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Full text of "Sketches of the early history of the city of Raleigh. Centennial address, fourth of July, 1876"

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HON. kp:iMP p. battle, 



















Raleigh, N. C, July 5th, 1870. 

Hon. Kemp P. Battle. 

Dear Sir: — In behalf of the Board of Aldermen and the 
citizens of Raleigh, we respectfully ask for a copy of your 
excellent address on the 4tli inst. for publication. 
Very respectfuhy, 


JouN Armstrong, 
Wm. E. Anderson, 
Jos. H. Green, 
P. C. Flemming. 

Raleigh, July 6th, 1870. 

Messrs. J. C. S. Lumsden and others, Committee, 

Gentlemen : — ^Your comnnmication, requesting a copy of 
my address of the 4th inst. for publication, is to hand. 
Though the address was prepared while I was under great 
pressure of business in other matters, and is not so full as 
I could have wished it, I herewith send you a copy thereof, 
which you are at liberty to use at your discretion, 
Very respectfully, 

Kemp P. Battle. 


Mr. Battle was introduced to the audience by Dr. 
Eugene Grissom, Superintendent of the Insane Asylum of 
IS'orth Carolina, in the following language, in substance : 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen : — "We have 
a,ssembled here to-day in obedience to a solemn recom- 
mendation of the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the United States, with executive approval, and in 
concert with millions of our fellow-citizens, to celebrate 
the Centennial Anniversary of the Declaration of Amer- 
ican Independence, and to dedicate a page of histor}^ to 
the progress of an hundred years — an independence pro- 
claimed by the people and statesmen of an age charac- 
terized by purity, patriotism and ability, and achieved 
iifter a pn)tracted contest in which the resources of the 
country, both of blood and treasure, were freely otfered 
and well nigh exhausted. 

Whatever of glory or of good attaches to that event is 
largely shared by North Carolina. And whatever of 
gratification for the material prosperity flowing therefrom, 
to any part of the common countr}^ is a legacy of com- 
mon inheritance. 

I congratulate you that the task of analyzing the his- 
tory of this locality has been assigned to one so well 
qualified for its performance, and so acceptable to public 
approval ; to one whose well-merited reputation for 
scientific attainment, literary acquirement and profes- 
sional ability, together with all the accomplishments and 
graces of tlie patriot, the gentleman, the scholar and the 


christian, extends far beyond the limits of state linesy 
and is eherislied as the common pride and common prop- 
erty of the community in which he lives, and the section 
that gave him birth. Hon. Kemp P. Battle, whose name 
a household word, will address you. Let us hear him r. 


Fkllow-Citizens : — I appear before you, designated by 
the Board of Aldermen of the city of Raleigh, in accord- 
ance with an Act of Congress and the proclamation of the 
President thereupon, to deliver an address on the history 
of the city of Raleigh. The time allowed me has been 
short, tilt' materials for the construction of such a sketch 
are not easily accessible, and the difficulty of the under- 
taking is increased by the destruction of the records of 
the city in 18G5, when Sherman's army entered Raleigh, 
Still, believing that if I should refuse, probably the v.'ork 
would be undone, I have, as far as other demands on 
my time which could not be omitted or postponed, allow- 
ed, done my best to aid in perpetuating facts in the 
histor}' of our city which neitlier we nor our posterity 
siiould allow to be forgotten. 

Tne task is all tlie more difficult because it is demand- 
ed to compress these facts about the past into the limits 
of a single address — material worthy of a volume into a 
slender pamphlet. 

It is within the spirit of this (Centennial [)eriod to recall 
events long since passed. I therefore will not chronicle 
recent transactions, within your own memories. I will 
]iot attempt a complete history of our city. I will only 
endeavor to perpetuate what is in danger of passing into 


It is to be regretted that no special effort is to be made 
to unfold the history of Wake county. I hope this will 


be done hereafter. The Centennial of Raleigh has not 
yet arrived. The Centennial of Wake has passed. 

The county of Wake was born in stormy times. 

A little over one hundred years ago, on the IGth of May, 
1771, the roar of cannon in battle was heard for the first 
irae in the forests of Middle North Carolina. One army, 
1,200 disciplined troops, "was led by the Governor of the 
Province, and under him were able officers. On the other 
side were 2,000 half-armed men without experienced 
■officers, unprovided with artiller\'. In tliis fight between 
Royalists and Regulators the victory was with the former, 
and in Hillsboro, where now are the beautiful grounds 
of Mr. Paul Cameron, six of the leaders met the fate of 
felons on the gallows. Their deluded followers were dis- 
persed and the war of the Regulation was ended. What 
was the cause of this fratricidal contest? 

Of all forms of oppression the hardest to bear patiently 
is the payment of onerous taxes and other exactions to 
alien officers, to be expended at points distant from the tax 
payers, and for objects for which they have no sympathy. 
Such levies in our Saviour's time, for the sensual luxuries of 
Roman Emperors, caused the names of tax gatherers (or 
publicans) to be synonymous with robbers. It w^as the hard 
and grinding sheriffs and other officers, with an occasional 
lawyer like Fanning, who drove so many from Granville 
to the mountains into the war of the Regulation. 

I'revious to 1770 the county of Rowan covered nearly 
all the territory west of the Yadkin, and a portion east of 
that river. Orange adjoined it on the east and was of 
extensive area. The Regulators were widely scattered 
throughout all this country. To prevent combinations 
among them, Gov. Tryon, who had great abilities as a 
statesman, procured the incorporation of four new oounties. 
On the east, out of parts of Orange, Johnston and Cumber- 
land he erected Wake, and called it after the maiden name 
of his wife — " the Countv of Wake and Parish of St. Mar- 


garet's." Tradition hath it that her sister, Miss Estlier 
"Wake, was the chief lobhy member who so turned the 
heads of our impressible ancestors by her rare beauty and 
accomplishments, that they voted $100,000 out of tlieir 
meagre stores for a grand Governor's palace at Newbern 
— a measure so unpopular afterwards as to be one of the 
principle causes of the disaii'ection to the government. It 
was a proof of the gallantry of our forefathers, even in 
the midst of war, that when, in 1770, they expunged trom 
the list of counties the hated name of Tryon and substituted 
those 4)f Rutherford and Lincoln, they allowed the name 
of the beautiful Miss "Wake to remain. 

In the same vear, notwithstandins; the sriant arm of Pitt 
was no longer wielding the forces of England, from mo- 
tives of policy, Governor Tryon gave to the district through 
which flow the waters of the Haw and Deep rivers, as a 
peace offering, the name of Chatham, with its county seat at 

While Tryon thus conciliated one party, he neglected 
not to pay court to the rising sun. He called one of the 
other counties created then after the Earldom of Guil- 
ford, of which the new prime minister, Lord North, was 
the heir apparent, and the fourth after the sliire of Surry 
in England of which Guilford is the county seat. 

Our county thus formed, although honored with the 
name of the Governor's wife, did not hesitate to cast in her 
lot with the other colonists. At the Provincial Congress 
of 20th August, 1775, which took measures for effectual 
resistance, appeared her delegates: Joel Lane, John Ilinton, 
Theophilus Hunter, Michael Rogers, Tignal Jones, John 
Head and Thomas Ilines, honored names in our county, 
many of whose descendants are among us now. 

But time does not allow me to detail the part taken by 
the county of Wake in the great struggle, suffice it to say 
that our county sustained without faltering the great cause 
of independence, sharing in the dangers and privations of 


the period, rejoicing with her whole soul in the final 

A copy of the charter of Wake county may be found 
recorded in our Clerk's office. It is signed by Gov. Tryon 
at Newbern, May 22, 1771. The first court was held in 
a log building, on the open ground fronting the residence 
of Miss Kate Boylan, on the 4th June 1771. The place 
was then called Bloombury. Probably some poetical 
sentimentalist of the day coined the name but the times 
were too stormy for flowers and blooms and soon we find 
the county seat is called " Wake Court House," and this 
so cr>^ tinned until it merged into " Raleigh" in 1794. 

But I mu-t hasten to my immediate task. 


The settlement of North Carolina has one striking pe- 
culiarity. In most of the States, streams of emigrants 
arrived successively at the same ports and flowed into 
the interior along the same highways. But the early 
settlers of North Carolina came into its limits along dif- 
ferent routes and made divers centres of colonization. 
They spread from those centres on the right hand and on 
the left, by natural increase and by accessions from 
abroad. Thus the emigrants from England eitlier direct- 
ly from the mother countiy, or from Virginia, spread 
over the Northeastern or Albemarle section, and as far 
West as the upper waters of the Tar and the Neuse. Ger- 
mans and Swiss under DeGraffenried transferred the 
]iame of Berne to tlie town at the confluence of the 
Neuse and the Trent. Cavaliers iVom England and 
l/uguenots from France swarmed along the lov/er Cape 
Fear and pressed northward along the Pee Dee and the tri- 
butaries of the Santee. Kinsmen of tiie brave Scotch- 
Irish, who defended Londonderry with a heroism unex- 
ampled for human endurance, and Lutheran Germans, 


who had fled from the atrocities of Louis XIV iu the 
Palatinate, took possession of the larger parts of the val- 
leys of the Haw, the Yadkin and the Catawba. Flora 
McDonald with her countrymen from the Highlands of 
Scotland, heart-broken from Culloden, found new homes 
on the Upper Cape Fear and the Lumber, and Moravians, 
worn out with persecutions in the old country, fondly 
hoped to rest in a home of Peace— a blessed Salem — 
among the hills between the Yadkin and the Dan. 

Hence, North Carolina, wathin whose borders are 
representatives of the Teuton and the Celt, the Anglo- 
Norman and the Frank, the Scandinavian and the Cym- 
ric — Cavalier and Roundhead, Episcopalians and Pres- 
byterians, Catholics and Huguenots, Lutherans, Mora- 
vians, Quakers, Protestants of every denomination, and 
those who, like Gallio, care for none of these things, has 
never been a homogeneous State. All great enterprises 
have been accomplished, and can only be accomplished, 
by conciliation and compromise — from overturning a 
government to building a railroad, from founding a State 
to the location of its capital. 

The places of meeting of the General Assembly, and 
of the officers of the executive branches of the govern- 
ment, were always in early times chosen by the operation 
of these principles. 

Under the Proprietary government which lasted until 
1731, and then under the Colonial government which 
lasted until the flight of Governor Martin in 1775, the 
place of assembling of the Legislatures depended chiefly 
on the will of the Governor. The town of Governor Eden, 
which looks on the tranquil waters of Albemarle, New- 
bern, set like an emerald between the Neuse and the 
Trent, Wilmington, so named from the Earl of Wilming- 
ton, Secretary of the colonies, the home of a refined, 
chivalric and hospitable people, destined to be leaders in 
the fierce struggles which were to follow, were most 


favored by the court favorities, fresh from the old world, 
who liked not the rough life of the interior wilderness. 

After the expulsion of the Royal Governor, and the new- 
born State had started on its own career, the Legislatures, 
whether called Congress or Committee of Safety or Gen- 
eral Assembly, for long time convened at their own will 
at different points, sometimes during the war to avoid 
danger from the enemy, butoftener like our Church Con' 
ventioKS for reasons of convenience and mutual accom- 
modation. "We find Newbern, Kinston, Halifax, Smith- 
field, Wake Court House, Hillsboro, Salem, Fayetteville, 
Tarboro, all honored, some of them several times, with 
being for a few weeks the seat of government. To this 
pernicious practice we owe it that so man}- valuable 
documents have been lost or are so arranged that they 
cannot be made useful without great expenditure of 
labor and time. 

How could public business be intelligently transacted 
when the officers of the State were located as they were 
before tlie birth of Raleigh ? Take for example 1789, 
when Martin, of Guilford, was Governor ; James Glasgow, 
of Greene, was Secretary of State ; John Haywood, of 
Edgecombe, was Treasurer ; John Craven, of Halifax, was 
Gomptroller, and James Iredell, of Chowan, was Attorney 
•General — all the chief ofiScers of the State residing in 
different counties hundreds of miles apart. 

One, who at this day, holding an account against the 
State, grumbles because he cannot get his money in an 
liour after its presentation should note the trials of a 
claimant in what the venerable James T. Morehead called 
the " chaotic times." 

The evil became insupportable, and notwithstanding 
the jealousies of conflicting sections, the General Assem- 
bly of 1787, in providing for calling a Convention to con- 
sider the adoption of the Constitution of the United 
States, recommended the people of the State to instruct 


their representatives to " fix on the place for the un- 
alterable seat of government." 

This convention met in 1788 at Hillsboro. After re- 
fusing to adopt the new Constitution by one hundred 
majority, they proceeded to carry out the instructions of 
the people in regard to the seat of Government. 

After debate it was determined to select by ballot some- 
point in the State, and leave it to the General Assembly 
to designate the exact spot within ten miles thereof. 

The plantation of Isaac Hunter was on the North side- 
of Crabtree, on the great road between the North and the- 
interior of South Carolina and Georgia. His residence, 
at the fork of the Louisburg and Forestville roads, was a 
notable country tavern in those days. After balloting be- 
tween several competitors, this was chosen as the centre- 
of the ten mile circle within which the sovereignty of" 
North Carolina was to find a local habitation. 

The mandate of the Convention the General Assembly 
was in no haste to obey. Fayetteville, and the friends- 
of that old town, having their due share of Scotch te- 
nacity, and using no doubt the blandishments of social 
life, succeeded in deferring the execution of the scheme- 
In 1790 the vote was so close that the proposal was tied 
in both Houses, the speaker of the House of Commons, an- 
eastern man, Stephen Cabarrus, of Chowan, voting in- 
favor, but the speaker of the Senate, a western man, Gen. 
Lenoir, of Wilkes, killing the measure. 

The General Assembly of the following year, 1791, con- 
vened atNewbern, out of reach of the plucky *' Macs," of 
the Cape Fear, and at this session the ordinance of 178S 
was carried into effect. Ten commissioners were appoint- 
ed to locate and lay off the city in accordance with the 
ordinance. At the same time five commissioners were ap- 
pointed to erect a State House. 



The day of meeting of the Commissioners was the 4th 
of April, 1792. Only six attended. Their names were, 
Frederick Hargett, Senator from Jones; Willie Jones, 
member from Halifax ; Joseph McDowell, Senator from 
Burke, one of the gallant mountaineers who gained the 
battle of King's Mountain ; Thomas Blount, member from 
Edgecombe, afterwards to be promoted to a seat in the 
House of Kepresentatives of the Union ; William John- 
ston Dawson, member from Bertie, grandson of Gov. 
Gabriel Johnston, soon to be a member of Congress, and 
James Martin, member from Stokes, who,. as an officer of 
militia, had marched against the Cherokees in. 1776, 
and against Cornwallis in 1782. They were among the 
best men of the State. Jones was the most active and in- 
fluential, had been dn ardent patriot of the Revolution. 
His body lies, without a stone to commemorate him, in 
the North East corner of the land he aided to buy, in the 
garden of the St. Augustine Normal School. 

The plantation of Joel Lane, adjoining Wake Court 
House, was so plainly the best place within the limits 
assigned that the Commissioners hesitated but little and 
on the following day, April 5th, 1792, a deed was execut- 
ed by Lane to Alexander Martin, Governor, for the use 
of the State, of one thousand acres of land of an irregular 
shape, about one mile, three hundred yards from north 
to south and. still more from east to west. The tract thus 
purchased was tiien mostly in forest. The oak trees still 
standing, as well as tradition, show that nearly all east of 
Salisbury street was in original growth. Where the State 
House rears its lofty dome was a noted "stand " by which 
a deer running from the dense forests of the Crabtree to 
the dense forests of Walnut was sure to pass. The " old 
field pines," a few years ago standing on Gallows Hill and 


the Rex Hospital land and in the North West Reservation 
showthatthey were oncecult.vated fields, whiletheravines 
opening into Pigeon House and Rocky Branches, starting 
from the water-shed of the Capitol Square, were for some 
time covered with beech and poplar of large growth. 
The giant trees which have given us the name of City of 
Oaks, are remnants of the forest which sheltered the 
venerable men who, eighty-four years ago, chose tlieSeat 
of Government of North Carolina. 

The site is certainly most favorably situated. The rail 
of the Raleigh & Gaston Rail Road is 303 feet above the 
sea level. The surface of the ground at the West door 
of the State House is 42 feet higher, so that the highest 
point of Union Square is 345 feet above the Atlantic, 
The latitude of the capital is 35° 17' N. Tiie longitude 
7S° 41' West from Greenwich. Its isothermal line (line 
of equal temperatures) enters Europe a little North of 
Lisbon, passes through Madrid, near by Genoa and 
Floreu'ie, leaves Europe not far from Constantinople, 
y)asses near the spot designated by tradition as the Gar- 
den of Eden, then tiH'ongh Cliina ami Southern Japan 
hard by Shanghai and Yeddo, and strikes the American 
continent South of San Francisco. Its climate is there- 
fore the climate of the grape and the fig, of cotton and 
tobacco, of corn and wheat. Its compromise character is 
apparent in many lespects. Its average temperature for 
the year is 69° 1'. Farenheit. That of the whole State is 
59°. lis spring temperature is 58°, its summer 78°, its 
autumn 60°, its winter 40°. The State is a little in 
each of these seasons. Its rainfall is 48.2 inches ; that of 
the State, including the mountains and sea coast, 
is 53.1 inches. It is near the centre of the central county. 
It is near the line between the lands which grow cotton 
and the lands which grow tobacco. The census tables 
show that on a single acre in lialeigh can be grown, and 
profitably grown, not only every product of North Caro- 


lina, but of the United States, with the exception of 
oranses and sugar cane. 


The commissioners lost no time in carrying out the other 
branch of their duties. They proceeded to lay out a plan 
for a city, to comprise, besides streets, 276 lots of one acre 
each, the whole making four hundred acres, I am inclined 
to think that the true acre (208.67 feet square) was adopted 
and the faihire to follow this and the practice of using the 
conventional acre (210 feet square) are the causes of the dis- 
putes about boundaries and encroachments on streets. 

Besides Union Square, which the old maps call 516 feet 
square, four other squares of four acres each were left for 
the use of the public. Reservations at each corner of the' 
city were left open, not included in the city, so as to pro- 
vide for a future extension of the corporate limits. 

Four streets radiate at right angles from Union Square 
99 feet wide, viz : to thelSrorth, Halifax ; to the East, New- 
hern ; to the South, Fayetteville ; to the West, Ilillsboro; 
all the others being 66 feet wide. It must not be supposed 
that these names were given in order to express ideas of 
superiority of those towns. The roads from Wake<Cou]'t 
House in the directions of these streets were similarh' c:'.-'! • 
ed before the estal>lishment of Kaieigli. Tlie streets adjoin- 
ing Union Square on each side were laid out through the 
length and breadth of the cit3^ Tliey were honored with 
the names of leading towns in the State, two east and two- 
west. Running north and south we have Wilmington on 
the east and SaUsbury on the west ; running east and west 
we have Edenton on the north and Morgan on the south. 
In those days the name of the beautiful county scat of 
Burke being written Morgan Town, the selection of this 
name in preference to other western towns was doubtless 
in compliment to Gen. McDowell. 


The other north aud south streets to the east were 
Blount, Person, Bloodworth and East. To the west were 
McDowell, Dawson, Harrington and West. 

The other east and west streets to the north were Jones, 
Laue and North, and to the south, llargctt, Martin, Davie, 
Cabarrus, Lenoir and South. 

The cit}' of Raleigh was named after the great historian, 
soldier and statesman, whose energies were so long directed 
to the settlement of North Carolina. The appellation of 
" city " was given because it was to be the home of the 
sovereignty of the State, derived from Civitas. 

I have told you whollargett, Jones, McDowell, Blount,. 
Dawson and Martin were. Of the others. Person street 
commemorates Gen. Thos. Person, long a member of the 
Legislature from Granville, wlio was one of the first 
Brigadier Generals of the Revolution ; was an ardent 
patriot, a liberal benefactor of the University. Ileenjuyw 
the triple honor of giving his name to a Hall at Chapel 
Hill, a street in Raleigh and to a gallant little county 
carved out of Granville. 

Timothy Bloodwoitli is a striking example of the 
ephemeral nature of political fame. He was a very \)V(t- 
minent man in his day ; was member of the Legishiturc 
from New Ilanover, Sj)eaker of the Senate, and attained 
the high dignil}^ of Senator in Congress. He is said 
to have lost a portion of Ids popularity in consequence 
of giving the casting vote in. favor of Raleigh, aufS 
fairly earned the honor of l>eing handed down to posterity 
in connection with one of its streets. 

Davie street commemorates one of thu most accom- 
plished men of the day, Wm. Richardson Davie, after 
whom the county of Davie is called, a gallant oflicer iu 
the Revolution, member of Congress, Ambassador near 
the Court of Napoleon, one of the founders of tlie Univer- 
sity, and a true friend of the education of the })eople. 
(Cabarrus street commemorates Stephen Cabarru'^, after 


whom a flonrishins^ county is also named ; was often 
Speaker of the House, was member of the Legislature from 
Ohowan, a genial and popular man. 

Gen. Wm. Lenoir was a .distinguished soldier of the 
Revolution ; was senator for many years from AVilkesand 
was Speaker of the Senate. He likewise gave a name to 
a county in the Enst and to a town in the AVest, as well 
as to a street of Raleigh. 

Lane street was after Joel Lane from whom the land 
was bought. 

The four squares of the city are named in honor of 
distirjguished men of the Revolutionary period. Caswell 
Square, as well as Caswell county, hands down the name 
of the great General and Governor, Richard Caswell, of 
Lenoir; Moore Square, of Alfred Moore, who, after emin- 
ent services for Korth Carolina, was appointed a Judge of 
the Supreme Court of the United States ; ISTash Square, of 
Abner Nash, and Burke Square, of Thomas Burke, both 
Governors and eminent statesmen of Revolutionary times. 
The plan thus laid off was reported to the General As- 
sembly of 1792, and adopted. The language of the act 
should be carefully noted as Ijeing of imjiortance to the 
inhabitants of the city. 

" The plan of the city so laid off and reported to the 
General Assembly by the Commissioners aforesaid, shall 
be and the same is hereby received, confirmed and ratified 
by the name of the City of Raleigh ; and the several 
streets represented in the plan, and the public square, 
whereon the State-house is to be built, shall be called and 
forever known by the names given to them respectively 
by the Commissioners aforesaid ; which plan, together 
with the deed for the land purchased, with a plat thereof 
annexed, shall be forthwith recorded in the Secretary's 

Section 3. "The public square composed of Nos. 246, 


247, 262, 203, shall be called and known by the name 
of Casvs^ell Square," &c, &q. 

And lots were sold by order of the Legislature fronting 
on these squares. 

Proposals have been made in the CJeneral Assembly to 
sell to the highest bidder the public squares of the city, 
except that on which the State House and the Deaf and 
Dumb Asylum are situate. I contend that according to ' 
plain principles of law, those who have purchased lands 
in the city, and especially those loho purchased lots on the 
MCjiuares^ have legal right to prevent such sale and insist 
that according to the pledge of the State they shall be 
perpetually " Public Squares." 

The streets of the city of Raleigh are under the pro- 
tection of the law. The city authorities^ may and 
shall improve them, but they cannot enclose or discon- 
tinue them. 

The same rules of law do not apply to the reservations 
in the corners of the city, but it is important that the 
city authorities shall as soon as practicable carry out the 
provisions of chapter 205 of the Acts of 1871-72, so as to 
found by enclosing and improving a valid claim for se- 
.curing the Nash and Moore squares as valuable breath- 
ing places of the citv. 

At the session of the General Assembly of ]Sr)C>-'o7, the 
corporate limits were extended one-fourth of a mile each 
way. This was resisted in the Courts by persons livii.g 
in the included portion, but the Supreme Court sustain- 
ed the action of the Legislature. Within this new part of 
the city, other streets have been laid out: East of the 
the Capitol, running nortii and south, Swain street 
named after the distinguished ex-Governor and President 
of the University, David L. Swain ; Linden Avenue, a 
fancy name, west of the Capitol ; Boylan street, after the 
late Wra. Boylan, who was in the beginning of the cen- 
tury editor of the M/uerva, the rival of the I^rt/istcr, 


and was for over sixty years one of our most enterprising: 
citizens ; Saunders street, after the late eminent ex-Judge 
Romulus M. Saunders, once minister to Spain. Then 
north of the Capitol, running east and west, is Peace 
street, after AYm. Peace, in old times a leading merchant^ 
the founder of Peace Institute, one of the best of our 
men; Johnson street, after our worthy fellow-citizen,. 
Albert Johnson ; Polk street, after Col. Wm. Polk, who' 
will be more particularly mentioned. And south of the- 
Capitol are Smithfield street, after the town of Smith- 
field ; Cannon street, after Robert Cannon, once a lead-^ 
ing citizen ; and Manly street, after our late distinguished 
ex-Governor Charles Manly. 


The same Commissioners who laid out the city made'- 
sales of the lots. I cannot find their reports to the Leg- 
islature, and the Registry books of that period have been! 
burnt, but I can state some of the early subsequent sales^ 
which are a measure of the value of property in that day- 

In 1801 one quarter of an acre of No. 160, on Fayette- 
ville street, above Ilargett, sold for S(>0. It is worth now 
$12,000 to $15,000. 

In 1801 W. & J. Peace bought a lot nearly opposite the- 
above, on Fayetteville street, above Ilargett, part of No.. 
147, fronting 21 feet and running back 60, for $165. 

In 1797 W. J. Humphries sold to Matthew Machlim 
the west half of No. 173, on Newbern avenue where .J. J.- 
Litchford lives, for $30, which was probably what wasi 
paid for it. 

Dr. R. P. Haywood tells me that it appears from the- 
account books of Joel Lane that he advanced for afriendi 
$79, to pay for No. 216, now the residence of W". J. Hicks.- 

Mr. David Royster, in 1802, bought of Oliver Fitts, of 
Warren, two acres Nos. 142 and 143, on Moore square,.. 


where David L. Royster now lives, for .S]00 and a break- 
fast table. 

On the east of Moore square Mr. Roj'ster, about the 
same time, bought two acres for $50 — afterwards sold one 
for $40, and was considered to have ]nade a great specu- 

On October 10, 1801, J. Harvey sold to Stephen Hay- 
wood the two acres where Mr. Wni. Dallas Haywood 
lives, for "$120 in silver dollars," or $60 per acre. 

In 1801 Nat. Jones sells to Dugald McKeethan No. 27(), 
fitN. "NV. corner of North and Lane streets for $51. 

Many of the first sold lots were purchased b}' those who 
•did not intend to make Raleigh their home. Some of 
the leading politicians of the day were purchasers — such 
^s Bloodworth, Ashe, Davie, Hawkins, Dawson and Lane 
— who bought on speculation and lost mone}' on the re- 

Four acres owned by the wealthy descendants of Tho^'. 
D. Bennehan are the only instances of continuous owner- 
ship in any family from the beginning, and Mr. Benne- 
ham was a resident of Orange. 

The foregoing sales are mentioned because they atlbrd 
standards of comparison as to the general rise of values, 
the prices now being from fifty to seventy and eighty 
times as high as at the dates mentioned. Near the busi- 
ness centre, however, lots have been sold at the rate of 
nearly $200,000 to the acre, or five and six thousand 
times the original cost. 

SALKS OK ]8!3. 

In 1813 the General Assembly appointed Ilenr}' Potter, 
Henry Seawell, Wm. Hinton, Nathaniel Jones, (Crabtree) 
Theophilus Hunter, and Wm. Peace, to sell the lands of 
the State south, west and north of the old corporate limits. 
The first named had been a Citv Commissioner. He was 


Judire of the District Court of the United States for about 
sixty years. Henry Seawell was a member of the Legis-^ 
lature from "Wake, elected at that time Judge of the Su- 
perior Court, an able lawyer. Wm. Ilinton was repeated- 
ly Senator from Wake. Nathaniel Jones, father of the 
late Kimbrough Jones, called of "Crabtree" to distin- 
guish him from Nathaniel Jones of" White Plains," near 
Cary, the ancestor of the late Wesley and Alfred Jones, 
had been often Senator and member of the House from 
Wake. Theophilus Hunter was the respected and hospita- 
ble owner of "Spring Hill," which adjoins Raleigh on 
the west. Wm. Peace has already been described. 

The commissioners were ordered to reserve lots around 
the different springs in the State lands, and on this ac- 
count it is that Rex Spring on the north, and the springs 
near the Governor's Mansion and the colored Deaf and 
Dumb Asylum, are public property. 

It was at this sale that John Rex bought the land de- 
vised by him to provide a comfortable retreat for the rich 
and the afflicted poor. The money bequeathed by him 
for the same purpose had accumulated to over $20,000, 
when by the contingencies of the late war a great part of 
it was lost. The object is a noble one, and the name of 
John Rex, the tanner, should be honored among us. 

The proceeds of the sale of 1813 were devoted to the 
erection of what is by a kind of grim joke called "the 
Governor's Palace." Before that time the acre where the 
Raleigh National Bank is located, No. 131, having on it 
a two-story house of wood, which was removed about 
1859, was the Executive Mansion. Governor Miller, of 
Warren, was the first occupant of the new mansion. It 
has been the scene of many gay festivities. In the good 
old days it was the custom for the governors to give fre- 
quent entertainments. The members of the Legislature 
and officers of State, and all decent people of the city, as 
well as strangers, were generally invited to attend. The 

annual " i)artie.s " of the Governor wcie looked forward 
to and enjoyed by young and old. 

The '•• Palace " continued to be occuttied by the Execu- 
tive until April, 18(15, when Governor \'ance yielded the 
occupancy to Gen. Sherman, who took possession of it as 
his headquarters. Alter the officers of the army left it 
in 18(38, Governor lEolden declinina- to leave his own 
handsome residence, and Governors Caldwell and Brog- 
den preferring hotel life, it was for several years rented 
to the highest bidder. It is now used for a flourishing 
graded school, undo- th(> superintendency of Mr. .]. E. 

SALE OF 1810. 

In 1819 the lands of the State east of the city, except 
the llock (Quarry, wei'e ordered to be sold, the commis- 
sioners being Duncan Cameron, .John Winslow, Joseph 
Gales, Wm. Robards and Henry Potter. Of these Dun- 
can Catneron for many years was one of the most trusted 
men, not alone of Raleigh, but of North Carolina, lie 
was an eminent lawyer, a Judge of the Superior Courts, 
Senator and Member of the House from Orange, from 
1829 to 1849 President of the leading 'oanks in theState, 
and was considered of highest authority in the State on 
matters of hnances. .John A\'inslow was member of the 
House from the borough of Fayetteville. Josej.h Gales 
was Intendant of Police of Raleigh for over twenty years, 
was an able editor, the founder of the JlaleUfh licf/isfrr 
which was a leading paper of the State for fift}' years, the 
father of the distinguished editor, Joseph Gales, of the 
National Intelligencer^ in Washington, and of Western R. 
Gales, his successor as editor of the Rccjisicr. Mr. Robards 
was of C!ranville, an excellesit man, Treasurer of the 
State. Henry Potter has been mentioned. 

The proceeds of tlie sale were applied to repairing and 


enclosing the State House, which was well done under 
the supervision of an able architect, AV^m. Nichols. 

This was the last sale of the lands of the State. 

The sales of 1813 were low according to our standard. 
For example, John Rex bought the land given by him 
for a hospital, $481 for 15| acres. 

The sales of 1818 were called "very good." This ap- 
plied chiefly to the land in theN, E. part of the city com- 
prising thf noble forest owned by the late Henry Mor- 
decai, which brought filOO per acre. The lots along New- 
bern Avenue west of the old grave3^ard averaged about 
$50 per acre, while those on the south side of Hargett op- 
posite the old graveyard, commanded from ^40 to $70 per 
acre ; the broad slopes of Vinegar Hill were rated at about 
$50 per acre, and all this on a credit of one, two and three 
3'ears, without interest. 

Some persons of speculative turn of mind and im{ier- 
fect knowledge of the law have cast hungry eyes at the 
unoccupied lots belonging to the State around the city 
with a view to take possesion of them under the Enti'y 
Laws at I'ii- cents per acre. But counsel "learned in the 
law" have quickly informed them that as the land had 
been once entered by and granted to .Joel Lane, the re- 
purchase by the State did not restore them to the class of 
" vacant and unappropriated lands," which are only sub- 
ject to entry. 


The growth of the city was slow. The State House, an 
ugly pile of brick and wood, without porch or ornament 
of any kind, said to have been built by Rhody Atkins, 
^vas finisiied in 1794, so that tiie General Assembly met 
in it for the first time in November of that year. Richard 
Dobbs Spaiglit, of Craven, met the Legislature as Gov- 
ernor, and on the first day of the succeeding .January, 

( 25 ) 

Sani'l Ashe, of New Hanover, took his phxce. Tlie first 
settlers were State ofRcers, and hotel (then called tavern) 
keepers, followed of course by the "country merchant." 

Ill February 1705, the General Assembly appointed as 
\I!ommissioners, a board of seven, who (as would be said 
in our neighboring town of Durham,) were, the (jemdne 
original "Fathers of the city ; viz: Jolm Haywood, of Edge- 
combe, Treasurer of the State ; John Craven, of Halifax, 
Comptroller; John Marshall and James Mares, Hotel- 
keepers ; Dugold McKethan and John Pain, whose busi- 
ness I cannot discover ; Joim Rogers, a member of the 
Legislature from Wake, not a resident of the city. In 
1801, the Legislature added as Commissioners, Joshua 
Sugg, a very respectable farmer. Col. AVni. Polk, who 
had lately become a resident, whom I shall mention 
again more particularly, and Theophilus Hunter, Senior, 
wlio had served the State in Revolutionary times. 

The buildings, with the exception of the State House, 
were for years all of wood. Covernor Swain, in his in- 
teresting Tucker Hall address, says that the Kagle Hotel 
of Charles Parish, now the National Hotel, was the next 
house of brick built after the Ccipitol. The old State Bank, 
now the Episcopal Rectory, the Bank of Newbern, now 
Dr. F. J. Haywood's dwelling, wsre built in the following 

As late as 1803, Henry IL Cooke advertises that living 
ut " Wake old Court-PIouse, about a quarter of a mile of 
the State-House, he can accommodate 10 or 12 gentlemen 
with board during the session, and will take a few horses 
to feed at 2s.Gd. (25 cts.) a day." 

But in r^ecember, 1803, the banner of the "• Indian 
Queen " is thrown out as the best stand in the city, with 
13 rooms, of which have fire-places ! This was on the 
site of the new Federal Court-House and Post-Oftice. 

This was followed by Casso's tavern, in 1804, on the 
N. E. corner of Fayetteville street, next the State House 

( 20 ) 

square, Oi)e]ied by " the })ublic'y juost obedient and 
humble servant, Peter Casso," who enhances the attract- 
iveness of his tavern by announcing that " the ISTorthern 
and Southern stages leave iiis door three times a vveek.'^ 

The hotels (or tavern?, as they were called.) were of a 
primitive nature. 

A gentleman tells me that many years ago he was at 
Cooke's Hotel, when besides himself Chief .Justice Mar- 
shall and Judge Cameron were the onl}' guests. A trav- 
eler drove up and asked for quarters. I'he answer was, 
" I can't take you, I am full." The furniture of Judge 
Mars!. nil's room consisted of a l)ed and bedstead, two 
split-bottom chairs, a pine table covered with grease and 
ink, a cracked pitcher and broken bowl. The next morn- 
ing wlien breakfast came on, the host, disdaining the use 
of forks, transferred from the d\A\ to his {date pieces of 
the dismembered fowl with his fingers. 


The charter of 1795 was superceded by a permanent 
charter granted in J803, by which the election of Intend- 
ant and seven Commissioners was given to the people. 
The c|uali{i cation of such officers was that they should 
be seized in fee of land in the city, with a dwelling house 
thereon, and should be actual residents. Any free male 
of full age, resident for three months, or owning land in 
the city, whether a resident or not, could vote. The cor- 
porate name of the government was "The Commission- 
ers of the City of Raleigh." 

The public lands being in forests, for their protection 
a Ranger was appointed. Tije } ower of taxation was 
doubled, i. c, raised to fifty cents on the ^100 value, it 
having been twenty-five cents under the act of 1795. A 
poll tax as high as $1 was authorized on all male polls 
and on male slaves between twelve and fifty. Under 

( -^7 ,) 

this cliartei' the inhabitants were not conipolled to work 
on the streets in person. On failnre to pay the tax on a 
lot on or before the first of August the coniiiiissioners 
were authorized and directed to sell the whole lot. It is 
remarkable that no right of redemption was allowed, no 
saving of the rights of infants and others under disability. 
This seems hard. It was probably caused by the fact 
heretofore mentioned that many of the lots were bought 
on speculation by those who would neither improve nor 
allow others to improve them. It is said that the large 
estate of the late Dr. Cooke was greatly attributable to 
the purchases b}' his father and grandfather at these tax 

It seems strange, too, as land was so very abundant 
and cheaf), the charter of 1804, as well as that of 1794-95^ 
should have contained stringent regulations in regard to 
encroachments on streets. They were required to be an- 
nually measured and entered on the city journalfj, and a 
tax was required to be imposed not over fifty cents a foot's 
width. These regulations were propably aimed chiefly 
at shop-keepers and tavern-keepers, who built in this 
manner to attract the attention of pa.ssers-by. Most of the 
"stoops"' and cellar-doors, which are an offence and 
stumbling block to so many were constructed in these 
ancient days, when much of the city was in forest and 
oak trees waved their boughs in our most populous streets.^ 

The charter of 1803 did not divide the city into wards. 
This was done in 1800, five commissioners being author- 
ized from the Middle ward, three from the Eastern, and 
one from the Western, showing that the western half of 
the city was settled more slowly than the other. The 
taxes of each ward were to be expended by its commis- 
sioners in that ward, and nowhere else. The commis- 
sioner of the Western ward had a pleasant office, being a 
full board all by himself, so that he could in truth say, as 
an eminent public man of this State once announced, "I 


have convened for business," the solitary instance in 
municipal government where the voting was always 
unanimous. This was remedied in 1809, by giving three 
commissioners to the Western ward. 

A difficulty occurred about the act of 180G, which 
shows that our ancestors were troubled about ward divis- 
ions, as we have lately been. By that enactment, " all 
east of Wilmington and Halifax streets constituted the 
Easterri ward ; all west of Salisbury and Halifax streets 
constituted the Western ward, and all the residue of the 
•city was the Middle ward." 

The following preamble of an act of 1811 shows at 
once the trouble and the remedy. It is a curiosity of 
legislation. I copy it literatim, with all its blunders. 
Note how evidently its draughtsman was an ill-tempered 
and unlearned " Middle ward man :" 


Whereas^ It is found and discovered that the division 
of the cit}^, as prescribed by the aforesaid act of 1806, is 
unequitable, and the boundaries of each ward not so pre- 
cisely described as to prevent disputes, and that said 
division into wards is not nor neither can be as was in- 
tended, viz : that the Eastern and Western wards should 
receive all the taxes, and leave the main street North 
from the State House, called Halifax street, for the Mid- 
■dle ward to keep in order ; and as the division now is, 
the commissioners of the Eastern ward do collect and 
receive all the taxes on the East of said street, leaving 
the naked street for the Middle ward to keep in order, 
.although the commissioners of the Eastern and Western 
wards acknowledge there is no equity for them to receive 
the taxes and leave the naked street for the Middle ward 


to keep repaired, and consider that they are bound to act 
agreeable to the law of ISOG; the commissioners of the 
Middle ward have always been willing to act justly, to 
give them the taxes, and they will keep the street in 
repair, &c." 

Two 3'ears after thin, in 1813, the evil of having four 
boards, one general board and one from each ward, was 
remedied, and the commissioners reduced to seven, three 
from the Middle and two from the others, were consti- 
tated into one board. The injunction to expend the 
taxes of each ward, not needed for general purposes, in 
the ward whence they were raised, was continued until 

In the same year the constable of the city was vested 
with the powers of the constable of the county. There 
was only one constable. Tthc inhabitants of the city were 
compelled to serve as a city watch. This was done with- 
out fee or reward until 1813, the best citizens generally 
in person, though substitutes were allowed, taking their 
turn in patrolling the streets at night. It grew into a 
custom, which had the force of law, that the captain of 
the guard should adjourn his men to a restaurant and 
till them with Dutch courage to enable them to perform 
their dangerous duties and drive away sleep — hence a 
glass of brandy and water received the name of " eye- 


In 1815 the question of supply of water was mooted, and 
for its introductionfor the first time in the historj' of 
the city a public debt was authorized. A dam was 
erected on Rocky Branch, east of the Insane Asylimu 
The working of a water-wheel forced the water into what 
was called a " AVater Tower," situate on the hill cast of Syl- 


vester Smith's house, whence the unfilterecl water was car- 
]-ied by wooden pipes by force of gravity to Hargett street, 
thence down Fayetteville street. There were spouts at 
various points along the street. The engineer was an inge- 
nious mechanic, Sam'l Lash, of Salem. The water was of 
great convenience to the citizens of the Middle ward, but 
on tlie whole the scheme was a failure. The pipes became 
frequently clogged with mud, and leaky, sometimes burst 
by the pressure, and there being no filtration, whenever 
there was rain the water became of the hue of the " Yellow 
Tiber." To crown the whole, there were great heart-burn- 
ings among the citizens of the section of the city not bene- 
fitted. Alter a few vears — seven or eis-ht — the oldeno-ineer 
died. His son, who succeeded him, took to intoxicating 
liquors, and the more he drank, the less freel}' the water 
ran. The water-works failed. The first money our city 
l)orrowed was buried in the ground ; the first debt incurred 
was for a profitless work. It was not until that genera- 
tion passed away, about the year 1845, that a second debt 
was incurred, for transferring the new market-house from 
Hargett street to its present position. 

The year 1817 is memorable in our history as being the 
time when the General Assembly allowed incorporated 
towns to lay a tax on dogs. In the early state of the coun- 
try, these canine pests were useful, but at present they are 
a fruitful soui'ce of poverty. 

The taxation on dogs in our city has always been un- 
equal, paid by a few, who are aifiicted with consciences, 
while the rest go scot free. Few have the tender regard 
for truth of a good old citizen of sixty years ago, who, in 
giving in liis taxables, stated that he had one dog. After 
he had finished, the list-taker handed him a Bible. "What! 
have I got to swear to my list ?" " Oh, yes, sir !" " Then," 
with a heavy sigh, '^'put me down another dog." 

The charter of 1803, amended in important particulars 
IVom time to time, continued until the charter of 1856, 


which was drawn, with liis usual ability, by lion. B. F* 
Moore, then city attorney. By tliis the name of the In- 
tendcnt of l^ohce was changed to Mayor. By direction of 
the Commissioners an amended charter was prepared by 
myself as city attorney in 18(3<), Init the (general Assembly 
made its going into operation dependent on a vote of the 
people, and because it increased powers of taxation it was 
defeated. A compilation of the charter of 185G incorpor- 
ating subsecpient amendments, was made by Mr. R. 11. 
Battle, in 18G7. In 187G, Fabius II. Busbee, Esq., city 
attorney, at the instance of the Board of Aldermen, made 
an able compilation of all the laws relating to Raleigh, now 
in existence, with reference to those which are obsolete 
also all the ordinances of the Board now in operation. 

Bv an act passed by the Cieneral Assembly of 1874-'75 
the city is divided ir. to live wards. This lias been attack- 
ed in the courts on the grounds of unconstitutionality, 
the plaintiffs alleging amouir other things that the lines 
of the wards were ran in order to give voters of one polit- 
ical part}' more weight than those of the others in the 
government of the city. Four wards elect three Alder- 
men each, and one dec's five, making a Board of seven- 
teen The matter is still in litigati(>n. 


It is creditable to the public spirit rif our ])cople that 
for over half a century tbe Intendants of Police served 
without compensation. iSome of them, particularly Jos- 
eph Gales, and Weston R. Gales, his son, were conspicu- 
ous for their generous hospitality, and the elegant style 
with which they entertained strangers and supported the 
dignity of the city. In 1831 the former removed to 
Washington city, but returned in 1830, and was imme- 
diately elected to his old post, which he held until bis 
death in May, 1848. The charter of tbe city was amend-. 


ed in January, 1843, giving to the Intendant the judicial 
powers of a Justice of the Peace, and autiiorizing the cor- 
poration to pay him a salary. Under this authorit}'^ the 
commissioners voted the venerable editor who had served 
the city so many years, whose time and talents and 
means had been almost from the beginning of the centu- 
ry expended liberally on every great public enterprise, 
the paltry salary of $100 per annum, which he lived 
only a few months to enjoy. 

I have taken great pains to ascertain all the Intend- 
ants and Mayors and Commissioners, from the beginning 
of the city. It was a difficult task in consequence of the 
destruction of the records, as heretofore mentioned, and 
I have not met with entire success. 

From the fact that Treasurer John Haywood was first 
mentioned of the commissioners appointed by the Legis- 
lature in the charter of 1795, I assume that he was the 
first Intendant. He was Treasurer of the State from 1787 
to 1827, one of the most hospitable, kindly and popular 
men who ever lived in tlie State. The first Intendant 
elected by the people was AVm. White, the highly esteem- 
ed Secretary of State, whose excellent wife the daughter 
of Gov. Caswell, survived to our own times. [ can not. 
learn who held the office in 1801, but in 1805 the intci - 
dant was Joseph Ross. In 1806 it was William Hill, \. '.'• 
was clerk in the office'of the Secretary of the State, who.~c; 
stern integrity and devotion to duty were such that he- 
was elected to the office of Secretary of State continuous- 
ly from 1811 until his death in 1857, nearly half a cen- 
tury, amidst all the mutations of parties. 

For many years the most prominent and influential 
citizens were known as the " five Williams," viz : William 
Polk, William Peck, William Boylan, William Peace, 
and William Hill, of whom the three hitter were living 
when I began the practice of law in the city in 1854. 

After the Intendancy of Mr. Ilill, we find in succession 


Dr. Calvin Jones in 1807, John Marshall in 1810 and 
1811. John S. Raboteau in 1812, Sterling Yancey in 
1813, then Joseph Gales until 1832, then Thomas Cobbs, 
Weston R. Gales, Wra. C. G. Carrington, Thomas Loring. 
Mr. Wm. Dallas Haywood was a very popular Intcndant 
for many years, and so was his successor Wm. II. Har- 
rison. Messrs. C. B. Root, Wesley Whitaker and .Joseph 
W. Ilolden have of late years held the office for one or 
two terms, and the list is closed by the present worthy 
incumbent. Major Basil C. Manl3% 

The list of Commissioners is most instructive. In the 
earlier days, when the population was small, it shows the 
names of the founders of the city, and in the large ma- 
jority of cases it contains very fair representatives of the 
business talent and integrity of our people. We see 
among those gone to their last homes Wm. Boylan, John 
Craven, Charles Parish, William and Joseph Peace, 
Henry Potter, Southey Bond, Robert Williams, Wm. 
Peck, Benj. S, King, Robert Cannon, AVesley Whitaker, 
Richard Smith, Thomas Henderson, Sherwood Haywood, 
Wm. Henry Haywood, James McKee, Wm. Shaw, Alex. 
Lucas, David Royster, Charles Manly, James F. Taylor, 
Thos. G. Scott, Wm. F. Clarke, Wm. Tliompson,'Ste- 
piien Birdsall, Ruffin Tucker, Dirk Lindeman, Henry 
M. Miller, Benjamin B. Smith, Beverly Daniel, Alex- 
ander J. Lawrence, F. H. Reeder, E. B. FreemaiK 
.lohn Christophers, John O'Rorke, Wm. Ashley, H. J). 
Turner, Daniel Murray, James Litchford, John Ilutchins, 
John Primrose, W. II. McKee, S. W. Whiting, David 
W. Stone, A. M. Gorman, Edward Yarborough, Silas 
Burns and many others who enjoyed the confidence and 
respect of their fellow-citizens. And we find that some 
of our best elderly men now living, who have lost the 
taste for municipal office life, such as Dr. F.J.Haywood, 
Jordan Womble, Alfred Williams, Sylvester Smith, Wm. 
W^hite, Geo. W. Haywood, and John J. Christophers, at 


an earlier period of their lives consented to serve the city 
in this capacity, in which, as in all other cities, the in- 
cumbents are liable to abundant and sharp criticism, 
with no possibility of pay, and little possibility of praise. 
And Mr. Christophers should be especially remembered 
for his long- and faithful services as clerk of the city — 
services only paralleled by those of Mr. James IT. Murray^ 
as City Constable. 

The Intendant of Police originally was only what thev 
name implies, viz: a Superintendent of the Police force,;, 
without judicial powers. The powers of a Justice of the- 
Peace were conferred in 1843. The name was changed 
to "Mayor " in 1854, and the name " Commissioners" to> 
" Aldermen," in 1875. 

These names "Intendant of I'olice " and "Mayor'" 
show not only the composite nature of our language, but 
call to mind interesting liistorical facts. The former is^ 
a French official name, taken from French municipal! 
government, at a time when America greatlyadmired ite 
ancient ally. 

The word " Mayor," same as "'Major," has a splendid 
ancestry. It came into England with the jSTormans whc 
conquered the countr}' at Hastings s©ve«- hundred years; 
ago, and the Xormans got it from the majestic Romans^ 
the conquerors of Gaul, whosedescendants intermarrying 
with the natives of tiie land, were in turn subjugated by 
ihe adventurous northmen. So that after the lapse of 
over half a century, the foreigners 'Tntendant of Police"' 
gives place to the ISTorman " Mayor," and the name 
"Commissioners" likewise yields to the Anglo Saxow 
"Aldermen " (or Elder-men), which emigrated to Eng- 
land from Germany with Ilengistand Ilorsa. 


Among the first Commissioners appointed by the Teg.-- 


islature in 1801, was a colonel of the Revolution, with the 
wounds,scarce healed, of Germantown and Eutaw Springs, 
long a leader in Raleigh society, Col. Wm. Polk, who re- 
moved to Raleigh from Mecklenburg county. It was with 
him not only a duty, but a pride, to keep alive the glories 
of 177C). The celeln^ation of the 4th of July filled so lare-e 
a space in the minds of the peoj)lc of that day, this ad- 
dress would be incomplete without an attempt to recall 
them. With our fathers this celebration was no idle holi- 
day. It was in vivid reality to them the birthday of the- 
nation — the day of deliverance from slavery, the great 
Passover, keeping in remembrance the staying of the 
hand of the destroying Angel. 

The day was ushered in by tiring of cannon. Then at 
sunrise there was prayer at the Presbyterian church. 
]jarge numbers attended and thanked with devout hearts 
the Almiglity for his blessings on the country, a custom 
kept up until the breaking out of the great civil war, 
but revived, I re:joice to see, on this da^^ 

At 12 o'clock there was a Federal salute, as it was called 
— one gun for each State in the Union. Then a proces- 
sion was formed at the Court House, and moved to the 
music of fife and drum to 1 he capitol square. There an 
ode was sung. Then the Declaration of Independence 
was read. Then an ode. Then the Oration, which was 
followed by an ode. These odes, sung with spirit, were far 
more soul-stirring than the brass bands of these days. 

At 12 o'clock a good dinner was set. There were two 
tables presided over by President and Vice President. 
Toasts were drunk, followed by speeches and convivial 

Here are specimens : 

'•The sriKiT of 1776, encircled by Wisdom and reclin- 
ing on Peace, but possessing tiie eye of the Eagle to dis- 
cern and the arm of a Lion to avenge our country's 


" Tl)e PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, ma\' they become 
tiioreand more in feeling and fact, a band oe p.rotiieks; 
whilst they remain in principle and conduct a l)and of 
PATRIOTS and thus prove themselves Americans without 

A participant enables me to give an account of one of 
these scenes, which is a iair sample of all. Gov. Holmes 
presided at one table, Col. Polk at the other. Three 
Judges were appointed to decide which table furnished 
the best song and the best speech, viz: Joseph Gales, the 
distinguished editor. Chief Justice Taylor and Judge Hall 
of the Supreme Court. The lavorite singer at Gov. Holmes' 
table was one Reeder, a tinner, v/ho bad gallantly run 
" for bis country's fame" at Bladensburg. The cbam]Mon 
of the other table was Leonidas (or Lonny) Polk, son of 
the Colonel, afterwards the great Missionary ]^>ishop of 
the South-west, the soldier Bishop who was killed at Chic- 
amauga. By the vocal powers of the future Bishop the 
Judges awarded the victory to the table of his father. 
The prize of tlie victory was the privilege of taking the 
occupants of both tables to the home of the victor and 
treating them to new viands. The crowd hurried tumult- 
ously, singing and shouting as they went, to theresidence 
of Col. Polk, following him as a leader, dragging a can- 
non as they went. An ample table was found spread for 
them, new toasts were drunk, new songs sung, the cannon 
was fired, and amid shouts and hurrahs for Col. Polk and 
Independence, the patriots, their bosoms too full for ut- 
terance, meandered to their homes. 

At such seasons "King Bragg" reigned supreme. The 
following poetry copied from a newspaper of a later date 
shows the proud boasting of the patriotic heart : 

" Of one thing, reader, be thou sure — the Yankee eagle one day 
Will stretch his wings from Behring's strait beyond the bay of Fun- 
And from the pole to Panama, when sleeping I and you lie 
Will all belong to Uncle Sam, some future Fourth of -July."" 

Every great event was celebrated in those days of clieap 
"hog and lioinony," (spelt, I niciitioii for tlie information 
of boys and girls und spelling l)ee>) h-o-ni-on-y, and I 
nmst add of cheap li(jn()i', and in the exnlicrance of spirit. 
tlie toasts soared to the skies and got lost in the clouds. 

Here is one given at a dinner during the war of 1(S]2, 
on Oct. 2i)th ISI;:;: 

" Lawrknck and Ludlow ; at the tremendous thunder 
of whose cannon the Fates in astonishment snapt their 
thrciid and left a nation drowned in tears." 

I'his { icture of the giiiu P'/rtv?6' losing their self-|)OS- 
session at the sound of cannon in asea-fight and sna[>ping 
off life threads at random, is above anything in lEonier 
or Yirgil. 

At the same dinner was given a toast which shows liiat 
our fellow citizens from OKI .l^i'in were then, as they ai-o 
now, friends of edneation. 

" Tne Kalkigii Academy — May the sons of St Tam- 
many and the sons of St. Patrick dance hand in baud to 
the music of the Iiisii harj), new strung by the ;:oddess 
of liberty." 

But I cord'ess with slnnne that in blood and thunder 
sentiments Raleigh was beaten by our sister, Wilming- 
ton. At afeast given in honor of the Father of his coun- 
try at that good city Feb. 22nd 1813, the following toast 
was given and enthusiastically apjdauded. 

"The American Fi,ag— Wra['pe(l in a blaze of boan- 
less glory, like the resplendent shield of Jove, shaken 
aloft in the skies. May it flash lightning in the faces and 
strike terror into the hearts of its enemies and in every 
confiictmay it triuniphantly wave ov^r continued streams 
ofincessant i)eals of destructive-, all subduing thunder, 
until it renders itself a free pass and an inviolable i)ro- 
teetion to every citizen who may sail under it.'' 

It is needless to add that the music which followed this 
toast was — Yankee l^oodle. 


I here remark tliat the division between Federalists and 
Repul)licans, the friends of peace and the friends of war, 
was sharply defined. At this anniversary of the birth of 
AVashington, in Wilmington, the Federalists called by pub- 
lic advertisement for a separate celebration hy " Federal- 
ists and the friends of Peace," and were sharply repri- 
manded therefor by the Raleigh Registe)'. 

The division was not so marked in Raleigh, as the evils 
of the war did not fall so heavily in the interior towns, but 
it is certain that there was mucli opposition to the war here 
and in the county of Wake. Notwithstanding his military 
temperament, Col. Polk refused a Brigadier Generalship, 
tendered him by President ^Madison, and the late venerable 
Wm. Boylan, a staunch Federalist, always in the minority 
before, was elected to the Legislature from Wake during 
all the time of the war. Still there was no factions oppo- 
sition. The people of Raleigh seem to have done their 
whole duty. A Raleigh company volQnteere(h On July 
4th, 1812, they held a separate celebration. In a papei of 
that day I read : 

" The Raleigh Yolunteer Guard, and a nundjcr of citi- 
zens, (all dressed in home-spun,) mot at Rex's Spring to 
celebrate the Da}^ Capt. Wiatt was President and Allen 
Rogers Vice-President. After plain but plentiful dinner 
the following toasts were drank in home-made liquors," &c. 

The toasts were in good taste, entirely free from the fire 
and fury I have just given you — the toasts of men going to 
the battle, rather than of "bomb-proof," stay-atdiome men 
boasting of the deeds of others. 

And I find that on the 4rh of July, 1813, the usual 
firing of cannon was dispensed with, the reason given be- 
ing that " the [)Owder was needed for the war." 

The services of the Raleigh Volunteer Guards were ac- 
cepted and they were ordered to Beaufort, but they had 
DO opportunity to show their valor. A company of draft- 
ed militia of the countv was sent to Norfolk. Mi'. James 


D. lioyster, to whom I am indebted for much information, 
remembers well this draft, which was held at the north 
<loor of the State House. The great crowd collected, 
the terrified countenances, the agony of suspense, the 
lamentations of the women, as the unlucky lot fell to 
their sons, husbands, or lovers, are fresh in his mind al- 
though he was a mere boy. Their fears were justified, for 
many a good Wake man lost his life in the fever-stricken 
camp on the shores of Hampton Koads. 


It is difficult to realize the condition of the society of 
the city in its early days. The population was small, 
travel was so difficult and tedious that strangers were 
rare, and welcomed with peculiar cordiality as bringing 
news from abroad. A trip to New York was a matter of 
weeks of tedious journeying. 

We now pick up our morning papers and read the 
tidings from San Francisco, and Vienna, London, and 
>St. Petersburg, Calcutta and Japan of the day before. 

I have in my hand copies of the rival news})apers of 
the day — the Raleigh Hegister and the Jlinerva — furnisli- 
ed me by my friend, jNIajor Gales. The Bcyister is dated 
April 12th, 1810. The latest news from Congress is 
March 30th, a speech from John Randolph. Under the 
head of Foreign Intelligence, we read: "Norfolk, April 
2. By the ship Portia, Cab. Tabb, we have received Lon- 
don papers to January 24." In a postscript we have 
accounts from Cadiz to lOth of February. The news of 
the battle of New Orleans was not heard in Raleigh until 
the 17th of I'^ebruary. 

As we read these papers we seem to be among a differ- 
ent people. It may interest you to give some idea of the 
kind of newspaper literature, which amused and in- 
structed the Raleigh man of seventy odd years ago. Here 


is a co[)y of the Treaty of Am-eriens in 1802. In another 
column is an account of a lottery had for the University 
— 1,500 tickets at $5 each — the highest prize, $1,500, 
drawn hy Gen. Lawrence Balcer, of Gates. The lucky 
number is 1,138. In Aict, all through the paper we see 
notices of lotteries — for schools, for churches and other 
objects. Here is an account of a negro insurrection in 
Bertie, about wdiich all Eastern N. C. was excited to mad- 
ness. Horse stealing seems to be common, the country 
being thinly settled, and there being no railroad or tele- 
graphs, escape was easy. Amusements they had, some- 
times in the Court House, sometimes in the Capitol. Here 
are some grand wax figures — " Washington and Lady — 
Gen, Bonaparte — 1st Consul — The late Gen. Butler, who 
fell in St. Clair's defeat, represented as wounded in leg 
and breast, and Indians rushing on him with toma- 

Big tales, too, they tell. AVhat do you say of this as a 
specimen ? 

"William Weldon, of Warren, saw a hern (as a heron 
Avas called), seized by a turtle, and went to relieve the 
hern, when it darted its bill into the socket of Weldon's 
eye, and holding it by the ball, suspended itself and the 
turtle, hanging to its legs. He will probably lose the 
sight of the eye." 

And here is a correspondent who waxes wroth at a re- 
cent announcement of the State Treasurer that £5,847^ 
10s of " ragged money," have been burnt. The corres- 
pondent says such contraction will ruin the country. It 
should be duplicated and re-issued. 

And they had anecdotes in old times. Sir Walter 
Raleigh, while at a nobleman's house, overheard early 
one morning the nobleman's wife ask the servant, " Have 
you fed the pigs ?" At breakfast he said to his hostess, 
with a meaning look, " Have the pigs been fed ?'' " Yes," 
said she, " all but one strav/jc jiig, and I am about to feed 


him noAv." A boy in this day of cant would say "she 
was heavy on Sir Walter." 

The election news, too, see how slowly it comes in ! 
The election was on the 1st Thursday in August. August 
1(), heard from 11 counties; August, 23, 18; August 30, 
19; September 6, 7 ; September 13, Tyrrell; September 
27, Guilford comes creeping in. 

Duels are common. In one paper there was a des- 
perate tight between Clinton and Swartwout, between 
Peter Van Allen and Crawford. Van Allen was killed. 

Then the duel between Stanly and Spaight on the out- 
skirts of Newbern with many lookers on, in which Spaight 
was killed. I am proud to say that I find no record of 
any duel fought by citizens of Raleigh while they were 
such, although blood was hot and spirit high here as 

Here is an advertisement of the opening of the Uni- 
versity with Rev. Joseph Caldwell, Professor of Mathe- 
matics, and Rev. William Bingham, (grand-father of Col. 
William and Major Robert Bingham,) Professor of Langu- 
age : " Tuition, $20 per year. Board at Steward's Ilall, 
$57 per year. Grammar schools hereafter to be separated 
from the college." And here is an account of the pre- 
sentation of two handsome Globes to the University by 
the ladies of Raleigh. The names of the donors are not 
published. Our forefathers shrank from putting the 
names of the ladies into print, as I grieve to see is be- 
ginning to be the abominable custom now. 

What indignation and disgust the announcement by 
our Supreme Court that attornies should not be allowed 
to practice before the Court would cause among our 
lawyers, yet we find such a notice by the Court of Con 
ference in 1802, made in pursuance of an Act of As- 

Xor does the present time, with its Kuklux trials and 
its " Kirk-war " habeas corpus cases, Swazey suits, and 


•Self special tax bonds mandamus, have the monopoly of 
great forensic displays. In January, 1805, came on be- 
fore Judge Potter, Chief Justice Marshall declining to sit 
for personal reasons, the grand ejectment suit, in which 
the Lord Granville of the day endeavored to establish 
title to the magnificent territory granted to his ancestor, 
one of the Lords Proprietors, stretching from about the 
latitude of Raleigh to the Virginia line, from the Atlan- 
tic to the Pacific. We read that on Thursday Gaston 
■" spoke at great length and with much method, perspi- 
cuity, eloquence and strength. The defence was con- 
ducted by Cameron, Baker and Woods, with great inge- 
nuity, skill and force, and the argument was closed on 
Saturday by Mr. Harris for the plaintiff with much 
learning and ability." The case was decided against the 
plaintiff, and the appeal to the Supreme Court of the 
LTnited States was never prosecuted to a hearing. 

On February 21st, of 1803, there was a great fall of 
snow, eighteen inches to two feet on a level. This was 
equalled, I think, in January, 1857, when there was 
great suffering among us ibr want of fuel, and there were 
traces of snow on the north sides of walls six weeks after- 

And how grateful subsequent events have proved the 
coal owners of Pennsylvania have been for the following 
advice editorially given in 1802: " We recommend the 
people of Eastern Pennsylvania to adopt the practice of 
forcing the earth for pit coal. We are credibly informed 
that ill England coal has been discovered at a depth of 
120 fathoms — 720 feet!" Since then coal has been profit- 
-ably mined at 2800 feet. 

How delightful it Avould be to road as of July 4th, 
1876, this announcement made June 29th 1802. "To- 
morrow will die, unregretted by the American people, the 
death awarded them by Congress, all our Internal Feder- 
al Taxes, consisting of duties on stills and domestic 


spirits, on refined sugars, license to retailers, sales at auc- 
tion, carriages, and all stamped duties. May they have 
an eternal sleep." 

What spicy news tins is of the loth May 1802, just re- 
ceived on July 12th 1802: 

"Bonaparte has at last reached the acme of his ambi- 
tion. Before this time it is presumed, he has been de- 
clared Perpetual Consul." 

The editor annexes the notice of the Mayor of Havre 
that a vote will be taken on this question on the 2oth 
Floreal (15th :\[ay). 

For the benefit of my school-boy hearers, I state that 
Pizarro's speech by Sheridan so familiar to them, l>cgin- 
ning: " AJy brave associates, partners of my toil, my 
feelings and m}^ fame," was first received and printed at 
Raleigh, October 24th 1803. And for the benefit of my 
older hearers, I state that this speech was circulated 
throughout England as an attack on the ministry. 

It is amusing to read how fiercely the editor assails so 
distinguished a cliaracter as Noah Webster, who edited a 
paper in Connecticut, for complaining that Jefferson 
prefers the society of mechanics to that of men of man- 
ners and education. "We would like to know which is 
the most useful of the two, the inventor or maker of a 
mathematical instrument, for example, or the mechanical 
compiler of a spelling book."' He declares his opinion 
that Webster's writings "might have required industry 
but not half as much ingenuity as is necessary to con- 
struct a quadrant, clock or watch !" 

In justice to the editor, (by the bye in those days 
"editors " were called " printers "), I state that, when this 
was written, "Webster's Unabridged Dictionary" was 
only in (lie brain of its great "mechanical compiler." 



It is impossible for us to imagine what terror minors 
of iiisurrectiohs among slaves caused among our ances- 
tors. They created a wild panic in which reason and 
sense had no part. We find such rumors common in the 
early part of the century. The most notable w^as in June 
1802 when the discovery that one Frank Sumner had 
embodied a company of 13 men under his leadersliip as 
Captain, threw the whole country from Tar River to the 
Atlantic into consternation. Volunteer companies were 
orgaiiizod for patrolling and for arresting suspected per- 
sons. Martial law reigned supreme. The writ oi habeas 
corpus was suspended in practice, though not by law, as 
to the negro rase. At the time 100 men were locked up 
in Martin county jail. Poor Captain Frank Sumner for 
his ill-timed ambition was promptly hung by judgment 
of a special court and his deluded followers were glad to 
escape one with the loss of his ears, one with branding, 
the rest with flogging. 

A similar panic about that time occurred in Franklin 
county, but after great excitement in all middle ISTorth 
Carolina and many arrests, the accused were pronounced 
by the court hastily convened for the emergency, to be 
not guilty. 

When ISTat. Turner's massacre of fifty-five persons oc- 
curred in Southampton, Virginia, in 1831, the whole of 
Raleigh was placed under arms. The able-bodied were 
divided into four companies, each to patrol the streets 
every fourth night. The old men were organized as 
Silver Grays. The fortress was the Presbyterian Church 
and it was agreed that whenever the State House bell 
should sound the women and children were to hasten to 
its protecting walls. At last one night O'Rourke's black- 
smith shop took fire. It was night — says my informant — 


liisliair is iVosled now ;ljat he remembers as vividly us it' 
it were yesterday, the women with dislieveled hair and in 
their ni^ht clothes running for life through the streets. 
It was no laughing mattei- lo them. One of our most 
veneral)!e and intelligent old ladies (and she is an un- 
coniinonly bravo woman), although she disbelieved tlie 
stories, yet when she heard the loud clangor of the bells 
at midnight, drew her children around her, determined 
to beg the enemy to kill them first so that she might see 
them safe in death rather than be the first to die, leaving 
them to brutality and torture. But her son, then a mere 
boy, brandished his deceased father's sword and jirepared 
to defend the household. I hope he will pardon me for 
mentioning an act so much to his credit. It was our 
Raleigh poet, James Fontleroy Tayloi-. 

The negroes were frightened more than the whites. 
They lied and hid unfler houses, in garden shrubbery, 
la}' between corn rows — anywhere. 

There never was a time when the colored people of 
Halcigh would have risen against our people. It is 
greatly to the credit of botli races that notwithstanding- 
party animosity and sudden emancipation, the kindly 
personal feeling between the whiles and their old servants 
lias never been interrupted. 


A similar terror in regard to smallpox often seized the 
city. When this disease jn-evailed, the city was actually 
in a state of blockade. The country })eople shunned it 
as an object of horrible dread. Ropes were stretched 
across the infected streets. Many families would not al- 
low their inmates to leave their lots for an}- cause. An 
old citizen had a colored man who, he discovered, had 
made a forbidden visit to one of his ohl cronies. On his 
return he was :-nioked with tar aiMl feathers to kill the 


pestilence. The same citizen owed a neighbor some 
mone}'. He handed it to him tiirongh the fence with a 
pair of tongs. The doctors were kept busy with vaccina- 
ting. A nurse who had been attacked and cured of the 
disease could command any price. A country woman 
came into tvown to sell a bushel of potatoes, sitting on the 
bag on horseback. She called at Mrs. Royster's and ask- 
ed her if she wished to buy her potatoes. "Yes," said 
Mrs. Royster, "I would like to buy." Before alighting 
the woman said, "Mrs. Royster, I wish you would tell me 
honestly whether the small-pox is here?" "Yes," said 
Mrs. Royster, "Don't you see the ropes across the streec 
yonder?" She started with a scream, put whip to her 
horse and raced him for miles, carrying the potatoes 
her. I record it to the honor of old Mr. Wm. Peck-, 
whose strong sense of justice was remarkable that, when 
lie was the only grocer who had flour for sale, he refused 
to sell it by the quantity but retailed it, a few pounds to- 
each, to the families known to be needy. 

Scarlet fever aroused a feeling almost as intense a-s 
small-pox. I myself remember when a camphor bag. 
suspended around the neck was as nece-sary an adjunct 
to a school-boy as a "shining morning face" or as an Ele- 
mentary Spelling Book- 


It is interesting to note the pri(;es of ai'ticlesin ordinary 
us'^. I have examined the account liooks of W. & J- 
Peace, for 1S05 and 1814, kept in a beautiful manner, 
page after page without erasure or blot or interlineation, 
kept in pounds, -hillings and })encc. ; |2 to the £; 10 cts> 
to the shilling. 

The war of 1812 did not cause such rise in values as I 
expected : 

Salt in 1805 $1.75, in 1815 $4.75 per bushel ; Calico iii 


1805 87i cts. per yd, in 1814 $1 per yd; Xails (8d) in 
1805 20"cts. per 100, in 1814 25 cts. per 100 ; Shot in 1805 
20 cts. per ft, in 1814 37|- per it) ; Tea in 1805 $2.50 per 
ft), in 1814 $3.20 per lb; Loaf Sagar in 1805 37^ cts. per 
ft), in 1814 50 cts. per lb. 

The prco of advertisements in the newspapers of the 
city continued for years, unafFocted by wars and financial 
panics, "not over twenty lines, for the first insertion, half a 
dollar ; for each succeeding insertion, a quarter of a dollar." 

During our late civil war the following were the prices^.. 
in February 18()5, when gold was selling at $1 for $50 Con- ' 
federate currency. 

Nails $3.50 per pound, in gold 7 cts ; Flour $500 per' 
barrel, in gold $10 : Quinine .$200 per oz, in gold $4 ; Mor^ 
phine $800 per oz, in gold $1(). 

These prices were terrible to salaried men and mechanics,, 
whoso compensation by no means rose as Confederate* 
pciees depreciated. 


The attention of the people of Raleigh was early 
directed to the subject of education. The most active- 
man in inaugurating schools was Joseph Gales, the editor 
of the Register^ one of the most enlightened of the fathers 
of Raleigh. 

The following is the list of the Trustees elected March 
27th, 1802: .Joiin Ingles, Wm. White, Nathaniel Jones^ 
(of White Plain), Henry Beawell, Simon Turner, Wm.. 
Boylan, John Marshall, and Joseph Gales. 

Nathaniel Jones, who had donated $100, Avas chosen. 
President, and Joseph Gales Secretary. 

One month afterwards $800 is reported subscribed and 
soon an academy is built b}' permission of the General 
Assembly, on ]>urke square, one building for the males^ 
one for the females. 


This Academy became a power in the land. It ground- 
ed tlie education of nearly all the boys of that day in 
central Xortli Carolina. It was the pride and glory of 
Raleigh for the third of a century. 

The Academy began in grand style. In 1804 we read 
an advertisement which announces the teachers as fol- 
lows : 

Rev. Marin Detargney (late of Princeton, and of the 
college of Maryland) as Principal. 

Chesley Daniel, graduate of the University of jSTorth 
Carolina, and late one of the Tutor's assistants. 

Miss Charlotte Brodie, Teacher of Needle Work. 

Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Mathematics, with ap- 
plication to the system of the World, Astronomy, Navi- 
gation, etc., all at $5 per Cjuarter. A less amount might 
be had for $4 per quarter. The English branches for $3 
per quarter, and Needle "Work free. 

Such array of all the sciences seems to have been above 
the demands of young Raleigh, and in 1810 it is an- 
nounced by William White, the Secretary of the Board? 
that the Trustees of the Academy had engaged the Rev. 
William McPheeters, from Virginia, a gentleman emi- 
nently qualified for the undertaking, to become the 
Principal of the Academy and " Pastor of the City." 

The leaders in the great contest with the social and 
political evils of the day, those who must drill the young 
to their full powers and enable them to cope with the 
active adventurous, nothing fearing, all daring spirit of 
this age, are the teachers of the land. Our people cap- 
tivated by the eloquence of the statesman, or the brilliant 
achievements of the warrior do not fully appreciate the 
grandeur of their calling. 

We honor with abundaut praise that man by whose in- 
vestigation into the laws of nature, rich harvests of golden 
grain beautify the sterile heath, fat cattle crop a grateful 
food on a thousand barren hills. How much more worthy 


of histing glory is the luun l)y wlioso aid heavon-boni ideas 
spring up and flourish in a desert mind, principles of noble 
•conduct in a moral "waste, high aspirations for the beautiful 
and sublime in the place of low and vulgar prejudice. 

Dr. Wra. MePheeters was one of the best of his class, 
pains-taking, conscientious, thorough, parental and kind to 
the dutiful, but a terror to the truant — high-minded, brave 
frank, abhorring all meanness, he not only instructed the 
minds of his boys, but he trained their consciences to aim 
at his own lofty standard. 

He was, too, pastor of the city for several years. Tlis 
ministrations in the Commons Hall were attended by all, 
iiud Episcopalians and Baptists, Presbyterians and Metho- 
dists, in their triumphs and their sorrows, on the bed of sick- 
ness, and in the hour of death, found in him a sympathiz- 
ing friend, a safe counsellor, a true, tried, well-armed 

Under this remarkable man the Raleigh Academy grew 
and nourished, and the Kaleigh people insensibly looking 
up to him as a common guide, were a united community, 
mipretentions, sociable, cordial to one another and cordial 
to strangers. 

Dr. MePheeters did not consider his responsi1)ility for 
the morals of the children under his care to cease with the 
dismissal of school on Friday evening. On Sunday morn- 
ing they were called to assemble at the Academy for Sun- 
day School, and after the Presbyterian churcli was built in 
1816, a procession was formed with the assistance of the 
female teacher, Miss Nye, and all marched to the Presby- 
terian church. On Monday the roll was called and woe to 
the chap who could not give a good reason for non-attend- 
ance. He firmly believed in 'nnoral suasion," provided it 
was rul)l)ed in with a little hickory and chin({uapiri oil. 
As illustrating his management, as well as displaying his 
grim humor, one of our best and most dignified citizens 
tells me that, when a bov, he with two others concluded 


that hunting birds' nests on Pigeon House Brancli was- 
more agreeable than learning the Shorter Catechism. Ac- 
cordingly their handsome faces were not found for severaE 
Sundays in the procession marching from the Academy to-^ 
the church. One morning the good Doctor drjdy observed,. 
"I have noticed that several of these boys are affected with jg. 
new disease — the Sunday fever — ^I have a sovereign remedjr 
for it and for fear it may prove contagious, I will now pro- 
ceed to administer it." Whereupon he drew forth his- 
stout hickory and gave them such a dose as cured the fever* 
never to return. He was no respecter of persons ; regardedl 
neither position nor the age of badly behaved boj's. Om 
one occasion he was about to whip a large youth, weighing; 
175 lbs. The boy expostulated, "Dr. I am too old to be- 
whipped." The reply was, "As long as a boy misbehaves' 
he is young enough to be punished." 

It is to the credit of the Ancient Freemasons that they' 
were the first benevolent organization to occupy Raleiglr.- 
They even preceded any religious denomination. 

The first Lodge of Ancient Freemasons in the city ot" 
Raleigh was organized February 11th, 1793, at the house" 
of Warren Altord, under the charter granted by tlie Grand 
Lodge, Friday, December 14th, 1702, styled Democratic 
Lodofe, No. 21, with John Macon, Master; Rodman At- 
khis, Senior Warden ; and Gee Bradley, Junior Warden,- 
This Lodge existed for two or three years. Iliram Lodge- 
No. 40, was established under a dispensation of Wm. R 
Davie, Grand Master^ dated the 10th day of March, 1799 ., 
with Henry Potter, Master; John Marshall, Senior warden!; 
and Robert Williams, Jr., Junior warden. Its charter' 
bears date 15th of December, 1800; was signed by Wm. 
Polk, Grand Master. The names of many of the men who> 
composed the early membership of this Lodge are promi- 
nently coimected with the history of Raleigh, either from;*^ 
its foundation or from a date not far remote from it. Tlie* 
names of Henry Potter, Theophius Hunter, John Marshall. 

\ r^l ) 

William Boylan, William Hill, Calvin Jones, William W. 
Seaton, and many others are remembered now by the 
Masonic Fraternity with fraternal reverence. 

Tlie Grand Lodge of Masons, after holding its commun- 
ications alternately in Tarborongli, Tlillsboro, Newbern and 
Fayettcville, met for the first time in Raleigh, on the 3rd day 
of December, 1794. It has since held its Annual Communi- 
cations in Raleigh. Many of our worthy citizens, some of 
whom are now living, have been and are 3'et active mem- 
bers of this body. There are many interesting facts con- 
nected with the history of this order in Raleigh, which I 
regret cannot be given to you on this occasion. 


¥oY a long time after tlie foundation ol the city the 
people worshipped in the Statediouse or the Court-iiouse, 
only too glad to listen to the teachings of the missionary 
of any denomination who might tavor them with his mini- 
■i>trations. The great Methodist Bishop Asbury records- 
that he officiated in the former place in 1800. When, in. 
ISIO, Dr. Wm. B. McPheetei-s was employed as prin- 
cipal of the Raleigh Academy, it was announced that he 
was likewise engaged as "■ Pastor of the City," and traditioin 
hath it that for years he actually exercised this great charge 
with a wise and fearless hand. 

The tirst church edifice in the city was erected by 
Rev. Wm. Glendenning, a half crazy O'Kellyite parson, 
who made money enough by trading on week days to 
sup[)ort himself in preaching on Sundays. Thi.s was 
wiiere the residence of Mr. X. S. Harp is now. 

A Methodist church of wood was next erected on the 
site where the present building now stands, as we learn 
from the excellent address of Prof. A. W.Mangum,on the 
liistory of the Methodist Church in Raleigh. A Baptist 
church was built in 1813 which had a singular history. 


It was at first on a lot east of the Moore square, ''once 
called Old Grove), was afterwards moved to the 
square and was used by all the Baptists of the city until 
1835. A lady friend remembers when each ])ious mem- 
ber, whenever services were conducted at night, carried 
his or her individual tallow candle to aid in the illumi- 
nation of the l)uilding- — ^which illustrates the wonderful 
growth of that denomination in the city. In 1835 there 
w-as a division in this church and the majority holding 
the building joined themselves to the sect called "Chris- 
tians." They gradually dwindled until since the war, 
Mr. Mark Williams, being the last survivor, sold the 
building to a colored congregation who removed it to a 
part of the city known as "Ilayti." The minority built 
the church at the corner of Wilmington and JNIorgan 
streets, which was afterwards ])urchased by the Catholics 
when the Baptists erected the handsome Salisbury street 

The Presb}' terian church, the first of any architectural 
pretensions, was finished in 1817, and is the only build- 
ing still occupied by the denomination which erected it. 
It was used with true christian liberality as the llouse 
of Worship, not only by the Presbyterians, but by others. 
In the Farish Registers of Christ's Church, we find an 
entry by Bishop Ravenscroft in his own hand-writing of 
the baptism in the Presbyterian church, in presence of the 
congregation, of an infant son of Episcopal parents, who 
is now one' of the most trusted officers of Christ churcli. 

The first Episcopal church was built in 1829, the con- 
gregation before that time occupying a house known as 
the "Museum." This was erected by Jacob Marling, 
near where the Citizens' Bank stands, for the exhibition 
of phantasmagaria, minerals, insects, mechanical inven- 
tions and curosities, for a visit to which 12A cents a head 
was charged. The Episcopalians sold their building to 


tlie colored Methodists, after erectiiiii their j)resont hand- 
some .c;ranite structure. 


It was in iS-il that hre c()m[)auies were lirst authoriz- 
ed, and in I8-26 provision was made for drafting in case 
tliere were not snflicient volunteers. An engine had, lon<r 
ago, as early as 1802, been i)urchased by voluntary con- 
tribution. It may he of interest to some of my firemen 
iViends to state the prices of seventy-four years ago. 

An engine for 24 hands, tin-owing ."iO yards, 180 gallons 
per minute, 8560. 

One for IS hands, throwing 100 gallons per minute. 
47 yards, $414. 

One for 1<) hands, throwing 44 yards, Ml gallons per 
UHnute, '^o74. 

The cheapest of the above was bought lor Raleigh. 

Tile Rescue Steam Fire Engine can throw a H inch 
stream a vertical height of 120 feet, (iOO gallons per 

A brief notice of some of the princi{»al lires in Raleigh 
mav not be without interest, and may serve as warninas- 

Raleigh has liad an uncommon share of disasters from 
fire. All of Fayetteville street, on botii sides, from Martin 
to the Caj)itol Square, except from the spot where Fraps' 
beer garden reminds our German l)rethren of the glories 
of the " \^iterland," to the corner where the Raleigh Na- 
tional I>ank reminds us that the time was when monev 
could be borrowed at six per cent, interest, and excepting 
one other house, have been swept b}' fire, some parts 
twice, others three or four times. 

The first great fire on record was in ISIG, on the east 
side of Fayetteville street, extending from Martin street 
to Ilargett, and thence nearly' to AVilmington street. 
Zach. Miller owned a store on the corner of Ilargett and 


Wilmington streets. He hail in liis house ten harreis of 
vinegar stored. Not having water vvherewitli to encoun- 
ter the advancing fiames, he dashed upon them and on 
his smoking walls the precious apple juice, and stayed 
their progress. My informant, our old friend, John K. 
Harrison, tells me he remembers well how strangely the 
yellow fluid looked as it streamed over the planks and 
spluttered in the flames. The ill-fated water-works here- 
to mentioned were the result of this fire of 1816. 

In 1821 a second fire broke out near the site where the 
market house stands, an.d, without interruption, the flames 
rushed to Hargett street, sweeping all in tlieir r»ath. 
Here they leaped across to the opposite corner and levelled 
to the earth all the buildings on both sides of Hargett, 
two dreadful jxirallel columns of tire to Wilmington 
street. I'hey likewise hurried north with unchecked 
fury, until stoi)ped by the unconquerable energy and 
pluck of a Avoman. 

This lady deserves especial mention on an occasion 
like this. Her house stood, a two storied wooden buihl- 
ing, where Tucker's handsome hall rears its iron front. 
It was about 20 feet from the nearest house on the south 
and a little further from its next neighbor on tin North. 

She was a widow, sister of our venerable old friend still 
living (Mrs. Lucas) the daughter of Casso, who has been 
mentioned as keeper of one of the principal hotels. By 
lier unaided exertions in keeping a private boarding 
;house she w;is rear.ncr the large familv. the niembei-s of 
■wdiich are among our best citizens. 

Not only in the conflagration of which I speak, but 
afterwards when the fire demon, starting from tlie corner 
luxt to Capitol squitre, moved down, levelling all the 
liouses on its way, and assailed her from the north, did 
this heroic woman stand like a bulwark against the on- 
ward march of the flames. While the hearts of others 
failed, hers stood firm. While strong men gazed, helj>- 


^ess and despairing-, at ihe grand but awful sight, she 
sprang forth to active conflict with the danger. She 
:Spurrcd on the lagging, she animated the faint hearted, 
she heeded not the advancing column of the liames, the 
falling cinders, the suffocating smoke, the crasliing tim- 
bers; she forgot for a time the natural timidity of her sex. 
Armed with "wet blankets and hastily filled buckets, siie 
stood in the very jaws of the terrible heat, until others, 
.-shamed into action by the recklessness of her daring, 
lushed to her aid. Twice she conquered. Twice did she 
save from destruction her own propert}' and long rows of 
ilier neighbors' houses. Among her contemporaries her 
praise was in the mouths of all. Let our young men and 
young women remend)er the deeds, and honor the name 
■of Mrs. Hannali Stewart. 

It will grieve you all, I know, to learn that, twenty 
years afterwards, when old age had diminished her 
strength, she was again assaulted by her ancient foe, and 
.this time defeated. A fire broke out in Depkin's shoe 
:shop, the nearest house on the north, and from sudden - 
^icss of the attack and the direction of the wind, her 
•dwelling, so often s-aved, was destroyed. The flames 
.again swept down to and along llargett street, until 
checked within one house of Wilmington street. The 
Jiose of the engine was burst soon after it was brought 
into action. The water llowed on the ground and mix- 
ing with earth formed an improm])tu imitation of Fay- 
•etteville street, as once macadamized by the transcendent 
genius of our city "commissioners, with thick layers of 
soft red clay from the basement, of the market house. 
The ready witted firemen gathered this plastic material by 
handsfuU and buckets full, and dashing it against tiie 
walls of the threatened store, formed a non-conductor, im- 
pervious to heat. The fire was extinguished and the 
grateful citizens dultbed, I should say (hmbcd, this heroic 


band as the " mud company," and this well-earned name 
stuck fast up to the day of its dissolution. 

Those tracing titles to propert}^ are often perplexed by 
inability to find records of deeds made over forty years 
ago. This is in consequence of the loss of twenty registry 
books in a disastrous lire, which originated in the store 
of Richard Smith, the county Register, which was located 
at the corner where an excellent friend of ours, A. 
Creech, sells goods. This fire was caused by an incen- 
diary, Benjamin F. Seaborn, who kindled the flame in 
order to hide his theft of the money of his employer. On 
this occasion all the buildings on the west side of Fay- 
etteville, from Hargett street to the Capitol Square were 
destroyed, except the Newbern banking house, now the 
residence of ^r. Haywood. It will be a great satisfaction 
10 the lawyers, when groaning over thel oss of the registry 
books, as it was to the citizens of Raleigh, to know that 
Seaborn, afler removing hi? trial to Fayetteville, and ob- 
taining, by an appeal to the Supreme Court, an excel- 
lent opinion against him from Judge Ruffin, was hungv 
as he deserved to be. 


In 1831 occurred an event of momentous consequence 
to the people of Raleigh, which not only caused great loss 
of itself but, according to tradition, came near ruining the 
city. This was the burning of the Capitol. The old State 
House way constructed'in 1792. It was described as whol- 
ly without architectural beauty, an ugly mass of brick and 
mortar. Ii was repaired in 1822, under the supervision of 
Capt. AVm. Nichols, an experienced architect, who covered 
its dingy walls with stucco, and rendered it more sightly 
by the addition of porticos and a dome. The form of the 
building was similar to the present noble granite structure 


which, by its unpretending but stately beauty, fitly repre- 
sents the soUd virtues of North CaroUna character. 

By a freak of liberality, unusual in those good old days, 
when the State never spent over $90,000 a year for all 
purposes, when taxes were six cents on the $100 value of 
real estate only, and personal property was entirely 
exempt, the General Assembly had placed in the rotunda 
a magnificient statue of A\'^ashington, of Carrata marble, 
by the great Canova, It was the pride and boast of the 
State. Our people remembered with peculiar pleasure 
that La Fayette had stood at its base and commended 
the beauty of the carving and the fitness of the honor, to 
the great man under whom he had served in our war for 
Independence, and whom he regarded witli a passionate 
and reverential love. 

The carelessness of an artisan engaged in covering the 
roof, lost this great work of art to the State. On the 
morning of the 21st of June, 1831, while the sun shone 
bright in the heavens, flames were seen issuing from the 
roof The owls and flying squirrels, which had built their 
nests among the rafters, hastened through the ventilator 
to escape from the doomed building, followed by thick 
smoke and then by bright flame. With no such power- 
ful machine as the Rescue engine,the progress of the fire 
was unchecked. A few citizens, incited by a gallant little 
lady, Miss Betsy Geddy, who had all the spirit of her Re- 
volutionary fathers, endeavored with frantic haste to re- 
move the statue. But its great weight was too much for 
their strength. They were forced to witness its desiruction. 
Fort}^ years have not erased from iheir memories the 
splendors of the closing scene of this drama. For man}' 
minutes, like its great original, serene and unmoved 
among the fires of Monmouth or of Trenton, the statue 
stood, the central figure of numberless blazing torches, 
untouched and majestic, every lineament and feature and 
graceful darpery white — hot and of supernatural brill- 


iancy and beauty. Then suddenly the burning timbers 
fell, and the master-piece of Canova, was a mass of broken 


I have said that, according to tradition, this tire came 
near raining our city. Haywood was in old times an 
ambitious little village, situate as you know, at the con- 
fluence of the Haw and Deep rivers. The digging of the 
Erie canal across the State of New York, and the great 
increase to the commerce and wealth of New York City, 
caused thereby, aroused a wild, speculative fever on the 
subject of canal and navigation works throughout the 
whole country. Civil engineers could not be manufact- 
ured fast enough to supply the demand. In this State, 
so eager were the statesmen of the day, headed by Judge 
Murphy, President of the Board of Internal Improve- 
ments, to realize, the vast benefits to accrue from the 
navigation of our water courses, that Peter Browne, the 
eminent lawyer, then in Scotland, wasauthorized to send 
■out an engineer at any price for which he could be ob- 
tained. In those days of low salaries, when the Secretary 
of State and Treasurer received only a few hundred dol- 
lars per annum, the Intendant of Police in Raleigh noth- 
ing, and all the Clergymen of the county of Wake put 
together only received i?3,.500. Mr. Browne, an able, hard- 
headed, long headed and 5^7 ware-headed Scotchman, was 
obliged to pay $6,000 per year in gold, salary to Mr. 
Hamilton Fulton, for his services. Great works were pro- 
jected. Tar River was to be made navigable to Louis- 
burg. The corn and wheat of the Yadkin Valley as high 
as Wilkes, of the Broad River, in Rutherford, of Haw 
River in Alamance, of Neuse River, up to Orange county, 
of the Roanoke and Dan, up to tiie county of Stokes, of 
Deep River to the interior of Randolph, were to be trans- 


■ported to the ocean in ennal boats. A dam across Koa- 
iioke Sound \va=! to force the water to re open Nag's TTead 

T have before me tlie estimate for connecting Kocky 
Branch at tlieFayctteville road crossing, at Tucker's Mill, 
with the ocean, by way of Walnut creek and Neuse river. 
The fall from the I'^iyetteville road to Neuse river is 
■seventy-four feet three inches. The distance is ten miles 
four furlongs and eleven rods. From the mouth of Walnut 
creek to Major Turner's ferry (below Smithfield) the des- 
cent is 60 feet, S inches. The distance is .'51 miles, (! fur- 
longs 8 yards. 

1 have also the survey from the Kimbrough Jones 
l)ridge down Crab tree to Neuse river. The descent is 
oidy 23 feet 10 inches, the distance 8 miles furlongs, 11 

The engineer advises against making Walnut creek 
and Rocky branch navigable for 4 reasons. 1st, the 
sinuosities, 2d, the number of dams and locks required to 
overcome the fall, od, the flatness and width of the val- 
leys, 4th the purchase of tlie lowlands flooded. 

But Mr. Fulton sees no difliculty in making Crabtree 
navigable. I have his estimates includiiiiz a rail road 
from Raleigh to the creek at thelvimbrough .Jones bridge. 
Total $35,25.",. 

The Engineer seems to recommend a railway (or tram- 
way) from Raleigh to Neuse river 9 miles, making the 
total cost of connecting Raleigh with the ocean $27,87'^>. 

To us who have witnessed so many failures in naviga- 
tion works it seems strange that sensible men should have 
credited these estimates, yet they were credited and acted 
•on. We had a Neuse River Navigation Company in 
which our people took stock, paid in their money and 
elected their oflicers. They built boats and launched 
them. Mr. James II. Murray so long known among us 
i\s the fearless and incorruptible Constable of the city, as 


Captain of a flat-boat, made one trip from Stone's (now 
W. R. Pool's) mill on the Xeuse to Newbern, and after 
many and tedious da}' she retuined. And that was the 
end of makin.2; Raleigh a seaport town. 

To those who indulged in all these visions, Ilaj'woody 
•at the confluence of the Haw and the Deep, seemed to be 
the exact spot for building a new London, or Paris, Liver- 
pool or Glasgow, New York or Philadelphia. It was a 
central point, certainly to be joined to the ocean, tlie 
land high, health}^ and suitable to the location of a city. 
It seemed so certain that Haywood should be the metroj)- 
olis of North Carolina that many of the leading men of 
that day bought lots and hoped to be millionaires. 

When therefore after the burning of the Capitol in 
1831, the General Assembly was called on for appropria- 
tions to re-build, in such a manner as not to incur the 
risk of loss by fire, the new State house, Hugh McQueen, 
of Chatham, put in a claim for Haywood. It is true 
Raleigh was fixed, unalterable except b}^ a convention of 
the people. But then a new convention was shortly to 
be held. It is firmly believed among our old people that 
Haywood failed by only one vote. I must confess that I 
am unable to verify this legend. It is true that in Dec. 
1831 the proposal to rebuild the Capitol in Union 
square was voted down 68 to 65 in the House of Com- 
mans, but that does not prove that a |)ro})Osa] to build at 
Haywood would have been carried b}' the same vote. 
Certain it is that in Dec. loth 1831, the bill to appro- 
priate $50,000 towards rebuilding the Capitol here passed 
the House by 73 to GO and the Senate by 35 to 28. 


The State house of Raleigh (the old acts call it by this 
name,borrowed from our Holland allies, thenameCapitol 
borrowed from Rome is of later growth), is a signal ex- 


nmple of Legislature;^. " building better than they knevv." 
It was well known at the date of the first appropriation 
that the inexperienced members of the interior counties 
fully expected that the sum of $50,000 would complete 
the new edifice and have it ready for occupany in a year 
or two. The old building of r7*.>2, of brick from the 
})ul)lic brick-yard on lots No. loS and lol was, by the act, 
to cost onl}^ S20,00(). The repairing of the same, the ad- 
dition of porticos, it c, in ISli) was paid for out of the 
sale of the public lands east of the city and that cost was 
not known. If $20,000 could build a house in 1792, why 
could not $50,000 in 1832? 

The first commissioners were among our strongest and 
best men, "William Boylan, Duncan Cameron, AV'illiam 
S. Mhoon, Henry Seawell and liomulus M. Saunders. 

They were succeeded by such eminent men as Samuel 
F. Patterson, Beverly Daniel, Charles AHuily. Alfred 
Jones, Charles L. Plinton. 

These commissioners were enlightened men and de 
serve great credit for their jierservance and courage 
in giving us a building worthy of the State. Demagogues 
criticised them, Legislative committees carped at them, 
but they were in all respects sustained not only by the 
Legislatures, but bv the people. 

I am enabled to give you the cost of the building as 
finally summed up in 1S40, viz: $530,084.15. 

I have found and copied a full description by David 
Paton, who, after the first year or two, became the 
architect. 1 will not I'cad the whole but will mention 
now that the building is 100 x 140 feet. It is 04.] fee^ 
high to top of dome; to apex of the j)ediment, G4 feet. 
The columns are 5 feet 2\ inches m diameter and 30 feet 
high. The entablature, including blockinL^ is 12 feet 
high. The columns and entablature are Grecian-Doric, 
copied from the Parthenon at Athens. The dome is de- 
corated after the manner of the monument called the 


Lantern of Demostlienes. The lobbies and bull of the 
House of Representatives have columns and antiis model- 
ed after the Octagon Tower of Andronicus Cyrrhestes, 
and the plan of the hall is that of a Greek Theatre. 


The same year that the Capitol was finished, the lirst lo- 
comotive steamed to Raleigh over the Raleigh and Gaston 
Railroad. The name of the locomotive, the Tornado, ex- 
pressed fitly the wild excitement which swept through the 
bosoms of the people. It was determined to hold a cele- 
bration in honor of the double event, the completion of 
the Railroad and completion of the Cnj>ito!. 

For three days in June was this celebration held.. 
Everybody's door was thrown wide open. From distant 
counties, from the cities of \^irginia, men, women and 
children flocked in to see the new wonder. Rufhn's; 
Richmond band discoursed sweet music for the occasion ,. 
The Tornado wao constantly employed in making ex- 
cursion trips into the country for the delectation of visit 
ors. A grand procession under the marshalling of Gen.. 
Beverly Daniel, marched IVoui the Court house to the; 

There, on tive tables each 90 feet long, wasspre"! i. 
mighty dinner, j^repared by the best etfbrts of Mrs. liui 
nab Stewart. Gov, Dudley wn.s President. AVeston R.. 
Gales was toastniaster. The Vice-Presidents were Gas- 
ton, Iredell, Branch, Bryan, Ilinton, Mordecai, Patterson^ 
Dr. Jos. AV. Hawkins, Dr. Watson Dupuy. There weie- 
13 regular toasts, and 70 volunteer toasts. Speeches grave 
and gay, eloquent and witty, were delivered. -ludge- 
Gaston's speech was worthy of the finest orators of the- 

At night thetrees of the Capitol square were illuminated; 
with colored lamps, and similar lamps on P\ayetteville 


street made a splendid vista oi'brilliaiicy, terminated by the 
Capitol and the Governor's Mansion, whoreevery window 
was a blaze of light. Every important house in the city 
was illuminated. Gorgeous transparencies could be every 
where seen. One was a representation of the Capitol, an- 
other of a Locomotive, another of mountains and the sea. 
Gay couples danced in Commons Hall under the light of 
the old chandelier, while in the Senate chamber the 
more staid talked over the great wonders of the Iron 
Horse, the splendid architecture around them, the Presi- 
dential Campaign on which they were entering. 


One of the toasts given at the grand dimior was sent b_y" 
Mr. Wm, I'eck. Tt was " to the distinguished female who- 
suggested the construction of the Experimental Railroa(.l.. 
She well deserves a name among the benefactors of the 

The Kaleigh Experimental Railroad Avas the first at- 
tempt at a railroad built in North Carolina. It was a cheap 
strap iron tramway, costing $22p0 per mile. It was the 
suggestion of Mrs. Sarah Polk, the widow of Col. Wm. Polk, 
and the mother of Bishop Polk. She l)ecame the principal 
stockholder, which showed lior liaancial judgment, for it 
paid over three hundred per cent. Capt. Daniel H. Bing- 
ham was the Engineer, an accomplished scholar who 
taught a mihtary school in Saunders' house, on Ilillsboro 
street, and was assisted by two of his advanced students — 
Dr. R. B. Haywood, of this city, and Col. Wm. C. Abbott, 
of Mississippi. The road ran from the east pociUfn of the 
Capitol to the stone quarry, turning to the right at the' 
Ilutchings House until it reached the middle of the ridge^ 
a hundred yards south of Xewbern Avenue ; thence down 
said ridge to within iifty yards of Camp Russel ; thence 
bending to the right, ruiming under the site of Lambright's- 


Beer Garden, and so on to the qnany. Quite a deep cut 
was made in the Capitol square, which was afterwards filled 
np with the debris of the yard. A six foot embankment 
was raised in front of Dr. Little's residence, and a part of 
the embankment is yet visible at the Hutchings House, a 
row of elms having been planted on it. It was finished 
January 1st, 1833, and a handsome car was put on it, as 
was announced, "for the accommodation of such ladies 
and gentlemen as desired to take the exercise of a railroad 
airing." The motive power was a good old horse that was 
warranted not to run away. People came from the adjoin- 
ing counties to avail themselves of this opportunity, and 
the passenger car often interfered with the regular car for 
iiauling stone. 


The market house was, in the early part of the century, 
a small octagonal house in the middle of Fayetteville 
street. It was afterwards on Hargett street, between Fay- 
etteville and Wilmington. Shops for the sale of spirit- 
uous liquors clustered around it in such numbers that 
tliis portion was called " Grog Alle}^ " — the scene of much 
drinking and disorder, of many a fisticuff figlit and oc- 
casionally a homicide. A party was formed for the re- 
moval of the market to its present location, which party 
after a fierce struggle,succeeded in carrying the municipal 
election in 1840. The conquerors were so elated that 
they marched through " Grog Alley " with torches and 
shouts of victory. This so irritated the valorous inhabi- 
tants of that place of resort that a bloody riot ensued, the 
only riot in the history of the city. Brickbats and other 
missiles flew so furiously that the victors retreated in 
great disorder without the loss of a man. It was in this 
battle that the expression "who struck l>illy Patterson," 
arose. Patterson being a noted free negro of stuttering 
fame, who Avas smitten b}' an unknown assailant. 


This new Market liouse was burnt in 1865 and the 
"Market house debt" of $50,000, now afflicting the city, 
was incurred in erecting the present building. 


The increase of population and risein value of property 
since the beginning of the century need some mention. 

The total population in 1807 was 726. 

In 1810 this had increased to 976. 

Thirty years after, in 1840, we find the population 
2,240, very little over twice as much in thirty years. 

In 1850, however, we find the population 4,518, having 
increased as much in ten years as it had done before in 

This increase was probably due to the certainty of Ral- 
eigh's continuing to be the seatof Government, caused 
by the completion of the Capitol and to the increased 
communication caused by the finishing of the Raleigh 
and Gaston Railroad. 

But the city seems to have stood still in the decade from 
1850 to 1860, increasing only to 4,780 in the aggregate. 
Indeed as the corporate limits were extended in 1856, the 
inference seems to be that there was a positive decrease. 

In 1870, however, the number is proved to be 7,700, 
and in 1876 it is generally supposed to be over 10,000. 

In 1870, Raleigh township, being a square whose sides 
are distant one mile from the Capitol, had 2,379 inhabi- 
tants, besides those in the corporate limits, so that the 
population of Raleigh, including those living in its out- 
skirts and contributing to its wealth, was 10,169. 

In 1860 this outside population was very small in com- 
parison to that of 1870. 

I conclude that Raleigh more than doubled in the de- 
cade from 1860 to 1870, nearly all of which increase was 


after 1865, and certainly there has been a marked in- 
crease since 1 870. 

The increase in the value of property in Raleigh has 
been striking, especially in localities near the market 

The lot on the corner of Martin and Wilmington, 
streets, on part of which the Adams' building rears its 
imposing front, 140 by 120, was bought for $2,500 in 
November, 1851. In February, 1874, nine-fourteenths of 
it were sold for $15,050, at the rate of over $22,000 for 
the whole. 

The ground where the Citizens' National Bank stands 
was bought about thirty years ago for $2,200. It was 
sold at auction in 18G8 for $8,200. 

The southeast corner of Fayetteville and Martin streets 
was bought by Dr. F. J. Haywood in 1 838 for $750, and 
sold in 1872 for $10,000 cash. It has been rented as high 
since the war as $1,200 per year and generally at $800 

The lot fronting 105 feet on Fayetteville street, owned 
by the late E. B. Freeman, was bought about 1858 for 
$3,500. It was sold in 1875 for $7,100. 

Various vacant lots,worth before the war, $400 or $500 
to $800 have been easily sold since the war at $2,000 to 
$3,000 per acre. 

The half acre where Dr. Wm. Little lives between 
Newbern,"" Blount and Edenton streets, was bought in 
1838 for $500. It was sold two or^three years ago for $2,- 
000 cash. 

The Bank lot, including this half acre, sold for $4,500 
in 1838. In 1867 it brought $11,025 at auction. 

The increase of the trade of the city has been as as- 
tonishing as the rise of property. The cotton trade of 
Raleigh has increased from 500 to 600 bales 10 years ago 

to bales in 1875 and during this year the trade will 

handle over 40,000 bales and the receipts are increasing 

(07) . 

ever}' year — about fifteen counties sending their produc- 
tions to us. 

Tile dry goods trade lias advanced in astonishing ratio. 
"When in 1852 AV, II. & R. S. Tucker, who have been 
pioneers in mercantile adventure knoclied out the parti- 
tion of their old store, now used by the Express Corn- 
pan}', and increased its length to 100 feet, they were 
looked on as so daring that an old kinsman refused on 
this account to be surety on their papei". When after the 
war in ISGG they further dared to construct Tucker Ilall, 
the finest store in the State, they equally defied what 
some thought the rule of prudence. But in each case the 
success justified the venture. Their sales have been .300 
per cent, over what they were before the war. 

The noble buildings along Fayetteville and Martin 
streets, the Briggs Building, the Fisher Building, the 
Holleman Building, the Adams Building, the State Na- 
tional Bank, the Andrews Building, the Citizens' Bank 
Building, the enlargement of the Yarborough House, the 
ISTational Hotel, the completion of Peace Institute and 
Baptist Seminary, and many smaller, but in the aggre- 
gate, very important edifices, and the magnificent private 
residences on Blount and other streets, together with 
countless cheaper dwellings in all parts of the city, the 
homes of the rich as well as of our mechanics, show that 
we have entered on a new era of prosperity. The gener- 
al grocery and hardware business have grown so 
enormously that it may be said they have been created 
within the last ten years. 

And all this improvement is in despite of the want of 
banking capital. 

The total banking capital of Raleigh is only $(300,000. 
As the bonds required under the National banking act 
for the issue of currency were of necessity bought in New 
York, and as the maximum currency allowed to be issu- 
ed is ninety per cent, of the bonds, the banks actually 


sent out of the community considerably more money 
than they brought in. The Bank of North Carolina had 
$2,500,000 capital, and after parceling off to thebranches 
what they required could, before the war, reserve for Ral- 
eigh what our people needed. In those days a solvent 
man could always get money in bank on proper securit}^ 
at six per cent. Since the war the percentage has been 
as high often as 18 and 24 per cent, and frequently can 
not be had at any price, not even with the best collaterals. 

Great foitunes measured by a North Carolina standard, 
have been accumulated b}' industry and thrift in Ral- 
eigh. For the encouragement of young men I will give 
some striking instances, not mentioning any living per- 

The late William Boylan must have been worth nearl}* 
a million when he died. The foundation of it was laid 
here. Part of this however was in the increase of slaves, 
which in some instances was very great. In the first place 
the intrinsic value advanced. The highest price I can 
find paid for the best man about 1801 was $425. In 
18G0, $1,500 was not uncommon. But the natural in- 
crease in the number of slaves was often enormous. Mr. 
Boylan some years ago gave $300 for a young woman 
and talked about suing the seller for her unsoundness. 
That woman had twenty-four children, fifteen of whom 
grew up and were valuable. Gov. Swain had a woman 
who was a grand mother at the age of twenty -six. But 
there are striking cases of great accumulation of wealth 
where it was not in negro property. 

Mr. Ruffin Tucker came into Raleigh as a clerk at a 
salary of $25 per year. He was obliged to furnish his own 
candles. His employer thought sunlight cheaper. He 
died possessing a large estate, part of which was the very 
store where he had commenced life so j)lainly. 

William and Joseph Peace made all their large estate 
bv merchandising in Raleigh, and the rise of city prop- 


erty. And Richard Smith started life as an humble clerk. 
The real estate he left is worth largely over $100,000. 

And there are divers men in Raleigh, worth now from 
$50,000 to $80,000, who at the end of the war had not a 
twentieth part of it. Let my young friends remember 
that it is extravagance which ruins so many fortunes. 
Micawber sums up it up exactly: "Annual income £20; 
annual expenditures £19.10.^. Result, happiness. Annual 
income £20 ; annual expenditure £20.10s. Result, misery. 
The God of Night goes down on the cheerful day. In 
fact you are floored. 

I must bring this series of .sketches to a close, leaving 
much unsaid of great interest and value. It would be a 
pleasing task, if I had time, to continue the history of the 
institutionsofour city to the present. I would like to tell of 
more of the great and good men who have resided among 
us, learned divines, members of the bar, of the medical 
fraternity, of the counting house, of the woikshop ; of the 
ladies who were distinguished in church, in the social 
circle, in charitable work, in the instruction of youth. I 
would like to give the history of the Tress of Raleigh 
from the Register^i\\Q 3Iinerva,ihe Star, down to the news- 
papers of our day ; of the schools, male and female, which, 
since the days of McPheeters, have done so much good 
in the land ; of their teachers, especially of those, my 
preceptors, whom I remember so afFectionatel\% Rev. 
Edwin Gier, John Y. Ilicks, Silas Bigelow, and that 
nestor of the school-room, still pursuing his honorable 
calling, J. M. Lovejoy ; of the Episcopal school for boys, 
under the late learned Librarian of the Astor Library of 
Xew York and Rev. Dr. Curtis, distinguished as a bota- 
nist among all the savans of the world — and then of St. 
Mary's school for girls, which, under Rev. Dr. Smedes, 
has been shedding abroad its light for thirty-five years, 
and of those other excellent schools of more recent origin. 
Peace Institute, under Rev. Dr. Burwell,and the Baptist 


Female Seminary, under Prof. Hobgood. I would like 
to describe the beginnings and progress of the societies 
of Raleigh ; the Masonic order, the Odd Fellows, Knights 
of Pythias, Sons of Temperance, Friends of Temperance, 
Good Templars — the Fire Companies, Military Compa- 
nies, Insurance Companies. A sketch of the Banks of 
Raleigh, of the progress of the Churches, of the Cem- 
eteries, would be instructive, and then I would like to 
narrate the trials of our people in the great civil war, 
of its occupation b}' the armies of the Confederacy and 
by the armies of the Union, of the part taken by our 
boys in that great strife, their victories, their defeats, 
their sufferings, their deaths. And then I would give — 
I give it now, with my whole heart — -a sentiment uttered 
with great enthusiasm at a dinner had March loth, 1815, 
after peace with Great Britain was declared : 

"To THE HEPxOES ON EACH SIDE wlio havc fallen in the 
late war. The memory of the brave is consecrated by 
the love of their countrymen and hallowed by the ad- 
miration of the world." 

The great civil war is like a mighty flood between the 
old time and the new. The habits and ways of the 
Raleigh of thirty years ago are becoming unknown 
among us ; they are mere matters of tradition to our 
children. They are passing away, those dear, good, kind- 
ly-loving people of the old school. Many have crossed 
the deep and dark river, and have been lifted up the 
farther banks by the angels of light. A iew still linger, 
their feet almost touching the swift water as it rushes 
past. Let us who are taking their place among the old 
folks of Raleigh strive to follow their virtues and reap 
their reward. 

I have known Raleigh well for thirty-six years. She 
has been a loving mother to me. Her people have been 
to me as brothers and sisters. Stern, imperious duty will 
soon demand my most active labors elsewhere. I feel I 


will carry your good wishes with me. I know I will nev- 
er abate my good will and affection for you. If I have 
contributed in any degree to arouse your feelings of city 
pride, to infuse into any of you one glorious resolve to 
be worthy of our good city's past, to lift her to a higher 
position among the foci of civilization and religion, I will 
have reaped my reward. 


On page 34, for ^^ seven hundred" read '^ei(/ht hundred." 

40, for " Americus " read " AilllLllb. " 6'^t.W<-^<-C*<-^C'^4*^ 
" 47, for " Confederate />r?ces " read "Confederate c'!frre?«^y." 
"• 57. for "carrata" read "carrara." 
" 63, near the bottom, for "east portion " read '• east portico." 







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