
to begin a newspaper in Fayetteville to be called the "Weekly 
Gleaner." Talbot must not have gained the necessary number of 
subscribers, for in May of the following year he was trying to 
begin a paper in Wilmington. 29 

27 Carolina Observer, February 11, 1830. 

28 Carolina Observer, June 5, 1832. 

29 Raleigh Register (semi- weekly), August 13, 1824; Western Carolinian, May 17, 1825. 

386 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In February, 1825, James A. Patterson of Raleigh announced 
that he would soon publish the Fayetteville Centinel with John A. 
Cameron as editor of the paper. Edward J. Hale warned that 
Fayetteville could not support two papers, but wished the new 
enterprise well. 30 

Patterson and Cameron changed the name of the Centinel to 
the North Carolina Journal on May 17, 1826. 31 Not long after 
this Patterson gave up his connection with the Journal, and 
Thomas J. Holton was listed as printer. Cameron was the domi- 
nant influence behind the paper at this time. John A. Cameron 
was born in Virginia in 1788, and while yet young moved to 
North Carolina. He represented the borough of Fayetteville in 
the House of Commons from 1810 through 1812, and again in 
1820. He served in the War of 1812, reaching the rank of major. 
As an editor, he was an outspoken supporter of Andrew Jackson 
and, although the Observer and Journal both opposed the ad- 
ministration of John Quincy Adams, Hale and Cameron were 
in political conflict almost from the first issue of Cameron's 
paper. An example of the heat which this battle engendered is 
seen in one of Hale's editorials about Cameron. "With nothing to 
lose himself, he is a proper instrument to attack the character of 
others. Degraded to the lowest degree in the estimation of a 
virtuous community, among whom he once held the highest sta- 
tions, his character would afford a fit subject for the pen of a 
Milton to sketch a fallen Angel." 32 

By 1829 the Observer was openly opposing the group in North 
Carolina most favorable to Jackson. In the fall of 1829, in the 
election for a congressman from the seventh district, Cameron 
became the candidate of the more extreme Jackson forces. The 
Observer gave its support to Edmund Deberry against Cameron, 
who lost by a small majority. Defeated politically, and financially 
in need, Cameron decided that he would have to sell his paper. 
Almost a year after his defeat in the congressional election, in 
October, 1830, he finally offered the Journal for sale. By March, 
1831, Thomas L. Hybart and William F. Strange bought the 
paper, and Cameron had been to Washington to seek a govern- 

30 Carolina Observer, February 10, 1825; Western Carolinian, May 17, 1825; and the Raleigh 
Register (semi-weekly), March 27, 1826, used spelling "Sentinel" rather than "Centinel." The 
Hillsborough Recorder, May 4, 1825, spoke of Fayetteville Centinel, and Commercial Advertiser. 

31 Carolina Observer, May 24, 1826. 

33 Carolina Observer, October 18, 1827. 

North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 387 

ment position. He was successful in this, for Jackson gave him 
an appointment as consul to Vera Cruz. 33 In the meantime Holton 
had gone to Charlotte to begin a paper. 

Hybart and Strange were both faithful Jackson men. Hybart 
ran for a seat in the General Assembly several times, and did 
represent his borough in the House of Commons of 1835. Strange 
was given the honor of carrying North Carolina's Jackson-Van 
Buren electoral vote to Washington after the 1832 election. 34 


William Potter issued a prospectus for a paper, the Carolina 
Patriot, to be published in Greensborough, in December, 1825. L. 
G. Watson was also to be connected with the Patriot. Publication 
began in February, 1826, but in a very short time Watson and 
Potter were forced to sell their establishment to T. Early Strange 
of Raleigh. When publication was resumed, the name of the 
paper had been changed to the Greensborough Patriot^ 5 

T. Early Strange was editor of the Patriot for three years, but 
in 1829 sold the paper to William Swaim (whose grandson one 
day was to be "0. Henry"). Swaim issued his first number of 
the paper on May 23, 1829. This erratic genius at once made the 
Patriot one of the most unusual newspapers in the whole South. 
The prospectus of the new editor gave just a hint of what was 
to come. He promised that his paper would be "devoted to the 
collection and dissemination of facts and arguements in favor 
of public education, the encouragement of Manufacturers in the 
Southern States, a general improvement in the condition of our 
coloured population; a change in the policy of our banking in- 
stitutions, and a total overthrow of that system of electioneering 
which has disgraced the character of our country." Thus he 
threw down the gauntlet to several powerful vested interests. 36 

As an advocate of the gradual emancipation of slaves, Swaim 
found little sympathy in North Carolina ; only the Quakers sup- 
ported him. In 1829 a bill was before the General Assembly of 
North Carolina to vest the right of electing sheriffs in the "free 

33 The Star, March 3, 1831. 

34 Raleigh Register, December 7, 1832. 

35 Carolina Observer, December 8, 1825; The Star, May 5, 1826. 

36 C. Alphonso Smith, O. Henry Biography (New York, 1916), 18-24; Patriot (Greens- 
borough), March 4, and May 23, 1829; North Carolina Journal, February 10, 1830, 

388 The North Carolina Historical Review 

white men of the State." Swaim wrote, "We cannot well see what 
business that pretty leetle word, white, has in any part of the 
bill. . . ," 37 A few months later Swaim began to publish adver- 
tisements in the Patriot for Benjamin Lundy's Genius of Univer- 
sal Emancipation, a paper hated throughout the South. 38 In 1830 
Swaim published a pamphlet, "Address to the People of North 
Carolina on the Evils of Slavery, by the friends of liberty and 
equality.' ' He waged almost a one-man fight against the laws 
opposed to incendiary publications, championing freedom of 
speech and of the press. This course soon got him into trouble 
with the state General Assembly. On December 25, 1830, Spencer 
O'Brien of Granville County submitted a resolution to the House 
of Commons, "that the Attorney General of this State be and he 
is hereby directed to commence a prosecution against Wm. 
Swaim, Editor of the Greensboro Patriot, for seditious and 
libellous publications contained in his paper of the 15 December 
instant, and his papers issued from that office on previous dates." 
The resolution, however, was postponed indefinitely. 39 

Fear of arrest did not disturb Swaim. Less than a month after 
the resolutions in the General Assembly, he began an article 
against the slave trade in the District of Columbia by writing, 
"If we were not afraid of an indictment for sedition, we would 
publish the following article. . . " and proceeded to publish the 
article. A few days later he denounced the General Assembly for 
attempting to keep anti-slavery publications out of the state. 40 

Swaim often received threatening letters, which he published 
for the edification of his readers. One such letter accused him of 
being a disciple of the abolitionist David Walker. 41 Swaim's 
stinging editorials resulted in a suit for libel by Z. J. Emery in 
November, 1831. Hamilton C. Jones and John M. Morehead de- 
fended Swaim on the basis of freedom of the press, but he was 
convicted by the lower courts. The case was then appealed to the 
state Supreme Court and apparently died there. 42 

In the prospectus for his paper Swaim had demanded a change 
in the policy of the state's banking institutions. Robert Potter, 

3T Patriot, January 6, 1830. 

88 Patriot, July 7, 1830. 

30 Raleigh Register, December 30, 1830. 

40 Patriot, January 19, and February 2, 1831. 

41 Letter signed "Mansfield," Patriot, September 21, 1831, 

42 Raleigh Register, November 10, 1831, 

North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 389 

in both the General Assembly and Congress, was the recognized 
leader of the anti-bank forces in North Carolina. It was therefore 
natural that Swaim should come to Potter's aid when Potter 
found himself in jail. Potter wrote a pamphlet denouncing the 
judge who had presided over his trial, and Swaim published this 
pamphlet. The judge then sued them both for libel. Swaim de- 
nounced the whole thing as a conspiracy on the part of bench, 
bar and bank aristocracy. Separate trials were agreed upon for 
the two men, and Potter was tried first on the second Monday of 
September, 1833. The jury was discharged due to a tie and 
Swaim' s case was postponed. Finally in March of the next year 
the case was dropped. 43 

Although not actually a Quaker, Swaim often fought for their 
causes. 44 Politically, he was opposed to Jackson from the begin- 
ning. In 1832 he gave his full support to Henry Clay. He was a 
bitter opponent of nullification and supported the movement for 
a change in the state Constitution. 

Early in 1835, Swaim announced that he would publish a 
second paper to be called the "Southern Citizen." The following 
year the Southern Citizen was published in the small town of 
New Salem in Randolph County by a cousin of Swaim' s — Ben- 
jamin Swaim. In the meantime, at the age of thirty-four, William 
Swaim died on December 31st, 1835. 45 Had Swaim lived twenty 
years longer, his views of liberty would have caused him serious 

For a time after the death of William Swaim, Alfred E. Han- 
ner printed the Patriot for the benefit of the estate of the de- 
ceased editor. Early in April, 1836, Hanner and C. N. B. Evans 
bought the paper and published it for themselves. Shortly there- 
after Lyndon Swaim, who seems to have been no kin of the 
former editor, took over the Patriot* 6 

Early in 1836 the first copy of the Carolina Beacon appeared 
in Greensborough. It was published by Messrs. E. S. Zevely and 
R. J. West. The Beacon supported Hugh L. White in the presi- 
dential race of that year. 47 

48 Patriot, September 25, 1833 and March 26, 1834. 

44 In the Patriot, May 9, 1832, Swaim says he is not a Quaker. It is clear, however, that 
many of his family were Friends. 

^Raleigh Register, March 3, 1835 and February 11, 1836, 

46 Patriot, March 24, and April 5, 1836, 

47 Carolina Observer, June 2, 1836, 

390 The North Carolina Historical Review 


John Brown began the Greenville Patriot in August, 1832. It is 
probable that he had worked on one of the Washington, North 
Carolina papers before beginning his own at Greenville, since 
the Raleigh Star, April 9, 1829, in announcing his marriage, 
referred to him as a printer. Brown stated that the Patriot would 
remain neutral on presidential politics. It is doubtful that the 
Patriot was published very long, as no reference to it has been 
found after August, 1832. 48 


At one time Halifax was one of the most important political 
centers in North Carolina. After 1800 its relative importance 
declined rapidly, but for several years after this it was one of the 
leading villages in the Roanoke section of northeastern North 
Carolina. Its newspapers strongly mirrored the political philoso- 
phy of the Virginia school of politicians. 

M. W. Dunnavant, William Dunnavant and James H. Smith 
founded the Halifax Compiler in January of 1818. 49 Smith soon 
left the paper and John Wright became editor in 1820. The 
Compiler was an early and outspoken advocate of eastern princi- 
ples and thus gained the enmity of the western part of the 
state. 50 

In 1819 the accounts of State Treasurer John Haywood were 
questioned by the Halifax representative in the General Assem- 
bly. The following year these charges resulted in an investigation 
of Haywood's records, but he was found innocent of the charges. 
John A. Cameron of Fayetteville then moved that the solicitor 
general commence criminal prosecution against John Wright, 
printer of the Halifax Compiler, for a libel against the General 
Assembly in the December 15, 1820, issue of that paper. It seems 
that Wright had been enraged at the report of the committee 
which had investigated Haywood. Cameron's resolution passed 
72 to 25, but after a time the indictment of the solicitor was with- 
drawn. It is not known when the Compiler ceased publication, 

48 North Carolina Free Press, August 28, 1832. 

49 Smith was spelled as "Smyth" in some sources. 
™ Hillsborough Recorder, October 25, 1820. 

North Carolina Newspapers and Journalistic Politics 391 

but it was being published as late as October, 1822. Later events 
proved Wright at least partly justified. 51 

George Howard from Baltimore, Maryland, began the Halifax 
Free Press in March, 1824. He promised that he would take no 
part in the presidential election of that year. 52 Howard published 
the Free Press in Halifax for two years, but early in 1826 an- 
nounced that he would move to Tarborough. 53 

Two more years passed before John Campbell, who had form- 
erly edited a Jackson paper in Milton, began a new paper in 
Halifax. In January, 1829, the first issue of Campbell's Minerva 
appeared. Ten months later Edmund B. Freeman and others 
bought the Minerva, and John G. Liles was listed as printer. The 
paper pledged its support to Andrew Jackson. 54 

The March 4, 1830, issue of Freeman's paper changed the title 
to the Roanoke Advocate. Once again Freeman stated that he 
favored Jackson, but made it clear that he was a "Southern 
man." A week later Liles was dropped from the masthead of the 
Roanoke Advocate, and Campbell returned to the staff as printer 
and joint proprietor. This new partnership lasted until July, 
when Campbell announced that he would move to Windsor and 
open a Jackson paper there. Freeman continued to publish the 
Roanoke Advocate alone. 55 

In January 1834, Freeman sold the Roanoke Advocate to 
Charles N. Webb and Thomas K. Thomas and moved to Raleigh. 
Webb and Thomas announced that they would support the doc- 
trines of nullification. A year later, Webb retired and left Thomas 
as sole proprietor. By 1835 the nullificat