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Full text of "A sketch of the life and character of the Rev. David Caldwell, D. D. near sixty years pastor of the churches of Buffalo and Alamance. Including two of his sermons; some account of the Regulation, together with the revolutionary ... incidents in which he was concerned; and a very brief notice of the ecclesiastical and moral condition of North-Carolina while in its colonial state"

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A ssLi::'ri'ii OF 





TWO OF HIS sermons; some account op the regulation, 





.C3 3 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of North Carolina. 


The following account of a minister of the gospel, in connex- 
""^-ion with the Presbyterian church, was not, in the first instance, 
"~ ^^ intended or thought of for publication ; but the author began, 
p about a year ago, to inquire into his character and to gather up 
~ some facts in his history, which were still circulating in his neigh- 
borhood as a kind of floating capital for conversation, partly in 
compliance with the wishes of two or three individuals who felt 
some interest in the matter, and partly to gratify a natural curi- 
osity and find employment for a portion of time which, owing to 
some peculiar circumstances, might otherwise have been spent 
in mental inactivity, or to very little profit. Finding however 
that his interest increased with his progress, and that, when the 
first few sheets of collected materials were read to the same 
individuals above referred to, the eflect was the same on them, 
he was induced, ])y their solicitations and by the growing in- 
terest which he felt himself, to extend and continue his re- 
searches until all the materials might be collected that could be 
found. Having done so, it was their opinion, and the' opinion of 
some others who were then consulted, that they ought to be put 
into a more durable form and given to the public, believing that 
it Y/as due both to his memory and to the community in which he 
had lived. How far the memoir, thus prepared, and now laid 
before the public, may be acceptable, remains to be seen ; but 
the object of the writer has been to preserve and extend, so far 
as he could, a knowledge of the character and services of one 
who ought never to be forgotten in a country to the improvement 
and welfare of which his life was devoted. 

There may have been others in the country, belonging to the 
same period, who were equally entitled to the gratitude and ven- 
eration of ])osterity ; but my location on the same ground which 



had formorly been the scene of his kibors gave me a better o])- 
portunity perliaps of becomuig acqupinted with his history than 
any other person, and, whether tliis made it my dnty or not, it 
seemed to devolve on me the task of writing liis Ufe if it was to be 
done at all. The employment has been thus far pleasant and 
profitable to myself; and no regret has been felt on my part, 
except that it had not fallen into the hands of some one who 
was more capable of doing justice to the subject. 

It ought to be stated that, for reasons which will bo found in 
their proper place, there was a want of materials for a minute 
and full biography ; and therefore nothing more has been pro- 
posed than to give a mere sketch, or general account of liis life. 
The materials for this have been obtahied from different sources : 
Some things have been taken from the records of the cliurch ju- 
dicatories to which he belonged ; others from communications 
furnished by two or three of his oldest pupils who are yet living, 
which are hereby most cheerfully and gratefully acknovrJedged ; 
and a few more liave been gathered in conversation with the 
most aged people in his congregations ; but the principal p«rt lias 
been furnished by the surviving members of his family. 

If any apology should be expected for occupying so nuich 
space with certain matters, such as the Regulation, and the Ec- 
clesiastical condition of the country previous to the Declaration 
of Independence, which have only a remote, if any, connexion 
witli tlie m;; '1 subject, and which may bo thought to belong more 
properly to ilie department of general history, it may be suffi- 
cient to say, that they are matters of much imerest, and that 
they are but little known. They may perhaps be familiar to a 
few men of education and general reading ; but to the comnnmity 
at large, if known at all, they are little more than tales of the 
nursery ; yet they are certainly more hni)ortant than the mhmtc 
details of juvenile peculiarities and the every day occurrences of 
ordinary life, which, with slight variations, form so large a part 


of most biograpliies ; and therefore the present plan would liave 
been adopted, under the existing circumstances of the country, 
if biographical materials lind existed in abundance, and had been 
at my command. Tiie things mentioned above are not to be 
found in any general histories v/e liave, or in none that are within 
tlie reach of conmion readers; and besides, in the present desti- 
tution of such works, owing to past neglect, this is one of the 
principal ways by whicii the materials for such a history, both 
civil and ecclesiastical, are to be furnished ; for trie history of the 
men who lived and acted during that period, as public men, 
whether in church or state, is in fact the history of the country. 
In contemplating this subject we are surprised to fmd how soon 
oblivion comes over the most important transactions and events 
of time, when tliey have not been " given in charge to the his- 
toric muse," who may rehearse them with fidelity to one genera- 
tion after another, and to as many as wish to hear the stor}^ ; and 
every one who loves his country, values the blessings, civil 
and religious, v/hich he enjo}s, and venerates the men by 
whose patriotism and valor these blessings have been secured to 
us, must regret t]ie apathy and want of public spirit which have 
been sulTcring one important character after another, and one 
interesting transaction after anollier, to be carried by the lapse of 
time into the darkness of the past, where tliey must remain as 
thiough they had never been, until time shall be no more. 

That a religious establishment once existed in North Carolina, 
aiitl, although it may not have been distinctly mentioned in the 
]nil)lic documents or manifestos of that period, was reall^^, at 
least with the mass of the people, one of the largest items in the 
catalogue of grievances which made the British yoke so intoler- 
able, is matter of surprize, when mentioned, to nine-tenths of the 
present generation ; arid t'le Regulation, v/hich is now regarded 
by our greatest men as tlie very germ of the Revolution in this 
Sinle, is lo most peoj>!o like a tale of romance. 1; is said, and no 


doubt with truth, Ijy tliose v/ho have })aid most attention to our 
history during the period referred to, tliat a correct and authentic 
account of that transaction cannot be given without having ac- 
cess to tlie colonial office in England ; but the writer professes to 
communicate only such facts as have come to his knowledge. — 
The subject of the following memoir having been present at 
what is called the Regulallon battle, on the Alamance, some 
notice of it was unavoidable ; and those who were disposed to 
patronize the work, wlienever the subject happened to be men- 
tioned in conversation, expressed a wish that a pretty full ac- 
count of it might be given, so far as the facts could be ascertained. 
For information on botli these subjects the connnon histories 
of the country have all been consulted ; and also the earliest le- 
gislative records that have been preserved, and the printed revi- 
sals of the lav/s that were made previous to the Revolution. — 
For access to these soiu'ces of information, and for some assist- 
ance in making the search, my acknowledgements are due to the 
present Grovern.or and Secretary of State, and to the President of 
the Uni-^'crsity. For a number of things of minor importance no 
other authority couJ.d be obtained than local tradition or verbal 
testimor.y; but in such cases pains have been taken to get an 
account of the same thing from different persons, and from the 
same person at dixTerent times, whenever it could be done, for 
the pur-pose of comparing them together, and if possible ascer- 
taining the truth. My wish and design throughout has been to 
state nothing Avhich did not appear to be true ; and my author- . 
ities are generally cited, v.^iether history, tradition, or original 
records. If any mistakes have been made, I would be glad to 
have it in my power at any time to correct them ; and if there 
are deiiciencies, as there certainly arc, I would willingly receive 
from any source the materials for supplying them hereafter. 



Of the parentage and early life of David Caldwell, the subject 
of this sketch, but little is known ; and that little, tliough of a 
favorable kind, is not calculated to awaken in the reader any- 
unusual interest, except from its coiniexion with those events 
which have deprived us of a more full and satisfactory account. 
Some of these events were of a public, and others of a private 
or domestic kind ; and while the former, together Vvdth the gen- 
eral privations and suiferings then experienced throughout the 
length and breadth of the land, and from the same cause, have 
been long since followed by results in which we all rejoice, and 
which we hope will continue with undiminished lustre to the 
latest generation, the design and ultimate effects of the latter 
are probably better understood now, at least by himself and by 
those most deeply concerned, since they have exchanged the 
darkness and miseries of time for the light and blessedness of 

The British army, when encamped on his plantation in the 
spring of 1781, with a virulence and recklessness m.ore be- 
coming barbarians than a civilized people, burned his library 
and all his papers of every description that could be fovmd, not 
sparing even the Family Bible which contained the record of his 
age, and also the ages of all the members of his family. Thus 
by one ruthless and wanton act, his books, his manuscript ser- 
mons, his academical and college exercises, and his epistolary 
correspondence were all consigned to the flames. As he gener- 
ally wrote out his sermons with care, so far as his other avoca- 
tions permitted, he must have had a considerable quantity, and 
they were probably valuable, but his correspondence, whether 
more important or not, was no doubt more interesting; for it is 
known that he kept up a correspondence with some of his old 
college mates who Avere at that time among the most distin- 

S hiri: OF DAVJl) tAl.DWELL, D.l). 

CMiishi'd men of the ago. Tiie loss was to him irreparable, and 
w;)ii!(l have been midcr any circmnslances ; but- in his situation 
nothing could be done. In relation to his library it was after- 
guards partially, and but partially repaired. By various demands 
upon his time and attention, and especially by a train of domes- 
tir trials v/hich conmienced not long after the vrar and continued 
AV'ithout any abatement until his death, a return to his former 
habit of writing his sermons, or even of maintaining any regular 
correspondence with Iiis literary friends, was out of his power. 

From the period here referred to, he hardly ever wrote a ser- 
mon, or any thing else by which any thing like a correct esti- 
mate might be formed of the cast of his mind, of the tone of his 
piety, or of the usual style and manner of his preaching. These 
have to be learned from other sources ; for during the war, wri- 
ting sermons, liowever it might be with some others, seems to 
have been out of the question with him, especially during the 
latter part of it ; and the same causes wliich prevented him from 
writing much afterwards prevented him from taking care of 
Mdiat little he did write. Only two or three of his sermons in 
manuscript remain ; and these cannot be regarded as fair speci- 
mens of his ability as a preacher, when we consider the haste in 
which they were necessarily written, the. biu'den of his school, 
the pressure of domestic cares and troubles, and all the disad- 
vantages under which we know lie labored. 

A mhiister's talents aiid acquirements may, in general, be esti- 
mated with tolerable correctness by his standing and influence 
in the judicatories of the church ; for there he is brought hito 
contact with men who are educated like himself, and engaged 
in the same pursuits, — while the discussions which are often 
unavoidable on subjects of the greatest difliculty and importance, 
the occasions, of frequent occurrence, on which all the craft and 
pov/er of the enemies of the truth have to be met, and which 
demand all tlie energy, moral courage, and fidelity that can be 
furnished; and the ways and means which have to be devised 
for meeting the various exigencies of the church, and for carrying 
on the work of reformation in the world, are all calculated to 
test the strength of a man's intellect, the extent of his knowledge, 
the soundness of his theological opinions, and the state of liiS 


piety. In this case, liowcver, little or no assistance can be de- 
rived from that sonrce ; for the records of the Orange Presbytery, 
which was the only Judicatory on the meeting of which, mitil 
the Synod of the Caroiinas was formed, he could attend with any 
degree of punctuality, were consumed some years ago when the 
house of the Stated Clerk was burned. Owing to the great dis- 
tance, and the nature of his occupations, which rendered it inex- 
pedient, if not impracticable, for him to leave home long at a 
time, he seldom attended tlie meetings of the higher Judicato- 
ries until a Synod was formed here in the South ; and of course 
his name appears on their records like that of many others, merely 
as a member. But from a few facts v\drich are known, and 
which will be noticed more particularly hereafter, it appears 
that he was much respected and possessed in a high degree the 
confidence of his brethren and of the churches. 

It appears, therefore, that much of our knowledge of his charac- 
ter, attainments, and usefulness, being of a traditionary kind, must 
be gathered from the recollections of his family, and of the most 
aged people in his congregations. Here too there is much uncer- 
tainty ; for such a length of time has elapsed since he was an 
actor on the busy theatre of life, that tradition is silent respecting 
much that it would be desirable to know ; and the memory of 
the most aged is at fault except in relation to those things which 
were the most prominent, or which made the m.ost vivid impres- 
sion at the the time of their occurrence, and their recollection of 
even these is frequently indistinct. Much that would be inter- 
esting might have been obtained from this source fifteen or twenty 
3^ears ago ; but as half a generation or more has passed away 
since his death ; and as he lived to the extraordinary age of a 
hundred years, or near it, something like the same length of time 
must have been passed by him, previous to that event, in such a 
decline of his physical and mental powers, that those who grew 
up around him during this period, or who had not known him 
before, could have but an imperfect idea of what he was when 
in the full vigor of his days, and when the candle of the Lord 
shone upon his tabernacle. 

Thus all the co-temporaries of his active life, and many of the 
most interesting transactions and events in which he was con- 


cerned hare either passed entirely beyond oitr reach, or are to 
be seen only in the dim and shadowy distance ; and, although 
the results of his labors remain, and probably will remain while 
sun and moon endure, the biographer is left to gather up such 
scattered mementos of his existence, and such occasional or in- 
direct testimonies to his worth, as his connexions in life, and the 
institutions and common histories of the country have preserv- 
ed. None of these have been knowingly neglected ; and scanty 
as the materials are, it is hoped that they will not be miinterest- 
ing, nor altogether unprofitable to the reader. 

David was the oldest son of Andrew and Martha Cakhvell, 
who had but four children, all of whom were sons. He was 
born in Lancaster county, Pa., and on the 22d of March, 1725. 
As this statement rests on the authority of no record, it ought not 
perhaps to be regarded as absolutely certain ; and yet there can 
be very little doubt of its correctness. His family recollect to 
have heard him frequently state this fact in the latter part of his 
life ; and while there is per' saps nothing of which the memory 
of aged people is less tenacious than dates and numbers, the uni- 
formity with which he mentioned the same date must be regard- 
ed as strong evidence of its truth. In confirmation of this, an 
old gentleman iii the south part of this county, who is now over 
eighty years of age, but whose memory is apparently as good 
as it ever was, told me not long since that he recollected very 
well the first time Dr. Caldwell came to his father's house ; and 
that in the course of conversation between him and his mother, 
when she happened to mention the date of her birth, he jocu- 
larly remarked, " If one died of old age, the other might begin 
to look out; for that was the year in which he was born." The 
subject was frequently mentioned afterwards, during his subse- 
quent visits, and always as a settled matter that they had both 
been born in the same year ; but it being improbable that he 
could be mistaken about his age at so early a period, and her birth 
being matter of record, the date of his may be considered as 
settled. Other circumstances might be mentioned, corroborative 
of the statement, if it were regarded as a matter of sufficient im- 
portance, or if there were any remaining doubt ; but it is prc- 
suniod that what has been said will be deemed satisfactory. 


When a man has been so far useful in his day and generation, 
or has been so prominent in any way as to furnish materials of 
sufficient interest for a biography, it is expected, as a matter of 
course, that something will be said of his family and connexions. 
This is more a matter of curiosity perhaps than any thing else ; 
for it seldom happens that more than one of a family rises to 
much distinction in the world, or not by his own merits. Whole 
families, and for successive generations, may be respectable and 
useful ; but it seldom happens that more than one man of original 
or superior mind appears in any one line, who can rise to em- 
inence by his own energies, in spite of competition, or whatever 
obstacles may be tlurown in his way. The greatest men whom 
the world has seen have either risen from such obscurity that any 
notice of their descent, or of their immediate family comiexions, 
could only serve as a foil to set them off to better advantage ; or 
they have stood alone amid the entire circle of living or known 
kindred, and appeared as much above them as the)'- did above 
the mass of the community around. These facts are so notorious, 
and so much observed by all classes of people, and in every age 
and clime, that, in general, we do not expect to find a whole fam- 
ily possessing talents and making attainments in science, or per- 
forming exploits, which will command the admiration of socie- 
ty ; nor to see the son of a man of genius, in any given instance, 
inlieriting the talents of the father. 

All that is known to the writer of Dr. Caldwell's family may 
be given in a few words. They were respectable, and highly so, 
in then* neighborhood ; but none of them attained or sought dis- 
tinction in society. His father was a farmer, in comfortable cir- 
cumstances ; and was a very worthy man. His brothers were 
some of them Ruling Elders in the church to which they be- 
longed ; and all of them were respected in their station as citi- 
zens and neighbors. Andrew, the second son, and John, the 
fom-th, never married ; but died at the paternal residence some 
years after the Revolutionary War — precisely when is not known 
to me, though it was near the beginning of the present century. 
The constitution of the latter was so much impaired by the 
hardships which he endured in the camp, in common with the 
rest of the army, during the winter of '77 and '78, that he never 


enjoyed any health afterwards ; and did not Hve many years. — 
Alexander, the third son, married and removed to North Caro- 
hna before the commencement of the war, hi which he took an 
active part, and by wliich he lost his life. He settled on a form 
adjoining that of his brother ; and served as a soldier during 
most of the time that the British army was in North and South 
Carolina. In the course of the summer after the Guilford battle, 
he took what was called the camp-fever ; and having been 
brought home by his friends, he died in the bosom of his family. 
He left a widow with seven children, — three sons and four 
daughters, who, as soon p.? the estate could be settled and the 
land sold to advantage aftsr the conclusion of peace, removed 
with her family to Green county in Tennessee, where she died 
only three or fom* years ago, and where some of her children 
are still living. 

V/hen his circumstances enabled him to do it, or gave a suffi- 
cient impulse to'his mind, or both, David devoted himself to lit- 
erary pursuits and to the work of the gospel ministry. Why he 
did not commsnce earlier, or whether he gave any indications in 
early life of unusual aptness to learn, and of a desire to acquire 
knowledge, it would be useless to enquire ; and the history of 
useful men in every age and clime, but especially in our own 
country, admonishes us not to attach too much importance to 
what passes in early life. The names of a man's parents, the 
date of his birth, and the incidents of his childhood, are matters 
which, however they may gratify a natural, and to some extent, 
perhaps, a laudable curiosity, can add but httle to the stock of 
useful knowledge. It is to the character and principles of the 
tnan, and to the amount of good which he has accomplished in 
the world, that our attention must be chiefly directed ; for the 
benefits which he confers upon society, of whatever kind, are 
the measure of his worth as a member of that society ; and for 
these alone can he have any claim upon our gratitude ; while 
the early promises of childhood are often falacious, and are sel- 
dom realized in after life to the extent of the fond anticipations 
indulged by parents and friends. The precocity of genius, or 
the extraordinary aptness to learn which is sometimes manifes- 
ted in childhood ; the sprightliness and vivacity, the sallies of 

Lier, 0¥ DAVID CALDWELL, D.D. 13 

wit, and the various little achievements, of whatever kind, or 
however displayed, which, at that period, are so grateful to the 
parental heart, and wliicli are so often extolled if not greatly ex- 
aggerated in works of this description, would in most cases ne- 
ver have been heard of beyond the walls of the nursery, or the 
immediate and intimate intercourse of the family circle, if tiie 
subject of eulogy had not become distinguished in subsequent 
life ; but on the otlser hand, many of those who have stood 
high for talents, moral worth, and public usefulness, passed 
through the early stages of life without exciting any uncommon 
interest, or attracting any marked attention on the part of friends 
and acquaintance. Any man's biography must consist chiefly 
in an account of what he did and suffered for the benefit or for 
the injury of mankind. The biography of an author must con- 
sist mainly, at least in ordinary cases, in an account of his wri- 
tings ; that of a soldier, in an account of his adventures or ex- 
ploits ; and that of a minister of the gospel, or any body else, in 
a detail of his labors and plans for the welfare or the ruin of 

Whatever qualities or traits of character may be observed in 
childhood, that might be fairly regarded as favorable indications 
of future usefulness in some sphere or other, their development 
depends on circumstances which are not under the control of 
man ; and the fondest expectations are as often disappointed as 
realized. Men of the most gifted minds and who ultimately at- 
tained the greatest eminence, either in church or state, have been 
obliged, perhaps in a majority of cases, to struggle with great 
difficulties, and meet with many interruptions or long delays in 
the course of their preparation for usefulness ; and there is as 
much variety in the operations and results of Providence as there 
is in creation. 

It sometimes happens that a young man, who had gone so 
long and so recklessly in a course of dissipation, manifesting not 
only an utter disregard of moral principle, but an entire destitu- 
tion of literary taste, that he was regarded by all who knew him 
as a hopeless case, unexpectedly receives an impulse from some 
source or other which, to the surprize of every body, leads him 
to abandon his evil practices and devote himself to the acquisi- 


tioii of knowledge with an ardor and a perseverance that could 
hardly be surpassed, and he is soon found occupying an eminent 
rank in some of the learned professions. Nor are there want- 
ing cases in which a man who was brought up in the most ab- 
ject poverty, and kept employed in the most servile drudgery, 
without manifesting, or having it in his power to manifest, any 
desire to improve his own condition, much less the condition of 
others, until he has arrived to such an age that no one thought 
of his ever emerging from his native obscurity, is, by some pro- 
pitious change in his circumstances which, at the same time, 
seems to work a radical change in his views and feelings, furn- 
ished with the means and inspired with the love of science ; and 
soon astonishes the world by the extent and variety of his at- 
tainments, the power of his eloquence, or the display in some 
way or other of capacities and energies which had for half a 
generation lain dormant or unnoticed. Again, we meet occa- 
sionally with instances in which a man who had passed through 
the whole of what is usually considered as the seed time of life 
in some ordinary occupation, not from necessity, but apparently 
from inclination, when he has arrived to maturity or to that peri- 
od in which most men are reaping the fruit of their early toils, 
suddenly manifests an energy of character and a firmness of 
purpose which surprize those who had known him from his in- 
fancy, and which soon place him with the foremost in the career 
of learning and of usefulness. In all such cases there were no 
doubt qualities which needed only to be placed in circumstances 
favorable to their development ; but they were unnoticed by 
others, or not sufficiently known to justify any certain calcula- 
tions as to what the man was capable of doing, until the proper 
impulse was given, or such a change of condition took place as 
waked up his energies, and set him forward on a career of im- 
provement and usefulness. 

The first thing we know of David Caldwell after the date of 
his birth is that in the early part of his teens his father bo and 
him to a house carpenter ; and that after having served an ap- 
prenticeship to that business until he was twenty -one, he work- 
ed four years for himself, before he determined to change his 
occupation. Instead, however, of ■considering this any re- 


proach, or being ashamed to have it known or mentioned after- 
wards, he made use of it himself, whenever occasion offered, to 
encourage other yomig men who were in similar circumstances. 
Beside the testimony of his family and others who had often 
heard him state the fact, it was told me not long since by Mr. 
C, one of our most venerable and useful ministers, who has 
been instrumental in bringing, not hundreds, but thousands pro- 
bably, to the knowledge of salvation, and whose praise is in all 
our churches. Having professed religion when he was about 
twenty -five years of age, he soon felt an irresistable desire to 
preach the gospel ; but was destitute of funds, and was too far 
advanced in life, as he thought, to work his own way in obtain- 
ing an education. He could not think of leaving the Presbyte- 
rian chm-ch to join any other denomination ; for there was no 
other whose doctrines and discipline he approved. Being thus 
anxious and perplexed, he concluded that he would take an 
English school, if he could get one, in Dr. Caldwell's congrega- 
tions, where he could study by himself and recite whenever he 
was prepared, leaving his subsequent course to be determined 
by circumstances. In execution of this purpose he was endeav- 
oring to raise a school in some part of the Buffalo congregation, 
when Dr. Caldwell, who had been informed of his wishes and of 
what he was attempting to do, met with him at some neighbor- 
hood meeting ; and having taken him aside mentioned what he 
had understood respecting his present plan and his ultimate ob- 
ject, and proffered to subscribe for three scholars himself if he 
went on with the school. After a pause however he observed to 
him with great kindness that if he could possibly raise as much 
money as would pay his board for one year, which at that time 
did not amount to very much, he had better go to school for that 
length of time himself, before he attempted any thing else ; and 
then he could not only get a better salary for teaching, but could 
study privately to better advantage, adding that he would never 
ask him for a cent of money for his tuition until he would say 
himself that he was able to pay it without inconvenience. Mr. 
C. replied that he possibly could raise that much money ; but 
being twenty-five years of age, he was afraid he was too far ad- 
vanced to think of getting such an education as would fit him for 


usefulness in tlic ministry. Tlie Dr. told him not to be discour- 
aged ; for that was just his own age when he began, having 
been bound to the carpenter's trade until he v.'^as tv\^enty-one, 
and then having worked four years for himself, before he ever 
saw a Latin Grammar. Mr. C. in giving this account added 
with feeling and emphasis that if Dr. Caldwell had not taken 
him by the hand then, and encouraged and aided him as he did 
lie never could have got into the ministry ; and it is given here 
because, while it is a striking proof of his generosity and kind- 
ness in helping forward others in their education, who were 
young men of promise but were struggling with poverty and 
other discouragements, — a trait of character for which he was 
remarkable through life, — it settles the point as to the manner 
in which his early life was spent, and the period at which he 
commenced his literary course. 

That he was bound out to learn a mechanical trade at a peri- 
od of life when he ought to have been at school, could not have 
been owing to absolute necessity on the part of his father ; for, 
judging from the quantity of land which he owned in Lancaster 
county, and from the price at which it has been valued since, it 
appears that he must have been in comfortable circumstances. 
Still it might not have been convenient even for a Pennsylva- 
nia farmer, in the condition of the country at that time, to raise 
the funds that were necessary to give his son a liberal education; 
and the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians of that da3'-, or those of them 
who were plain farmers, not having the advantages of education 
themselves, and especially if they felt the importance of religion, 
were not disposed to make any great sacrifices for the sake of 
giving a son a liberal education unless he were pious and wish- 
ed to enter the gospel ministry. People of that description, and 
in those circumstances, of whatever denomination, viewing the 
success of the gospel as a matter of supreme importance, are not 
generally disposed to patronize anything which they cannot see 
will be likely to promote the cause which they have most at 
heart ; and it was for a long time a very common remark that 
misanctified learning had never been of any benefit to the church. 
Learning was A'^alued then as it is now, and valued highly by 
people of this class ; but only when it was consecrated to the 


service ol' religion. Of course, parents of this character did not 
commonly think of giving a son an education until he had \n-o- 
fessed religion and formed the purpose of devoting himself 
to the work of the gospel ministry ; and hence the most of thos(! 
vv^ho came into the ministry at that day came into it later in lile 
than at the present time. It was probably for some such reasons 
that the father of David Caldwell, instead of sending him to 
school when young, preferred putting him in a way by which 
he could make an honest living, in case he should remain a 
stranger to the power of religion; and leaving him to take his 
own course when arrived to maturity. 

Whether he manifested in youth any uncommon thirst for 
knowledge, and availed himself of every possible opportunity for 
acquiring information, as many others have done in similar cir- 
cumstances, cannot now be ascertained ; for his history during 
that period is to us a perfect blank ; but from the generous sacri- 
fices which he made to accomplish his purpose when it wiis 
once formed, and from the avidity with which he pursued his 
studies when once engaged in them, it might be fairly inferred 
that he had not been hitherto a stranger to books. In contem- 
plating the character, and in tracing the progress of any man who 
has filled a large space in the public eye, and for a time sv.^a^'cd 
the destinies of millions, or who has in a more silent and unob- 
trusive Vv'^ay exerted a more salutary and permanent influence, 
we feel some gratification in knowing by what reasons he was 
led to pursue the course which he did, or to take any important 
step in that course ; but in this case we are left to mere conjec- 
ture, from which no certain conclusions can be drawn in any 
case, and no confirmatioji of principles derived. Why he de- 
layed four years after becoming master of his own time, before 
he commenced a course of education, and what were the motives 
which influenced him then to take that course, are matters res- 
])ecting which not a particle of information can be obtained ; but 
on comparing the few facts which are known, of a subsequent 
date, it seems probable that about this time he made a profession 
of religion, and that it was the change effected in his views and 
feelings by the power of divine grace which led to a change in 
'his pursuits. It has been mentioned to me bv some of his familv 


wlio gottlieir knowledge of the fact from what they had heard 
}iim or his friends say on the subject, that from the time he ob- 
tained a hope for himself, his supreme desire was to become 
useful in bringing others to a knowledge of the truth ; and his 
subsequent conduct must be regarded as a confirmation of this 
statement. The very first measure which he adopted to accom- 
plish his ends, was a proof either of his native generosity and 
love of learning, or of the extent to which his mind was under 
the influence of religion, and his consequent indifference to the 
world ; for he made a proposition to his brothers, that if they 
would furnish him with money to carrjr him through college, he 
would relinquish all claim to any share in the estate. This must 
be regarded as evidence of unusual generosity; of the high value 
which he put upon an education, or of his strong confidence in 
the divine goodness ; for his portion would have been double 
the amount which they would be required to furnish according 
to the proposition ; and they accepted it without any hesitation. 
No writings were drav^'n, however, and no receipts given, nor 
any other security required at the time than a verbal promise, 
and their confidence in each other's integrity; but at his father's 
death, which happened soon after his settlement in Carolina, he 
AVent all the way back to Pennsylvania and gave them a quit 
claim to every thing. As two of his brothers never married, he 
he came in with his married brother, Alexander, for a claim in 
their property at their death ; but he received only a third of the 
amount that would have been due to him, if the quit claim had 
not been given. This he never regretted ; nor manifested any 
disposition to recede in any degree from the tenor of his first pro- 

Where, or under whose tuition, he commenced his preparation 
for college, is not recollected ; but it is known that before going 
to college, he studied for some time with a Mr. Smith, who kept 
a classical school somewhere in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, 
and who was probably the father of the Rev. Samuel Stanhope 
Smith, D.D., afterwards President of the College of New Jersey. 
What progress he made, or what was his standing as a scholar 
•during this period, nothing is known ; but it seems that he taught 
?Jrhool for a year or more before ffoin? to college. This "was 


Stated to me not long since as a fact by a gentleman whose father 
was at that time living in the same neighborhood, and whom he 
had often heard speak of it ; and it is probable, from the length 
of time which elapsed from his commencing the study of the clas- 
sics until he took his bachelor's degree. In what year he entered 
college as a student,and what was his standing while there for tal- 
ents and scholarship, we have no means of ascertaining; but he 
was graduated in the college of New Jersey in 1761, the year in 
which President Davies died,as is shewn by the college catalogue; 
and being then a member of the senior class, he was one of those 
who carried the remains of their venerated preceptor to " the 
house appointed for all living." This fact he mentioned inciden- 
tally in conversation with the writer not a year before he died ; 
and, although he was then just entering his hundredth year, the 
mention of Davies seemed to revive the recollection of former 
days, and to restore for a time the vivacity and energy of youth. 
Although the history of his childhood and youth may not have 
been regarded as a matter of so much importance that without 
it, his services and his very name must be forgotten in the coun- 
try to which he was an ornament and a benefactor, yet some re- 
gret will, no doubt, be felt by the reader as well as the writer, 
that we have not a more full and accurate account of the manner 
in which he employed his time ; the facilities which he enjoyed 
for mental and religious improvement; the state of his mind as 
to religious comfort, or his growth in grace ; his plans of future 
usefulness, &c., at the period to which we have now arrived ; 
but we are even here guided only by glimpses which we get 
at distant intervals, and which are barely sufficient to keep 
us in the direction of his path. Respecting his habits while in 
college, only one fact has come to my knowledge, which is an 
evidence at once of his strength of constitution, and his intense 
application to study. An elderly gentleman, of good standing in 
one of his congregations, stated to me a few weeks since, that 
when he was a young man, Dr. Caldwell was spending a night 
at his father's, one summer about harvest, and while they were 
all sitting out in the open porch after supper, a remark was after 
some time made about the impropriety of sitting so long in the 
night air, when he observed that, so far as his o-wn cxpr^rioiire 


had gone, there was nothing imwholsome in the night air; lor 
while he was in coKege, he usuaUy stndied in it, and slept in it, 
during the warm weather, — as it was his practice to study at 
a table by tlie window, with tlie sash raised, until a late hour, 
then cross his arms on the table, lay his head on them, and sleep 
in that position until morning. This was not very far behind 
the most inveterate students of the 17th century, whether in Eu- 
rope or America; and a man who had strength of constitution to 
pursue such a course of application, though of moderate abilities, 
could hardly fail to become a scholar. 

After leaving college, he engaged to teach a school for a year 
at Cape-May ; and while there he probably attended to his theo- 
logical studies privately, getting assistance as he could from the 
minister in the place, if there was one, and if not, from some one 
in the neighborhood, according to the custom, and we may add, 
according to the necessity, of the times. His family recollect to 
have heard him frequently speak of the Presbytery of New Cas- 
tle, in reference to that period ; and from this fact it is inferred 
that he had frequent intercourse with some of the ministers com- 
posing that body, as they were convenient, for the purpose of 
obtaining books, and such instruction as they could give him. 
On leaving Cape May, he returned to Princeton, where he was 
employed for a time as tutor in college, or as assistant teacher in 
the department of languages, during the sickness or temporary 
absence of the regular teacher ; but as his object in teaching was 
merely to support himself while preparing for the ministry, his 
engagements in that way were only temporary. All his leisure 
time was employed in the studies and exercises required by the 
standards of the church with which he was connected, prepara- 
ttny to licensure ; and the number of trials assigned him by the 
Presbytery under the care of which he was taken, the manner in 
which he acquitted himself before that body, and the short space 
of time in which he passed through all his examinations and tri- 
als, are sufficient proof of his capacity and diligence. From this 
tune the facts in his history, if not so full as might be desired, 
are more to be relied on, because they are either matters of re- 
cctrd, or are pretty well sustained by oraUtestirnonj'". 

J Iv was botli licensed and ordained by the Presbytery of New 


Brunswick ; and the following facts have been conniutnicated, at 
my request, by the Stated Clerk of that body. 

At a meeting of the Presbytery held in Princeton, Sept. 28th, 
17G2, David Caldwell oflered himself to be taken on trial as a 
candidate for the gospel ministry; and having given good satis- 
faction, as to his motives in wishing to enter the ministry, he was 
received. The subject assigned him for a Latin Exegesis was 
the Perseverance of the Saints ;* and for a Sermon, 1 Peter, i. 
15. But as he ivho hath called you is JioIjj, so be yc Jioly, &c. 
At a meeting of the Presbytery held at Bedminster, May 1 0th, 
1763, he performed these exercises ; and had assigned him for a 
sermon 2 Cor. v. 17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, &c. 
At the same time he was examined on the arts and sciences; and 
his examination was sustained. The Presbytery met again at 
Princeton, June 6ih, 1763, and assigned him for a lecture the 
87tli Psalm. August 16th, Presbytery having met again at 
Princeton, w^as opened with a lecture from the 87th Psalm, by 
Mr. David Caldwell ; and after singing, he preached the sermon 
appointed. At the same meeting, and two days after, he was 
licensed to preach the gospel ; and was appointed to supply at 
Hardwick, Oxford, and Mansfield, one Sabbath each, before the 
next meeting. Oct. 11th of the same year, he was appointed by 
Presbytery to supply at New Brunswick, Metuchen, Maiden- 
head, (now Lawrence,) and Deerfield; and when Presbytery met 
in April, 1764, he was appointed to supply at Deerfield until the 
next meeting. These details are thus minutely given, partly, 
because it may be some satisfaction to his old friends and ac- 
quaintances ; and partly, for the purpose of ascertaining, as near- 
ly as possible, when he first came to North Carolina. 

The records contain no further notice of him, after the above 
date, until May 16th, 1765, when the Presbytery having met in 
Philadelphia, it is stated on the minutes that the Synod had ap- 
pointed Mr. David Caldwell to labor at least one whole year as 
a missionary in North Carolina ; and had ordered the Presbyte- 
ry to ordain him previous to his going there, tha-t he might the 
better answer the important ends of his mission. Presbytery 
immeditately made arrangements for that purpose ; and assigned 

*Nt]n datar perseverantia sanctorum. 


him as trials for ordination, The foundation of moral obliga- 
tion^'^ for a Latin Exegesis; and . for a sermon, Mat. xvi. 26. 
For whosoever ivill save his life shall lose it, &c. At this same 
meeting, " a call was laid before Presbytery from Buffalo and 
Alamance settlements in North Carolina for Mr. David Cald- 
well to settle there in the work of the ministry, which was put 
into his hands for consideration." He must therefore have 
come into this part of the country in the summer or early in the 
fall of 1764, and given these congregations a grant that he would 
settle among them ; for there is no mention of him at the fall 
meeting of Presbytery, nor until the next spring ; and then a 
call was presented for his pastoral labors. 

July 5th, 1765. Presbytery met at Trenton, and was opened 
with a sermon from Mr. David Caldwell on the text assigned 
him ; after which he read his Latin Exegesis ; and Presbytery 
resolved to ordain him on the following day. Accordingly he 
was, on July 6th, 1765, solemnly set apart to the work of the 
gospel ministry in the manner prescribed by our book of Disci- 
pline ; and the Rev. William Kirkpatrick preached the ordina- 
tion sermon from 1 Tim. vi. 20. The records state further that 
at this meeting he was dismissed to join the Presbytery of Han- 
over in Virginia ; and that the call for his labors having come 
from congregations within the bounds of that Presbytery, he 
was directed to give his answer, as to his acceptance or non- 
acceptance of it, to that body. 

It is presumed that he set off for North Carolina immediately 
after his ordination, though we have no certain account of him 
for some time, and no notice of him can be found in any of the 
Ecclesiastical records until the middle of the following year ; 
nor did he become connected with the Presbytery of Hanover 
for eighteen months, or near it, after his dismission from that of 
New Brunswick. The reasons of this do not appear; but he 
must have proceeded on his mission without delay; for it is 
known that he went to Mecklenburg on a visit, where he spent 
some time, before he came to reside in Guilford; and it appears 
from some Sheriff's receipts, still preserved among his papers, 
that he paid tax in Guilford, or in Rowan, which then included 

•■■'In quo fundiilur uhligntio moralis. 


that part of the present county of Guilford in which he resided ^ 
as early as 1766. Of course he must have been here the year 
before, and regarded as a citizen, or his tax would not have been 
due at that time. 

From the records of the Presbytery of Hanover, it appears that 
he was invited to sit as a corresponding member of that body, at 
a meeting held at North Hico, now known as the Red House 
church, on the 4th of June, in this same year, 1766; and again 
al another meeting held in the month of October following. On 
the 11th of October in the following year, 1767, he was received 
as a member of that body upon his dismission from the Presbyte- 
ry of New Brunswick ; and at the same time a petition was pre- 
sented from the congregations of Buffalo and Alamance to have 
him installed and settled as their pastor. The petition was gran- 
ted; and his installation took place, according to appointment of 
Presbytery, at Buffalo, March 3rd, 1768. The Rev. Hugh Mc- 
Adden preached the Installation sermon, presided, and appears 
to have performed all the services prescribed by our standards in 
such cases. My authority for this is the sermon preached by 
Mr. McAdden on that occasion, which is now before me in man- 
uscript ; and is a very sensible, practical, and appropriate dis- 
course. At this time there were probably not more than three 
or four, if so many, regularly settled ministers of the Presbyte- 
rian denomination in the State ; but in the course of this year sev- 
eral others were settled, so that if David Caldwell was not the 
very first, he was among the first, who settled here, and made 
North Carolina their permanent residence. Having lived much 
longer too, and in many ways exerted a more extensive and 
lasting influence than any other belonging to that eventful peri- 
od, it may be said, without any disposition to exaggerate his 
worth, or to give him undue praise, that his history is more iden- 
tified with that of the country, at least so far as literature, en- 
lightened piety, and good morals are concerned, than the history 
of any one man who has lived in it ; and this seems to be the 
opinion of those who knew him best, and who are the most 
competent judges. 

The people who composed his congregations at their organi- 
sation were mastlv from his native countv ; and were here sev- 


oral years ])efore iiiui. Many of them had known him from his 
childhood; for they had been taught in the same schools, and 
had worshipped in the same sanctuar}'. For reasons similar to 
tiiose which have since influenced so many of their descendants 
to leave this country and remove to the far west, they determined 
to leave the land of their nativity, and remove to the far south ; 
but they agreed to come in a body. A company was formed, 
called the Nottingham company, which sent out agents and pur- 
chased a large quantity of land in what is now Guilford county, 
on the waters of Buftalo and Reedy Fork ; and wlien they were 
making their arrangements to change their residence, which was 
about the time he commenced his education, or soon after, they 
made a conditional agreement with him, that, if Providence per- 
mitted, when he obtained license to preach, he vv^ould come and 
be their preacher. Whether they thought their lands there were 
exhausted, and that it was necessary for them, on that account, 
to seek a new country ; or whether they hoped to improve their 
circumstances by selling them at a good price, and buying here 
"where the range was good and land cheap, is not important. — 
Probably some were influenced by one motive, and some by an- 
other ; but they were not willing to be without the preaching 
and ordinances of the gospel. They were aware that there 
Avere no ministers, or none of tlieir own denomination, in the 
region to which they were directing their course, in the settle- 
ment of which they were in fact pioneers, and that there were 
none to be obtained except from the churches in the northern 
States ; and therefore they thought it prudent to make provision 
jor this in time, by engaging or bespeaking the services of one 
whom they knew. Accordingly he came out, as we have seen, 
wiihin a year after liis licensure; and a call was made out for 
him and laid before the Presbytery to wliich he belonged as 
soon as it could be done. 

The Buiialo church was organized about five or six years be- 
fore lie came ; and tlie Alamance soon after, or wlien he waS 
here as a licenciate in 1764. This fact was communicated to 
t] le writer a number of years ago by one of the oldest members 
belonging to that church, now deceased,' who said that he dis- 
tiii("i!v reco!]ectod (he circumstance; and thai Mr. Caldwell was 


not then ordained ; and as he had no authority to ordain elders, 
not being ordained himself, the Rev. Henry Pat ill o was reques- 
ted to attend for that purpose. The Alamance church was or- 
ganized at that time for the express purpose of uniting with the 
Buffalo, that they might thus be able to support a minister ; but 
convenience and other considerations would soon have pro- 
duced the same result. In addition to the fact that convenience 
required it, being too remote to attend regularly at the Buffalo, 
especially in the winter, they differed from the others in their 
religious sentiments. In Pennsylvania they belonged to what 
was called the New-light party, or the followers of Whitefield, 
and as they came out to their new settlement, they were led by 
the similarity of their religious views and feelings to associate 
together and make their residence in the same neighborhood ; 
while the people of Buffalo who had belonged, with few ex- 
ceptions, to the old side, were led, by a similar principle of con- 
geniality, to locate together and form a society of their own. — 
This distinction, Avhich is now scarcely known, caused no small 
difficulty for a number of years ; and required much firmness 
and prudence on the part of the pastor, but it did not prevent 
them from uniting freely in the call for his services, nor from giv- 
ing him a cordial support afterwards. The same distinction 
which existed here seems to have pervaded the entire mass of 
the Presbyterian population which emigrated in such numbers 
from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, from eighty to 
a hundred years ago ; and spread over the middle and western 
regions of North Carolina. Whitefield had been shortly be- 
fore, or was at that time, traversing those States with Apostolic 
zeal and with little less than Apostolic power ; and the feelings 
which were there excited were carried by the people wherever 
they went. That was in many respects an important period 
for this country ; and it might be interesting, and perhaps pro- 
fitable, for any one who had leisure and ability, to trace the in- 
fluence of that extraordinary man upon the interests of religion 
here, and upon the character and welfare of the community. — 
That influence was certainly manifest in all the earliest, if it has 
not been in the latest, revivals that have been experienced ; and 
tliese revivals, it is generally believed, have had a greater effect 


upon the condition of society, in producing good order and 
a christian spirit and deportment, than all other causes com- 

Although Dr. Caldwell was placed over congregations which 
were thus divided in sentiment, and under the influence of 
strong religious feeling, he managed so as to prevent a rupture 
or any serious difficulty. He did not profess to belong to either 
party, but to both ; for as both had manifestly some things that 
were right and others that were wrong, he made it his bushiess, 
as it was his duty, to approve the one and to condemn the other ; 
and by this course, with his characteristic mildness and pru- 
dence, he was able to maintain a good degree of peace and har- 
mony, and to avoid the acrimony , and censure to which ho 
would have been otherwise exposed. The distinction here re- 
ferred to seems to have been forgotten with the increase of 
religious knowledge and the prevalence of vital piety ; and 
the ministers and people of the Presbyterian communion appear 
now to be all united and harmonious in their views. 

It has been seen that in the spring of 1765, he was appointed 
by the Synod of Nev/ York and Philadelphia to labor at least 
one whole year as a missionary in North Carolina ; and that as 
soon as he was ordained he set off on this mission. It appears 
from the records of the Synod that he fulfilled this appointment ; 
and of course he spent that year in itinerating as a missionary 
through the Presbyterian settlements of this State, including the 
congregations of which he soon after became pastor, as they were 
then vacant, and visiting the counties lying between the Yadkin 
and Catawba rivers, where it appears the population was nearly 
all Presbyterian. In that regoin, as well as in Guilford, he found 
many whom he had known in his youth ; and while there he 
formed, or rather renewed, an acquaintance which had an impor- 
tant bearing oii his comfort and usefulness through subBcquent 
life. Having concluded to become stationary at the expiration 
of that term of missionary service, in the course of the year 1766, 
probably towards the latter part of the year, though the precise 
time is not recollected, he married Rachel, the third daughter of 
the Rev. Alexander Craighead, of Mecklenburg county, with 
whom ho lived in 2:reat harmonv until hisdeatii ; and bv Avhom 


he had, besides three or four children that died in infancy, eight 
sons and one daughter who hved to maturity, and all of whom 
survived him. He had known this lady in her childhood, as 
they were both natives of the same county, but he had not seen 
her for fifteen years or more ; for about the time that he com- 
menced his education, Mr. Craighead removed from Lancaster, 
and settled in Rockbridge county, Va. Nothing is known of 
him while there further than that he was one of the original 
members of the Hanover Presbytery which was organized at 
Hanover on the first Wednesday of December 1755 ; but it is 
not probable that he was present at the organization, though his 
name is included in the list of members as he had signed the 
petition to have the Presbytery formed ; for on hearing of Brad- 
dock's defeat, which happened in July of that year, he fled, as 
did all his neighbors, some in one direction, and some in another, 
as attachment to distant friends, or as prospects of safety or in- 
terest directed ; but he never halted until he reached Mecklen- 
burg county in this State. By that disastrous event " the west- 
ern parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, were left 
exposed to the incursions of the Savages ; the frontier settlements 
were generally broken up ; and the inhabitants were driven in- 
to the interior."* Mrs. Caldwell used to say, when relathig the 
hardships and perils of those times to her family, that, " as they 
went out at one door the Indians came in at the other," — mean- 
ing that when they left the house the Indians were close at hand; 
and that they narrowly escaped with their life, without being 
able to take any of their property or furniture with them. Mr. 
Craighead settled in Sugar Creek congregation where he lived 
and died ; but whether he was ever installed there as pastor of 
that church is not known. 

While in Pennsylvania he became a great admirer of White- 
field ; and miited with his followers. In this country he is said 
to have been a warm and zealous preacher ; but was somewhat 
disposed to melancholy. It seems that he belonged to a race of 
people who were remarkable for their piety and strong attach- 
ment to the church; for Mrs. Caldwell frequently remarked 
when conversing with her family and friends on this subject, 

*See Marshall's Colonial History, page 293. 


that her ancesters, on the paternal side, had aU been preachers 
in a direct hue as far back as she had any knowledge of them, 
which was for three or four generations. Mr. Craighead had 
several other daughters, all of whom married into wealthy and 
respectable families in the upper counties or districts of South 
Carolina ; and he must have been esteemed as a minister and 
a christian through the region of country in which he lived ; for 
the Sugar Creek church has been served ever since, with the 
exception of two or three intervals of a few years each, by some 
one of his descendants. His son, the Rev. Thomas Craighead, 
who was licensed in April, 1778, never settled as pastor there 
or anywhere else in North Carolina ; but he preached there for 
some time as a supply. Next his grand son, the Rev. Samuel C. 
Caldwell was for thirty-five or forty years pastor of the church; 
and was beloved every where, and by all who knew him, in the 
church and out of it. At present his great grand son, the Rev. 
John M. Caldwell occupies the same station ; and is no less es- 
teemed for his own merits than for his ancestral recollections. 
Mx. Craighead died in March 1776 ;* and was hurried near Su- 
gar Creek church. No marble monument tells the traveller 
where he lies; but his remains were carried to their resting 
place on two green sassafras sticks, each about three feet long, 
Avhich had just been cut from the woods for that purpose ; and 
when the grave was filled up, these were stuck down, one at the 
head, and the other at the foot, merely to serve as a temporary 
designation of the place. They both grew however ; and are 
now trees of considerable size. These are his only monument, 
except "a good name, " which is still remembered and is cher- 
ished in the affections of the people where he hved ; and the 
piety and usefulness which hitherto belonged to his de- 

The industry and perseverance manifested by David Caldwell 
during the whole course of his preparation for the ministry 
might be regarded as a pledge of his future usefulness ; and no 
pledge of the kind was then given which was not redeemed af- 
terwards. When once installed and permanently settled his ob- 
ject seems to have been to adapt himself to the circumstances 

^Records of the Presbyterian Chinch, pnq-e 353. 


and wants of the community in which his lot was cast ; and to 
pursue such a course as would, in the end, be most for their 
improvement and welfare. 

It was manifest that, situated as his congregations were, he 
could not depend on them for such a support as would enable 
him to devote himself exclusively to the work of the ministry ; 
for they promised him only two hundred dollars ; and that was 
to be paid in grain, if the people chose, at a stipulated price, 
which was wholly inadequate to tlie support of a family. He 
therefore purchased a tract of land, containing some two or 
three hundred acres ; and on that raised the most of his provi- 
sions. As soon, too, as he was prepared for it, he commenced a 
classical school at his own house, which he continued, with two 
or three short interruptions, until he was disqualified by the in- 
firmities of age. Tliis was an employment in v/hicli he not on- 
ly excelled, as he certainly did, but in which he took great de- 
hght ; and therefore it would, in all probability, have been a 
matter of choice with him, if his circumstances liad not made it 
necessary, or if there had been no considerations pressing it up- 
on his attention as a matter of duty in relation to the church 
and the country. But it was clearly necessary if he would 
maintain his family in comfort, and it was as obviously neces- 
sary for the prosperity of the church in this region, and for the 
improvement of the community at large ; for there were then 
no institutions of the kind in the State, or none of much value 
and permanence. The legislature had done nothing efficient ; 
and there was no probability that it could do any thing credita- 
ble to itself or beneficial to the public until a change should be 
effected in the state of society, and in the financial and pecuni- 
ary condition of the country. In the impoverished state of the 
colony, owing to the heavy debt incurred by the French war, 
the restrictions on trade, the frauds and peculations of govern- 
ment officers, &c., but little could be done ; and then the mass of 
the people must be so far enlightened as to send men to the As- 
sembly who would understand the value of education, and 
might feel that they would be sustained in adopting such meas- 
ures as would give it due encouragement. In 1754 an act was 
passed makina- some appropriation for the establishment of a 


public seminary, but it proved ineffectual.* In 1764 an act was 
passed for the erection of a school house in the town of New- 
born; and in 1767, the very year probably in which Mr. Cald- 
well commenced his school, if not the year after, the Trustees 
of the Newborn Academy were incorporated. But that school 
could not have been very prosperous ; for many of the youth 
from the surrounding country were sent up here for their edu- 
cation. The Kroomes, the Whitefields, the Hatches, and others 
are still recollected ; and for several years a considerable pro- 
portion of the scholars in Caldwell's school were from the eas- 
tern part of the State. 

The Rev. Henry Patillo, not far from this time, taught a pri- 
vate school either in Orange or Granville ; but precisely where 
and with what success has not come to my knowledge. Not 
long before the Declaration of Independence, an act of Assembly 
Avas passed establishing an Academy in Charlotte ; but that was 
several years after Mr. Caldwell commenced ; and although the 
school had begun with fair prospects some time before it was 
incorporated, yet it does not appear to have continued m suc- 
cessful operation there more than a few years. Caldwell's school, 
probably from being conducted with more ability and prudence, 
seems to have been the most efficient and the most noted ; and 
that its celebrity was owing to the ability with which it was 
conducted, there is the most abundant proof. 

Being a thorough scholar himself in all that he professed to 
teach, and having a peculiar tact for the management of boys, 
as well as a facility in communicating instruction, he soon be- 
came so celebrated as a teacher that he had students from all 
the States south of the Potomac ; and according to the testimony 
of those who were better judges of the matter than the writer, 
lie was certainly instrumental in bringing more men into the 
learned professions than any other man of his day, at least in the 
southern States. Many of these became eminent, as statesmen, 
lawyers, judges, physicians, and ministers of the gospel ; and 
while some of them only prepared for college with him, — usu- 
ally for Princeton, until Chapel Hill was established; and then 
for that institution, — the larger portion, and several of those who 

*.Martin, \o!. 2, p. GS, 184, 220. 


became the most distinguished in after life, never went any 
where else for instruction, and never enjoyed any higher advan- 
tages. Five of his scholars became Governors of different States; 
many more members of Congress, some of whom occupied a high 
standing and still occupy it ; and a much greater number be- 
came lawyers, judges, physicians, and ministers of the gospel. 
It would be a credit to any man to have been the instructor of 
such men as Judge Murphy, Judge McCoy, and many others 
who, in the same road to honor and usefulness, fell very little if 
any behind them ; and to one who knew the value and import- 
ance of religion as he did, it must have been a matter of very 
pleasant reflection that he had been instrumental in bringing 
into the gospel ministry such men as the Rev. Samuel E. Mc- 
Corkle, D.D., the Rev. John Mathews, D.D. and the Rev. John 
Anderson, D.D., who died a few years since in Washington co., 
Pennsylvania, and many others who were burning and shining 
lights in the world. 

Such was his reputation, if the survivors of that period may 
be credited, that it was considered throughout the South a sufli- 
cient recommendation or passport for any man to have passed 
through the course at his school with the approbation of the 
teacher ; and when it is known that such men as Dr. Mathews, 
Dr. Anderson, and many others but little if at all inferior to them, 
received the whole of their literary and theological instruction 
there, it may be readily supposed that a certificate from the 
hand of such a teacher would be received without much hesita- 
tion. Probably no man in the Southern States has had a more 
eiiviable reputation as a teacher, or was more beloved by his 
pupils ; and no man, with tlie same ninnber of scholars, ever 
had so few occurrences of an unpleasant kind while they were 
under his care, or saw less to regret in their subsequent conduct. 

The number of scholars in his school was large for the time 
and the circumstances of the country — usually about fifty, sel- 
dom less, and sometimes sixty or more ; but it is not recollected 
by any of his family, or by any of his pupils who are yet living 
in this part of the country, that he ever had to expel or suspend 
a student for improper conduct. His mode of discipline was his 
own ; and was not only so peculiar that it could not be imitated 


to advantage, Lut was so successful that it could not be sur^ 
passed, and has been seldom equalled. He had a rod which the 
l)oys feared more than the birch; and when necessary it was 
administered, and with certain effect, but in such a way that no 
hostile or revengeful feelings were engendered ; for while his 
scholarship and weight of character commanded their respect, 
his aliability and kindness secured their affection. There was 
a something about him which was unique, and which language 
cannot define. The expression of his countenance and his whole 
manner were such that with a very few words he commonly 
produced in an offender the very feelings of shame, remorse, 
&c., which he ought to have ; and at the same time left him in 
a state of suspense, or under a kind of apprehension that there 
might be something still more severe kept in reserve and ready 
for use should it be needed ; but all was done with such calm- 
ness, with such good humor, and often with such an air of pleas- 
antry on his part, that no feelings of anger or resentment were 
excited in the pupil. 

That this is not going beyond sober truth, or giving too high 
a coloring to his character, may be shewn by a reference to the 
testimony, or the opinion, of others. Sometime ago I received 
a very interesting communication from one of the oldest of his 
pupils in this region, Avho as a physician is of very respecta- 
ble standing in his profession, as a citizen is much esteemed for 
his intelligence and worth of character, and as a man has always 
been remarkable for his close observation of passing occurren- 
ces and for his perfect recollection of whatever he saw or heard ; 
but as he modestly recpiested that his name might not be men- 
tioned, I shall, for the sake of convenience in referring to him 
as authority, call him Doct. B. He says, "In January 1787, 1 
entered the school of Dr. David Caldwell as a pupil. I person- 
ally Imow but little except as to the management of his school. 
I boarded, from the time I entered his school until the autumn of 
178.9, within half a mile of the schoolhouse. In 1790 I became 
assistant teacher ; and resided in his family for more than two 
years. As a husband, a parent, and a master the Dr. was in- 
dulgent and kind. During my residence in his family I never 
witnessed an act of unkindncss from him towards any member 


of his family. As a master, in my opinion, he was indulgent to 
a fault. For my own part I reverenced him a.s I did my father. 
In his school lie governed as a parent, without any of that impe- 
riousness so often witnessed in those who are ' clothed with a 
hlttle brief authority.' He appeared to be always pleased when 
we were attentive to and made good progress in our studies. In 
case we did not, through inattention or want of capacity, make 
that progress he had a right to expect or wished, we only expe- 
rienced a mild reproof, or a little scorching sarcasm. When a 
student made a classical author utter the most absurd nonsense 
he would cry out, Muriher dherrig ; and then ask him per- 
haps if he understood Irish. This was almost murder to the 
feeUngs of the dull student. I do not recollect e\^er to have 
seen him inflict punishment with the rod except in one case ; 
and that was on a small, idle, very idle boy. 

" Immoral acts ana profane language were proscribed, of course ; 
and seldom came to his knowledge, though often committed and 
uttered. He had a goat that possessed a strong taste for books ; 
and if ever a student, from thoughtlessness, left a book exposed, 
this goat was certain, if he came on it, to appropriate the whole, 
or part, to his own use. On one occasion the monitor for the 
week was a moral and worthy young man, A youth, whom I 
shall call Tom, having left his Dictionary exposed, the goat dis- 
covered it, and proceeded to make his own use of it. Tom ran 
to its rescue, uttering a strong imprecation on his goatship in the 
presence and hearing of tlie monitor, who immediately noted it 
down verbatim in his bill. Tom was rather a favorite with old 
Domine, and with his school fellows. We all knew, as well as 
Tom, that, on Friday evening he had to answer for it. At 
length the dreaded evening came ; and /was pleased to see my 
favorite prepare for flight, in case it should be necessary, though 
we were all ignorant what was the punishment to which he 
might be subjected for such an oflence. The monitor presented 
his bill ; and a number of us having answered for our petty of- 
fences, and acts of neglect, Domine 's eyes fell on Tom's name 
and oflence. He looked alternately on the bill and on Tom ; 
and then read out the name and the charge. Tom with the 
quickness of thought asserted, ' They area d — ned creature; 


and I can prove it from Scripture.' Domine bit his lips, and 
mildly replied, < Tommy, Tommy, there are a number of small- 
er boys here ; and you should set a better example before them.' 
J do not recollect any one ever having to answer for a similar 
offence afterwards." 

The time which boys spend in school is apt to be the most 
pleasant part of their lives ; for being then free from the cares 
and anxieties usually attendant on the public avocations of life, 
they are at full liberty to range among the beauties of classic 
taste and genius, and to derive instruction or pastime from all 
the sources of information that may be within their reach, and 
from whatever occurrences may take place around them. Things 
are frequently occurring too, either from a mischievous disposi- 
tion, or from mere thoughtlessness and levity on their part, which 
not only cause merriment or reproach at the time, and are ever 
afterwards remembered with pleasure or regret, but which are 
trying to the patience of the teacher, and become a test of his 
character as a disciplinarian. The above incident is of this de- 
scription ; and related, as it is, in that facetious and happy man- 
ner, for whicli Doctor B. is admired by those who know him, it 
will probably be as amusing to those who read the account as it 
was to those who witnessed the scene. He then goes on to say, 
" The management of his churches was very similar to that of 
his school. His scholars respected him as a father, and confided 
in him as a friend. I once saw indignation flash through the 
school on a young man's insulting the Doctor ; and the same 
thing, I am persuaded, would have taken place in his churches 
if any one in their presence had dared to offer him an insult." 

At that period it seems to have been the general impression 
that the birch Avas eibout as necessary for boys at §chool as their 
bread and meat ; but his family recollect to have witnessed or 
heard of not more than two or three instances in which he found 
any necessity for a resort to corporal punishment ; and one of 
these was sufficiently salutary in its results to justify a notice of 
it here. Samuel D., whose father kept a public house at the 
comity seat, was sent to Dr. Caldwell's school at the age of 14 
or 15 ; but brought with him all those habits of idleness and 
dissipation which he had formed in the tavern. Being natural- 


ly what is called " a smart boy," and liaviiis^ a good share of 
that dexterity at mischief which boys of his age readily acquire 
in such circumstances, he was exerting a very unhappy influ- 
ence on the other scholars, especially on those that were younger 
than himself. After every other means had been tried in vain, 
the Dr. took him one day into a private apartment of liis school 
house, and there apphed " tlie rod of correction" until he ac- 
complished his object : Samuel was subdued, and promised 
obedience. From that time he was a reformed boy ; and was 
thenceforward as orderly in his deportment and as attentive to 
his studies as any of the rest. When he arrived to maturity he 
removed to Georgia, where he married and settled ; but having 
lived to bury his wife and all liis children, he felt the loneli- 
ness of his situation ; and hearing that his old preceptor was still 
living, he resolved to pay him a visit. His head was as grey as 
that of his quondam preceptor, though he was not much more 
than half as old ; and their meeting was a very affecting one. 
The old man was sitting in the chimney corner, wrapped in 
those silent meditations which are so natural and so befitting 
one who had served his generation by the will of God, and was 
nearly severed from all the ties of earth, from which he was 
roused by some bustle among the servants and by the footsteps 
of his visitor entering the apartment and approaching towards 
him. His sight had been once renewed, and was faded again 
beyond the assistance of art. His faded eyes were now directed 
towards the object that had attracted his attention ; and he wait- 
ed in silence for some announcement that would let him know 
who was before him. " Dr. Caldwell, don't you recollect me?" 
was the enquiry of Mr. D. as he reached out his hand. "I do not," 
was the reply. " Don't you recollect that very bad boy whom 
you once had in your school and whom you had to whip so se- 
verely?" "0 yes! Samuel D." With that they seized each 
other by the hand; and for a moment tears were the only ex- 
pression of feelings which were too deep for utterance. Mr. D. 
then concluded a brief history of his life — his fortunes and mis- 
fortunes, his connexions and bereavements, by saying that he 
had not a relation living in North Carolina, and no business to 
call liim into this part of the country ; but as he coiisidcred thai 

o() LIFE 01' DAVia CALDWELL, D.D. 

Br. Caldwell had done him more good than^all other men, and 
having learned that he was still living, he had come all the way 
here, a distance of two or three hundred miles, to see him once 
more before he died. This incident, which is somewhat extra- 
ordinary, appeared to fm-nish a good illustration of Dr. Cald- 
well's judiciousness and success in the exercise of discipline ; 
and of the universal and high regard in which he was held by 
all classes of his pupils. 

His scholars, without any known exception, whatever might 
have been their talents, their subsequent attainments in literature 
and science, or the eminence to which they arrived in their res- 
pective avocations, regarded him through life, v/ith the highest 
veneration as an instructor, and cherished his memory, as a man 
and a christian, with the warmest affection. The present Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina, John M. Morehead, whose professional 
standing is probably second to that of no other in the State, and 
the correctness of whose judgment in relation to talents and 
scholarship ,no one who is acquainted with him will call in ques- 
tion, after having been under his instruction between two and 
three years, and having been prepared by him for the Junior 
class half advanced in college, speaks of him in the very highest 
terms, in every respect, though he was then between eighty-iive 
and ninety years of age ; and time worn veterans in the service 
of their country — men who have stood firm against the intrigues 
of ambition and the assaults of power — men who have fought 
the battles of freedom and maintained the rights of the people 
in the halls of our national legislation, year after year, until they 
have grown grey in the service, have been known to shed tears 
at the mention of his name, when passing in the public convey- 
ance by the place where his remains lie buried, and by the 
church in which ho preached and they were hearers from Sab- 
bath to, while preparing under his instruction for future 
distinction and usefulness in the world.* 

But the most important service which he rendered, as a teacher, 

*The Honorable Lewis Wiluams was one of those above alluded to ; and 
as his death has been announced since the preceding sheets went to press, 
there can be no impropriety in thus mentioning his name here, in connexion 
with a fact so honorable to his feeling's as a man and to his character as a public 


was to the church, or to tiie cause of rehgiori ; for nearly all the 
young men w'lo came into the ministry of the Presbyterian 
church, for many years, not only in North Carolina, but in the 
States south and west of it, were trained in his school, many of 
whom are yet living ; ciud while some of them are superannuated, 
others are still useful men, either as preachers or as teachers in 
different institutions of learning. In a connnunication recently 
received from the Rev. E. B. CiUTic, who is one of his oldest 
pupils yet living, he says, " Dr. Caldwell, as a teacher, v/as pro- 
biibly more useful to the church than any one man in the United 
States. I could name about forty ministers who received their 
education in whole or in part from him ; and how many more 
I cannot tell ; but his log cabin served for many years to North 
Carolina as an Academy, a College, and a Theological Seminary. 
His manner of governing his school, family and churches was 
very much the same, that is, on the mild and paternal plan, gen- 
erally attended with some wit and pleasant humor ; yet few men 
have ever succeeded better in keeping good order." I'he log 
cabin here spoken of, if the dwelling house be meant, was a two 
story log house with a chimney in the middle, which was a re- 
spectable building for those times ; and the forty ministers whom 
he mentioned as having received their education under him, 
were educated during or after the Revolutionary war. But his 
school was in operation nine or ten years before the Declaration 
of Independence ; and therefore it can hardly be any exaggera- 
tion to say that at least fifty ministers of the gospel were educa- 
ted in whole or in part in his school. He v/as their instructor in 
theology too, as well as in the classics and sciences ; and thus in 
the language of Mr. Currie, "his log cabin," — for his school 
house was litterally such, and his dwelling house v/ould bear the 
name, — "served North Carolina, for many years, as an Academy, 
a College, and a Thelogical Seminary." Seven of his students 
Avere licensed to preach the gospel by the Orange Presbytery in 
one day, all of whom were consistent, devoted men ; and at one 
period there were not more than three or four members belong- 
ing to that Presbytery who had not been his scholars. Many 
of these professed religion during their connexion with the schooJ, 
and came into the ministry, though nothing was farther from 

•'^S LIFE or DAVID CAldWKlL, D.D. 

their thougiit,s when tliey went there. An aged and venerable 
servant of Christ, mentioned to tlie writer not long since, that he 
recollected ten, he being himself one of the nmiiber, who pro- 
fessed religion while in school and became preachers ; and said 
that he knew abont as many more who professed religion in the 
school after he left, and took the same course. 

It would be unpardonable not to pay a passing tribute of res- 
pect here to the memory of Mrs. Caldwell, who, for good sense 
and ardent piety, had few if any equals, and certainly no supe- 
riors, at that time and in this region of country. In every respect 
she was an ornament to her sex and a credit to the station which 
she occupied as tlie head of a family and the wife of a man who 
was not only devoted to the service of the church, but was em- 
inently useful hi his sphere of life. Her hitelligence, prudence, 
and kind and conciliating manners were such as to secure the 
respect and confidence of the young men in the school, while 
her concern for their future welfare prompted her to use every 
means, and to improve every opportunity, for turning their at- 
tention to their personal salvation; and her assiduity and suc- 
cess in this matter were such as to give rise and currency !o the 
remark over the country that " Dr. Caldwell made the scholars, 
but Mrs. Caldwell made the preacher s.^^ The remark might be 
to some extent true ; and the fact, if it was one, miglit be ration- 
ally and satisfactorily accounted for, without any disparagement 
of his piety, or implying any doubt of his zeal on this subject ; 
for, apart from the consideration that his time and attention 
were so much occupied with other things that he could not make 
the same direct efforts in this way, which, in other circumstan- 
ces, he might have made, we all know how difficult it is for a 
teacher, while engaged from morning till night, and day after 
day, in the literary and scientific instruction of his pupils, and 
in exercising authority and discipline over them, to maintain 
that kind of religious inlluence, which, humanly speaking, is 
necessary to their conversion. It is not impossible, as might be 
shown by a reference to many examples, especially at that day, 
of whom Dr. Caldwell must be regarded as one, notwithstand- 
i,i)g the common remark above mentioned; nor did those who 
kiU'w them boih understand it as literal I v true, but made it or 


used it to express their high opinion of her piety and zeal ; — 
yet it was to him, and to the whole church, so far as known, a 
cause of gratitude which ought not to be passed over in silence, 
that he had an assistant in this work who was so competent and 
so faithfnl. Without dwelling on this, however, at present, or 
undertaking to eulogize one whose record is on high, it is certain 
that many young men who went there with no other wish or 
thought than that of being prepared to reap the rewards or wear 
the honors of this world, were converted to the Lord before 
they left, and became in due time devoted and useful ministers 
of the gospel, several of whom ascribed their awakening and 
conversion to her instrumentality. Whenever any of them be- 
came concerned about their salvation, whether impressed by 
some dispensation of Providence, or awakened under the ordi- 
nary means of grace, the resort was to Mrs. Caldwell in prefer- 
ence to any body else ; and those who were truly pious and 
had their attention turned to the gospel ministry, found that they 
were increased in faith, advanced in christian knowledge, and 
encouraged to persevere in their toilsome course of preimration 
for usefulness, by her conversation and her example as a chris- 
tian. The aged minister whose name has been already men- 
tioned, observed to the writer not long since, that although he 
believes he Avas a christian before he went there, and was aim- 
ing at the ministry, yet in his circumstances his trials and dis- 
couragements were so great that he was sometimes on the point 
of giving up all hope of ever attaining the object of his wishes, 
but by her advice and encouragement, he was kept along, and 
that she was of more service to him than all the ministers in the 
Orange Presbytery. All who were pious when they went, or 
who became so while there, Iiave always spoken of her with 
the highest veneration, and have borne a uniform testimony to 
her uncommon intelligence on the subject of religion, including 
doctrines, precepts, experience, &c. ; her devotional spirit, her 
clieerful piety, her humble zeal, her confidence in God ; and 
since she has gone to reap the rewards of piety in another world, 
she will bo had in long remembrance here on earth. 

Thus in every way his school was a nursery for the church, 
or for the gospel ministry ; and while the whole country is deep- 


ly indebted to it for the advancement of literature and science, and 
for the genera! difTusion of useful knowledge, the church, and 
the Presbyterian church especially, has cause to rejoice that, in 
the providence of God, his lot was cast in this country just at the 
time when such services as he could render, and such influence 
as he was prepared to exert, were highly important, if not abso- 
lutely necessary, to its welfare ; and that he was prepared to 
labor so long and so successfully in the Lord's vineyard. What- 
ever may have been his success in the ministry, or in the work 
of converting men by his personal labors, as a minister, or what 
tliat success might have been had he given himself wholly to 
the ministry, as Paul directed Timothy to do, we need not now 
enquire ; for the influence which a man exerts on the youth of 
the country who are to fill the places of public trust and respon- 
sibility, in church and state, if it is of tlie right kind, is the most 
extensive, salutary, and permanent ; and it surely cannot affect 
the question of a man's usefulness, in the character of an ambas- 
sador for Christ, or in the great work of reconciling men to God, 
in what particular wr.,y, or on what class of men, his agency 
was employed. 

From the condition of the country at the time of his settle- 
ment, he soon found it necessary, or considered it his duty, to 
turn his attention to another subject. There Vv^as no physician 
Avithin any reasonable distance, or none in whose skill any con- 
fidence could be placed ; nor was there any known probability 
of obtaining one ; and the people amongst whom he lived and 
to whose welfare he was devoted, like all first settlers in a new 
or wilderness country, being not well provided with the conve- 
niences and comforts necessary to health, were in great want of 
medical assistance, but he being a man of liberal education, and 
their pastor, it was natural that they should look to him, as they 
did, for every thing that was beyond their own knowledge or 
abilit)^, so far at least as they depended on the agency of man. 
Whatever might be said, in ordinary cases, against a minister's 
engaging in pursuits or avocations, not immediately connected 
with the duties of the ministry, surely no one of liberal views 
and humane feelings will say that, situated as he was, he could 
be fairly charged with delinquency in rolp.tion to his ordination 


VOWS and his responsibilities as a gospel minister, in thus ailr'iid- 
ing to the calls of humanity. At all events he felt it his duly, 
under the existing circumstances, to acquire such a knowledge 
of medicine, if possible, as would enable him to be of service in 
this way to the people of his own charge, if no more ; and for 
this purpose he procured a few medical works from Philadelphia, 
with the intention of making the best use of them he could. — 
While thus engaged in this study, alone and unaided, devoting 
to it every leisure moment, and even curtailing the hours of 
sleep, that he might make the greater proficiency, a regular phy- 
sician, by the name of Woodsides, from Pennsylvania, who was 
a distant relation of Mrs. Caldwell, and a young man of piet}', 
came along unexpectedly, and was prevailed on by Mr. Cald- 
well to remain with him for some time, board in his family, and 
practice in his congregations. What were his particular reasons 
for coming south, and how long he might have remained in 
Guilford, had he lived, we have no knowledge ; but he had not 
been here over a year Avhen he was removed by death, and just 
in the beginning of his usefulness. His coming, however, at that 
time seemed to be providential ; for Mr. Caldwell not only got 
all the instruction and assistance he could give him, at the very 
time too when it was most needed, as well as the privilege of 
attending with him on his practice, whenever he chose ; but ob- 
tained, partly by gift and partly by purchase, a number of val- 
uable works in the profession. The books of this young and 
promising physician, whose death was so premature and so 
much regretted, which he had not given to his reverend friend 
and pupil, were sold after his death at public sale. Mr. Caldwell 
bought them, and got them low ; for no one else had any use 
for them, or knew their value. With the assistance he had thus 
received, and by his own assiduous application, he soon became 
respectable for his knowledge and skill in the medical profession; 
and was for many years the only practising physician, of any 
note, over a space of country twenty miles or more in diameter. 
It is probable too, that he obtained some assistance in acquir- 
ing a knowledge of the theory and practice of medicine from his 
intimate friendship and intercourse with Doct. Rush, which com- 
menced while they were students together in college, and seems 


to have been continued tln-ough life. They were not class 
mates ; for Doct. Rush was graduated a year before him ; but 
their friendship commenced then and continued until it was in- 
terrupted by death. Doct. Caldwell, as he began now to be 
generally called, though he did not receive the title of D.D. for 
many years afterwards,- procured the writings of Doct. Rush, as 
they were published ; and maintained a regular, or at least a 
frequent correspondence with him. He went twice all the way 
to Philadelphia to consult him, or get his assistance, in a case of 
affliction in his family, taking the patient with him ; and on one 
of these occasions obtained his co-operation in another matter of 
some interest which will come into notice again. 

His practice of medicine was therefore not quackery : He was 
not a mere sciolist in any thing that he undertook to teach or 
professed to understand ; and although he may not have been 
Avhat would be considered a well read physician at the present 
day, he was behind few, if any, at that time, in all the ordinary 
diseases of the country, while in some that have usually been 
very difficult to manage he was much celebrated. He continu- 
ed the practice of medicine, in connexion with the duties of his 
school and of liis pastoral office until his fourth son was prepar- 
ed to take his place, and then he declined it, except in some spe- 
cial cases, or among his particular friends. His constitution 
was uncommonly vigorous and his health uninterrupted, or he 
could not have discharged the duties belonging to all these dif- 
ferent professions. During the whole of his public life he hard- 
ly ever knew what it was to be sick, except by one attack of 
fever some time after the Revolutionary War ; and his hfe was 
at last terminated, not by disease or violence, but by the gradual 
and easy decay of nature. As might be expected, his active 
habits and his uniform temperance in every respect, were the 
means of preserving his health and vigor ; for while he took no 
more time for recreation and exercise than was really necessa- 
ry, he was as regular in that as in the duties of his school room 
or any thing else ; and even his recreation consisted not so much 
in relaxation, or in idle hours, as in a change of employment. 
The Rev. E. B, Currie, in the communication already referred 
to, says, " Dr. Caldwell's life was rather a life of labor than of 


Study ; and when we consider that he had a large school which 
he attended generally five days in the week, two large congre- 
gations which he catechised at least twice a year, four commu- 
nions which ahvays lasted four days each, besides his visiting 
the sick, frequently preaching in vacant congregations, &c., &c., 
we can see that there was not much time left for study ; but he 
was a close student when opportunity oifered." This referred, 
however, to the period when Mr. Currie was acquainted with 
him, which was some years after the Revolutionary War, and 
when Dr. Caldwell had arrived to that stage of life in which his 
energies were somewhat abated. Besides, he had lost his libra- 
ry, which he was able to replace only by very slow degrees ; 
and he was also more occupied than formerly with public af- 
fairs. During the first sixteen or eighteen years of his ministry 
he studied very closely ; but his principal time for study was at 
night. He was in the regular habit, during this period, of go- 
ing to bed at ten and rising at four ; and this would allow him 
as many hours to spend in the study room as are usually spent 
there by ministers of the present day, who have nothing on 
hand but their ministerial and pastoral duties, or no others of 
a professional kind. 

As a proof of his industrious habits, and of a strict regard to 
the preservation of his health, he ditched and irrigated his mead- 
ows with his own hands ; and he did it by working with his 
spade something like an hour at a time, morning and evening, 
until it was accomplished, unless called away to visit the sick, 
or to discharge some other pastoral duty of incidental or casual 
occurrence. When not thus called away, however, it was his 
recreation for the time being ; and the consequence was, not only 
that his health and vigor were preserved, but that he had the 
best meadows in the country. If the meadow did not require 
his attention, he found something else of a profitable kind to af- 
ford employment for those hours which most others devote ex- 
clusively to relaxation; but every hour, and almost every min- 
ute that could be so employed was sedulously devoted to study; 
and thus he was able to accomplish what would appear to many 

The remark has been made and repeated until it seems to be 


regarded as a truism, that men should be employed to the lull 
extent of all their powers, mental and physical ; and that when 
thus employed they are healthier and happier, as well as more 
useful, than when any of their powers are suffered to lie dor- 
mant ; but after long experience, and much discussion, it is yet 
undecided whether the extreme division of labor which has so 
much prevailed in Europe, and which has many advocates in 
thiscoimtry, is favorable either to the highest degree of intellec- 
tual improvement, or to the greatest amount of usefulness. Can 
the intellectual powers be more fully developed, and be made to 
accomplish a greater air^onnt of good, by having them always 
employed on one subject, if employed at all ? or, if " much 
study is a weariness to the flesh," can that weariness be relieved 
bj" engaging in something that will bring all the physical ener- 
gies into exercise, and in a way that will contribute to the stock 
of materials required for our support and comfort, as well as by 
a process of invigoration, essentially the same in its nature, but 
having no such design, and no tendency to produce such a re- 
sult ? The discussion of this matter, Avhethcr it belongs to the 
department of philosophy, physiology, metaphysics, or ah to- 
gether, would be out of place here ; and must be decided by an 
appeal to facts, or be left to the silent testimony of experience. 
But it is believed that the early settled ministers of our church 
in this State who were engaged in teaching, farming, &c., as 
well as preaching, will compare very favorably, for talents, learn- 
ing, and efficiency as preachers, with those of the present day, 
though enjoying advantages which are supposed to be greatly 
superior, and devoted for the most part to the exclusive business 
of preaching tlie gospel ; and for proof of this we might refer to 
the state in which they left their congregations, as to intelligence 
and piety, and produce tlie sermons which they published while 
living, or which they left in manuscript, and which yet remain 
perhaps as an undervalued treasure in the hands of a generation 
too careless or too much occupied in other ways to make them 
available for the common benefit. Our country during the lat- 
ter half of the eighteenth century abounded in luen of ability and 
moral worth, in all the departments of public life ; and the times 
required su'^h. North Carolina during that period appears to 


have had a ministry that was as able, zealous, and useful, as any- 
State south of the Potomac ; and of this fact we may be satisfied 
by obtaining a proper knowledge of their character. 

But that we may be able to judge of a man's character and 
to from a correct estimate of the services he has rendered, or 
of the injury he has done, it is necessary to be acquainted with 
tlie circumstances in which he was placed. The history of a 
man who was prominent or influential cannot be written with- 
out describing all the transactions and events in which he had 
any agency ; and as these transactions and events go to make 
up the history of the country, that history cannot be written cor- 
rectly, or so as to be satisfactory, without giving him the same 
prominence in it that he had in the scenes and events there des- 
cribed. Again. In all countries and in all ages, religion, whether 
true or false, has had such an influence, directly or indirectly, on 
the government, that, without keeping that influence fully and 
disthictly in view, justice cannot be done to the government, nor 
can its measures be fairly accounted for or explained. This is 
one reason why many of the principal histories we have are so 
vmsatisfactory : They were written by men who were either 
hostile to religion in their feelings, and wished to say as little 
about it as possible, or were incapable of estimating its influence. 

It has been said by a late writer of some celebrity that the 
people of every country are just what the government makes 
them ; but whether this be true or not in relation to other coun- 
tries, it is not true of the people in the United States. Perhaps, 
however, it would be more correct to say that the government 
of every country is just what the people of that country make 
it ; or at least that it may be regarded as an index to the char- 
acter of the people at the time it went into operation. For ex- 
ample, a despotism could never be established, if the people, or 
a large proportion of them, were not so ignorant or so debased 
in some way, as to be fit for bondage ; and on the other hand, 
a republican government can never be established unless the 
people understand their rights, and have intelligence and moral 
principle sufficient to govern themselves. In the former case, 
fclse rehgion, or superstition, on the part of the people, may 
have contributed greatly to the establishment and subsequent 


support of tlie very power by which they were oppressed ; but 
then the government did not make them superstitious ; for it 
Avas the result of their intellectual and moral condition which 
made them fit subjects to be thus acted upon, and to obey the 
dictates of arbitrary power. In the latter case true religion may 
contribute, and must contribute, to the formation and support of 
a free government ; and wJienever tlie doctrmes of the gospel 
are properly understood and generally received, they will make 
the people free. Their responsibility to God, their individual 
importance as subjects of his universal dominion, the participa- 
tion which they have now in his merciful regards, and the infi- 
nite importance of securing an everlasting interest in his favor 
by conibrming to the dictates of his will, are so clearly presen- 
ted that those who believe these truths will bid defiance to any 
authority whose claims are incompatible with the obedience 
here required ; and therefore mankind are indebted to the Bible 
for v/hatever rational and permanent freedom they have at any 
time enjoyed. These doctrines have, in this respect, or so far 
as the present interest of mankind is concerned, an indirect in- 
fluence upon multitudes who do not believe with the heart unto 
righteousness ; and whenever any portion of the church unites 
so far with the civil government as to become accessory to its 
oppressive or unrighteous measures, or to employ the power of 
that government to enforce its own peculiar views of doctrine, 
or modes of worship, it has so far departed from the spirit of 
the gospel ; and has not only relinquished, in the same degree, 
its own liberty, as a part of that kingdom which is not of this 
world, if belonging to it at all, is but unjustifiably interfering 
with the rights of conscience in others. 

The revolution which made the American Colonies an inde- 
pendent nation must be ascribed to the influence of christian 
principle ; and it w^as an act in the great drama of the world of 
such magnitude, and was productive of such joyous results, that 
we can hardly ever become weary in contemplating it, nor can 
any thing that may serve to make us better acquainted with its 
origin or progress be destitute of interest. Society/ was resolved 
into its original elements ; and tliose elements had to be combined 
and rc-organized by the master spirits of the day. Such men 


were found in every department ; and ministers of the gospel, 
of different denominations, were called upon by the voice of 
their country, and by strong convictions of duty, to encourage 
resistance to "the powers that were ;" and to aid in a course of 
measures that would necessarily involve much calamity and 
suffering. But the motives of the men who were at that time 
prominent actors on the great theatre of conflict between truth 
and error, liberty and oppression, cannot be understood, nor can 
their worth be appreciated, without bringing into view the con- 
dition of the country up to the time when this conflict commen- 
ced ; the character of the people whose destiny, with that of 
unborn millions, was at stake ; and the tyrannical measures 
and spirit of the government to which they were subject. 

The people who, under the British government, settled the 
country now covered by the United States, or by the old thirteen 
States, were very different in their political and religious senti- 
ments; in their pecuniary circumstances and habits of living; and 
were influenced by different motiv-cs in exchanging a civilized 
for a savage country. Those who settled New England and 
most of the country north of the Potomac, w"ere actuated by re- 
Hgious motives ; and sought the wilds of America as an as^dum 
from religious intolerance and persecution in the old world. Of 
course not many of them were people of rank or fortune — hav- 
ing no other nobility than intelligence and moral worth ; and no 
wealth but a good conscience and industrious habits. The pos- 
session of the soil and the liberty of worshipping God as they 
thought right, with the privilege of governing themselves in ac- 
cordance with the laws of England, were secured to them by 
charter; and for the sake of these they left the endearments of 
home and the advantages of civilized society. The proprietors, 
or those who obtained the charters, were themselves emigrants;* 
ancf shared in the privations, toils, and perils of colonizing a 
savage country. Their government, therefore, so far as they 
were permitted to form one, was emphatically the child of nature 
— a government of the people, free and independent; and such 
a government as this, any people will form, if left to the dictates 
of nature and an enlightened conscience. The country to the 
*Bancron, vol. 2 p. 12B. 


southward was settled under the auspices of nieu who belonged 
to the ranks of the nobility, the wealthy and influential, whose 
object was an increase of wealth or fame ; and hence their ef- 
forts from the first to introduce into their colonies orders of no- 
bility and an established church. If at any time they granted 
free toleration and promised great immunities, as an encourage- 
ment to emigants, it was only for selfish purposes ; and was not 
of long continuance. 

The first attempt of the English to form a permanent settle- 
ment on the territory now belonging to the United States, with 
any thing like intelligent and sober views of the subject, was 
made by the talented, heroic, and enterprising Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh. Having obtained a patent from Elizabeth for the pur- 
pose, he sent out two ships laden with men and provisions, un- 
der the command of Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow in 1584, 
for the purpose of makuig discoveries and exploring the country 
with a view to a settlement. They landed on the shores of 
what is now North Carolina, on one of the islands forming Ocra- 
cock Inlet ; and after trafficking with the natives and ranging 
the coast for a few weeks they returned to England. His pa,tent 
" was drawn on the prhiciples of feudal law, and with strict re- 
gard to the christian faith, as professed in the church of Eng- 
land.^'* It is supposed that he was stimulated to this enter- 
prise, in part, by an attempt made about twenty years before 
to find an asylum in the new world for the persecuted Protest- 
ants of Europe. The celebrated Jasper de Coligny, Admiral of 
France, the leader of the Huguenots during the period, or a part 
of the period, in which they were so cruelly persecuted, had 
long cherished the project of finding a place of safety for his 
persecuted brethren in America ; and two attempts were made 
under his auspices to form settlements on the southern coast — 
the first at Port Royal, near the south west corner of South Car- 
olina, in 1562 ; and the other at the mouth of the river May, 
the San Mattheo of the Spaniards, and the St. John's of the 
English, in Florida, which was in 1564.t These were both un- 
successful ; and the project was, from necessity, abandoned. — 

* Bancroft, vol. 1, p. 92. fBiiicroft, vol. 2, p. 62-Gl : Johnson's life of 
Green, vol. 1, p. ITO, Appcndi.v. 


Ilaleigh had learned the art of war under Coligny ; and being 
an admirer of his character, hoped to accompUsh what his mas- 
ter had failed to dOj and to found a protestant nation in the new 
world, but with a government conformed to that of England. — - 
When the ship which he had sent out returned, the men, being 
deUghted themselves, gave such a glowing description of the 
country to Elizabeth and her court, that they gave it the name of 
Virginia, because it had been discovered under the reign, and 
by the encouragement of a virgin Queen. The name which 
was thus given in the first instance, to what is now North Car- 
olina, came to be applied almost indefinitely to the continent; and 
the country from Florida to the St. Lawrence, which was cal- 
led by the Spaniards Florida, and by the French Carolina, was 
by the English called Virginia. In the early part of the next 
y^ear, Raleigh fitted out a new expedition, consisting of seven 
vessels, and carrying one hundred and eight men, who were to 
form a colony in Virginia, now North Carolina ; but having fail- 
ed in this and several other attempts of a similar kind, he resign- 
ed liis patent ; and nothing more was done towards colonizing 
Virginia, or America, durhig the remainder of that century. 

In 1606, charters were granted by James I. to two distuict 
and rival companies : The first was composed of noblemen, gen- 
tlemen, and merchants, in and about London ; and the second, 
of knights, gentlemen, and merchants, in the west. The former 
alone appear io jiave acted efiiciently under their charter, which 
extended from 34° to 38° N. lat.* The charter contained none 
of the elements of popular liberty — not one elective franchise ; 
and not one of the rights of self-government ; but religion was 
especially enjoined to be established according to tlie doctrine 
and rites of the church of England. Near the end of the year, 
three vessels, with 105 men, destined to remain as colonists, 
sailed under the command of Newport, for some harbor in Vir- 
ginia. After encountering many hardships and perils, they ar- 
rived on the coast in April of the next year ; but without any 
design or knowledge on their part, they were carried by a severe 
storm past the settlements of Raleigh, into the Chesapeak Bay. 
Finding on a river, which, after their monarch, they called James'- 

••^Bancroft, vol. 1, p. 120. 

5,0 hlii^ Ui' UAVIU c aldvvell, u.d. 

river, a nioie favorable location than Raleigh's men had founds 
they formed a permanent settlement. They suffered greatly 
from famine and from tlie savages ; but by a variety of fortu- 
nate occurrences, and especielly by the talents, energy, and firm- 
ness of the celebrated John Smith, the little colony was enabled 
to maintam its ground ; and in time became prosperous. By 
charters granted, and settlements formed afterwards, on one side 
and the other, it was reduced to its present limits, as to latitude ; 
but being the oldest colony, it retained the name of Virginia ; 
and for tlie same reason it is often called the Old Dominion, 

By various modifications of their charter, and in other ways, 
they obtained in a few years nearly all the civil rights and priv- 
ileges which they could claim or expect as British subjects ; but 
the church of England was "co-eval with the settlement at 
Jamestown, and seems to have been considered from the begin- 
ing as the established religion." When the government was ad- 
ministered by martial law under Sir Thomas Dale, thougli " con- 
formity was not strictly enforced, courts-martial had authority 
to punish indifterence with stripes, and infidelity with death."'* 
\Vliile the colony was feeble, and it was the interest of all con- 
cerned to have it increased by accessions from abroad, dissenters 
were encouraged to come, and were suffered to retain in peace 
their own forms of v/orship ; but this was not of long continu- 
ance. Sir William Berkley, who entered upon the duties of his 
office in 1642, was popular as a governor and as a man ; but he 
was a zealous high church man, and exerted himself to have 
that church fully established. In 1643 " it was specially ordered 
that no minister should preach or teach, publicly or privately, 
except in conformity to the constitutions of the church of Eng- 
land ; and non-conformists were banished from the colony."t — 
Some who were thus banished /;ro6f/Z>/y came over to Carolina 
m which no regular settlement had hitherto been established ; 
for in this year a company having heard of a river that lay south- 
west of the Appomatox, obtained leave of the Virginia legisla- 
ture to prosecute discoveries in tliat direction. J Even in the 
time of Cromwell, though the laws of conformity were not en- 
forced against other dissenters, " an act was passed by which 
. >*Biiii(?roft-, vol.. 1, p. 14v3. fUancioft, vol 1, p. 207. tBancroQ, vol. 2, p. 133. 


Quakers were banished, and their return regarded as felony." * 
After the Restoration, in 1660, the EngUsh church became again 
the rehgion of the state ; or rather the intolerant spirit of former 
years revived, for tlie laws on this subject had not been changed; 
and conformity appears to have been enforced with as much 
rigor as in England.! The church of England, with very little 
more toleration, continued to be the estabUshed church of Vir- 
ginia until the Revolution of 1776 ; and even after independence 
was gained, efforts were made to have it re-established. 

When people first began to settle permanently within the pre- 
sent limits of North Carolina has not been ascertained. In 1622 
a man by the name of Porey, Secretary of the Old Dominion, 
travelled over land to the Chowan river; and on his return made 
a very favorable report. J In 1630 a patent was granted to Sir 
Robert Heath for the whole of Carolina ; and some efforts were 
made to form a colony ; for William Hawley appeared in Vir- 
ginia as Governor of Carolina; and leave was granted by the 
Virginia legislature that it might be colonized by one hundred 
persons from Virginia. The attempts were unsuccessful ; for 
the patent was declared void some time after, because the pur- 
poses for which it was granted had not been fulfilled,§ though 
some straggling individuals or families may have remained. 
Whether the company which obtained leave of the Virginia le- 
gislature in 1643 to prosecute discoveries on the great river of 
which they had lieard south of the Appomatox, under a promise 
of a fourteen years monopoly of the profits, were seeking a place 
of safety from religious intolerance, and whether they prosecuted 
those discoveries and made any settlements, I have not seen sta- 
ted; but in 1652 the sons of Governor Yeardly wrote to Eng- 
land that the northern country of Carolina had been explored by 
"Virghnans born."|| Exploring parties to the south as well as 
to the west continuing to be encouraged, it is not improbable 
that some of these would settle on the fertile lands of the Chow- 
an or Roanoke. As the waters of the Chowan rise not far from 
the principal settlements then in Virginia, it would be in accord- 
ance with the known principles of human nature to suppose that 

*Bancroft, voi. I, p. 231 ; JefFerson's Notes, p. 22S. 
fB.incroft, vol. 2, p. 200; Jefferson's Notes, p. 228. 
^Bancroft, vo). 2, p. 133. ^ Bancroft, vol. 2, 131. ||Bancroft, vol. 2, p. 13'3, 


individuals and families, who were either fond of a roving life, 
or disliked tlie intolerant laws enacted under the influence of 
Governor Berkley, would descend these streams until they conld 
follow them no farther, or until they were beyond the reach of 
a power which they disliked; and as the country on Nanse- 
mond river was settled chiefly by dissenters of difl'erent names, 
it is probable that, for the rights of conscience, some of these 
would risk the hardships and perils of the wilderness, and trust 
to the guidance and protection of Providence. 

In 1653, Roger Green led a company across the wilderness 
from Nansemond to the Chowan ; and others probably, encour- 
aged by their example, or influenced by similar motives, soon 
followed. It is certain that the corner of North Carolina, which 
lies north-east of the Roanoke, was settled chiefly from Virginia; 
and it must have been not far from this time,§ for in a few years 
after the above date, George Cathmaid received a largo grant of 
land, for having settled sixty-seven persons in Carolina ;t and 
volunteer emigrants had preceded them by several years. J — 
About the year 16G0,]| a smaU company from Massachusetts 
formed a settlement near the mouth of Cape Fear river; and 
obtained land from the Indians, principally for the purpose of 
grazing. In two or three years the settlement was pretty much 
broken up; but "New England planters, and New England 
principles of popular liberty, remained in North Carolina." In 
1662, George Durant obtained, from the chief of the Ycopim 
Indians, the neck of land which still bears his name ;* and pro- 
bably made it a refuge for his friends or acquaintances who 
wished to get away from opression. 

In the early part of the year 1663, Charles II, being surroun- 
ded by a set of courtiers who were rapacious and importunate, 
granted to eight of them a charter to the whole country south of 

^.Bancroft, vol. 2, p. 1:34. IBancroft, vol. 2, p. 135. ^Martin, vol. 1, p. 
126. llWilliampon, vol. 1, p. 191, 

*Durant's Neck is still famous, not only for the transaction above nipn- 
tioned, but tor its having furnished the world with the seed of the Timothy 
\ grass. Amono- the first settlers there, it i^ said, was a certain Quaker, by 
the name of'PinKjtliy somebooy, who ob.-^erved a kind of s^rass ijTowini)' wild 
which he supposed would l;e good *or cultivation. Under this impression he 
collected some of the seed and sent it to a friend in England, who, having 
tried it, and founj it very valuable, called it Timothy grass, m honor of his 
frrend in Carolina who had furnished hiin with the seed. 

LIFli OF PAVIU CAi,l)\VJ;:.LL, D.U. 5.3 

Virginia ; or from 36° of N. lat, to the river San Matthco iu 
Florida, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. I41 addition 
to an absohite right to the soil, and the power of makuig laws, 
not contrary to the laws of England, they had the power of 
building churches, chapels, &c., to be dedicated and consecrated 
according to the ecclesiastical law of England ; and the right of 
advowson and patronage ; but the proprietors w/i,--/// grant to 
nonconformists such indulgences and dispensations in that be- 
half, for and during such time and times, and with such limita- 
tions and restrictions, as they, the proprietors, saw fit and reason- 
able. See charter, sec. 18. 

This charter has been much praised, as being liberal towards 
dissenters ; and perhaps it was liberal for the times ; but its lib- 
erality consisted in giving the proprietors y;er?w/5'.9/o;i to be so, if 
they thought proper. It secured no rights of conscience to the 
colonists. As the proprietors were the courtiers of Chaxles, 
they partook of his spirit ; and the same intolerance would pro- 
bably have been exercised here that was in England, if they had 
not known it would be fatal to their interest. In asking a grant 
of the country, they professed to be actuated by "a pious zeal 
for the propagation of the gospel," but their real object wastlieir 
own aggrandizement. To encourage emigration, they held out 
liberal terms to emigrants ; and promised adventurers gratuities 
of land according to the number of their respective families, 
with a free toleration in the exercise of religion. They were 
allowed to form a representative government, with certain limi- 
tations, and thus a degree of popular freedom was conceded, 
which, it seems, was not intended to be permanent ; but it could 
never be recalled, and had an important influence in producing 
the results which we now enjoy. When this charter was gran- 
ted, the settlement on the Albemarle was large enough to at- 
tract attention; for "people had been moving in there for more 
than twenty years at their own expense ;"* choosing rather to 
run the risk of gaining the friendship of savages, and trust to 
Providence and their own efforts for subsistence, than bear tlie 
insolence and cruelty of civilized men " when clothed with a 
little brief authority," and regardless of every thing but their 

*Williamson, vol. 1, p. 91. 

54 LIFi; OF DAVID C ALD\Vi:i.J.; L'.D. 

own importance ; and when the proprietors obtained their grant, 
they understood that the people on the waters of the Chowan had 
purchased large tracts of land from the Indians.* " As they 
were chiefly refugees from ecclesiastical oppression, they had no 
claims on government ; nor did they wish to draw its attention. 
They regarded the Indian natives as the true lords of the soil ; 
treated with them in that capacity ; purchased their lands ; and 
obtained their grants."§ 

The liberal terms offered by the proprietors had their desired 
efl'cci ; and considerable accessions were soon made to the po- 
pulation. A company came from the island of Barbadoi's and 
settled on the Civpe Fear, with Sir John Yeamans at their head, 
who, after arrangements were made for organizing a govern- 
ment, according to the term.s proposed by the proprietors, was 
appointed governor, with a jurisdiction extending from that 
river to the St. JVIattheo. The settlement on Albemarle was 
increased by some emigrants from Bermuda ; and by a number 
of Quakers and other dissenters who had been driven by intol- 
erance from other colonies. Sir William Berkley, one of the 
proprietors, and governor of Virginia, being then in his gov- 
ernment, or aljout to return to it, was desired to visit this settle- 
ment on the Albemarle, and establish a suitable form of gov- 
ernment, lie was informed by the proprietors that the propo- 
sals made to the settlers on Cape Fear, where many of the New 
England colony still remained, had been prepared in answer to 
a paper forwarded to them by persons who desired to settle 
there ; but were not intended for the meridian of the Albemarle 
conntr^'", where the)^ hoped he would find a more facile people, 
who, by his influence, would settle on terms more favoraole to 
the proprietors. He was authorized to establish two govern- 
ments, one on each side of the Chowan, as individuals, anxious 
for liberty of conscience, might desire a governor of their own 
ciioosing whom those on the opposite side of the river might 
dislike. All this seems to imply that the popular rights and the 
freedom of conscience here granted was only for selfish purpo- 
ses, or was not intended to be perpetual ; and it is amusing to 
observe how Sir William, who, as governor, had carried his 

='M;, vol. ], p. ISO. ;\Vi!lirim:=on, vol. 1, p. 9'>, note. 

LIFE Ol' DAVID (iALD\Vi:i,L, D.l). ")5 

high church priuciples so far in Virginia, could cliange his course 
so as to promote his interest as proprietor in CaroHna. Nor 
was this all : The settlement on the Albemarle, it was found, 
was not within the chartered limits of Carolina ; but belonged 
to Virginia. The proprietors of Carolina ap])lied for an enlarge- 
ment of their charter; and obtained one extending from 29° to 
36° 30' north latitude. Berkley, as might have been expected, 
suflering his feelings of interest as a proprietor to overcome his 
sense of duty as governor, consented to the alteration ; and 
then, probably finding their knowledge of their rights, and their 
love of liberty, greater than had been anticipated, he did not 
deem it prudent " to discuss the principles or dispute the posses- 
sion of these bold pioneers;" but appointed William Drunnuond, 
an emigrant to Virginia from Scotland, probably a Presbytarian, 
a man of prudence and popularity, and deeply imbued with a 
passion for popular liberty, to be their governor. 

The second charter, though not differing materially from the 
first, was perhaps more liberal in its provisions, or more toler- 
ant in its spirit ; a,nd whether it admitted of any dispute or not 
as to its literal meaning, when viewed in connexion with the 
terms offered by proprietors to emigrants, there was no doubt of 
its having been violated by tb.e adoption of the Test act, or by 
any other measure which seriously interfered with the rights of 
conscience. However the colony increased gradually in popu- 
lation ; and prospered in every way, under Stephens as their gov- 
ernor, and a simple representative form of government. As 
there appears to have been no preachers and no religion, or no 
public worship, there was no occasion for any disturbance on 
that score. The people were plain, simple planters ; and lived 
on the produce of the soil and of the waters. These yielded 
their products in abundance ; and while they lived in plenty, and 
at their ease, for the present, they were probably careless of the 
future. But when the colony was prospering, and a fair pros- 
pect was presented of its becoming numerous and powerful, the 
proprietors attempted to take away the liberty which they had 
granted. The fundamental constitntions drawn up by the cele- 
brated John Locke, with the assistance, it is said, of Ashley Coo- 
per, Earl of Shaftsbury, the avowed object of which was, '• to 


make the government of the colony agree, as nearly as possible, 
with the monarchy of v/hich it was part, and to avoid creating a 
numerous democracy," v/ere adopted in March 1670, and im- 
mediately forwarded to Albemarle. Besides establishing or- 
ders of nobility, and a powerful aristocracy, for the purpose of 
putting a stop to the progress of republican principles and man- 
ners, it contained an article which made the church of England 
the established church of Carolina forever. These constitutions 
were rejected by the people, not exclusively or chiefly, it is sup- 
posed, on account of this article ; for the christian world liad 
been so long accustomed to a religious establishment that, how- 
ever repugnant it might be, in the judgment of dissenters, to 
Avhat was right, they would probably have been contented with 
a generous toleration ; but the whole system was so odious on 
account of its aristocratic form and spirit, and was so directly 
subversive of that equality of rights which they had previously 
(nijoyed, that the attempt to enforce it, together with the restric- 
tions laid on their commerce a few years afterwards, led to a re- 
bellion, or ratlier a revolution, headed by John Cuipepper — a 
man "more sinned against than sinning," as to this matter — 
which threw the country into confusion for years ; and peace 
could not be restored until the Grand iModel, as it was termed, 
was exchanged in 1693 for a form of government more conge- 
nial with their sentiments and better suited to their condition. 

In 1672, William Edmundson from England, a preacher in the 
Quaker society, visited his Quaker bretln-en in Albemarle set- 
tlement; and was so successful that he formed a society before 
he left — the first man o^ any denomination, it is said, who held 
a religious meeting or organized a religious society in North 
Carolina. In the autumn of the same year, George Fox, the 
father of the sect, having made his way through the wilderness, 
and over the great bogs of the Dismal Swamp, was received 
with much cordiality in a region which had always been the 
refuge of Quakers and "renegadoes" from ecclesiastical oppres- 
sion. These preachers were both gratified with their success. 
Francis Jones, a member of the council, and other persons of 
distinction, or of influence, joined their society; and a monthly 
meeting of dis;cip']ine was pstabHshod. Quaker principles are 


favorable to liberty ; and are perhaps rather democratic lliaii 
repubhean. Having come mto existence, as a sect, in the midst 
of intolerance and oppression, they learned at once to contend, 
to suffer, and to forgive. After Fox and Edmundson, on their 
visit to Albemarle, had so effectually recommended their prin- 
ciples to the governor, the chief secretary of the colony, mem- 
bers of the council, and other persons of influence, if the estab- 
lishment of the fundamental constitutions was before difficult, 
it was now impossible ; and peace and order were not restored 
until it was done by Quaker influence. The high toned prerog- 
ative principles, and intolerant measures which prevailed in 
Virginia had been driving from her soil a most valuable part of 
her population, the non-conformists of various names, who most- 
ly sought refuge on the Albemarle ; and if that party in Virginia 
chose to call North Carolina " rogue's harbor," or " the refuge 
of runaways, rogues, a.nd rebels," because those who were so 
called, but who were really fugitives from oppression, and the 
advocates of popular liberty and the rights of conscience " fled 
daily to Carolina as their common subterfuge and lurking place," 
it need never cause her sons to blush, for they were such runa- 
ways, rogues and rebels as were a loss to Virginia, and a gain 
to Carolina. They made resistance to oppression here more 
easy and certain ; and if the demand of that government for 
their surrender was refused, it was a refusal which seems to 
have been justified by the result as well as by the nature of the 

In the southern part of the province, which included, with the 
settlement on Cape Fear, the one which had been formed in 
what is now South Carolina, the struggle against aristocratic 
power seems to have been more severe and protracted. About 
a month before the fundamental constitutions were signed by 
the proprietors in England in 1670, a company sailed for Caroli- 
na, under the conduct of Joseph West as commercial agent for 
the proprietors, and William Sayle who was to be their gover- 
nor. He was probably a Presbyterian; and his government 
extended from Cape Carteret as far south as the Spaniards would 
tolerate.t The settlement was formed on Ashley river, and he 

^'Bancroft, vol. 2, p. 157. |Bancroft, vol. 2, p. 16B: 


coiinuonced his government with fair prospects ; but soon fell a 
victim to the chmate. Tlie government of Sir John Yeamans 
was then extended over this settlement; and he himself removed 
thither in the following year.* A considerable majority of the 
people were non-conformists t — puritans from England ; Pres- 
byterians from Scotland and Ireland ; Dutch from Holland ; and 
an accession of the same class from New York, in 1674, when 
that province was taken by the British. There was also a par- 
ty who were attached to the church of England and in favor of 
the constitution which the proprietors were endeavoring to es- 
tablish. Yeamans was the son of a cavalier, a needy baronet, 
who, to mend his fortune had become a Barbadoes planter ; f 
and, when appointed governor of Carolina, endeavored of course 
to carry out the wishes of those to whom he owed his appoint- 
ment. His council was composed of men who had the same 
views with himself, while the members of the lower house ap- 
pear to have been mostly opposed to these views ; and thus a 
scene of confusion and violence ensued which was most deplora- 
ble. In the short space of four years, from 1682 to 1686 there 
were five governors ; and this state of things continued until a 
kind of revolution was eflected on the banks of Ashley and Coop- 
er rivers, similar to that which had been effected on the Albe- 
marle, by which Governor Colleton was driven out there in 1690, 
as Governor Miller, in 1 678, had been in the northern settlement. 
The whole province of Carolina was held by one charter, 
and belonged to the same proprietors ; and therefore, although 
there were two distinct settlements with governments in some 
respects distinct, there was a unity of design and of measures 
which produced pretty much the same results in both.§ The 
liigli church party having gained the ascendancy, exercised so 
much violence and such disregard to the rights of others, that 
the government was brought into contempt, and ruin seemed to 
threaten the country. They attempted to deprive all dissenters 
of the right of suffrage, to curtail their civil privileges, and to 
render their situation so irksome that they would be obliged to 
leave the colony, A pretty large body of French huguenots 

^Bancroft, vol. 2, p. 16G. fSimms' Hist. S. C, p. 57,68, 58. tBancroft, 
\'*f»!. -2, p. 137, 187. 'jWillianiKon, vol. 1, p. 143, 150; Sinim?, p. 81. 


having been driven from their native country by persecutioji, 
had sought in Carolina that civil and rehgious freedom which i.s 
the inahenable right of every man ; but instead of receiving the 
kindness and hospitaUty to which they were entitled, both by 
their sufferings and by their protestantism, they were treated 
with harshness and contempt. They were the most peaceful, 
industrious, and useful people in the country ; and the proprie- 
tors had mtrusted Governor Ludwell to admit them to tlie same 
political privileges with the other colonists ; but the party in 
power refused to comply. Being aliens they were incapable of 
holding lands until they were naturalized ; and this party, so 
hide bound and aristocratic in their notions, not only refused, at 
least for a time, to naturalize them, but declared their marriages 
by ministers who had not been episcopally ordained, illegal, and 
their children illegitimate.* With a view to quell these distur- 
bances and get matters regulated, the proprietors sent over John. 
Archdale, who was himself a proprietor, and a member of the 
Quaker society in England. He assumed the government in 
1695; and uniting, as he did, the firmness, sagacity, and pru- 
dence of the governor with the philanthropy and conmiand of 
temper for which the members of that society are usually dis- 
tinguished, he overawed the turbulent and succeeded most hap- 
pily ill restoring order and prosperity to the country. Although 
averse to war and the shedding of blood, he thought it best, in 
the existing circumstances of the country, to make preparation 
for defence. With this view he had a militia law passed, 
though in the spirit of toleration, and with an exemption hi fa- 
vor of those who are restrained by conscientious scruples from 
bearing arms, which has been ever since retained in our code 
with perhaps some temporary modifications. He determhied, 
however, to carry out his pacific principles, as far as it could be 
done, in his intercourse with all concerned ; and he was not dis- 
appointed. He pursued the same course with the Indians that 
William Perm had done in Pennsylvania, and with the same 
success.t In every way he managed so as to make no enemies 
and secure the friendsliip of all. He received, as he deserved, 

■■*=Sirnms, p. 79. Wi]liam?nn, vol. 1, p. 151. 
TWiUirmison, vol. 1, p. 152-15,''). 


the graiitiide of all parties, and his name will be rev'ered while 
our institutions remain. 

After Archdale left the colony the intolerance of the high 
church party was exerted with increased energy and with tem- 
])orary success. Lord Granville, a zealous member of the 
church of England, was now palatine of Carolina ; and exert- 
ed all his influence to get that church established in the prov- 
ince. Accordingly he instructed Sir Nathaniel Johnson, who, 
in 1703, was appointed governor of the southern colony, to pro- 
mote the passage of a law for that purpose. As he had been 
suspected by Queen Anne of not having been very favorable to 
the revolution, he was obliged to qualify for this office in the 
manner required by the laws of England, and to give security 
for his faithful observance of the laws of trade and navigation, 
and for his obedience to such instructions as she might from 
time to time give him. Having been thus instructed, and being 
assisted by the principal officers in his part of the province, he 
exerted himself with so much zeal and success as to procure 
the election of a sufficient number to carry his point. Great 
opposition was made to the bill, but it passed into a law, and 
was ratified by the lords proprietors. This part of the prov- 
ince was divided into ten parishes ; provision was made for the 
support of ministers, the purchase of glebes, erection of church- 
es, &c. ; and an act was passed requiring members of assembly 
to conform to the religious worship in the province, according 
to the church of England, and to qualify for office by receiving 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites and. 
usages of that church.* Tliis was an act of the most rigid con- 
formity ; and betrayed in this otherwise peaceful and happy 
country all the bigotry and intolerance which had disgraced the 
reign of Charles II. in England. 

The inhabitants of Colleton, who were mostly dissenters, sent 
John Ash, a man of influence among them, to lay their griev- 
ances before the lords proprietors ; but the governor prevented 
him from embarking at Charleston, and he had to travel by land 
to Virginia. On his way through Albemarle, the people of that 
settlement generally; approving of his object, prevailed on Ed- 

*Martin. vol. 1. p. 217-210. 


niund Porter to accompany liim, as deputy, on their behalf. — 
Unable to obtain rehef from the proprietors, he would have laid 
the grievances of the people before parliament, but was preven- 
ted by death, and his papers fell into tlie hands of tliose whose 
interest it was to suppress them. In the mean time the intrepid 
governor suiTered no obstacle to-obstruct or impede his progress. 
A corporation, composed of twenty individuals, was instituted, 
with judicial power in ecclesiastial matters. It had power to 
deprive ministers of their livings ; and the acts of the legislature 
Avere executed with the utmost rigor. This was in direct vio- 
lation of the chartered rights of the colonists ; the dissenters, 
whom it was designed to exclude from a seat in the assembly, 
and from places of trust or profit, were exasperated ; and all 
was in confusion. 

In the next spring the authority of Sir Nathaniel was extended 
over the northern part of the province, which was left without 
an executive head, by the death of president Walker ; and he 
appointed Robert Daniel to succeed Walker, as deputy governor, 
with a strict charge to have the church of England established 
by law. The bill which was introduced for this purpose, met 
with strong opposition, but the address and influence of the 
governor, secured its passage.* The spirit of intolerance had 
been increasing with the growth of the province ; for the con- 
stant influence of executive patronage, and numerous emigra- 
tions from Virginia, had given the high church party a majority 
in the legislature.! According to tlie above act, any man hold- 
ing a place of trust, was subjected to a fine, who neglected to 
qualify himself, by taking the oath which the law required. — 
This part of the province was now div' _ed into parishes, as the 
other had been ; and provision was made for building churches, 
laying out glebes, and makhig appropriations for the support of 
the clergy. The people, who were not so obsequious to the will of 
the governor as the members of the assembly had been, at 
once manifested their purpose not to submit ; and the Quakers 
who composed a large part of the population in Pasquotank and 
Perquimons, seemed disposed to sacrifice their pacific principles, 
if necessary, to the preservation of their rights. But the dissen- 

*Martin, vol. 1, p. 220. fVVilliamson, vol. 1, p. 169. 


ters, in the two parts of the provmce, united for the purpose of 
laying their complaints before the throne ; and Joseph Boon was 
sent to England witli a petition to the house of lords. That 
body came to the resolution that " the laws complained of, were 
founded on falsity in matter of fact, repugnant to the laws of 
England, contrary to the charter of the lords proprietors, an 
encouragement to atheism and irreligion, destructive to trade, 
and tended to the depopulation and ruin of the provhice." — 
They next addressed the queen, and besought her to take mea- 
sures for delivering the province from " the arbitrary oppression 
inider which it lay, and having the proprietors of it prosecuted 
according to law." The lords commissioners of trade and plan- 
tations, to whom it was referred, sustained the resolution of the 
house of lords, and recommended that process be issued against 
the proprietors accordingly. The queen's lawyers were directed 
to procure a writ of quo warranto, and to report what more 
should be done, that the queen might take the government of 
Carolina into her own hands ;* but it was abandoned, and the 
people were left without relief. 

Two years before, (1702,) the assembly passed an act raising 
thirty pounds currency in each precinct, towards the support of 
a minister. In the beginning of the next year the first Episcopal 
minister arrived, the Rev. Mr. Blair, who had been sent out by 
lord Weymouth, and was supported principally at his expense ; 
but he soon found it so diificult to give satisfaction, and to en- 
dure the hardships of his situation, that he returned to England.t 
In 1705 the first church erected in the province was built in 
Chowan precinct ; and in the following year a larger one was 
built in Perquimons. About the beginning of the following 
year, two Episcopal ministers arrived, the Rev. Messrs. Adams 
and Gordon, who were sent out by the society which had been 
established in England in 1702, for the propagation of the gos- 
pel in foreign parts ; and they took charge of the churches al- 
ready mentioned, with the parishes to which they belonged.^ 

It seems that dissenting ministers were not allowed to solemn- 
ize the rite of marriage ; but a magistrate might perform this 
ceremony, provided there was no minister in the parish, — oth- 

*.Martin, vol. 1, p. 2*20, •!• Williamson, vol. 1, p. 169. tMartin, vol. 1. n. '2^0 


erwise he was subject to a fine of five pounds. Previous to this, 
marriage had been considered a mere civil contract; and all 
that was required of persons wishing to marry was to signify 
their mutual consent in presence of the governor, or any mem- 
ber of the council, with a few neighbors as witnesses; but after 
the church of England was established, a minister of that church, 
if to be had, was necessary to render a marriage valid, though 
in case of the absence or default of such, a magistrate might act. 
Dissenters were allowed to worship in public, but subject to 
such rules, regulations and restrictions as were contained in the 
several acts of the British parliament.* Quakers were permit- 
ted to affirm instead of swearing ; but they could not in this 
way give evidence in any criminal case, nor serve on a jury, 
nor obtain a seat in the legislature,! nor hold any office of profit 
or trust. But such encroachments could not be quietly made on 
the liberties of a people who had long been accustomed to feci 
themselves as free as the living orders of creation around them; 
and who had in one instance at least, and to a gratifying extent, 
resisted the exercise of aristocratic or arbitrary power. The es- 
tablishment of the church, with the consequent taxation for its 
support, and the infringement on the rights of conscience, seems 
to have given rise to the contest between Thomas Carey and 
William Glover, for the highest office in the colony. The former 
had been appointed by Sir Nathaniel Johnson as deputy gover- 
nor of the nortliern part of the province ; but the proprietors 
disapproved of the appointment, and directed their deputies here 
to elect one from among themselves as president and commander- 
in-chief. Glover was chosen ; but was strongly opposed by 
those over whom his authority was extended. The Quakers, 
whose numbers and influence had long given tone to public 
sentiment, took part with Carey ;J and so did many others who 
felt that not only their natural, but their chartered rights, or the 
promises made to them at first by the proprietors, had been vio- 
lated. Most of the other colonies were settled by men to whom 
the tyrannical or oppressive governments of the old world were 
intolerable ; and they had frequent and hard contests v/ith the 

*Williamson, vqI. 1, p. 168. +Mai tin, vol. 1, p. 22l9- 
.fMattiri, vol 1, v. VM) 127; YM 


tools of arbitrary power ; but North Carolina was settled by 
<*' the freest of the free," — by men who had exchanged other 
couutries with their advantages and disadvantages ; their great- 
er safety and superior comforts ; their intolerant spirit and op- 
pressive measurses; for a residence far from the abodes of civil- 
ized society, where they might enjoy the freedom of nature ; 
and from the time that British authority vv^as extended over them, 
they had become accustomed to revolution, or to resist the un- 
just demands of those in pov/er. When the proprietors first un- 
dertook to establish their authority on the Albemarle, they were 
obliged to compromise matters; as we have seen, with those 
who had, years before, purchased land of the Iiidians, and who 
considered themselves lords of the soil.* The attempt to estab- 
hsh the fundamental constitutions of Locke, a few years after- 
wards, met with such determined opposition that they were ob- 
liged to abandon it, and leave the people to the exercise of such 
a representative government as had been at first granted. It 
was with great difficulty that a law could be passed establishing 
the church of England; and the attempt to enforce it met with 
a bold and strenuous opposition. 

But the men in power, by the exercise of authority and pat- 
ronage combined, generally succeeded, during the infancy and 
mihority of the colony, in obtaining the enactment of such laws 
as they wished ; and in putting them into operation to some ex- 
tent. The Quakers appear to have been a thorn in the side of 
the governors who were at this period the instruments of op- 
pression ; and heavy complaints were made against them. To 
president Glover they paid no respect, or none such as he wish- 
ed ; for " they would shew themselves singular, coming to the 
table with their hats on, laying their hands on the book, repeat- 
ing the words of the oath, but using the word declare instead of 
the word swear, and then, having their explanation of the sense 
or meaning in which they took it entered underneath, they sub- 
scribed without kissing the book, and declared they took it in 
that sense and no other." So it appears that there was then no 
toleration given them ; or that there was at least an attempf 
made to compel them to take an oath. Thomas Pollock who 

*Banciolt, vol, X p. 135. 


succeeded governor Hyde as president and comuiander-in-chicl", 
in a letter to Lord Craven, attributes the disturbances and ca- 
Jamities of tliat period to "• the machinations of the Quakers." 
'• Our divisions, chiefly occasioned by the Quakers and some 
other ill-disposed persons," he says '• have been the cause of all 
our troubles." Again, he says that they had been ''a great oc- 
casion of the war" with the Indians; for by their disobedience 
to the government, and the encouragement they gave others to 
imitate them, they had been the chief cause of its not liaving 
been carried on with sufficient vigor. " In some of the precincts, 
being the most numerous in the election fields, they chose sucli 
members of the Assembly as would oppose what was necessary 
to carry on the war. The generality of the people, seeing that 
the Quakers, from their disobedience and opposition to the gov- 
ernment, rose actually in arms, and attacked the governor and 
council, without any manner of punishment, were emboldened 
to do the like, and seemed to want a leader only to raise anothcj' 
insurrection." Yet in a subsequent letter to another of the pro- 
prietors, he tells us that althougli the Quakers had been very re- 
fractory under the administrations of Glover and Hyde, they had 
been peaceable under Ijis ; and had been as ready in supplying 
the troops with provisions as any of the otlicr inliabitants. Ii 
would seem then that if they "did rise actually in arms and at- 
tack the governor and council," in the time of Glover and Hyde, 
there must have been great cause for it, or they must have al- 
tered very much in a short time; and if North Carolina had 
ever "been the paradise of Quakers" it was not so when those 
men were in power. 

In 1715 the Assembly met at the house of John llccklelield, 
one of tiie deputies, who lived on Little river, a stream that di- 
vides the counties of Pasquotank and Perquimons. An act was 
passed, entitled, ^^n act for establishing the church and ap- 
pointing select vestries. The country was divided into nine 
parishes ; and twelve vestrymen and two church wardens were 
appointed in each. They were directed to procure ministers, 
purchase glebes, build churches &c.; and for defraying these and 
all other parish expenses they were empovv^ered to levy a poll 
tax to the amount of five sliillinL'-s i)er poll. If they procured a 


toimster tliey were to give him a salary of not less than My 
pounds per annum, and he was allowed a certain fee for every 
marriage. It repealed or took the place of former acts on tliis 
subject ; and the only notice it takes of dissenters is a clause ex- 
empting them from the fine of three pounds imposed on others 
for neglecting or refusing to qualify and serve according to the 
act when elected as vestrymen or church wardens. The act 
never was printed ; for it was repealed or substituted by another 
before there was any printed revisal of the laws ; but it is among 
the earliest legislative records tbat have been preserved ; and it 
appears to have continued hi force, without any material altera- 
tion or amendment, for about twenty-six years. At a biennial 
session of the assembly held in the same year at the house of 
Capt. Richard Sanderson on Little river, an act was passed enti- 
tled, t/ln act for the more effectual observing of the Queen's 
jjeace, &c.* which shewed the spirit of the party in power, and 
was a near approximation to the severity ex:»Tcised under the 
act of uniformhy in England. After a preamble which gives a 
sad picture of the recent " revolutions " and troubles in the pro- 
vince, it was enacted that all persons who might at any time 
'•speak any seditious words or speeches, or spread abroad false 
news, write or dispense scurrilous libels against the present gov- 
ernment now lawfully established, &c. should be reputed as utter 
enemies of the queen's peace ; and should be punished at the 
discretion of the justices of the general court, by fines, imprison- 
ment, pillory, or otherwise ; that they should be compelled to 
give good and sufhcient security for their good behaviour during 
t!ic pleasure of the court ; that they should be incapable of hold- 
hig any office of profit or trust in the government ; and that 
those who might at any time know of such evil practices as afore- 
said and concealed the same, should be punished as if they them- 
selves had committed such crimes." It was then enacted that the 
laws of England should be the laws of this colony, so far as they 
ivere compatible with our way of living and trade ; that no 
person should hold any commission, office, or place of trust what- 
ever, without first having qualified himself according to the 
•fiitriciness of the laws of Great Britain, novv' in force, under the 
''^Davis' Fii-yt Revisal, p. 10. 


penalty of one hundred pounds ; that the coimnon law of Eng- 
land should be in force in this government, except such parts in 
the practice as could not be pnt in execution for tlie want of 
certain officers; and that the statute laws made for maintaining 
the queen's royal prerogative, the security of her royal person, 
the succession of the crown, the establishment of the church, tlie 
indulgence to protestant dissenters, &c., should be in force here. 

The people of the southern part of the province liaving be- 
come heartily tired of the proprietary goverimient, and finding 
a favorable opportunity, resisted the authority of those whom 
they had long regarded, not as protectors, but as oppressors ; and 
in 1719, effected a revolution without bloodshed, which was 
followed by thirty years, or more, of comparative quiet and 
prosperity. The right of the proprietors was not formally re- 
linquished for several years ; but a governor was appointed im- 
mediately by the king ; and his authority was, from tins time, 
acknowledged by the people, and practically exercised in that 
part of the province,* This revolution did not extend to the 
northern part of the province ; but the people here appear to 
have remained quiet under the proprietary government until 
I728,t when the proprietors resigned their charter to the king. 
The whole province then pa,ssed under the regal government, 
and was divided into North and South Carolina ; but the church 
of England continued to be the established church in both these 
provinces, as it did in Virginia, until the Revolution, In North 
Carolina, the act for the establishment of the clmrch, underwent 
from time to time various alterations, some times for the better,, 
and some times for the worse, or some times with more and 
some times with less indulgence to dissenters ; but nothing like 
religions liberty was ever granted by law. The object of the 
violent encroachments made upon the civil rights of the people 
here, during the reign of Queen Anne, appears to have been the 
secure establishment of the church of England ; and this was 
done under the influence of the alarm excited by the bishops in 
the time of William, J who, at first, shewed himself a friend to 
the rights of conscience. But when the law had once been 
passed it could not be repealed or abrogated, except by an entire 
*Lire ofGrcon, vol. 1, p.252; fMartin, vol.l,p.288. tLife of Green, vol,l.p.248 


revolution in the govornment ; for the governor, who was ap 
•pointed by the proprietors while their authority continued, and 
afterwards by the king, had a veto power on all laws, and was 
ahuost sure to be sustained in the exercise of it by the council^ 
who were appointed either by the same transatlantic authority^ 
or by himself, I^esidcs, t!ie establishment of the church in- 
creased the patronage and power of the governor ; and after 
all, any act passed here, though it liad the sanction of the gov- 
ernor, might be disapproved by the higher power in England. 
Thus tlie aristocratic or high-toned party, though a minority, tri- 
umphed over tlie liberties of Carolina ; and continued to enjoy 
the triumph with some limitations until the Revolution of 1776 ; 
for besides occasional appropriations from the common treasury 
of the colony for ecclesiastical purposes, the inhabitants, of what- 
ever creed or -religious profession, were compelled to pay a tax 
for tiie erection of clnu'ches, the purchase of glebes, and the 
support of ministers in the established church. In South Caro- 
lina the assessment was made and levied, for a number of years, 
b}- a board of commissioners constituted for the purpose, and 
endowed with ample power; so tliat the salaries for the minis- 
lers, in the respective parishes, were levied independent even 
of the legislature of the State. In North Carolina this was not 
tlie case ; and if it had been attempted, probably another Cul- 
pepper would have arisen up, who, with the Quakers and other 
non-conformists, constituting, as they did, a large majority, to 
stand at his back, v/ould have imprisoned the whole board of 
commissioners, with the governor at their head ; and would 
have taken the whole business into his own hands. Here some 
appearance of liberty was maintained ; for the tax was layed by 
the vestrymen, and they were chosen by the people. 

In April, 1741, an act was passed, entitled an act for estab- 
lishing the cliurch, for appohiting parishes, and the method of 
electing vestries ; and for directing the settlement of parish ac- 
counts throughout this government, which makes no radical al- 
teration in the former. The taxes which were asses-sed by the 
vestrymen were to be collected by the slieriir like other taxes ; 
the minister was to reside constantly hi the parish, and not omit 
oj-Hr-iaiiiio- ill the church or chapels, unless prevented by sickness 


or permitted by the vestry to officiate in vacant places, kc; but 
Iciiown dissenters from the church of England were exempt, ;is 
before, merely from being compelled to qualify and serve as ves- 
trymen.* This act was amended in 1751, so that vestrymen 
were to be elected by ballot ; all were allowed to vote who v/erc 
entitled to vote for members of assembly, any one might bo 
chosen as vestryman who was eligible to the assembly ; and 
members of his majesty's council might vote and be voted for, 
which had not formerly been the case.t The legislature was 
often occupied in regulating the affairs of the church ; and 
whenever a new county was formed, it was, at the same time, 
constituted a parish. The tax appears to have been exclusively 
a. poll tsix ; and tliis bore hard on the poor, wliile to the weal- 
thy, who had nothing to pay for their lands or mercliandize, it 
was a mere song. From history, and from the acts and records 
of the legislature, we learn tliat there was, on this and on every 
thing else that concerned the liberties and welfare of the people, 
ahiiost a constant struggle between the upper and lower house ; 
or between the governor and council, and the popular branch of 
the assembly. Tlie mauitenance and adva.ncement of the 
church, as a means of sustaining, if not of extending, their 
power, seems, to have been a prominent object with the former ; 
while the aim of the latter was to diminish that power and to 
secure the freedom which they so highly prized ; and it was sel- 
dom that either could carry a measure, except in a way of com- 
promise, that is, by yielding something which was desired by 
the other. 

That the church establishment was irksome to the people is 
evident from the fact that they fell on the plan of electing men 
as vestrymen who, they were aware, would not serve •,i and 
this prevailed to such an extent as to call for the attention of the 
legislature. An act was passed to put a stop to such undutiful 
conduct in future, and prevent the alarming evils which might 
arise out of it. This was not all; for it appears that the people 
also got into the habit of absenting themselves from the polls 
and taking no part in the election. The advocates of the churck 
establishment, as if they supposed this was all owing to the in 

^.Swann's Rcvisal, p. 15G. "iSwann's Rcvisal, p. ^')2. t^Iartin. vol.2 p. 91. 


flucncc of dissenters, wlio were now becoming numerous in the 
province, seem to have been resolved on exerting their power 
to the full extent, for they passed a law embracing both electors 
and elected vestrymen. The assembly which met at Wilming- 
ton, Jan. 30th, 17G4, enacted, among other things, that all per- 
sons qualified to vote for vestrymen in their respective parishes, 
(the people called Quakers excepted) should attend and give 
their vote for vestrymen, in the manner before directed, unless 
prevented by some bodily infirmity, or legal disability, under a 
penally oftwenly shillings, proclamation money, to be recover- 
ed by a warrant from any justice of tlie peace within the coun- 
ty, provided that such penalty was sued for within ten days af- 
ter it was incurred. A man was a free holder who had posses- 
sion of fifty acres of land for life, or a lot in some town within 
the limits of his parish ; and any freeholder (Quakers excepted) 
might be elected a vestryman. Then he must take before some 
magistrate, and in presence of the vestry, the oaths appointed by 
law to be taken by public officers ; and repeat, and subscribe in 
the vestry book, the following declaration, viz : I, A B, will not 
oppose the doctrine, discipline, and liturgy of the church of 
England, as by law established. It v.^as further enacted that 
every person chosen as a vestryman in any parish, and duly 
summoned, who might refuse or neglect to qualify agreeably to 
the directions of tliis act, if a l;noivn dissenter from the church 
of England, should forfeit and pay the sum of three pounds, 
proclamation money, to be recovered as other fines in this act 
directed.* This v\^as amended by the assembly which met in 
Newbern, Nov. 3d., 1768, so as to extend the penalty on dissen- 
ters for refusing to qualify and act when elected as vestrymen 
to every person wb.o might be chosen as a vestryman ; and fi'om 
the operation of this law none but Quakers were excmpt.t — 
These laws may not have been rigidly ciiforced throughout the 
whole State ; nor is it probable that it could be done at this pe- 
riod, and with the large accession which had been made to the 
population by emigrants who were advocates of civil and reli- 
gious freedom. 

The design in presenting these facts is not to raise any objcc- 
=*'i)iiviri' Ist Revisal, p. 317. fDavis' 2nd Revisal, p. 433. 


tioii or excite any hostile feelings against the Episcopal church 
as Episcopal ; for as such they do not affect it ; but as it was 
then a religious establishment, united with the civil power, and 
employing that power for its support and extension ; and the 
same objection would lie against the legal establishment of any 
other denomination. All intention of making, in this work, any 
sort of attack upon other religious communions in our country, is 
utterly disclaimed by the writer ; but it is as important surely 
that we should keep in view the religious oppression, as that we 
should remember the civil tyrranny, from which we were deliv- 
ered by the valor and patriotism of our forefathers. That a 
man should be obliged to pay a tax of four or five shillings an- 
nually, or any sum, for supporting a form of worship which he 
conscientiously believed to be wrong, or was at least irksome to 
him, was a greater violation of his rights and more injurious in its 
effects, than that he should be compelled to pay a penny on every 
pound of tobacco he sent to market, or a few cents on every 
pound of tea he used ; yet the latter, or the principle which led 
to the imposition of sucli a tax, is constantly spolien of as a main 
cause of the revolution. They who interfere v/ith the rights of 
conscience are no friends either to religion or to their countr}^; 
for the supremacy of conscience must be maintained, or the best 
safeguard to moral rectitude is gone. Moral principle is always 
weakened by every successful temptation to violate the dictates 
of conscience ; and such temptations must be found by many un- 
der every religious establishment, in the fear of incurring the 
penalty by refusing to conform, on the one hand ; and in the pros- 
pect of gain or promotion on the other, by yielding an implicit 
obedience. Whether one form of church government has a 
greater tendency than another to unite with the state, and to be- 
come overbearing and intolerant ; or whether there ever has 
been a case in which the benefits were greater than the evils re- 
sulting from the legal establishment of religion under any form, 
are matters the discussion of which, if any discussion be necessa- 
ry, must be left for tliose who are more competent to the task ; 
but we may be allowed to contemplate the grievances from 
which we have been delivered, as the Israelites of old were re- 
quired to remember their bondage iii Egypt ; and perhaps it 16 


a duty to place before our minds, whenever occasion oll'ers, the 
oppressions and evils of the past in full contrast with the privi- 
leges and blessings of the present, for the purpose of keeping alive 
our gratitude to the author of all good, and of manitaining the 
vigilance and firnniess necessary to preserve and improve what 
Avc possess. 

At one period, and for many years, probably from the estab- 
lishment of the church of England, according to the letter of the 
laws, whatever might have been the intention, Presbyterian and 
dissentiiig ministers, if there were any in tlie colony, were sub- 
ject to perform military duty. The assembly which met at New- 
bern, June Sth, 1146, passed an act y?;?- ihe better regulating of 
the militia, which makes the militia to consist of all the free- 
men and servants within the province, except ministers of the 
churcli of England, members of liis majesty's council, members 
of the assembly, &:c., but ministers of other denominations are 
not noticed.* At a meeting of the assembly held in Wilmington 
January 30, 1764, this act was so amended as to exempt from 
military duty, Presbyterian ministers ivhcn regularly called to 
any congregation in the province,t which, Martin says,| was 
the first instance of avuy indulgence granted^ by lav/ to non-con- 
formists. This is not strictly correct ; for some indulgence, it is 
believed, had been previously granted to Quakers, but to no 
others. According to the above act, however, if literally inter- 
. preted, Presbyterian ministers could not claim exemption, un- 
less they were regularly called to some congregation within the 
province. If laboring as missionaries in destitute parts, they 
miglit be required to appear under arms at every muster, or be 
subjected to a fine ; and, both before and after this date, many 
ministers, in or past the middle of life, and of high standing in 
their profession, were sent out here from the north, to serve as 
missionaries, some for six months, and some for a year, wlio 
could not claim the provisions of the act. Some amendment 
was made to the act about two years afterwards ; but with res- 
pect to dissenters, there was no alteration. It was so amended 
by the assembly which met at Newbern, December 5th, 1770, in 
reference to Quakers,, t'lough they were required to be en- 

*S\van:% p. 215. fD:i\L' lit Rcvis^l, [t :U1. jVol. % p. 184; 


rolled as others, no fine could be imposed on thorn for not mus- 
tering or bearing arms, except in cases of invasion or insurrection, 
when they must serve or furnish a substitute, under a penalty 
of ten pounds ;* and this seems to have been the last alteration 
of the militia laws during the continuance of the British govern- 

When Presbyterian ministers began to organize churches and 
settle in North Carolina they do not appear to have considered 
themselves bound by the laws on the subject of marriage ; but 
proceeded to marry persons, when requested, according ^o their 
own rules and regulations. From the establishment of the 
church, dissenting ministers had not been allowed to celebrate 
marriages ; but in April 1741 a special act was passed, by Avhich 
it was enacted, that every clergyman of the church of England, or, 
for the want of such, any lawful magistrate should join in mar- 
riage all persons who might lawfully enter into this relation and 
had complied with the directions contained in the act; that no jus- 
tice of tiie peace should perform this ceremony in any parish where 
a minister resided and had a cure, without first obtaining permis- 
sion of the minister, under a penalty of five pounds, proclamation 
money, to the use of the minister; that no minister or justice 
should marry without license first obtained for the purpose, or 
thrice publication of the banns, as prescribed by the Rubric in 
the Book of Common Prayer, under a penalty of £50 ; that no 
minister should go out of this government to marry persons be- 
longing to the government, under the same penalty ; that no 
minister or justice might refuse to marry persons, when regular- 
ly called on, under a penalty of ten pounds, if by license," or five 
pounds, if by banns ; and that the minister of any parish should 
always have the benefit of the fee for marriages in said parish, 
if he did not refuse or neglect to do the services thereof, no mat- 
ter who performed the marriage ceremony.t Why the Presby- 
terian ministers did not consider themselves bound by this law 
does not appear ; but they had married so many that the legis- 
latiu'e found it necessary to pass an act declaring these marriages 
valid, and granting tliem permission to continue the practice ii-i 
future, under certain restrictions. The Assembly winch met at 

*Davis' 2nf] Rnvisal. p. 455. iDavis' 1st RcvJsal,p. 71. 



Newbcmiii November, 1766, passed an act amendatory to the 
preceding, which has the following preamble and enactments : 
" Whereas by an act entitled An act concerning marriages, it 
is enacted that no minister, or justice of the peace, shall celebrate 
the rites of matrimony between any persons, or join them togeth- 
er as man and wife without license or certificate of publication, 
as mentioned in the said act : And whereas the Presbyterian or 
Dissenting clergy, conceiving themselves not included in the re- 
strictions of ministers mentiond in that act, have joined many 
persons together in holy matrimony without either licence or 
publication, whereby the payment of the just and legal fees to the 
governor on such occasions has been eluded, the validity of mar- 
riages may be endangered : 

"jSe it enacted &c. that all marriages that have been or shall 
be solemnized, before the first day of January next, by any of 
the dissenting or Presbyterian clergy, in their accustomed man- 
ner, shall be, and are hereby declared to be, as valid, legal, and 
efl'ectual, to all intents and purposes, as if performed by any min- 
ister of the church of England, under a license taken and grant- 
ed according to the direction of the aforesaid act. 

Jind be it further enacted, That from and after the first day 
-of January next, it shall and may be lawful for any Presbyteri- 
an minister, regularly called to any congregation in this prov- 
ince, to celebrate the rites of matrimony between persons and 
join them together as man and wife, in their usual and accus- 
tomed manner, under the same regulations and restrictions as 
any lawful magistrate in the province might celebrate and sol- 
emnize the same." — They were subject to the same penalty of 
fifty pounds for marrying without license or publication of banns, 
Vhich was perhaps nothing more than fair ; but they were re- 
quired, impliedly at least, like magistrates, to ask permission of 
the Episcopal minister, if there was one in the parish ; and they 
smust give the fee to the parish minister. This act, thus restrict- 
ed as it was, not being approved by the king, was repealed by 
proclamation of the governor about two years after ; and then 
the act of 1741, we presume, remained in force until the Revolu- 

>Tbe la W5 against dissenters in North Carolina, were severe ; 


but they were not enforced with as much rigor as in some of 
the neighboring colonies. There was nothing iii<:e a court of 
high commission in miniature, or a body of men appointed for 
the sole purpose of enforcing the ecclesiastical laws; and non- 
conformists were never imprisoned or brought to the whipping 
post, for preaching the gospel. While in South Carolina, at one 
time, a board of commissioners, clothed with almost absolute 
power, were enforcing the laws of conformity to the utmost, re- 
gardless alike of chartered rights and the common feelings of 
humanity, the people in the Old North State, though for the sake 
of peace, they were paying tax to the support of a church whose 
doctrines and rites they disapproved, appear to have been elec- 
ting their representatives without much regard to religious 
creeds, or in spite of the odious Test act ; and while in Virginia, 
at a subsequent period, dissenting ministers were imprisoned for 
preaching Jesus Christ to dying men, and for proclaiming salva- 
tion through the iron grates of their prison window, to the crowds 
assembled on the outside, as they usually did in such cases, 
regardless of consequences, they were sometimes taken out to 
the whipping post, and received forty stripes, save one ; liere 
in a land where the first altars were erected to freedom, and 
where the fire had never ceased to burn, or the incense to ascend, 
even in the darkest and stormiest night, Presbyterian ministers, 
and probably others too, were celebrating marriages without 
asking leave of the parish minister, and building churches, hold- 
ing meetings, and administering ordinances, without consulting 
the Bishop of London, or obtaining license from any human 
authority ; the people, without any serious apprehension of con- 
sequences, were setting at nought the enactments of arbitrary 
power, by electing for vestrymen such men as they knew would 
not serve, or by staying away from the polls and electing no 
vestrymen at all ; and in some counties, as in the one in which 
I am now writing, they were compeUmg the assembly to re- 
scind their vestry acts. 

The state of morals and the amount of religious knowledge 
and influence may be inferred from the nature and policy of the 
government ; the character of the executive and judicial officers ; 
and the extent to which the country Avas supplied. Math an en- 


lightened and evangelical ministry. The avowed design of the 
proprietors, and 'the v/ish of die khig, whose authority was over 
all, was to have the govermncnt of Carolina conformed as nearly 
as possible to the monarchy of England, of which they considered 
if as a part; and such officers were appointed, and such instruc- 
tions were given them, from time to time, as were thought best 
calculated to secure this object. During the proprietary govern- 
ment, the principal officers were appointed by, and retained at the 
Avill of the proprietors. The province was held as a properti/ ; 
and the inhabitants were regardiid only as serfs, or as the culti- 
vators of a soil that belonged to their sordid landlords. The 
governors, judges, and other officers appointed by them, had 
little or no sympathy with the people whom they governed ; 
and their main object was to enrich themselves, tliough in doing 
it the tenants of the soil should be made pennyless and wretched; 
or to please their employers and retain their offices as badges of 
honor, or as the means of support. Perhaps no other colony 
suifered more from the appointment of officers who were at 
once destitute of moral principle, and regardless of their reputa- 
tion. With perhaps two or three honorable exceptions, the 
whole of the proprietary officers, especially those of the higher 
grades, were very far from being a credit to their stations : and 
often the governors and judges were the greatest rowdies in the 
country. At one period they were as often engaged in affrays 
and broils, in assaults and batteries on each other, and dealt as 
much in foul mouthed recriminations, as any other class of people; 
and the court dockets of that day are disgraced by their mutual 
indictments, and by presentments of the grand jury for such 
shameful violations of the laws.* About the time the charter 
was resigned to the king, was perhaps the worst period ; and 
the most disgraceful scenes occurred soon after the change took 
place. Sir Richard Everard and (ieorge Burrmgton, as govern- 
orSj^William Smith aschief justice, and Ednmnd Porter as judge 
of admiralty, were conspicuous for their aberrations, both as 
men and as public servants ; and will have an unenviable noto- 
riety, wherever our colonial history may be known. 

Tiiose wlio formed the first settlements within the present li- 
Williamson, vol. 2, p. 43, 47, 241. 


mits of North Carolina, were, as we have seen, Quakers and 
other dissenters, who, having fled from persecution, mostly from 
Virginia, had taken up their residence among savages for the 
sake of enjoying peace of conscience ; and may tlierefore be 
supposed to have been a serious and moral people. The acces- 
sions made after the charter was obtained were mere adventur- 
ers from England, the older colonies, and the West India is- 
lands ; and were probably very diiferent in their character. — 
Being excluded by their " iron bound coast" from the same 
freedom of intercourse with the world that was enjoyed by the 
other colonies, their progress in improvement was necessarily 
slow ; and it was tlie policy of the government to discourage 
every thing that might difl'use intelligence or increase the popu- 
lar influence. In some of the colonies printing presses were 
strictly forbidden by the king;* and would, no doubt, have been 
proliibited in Carolina had there been any occasion for it. Ed- 
ucation seems to have been, for a long time, entirely neglected ; 
no notice was taken of it, and no provision was made for it by 
government. There were men of talents and education in the 
country, and they sent their sons abroad to be educated ; but 
unaccountably neglected to do any thing for the cause of learn- 
ing at home. Gabriel Johnston, who was appointed governor 
in 1734, was the first who urged on the assembly the impor- 
tance of making some provision for schools. He was a native 
of Scotland and a literary man. Having been educated in the 
University of St. Andrews and afterwards professor of oriental 
languages in that institution, he knew the value of learning and 
wished to see it promoted ; but when appropriations were made 
for it they were either wasted or taken to meet some other de- 
mands on the treasury. The first academy or school of any 
kind established by legislative authority was the Newbern aca- 
demy in 1767; and Martin says in his history that there were 
but two, those of Newbern and Edenton, at the Declaration of 
Independence. The assembly wbich met at Newbern, Dec. 5th, 
1770, passed an act entitled An act for founding, establishing, 
and endowing of Queen's College in the town of Charlotte in 
Mecklenburg county ; but being disapproved by the king it 
*xMartin, vol. 1, p. 177, 182. 


was repealed by proclamation.* It is not noticed by Martin in 
his Collection of Private Acts, and only the title is given in Da- 
vis' Revisal. The precise date of the repeal is not stated ; but 
in the next year an act was passed to amend it, and of course 
it was not then repealed. This however must have been done 
before 1773; for that was the year in which the Revisal was 
published. While the effort to get such an institution establish- 
ed there at that early day was highly creditable to the public 
spirit and enterprize of the people in that region, the refusal of 
the king to sanction what the assembly had done was additional 
evidence that no favor was to be expected from the British go- 
vernment, and thus the honor of giving education the aid and 
encouragement which it deserves was left for those who by suf- 
fering together in the same cause had acquired mutual confi- 
dence and esteem, and by securing their independence had gain- 
ed at once the self-respect and the pecuniary resources that were 
necessary for the purpose. 

In 1749, James Davis brought the first printing press into the 
province and set up at Newbern; and in 1764 he commenced 
the first newspaper, called the North Carolina Magazine, or U- 
niversal Intelligencer. Williamson, in accounting for the neg- 
lect of education says, <' The laws that were made to support a 
religious establishment retained their force ; for they were sup- 
ported by the spirit of party. Learning was neglected because 
it was of no party ; no troops enlisted themselves under its ban- 
ner. Pride or passion were not ready to lend their assistance ; 
and reason, a cool auxiliary, for many years gave inefiectual 
support." This is inconsistent, or at least unsatisfactory ; for 
reason gives not an cmxiliary, but the main support to the 
cause of learning. The truth is, it was the policy of the gov- 
ernment to keep the people in ignorance ; and they had not the 
power, whatever might have been their wishes, to pass any law 
on this subject without the consent of the governor and coun- 
cil, nor to carry any law of the kind into efiect without fidelity 
on the part of those who were entrusted with the management 
or custody of whatever appropriations were made by legislative 
authority. This appears to have been the reason w4iy learning 

=' Da vis's 2d Revisal, p. 4Qr). 501, 


i'eceived no legislative patronage in Carolina for more than a 
hundred years ; and Governor Berkley, who breathed the spirit 
and echoed the sentiments of his employers, has, hi the follow- 
ing specimen of his patriotic views and christian temper, explain- 
ed to us the character and designs of the men who were then 
controlling the destmies of this country. In a communication 
to the proprietors, dated in June, 1671, near thirty years after he 
was first appointed governor, he says, in relation to the colony 
mider his own jurisdiction, " We have forty eight parishes and 
our ministers are well paid, and by my consent sliould be better, 
if the?/ ivould pray of tener and preach less ; but as of all other 
commodities, so of this, the worst are sent us ; and we have few 
that we can boast of, since the persecution in Cromwell's ty- 
ranny drove divers worthy men hither. Yet I thank God there 
are no free schools nor printing presses, and I hope we shall 
not have any these hundred years. For learning has brought 
disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing 
has divulged them, and libels against the best government : God 
keep us from both." 

The British government took efficient measures for throwmg 
upon the American colonies a most undesirable kind of popula- 
tion ; for enactments were made, from time to tmie, by which 
felons and almost all classes of offenders might be, at their own 
request, transported to America.* It is probable, however, that 
these dregs of English society, then at all times so abundant 
there, found their way, not to Carolina, at least not to any great 
amount, but, as they have been doing ever since, to more pros- 
perous and accessible parts of the country ; yet the treatment of 
this province by the higher powers was calculated to depress 
the people, to paralize their energies, and to make them idle and 
vicious. The restrictions on their commerce were unjust and 
grievous to be borne. But few articles of export were free from 
a heavy duty or drawback of some kind ; and the mechanical 
arts were in a great measure interdicted. The manufacture of 
hats, ropes, iron, and of all the most profitable articles, was, for 
years, either forbidden, or so trammelled that people could not 
■engage in it to advantage.! Such treatment, instead of being 

-=^Martm, \^o\. 1. p. 144> 152, 1(M tMartin; vol. 2, "p. 13, 14* 50. 


favorahle to morality and good feeling, bad just the opposite ef- 
fect ; dissatisfaction with the government increased; and con- 
tention was kept up between the people andtlieir rulers. 

But perhaps the greatest evil which North Carolina experi- 
enced during the early period of her Ihstory, and to which many 
of the others may be attributed, was the want of an enhghtened 
and evangelical ministry. The Saviour told his disciples that 
they were the light of the worldand the salt of the earth: they 
and their successors were to be the living instrumentality by 
which the knowledge of God should be maintained in the world, 
and mankind be preserved from becoming wholly corrupt. To 
prove the necessity and value of such a ministry, no arguments 
are necessary at the present day, and before a christian commu- 
nity ; but for a long time Carolina had no christian ministry at 
all. From the first settlement until the year 1700, except the 
short visit of Edmundson and Fox, the two Quaker preachers al- 
ready mentioned, in 1672, our shores were visited by no mes- 
senger of peace ; and until 1703, just 40 years after the charter 
was granted, there was no one to go in and out before the peo- 
ple, and break to them tlie bread of life from Sabbath to Sabbath. 
In 1705, the Bishop of London sent over Gideon Johnson as his 
commissary for the province of Carolina, who was directed to 
make his residence at Charleston ; and other ministers were oc- 
casionally sent over, mostly by the society formed under the 
reign of king William, for the propagation of the gospel in for- 
eign parts. In 1725, the Bishop of London, as patriarch of 
England, extended his jurisdiction to the American colonies ;* 
and then ecclesiastical affairs here were regulated, as far as 
practicable, according to his directions. There were churches 
or chapels in nearly every county ; and in some counties there 
were two or more. In Orange county there were several; and 
the University of the State took the name of Chapel Hill, from 
the fact that there was a chapel on one of the eminences in its 
immediate vicinity. The established church had sufficient au- 
thority and ample resources; but the number of ministers actu- 
jdly resident here, and their character and usefulness, are not 
well known. Although provision was made for the support of 
'•"Martin, vol. 1. p. 207. 


a minister in every parish, there were probably not more thai'i 
half a dozen in the province at any one time ; and while some 
of these appear to have been serious, well meaning men, and to 
have exerted on the whole a salutary influence, of many it may 
be said, as Gov. Berkley said of those in Virginia, as of all other 
commodities, so of this, the worst were sent us. When old 
Governor Dobbs met the assembly, at Wilmington, February 
3d, 17G4, for the last time, he deplored the want of clergymen; 
told them that 24 out of 30 parishes were vacant; and urged 
tltem to adopt suitable measures for increasing the supply.* — 
Martin sayst there were not more than six ministers belonging 
to the established church living in the province at the com- 
mencement of the Revolution ; and he is probably not far wrong. 
Religion is represented as being at a low ebb, and the state of 
morals as quite deplorable ; but there was certainly more reli- 
gious knowledge and influence then, owing to the increase of 
dissenters, than at any preceding period. 

The running of the boundary line between North Carolinjl 
and Virginia, in 172S, sixty-five years after the charter was giv- 
en, furnished historians with some curious facts respecting the 
condition of the colony, and the character of the people, at that 
time. The commissioners from this side shewed when they en- 
tered on the business, that they were as competent to the task 
as those from Virginia ; but it had been delayed for some time 
by the {ormeY, because there was no money in the treasury) 
nor could they purchase the necessary stores until the council 
had sold A/a/iA-^a^eAi/* to individuals who advanced the mon- 
ey. J The Virginia commissioners were well provided with 
comforts and "good cheer ;" and seemed to make light of the 
poverty and of what they deemed the irreligion of Carolina. 
In writing to the commissioners§ on this side, Dec. 16th, 1727, 
they say,l| " Wo, think it very proper to acquaint you in what 
manner we intend to come provided, that so you being appouN 
ted in the same station may, if you please, do the same honor 

*Martin, vol. 2, p. 180. tVol. 2, p, 395. 

:]: Williamson, vol. 2, p. 18. ^^Villiamson, vol. 2, p. 23.5. 

IITlie commissioners on the p;irt ot Virginia, were Col.'l;Bird, RicharS 
FilzvviUiam, and William Danclridge: Those on the part of CarolinajWerO 
John Loviok, Christopher Gale, Edward Moaeley, and William Little; 


to your country. We will bring with us about twenty men fur- 
nished with provisions for thirty days ; we will have with us a 
tent and marquees for the accommodation of ourselves and our 
servants. We bring as much wine and rum as will enable us' 
and our men to drink every night to the success of the following 
day ; and because we understand there are gentiles on the fron- 
tiers, who never had an opportunity of behig baptized, we shall 
have a chaplahi with ns to make them christians. For tiiis pur- 
pose we intend to rest in our camp every Sunday that there may 
be leisure for so good a V\'ork. And whoever in that neighbor- 
hood is desirous of novelty may come and hear a good sermon. 
Of this you will please to give notice that the charitable inten- 
tions of this government may meet with the happier success." 
To this the others replied as follows : " We are at a loss, gen- 
tlemen, whether to thank you for the particulars you give us of 
your tent stores and the manner you design to meet us. Had 
you been silent about it we had not wanted an excuse for not 
meeting you in the same manner ; but now you force us to ex- 
pose the nakedness of our country, and to tell you we cannot 
possibly meet you in the manner our great respect to you would 
make us glad to do, whom we are not emulous of out-doiiig un- 
less in care and diligence in the afiair v/e come to meet you a- 
bout. So all we ansvv^er to that article is, that we will endeavor 
to provide as well as the circumstances of things will admit us ; 
and what we may want in necessaries will, we hope, be made 
up in the spiritual comfort we expect from your chaplain, of 
whom we shall give notice as you desire, to all lovers of novel- 
ty ; and doubt not of a great many border christians." 

The commissioners from Virginia said in their diary that 
" their associates from Carolina did not bring above two men 
with them who would put their hands to any thing but the ket- 
tle or frying pan ; and that they spent so much of their industry 
m this way that they had but little spirit or inclination for any 
other work. The women and children of the borderers came to 
stare at the commissioners with as much curiosity as if they had 
lately landed from Canton or Morocco. The men appeared all 
to dread that the line should pass to the south of their land, as in 
'fhat case thev must submit to some kind of order and ijovern- 


meiit, while . in Carolina, every one did what was best in his 
own eyes ; and none paid any tribute to God or to Caesar." — 
The state of society was no doubt bad in many respects ; but 
the commissioners might have found as many women and chil- 
dren who would have stared at them in Virginia as in Carolina ; 
and it is not wonderful that people who had once enjoyed " the 
freedom of the woods and of the waters, with the privilege of 
worshipping God as they pleased, should dread the spirit and 
measures of fhe Virginia government at that time. 

Many women brought their children to the Virginia chaplain 
to have them baptized ; but it is added that " they brought no 
capon along with tliem to make the solemnity cheerful." Al- 
though the Reverend gentleman christened more than a hun- 
dred children, during the running of the line, he did not marry 
one couple. " None were attracted by the novelty of having 
their hands joined by a man in holy orders ; they considered 
marriage as a civil contract only, and its knot as firmly tied by 
a Justice as by an archbishop-" 

Within a few years after the date just referred to, the charac- 
ter of society began to undergo a great and rapid change, not by 
displacing those who had hitherto been occupants of the soil, 
but by accessions from abroad. These were from diffierent 
countries, and held opinions and practised forms of worship 
whicSi were in some respects different ; but they were all, or 
with very ^q\v exceptions, opposed to the established church, on 
principle, and not from a reluctance to pay what might be neces- 
sary to maintain its institutions and promote its welfare ; for 
they knew the value of religion and had been taught to give its 
ministers a decent support. The increase of population is shewn 
by the number and size of the counties formed in rapid succes- 
sion, as given in Williamson's history, or the Revised Statutes; 
but for the character of the people who thus swelled the amount 
of population and changed the face of society, we must look to 
other sources. 

It has been seen that the first monthly meeting of the Quakers 
was held in 1672 ; and, as the writer has been recently informed 
by one of their most intelligent members, their first yearly meet- 
ing was held in the county of Perquimons in 1701. Whether 


any considerable accessions were made to the society from abroad 
about this time, or what may be their entire number at any 
time, cannot be well ascertained, since they never " number the 
people," or make the number of their members a matter of re- 
cord ; but about the middle of the last century several hundred 
of them came into Guilford and the adjoining counties from 
Pennsylvania ; and in a few years after a number came from 
New England, chiefly from the Island of Nantucket. At the 
commencement of the revolution they had religious establish- 
ments, or meetings, monthly and quarterly, in Perquimons, Pas- 
quotank, Orange, Guilford, Johnson, and Carteret ; and in all 
ihey must have amounted to several thousands. 

A company of French Huguenots, a class of people who, 
wherever they went, seem to have formed a most valuable por- 
tion of society, being encouraged by King William, came over 
to America in iG90, and settled above the falls of James river 
in Virginia ; but not being pleased with their location there, and 
the lands in Carolina being mostly unappropriated, they remov- 
ed south in 1707, and settled on the river Trent, with a man by 
the name of Rybourg for their pastor.* About this time, a col- 
ony of German protestants, from Hiedleberg and its vicinity, on 
the Rhine, came over to Carolina, under the conduct of Christo- 
pher dc Graflenried and Lewis Mitchell.t The colony consisted 
pf about one hundred families, or six hundred and fifty persons ; 
and landed in 1709, at the confluence of the rivers Neuse and 
Trent, where they erected temporary shelters until they could 
be put in possession of the lands which had been promised them. 
The place of (heir encampment was called New Bern, from the 
town of Berne in Switzerland, where de Graflenried was born. 
De Gratfenried and Mitchell had agreed with the proprietors in 
London for ten thousand acres of land, which was to be laid off" 
for them in one body between the Nuese and Cape Fear, with 
a promise of a hundred thousand more to be reserved for them 
a certain number of years; and the former having paid for five 
thousand acres, received, according to promise, the title of baron. 
These Germans, or palatines, as they were called, were very 
;^70or, having been driven from their native country by a long 

•HViUramson, vol. l,p. 178. -fibid, 170. 


series of persecutions and vexations; and tiieir leaders were 
boinidto give t!iem, on certain conditions, two hundred and fifty 
acres of land for each family. Although they sulTeved greatly 
from the Indians, and were unfoirly dealt w ith by the men in 
wliom they confided, being industrious and moral in their hab- 
its, they seem to have been prosperous ; but their history is ve- 
ry little known, any farther than it is given by Williamson, which 
is for the space of only a few years 

About the middle of the last century, or a little earlier, large 
numbers of protestants from diflerent conntries and speaking 
different languages, sought refuge from oppression in North Ca- 
rolina ; and in a short time overspread a large part of the prov- 
ince. These were mostly from the Highlands of Scotland; the 
north of Ireland ; the Marquisate of Morovia ; and other Ger- 
man countries. Tliey were not only protestants, but were near- 
ly all dissenters from the church of England. The influx began 
in the time of Governor Johnston; and about the year 1740. A 
small company or two came a few years earlier; but they did 
not begin to come in large numbers before 1746 ; and the tide 
of emigration continued for twenty-five or thirty years. In the 
year 1736, Duplin county began to be settled by people from the 
north of Ireland and Switzerland, who were mduced by Henry 
McCuUoch to come and settle on his land. He had, by some 
means or others, obtained a large quantity, about seventy thou- 
sand acres ; and wished to have it occupied. He had been ap- 
pointed his majesty's surveyor, inspector, and controller of the 
revenue and grants of land ; and speculated largely in crown 
lands with a view of paying for them by importing settlers. — 
His son, Henry Eustace McCuUoeh reported between three and 
four Inmdred persons, who had been thus brought into the pro- 
vince ; and retained about the quantity of land above mentioned, 
for which he managed to settle his accounts with the crown 
without paying a dollar.* This was the first importation of 
people from Ireland to this State, of which I have seen any no- 
tice ; and several years elapsed before there was another. From 
the printed records of tlie synod of Philadelphia, (p. 173.) it ap- 
pears that in 1744, a representation from many people of North 

Williamson, vol 2, n. f)2. 

SG. . LII'K OF DAVIO C.AluWE.LL, 13.11, 

Carolina was laid before that body, showing their destitute con- 
dition ; requesting the synod to -take their estate into considera- 
tion ; and desiring that some oise might be a.ppointed to corres- 
pond with them. In what part of the State these people hved 
docs not appear; but from a collection of manuscript conmunii- 
cations received by tlie editor of the Raleigh Star in ISIO, Irom 
intelligent men over the State, and now preserved in the Uni- 
versit}^ library, it appears that the greater part of those who, in 
17'3t3, settled on the lands of McCulioch in Duplin county, were 
Presbyterians from Ireland. That was the lirst Presbyterian 
settlement formed in North Carolina of which I liave seen any 
account ; and like all oilier cln-j^tian people they w,ould desire 
to have preaching. 

The middle and western parls of this State were settled al- 
juosi entirely by Presbyterians from the north of Ireland ; but 
tiicy or their anccstofs, having forme.rly removed to that coun- 
try from Scotland, tliey are usually called Scotch-Irish. In the 
reign of James I. the earls of Tyrone and Tyreonnel, having 
conspired against tlie gov^ernment, were obliged to fly from tjie 
kingdom to escape punishment. Some of their accomplices 
Vv'ere arrested and executed ; but as the two earls were attain^ 
ted by a process of outlawry, their vast estates, containing a- 
bout 500,000 acres of land, escheated to the crown. King James 
resolved to improve a country which, having been desolated by 
war, v/as covered by woods, hifested by robbers, or inhabited 
by ignorant Catholics. The escheated lands' were divided into 
small tracts to suit adventurers who might be willing to settle 
them, or would engage to pjacc^.on the land a certain number of 
sub-tenants withhi a given time; and, by his direction, a pre- 
ference was given to people from the west of Scotland. They 
were protestants from his own country ; an industrious people ; 
and the passage being short, they could easily comply with their 
contracts in settling the lands. Many of them Vvcnt over then, 
bnt the establishment of prelacy in Scotland in 1037, and again 
lOGl, to which, as Presbyterians, they could not coiiscientious'y 
submit, compelled many more to emigrate. Their superior 
knowledge, industry, and temperance, soon enabled them to 
>U])plrint tlie n.ativcM; and by the end of tint century, six of the 

Llij'E Oi' DAVID GAJ^DWEL!.. D.D. 5< 

northern counties were inliabitcd" by their -ucscendents, or the 
remains of Cromwell's army.. Through ail tlie subseijuent rev- 
olutions and troubles of England they were the steady suppor- 
ters of goveriunent against every- attempt to establish a Catho- 
Hc prince ; and ihey adhered with equal firmness to the Hano- 
ver Succession. Their loyalty and iJieir faithful services enti- 
tled them to the favor and the confidence of government ; but 
being treated like aliens, marked with distnist as citizens, and 
denied the free enjoyment of their rights as chrislians, they de- 
termined to seek in a foreign land' the liberty which was denied 
them at home. They migrated by thousands to Pennsylvania 
where the principles of civil and religious liberty weve in .full 
operation ; but, partly from the difiiculty of obtaining land, and 
partly from otlier reasons, they found it expedient to remove 
further south. In Virginia, land could be obtained in abun- 
dance and upon easy terms ; but the goverimient there being in 
constant hostility v/hh religious freedom, the greater part of 
them came on to N. Carolina, and settled on lands belonging to 
the earl of Granville.* They liave ever -been the staunch 
friends of liberty, and of every thing else that can elevate the 
character or promote the welfare of society. Combining the 
intelligence, orthodoxy, and piety of the Scotch, with the ardor,- 
and love of liberty peculiar to the Irish, they were the most efil- 
cient supporters of the American cause during the struggle for 
independance ; and they have done more for the support of 
learning, morality and religion than any other class of people. 

The Presbyterian population in the south-east part of the 
State, came mostly from the Highlands of Scotland; and the first 
emigration of which we have any account, resulted from the un- 
fortunate attempt of prince Charles Edward, grandson of James 
II, to regain the throne of his ancestors. Being a descendant of 
the Stewarts, when he landed in Scotland, the Highlanders 
ilocked, in large numbers, to his standard ; but when he was 
overthrown at the battle of Culloden, on the 16th of April 1746', 
they were obliged to fly. The chieftains and prominent men 
were mostly put to death, and multitudes of the people were 
hunted down and slaughtered hke wild beasts ; but at length a 

*\ViI!iam?on, vol. 2, p. ()9r-7L 


pardon puiised the great seal, exempting from trial and punish- 
nient nineteen out of twenty among the rest, on condition of tlieir 
being transported to America ; and for determining the mel- 
ancholly fate of every twentieth man they resorted to the lot. 
Those who survived and were expatriated, were accompanied by 
many others, who, although they had not taken up arms, favor- 
ed the prince's cause, and voluntarily shared the exile of their 
countrymeiL A considerable number of them came to North 
Carolina about the end of the year 1746 ; located themselves on 
the Cape Fear river ; and formed the settlement in the midst of 
which the town of Fayetteville now stands.* Williamson makes 
no mention of this circumstance; but says,t that in 1749, Neal 
McNeal arrived at Wilmington with his family, and five or six 
Imndred colonists who settled, some in Anson, others in Bladen, 
but most of them in Cumberland. There was a second impor- 
tation in 1754 ; and from that time there was one annually : nor 
have the importations yet ceased ; for, it is said that a goodly 
uumber came over during the last year, and settled in the same 

The Moravians, being driven from their native country, the 
Marquisate of Moravia, by persecution, about the beginning of 
the 1 7th century, sought refuge in England and the British col- 
onies. In the spring of 1735, a colony of them arrived in Geor- 
gia ; and formed a settlement on the Savannah river, at or near 
the town of the same name. In the true missionary spirit, they 
made it a paramount object to enlighten and christianize the 
savages ; and their etforts were likely to be very successful ; 
but their establishment was broken up by the war between the 
British and the Spaniards in 1737, and agahi in 1739. Being 
compelled to bear arms in these scenes of conflict, contrary, not 
only to their principles, but to the promises which had been 
given them; and their christian labors being entirely interrupted, 
by these and other causes, they removed, part of them in 173S, 
and tlie rest in 1740, to Pennsylvania, where they formed the 
settlements of Bethlehem and Nazareth. The oppressions and 
hardships which they and their missionaries among the heathen 
endured from ill disposed persons, and in other waysy led them 

*'Martiii^ vol; 2, p. 48. fVof. 2; pf 7'6. 


to seek irom the British government more toleration, a]id greater 
security in the enjoyment of their rights. After a sti-ict exami- 
nation into the origin and existing state of this chiircli, they were 
declared by an act of Parliament, v/liich received the royal sanc- 
tion, May 12th, 1749, to be an ancient Episcopal church; and 
had full liberty of conscience allowed them wherever settled in 
any of the American colonies. They were exempted from per- 
sonal military services for a reasonable compensation; and were 
permitted to affirm instead of taking an oath. About the same 
time they entered into negotiations with the earl of Greenville 
for a quantity of land in North Carolina to be located wherever 
they chose ; and in 1751 their agents made a purchase of a hun- 
dred thousand acres. In the latterpart of the following year this 
was surveyed and entered, mostly in what is now Stokes county; 
and the general deed for the whole was signed and sealed, Au- 
gust 7th 1753. The tract was called Wachau, or Wachovia, 
j'om respect to an honorary title of their great patron, count 
Tinzendorf, who was lord of the valley Wachau in Austria; and 
on the 12th of the ensuing November, twelve yoimg or unmar- 
ried men arrived and began to make improvements on Mill 
creek. In the course of the next year a town was commenced 
on the same spot, called Bethabara, now Old Town ; and the 
towns of Salem, Bethany, Friedburg, Friedland, and Hope, were 
formed in pretty rapid succession ; so that before the Declaration 
of Independence, they had six settlements, and a population pro- 
bably of about five hundred. For intelligence and moral worth; 
industry and economy ; sobriety and good order, they arc not 
surpassed by any class of pepple in the country ; and these have 
given them affluence, respectability, and a regular advancement 
in whatever is most desirable and praiseworthy. 

The Moravians constituted but a small proportion of the Ger- 
man population which came into the middle and western regions 
of North Carolina, immediately before or along with the Pres- 
byterians and other dissenters; and they were pretty equally 
divided between the Lutheran and German Reformed denomin- 
ations. Their grants of land aiid the organization of their 
churches, all date about the same time ; and from Haw river 
to the mountains, their entire numl^er could not have been nmch 


less than that of the Scotch-Irish. They had at least twenty 
churches, if my information be correct, before the Declaration of 
Independence ; and these were mostly organized from 1770 to 
1775, though some of them may have been organized a little 
.before the former date. They had but few preachers ; and 
hardly any of these were calculated to advance the interests of 
vital piety, or to elevate the character of the people. Some of 
them had no kind of authority to preach, and no claims to the 
confidence of the churches on the score of piety ; but came out 
here, either from the northern States or from Germany, pretend- 
ing to be preachers; exercised an assumed authority ; and acted 
as self constituted pastors of the churches, or went from place 
to place, imposing on the people who knew no better, or were 
glad to meet with any one who came to them as a minister of 
Christ. Others were probably of a diiferent character, and exer- 
ted a good influence ; but none of them seem to have been dis- 
tinguished for intelligence, zeal, and usefulness. Had their 
churches been supplied with ministers of the right stamp from the 
first, they would have been in a very different condition ; and 
the people, possessing in a high degree, as they do, the firmness, 
energy, and perseverance requisite to undertake and accomplish 
great things, w'ould have been with the foremost in every good 

Of tlie Baptist denomination at this period, my information is 
very limited.* They had ministers and churches before the De- 

*0n page 75 of this work, it is said that in Virginia, at one period, "dis- 
senting ministers were impr!^oned for preaching Jesus Christ to dying .nen, 
and that for proclaiming salvation through the iron grates of their prison 
windows, to the people assembled on the outside, they were sometimes taken 
out to the whipping post and received forty stripes save one." The allusion 
was to the Baptist ministers; and the recurrence to it here, is partly for the 
purpose of correcting a mistake. Having no authority by me at the time, in 
relation to that mailer, and having been, not long before, told by one who was 
thought to be well acquainted with the subject, that such had been the fact, 
it was so stated ; but on a little examination after that part of the manusciipt 
had gone to tiie press, it is believed that the laller purl of the statement is 
not correct; and the state of things there, as in North Carolina, was bad 
enough without any exaggeration. The Baptist ministers were I'requently 
Beaten and maltreated in various ways, by ill disposed persons; and they 
were sometimes threntened with the whipping post; but the power of their 
enemies did not extend that far; and the act, if it had been done, would have 
been illegal. Many of them however were imprisoned, in some cases for 
'jflooihs at a (rtne. and were treated Vihilc there with much inhumanitv; but 


claration of Independence ; and about as early as the Presbyteri- 
ans, or any other class of dissenters. Shubael Streus came into 
what is now Randolph county, probably about 1755 ; and in a 
few years had a church on Sandy Creek of 606 members. Two 
of his converts, Tidance Lane and Elnathan Davis, became 
preachers ; and remained in this State for a number of years. 
About the same date we find Daniel Marshall on the Uwharic, 
where he iiad many added to his church ; and Joseph Murphey 
pastor of a church on Deep Creek in Surry county. I find the 
names of some half a dozen others, who were not stationary; 
but spent a great portion of their time in preaching from place 
to place ; and there were no doubt other settled ministers of 
that denomination of whom I have seen no mention. There 
were churches, besides those already mentioned, on Abbott's 
Creek, Tar river, and probably in other places. They must 
have had at least a dozen churches, and half that many settled 
ministers, besides as many more who were not confined to any 
particular place. 

In the fall of 1764 the celebrated Whitefielcl passed through 
the eastern part of this State on his way from Philadelphia to 
Savannah in Georgia;* and in the course of the next Spring he 
passed through it again on his return to Philadelphia. Both 
times he preached in all the principal towns on his route, and to 
large collections of people who were deeply interested ; but of 
the permanent results of his labors I have seen no account. 
When at Newcastle on his return northward in the spring, he 
says,t « all along from Charleston to this place, the cry is, for 

they preached, whenever occasion offered, to the people collected on the ont- 
eide, many of whom were converted, and several who hecame preachers. — 
See Taylor's Lives of Baptist Ministers in Virg'inia. 

The Toleration Act of England liad been adopted by the legislative author- 
ity in Virginia ; and the Presbyterian ministers submitted to that, not as a 
British, but as a Virginia law. Their troubles and vexations were great ; but 
it does not appear that any of them were imprisoned. They had much diffi- 
culty to get their preaching places licensed, and labored under great disad- 
vantages; but the Lord was with them and they prospered. The Baptist 
ministers, it seems, did not submit to that law, and were roughly treated. — 
They determined to go to prison and to death, rather than acknowledge, in 
any way, the right ot man to take from them the privilege of worshipping 
God as they pleased ; but whether this was tJie best and most christian course 
or not, is a matter with which we need not be concerned at present. 
*Sce Gillie's Life of Whitefiold 182. flbid 183. 


Christ's sake stay and preach to lis ;" and this may be consid- 
ered as evidence of botii liis previous and present success. He 
said himself of Newbern, wlien he preached there in the prece- 
di)]g November, that "good impressions were made; and that 
he found what they called New-Lights in almost every place ;" 
but what became of his converts is not known, unless they fell 
in with the Methodists when they came into that region a few 
years after. This is mere inference ; but, from a variety of cir- 
cumstances, it seems to be highly probable. 

The Methodists had not done much in this State previous to 
the Revolutionary War. In 1775, George Shadford had charge 
of the Brunswick circuit in Virginia, where there appears to 
have been a considerable awakening on the subject of religion 
which extended into the counties of Halifax and Bute, now 
Franklin, in N. Carolina; and in July of that year Thomas Ran- 
kin, who had been sent out by Mr. Wesley as superintendent of 
the Methodist societies in America, being on a visit to the Bruns- 
wick circuit, came over into Carolina; but did not remain long. 
It is probable that some of the fruits of Whitelield's labors may 
have been then gathered into this church ; for, as appears from 
his life, he preached with his accustomed zeal and success all 
through that region, on both his journeys through the State ; 
and,, as he did nothing towards forming churches any where, 
his converts in that part of North Carolina had no other oppor- 
tunity, so far as is known, of connecting themselves with any 
christian society. The first Methodist circuit in this State, called 
(lie Carolina circuit, which included the whole State, though 
their operations were then confined pretty much to a few coun- 
ties on the Roanoke and Albemarle, was formed May 24th, 
1 77G ; and they had at that time 683 members. Edward Drum- 
goole, Francis Poythuss and Isham Tatum were appointed on 
the circuit ; and there may have been some local preachers liv- 
ing in those counties for two or three years previous ; but of 
them we have no account. 

The manuscript volume in the library at Chapel Hill, already 
mentioned, is very interesting as far as it goes; and throws a 
good deal of light on the commencement and progress of settle- 
nients in North Carolina, as Avell as some other matters of im- 


porlancc. From it we learn that Edgecomb began to be settled 
in 172G, by people from Virginia, who came there for the sake 
of living at their ease, as the climate was mild, the range good, 
and game in abundance; Wayne in 1785, but made little pro- 
gress, until 1750; Franklin about 1750; Caswell in 1750, but 
had not more than ten families until 1755, when the Leas, Graves, 
Kimbros, Pattersons and others came from Orange and Culpep- 
per counties in Virginia ; Rockingham in 1750, by hunters, who 
were soon followed by a more substantial population; and 
Guilford about the same time, as appears from the deeds of land 
obtained by the Nottingham company. That company, by a- 
gents sent out for the purpose, purchased 33 surveys, or 21,120 
acres, on the waters of North Buffalo and Reedy Fork ; and 
one of their deeds, which is now before me, is dated December 
3d, 1753. Further details respecting the settlement of tlie dif- 
ferent counties at this period, might be given ; but it is not per- 
mitted by the limits assigned to this -work. 

The records of the Orange Presbytery, which was the oldest 
and for a long time the only Presbytery in North Carolina, hav- 
ing been destroyed some years ago, very little is known about 
the early history of the Presbyterian church in this State ; but 
there were a good many churches organized a number of years 
before there were any settled ministers. From 1745 to 1758 the 
two Synods of Philadelphia and New York, appointed mission- 
aries frequently to North Carolina as well as to the other pro- 
vinces to the South ; and it is believed that the Presbyteries in 
that region did more in this kind of missionary labor than the 
Synods. After the two Synods were united in 1758, praisewor- 
thy efforts were made to have the southern settlements supplied ; 
but it appears that the appointments were not often fulfilled, 
during the French war, owing to the difficulties and dangers of 
travelling. The churches m Granville are said to have been 
organized by the Rev. William Tennant, and the Lord's supper 
to have been administered by him for the iirst time in that coun- 
ty ; but when this was done is not known. It is also said that 
the Rev. Alexander Craighead who came into this State in the 
autumn of 1755 and died in March 176G, organized most of the 
chiu'ches in JNIecklenburg and Cabarrus counties ; and of course 


they must have been organized between those dates. It is not 
known precisely when or where the first Presbyterian church 
was organized in the State, and for the reason ah'eady given, — 
In a communication of the Synod to the General Assembly of 
Scotland, in 1753, they say, " Tiiere are also large settlements 
lately planted in various parts, particularly in North and South 
CaroUna, where multitudes are extremely anxious for the min- 
istration of the gospel, but who are not formed into congrega- 
tions and regularly organized for want of ministers ;* and in 
1755, the Presbytery of Newcastlti state that, in addition to a 
vast number of vacant congregations under their care in Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland and Virginia, there were fourteen congre- 
gations in North Caroliiia that were looking to them for sup- 
plies.! It is probable that some of the churches in Cumberland 
county were among the first, if not the very first organized 
churdies of the Presbyterian order in the State ; but this is a 
matter of inference. In the summer of 1755 the Rev. Hugh Mc- 
Addcn was sent out by the Presbytery of Newcastle as a mis- 
sionary to North Carolina, and spent nearly a year in traversing 
the State from one end to the other. In his missionary journal, 
which is now in my possession and is full of interest, he speaks 
of several meeting houses ; a great many pious people with 
Avhom he became acquainted ; and a number of settlements 
M'here he was most earnestly entreated to remain and become 
their pastor ; but says nothing about organized churches. The 
Avriter has been told by some of our oldest ministers that the 
church now known as the Red House is about the oldest hi the 
State ; but this can hardly be correct ; for, although Mr. McAd- 
den preached frequently in that neighborliood, he makes no men- 
tion of any church nor of any house for public worship. 

The first Presbyterian minister, known to have settled in the 
Scotch region, was the Rev. James Campbell ; and the following 
account of him from the Rev. Colin Mclver, will be read with 
interest. " He was originally from Campbelltown, in Argyl- 
shire, in Scotland ; and he is spoken of as one of the excellent 
of the earth, — as an eminent christian, and an active, assiduous, 
and useful minister of the gospel. He is said to have left his 

*i !otlo-e's Ilislorv 204. rlbid. '-US. 

L.i;^ «F i)AVIB CAI.DWKLL, D.D. 95 

native country, and to have arrived in the city of Philadelphia, 
a licensed preacher, in 1730. Soon after he was ordained to the 
gospel ministry, and installed as pastor of a congregation some- 
where in Pennsylvania. Not long after his ordination, he be- 
came considerably dejected ; and,. under the influence of a fear 
that he had taken upon himself the ministerial office without be- 
ing duly called, he ceased, for a few years, to preach. From 
this unhappy state of mind, however, he was relieved by the 
celebrated Mr. Whitefield ; and became more zealous and en- 
gaged in the ^york of the ministry than he had ever been. In 
1755 he removed to this State, and had charge of four congre- 
gations on Cape Fear river, not many miles from Fayetteville. 
To these congregations, he acted the part of a very faithful and 
devoted pastor, until he was removed by death in 1781." Al- 
though Mr. McAdden spent some time in that region he makes 
mention of no minister, except one of the Baptist denomination, 
by the name of Miller ; and from this it might be inferred that 
Mr. Campbell had not arrived, or had not become much known; 
but he speaks of the Irish settlement in Duplin witli much inter- 
est, and soon after became their pastor. He set off from this set- 
tlement about the first of May, on his return to Pennsylvania ; 
and spent about two weeks of missionary service in the counties 
and towns along the sea board, of which he gives a very unfa- 
vorable account as to the state of religion. At what time he 
came to reside in North Carolina is not known ; but it must have 
been in the course of a year or two ; for his family have informed 
me that he lived several, perhaps nine or ten years, in Duplin ; 
and the same fact is mentioned in the collection of manuscripts 
to wliich reference has been already made. 

Besides numerous appointments of missionaries to the south 
every year, iii 1764, the Synod, considering the state of many 
congregations in the south, particularly in North Carolina, and 
the great importance of having those congregations properly 
organized, appointed the Rev. Elihu Spencer and Alexander 
McWhorter, as missionaries to this country, that they might 
form societies, help them in adjusting their bounds, ordain el- 
ders, administer sealing ordinances, instruct the people in disci- 
pliniSj arid .finally dirett them in their ct>nduct, particularly in 


what manlier they should proceed to obtain the stated ministry,* 
These missionaries fulfilled their appointment ;t and were ex- 
ceedingly useful. When the writer first came into this comity, 
some very aged people still recollected Mr. Spencer; and said that 
ho had organized many of the churches in this region. He was 
present at the organization of Alamance church ; and probably 
he organized Haw River about the same time, though they had 
a house of worship there, as early as 1762, as I have been re- 
cently informed by an elder of that church. Those ministers 
were both urged by the people in different places to settle in 
Carolina ; but declined the invitation. 

The Presbytery of Hanover which at that time appears to 
have extended over the whole country south of the Potomac, 
was very active in giving occasional supplies to the va,cancies, 
and some settled pastors to the churches, in North Carolina. — 
Mr. McAdden was received as a licentiate from the Presbytery 
of Newcastle, Oct. 4th, 1759^ and when the Presbytery met at 
Balialo, March 3rd, 1768 to instal Dr. Caldwell as pastor of the 
churches in Guilford, calls w^ere presented for his pastoral servi- 
ces, from Hico, Dan river and Country Line, which, after some 
consideration, it appears he accepted, and continued to labor 
faithfully there in the Lord's vineyard until he was removed by 
death, in January 1781. Joseph Alexander was received as a 
licentiate from the Presbytery of Newcastle ; and was ordained 
and installed as pastor of Sugar creek in March 1768. Henry 
Patillo was licensed by the Hanover Presbytery in 1 755 ; or- 
dained in 1758; and accepted a call from Hawfields in 1765. 
James Criswell was licensed by the same Presbytery in 1764; 
received a call from Nutbush, Grassy creek, and Lower Hico, in 
the same year ; and in 1765 was ordained as their pastor. 

At a meeting of the Presbytery held in Buffalo church, March 
7th, 1771, Hezekiah Balch was received as a licentiate from the 
Presbytery of Newcastle, and was ordained. At the same 
meeting a petition was drawn up, addressed to The Synod of 
Philadelphia and New York, for the organization of a new 
Presbytery, to be called the Presbytery of Orange. This peti- 
tion was signed by Hugh McAdden, David Caldwell, Henry 
^Records of ihe Presbyterian Church, p. 339. jlbid. 343. 


Patillo, Joseph Alexander, Hczekiali lialch, and James Cr'is- 
well :* and to these was afterwards added the name of Hczokiah 
James Balch, a hcentiate under the care of Donegal Presbytery,, 
who had been sent out here by the Synod as a missionary. The 
petitioners requested that the Synod would appoint the first 
meeting to be held at Hawlields on the first Wednesday of the 
following September, which would be Sept. 1st, 1770; and the 
petition was granted accordingly. From all this it appears that 
David Caldwell was among the first settled ministers of the Pres- 
byterian church in North Carolina ; and his name is identified 
with the history of our church in this State, more perhaps than 
the name of any other man in it ; for he lived much longer than 
any other; and considering all the ways in which his influence 
was exerted he did more for the cause of humanity, and for the 
advancement of sound learning and Bible religion. 

The walls of Jerusalem were built here "in troublous times;" 
for, at the period now under consideration, the country was in a 
high degree of exasperation. The people were in open hostility 
with the government; and the delicate and trying part which Dr. 
Caldwell and some of his brethren had to act, makes it necessary 
that we should enquire a little into the causes and results of the 
prevailing excitement. 

It has been seen that from the time the authority of the pro- 
prietors was extended over the little settlement on the Albe- 
marle, dissatisfaction, more or less intense, according to circum- 
stances, was felt by the settlers ; and that there were frequent 
risings of the people against the government. The laws were 
often not suited to their condition ; and were as often disregarded 
or trampled on by the rulers, for the purpose of gratifying then- 
avarice or their love of power. North Carolina, for more than 
a hundred years was "insulted and oppressed by the weak or 
vicious administration of wicked judges and worthless govorn- 
ors." The royal governors were entrusted with extensive pow- 
er by the king ; and it was always exercised to depress the spi- 
rit of freedom. The absolute veto which they liad on the acts 
of the assembly, and the power of proroguing or dissolving the 

^Records of Hanover Prosbvtorv. Prcsbvtcriau Rocorfls SPO. Hodo-p'g 
Ilistorv :38'4-. ... 



assembly at pleasure inacle each one, for the time behig, nearly 
ul)solute sovereign of the provhice. The people had no remedy; 
lor they lield their office, not during good behaviour, but during 
the pleasure of the crov/n. The same was the case with the 
judges , and if the idea of being in subjection to a foreign power 
is always humiliating, no matter with what lenity it is exercised, 
it becomes intolerable in the hands of men who have neither 
moral rectitude nor a sense of honor, and who are unremovable 
except by the hand of death or the pleasure of a distant mon- 
arch. In addition to all this, for a long time, the officers of eve- 
ry grade, from the governor down to the sheriff, were paid, not 
by a fixed salary, but by fees which aflbrded great temptations 
and great facilities for extortion and corruption. In 1760 the 
lower house sent an address to the kmg in which they say 
that by the injudicious and partial appointment of justices, un- 
qualified for the trust, and by the removal of others liable to no 
objection, magistracy had fallen into contempt, and courts had 
lost their influence and dignity ; that rioters were permitted to 
assemble in several parts of the province, erect sham judicatures, 
imprison the peaceable subjects of the king, break open jails, 
and release malefactors with impunity ; that the authors of these 
outrages were countenanced by the governor and honored with 
commissions as justices and militia officers ; that citizens had 
received corporal punishment by the arbitrary mandates and 
private orders of judges still continued in office -, that illegal and 
arbitrary jjecuniury claims loere enforced for the use of the 
governor and secretary ; that the forms of writs of elections 
had been arbitrarily altered and diversified, to have particular 
men chosen and defeat the election of others ; some writs dirv^ct- 
ing the freeholders, others the inhabitants generally, to choose, 
— by which last form servants and even convicts might be ad- 
mitted to the polls, whereas, by King Charles' charter, laws 
were directed to be made by the assent of freemen and their 
delegates; that a writ had been issued to one county for fewer 
members than they had used and ought to send, and to another 
none at all, till several bills had passed ; by which practices it 
remained no longer a secret, that the governor intended to mod- 
el the assembly for his own particular purposes, as he had be- 


fore reformed Ihc council by suspensions and new appoint- 
ments.* It was governor Dobbs against wliom those charges 
were made ; and they appear to have been all well founded ; 
but an example or two for the sake of illustration will be sufii- 
cient. The people who lived on Granville's reservation, about 
two thirds of the whole, were no less oppressed by his lordship's 
agents than by the enactments of Parliament and the imposi- 
tions of the governor. In 1752 the compensation allowed the 
agents, which had been ten per cent, on all the money or pro- 
duce they received, and the same on all the remittances made, 
was altered to five per cent and an annual salary of two hun- 
dred pounds to each of them. Childs & Corbin, who, about this 
time succeeded JMosely & Holten, not being satisfied with their 
respective salaries and commissions, contrived, by the most vil- 
lanous means to extort money from those who had already paid 
for their lands. One of them, being a lawyer, pretended to have 
discovered a fatal defect in the former patents, which had been 
signed simply, GranvUle, by his attorneys, Moseley & Holten 
pretending that it ought to have been, " The right honorable 
earl Granville, by liis attorneys" &c. The consequence of which 
was that people, not knowing any better or not being able to 
protect their rights by an to Granville who lived in Eng- 
land, were induced to take out new patents ; and had all the 
fees to pay a second time. Jiut as this fraud could not reach 
the grants made by themselves, they adopted a different plan 
with respect to them ; and demanded two pistoles for an entry 
instead of one, which was the regular fee. They contrived a 
device Avhich they fixed to a warrant of survey, without the 
ledl!&t shadow of authority, and for which they charged six dol- 
lars ; and they frequently induced people to enter lands which 
they knew had been taken up, but refused to return tlie fees 
when the imposition was discovered. 

The deputy surveyors, entry takers, and other ofiicers of in- 
ferior grade in that department, encouraged by the example of 
their leaders, soon became as much of adepts in the practice of 
chicane and extortion. The assembly sent a remonstrance to 
lord Granville, and he, being convinced that his chief agents 

*Martiii, vol 2, p. 118. 


were guilty, wrote to them on the subject ; but it was of no avail; 
for the laws of the province did not reach the otienders ; and the 
abuses continued until 1765, when the land office was shut, — 
In the mean time the people, finding the laws of the country 
could afford them no relief, and that the complaints made to his 
lordship were unavpiiling ; that Corbin, who had the chief dir 
rection of the land office, was increasing his fees from time to time 
without authority, and that he did not try to conceal his extor- 
tions, but turned a deaf ear to all their complaints, resolved to take 
the redress of their grievances into their own hands ; and ten or 
fifteen men, well mounted, crossing Chowan river a few miles a- 
bove Edenton, by night, seized Corbin, who lived a few miles 
below, and brought him to Enfield, where they kept him until 
he gave them a bond in £8000, with eight sureties, that he 
would produce his books within three weeks, and return all his 
illegal fees. He did not comply with his promise ; but commen- 
ced suit against four of the rioters, who, refusing to give security, 
were committed to Enfield jail. The^ prison door being cut 
down the next day by an armed posse, and the prisoners re- 
leased, Corbin found it necessary to discontinue his suit and pay 
costs.* Governor Dobbs, instead of frowning upon such con- 
duct in other officers, or taking any proper steps to prevent dis- 
orders of this kind, set the example himself. Finding an old 
kuv passed in 1715, which subjected the masters of vessels to a 
penalty for carrying debtors out of the province, although the law 
was not to be executed by him in person, and although he had 
nothing more to do with it than to sustain the other officers in 
the discharge of their duty, he took occasion from it to make an 
office for himself. He ordered that no vessel should sail without 
an order from him, lest there should be a debtor on board ; and 
he demanded half a pistole from the owner or master of every 
vessel that left the ports. 

The Enfield riot, as it was termed, occurred in 1759 ; and in 
a few months after, the magestrates of Halifax having neglected 
to recommend a sheriff, the governor commissioned one of the 
most active rioters ; and he could not be prevailed on by the 
assembly to take any measures against them, because one Mc- 

•nViiJiaii'sori, vol. 2, p. 105-112. 


Culloch who was one of his counsellors, and a favorite, had been 
concerned in or was privy to the riot. He was allied to a gen- 
tleman who wished to have Corbin disgraced, that he might get 
the office, which was a very lucrative one, for himself, and ho 
finally succeeded. An act had been passed for erecting public 
buildings, and fixing the seat of government at Tower Hill on 
Neuse riyer ; but when the assembly was induced by the heavy 
expenses of the war, and other reasons, to attempt a repeal of 
the act in 1762, he refused his assent, because he owned the 
land there. When tiie assembly wished to appoint a standing- 
agent to attend to their business in England, a measure which 
was deemed to be of vital importance, especially to their com- 
mercial interests, and had been adopted by most of the other 
colonies, he refused to let them have any agent there, unless 
they would appoint one Smith, who was his own agent or at- 
torney in London ; and the same course seems to have been 
invariably pursued as his interest or his self-importance dictated. 
The number of counties having more than doubled since the sur- 
render of the charter, and the popular branch of the legislature, 
according to the former ratio of representation, becoming too 
numerous to suit his purpose, the king, by his influence, and 
with a plea that the right of making counties and boroughs, 
was a branch of the royal perogative, repealed the several acts 
by which Bertie, Tyrrell, Onslow, Bladen, Ecigecomb, North- 
ampton, Johnston, Granville, Duplin, Anson, Orange, Rowan, 
and Cumberland counties had been erected ; and also those by 
Avhich the boroughs of Beaufort, Bath, Edenton, Brunsv/ich, 
and Wilmington had been formed. The counties were to be 
formed anew, but in such a way that some of them would not 
have more than one, and none of them more than two members. 
The boroughs might be chartered again, but that would be done 
only where the inhabitants were found to be most flexible. In 
carrying out these measures, however, his excellency soon found 
himself involved in very serious difficulties ; for by the repeal 
of the borough charters, the property in town lots and houses, 
reverted to the original owners of the land — a measure which 
excited great indignation, and would soon have produced a gen- 
*Wi!liainson, vol. 2, p. 98. 



oral revolt. In this critical state of affairs, he was instructed by 
the king,* on the prayer and remonstrance of the assembly, to 
f-anction a law for re-chartering these comities and boroughs, 
'■ saving to his majesty, his royal prerogative of granting his 
letters of incorporation to such counties and boroughs, ordering 
elections, and appointing the number of members, by whom 
such counties and towns should be represented in the assembly, 
as if that act Jiad not passed." Until the charters were renewed 
they could not elect representatives to the assembly ; but as ex- 
horbitant fees were demanded for the charters, it was made in 
the end a profitable measure to the governor ; and thus the 
peace and prosperity of the country were sacrificed to the ava- 
rice of those who ought to have been their guardians and pro- 

During the pro})rictary government, when laws were not in 
force more than two years, unless renewed, the governors soon 
contrived to make that a source of profit, by demanding a par- 
ticular douceur, for giving then* assent to the renewal of laws 
which were deemed important, and the practice was not only 
continued to the end of ihe chapter, but miproved o.n by their 
.successors, and soon extended to all the olficers of government. 
In 1759, the lower house in a message to the upper, on the new 
court system, then under discussion, observed,* that the practice 
which had hitherto prevailed, of the chief justice exacting from 
the clerks a considerable proportion of their legal fees, had been 
t!ie cause of their being guilty of great extortions, whereby the 
superior courts had become scenes of oppression, and the con- 
duct of the chief justice and clerks a subject of universal com- 
plaint ; and testimonies to the same point might be multiplied to 
a much greater extent, if it were necessary. This state of things 
continued, and perhaps became nmch worse, at least, in the 
lower grades of ollice, until the people, unwilling to bear it any 
longer, undertook to regulate matters themselves ; and, in ac- 
cordance with this design, assumed the name of REGULATORS. 
The Regulation, as it was called, was therefore only one of a 
series of efforts made by the people at different periods of our 
colonial history, to obtain a redress of their grievances, when- 

^^Martiiu vol. % p. IdO. 


ever they became intolerable, by a nianly and determined as- 
sertion of their rights. A correction of the extortions and abuses 
already mentioned, which, instead of any radical or thorough 
reformation, appear to have increased, was the object of the 
Regulators; but there were some additional causes of dissatis- 
faction, which deserve to be noticed here. 

The French and Indian war, which was terminated by the 
treaty of Paris, signed Feb. 10th, 17()3, liad brought upon the 
province a heavy debt ; and the ability to discharge it was 
thought to be diminished by the great depreciation of the provin- 
cial currency. The paper money issued by the assembly from 
time to time and for various purposes, had nominal/^/ retained 
its proclamation value until about this time ; but now it was so 
depreciated that one Spanish dollar was worth nearly two of 
proclamation money.* In addition to all this, the governor, either 
to gratify his vanity, or to try the extent of his influence, sub- 
jected the province to very heavy demands for objects which 

*In 1764 the amount of bills of credit and treasury notes nnredermed was 
a fraction over JL)75,032, for tiie redemption of which a duty of 4 pence per g-al- 
lon on imported spirits--, and a poll tax of 4 sliillinpfs was laid until the whole 
should be sunk, which, in addition to the pre-existing- tax, amounted to 7 shil- 
lings on every taxable inhabitant, including- probably, all tlie men and negroes 
between 16 and 60 years of age. 

By a proclamation of Queen Anne, June IStb, 1704, regulating the curren- 
cy of foreign coin in the several colonies and plantations of America, the val- 
ue of the bills of credit issued by the colonial assemblies, was fixed at six 
shillings to the dollar, which was an advance of 33 1-3 per cent, on the ster- 
ling money of England ; and this proclamation value was retained, though 
for some years only nominally, until 1764, Vvhen the bills could not be passed 
under an advance of 88 per cent, on the sterling money, or 8 shillings to the 
dollar. From that time 8 shillinos to the dollar became tiie currency of N. 
Carolina, by custom or necessity, and not from any legislative enactment; for 
the king, it seems, claiuied it as his prerogative to regulate the value of for- 
eign com in the province; and with a moment's calculation any one can see 
the amount of loss sustained by the people on £75,032. In some of the other 
colonies, as in those of New England and Virginia, the true proclamation val- 
ue was retained until the adoption of the federal currency; in others, as in 
Pennsylvania, New .fersey, Delaware and Maryland it depreciated to 7s. 6d. 
In Ne-vv York it was the same as in N. Carolina; and in S. Carolina the de- 
preciation appears to have been only 2 pence on the dollar. 

This note is intended, not as a possilive or correct statement, in relation to 
this matter, but as a suggestion for others to take it up, who are capable of do- 
ing it justice, and give it the consideration which its importance demands ; for 
a full history and a clear exposition of this whole subject, the currency, inclu- 
ding all the causes and efiects of depreciation from the beginning up to the 
present time, would certainly be interesting, and might be useful. 


were quite imnessary ; and were therefore ill timed. The peo- 
pleliad become so dissatisfied with governor Dobbs, and their 
complaints against him were so loud that it was thought best 
to let him visit England " for the benefit of his health ;" and 
William Try on, who had been trained to the profession of arms, 
was sent out to take his place. He qualified as lieutenant go- 
vernor at Wilmington, Oct. 27th, 1764; and Dobbs who Avas 
about 82 years of age, having died on the 2Sth of I\Iarch follow- 
ing before he left the shores of America, Tryon qualified as go- 
vernor and entered on the duties of his office. If he had not 
been so liberally educated as his predecessor, he was neither so 
bigoted, so avaricious, nor so irritable ; but he appears to have 
been fond of display and the exercise of authority. His firmness 
and other qualifications as governor were soon put to the test ; 
and the final result is generally known. 

The British parliament adopted a resolution, March 10th, 
1764, the year in which Tryon came out here as lieutenant gov- 
ernor, asserting their 7'ight to tax the American colonies witli- 
out their consent, which produced a great excitement in North 
Carolina, as it did in all the other colonies ; and in the early 
part of the next year an act was passed, laying duties on certain 
stamps, which received the king's assent on the 22d of March. 
Meetings were held and resolutions were passed by the people, 
in all parts of the province, expressing their feelings and purpo- 
ses in relation both to this measure, and to the abstract principle 
on which it was founded. The people were more unanimous 
in this perhaps than they have ever been before or since ; for 
they concluded that if the British government could take any of 
their property without their consent, it could, with the same 
propriety, take the whole. On the 5th of January 1766, the 
governor announced the arrival of the sloop of war Diligence, 
in the Cape Fear, with a quantity of stamp paper on board, for 
the use of the province; and called on those who were author- 
ized to act as distributors of the stamps, to apply to the captain 
of the vessel for them ; but the people there, with Col. John 
Ashe and Col. Hugh Waddell at their head, made such a united, 
bold, and determined resistance, that the governor was obliged 
to yield ; James FTouston. who had been appointed stamp mas- 


lev, and was also one of the council, was compelled to take an 
oath that he would not proceed on the duties of his office ; and 
the stamps were not even landed. In the month of JMarch this 
odious act was repealed ; and on the 15th of June a connnuni- 
cation was received from the British minister annonncing- the 
fact, which caused great joy, and gave to that region a tenqjo- 
rary tranquility. Their successful resistance to the stamp act, 
shewed the people their strength ; and it taught them the im- 
portance of union, a lesson which, if it had been duly remem- 
bered, would have been of great service to them afterwards, and 
would have saved them from a vast deal of suffering. 

The governor did not dare to meet the assembly while the 
stamp act was in force ; but prorogued it until lie could say that 
the act was repealed. When it met Nov. 3d, 1766, he proposed 
and carried two measures, which were both unnecessary, exec])t 
for the purpose of gratifying his vanity ; but they increased 
alike the debt of the province and the discontent of the people. 
An act was passed and an appropriation made for running the 
dividing line between the western settlements of the province 
and the Cherokee hunting grounds. He was autliorized to ap- 
point three commissioners for the purpose ; but for their protec- 
tion, or to gratify his " natural as well as acquired fondness for 
military parade" he "marched in person to perform it, in a time 
of profound peace, at the head of a company of militia, in all the 
pomp of war ; and returned with the honorable title conferred 
on him by the Cherokees,of the G7'eai Wolf of North Carolina f 
and thus the country had to pay for "an opportunity of exercis- 
ing his military talents and making a splendid show of himself 
to the Indians." By a great deal of management and persever- 
ance he prevailed on the assembly, at the same session, to a]»- 
propriate £5000 for building a governor's house at Newbern : 
but as the direction of the business was left to him lie expended 
this sum without raising it much above the foundation. When 
the assembly met the next year he made his report ; and they' 
found themselves under the disagreeable necessity of losing the 
appropriation already made, or of giving £'10,000 more for the 
completion of the work. They preferred the latter ; and thusj 
£15,000 was added to a debt which was already enormous for 


tlK? impoverisliecl condition ot' the country. It has hcen said 
lliat the building of Tryon's palace was the cause of tlie Regu- 
lation ; but this is a mistake. It was one item in the catalogue 
of grievances, or formed one subject of complaint; but it was 
viewed as a snjall matter compared with some others. Distur- 
bances too had taken place in different parts of the country be- 
fore this time ; and the minds of the people, from a hundred 
miles of the seaboard to the foot of the mountains, had been pre- 
paring for a general revolt. 

It does not appear on the pages of history that the people of 
North Caroliiia were disposed to rebel, without a cause, against 
the authority of those who were properly authorized to admin- 
ister the lav/s, or that tliey ever refused to pay whatever taxes 
might be necessary for the support of government ; but they 
were at all times ready, when they had the power, to resist op- 
pression or flagrant encroachments on their rights ; and now it 
seemed that they must resist their oppressors, or be trampled on 
and reduced to a state of abject submission. Offices were mul- 
tiplied ; and throughout all the grades of office extortion appears 
to have been systematized and carried to the greatest possible 
extent. The people had long remonstrated and complained 
through their representatives ; biit could get no redress. Their 
complaints had reached the throne; and the governors had been 
instructed once and again to prohibit such a shameful contempt 
of law and abuse of power. Gov. Dobbs, in consequence of his 
institutions, ordered in 1704, the last year of his administration, 
that a table of fees should be set up in every public office ; but 
owing to his example and his imbecility, any such elfort on his 
part, either to correct abuses in the government or to quell tlie 
tumults of the people, was perfectly futile. Governor Tryon, 
having receiv^cd similar instructions, issued a proclamation for- 
bidding the demand of illegal fees ; but it is perfectly manifest 
tiiat neither of these gentlemen was in earnest about restraining 
the mal-practices in question, for one effectual prosecution would 
have doiie more than all their blustering proclamations. No 
such thing was attempted, however; and the conduct of subal- 
tern officers, was in fact connived at by the men wlio were 
-sworn to administer the government faithfully, and to whom the 


community Iiad a right to look for protection. Tlic people ''were 
defrauded by the clerks of the several courts, by the recorders 
of deeds, by entry takers, by surveyors, and by the lawyers, 
every man demanding twice or three times his legal fees;"* 
and, whenever it could be done, about double the amount of 
legal taxes was collected by the sheriffs. Attempts were made 
to obtain relief by bringing indictment against individual oiiict^'-s 
in the civil courts ; but there they found only a mockery of jus- 
tice. When all legal means of redress had failed, tliey liad re- 
course to an expression of public sentiment by holding meetings 
in difierent parts of the country for the purpose ; then they re- 
fused to pay illegal taxes or fees ; and this brought about an 
open rupture with the government. 

There were disturbances of this kind, before the passing of the 
stamp act ;t for during the last meeting of the legislature under 
the administration of Dobbs, accounts reached Wilmington of 
serious disturbances in the county of Orange, the cause of which 
was stated to be, the exactions of the clerks, registers, and some 
of the attorneys, in requiring illegal and exorbitant fees ; and 
amidst the excitement on account of the stamp act in the follow- 
ing year, these disturbances not only continued in Orange, but 
had spread into Granville. In June of this year a paper, under 
this motto, 

" Save my country, heavens, shall bo my last," 

And entitled, Jl serious address to the people of Granville coun- 
ty, containing a brief narrative of our deplorable situation and 
the wrongs we suffer, and some necessary hints with respect to 
a reformation, was circulated in that county ; and, although the 
writer was an illiterate man, being written with clearness and 
energy, it had great effect. The excitement on account of tlic- 
stamp act had no tendency to divert the minds of the Regulators 
from grievances which they felt more at present than the other : 
and therefore, while the disturbances continued in Orange and 
Granville counties, they spread during this time into Anson, t 
The object of the Regulators and of those who resisted the intro- 
duction of the stamps at Wilmington was essentiallv the snirio : 

■■Williamson, vol. 2, p. VZ\). tMartin, vol, 2, p. 191. 
t Martin, vol. 2, p. 21-5, 


and the principal difference was that, while the latter opposed a 
single measure, the former aimed at a reformation of all abuses. 
The Regulators applauded those who so manfully resisted the 
operation of the stamp act at \Vilmington ; and called them, by 
way of honorable distinction. The Sons of Liberty ; and ma- 
ny of this party, too, it is said, united heartil}'' with the Regula- 

Hitherto the neighborhood meetings had served only to keep 
alive and perhaps to extend the spirit of opposition or of inqui- 
ry ; but, finding that greater concert of action and more regu- 
lar means of communication were necessary, when the county 
court of Orange v/as in session, in the month of August, 1766, 
a paper addressed to the representatives and magistrates of the 
county was presented and read. This is said to have been the 
first written complaint against those extortions which had been 
so long and so extensively practised ; and which brought re- 
proach not only on the court and the bar, but on the governors 
and all or most of those who acted under their authority. In 
order that great good might come out of that which was de- 
signed as a great evil, the stamp law, in opposing which the 
Sons of Liberty had withstood the lords of parliament, the wri- 
ter thought that rulers should not be permitted to carry on op- 
pression i^i the province, of which there were great complaints 
among the inhabitants ; that the evils complained of should be 
removed, or if there was no cause, the jealousies ouglit to be 
removed out of their minds ; and honest rulers would be glad 
to have this matter freely examined ; that while there were 
more honest men than rogues in the country, rogues were har- 
bored among them, almost publicly ; that as every honest man 
was willing to give part of his substance for the support of ru- 
lers and laws, it was his duty as well as his right to inquire 
whether such rulers abused their trust, otherwise the part so 
given might do more harm than good ; that if all were rogues 
tliey could not subsist, but would be obliged to frame laws to 
make themselves honest ; that when justice is desired by all, or 
by the majority of men, if public grievances were not redressed 
it must be because what is everybody's business is nobody's : he 
therefore proposed that each neighborhood in the county should 


appoint one or more men to attend a general meeting, on the 
Monday before the next November court, at Maddock's Mills,* 
or some place where there was no liquor, for the pm'pose of m- 
qiuring whether the freemen of the county were laboring un- 
der any abuses of power or not; and if so, they should be sta- 
ted in writing, and proper measures taken for their correction. 
This it was supposed would cause the wicked men in power to 
tremble, while no injury could result from such a meeting, nor 
any thing hinder the benefit of it, except a cowardly, dastardly 
spirit, which, if it did prevail at a time when liberty was begin- 
ning to triumph, they must remam under their oppressions un- 
til a more noble spirit might prevail in their posterity ; and the 
course he proposed was regarded as the only safe one, no matter 
who were their rulers ; for while men were men, if even tlie 
Sons of Liberty were put into oifice they would become cor- 
rupt and oppressive, unless they were called upon to give an ac- 
count of their stewardship. 

The Deep river settlement appointed W. C. and W. M. as 
delegates to attend the general meeting on the 10th of October, 
at Maddock's mills, with a written certificate of their appoint- 
ment and instructions, " to examine judicioushj whether the 
freemen in this country labor under any abuses of power; and 
in particular to examine into tlie public lax, and inform them- 
selves of every particular thereof, by tvhat law and for what 
uses it was levied, in order to remove some jealousies out of the 
people's minds. The representatives, vestrymen, and other offi- 
cers were requested to give the members of the said meeting 
what information and satisfaction they could, so far as they val- 
ued the good will of every citizen, and the executing public offi- 
ces pleasant and delightsome." All this was nothing more than 
reasonable, and what they had a right, as British subjects, to 
expect ; and the government party could make no valid objec- 
tion. While the first delegates that arrived at Maddock's mills 
were waiting for the arrival of others. Col. Fanning, who was 
particularly odious to the pleople, sent out James Watson to 
denounce or forbid the meethig ;t but they proceeded to busi- 

*On Eti'"', between two and three miles west from HiiJsboroug'li. 
f Jones' Defence of Nortli Carolina, p. 40. 


ness ; and after a free discussion, it was resolved, as the judg- 
ment of the meeting, that no one man in the country, owing to 
its great extent, being known to more than one tenth of the in- 
habitants, such a meeting for public and free discussion, yearly, 
or as often as the case might require, was absolutely necessary, 
in order to reap the benefit which the constitution conferred upon 
them, of choosing their representatives, and of knowing for what 
uses their money was called for; and that no representative 
could possibl}'' answer the design of his constituents without such 
opportunities of consulting their minds in matters of weight and 
moment ; that as none of the representatives or government offi- 
cers had attended that meeting, probably from their not having 
duly considered the reasonableness of the request, if they were 
disposed to give an account of their stewardship, or be held res- 
ponsible for their conduct as public servants, they should have 
an opportunity at some other time and place on giving proper 
notice, A copy of these resolutions was given to Watson, who 
expressed his approbation of it, and promised to furnish each of 
the representatives with a transcript ; but Col. Fanning, instead 
of complying with these "reasonable proposals," at the following 
court, or at a general muster, read a long piece of writing in 
public and among the justices, in repugnance to their request, 
vaunting himself greatly on his performances, telling them that 
he had served the Regulators with copies of it, and signified that 
it would silence them, though none of them ever saw it or knew 
what it contained. In April of the following year they had a 
meeting at the same place ; and adopted the following preamble 
and resolutions : 

" We the subscribers do voluntarily agree to form ourselves 
into an association, to assemble ourselves for conference for reg- 
ulating public grievances and abuses of power, in the following 
particulars, with otliers of the like nature that may occur. 

1. That we will pay no more taxes until we are satisfied they 
are agreeable to law, and applied to the purposes therein men- 
tioned ; unless we cannot help it, or are forced, 

2, That we will pay no officer any more fees than the law al- 
lows, unless we are obliged to it ; and then to shew our dislike, 
jind bear an open testimony against it. 


3. That we will attend our meetings of conference as often as 
we conveniently can, and is nessary, in order to consult our rep- 
resentatives on the amendment of such laws as may be found 
grievous or unnecessary ; and to choose more suitable men than 
we have done heretofore for burgesses and vestrymen ; and to 
petition the houses of assembly, governor, council, king, and 
parliament, &c. for the redress of such grievances as in the course 
of the undertaking may occur ; and to inform one another, learn, 
know, and enjoy all the privileges and liberties that are allowed 
and were settled on us by our worthy ancestors, the founders of 
our present constitution, in order to preserve it on its ancient 
foundation, that it may stand firm and unshaken. 

4. That we will contribute to collections for defraying neces- 
sary expenses attending the work, according to our abilities, 

5. That in case of difference in judgment, we will submit to 
the judgment of the majority of our body. 

To all which we solemnly swear, or being a Quaker or oth- 
erwise scrupulous in conscience of the common oath, do sol- 
emnly affirm, that we will stand true and faithful to this cause, 
till we bring things to a true regulation, according to the true 
intent and meaning hereof, in the judgment of the majority of 

The reader may be ready to say that here was the very spirit 
of '76 ; and that every man at the present day would be ready 
to pledge his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor in defence of 
the same rights and principles ; but as the Regulators had now 
passed the Rubicon, and were fairly at issue with the govern- 
ment, it is necessary to bring more distinctly into view the pro- 
minent characters on both sides, and the actual state of things 
over the country at that time ; and in addition to the common 
histories of the country, and such traditionary or verbal testimo- 
nies as appeared worthy of credit, there are two accounts in my 
possession, one m print and the other in manuscript, of which I 
shall make considerable use. The first is a communication 
which was made some years ago, in a paper called The Weekly 
Times, published somewhere in Tennessee, and which is said to 
have been written, or the matter furnished by a man who had 
been a Res-'ilntor nnd an active agent in the whole transaction, 

1 12 tIFE OF DAVID CAldWElL, D.D. 

until the closing scene ; and the other is an account furnished 
me by Dr. Mitchell of the University, which he obtained in July 
1819, twenty-three years ago, fronri Joseph McPherson, near 
Salem, in Stokes county. He was of Scotch descent ; but was 
born near Wilmington. In 1765 he came to live in Chatham, 
and found that the Regulation had then made considerable pro- 
gress in that county. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary 
war he removed into Stokes where he resided until his death. — 
Having been in the Regulation battle, and having resided in 
that region for some time previous, his opportunities were good 
for obtaining a correct knowledge of facts ; and although he had 
some eccentricities or peculiarities, he is believed to have been 
a man of truth, and his statements worthy of credit. It is always 
desirable to hear both sides of a story; but in this case we have 
to regret that hitherto the story has been told, in any thing like 
an authentic or regular form, only by one side ; and we are left 
to gather up such fragments, often of doubtful authenticity, as 
have not yet entirely passed into the long dark shadow of ob- 

The first resolution at the above meeting related to the taxes ; 
and while the Regulators avowed their willingness to pay what- 
ever taxes were agreeable to law, or were necessary for the 
support of government, a belief on their part is imphed, not only 
that there was extravagance or a useless expenditure of public 
funds, but that more than the lawful taxes had been demanded 
by the sheriffs, and that there was generally great mismanage- 
ment in the financial concerns of the country. The legal taxes 
were very heavy, considering the circumstances of the people, 
as will very soon appear. Governor Tryon, in a communica- 
tion to the Regulators,* dated June 21st, 1768, says, "As you 
want to be satisfied what is tlie amount of the tax for the pub- 
lic service for 1767, I am to inform you, it is seven shillhigs a 
taxable, besides the county and parish taxes." By an act pass- 
ed in 1764, the vestry of each parish were authorized to lay a 
poll tax of ten shillings on every taxable inhabitant, if they 
thought it necessary ; and there was also a tax of some kind 

*lVi!liiimson, vol. "2. p. 207. 


for destroying vermin ;"■ but wlietlier tliis was under the net oL" 
1760, for tha.t purpose, or under ;i later one, I have uot examin- 
ed. These being poll taxes would come very heavy on the 
poor, and then a gvi^atdeal more was of.en collected than wan 
due; but money was so difncu;f to obtain that lliey must Jiave 
been felt as a burden by most people. MacFlierEon says, "he 
went witli his to Cross creek, now Fayetteviile,wilh a loatt 
of wheat, 40 bushels. They could get 5 shillings per bushel ; 
hut of tills only one shilling was paid in money ; or (hey could 
get a bushel of salt for a bushel of wheat. On their retm'u they 
had 40 siiillingsin cash ; and were able to pay their tax, which 
was more than any other man in the settlement could do." Sev- 
eral old men in this county have given me a similar account of 
the price of wheat as well as of some other articles; and they 
added that if they could bring home 40 shiihngs, or five dollars 
in money, for 40 bushels of wheat, they thought they were doing 
a first rate business. It required sonie patience to bear such a 
burden of taxes under these circumstances; and especially when 
a large portion of it was to gratify the vanity of a man, like go- 
vernor Tryon, in building palaces, and in doing other thing.'^ 

*The follnvvinq- receipt shows, in accord-iDce with Trj-on's letter to tiie 
Re'r'iiiitors th*; year boture, itiH ■imount rme trorTi every t^xj'iilc iiihnbifniit aa 
a [)"!i t;ix, exclusive oi' the parish tax, wiiich might ber^s h ':., ten shiilinirrf 
on the pull; and it al.-o .-hf w.- th:it ^nme tax wns ijaid h>c tit', iynying noxioua 
ar>i'\id\!i:—Re<eiv('t/rf the l:cv Mr. Cuu'wdl.for two ttrxaUi-x, foHrlceii 
shi'lhifrs tax, and four shiUings and eight fence for scalps for the year 

17(^0. — V^'ILLIAM 'l\ CoLEi^. 

I I IToOsn act was passed reqtiirinnf pvery master, mistresr-', or ovorseer 
of a t.'mily. to kill 2 crows, 50 blackbirds, and 5 squirrels under a penalty of 
two shi)Ii!i;;s prockunation riinney t( r every 2 crows, two siiiilirgi for every 
5(t alackinrds and one .-••liiiiiiii.- for every 5 squu-rels. Vv iiether the 4s. Pd. in 
the above receipt caiTie onde-- this act or one of later date 1 knov; not ; but the 
country so atujuiidtd then with wild aninials, some ot which preyed on lh« 
gr>-in and .-took, and others were even dang-erona to the inhabitants them- 
selves, that some efllcient ineasnres were necessary ti^r their destruction. — 
In puuv' oi thi- latt' r 'act, a .-itig-le iiicideiil will m,! Ice. tk'.on af'er Or. 
Caldwell co-naienepd th^' practice of niedicute. he vva*- itti;rnin<v one nijjht, 
at a late hour, from a visit to a sick cluld in the neioht)orliood, when a p7>ck 
of wolves, attracted probably by the smell of the assai'ttlida or other medicines 
in his saddlebaiTs, raised tlie howl at. n little distance behind, and wore making- 
towards him. fie happened to liave no switc!), and could not a I ijiiit to pro- 
cure one, lest they .should overtuki; him; tint with his chaiacteristic presenco 
of mind, reachincf forward he instantly pulled the brdle otF his horse, and 
usinjj that for a whip, went at full speed until he reachetl his house, having 
just time to get Jhrougli the gale and shut it on them before they came up. ° 
1 5 

i 14 I.Tl-'K or DAVID CAJ.DWKLl,, D.D 

quite as iiiuiecessary ; yet it is probaWi^, that the people would 
have submitted to it if the oificers had been honest, ai.d had de- 
manded ijo more taxes and fees than were lawful. It is to be 
supposed that tlie most iute!hgent, or wealthy and inlluential 
class were not impos-, d (>;■■ .-s others were by the oliicers ; but 
• that the sheriffs, w-h- .hey could do it, demanded a great 

4pal more than the aiuouut required by law is confirmed by the 
uniform tradition of the country as well as by history; and they 
were at length obliged to acknowledge some dishonesty ; for in 
March, 1771, they made arrangements to restore all that they 
had taken unjustly. It was then too late however to prevent 
the consequences of their iniquity ; and to them must be attribu- 
ted iu part the calamities which followed. 

The clerks of the courts were guilty in the same way; but to 
a much greater extent. Thomas Frohawk in Salisbury, and Ed 
mund Fanning in Hillsborough, were clerks of the Superior 
Courts in their respective counties ; and had become exceeding- 
ly obnoxious to the people by their extortions; but of the char- 
acter and conduct of the latter my information is more ample and 
more authentic. '•' Fanning was from the North; and it is be- 
iivecl, from Long Island. Frohawk was a bachelor and died 
very rich. It is said that he charged @15 for a marriage license ; 
and the consequence was that some of the inhabitants on the 
head waters of the Yadkin took a short cut. They took each 
other for better or for worse ; and considered themselves as 
married without any further ceremony." This is all the infor- 
mation I have had respecting Frohawk ; but the extortions 
practised in Rowan must have been similar to those practised 
in Orange ; for the disturbances on this account appear to have 
been nearly as great in the former as in the latter. It seems, at 
first view, incredible, that the clerk should demand £15 for a 
marriage license ; and yet it is not more incredible than that he 
ghould demand half that amount, or any thing more than the 
lawful fee. There were not many v/ho knew what v>'as the le- 
gal fee for that or any thing else ; and then the expenses of go- 
ing to law were so great in the way of fees &c., that fewer still 
cuuld obtain justice in- that way. Besides the judges were not 
cli-posed to enforce the laws ag;;itist oiliccrs or members of the 


court; and whether a man gained a suit or not, however just, 
depended very much on the weiglit of his purse or on Ids stand- 
ing and influence in societ)\ At least it was so in Orange, as 
we shall shew presently, especially when any one who was at- 
tached to the court was concerned ; and we presume it was so 
in the other counties, for the same judges presided in all the dis- 
tricts ; and people who were in moderate-circumstances, or with- 
out influence would make an^r sacrifices or sulTerloss to ahiiost 
any amount rather t!ian go to law in such cases. Fanning was 
a lawyer, a colonel of the comity, clerk of the Superior Court, 
and register. The legal fee for recording a DEED was one dollar, 
which, considering the difljerence oetween the value of money 
then and now, would be more than double the present fee ; but 
he made the people over the country pay four or five limes that 
amount. This is only a specimen of his extortions, vv'hicli it is 
said were practised on the same scale in his other oliices, when- 
ever it could be done ; and in this course ho wns. proliN- Ii'-l by 
the court. 

A people who been religiously educated, as a majority 
of the Regulators had been, and who have been taught to regard 
the Bible as a revelation from lieaven, are not apt to rise at once 
in open rebellion against the established government, or bid de- 
fiance to the regularly constituted authorities of the land. This 
is the work of time and reflection. There must be consultation 
and inquiry into facts for the purpose of satisfying their own 
consciencies and of justifying themselves before the world : there 
will be some regard to the voice of reason ; some efii'orts will be 
made to obtain a redress of grievances without tlie hazard and 
sufferings attending a conflict with " the pov/ers that be ;" and 
then they must have mutual encouragemxnt and mutual pledges 
of fidelity and support. This is just what we find in the men 
whose principles and conduct are now under consideration; and 
it does not appear that hitherto they had as a body made any 
direct resistance to the operations of government. Fanning and 
others, who had in the same way become obnoxious to the peo- 
ple, were made the subjects of ridicule or of merriment by the 
wits and wacs of the dav : and, as is usual in such cases, carica- 


lures and pasquinades abounded.* The meeting at Maddock's 
mills, as we have seen, resolved that they would pay no more 
illegal ta.^es, miless tliey were forced; that lliey would pay no 
more exorbitant fees to officers, except by compulsion, and that 
they would bear an open testimoiiy against it; that they would 
liold frequent meetings for conference, which they would request 
their representatives to attend for tlie purpose of giving them 
information respecting what was doiie in the legislature, and of 
consulting together about the measures that ougiit to be adopt- 
ed for the common welfare; that tiiey would select more suita- 
ble men for the various offices in the gift of the people; that they 
would jielition tlie assenibly, governor, council, king and par- 
liament, for redress of their grievances; that they would contri- 
bute to collections for defraying wliatevcr expenses might be 
necessary in this undertakiiig; that whenever a diiference of 
opinion might arise they v.^ould submit to the majority; and as 
a pledge of their fidelity in the performance of these things tliey 
bound tliemselves Ijy an oath or aifirmatioiL In all this we see 
nothiiig but the principles and spirit which covered the patriots 
of '76 with immortal honor; and only because they were bet- 
ter Kustaiaed, had more ample resources, and were more success- 

As complaints and petitions were f.nnd unaA^'ailing; and as 
the expenses attending a lawsuit were too great for any one 
nian, their contribiitions were made for this purpose. Tlie meet- 
ing at Maddock's miiis, which adopted the resolution, contribu- 
ted fifty pounds;! and whether any prosecutions were com- 
menced iminediately I have not learned ; but some time after, 

''Somn fr3f>-rnpn'-- of llm poptic effii.--ioa- tlicn cominoi! in the country are 
here jriven a.- matters ot curiosity; and n« shewing Utf miuiiU'r .mikI spirit of 
the times. The Ibllowina:, MacPher.^on says he heard sunj)- at a woduiug' 
when lie first came into Chatham, in 1765; and belore he knew any thing of 
the individual lo whom it rcferp: 

" Wlien FiinriiniT tir.-t to Orange came 

He hwkeci both ywleiM-.d v.avi. 

An old p:!tclicd coal npun hi^ back 

An old iinre he rode on 

Both man and mare wa'nt worth five pounds 

As I've been often told 

But by his civil robberies 

He's lacei] \u.< coat with gold." 
fjoncs's iOcfciiCc, p. -i'l. 


when an opportunity occurred which they supposed to be a fa- 
vorable one, Fainiing was indicted for extortion in six cases.* 
He was found guilty in all, notwitiistanding the partiality of the 
court ; and was fined, iu each case, one penny , with costs ; but 
being what wt^s called "a pretty smart lawyer," he pleaded his 
own cause, and being clerk of the court he did his own writing ; 
so that he had little or no costs to pay. With such encourage- 
ment from the court h.e continued his extortions ; and no wonder 
'•he laced his coat witli gold." It has been seen that the gov- 
ernor, soon after he was iiiducted into office, issued a proclama- 
tion forbidding the officers to take unlawful foes; and he gave 
the Regulators assurance in other ways that their grievances 
should be redressed ; but here was proof that, notwithstanding 
the oatlis of office and the pledges of honor, nothing like justice 
v/as to be expected. Fanniisg was a favorite with the governor; 
and for his emolument thousands must be oppressed, the claims 
of justice disregarded, and the rights of humanity contemned. 
In 1770 he chartered lii'ilsboroug'i, or gave it the right of send- 
ing a member to the assembiy ; and his object was to secure a 
seat for Fanning t vvi;o had become too odious to be elected for 
the county. He had been a member for two years previous, as 
representative of the county ; but, MacPherson says, he owed 
his election to tlie sheriff, Thos. Hart, to whom he promised a 
reward if he would get him elected ; and when he took his seat 
he brouglit in a bill, and had ii passed, forgiving Hart one thou- 
sand pounds, on account of liis losses as sheriff, when in fact he 
had lost nothing : so said the Regulators ; and they complained 
that in this way, their money, or a great deal of it, had gone. It 
being a prominent object of the Regulators in their associations 
to assist each other in becoming acquainted with the legislative 
proceedings, and with the conthict of tlie government officers, 
they procured a copy of the iaw^s, by which it manifest that 
the officers demanded unlawful fees ; and by calculations, as to 
the amount of taxes raised, &c., ihejr concluded that a great deal 
more hnd been paid into the treasury than was fairly accounted 
for; and tney naiurally supposed it nmst have been employed 
by the men in office to enrich themselves or their friends; and 
* Williamson, vol.:?, p. 1-37. fMartin, vol. 2, p. 265. 


Iliey exclaimed against paying any more taxes unless they knew 
how their money was expended. 

That there were no unprincipled and reckless men among 
the Regulators, or that things were not done which were highly 
censurable, even in their circumstances, will not be pretended ; 
for to expect any thing else would be to suppose that they were 
superior to all other people. The most enlightened, refined, and 
moral community, when wronged, insulted and goaded on to 
desperation, as they were, will break over the strict rules of pro- 
priety and do tilings which they themselves cannot but regret 
afterwards. There may have been some acts of violence on 
the part of individuals or small companies, before the indictments 
were brought against Fanning ; but it seems to have been the 
design of the prominent men to avoid or restrain such proceed- 
ings, at least until all peaceful measures had been tried. In 1767 
associations had been formed, not only in Granville and Orange, 
but in Anson, Bladen, Mecklenburgh,* and on the west side of 
Hawriver,t including, if I mistake not, what are now Guilford 
and Randolph counties ; and they appear to have been proceed- 
ing with regularity, though with resolution and confidence. 
They had a meeting in Orange, probably at Mad'dock's mills, 
April 4th, 1768, at which they appointed two persons who were 
directed to call on the two late sheriffs and the vestrymen with 
a request that they would meet twelve deputies from the general 
meeting on the Tuesday after the next county court, and pro- 
duce to them their accounts. J But the sheriffs and vestrymen 
it seems were not willing that their official conduct should be 
submitted to any such scrutiny ; for before the two men could 
give them the notice, some of the sheriffs' deputies took by way 
of distress, a mare, saddle, and bridle, and carried them to Hills- 
borough ; but they were followed by a party of sixty or seventy 
men, who rescued the mare; and then, marcliing to Fanning's 
house, they fired a few shots at the roof of it, to let him know 
tlrat they regarded him as the principal cause of tlie disturbance. 
Such is Martin's account of this transaction; but some very aged 
men, of great respectabihty, have told me that the mare, with 
the trappings, was sold for the man's tax, four or five dollars; 

*.M.utin, vol. 2. p. 2'28. fMartin, vol. 2, p. 232. | Martin, vol. 2, p. 233. 


and that one of the officers bought the whole for tliat amount, 
Tlie Reguhxtors went and paid tlie money, then toolc the prop- 
erty, and gave it back to the owner. 

Probably the above transaction produced some alarm ; for 
the minister of the parish having undertaken to give the notice 
which the committee of two had been appointed to give, soon 
reported that the sheriffs and vestrymen would attend, as re- 
quested, on the 20th of May. In consequence of tiiis informa- 
tion the Regulators met on the 30th of Aprd,and twelve deputies 
were chosen ; but before the day appointed, the governor, liav- 
ing heard of the disturbances, sent David Edwards with a proc- 
lamation summoning tlie Regulators to disperse, and calling on 
the officers of the province to assist the sheriff in suppressing 
the insurrection. As the Regulators, after their late meeting, 
had quietly returned to their homes, the sheriff, availing himself 
of the advantage thus afforded, took with him a party of thirty 
horsemen, well armed, and riding through the country to the 
distance of fifty miles, took two of them, Harmon Husband 
and Vvilliam Hunter, whom he brought to Hillsborough and 
confined in jail. These were both prominent men among the 
Regulators ; but of the latter I know nothing, and of the for- 
mer, not much. It is generally said that he was from Pennsyl- 
vania, and he was ra,ised a Quaker. When he came to 
this country, he was a public speaker of high standing in that 
society ; but at the period under consideration he was not in 
connexion with them, owing to some disagreement which had 
taken place between him and some of their leading men. He 
lived on Sandy Creek, in v/hat is now Randolph county, and. 
was in good circumstances ; for he must have owned some three 
thousand acres, more or less, of very valuable land. The tra- 
dition of his old neighborhood says that he was some relation 
of Dr. Franklin ; and that the two maintained at this time a 
kind of verbal correspondence by means of a Mr. Wilcox, who 
set up the first store in Fayetteville, and who carried messages 
from one to the other, when he went every half year to Phila- 
delphia for goods ; but that they never corresponded in writing, 
for fear of detection. MacPherson, who lived for some time 
with Wilcox, after he set up an iron furnace in Chatham, makes 


the same statement; and there was probably so-ine truth in itl 
These tilings, though not authentic, nor of any great importance 
in themselves, are worth knowing, as they throw some light on 
the history of that period. It is also said that Franklin used io 
send Husband pamphlets by Wilcox ; and that when they ar- 
rived they were distribnted over the country by Husband, who 
some times had them copied and republished under his own 
name. This was particularly the case with regard to a pamph- 
let of Franklin's, entiled "State Aifairs," which is said to have 
been republished by Husband under the title of "Sermons to 
Asses." It was moreover believed that both Franklin and Hus- 
band had in view at that time a separation from Great Britain, 
though the latter did not then coumiunicate his project to his 
associates ; and this opinion is sap|>osed to be confirmed by the 
fact that when some Carolinians, wlio v%''cre attached to Hus- 
band and his party, during the Revolutionary War, were con- 
lined in Staunion, Yirginia, they or some one of them said that 
Husband visited them and told them that the revolutionary 
struggle then going on, was what lie intended at the time of the 
Regulation. * The testimony of MacPlierson, of which so 
much use is here made only bee uise it is more full and explicit, 
than any other of tlie kind that I have seen or heard, and which 
he says he got from Wilcox, while he was engaged with him in 
his iron estabhshment, is sustained by the traditions of the coun- 
try, except in relation to tlse re-puh!i-.-,ation of Frankjin's pamph- 
lets by Husband, of wliich this is the only account that has come 
to my knowledge. 

Although wanting the advantages of education. Harmon Hus- 
band was a man of superior mind ; and he was much 
given to reading and reflection. He was very grave in his de- 
portment, and had usually all that reserved and cautious man- 
ner of expressing himself in conversation,. for which' the people 
of the Quaker society" are remarkable ; but when animated he 

*Fro?n the pumplilets vvliicli were published about this time, and even 
somoye.ird oirlior, — siich. for ex.iiiipie, ar. the one eulilled : 'I'ke Inleresls of 
Great lirilniu tvi'h regard to her Colonics — it .-ipijeiirs th;it the tlKniiiht ot 
IndeptfKlence was rcvulved in more minds tlian thovsc of Ben Franklin and 
Ifannon l-lusb;ind, on botii side.-; of tlio Atlantic too; and while it was drou- 
deri there, it w^as cherished hcie. 

Lli'li OP DAVIJ) CAJ-1)VVKLI., D.U. 1.21 

could speak, in public or private, with sufficient fluency, and 
with a great deal of force. He has been generally represente<l 
by historians as a man of a turbulent and seditious character ; 
as an arch demagogue ; and as possessing all the craft and cun- 
ning of the Jesuit ; but it is strange that a writer who thus 
speaks of liim in one sentence, should say of him in the next 
that he lived hi a country where the exercise of those qualities 
were not only excusable, but frequently indispensible, as a 
meawi of redress for outrage and wrong ; and that he induc- 
ed the discontented and oppressed to unite in a general and sys- 
tematic opposition to the operations of the government by which 
they were oppressed — the very thing that was done in the Rev- 
olution. Such were the representations of his enemies or of the 
government party, and historians seem to have copied them 
without sufficient inquiry or making the proper allowance ; but 
those who were personally acquainted with him and knew him 
best, give him a different character. When people find that they 
have been deceived by a man who has courted their favor mere- 
ly for some selfish end, they usually turn against him ; but this 
was not the case with the people whom he represented. The 
writer in the Weekly Times says, " He was one of those inde- 
pendent Quakers wlio was educated in the honest school of Will- 
iam Penn, and refused to pull off his hat, and bow before the 
minions of despotism. In consequence of which he shared the 
contempt of the governor ; but the frowns of power could nev- 
er drive him from the faithful performance of his duty to his 
constituents." I have conversed with a number who knew him 
personally and intimately in their youth, as they were his neigh- 
bors, some of whom are yet living ; and they all speak of him 
as a man of strict integrity, and as a firm and sincere advocate 
of what he believed to be the rights of mankind. His energy of 
character, inflexibility of purpose, and indignation at the wrongs 
which he and others were enduring, may have led him in some 
cases to do things which were unjustifiable or imprudent ; but I 
have never heard those who were well acquainted with him 
impeach his motives. 

It has been generally said that he was the soul of the Regular 
tion ; but this does not appear to be sustained by facts ; for the 


disturbances, as they were called, commenced in Granville as 
early as they did in Orange, if not a little earlier ; but they had 
progressed in both these counties for some time before his name 
is mentioned. Having engaged in the cause with a great deal 
of ardor, his superior intelligence and firmness made him of 
course, a prominent man. Being enabled by his circumstances 
to do it, he procured, among other sources of information, a copy 
of the laws; and read them to the people in their neighborhood 
meetings, or wherever opportunity offered, from which it was 
manifest that exorbitant fees were demanded by the otficers. — 
He drew up the paper which was read before Hillsborough 
court, in August, 1766 ; the resolutions which were adopted by 
the meeting at Maddock's mills ; and most of the petitions and 
papers of every description that were needed by the Regula- 
tors in his own county. Whether his influence has been over- 
rated or not, he certainly had the confidence of the people to a 
very great extent ; for as soon as it was known that he was im- 
prisoned in Hillsborough, the whole country rose en masse, and 
marched down, for his rescue, under Ninian Bell Hamilton, an 
old Scotchman, 60 or 70 years of age. Husband had been lib- 
erated before they arrived ;* for his enemies dreaded the conse- 
quences of detaining him mitil his friends could rally their for- 
ces ; and they took this plan of laying him under some moral 
obligation, as they supposed, while they had him in their power, 
and of mollifying the resentment of the people. The condi- 
tions of his release were that " he should never give his opinion 
of tlie laws, nor frequent assembling of himself among the peo- 
ple, nor shew any jealousy of the. officers taking extraordi- 
7iary fees, and others of a similar kind."t This was an impli- 
ed acknov/ledgement of their guilt and of his weight of char- 
acter ; nor does it appear that they ever submitted to a fair in- 
vestigation of their official conduct. Hamilton and his men 
posted themselves at a short distance from Hillsborough, on the 
south side of Eno, v.diere they were joined by Husband and 
Hunter ; and Isaac Edwards, who had not yet returned to New- 
born, having rode up towards them, read the governor's procla- 
mation, informing them that he was directed to assure them, on 
■^ Jone;-'s Defence, p. 35. fMartin, vol. 2, p. 234. 


behalf of the governor, that, on application to him, he would 
redress their grievances and protect them from the extortion and 
oppression of any officer, provided they would disperse and go 
home. They all cried out at once, agreed, agreed; and they imme- 
diately separated. This did not look like they were an unprin- 
cipled mob, or that they deserved the censure which has been 
heaped upon them ; and if the governor liad faithfully and 
promptly fulfilled his promises, we presume there would have 
been no more trouble. 

When the Regulators first arrived on the banks of the Eno, 
it is said that Fanning went down, with a bottle of rum in one 
hand, and a bottle of wine in tlie other, entreating Hamilton not 
to bring his men into the town, but send a horse to take him 
across, that they might talk about matters in good humor. , The 
old Scotchman, however, told him that he was none too good 
to wade ;* and that if he had any business with them, he might 
bring himself over the best way he could. Fanning waded the 
stream ; but when he got there Hamilton would not permit the 
men to taste either his rum or his wine ; and when the assurance 
was given them by Edwards that their wrongs should be re- 
dressed, they separated and quietly returned to their homes. 

On the 21st of May the Regulators held another general meet- 
ing, at which a communication was received from the Regula- 
tors in Anson county, offering their co-operation in such meas- 
ures as might be adopted for the purpose of procuring relief, and 
desiring information as to the manner in which their proceedings 
had been conducted. A committee was appointed to return a 
suitable answer, and give the necessary information. Accord- 
ing to the prmiary intention of this meeting, and relying on the 
promise of Edwards, the governor's messenger, they appointed 

*0n this occasion some one made a song of eight verses, two of which are 
here given merely as a specimen. 

5. At length their head man they sent out, 
To save their town from tire : 

To see Ned Fanning wade Eno, 
Brave boys you'd all admire. 

6. With hat in hand, at our command. 
To salute us evciy one, sir, 

And alter that kept olT his hat. 
To salute old Hamilton. ?ir. 


a committee to wait on his excellency, and lay their grievances 
before him. A short address was drawn up in which they made 
solemn professions of loyalty to the king, and of strong attach- 
ment to the established govermiient; the committee were directed 
to implore, in the most submissive manner, the forgiveness of the 
governor, for any errors of theirs which might derogate from the 
honor of the crown, or tend to subvert peace and good order; 
and for the information of the governor the committee were fur- 
nished with copies of the proceedings at all the different meetings 
which had been held. From this it would seem that they were 
not a set of desperadoes, or a reckless mob, destitute alike of in- 
telligence and principle, drawn together either by some indefina- 
ble impulse, or by the arts of some aspiring demagogue, com- 
plaining of injuries without any just cause, and seeking redress 
of imaginary grievances ; for thus far, there appears to have 
been as^ much regularity in the management of their public 
meetings, and as mnch reason and propriety in their petitions to 
the governor, and in the measures adopted for obtaining relief, 
as in similar meetings at the present day. 

In the latter part of June, James Hunter and Rednap Howel, 
on behalf of the committee, waited on Governor Try on at 
Brunswick, with the address of the general meeting, and copies 
of the proceedings at that and all their previous meetings. — 
These papers were laid before the council ; and by the advice 
of that body he wrote them a letter, dated, Brunswick, June 
2lst, 176S ; but instead of removing the causes of complaint 
with despatch and firmness, as he had promised, and as an ex- 
ecutive officer ought to have done, he told them that the power 
and authority which they had assumed to themselves of calling 
public officers to account, were unconstitutional ; that the ex- 
actions and oppressions of the connty register and other public 
officers, of which they complained, were on\y j/rele/u/ed gnev- 
ances ; that the measures which they had adopted for obtaining 
redress, by insulting public officers, or resisting them in the dis- 
charge of their duty, if they had been carried a little further, 
would have been denominated, and must have been treated as 
high treason, involving themselves with their families in ruin 
and destruction : that these calamities, ho trusted, were now re- 


moved by the timely proclamation which he had sent to them 
by his secretary, and by their prudent determination to petition 
him in council for a redress of their grievances ; that the dis- 
creet and steady behaviour of Col. Fanning, and of the officers 
and men under his conunand,* had not only met with the entire 
approbation of himself and council, but would ever be acknowl- 
edged with gratitude by every well wisher to the province ; that 
although their understandings had been run away with, and 
their passions had been led into captivity, by some evil design- 
ing men, who, actuated by cowardice and a sense of that public 
justice which was due to their crimes, had obscured themselves 
from public view, yet as they had determined to abide by his 
decisions in council, it was his direction that they should hence- 
forward desist from any further meetings, either by verbal ap- 
pointment or advertisement ; that all titles of Regulators or As- 
sociators should cease, and that the sheritf and other officers 
should be permitted to execute the duties of their respective offi- 
ces without molestation ; that all branches of the peace must be 
examined and determined in due course of law ; that this was 
the extent of what he had authorized Mr. Edwards to declare to 
them on his behalf, in a strict and punctual adherence to which 
directions they could hope for any further clemency on his part ; 
that as he was willing to listen to the voice of distress, the just 
complaints of his majesty's subjects, and the hardships they 
might groan under, he would give his majesty's attorney gene- 
ral orders to prosecute every officer who had been guilty of ex- 
tortion or illegal practices in his office, upon any application or 
information by the parties injured, or any others who might be 
authorized to prosecute on their behalf ; and that he would be 
up at Hillsborough himself in the begining of the next month, 
Avhen he lioped to see industry prevailing over faction, and 
peace and harmony triumphing over jealousies and murmuring. 

While this vacillating or temporizing course of the governor 
was discreditable to him, it was tantalizing and provoking to the 
Regulators. He liad been trained to the profession of arms and 
accustomed to energetic measures ; and if he had been convinc- 
ed that these people had no just cause of complaint, or if he had 

*AlliK]in<( probably to the seizure and imprisonmentof Husband and Hunter, 


felt conscious of an honest purpose to do what was right, he 
ought to have adopted such prompt and vigorous measures as 
would have suppressed the prevailing disorders at once ; but by 
liis awkard attempts to justify himself and his officers; and by 
promising and threatening at the same time, he betrayed that 
want of firmness and resolution which usually attend a man 
when he knows that he is wanting in the discharge of his chity, 
and that facts are against him. The Regulators having hitherto 
been guilty of no very great excesses; two of their prominent 
men iiaving been taken and bound over ; and the rest having 
quietly returned to their homes, he might have safely left the 
Avhole business to a regular process of law, if the laws had been 
faithfully administered ; but by becoming a party in the dispute 
and by entering into negotiations with those whom he professed 
lo consider as little better than traitors, he sunk his own dignity 
and emboldened tliem. There were some things in his letter 
which were indeed mortifying or irritating; but they felt en- 
couraged by his promises ; and if he had performed them, in 
good faith, all would have been well. 

Early in July he arrived in Hillsborough, where he had direc- 
led the council to meet him about the first of August; and on 
Ills arrival, he issued the proclamation which he had promised. 
The Regulators, animated by his presence in their neighborhood, 
])egan to assemble in large numbers, for the purpose, it seems, 
of mutual counsel and encouragement; but assembling with 
their arms which they were always in the habit of carrying with 
them wherever they went, and passing their usual resolutions 
not to submit to oppression any longer, the governor became un- 
easy. He sent Tyree Harris, sheriff of the county, to attend one 
of their meetings in order to claim the public tax, and endeavor 
to dispose the people to pay it cheerfully , and submit to the laws. 
He wrote them a letter by the sheriff, which was a mere echo of 
liis communication from Brunswick, except that he gave them 
a little blarny, and appealed to their honor and conscience ; but 
tiicy bade the sherilT retire ; threatened his life if he proceeded 
to distrain their property ; and made him return without any 
part of the taxes. In a few days they sent two deputies to wait 
oil his oxcellencv wil'i an answer to liis letter, which had been 


prepared at one of their meetings. Tiiey complained that their 
application had not been submitted to a full board ; that the go- 
vernor's late proclamation was insuthcient ; and expressed an 
intention of applying for redress to the legislature at its next 
meeting. He told the deputies that, as he expected a meeting 
of the council shortly, he would lay the communication before 
them ; and that he would, in due time, giv^e notice of the result. 
On the night of the 1 1th, information was brought to town that a 
thousand or more of the Regulators were under arms m the vi- 
chiity with hostile intentions, and the nearest companies of mi- 
litia were immediately called in ; but it was soon ascertained 
that the Regulators, having been informed that an attack was 
meditated on them, had assembled in their own defence ; and 
that, having learned their mistake, they had returned to their 
homes. Before he dismissed the militia, however, he had an 
oath administered to them that " with hearts and hands, liie and 
goods, they would maintain and defend the king's government 
in the province, against all persons whatever, who should at- 
tempt to obstruct or prevent the due administration of the laws, 
or the public peace and tranquility ;" but if, instead of coining 
oaths and putting himself to so much trouble to keep the people 
in subjection, he had taken the same pains to make the clerks 
and sheriffs honest, it would have been better for him as well as 
for the country. 

When the council met he laid before them the last message of 
the Regulators, and by their advice he sent them a pretty long 
reply, which was very much in the same strain with his former 
communication ; but in the winding up he peremptorily requi- 
red, as a precautionary measure for guarding against the insults 
that were intended to be offered to the Superior Court of justice, 
that twelve of their principal and most wealthy men should 
wait on him at Salisbury, on the 25th of the month, and in his 
presence execute a bond in the penalty of J 1,000, as a security, 
that no attempt would be made to rescue William Butler and 
Harmon Husband, who had been bound over to the next Supe- 
rior Court at Hillsborough. To this an answer was sent, which 
was signed, on belialf of the Regulators, by James Hunter, Pe- 
ter Julian, and Thomas Welborn. They lamented that it had 

128 Llili OF DAVIJ) CAiDWKLL, D.D, 

been their misfortune to incur the governor's displeasure, and 
that tlieir conduct had given him any reason to view them 
as bent upon mischief rather tiian as waiting for justice; that 
the late alarms of raising troops and bringing down the Indians 
to cut off the inhabitants of the county, which seemed to have oc- 
casioned the demand of security against the rescue of Butler 
and Husband, were groundless ; that they had ever exerted 
their utmost influence in moderating and pacifying the resent- 
ment of their neighbors; that these men would ever use the 
same care, and it was hoped, would be able to govern the mul- 
titude by reason ; but that none of them were willing to enter 
into a bond ; and that, if they were to do so, they would proba- 
bly lose, by such a step, whatever influence they had before. 

When the court met at Hillsborough, on the 22d of September, 
above three thousand of the Regulators, it is said, appeared and 
took their stand within half a mile of the town. They gave the 
most positive assurance that they had no design of releasing the 
persons who had been bound over ; but entreated the governor 
to dissolve the present assembly, and call a new one. A mes- 
sage was sent to the governor, assuring him that, if he would let 
them come in peaceably to complain of their grievances against 
the officers, and pardon all past breaches of the peace, except as 
to Butler and Husband, they would disperse and pay their taxes; 
but he required the surrender of all their arms in pledge, until 
the trial of these persons was over. About thirty complied ; but 
the rest returned home. Four bills of mdictment were then sent 
to the grand jury against Harmon Husband for riot ; but only 
one was found a true bill ; and on that he was acquitted by the 
traverse jury. William Hunter and two others were found 
guihy of a riot, for which they were condemned to pay a heavy 
fine and suffer a long imprisonment. Two of them broke jail, 
and the other remained in prison, though the door was broken 
open ; but the governor pardoned him as well as those who had 

This was the court at which the six indictments for extortion 
were found against Edmund Fanning ; and the plaintiffs were 
no doubt encouraged to take this course by the promises and 
personal presence of the governor. They had not supposed that 


all his assurances of reform were a mere piitl; or that instead 
of seeing their oppressors rebuked by being turned out of oilice, 
or severely punished in some other way, they would themselves 
be indicted for riots, and committed to prison, or bound over to 
keep the peace. The decisions of this court, made under the 
eye of the governor and evidently v/ith his approbation, seem 
to have produced a crisis in their affairs; because there was such 
a mockery of jtistice as to convince them that no adequate re- 
lief uas to be expected from executive authority, or from the 
judicial tribunals of the country. A prompt and thorongh re- 
form oi notorious and long standing abuses on the part of the 
government officers would immediately have put an end to the 
troubles ; but the miserable shifts that were made to avoid such 
a course, satisfied the people that they must either resist, or sub- 
mit to be wronged and opposed by every pettifogger or needy 
coxcomb that could crawl into office. 

Early in the spring of the next year, Jolmfflea, sheriff of Or- 
ange county, when attempting to serve a warrant on Hanson 
namilton,ybr a breach of the peace, was attacked by John Pngli 
and two other Regulators who compelled him to desist, and beat 
him severely. This is all the notice I find of the Regulators in 
the common histories of the country, for nearly eighteen months 
after the meeting of the court above mentioned ; but they were 
not idle. The year 1769 was spent in holding town and neigh- 
borhood meetings all over the countiy, in which resolutions of 
defending and preserving their liberties and property were passed. 
Papers, in the same spirit and of the same import, were circula- 
ted through the country, and signed by great numbers. Their 
meetings were probably noisy and tumultuons, as popular 
meetings of the kind usually are at the present day, especially 
when held under great excitement ; and they had almost as many 
songs as the people have now before a presidential election. — 
Rednap Howell, who is said to have been from New Jersey, 
and who taught a common school somewhere on Deep river, 
was the bard of the day ; and composed about 40 songs, some 
fragments of which still remain.* Their resolutions were soon 

*Thc following lines written by Rednap Howel, and in the dialojrue form, 
are here inserted, merely lor UiC representation wiiich tliey give of the char- 


carried into effect ; for whatever acts of violence may have been 
occasionally committed before this, by individuals or small par- 
ties, which the great body of the Regulators regretted, resistance 
seems now to have become general ; and the leaders, either 
could not, or took no pains to restrain them. "In default of the 
payment of taxes, the sheriffs had been going over the country, 
distraining the goods of the citizens, seizing furniture, cattle, 
pewter vessels, or any thing else they chose to lay their hands 
on, thereby causing a great fleal of distress.* The people in their 
rage sometimes caught them and married them to a black-jack, 
that is, tied them up to a black-jack, with their arms round it, 
gave them a sound dressing, and then laughed to see them hug 
their bride while undergoing the operation. The sheriffs and 
their deputies, therefore, went three or four in a company ;" but 
this did not long answer their purpose ; and the taxes could not 
be collected until they made arrangements in the latter part of 
the next year, oiCthe beginning of the year following to restore 
all their unjust exactions. If ever a set of men were taught the 

acter and personal appearance of the two men to whom they refer. 
Wlio would have tho't Harmon, that hum drum old fox, 
Who looks so bemeaning- with his towsled locks, 
Would have had resolution to stand to the tack; 
Alas my dear Ned, our case is quite black. 
And who would have tho't Hunter, so seemingly mild, 
Would have been so j^i2;antic, mischievous and wild, 
1 tho't him a fool, and I took him for one ; 
Alas my dear Frank, our cause is undone. 
Like Turkish Bashaws they bear absolute sway; 
Alas my dear Frank, we must all run away. 

*The following undoubted specimen of Rednap Howel's poetry, is so graphic 
and contains such a frank expression of the prevailing sentiments re pecting 
the individuals named in it, that we presume it will not be unacceptable to the 

Says Frohawk to Fanning, to tell the plain truth, 
VVhen I came to this country I was but a youth, 
My father sent for me : I wa'nt worth a cross. 
And then my first study was to steal for a horse. 
I quickly got credit, and then ran away. 
And hav'ni, paid for him to this very dny. 
Says Fanning to Frohawk, 'tis a folly to lie, 
1 rode an old mare that was blind of an eye; 
Five shillings in money I had in my purse. 
My coat it w<is patched, but not much the worse; 
'IJut now we've got rich, and it's very well known, 
Tfiat we'll do verv well if thev'll let us alone. 


danger of making a people, whose laws they were executing, 
desperate by oppression, the lesson was taught to the clerks and 
sherifis of that day. All or most of the sheriffs, and their depu- 
ties too, who were, at that period caught out collecting taxes 
were well ''■ lynched ;" and some transactions of the kind that 
would almost start a shudder have been described to the writer 
by men who were present on the occasion ; but any detail of 
them here is unnecessary. 

- In March, 1770, Maurice Moore, one of the associate justices 
who attended at Salisbury for the purpose of holding the Supe- 
rior Court, reported to the governor that the sheriffs complained 
heavily of not being able to collect the taxes on account of the 
opj)Osition made by the Regulators ; and he said that "the evil, 
though cognizable by the courts of law, was one which no civil 
process could redress, for the obvious reason that none could be 
executed among those, people." Difficulties of a similar kind 
existed also in some of the lower counties ; for in April, Simon. 
Bright, sheriff of Dobbs county, having a warrant to apprehend 
Thomas Blake and John Coulie, two of the Regulators who 
were spreading their principles in that county, was attacked by 
a party of their proselytes, who killed James Lindsay, one of his 
assistants, and compelled him to abandon his purpose. The 
Superior Court met at Hillsborough., Sept. 22d, 1770 ; but was 
interrupted and driven out by the Regulators before the business 
was finished. Last fall I transcribed from the records the fol- 
lowing entry. Monday, 24th,, " Several persons styling them- 
selves Regulators assembled together in the court yard under 
the conduct of Harmon Husband, James Hunter, Rednap How- 
el, William Butler, Samuel Divinny, and many others, insulted 
some of the gentlemen of the bar, and in a riotous manner went 
into the courthouse and fjrcibly carried out some of the attor- 
neys and in a cruel manner beat them. They then insisted 
that the Judge (Richard Henderson being the only one on the 
bench) should proceed to the trial of their leaders who had been 
indicted at a former court, and that the jury should be taken out 
of their party. Therefore the Judge finding it impossible to 
proceed with honor to himself and justice to his country, ad- 
journed the court 'til to-morrow at 10 o'clock : and tookadvan- 


{age of the night and made his escape, and the court adjourned 
to meet in course. 

"March term, 1771. The persons styUng themselves Regula- 
tors, under the conduct of Harmon Husband, James Hunter, 
Rednap Howel, WilUani Butler, and Samuel Divinny, still con- 
tinuing their riotous meetings, and severely threatening the 
Judges, lawyers, and other officers of the court, prevented any 
of the Judges or lawyers attending. Therefore the court con- 
tinues adjourned 'til the next September term." 

On the above record, and on the notions which Judge Hen- 
derson entertained of what would be " honor to himself and 
justice to his country," the reader must form his own opinion ; 
but that the people, driven to a kind of desperation by the extor- 
tions and insults of the government officers, for which they could 
get no redress, emboldened by their past success or by their 
number, and some of them no doubt under the influence of spir- 
its, did many things which the better part of them disapproved, 
will not be disputed, though they were probably no worse than 
the numberless injuries of a similar land inflicted by the whigs, 
during the Revolutionary war, on the property and persons of 
those who had identified themselves with their oppressors. 
When they turned out the court the first time, they proceeded to 
take summary justice on those who were most obnoxious, and 
to transact the business of court in their ov/n way. Some of 
them met John Williams, a lawyer, when on his way to court, 
under pretence of business, and lynched him in the street ; but 
Fanning was the most odious to them, because, in addition to 
Ins extortions by which he had become rich and was living in 
splendor, "his general conduct was marked with the most dis- 
gusting hauteur f' and during the two or three years in which 
he had represented the county in the legislature, instead of in- 
forming the people, as he ought to have done, concerning the 
disposition of the public money and the purposes for which the 
taxes were laid, he had been provoking them with the charge of 
treason and rebellion. They dragged him out of the courthouse 
by the heels, whipped him severely, and kept him in confine- 
ment during the remainder of the day. Next morning when 
they found that the Judge, instead of staying to try the causes 


as he had given them reason to beUeve he would, had escaped 
iu the night, they gave Fanning another good dressing, broke his 
costly furniture, and deinoHshed his fine house, wliich stood 
where the Masonic HaU now stands. It is said that their inten- 
tion was to set fire to it ; but the day being windy they were 
afraid that the flames would spread to the other houses, and they 
did not wish to destroy the town.* 

After this they went into the courthouse, appointed a man by 
the name of Yorke for clerk, set up a mock Judge, made Fan- 
ning, as tradition says, plead law before him, and issued a num- 
ber of cases on docket. Their decisions were perfectly ridicu 
lous ; but they appear to have intended the whole proceeding 
as a mere farce ; or as an expression of their contempt for the 
men who, as they conceived, had been so deficient in the dis- 
charge of their duties as public servants. When Judge Hen- 
derson informed the governor of these transactions he told him 
that no effectual steps could be taken to bring the offenders to 
condign punishment, for no process could issue while they were 
tried under the existing court law and in the district in which 
the offence had been committed ; and requested him to have the 
legislature convened forthwith; but on consulting with the 
council it was thought best not to call a meeting of it any where 
in the upper parts of the province ; and it could not meet at the 
usual p]nce on nccount of the prevailing sickness. 

The legislature therefore met at Newbern, on the day appoin- 
ted, Dec. 5th, 1770 ; and the governor received them in the pal- 

*Some of their conduct, however, as might be anticipated, was as much a 
source of amusement as of regret. While the main body of them were en- 
gaged in breaking down the house, two or three who had probably never been 
in town before, it is said undertook to demolish a pantry of unusual size which 
stood in the yard; and found in it a large bell vviiich Fanning had procured 
for the Episcopal church then building in the place, and had stowed it away 
there until it would be needed. Tliis was something nevy and wonderful; 
but while they were conjecturing what use could be made of it, some others 
came up who were a little mure knowing; and they protiounced it at once to 
be a spice mortar. That was enough: It was instantly concluded that it 
would be well to save Mr. Fanning the trouble of pounding so much spice in 
future ; and no sooner said than done. With the next breath the bell was in 
fragments; and this incident, however ludicrous, shews their inveterate dis- 
like to the man. Such incidents are not only apt to occur among a large mul- 
titude promiscuously assembled, and under great excitement; but they shew 
the actual state of tilings better than the more important detaild of general 
h story. 

134 LIFE. OF DAVU) CAL,[>W}iLh,V.V. 

ace which was now finished and to which he had just removed. 
After making his acknowledgements to the province for the ele- 
gant edifice in which he had the happiness to meet the two 
honses, he called their attention, first to the abuses in the man- 
agement of the finances, and then to the disturbances occasioned 
by the Regulators. From his speech when he dissolved the as- 
sembly at the previous session, it appears that the sheriiT had 
been suflered to absent himself and withhold his public ac- 
counts ; and from his speech on this occasion it seems that the 
treasurers were in the habit of speculating on the public funds, 
or of employing them as a stock for private trade. He laid be- 
fore the assembly the depositions which had been sent him of 
the late disturbances at Hillsborough ; and he recommended 
tliat provision should be made for raising a sufficient body of 
njen, under the rules and discipline of war, to march into the 
settlements in which these disturbances had taken place, for the 
purpose of protecting and aiding the magistrates and civil officers. 
As the causes of complaint had not been removed, the trou- 
bles were increasing ; and every occurrence, however trivial, 
seemed to hasten the catastrophe. Harmon Husband was a 
member of the lower house, having been chosen to represent 
the county of Orange ; but his presence was, of course, not ve- 
ry agreeable to the governor ; and his conduct while there, if 
accounts be true, was not calculated to conciliate one of Tryons's 
haughty temper. The people engaged in the Regulation had 
refused, partly by his influence, to pay the taxes demanded by 
the sheriffs ; and he undertook to act the part of sherilf himself 
in this matter. Before he left home he collected the exact 
amount of tax due from every man in his county, according to 
law ; and took it with him. When the tv/o houses met and 
his name was announced as a member from Orange, the gover- 
nor in a haughty tone demanded the reason why the king's sub- 
jects in his county had refused to pay their taxes. With the 
plainness and firmness of a Quaker, he replied that the people 
owed his excellency, as they believed, so much butter ;* but as 

*What was the reason of this belief, if the remark wliich follows were not 
intended merely as a surrasm on the part of Husband, I know not, unless there 
was some law still unrepealed, which required or permitted the taxes to be 
paiJ in butter or oflier produce. That ho collected and paid the taxes is not 

lilFE OF DAVID C ALD\V.Kt,;L_, D..Q. 135 

lliat was apt to stick to the fingers, to prevent inmecessary waste, 
they had freely paid it ni money, and sent it by their common- 
er which he was then ready to pay over to the treasurer provi- 
ded he could get a receipt to shew them when he returned. — 
With that he walked up to the speaker's table, and laid down 
his bag of specie, saying " here are the taxes which were refus- 
ed to your sheriff;" but the governor eyed him with contempt ; 
and sought an oJDportunity of putting down one whom he evi- 
dently feared, under various pretexts, such as, that a seditious 
piece which had appeared in the Gazette, in the form of a letter 
directed to Maurice Moore, one of the associate justices, had 
been written by Husband ; that he was one of the people who 
called themselves Regulators, and had been a principal promo- 
ter of the late riots; and that insinuations had been made by 
him that if he were imprisoned the people would come to his 
rescue, the lower house were induced to pass a vote for his 
expulsion; but apprehending the consequences of his return to 
his own county, especially under the irritation which his expul- 
sion would necessarily excite, Try on wished to have him arres- 
ted ; and having called his council together, he submitted the 
propriety of it lo their consideration. They disapproved of the 
measure ; but, at his request, Martin Howard, the chief justice, 
who, as it appears, was also a member of the board, heard wit- 
nesses at the council table, and issued a warrant for his appre- 
hension, under which he was committed to jail, and remained 
there several days before he could procure bail. It is said that 
he was released then only on condition that he would use his 
influence to prevent the Regulators from coming to Newbern ; 
and although this is only tradition it has been ever since believed 
in this part of the country. 

To devise the ways and means of punishing the leading men 
among the Regulators for their past conduct, and for preventing 
a repetition of the same things in future, was a prominent object 
■with the legislature or with the governor, during the present 

only asserted by the writer in the Weekly Times, from whose comnumi- 
cation the above statement is taken, but seems to be well attested in other 
ways; and while it sliowa the confidence which the people placed in iiim, it 
is an evidence that they were not actuated by a mere turbulent spirit, but 
were willing (o fay all fawful taxes, when they knew therm to be lawfol. 


session. An act was passed making it the duty of every justice 
of the peace or sheriff, when informed of the assembhng of any 
number of persons, above ten, for the purpose of disturbing the 
peace, to repair to them, require and command them to disperse 
and return to their respective homes ; and it was made felony 
without tiie benefit of clergy, for such persons to remain assem- 
bled, to the number often, for more than one hour. It was made 
the duty of the justices and sheriffs to call for the assistance of 
any of the king's able subjects for the purpose of apprehending 
the persons thus assembled together. It was also made felony 
for any number of persons, above ten, to assemble together with 
an intention of disturbing any court of judicature in its proceed- 
ings ; of assaulting or threatening any judge or officer of court, 
during the term ; of assaulting any sheriff or coroner, while ex- 
ecuting the duties of his office ; or of demolishing or destroymg 
any church, chapel, court house, prison, or other house of any 
description. As it had been found very difficult to punish any 
of the Regulators in their own county, the attorney general was 
autliorized to prosecute them in ««y superior court or court of 
Oyer and Terminer, in thept^ovince ; and on an indictment be- 
ing found, the judges were directed to issue a proclamation a- 
gainst the defendant, commanding him to surrender himself and 
stand his trial ; and, on his failing to do so, he was to be held 
guilty and outlawed, and his lands and chattels forfeited. The 
governor was empowered to make drafts from the militia to en- 
force the execution of the laws; and any persons who were 
found embodied and in arms, with intention of opposing the 
military force, if they refused, on the command of a justice or 
sheriff, to lay down their arms and surrender themselves, were 
to be treated as traitors. To diminish the strength of the Regu- 
lators by division, four new counties were established : One by 
taking a part from each of the counties of Orange, Cumberland 
and Johnston, which, in compliment to Miss Esther Wake, a 
sister of Tryon's lady, was called Wake ; another was formed 
from the counties of Orange and RoAvan, which was called Guil- 
ford ; a third was formed out of the southern part of Orange to 
which the name of Chatham was given ; and the northern part 
of Rowan was erected into a county which was called Surry. 


But they were not permitted to finish their legislation in quiet; 
for wlien they were about to adjourn, information was received 
that the Regulators were assembled in great numbers at Cross 
Creek; and the assembly immediately voted the sum of £500 
to be 'at the disposal of the governor for the purpose of enabling 
him to defend Newbern, as it was reported that they, intended 
to come and set fire to the palace. Before the legislature met, 
it was reported in Newbern that the Regulators, being greatly 
exasperated by the measures which had been taken to have 
Fanmng sent to the assembh^, were coming down to prevent 
him from taking a seat, and if tliey failed in that, to set the town 
on fire. Tryon was so alarmed by this report that he had New- 
bern fortified ; issued orders to the colonels of the militia in the 
counties lying on the Neuse and Tar rivers, that they should 
hold themselves in readiness to march against the Regulators, on 
the first news of their approach; and Col. Leach, of Craven 
county, was directed to order his regiment into town for the 
protection of the legislatm'e. The rumor which reached New- 
bern, when the two houses were about to adjourn, that the Reg- 
ulators were coming, was not altogether groundless; for on 
hearing that their representative was imprisoned there, they em- 
bodied, to the number of 1 000 or 1 500, as soon as they could, to 
go and release *him, which they were determined to do at all 
hazards. They crossed Haw river at Redfield's ford, four or 
five miles above Pittsborough ; and encamped upon tke high 
ground on the east side, though most of the wagons remained 
over night on the west side. Next morning they took up their 
line of march again, but had not gone far until they met Hus- 
band on his way home. He persuaded them to return, which 
was easily done, as they were then in a better humour ; but 
some of them went up to Hillsborough, where they made a 
kind of oration, though it does not appear that they did much 
damage. There was snow on the ground when they started ; 
and, as many of them had nothing more than moccasins to pro- 
tect their feet, they were badly frostbitten ; but this was, in their 
estimation, comparatively a small matter. 

Early in the month of February, the goverjior, lo prevent ihe 
Regulators from being supplied with ammunition, issued a proc- 


lamnfion forbidding all merchants, traders, or others to supply 
■uiiy person witli powder, shot, or lead, until further notice. In 
the latter part of the same month he received a fresh alarm. — 
Kednap Howel had been sent into Halifax, as a kind of agent 
for promoting the cause of the Regulators in that county ; and 
he wrote to James Hunter, Feb. 16th, 1771, giving him an ac- 
count of the prospects in that region, of the spirit and resolu- 
tion of the Regulators there, of some of Tryon's late proceed- 
ings, and making some severe reflections on his excellency. — 
This letter was intercepted and forwarded to Tryon. About the 
first of March war was declared, or, it was determined in coun- 
cil to raise a force from the several regiments of militia, which 
tlic governor was advised to command m person, and march at 
their head into the settlements of the Regulators for the pur- 
pose of reducing them to obedience by force, of assisting the 
sheriff in levying the taxes, of protecting the election of a new 
member for Orange county, in place of Plarmon Husband, and 
of supporting the commissioners appointed to run the dividing 
line between Orange and Guilford. — l]nt it may be proper now 
to take a brief view of the country in which and the people 
•against whom he was going to war. 

Exclusive of Halifax, Dobbs, Cumberland, and some other 
counties in the eastern part of the province, where, according 
to the common histories of the country, Howel's letter to Hun- 
ger, and other sources, there appear to have been a great many 
who were warmly engaged in the cause, the principles of the 
Regulation seem to have prevailed in the following counties, ac- 
cording to their present arrangement, viz : Granville, Orange, 
probably Person and Caswell, though I have seen no special no- 
tice of them, Chatham, Randolph, Guilford, Rockhigham, 
Stokes, perhaps Surry, Davidson, Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklen- 
burg, Rowan, Davie, Iredell, Wilkes, and to some extent in 
.J3urke and Lincoln ; for when the writer was in the latter coun- 
ty, a few months since, he became acquainted with some very 
respoctai)!G men, who said that their fathers, living, at the time 
tel'crred to, on tj-e west side of the Catawba, were in the Regu- 
'' larion battle ; and v/hilc the people throughout this wide extent 


oi' country did not alt rise in arms against the governor, it is 
believed that they were generally Regulators in principle. 

The Regulators have been, in several resj)ects, not fairly re- 
presented ; for it happened to them, as it has usually happened 
to most others in similar circumstances, because they were un- 
successful, however just tlieir cause, it became the fashion to 
misrepresent and abuse them. The victors made tlieir own 
statements and representations ; and in time these were adopted 
even by their friends, because they had no others on whicli they 
could rely. Williamson says that they were in general of the 
poorest class of citizens; that while three or four of their lead- 
ers had some information and a considerable degree of cunning, 
the great body of them were deficient in every kind of Icnowi- 
edge ; that they lived chiefly in new settlements upon poor land ; 
that they liad been culpably neglectful of private schools, and 
of all other means of instruction ; and that the people iii the old- 
er settlements, near the coast, had better means of acquiring 
knowledge, implying that this v.^as the great reason why they 
were not Regulators too. In all this there is some truth ; but it 
is not the whole truth. The people were not in general either 
wealthy or learned ; but then they were not paupers, and they 
were not heathen. It was with them as it is with the people 
now: some lived on land which was poor ; and others on that 
which was fertile : some v/ere very poor and others were in 
better circumstances ; but taken all together, as any one may 
see, they had the best lands in the whole province ; and while 
they were mostly destitute of the comforts, they had the substan- 
tiais of life in abundance. They had not had time to amass 
property or procure luxuries ; for having been but a few years in 
the country, their time had been occupied in clearing land, and 
in providing the bare necessaries of life for themselves and their 
families. As they had, in some parts, no sawmills, no improved 
roads, hardly any wagons or conveniences for getting to mar- 
ket, arjd were obliged almost to give their produce away when 
they got it there, money, and the comforts which money alone 
can jnocure, must have been scarce. Several old men who liv- 
ed in the soulh side of (luilford and in the parts of Randolph 
adioiitimi il. told me a few vears aa:o. that about the time of the 


Regulation, there was not a plank floor, a feather bed, a riding 
carriage, nor a side saddle within the bounds of their acquaint- 
ance ; but it was not so every where ; and on the whole there 
was probably about such a state of things as might be seen now 
in any of our irontier settlements to the west. 

As most of them had come from Pennsylvania, where the 
principles of civil and religious liberty were then better under- 
stood, and more fully reduced to pra,ctice than in any of the other 
colonies, or in any other part of the world, they could not be 
wholly ignorant of their rights, as British subjects; nor were 
they entirely without t'le means of information. Wherever 
people have an enlightened and evangelical ministry, they will 
be instructed in theprominent doctrines of the gospel, and in 
their relative duties ; and so far as Presbyterians were concerned 
they had such a ministry, not adequate to their wants, but to a 
greater extent perhaps than any other denoaiination at that time 
in the country. When the Orange Presbytery was organized 
the summer before the Regulation battle, it consisted of seven 
ministers ; and these all lived in North Carolina. Tliey were 
all men of classical education ; and most of them were graduates 
of Princeton college. There seems to have been, as already 
stated, a classical school in Charlotte ; probably another in Or- 
ange or Granville ; and Dr. Caldwell's school, which had now 
been in operation about five years, had prepared several young 
men for college, and some who became distinguished ministers 
of the gosp^;!. Tiiere were^ several English schools within the 
limits of ^vhat is now Guilford county ; and the people; generally 
understood the value of education. The Rev. Mr, Beuthahn,* 
who, as I am informed, organized the German Reformed chur- 
ches in Guilford and Orange, taught a German school for several 
years about this time, in the south-east corner of the former 
county; and the Lutherans had their preachers, who, being 
from Germany, were educated men. In a communication just 
received from Bishop Vanvleck, of Salem, he mentions the Rev. 
Messrs, Nussman and Arnt, who, having been sent over at an 
early period, "labored faithfully in poverty and privations till, 
on their urgent application, the Rev, Charles A. Storh, Roschen, 
*l'ninouiicecl nearly as if it were written Billaun. 


;ind Bernhard were sent to their assistance." The German Re- 
formed churches had several ministers, some of whom were de- 
voted and useful men ; and the Moravians were well supplied. 
There were several Baptist ministers in the province ; but of their 
character I know nothing. People in these circumstances could 
not be so grossly ignorant as they have been represented ; and 
the Quakers, although they diifer from most others in their views 
of the ministry, ha¥,e always advocated and maintained a high 
degree of English education. There is no class of people in the 
country who are better acquainted with all the business trans- 
actions of ordinary life, or who have a more correct understand- 
ing of their rigiils and j^ivileges, as citizens ; but the Quakers, 
if they were not foremost in the Regulation, appear to have uni- 
ted heartily in all the measures for the correction of abuses, ex- 
cept fighting ; and -it is said that some of them had metal enough 
to try their hand at that too. Such, in brief, appears to have 
been the general character of the population; and there were a 
number of men over the country of liberal education, besides 
ministers, wliose names might be mentioned, if it were necessa- 
ry, so that the community was far from being in a state of bar- 
barous ignorance, or regardless of their moral obligation. 

There were other reasons, besides their superior intelligence, 
even admitting that such a superiority existed, why the people 
near the coast were not engaged in the Regulation. As they 
were more convenient to trade, and as there was more wealth, 
the country havmg been much longer settled, the taxes were 
not felt lo be so much of a burden. Besides the more wealthy 
and influential classes, who controlled the rest, either shared 
more in CKccutive patronage by having offices of profit con- 
ferred upon them, or were protected by their weight of charac- 
ter from the rapacity of office holders, so that the causes of dis- 
satisfaction did not exist there to the same extent as in other 
parts of the province ; but in the upper counties all, except of- 
fice holders and office seekers, admitted the absolute necessity 
of reform. Men of education and intelligence, who were un- 
influenced by the possession or the prospect of office, were with 
the Regulators in principle and spirit, but not in measures, or 
not in their ultra measures, just because they believed that the 

people were not prepared for a conflict with the established go- 
vernment. Jones, in his Defence of North Carohna, says tliat 
INIanrice Moore, one of the associate Judges of the Superior 
Court, was a Regulator ; and his letter to Governor Tryon after 
his transfer to New York, shews that he sympathised strongly 
Avith them, though he did not and could not consistently take 
part with them in their open resistance to government. The 
same writer says that Thomas Person, of Granville, and seve- 
ral other intelligent and influential men were hearty in the cause ; 
but, for prudential reasons, were not at the battle ; and he tells 
us that the party was kept up in the legislature until the Revo- 
lution. It is believed that Alexander |VIartin7who was after- 
wards governor of the State, was of the same sentiments ; for 
he and Dr. Caldwell were very intimate, and, if ray information 
be correct, the Dr. was favorable to the causfe of the Regulators, 
bat not to some of their measures. From the commencement 
of the dispute between Great Britain and her American colo- 
nies he jiad advocated the cause of freedom ; and in his war 
sermon, which is publislied at the end of this volume, he calls 
those who resisted the Stamp Act, as they were every where 
called, by way of distinction, the Sons of Liberty. He not 
only procured all the publications that were within his reach 
respecting the right of the mother country to tax her colonies 
without their consent, but the charters and laws of North Car- 
olina ; and took sonic pahis to instruct his people in tlie knowl- 
edge of their rights. He knew that the people had just cause 
of complaint ; but tliought it unwise in their circumstances to 
wage an open war against the government. So did many oth- 
ers; and all who viewed the matter in this light, cither remained 
neutral, or exerted what influence they could to obtain a re- 
dress of their common grievances in other ways. 

The indignation of the people had become so general and the 
weiglit of public sentiment so great that the officers found they 
must submit; and on the 7th of March, 1771, tiie sh(!riir, clerk, 
register, and other officers of the county of Rowan, met a com- 
mittee of the Regulators, consisting of James Hunter, John In- 
yard, William Welborn,Thos. Fluke, John Cuny, James Wilson, 
Samuel Waggoner, David Gillespie, James (iralunn. Hcin-y 


Wade, Peter Jiilieii, Jei^miah Fields, John Vickory, Samiu;! 
Jones, and Joshua Zagur. At this meeting the officers agreed 
"to settle with, and pay, every person in the connty, any and all 
such sum or sums of money^'as they or their deputies had taken 
through iuadvertancy or otherwise, over and above what they 
severally ought to have taken for fees, more than the law allow- 
ed them to receive, without any trouble or law for tiie recovery 
of the same ;" and the committee on their part agreed tliat, "when 
any doubt should arise, all persons within the county should 
give in their dema'nds to such persons as should be appointed by 
the people in each neighborhood to receive the same and be de- 
termined by gentlemen, jointly chosen by both parties, whose 
judgment should be final." The persons appointed were Mat- 
thew Locke, Harmon Husband, James Smith, James Hunter, 
Samuel Young, Tliomas Person, John Cain, and James Graham; 
John Frohawk, clerk of the county court, Thomas Frohawk, 
clerk of the superior court, John Brawley, register, Griffith Ruth- 
erford, sheriff, William Frohawk, his deputy ; Benjamin Miller, 
Andrew Ellison, Francis Locke, William T. Coles, former sher- 
iffs ; Alexander Martin and John Dunn. They agreed to meet 
on the 3d Tuesday in May ; but whether the meeting took 
place or not I have seen no mention. 

It is said, though there is no record of the tact, that such a 
meeting took place in the western part of Guilford county, where 
restitution was actually made to the people in that section ; and 
that a subsequent day was appointed for the same purpose in 
the eastern part of the county ; but the meeting was prevented 
by an event as unexpected as it was disastrous. There was, at 
this time, a fair prospect that all difficulties would soon be ad- 
justed, at least so far as to restore peace and quiet; but the plan 
of pacification thus happily begun was frustrated by the conduct 
of the haughty and imperious governor, and of those who were 
under his influence, or who harmonized with him in his views. 
A special court of oyer and terminer was held at Newbern, on 
the 1 Ifh of March, under the late act of assembly, where bills of 
indictment were found against William Butler, John Gappen, 
Samuel Divinney, James Hunter, Matthew Hamilton, and Red- 
nap Howel, for riotously and feloniously breaking the house of 



Ediimiid Fanning on the 25th of September, 1770; and others 
against tlie same persons and Harmon Husband, John Frost, 
Eh Branson, Tliornas H. Smith, James Lowe, Daniel Smith, 
Jeremiah Fields, John G-iigle, William Dunn, Henry Litterman, 
Thomas Welborn, Niniaii B. Hamihon, Peter Craven, Wilham 
Pay gee, Robinson Yorlve, Reuben Sanderson, James Bignour 
James Haridon, Samuel Culbertson, and Patrick Crayton, for an 
assault on John Williams, at Hillsborough, on the 24th of Sept, 
1770. To say nothing of the injustice and hardsiiip, (in view of 
all the circumstances,) of thus arraigning and trying men at a 
distance of two o^ three hundred miles from home, and among 
entire strangers, before the court adjourned, au'association paper 
was drawn up, which was signed by the governor, the members 
of the council, the speaker of the house of assembly, the grand 
jury, and other pei:sons of respectabihty, by which the subscri- 
bers solemnly engaged " to support government against the in- 
surgents, at the risk of their lives and fortunes, and to adopt ev- 
ery salutary measure in their power, for restoring peace and 
tranquility, and enforcing a due execution of the laws of the 
province. The paper was then circulated in Craven county 
where it was generally signed by the inhabitants ; and similar 
papers were circulated in other counties around the seat of gov- 
ernment, which also obtained many signatures. This seems to 
have been viewed by the people in the upper counties generally 
as putting an end to all lenient measures for restoring peace, or 
as leaving them no hope but in their own resources ; and acts of 
violence were again committed. 

The next news they heard was that Tryon had taken up the 
line of march ; and was on his way at tlie head of an army to 
subdue them by force. He had commenced the organization 
of an army in March by issuing orders to the colonels in all the 
counties, in which the Regulators were not predominant, to have 
one company of fifty men from each regiment, well officered and 
ready to march when called on ; and on the 24th of April, he 
inarched from Newbern at the head of 300 men, a small train of 
artillery with a number of baggage wagons, and attended by 
a posse of his friends. He was joined by detachments from dif- 
ferent counties as he advanced ; and having halted at Hunter's' 

Jodge in Wake county where he arrived on the 4th of JNlay, lie- 
ordered a party to attend the sheriff in levying the iines due 
from the men who had attended a muster of the militia without 
arms, on the preceeding day, and in collecting the taxes due iu 
the neighborhood, except from those who had joined the army 
as volunteers. When he left Newbern the infantry was com- 
manded by Col. Joseph Leech, the artillery by Capt. Moore, 
and a company of rangers by Capt. Neal; and before he arrived 
at Eno, he had been joined by a detachment from New Hanover, 
under the command of Col. John Ashe, another from Onslow 
under Col. Richard Caswell, another from Carteret under Col. 
Craig, another from Johnston under Col. WilUam Thompson, 
another from Beaufort under Col. Needham Bryan, one from 
Wake under Col. John Hinton, and at his camp on Eno, a few 
miles from Hillsborough, he received a considerable re-inforce- 
ment from Orange, composed of clerks, constables, coroners, bro- 
ken down sheriffs, and other materials of a similar kind, under 
the command of his friend Col. Famiing. Gen. Hugh Waddel, 
w^ho had been appointed commander of all the forces, was di- 
rected to march with the division from Bladen, Cumberland, and 
the v/estern couniies. These forces were to rendezvous at Sa- 
lisbury on the 2d of May, and to join the militia from the south- 
v/ard and eastward in Guilford county, on the ISth. While he 
was waiting in Salisbury for a supply of powder from Cliarleston, 
the Regulators fell upon the convoy, if I mistake not, in what is 
now Cabarrus county, and destroyed the powder. He took up 
liis line of march, however, from Salisbury; but having crossed 
the Yadkin, he received a message from the Regulators next-day., 
not to advance any further. To this he replied that lie should 
take the liberty of using the public highwa}^; but finding that 
the Regulators were assembled in great force at a small dis- 
tance in front, he called a council of his officers in their camp 
at Potts' creek. May 10th, 1771, when it was determined to re- 
treat across the Yadkin. The Regulators however, contrived 
to entangle him in a skirmish ; and being superior in numbers, 
lliey surrounded his small army, and took many of them ; but 
he escaped himself with a few of his followers to Salisbury. — ^ 
He had been for some lime in that region : and having esnouSed' 


tlie cause of the government with some zeal, he was much dis- 
Uked by the peopJe. Many of the men under his command, 
were more lavorable to the Regulators, than they were to the 
goverinnent ; and a constant intercourse had been kept up be- 
tween them. From Sahsbury lie sent an express to Governor 
Tryon, informing him of his flight, and other circumstances, 
which arrived before he left his camp on the Eno ; and it made 
him liasten his movements. The situation of Tryon was at this 
time becoming very critical ; for news had now reached him, 
that the Regulators were assembling in great numbers, with the 
intention of standing in their own defence ; and the troops on 
whom he relied, were considerably reduced in number. The 
men in Duplin county, except perhaps a small troop of cavalry, 
had nobly refused to march against the Regulators at all ; and 
many who came from other counties were either so reluctant to 
shed the blood of their fellow citizens, or were so well affected 
to their cause, that they deserted, while the Regulators were in- 
creasing every hour. In this situation nothing could save his 
excellency but a bold and expeditious stroke ; for to hesitate 
was to sutler a certain defeat ; and in the promptitude and en- 
ergy of his subsequent movements, he displayed a good deal of 
generalship. He inunediately took up the Ihie of march; crossed 
Haw river on tlie 1 3th ; and the next evening pitched his camp 
on the banks of the Alamance. While encamped liere, one third 
of the army was ordered to remain under arms the whole night, 
to be relieved every two hours ; and the same was done the next 
jiight; but with the additional precaution that the cavalry were 
to keep their horses saddled during the night, and a guard of ten 
men at about half a mile in front, or towards the encampment of 
the Regulators. That they were not seditious, or had no other 
design than to obtain relief from what they regarded as down- 
,right oppression, is evident, from the fact that on the 15th they 
sent a messenger to the governor with a petition, that he would 
redress the grievances of the people, as the only means of pre- 
vonthig the bloodshed which, from the ardor of the leaders on 
both sides, must otherwise ensue ; and they desired an answer 
in four hours ; but instead of giving them any satisfaction, he 
-sei-it back the messenger, with a promise that he would give 


them an answer next day by noon. In the evening oi' tlie l.jlli 
Col. John Ash and Capt. John Walker, being ont on a scouting 
party, were apprehended, "■ tugged up to trees, severely whipped, 
and made prisoners." This is said to have been the result ol' 
personal animosity on the part of one or two individuals, which 
was strongly censured by the great body of the Regulators, and 
some of them were so much disgusted that they thereatened to 
give up the cause entirely, if such acts were repeated ; but they 
caused much alarm in the governor's camp, and especially in the 
breast of Col. Fanning ; for " his soid had these things still hi 
remembrance, and therefore his spirit was overwhelmed within 
liinL" The two armies encamped on the night of the 15th 
within five or six miles of each other, the Regulators being on 
or near the battle ground ; and on the morning of the 16th, Try- 
on had his army in motion by break of day, and marched in per- 
fect silence, leaving their tents standing, and the baggage and 
wagons in the camp, the wagon horses being kept in the gears, 
and the whole under a guard commanded by Col. Bryan. — 
When they got withhi half a mile of the Regulators, they halted 
and formed the line of battle, which was done by arranging them 
in two Imes, about a hundred yards apart, with the artillery in 
tiie centre of the front line. 

In this account I have hitherto followed Martin chiefly, some- 
times taking the statements of Williamson and Jones, thougli: 
without an express reference to either of them, as that seemed 
to be unnecessary ; but it is time now to take some notice of the 
other side. These histories give Tryon ten or eleven hundred 
men ; and tradition says that several hundred of these were 
regular soldiers ; but of this I have seen no notice in history, 
unless the three hundred with which he left Newbern were of 
this description, and perhaps the artillery company. The Regu- 
lators could not have had, it is believed, more than a thousand, 
who were furnished with arms at all suitable for such an occa- 
sion, though there may have been as many as two thousand on 
the ground ; for a great many went there not expecting to have 
any use for arms. The majority certainly did not expect that 
there would be any blood shed ; and therefore many who start- 
ed with their guns left them by the way, either hid in hoUovr 


trees or deposited with Their friends, until they returned ; be- 
cause some wiseacre had said, " if you take your guns, the gov- 
ernor vvill not treat with yon.*' It is doubtful whether even 
Harmon Husband really wished to fight : In fact I have been 
told by some wiio knew iiim well in their youth and who were 
at this time IS or 20 years of age, that his Quaker principles 
would not let him figiit ; and that when he saw the " tug of 
war" v/ould come, or about the time the governor began to fire 
on them, he mounted his horse and rode away. It is believed 
by many tiiat his aim was to carry his point by making such a 
display of numbers and by manifesting such a determined spirit 
that the governor would be obliged to yield ; and that if he had 
.succeeded in collecting the people in sucli numbers, and in hav- 
ing them so well armed as to make the impression which he 
wished, he would have given this explanation of his own mo- 
tives and conduct. However this may have been, it is certain 
that many went to the place of meeting, not from an idle curios- 
ity, nor with a blood thirsty intent, but from a desire to see the 
result ; others were actuated by the higher motive of using what 
influence they could towards effecting a reconciliation ; and of 
this latter class Dr. Caldwell was one. It was a trying time to 
his feelings ; for a large proportion ol the n.ien in his congrega- 
tions were Regulators. They had attended the meetings and 
united in most of the measures that had been adopted for ob- 
taining a redress of their greivances in a regular way ; but so 
far as I can learn, they were not concerned in the acts of vio- 
lence that vs^ere committed, and it is believed that none of them 
v/ere ever indicted for being concerned in any of the riots. As 
the Regulators knew that they could not fight the governor with 
any hope of success v/ithout cannon, runners were sent out in 
every direction, on the news of his approach, to collect as ma- 
ny as possible, with a view of presenting to the governor such 
an array of numbers as would make him feel the necessity of a 
compromise ; and the people of these congregations obeyed the 
summons. Although they went not expecting to fight, yet they 
carried their guns, as they were in the lia.bit of doing wherever 
ti'.ey went, being resolved, like many others, that "their life and 
their 2:un should 2:0 tog-ether;" and when there, many of them 


having too miicii mettle to be mere spectators when others were 
shedding their blood or risking their life in what was regarded as 
a just cause, they united with them, and fought as bravely as any 
on the ground. Before they left home they requested Dr. Cald- 
well to go along and use his intluence in ellecting a reconciliation. 
He accordingly went down the day before the battle, in company 
with Alexanderpi-Iartin,/ wlio was afterwards governor of the 
State, and with the sheritlof the county ; and it is said that he had 
an interview that evening with Tryon at his camp ; but of what 
passed, if such an interview took place, nothing is known. Next 
morning however, it is known that he passed back and forward 
two or three times from one side to the other, endeavoring to pre- 
vent a collision; and obtained from Tryon a 2jro?7iise tha.t he 
would not proceed to extremeties or fire on the Regulators until 
he had made a fair trial of what could be done by negotiation. 
This is not a matter of record, but it is from such a source that I 
cannot doubt its truth. 

The accounts of the battle and of the transactions immediately 
preceding it, as given in the common histories of the country, 
differ considerably from the statements made by Regulators who 
were present ; and some of these statements,thougli only omitted 
and not contradicted by history, seem to be so well attested as to 
be entitled to credit. Martin says that when Tryon formed his lino 
of battle, at the distance of half a mile from the scene of action, 
and the signal for which was the discharge of three cannons, he 
sent the Regulators a message, in reply to their petition the daV 
before, the purport of which was, that he had nothing to offer 
them, but required their immediate submission to government, a 
promise that they would pay their taxes, and return forthwith 
to their respective homes, with a solemn assurance that they 
would not protect the individuals who were indicted, from trial; 
that he would allow them one hour to consider, after which, if 
they did not yield and accept his proposals, the consequences 
which might follow, must be imputed to them alone ; that on 
the arrival of the messenger at the camp of the Regulators, they 
heard the reading of the governor's answer to their petition with 
impatience, bid him return to Billy Tryon, and tell him they de- 
fied him, for battle was all they wanted; that, although their 

leaders prevailed on them to listen to a second reading oftlie 
paper, they expressed their impatience for battle with the most 
violent imprecations ; that on the return of the messenger, while 
Tryon marched to within three hundred yards of the Regulators' 
camp, they advanced at the same time to a certain point in the 
road, when they halted likewise, and waved their hats as a chal- 
lenge for him to advance ; that he then sent a magistrate and an 
oflicer, with a proclamation, commanding them to disperse with- 
m one hour ; but that they disdained to listen to the magistrate 
when he read it aloud in front of their lines, and cried out battle, 
battle ! Ail the histories represent the Regulators as eager for 
the contest; and as acting more like maniacs than men who 
were conscious that their present comfort, and even their life, 
v/as at stake. 

Tlie accounts of this transaction vary so much, that it is diifi- 
cult to reconcile the discrepancies which are found even in the 
same history. During the hour that Tryon gave the Regulators 
to determine whether they would submit to the terms of his 
proclamation or not, a proposition was made for an exchange of 
prisoners, of v^^liom he had seven, and the Regulators two, John 
Ashe and John Walker. Jones says, " while the p'arley was go- 
ing on for this purpose, the impatience of the armies was so 
great, that the leaders made a simultaneous movement, and led 
on to battle," but in the very next sentence he says, " The two 
armies marched with the most profound silence ; and such was 
the indisposition of either side to fight, that the ranks passed 
each other, and were then compelled, by a short retreat, to re- 
gain their respective places." He represents the contending 
parties as standing at the distance of 25 yards apart, and occu- 
pying the solemn hour before battle with a verbal quarrel; the 
Regulators as shaking their clenched hands at the governor and 
Col. Fanning, walking up to the artillery with open bosoms, and 
defying them to fire ; and each loyal soldier, or each one of the 
king's forces, as '' too busily engaged either in an argument, or 
a fist fight," to pay any attention when "the governor roared 
out the word of command, directing them to fire." Martin 
makes nearly the same statements. He says that the opposing 
forces advanced in silence till tliev met, almost breast to breast. 


tlie governor having forbidden liis men to fire until he ordered 
them ; the first rank of the governor's men were almost mixed 
with those of the Regulators, who wo-re stationed a little before 
the main body, and who now began to retreat slowly, to join the 
army, " bellowing defiance and daring their opponents to ad- 
vance ; and that the army, meaning Tryon's army, kept on till 
within 25 yards of them, and then halted, the Regulators con- 
tinuing to call on him, to order his men to fire, several of them 
advancing at the same time towards the artillery, opening their 
breasts, and defying them to begin. He also represents the gov- 
ernor as commencing the action before the hour liad expired, 
because, the Regulators being tardy in making known their de- 
cision on the proposal for an exchange of prisoners, his men be- 
came so impatient to advance, that he thought it advisable to 
lead them on ;* but m the next paraghaph he tells us that it was 
with the utmost difficulty his men could be induced to fire at 
alljt though additional provocations had been given. 

It is quite possible that a few who were hot headed or under 
the influence of spirits, may have acted in the manner above de- 
scribed ; for Tryon had so often made promises and threats 
without fulfilling either that what he said was probably not 
much regarded ; but I have received no such statements from 
men who were present, either under arms or as spectators. An 
old gentleman of respectability informed me that in the extreme 
part of the Regulation army to the westward, where a near re- 
lative of his was stationed, they were stretching themselves 
along the side of the road as far as they could, in order to let 
the governor, when he came by, see how many there were ; and 
that they were looking for him every moment to pass along, as 
on a review, or in a friendly way, when the guns began to fire. 
An old Regulator with whom I conversed last fall, told me that 
in the part of the army, if it might be called such, where he 
was, the younger part of the men were all engaged in the ath- 
letic exercises, wrestling, jumping, &c., and that he was himself 
engaged in wrestling with another young man, when Patrick 
^^ClVIuUen, an old Scotchman who had been in the British service 
before he came to America, but was now a Regulator, came up 
*Vo!. 2, p. 281. fVol. 2. p. '-2B2. Joues's Defence, p. 5l 


and told them, with a look and a tone of firmness, to put them- 
selves into some order, for they would be fired on in a very few 
minutes. About this time Dr. Caldwell rode up in front, and 
connnenced making a speech to them, the purport of which was 
that those of them who were not too far connuitted sliould de- 
sist and quietly return home ; that those wlio had laid tliem- 
selves liable should submit witliout further resistance, promising 
that he and others would obtain for them the best terms they 
could ; and that tliey had all better wait until circumstances 
would be more favorable ; for the governor, as it seemed, was 
determined to yield nothing, and unprepared as they were, hav- 
ing no cannon, not much ammunition, no military discipline, and 
no officers to command them, they must sustain a defeat ; but 
before he finished, the old Scotchman called out to him that he 
had better go away, or the governor's men would fire on him in 
three minutes. He then rode off; but had scarcely got out of 
sight wlien the firing commenced. 

Before Tryon ordered his men to commence .the attack, he 
sent an adjutant to receive Ashe and Walker, but hat^jjfgre'p^r- 
ted the answer of the Regulators, that these men would be sur- 
rendered witiiin half an hour, he was sent back to inform them 
that the governor would wait no longer, and that if they did not 
Jay down their arms immediately, they should be fired on.— 
The answer was, fire and be d — n'd. He then ordered his men 
to fire ; but they did not seem disposed to obey. When he per- 
ceived this, rising on Ins stirraj)s and turning to tliein, he called 
out, '-fire, fire on them or on me," when the action began, and 
almost immediately became general. Such is Martin's account, 
which is probably that of the governor or of his party ; but it 
differs so much, as to the commencement of the action, from the 
statement of the Regulators, that they ought at least to be heard. 
According to their account, Tryon himself shot the first gun, and 
killed tlie first man. Some time in tlie course of the morning, as 
lias been already stated, lie gave Dr. Caldwell a promise that he 
would not fire on the Regulators until lie liad fairly tried wliat 
could be done by negotiation; but negotiation was not in !iis ♦; ^ 
thoughts ; for he offered them no other terms than unconditional 
submisSiioTi. Tlg writer in the Weekly Times sa^'s that "the 


Ilegnlators sent I)r, Caldwell into the governor's lines in order 
to effect a compromise ; and that Robert Thompson* and Ro- 
bert Mateer had gone there on the same business ; that the Dr. 
was permitted to return to the Regulators for the purpose of in- 
forming them that nothing could be done in the way of compro- 
mise, the governor being determined not to recede from the terms 
of his proclamation, while the other two were detained as pris- 
oners ; and that when Thompson attempted soon after to go 
away without leave, observing that as he bad come in peacea- 
bly he had a right to return, the governor seized a gun from 
some one who stood near, and shot him with his own hand.— 
That Try on shot Thompson himself, and shot him before the ac- 
tion between the two armies commenced, there is no doubt ; for 
it is sustained by the concordant testimony of all the Regulators 
with whom the writer has ever conversed ; and ISIaurice Moore, 
in his letter to Tryon says : " I can freely forgive you, sir, for 
killing Robert Thompson at the beginni7ig of the battle : he 
was your prisoner, and was making his escape to fight against 
you," Moore not having been present, wrote from hearsay, 
perhaps from the private statements of the governor or some of 
his party; and it is believed that he was under a mistake as to 
Thompson's motive in attempting to escape. He had gone to 
the place of meeting, like many others, without any expectation 
of fighting; he had not put himself in the ranks of those who 
were arrayed as combatants ; nor was he even armed with a 
gun or any deadly weapon, but he and Mateer had both gone 
to the governor, — whether deputed or not is unknown to the 
writer, — for the purpose of trying to obtain a friendly adjust- 
ment of the existing difficulties. His leaving was, therefore, 
not an escojje, but a retiring in the conscious dignit^r of a free- 
man. Being a bold independent kind of a man, however, and 
accustomed to express himself without much reflection or regard 
to the rules of etiquette, his excellency may have construed his' 
manner of expression as an insult ; and in a fit of passion took 

*The commuriicafion in the Weekly Times has appended to it the foHo\v->- 
inof note : "Robert Thomp^-on, the first man who fell in the battle, was the 
ofrandtiither of Newton Cannon, the present goveinov of Tennessee, General 
Robert Cannon, of Shelbyville, .Jacob Wright, Esq., of Rutherford county 
Jolin 'i'hompson, of Davidson couiitj', and Andrew HviieSj of Nashville;" 


his life. As if conscious that he was chargeable with a flagrant 
AHolation of good faith he soon sent out a white flag; but the 
Regulators, in a spirit of revenge for the death of Thompson, by 
which they considered that Try on had violated his promise to 
Dr. Caldwell, instantly shot it down, or shot at the bearer, and 
the flag disappeared ; but whether he was really killed or not, 
was perhaps never ascertained. 

It is strange that historians have not noticed either of the 
facts, that the governor shot Thompson, or that he sent out any 
flags ; and yet both seem to be well attested. Regulators have 
generally said that he sent out two flags at different times, both 
of which were shot down ; but the second one will come into 
notice presently. So lar as I can reconcile the accounts given in 
ditfcrent histories one with another, and these with what ap- 
pears to be authentic tradition, it was directly after the first flag 
was shot down that Tryon commanded his men to fire. The 
men seemed disposed not to obey ; and his situation was ex- 
tremely critical, it was citizen against citizen ; and no wonder 
that they were reluctant to connnence the work of destruction. 
But some bold measure was necessary ; for the Rubicon was 
passed; blood had been shed; to hesitate would be instant ruin ; 
but to go forward with intrepidity might be followed by suc- 
cess. Then, probably, it was, that rising in his stirrups and turn- 
ing to his men, he called upon them, in all the earnestness of des- 
paration, to fire on the Regulators or on him. Some ventured 
to obey ; and that emboldened the rest. The work of destruc- 
tion was then plied with vigor on both sides ; for men general- 
ly find a Rubicon in every thing ; and whether induced or for- 
ced over that, when it is once passed, there is no return. 

The governor's party had greatly the advantage as to arms, 
-ammunition, and military discipline ; but the Regulators com- 
pelled them to remain in the road, just where they wished them 
to be, while they occupied a more advantageous position, and 
nearly every man was ensconced behind a tree. Jones says 
" that the artillery was idle for the ^/i?^st hour, during which 
time the conflict was equal and well sustained." Martin says, 
'"' The insurgents, pursuing the Indian mode of fighting, did 
"(^^Tnsiderablc injury lo the king's troops; but owing to the arfi7- 


levy, and firmness of the latter, were, after a conflict of one 
hour, struck with a panic and fled," Wilhamson says that tiie 
engagement com.inenctd \^\\h the discharge oi five cannon; 
that " Col. Fanniiig, who commanded the left wing, unused to 
action and deficient in courage, fell back with the whole of his 
regiment, except Capt. Nash and his company ;" and that " in 
the mean time the cannon did great execution." The writer in 
the Weekly Times speaks of the havoc made by the cannon in 
terms of great exaggeration ; but he is evidently mistaken in 
many of iiis statements. The account of MacPherson is here 
given in full, because he was present during the whole conflict, 
and because it accords, as far as it goes, substantially with that 
of other Regulators. " The next day at noon the battle forces 
came in sight. The governor's aid* (!ame forward first to the 
Regulators and read a proclamation. (MacPherson stood near 
him.) The Regulators required an hour to return an answer. 
The messenger wheeled his horse and returned to his own 
friends ; and the firing immediately commenced on the part of 
Tryon with tlie cannon. He had four small swivels and two 
six pounders. At the first fire tlie balls struck the ground some 
distance in front of the Regulators ; and MacPherson heard one 
of Tryon's men say, — ' I told the gunner he aimed it too low.' 
The next shot went over the heads of those at whom it was 
aimed. After the first fire on the part of Tryon the Regulators 
commenced an irregular fire from behind trees, and had the bet- 
ter of the day. The other side fired regularly by platoons. — 
Presently a flag was seen advancing from Tryon's side of the 
field. The meaning of this no body knew except an old Scotch- 
man who had served in the army, and who called out, ' it's a 
flag, don't fire.' Three or four rifles were however fired ; and 
the flag fell ; but whether the bearer was killed was not known. 
The fighting now began again; and the royalist party fell back 
about the width of the battle field, that is, about one hundred 
yards, leaving their cannon behnid. Some of the Regulators, 
among whom were two of MacPherson's brothers, one older 
and one younger than himself, now rushed forward and seized 
the cannon ; but when they got them they had no amnumitiDrr, 
•"'■Piiilomon Hawkins, I presume, See Williamson, vol. 2, p. 148"; 


nor did they know how to work llicin.* The smoke now clea- 
ved away ; and the royalists saw that there was only a small 
Ijody of Regulators on the ground, the rest having retired, — 
They began therefore to advance for the purpose of surround- 
ing them, which the Regulators perceiving took to tlieir heels 
and the battle was over." 

The writer in the Weekly Times, v/hose testimony is here 
given only so far as it seems to be corroborated by tJiat of others, 
says, " there was such confusion as cannot well be described. 
Some who had no guns attempted to rally those that had ; and 
some gave up their guns to such as were willing to face the en- 
emy. The Regulators were not prepared for battle ; for they 
had no higher officer than a captain. Montgomery, who com- 
manded a company of fountain boys, was considered the prin- 
cipal captain ; and he fell about the second fire from the cannon. 
They all soon fled and left the field except James Pugh from 
Orange county, and three other men who had taken a stand near 
the cannon. They were defended by a large tree and ledge of 
rocks. Although half the cannon were directed against them, 
they could not be driven from their position, until they had killed 
fifteen or sixteen men who managed tlie cannon. Pugh fired 
every gun, and the other three men loaded for him ; but at 
length they were surrounded. Pugh was taken prisoner : the 
others made their escape." It has been the uniform testimony 
of the Regulators in this section, that they did not fly until their 
ammunition failed ;t and this was probably the fact ; for most 

''■Tlje old Regulator, bpfore alluded to, who gave me an account of the 
battle last fall, alter describing- the retreat of the governor's men, and the ta- 
king of the artillery, or the attempt to take it, by the Regulators, in which 
he agreed almost exactly with the statement given above, though he knew 
nothing of Iv] acPherson, exclaimed with much anim:ition. as a kind of seda- 
tive to his feelings, ' O, if either John or Daniel GiUeapie had only known as 
much about military discipline then as they knew a few years after that, the 
bloody Tryon would never have slept in his palace again'' — The statements 
of no one man, nei'.her MacPherson nor any body else, are given in this 
work without some qualifying expression, unless they are sustained by the 
testimony of others. 

+ An old man who was then about 17 years of age, told the writer a little 
more than a year ago^that he assisted George Parsons in moulding his bullets 
the night before the battle ; and that when they had moulded twelve they 
stopped. He then observed somewhat jocosely to Parsons that it he shot all 
those bullets, and did execution every time, he would do his share. Parsons 


of them, when they left home, did not expect that they would 
need more powder and lead than they were accustomed to take 
with them on a common hunting expedition. 

The accounts vary very much as to the number of killed and 
wounded. Williamson says that " seventy of the militia," mean- 
ing the governor's men, "were killed or wounded;" and that 
" the insurgents lost above two hundred." Martin says. " The 
loss of the governor was only nine killed, and si Kty-one wounded: 
that of the insurgents was upwards of twenty dead, and a num- 
ber wounded." MacPherson reverses the first part of this state- 
ment, and says, " nine Regulators were said to have been killed 
on the ground, and a great number wounded ; but how many of 
the royalist party were killed is not known. The account which 
I have always had from tlie Regulators and other old men in 
this region is that nine of their men, and twenty-seven of the 
royalists were left dead on the field ; but how many were woun- 
ded on eitlier side they never knew. It may be inferred from a 
statement in Williamson* which was probably from an official 
communication, that Tryon lost more men than are reported by 
Martin. He says, " Capt. Potter commanded a company of 
thirty men from Beaufort : fifteen of these were killed or woun- 
ded in the action." If the halfoi one small company was killed 
or wounded, it is natural to suppose that he must have lost more 
than nine in all; but this is a matter which cannot be determined 
with precision, nor is it of nmch importance. 

Those who fled were pursued ; and fifteen or sixteen of them 
were made prisoners. Rednap Howel, Harmon Husband, Jas. 
Hunter, and William Butler, were oudawed ; and a reward of 
£100, and 1000 acres of land was promised to any person who 
would bring in either of them, dead or alive ;t but neither of 
them was ever taken. The governor issued a proclamation the 
next day in which he ofi'ered pardon to all persons who had risen 
against the government, if they would come into his camp with- 
in five days, lay down their arms, take the oath of allegiance, 

replied in the same spiri*^, tliat he would certainly phoot them every one if 
there should be occasion tor it. He afterwards told my informant that he had 
shot ttimi evi ry one; and he believed that he had done execution every time 
except once wlien his gun choked in loading. 
*Vol. 2, p. 276. i-Williamson, vol. 2, p. 150. 

promise to pay their taxes, and submit to the laws of the country- 
According to MacPherson, tlie oath was very severe, binding 
them "never to bear arms against the king, but to take up arms 
for liim if called upon ; to pay all taxes, those that were due as 
well as those that should become due; and to obey all laws that 
liad been enacted or that should be hereafter enacted." By 
subsequent proclamations, the proviso was extended to the lOtli 
of July; but outlaws, prisoners, and those who blew up Gen. 
Waddell's ammunition were excluded from the benefit of the 
proclamation : So were the following persons who were men- 
tioned by name, viz : Samuel Jones, Joshua Teague, Samuel 
Waggoner, Simon Dunn, jr., Abraham Creson, Benjamin Mer- 
rill, James Wilkinson, sen., Edward Smith, John Bumpass, Jo- 
seph Boring, William Rankin, William Robeson, John Winkler, 
John Wilco^x, Jacob Telfair, and Thomas Person. 

Among the prisoners taken immediately after the battle was 
one by the name of James Few, who was Imng on the spot, as 
Martin says, without a trial, or, according to Williamson, by 
sentence of a court martial. This was an act of cold blooded 
cruelty and almost of fiendish malice which admitted of no apol- 
ogy ; for he was in a state of insanity ; and was therefore not a 
fit subject of punishment. Wiley Jones, who was sent by Try- 
on after the battle, to seize the papers of Harmon Husband, 
found among them a letter from Few in which he alleged that 
he ivus sent by heaven to relieve tfie world from oppression ; 
and that he was to begin in North Carolina. MacPherson says 
he was "a young man, a carpenter by trade, and owned the 
little spot of ground, just out of Hillsborough, where Mr. Kirk- 
land's house now stands. He wa,s engaged to be married to a 
young lady, whom Fanning seduced. He then joined the Re- 
gulators ; was taken on the field of battle ; and, at tlie instiga- 
tion of Fanning, was executed on the spot." The eflect upon 
the susceptible and perhaps somewhat visionary mind of a young 
uian, in such circumstances, of having his prospects of domestic 
happiness blighted by such a base villain as Fanning, who was 
trampling on every body, and especially on the poor around 
him, because as he was protected by the governor and by the 
superior court, he v/a? above the reach of law, probably Pfo- 


duced in Few a degree of monomania, and he began to think 
that he was commissioned from heaven to rid the world of sucii 
heartless oppressors ; and as the regulators were then engaged 
in a conflict with the government, in the issue of which Fanning 
and others of his class were so deeply concerned, it afltbrded a 
good opportunity for him to begin the work. The sacriiice of 
Few however, uncalled for and inhuman as it was, could not 
abate the rage of Tryon, or quiet the guilty mind of Fanning, 
under whose influence he appears to have acted in this matter. 
Though petitioned by the citizens of Hillsborough to spare the 
family, he ejttended his vengeance to the unoflending parents, 
brothers, and sisters by the destruction of their property ; and 
thus shewed that he was as destitute of humanity as he was re- 
gardless of justice. 

After burying the dead and making provisions for the sick 
and wounded, Tryon marched with his army, on the 21st, to 
Sandy Creek, Husband's neighborhood, where they encamped 
and halted for a week. Detachments were sent out to assist in 
collecting the taxes, and to disperse the Regulators who were 
still lurking about in small parties, probably from mere feelings 
of mutual sympathy and not with any purpose of making fur- 
ther resistance. The treatment of the Regulators was certainly 
one of the most extraordinary things that has occurred in an 
enlightened and christian country. Their worst acts could by 
no fair construction of law be made any thing more than riots. 
It does not appear that one of them ever entertained a thought, 
much less a settled purpose of overturning the government; but by 
a temporary act of assembly, of twelve months' duration, passed 
for the purpose, and therefore, in the spirit, if not in the letter, 
an expos t facto law, their conduct was construed into premedi- 
tated rebellion ; and the leaders were tried, condemned and ex- 
ecuted as if they had been the worst of traitors. As their riots, 
if such they must be called, were the result of acknowledged 
and flagrant abuses on the part of the government officers, and 
as all they ever asked was a correction of these abuses, they 
might have been, at any time, either before or after the battle, 
converted into as peaceable and orderly subjects as any in the 
■province, Mf simply redressing their grievances, and treating 


them with that moderation and kindness to which they, in com- 
mon with all others, were entitled. 

From Sandy Creek he marched through the country adminis- 
tering his new coined oaths of allegiance ; disarming the inhab- 
itants ; " levying contributions of beef and flour ;* burning 
houses, treadmg down corn, and insulting the suspected ; hold- 
ing courts martial, which took cognizance of civil as well as mi- 
litary offences ; extending their jurisdiction even to ill-breeding 
and want of good manners ;"t and exhibiting his prisoners in 
chains,! as scarecrows to others. He went as far west, accor- 
ding to Martin, as the Jersey Settlement, or, as oU^ers say, to 
Salisbury ; and being joined, somewhere in that region, by Gen. 
Waddel with a large body of men, he commenced his return on 
the 9th of June. After a circuitous route through the I^Ioravi- 
an settlement in Stokes, Big Troublesome in Rockingham, &c., 
he came to Guilford courthouse, seven or eight miles north east 
from the present site of Greensborougli, on the High Rock road; 
and after remaining there for a day or two on the important bu- 
siness of hismihtary expedition, he continued his march to Hills- 
borough, where a special court of oyer and terminer was held 
for tlie trial of the prisoners : twelve of them were indicted for 
high treason, convicted, and sentenced to death. On six of 
them, the sentence was executed almost immediately, June 
1 9th ; but tlie execution of the other six was respited until the 
king's pleasure should be known. Tlie execution of these men 
was considered as unjust, or impolitic and cruel in every sense. 

*After his return from this western tour, sixty head of cattle, as I have been 
informed, were collected on the plantation on which Col. McConnell now 
lives, four miles south-east from Greensboro '; and were driven from that place 
under the clmrge of John Gilclirist, to Tryon's cnmp near Hillsboro'. These 
were chiefly collected from Guiltbrd county; and it is probable that similar 
contributions weredetnanded and made in some other counties for the support 
of the army while his excellency was employed in the important work of 
hanging the traitors. 

t"One Johnson who was a reputed Regulator, but whose jjreatesl crime 
was writing an impudent letter to lady Tryon, was sentenced, in one of these 
military courts, to receive five hundred lashes, and received two hundred and 
fifty of them accordingly."— See Maurice Moore's letter, Martin, 2nd vol. --Ap- 

|One of the present Editors of the Greensborough Patriot, Lyndon Swaim, 
has informed me that an ancestor of his, Marmaduke Vickory, was one of 
the men who vvere thus exhibited in chains through the streets of Siilem^s'ev- 
eral of them bein^- chained tonrether. 


Tliey had been almost driven, by both public and private ini])0- 
sitions, to act llie part which they did ; as the law by whicli 
they were condemned was to expire by limitation within a lew 
months, their death could not operate as a warning to others 
any longer than the law was in force ; they had acted only a 
subordinate part, for the leaders had all made their escape ; and 
" the rebellion," as Tryon wished to have it considered, was 
now completely subdued ; but he shewed on this occasion thai 
he had neither the generosity of a soldier, the dignity of a gen- 
tleman, nor the liberal views and humane feelings of a patriot. 
His anxiety to have the men condemned, and the useless display 
which he made at the execution, betrayed as much vanity and 
weakness as disregard to justice and the claims of humanity. — 
He appears to have " exerted the whole influence of his char- 
acter against the lives of these people ; for as soon as he was 
told that an indulgence of one day had been granted by tht- 
court to two of them to send for witnesses, who actually estab- 
lished their innocence and saved their lives, he sent an aid-de- 
camp to the judges and attorney general to acquaint them that 
he was dissatisfied with their inactivity, and threatened to re- 
present them unfavorably in England, if they did not proceed 
witli more spirit and dispatch." 

On the day of execution, the whole army was drawn out un- 
der arms, except the quarter guard and sentinels. They formed 
and marched in a hollow, oblong square ; the artillery forming 
the front and rear faces ; the first line, the right, and the second, 
the left face ; the main guard marchmg in the centre, with the 
sheriff and prisoners ; and the light horse covering the out side of 
the flanks to keep off the crowd. This order of march had been 
sketched out, and given in general orders by the governor him- 
self, who stooped in this manner to point out the spot for the 
gallows, and to give orders for clearing the field around, to make 
room for the army." As Maurice Moore observed in his letter, 
" the governor's minute and personal attention to these particu- 
lars, left a ridiculous idea of his character behind, bearing a 
strong resemblance to that of an undertaker at a funeral." — 
Some of them were as brave as they were loyal ; and having 

warred only against corruption and oppression, deserved a verv 


diflereiit fate ; but Tryon was not like " Fingal, who never in- 
jured the 6r«fe though his arm was strong:" others of them 
had not waned in any way, nor had liicy done any thing " wor- 
thy of death," or even " of stripes ;" and none of (hem deserved 
the condemnation which they received, if they deserved any at 
all ; but they had fallen into the hands of one who neither ac- 
knowledged the claims of justice nor was capable of appreciating 
merit, especially in those who, like Job, "knew not to give flat- 
tering titles," or who could not bow to his haughty mandate. — 
Dr. Caldwell attended the trial of the prisoners; and was pre- 
sent at the execution. None of them belonged to his congrega- 
tions ; but with some of them he was personally acquainted ; and 
for the welfare of all he felt, as a man and a christian, a deep 
concern. He went therefore to Hillsborough, a distance of 46 
miles, for the purpose of using what influence he could to pro- 
cure their acquittal or their pardon, by testifying to the charac- 
ter of such of them as he knew, and by appearing there as a 
minister of mercy to intercede on their behalf; and if he should 
fail in that, to aid them by his counsels and his prayers in pre- 
paring for the solemn change which awaited them. As to the 
former, his eflbrts were unavailing ; but as to the latter, his labor 
Avas not in vain in the Lord, and he probably felt rewarded for 
his trouble. 

When this bloody tragedy was over, the army left Hillsboro' 
on the following day, and encamped at Stony Creek. Next 
morning the governor took leave of them, and proceeded to 
Newbern. The troops were conducted by slow marches to Col. 
Bryan's in Johnston county, near the spot on which the town of 
Smithfield now stands, where the diflerent detachments separat- 
ed, and returned, each one by the nearest route, to their respec- 
tive counties. The inhabitants of Duplin having acted in such 
a 'way as to bring their loyalty into question, Col. Ashe was di- 
rected to stop there and get tliem to take the oath of allegiance ; 
but they were as obstinate about taking the oath as they had 
been about marching against the Regulators ; and after waiting 
two or three days in vain the Colonel left them to enjoy their 
independence and returned to his home. Thus ended an expe- 
dition which was, in fact, little more than a crusade against jus- 


tice, freedom, and humanity, in which his excellency ejected 
nothing for the permanent tranquility and peace of the country ; 
and while he subjected himself to the keenest shafts of ridicule, 
he gathered no laurels but such as were stained with the blood 
of his wronged and injured subjects, or blighted by the tears of 
the widow and the orphan. 

It is matter of some regret that we are not better acquainted 
with the character of all those who were either outlawed, or 
tried and condemned ; for the justice of a cause, or the propriety 
of a given course of conduct, may often be estimated in a good 
degree by the character of the men who were engaged in it ; 
but even the names of many of these are forgotten. Rednap 
Howel, as we have seen, was the bard of the day, the "poet 
laureate" of his party ; and while he amused himself by making 
their oppressors the subjects of ridicule, he was contented with 
exciting others to deeds of heroism in the cause of freedom. — 
He appears to have been a pretty good English scholar, and a 
man of general information, very shrewd and full of humor ; 
but he took no active part in the battle, and was outlawed, not 
for his fighting, but for his songs. He was not like tne warrior 
bard who " sung the battles of his own spear ;" for he prefer- 
red the society of the Muses to that of Mars ; and although 
« his soul was fire, few were the marks of his sword in battle." 
James Hunter was a man of some property and influence. He 
had belon:j:?<i to one of Dr. Caldwell's congregations, though it 
is not recollected whether he was in communion with the church 
or only a stated hearer ; but he withdrew because he thought 
the Dr. was not sufficiently zealous in the cause. He was the 
only one however who did so : the rest all thought his course 
very judicious; but one little fact may be mentioned here as 
throwing some light on the character of Hunter. On the morn- 
ing of the battle the Regulators requested him to take the com- 
mand of the whole ; but he refused, saying, "we are all freemen; 
and every one must command himself." He is said to have 
been a man of good mind naturally, and moral in his deport- 
ment, if he was not a christian ; but was very ardent, and prone 
to be enthusiastic in whatever he undertook. " Samuel Divin,- 
ny was a bold man, who could fight, but not contrive." Rob- 


ort Mateer, one of those who were executed, was a quiet, ami- 
able and upright man. No man in the neighborhood was more 
esteemed while living, or more lamented when dead ; and he 
had from first to last taken no part in any of the riots, or in the 
resistance wliich was made to government. There seemed to 
l)e a pecuhar hardship in his case ; for he never had openly- 
joined the Regulators, or committed any overt act which he 
supposed could make him liable to punishment. He had been 
for some time in a very anxious state of mind to know whether 
the Regulators were right, or what was his duty in the case ; 
and had become pretty v/ell satisfied in his own mind that the 
cause in which the Regulators were engaged was a good one, or 
at least that they had justice on their side; but it was still a 
question with him v»diether, in view of all the circumstances, 
they ought to make an open resistance, though at the risk of 
their hves, or wait for a more favorable opportunity. In this 
state of suspense he went to Newbern with a wagon load of 
produce ; and Tryon having learned where he lived, as there 
was then no mail carried in this direction, made him the bearer 
of a letter to Alexander Martin. To get relief from his pain- 
ful anxiety, which was of course increased by the iact that he 
was carrying a letter from the governor, and not knowing or 
thinking of the consequence, he opened the letter on the road 
and read it ; but was so disgusted with the haughtiness and ty- 
ranny which it manifested, tliat he handed it over to some of his 
friends who were Regulators. Through their carelessness or 
intemperate zeal, it became known and was the sole cause of 
I'.is death. On the day of the battle it seems that in the sinqoli- 
eity of his nature and with the best intentions, he went, in com- 
pany with Robert Thompson, and perhaps with Dr. Caldwell, 
to confer with the governor on the subject of their difficulties ; 
but was detained as a prisoner, and executed at Hillsborough. 
This account, though not a matter of history, is believed to be 
substantially correct ; and whether he deserved to die, the rea- 
der must judge. Nor will the fate of Captain Merrill excite 
much less regret. He was from the Jersey Settlement, accord- 
ing to MacPherson ; or, as others say, from Mecklenburg coun- 
ty. He A\Ms regarded as a pious man : and was much esteem- 


ed wherever he was known. He was withhi an easy day's 
march of the place of meeting, Avith tln'ee hundred men under 
his command, when he heard of the defeat ; and if he had got 
there in time the result would have been very different. His 
men immediately dispersed ; but he was taken prisoner, and 
his life was the forfeit. In this trying situation he gave his 
friends satisfactory evidence that he was prepared to die ; for 
he not only professed his faith in Christ, his hope of heaven, and 
his willingness to go, but sung a Psalm very devoutly just before 
he swung off, and died with the resignation and composure of a 

The author of the communication in the Weekly Times says, 
that James Pugh was an ingenious gun smith, and had mended 
many of the Regulators' guns ; and the sentiments and conduct 
which he ascribes to him, when taken prisoner, after having, 
with his own hand shot fifteen or sixteen of the men who man- 
aged the artillery, and when placed under the gallows, are those 
of a hero and a patriot; and are worthy of any age or any 
country. While that writer is probably mistaken in some things, 
as to time and place, though I have no means of ascertaining 
with entire certainty, he has been sustained by the concurrent 
testimony of Regulators, and of their cotemporaries in this region, 
as to the main facts. When placed under the gallows, he ap- 
peared perfectly calm and composed; told them that he had 
long been prepared to meet his God in another world ; refused 
to make any acknow-ledgements for what he had done ; and re- 
quested of the governor permission to address the people for one 
half hour in his own defence. Having obtained this permission, 
he told them that his blood would be as good seed sown on good 
ground, which would soon produce a hundred fold ; recapitula- 
ted the causes of the late conflict ; asserted that the Regulators 
had taken the life of no man previous to the battle, nor had they 
aimed at any thing more than a redress of their grievances ; 
charged the governor with having brought an army there to 
murder the people instead of taking sides with them against a 
set of dishonest officers ; advised him to put away liis corrupt 
clerks and tax gatherers, and be a friend to tlie people whom he 
was appointed to govern ; but when he told him that his friend 

166 LIFE GF D,AVI1) t:AI.l)\VliI.L. D,D 

Col. Fanning was not fit for the oflice which he held, he was 
suddenly interrupted; the barrel was turned over, at the insti- 
gation of Fanning ; and lie was launched into eternity before he 
had finished his speech, and before the half hour which had been 
promised lam was expired. 

According to the same writer the death of Capt. Messer, though 
less heroic, was no less melancholy. Being an influential man 
in his neighborhood, and having taken a very active part, he was 
to have beeii hung the next day after the battle ; but owing to 
a very affecting incident which occured, he was reserved for the 
grand ye/e at Hillsborough. His wife having heard, in the course 
of the night, of what was to take place, went in the morning to 
see the last of her husband, taking along with her their oldest 
son, an uncommonly smart and pretty child, about ten years old. 
She was lying on the ground, her face covered with her hands, 
and her boy weeping over her, while the preparation was ma- 
king for his execution, but when the fatal moment had arrived, 
as he thought, the child stepped up to Tryon, and asked him to 
hang him and let his father live. Tryon wished to know who 
had instructed him to do so. "No body," was the reply. "What 
is your reason for making this offer?" "Because if you hang my 
father,niy mother will die, and the children will perish," said the 
boy. This request was made with sucli simplicity and earn- 
estness, that it touched the governor's feelings ; and he told him 
that his father should not die that day. At Fanning's suggestion 
a pardon was olfered Inm, on condition that he would bring in 
Harmon Husband ; and he was permitted to go in pursuit of 
hiu!, while his wife and son were retained as hostages. On his 
return he reported that he was unable to bring him, for the want 
of more force, though he had overtaken him in Virginia ; and 
while his wife was sent home, he was put m chains until the 
time of execution, and his son was retained as a foot page to the 
governor. This account of Messer was new to me, when it first 
appeared in the newspapers ; but the main facts respecting Capt. 
Pugh, had been frequently related to me by surviving Regula- 
tors and their co-evals. 

On the character of Harmon Husband, perhaps enough has 
beciisaid; but the reader may wish to know somcthuig of his 


subsequent history. After leaving North Carolina, which he 
did with all expedition after the battle on the Alamance, he set- 
tled in the western part of Pennsylvania, not far from fort Pitt, 
now the city of Pittsburg, and remained there until he was taken 
away shortly before his death. I He came back to this country, 
after the Revolutionary war, on business ; but did not remain 
long. Two of his sons settled on a large tract of land which ho 
had on Deep River, near the Bufialo ford ; and lived there for 
a number of years after the war. His daughter also married a 
man by the name of Wright, and lived in that county for fifteen 
or twenty years after the Revolution. When laboring under a 
chronic disease, she applied to Dr. Caldwell as a physician, and 
remained several days in his house. His family speak of her in 
very high terms, not only as a woman of superior mind, and a- 
greeable manners, but as uncommonly intelligent and interesting 
for the age and country in which she lived. In 1794, Husband 
was concerned in the whiskey insurrection which took place in 
the region of country where he lived ; but of the part he took, 
and of the motives by which he was influenced, we have no in- 
formation. The people all over the union having recently suf- 
fered so much from the arbitrary measures of the British gov- 
ernment, and having made such sacrifices to obtain their inde- 
pendence, were extremely jealous of the legislative power; but 
in Pennsylvania excise laws were particularly odious, because 
a large proportion of the population were " emigrants from Ire- 
land, who brought with them strong prejudices against sucli 
laws, and because the first attempt at direct taxation by the 
British Parliament over the American colonies, was an excise 
law." Besides it was viewed as partial and peculiarly oppres- 
sive in the western part of the State ; for whiskey was almost 
the only article which they could take to market ; but they could 
not descend the Ohio ; it was near 400 miles to Philadelphia ; 
and they had nothing but a packhorse path across the moun- 
tains. When the State therefore laid a tax on distilled spirits, 
the people not distinguishing between a law of their own legis- 
lature, and one made by a foreign power to tax them in all ca- 
ses without their consent, manifested their opposition to it in the 
same woy as they had done to the stamp act ; and the laAV was 


obliged to be repealed. This was the object at which they aim- 
ed, and not a subversion of the government ; and when con- 
gress passed a similar law a few years after, the people attempt- 
ed to force a repeal of it in the same way. A law of the gene- 
ral government which apj)eared so partial and oppressive in its 
operation was just calculated to rouse a man of Husband's tem- 
perament ; but the only notice of him in relation to that matter, 
which has fallen under the eye of the writer is in the number of 
the Southern Literary Messenger for January 1842, from which 
it appears that he was appointed on the committee of safety with 

\\ Brackenridge, Bradford, and Gallatin. From his behig associa- 
ted with such men it would seem that his influence in the coun- 
try must have been considerable ;* but his Quaker plainness with 
his frank and unyielding straightforwardness prevented him from 
making any shifts to keep out of difficulty. Brackenridge with 
all his talents, ingenuity, and legal knowledge found it difficult 
to escape, though his motives were probably good ; but Hus- 

\l^ band, whose motives may have been equally as good/ was taken 
and condemned. He immediately wrote to some of his friends 
in this country, for a certificate of his character while he lived 
here ; and this was not only granted, but a petition was drawn 
up for his pardon, which had attached to it a pretty long list of 
respectable names. As Dr. Caldwell was, about this time, the 
spring of 1795, going on to Philadelphia with an afflicted mem- 
ber of his family, the petition was sent by him; and he happened 
to enter the city on the same day, and about the same time with 
the prisoners. The Doctor, as his family have informed me, al- 
ways thought Husband a little headstrong and impetuous, but 
believed him to be honest in his intentions. He therefore wish- 
ed to have him pardoned ; and got his old friend Doct. Rush to 
unite with him in the petition. The two senators from this State, 
Martin and Bloodworth, both of whom probably knew him when 
he lived here, also united in it ; and he was pardoned : so were 
the other prisoners ; but Husband died at a tavern on his way 
home ; and his wife, who had set out for Philadelphia, met with 
him there, and was with him in his last hours. ' 

"Since tlie above wss in type the writer lias been informed that he had been 
for several years a member ofthe Pennsylvania legislature. 


The issue of the battle on {lie Alamance, lias always heen re- 
garded as unfortunate; and in some respects it -was exceedingly 
so ; but on the whole it was perhaps best for the present peace 
of the country, and ultimat«uy for the cause of liberty. If the 
Regulators had been victorious it would have brought on the 
province the whole power of the British government, before the 
other provinces were prepared to make a common cause with 
it ; and in that case, the consequences must have been still more 
unhappy. It enabled the governor, naturally imperious, and 
now elated with success, to traverse the region of the disaffected, 
■with fire and sword ; the country was ravaged, and a large a- 
mount of property destiwed or carried av.^ay as plunder ;" the 
inhabitants were disarmed and insulted ; and the province was 
saddled with a debt of sixty thousand pounds; but the country 
was not depopulated, for all tliat had been killed were hardly 
missed ; the people were not subdned ; and while their losses 
could soon be repaired by industry and economy, they had 
learned by experience an important lesson. There is hardly any 
thing for which people can be well prepared without some ex- 
perience^ and this was their initiation into that kind of knowl- 
edge. They learned the necessity of making adequate prepara- 
tion, and of having some military discipline ; for although all 
were freemen, it appeared that if every one was left to "com- 
mand himself," he would soon have to run away, or, could not 
. live to fight another day. From tlie execution v/hich was done 
by the bravery of a few, they also learned their ovv^i strength, 
or saw what might be done by union and proper discipline ; nor 
would they have been defeated again by' the same troops and 
on the same ground, notwithstanding the artillery. It is t^rue 
that the battle of the Alamance made many tories, a large pro- 
portion of whom were as conscientious and good men as any in. 
the country; and some of them were men of property and in- 
fluence in their respective neighborhoods. Being honest men, 
and having escaped an ignominious death by taking a solcmw- 
oath never to bear arms against the king, but to fight for him- 
when called on, they never could bear the idea of violating tho' 
obligation which had been thus imposed upon them. They have- 
therefore lain under an imputation which thev did not deseVve'^ 


fortlicy were consihJtently conscientious, through all the changes 
of lime and place, until their death; and during the war these 
were generally called "good tories," because they never burned 
houses, nor committed depredations on the property of the citi- 
zens. The inliueiice of their name and character, however, gave 
encouragement to a larger number of most unprincipled and 
reckless men, who could do a great deal in a bad cause, but little 
or nothing in a good one. These were called " bad tories," be- 
cause, having nothing to lose, being regardless of character, and 
under no restraints of conscience, they paid no respect to age or 
sex, law or reason ; and deserved, as they have received, the 
execrations of posterity. Some of these had probably been en- 
gaged in the Regulation ; but the greater part had not ; and al- 
tog:ether, though they were too bad to die, they were not fit to 
live : or as the poet has said, they were 

" a race, 
Abie to brin^the gibbet in disgnice." 

ikil while a majority of the Regulators who became tories 
were men of respectability and moral worth, and while a majo- 
rity of those who actually took up arms against the government, 
jjerliaps did become tories, it was not so with all ; and if the 
l)aitie of the Alamance made many tories, it also made many 
slatuich whigs. Although a large proportion of the men in Dr. 
('aldwell's congregations were not onh'- Regulators, but took an 
active part in the conflict ; yet so far as the writer has been able 
to ascertain, none of them became tories, nor is it known that 
there was a single tory belonging to those congregations during 
the war. The Gillespies, the Gilmers, the Forbises, the Mont- 
gomeries, and manj'" others were men whose names ought not 
to " be written in the earth," or excluded from the enduring re- 
cords of time ; nor will they be forgotten soon ; for if their names 
were never to appear in history they would live in the traditions 
of the country lor generations to come ; yet these men and ma- 
ny others who might be named, after having been with the fore- 
most in the Regulation battle, were the best partizan officers, 
and the best soldiers that the cause of independence had in tliis 
region, if not in the State. Daniel Gillespie was a member of 
■the convention which adopted the State Constitution, and also 


of that which adopted the Federal Constitutioji; and at'terwaids 
represented his county in the legislature, and was appointed to 
other offices of importance and responsibility. He was a Cap- 
tain during the Revolution, and was a very skilful and enter- 
prizing officer. His older brother, John Gillespie, was a Colo- 
nel during the war ; nor was there a more resolute man in North. 
Carolina or any where else to be found ; and if ever it could bo 
said with truth of any man, it could be said with truth of Colo- 
nel John Gillespie, that " he never knew fear." Both these 
brothers were in the battle of the Alamance ; but John distin- 
guished himself so that he attracted the notice of the governor. 
He was about the last man to leave the ground, — I mean, of 
those who were under arms, — and he would have been taken 
on the spot, probably, like Capt. Pugh, had not two of his ac- 
quaintances who had no share in the engagement, taken him, 
one by each arm, and led him away. Tryon, having learned 
his name, offered a reward for his apprehension, and sent two 
or three men in pursuit of him, who overtook him at the dis- 
tance of a mile or two from the scene of action, at the far side 
of a rye field which he had just passed ; but not suspecting, from, 
his dress and appearance, that he was the man of whom they 
were in pursuit, they asked him if he knew one John Gillespie. 
With perfect composure, he replied that he did, very well ; and 
that they could probably overtake him, if they would pursue on, 
as he had seen him passing the rye field only a few minutes be- 
fore. With that they put spurs to their horses, and went off at 
full speed ; but he changed his course and hastened home ; and 
then taking his waggon and servant boy he set off for the moun- 
tains. When Tryon came into the neighborhood, havmg learn- 
ed where he had gone, he sent two men after him ; and compel- 
led one of Gillespie's neighbors, by the name of Reese Porter, 
to go along as a pilot. They overtook him in a place called tlie 
Hollows, in Surry county ; and knowing their business as soon 
as they came in sight, his servant requested him to make his es- 
cape and let him take care of the horses in the best way he could; 
but he said that he never had run from man and he should not 
do it then. Being well armed with a rifle, pistols &c., he let 
them come within about a hundred yards; and told them not to 


advance another step, or he would kill one of them at all events. 
As neither of them felt willing to die just then, and knowing the 
determined spirit of the man, they remained there ; and after 
talking for some time at that distance, they left him. When he 
learned that Tryoii had left this part of the country he returned 
home ; and when Independence was declared lie embarked in 
the cause with irrepressible ardor, Several of his neighbors re- 
tired to the mountains as he did and remained there until they 
could return with safety ; but never surrendered ; and never 
took the oath of allegiance. These facts the writer learned 
years ago from Regulators and their cotemporaries, who had, 
in part at least, personal knowledge of what they related ; and 
he feels no doubt of their being substantially correct. 

If Tryon's victory on the Alamance caused many serious 
and respectable men to become tories, it was only because they 
fieared God, and could not bear the thought of committing per- 
jury ; for, to use their own language, '• this would be giving 
themselves to the devil at once ;" but they had no more real at- 
tachment to the government by which they had been oppressed, 
iior any less love for liberty, than beiore : and were led wrong 
by their conscience only for the v/ant of better information. In 
propf of this the follov/ing fact may be mentioned here, though 
it properly belongs to a later period. When the, crisis of Amer- 
ican freedom arrived, some of the men in Dr. Caldwell's con- 
gregations who, although they had taken the oath of allc^giance, 
were with the friends of liberty, in principle and feeling, and 
wished to share with them in the toils and dangers as well as tlie 
honors of the contest ; but couid not at once reconcile such a 
course with their conscience, in view of tlie oath which they 
liad taken. Under these circumstances they stated their difficul- 
ties to the Dr.; and soon had their scruples of conscience remov- 
ed. He shewed them that the oath was not and could not be 
binding ; for besides the fact that the oath was in a measure 
forced, having been taken by them as the only means of escap- 
ing the gallows, the British government had grossly and repeat- 
edly violated our chartered rights since the oath was taken ; 
and, as obligations and duties in such cases are always recipro- 
cal, if those who held the reins of a-overnment and to whom 


the oath was taken, instead of protecting us in the enjoyment 
of our rights as British subjects, which they were bound to do, 
had so notoriously violated their engagements and had declared 
their purpose to persist in this violation, we were, of course, re- 
leased from our obligation to obedience. Moreover, in all cases 
where there are parties, and reciprocal duties to be performed, 
as between rulers and subjects, v/hen one party, and especially 
the stronger one, fails, it becomes impossible for the other to 
comply ; therefore both must lose the advantage which they ex- 
pected to derive from the connexion, which henceforth ceases ; 
but the blame, if there be any, must rest on the party' which 
made the dissolution necessary. This simple course of reason- 
ing, expressed hi his peculiar manner, which was that of asking 
questions, and allowing them to suggest the answer themselves, 
was satisfactory ; and they shewed no more hesitancy, or want 
of zeal in the cause. For this the tory party abused him and 
charged him with having acted tlie part of a popish priest in ab- 
solving men from their oaths, and with having used sophistry to 
quiet their consciences ; but he claimed no right or power of ab- 
solution. He merely gave tliem his reasons for believing that 
they were no longer bound by their oath ; and, judging of these 
reasons for themselves, as intelligent men, they were satisfied ; 
but if there was any sophistry, it was just the sophistry by which 
the whole cause of Independence was sustained ; for the lead- 
ing men. not only in North Carolina, but in most of the other 
colonies, had repeatedly taken the same or a similar oath, and 
justified their conduct on the same grounds. 

The battle of the Alamance was followed by a temporary 
submission on the part of the people generally, so far, at least, 
as the payment of the taxes was concerned ; but it did not sup- 
press the spirit of freedom, nor prevent them from resisting 
what was considered oppressive or felt to be irksome in other 
ways. When Guilford county was formed, as we have seen, 
only a few months before the battle, it was by the same act of 
assembly erected into a parish, by the name of Unity parish ; 
and the people were required to elect twelve vestrymen and two 
churchwardens, who were empowered to levy taxes, build 
churches, employ ministers to preach, and to do all that the 


laws of the province required for the full establishment of the 
church of England in this county as it had been established in 
all the otiier counties; but the wrher has not been able to ascer- 
tain that a house of worship v/as ever built or a minister settled 
liere, or that the people of Guilford county ever paid a parish 
tax after it was organized as a county. If reports be true, they 
elected Presbyterians for vestrymen, which was equivalent to 
saying that they had no use for such an estabUshment ; and the 
act remained in force onl}'" about two years ; for the assembly 
which met at Newbern, Jan. 25th, 1773, passed an act to dis- 
sovle ike vestry of Unity parish in GiiUford county, of which 
the following is a copy : 

*• Whereas, by an act of assembly passed in Newbern in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one, 
the freeholders within the several parishes therein mentioned 
were empowered to elect vestries for their respective parishes ; 
and whereas undue measures were made use of in the late elec- 
tion of vestrymen in the parish of Unity in Guilford county : 

"^e it Uierefure enacted by the governor, council, and assem- 
bly, and by the authority of the same, That the said vestry of 
Unity parish be liereby dissolved and set aside, as if never elec- 
ted ; and that an}^ tax that is laid by the vestry aforesaid on the 
taxable persons of the said parish, shall not be chargeable upon 
the said taxables, or be deemed, taken, or collected,\)y the slier- 
ilT, or any other person whatsoever." 

'j'he people of other counties, and particularly of Rowan, wliile 
Guilford was a part of it, had adopted the practice of electing 
vestrymen who would not serve, or who would evade the laws 
and levy no parish taxes ; but towards the close of Gov. Dobbs' 
administration, the few members of the established church who 
lived in that county petitioned the governor, council, and assem- 
bly, to interpose their authority ; and 'an act was passed, as we 
have seen, subjecting any man who was elected, and refused to 
serve, as a vestrymen, to a fine of three pounds. The petitioners 
complamed, " That his majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects 
in this county, who adhere to the liturgy and profess the doc- 
trines of the church of England, as by law established, have not 
the privileges and advantages v/hicli the rubrick and canons of 


ihe church allow and enjoin on all its members. That the acts 
of assembly calculated to forming a regular vestry in all the 
counties have never in this county produced their happy fruits. 
That the county of Rowan, above all counties in the province, 
lies under great disadvantages, as her inhabitants are composed 
almost of all nations of Europe ; and instead of miifornjily in 
doctrine and worsidp they have a medley of most of the religious 
tenets that have lately appeared in the world ; v/ho from dread 
of submitting to the national church, should a lawful vestry be 
established, eleci such of their own commit nify as evade the 
acts of assembly and refuse ihe oaih, whence we can never ex- 
pect the regular enlivening beams of the holy gospel to siiine 
upon us." This notable petition had only thirty-four subscri- 
bers, six of whom made tlieir marks, and some of tlie other sig- 
natures were hardly legible. Williamson, who is my authority 
here, says, " when thirty-four such persons could propose that 
six or seven hundred (more Ukely there were as many thous- 
ands) should be taxed for their accommodation, they certainly 
had need of the gospel that teaches humility." Whether this 
practice of resisthig or evadmg the parish laws was continued 
until the Revolution, is not known to the writer ; but from the 
character of the people, and from the spirit which they mani- 
fested on all occasions where their liberties were at stake, it may 
be presumed, that if they submitted in this case for any length of 
time, it was from dire necessity. 

As soon as Tryon returned to Newborn, from liis expedition 
against the Regulators, having been appointed governor of New 
York, he took shipping for that province ; and was succeeded 
here by Josiah Martin, who commenced his administration un- 
der auspices rather favorable than otherwise ; and his personal 
and official conduct at first, together with some concurring cir- 
cumstances in the province, were calculated to render him po- 
pular. Not only the number and respectabiUty of the Regula- 
tors, but the spirit which they had manifested in their late con- 
flict with Tryon, had commanded some respect from the govern- 
ment ; and one of the first acts of Martin was to denounce the 
frauds and extortions of the officeholders which had been the 
cause of the late disturbances. He was mild and conciliatory 


iii his manners ; and a report liad been circulated among the 
Regulators that tlieir complaints had reached the throne and that 
the removal of Tryon was a mark of the royal displeasure. — 
These things were all favorable ; but he soon got into difficulties 
that were inextricable. His condemnation of his predecessor's 
profligacy and extortion, in which he had been supported for 
live or six years, chiefly by the lower part of the province, which 
would be insufferable, even at the present day, though a mark 
of his wisdom, provoked the hostility of Tryon's friends. Then 
he got into contests with both houses of the legislature, but par- 
ticularly with the lower house, about the taxes, the court law, the 
running of the boundary line between this province and South 
Carolina, and almost every thing of most importance in the es- 
timation of the people; and these contests continued within- 
creasing warmth and asperity until the province renounced its 
allegiance to the mother country. 

The year 1772 was spent by governor Martin in visiting dif- 
ferent parts of the country ; and among others he paid a visit to 
Guilford county. One object which he had in view was to con- 
ciliate the most prominent men among the Regulators ; and he 
was to some extent successful. Tryon was haughty, choleric, 
and absolute. With high notions of his prerogative as gover- 
nor, he was determined to rule ; and seemed to think as the po- 
et has said, 

a prince tlmt would reclaim 

Rebels, by yielding, ia like him, or worse, 
Who saddled his own back to shame his horse. 

But Martin took the opposite course ; and as he was condescen- 
ding and familiar in his manners, the people thought him "a 
mighty clever, genteel man." Among others, it is said, he vis- 
ited Col. William Field, and his two brothers Jeremiah and Rob- 
ert. They were men of property, standing and influence in so- 
ciety ; and to secure them was an important object ; for which- 
ever way they went, many others would go with them. If re- 
reports be true, it was by his influence that they were secured 
to the British service ;* for otherwise they would have tried to 
remain neutral ; or if not neutral, comparatively inactive;- but 

^Southern Citizen, September Oth", 1837. 


as William was the more influential one of the two, he was ap- 
pointed a Colonel in the army.* William and Jeremiah con- 
tinued in the service of the king during the war ; and were ta- 
ken with Cornwalhs at Yorktown. His lordship having then 
given them their choice, either to return home or go to Nova 
Scotia, where provision would be made for them, they chose to 
return ; but after peace was concluded they sufiered their pro- 
perty to be all confiscated and sold, in 1785, rather than violate 
their oath, or renounce their allegiance to king George. Jere- 
miah used frequently to say in conversation that having fouglit 
twice, once for his country and once for his king, and having 
been whipped both times, he would fight no more ; but general- 
ly added that, if war were to arise again between England and 
America, though he would not fight at his age, lie would be on 
the side of the king, because he had taken a solemn oath to be 
faithful to him while he lived ; but he would tell all his sons to 
fight for their country. Many others took the same course ; 
and, altliough they were manifestly wrong, it was for the want 
of better information ; but they were respected while they lived 
for their integrity, their christian deportment, and their many 
good qualities as men and as citizens ; and their descendants 

*Jiist before the battle of Moore's Creek, in the spring- of 1776, Willinm 
Field collected a small bo<iy of men and started for ti\e .S'co'c/i Camp, (hen, 
ns he supposed, in or about Cross Cre^k ; and in his pnrty was a yonth, 17 or 
IS years of ai;e, by the name of John Cavin, who, ha^Mng been left a poor 
orphan hoy, wa-- raised amono- the Quakers of New Garden, and was now led 
Rw-iy by the influence of Field, They had not gone (ar until tlicy heard of 
the defeat of their pnrty ; and while Field, with a tew others, went onto 
join the British at VVihninoton, Cavin returned home; but fee! in<r perhaps 
thnt he had not done exactly ng-lit, and being afraid of the whitrs, he remain- 
ed for a few days coi)ce:iled; ior he thought if they should find him ■nid 
know what he had done, they wouhi make sad work with him. At len^-th, 
however, he ventured out ; bur had not jrone f;ir fiom the hou-^e when a siquad 
of them came ridmo- up; ;iTid, althoMjrh they were strangers to him per-onal- 
ly. he knew them to be whigs from their hivinardeer tails xtuck in their iials 
as badges of distinction. Having very soon asked him, ;imong other things, 
wliero he u-^ going, with j)r()m;jiness, though with some trepidation, he re- 
plied that he was hunting a broom stick, for he wanted to nnke a broom and 
anl sweep all the d — n'd tories out of the country With that they left him, 
thinkinsr probably that he hnd no .-nore sense than lie ought to have, wliatever 
th:y might have thought of hir-i honesty; but as soon as Independ''nce was 
declared, he enlisted in the army ior fi year. At the exp lation of that term 
he r»^turned to vi^it his friends; but immediately enlisted auain, and serv;d 
during the war. Wh.en peace was concluded lip returned vvitii two honorable 
scars ; and soon after married and removed to the west. 


are to tliis day estimated very differently from the descendants 
of tliose who were of an opposite character. 

Soon after Martin commenced his admiiiistration, the veil of 
oblivion was, at his recommendation, thrown over all the past 
disturbances, and over all tiie distinctions and animosities to 
which th.ey had given rise, by an act of assembiy, passed with 
mucii unanhnity, granting a genera! pardon to all wiio had been 
concerned in the late rebehion, and making provision for the 
prevention of lawsuits and vexatious prosecutions : and so far 
all was promising; but the other causes of dissatisfaction, alrea- 
dy noticed, would soon have rciidered his situation as unpleas-- 
ant as that of his predecessor had been. The people, however, 
if they did not lose sight of their internal grievances or causes 
of complaint, had their attention turn.ed to the great source from 
which tliey proceeded ; for while they remained subject to the 
British government, as was becoming manifest from the spirit 
and measures of that government, they must be burdened with 
an unknown amount of arbitrary taxation, and harassed by a 
rapacious set of officers, over whose appointment they had no 
control, and whose only security for the tenure of their offices 
was the royal favor. We need not enumerate the causes of the 
Revolution ; for it is supposed that all are acquainted with them; 
but it was an event of such transcendent magnitude, involved 
so many interests of vital importance, and was beset by diffi- 
culties so great that it required the counsels and co-operation of 
all classes of the community ; and all who were friends to the 
rights of man and the interests of pure religion were drawn to- 
gether and united in a common, determined and persevering ef- 
fort for Independence. 

Civil and religious liberty are essentially the same, or at least 
are inseparable ; and in our case at the period to which we re- 
fer, both were at stake. Our civil riglits, if not entirely taken 
away, were partially gone; and principles iiad bee i;issertedby 
the British parliament, and carried out to some extent, which, 
in a little time, would not have left us even the name of liberty. 
The church of t^ngland was already established in this and some 
other colonies ; and it was believed that a settled purpose had 
■^een formed in the mother country, to make its establisliment 


co-extensive with the British possessions in America. When 
therefore ail that was most dear and valuable was at stake, no 
wonder that those who loved the cause of truth and righteous- 
ness, or who valued their rights, as men and as christians, should 
exert whatever influence tliey had, to obtain a redress of their 
present grievas'.ces, and to secure themselves figaiiist a power 
which had assnnied so tiireateuiiig an aspect. 

T!ie discomfiture of the Regulators, seems to have had no 
effect towards bringing the mass of the pco})le into subjection; 
for if they were in some respects unprepared, and wholly unable 
to contend with the gigantic power of Great Britain, they un- 
derstood their rights too well, and valued their liberties too 
highly, to be patient under oppression. The causes of dissatis- 
faction, so far from being removed, were receiving daily aggra- 
vations, from the unjust and tyrannical measures of the mother 
country; and tiie spirit of resistance, instead of being crushed or 
overawed, was daily acquiring greater vigor, and pervading all 
the departments of society. Except along the sea board or near 
the seat of the colonial government, the people of North Caroli- 
na would hardly have known that there was such a thing as 
government in the country, but for its oppressions ; and being 
strangers to the influence of time-hallowed institutions, as well 
as to the pomp and parade of royality , even in their mimic forms, 
they had imbibed the spirit of freedom which reigned in the na- 
tive wilds of their country, and seemed to animate the living or- 
ders of creation around them. Wliile intelligence was eagerly 
sought, every accession to tlieir knowledge in relation to their 
rights and their grievances, only created a desire for more ; and 
when obtained, it was treasured up, not only for reflection but 
for conversation wherever they met. There were no newspa- 
pers circuioting among the people then as at present; but what 
was done by the legislature of oueproviiice being immediately 
communicated to that of every other, and to the continental 
congress, when it was formed, they obtained a knowledge of 
pubhc affairs from their representatives^ and in other ways.— 
Those who were able procured pamphlets and papers for circu- 
lation ; and men of intelligence either took it upon tliemselves 
or were sent by some official body to visit different parts of the 


country and inform the people as to the nature of tlic approach- 
ing contest ; — so that the people then appear not only to have 
been famihar with the names, but to have known as ninch a- 
bout the character, principles and employment of all the princi- 
pal men in En2:!and connected with the government, the Bed- 
ford Ministry, Lord North, the earl of Chatham, Burke, Fox, 
and otiiers, as tliose of tlie same class at the present day know 
about the men who adn)inister their own government. The 
different acts of Parliament as they were passed in succession, 
such as the restriction on the fisheries, the shutting up of the port 
of Boston, the quartering of soldiers on the people here in time 
of peace, the stopping of legislation in New York, the attempts, 
after the repeal of the stamp act, to tax the colonies in other 
forms and under various pretexts, the recall or modification of 
the colonial charters, &c., were all discussed at their firesides, 
their log-rollings, or wherever they met ; and thus they were 
preparing to assert their independence and to maintaui their 

But, probably, no revolution in government was ever made, 
in any age or country, in which religion or the ministers of re- 
ligion had not an important influence, directly or indirectly ; and 
in that which we are now considering the ministers of the gos- 
pel had an essential influence ; for, if they had been generally 
opposed to a revolution or change of the government, it could 
not have been effected. The church establishment seems to 
have had but few friends ; for, so far as is known, not an ef- 
fort was made for its preservation, and not a tear was shed for 
its downfall. An established religion, or a religion upheld by 
the civil power, has generally been an appendage to monarchy, 
and is perhaps necessary to its support ; but the two have, in 
most cases, been so connected that the one could not be overturn- 
ed without the other. In some of the colonies, as in Virginia, 
great efforts were made to retain the church establishment ; but 
it was obliged to go down with the power by which it had been 
supported. The measures of the British' government had be- 
come so arbitrary and oppressive ; and its claims were so arro- 
gant, unfounded and extensive, that most of the christian de- 
nominations in the country, finding all their most A^aluable 


rights, as men and a,s christians, either taken away, or in dan- 
ger, united in the common eflbrt to gain their Independence ; 
and in this, among some of the denominations, they were sup- 
ported and encouraged by their ministers. Ramsay, who is 
one of our best historians, says, "Most of the Episcopal minis- 
ters, of the nortlieru provinces, were pensioners on the bounty 
of the British govermnent. The greatest part of their clergy, 
and many of tlieir laity, in those provinces, were therefore dis- 
posed to support a connexion with Great Britain." But in the 
southern provinces, he tells us, it was different ; or there were 
more exceptions among their clergy in favor of Independence, 
because here they were not so dependent on the British crown. 
In North Carolina, the clergy belonging to the established 
church, with very few exceptions, left the country ; but the peo- 
ple, or a large portion of them, who were attached to that as cBi 
Episcopal church, engaged heartily in the cause of Indepen- 

"The Quakers, with a few exceptions, w^ere averse to Inde- 
pendence. In Pennsylvania they were numerous ; and liad 
power in their hands. Revolutions in government are rarely 
patronized by any body of men, who foresee that a diminution 
of their own influence is likely to result from the change. Qua- 
kers, from religious principles, were averse to war; and there- 
fore could not be friendly to a revolution which could be effected 
only by the sword." The Quakers are as nmch opposed to 
church establishments and as warm friends to liberty as any 
other class of people ; and in North Carolina they had given 
sufficient proof of both from the first settlement of the colony; 
but for the reasons given in the above extract, they preferred 
submission to the established government, unjust and oppressive 
as it was, to the bloodshed and calamities of war. " The Irish 
in America, with a very few exceptions, were attached to Inde- 
pendence. They had tied from oppression in their native conn- 
try ; and could not brook the idea that it should follow them. 
Their natural prepossessions in favor of liberty were strengthened 
by their religious opinions. They were generally Presbyterians; 
and people of that denomination, for reasons hereafter to be ex- 
plained, were mostly whigs." Again. "The Presbyterians and 


Independents were, almost universally, attached to the measures 
of congress. Their religious societies are governed on a repub- 
lican plan. From Independence they liad much to hope ; but 
from Great Britain, if finally successful, they had reason to fear 
the establishment of a clmrch heirarcliy." The Presbyterian 
ministers from north to south advocated independence; and on 
the most libera] principles, wishing ail to be placed on an equal- 
ity, both as to their civil and tlieir religious riglits. In North 
Carolina, where they appear to have been more numerous and 
more influential than those of any other denomiimtion at that 
time, they took a great deal of pains to make the people acquain- 
ted with their riglits ; with the oppressions which they were en- 
during, and with tlieir duty in view of the crisis; 
and for this purpose every means was employed and every oppor- 
t^mity was improved, such as conversation on all suitable occa- 
sions, instruction from the pulpit, and expressions of tlieir views 
and sentiments in various forms in the judicatories of the church, 
which were circulated or read in their congregations. 
. Matters of this kind, or notices of individual ministers of the 
gospel, excluded as they are from a direct agency in the political 
affairs of the country, might not comport with the design of gen- 
eral history ; but in the life of one who was prominent and influ- 
ential in his sphere, thej^ cannot be deemed out of place. What- 
ever may be said or thouglit, in ordinary times, about the pro- 
priety of introducing politics into the pulpit, no man of enlight- 
ened views and patriotic feelings could object to it in such cir- 
cumslances, when liberty and every thing valuable was at stake. 
The influence of the pulpit is confessedly great every where and 
at all times ; nor should it ever be desecrated, or perverted from 
its legitimate and proper use ; but if those who occupy it are 
never to lift up their voice against corruption in high places, or 
against the iniquity and oppression of rulers, they must be un- 
faitiiful io their high trust ; for they must then neglect a part of 
the counsel of God and swerve from the example of the apos- 
tles and prophets, who were required to denounce, with fideli- 
ty and fearlessness, the bribery and corruption, the haughtiness 
and oppression of kiugs and rulers. With the common course 
of politics, or with political measures which relate merely to the 


prosperity and improvement of the country, ministers sliould 
have nothing to do in the pulpit ; nor out of it, in any way that 
would lessen then- ministerial influence ; but measures of gov- 
ernment that proceed from a want of moral principle, that are 
fraught with injustice and corruption, or that tend to oppression 
and threaten the subversion of human liberty, are as legitimate 
objects of denunciation and warning from tlie pul})it as any 
thing else. If truth is to be maintained in its purity and the or- 
dinances of the clnirch kept from profanation, the libt'.rties of 
the people must be preserved ; for wlien man undertakes to in- 
terfere with the freedom of conscience in oth.ers, he must exer- 
cise a power equally extensive in other things : and if corrup- 
tion should ever become so extended in this country, and the iron 
sceptre of rising despotism be so firmly grasped by those in au- 
thority, as to overturn or menace the liberties of the people, the 
eyes of every patriot in the land would be again most anxiously 
and imploringly turned, as they were in bygone days, to tliose 
who minister at the altar. 

After the difficulties became serious, and especially after the 
meeting of the continental congress. Dr. Caldwell often preached 
on the subject of the existing difliculties between England and 
the American colonies ; and although he was a great lover of 
peace, and would make any reasonable sacrifices to maintain it, 
yet when fundamental principles or important interests were at 
stake, and he saw any prospect of success, he was decided, firm 
and persevering. Hardly a Sabbath passed in which he did not 
allude to the subject in some way or other; and while he de- 
nounced, in the strongest terms, the corruptions and oppressions 
of the existing government, he exhorted his hearers, with equal 
energy and zeal, to value their liberties above every thing else, 
and to stand up manfully in their defence ; but although he 
preached so much on this subject, and at that period generally 
wrote his sermons, only one remains, and that is somewhat mu- 
tilated. How it escaped when the rest ofliis papers and his 
books were burned, is not known ; but either it must have been 
in some corner of the house where they did not find it, or it was 
dropt by the way, in the hurry and confusion, when carrying it 
out to the fire, so that it was trodden in the dust and left unno 


ticed ; and judging from the appearance of the manuscript, the 
conclusion would be that this was the way in which it escaped 
the fate of the rest. When the writer came into this county a 
number of years ago the old people who were then living in his 
congregations and who well remembered those times, mentioned 
a number of otlier texts on which they had heard him preach 
in relation to the pendmg contest ; and they said that tiie sermon 
which has been preserved and which is inserted at tlie end of 
this volume, was by no means the best. It seems to have been 
one with which he had taken no pams whatever ; or it was one 
of what may be called his every day sermons ; but it sliews his 
high-toned feelings of patriotism and the facility with which he 
could make a common text bear upon such an uncommon sub- 
ject. It is not in that elegance of style in which some men of 
more leisure and under more favorable circumstances would 
write, or in which he himself would have written had he intend- 
ed it for the eye as well as for the ear of the public ; but the 
wonder is how he could find time to write at all ; and although 
it was evidently written in haste, under a pressure of other bu- 
siness, and without any thought of its ever coming before the 
public in this form, it is thought best to give it just as he left it, 
with some mere verbal corrections, and the addition of a few 
sentences to keep up the connexion in one or two places where 
the manuscript was mutilated. It is here published partly be- 
cause it is worth reading any where, and partly because it is a 
relick of those times which, we have no doubt, every one will 
be glad to see. From the internal evidence it appears to have 
been written very shortly before the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and while that matter was under discussion in congress, 
probably in May or June ; and this gives it perhaps an addi- 
tional interest. 

Most of the Presbyterian ministers in North Carolina and 
throughout tlie Union pursued a similar coiu'se ; and with very 
gratifying success ; for wlierever a minister of that denomina- 
tiosi was settled, so far as I have been able to ascertain, the peo- 
ple around him were whigs, almost to a man. Some two or 
three able and popular men, of whom Dr. McWhorter was one, 
were also sent out from the north to travel over tlie southern 


States, and particularly among the Presbyterian population, for 
the purpose of enlightening them on the subject of the pending 
contest and of engaging them in the cause of Independence. In 
the Orange Presbytery there was perhaps one, and only one mem- 
ber, who remained nentral for a while, merely from an excess 
of caution, which is said to have been a prominent trait in his 
character ; but he soon came out on the side of liberty. So far 
as has come to my knowledge, there were in the Scotch settle- 
ments at that time only one or two Presbyterian ministers; and 
of these the Rev. Colin M'lver has given me the following ac- 
count : " The Rev. James Campbell was a whig. In proof of 
this fact, a grandson of his, who is still living, and who resides 
in this place, informs me, that, in making his last will and testa- 
ment, he manifested his displeasure against his eldest son, by 
bequeathing much more of his property to his younger sons 
than to him ; — because they were whigs and he was a iory. — • 
The next Presbyterian minister, settling in these parts, of whom 
I can learn any thing, was the Rev. John McLeod. He came 
directly to this country from Scotland, in the year 1770. He 
was accompanied by a large number of families, who migrated 
from the Highlands of Scotland, and who, on their arrival in N. 
Carolina, settled chiefly in Cumberland county ; and formed 
themselves into several congregations, of which he took the pas- 
toral charge. I think it probable that he was the original foun- 
der of the congregations now known as the congregation of the 
BlutF, and the congregation of Barbeque ; for it is certain that 
he was pastor of those churches. He possessed very popular 
talents, and was considered as a man of solid worth and emi- 
nent piety. It is probable that his joo/i7/ca/ sentiments were the 
reverse of those of Mr. Campbell. Mr. McLeod continued to 
preach in this neighbohood from the year 1770 until the com- 
mencement of those disturbances which preceded the Revolu- 
tionary War; and which took place in 1773. About this tune 
he left America, with a view of returning to his native country ; 
and having never since been heard of, it is believed that he per- 
ished on the high seas." Mr. McLeod never had any connex- 
tion with the Orange Presbytery ; but Mr. Campbell, or one of 
the same name, had for 8 or 10 years. 


While a number of the Scotch were as good whigs as any hi 
the country, the majority of them, although they had sacrificed 
much to liberty m their own country, supported the claims of 
Great Britain in America. For this many reasons have been 
assigned ; but the most cogent were such as the following : The 
older part of them had felt the eifects of British power so much 
in the land of their nativity, particularly at and after the battle of 
CuUoden, that they dreaded to encounter that power again ; their 
nation had for some time previous shared, as they thought, quite 
liberally in the royal favor for which, with their characteristic 
generosity and sense of gratitude, they felt themselves under ob- 
hgations on that account, though personally beyond its reach ; 
and then all their chieftains, or prominent and influential men 
had taken the oath of allegiance to King George before they 
crossed the Atlantic. A venerable and excellent old man who 
had borne a pretty high commission in the British service dur- 
ing the war, remarked in presence of the writer, some years ago, 
that he had sworn allegiance to the king of England, when in 
London, about to take shipping for America ; and he felt him- 
self bound by tiiat oath. The obligation of an oath is one which 
a conscientious people, like the Scotch, especially when left with- 
out proper mslruction as most of them were at that time, can- 
not be easily induced to violate ; and their course in this matter, 
though evidently wrong, as all the better part of them were rea- 
dy to acknowiodgc afterwards, was creditable to them as a chris- 
tian people. 

The Germans who, as we have seen, were numerous in tliis 
State, labored under great disadvantages. They had but few 
preachers ; and if my information be correct, some of them 
"Were not calculated to enlighten the people, or to elevate their 
character. The older and more influential part of them hardly 
knew a word of English ; and of course could not so well un- 
derstand the merits of the controversy ; but so far as they did 
imderstand it, they were sound whigs and good soldiers. The 
same or a similar remark may be applied to many others. In 
iact the mass of the people in the back country, for some time, 
neither knew nor cared much about certain things which were 
tegarded by statesmen and men of intelligence as matters of vi- 


tal importance ;* but their patriotism and their atlachment to 
the great principles, in defence of which the war of Indepen- 
dence was waged, kept pace vAth their information. 

Th.; views euteitaiaed and expressed pubiicly hy the Presby- 
terian ministers of that day were Hberal and patriotic. The sy- 
nod of New York and Pliiladelphia, which met in the city of 
New York, May 17th, 1775, wrote a pastoral letter to the 
churches and people under their care, in which, after recom- 
mending that they retain their allegiance to the reigning sove- 
reign, king George, as well as to the revolution principles by 
which he had been placed upon the throne ; and that they would 
especially leave nothing undone that might tend to preserve the 
imion which then subsisted through all the colonies, they use 
the following language : "In particular, as the continental con- 
gress, now sitting at Philadelphia, consists of delegates chosen 
in the most free and unbiassed manner, by the body of the peo- 
ple, let them not only be treated with respect, and encouraged 
in their difficult service — not only let your prayers be offered 
up to God for his direction in their proceedings — but adhere 
firmly to their resolutions ; and let it be seen that they are 

'''The following extract of a letter, received some time ago, from an old 
gentleman, who, from his intelligence and great respectability, is considered 
perfectly good authority, and especially as he had lived all his lite in the 
neigl)borhood where the incident occurred, furnishes an amusing illustration 
of the above statement. It refers to the time when the excitement began to 
prevail about the duty on tea; and when the patriotic ladies in our sea port 
towns were forming anti-tea asFOciations. — He '^ays, "I will now give you 
an anecdote which I have often heard repeated with great humor by the good 
old mothers of that d^y. Mr. B., who was atlerwards a military ofiicer of 
high rank during the war, then kept a country store ; and in one of his trips 
to Pliil.'id'^Iphia tor goods, he purchnsed a pound of tea, as a matter of curiosity. 
Wlien it arrived, a gentleman of high standing in the neighborhood, happened 
to be at his house ; and, on his accepting an invitation to stay for dinner, Mr. 
B. whispered to his wife to let them have some of their new tea for dinner. — 
She boiled a ham of bacon ; and put in a part of the tea with it. She boiled 
and boiled ; but could not get it done, or in a condition fit to eat. The tea 
was spttiled; Mrs. B. was mortified; and an unfavorable impression was 
made on the neighbors, as to the importance of the controversy on that sub- 
ject. When the Boston boys threw the lea overboard, and the nev/s of war 
spread far and wide, the question went round the neighborhood, whether there 
was sufficient cause for war. The answer given Vv'as for taxing the tea, with- 
out a dissenting voice. One and all d — nd the tea; and said they might tax 
that as much as they pleased, for they never had seen any, and they had no 
use for it ; but when the matter was explained, and they understood the priu' 
nple which was involved, they were just as much united the other wav." 


fible to bring out the wliole strengtli of this vast country to car- 
ry them into execution. We would also advise, for the same 
purpose, that a spirit of candor, charity, and mutual esteem, be 
preserved and promoted towards those of dillerent religious de- 
nominations. Persons of probity and principle, of every pro- 
fession, sliould be united toa'ctlier as servants of the same mas- 
ter ; and the experience of our happy concord hitherto in a state 
of liberty, should encourage all to unite in support of the com- 
mon interest ; for there is no example in kisfory, in which ci- 
vil liberty was destroyed, and the rights of conscience preser- 
ved entire.''^ Again, after urging the necessity of ecclesiastical 
discipline, of sobriety and good order in society, and of a moral 
and christian deportment in all the members of the church, they 
say, that " the greatest service which magistrates, or persons in 
authority, can do, is to defend and secure the rights of con- 
science in the 7nost equal and impartial manner.'''' Although 
the question of a separation from Great Britain was, at that 
time, hardly stirred in any of the political assemblies, it may be 
inferred that there were some remarks made on it at this meet- 
ing of synod, at least by individuals; for one member " dissen- 
ted from that paragraph of said letter which contains the dec- 
larations of allegiance.^'' During the war the same synod, then 
the highest judicatory of the Presbyterian church, in this coun- 
try, made the following declaration, and entered it on their re- 
cords : "It having been represented to synod, that the Presby- 
terian church suffers greatly in the opinion of other denomina- 
tions, from an apprehension that they hold intolerant principles, 
the synod do solemnly and publicly declare, that they ever have, 
and still do reaoance and abhor the principles of intolerance ; 
and we do believe that every peaceable member of civil society 
ought to bo protected in XhefiU and free -zeroise of their reli- 
gion." Tnere is not a denomination in the United Siates that 
has given more unequivocal proofs, than the Presbyterians, of 
an honest desire that the church should be kept separate from 
the State, or that all should enjoy equal privileges, civil and re- 
ligious ; and none that has done more to establish and maintain 
an equality of rights. 

The Presbytery of Hanover, in 1776, memorialized the gen- 


eral assembly of Virginia on this subject in a most able and for- 
cible manner. After stating the grounds on which they petition- 
ed for a free toleration in religious opinions and forms of wor- 
ship, for themselves and for all other classes of men, even infidels 
and Mahomedans ; after enumerating the oppressions and in- 
vidious restrictions to which they had hitherto been subjected 
by having to pay a heavy tax annually for tiie support of the 
establishment, &c.; and after arguiiig the case both from reason 
and scripture, they entreat that the laws then in force, which 
gave one religious denomination a preference over others, might 
be speedily repealed — "that all, of every religious sect, may be 
protected in the full exercise of their several modes of worship ; 
and exempted from all taxes for the support of any church what- 
soever, further than what may be agreeable to their own private 
choice, or voluntary obligation." The general association of 
the Baptists in Virginia also sent a memorial to the general as- 
sembly of that State, through a committee which had been 
appointed by a resolution passed at their meetuig in 1775, 
praying " that the church estabUshment might be abohshed, and 
that religion might be allowed to stand upon its own basis." In 
North Carolina no eiforts of the kind were found to be necessary; 
for the church establishment seems to have had so few friends, 
that, in changing the government, it was hardly noticed ; and 
there was such a prevalence of correct views on the subject of 
religious as well as civil liberty, that the present system of free 
toleration and equal rights found a response in the bosoms of all, 
or nearly all, who had authority to act in the matter. It is be- 
lieved that the only move which was made with a view of call- 
ing the attention of the legislative authority to this subject was 
made by Dr. Caldwell ; but it was soon found that any applica- 
tion of the kind was an necessary. 

The Presbytery of Orange met at Sugar Creek, April 2nd, 
1776 ; and Dr. Caldwell, having been prevented from attending, 
wrote them a letter, suggesting the propriety of applying to the 
provincial congress, then about to meet in Halifax, — ^'if said con- 
gress should assume the reins of government," — through Mr. 
Avery who was a member of that body, for relief from the re- 
strictions and oppressions to which they, in common with other 


dissenters!, were subjected by the church estabUshment. The 
Presbytery, having taken his letter into consideration, and deem- 
ing his suggestions important, or, in their own language, "im- 
proving the hints of Mr. Caldwell," would perhaps have pre- 
pared a memorial accordingly; but Mr. Avery baing present, 
promptly assured them that he would endeavor to obtain the re- 
lief they desired, " for which he received the tiianks of Presby- 
tery ;" and there the matter ended. The members of that con- 
gress probably did not feel themselves at liberty to meddle whh 
this subject, as it had not been contemplated in their election ; 
and their business was not only of a ditferent kind, but required 
all their time and attention. All matters which related to fun- 
damental and inalienable rights were properly referred to the 
convention which was appointed, or was directed by this con- 
gress to be appointed, for the special purpose of forming a new 
system of government, adapted to the views and circumstances 
of the people ; and which met at Halifax, Nov. 12th, 1776. Dr. 
Caldwell was a member of that convention as a delegate from 
Guilford county, which then included Randolph and Rocking- 
ham ; and although very little is known of the debates which 
took place, as the proceedings have never been published, the 
result is known ; for with " the Hill of Rights and Constitution of 
the State, which were then formed and adopted," all are no doubt 
acquainted. " That all men have a natural and unalienable right 
to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own 
consciences," is one article in the bill of rights; and there is no- 
thing in tlie constitution inconsistent with or variant from it, any 
further than was supposed to be necessary for the safety and 
welfare of the country. It has been said, though I know not 
on what authority, that Dr. Caldwell drew up the 32d section ; 
but as the assertion is supported by no evidence, nothing need 
be said here in his justification. Perhaps no apology would be 
necessary if the authorship were certain ; for it sliowed a vigi- 
lant concern for the preservation of the protestant religion which 
was generally regarded then as the safeguard of our liberties; 
and many still doubt the propriety of altering that article, as 
was done in 1S35; but whether the alteration was wise or not 
time will determine. 


The legislature of Great Britain having declared the American 
colonies out of their protection ; and the continental congress 
having declared them free and independent states, it became ne- 
cessary that each of the states should form a regular constitution- 
al government, and with as little delay as possible ; but the great 
importance and difficulty of the work in itself; and the exigen- 
cies and peculiar circumstances of the country at that time, just 
engaging in a war with the most powerful nation in the world, 
yet without either experience or resources at all adequate to the 
occasion, all the energy and promptness,as well as the patriotism, 
intelligence, and wisdom that could be furnished, were requisite. 
Whatever prejudices, personal animosities, and individual or 
family rivalships may exist in ordinary times, and operate to the 
injury of the country, were then, as they usually are, subdued 
by such an emergency ; and the respective counties appear to 
have delegated those whom they regarded as their most enlight- 
ened, firm, and upright men Hence men were sent by the 
people and permitted to act in that convention who were pre- 
cluded by the very constitution which they formed from ever 
being members of the senate, house of commons, or council of 
state, under that constitution ; and whatever may be said in or- 
dinary times against ministers of the gospel having any thing to 
do with the legislation or politics of the country, probably no 
one will find fault with their appointment, or with the result of 
their labors, on that occasion. 

The country v/as now involved in all the hardships and perils 
of war ; and these, sufficiently great at any time or under any 
circumstances, were more than doubled by the fact that the ene- 
mies with whom the war was waged were domestic as well as 
foreign. This part of North Carolina was not ravaged or in- 
vaded by the British until the beginning of the year 1781 ; but 
it was much harassed by the tories, who were very numerous 
to the south and south-east. The frequent calls for men, milita- 
ry stores, or provisions, &c., which had to be furnished for the 
army from all parts of the State, together with the reports of 
the successes or disasters which attended the American arms 
to the north, were sufficient of themselves to keep the minds of 
the people in a state of constant and intense excitement; but in 


this county, as in most others in which the whigs were sufficiently 
numerous to embody at all, the men, who were not in the regu- 
lar service, were obliged to be constantly on the alert, and half 
of their time, or more, from home, for the purpose of suppressing 
the tories, or of revenging their insults and depredations. In 
this state of things, teaching, preaching, and every thing of the 
kind, as well as the uniform and wholsome operations of civil 
government, if not entirely suspended, were greatly interrupted. 
Dr. Caldwell did not remit the exercises of his school until about 
the time that the British army came into this region ; but the 
number of his scholars was considerably reduced. He contin- 
ued to preach, though the number of his hearers was not so 
large ; and those who did attend, often went with fear and trem- 
bling, especially towards the latter part of the war, or when the 
militia companies were out on duty ; for they were liable at any 
time to be attacked by the tories. When the men were at home 
they felt easy ; for the whigs in this county were sufficiently 
numerous to repel and chastise any assault that the tories could 
make, and at any period of the war; but when the men were 
away, if the people went to church, and were unmolested there, 
they might find their dwellings plundered or in ruins when they 
returned. At such times every man, young and old, Avho was 
able to carry a gun, took it with him to church, as he did wher- 
ever he went ; but under those circumstances it might be ex- 
pected that their minds were not in a state to be benefited by the 
services of the sanctuary ; and yet there is evidence that pious 
people maintained a high degree of spirituality and christian en- 

Until the summer of 1780, the Presbyterian ministers, the on- 
ly class of whose character and labors at this period 1 have any 
knowledge, seem to have continued their efforts for the promo- 
tion of learning, as well as for the advancement of vital piety, 
without any abatement of their zeal or any contraction in the 
sphere of their operations. As the population between the 
Yadkin and Catawba rivers was almost wholly Presbyterian, 
except the Germans, the act for incorporating Queen's College, 
at Charlotte, was of course obtained through their influence ; 
and the institution, if it had gone into operation, would have 


"been sustained by them, though it was not chartered as a Pres- 
byterian college, for they had not then felt themselves compell- 
ed, as they have done since, to take tiiat ground ; but if they 
were disappointed in this enterprize, noble and generous as it 
was, they were not discouraged. They were not only intelli- 
gent as a community, but there were many men among them 
who had been liberally educated : they knew and felt the value 
of education ; and man might as well attempt to lay his inter- 
dict upon the coming forth of vegetation, when the powers of 
nature are warmed and refreshed by genial influences from a- 
bove, as to arrest the progress of such a people in knowledge 
and improvement. In April, 1777, the Ji7'st year of American 
independence, an act was passed by the legislature of North Car- 
olina, incorporating Isaac Alexander, president. Col. Thomas 
Polk, Col. Thomas Neal, Abraham Alexander, Waightstil Avery, 
Adlai Osborn, John McNitt Alexander, Doct. Ephraim Brevard, 
Rev. David Caldwell, Rev. James Hall, Rev. James Edmunds, 
Rev. John Simpson, Rev. Thomas Reese, and Rev. Thomas 
McCaule, as president and trustees of Liberty Hall Academy . 
"These gentlemen had various powers, such as corporations of 
this nature usually possess. The first meeting of this respecta- 
ble body was held in Charlotte, January 3d, 1778. Doct. Isaac 
Alexander, Doct. Ephraim Brevard, and Rev. Thomas McCaule, 
were appointed to frame a system of laws and regulations for 
the government of the members of the Academy. — It was then 
determined to purchase the lots and improvements belonging to 
Col. Thomas Polk, for which they stipulated to pay him ^920. 
Commissioners were appointed to make an additional improve- 
ment, by building a frame house, of convenient dimensions, to 
answer for a common dining room to the Academy. — The salary 
of the president was fixed at ^e 195, occasionally to be increased, 
according to the increasing price of provisions, which was ex- 
tremely fluctuating, owing to the harassed state of the country, 
then experiencing all the calamities of a civil war, of a most ma- 
lignant nature, kept alive by parties mutually exasperated by 
insult and injury." 

"The regulations respecting the steward and boarding, were 

singularly excellent j and calculated to give general satisfaction. 
' 2.5 


— Ill April, 1778, tiie laws formed by Dr. Isaac Alexander, Dr. 
Ephraini Brevard, and Rev. Thomas McCaule, the committee 
chosen at tlie last meeting, were adopted withont any material 
alteration. The course of studies, and the distinction of classes, 
were nearly tlie sanje as those pointed out by the trustees of the 
University of North Carolma, but more limited, and the honors 
conferred were the same, except tliat instead of degrees of Bach- 
elors and Masters, the trustees liad only the right of giving a 
certificate of thtir stndies and improvements. — At this meeting, 
overtures were made to Dr. Alexander McWiiorter, of New Jer- 
sey, to accept of the presidency; but he could not comply with 
their request, owing to the derangement of his affairs, from a 
long absence during the revolutionary war, having been appoin- 
ted by congress to preacli up liberty and independence to the in- 
habitants of the southern States. Mr. Robert Brownfield was 
then appointed to the ofiice, and he agreed to accept for one year, 
as Doct. Alexander had thonglit proper to resign. Several gentle- 
men of great literary talents were successively invited without suc- 
cess. — Doct. Ephraim Brevard, and the Rev. Samuel E, McCorklc 
were then sent to New Jersey with a second invitation to Dr. Mc- 
Whorter, with instructions, if he should tliink proper again to 
decline, to solicit the advice of Dr. ^Vitherspoon and Mr. Hous- 
ton, of Princeton, in the choice of some other gentleman of em- 
inence in the republic of letters.— Dr. McWhorter, after settling 
his affairs, removed to Charlotte ; and was about to take charge 
of Liberty Hall, when the whole business relating to it was sus- 
pended, never to be resumed. This took place about the 15th 
of February, 17yO." The charter of this academy I have seen 
in Davis' Revisal ; and the above account of it, so far as it is 
distinguished by quotation marks, is taken from a communica- 
tion in the manuscript volume, so often mentioned already, m 
the University library. The communication was written 32 
years ago, by Adlai Osborn, the same, I suppose, v/ho is men- 
tioned in the charter as a trustee ; and if so, as he wrote from 
personal knowledge, it is no doubt correct. 

The history of Liberty Hall Academy is interesting to the 
friends of literatiu'e as a bold and vigorous effort made for its pro- 
motion at that early day, and under the most discouraging cir- 


cumstances; audit is especially interesting to Presbyterians as 
being one in a series o[ efforts n:iade b_v the people in that region 
to estabUsh a hterary institntion, not only of a high order, but 
on christian principles^ and under christian influence. Both be- 
fore and after its incorporation, the Presbytery of Orange exer- 
cised a degree of supervision over Liberty Hall, as they proba- 
bly would have done over Queen's College, if it had gone into 
operation ; but precisely on what grounds and to what extent 
does not appear. For this purpose the Presbytery met, during 
its existence, much oftener in Charlotte and Sugar Creek, than 
in any other part of their bounds ; they appointed committees 
to examine the students ; and they co-operated with the trus- 
tees in procuring the services of Dr. McWhorter. They some- 
times held part of their sessions in one of these places, and the 
remainder in the other. Thus, having met in Charlotte, October 
1st, 1776, they adjourned in the evening to Sugar Creek, where 
they transacted the rest of their business ; and among other 
things they appointed " Messrs. Caldwell and Reese to examine 
the school in Charlotte." Again, " Fourth Creek, April 10th, 
1778, Messrs. McCorkle, Hall, and McCaule, are hereby ap- 
pointed :o write a letter to Dr. McWhorter, concerning the acad- 
emy in Charlotte." It appears to have been an object of their 
constant and anxious solicitude ; and their whole influence was 
exerted for its promotion ; nor was its failure owing to any neg- 
lect or want of zeal on their part ; but to causes which w'ere be- 
yond their control ; and it is to be hoped that the effort which 
the people in the same region are now making, the noblest and 
best that they have ever made, will succeed to the full extent of 
their wishes. It is presumed tliat facts like these, which are very 
interesting in themselves, and yet known to very few, will not 
be deemed out of place in a work of this kind ; nor can the wri- 
ter be accused of imdue partiality by the world, or charged by 
his friends with a needless repethion of what is sufliciently 
known already, in saying so much about the church to which 
he belongs, or about its early eflbrts in the cause of education, 
liberty, and bible religion, especially as some of the tilings here 
related are not generally known even to the ministers of that 


In 1774, the Presbytery of Orange, wliicli then appears to 
have inckided South Carohna, though it did not when first or- 
ganized, had twelve ordained ministers, all of whom, except 
two or three, were in North Carolina, and tlie number was in- 
creased more, during the first half of the war, in proportion to 
the whole population, and to the instrumentalities and means 
employed, than it has ever been since, in the same length of 
time, Thomas H. McCaule, who had been licensed in the fall 
of 1775, was ordained and settled as pastor of Centre Church, 
April 4th, 1777. James Hall was licensed at Sugar Creek, April 
6th, 1776; and, on the Sth of April, 1778, was ordained and 
settled as pastor of the three united congregations of Fourth 
Creek, now Fourth Creek, Bethany and Concord. Samuel E. 
McCorkle was received as a licentiate from the Presbytery of 
Hanover, Oct. 1st, 1776 ; and was ordained and settled as pas- 
tor of Thyatira church, April 2nd, 1777. They intended to or- 
dain him soon after he was received, as the congregation had 
sent their call for his services to the Hanover Presbytery, and 
the arrangements were all made on their part ; but, owing to 
some circumstances wliich rendered it inconvenient for the Pres- 
bytery to attend to it, his ordination was deferred until the next 
spring. Thomas Hill, a foreign licentiate, was receiv^ed at Char- 
lotte, Oct. 2nd, 1776 ; and was ordained and settled at Indian 
Town, June 11th, 1777. John Cossan was received as a licen- 
tiate at the same time with Mr. Hill ; and was ordained as an 
Evangehst at Salem church, in December, 177S. When the 
Presbytery met at North Buffalo church, June 3rd, 1777, the 
Rev. John Debow, who had been pastor of Oxford and Mount 
Bethel chm'ches in New Jersey, and had come to North Caroli- 
na as a missionary in the fall of 1775, was received on his dis- 
mission from the Presbytery of New Brunswick ; and was sta- 
tioned, for several years, though not formally installed, in the 
clmrches of Eno and Hawfields. Robert Archibald, who had 
been licensed in the fall of 1775, was ordained and settled as 
pastor of Poplar Tent and Rocky River churches on the 7th of 
October, 1778. At the meeting held in Fourth Creek church, 
April 7th, 1778, xlndrew Patton, a native of Ireland, was re- 
ceived as an ordained mmister belonging to the Associate Pres- 


bytery of Pennsylvania ; but although he was a popular speak- 
er, and prepossessing in his manners, it is believed that he never 
settled as the pastor of any of our churches. At Little River, 
Nov. 25th, 1777, James Fraser was received as a licentiate from 
the Presbytery of Falkirk in Scotland ; and was stationed for 
some time, though not installed, in Little River church. At 
Little River, Sept. 2nd, 1778, James Templeton was received as 
a licentiate from the Presbytery of Hanover ; and at the same 
meeting it appeared that calls had been presented to the Hano- 
ver Presbytery from Pleasant Garden, Reedy Branch, and Qua- 
ker Meadows, in Burke county, for his pastoral services. At 
Fourth Creek, April 11th, 1778, they licensed Thomas Donnell, 
James McCree, Thomas Craighead, and David Barr ; and 
Thatcher, Lake, and others, soon after; so that, in 1780, they 
had eighteen ordained ministers and five licentiates.* 

During this time they lost two by death — Mr. Balch, m the 
beginning of 1776 ; and Mr. Crisvvell, in the fall of 1778. Al- 
though the Presbytery appears to have been exceedingly care- 
ful about bringing men into the ministry ,t and about receiving 
them when brought into it any where else, either by other de- 
nominations, or by Presbyteries in their own connexion, one or 
two unworthy men got into their body ; but they were from a 
distance. The Rev, Alexander McMillen, who had been for 
some time preachmg in Hillsborough, New Hope, and Little 
River, though not settled in any of these places, was silenced 

*Records of the Presbyterian Churcli, p. 486. 

•j-The Presbytery hardly ever ordained a man without permission of Synod, 
unless he were invited to take charge of some regular church; and when 
they concluded, after much deliberation, in 1778, to ordain John Cossan with- 
out a charge, they made the following minute. '-Finding that Mr. Cossan 
has no inclination at piesent, tor taking a particular charge in our vacancies, 
and signifies a desire tor ordination, assured that in this capacity he would be 
niore extensively useful in the churciies, the Presbytery have so far presumed 
upon the consent of Synod, as to venture to ordain Mr. Cossan sine lituto. — 
Many things seem to concur in urging the Presbytery to this measure: 
among which are — the great distance from Synod ; the uncertainty ot con- 
veyance, and of the times and places of Synodical meeting, are none of the 
smallest; but the wide extent of our hounds, and the importunate cries of the 
churches for ordained ministers, press themselves upon our minds with pecu- 
liar force, and mduce us to take tins uncommon step, which, however, we 
mean not to repeat, except in a case equally urgent with the present, or in 
consequence of a special grant from Synod." 


for habitual intoxication and other acts of immorality. lie had 
been for some two or three years a member of the Orange Pres- 
bytery ; but he liad been both hcensed and ordained elsewhere. 
After obtaining full proof of his guilt and of his utter disregard 
of principle and of character, he was deposed, Sept. 3rd, 1778 ; 
and the ciiurches were warned against receiving him as a min- 
is:cr of tlie gospel, or giving him any kind of encouragement, 
lint the number of ministers increased regularly through the 
whole period of the war ; and while their best ministers were 
from trieir own churches, it is liot known that one of them ever 
proved unsound, or acted inconsistently, either with his profes- 
sion as a christian, or witli his vocation as a minister of the gos- 
pel. Tliere was pcrliaps one exception which will be noticed 
iii another place ; but it occurred or became known long after 
tlie period of wliicli we are now speaking. 

The influx of Presbyterians into this State, for a number of 
years before tlie war, had been so great, that they could not be 
supplied with the ministrations of the gospel. The discovery of 
America, and the intolerance and persecutions of the old world, 
seemed to put all Christendom in motion; and while tens of 
thousands were driven across the Atlantic, but few came along 
who could break to them the bread of life. JNIinistcrs have never 
since kept up with the tide of emigration ; and in North Caroli- 
na, during the period under consideration, there was a christian 
conmuinity spread over tiie lengUi and breadth of the land, but 
ahnost without ministers. Tiiere were only about a dozen or 
fifteen to traverse the State from north to south, and from east to 
west, or the people must be left witliout religious instruction, and 
without c'n-istian ordinances. As soon as a young man was 
licensed, there were commonly half a dozen calls, more or less, 
immediately presented for his pastoral services : and the applica- 
tions made at every meeting of Presbytery for supplies, from 
vacant congregations, and Presbyterian settlements m which 
there was no church organization, though desired, were at least 
three or four times as many as there were preachers. Some of 
these applications were from the counties in Virginia adjoining 
this State ; and others from the coves and vallies in the mountains, 
where it would iiardly be supposed that there was any body 

LIl'K UFDAViU CALinVEI.L, t).I). iHf' 

then living who knew what the gospel meant. There were also 
apphcations for chaplains to the army; and at almost every 
meeting there were new churches or settlements petitioning to 
be taken under the rare of Presbytery. Many of these arc now 
forgotten ; and are either lying waste, or are occupied by other 
denominations.* Then they felt the need of preaching, and the 
Orange Presbytery was almost their only dependence; but tiic 
mhiisters of that age wire laborious men; and they performed 
an amount of labor which their successors at the present day 
love to admire, but cannot or do not imitate. 

The ministers composing the Presbytery of Orange at this 
time appear to have been of one heart and of one mind in rela- 
tion to all the important subjects which occupied their attention ; 
nor did any thing come before them, so far as the writer has 
been able to ascertain, on which there was any division of sen- 
timent or any warmth of discussion, except a case of disciphne 
brought up from one of the churches ; and as that was a small 
matter which soon passed away, leaving no root of bilterness, 
and causing no diminution of fraternal regard, it would not be 
.noticed here, but for the part taken in it by the subject of this 

*The followintj list of applications O-om cluirchcs and settlements for sup- 
plies, at each of the staled meetings of Prt'sbylery in 177v^, will probably be 
iiiterestin<!, at least to our ministers. These places were nearly all under 
the care of Presbytery, though they did not all have c.rt.anized churches; and 
they were all supplied except pei haps one or two. At each meeting of Pres- 
bytery, the ministers were all appointed to supply a number of Sabbaths — 
n.any of them six, and none of them less than four; but often their appoint- 
ments were a hundred miles or more from home. They were generally ful- 
filled however; and this appears to ha'^e been a regular thing from year to 
year ; for as some were supplied with pastors, new applications were contin- 
ually made : — Fair Forest, N;!zareth, f Jopewell, Steel Creek, VV'rightsborough, 
Great Kinca. Providence, Salisbury, Crystal Spring, VVa.xhaws, Beaver Creek, 
Bethel, Pi;plar Tent, and Reeky River, in the spring; Bethesdn, Catholic, 
(joshcn, Uiiion, l>itlle Biitoin, Su<;ar Cre^k, Hitchcock, Liltie River, New 
Hope. Yrdkin Valley, ("odd le Creek, Quaker Meadows, Davidson's Fort, Min- 
eral Spring, Apw Election, Lower Dan, l.ovver Hico, Jersey Settlement, Deep 
River, L'pper Haw tfiver, Mountain Meeting House, Stankin's Quarter, Lone 
Island, Cartledge t>eek, JN'ew Provideice, Lutican's Creek, Indian Creek, 
Charlotte, Cedar Spring, .TackKon's Creek, Upper Hunting Creek, lower do., 
Cliesnut Spring, VViili.imsburg, Cape Fear, Upper Union, Valley Settlement, 
Kohichucky, Ccunlry Line, Stoney Creek, Unity, Upper Hico, VVakeCounty, 
Fork of Yadkin, Lcng Creek, Mountain Creek, Beersheba, Calvary, Olonel 
Jack's Batallion, Allen's Creek, Good's and Avery's in Virginia, Sandy River 
in Pittsylvania, Pacolef, Broad River, Mumfoid's'Cove, Fithing Creek, Mud- 
dr Creek. 


memoir. At an intermediate meeting of the Presbytery held al 
North Buffalo, June 3d, 1777, for the purpose of settling a diffi- 
culty in that church, a man who kad been suspended from church 
privileges by the Session of the church to which he belonged,* 
brought his case before the Presbytery ; and as the crime charged 
upon him was one which admitted of no positive testimony, the 
Presbytery administered to him "the oath of purgation." It 
was first put to vote wliether the session had sufficient evidence 
to judge him guilty of the crime with which he was charged, 
which was decided in the negative; but Dr. Caldwell dissented. 
The vote was then taken whether they should propose to him 
"the oath of purgation ;" and after much discussion it was deci- 
ded in the affirmative ; but Dr. Caldwell again dissented ; and 
entered the reasons of his dissent on the records. Some of these 
reasons were, of course, peculiar to that case; but those which 
related to the abstract principle would be good any where. He 
stood alone in this matter ; and the course he took shews at once 
his firmness, and the correctness of his judgment. It is believed 
that this was the only instance in which that oath was ever ad- 
ministered by the Orange Presbytery ; and if it has ever been 
administered by any of our cliurch sessions, the cases have been 
few and far between. In the case above referred to, it should 
be remarked that the person accused requested that they would 
permit him to take the oath ; but while much may be said in its 
favor, and while the object proposed to be accomplished by it is 
certainly good, it furnishes such a strong temptation to perjury, 
and is so liable to be abused, that it can seldom, if ever, be Justin- 
liable or expedient. 

From the summer of 17S0 to the close of the war, every thing 
in North Carolina was in confusion ; for when the country was 
invaded and ravaged by the British army, it was harassed and 
plundered in a cruel and reckless manner by the tories, who 
were emboldened by the presence or proximity of an army 
whose progress for a time seemed to be irresistable. In this 
state of things, the Presbyterian ministers were not only inter^ 
rupted in their work and labor of love, and suffered, in common 
with others, the loss of their property to a greater or less extent ;' 
*Jamc& Balch, a. member of Rocky River chiircH. 


but were subjected to personal hardships and perils, in various 
ways, i lieu' luieiugeijcc, piety and coiu-asteiicy of deportment, 
as minipters of tlie gospel, were such as to command the respect 
of all who had any regard for religion, or were capable of appre- 
ciating moral worth ; but a large portion of the tories were not 
of this description ; and then the influence which these nnnisters 
had exerted in favor of Independence had made tlieni realty and 
in a high degree obnoxious to the British. They were men who 
could not fail to exert an extensive influence any wliere or at 
any time ; for while many of them weie young men, just enter- 
ed on the public stage of action and not more than two or three 
of them were in the decline of life, they were all men of classical 
education, and a majority of them were graduates of Princeton, 
or some other college. Dr. McWhorter, as we have seen, was 
employed and sent out from the north to aid the cause of Inde- 
pendence in the south. He was a man of literature and science, 
a sound divine, an able preacher, and a laborious servant in the 
cause of his master, as well as an ardent friend to the rights of 
mankind. McCaule was eloquent and accomplished, true to the 
church, and true to his country. Hall was talented, brave, and 
patriotic ; a firm defender of the truth in all its bearings ; and 
had all his powers and acquisitions employed for the honor of 
God, and the, welfare of his fellow men. McCorkie was a man 
of extensive learning, and a profound thinker; a philosopher 
and a christian ; and one who stood firm in support of Bible 
doctrine, the rights of conscience, and the diffusion of kno wledg-e. 
Caldwell was not only a fine classical scholar, and a man of 
very general information, but was remarkably judicious, vigilant, 
firm and uncompromising in defence of whatever lie regarded 
as important to the present or tiie future welfare of mankind ; 
and wherever he was known, he received as he deserved the 
confidence of all who were engaged in the same cause. Similar 
remarks might be made respecting most of the others who, dur- 
ing this great crisis in the destiiiy of mmumbered millions, were 
associated with them in the service of God and their country ; 
but as my knowledge of their character is more limited, the task 
of perpetuating their memory must be left to others. A passing 

notice however of those who were most distinguished cannot be 


regarded as either uncalled for or out of place ; for if the Apos- 
tle admonished the churches of his time to remember those who 
had spoken to them the word of life, or who had been instru- 
mental in delivering them from their bondage to sin and Satan, 
the people of this country might be admonished, in tlie same 
spu'it, to remember those who, with the divine blessing, achiev- 
ed their independence, planted their churches, founded their in- 
stitutions of learning, and bequeathed to ail who might come 
after them, the inheritance of their intelligence, their patriotism, 
and their piety. These are the men, whatever might have been 
their station — whether employed in the cabinet or in the field, 
in the senate or in the pulpit — whose names should live while 
our hberties and our institutio-ns of learning and religion endure; 
for their history is in fact the history of the country and of the 
church ; and while we love and value the one we shall remem- 
ber and venerate the other. 

In proportion as a man is efficient or conspicious in any cause 
he becomes obnoxious to those who are opposed to it ; and on 
this prhiciple, as might have been expected from his weight of 
character, as well as from the active part which he had all along 
taken in the cause of independence. Dr. Caldwell was regarded 
by the enemy with no friendly feelings ; but for a similar reason, 
his house became a place of resort for his brethren of the cleri- 
cal profession, and for his frieiids of every description, far and 
near, especially when they found it necessary to seek a place of 
greater safety, or wished to confer with him on any subject of 
difficulty and importance. When the British took Charleston 
and overrun Sorsth Carolina in the spring of the year 1780; most 
of the whigs in that State tied into North Carolina and Virginia; 
and those who had friends or acquaintances in either of these 
States, naturally sought refuge with them. On this occasion the 
Rev. Mr. Edmunds of Charleston, being an old acquaintance 
and an intimate friend of Ur. Caldwell, came to his house, and 
made it his home, until he and his people could return with safety- 
Some of his brethren, who hved between the Yadkin and Ca- 
tawba rivers, when the British came to Charlotte, also sought 
refuge in his house, and remained with him or in his congrega- 
tions until the unemv were driven back into South Carolina. 


Two of his brothers-in-law, Mr. Crawford and Mr. Dunlap, who 
had married sisters of Mrs. Caldwell, and who lived in some of 
the upper districts of that State, came and brought their families 
with them. They rented a house on a small farm m the neigh- 
borhood, and kept them there for eighteen montlis, more or less; 
or until the British were driven out of Sooth Carolina, in the fall 
of I7fil. Their wagons and teams were employed most of the 
time 111 the Ai>ierican service ; and they uere themselves much 
of the time w idi tlie ariuy. Perhaps no minister of the gospel in 
North Carohna, or none of the Presbyterian order, was more 
harassed and plundered by the lories, or endured greater hard- 
ships and run more risks of being killed or taken prisoner, than 
Dr. Caldwell ; and in the course of a few weeks, from the time 
that the British army penetrated into this State alter the battle at 
the Cowpens until after the battle at Guiiford courthouse, a va- 
riety of incidents occurred, some of which were amusing, and 
others calculated to awaken feelings of sympathy and gratitude, 
but all of them deeply interesting. Tlie precise date of their oc- 
currence is not known, because ihey depend on the recollections 
of his family and other aged people in the neighborhood, or have 
been communicated from memory by some of his old pupils who 
hve at a distance •, but of the facts there seems to be no doubt. 
The histories of that period contain many and loud complaints 
^against the whigs of the southern S ates for refusing to give up 
' their saddle horses to the service o< the country, in consequence 
of which the army was subjected to great inconvenience, and the 
cavalry especially, rendered much less efficient than otherwise it 
would have been. This induced a necessity of impressing horses 
of that description for the use of the cavalry, as well as wagons 
and teams for odier purposes ; and it is said that sometimes men 
who were connected, or who pretended to be connected with the 
army, took the liberty of impressing the best horses they could 
find, under the plea that they were wanted for the service of the 
country, but could shew no authority for what they did. An in- 
cident of this kind occurred with Dr. Caldwell, which is worth 
relating, as it furnishes some illustration of his character, cind of 
the state of things then in the country ; or if the persons concern-: 
ed had any authority for taking his property, as they probably 


had, they did not shew it at tlie time, and acted as if they had 

He had a fine blooded mare, which he called his English mare, 
and which was known all over the country by that name. As 
he was returning home one evening on his favorite animal, he 
was met at the end of his lane by two or three men who were 
perfect strangers to him ; but one of them immediately told him 
that he must have his mare for the use of the American army. 
As this was about the time when Greene and Morgan were re- 
treating before Cornwaliis into Virginia, and when every possi- 
ble effort was making to recruit the army, he supposed that this 
man had been sent out by Greene for the purpose of impressing 
suitable iiorses wlierever he could find them, and mildly asked 
him for his authority ; but the man drew his sword, and brand- 
ishing that about, rudely told him, that was his authority. The 
mare being a favorite, and the one on which he always rode, 
money could hardly have bought her ; but as he could not help 
himself, he quietly gave her up ; and the man, vaulting into the 
saddle, rode away, without making hiin any remuneration, or 
giving him any thing by which he might expect ultimately to 
obtain compensation ; — leaving, however, the very indifferent 
animal on which he had been riding, now becom.e unfit for ser- 
vice, and the accoutrements, wiiich were in a similar condition. 
Next morning, having learned that the men were at Martinvilie, ' 
he followed them to that place, with the hope of being able ei- 
ther to get his mare back, or to obtain some assurance of indem- 
nity at a future time ; but instead of obtaining either, they took 
from him the horse on which he then rode — the one they had 
left — and gave him no compensation for that one, except another 
which was little more than a skeleton, so broken down that it 
was hardly able to carry him home, and with a back so sore 
that it was almost putrescent, while the saddle was notsutficient 
to prevent him entirely from coming in contact with the horse's 

It is said that he was ntarer being in a bad humor that day 
than he was ever known to be before or after; but he kept the 
command of his temper ; and fortune seemed to turn in his favor, 
thou2:h it was onlv for a short time. In the evening one of his 


neighbors came and told liim that his mare was in McCuistin's 
stable, not half a mile off; as the spoilers had taken np there for 
the night. He immediately laid his plan for getting her back; 
and as she had been taken from him without any plea of legal 
authority, or any evidence that the act was not downright rob- 
bery, he thought himself justifiable in adopting any method for 
her recovery that would injure no body else. Prompt, as he 
was, on every emergency, and never at a loss for expedients, he 
was not long on this occasion in devising his plan or in carrying 
it into effect. He had a negro servant by the name of Tom, a 
native African, who was remarkable for the darkness of his 
complexion, being the blackest negro in all the country ; and 
also for his dexterity at thieving, for he was considered the most 
expert thief any where known. Callmg up Tom, therefore, a- 
bout dark, he told him that if lie would contrive to get his mare 
away from McCuistin's that night without its being known, and 
would conceal her in the woods so that he could get her again, 
he would give him a handsome reward, which he specified; and 
Tom, delighted with the idea of getting so much money, as well 
as at having an opportunity for gratifying his furtive disposition, 
said at once, like one of our heroes in the last war, Fll try, sir. 
Accordingly he went over about midnight, with a bridle in his 
hand ; and as the night was cloudy and exceedingly dark, he 
stript himself entirely naked, the better to avoid discovery if any 
thing should occur to give the alarm. Then he succeeded in 
getting her out of the stable while the men were asleep in the 
hay above, and made his escape. With this exploit he was as 
mucli gratified as ever Bonaparte was with any of his victories; 
for he not only took a pleasure in thieving, but felt a pride in 
having it known how successful he was in the business, or in 
being considered the best thief in all the country. 

Anticipating the course which the men would take, Dr. Cald- 
well, to be prepared for it, sent by daylight for his two brothers- 
in-law, Crawford and Dunlap, to come over without delay and 
bring their guns with them, which they did ; and having two or 
three of his clerical friends there at the time, such as McCorkle, 
Hall, and Thatcher, he felt pretty safe. About sun rise, accord- 
ing to his expectation, he saw two of them coming towards the 


house ; and having met them at the door, while his friends re- 
mained in an adjoining room, out of view, the one who had ta- 
ken the mare, as it was supposed, for his own use, and who, of 
course, felt much spited at the trick wicli liad been played, ac- 
costed liim with some degree of sternness, and asked him if he 
could tell him where the mare was. He replied that lie could 
not ; for he had not seen her, — wliich was literally true : he 
had not seen her, nor had he ascertained where she was con- 
cealed. The military hero then made some remarks which im- 
plied a chiirge of prevarication ; but tlie Doctor told him that he 
had never before been accused of any such thing, or treated with 
so much rudeness ; and intimated that he would not bear it, es- 
pecially in his own house. With that the o'.'uer began to bluster 
and utter some heavy threats, when Dr. McCorkie came out of 
tiie room, where he had heard ail that passed, and stepping up 
to the door, observed to him, in a very grave and positive tone, 
that he had better be civil ; for if he conducted like a gentleman 
he should be treated as a gentleman ; but if he continued to act 
in that manner they would tie him and send him off to General 
Green's camp with an account of his conduct — assuring hun at 
the same time, as the others now came forward, that they were 
able to do it, and would do it forthwith, unless he demeaned 
himself more like a gentleman. This had the intended effect: 
The young man became quiet, and moved off quite chapfallen, 
and on his own stumps, just as ine came. Thus the mare was 
saved for that time ; but it was not long until she was stolen by 
the tories, and was never recovered. Had Dr. Caldwell been 
able to foresee this, or had he known that she was impressed by 
the proper autliority in the first mstance, he probably would not 
have put himself to so nmch tiouble and expence to get her 
back ; but the whole transaction shews the state of things in the 
country at the time, the hardships to which the most venerable 
and peaceful mcii were sometimes subjected, and the expedients 
to which people often resorted to save or rescue their most favo- 
rite articles of property. 

With most men, a good saddle horse is, at all times, and in all 
couMtries, a favorite object ; but in this country, and especially 
in the condition in which it was at that time, destitute of good 


reads and filled with enemies, foreign and domestic, when a 
man's safety often depended upon the fleetness of the animal on 
which he rode, it is not surprising that any one sliould be rehic- 
taiit to part with the horse that had saved, or that might save 
his life, even for the benefit of those wlio were fighting the bat- 
tles of their country. In such cases there was hardship on both 
sides ; and it is not necessary now to discuss the question of du- 
ty, for that would often depeud on the circumstances of the case. 
As Dr. Caldwell's mare was taken last by the tories, he got some 
compensation for her after the war, as he did for some of his 
other losses, by prosecuting the men who had done the mischief; 
but he did not get what he considered an equivalent. 

About the same time, as it is supposed, an incident occurred 
of a diflerent kind, which called for the exercise of difierent 
qualities, and was rather more fortunate in its results. His 
brother Alexander Caldwell was either in the army, or away 
from home on business ; and when he was away Dr. Caldwell 
was the only one to whom his wife and children could look for 
advice in difficulty or for protection from danger. The planta- 
tions joined and the houses were not a mile apart. One eve- 
ning about dusk, two men came there and were acting very 
rudely, seizing whatever they wished to carry away, ordering 
her to gel supper for them, &c. It is said they were British — 
one a sergeant or some subaltern officer, and the other a com- 
mon soldier. General Greene had passed by Dr. Caldwell's a 
few days before ; CornwalUs was now passing within two or 
three miles on the other side ; and the supposriiou is, that hav- 
ing camped some where in the vicinity, these men were sent out 
foraging, as others had been in other directions. There was no 
necessity for sending many together ; for tlie militia companies 
were mostly out against the tories; and several of the neigh- 
bors who were either not fit for military service, or who could 
not leave their families consistently with their duty, were with 
Greene's army — some having gone alone, and others had taken 
their families with thenj. As Greene passed by they took their 
"wagons with their families in them and went along with the ar- 
my, merely for protection ; but bore their own expenses, and 
returned when they pleased. Of course when the British army 


passed tlivougli the country in pursuit ot' Greene, it met with 
no opposition ; and the men thought that they could go any 
where without fear of molestation. Dr. Caldwell saw the two 
men above referred to, passing by the end of his lane after sun- 
set ; and as they were going towards his brother's house, it oc- 
curred to fiim that perhaps he had better go over; but before 
he started or fully determined to go, Mrs. Caldwell sent a mes- 
senger informing him of the circumstances, and requesting his 
advice. He sent her word that slie must treat them politely, get 
them as good a supper as she could, and as soon as practicable ; 
but that she must be careful to notice where they put their guns, 
and set her table in the other end of the house ; and in the mean- 
time he would go over and conceal himself behind a certain hay- 
stack. She was moreover directed to let him know when the 
men sat down to supper ; and to inform him correctly of all the 

The house, like most others in the country at that time, was a 
double cabin, or a log house, with a chimney in the middle, an 
outer door to eacli apartment, and a communication from one 
end to the otner; and siie arranged every tiling according to the 
directions given. Woile tlie men were engaged in demolissang 
what was on the table, without suspicion of danger or interrup- 
tion, he went quietly into the ot er apartment, took up one of 
ti e guns Wilier;, of course he found loaded, and, stepping to tiie 
door of the room in whicli tiiey were so comfortably employed^ 
presented it, and told tiiemthat they were his prisoners, and tuat 
if tiiey attempted to resist or escape their life would be the forfeit. 
As neither of them felt willing to die just at that time, they surren- 
dered at once; and he marclied ti.em over to liis own house 
where he kept them until morning ; but it being inconvenient 
for him to keep tiiem long at liis own expense, to say nothing of 
the risk he run of being captured himself by some otiier party of 
the Britisi) or tories, and Greene's army being expected back in a 
sliort time, he put them on their parole by making tiiem take a 
solemn oath on t'le Family Bible t'sat they would not take up 
arms against tiie United States, nor in any way assist the British 
or tories, but demean themselves peaceably and return to him on 
siicii a day. By that time he expected Greene's army would be' 


in the country or somewhere within reach ; but in this he was 
disappointed. However they kept their word very honorably, 
and returned to liim on the very day appointed ; but as Greene 
had not come accordmg to expectation, and it being uncertain 
when he would come, as he was employed in watching the 
movements of Cornwallis about Hillsborough, and waitmg for 
more reinforcements, he put them on their parole again in the 
same way ; and directed them to go and report themselves to 
Col. Paisley. It was never known, or is not now recollected, 
what became of them ; for his own situation soon after became 
perilous; and Col. Paisley being almost constantly out on duty 
he had no opportunity of seeing him, until after the Guilford 
battle, when matters of this kind were pretty much forgotten. 
When the writer came into this country however, a number of 
years ago, the circumstance was well recollected by the old peo- 
ple then living; and it is still recollected by some of Dr. Cald- 
well's family ; for although they were then small, it made an 
impression which could not be erased, and it is believed that fne 
fact as above related is substantially correct. 

It is said that Dr. Caldwell was known to Lord Cornwallis, 
by character, before he ever crossed the limits of North Caroli- 
na ; and this was probably the fact. Governor Tryon became 
well acquainted with him at and after the Regulation battle ; 
and whatever /ie*knew would probably be communicated to 
those whom it concerned. The Doctor was also a member of 
the convention which adopted the State constitution ; and his 
lordship would no doubt be made acquainted with the names 
and character of the men who composed that body. Again, 
the men of his congregations were all thorough-going whigs ; 
and that of itself would be enough ; for a commander like Corn- 
wallis would hardly penetrate into a country without knowing 
how the people in its ditferent sections stood atfected towards 
him. However this may have been, when Cornwallis came in- 
to this region he offered a reward for his apprehension : so says 
tradition ; and it appears to have been so uniform and so well 
sustained that the probability in the case is certainly very strong. 
When the writer first came into this county, before Dr. Cald- 
well's death, it was frequently mentioned by the old people in 


liis congregations, as a thing of which there was no doubt ; nor 
lias it ever been contradicted or doubted since. It is also said 
that the reward oftered was ^6200; and tiiat they found a Judas, 
not in his congregations nor in liis immediate neighborhood, but 
within a few miles, who agret^d to betray him for the proffered 
reward ; bur as he was disappointed, it is best perhaps to let his 
name be forgotten. It was not long however, until he fell hito 
the hunJs of the Tories ; but was again delivered. 

A reward having been offered for his apprehunsion, as he un- 
derstood ; and the tories, encouraged by the proxnnity of the 
Briiish, having become Uxore bold and feckless, he did not deem 
it prudent to remain in liis house ; but lay concealed for the 
moii part in the woods, — comitig home occasionally to see his 
fanniy, but making his visits siiort. He apprehended no dan- 
ger of his life from the British, as he often remarked ; nor from 
the lories while the British were within reach ; for the object of 
the former in apprehending him, if they could do it, would be, 
as he supposed, to deliver him up and get the reward; but ir 
this he might have been mistaken. Having ventured home one 
day, however, he had not long been there until the house was 
suddenly surrounded by a body of armed men ; and he was ta- 
ken prisoner. They were tories, and intended carryiiig liim to 
the British camp, then, as we suppose, in the lov^^er part of the 
county ; but as their primiry object was plunder, tiiey set one 
or two to guard him, and the rest went to gather up what pro- 
visions, ciothmg, &c., they could find. Some of his family, 
though they were then young, still recollect seeing their father 
standing there beside the pi under, while the men were around him 
with their guns ; and they often heard their parents relate the 
circumstances for years afterwards. When they were nearly 
reauy, as they supposed, to depart — the plunder piled up in the 
^middle of the floor, and he with his guard standing beside it, — 
Mrs. Dunlap, v,;'ho happened to be in the house at the time, 
though siie had hitiierio remained with Mrs. Caldwell in an ad- 
joining room, with that promptness and presence of mind for 
which females are often so remarkable in sudden emergencies, 
stepped up behind him, leaned over liis shoulder, and, whisper- 
ing in his ear as if intending that he alone should hear it, but 


really intending that some of those who stood by should hear it 
too, asked him if it was not time for Gillespie* and his men to 
be here. The oi.e who stood nearest, as she intended he should, 
caught the words ; and, with manifest alarm, asked her what 
men ? She told him it was none of liis business ; for she was 
just speaking to her brother. But that served only to increase 
the alarm ; and, in a moment, they were all panic-struck, and 
in perfect confusion ; — some exclaiming, " who ? wlio ? what 
men ?" and others vociferating at the top of their voice, " let 
us go, let us go, or the d — nd rebels will be on us thick as hell 
before we know what we are about ;" and in the consternation 
produced by this ingenious though simple maneuver on the part 
of Mrs. Dunlap, they all fled with precipitation, leaving their 
prisoner to the enjoyment of his Uberty, and their plunder to 
the care of its rightful owners. Some alarm was perhaps natu- 
ral; for they were just within the limits of one of the strongest 
whig neighborhoods in the State, as Dr. Caldwell lived on the 
west side of his congregations and near the line of separation 
between them and the Quaker settlement ; Gillespie too and his 
men were a scourge and a terror to the tories ; and then Gen. 

*This was John Gillespie wiio has been already noticed as shewing so 
much pioweps in and alter the Regulation battle. He was then a captain; 
but was raii?ed to the rank of Colonel soon after the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. He wis too d^rin<>' and impetuous perhaps to have the command of a 
large body of men; but with a small number of kmdred spirits such as the 
Forbiscs. the Ha''s, the McAdoos and others, he was admirably calculated for 
the service in which he was engaged as a partizan officer; and while the ex- 
pl-iits which he performed wpre sufHcient in number qnd importance to fur- 
nish materials for a novel or a romance, one will sutfice to illustrate his char- 
acter. Not long after the warcommenced he was out on an expedition against 
the tories below Deep River. Within a few miles of the place where quite 
a large body of them were encamped, most of his men, having been by some 
means or other separated from him, were captured in the evenmg and taken 
to the encampment. Early in the morning, h.iving learned wiiat had happen- 
ed, he projioseil to the few who were witti him, to go and release the men; 
but they told hion that it vva- i'.'ly to think o! it; for (lie tories were ten or 
twenty to one; and if they should get him in their power they would be '-ure 
to take his hte. Tins was true ; for although they iiad never seen him tliey 
knew him well by character; and would rather have had him put out of the 
way than a dozen others. 'How-ever he determined on making an effort to 
save his men, wh'^lher any body went with him or not; and set jfl"f.lone. — 
When he arrived at the camp he found a large body of them collected around 
his men; and heard them telling John Hall, one of his best men, that ho 
might bo saying his prayers as fast as he could; for he had but a few minutes 
to live. Gillespie rode a very fleet animal ; and, throwing her bridle loosely 
over a bush, he walked up carelessly into the crowd. His men saw him ; but 


Greene with his army was known to be distant not more than 
a good day's march, the cavahy or some scouting party of which 
iiSght come upon them at any time ; but that they should be so 
panic- struck by a whisper as to fly before an enemy was in 
sight, though in such a situation that they could have seen one 
approaching from almost any direction, and while at a conside- 
rable distance, can be accounted for only, on the supposition that 
the hand of an overruling Providence was in it ; and it furnish- 
es additional proof that " he is doubly armed, whose cause is 

There never was a cause m this world, however good, that 
was not injured and disgraced by pretended friends ; and the 
cause of American Independence shared, in this respect, the 
common fate of every thing good. Every body has read or 
heard of Piles' defeat, which took place about half way between 
the present town of Greensborough and Hillsborough; and while 
every one has felt indignant that some four or five hundred men 
from the south-west quarter of Orange, with some perhaps from 
the parts of Guilford and Randolph adjoining, should thus at- 
tempt to strengthen the enemies of their country, he has at the 

were careful not to betray him either by looks, words er actions. The lories 
felt a little disconcerted by the sudden appeaiance of a stranger among them 
under such circunistnnces; and they hardly knew how to proceed; but they 
soon a.-ked Hall if lie knew John Gillespie ] He replied that he did, very well ; 
and thai he j^'loried in beino- one of his men. He was then asked if he knew 
where he was. He said if he did, he would not tell. They offered him his 
life if he would give them such information that they could get him in their 
posessic'ii; but he uohly refused to save his life upon any such terms- The 
question was then put, 'Is he in this place?' Keeping his back to Gillespie 
and casting his eyes over the crowd, he replied, ' If he is I do not see him.' — 
He was then commanded to mount a stump close by, and look all over. Keep- 
ing Gillespie again in his rear, and looking over the company from this more 
elevated position, he made the same reply. He was now ordered to turn 
round and tell them at once whether he was on the ground or not ; for they 
would be trifled with no longer. He turned round; but looking entirely over 
Gillespie, he still gave the same answer — 'If he is here I do not see hini.' — 
With that they became angry, and told him with an oath that he had but three 
minutes lo live. When Gillespie saw that his men would not betray him 
even to escape an ignominious death ; and that there was no more time to 
lose, he walked otTio his English filly, as he called her; and as he vaulted in- 
to tlie saddle, told them he was John Gillespie, and they might make their 
best of it. That was enough: the shout was immediately raised; the men 
flew to their horses; and in their eagerness to get him, let the others escape ; 
but he was as much at their defiance in flight as he was in battle, when the 
disparity of numbers was not too great. 


same time felt delighted with the tact and bravery of Col. Lee, 
who so adroitly and completely cut them off, before they ac- 
complished their purpose, and thus turned the tide of fortune in 
favor of his country. This was one of the most fortunate exploits 
of that heroic and enterprizing officer — the most fortunate, I 
mean, for the cause of independence in this State; but there 
were some things about it, which, though they have not been 
noticed, ought to be known, in justice to a portion of those who 
were so suddenly and so fortunately perhaps for the cause of 
freedom, hurried into eternity. Some of them were driven to 
take the step which they did, by the injustice and oppression of 
certain officers in the whig ranks ; and if my information be 
correct, the name of Col. William O'Neil ought to be more odi- 
ous than that of tory ; for while he was elevated in rank, and 
clothed with power for the benefit of his country, he used both, 
not for the common good which he was bound in honor, and by 
the most sacred obligations to support, but to enrich himself. 
Many of those men were no doubt destitute of principle, and 
deserved the reward which they received ; but others of them 
had been true friends to the cause of independence, and had even 
suffered much in support of that cause. This was the case par- 
ticularly with the German part of them, who not being able to 
understand English, and being generally in good circumstances, 
were fit subjects for the rapacity of such a man as Col. O'Neil; 
and seeing no other way of escape from his oppressions, they 
sought refuge in the British army. Many however, who left 
home with the intention of joining the British standard, not hav- 
ing fallen in with the body which was forming under Col. Piles 
for that purpose, when they heard of his defeat ; immediately 
returned, but the following communication fromanold gentlemen 
of much intelligence and respectability in that neighborhood, 
who has been already referred to, will give the reader some idea 
of Col. O'Neil's treacherous conduct, and of its effects upon the 
people in his region. 

" Debember 5th, ISil. 
^^ Dear Sir — I write you a few lines on the subject, about which 
we had some conversation when you were at my house, I mean 
the conduct, for a few years previous to the Guilford battle, of 


Capt. O'Neil, who was, soon after the commencement of the war, 
promoted to the rank of colonel. Instead of aiding in the de- 
fence of our country against the tyranny of England, his con- 
duct had a tendency to sour the minds of our citizens against the 
government recently established. His taking advantage of the 
times to speculate and muke money, commenced when a cap- 
tain, by drafting an old man's son, among others, to go against 
the notorious Col. Fannen, who commanded a company oftories, 
and occupied the swamps and sandy wilds between Cape Fear 
and Pee Dee rivers ; but this region, having been represented as 
very sickly, was a terror to the people; and he obtained £75 
from the old man, by finding a substitute for his son. This 
money he divided with the other two officers of the company, 
the lieutenant and ensign, but the ensign returned the old man 
his third part of the money, which was £25. O'Neil soon be- 
came very expert in this kind of traffic ; and increased his calls 
for men, solely that he might have it in his power to take ad- 
vantage of their necessities or their fears ; for he always had 
some understrappers ready to take the drafted man's place, for 
good pay; and one man was known to take the place of six 
different men in one day. There was no power to call him to 
account, as he was head commander of the regiment ; and he 
operated in this way in the less informed parts of the country, 
"The people in this neighborhood were still somewhat cowed 
by the late Regulation battle, and the tyrainiy of Gov. Tryon. — 
When young men returned, after having actually served tlie tour 
for which they were drafted, he would renew his calls for men ; 
and those who were most able to pay, by having a good horse 
or a rich friend, were the most lucky to be drafted. As ne knew 
the circumstances of most men in tlie country, his practice was, < 
while he professed to put the blanks and prizes all in a hat, to 
keep out the names of those whom he wished to have drafted, 
and put them into the drawer's hand as it went into the hat : of 
course the right ones were always drawn. He obtained so many 
horses in this way, that he employed an active old man to drive 
them to the lower counties about Edenton for sale ; but he was 
so prudent in his maneuvering with the enemy, that he never 
had a fight with Fannen. They would run, turn about, and 


some suns were perhaps fired at long distances ; but he always 
kept out of harm's way ; and never went far over Deep river, 
generally about Moore county. This condnct so ruffled the 
minds of the people that many of them refused to serve or pay 
his price : some fled to their triends in other counties ; and others 
layout for days ajid months at a time. The end of this op- 
pression was the arrival of the British army at Hillsborough, 
when the outlyers, and all who would not submit to O'Neil's 
tyranny, flocked to the British standard ; and not many of them 
ever returned. O'Neil became very rich, though he was very 
poor at the beginning of the war. He never fought any ; and 
was not in the Guilford battle, but was sitting, on that memora- 
ble day, at his own fireside." 

The defeat of Col. Piles, and the effect which it had upon the 
loyalists of the surrounding country, had its share of influence in 
drawing Cornwallis from Hillsborough; and after a skirmish 
with the Americans on the Alamance creek, and another on the 
Reedy Fork, at Wetzel's mills, he moved up with his army hito 
Dr. Caldwell's congregations. They first encamped on the 
plantation of William Rankin, who lived on the North BulTalo 
creek, and was a member of the Buflalo church. He was a 
man in good circumstances, highly respectable, and withal, a 
staunch whig. After remaining there until they had eaten up 
and destroyed every thing on the plantation or in the neighbor- 
hood that was eatable or destructable,. they removed over into 
the Alamance congregation, and encamped on the plantation of 
Ralph Gorrel, Esq., who lived on the South Buflalo creek, and 
was not only a true whig, but was in better circumstances than 
any other man in that settlement. The family were turned out, 
as at other places, to shift for themselves ; and the officers took 
possession of the house. What the men and their horses could 
not consume, was destroyed : the corn cribs were pulled down, 
and the corn wasted ; the hay and fodder were burned or scat- 
tered about ; the fences were destroyed ; and it seemed to be an 
object with them to do as much mischief, and produce as much 
wretchedness over the country as possible, even to the unoffend- 
ing and the helpless. Their cavalry and detached parties were 
ahnost continually out foraging and annoying the inhabitants : 


but they did not always return in safety ; for Col. Lee who was 
ever on the alert, was harassing them at every turn ; and some- 
tunes the neighbors would way-lay them, and cause them to 
return with one less than they took away. 

For some time, probably for two weeks or more, Dr. Caldwell 
had kept his retreat in a very sequestered place in the low 
grounds of North Buifalo ; and about two miles from his own 
house. Not far from the time of which we are now writing, 
or perhaps a little earlier, though the precise date is not recol- 
lected, he came nearer losing his life, or being captured by the 
enemy than he had ever done ; and the event made a more vi- 
vid and abiding impression on his mind, through subsequent 
life, than any other. His enemies, anxious to get him in their 
power, attempted to accomplish their purpose by stratagem and 
falsehood ; and they had well nigh succeeded. Some half a 
dozen men rode up to his gate one evening towards sunset, and, 
having called out Mrs. Caldwell, asked her where her husband 
was. She replied that she expected he was in Greene's camp. 
They told her he was not there ; for they had come directly from 
it ; but that Gen. Greene, having understood that he was a good 
physician, had sent them to take him there, if possible, as he 
had a great njany sick men in his camp, and wished to have 
his assistance as a physician. This was said with so much ap- 
parent sincerity and candor, that she was completely deceived, 
and in the prevalence of sympathy and benevolence, she repli- 
ed that if he was not there she did not know certainly where 
he was, as he had expressed an intention the last time she saw 
him, of going there ; but added that, if he was not there, he 
was probably in a certain place on the North BuflFalo, which she 
described. That was all they desired ; and with many bows and 
thanks, they bid her good bye ; but there M'as something in 
their looks and actions, after they had got the secret, which ex- 
cited her suspicion ; and the thought inmiedialely came across 
her mind with alarming power that she had been imposed on, 
and had betrayed her husband. But it was too late : the word 
was out ; and the men were gone. All she could do was to com- 
mit him to the protection of her covenant-keeping God ; and 


that night was spent, not only in sleepless solicitude, but in fer- 
vent prayer. 

Whether they were all tories, or part British and part tories, 
is not now recollected, if it was ever known ; but as it was too 
late for them to venture into such a place that night, unacquainted 
as they were with the locahty and the way of access, they made 
their arrangements, it seems, to be there very early in the morn- 
ing. In the course of the night, he dreamed three times in suc- 
cession, that he was in danger there, and must leave the place. 
This made such an impression on his mind, that as soon as day- 
light appeared, he gathered up what few articles he had with 
him, and set off for Gen. Greene's camp, which was then on or 
near Troublesome creek ; but, as it was ascertained afterwards, 
he had not left more than a few minutes when his pursuers ar- 
rived. Those who choose may sneer at the idea of his having 
been warned of his danger in a dream ; but of the fact, as the 
writer has been assured by his family, there is no doubt ; and it 
answered the purpose, come from what source it might. His 
enemies were disappointed ; and he was preserved, if not frorn 
death, at least from trouble and vexation; and there is no one, 
not even the greatest sceptic, or the most wicked man, who 
would not be willing to be preseved in the same way, when cut 
off from the ordinary means of deliverance. No man of intelli- 
gence and sober reflection will ever pay any superstitious regard 
to dreams, and neither expect them before hand as a means of 
securing his welfare, nor rely upon them at any time when he 
has it in his power to ascertain his duty, or make provision for 
his safety, in the ordinary way ; but no substantial reason has 
been given why impressions, intended to secure his welfare, if 
suddenly placed in circumstances of great peril or difficulty, may 
not be made by some guardian power on the mind of a good 
man when asleep as well as when awake; for the angel of the 
Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and deliver- 
eth them,. Were we to admit the prniciple that such impressions 
may be made at any time, they may be made at one time as well 
as another ; for it seems to be generally admitted that the mind 
is always active ; and, not from any feelings of superstition, but 
from the nature of the case, they must be more effectual if made 


in sleep than when the person is awaice. It is not my intentioia 
however, to enter into any discussion of tliis matter here, nor 
even to express an opinion ; but simply to state the fact as it oc- 
curred, and leave tlie reader to draw his own conclusions, or 
make what comments he pleases ; yet it may be proper to re- 
mark farther that he regarded it ever afterwards, and probably 
every christian will love to contemplate it, in whatever way it 
may be ex])lained or accounted for, as a kind interposition in 
his fiivor when placed in a most perilous and critical situation, 
in which there could be no hope of succor from any other 

As the event just related could not have taken place more 
than a week or ten days previous to the battle at Guilford court- 
house, he must have remained in Gen. Greene's camp, or in the 
vicinity of it, until after the conflict; for he did not return to his 
family until the evening of the day following or perhaps not un- 
til the second day after the battle. 

The British army having spent about two days at Gorrell's, 
consuming, like the locusts of Egypt, every green thing, and de- 
stroymg furniture, fences, farming tools, &c., made their next 
encampment on the premises of Dr. Caldwell ; and as this was 
a very important event in his history, we beg leave to give it with 
some minuteness, just as it was received from his family, and 
one or two of his old pupils who lived in the family within a 
few years after the event took place ; because, in the life of an 
individual, especially of one who was not directly engaged in 
the great political or military transactions of the nation, no cir- 
cumstance or occurrence, however trivial in itself, can be out of 
place, or fail to be interesting, and just in proportion as it affects 
his usefulness or his personal comfort. 

On Sunday afternoon, which, it is believed, was the Sunday 
before the battle, some gentlemen rode up to the gate and asked 
for the landlady, as they called her. Two of the neighbor men 
happened to be there at the time ; but they remained in the 
house, and kept out of view until they cou'd be satisfied wheth- 
er the men were friends or foes. There was also a woman liv- 
ing in the family at the time, whom we shall call Margaret. — 
She was a single woman, though somewhat advanced in life ; 


tut being " a woman of rough manners, and of rougher Ian 
guage, when excited," fearing no body and caring not what she 
said, or in whose presence, Mrs. Caldwell persuaded lier to go 
out and pass herself for the landlady, which she did without any 
hesitation. One of the gentlemen, who was introduced to her 
as Col. Washington, asked her where Dr. Caldwell was. S!ie re- 
pliedthat she expected he was in Gen. Greene's camp. He told 
her she must be mistaken ; for they were just from the camp, 
and he was not there. She then said, if he was not there she 
did know where he was, as she had not seen him for some time. 
With that they rode away ; but in a few minutes some of them 
returned, and called again for the landlady. Margaret went 
out as before ; but having ascertained or suspected the decep- 
tion, they told her she was not the one they wanted, and they 
must see the landlady. Mrs. Caldwell then went out to the gate 
herself, when the same gentleman was introduced to her as Col, 
Washington ; the same questions were asked ; and similar an- 
swers were given. When this gentleman was hitroduced to 
JVIrs. Caldwell as Col. Washington, Margaret disputed it, and 
flat contradictions were bandied from one to the other several 
times, the one affirming and the other denying, until having 
mounted the fence, and seeing some of the army at a distance 
entering the field, she replied, " It's a,d — nd lie ; for there are 
your d — nd red coats." Mrs. Caldwell also began to suspect as 
soon as she went to tluj gate that they were British, and by a 
little inspection of then- dress, &c., as well as by the reply of 
Margaret, was now convinced that this was the fact. Under 
this conviction, she politely asked tiieni to excuse her for a min- 
ute, that she might see to her child, which was then a sucking 
infant, only a few months old ; and running into the house, as 
if for that purpose, she told the men, who were still there, to es- 
cape from the other door as speedily as possible, for those men 
at the gate were certahily the British.* Having given them 

*One of these men, it is said, made his escape: the other crawled into a 
largre hollow log, not far from the house, thiiiking that the British were only 
passing by and would soon be gone; but to his utter surprise and dismay, he 
gonn found that there was a squad of soldeirs about the log, piling up brush 
and kindling a tire, tie had not much time to deliberate; for the log was 
very dry ; and the Hauies were cracking and roarling around him. To remalu 


warning she returned to the gate, when one of them told her 
that they would not deceive her ; for they were the British, and 
must have the use of her house for a day or two. With that 
they ahghted, and took possession of their quarters without de- 
lay. Dr. B. says, " The gentleman who attempted to pass him- 
self for Col. Washington was Lord Cornwallis. I had always 
considered his lordship the most dangerous and deadly enemy 
of my country, yet a gentleman ; and 1 would frequently abse];-ve 
to the old lady, when rehearsing this scene, that she might have 
been deceived ; for certainly Cornwallis would not condescend 
so disingenuously to deceive a lone woman ; but she always em- 
phatically replied that it was Cornwallis, and she knew his per- 
son well, as he had a defect in his left eye." When they turn- 
ed her out of the house « she retired to the smokehouse where 
she was confined for two days and nights with no other food for 
herself or her children than a few dried peaches, which she 
chanced to have in her pockets. Her situation was peculiarly 
distressing, as she had borne five children in two years or a lit- 
tle more, four of which consisted of two sets of twins, one of 
which died soon after they were born, but the other two are yet 
living, and the fifth was quite a young infant. Such was her 
distress that she went at last to her own door, and, falling on 
lier knees, begged for food for her children ; but no attention 
was paid to her entreaties. Margaret exerted herself greatly for 
her, passing fearlessly and resolutely among the officers and sol- 
diers, and returning them curse for curse. The old lady used 

there was certain death; and the idea of being' suffocate;! with smoke and 
burned up there without any body knowing it, was by no means a pleasant one. 
By falling into the hands of his enemies he might find mercy; and of course 
this was the alternative cho.sen ; but as he kad gone in iiead foremost, he was 
obliged to keep in the same longitudinal position until he got out. The atten- 
tion of the soldiers was soon attracted by a mysterious rumbling inside of the 
log; and when he first became visible through the smoke and brush at the 
end, and covered as he was with tlie black rotten wood, his appearance, instan- 
taneously and with great force suggested the idea of a certain personage whose 
name they vveie in the habit of using at all times very familiarly, but whose 
visible and tangible presence was by no means agreeable. Many exclamations 
were uttered at the moment, and some trepidation manifested ; but when he 
had retrograded far enough to let them see that he was really a human being, 
and not something worse, tiieir alarm guve place to the most boisterous mirth ; 
and gfter keeping him over night, more lor sport than any thing else, and find- 
ing that he was not likely to do tliem much harm any where, they gave him 
his liberty, rather than be troubled with his maintenance. 


to say, when talking on tiio subject of Iicr trials on this occa- 
sion, 'Ah ! Margaret was a wicked creature ; but she was good 
to me : whatsiiould I have done without her?' A young ofli- 
cer went to the smokehouse door one morning for no other 
known purpose than that of adding to her distresses by attemp- 
ting to ridicule the Americans as cowards, swearing that they 
were rebels and cowards, and would not dare to fight his ma- 
jesty's army. The pious lady said to him, ' wait and see what 
the Lord will do for us.' The young military fop replied, 'By 
G-d, if he intends to do any thing it is time he had begun ;' and, 
she added, in giving me the account, before Thursday night he 
saw what the Lord did." The fact that Cornwallis attempted 
to impose on Mrs. Caldwell by passing himself for Col. Wash- 
ington is recollected by the surviving members of her family, or 
by some of them ; and another of Dr. Caldwell's oldest pupils 
yet living, has informed me that the Doctor either did write or 
talked strongly of writing to his lordship, after the battle, and 
remonstrating with him for this ungentlemanly conduct. 

The family of Dr. Caldwell agree almost precisely with the 
above account of Doct. B. as far as it goes, except that they do 
not recollect the circumstance oftlieir mother going to her knees 
to beg for bread ; but they well recollect that they had nothing 
to subsist on during the wliole time except a few dried apples or 
peaches; and they recollect another fact which may have in- 
cinded tlie one above mentioned by Dr. B. Unaccustomed as she 
was to the profaneness and rude conduct of soldiers, she applied 
for protection to a man, who, from his dress, and from the im- 
portance which he appeared to assume, she took to be a man of 
some rank in the army ; and in making this application, she 
may also have asked for something to eat ; but instead of treat- 
ing her with the courtesy which was due to a lady of her stand- 
ing, he cursed her, and told her he did not know what right she 
had to expect any favors ; for the women were as d — nd rebels 
as the men. She then applied to another, who, from his dress, 
his deportment, and the respect which was paid to him, she sup- 
posed was more of a gentleman ; nor was she in this case disap- 
pointed. Having informed him of the treatment she had re- 
ceived, he told her that the other man had no atithority what- 


ex'er in the camp ; but he assured her that if slie would let him 
know what she wanted, it sliould be done, so far as was in his 
power. She told him that she wished, in the first place, to have 
a guard appointed for her protection ; in the next place, she 
wished to have a bed for herself and her children ; and finally, 
she wished that some two or three articles of cooking utensils, 
and about as many of household furniture, all of which she 
specified, might not be injured nor taken away. With much 
>ul)anity and politeness, he told her it should be done ; and it 
was so done accordingly. A guard was soon appointed, with 
strict injunctions to see that the woman and children were not 
molested. A bed, witli the furniture, Avas sent off immediately 
to the smokehouse ; and when the army removed, the articles 
of household and kitchen furniture that had been specified, were 
left uninjured. He who acted such a gentlemanly part on this 
occasion, was the principal physician of the army ; but this fact 
was not known until after the battle, when Dr. Caldwell had an 
opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, while attending 
to the sick and wounded ; and of thanking him for the kindness 
he had shown to his wife and children. To us it is pleasant to 
find one bright spot in a picture which is otherwise so dark ; 
and to him it must have been a source of no small gratification, 
to know that among the hundreds or thousands who were giv- 
ing every demonstration of the bitterest hostility, tliere was even 
one, in vvrhose bosom the principles of honor and humanity were 
predominant, and who had perhaps shown all the kindness he 
could in the station which he occupied. 

We always feel pained for the honor of humanity, as well 
as for the saUcring that must follow, to see men recklessly de- 
stroying that which cannot promote the cause in which they are 
engaged ; but which must involve the helpless and the unof- 
fending in want and wretchedness. Such was the conduct of 
tlie British army on this occasion; and so complete was the 
destruction made of every thing necessary, not only to their 
comfort, but even to their subsistence, that, as soon as they left, 
the family of Dr. Caldwell were obliged to quarter themselves 
on the neighbors, until some provision could be made for their 
support. The encampment extended entirely across the planta- 


tion, and over a part of two others, one on each side , and the 
marks of it are still visible. Every pannel of fence on the prem- 
ises was burned ; every particle of provisions was consumed or 
carried away ; every livijig thing was destroyed except one old 
goose ; and nearly every square rod of ground was penetrated 
with their iron ram rods, in search of hidden treasure. Mr. 
Dunlap had shortly before brought a wagon load of salt from 
Petersburg, which was a most valuable article in those times ; 
but of that they destroyed what they did not need. 

Perhaps the most unprincipled or inexcusable part of their 
conduct, however, was the destruction of Dr. Caldv/ell's library 
and papers, not sparing even the large Bible which contained 
the family record. This was neither accidental nor unavoidable : 
It was not done by ignorant or drunken soldiers, in the absence 
of their superiors, or when too much enraged to admit of con- 
trol ; but by the officers and men of most intelligence in the 
British army ; for it was done by the direction of those who oc- 
cupied the house ; and they were the officers and medical staff. 
Whether this was done by the order of Cornwallis himself, was 
never known ; or if it was known, it has been forgotten. Al- 
though he rode up there at first, attempted to deceive Mrs. Cald- 
well, and made arrangements for the army, he did not remain ; 
but occupied the house of Mr. McCuistin, about a quarter of a 
mile, or a little more, to the east, because that was immediately 
on the public road leading from Martinville to Fayetteville ; 
yet, as the main body of the army was encamped on Dr. Cald- 
well's plantation, the officers who occupied his house must have 
been of a high rank. It was done too with as much cool de- 
liberation as Omar gave the order for destroying the library at 
Alexandria, or as Amrou had it executed ; and this is evident 
from the manner in which they proceeded. There was a large 
brick oven in the yard, a few steps from the house, which was 
used for baking bread ; and having caused a fire to be kindled 
in that, they made their servants carry out the books and papers, 
an armful at a time, and throw them into the oven. As soon as 
one armful was burned, another was thrown in, until the whole 
was consumed ; and the oven was apparently as hot as Nebu- 
chadnezzar's furnace. Some of the family still have a distinct 


recollection of seeing the men at work, carrying out the books 
and throwing them into the oven, lie had a large library for the 
time and circumstances of the country; but he was often heard 
to say afterwards, that he regretted the loss of his papers more 
than any thing else ; for they included pretty much all he had 
ever written, or all that was worth preserving : his college exer- 
cises, his trial pieces while under the care of Presbytery as a 
candidate for the ministry, his correspondence, and all the ser- 
mons, except one, that he had ever preached since he entered 
the ministry, a period of seventeen years. This transaction is 
thus minutely recorded, not to excite rancorous feelings against 
the perpetrators of the deed, nor undue prejudices against the 
nation to which they belonged ; for all who were concerned mit, 
directly or indirectly, have long since gone to their final account ; 
but as a matter of justice to the subject of this memoir, and to 
let the present generation know what their ancestors sacrificed 
and suffered in the cause of liberty. 

The British, while they remained in Guilford county, were 
continually harassed and insulted, either by the neighbors, or 
by the light armed parties under the command of Gen. Greene; 
and a number of incidents occurred which were quite amusing, 
and some of them not very creditable to British valor. The 
following extracts from the communication of my correspondent 
Dr. B., will be read with interest. " When his lordship was en- 
camped at Dr. Caldwell's, Thomas Cummins, an old Presbyte- 
rian bachelor, being at the house of his friend John Larkin, on 
the Reedy Fork, and wishing to know how his friends were fa- 
ring on the Buffalo, proposed to Larkin that they should go and 
visit them ; and on they went. The same day the Buffalo 
neighborhood was visited by a British foraging party, escorted 
by the famous, or rather, infamous Col. Tarleton and his corps, 
attended by a number of camp followers, or plunderers. This 
party found at old Mr. Denny's the objects which they were 
seeking, such as oats, straw, &c.; and whilst the wagons were 
being loaded, and the camp followers were pillaging, the Col. en- 
tered the house to amuse himself by ridiculing the rebels and 
boasting of British prowess, when suddenly an orderly came in 
and whispered the Colonel, who changed color, and, without say- 


ing good bye, hastened out, mouutecl his horse, and fled with 
his wliole corps, wagons and camp followers, he Iter skelter, 
sauve cjiii pud ; but by the time they arrived at the road lead- 
ing by BulTalo meeting house, the panic of the pillagers began 
to subside, no one having been knocked on the head. A widow 
Anderson, whose house was on the opjjosite side of the road 
from that of her father, Mr. Denny, observed that the pillagers 
were taking a direction towards her house. At that time there 
was on the opposite side of the Bnffalo creek, a ridge covered 
with lofty timbers; and Mrs. Anderson waved her hand as if 
giving a signal to some persons concealed in those timbers. — 
The route commenced again with cries and screams; and they 
were more frightened than ever ; for by this time the colonel 
and his men were far on their way to head quarters, where the 
wagons arrived as expeditiously as possible, having strewed the 
road with oats and straw. Now the prime cause of this panic 
was that some one of the party had discovered two heads over 
the fence on the opposite part of Mr. Dermy's plantation. The 
two heads were those of Thomas Cummins and John Larkin, 
who soon after entered Mr. Denny's house — Johnny looking a 
little wild. 

" No one at the present time can imagine the daring of the 
whigs of that day. Dillon's mill was about a mile from the head 
quarters of the British army ; and some soldiers being stationed 
at the mill for the purpose of grinding corn, it was determined to 
surprise them. A ca|)tain's company was detailed for that pur- 
pose ; and Robert Aiiderson, a son of John Anderson, long an 
elder of Buffalo congregation, was the person who acted as pilot. 
He was conducting them over the creek about seventy yards 
below the mill, when a sentinel fired on them ; and the party at 
the mill instantly took the alarm, and fled. However, they were 
fired on at random ; and Mrs. McCuistin told me that a woun- 
ded British soldier was that night brought to her house," which 
was then occujiied by Cornwallis, "and was about a quarter of 
a mile from Dr. Caldwell's. Robert Anderson was much sur- 
prised at the profanity of a soldier in the company which he pi- 
loted : Tire poor fellow had, by some means, procured a canteen 

of spirits, through which the ball fired by tb^ sentinel, passed ;'" 


and this Cciused him to utter a volley of curses ; but none of the 
party were injured, except the one who lost his whiskey. — A 
Mrs. McClane lived one or two hundred yards below the mill, 
whose house bad been so often plundered, that, she said, there 
was nothing more in or about it, as she thought, to be plundered ; 
but one day two very insolent Bruish soldiers entered the house, 
and were very busily engaged in searching it, when she observed 
them assume a very humble position, pull off their iiats, and cry 
quarters, quarters. On looking towards the door, there sat on 
their horses, a 'squire Brown whom she knew, and an officer 
whom she did not know, with presented rifles. They instaritly 
wheeled their horses round, and directed the prisoners to leap 
on behind them. As they rode off a sentinel, placed at the barn, 
about 70 yards from the house, fired at them; but without ef- 
fect. In a few minutes, Tarleton, with his whole corps, came 
on; and having ascertained what had occurred, he bestowed 
many curses on Mrs. McClane, swearing that if such a thing 
occurred again, he would burn the house with her in it," — Other 
incidents oi a similar kind might be related ;* but these, attested 
as they are by other persons in this neighborhood, are sufficient 
to shew the spirit of the whigs in tins region, the conduct of the 
enemy, and the state of things generally, at that time. 

The British army after remaining two days and nights on Dr. 
Caldwell's plantation, left it a scene of desolation ; and remov- 
ed into the Quaker settlement on Deep river ; but they were not 
permitted to depart in peace. Col. Lee and his corps were 
watching their movements ; and ready to pounce upon them, 

* While the British ]ny in this nein-hborhood tliey had <a number of prison- 
ers wliom they had picked up over the country, as it was their practice to 
make a prisoner of every whig they could c^itch ; and among them was a mun 
by the name ot James Arciier, He lived in the vicinity of Marlinville; and 
was an imlepcmdent, broad mouthed, rough spoken sort of a man, who gerier- 
ally said what he pleased nnd where he pleased. Vvhen tlip army encamped 
tlie prisoners were put into a high pen of rails with a guard slationed round it 
to prevent their escape; and this enclosure vvas called the bull fen. jArcher 
was by no nieiins pleased v/ith his accommodations; but lie was obliged to 
put up with them. One mormtig very early, T;)rleton came up, and, with an 
air of haughtiness and coiilempt, called out, " Well, how do you all do in the 
bull pen this morning!" "1 thank you," said Archer, "a littlebetter than yowdid 
at the Cowpens !" — It is said that Tarleton had the meanness to make one of 
his men go in and chastise him for his insolence ; and it was perfectly in char- 
acter for him, or we might hope that this part was an addition to the story. 


whenever a favorable opportunity was presented, like a squad 
of flying Scythians. The services of that man seem never to 
have been fully known, nor duly appreciated. " He was now 
in the very element of his talents. Better scope for the exercise 
of his partisan powers could not be coveted ; and we find him 
e\ery hour meditating or executing some new exploit. On the 
rigiif, on the left, in the rear of the enemy, wherever service 
could be performed or intelligence collected, we find him contin- 
ually occupied, and forever changing his positions to guard 
against surprise." While in this county he made some narrow 
escapes ; displayed great tact and vigilance as well as bravery f- 
and often made the enemy feel the power of his sword when it 
was least expected. According to the tradition of the neighbor- 
hood, he attacked the rear of the British army, or some part of 
it, on the afternoon of the day on which it left Dr. Caldwell's 
premises, while on its way to Deep river, about a mile south- 

* The followinor account of a small rencounter, which is believed to be 
from good authority, will probably have some interest to the reader, while it 
serves to illustrate th-' character of the individual who is the principal subject 
of it, and furnishes additional evidence of the casualties and hardships attend- 
ant on a militf..ry life. — The precise date is not recollected; but while the Bri- 
tish army was in Dr. Caldwell's congreoations, or after it removed to Deep 
river. Col. Lee vvitii about fifty or sixty of his men, called one day about noon 
at the house of a Mr. Bruce, who lived in the north side of this county, at the 
cross-roads which still bear his name, to grt their breakfast and their horses 
fed, as neitl er of them hid eaten any thing' that <iay. Bruce was a good whig 
and made them welcome to whatever he had. Wlii)e they vyere regaled with 
the smell of frying meat, f ggs. &-c, and were almost ready to sit down to the 
much needed repast, a man who lived in the neighborhood, by the name of 
Isaac Wright, came up at full speed on a little " flea- bitten " pony; and told 
them that, as he was returning from mill, he saw a party of Tarleton's drag- 
goons only a short distance up the road. Lee immediately said to his men, 
"Gentlemen you cannot eat until you ascertain the truth of this report;" and 
a lieutenant was promptly ordered to take 25 or 30 men and see about it. — 
Wright made a move then to go on home; but Lee told him that he was in 
custody and could not leave until they ascertained whether he had told the 
truth or not ; and that he must go along as a pilot. He replied tliathe would 
have no objections, if he had a good horse ; but that he was unwilling to ven- 
ture on the pony. After a little consultation, it was agreed that he should 
take the trumpeter's horse, which was very fleet; and, thus mounted, away 
they went; but the trumpeter concluded he had better go along on the pony 
to see that Wright did not escape with his horse. After going more than the 
distance at which Wright supposed he had seen the enemy, they begiin to 
conclude that he was deceiving them — a conclusion which was natural for 
them to draw in their circumstances; and the oflicer in command, not only 
refused to go any farther, but proposed taking the pilot back to answer for his 
conduct. He assured them however that although he might have been mis- 


east iTom New Garden meeting house ; and it is said that two 
of the enemy with a number of horses were killed on the spot. 
One of Lee's men was mortally wounded and died in the neigh- 
borhood a few days after; but how many more were wounded 
ou either side is not icuown. 

From the middle of February until long after the Guilford 
battle the condition of this country was deplorable ; for it was 
harassed by domestic as well as foreign enemies ; and the for- 
mer probably did more injury than the latter, shewing little or 
no respect to age or sex, official dignity, literary character or 
moral worth. Soon after the British army passed through this 
county in pursuit of Gen. Greene, and about the time that the 
tories took Dr. Caldwell a prisoner in his own house, — probably, 
though no dates are recollected, — they made a similar attempt 
on the Rev. William Campbell, who had settled in Haw river 
congregation, in 177G. lie escaped himself by not being at 

taken in the distance, as ko was somewhat frightened, he had made no false 
report; and that it'they would only accompany him a little farther he would 
convinct^ them of the fact. The trumpRter two others agreed to go along, 
leaving the rest behind; but they had not gone over half a mile until they es- 
pied the enemy, and were within a short distance before they perceived their 
dangpr. Ins'antly the retreat and the pursuit were comujenced. Wright 
and the other two had nothing to fear; but the poor trumpeter, though piving 
his spurs with aii his might, and using his cap as an auxiliary incentive to the 
pony, soon IouskI himse'l in a bad box; for the enemy were afainmg on him 
rapidly at every jump. V\'hen he found they were drawing near he brgan to 
cry out, " quarters, quarters ;" but the reply w:i^, -'d — ^n:'. you, we'll quarter 
you." Witli the next breath they were slasiiing away on him Witn their 
swords; and they literally cut him to pieces there w'lile begging for his life. 
Bv this time Wright and the two vvho weie with hnn had warned the p.-.rty 
which they left behind ; and they were on the foe bi'fore they had quite finish- 
ed their vidiin. It was loo late to srive his lite; but a sharp conflict ensued; 
and seven o^' the British tell a sacrifice to their resentment, hi the American 
party was a young man by tde name of Johnson, afYerwards Judge John.-on, 
of \bing.Jon in Virginia, who encountered ■w. of the enemy ; and escaped 
withhis lite,bvannccurrencequite remarkable, though not altogether unheard 
of. While engiged in the sword ex 'rcise, cuftitig and defen.iing, the dra- 
goon got his foot Uiider that of Johnson and gave him a tilt, which threw lam. 
into a very fiir position to receive the sword of his antagonist. He saw that 
sword drawn nl arm's fength and gloaming in the air rea.'v to descend, or, as 
he thouglit, in the act of descending upon him. At tiiat instant he felt some- 
thing ivarm and moist come, l-ke a flash, on the side of hi;* face; and having 
instaiilly and instinctivwly applied his hand to his face, on takmg it away, found 
it covered withhhod and brains. The fir^t thought that darted through his 
mind, with electric quickne.-^s, was. could they be his own! but with th.i next 
o-Iance of his eye he saw thst they weie th'ise ot his adversary. A comrade, 
not far ofl, peiceiving his situation, dashed up at the critical moment, and 


home ; but they broke open and pUmdered his house, as 1 liavc 
been informed by a worthy old elder of that cliurch ; destroyed, 
his books and papers •, and he soon after left that part of the 

It has been seen that, for some days before the British came 
into his congregations, Dr. Caldwell had been with the Ameri- 
can army, or under its protection. On the 1 4th, when the army 
left the encampment on the north side of Troublesome creek, 
near the iron works, and came down to the court house for the 
purposeofgivnng the enemy battle, he remained in the neigh- 
borhood; and went for lodging in the evening to the house of a 
Mr. McBride, with whom lie was acquainted. The latter was 
a decided whig; but not having as much nerve as some other 
men, he intimated to the Doctor that he was afraid to let him 
lodge in his house, lest the tories, who, it was known, had been 
endeavoring to get him in their power, should come, in the ab- 
sence of the army, and murder them altogether, or burn up his 
possessions. Dr. Caldwell, who was not easily alarmed at any 
time, or under any circumstances, and whose confidence in the 
care of divine Providence had probably been increased by the 
deliverances which he had for some time past experienced, felt 
a little piqued, not at the want of hospitality so much as the 
want of firmness in his friend ; and told him that he would not 
stay in his house, but go to the woods, McBride did not ob- 

struck thedraofoon u'ltii iiis tivvorc] just above the ear, nearly severin<^ the up- 
per part ot the head from the lower, — The British, findino- themselvps over- 
powered, be££an to retreat; and the Americans dare not ib'l.vv them; for 
Tarieton with his whole force was not tar hehind ; but they returned to Bruce's 
witli all exoeditinn, hcivmg slain seven of the enemy and lo»t only one man. 
As Lee had only a part of his men with him. he could not meet his adversary 
in tnll force; and liicrrtore, without vvaitinij to satisfy the cravinjrs of hunger, 
they immediately took up the Ime of march, and accompanied by the family 
ot Bruce, went over Maw riter before they halted. Tarloton occupied the 
house that nioht ; and, having destroyed every thing he could, left the prem- 
ises next motninii; a scene of desolation. 

The above facts were communicated to the writer by the Rev. Henry Ta- 
tum, an intelligent and respectable miiiisterof the Baptist denomination, who 
has long resided on the plantation on which they occurred. Some years ago, 
Judge .lohn.son, when on his way to meet the Supreme ('ourt in Richmond, 
having been, by a little accident, detained for a day or two at the house of 
Mr. Tatum, went out to view the scene of his former perils and conflicts, 
which was at the end ol the lane; and gave him. with two or three of his 
neighbors, a minute account ot the whole transaction. 


ject ; but was polite enough to go with him ; and they both took 
their lodgings that night on one side of his plantation in the low 
grounds of the creek. His anxiety led him down next day to 
McCuistin's bridge on the Reedy Fork, a distance of 12 or 14 
miles, and only one mile and a half from the scene of action. — 
Before he got to the bridge, however, he met a number of men 
running for life, who gave him a most doleful account ; and. as 
they run, advised him to fly as fast as he could, or the Brilisli 
would be on him ; for all was lost ; but he knew too well the 
character of raw mihtia, as they were, to put any dependence 
in what they said, especially in their circumstances ; for they 
Avere not in a state of mind either to know or tell the truth. — 
He still went on, though with more anxiety, if possible, than 
ever; and occasionally meeting with others who were retreat- 
ing ; but the farther he went the more favorable the accounts 

Having remained about the bridge until he knew the result, 
he returned in the evening to McBride's ; and they both repair- 
ed to the place of their former lodgings in the low grounds of 
Troublesome creek. In the course of the night, McBride, wak- 
ing up, saw an unusual light, and, on looking towards his house, 
found that it was not only in that direction, but that it seemed 
to extend over a considerable space. With much agitation, he 
waked up his companion, and said to him. Look yonder ! The 
tories are burning up every thing I have. Although the night 
was cloudy and very dark, the Doctor, without saying much, 
set off alone ; and made his way through the woods until he got 
near enough to hear the men talking and to satisfy himself that 
they were not tories, but a portion either of the British or of the 
American army. He also satisfied himself that they were mak- 
ing no destruction of property ; but further than this he could 
not go without the risk of being discovered and fired on by 
some of the sentinels. He returned therefore, and told McBride 
what he had discovered, adding that they must be Americans ; 
for he heard no German, or different languages spoken, as he 
would have done, if it were the British army. On going up to 
the house in the morning they found that it was Col. Washing- 
ton and his men, who, having arrived there at a late hour of the 


night, had pitched their camps and kindled their fires in diffe- 
rent places about the premises as they found convenient. This 
was gratifying, but unexpected ; for although they were proba- 
bly aware of the fact that Greene had previously appointed the 
place of his former encampment by the iron works as the place of 
rendezvous after the battle, it was two or three miles distant ; and 
therefore McBride's first conclusion was as natural as any other. 
It is behoved, though not distinctly recollected, that Dr. Cald- 
well came down to Martin ville the day after the battle, probably 
at the request of Gen. Greene and under the protection of his 
flag, for the purpose of assisting to bury the dead, or of attend- 
ing to the sick and wounded. His family recollect to have 
heard him frequently state that in Mr. McNairy's house which 
was one of those used as a hospital, they cut off legs and arms 
and threw them into a cart at the door until it was pretty well 
loaded ; and then they were taken away and buried. He did 
not return to his house for two or three days ; and he would 
have run considerable risk in doing so. Besides, Mrs. Caldwell 
and her seven children, the whole number which she then had 
living, were not at home, having been obliged to disperse over 
the congregation and live upon the neighbors ; but his atten- 
dance at the hospitals, both as a minister and as a physician, was 
no doubt desirable on many accounts. Gen. Greene was ma- 
king every elfort to have his army in the best possible condition 
for service ; but as it was his purpose to march in pursuit of his 
adversary before the sick and wounded could recover, and as it 
was important in his situation and with his prospects to have the 
physicians of the army along, it became desirable that there 
should be some one acquainted with their circumstances under 
whose care they could be left. Moreover, while many of them 
were his friends or personel acquaintances, and therefore his at- 
tendance would be grateful to them, his feelings of friendship, 
patriotism, and humanity, would have prompted him to do what- 
ever he could towardsaileviatingthe sufiermgs,and administering 
to the consolation of those who had been shedding their blood 
in the cause of freedom ; and to do it without any other recom- 
pence than the gratification which the mere rendering of such 
services would impart. 


To those who intelhgently and cordially acknowlege an over- 
ruling Providence, prayer is both natural and proper; nor virill 
It ever be neglected by such, when engaged in a cause which 
they believe to be a righteous one, or when great and important 
interests are at stake. On the day of the battle Mrs. Caldwell 
and a number of old ladies belonging to the Buffalo congregation 
.met at the house of Robert Rankin and spent the greater part 
of the day in prayer, A large number of pious females in the 
Alamance were engaged in the same way at the house of one of 
the elders; and how far the deliverance of the country from a 
powerful and implacable foe, as the result of that day's conflict, 
was in answer to prayer, can be ascertained only in another 

Many in the Buffalo congregation were at this time down 
with tlie small pox, the infection having been caught from the 
British army by a prisoner a few weeks before ; and was thus 
imintentionally brought into the neighborhood. A young man 
by the name of Rankin, who had an extensive connexion and 
was much esteemed, had been taken prisoner at Ramsour's mill; 
and after a few days made his escape. He was very sick on his 
way home ; but as the eruption had not taken place, he was not a- 
ware of his situation. His death was the consequence; but his 
friends and acquaintances, not knowing what was the matter, 
flocked to see him ; and thus the disease was at once spread over 
the wliole congregation. This was unfortunate on many ac- 
counts; but all the men in both these congregations who were 
fit for duty were either in the battle or employed in some way 
under the direction of Gen. Greene. Maj. John Donnell, who 
was then a captain, and a member of the Buffiilo church, was o, 
man of great respectability and moral worth, a staunch whig and 
an enterprising officer. Having embarked in the cause with 
zeal from the first he had been much employed in the service of 
his country. He served a six months cauipaign mostly in Geor- 
gia, on the Savannah river ; and had been ever prompt to ren- 
der his country any services in his power. He was not in the 
battle at Martinville, because he and his company, or such of 
them as were fit for duty, had been appointed by Gen. Greene 
on another service. Col. John Paisley, father of the Rev. Will- 


iam D. Paisley, was a patriot as well as a christian ; and had all 
along taken an active part in the service of his country. He was 
present at the battle with tlie men nnder his command; and was 
directed to occupy an eminence to the south, for the purpose of 
observing the movements of the enemy and communicating in- 
ligeuce. Capt. John Forbis* w!io lived on the A!amance,_ was 
there with a company of volunteers, the Allisons, tlie Kerrs, 
tlie Paisleys, the Wileys, and others, most of whom were his 
neighbors and belonged to the company of which he was cap- 
tain ; aud a braver band of militia was not on the ground. — 
They were placed in the front rank, stood firm, and fired the 
number of times prescribed in the general order. For bis hnnself 
fired the first gun in that division ; and killed his man ; for he 
took deliberate aim with his rifle at a British captain who was 
seen to fall. He was mortally wounded himself, and died a few 
'days after. Several of his men were also wounded, of whom 
William Paisley, father of the Rev. Samuel Paisley, was one ; 
but none of them mortally. 

A number of nidividuals in the Buffalo congregation vohm- 
teered that morning and put themselves under officers of known 
valor, mostly under Col. Campbell. Dr. B, says, "JMany Guil- 
ford volunteers were in the battle at the court house ; and I have 
frequently heard the bravery of two very young men on that 
day spoken of. The men were John Rankin and John Allison. 
A number were assembled in the morning at the house of Alli- 
son's father, mostly females and old men. Allison's house was 
about two miles to the left of Greene's army; and when the 
big guns began to fire, these young men sprang to their rifles. 
The females, divining tlieir intention, laid hold on them ; and. 

*Itis said thit a certain colonel who was believed to have no partiality Ibr 
powder and lead, excused himself that mornina on the {ground tJiat he must 
see to the commissary department, or somethinjr else than fightiriif; and put 
Forbis in his plnce. His men remonstrated with him at tiie time, but he 
cursed them, and told them that Forbis was a Imive man and would do well 
enono-h. Perhaps there was no more truth in this report than in another of a 
similar kind resptctinsr a certain otiior officer ot" a hijrher grade, whose horse 
got a very bad character for always runnino- away with his rider at the bec:in- 
ninn; of an enf^i£jomcnt ; but hovi'ever this may have been, Forbis, in conse- 
quence of that appointment, or supposed appointment, has ever since had the 
title of colonel conferred upon him by his country men.- 


crying and shrieking, begged them not to go ; but they freed 
themselves from the hold of their friends, and ran to join their 
companions. They fell in with Col. Campbell's mountaineers, 
and fought with them until they retreated, after which they were 
fired at by a company of British regulars ; but escaped unhurt. 
Thomas Cummins," who has been already mentioned, " was 
also a volunteer on that day. It is said that fighting is hot work ; 
but be that as it may, when the retreat commenced, the said 
Thomas, being wrapt in his blanket, became very warm ; and 
as he passed the jail stuck it in a crack, not doubting but that 
he would return again in a few minutes. It is said he became 
quite wratliy when he found that the retreat would be continued 
and that he must lose his blanket." This Thomas Cummms 
was a man of some eccentricity ; but was regarded as a very 
sincere and devout christian ; and he fought with composure 
and fearlessness, because he was engaged, as he believed, in a 
good cause. On my first visit to the battle ground I was ac- 
companied by Robert Rankin, whose bravery on that occasion 
is well attested, and who, although just recovering from the 
small pox, went from his home that morning, and fell in with 
Campbell's mountaineers. Ilaving taken me to a tree which 
he had used as a bulwark, and from behind which he fired two 
or three times, even after most of the division had retreated, he 
observed that just before the retreat commenced, this same old 
Cummins passed by him at a "dog trot," sat down on a log a few 
steps beyond, and, taking out a luncheon of bread, began to 
craunch it,* when a ball came whizzing by his head, and so 
close as to brush his hair. He instantly started to his feet, coolly 
observed that he might as well die fighting as eating, and set off 
at the same gait to occupy his post again. John Larkin who 
lived about three miles from the battle ground, went up that 
morning and put himself under Capt. Kirkwood who has been 
called the American Diomed. When he w^ent to the Captain 
and asked him if lie miglit fall in with his company, he told him, 
certainly. He soon asked again, if he might take a tree; and 
received the same answer ; for, as Kirkwood remarked after- 

* hi speakin<Tof this afterwards he said " he got very hungry ; and he thought 
it would do liim good to eut a bitc.^' 


afterwards, he put no confidence in liira, and expected to see 
him run at the first fire, or as soon as the enemy appeared in 
sight, but was agreeably disappointed. The men were ordered 
not to fire until the enemy came within 60 steps ; and Larkin 
waited very patiently until they had approached nearly within 
that distance. Then turning to the captain, asked him if he 
might fire; and on being answered in the aflermative, he pulled 
away with his rifle, and a red coat fell. As Kirkwood related 
afterwards, he fought vvitli as much bravery as any of his men, 
until the retreat was ordered, when he returned home, and con- 
tinued to reside in the same neighborhood for a number of years. 
Other names might be mentioned with nearly equal commenda- 
tion ; but my hmits will not permit. It is hoped that the reader 
will excuse this notice of individuals, or this detail of personal 
incidents ; and for two reasons. In the first place, the battle 
having been fought in one side of the Buffalo congregation, and 
within two or three miles of Dr. Caldwell's house, it was almost 
unavoidable. In the next place, as the great body of the North 
Carolina militia acted such a cowardly and disgraceful part on 
that day, all who have any regard for the honor of the State, 
will feel gratified to know that there were many honorable ex- 
ceptions — men who voluntarily shed their blood there in the 
cause of freedom; and whose prowess was severely felt by the 

Every one who has read Johnson's Life of Greene has no 
doubt felt a litde surprised that the loss of the British should be 
so much greater than that of the American army ; and he has 
perhaps felt at a loss to account for it on the supposition that 
the North Carohniansdid nothing. The enemy admitted a loss, 
in killed, wounded and missing, of 531 ; but Gen. Greene, on 
what he considered as undoubted authority, saidU could not be 
less than 633 ; while the whole loss of the Americans was not 
n-uch over 200. Gen. Greene had only 1490 regular soldiers 
at ;'i;3 beginning of the engagement ; and of these the 2nd re- 
giment of Marylanders were struck with a panic and fled with- 
out doing any execution. The artillery did little or nothing ; 
and if the North Carolina militia fled, as most of thein did, at 
the first onset, the British soon outnumbered the Americans : 


and ihcir artillery was used with tremendous effect. The dis- 
grace of Nortli Carohna on this occasion was owing to her 
wretched pohcy of "making the defence of the country a pun- 
ishment for oii'ences. and of forcing the disaffected into service." 
The miiitia coninianded by Generals Bntlef and Eaton, or most 
of thein, fled in a niost dastardly manner; but the volunteers 
were of different mettle. It is matter of history that the North 
Carolina line was placed in front, just behind the fence, having 
fair sweep at the British as they advanced through the open 
field in front; and the Virginia miiitia were drawn up at a dis- 
tance of three. hundred yards behind them, in the woods. In 
that front hue were a good number of volunteers, commanded 
by the gallant and patriotic Col, Forbis, They had rifles, and 
were good marksmen. They were posted immediately behind 
the fence ; and took deliberate aim, with their guns pointing 
through the cracks and resting on the rails. Their first fire is 
known to have been a deadly one; and probably tiieir second 
one also ; for they stood firm until tliey had fired twice, accord- 
ing to orders ; and rh3n retreated. It has always b<'.en said, and 
I believe was said by Forbis himself, that he was shot by the 
Virginia militia, who did not wait until he got past them; but 
fired rashly and in some confusion, at least in that part of the 
line. It is also known that a great many of the British were 
buried in that field ; and near the place where their front line 
was when the first fire w"as gjven. Of this there is no doubt ; 
for it is well attested by people in the neighborhood who were 
on the ground next day after the battle, and saw them burying 
their dead. 

But the following extract of a letter from a British officer, 
which was obtained by the kindness of Dr. John A. Mebane of 
this place, and the genuineness of which is unquestionable, may 
possibly throw some light on this matter, though I have not been 
able to ascertain precisely what part of the American army the 
writer meant by " the Irish fine." Dj'. Stewart, to whom the 
letter was directed, was a native of Scotland, but came to America 
when a young man ; and died in this county some eight or ten 
years ago. Capt. Stewart who wrote the letter, was his cousin 
and commanded a company of Scotch Blues in the Guilford bat- 


tie. 111 tlie old field next to the court house, where the battle 
terminated, the greater part of both the British and Americans 
were buried ; and about the time that this letter was written 
the bones of some of thein had become exposed. Dr. Stewart, 
in writing to his cousin, mentioned this fact ; and supposed that 
they were the bones of British soldiers. To this the letter was 
a reply ; and with tiiis explanation it will be intelligible to the 

Extract of a letter from Dugald Stewart, a captain in the army 
of CornwaUis, to his relative Donald Stewart, of Guilford coun- 
ty, N. C, dated : 

"Bai.laciielish, Argyleshire, Scotland, Oct. 25th, 1825. 
" You once hi your letters to me hientioned about the battle 
of Guilford court house, and that you were sorry to see the bones 
of so many of my countrymen sc^-ttered about. I wish to cor- 
rect you in this error. — The bones which you observed there 
must be those of your own countrymen, the Americans; for as 
we kept possession of the field we hurried our own dead. The 
regiment to which I belonged, the 7 1st, or Frazier's Highland- 
ers, were drawn up on the left of the British line, along with the 
23d, or Welsh Fusiliers, with some other regiments. In the ad- 
vance we received a very deadly fire from the Irish line of the 
American army, composed of their marksmen lyins, on the 
ground behind a rail fence. One half of the Highlanders dropt 
on that spot. There ought to be a pretty large tumulus where 
our men were buried." — This extract was thouglit to be worthy 
of preservation, as it may be interesting to those who have any 
curiosity on the subject; but any farther comment on it here is 
deemed unnecessary. 

To a serious and contemplative mmd the conflict of armies is 
an aw'ul scene ; and to engage in sucli a cosdiict voluntarily and 
with cool deliberation requires great heroism or great stupidity; 
but to walk over the battle field when deatli and destruction 
have done their work, while it requires almost as mucli nerve, 
gives full play to the feelings of sympathy and humanity. Al- 
though Gen. Greene received what he deemed satisfactory in- 
telligence that " the utmost attention which circumstances would 
admit of, had been shown towards his wounded, by the Britisti, 


commander ;" and although " his first act after ahghting from 
his iiorse, was lo send surgeons with a flag into the enemy's 
camp to attend the American wounded, forwarding along with 
them, provisions and every article of comfort which the slender 
resources of the army could furnish," there were still some cases 
of suffering and apparent neglect that were painful to any man 
of hnmane feelmgs. The brave and lamented For bis was over- 
looked and left to suffer. He lay there on the cold ground, with- 
out any thing to shelter him from the driving rain, and without 
receiving any refreshment, except one drink of water, until the 
next evening, near 30 hours. After the battle, the tories were 
swarming over the ground, and appeared to be much elated. — 
One of those who were call "good tories" came on Forbis soon 
after the engagement was over; and at his request, brought his 
hat full of water, and sat it down beside him. The same even- 
ing a)iother found him, it is said, by the name of Shoemaker, an 
acquaintance, who had hitherto professed to be neutral; but 
when Forbis begged him, for mercy's sake, to get him a drink 
of water, he cursed him for a rebel, and stuck his bayonet into 
liim. Tlie whigs, according to tradition, in a short time, got 
hold of him, and attached him by the neck to the limb of a tree. 
Next evening Forbis was found accidentally by an old lady 
from his neighborhood, who had come up in search of her broth- 
ers, of whom she had been able to get no intelligence. With 
difhculty she got him on her horse, and started home with him, 
leading the horse and holding him on ; but his family having in 
the mean time got information, sent a carriage which met them 
on the road. He was visited at his own house by a surgeon of 
the army, in company with Dr. Caldwell ; but they could do no- 
thing for him, and he lived only a few days. On the second 
day after the battle, a number of old ladies in these congrega- 
tions, with a promptness and kindness that did them credit, went 
up with a quantity of clothing and provisions which they had 
collected for the sick and wounded. When there, their curiosity 
prompted them to go over the scene of action, or a part of it; 
and they had not gone far until they found two or three of the 
Americans who had been left unburied; but they had been 
stripped and plundered of every thing by the British soldiers. 


Dr. Caldwell being on the ground, made them a very feeling 
address ; and had the men decently interred. 

While the British remained on the ground, which was only 
until they buried their dead, they kept themselves in readiness 
for action at a moment's warning, as they confidently expected 
that Gen. Greene would renew the attack; and if he had, it is 
said, he must have succeeded ; for their ammunition was nearly 
exhausted. It was as much as they could do to maintain a suffi- 
cient force for their own defence, and make something of an im- 
posing appearance, until they could get where they had more 
friends ; for they were every day increasing the number of their 
enemies. Many of the Quakers, though they tried to remain 
neutral, had been with the Americans in feeling from the first; 
and if the British had remained much longer among them, it is 
believed, they would have become whigs to a man, at least in 
principle. On the evening of the second day after the battle, 
Corn wal lis encamped with his army five miles south-west from 
the present town of Greensborough ; and before daylight he was 
on his way to Wilmington;* but to follow them any farther at 
present would be transcending my limits. 

*It has been the constant tradition of the neighborhood that Gen. Greene 
sent Cornwallis a kind of banter before he commenced his retreat; and the 
following account was recently given me by an old lady of intelligence and 
great reHpectability, now living in this place. She way then about 15 years 
of age; but her faculties are yet apparently unimpaired, and her recollection 
perfectly good. Every one knows that on the day of the battle and at an ear- 
ly period of the engagement, the British got possession of the American artil- 
lery; and although the guns were spiked before they were abandoned by our 
men, they fell into the hands of the enemy. 

The old lady states that on the second day after the battle the British army 
encamped withm a mile or a little more of her father's house; and carried 
away every thing they could find on the premises, in the way of provisions 
for man and horse. Before night a while, a man from the American army 
pnssed by the house, bearing a white fldg, and going towards the Britisii 
camp. On his return, about an hour after, her father hailed him ; and wish- 
ed to know the purport of his communication. He replied, among other 
things, that he had been sent by Gen. Greene to present his compliments to 
Lord Cornwallis, and to make him an of!<^r of four more cannon on the same 
terms, if he would accept ot them No definite answer vvas given ; but in the 
course of the night his lordship "cut stick." By morning he vvas several miles 
distant; and his camp was like tiiat of the Assvrian army before Jerusalem, 
except that it was not so well supplied with good and desirable things. As 
to provisions they had none to spate tor either man or horse; and as to other 
things they were no better off. Cornwallis claimed the victory at Martinville, 
but he was really vanquished ; and, as he said himself soon after, " another 


The British left most of their sick and wounded at New Gar- 
den, while those of the American army were at Martinville ; 
and the physicians and surgeons of the two armies were on 
friendly terms, and frequently had intercourse with each other. 
In this way Dr. Caldwell became acquainted with the physician 
who had befriended his family ; and was much pleased with 
hnn. He went to see liim at New Garden ; and the other pre- 
sented him with a handsome Wcilking cane, as a rhemento of 
their friendship. His name was Jackson ; and he afterwards 
published a work of some kind which Dr. Caldwell purchased. 

Great complaints were made throughout the war of the un- 
fair measures used by the British officers to get their American 
prisoners enlisted m the service of the king. Threats, mal- 
treatment, and persuasions were alternately used, or all together 
as occasion seemed to require ; and false representations, it is 
said, were some times made for the purpose, especially when 
their prospects were most gloomy. In some places they suc- 
ceeded perhaps, at least with many individuals ; but in this re- 
gion it is not known that they succeeded in a single instance,*' 
though great efforts were made. 

When the British army was withdrawn, the country was re- 
lieved from the burden of its maintenance, and from much un- 

piich victory would have been his ruin." They kept the field partly by superior 
tiisciplme and partly by accident; but they were victors only in name. A 
part of our militia — those from Virg'inia and the volunteers from North Caro- 
lina, did great execution at the onset ; but when they had done it, they Hed 
like Scythians, lenvincr the enemy in possession of the ground, to boast ol a 
joyless and bootless victory ; and tiien to regret his loss and to weep over his 

*Great efforts were made to prevail on their prisoners to enlist in the 
British service; and as an old gentleman of respectable character, who was 
a prisoner in the British camp, on the day of the battle, informed me not l-ng 
since, that in the evening some of the officers told tlie prisoners they miglit as 
well enlist now ; for Greene was worse defeated than Gates had been; and 
they could no ioijger have any hope of success. The poor fellows were much 
dejected ; but they could not consent to take such a step, or not until they had 
more certain information. This was all they knew of the results of the bat- 
tle untjl ne.\'t morninjr, justas the sun rose, while silence and an air of sadness 
prevaded the British camp, they heard Gen. Greene's morninsr gun booming 
in the distance; and they instantly raised the shout — " Huzza! boys; the old 
cock's crowing again : there's no danger tiow." — The old gentleman also 
.said that the baggage and prisoners were left, on the day of battle, four miles 
in the rear, with a small guard; and could have lieen taken with perfect ease 
by a few inert, if it had been known. 


necessary and ruthless destruction of property ; but domestic 
enemies still remained, who, so far as they had power, were 
more to be dreaded than tlie others. Tiie tories, many of wiiom 
were unprincipled and reckless, being now without the partial 
restraints under which they iuid hitherto been, became more 
bold and daring rhan ever. From the time the south became 
the theatre of war they had been very troublesome ; and seem- 
ed to have a peculiar si)ite at Dr. Caidwell. An incident of the 
kind occurred a few months before tlie time of v/hic!i I am now 
writing; and which, as it has just come to my knowledge, and 
is worth relating, is here given, though a little out of its proper 
place. Late in the fall of 1780, a man called at !iis house one 

evening about dark, with f e intention of staying all nij?ht. 

The Doctor was not at liome ; but as he thouglit himself safer 
in the house of a clergyman, especially one of his standing, than 
any where else, he told Mrs. Caldwell that he had been sent as 
an express from Gen. Washington to Gen. Greene, who was 
then on the Pee Dee river; and that, as he was very hungry 
and fatigued, he wished to get accommodations for the night. — 
Her solicitude was immediately awakened for the safety of his 
papers, as well as of himself; and she promptly told him he had 
better not remain; for if the tories should get any intimation of 
his being there, he would certainly be robbed before morning; 
and at all events, she never knew tlie day nor the hour when 
they would be attacked. She therefore told him that she would 
furnish him with something to eat, such as she had, and as 
speedily as possible ; but that he had better then go somewhere 
else. Supper was soon on the table, and he sat down ; but just 
at that moment such an unaccountable apprehension came over 
him, that he became agitated and could not eat. Presently they 
heard some one without saying, Surround the house, surround 
the house; and they found themselves assailed by a body of 
tories. Mrs. Caldwell histantly told him that he must do just 
as she directed him, and do it promptly. Then bidding him 
follow her, she took him out of the house at the opposite side 
from that at which the assailants were ; and by a way not com- 
monly used. A large locust tree stood close to the house ; and 
as it was still hanging prettv full of ripe locusts, and the night 


being flark, it furnished a very good place of concealment. She 
told him that he must ascend that, thorny as it was; and conceal 
liimself among the losnsts, until he found that tlie men were en- 
gaged in plundering the house. Tlien he must descend on the 
otlier side ; and trust to providence and his heels for safety. He 
did so, and made his escape ; but the house was plundered. 

While the British army was about, -tlie tories, though bold and 
confident of success, were under some restraint, jiartly by that 
very confidence, or by the hope of a speedy and complete tri- 
umph ; and partly by the presence of those wiiose authority they 
were obliged in some degree to respect, and Dr. Caldwell often 
remarked that he never apprehended any danger of his life from 
the British; but he did from the tories, especially after the re- 
treat of Cornwallis. Their conduct was more insiduous and 
dastardly ; and their attacks were generally made in the night, 
burning houses and other property, and sometimes acts of nmr- 
der were perpetrated. The men of these congregations were 
some of them in Greene's army; aiid the rest were often out on 
expeditions against the tories, particularly down the Cape Fear 
river. These troublesome enemies, if let alone, would embody 
there in such numbers under Fannen, Walker, and others of a sim- 
ilar character, as to become formidable ; and therefore continual 
efforts were necessary to disperse them or keep them in awe. In 
this county they could not embody to any extent ; for they had 
no leader, nor were they sufficiently numerous ; and all they 
could do was by watching their opportunity wlien the men were 
away ; or by.assailhig a lone family in the night and making 
their escape before any alarm could be given. Sometimes they 
succeeded in this way and sometimes they were sadly disap- 

*The following incident which occurred in the Alamance congfregation 
with a man by tlie name of John Alcxa'ider, nuiy serve as an illustration of 
the state ot things for months after the battle at Martinville ; and many such 
exploits and discomiitures still live in the traditions ot the country. Aiexan- 
■der was a waiin whi;^- and had been very active in the cause ofliberty. He 
afterwards removed to 'I'ennursee ; and had a son who became a respt-ctable 
minister ot the gospel, in the I'resbytprian church ; and is perhaps still living; 
Inil at the time of which we are speaking, this son, if born, was only a child. 
At this time the old man had three daughters, the oldest of whom was about 
grown ; and each of tlie ethers a size less. J^ike most ot his neighbors 
lie kept his pitch forks and other titrming utensils in the house to prevent 


The house of Dr. Caldwell was plundered two or three times 
m the course of the summer after the battle; but of these only 
one or two incidents are recollected. Mrs. Caldwell had a very 
elegant table cloth, which she received as a present from her 
mother when she went to house keeping, and which she prized 
very highly as a memento of departed worth. On one occasion 
when a body of tories were plundering tlie house of every thing 
they could find, one of them, having broke open the chest or 
drawer in wl'ich it was kept, got the table cloth ; but she seized 
it at the same time, a)id was resolved not to let it go. This oc- 
casioned something of a scutiie, which attracted the attention of 
the others ; but when she found he would wrest it from her, un- 
less she conid exert some other tlian muscular power, she paused, 
and with her eye fixed upon them — still retaining her hold on 
the article however, and appealing to them with a woman's el- 
oquence — asked them if they were not born of women, or if they 
had no wives or daughters whom they respected, and for whose 
sake they would treat others with more civility. This had the 
desired effect : a small man who stood a few feet off, looking on, 
stepped up, and, while a tear started in his eye, said, yes ; he 
had a wife, a fine little woman she was too ; and Mrs. Caldwell 
should nut be treated so rudely any more. — By some means or 
other they got Dr. Caldwell's rifle gun wliich was never recov- 
ered, nor did he ever get any compensation for it ; but being well 
satisfied in his own mmd who was the depredator, thougli he 

their Jieinff stolfn ; aiid on this occasion they answered a valuable purpose. — 
Three or four tones waylaid him one Saunday nig-h* as he was retin-niii<r from 
a corn sinickinnr; hut as he h;ippened to taiie a difTerent pith they missed 
tlieir nitri. lie had Just orot in bed however when they assaulted the house. 
He started up and seized his em), biddinij his dauwiiters at ttie same time to 
get the pitch forks and make i>ood use of them. The door which was barred 
soon gave way; and as they were enterinof he presented his gun but it missed 
fire. The daughters at his command instantly charged upon them with their 
pitcli forks, and wi;h great resolution. The oldest daughter wounded one of 
the men severely and made him retreat; and among them they prevented the 
whole posse from advaticini?- any further until their father got his gun primed 
again, when he put a ball '.hrough one of 'hem. His name was Frederick 
Sheror; and Alexander knew him vvlien he shot. The others horo him oft 
to the house of a Mr. Harding in the neighborhood where the body was found 
next day and hurried ; but in their confusion they left his iiat at the door ; and 
A'exiiiider wore it to preaching at Alamance the next day as a trophy. The 
daughter married soon after; and lived many years in the same neighborhood. 


had no positive testimony, he took his own way of indicting 
punishment. Some years after, when he undertook to huild a 
now house, lie employed this man to do the Mork; treated him 
very kindly, though in such a way that he feU continnahy re- 
proved for lii- own meanness; and would frequently take an 
opportunity of telling him about a certain tory who stole his 
gun, describing the thief very minutely — his height, his com- 
plexion, the color of iiis ban', the diujple on his chin, &c.; and 
then would add, in his peculiar maimer, "lie was just about 
such a looking man as you are." No one who had no personal 
knowledge of Dr. Caldwell, could form a correct idea of the ef- 
fect produced by this course ; but it was most tormenting, and 
yet it was all done apparently in perfect good humor. 

Owing to the confusion and distress which had prevailed for 
some lime in the country, the exercises of the sanctuary, the op- 
erations of civil government, the labors of science, and even the 
ordinary duties of private and social life were suspended or 
greatly interrupted. Prayer however is practicable everywhere 
and at all times; for God is an infinite spirit, and may be ap- 
proached by the devout heart, not only on Mount Zion or in Je- 
rusalem, but in the closet or in the wilderness. It is natural and 
right for a religious community at all times, especially when in 
distress, to seek the Tabernacle of the Lord, if it be accessible, 
to hear his instructions and to present their united supplications; 
but if that be iinpracfic:iblo, they may mourn and pray, each one 
apart, or in groups arouiid the family altar; and sucti was the 
practice of cliristians in these times of gloominess and dismay, of 
vexation and trouble. While this stale of peril and suffering 
coiitiiiucd, Dr. Caldwell was debarred, not only from the })ublic 
exercises of the Sabbath, but in a great measure from the com- 
forts of the domestic fireside. His school also liad been broken 
up ; and some of his scholars were drafted to recruit the Amer- 
ican army, and were in the battle at liie court house ; but as 
soon as the country ceased to be the theatre of war, he returned 
to his pulpit, and to the discharge of liis ministerial and pastoral 
duties. The exercises of his school were also resumed as soon 
as circumstances permitted, though, the number of his scholars 


was small until peace, and, with it, incipient prosperity, were 
restored to the country. 

But a work remained to be done wnich was equally as im- 
portant as the achievement of independence ; and wliicli required 
all the talents, learning and piety that could he brought to its 
performance. The formation of a constilutional government, so 
regulated and secured, as to answer, by its uniform and whole- 
some operation, all the purposes for which such a government 
was needed, in the existing condition of tlie country, was no 
easy task, and could not be the work of a day. The people 
had proved what had been often proved before in a similar way 
by the people of other countries, tliat the governujent to which 
they had been subject, migiit be successfully resisted and free- 
dom from its operations obtained; but it remained for them to 
do what never had been done, wiiich was, to shew the world 
that societies of men when thus set at liberty are capable of go- 
verning themselves, or of establishing a wise and wholesome 
government from reflection and choice. The difficulties were 
apparently insurmountable, as any one may perceive l)y read- 
ing the Federalist and other publications of that day; and tlie 
advocates of monarchy in this country, as well as the potentates 
of the old word, pronounced it an impossibility. Many, too, 
even of the most patriotic and intelligent, were doubtful, if not 
incredulous; but some thing must be done. A government 
was needed which should be free, yet firm and vigorous ; — so 
liberal in its provisions as to meet the views and embrace the in- 
terests of all sections of the union ; but placed on a basis so firm 
and so well guarded that it would remain secure from the as- 
saults of Ibes without, and the conflicts of ambition and party 
strife within. To abandon the prize which cost them so dear, 
and to throw away or lose the richest boon, next to religion, 
which heaven ever conferred upon a people, without making 
every possible effort for its preservation, would have been crim- 
inal and disgraceful in the extreme. The work ivas done, and 
done to tiie admiration of the world, though it took nearly as 
long as the war with Great Britain ; for the whole period from 
the conclusion of peace, if not from the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, was a contest with difficulties which would have been 


easily overcome with such a government as we now have ; and 
the whole of it was a constant effort too on the part of the wise 
and patriotic, to get such a government established. When the 
necessity of the nieasnre became manifest, from tlie insufficiency 
of the old Confederation to answer the purposes for which it was 
formed, the people looked to the same source and employed the 
same, or many of the same agents, whom they had found wor- 
thy of confidence in the bloody strife with a foreign foe. They 
invoked the aid of heaven ; and confided in the integrity and 
wisdom of the men who had counselled and guided them through 
all the difficulties and perils of the past. 

....AsjQiigh]LJ3eje.:jq5ected^.Dr. Caldwell was chosen by the peo- 
ple of his county to represent them in the Convention which 
adopted the present Federal Constitution ; and although there 
were many men of the first intelligence and ability in that body, 
the debates were not as able perhaps as might have been ex- 
pected on such an occasion ; for the ablest men or the best ora- 
tors were all oji one side. According to the Debates of the Con- 
vention, as they have been reported, the Doctor seems to have 
taken about such a stand as might have been expected from his 
previous habits and circumstances. He had lived remote from 
the centre of intelligence and of co-operation ; and there were 
no men living in his region who were liberally educated and 
prominent as politicians. He had therefore been without much 
intercourse witli the master spirits of the day ; and consequent- 
ly without the mental stinuiius, at least in that department of 
human knowledge and human interests, which such intercourse 
imparts. Of course he had been without the best means of cor- 
recling those partial or defective views which a man is apt to 
form on any practical subject, in a state of seclusion ; and which 
nothing can effectually correct but discussion or collision with 
other minds of intelligence, experience, and observation. With 
the general principles of hberty he was well acquainted ; but 
with tlie details of government he had never had much to do. 
He had been the principal source of general intelhgence as well 
as of religious knowledge, in his neighborhood; and while all 
looked up to him for instruction there wer^ none to contradict, 
or to enlighten and correct. Besides, having been all along oc- 


cupied with his school, his medical practice, and the duties of 
his pastoral office, it was not to be expected that lie would ap- 
pear to so much advantage in a political assembly, or that he 
would be so well acquauited with the details of a constitution 
required by the diversified interests, sentiments, and habits of 
this widely extended country, as those who had been from the 
first, in curcumstances more favorable for observation, and for 
having their minds excited and their views corrected by contin- 
ual intercourse with kindred spirits. 

From the Reports it appears that Dr. Caldwell was with the 
majority, of the first convention, m adopting the constitution on- 
ly on certain conditions, being an advocate for state rights, and 
afraid of putting too much power in the hands of the President ; 
and the course of events during the last few years have led ma- 
ny to think that the fears which were then entertained were not 
altogether groundless. There were both intrinsic and cn'cum- 
stantial (hfficulfies in the case. The formation of a government 
that would have sufficient firmness and vigor, and yet be suffi- 
ciently free and guarded against the abuse of power, was then 
a matter of experiment ; but people who are possessed of only a 
moderate share of prudence and are actuated by pure motives, 
always approach an expiriment with caution, where the intersts 
at stake are so momentous, and the dajiger, though it may not 
be very well defined, is manifestly great and near at hand. It 
was almost impossible in this case to know just what amount of 
power was necessary in an executive officer, and one too of 
wliich the world furnished no example, to enable him to fulfil 
the intentions of his appointment. Knowing as they did that 
they could put no reliance on the integrity of the men who might, 
in process of time, be placed at the head of the nation, it was 
regarded as a matter of prudence and sound policy to confer on 
the supreme executive no more power than would barely suf- 
fice for the discharge of his duties; but in their circumstances, 
that was not easily defined or ascertained. Even now, after a 
trial of more than half a century, there is much diversity of 
opinion on this point ; and although the dangers arising from 
the abuse of executive patronage are more manifest, or better 
vinderslood than they were at that early day, when experience 


bad given no sanction or confirmation to theory, and when tnitli 
liad not fairly put her seal upon the system whicli they were 
forming, it is found extremely difficult, if not imj)racticable, to 
form any constitutional checks by which these evils may be cer- 
tainly averted. The difficulty seems to be inherent ; and cannot 
be removed or overcome by the wisdom and power of man nor 
by any tlung exce])t a njoral safeguard implanted and cherished 
in the bosoms of those who are to be trusted. 

Tliere were difficuhies also arising out of the feelings or pre- 
judices and circumstances of the peoj)!e. They had known so 
much of the oppressions experienced from executive patronage, 
standing armies, &c., wlule subject to the British government, 
and had suffered so much in resisting that government when it 
became intolerable, that they were morbidly sensitive on every 
thing connected v/ith popular rights; and the same principle 
which led them to be jealous of a hereditary monarch was 
extended in some degree to their own representatives, though 
chosen by themselves and at such short intervals that they were 
removable almost at pleasure. It was therefore fortunate that 
the attempt to form our present government was not made at an 
earher day, or until they had much time for reflection and had 
learned mucli from experience, otherwise it could not have been 
formed, or must have been regarded as mere theory, — a Utopian 
scheme that might serve for amusement, but could never be re- 
duced to practice. Dr. Caldwell, tliough remarkably judicious 
Avhen in possession of the facts which would enable him to form 
a judgment, was equally cautious when those facts were want- 
ing. It is said, though I know not on what authority, that he 
drafted the article in the State Constitution which exchtdes all 
ministers of the gospel, as well as the one whicli excluded Ro- 
man Catholics, from holding certain offices under the govern- 
ment ; and if so, it is an evidence, not only of liis strong attach- 
ment to liberty, but of his vigilance in guarding against every 
thing which might lead to a union oi Church and State, and 
consequently to a violation of of the rights of conscience. 

A free government is a government of the people ; and unless 
tliey have sufficient intelligence and virtue to appreciate its val- 
ue and to sustain its operation, whatever wisdom may have 


been employed in its construction, its duration must be short; 
but the very struggle by which the people of this country ob- 
tained tlie privilege of govertiiug themselves Vv^as calculated to 
impair their most essential ([ualificatious for self-government. 
War, under any ciicunistances, is a prolific source of immorality 
and vice ; but when it is both foreign and domestic, as it was 
here, every kind of government, except that of martial law, is 
suspended, and all civil and ecclesiastical restraints are in a good 
degree removed ; the worst passions of human nature are in- 
tensely and constantly excited ; and the progress of vice soon gains 
an ascendancy over every thing good. A seven years' war of 
this description had produced such anarchy and wickedness that 
society was not easily restored even to its former state of sobri- 
ety and good morals. We are rather agreeably surprised, in 
contemplating this subject, to find as much vital religion as there 
was amidst the great deterioration of morals v/hich we know 
existed in a large portion of society; biU. siill there was an im- 
perious necessity for a reformation, in this respect, which should 
pervade the entire comnmnity ; and this was a work which be- 
longed peculiarly to the ministers of the gospel ; nor did they 
manifest any despondency ; but engaged in it with all the zeal 
and firmness which the difficulty and importance of the task re- 
quired. The statesmen of that day also, or such of them as 
were most prominent and influential, with one at their head, 
who, for wisdom, integrity, and patriotism, was almost a perfect 
model, not only admitted the necessity of intelligence and virtue 
to the support of a free government, but gave their influence to 
aid in the difl'usion of christain principles as the only security 
for good order, moral rectitude, and due subordination in socie- 

During the war the increase of ordained ministers and of or- 
ganized churclies, of the Presbyterian order, appears to have 
been as great as in the same length of time at any period since; 
for soon after the conclusion of the war the Presbytery of Or- 
ange numbered twenty ordained ministers, with six licentiates 
and one or two in a course of preparation ; and these, with 
two or three exceptions, were all settled or laboring, in some 
way, within the limits of this State. They were working men; 



and they worked with a view to permanent good ; for they were 
men of enlarged views as well as of christian zeal.* They 
knew well that without intelligence and virtue a free govern- 
ment could not be long maintained ; and that there could not 
1)6 a consistent and permanent state of practical religion with- 
out enlightened views of christian doctrine. For the attain- 
ment of the great objects before them, almost every one of them 
taught a classical school ; and as a great many men were thus 
prepared for usefulness in the learned professions, these schools 
became sources of general information to the people. In fact 
nearly all the literature and science in the State for many years 

* Tiie following statistical report from under the hand of the staled Clerk, 
may perhaps be acceptable to a portion of my readers, especially as we have 
no Pr^sbylerial or ISynodical records relating to that period. It is here given 
verbatim el Itlerafvm. 






Alexander. Joseph - - - 

Bullock's Creek, 


Archibald, Robert - - - 

Rocky River. 


B:irr, David 

Sandy River. 


Caldwell, David - - - 



Cosson, John - . - - 




Cummins, Francis - - - 




Craighead, Tliomas - - 




Edmunds, James - - - 



Eraser, James - - - - 

Expunged Oct, 5th, 1784.* 


Ilali, James ----- 


Fourth Creek. 


Harris^, John » - - - . 



Hill, Thomas - - . - 


McCaule, T. H. - . - 




McCorkle, Samuel E. - - 


Cathey's, (now Thyatira.) 


McRee, James - - - - 


Steel Creek. 


Patil'.o, Henry - - - - 


Reese, j'homas - - - - 



Simpson, Jolin - - - - 

Fishing Creek. 


Teinplefon, James - - 

Quaker Meadows. 


Thatcher, Daniel - . . 

Evangelists not ordained. 
Messrs. Finlev, Robert licenced Oct. 9th, 1783. 
" Ilall, Robert « " Jxin. -iOlh, 1784. 

Mecklin, Robert " " Oct. 8th, 1783. 
" Newton, John " " Oct 8th, 1783. 
*' Donncll, Thomas " " April 11th, 1778. 
" Lake, Jacob " " 

Not licensed. 
Mr. John Springer, began June, 1782'. 
True return. Testis, T. II McCAULE, Presb. C'lk. 

-'■ The word " expunged," &c., was written in another hand. 


was obtained or originated there ; and the country owes a debt 
of gratitude to those men which ought not to be forgotten. — 
They also made it an object to expound and defend the promi- 
nent doctrines of the gospel, and to enforce the great principles 
of moral obligation. Hence there was a combination of the 
doctrinal and practical in their preaching, wiiicli is not generally 
found to prevail at the present day. Much of their preaching 
was directed against the predominant vices of the times, such 
as intemperance, licentiousness, theft, robbery, &c., which were 
then rife every where, and required the combined efforts of all 
the wise and good for their suppression. There is in my pos- 
session a manuscript sermon preached about the close of the 
war, by one of the ablest men in the country, entiled, tlie crime 
<ind curse of plundering ; and others on other subjects which 
indicate the deplorable state of morals generally at that time. 
It may be said that it would have been better to preach repen- 
tance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at once ; 
but to do that with effect, at any time, the people must have a 
conscience, as the history of the christian church fully proves ; 
or they must be prepared for the offers of mercy, by being in- 
structed in regard to the nature of the Divme law, their own 
character as transgressors of that law, and the necessity of par- 
don. During the war, and long after it, when the Presbytery 
appointed its members to supply vacant congregations, it direc- 
ted them at the same time to catechise the people and adminis- 
ter the ordinances. The appointment both for preaching and 
for catechising was sent on some weeks before hand ; and while 
the Shorter Catecliism was used for the children and young peo- 
ple, the older ones were furnished with a series of written ques- 
tions, doctrinal, experimental, and practical. This was substan- 
tially the course pursued by Dr. Caldwell, and by most others, 
so far as has come to my knowledge, both in their own churches 
and in those to which they were sent as supplies ; and the course 
was certainly a judicious one; for if we would raise a perma- 
nent superstructure of any kind, we must lay a good founda- 
tion. If we would form people to steady habits of virtue and 
religion we must make them intelligent. The foundation which 
Ihe Presbyterian ministers of that day laid for consistent pi<My 


and good morals was broad and firm — it was the ibiindalion 
v/liicli is laid in the Bible ; and without any disposition to dis- 
parage the labors or the intluence of others, it is believed tliat 
North Carolina is more indebted to their enlightened and chris- 
tian efforts for the character which she has ever since sustained 
for intelligence, probity and good order, than to any other cause. 
The ministers of other denominations were zealous and useful 
in preaching the gospel ; but it is a fact, not disputed, that those 
of the Preslwterian body were then more numerous and better 
educated than any others. They v/ere tlie laborious and unti- 
ring advocates and promoters of learning ; and upon them res- 
ted almost the whole burden of education, so far as it was ad- 
vanced beyond the mere rudiments of English. 

There was much scepticism as well as immorality and disor- 
der prevailing in the country at the close of the war ; but the 
former was greatly increased in a few years by foreign influ- 
ence. The connexion which had existed between this country 
and France during the revolutionary struggle ; the important 
services rendered by the latter, and the consequent obligations 
leltand acknowledged by the former; the enthusiasm with which 
the people of tins infant republic were then inspired on the sub- 
ject of liberty ; and the progress which the cause of freedom 
was supposed to be making among those who had been so long 
enslaved, gave for a time great currency to their infidel opinions. 
The writings too of such men as Volney, Hobbs, Paine, Voltaire 
and others were circulated freely arid read with avidity by all 
classes of the community. The ministers of religion presented a 
bold front to the torrent of error and iniquity which was thus 
coming over the land like a flood ; and fearlessly met the advo- 
cates of infidelity on the field of argument. The result was 
happy, and such as every enlightened friend of the Bible antici- 
pated. Maiiy who were set to do evil, persisted in their ruin- 
ous course, in spile of reason and remonstrance ; but mnny were 
reclaimed and brought to a saving knowledge? of the truth; and 
of such there are many still living in all parts of the country. — ■ 
The sermons which were then published; and others which are 
yet preserved in manuscript, manifest not only great ability and 
extensive research, but a devotion to the cause of truth and a 


confidence in its iiltimnle Irinmpli which was hardly surpassed 
by any set of men in this or any other country. Althougli Dr. 
Caldwell, for reasons, already alluded to and will be more fully 
explained presently, wrote but little after the war, and that lit- 
tle was not preserved with any care, one unfinished sermon and 
some fragments of others have escaped the ravages of tnne, 
which furnish proof of his fidelity and zeal m opposing error 
and in defending the truth as it is in Jesus Christ; but tliey are 
in such a state that their publication would be doing great injus- 
tice to him, without taking more liberties with them than would 
be justifiable in an editor. 

About the year 1792, though the precise date is not known, 
owing to the destruction of our Presbyterial records, the Rev. 
Robert Archibald began to propagate his sentiments on the sub- 
ject of universal salvation ; and in two years after he was sus- 
pended from the ministry and from the communion of the church. 
The first aiid only record we have of this matter is that of the 
Synod, which lias been furnished by the present stated Clerk, 
the Rev. Colin Mclver ; and is as follows : " At Ihe 7th session 
of the Synod of the Carolinas, held at Steel Creek church, the 
following minute was made, on the 4th of October 1794. — ■^The 
minutes of yesterday were read. In consequence of which, Sy- 
nod found that the Rev. Robert Archibald was on the catalogue 
of the absent members of the Orange Presbyter^'' — who was 
charged, by public fame, with preachmg the doctrine of the 
universal restoration of mankind. An enquiry took place as 
to Mr. Archibald's remaining a member. It was then suggest- 
ed that, the Orange Presbytery designed to advise with Synod, 
relative to said member. The Presbytery of Orange having 
given to Synod, a relation of their procedure, as to Mr. Archi- 
bald, Synod advised that, the members of the Orange Presbyte- 
ry resolve themselves into a Presbyterial capacity, and immedi- 
ately decide on the affair of Mr. Archibald. Accordingly the 
members of the Presbytery of Orange constituted, and came to 
the following decision : That the Rev. Robert Archibald be sus- 
pended ; and he is hereby suspended from the exercise of his 
ministerial office, and from the communion of our church. — And 
Synod ordered that each member of their respective Presbyteries 


publish, in their own, and in vacant congregations, the decision 
of Orange rrcs1)ytery relative to Mr. Archibald, and warn them 
against the reception of the above doctrine ; and warn them also 
against countenancing or receiving Mr. Archibald as a minister 
of the gospel., in his present standing.' " 

Tlie sentence of suspension was intended to be disciplinary, 
by awakening reflection and giving him space for repentance ; 
but as he grew worse instead of better, he Avas formally deposed 
at Mouiit Bethel church, Nov. 24th, 1797. This was done, 
Avith the concurrence of the Commission of Synod, by the Pres- 
bytery of Concord, which liad been formed in the mean time, 
and into the hands of which he iiad fcdien, as being within their 
bounds. Rlr. I\lclver, after stating tb?jt the above is all the in- 
formation furnished by the records of our church, says: "From 
other sources, I \\?iXe, learned a few more facts respecting this 
singular man, Avhich 1 must here furnish from memory. These 
are necessarily unaccompanied by dales; for the facts alone 
were communicated to me ; — my informants not having charged 
their own memory with the times of their occurrence. Tiie first of 
tiiese facts is probably connected with what is referred to in one 
of die above SynoUical minutes, in which it is said that, 'the Pres- 
bytery of Orange gave Synod a relation of their procedure, as to 
]\Ir. Archibald : Tiie late Rev. Samuel Stanford who has, some 
years since, gone to bis rest, informed me that he v/as present at 
ameetitig of tlic Presbytery of Orange at which Mr. Archibald 
Avas dealt Avith, in relation to the pernicious doctrine which he 
had been propagating. JNIr. Archibald he said admitted the 
fact in relation to the sentiments he had been promulgating; and 
demanded the privilege of defending these sentiments before the 
congregation assembled at the place where the Presbytery was 
convened. The Presbytery readily yielded to this demand; but 
at tlie same time made provision for the refutation of such a de- 
fence as he should make. The Rev. Hezekiah Balch who was 
present at the time, and sitting with the Presbytery as a corres- 
ponding member, was appointed by the Presbytery to answer 
Mr. Archibald. Mr. Balch, it Avas said, performed the task as- 
sigised him with considerable ability. Among other things, Mr. 
Archibald, in his defence, allesed that the Calvinisfic scheme 


was erroneous and illiberal, in making the door of salvation loo 
narrow, wliilc his sclienie, on the contrary, made it svffccienlh/ 
ivide to embrace the icholc human race. In reply, Mr. Balch 
sarcasticaliy remarked that it was no unusual tiling for o-rea^ 
men to differ; but while he was willing to adnilt that Mr. x\r- 
chibald was a great man, yet the fact must not be overlooked 
that a greater personage, in the main, than Mr. Archibald, had 
declared that, ' strait is the gate, and narrow is tlie way, which 
leadeth unto life, and few tliere be tliat llnd it.' — JMat. 7, 14. — 
After a long hearing the Presbytery pointedly condenmed Mr. 
Archibald's sentiments; and then referred the dis})osai of the 
case to Synod. How the Synod disposed of it, the above ex- 
tracts sufficiently show. 

"Two other facts, or anecdotes,! will mention whicli I obtain- 
ed from a South Carolina brother, now no more. Some Univer- 
salists, you know, deny all future punishnioit. — while others 
admit that there will be some punishment, after death ; but con- 
tend that it will be of a limited dnration. It appears to have 
been this latter sentiment which Mr. Archibald embraced and 
propagated. It is said that, after his deposition, he still contin- 
ued to preach wherever he could get hearers ; and that lie tra- 
velled considerably in South Carolina, preaching wherever op- 
portunity offered. In one of his rambles tlirough that State lie 
met with a sh.rewd old Irish lady, between whom and himself 
some such dialogue as the following is said to have taken place: 
Lady — ' I'm tauld, sir, you preach that a' men will be saved. 
Is that your opinion?' Mr. x\. — 'Yes: I think that, after en- 
during soi7ie punishment, all will at last be saved.' Lady — 
'D'ye think that som,e will gae to hell, and stay there a while, 
and then come oot again?' P.Ir. A. — 'Yes: that is my opinion.' 
Lady — ' And d'ye expect to gae there yourselV Mr. A. — ' Yes: 
I expect to go there, for a time.' Lady — 'Ah, man! ye talk 
strangely : ye're a guid man, and a minister. I wad think yc 
coLildna gae there. But what will ye gae there /w.?' JSIr. A. — 
' I expect to go there for preaching against the truth.' Lady — 
' Ah, man ! that's an unco' bad case. And hoo lang d'ye expect 
to stay there?' Mr. A. — ' .lust as long as I preached against the 
truth.' Lady — ' And hoo lang v\'as that?' Mr. A. — ' Aboitt 


fifteen years.' Lady — ' Ye'd be a pretty singed deevil, to come 
oot, after being in sae lung /' " — Tlie other anecdote I learned 
respecting liitn, related to the maimer of his death ; and it was 
truly melancholy. It is said he had been employed by some 
South Carolina planter, as a family tutor. While thus employed, 
he rode, on some Saturday, it being a leisure time with liim, to 
a neighboring store, for the purpose probably of purchasing some 
articles which he wanted. On his arrival at the store, he met 
with a man, who appeared to be a stranger to him, and who 
surprised him by a recognition, saying, in the usual style of sal- 
utation, ' How do you do Mr. Archibald?' He replied, 'Sir, 
you have the advantage of me.' The man then proceeded to 
state some circumstances, witli the view, it would seem, though 
unwittingly, of refreshing Mr. Archibald's memory ; and thus 
recalling himself, as it were, to his recollection. Mr. Archibald, 
then, finding his recollection suddenly return to him, said, from 
a momentary impulse, ' 0, yes ! I now remember you, sir. You 
are the man, who, some years ago, in North Carolina, was pros- 
ecuted for forgery; and escaped from punishment by making 
your escape from prison.' This, of course, subjected the man 
to considerable embarassment and confusion ; and, at the same 
time, put an end to the conversation. The man, however, was 
observed to watch Mr. Archibald's motions; and soon after the 
latter left the store, for the purpose of returning home, the other 
was seen to follow him. On the next day Mr. Archibald's dead 
body was found, not far from the path leading to the plantation 
on whicli he had resided, in a stream of running water, where, 
it was supposed, the murderer had thrown it, after the breath 
had left it ; and, it is added, that, so low, at that time, had his 
reputation been reduced, no coroner's inquest was instituted, nor 
any iurther iiuiuiry made, as to the cause of his death." 

These accounts are probably correct in the main, but however 
this may be, it is known tliat he was graduated at Princeton in 
1772 ; and that he was regarded as a man of liandsome talents. 
He probably studied medicine before he did theology ; for he 
was not licensed to preach until three years or more after he 
obtained his degree at college ; and he practised medicine when 
he was the pnsior of Poplar Tent and Rocky River churches. 


He is said to have been a man of u very amiable disposition; 
but owing to domestic trials of a kind which few men can bear, 
he became intemperate. His first departure from the faith of 
the church with which he was in connexion, as I have been in- 
formed by the venerable Dr. Robinsion, who has been for many 
years the esteemed pastor of Poplar Tent cliurch, was mto Ar- 
minianism ; but for one in his situation, and destitute as lie pro- 
bly was of vital religion, there was no stopping place, and he 
soon run into the doctrine of universal restoration. When he 
was suspended and the synod directed its members to warn the 
churches against receiving him or his doctrine, the Presbytery 
passed a resolution that every member of that body should, not 
only preach on the subject hi his own congregation, but prepare 
a sermon on it, write it out in full, and have it at the next stated 
meeting to be submitted to the inspection of a committee which 
was appointed for the purpose ; and it is also said that it was 
further resolved at the same time that the one which the com- 
mittee might judge to be most suitable, should be preached be- 
fore the Presbytery and the congregation — the meeting having 
been appointed to be held in the church of which Archibald had 
been pastor. The sermon prepared by Dr. Caldwell was the 
one which was preached, as I have been informed by those who 
were present and heard it delivered; and this is the second ser- 
mon at the end of this volume. It was prepared under great 
disadvantages, as we shall see presently; and was left by him 
in an unfinished state ; but it was thought that something of the 
kind would be desired by the public ; and candid readers will 
make due allowance. I have made a good many verbal correc- 
tions; and a few sentences have been added in some places to 
keep up the connexion where the manuscript was mutilated; 
but I am not conscious of having altered a single sentiment. — So 
far as has come to my knowledge Robert Archibald was the only 
member of the Orage Presbytery, during the I8th century, who 
was suspended for heterodoxy ; and Alexander McMillen, the 
only one for immorality. — Respecting the character of the Rev. 
John Thompson, who removed to North Carolina about the 
same time with the Rev. Alexander Craighead, I have been able 
to obtain no information, nor to learn any thing of his history, 


except that he did not live more than a lew years; but from the 
incidental notice of him which I have just seen, it is believed that 
he was a man of moral worth, and of respectable standing as a 
minister of the gospel. 

Surely no one will accuse me of undue partiality in saying so 
much about Presbyterian ministers and their doings in this State; 
for it is nothing more than would be expected of any man in 
similar circumstances, or when employed in writing the life of 
a distinguished minister in the church to which he belonged, es- 
pecially if the records of that church had all been destroyed, so 
that there was no other way by which the religious public could 
obtain the information thus communicated. The facts respec- 
ting the Orange Presbytery contained in this work have been 
gathered up — here a little and there a little — by much indus- 
try and pains-taking over the country ; and, it is believed that 
many of them are not known even to the members of that 
Presbytery. So far from having manifested, or being conscious 
of possessing, any undue prejudices against other denominations, 
I have said, and love to say, every thing in their favor that I 
know to be true ; for there is little enough goodness in the 
world, when it is all brought out and exhibited in its full pro- 

In some respects Dr. Caldwell was much blessed in his fami- 
ly ; but in others he was severely tried. None of them ever 
acted in a way to dishonor him, or make him ashamed to own 
that they were his children. Three of his sons became preach- 
ers, two of whom were very useful and much respected in their 
profession. Another has been for many years and is still hving 
in this place, who is one of the most successful and popular phy- 
sicians in the county ; and the rest that are living, though not 
engaged in any of the public professions, are intelligent men and 
highly esteemed as citizens; but his trials arose from the afflic- 
tions with which several of his children were visited. 

About the year 1792, though the precise date is not recollec- 
ted, his only daughter lost the use of her reason, when about 
nineteen or twenty years of age; and, with one or two short in- 
tervals, she continued in a state of derangement until her death, 
,Tan. 27th, 1827. Every thing was done that could be done for 


iier recovery, but in vain. The proximate cause of tliis calami- 
ty was dropsy of the brain ; and this was supposed to have been 
occasioned by getting wet and taking cold at a time when her 
health was pecuUarly deUcate. She had been tenderly raised ; 
and having never been exposed in any way, she was of course 
more easily affected than she would otherwise have been. Her 
father took her twice to Philadelphia, and put her under the 
care of his friend Doct. Rush. Each time she was trepanned ; 
and for weeks or months after the operation, her reason appear- 
ed to be completely restored; but the cause had become consti- 
tutional ; and no permanent relief could be atibrded. As might 
be expected, if not an idol, she was an object of the fondest re- 
gard and of the most deep and tender interest to her parents ; 
and she seemed to be all that enlightened and soBer-thinking pa- 
rents could desire — handsome, intelligent, accomplished, and 
pious. They had done every thing for her education and im- 
provement that was in their power ; and her progress had been 
such as to reward their toils and gratify their wishes. She was 
a fine classical and belles lettres scholar ; and was well versed in 
all the branches of science that were taught in her fatlier's school. 
He also employed a tutoress in Wilmington — a Miss Campbell, 
and the daughter of a Presbyterian clergyman, who had gone to 
his rest — to come and reside in his family for the purpose of 
teaching her the ornamental parts of female education. In 
addition to all this, from the time she was old enough to go 
from home without her mother, or to be benefitted by inter- 
course with good society, he was in the habit of taking her 
with him to the judicatories of the church, and to such other 
places as might contribute to her improvement. Her piety too 
was remarkable for one of her age; for she had attained a matu- 
rity in religious experience and christian knowledge that was un- 
common; and she was a universal favorite in the congregations. 
Of this the proofs were abundant when the writer came into this 
region ; for he found that the old people who had known her in 
her youth, loved to dwell on the remembrance of what she had 
been, but could seldom mention her name, or attempt to speak of 
her worth, without the tribute of a tear. Moreover, when her 
derangement commenced she was engaged, and would soon have 


been married, to a very popular young clergyman, who has 
since stood high in the Presbyterian church ; and who is perhaps 
still living. The derangement of such a daughter, just in the 
full bloom of youth, and in such circumstances, must have been 
a trial to her parents which none but parents can understand or 
feel; but they had the consolation to know that she had made 
her peace with God, and her preparation for eternity, some 
time before her probation was thus ended; and it was a conso- 
lation which they were capable of receiving. She never shewed 
any violence, or very little ; but always appeared to be gratified 
with religious conversation and devotional exercises. 

In the course of two or three years after this melancholy event, 
his second son, the Rev. Alexander Caldwell, went in a similar 
way. He was considered the most talented one of the family ; 
and had been married and settled for several years as pastor of 
the church which had been vacated by the deposition of Robert 
Archibald. His connexion with the church was pleasant, and 
his prospects of usefulness were very flattering, when he began 
to shew symptoms of mental alienation. These increased grad- 
ually until a separation from his pastoral charge, and even from 
his family, became necessary. He was taken to his father's, 
where he remained until his death, which occurred October 2, 
1841. With a physiognomy uncommonly fine, a person tall 
and well proportioned, a portly gait, and engaging manners, he 
shewed even amid the/wreck of his mental powers, what he had 
been, and what influence he would have exerted, had he been 
preserved in the full exercise of his faculties ; but he was not a 
maniac ; and was never violent or troublesome. His derange- 
ment commenced with melancholy ; and through life there was 
in his countenance an air of pensiveness, but mingled with a de- 
gree of native or christian cheerfulness, which never failed to 
awaken in every one who conversed with, or even beheld him, 
a high degree of interest. The habits of study which were 
formed in his better days were apparently still retained ; and no 
philosopher was ever more constantly in his study, or more in- 
tently engaged in his favorite pursuit. As he read but little 
however, his time was employed in writing ; and he left manu- 
scripts enough to make several folio volumes. His former know!- 


edge appears to have been mostly retained, though in a confused 
and useless state ; and in looking over these manuscripts, any 
one will have feelings awakened within him, both of interest 
and of melancholy, to see the incoherent operations of a mind 
which was originally of a high order, but so unhinged and con- 
fused that all its actions were irregular, and none of them in au 
onward direction. His attendance on preaching was frequent, 
though not constant or regular; but he never failed to attend 
the comnuniions in Bulfalo church. He always asked a bles- 
sing at the table, no matter who was there; usually led the 
worship in his brother's family, when there was no one else to 
do it ; and was as conscientious and strict in the performance of 
his private duties as any christian in the land. 

But another trial of a similar kind still awaited him; and one 
which was perhaps more difficult for a christian parent to bear. 
His seventh son, Edmund,had, wlien aboutsix; or seven yearsof 
age, met with an accident which mjured the Medulla oblongata: 
and this contmued a bleedmg sore until he was grown, or nearly 
grown, when it suddenly healed up or ceased bleeding, and he 
became so violently deranged that he was obliged to be confined- 
This continued with only slight abatements until his death, w:iiich 
took place in July, ISSfi. He was coiisidered very promising, 
as to talents, scholarship, &c ; but he had not given the same 
evidence of piety with the other two ; and to those who regard 
derangement as the end of probation to the subject of it, as most 
christians do, this was a most painful reflection. With regard 
to such, however, no one has cause to murmur ; for God has a 
right to do with his own as he pleases ; and then we never know 
what he may do for one in such circumstances, even in the last 
moments of life, and when he is too far gone to let others know 
what is passing or doing in the hidden man of the heart. These 
trials, coming as they did in such quick succession, were almost 
too much for a sober-thinking -and affectionate parent to bear 
without the grace of God ; but the patience and submission 
with which they were borne by Dr. Caldwell excited the admi- 
ration of all who knew him, and furnished conclusive or very 
strong evidence, not only that he had a good hope for himself, 
but that he had unbounded confidence in the goodness and the 


rightful sovereignty of him who sits upon the throne of the Uni- 

The common remark that "truth is omnipotent and will pre- 
vail," lias been strikingly verified in this country, though it was 
not hy tnight nor by power, hut by the spirit of the Lord. — 
When the incubus of human authority has been removed ; when 
the influence ot time-honored institutions, which owed their ex- 
istence to that authority, has ceased to be felt ; and when the 
human mind, involved in darkness and enslaved, as it is, by the 
god of tins world, and paralized too by the mfidelity which it 
has cherished, as well as by the worldlmess in which it has in- 
dulged, is exposed to the unadulterated and plain truth of the 
Bible, intelligently, faithfully, and affectionately presented, the 
victory will be certain, and the triumph will be glorious. So it 
lias been found in this land of freedom ; for although the obsta- 
cles appeared to be insurmountable and the discouragements 
great, the friends of truth knew that the promises were yea and 
amen in Christ Jesus, to the glory of God the Father. On 
these they relied ; and they were not disappointed. Presbyte- 
rian ministers, and some others, had believed and argued that 
all alliance between church and state was unfavorable to the in- 
terest of truth and piety ; and that, if the ministers of the gos- 
pel were now to go forth, like those who were first commission- 
ed, clothed with no authority but that of Jesus Christ and his 
church, and relying on no power but that of the Divine Spirit, 
the results would be more like those of primitive times. What 
they desired and sought was obtained: Independence was 
achieved ; and all denominations were left alike without pa- 
tronage and without control from the civil government. It re- 
mained therefore to be proved whether their principles were 
sound and their expectations well founded ; and the results we 
all know ; for they are before us in such richness and beauty 
that we have nothing to do but thank the Lord, take courage, 
and go forward. 

The course pursued by Presbyterian ministers, in the disor- 
dered and uninformed state of the country, has been stated ; 
but whether it was a judicious one, and how far the rich har- 
vest since gathered in, came from the seed which was then sown, 


Others must judge. Certain it is, however, that in a few years 
the Lord poured out his spirit and revived his work ni a re- 
markable manner. There was a considerable revival in Guil- 
ford and one or two adjoining counties about the year 1791, 
which has generally been called " McGrady's revival," because 
it took place under his labors; but in 1801 a work commenced, 
which was extraordinary in its character, and extended over 
most of the Southern States — Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
South Carolina, and Georgia, as well as North Carolina. When 
the Lord thus revealed his arm, infidelity was overthrown ; and 
truth and righteousness became triumphant. The writmgs of 
Paine, Voltaire, and others of tlie same class, which were more 
common and had probably more readers than the Bible, were 
soon banished — many of them being burned and others con- 
cealed — and now there is hardly one of them to be found ; or if 
there be, like the viper deprived of his fang, it is quite harmless. 
This revival commenced in Presbyterian churches, and in diffe- 
rent places about the same time. Its first appearance was in 
the church at the Cross Roads in Orange county ; but the spirit 
of the Lord had evidently been at work in other places for some 
time. In Dr. Caldwell's congregations, three or four old ladies, 
of whom Mrs. Caldwell was one, had been for a year or more, 
associating together, and meeting regularly at each other's 
houses, expressly to pray for a revival of religion ; and some 
young men in the congregations were under deep concern on the 
subject of religion; but hardly knew what was the matter, or were 
ashamed to let their feelings be known. At the first meeting, 
however, which they attended, after the work commenced, they 
obtained a hope ; and one of them, who became a preacher, 
and is still living, gave me the above account a few years since. 
Other facts of a similar kind might be related ; but it is unne- 
cessary. Both these revivals, however, extended into Dr. Cald- 
well's school ; and brought many of his students into the church 
and ultimately into the ministry. 

Whatever may be said by the ignorant or the inconsiderate, 
the practice oi the Apostles and the experience of the church 
sliew that a thorough com'se of instruction in the doctrines of 
the Bible is indispensable, if people arc to become intelligent 


and consistent christians, or if the gospel" is to have a general 
and permanent influence in the country ; but the same work 
substantially has to be done for every generation as it comes up 
to tiie great trial or preparation for eternity ; and therefore doc- 
trinal preaching, or such an exposition and defence of the doc- 
trines of grace as will give them a full and abiding influence on 
the minds of the people, and especially of the young, is after all 
the great work of the ministry. Sectarian prejudices may be 
excited which, howevtu* effectual in extending a party, are un- 
worthy of intelligent beings, and the appropriate results of which 
both in time and eternity, can be nothing but evil ; or a radical 
change may even be produced in the principle of action by the 
divine spirit which will not be followed by consistency of charac- 
ter and deportment in those who are subjects of it, because a 
sufficient amount of truth has not been presented to control the 
intellectual and moral powers. — The enemy is ever ready to sow 
tares among the wheat, when ministers are too intent on pushing 
forward the work to notice him, as well as when they are asleep ; 
and perhaps he is never more diligent or more successful than in a 
time of revival. If there are more formalists in ordinary times, 
there are probably more counterfeits and more stony ground hear- 
ers in a season of awakening, especially in such a one as that of 
which we are speaking. Althougli the revival of 1801 was a gen- 
uine and powerful work, enthusiasm and extravagance soon ap- 
peared, and were not only suflered to progress, but were even en- 
couraged by some who ought to have known better. Dr. Caldwell, 
with some others, especially on the west of the Yadkin, attempted 
to lift up a warning voice, though in a very mild and cautious 
way; and for this, insinuations were made by the enthusiastic, or 
by those who had morezealthanjudgment,that he wasnot a cor- 
dial friend to the work ; but there is as much difl'erence between 
a man's being opposed to a revival of religion, or a genuine 
work of the Holy Spirit, and his being opposed to extravagance 
and delusion, as there is between the things themselves. He 
onthved these insinuations, however ; and an impartial posteri- 
ty have done him more justice. 

From some facts already mentioned, it may be inferred that 
Dr. Caldwell's standing in the judicatories of the church, was at 


least equal to that of any other ; and he was a punctual attend- 
ant on the meetings of these judicafoiies whenever his circum- 
stances permitted. From the organization of the Orange Pres- 
bytery, or soon after, he acted as stated Clerk until 1776> when 
he resigned, and Mr, Criswell was appointed in his place. When 
the Synod of the Carolinas held its first meeting, v/hich was at 
Centre church, in November 1788, a committee was appointed^ 
consisting of five ministers and five elders, to address a circular 
letter to the churches under tlie care of the Synod; and of this 
committee Ur, Caldv/ell was chairman. It seems to have been 
intended that the committee should prepare and publish it as 
soon as practicable, without waiting for the inspection and ap- 
proval of Synod ; but having been prevented by various causes 
from completing the task until near the time for the next stated 
meeting, they deferred its publication until then, and submitted 
it to the consideration of that body. It was approved, immedi- 
ately published, and circulated among the churches ; and it is 
probably one of the ablest and most comprehensive productions 
of the kind belonging to that period. As Dr, Caldwell was chair- 
man ot the committee he has been regarded as the author ; and j 
although it was no doubt in some measure a joint production, 
it may be fairly taken for granted, according to universal cus- 
tom, that he drew it up in its present form. If so it does him 
great credit, as any one must admit who will be at the trouble 
to give it an attentive perusal ; and it might be read by christians 
with much interest and profit even at the present day. 

When the University went into operation, as I have been cred- 
ibly informed, he had the offer of the Presidency ; but, owing to 
his advanced age, and the afflicted condition of his family, he 
did not consider it his duty to accept the appointment. In a 
short time however, the trustees of that institution conferred 
upon him the honorary title of D,D,; and considering the prev- 
alence of infidelity at that time, which, it is said, was openly a- 
vowed by a large proportion of the trustees themselves, it may 
be regarded not only as a tribute due to his merit, but as deman- 
ded by public sentiment. 

The life of Dr. Caldwell differed from that of most others be- 
longing to his profession, and from that of most men of letters,- 


in being iVequently forced into public notoriety and on a theatre 
Avhich lie did not covet, yet there were periods, of which the one 
now under consideration is an example, that were spent in seclu- 
^on from the world; and it was so little diversified by incidents 
of an interesting kind, as to furnish hardly ariy materials for the 
biographer. From the year 1S07 the nation was much excited 
on the subject of politics; but he does not appear to have med- 
dled with tiiera any farther than to write a piece occasionally 
for some of the pa[)ers, generally lor the Raleigh St^ir, and under 
a fictitious name. He was opposed to the last war at its com- 
mencement ; and was tlierefore by some called a Federalist ; but 
when the counlry was actually involved in war, and when the 
honor and the welfare of the nation vv ere at stake, he was ready 
to go any length in supporting the government. Of his patriot- 
ism and fidelity he gave all the proof that could be given by one 
of his age and in his circumstances ; and his services were duly 
appreciated by the people of this county at the time. When 
Virginia was threatened with an mvasion by the British, and 
there was a call for men to go from this region to Norfolk, they 
assembled the people at the court house, and beat up for voliiU' 
teers; but none seemed disposed to fail into the ranks. It was 
thought desirable to accomplish the object, if possible, without 
resorting to a draft; and for this purpose Dr. Caldwell was re- 
quested to preach on the subject in tiie court house. Although 
between 85 and 90 years of age, he complied with the request; 
but was vso decripid that he had to be helped up the steps to the 
Judge's bench. His very appearance on such an occasion and 
for such a purpose, was enough to inspire the young and vigorous 
with patriotic ardor and heroic intrepidity. He took for his text 
Luke xxii. 36^ last clause ; and when he was done there wasj^io 
difficulty in getting volunteers. The number required was soon 
made up ; and might have been greatly increased. Among the 
rest, a youug Quaker, by tiie name of Isaac White, feeiing his 
spirit stirred within him, boldly stepped forth into the ranks along 
with the foremost ; faithfully served his tour at Norfolk ; and 
then returned to this county where he married, settled, and is 
still living in comfort and respectability. Dr. Caldwell lived to 
see peace restored, and the country entering anew on a course of 


prosperity and happiness ; but tlie mlirmities of age increased 
upon him so mucli that he soon relinqnished the business of 
teaching and all concern with the world. He continued to 
preach in his churches liowever on the Sabbatli, unless preven- 
ted by iuclcnK'nt weather, until about the year 1820, though 
when he returned he was often so far exhausted that lie had to 
be carried from his horse into the house. 

Amidst all his irairmities and depressing circumstances he re- 
tained his natural clieerfulness unimpaired to the last; but he 
seemed to lament that he was continued here after he had be- 
come, as he supposed, useless to others, and longed for the close 
of day that he might rest from his labors and go to enjoy the re- 
wards which await every faithful servant of the Lord. From 
one who was never heard to utter a word in his ownconnnenda- 
tion, or known to seek the applause of the world, we could not 
expect to hear much about his feelings or prospects in relation 
to another world, especially in such a decline of his physical and 
mental powers as he now exhibited. — We approach the closing 
scene of such a man with no connnon feelings of veneration ; 
but we do not expect to find in old age, tlie vivacity of youth, the 
eager boundings of hope, or the bright and ecstatic visions of one 
who, in " life's early prime," lias obtained through faith a victo- 
ry over death and the grave, and who, in biddhig adieu to earth, 
passes lightly over the boundaries of time, with every power of 
the soul in full and dehghtful exercise. We expect in one who 
has long served his generation by tho will of God and who is 
about to be gathered to his fathers in peace, the more extended 
views and the more steady movements of one whose buoyancy 
of spirits has subsided as it ceased to be needed, having borne 
him along until he was past the agitations of life, and wiiose long 
familiarity with heaveJiiy things has rendered the ciiange from 
a slate of sin and imperfection to one of purity and bliss almost 
imperceptible; and so it was with the subject of this memoir ; 
for all felt that the end of that jnan was peace. — His family of- 
ten heard him say, in tiie latter part of life, that he had never 
once thought of being rich ; but that his whole concern had been 
to be useful in the world. For a few years before his death, 
when liis circumstances here and his prospects hereafter werd 


mentioned, liis common remark was that his cujj was full and 
running over. We have no dying expressions of a remarkable 
kind 1o record ; for as his whole course through hfe had been 
characterized more by doing than by talking, his state of nnnd 
towards 1 he close was exhibited rather than expressed; yet when 
he did allude to the suf)ject of his death, his language, his coun- 
tenance, and his whole deportment indicated the most perfect 
serenity, and the most unshaken and cheerful confidence. 

For two or three years he was not off the plantation until he 
was carried to the place where the ivicked cease from troub- 
ling, and vdiere the rveary are at rest. He had neither sick- 
ness nor ]iain ; and was never known to utter a complaint, or 
give the least indication of fretfnlness. The writer was fre- 
quently at his iiouse during this period ; and never saw more 
equanimity, patience, and cheerful piety manifested by any one 
under similar circumstances. Like most aged people, he slept 
much ; but when awake he was always ready to engage with a 
iVicnd or an acquaintance, in cheerful and profitable conversa- 
iion. Thus he continued until August 25lli, 1824, when he bid 
adieu to earth. He had been confined to bed only a few days ; 
but, when asked, he always said he was neither sick nor in pain. 
The family knew he was dying only by his drawing occasional- 
ly a longer breath than usual ; but there was nothing like a 
struggle ; not a limb was moved, nor a feature distorted ; and, 
being perfectly sensible and able to talk almost till the last 
breath, he went off like an infant going to sleep. Next day his 
remains were interred in the burying ground of Buffalo church; 
and the vast concourse of people that attended, of all classes 
and denominations, evinced the universal respect entertained for 
his memory. The Orange Presbytery, at its next stated meet- 
ing, which was held at Buffalo church, passed a resolution to 
liave a sermon on his deatii preached before them as a Presby- 
tery; and the Rev. E. B. Currie, one of his old pupils, having 
been appointed to discharge this duty, delivered before the Pres- 
bytery and the congregation, an appropriate and excellent dis- 
course on Eccles. vii. 1, ,/? good narne is better than precious 
ointnicnt ; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. 
TTis widow survived him less than a year; for on the 3d of 


June, 1S25, her spirit left this world to rejoin her former com- 
panion in tribulation, and in the faith and patience of the saints. 
For years she had said that her greatest trial was her impa- 
tience to leave this world and get to a better. This impatience 
she believed to be wrong, and was often grieved to thhik that she 
was not completely resinged to the divine will ; but it contiiuied 
until the very moment of her discharge ; for almost the last 
thing she said was, " 0, what hinders, that his chariot wheels de- 
lay so long." She retained her senses, and all her faculties un- 
til the last breath ; and a more histructive scene than her death 
bed is seldom witnessed. Only an hour or two before she died, 
having perceived that they were preparing to make her burying 
clothes, she gave, with perfect calmness and pleasantness, direc- 
tions respecting certain parts of them; and seemed to be as at- 
tentive to the comfort and welfare of those about her as if she 
had been a ministering spirit sent from heaven for the purpose. 
Supper being announced, while her friends were all around her, 
some one observed, in a low voice, that they had better not all 
go at once ; but she heard it, and told them all to go and come 
back again as soon as supper was over. When they returned 
she had her servants all called in, and mentioned by name the 
old woman who had nursed most of her children. Finding all 
present as she wished, and feeling that the time of her depar- 
ture was come, with quite a strong voice, she called upon her 
son Alexander, to engage in prayer, which he did. Wliile all 
were thus engaged and on then* knees, she asked her youngest 
son, who sat by her, for some water. Having raised up and 
taken it when presented, she sunk back into the bed again ; put 
up her hands and closed her own eyes ; then folded her arms 
across her breast ; and with the next breath meekly resigned 
her spirit info the hands of her Redeemer. Blessed are the 
dead who die in the Lord frorn henceforth : Yea,saith the spi- 
rit, that tJiey may rest from their labors ; and their U'orks do 
follow them. Next day her remains were interred beside those 
of her husband ; and a marble slab with a simple but appropri- 
ate inscription has been placed over tlieir graves by the family 
and some individuals in the Bntfalo church. A small slab, witli 
a suitable inscription, in memory of Dr. Caldwell, was also in- 


serted in the gvave-yard wall at Alamance church by the people 
of that congregation ; but the services which he rendered to 
llie cluu'ch and to the country are his best and most enduring 

The famous reply of Solon, the lawgiver and philosopher of 
Athens, to Crcesus, the victorious, proud, and wealthy king of 
Lydia, that no man should be accounted happy before his death, 
though partly true — perhaps true to the full extent of his mean- 
ing, or of his knowledge of that in whicli happiness consists, — 
and tliough it has been much admired as a clieck upon the pre- 
sumptuous hopes, and a safeguard to the reputable conduct of 
men, in this world, — contained no assurance that the philoso- 
pher himself, or any other man, would certainly be happy after 
death ; but tlie gospel does give such assurance, and in a way 
that leaves no doubt on tlie minds of those who receive it as a 
revelation from God. It teaches us that no man is or can be 
perfectly happy before death ; but at tlie same time it affirms 
most explicitly, and in every variety of form, that those who 
are reconciled with God through Jesns Christ, shall, when their 
course on eartli is finished, be received into complete and ever- 
lasting rest. 

The evidence on which wc expect the future happiness of any 
individual must be found in his life ; and that evidence we think 
was furnished abundantly by the subject of this memoir through 
a long course of piety and usefulness. After the sketch that has 
been given of his life, the cast of his mind and the leading traits 
of his character, may be readily perceived. There was perliaps 
uo one quality, mental or moral, which made him conspicuous 
above every body else, and no one branch of learning or of bu- 
siness in which he excelled all other men — unless it was the bu- 
siness of teaching, m which, it is believed, he had few equals, 
and no superiors ; but his excellence and consequently his use- 
fulness consisted in a combination of qualities, physical, intellec- 
tual, and moral, which rendered Iiim one of the most useful men 
of the age and country in which he lived. When in liis prime 
his stature was above the medium size, being a little over six 
feet; his attitude erect and firm; and his frame muscular and 
vigorous, Ilis constitution was not only sound and his health 


nninteiTupted, but his habits of business and of study kept all 
his powers of body and mind in constant and healthful exercise. 
His recreation was nothing nriore than a change of employment, 
as the study, which he occupied night and morning, was ex- 
changed at the proper hour for the school room; in the evening 
that was exchanged for the meadow, the garden, or a visit to 
the sick ; and wbeu the day of rest came all were exchanged 
for the more important exercises of the pulpit. There was not 
only a habitual cheerfulness in nis disposition and intercourse 
with society, but he had an exhauslless fund of humor. When 
a young man, the young people of his neighborhood dreaded 
his wit, though it was always of a pleasant kind ; and a similar 
remark may be made respecting his congregations ; but notwith- 
standing this propensity, it is said that he never lost a friend ; 
for if he once gained a man's aflections or confidence, if he was 
a man of principle, no alienation or change took place after- 

A physician in a neighboring county who had been one of his 
pupils, and had a very high regard for his character, used to say 
in his witty and jocose manner, that, if he were to meet " Old 
Domine " in heaven he would scare at him; and this was 
merely a singular way of expressing what was generally felt; 
for there was that about him which commanded the respect, not 
only of his scholars, but of all who were well acquainted with 
him ; and the more intimate the acquaintance the more sincere 
was the respect which it inspired. Whether he had a mind 
which, under more favorable circumstances, would have made 
improvements in science or philosophy, and extended the boun- 
daries of human knowledge, cannot now be known ; for his time 
was too much occupied in communicating what he had acquired; 
but those who knew him well and were good judges, say that 
he had a capacity for almost every thing ; for he could learn 
with great facility every thing he attempted ; and what he once 
learned he never lost. His thirst for knowledge was great ; and 
to acquire it he spared neither toil nor expense. He was gener- 
ous almost to a fault ; for while his price of tuition was low, .^10 
or @12 per annum, he often made no charge, especially for young 
men who were preparing for the ministry: and generally they 


who came either to beg or borrow were not sent empty away. 
It is said that he was never known to be in a passion, to shew a 
revengeful spirit, or to lose his self possession ; but the most 
striking trait in his character, perhaps, was that of overcoming 
evil with good ; and so much was this a habit with him as to 
give rise and currency to the remark that no man ever did Ur. 
Caldwell an injury without receiving some expression of khid- 
ness in return. Such a man could not live in vain : and he, be^ 
ing dead, yd speaketh. 

S E II M ON J . 


Prov. xii. 24. — But the slothful shall be uxder tribute. 

Paying tribute ot tax is an acknowledgement of subjection and dependence; 
and is opprobrious or not, according to the circumstances under which it is 
paid. When we pay a tax to tiie support of a government whose constitu- 
tion we appr )ve and in whose measures we have a voice, it is paid cheerful- 
ly ; and tiien we are more tiian compensated by the personal security and by 
the tkcilities for improvement winch it afibrds; but still it isan acknowledge- 
ment of dependence upon, or of subjection to, that governm;'i;t. \\'hen it is 
jiaid to a foreign government; and especially, if it be paid from compul>i<'n, 
and not from choice, it is always considered as degrading. Thus the Jews 
considered the tribute which thoy paid at difiercnt periods of their history to 
the surrounding nations; and fii^-illy, to the R'lman government. So all na- 
tions in all ages have viewed the payment of tribute by coiiiprdsion, whether 
it was paid to their own rulers, or to those of another nation; and this arises 
from that innate love of iiber'y which belongs to all men, as well as to their 
sense of justice and propriety; for the exaction from a people of a tribute 
more than they themselves, wlien propeily informed, admit to be necessary to 
enable ihe government to give adequate protection to their persons and pro- 
perty, no matter by whom it is done, is felt to be a violation of justice ; and 
t'lie guveniment which will make such exactions from downright avarice, or 
for ambitious purposes, is not guided by a fair appreciation of tlie riglits of 
mankind, or by those benign principles which alone can render its operation 
acceptable and salutary to the governed. 

When an individual is said to be under tribute, as in the text, the meaning- 
is that he is in a degraded state of subjection to, and dependence upon, those 
around him; and such, we are here told, will be the condition of the slug- 
gard. We are so con.stitutcd that vigorous and well directed exertion is ne- 
cessary to l!ie attainment of anything that is valuable; and all the powers 
we possess, bodily and mental, ought to be employed .assiduously in pursu- 
;:nce ot the end for wliich tliey were given. The powers with which we are 
(-ndowed are various; but the employments for which they are required are 
al,-o various; and it is not important in what way we are employed, provided 
it be at something that is right and useful. If we refuse to exercise tiiese 
powers in the way in which it was designed we should exercise them, we 
mast, remain destitute of that which would be obtained by a proper industry ; 


.•Hul this iiopicct, nnd ti.e consequent destitution, may be either partial or total. 
Im)| f'XJiiiiplc : a ceitain detrree of bodily exercise is necessary to liealth ; but 
if we neglect that exercise we must want the health and vif^or wiiich njight 
otherwise be enjoyed, 'i'jje Acquisition of knowledge depends upon a diligent 
Dae oi the nieaiu- and the due e.xercisc of onr-mental faculties; but if we re- 
kise to take this course, we must remiiinin ignorance. Industry, as to the 
thing'&of this world, is necessary to obtain the means of subsistence and the 
comforts of life ; hut if we refuse to labor, we nmst remain in poverty and 
wretchedness. ^Ve are surrounded by enemies and dangers of various kinds; 
and to avoid being overcome, both vigilance and eflbrts are necessary; but if 
we refuse to waicli and to take the proper precautions, or to defend ourselves 
vrhcn attacked, captiv/ty or luin v;ill be the certain consequence. 

It has been said that the word which is rendered doUifttl, in the text, ought 
to lie reri(icrcd ileceilful, or fraudulent ; but we need not detain you with any 
critical remarks in order to settle that point, as the two characters are veiy 
much alike; tor we generally firid t!iat the deceillul and fraudulent are indo- 
lent too; and tliert! are certainly som.e of the same elements in both. As it 
stiiids it answers hetier also to the anfithesis in the first pin of the verse. 
Till' hand of the bimgl.nt fshall uemi uuli:;; bu( the SLOTHFeL shall, he under 
TiiiBUTE, Besides there are many other passages, both in the Old aud New 
Testament, and especially in the book of Proverbs, of the same import, and 
about which llu;re is no dispute. 

A man may be so intent upon g;iin,or so absorbed in scientific or literary 
pursuits, or so engaged in sometiiing else tlut is lawful and even important in 
its nature, as to neglect his health, and, not only become the subject of debil- 
ity and disease, but go down to a premature gi.ive. Tlie efiect in this case is 
owing, iiot to indolence, but an im[H-udent or a too eager pursuit of the object; 
vet indolence will he followed by the same result; for in both cases the laws 
of oui jihysicai nature are violated in a simdar way. We need not enquire 
v/lietlii;r there is any culpability in the ibrmer case; for that depends on cir- 
cunj^taiu'os, and is not necessary to our purpose. It is with the sluggard we 
hive to do at present ; and tor him there is no apology. While he is impair- 
inii' his health and shortening his days by his inactivity and sloth, he is gain- 
ing notli'iio' in any other way, aud must therefore be cliargeable v,'ith his own 
miseiy aiu] ruin. 'I'o say nothing of the injury to his liealtb from inattention 
to cieanliness and from the want of iVesh and wholesome air, which is very 
great, the laws of our jihysical existence require frequent and legular exer- 
cise: and without it. the vitality of the system will 1 mguisli and its energies 
becoiue impaired. As Ike door turneth itpnn his hinges, so doth the sluggard 
vpoii his bed — turning fVom one side to the other, but still remaining in the 
.s.iuu! place. The slothful hideth his hand in liis busoni : It grievcth him 
io bring il again to his mouth — that is, tlie slightest exertion is irksome to 
him; and he neglects, not only tho mnicular exertion necessary to health, 
but lo make suitable provision lor his nourishment. Such a man cannot enjoy 
the heiillh and vigor of other people; nor have the same number of days to 


live; for, as a matter of fact, vvo always liiul that those who live long upon 
the earth are people of regular and active hnbita. 

If the sluggard commences in poverty he will remain poor; nnd iflie cnni- 
mcnccs rich he will become poor. lie may desire wealth and ccinforf, but 
his desire killeth liim ; for " his hands refuse to labor." He may " covet gree- 
dily all the day long ;" but, while " the rigliteous h;ive enough and to spare," 
he is in want. While many a man, who began life poor, has become ric!) by 
honest hut persevering industry, many a fine estate has been wasted by sloth 
and inattention. T lie slothful man suith there is a lion in the tciiy : a lion 
is in the stnets, — tliat is, in tiie very places where ho ought to heat work, or 
attending to his business ; and the amount of it is tliat lie is ready lo in:ikc 
any excuse, and will indulge his sioth upon any terms. 'I'he consequence is 
that, if he has a farm, it is in disorder, and becoming waste. / went by the 
ful'lof the slothful, and by the vineyurd of the man void of iinderslanding. 
And lo, it ivas all grmon over with thorns, and nellies had covered the face 
thereof, and the stone wall thereof mas broken down. To an observing and 
reflecting man this was a source of instruction. Theii I saw, and considered 
it well: I looked upon it and received instruction. The amount of it was, 
tliat while the man was saying to himself, Yet a little sleep, a little slumhert 
a little fAding of the hands to sleep, his poverty was seen coming as one 
thai lrovellelh,and liiswa)i,t as an armed man. II" he is a tradesman, or a 
merchant, and neglects his business, his customers, his debts, or any thi:ig be- 
longing to his occupation, the same result will follow. Sloth is usually at 
the bottom of all negligence, disorder, or bad management in business; and 
there is more sloth among us, and more of the evils resulting from it, proba- 
bly, than many of yon have ever supposed. 

But these are not all the evils, nor the worst evils to which the sluagird is 
subject; for those of a mental and moial kind are ranch more seiious m their 
nature and their consequences. A certain amount of knowledge is necessa- 
ry to a man's welfare, hero and iiereafter; and the more knowledge he has 
the better, if he makes a right use of it; for then his satisfaction and his use 
fulness will be in the same proportion. But even that amount of intelligence. 
which will enable him to understand his own interest, and make him acquain- 
ted vvith the duties wliicli ho owes to God his Maker, and to hisiellou- beings, 
requires a dihgent use of the means ot knowledge, and much reflection on 
what he reads or acquires in any way. lie may be very po-itivc or dogmati- 
cal in his opinions, without being able to tell why he entertains them; and is 
positive just because he is ignorant. The sluggard is wiser in his oion con 
ceit than seven men that can render a reason. Seven was considered as the 
number oi' perfection among the .lews, and being in common use it was oilcn 
employed by the inspired writers, as it was by the people to whom they 
wrote, to express the whole class of persons or objects to which it was applied ; 
an<l by "seven wise men" was therefore meant all the wise men in the world. 
The sluggard thinks he is wiser than any body else; and this state of mind, 
in addition to his aversion to any proper exercise of his mental powers, keeps 


Fiiin in ignorance. Wliile the due exercise ofall our power?, mental and pliy-. 
sical, is the only condition on whicli our present and future welfiire can be se- 
cured, of vviiich we are expressly informed by the great and good Being who 
gave us existence, and tlio proof of wliich is nuinifest every where around ui-; 
he who will not comply witii tiie laws of his being and tnlfil the only condition 
on which his welfare is attninable, must become a certain prey to "all the ills 
that flesh is heir to;" for if he is not aware of these evils how can he escape 
them ? It he is ignorant, how can he know in what they consist, or in what 
dirf^ction lliey will come? or if lie does not know tlie things that make for his 
peace, how can lie seek them, though ever so anxious ? Knowledge, like ev- 
ery thing else that is good, is the reward of industry ; and if we would obtain 
it, we must prize it above gold and silver, and seek fijr it as for hidden treas- 
ure. The slothful man cannot know in what his true interest consists; nor 
become propeily acquainted with his duties to God and to his fellow man. — 
Of course he cannot answer the end of his creation by honoring God and be- 
ing useful in the world ; and as he contributes nothing to the welfare of the 
community in which he lives, by bearing his portion of its burdens, or by 
aiding to support tiiose principles and to carry out those plans of improve- 
ment on which it.- good order and prosperity depend, he must be despised by 
all the wise and good. The sluggard, as a worthless being, destitute of mer- 
it, and doing no good to himself or any body else, is as really an object of re- 
probation as the miser, the spendthrift, or the highway robber; and the bles- 
sings which he foregoes and the evils which he brings upon himself, here, 
are but forerunners of the heavier losses which he will sustain, and the more 
insuflerable woes which he will bring upon liim.-elf hereafter ; for the un- 
profitable servant will be bound bund and foot, and cast into outer darkness 
where no ray of comtbit can ever cast even a momentary radiance over the 
gloom, and vvhere there is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth forever. 
The evils whicli he is brinoing upon himself here ate those of privation and 
of suficring: they are pliysical, intellectual, and moral; and increasing, as 
they are, from day to day, both in number and degree, they can be regarded 
only as the beginning of sorrows. 

We have seen that while the skigg.'ird is impiiringhis health and shortcn- 
iiui his days, lie is wasting his estate, or depriving himself of blessings and 
privileges which he might otherwise enjoy ; and is not only acting in a man- 
ner very similar to tiiat of the most prodigal spendthrift, but is pursuing to- 
wards himself, and perhaps others also who may be dependent on him, a per- 
fectly suicidal course. God hath declared that " he is brother to him that is a 
great waster;" and that he "who sleeps in summer shall beg in harvest," 
exposing himself to poverty, shame, and misery. 

.'\s he will not disturb his ease tliat he may become acquainted with his du- 
ly to God, or learn upon what terms the divine favor may be obtained, and 
what will be the consequence of neglecting to comply with those terms, nei- 
ther will he take the trouble to ascertain what is due to him from his fellowmen. 
or what h^' o'.vs to them. Hence boin<r deficient in his duty to his God. his .kinv 


iiiid his country, ho not only hecninos an oiisy prey to every hold intruder uiio 
is eitlicr desirous of'^^aiu or greedy ol i)ou cr, but is exposed to all the evils, of 
whatever kind, that can come upon iiini tVoui those towards whom lie has vio- 
lated his obligations. While he is speiidiiijj or losing', by his ionorance and 
sloth, t!ie inheritance that has been handed down t'roui his predecessors, per- 
haps through a number of gener.itions, with all the temporal comforts which 
it mioht have afforded, or is nenr]eciini,>- to acquire the means of comfort and 
lespectability which a kind Providence has placed vvithin the reach of his in- 
dustry, the ambitions and tlie covetous, iIk^so tyrants of the luiifian race and 
pests of society, view hi.n as an object lit for their purposes, aiiJ mark hmi lijr 
tlieir prey, believing' that his ignorance will screen them from iiis notice, and 
that his indolence will make him perfectly submissive, or prevent that vigi- 
lance and exertion on his part which are necessary to his safety. Thus they 
are encouraged to make the experiment; aud they too ot"ten succeed. Hero 
your own memories may easily sugg-)st exaujples, both in public and in pri- 
vate life, in which tlie weak, the ignorant, aiid the slollihil were out-witted 
and imposed on, defrauded and subjugated, by some unprincipled villain or 
other, who was destitute alike of honor, humanity, and every thing else that 
coulci entitle him to tlie respect and a fleet ions of his fellow men; and of such 
the world is full. — But as llic sluggard is so reckless as to destroy his soul, 
body, and estate, it is almost a matter of course that he will so undervalue Ins 
civil and religious liberties as to lose them in tlie same way. 

Were he careful to examine inio the rights ol society and to ascertain what 
each individual parts with, for the sake of tiie government, the Dggregato i;f 
which is the royal prerogative, and is committed into the hands of the su- 
preme magistrate to be exerci?ed for the public good, he would easily see 
when his civil liberties were secure, or when endangered by the attempts of 
ambitious and designing men; but he does not consider that the king, as such, 
is created, protected, vvd supported by the State ; and that all his acts should 
theretbre promote the public good. While the sluggard continues ignorant 
of these leading principles, no wonder if be is easily awed' into slavery, stoop.s 
his shoulders to the burden, becomes a servant to tribute, and yields to all the 
unjust demands of usurped prerogative. 

In acting thus, however, he is an enemy, not only to liimself, hut also to his 
children. Can this be possible ! yon wil' say. Can he divest himself of hu 
inanity! Can he lay aside the tender feelings of a parent! Can he forget 
the civil interests of liis children! Can he expose his helpless infants to the 
lawless demands of tyranny, and to all the cruelties of despotism I Can he 
be so infatuated as to ruin his tender offspring by surrendering their liberty 
and property into the hands of those who exercise usurped prerogative!—! 
would say it was impossible, if incontestable iacts did not prove the contrary. 
Who are capable of such blackened crimes? who can deliberately mm him- 
self and his children at once! the sluggard ; and whoever else may do the 
same thing frcm other princinlo? or in other ways, the shiggff'-^ i? sure to do 


if, in whoui ignorance, disregnrd of moral obligation, and a supreme love of 
case are inseperably united. 

Should such a monster of human society appear at a time when tlie royal 
prerogative is extended beyond the bounds of reason, or the just limits of the 
constitution, would he act the ciiampion in the cause of liberty, bravely vvitli- 
stand the siiocks of an arbitrary and tyrannical governmen'', and bid defiance 
to all the illicit re(jiiirement3 of despotism ? Would he vindicate the cause 
of political Inith, and firnily resolve to transmit to his infant sons the fair in- 
heritance of liberty? Theanswers to these questions I beseech you to con- 
ceal. Let not. the friends of ihe constitution, or the "Sons of Liberty," know 
thatsuch an enemy to the common interestsof mankind anywhere exists, lest 
their patriotic zoal should raise undue resentment and cause it to burst upon 
Itis devoted head — conceal, I pray you, conceal it from his unoflending family- 
— add not intamy and disgiace to their bondage and oppression. It will be 
enough, and more than enough, for them, to answer the demands of tyranny, 
and the lawless requisitions of an unprincipled minister, if, for lack of courage 
and firmness, the cliains of slavery should be now fastened 'upon us. Alas, 
they must groan out their days in lamentation and wretchedness, suffering 
whatever a corrupt minister, or ministerial tools, can invent; and tamely sur- 
render all that is most dear and valuable to the demands of avarice and the 
menaces of power. Let thorn not know that their bondage and degradation 
must be ascribed to the ignorance and indolence of their progenitors, who, 
from cowaidice or the love of ease, tamely surrendered all that was their own 
atid all that should have been their children's, into the hands of a popish mi- 
nister or an infatuated senate. This would sink their sinking spirits still 
lower, and add infaniV and shame to poverty and oppression. Let oblivion 
spread her dark veil over their ignoble principles and unmanly conduct, who, 
i^oT a little ease, or the hope of securing a trifling estate, or some mereseltisii 
advantage of comparatively small value and short duration, would resign their 
own and tiieir cliiidreu's liberty, overturn the constitution, and expose them- 
selves, with their posterity, born or unboin, to the griping paw of arbitrary 

When men of this character, ambitious and unprincipled, are a majority in 
the State, or have the control of public aiEiirs, what unjust prosecutions, what 
shipwrecks of property, what fines, confiscations, and imprisonments, tiie black 
liistory of some former inauspicious reigns fully manifest. I refer to the linie 
when a set of slothful and unprincipled wretclic- disgraced ihe British Senate, 
sufl"t:ring t!ie Council Table, Star Chamber, and High Commissioners to en- 
gross almost the whole power of making and executing the laws — at which 
time they enforced tlieir loan.-, benevolences, and ship-money, by ill^'gal pros- 
ecutions, intolerable fines, and long imprisoniT..ents, to the ruin or serious injury 
of the nation; fur vast niultitudes of tlie most industrious, upright, and valua- 
ble citizens left the country; and with all classes there was a want of confi- 
dence in the governmeni; — while the disregard of moral honesty and good 
fal'.h manifested bv !h.e men in power, and the temptations held out to tiie am- 


bilious and covetous to stifle conscience and trample on the rii^Hits ot justice 
and humanity, produced a general deterioration of moral principle. 

The sin and danger ofsloth, in relation to our civil liberty, or of yielding to 
the unjust demands of arbitrary power, is further evident from the fact that 
those in high life, or wlio administer the government, have all the allurements 
by which to turn the active spirits of the age, and cause them to act in con- 
cert with themselves. Some they bring over by promoting them to iiigh 
stations; some by pains and penalties; some are influenced by llic apprehen- 
sion of not being able to obtain justice and of losing what little th(>y have; 
some are brought into subjection and held fiist through a kind of depravity ni 
their understanding, not distinguishing between reasonable taxation and o])- 
pression ; w-hile others seem to have so much infidelity in their make that they 
<vill not believe what all mankind assert, and will hardly belive the testimony 
of their own senses. 

Eut the sluggard from mere indolence, or from an aversion to exerting him- 
self in any wqy, will not observe these matters, nor inquire into what is con- 
ducive to his own and his children's safety and happiness. He would rather 
stoop his shoulders and take on him the whole load of oppression and slavery, 
with all their train of privations snd hardships. Were these evils confined to 
the persons and families of such indolent wretches it would be more tolerable ; 
but, alas! posterity, in a)l its extent and in its distant generations, may feel 
the burden, made more insupportable by repeated additions. — France and 
Spain, yea, all the enslaved nations ot Europe, can bear witness that it was 
the sluggish disposition ol their remote predecessors, and the inactivity of suc- 
ceeding ages, which introduced, increased, and perfected their present bond- 
age — a bondage which makes them to this day groan under a load that it is 
not likely they or their children will be able to throw olT. 

Had our forefathers in England given up the cause of liberty and indulged 
in sloth, or inglorious ease, when popish recusants, assisted by the French, 
and headed by an angry and disappointed Prince, attempted our subjugation and 
ruin, we should have been under the domination of popery, and exposed to all 
its persecuting tenpts; — to slavery, and all its poverty and wo. Attempts 
have been often made, since the relbrmation, to introduce popery and slavery 
into the British nation ; but they were always resolutely and successfully 
withstood. Charles I, prompted and sustained by his alliance with France, 
the depravity of his nnder'^taiiding, and his uxorious obedience (o his popish 
queen, encouraged popery in his kingdom; and those who professed the pro- 
tcstant religion were botli oppressed and persecuted. At this time the Bjitish 
parliament was adorned by men of honesty, zeal and activity, who clJected 
such prodigious nwolutioos in clmrch and state, a/* were the surprise and won- 
der of all Europe; When James II abdicated the throne of England, and rais- 
ed an army of papists and confedera*H French, to establish popery and slaver)', 
the British nation did not betray their religioner their liberty by an inglorious 
submission, nor did they desert the mighty cause of truth and freedom through 
sloth or cowardice. They valiantly repelled the force and lury ofhis attacks; 


.•iiid te'irlcs-ly proclaiinr'd thn prince nnil prinncsss of (3r;inirft tho kinw- and. 
(|ii'7ei) nt'(ii(Mi Pii-iniii. Tlius our forofiitliors, or inaiiv of lliem, saciificeiJ 
.-it l,oii(!iiii(i('rry .-111(1 Kiini.-killoii, llicir livos, that lliey uiio-ht hand down to us 
llio fiir inh'Tittiioo ofliiicrly and tlio proti^stanl religion; find in the whole 
riiirso of their conduct in the t^upport and defence of (heir ri^lits, they have set 
MS an cxrunple wliirh ou^ht not to be dis-reoaided. — Bat the sluggard o-ives up 
lii> nil : nil th it is lii.s own. nnd all thfit .-d'ould he his cliildren'tf and their cliil- 
<lren's nfter tlicni, into the lnn'l> of aniliitions, arbitrary, and wicked man, — in 
r'Dnseqnenee of which, lio and tiioy, so far as he is at all concerned to prevent 
it, art exposed to iiiirenutted slavery, poverty, and distress. 

If the slugfrard he thus an enemy to all above hini, to all around him, and 
to all that will come after him, as well as ta himself, in soul, body, and estate, 
he ought to be well observed in every well regulated community ; tor he des- 
pises and tramples upon the laws of God and the most silutary institutions of 
men — institutions that have been handed down, as invaluable and sacred, 
from father to son, through many generations. Among these we may men- 
tion that of trial hij juries, wiiich is a very ancient institution or usage in 
Great Britain; fur it seems to have been known to the first Britons, was 
practised by the Saxons, and has been confirmed since the invasion of the 
Normans by Magna Chorla, and by continual usage. Trial by juries, how- 
ever, is not only of great antiquity, but is essential to the safety and happiness 
ol every British subject, and, in fact, of all mankind. Juries are England's 
Ephori and Trihnni; and are the living bulwark of the laws and the liberties 
of the people. If we look at those nations that are destitute of this constitu- 
tional or essential safeguird, we find that the condition ot the inhabitants is 
miserable, beino' either entirely subjected to the arbitrary will of tyrants who 
])lunder, dismember, or slay them from mere caprice, according to their hu- 
mor, often wiiheut any provocation, and merely to gratify a savage cruelty ; 
or at least we find them under such laws as lender their lives, liberties, and 
estates liable to be disposed of at the discretion of men acting as judges, who 
are perfect strangers, oftener mercenary than otherwise, and the mere crea- 
tures of the nyal jireroaative ; sometimes malicious and oppressive; and 
Ireqiieutly pirlial and corrupt. But such has been the patriotism, prudence, 
and activity of our ancestors, that they have never suffered the most arbilra. 
ry prince, or princes, tliat ever swayed the British sceptre, to destroy this in- 
valuable privilege; nor can it aver be destroyed until the constitution, and 
the libeities of the people, v;hich are now secured by it, are wrested from 
them and trampled under toot, which can never be done, except from then- 
own siipineness or mismanagement. If Britons, when under the influence of 
h(>alhen superstition, or in the ignorance and thraldom of popery, were thus 
jenliuis of their rights, and mniutnined the privilege of being tried by liieir 
p.-ers, or by a jury of the and best men to be found in the vicinity, as 
ilie only iiK'ans ot securing their lives and fortunes against the arbitrary, par-- 
tial, and corrupt judges, would it not be a blot on the escutcheon of Britons 
or the descendants of Britons, professing the protostant religion, and cnjnymg^ 


SO much light, now to give up, from sloth or cowardice, a privilege so valuable 
that every other of merely a civil kind can hardly be brought into the com- 
parison. The sluggard who gives up such an important branch of the con- 
stitution is worse than a thief or a robber ; for the one takes from you only 
what he needs, or can take away at present, but the other undermines the 
constitution; op^^ns tho door for tyranny and oppression; and exposes all a- 
round hiui, and all that will come alter him, as well as himselt, to the paw of 
arbitrary and despotic power. 

The consequences of sloth are therefore most pernicious ; and the sluggard, 
being a perfect nuisance to society, must be under the frowns of his Maker, 
and despised by all good men; for he will not unite with the people of God 
and the friends of humanity, eitiier to procure or defend their common rights 
and privileges. — This seems to luive been tiie case with tlie inhabitants of the 
city Me.roz; and God expressed in the most forcible manner his displeasure 
at their indolence and cowardice. When Jabin, one of (he kings of Canaan, 
who reigned in Hazor, had subjugated Israel, and mightily oppressed them 
for the space of twenty years, lyebor.ih, a proplietess, being influi need by the 
spirit of the Lord, called for Barak out of Kedesh-Naphtali ; and ordered him 
to go to Mount Tabor, and t :k8 with him ten thousand men out of the tribes 
of JNaphtali and Zebulon, Accordinij"ly Barak issued a general proclamation 
for these two tribes to meet him at Kedesh; and they obeyed, except the in- 
habitants of this city Meroz, who, it seems, chose rather to be under the tyr- 
anny and oppression of that cruel prince, Jabin, than to join with God and his 
people in vindicating their ngtits and maintaining their common privileges. 
God, that he might shfw his indignation against those sluggish or timid 
wretches who would not join in the common cause of liberty, nor unite in de* 
fending those rights which he had originally given them, and which, though 
lost by their pusillanimity, he v/as about to restore, provided they shewed 
themselves worthy of such a favor, inspired the prophetess Deborah, and Ba- 
rak the chief commander of the expedition, with that celebrated song, recor- 
ded by the divine historian, in which there is this remarkable passage. Curse 
ye Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to 
the help of the L'ird, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. 

There seems to be a dreadful similarity between our sluggard and the in- 
habitants of this devoted city, both in the measure and in the manner of sin- 
ning. They reoarded neither the command of God, nor their own or their 
children's happiness ; and pieferred their present ease to the good of the 
community, the cause of truth, and the welfare of posterity. They seemed 
to despise, or disregard, all that was above them, all that was around them, 
and ail that might come after them, just like the person mentioned in our 
text, who shall be under tribute. It this be so, may we not say, without 
any violence to the sacred text, curse ye the sluggard, saith the angel of the 
Lord, curse him bitterly, because he will not come up to the help of the Lord, to 
the help of the Lord against those mighty oppressors who break down the 
sacred enclosures of the constitution, and make inroads upon the life, liberty, 


unci property of the subject ; who take away or mutilate our charters that have 
been solemnly ratified by British sovereigns and guarantied by the plighted 
faith of government; who take away or deprive us of the right of trial by 
juries, which is indeed the Palladium of English liberty; who tax us and take 
our money, without our consent; and who extend the courts of admiralty and 
vice-admiralty bpj'ond their ancient and proper limits. — Thus the sluggard is 
an object of execration every where, and at all times; and the evils of his 
conduct attend him in all his interests and relations, in public and in private ; 
yea in every circumstance or situation of life, his way is as a hedge of thorns. 
He is cursed in his relations, as being numbered among the profligate and 
profane, and nearly connected with the most abandoned spendthrift; for he is 
brother to him that is a great waster. He shall be cursed with groundless 
fears and apprehensions, when called to the discharge of any necessary or 
important duty : There is a lion without : I shall be slain in the streets. — 
He shall be cursed in his possessio7ts ; for it is manifest to every one who 
takes a view of the sluggard's field, and of the vineyard of the man void of 
understanding, when he sees its whole surface covered with thorns and net- 
tles, and its wall broken down, that poverty shall overtake the owner as one 
that travelleth, and that famine shull seize him as an armed man. He shall 
be cursed in his dwelling ; for, by much sloth the building decayeth He 
shall be cursed as a. felo-de-se, a person who is deliberately guilty of suicide, 
because he neglects the ordinary means of preserving his life and securing 
his best interest. The desire of the slothful killelh him ; for his hands re- 
fuse to labor. He shall be cursed of God forever: Thou wicked, slothful, and 
unprofitable servant — you must take up your everlasting abode in the black- 
ness of darkness, where the excruciating pain inflicted upon you by divine 
vengeance, will be productive of eternal weeping, wailing, and gnashing of 
teeth. But why need we attempt to mention in detail the numberless evils — 
the poverty, shame, and remorse — the contempt, misery, and despair — that 
he shall suffer in his person and character, here and hereafter? All the curses 
in the book of God are levelled against bim; and they will, ere long, break 
upon him like a bursting cloud. The united execrations of the present, 
and of coming ages, will render him truly contemptible; and the gnawing 
reflections of a guilty conscience, will make him completely and forever mis- 

After this description of the sluggard's character, and of the complicated 
train of evils which will pursue him, in soul and body, through time and eter- 
nity, blasting his name aad character here, and involving the ruin of his hopes 
hereafter, you are perhaps saying. If this picture be just, or if the sluggard's 
character be so odious and his punishment so terrible, we will not indulge in 
sloth ourselves, nor connive at it in others. These are good resolutions, and 
may be a good beginning; but these distempered times call for more than 
ycsolutions. You know that some years ago the British Parliament took a 
notion to be arbitrary ; and proceeded to pass acts which were unknown to 
the constitution, alarming to the wise and prudent in Great Britain, and ruin- 


ous or oppressive to their American subjects. They sent out their odious 
Stamp Act; but it could lind no entrance, although it was said there, that it 
would execute itself. It was repealed, but the design of taxing these colonies, 
without their consent, was not laid aside. Probably they saw that American 
virtue would not readily yield to such arbitrary measures ; and that therefore 
more time and deliberation were necessary ; but in the mean time there was 
laid up d decree of the Parliament for future use, viz : " That they ca7i make 
laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever." They seem to be maliciously zeal- 
ous to obtain domination over us, — a proof of which was given in the case of 
New York, whose legislation was suspended by an act of Parliament, for a 
supposed offence against the crown. Thus they officiously stepped in and 
stripped his majesty of his prerogative, that they might usurp authority over 
us. They proceeded to lay a tax on a variety of things, though, with respect 
to most of them, it was again repealed ; but the duty on tea still remaining, 
they resolved that it should be paid ; and sent large quantities of it into various 
parts of this continent. Some was sent back ; some stored up ; and some des- 
troyed, as at Boston. But the tea being the property of the East India com- 
pany, the destruction of it was a trespass; and the perpetrators of the act 
were liable by the common law. Those concerned in that riot, however, were 
not apprehended, nor was the town of Boston called upon to deliver up the 
offenders. The justice of Parliament was invoked in this trifling matter; and 
it vvill surprise the less civilized nations to learn that it was granted. Their 
armies and fleets were sent, in virtue of this inhuman law, bearing date after 
the trespass at Boston was committed, and exposing the innocent with the 
guilty, to the most complicated distress that ministerial vengeance could in- 
vent, or that a British Parliament, filled with rage and the insatiable thirst of 
power, could inflict. 

The sense of the United Colonies was taken on this important matter. — 
We set forth our grievances : We petitioned his majesty in a most humble 
manner to intercede with the Parliament on our behalf. Our petitions were 
rejected, while our grievances were increased by acts still more oppressive 
and by schemes still more malicious, till we are reduced to the dreadful alter- 
native either of immediate and unconditional submission, or of resistance by 
force of arms. We have therefore come to that trying period in our history 
in which it is manifest that the Amsricans must either stoop under a load of 
the vilest slavery, or resist their imperious and haughty oppressors ; but what 
will follow must be of the utmost importance to every individual of these Uni- 
ted Colonies; and should be the hearty concern of every honest American. — 
What will be recorded on the following page of our history must depend very 
much on our conduct; for if we act like the sluggard, refuse, from the mere 
love of ease and self indulgence, to make the sacrifices and efforts which the 
circumstances require, or, from cowardice and pusillanimity, shrink from dan- 
gers and hardships, we must continue in our present state of bondage and op- 
pression, wliile that bondage and oppression may be increased until life itself 
will become a burden ; but if we stand up manfully and unitedly in defence of 


our rights, appalled by no dangers and shrinking from no toils or privations, 
we shall do valiantly. Our foes are powerful and determined on conquest; 
but our cause is good ; and, in the strength of the Lord, who is mightier than 
all, we shall prevail. If we fail to do our duty in this momentous crisis, bon- 
dage and oppresr^ion, with all theii unnumbered and interminable woes, will 
be entailed upon u-; but if we act our part well, as men md as christians, in 
defence of truth and righteousness, we may, with the help of the I iOrd, obtain 
a complete and finil deliverance from the power tliathas oppressed us, or at 
least secure our rights, and attain a prosperity and happiness which no other 
nation has ever enjoyed, or even dared to hope ; for then the consciences of 
men being unawed or unbiassed by human authority, and the truth of God be- 
ing unadulterated and unfettered, the gospel will have free course; and we 
may hope that truth and righteousness will prevail uniil the predictions of the 
inspired writers, however vivid and glo.vuig, shall be all tulfilled. 

If I could portray to you, in any thing like their reality, the results of your 
conduct in this great crisis in your political destiny; or it I could describe 
with any tolerable degree of correctness, the feelings which you will have of 
self approbation, joy, and thankfulness, or, of self reproach, shame and regret, 
according to the part you act — whether as men and as patriots, or as cowards 
and traitors — I should have no difliculty in persuading you to shake off your 
sloth, and stand up manfully in a firm, united, and persevering defence of your 
liberties ; but I would hope that enough has been said — enough in reason — ■ 
enough for my purpose; and we expect that none of you will be wanting in 
the discharge of your duty, or prove unworthy of a cause which is so important 
in itself, and which every patriot and every christian should value more than 
wealth, and hold as dear as his life. 



Psalm, i. 5. — The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment. 

The doctrine of universal restoration, lately published, and by some adop- 
ted in this country, has been the occasion of the present discourse. The 
Presbytery of Orange, having taken this matter into consideration, directed 
its members to prepare, each of them, a discourse on the subject, and write it 
out in full. In obedience to this injunction, I have, in common with other 
members, endeavored to devote to it as mucii time and attention as my cir- 
cumstances, and my regular avocations would permit ; and my views of this 
pernicious doctrine are now presented in the form which the Presbytery di- 

Some of you may be ready to say, however, that I might have chosen a 
text more to the purpose; and I admit it ; but the reason why I did not was 
this: a number having been appointed to write on the same subject, and tak- 
ing it for granted that the greater part would select such passages as were 
most appropriate, I have on purpose passed tiiem over, and left them for those 
who were more capable of doing them justice. 

This Psalm has generally been considered as a kind of preface or introduc- 
tion to the whole book ; and if a preface is intended to make the reader ac- 
quainted, in a few words, with the subject matter of the book to which it be- 
longs, the first Psalm may perhaps be considered in that light; for we are 
here told very briefly, but very forcibly, in what true happiness consists, and 
by what course it is to be obtained ; and, on the other hand, we have set be- 
fore us, by way of contrast, and in language equally concise and forcible, the 
unhappy condition and the miserable end of those who reject the counsels here 
given and pursue their own course. 

But it seems that there is a gradation, or regular progress, in both the cha^ 
racters here described, which is worthy of notice ; and which, when properly 
considered, gives the text a force of meaning that otherwise it would not have. 
They are first ungodly, having no correct views of God and no right feel 
ings towards him. Then they are sinners, walking in the ways of trans- 
gression, actively engaged in committing iniquity, — and finally they are scor- 
ners, sittmg in their seats, perfectly at ease, and scorning alike the invitations 
and warnings, the promises and threatenings of heaven. These shall be all 
driven away, and shall not stand in the judgment; they shall have no place 
in the congregation of the righteous; and their way shall perish. But let it 
be remembered that it is the ungodly —those who are only in the first stage 


of their progress, and who stand fair perhaps before fhe world, that are repre- 
sented in the text as not being able to stand in the judgment. 

The words stand and fall, when applied to moral subjects, are metaphorical; 
and, as used in tiie text, they may refer to the process of winnowing wheat, 
mentioned in tlip preceding verse; or they may have an allusion to those con- 
tests of muscular strength and agility, termed wrestling, in which he who 
*/rtnd^s is conqueror, while he who /aZ^s is conquered. — Not to stand in the 
judgment is to be condemned to suffer according to the law by which he is 

In speaking further on this subject! shall consider, 

I. The RULE according to which the last or general Judgment will proceed. 

II. The Judge who will acton this solemn occasion. 

III. Attempt to shew, by way of inference, that the ungodly, when tried 
by this rule and before this Judge, cannot stand, 

I. According to this method we are to consider the rule according to 
■which the last or general judgment will proceed. — We need not take time to 
inquire whether there will be, in any fespect, a different rule for those who 
lived before the law and those who lived under the law; or tor those who 
were made acquainted with the gospel, and those who had nothing to guide 
them but the glimmerings of reason and the dim light of nature; nor whe- 
ther the condition of the heathen, in reference to this judicial proceeding, 
will be at all affected by the gospel. Well meaning people differ in opinion 
on this point; for while some think that, as the gospel was never sent to them, 
it cannot in any way affect their future condition; others believe that al- 
thougli the offers of pardon were never formally made to them and no mes- 
senger was ever sent to make known to them the terms of salvation, yet as it 
was always within their reach, if they had possessed a sincere love for the 
truth, it must have some bearing on their final account ; but these are things 
wiiich, not being suggested by the text, would be foreign from my purpose; 
and we know that the Judge of all the earth will do right. 

The scriptures will certainly be the rule for all who have had them ; and 
ihe moral laws or precepts which they contain, being founded in the nature 
and relations of man, and the immutable difference between right and wrong, 
must be to all men the standard of moral rectitude. Besides. Having been 
originally given for that purpose they must constitute the rule by which the 
indgment will proceed in relation to the whole human race; for they are the 
measure of holiness; and without no man can enter the kingdom of 
heaven. As this is not denied, so. far as we know, by the advocates of univer- 
sal salvation in this country, we may fairly take it for granted on the present 
occasion ; and may therefore proceed to notice the character of these laws. 

1. They are equitable, and calculated to promote the highest welfare of 
mankind ; or, in the language of the apostle, they arc holy, just, and good, — 
They are holy ; for they require holy thoughts, holy words, and holy actions. 
They forbid every thing that is contrary to the perfections of God ; and enjoin 
every thing that is pure and holy, or that has a tendency to promote holmcss 


in ourselves or others. They are just ; for they require notliing but what is 
equitable, or what is fairly due from us to God our Maker and to our fellow be- 
ings: the precepts are just, and the penalties are just : all the counsels, invi- 
tations, and warnings are reasonable and just ; and therefore they not only il- 
lustrate the purity and rectitude of the divine character, but are necessary to 
the good order and safety of God's intelligent kingdom. Moreover : They 
are good — calculated to produce nothing but happiness ; and true happiness 
never can be enjoyed except in obedience to them. — Every precept and every 
penalty ; — all the rewards and punis^hments promised or threatened in the sa- 
cred book, are but so many expressions of the divine purity and goodness; and 
if they were to have their full and appropriate influence on the hearts and lives 
of all mankind, they would produce a state of hormony and blessedness in de- 
lightful approximation to that of the New Jerusalem. 

2. They take notice of the imperfect rights of .nen, declaring that God will 
have mercy and not sacrifice. 

3. They extend to the motives and ends that influence human actions. 

4. They extend to all the relations that men sustain ; and to every depart- 
ment of the social and business intercourse of life. 

They are therefore perfect, and vastly more salutary than any that are of 
human origin; and in proportion to their excellence, the extent of their ope- 
rations, and the unhappy consequences of not observing them, must be the 
guilt of transgression. What is the amount of that guilt, or the desert of the 
transgressor, is not for us to determine; for, in the nature of the case, God 
must be the interpreter of his own laws, and of their penalties too. Now if 
we understand his language aright, the punishment of the impenitent trans- 
gressor will be eternal, or those who cannot stand in tjje judgment will be 
doomed to an endless state of wretchedness and despair; for according to (he 
law itself, in its most obvious or liberal meaning, the sentence will be final, 
and they roust be left without hope ; but as the whole Bible must be regarded 
as an explanation from God himself, of the meaning of the law, and of the im- 
port of its penalty, it may be well for us to take up a few particular passages; 
and, as we go along, make such observations on them as the case may seem 
to require. 

The first we shall notice is found in Ezekiel, xviii, 4. The soul that siii' 
neth, it shall die. Here vve may inquire what kind of a death a soul can die 
which, by the determination of its Creator, is to live forever. In answer to 
this inquiry we observe that the death of any being, or of any thing that has 
life, always bears a direct proportion to the lite which it has received, or to 
the dignity that God has conferred upon it. For example. A vegetable can 
lose only the principle of vegetation ; and an animal, the powers of animal 
nature, in consequence of which it is reduced to the class of unorganized 
liiatter. It may be further observed that, in vegetable and animal natures, 
death does not destroy or annihilate one particle of matter; but only deprives 
them of that dignity which Gcd had conferred upon them, and by which they 
were raised, for a time, above the common earth on which wc tread. Now 


to unJcrstaml what is meant by the death of a spirit, we must consider the 
honor and dignity whicii God has given to its existence. 

We find throughout creation, so far as it comes within our observation, a 
regular and beautiful gradation, in this respect, from the unorganized lump 
of earth up to the most perfect forms of vegetable and animal life. We see 
manitested every where a complete unity of design, but an endless variety in 
the structure, form, and other attributes of the different parts whieh compose 
the entire system From this unity and variety of which we are speaking, and 
which appears in all the known works of God, we might conclude that a sim- 
ilar variety would be found to exist in the moral world, or in the dignity which 
God has conferred on spirits ; and what we would be led from analogy to ex- 
pect, the Scriptures inform us is the tact ; for they not only assure us of an 
ordei ot intellectual beings, — to which our race belongs, — altogether above the 
tribes of irrational anitnals, and subject to a corresponding destiny of weal or 
wo, but that, in this order of beings, there are many gradations; and that 
dominions, principalities, and powers surround the divine throne; but this di- 
versity of power, wisdom, holiness, &,c., or in whatever their dignity and 
happiness consists, is certainly owing to the bounty and goodness of God con- 
ferred upon them. Then, by the death of such a creature, or such a spirit, is 
not meant its ceasing to exist, but its being deprived of that bounty and good- 
ness which ihe (Creator had at first conferred upon it, and not essential to its 

Thus far we have considered abstractly what death is ; and in this sense 
death may constitute the punishment of loss ; but it must be remembered that 
the passage before us gives no intimation of a recovery of this loss; and the 
very term death, so tar as we understand it, or know any thing about that 
which It designates, seems to imply that the loss cannot be recovered : — it 
certainly cannot, unless by the power and goodness ot the Almighty ; but 
wheiher such is his purpose or not will be considered hereafter. 

The next passage to which we ask your attention is iVlat. xxv. 46. — And 
these shall go away into everlasting punishment ; but the righteous into life 
eternal. It will be admitted that God deals with his creatures on such prin- 
ciples of fairness and equity as preclude the possibility of their ever having it 
to say that he deceived them, or told them what was not strictly true. It 
will also be admitted, we presume, that, as a revelation was given to warn us 
of our danger, and inlorin us how we might escape it, the language in which 
it was communicated would not be equivocal, nor calculated either to lull peo- 
ple into a fatal security, or to torment iheni with groundless fears; but if this 
be admitted, it is difficult to conceive by what ingenuity the passage before 
us can be reconciled with the doctrine of universal restoration, or with the 
limited duration of the punishment to be inflicted on the finaily impenitent. 

The Greek word, {kolasis,') which is translated punishinent, is truly em- 
phatical, and expressive of whatever kind or degree of punishment can be in- 
flicted on the children of men. The word, (aionio/i,) rendered everlastivg, 
expresses the duration of the punishment, which, we say and believe, will be 


absolutely without end. Those who have adopted the doctrino of universal 
restoration say that there will come a period when all shall be delivered from 
the torments below. This they attempt, not to prove by fair arirumcnt, but 
to maintain jy ardent declamation on the infinite love of God and his super- 
lative goodness to the nee of n)an. Granlinsj his love fo be infinite, which 
we are not disposed to controvert, are not all his other attributes also infinite'? 
If so, infinite love must h irmonize with infinite TKsi.ce ; for it infinite love 
could be exercised without infinite jn.-i see, it woiild become infinite injustice. 
The word which is translated everlasting and eternal, helnii tlie same in the 
original, is used to express the duration of the saints' happiness as well as the 
duration of the puni&hment due to the wicked; and if it has a limited .-"ignifi- 
cation in the one case, no reason can be given why it should not in the other. 
According to all the principles of sound interpretation the word must have 
the same meaning in both places, because there is nothing in the context nor 
in the nature of the case to limit or modify that meaning ; and therefore, if it 
expresses a limited duration in the punishment of the wicked, it must teach 
the same in relation to the happiness of the righteous, which is at war with 
all our ideas of the goodness and faithfulness of the divine Being, as^ well as 
the provisions made for our salvation and held forih in the gospel. 

We lay no stress on the etymology of the word ; tor that might give rise to 
a great deal of critical discussion, and it is not necessary to my purpose; but 
that the happiness of the righteous will be absolutely eternal tiiere can be no 
doubt, if it is in the power of language to make it certain ; for it is expressed 
in every variety of form which the Greek language, with all its copiodsness 
and great power of combination, admitted. For example: It is said, They 
shall go out no more forever; and again, Neither can they die any more. 
Every one who is acquainted with the Greek language knows that these ex- 
pressions, especially when viewed in connexion with others of an indirect 
kind, though no less forcible, put the matter to rest, in relation to the righte- 
ous, if language can do it; but then they make the passage under considera- 
tion, keeping its connexion properly in view, equally conclusive respecting 
the punishment of the u'icked. 

Again. If it signify a limited duraticn, as it must do, provided the punish- 
ment of the impenitent transgressor is not to be eternal ; and if that limited 
time or duration cannot be ascertained, then it will follow that all the blessings 
and curses in the volume of inspiration are vague and indetermined; and nei- 
ther the transgressors of the divine law, nor those who, in obedience to it, walk 
humbly before God, can know any thing certain or definite, as to the results 
of redemption, or the final destiny of the moral world. There are other ex- 
pressions, however, on this subject of similar impott, and corroborative of the 
interpretation which we have given to the one under consideration. In the 
41st verse of this chapter the judge is represented as saying to the wicked, 
Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, where the word rendered 
everlasting is the same as in the passage we have been considering; and this 
everlasting fire is said to have been prepared for the devil and his angels. Ih 


llie parallel place, Mark ix. 43-48, it is said to be unquenchable; and those 
who are cast into it are represented as ever living to feel its power. It is better 
fat thee, said the Saviour, to enter into life maimed than having two hands 
lobe cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their 
worm dielh not, and. the fire is not quenched. 

But the word which is rendered everlasting in reference to the punish- 
ment of the wicked is also applied to thuigs which we cannot suppose to be 
limited in their duration. It is applied to the heavenly state. The things 
which are not seen are eternal or everlasting. — 2 Cor. iv. 18. But the 
God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory ; and, what 
seems to put the matter beyond dispute, it is applied to the divine Being-, in 
various forms and connexions. Thus it is applied to the Iloiy v^psnt — Meb. 
ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eter. 
NAL Spirit offered himself to God, &c. All these exp-essions we suppose 
signify continual existence or duration. If not, how are those ages to be 
measured during which the wicked are to remain in Tophet? Not by the 
sun, or moon, or stars that now mark the lapse of time ; for these will hive 
been burned up in the general confligration, or will have passed away, before 
the final sentence is pronounced. Time is measured by equable motion; but 
we have no account of any such bodies in motion for the measurement of 
time in the other world. 

The next passage we quote is in Rev. xiv. 11. And the smoke of their 
torment cscendeth up for ever and ever. The preceding verses describe 
the character of tiose who were punished. They worshipped the beast and 
his image. The mode of their punishment is also described: it was with 
jire and brimstone; but whether this is to be understood literally or figura- 
tively we shall not stop to inquire, as it doesnot affect the artrument. Another 
chcumstance is mentioned : they were punished in the presence of the angels, 
and m the presence of the Lamb; and the word~ which' we have quoted ex- 
press the duration of this punishment. The words in the original {ais 
aionas awnon) &re \.he sdiXne o\ nearly the same with the one we have been 
considering; but in its substantive form and repeated, — a form of expression 
whicli i« common in the original languages of the Bible, and seems to have 
been intended to express the meaning of the word in its fullest extent. The 
Holy of Holies, or as it is sometimes expressed in the translation, the Most 
Holy place, is a similar form of expression ; and it meant that the part of the 
temple thus designated was to be regarded as perfectly holy, and that no 
kind of impurity was to be Jidmitted into, or profanation offered to it. When 
Paul said he was an Hehreio of the Hebreios, which is another expression of 
the same form, he meant to assert that he was a Hebrew in the fullest sense 
nftlie term; and when the Apostle John said of the wicked that the smoke of 
their torment ascendelh up forever and ever, he meant to assure us ihat 
t!icir punishment will he eternal in the full and absolute sense of the word. 

The Saviour .«aid, Mar. xii. 32, Whosoever speuketh a tvord against the 
Son of man, it shall be forgiven him ; but whosoever speakclh against the 


Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him. neither in this world, nor in the 
world to come. Here then is one class of sinners that shall never be fofgiven ' 
and therefore there cannot be a universal restoration of the lapsed race of 
Adam. But say the advocates of this doctrine, when men have paid the utmost 
farthing they shrill be discharged. True, when thoy have satisfied the justice 
of Gf)d it would be unjust to detain them Jong-er; but the justice of God, or 
his law, which, in this case, is the same tiling, requires that they should suffer 
through endless existence, or, a.- the scriptures express it, forever and ever. 
It is said, however, that the word rendered everlasting, or forever, frequently 
means a limited period, and that it certainly ought to have this meaning when 
it relates to the future sufferings of men, especially as the final happiness of 
all tend so much more to illustrate the divine mercy. If justice and mercy 
are attributes of equal extent; and if the one cannot be glorified or e.Kalled at 
the expense of the other, we must admit that the law which threatens every 
violator of it with eternal misery, is not inconsistent with mercy. Merciful 
laws and merciful actions are not always of equal extent. Merciful or benign 
laws have respect to the whole community, and are formed with a view tothR 
general good ; and are wise and wholesome in proportion as they are calcula- 
ted to protect the rights, secure the peace, and ad^jance the comfort and wel- 
fare of those who are subject to their operation. But they can be of no avail, 
or can be productive of no benefical results, unless they are strictly enforced ; 
yet the act of punishing an otlender would not be regarded as an act of mercy 
in itself, or so far as ihe subject of punishment was concerned, though it might 
be very beneficial in its results, and even necessary to the safety and welfare 
of the community at large. 

The punishment of offenders according to their deserts is acknowledged and 
fell by all to be exceedingly desirable; tor a stale of anarchy is a state of ex- 
treme wretchedness; and in civil society it often becomes necessary to inflict 
the very highest punishment that is in the power of man. But if the violation 
of human laws exposes the ofiender to capital punishment, or to such a death 
as animal nature can die, is it not re.tsonable to euppo.>ethat the man, who, as 
an inttiligeiii being, and a subject of God's moral government, will violate his 
laws, reject the Lord and Saviour, and commit the highest or most flagrant 
crimes that arc in iiis power, even after years of forbearing, warning and remon- 
strance, must deserve such a death as a spirit can diel Or it a man may justly 
forfeit ail his rights and privileges in civil society, making it absolutely neces- 
sary that he should be entirely and forever excluded from its precincis — wiieth- 
er by deutli or baiiisiiment, makes no difF^rence as to the force ofourargument 
— may not a man, as a suhj'^ct of God's moral government, forfeit all claim to 
a participation in the beneficial operation of those laws which are holy, just, 
an,d good; and even make it right and necessary that he should be entirely 
and forever excluded from the society of those who are obedient subjects oftiiat 
government ■? The fact is, penalties are necessary; for without them there 
is no such thing as law, in the proper sense of the term; but if the laws arc 
benevolent in their design and wholesome in their operation, the penalties 


which are necessary to secure obedience, whatever may be their extent, are 
of the, fame character. — That there is such a thing as right and wrong, or 
moral good and evil, and that the one is virtuous and meritorious, and the 
other wrong and deserving of punisiiment, all admit; but the degree or dura- 
tion of punishment whicli men de.-erve for their crimes, is the question at issue. 
All pi nishmpr.t cannot be disciplinary : It is not so in civil government; (or 
the common sense of mankind, in all ages, has determined that there are of- 
fences ot so aggravated a kind that the ofiender must and ought to be cut off 
from the society of which he has proved iiimself unworthy, and be made to 
feel the full weight of the authority and power which he has losulted and de- 
fied. But may not the same thing take place under the divine government] 
If the principle is soinid in the one case we would like to know why it is not 
so in the other. 

But as we have already remarked this is not a matter for us to decide : It 
belongs to God alone. Then we must go again to the law and the testimony; 
and although the passages already cited we consider abundantly suflicient, 
yet it may not be amiss to adduce another. It is the account of the ricli man 
and Laz'irus, Luke xvi, 2;3-31 ; and theie are several things in it that deserve 
our attention. 1. The condition of the rich n:an was one oi unminglcd suffer- 
ing; for he could not obtain so much as a drop of water to cool his parched 
tongue, 2. There was no being any where that was at all disposed or had the 
power to give him relief. '6. The only means ot salvation known to him was 
hearing Moses and the Propiiets ; and that he Anew was confined t ' this life, 
4. There was a great and impassable gulph fixed between him and the abode 
of the rigiiteous. Therefore his punishment was not disciplinary — neilJier in 
its own nature, nor in his estiu^ation. If God had designed it as such, he 
would have minoled comfort with it, as the kind and judicious parent at least 
speaks \n tones of afFtct ion even while laying on the rod. If the rich man 
when lifting up his eyes in torment and begging for a drop of water to cool his 
parched tongue, could have viewed his sufferings as disciplinary, that itself 
would have been some consolation ; and holy beings who are as benevolent as 
they are holy, if aware of this fact, would have been disposed to afford him any 
relief in their power, or to minister in some way or other to his welfare as 
they do in this world to those who are heirs cf salvation. But he could not 
obtain one drop of comfort from any source ; and he speaks of his sufferings by 
the name oUorment which can hardly be applied with propriety to that which 
is calculated to make us better; tor it is certainly very different from the lan- 
guage of a suffering child of God in this world. — Besides. He was not only 
helpless but hopeless of relief, and he made no request of that kind. He ev- 
idently viewed his situation as desperate; and therefore according to the Jaws 
of the human mind, he could do nothing to effect or procure a change in his 
condition ; for absolute despair paralizes the soul, and renders all means un- 
availing, because there is no power to use them. His mind seems to have 
been occupied exclusively with his sufferings, not with tiie thoughts and hopes 
of deliYerancc, or w ith the ways and means ot obtaining that object ; and from 


all his requests and expressions as well as from father Abraham's responses it 
is evident that there was no hope in his case. J\ow the advocates of universal 
salvation ought to tell us by what route the wicked, when released, will get 
round or over that impa!?sable gulph; and by what means and influences the 
requisile change will be effected in their minds, according to the principles on 
which God deals with moral agents; but nothing of this kind have they ever 
attempted; and according to the rule by which we shall all be judged, their 
prospects must be rather gloomy, even to themselves, and the ritk tliey arc 
running is certainly fearful. 

II, We come now to the second thing proposed which was to say something 
of the Judge who will act on that solemn occasion ; and if the law when fair- 
ly interpreted gives no hope to the impenitent transgressor, we shall find that 
there is as little ground to hope from the character of the Judge. 

1. He is the Lawgiver — the author of this sacred code which takes cogni- 
sance of the thoughts, words and actions of every man, in every age, and un- 
der all circumstances. The disposition of a lawgiver is nowhere batter made 
known than in the laws which he enacts; and hence we have the attributes 
of God exhibited in these sacred records. The intimate knowledge of the 
human heart which the precepts of the Bible display is proof of the divine 
omniscience, and consequently ofthe impossibility of the sinner's escaping de- 
tection. Their fitness to promote the happiness of men and the glory ot the 
Creator, which is the great end in view, is evidence of the divine wisdom. — 
Their perfect purity shows that God is in his very nature opposed to sin and 
will make it the object of his everlasting vengeance. His hatred to sin does 
notarise merely from its opposition to his legislative authority, but from its 
being a violation of (vhrt is fight and intrinsically excellent. Therefore he 
has arrayed against it the whole weight of his authority and all his attributes 
stand pledged tor its punishment. All sin is a violation of his law; but an 
act which is wrong when committed with a knowledge of the written law 
would be wrong ifcon^mitled in heathpnish ignorance, or under any circum- 
stances. In the former case however it is aggravated by a wilful contempt 
of his authority with which the law is clothed ; and therefore it is deserving 
of severer punishment. 

2. f/e in Lord of all ; and this is a doctrine which is taught not only by 
revelation but by the light of nature; for a heathen declared that while the 
government of kings extends over their particular subjects the government of 
Jupiter extends over kings themselves. That the Creator has a perfect right 
to govern and dispose of men and their afl lirs as he sees best, no sober think- 
ing man will deny. He has been exercising this right ever since the crea- 
tion ; and, as the absolute sovereign of the universe, he will, in the day of 
judgment, maintain the authority and the honor ofthe laws which he has or- 

3. He is a God of truth; and he has therefore given us just such informa- 
tion respecting the principles of his government, and the terms on which 
alone pardon may be extended to the transgressor, and eternal life obtained, 


as will be verified hereafter in tlie experience of all the human race and be- 
fore the universe ; for since the principles on which he deals with men as mo- 
ral ag-ents are universal in their nature, they are no doubt universally known- 
The gospel is unquestionably well known in the heavenly world ; for the an- 
geLs are ministering spiiits', sent forth to minister unto those who are heirs of 
salvation; but if they knew not the law, and the gospel too, they could not be 
fit for the service, nor could they rejoice at the advancement ot the Redeem- 
er's kingdom. Devils are opposers of Christ's kingdom — opposers of his ser- 
vants, of his honor, and of his interests in the world ; and therefore we must 
believe that they are acquainted with the gospel method of salvation. Now 
if the moral law, and the law of the spfcritof life, as exhibited in the Old and 
New Testaments, are known to angels above and angels below, is it not more 
than probable that the Lord of all will glorify himself before all these moral 
agents by conferring the blessings promised to his saints and by inflicting the 
punishment threatened to the wicked. Again, God made all things for the 
advancement of his eternal glory — thR heavenly world with all its furniture, 
and this lower world with all that it contains, his decrees with the execution 
thereof as exhibited in creation, providence, and redemption ; and his law and 
gospel with all their promises and threatoningsare the ways and means which 
he has provided tor accompli«liing this object; but if the God of the Bible and 
of the universe is a God of truth he can neither exaggerate nor conceal any 
thing that ought to be known, nor convey his communications to men in lan- 
guage calculated to make a vague or incorrect impression when received in 
its most obvious meaning ; and this is a matter which we suppose will not be 
disputed by any man of common sense and common honesty. If then he is a 
God ot truth, and if the law is holy, just, and good, the judgment must pro- 
ceed according to the plain sense or import of the law. We are told that his 
truth endureth forever; and we have seen that- the word /orener, when ap« 
plied to that of which such a thing can be predicated, signifies endless exis- 
tence or duration : therefore the punishment ot the wicked will have no end, 
or it will be co-eval with their existence. 

4. He isaGod oi^faillifulness. Ps. cxix. 90. — Thy faithfulness is unto 
all generations. If lie is faithful, he must fulfil all that he has spoken, with- 
out partiality or respect of persons, so that all his creatures may know what 
to expect ; — that none may have encouragement to transgress; and that those 
who are obedient may rely on his promises With entire confidence. 

5. He is a God of uhnighty power and perfect integrity. Job xxxiv. 12- 
Neither will the Almighty pei'VP.rl judgment. If the law is equitable and- 
immutable in its character; if the senience, so far as can be gathered from 
the face of the sacred record, must be final, that is, irrevcrsable, and intermi- 
nable in itsiesults; and if the Judge is omnipotent, and will not pervert 
judgment, the impenitent transgressor can have no hope. 

6. He is a Gnd of goodness. Mat. .xix. 17. — There is none good but one, 
that is God ; and this seems to express the aggregate of all his attributes? 
for when Moses desired to see his glorv he told him that he would 7nake all 


His GOODNESS to poss before Him. Goodness and mercy may be understood 
as signifying essentially tiie same thing; for mercy is goodness exercised in a 
particular way, or extended to a particular class of persons, viz: the guilty 
and the miserable ; but while God is essentially good, that is, disposed to 
communicate happiness to his creatures, it never could have been known, 
without revelation, whether his goodness could be, consistently with his other 
attributes, or with the safety and happiness of the universe, extended so tar 
in any case as to pardon the transgressor of his law, turn him away fioni the 
error of his ways, and restore him to purity and happiness; and being in its 
very nature s. sovereign act, that is, depending on his mere good pleasure, it 
cannot be universal, or at least it must be suspended on or include certain 
conditions on the purt of the recipient. Of C(turse those vvho refuse to com- 
ply with the terms forfeit the mercy offered ; and for such there appears to be 
no remedy ; for if the offers of mercy and the state of probation are to be con- 
tinued until all are restored, what purpose vvill be answered by the general 
judgment ■? -or if the punishment of the wicked subsequent to that event is to 
be disciplinary why not inflict the necessary amount of suffering hcrel These 
are questions which will not be readily answered, because there is nothing in 
the Bible, in the nature of the case, or in the unbiassed dictates of enlightened 
conscience, that can furnish a satisfactory answer. 

Hence those who advocate the doctrine of universal salvation take different 
grounds. — Some contending that all will be saved by the atonement of Jesus 
Christ, and that there will be no future sufferings; while others, not being a- 
ble to reconcile this either with the forebodings of conscience, or with the dic- 
tates of reason and revelation, take the ground that all will be eventually re- 
stored by expiating their own sins, or by bearing the penalty of the law in 
their own persons. Now these two schemes are utterly inconsistent with 
each other; for, if men can expiate their own sins, an atonement is unneces- 
sary ; but if a sufficient atonement has actually been made for all, it must, in 
justice, secure al' from torment; and these schemes are both so manifestly in- 
consistent with the Bible, and with the common sentiments ot mankind, that 
the advocates of neither appear to be satisfied with their own arguments.— 
The Bible gives no intimation of pardon except through the merits of Jesus 
Christ ; and none are justified on this ground except by faith ; but it is not 
contended, by the advocates of the doctrine in question, that the offers of par- 
don will be made, or that faith, which has those offers for its object, will be 
exercised after death. We find no intimation of such a thing in the gospel; 
and to contend for it would be mere presumption; but the gospel speaks of 
multitudes who, having rejected the offers of salvation in this world, shall, at 
the judgment day, be cast into outer darkness, where there is vi'eeping, wail- 
ing, and gnashing of teeth forever; and of course this scheme cannot be main- 
tained with any semblance of truth. On the other hand, if the atonement be 
rejected, it seems to me, the Bible must be rejected also, so far at least as this 
matter is concerned ; and the advocates of the other scheme are thus left ut- 
terly in the dark; for we know nothing satisfactorily of God, or a future state. 


or tho deserts of sin, or any thing else relating- the condition and destiny of 
man, except from revelation. Tlien to talk of men expiating their own guilt, 
or bearmg the penalty of the law in their own persons, and paying the utter- 
most farthing, when they have no idea of the amount, or of how much lies 
upon this side of that uttermost farthmg, is talking at random, if it be not gross- 
ly impious. 

Tlie superlative goodness of God cannot consist in pardoning all indiscrim- 
inately, or regardless of their cliaracter, but in providing a ransom which is 
sufficient for all and which all may accept on terms that will effectually se- 
cure their future obedience; but if that is scornfully rejected they must be 
left to perish, and that without remedy; tor the nature and design of the atone- 
ment, as set forth in the iScriptures ; the tone in which the offers of pardon are 
made: and the language in which the results are described, as well as all 
analogy, so far as we ean trace it, teach us that the plan of salvation by Je- 
sus Christ includes all the provision that God in his boundless love and mercy 
ever will make for the recovery of our fallen race ; and consequeclly the con- 
dition ot tiijse who reject this salvation must be hopeless. Then we may rest 
assured that, as it is in human goveraments, when traitors have refused the 
only terms on which pardon could be safely or honorably offered, the good of 
the country, the honor of the executive, and the stability of the government 
require that they should be cut off, or banished to a returnless distance, so the 
goodness of God rcqu res that he should inflict on the despisers of his grace the 
punishment which they deserve, and banish them forever from the glory ot 
his power, for the good of his moral kingdom, and for his own eternal honor. 

7. The Judge is immutable. Job xxiii, 18, He is of one mind; and who 
can turn Jlhn 1 This perfection of Deity is that by which he has been and 
will continue to be just what he is; but it he is unchangeable, he is now and 
will forever be the same that he was when he gave the moral law, or the 
scriptures of the Old and New Testament. It was his will then that the wick- 
ed should go, {fis kolasin aionion,) into everlasting punisliment; and therefore 
it is now and will forever be his ple;isure. 

Finally. Jle is just! This expresses his disposition to give unto all their 
due — blessings to whom blessings, and curses to whom curses are due. If, as 
the advocates of universal restoration affirm, the suflerings of the wicked after 
death are altogether disciplinary and intended to result in their final happi- 
ness, how great a blessing was the deluge to the old world! what a singular 
mercy to the Sodomites was the destruction of their city by fire and brim- 
stone! What a distinguished favor to Korah and his company that the earth 
opened and swallowed itiem up alive ! and how ought impenitent sinners in 
hell to rejoice that although they are surrounded by the flimes which the Sa- 
viour said rliall never be quenched, and although they feel every moment the 
gnawings of the worm which he said shall never die, they are nevertheless 
enduriffg only a disciplinary punishment which shall result in their everlasting 
good ! But perhnps the subject is too serious to be treated in this way; and 
tl'.ercfore I would ask the advocates of the doctrine which we believe to be so 


false and dangerous, Iiovv do they know that, eternal punishment is inconsis- 
tent with justice? They admit that the Judge of all the earth will do right: 
what is the criterion by which they judge of right and wrong in this case? If 
it is the Bible, and if that any where teaches that eternal punishment is un- 
just, we would thank them to refer us to chapter and verse. If they rely 
upon their own notions of justice, we would ask tlicm it they feel perfectly 
competent to decide the matter] Can they survey the whole empire of Jeho- 
vah, so as to comprehend at a glance all the bearings of sin upon the peace 
and welfare of the moral universe, and to say, with entire certainty, what de- 
gree or duration of punishment it deserves? or would they, if disinterested, al- 
low a criminal in any case to decide as to the punishment which he should 
receive? He that believelh not is condemned already, and the wrath of God 
abideth on him. This is a sentence of death; for the soul that sinneth, it 
shall die. We would consider a man as wanting in good sense, if not absolutely 
deranged, who had been condemned in a court of justice for treason, murder, 
or any other crime, the punishment for which, according' to the laws of the 
country, was death, it we heard him speculating about his own case, and as- 
serting- that it would be unjust to put him to death for that or any other crime, 
and therefore the sentence could not mean death, after all, but a mere disci- 
plinary punishment that would retail in his restoration to favor. Such is the 
conduct of those who advocate the doctrine of universal restoration; and, as 
pardon is now offered, it would surely be more consistent in them to repent 
and believe for themselves, and occupy their time and talents in persuading 
others to take the same course. 

But it they still persist in the same way of thinking I would like to ask 
them where this disciplinary operation is to be performed. Not on earth; for 
according to their own admission it is not to taiie place until alter the gene- 
ral judgment. It must not be in heaven ; for nothing is to be found or admit- 
ted there but purity, peace, and joy. It cannot be in hell ; for if the punish- 
ment is disciplinary, and therefore salutary, it can have nothing in it of the 
nature of a curse ; but the curse of God rests on all who are sent there. The 
sentence is. Depart ye accursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil 
and his angels; but we would feel much obliged to the advocates of discipli- 
nary punishment and universal restoration for an explanation of this matter; 
and perhaps it might be ne disadvantage to their cause. 

III. The third thing proposed was to shew that the ungodly when tried by 
such a law and before such a Judge, cannot stand ; but so much has been al- 
ready said that more seems to be unnecessary. If my hearers recollect what 
has been said on the law, which will be the rule of the judgment, and on the 
character of God who will be the Judge, they are no doubt satisfied that the 
sinner cannot be acquitted, and that he cannot escape. He must either ob- 
tain an interest in the atonement after he has been sent into outer darkness, — 
penitent or impenitent, — and be saved on that ground, which as we have seen 
is contrary to the text and to the whole tenor of the Bible ; or he must be con- 
demned to suffer until he makes expiation for his own sins, by satisfying the 


|>enalty of tlie divine law, which we have shewn to be impossible; or he must 
suffer forever; and this we think has been proved to be the obvious import of 
scripture denunciations on tliis subject, and is in full accordance with the dic- 
tates of reason and of enlightened conscience. 

There is no man of candor and sober reflection who will deny that he has 
violated the law of God. Tlie very term restoration implies that all are now 
in a lapsed and sinful condition ; and before they can enjoy the divine favor 
two things must be done : justice must be satisfied ; and their moral charac- 
ter must be changed. Both are indispensable ^kand the atonement of Jesus 
Christ is never applied to a smner here for his pardon without the renewing 
influences of the Holy Spirit; but for a sinner to do either himself seems to be, 
in the nature of the case, impossible. The law will forever demand unceasing 
and perfect obedience ; and God as the great ruler of the universe will cer- 
tainly enforce his own law ; but it is difficult to eonceive how a sinner can 
discharge the active duties required of him while in a state of intense suffer- 
ing. He cannot do it here ; and how he can do it in another state ofexistence 
where his sufferings will be inconceivably greater than any he endures in 
this life, it belongs to the advocates of this doctrine to explain ; but if he cannot, 
.while suffering for his past sins, comply with all the requirements of the law, 
liis guilt must be increasing. The notion therefore that men can expiate their 
own sins by suffering the penalty of the law and thus be restored to the divine 
fiavor is a nr^ost infatuated one — a fatal presumption ; for although the law pro- 
duces unininglfd happiness if obeyed, it condemns the sinner when violated, 
and leaves him under condemnation, without containing any provision for par- 
don, or giving any intimation of future restoration. Ot course it must spend 
its whole force on the impenitent offender; or he must meet the whole a- 
mount ot its claims both for service and for suffering; for he is chargeable 
with numberless transgressions and he is still under an undiminished obliga- 
tion to obedience. Now if the sufferings of men here, though the circum- 
stances are so much more favorable, have no tendency to produce a spirit of 
obedience, or the love of God and holiness in the sufferer, without the pardon- 
ing mercy and the renewing grace of God, how can their sufferings produce 
such an effect, where no mercy will be offered, not a drop of comfort be min- 
gled with their torments, no hallowing or restraining influence be excited, 
and no sympathy manifested on the part of holy beings'! With these facts in 
view, Vv'hether this scheme is a wise and a safe one, or a dire infatuation — a 
silly refuge of those who are unwilling to forsake their eins, judge ye: and 
we ask nothing more of you than an honest examination in the fear of God and 
by the light of revealed truth. 

We have seen that by the law, so far as can be gathered from the face of 
tiie record, tlicre is no hope; for by the law is tlie knowledge of sin : By it 
too is condemnation ; and according to no law, human or divine, can a man 
live, whtn he is condemned by it to die. If he lives it must be through the 
!nercy of the supreme executive, or from the want of power on iiis part to ex- 


ecute tiie sentence. It will not be pretended that there is a want of power in- 
God; lor he is acknowledg'ed to be omnipotent. Then the only remaining^ 
scheme is the mercy of God in and by ihe atonement of Jesus Christ; or rather 
the universal design of the atonement as a remedy for the whole race of man ; 
but since all we know about the atonement, either as to its nniure or desij^'n, is 
from the Bible, we must recollect that, according to the representations thero 
made. In the first place, it is available to those only who noio repent and be- 
leive with the heart unto ritrhteousness. Behold now is the accepted lime : 
behold NOW is the day of salvation. In the next place, it is mvariably con- 
nected with rejjeneration by the spirit of God Such a renovation however is 
not admitted by the advocates ot universal salvation who take this ground; 
for, so far as their views are understood, tliey do not appear to believe in any 
renewing influence of the divine spirit, nor to give any evidence of ovangeli:- 
cal repentance, or of having their consciences sprinkled from dead works, by 
the peace-speaking blood of the cross. If the whole race ot man is to be saved 
simply by virtue of the atonement, irrespective of moral character, why are 
there so many and such strong declarations respecting the necessity of presgut 
conversion and of the agency of the Holy Spirit to r-tTect it? Except ye re- 
pent ye shall all likeicisf perish ; and, except ye he born again ye cannot sec 
the kingdom of God. Why has such a system of means and influences been 
provided, and why is so much importance attached to the use of them. Why 
are such solemn injimctions laid on ministers of the gospel, to be faithful, on 
pain of losing their own souls, in declaring the whole council of God and in- war- 
ning sinners to f!ee from the wrath to come? Why all this, if the future suf- 
ferings of the impenitent are to be disciplinary and limited in their duration, or 
if the atonement is to be available after death? It is said, without holiness no 
man shall see the Lord; but, according to the doctrine of universal restora- 
tion, how is that holiness to be produced ? What means and influences are to 
be used? any thing but suffering ? It has no such tendency here, nor is it ac- 
cording to the laws of the human mind that it should have such a tendency, 
apart from means and influences of an entirely different kind. Will the 
atonement alone be sufRcient, even supposing it to be offered in all the freeness 
of divine compassion, to subdue the sinner's heart and reconcile him to God 1 
It is not sufficient here, although aided by the combined influence .of goodness 
and severity ; and it behooves the advocates of the doctrine we are opnosing 
to show in what respect the circumstances in a future state will be more fa- 
vorable, or on what principles, according to either schemes, a salutary 
change will be effected there which cannot be produced in this world. — It u. 
said too of some that it would have been better for them if they had never 
heen born ; but could this be said with truth if they will be saved by the atone- 
ment of Jesus Christ, or even if they are to be released from the dark prison 
of hell in any definite period ; for the longest period of time of which we can 
conceive bears no proportion to eternity. These are things which demand ex- 
planation from those who advocate the doctrine of universal restoration ; yet 
ao rational e.vplanation has been given or even attempted ; and wc apprehcni- 


that none \vi!I be given, because the subject does not aclinit of it, and uemust 
bo met by bare assertions or worse than idle declamation. 

But if God lias made all the provision that he ever intends to make, and if 
he is doing' every ihing in this world that he intends to do for the purpose of 
effecting a radical change in tiie moral character and condition of men as sub- 
jects of his government, wbicii, according to our understanding of the Bible, 
is the fact, then all is consistent; and the decisions of the judgment day, —the 
everlasting joys of heaven, and the endless panis of hell, will be only the ap- 
propriate results of the present system. The instructions which we have re- 
ceived are-plain, and they are ample: sufficient warning has been given; the 
l>athofd(ity iias been made plain both by precept and by the example of the 
Saviour; none need remain in doubt or uncertainty ; and none can have any 
excu.-e !br refusing to comply with the terms of salvation, or for delaying to 
Ijecp the commandments of God. We fear not to meet the enemies of tiulh 
and riglifpousness on the field of argument, ror to abide by the law and the 
testimony; but the miserable shifts which they are obliged to make in order 
to avoid this testimony, and their manifest perversions, or strained interpreta- 
tions of a few detached passages of Scripture, betrays a want of conscious 
rectitude, and is a stroug presuinplive proof, at least, that their cause cannot 
be maintained. 

In conclusion then, we v.'ould afi'ectionntely appeal to this large and atten- 
tive congregation whotlier they will risk their everlasting welfare on either 
of the schemes of universal restoration which we have presented, as fairly as 
we knew how. though doubtless vviih much imperfection, and which we have 
endeavored t(, prove false and dangerous ; or whether they will embrace the 
present salvation which is offered to them, and in doing which they run no 
risk. : We need not ask you which would be the course of wisdom, for we feel 
confident that every sober thinking man would say at once that the latter is 
the most prudent course. Besides, if you need, salvation at all you need it 
now. If sin is an evil you need to be delivered from it now ; if holiness is 
necessary at any period of your existence it is necessary now ; if the hopes 
si;d consolations of the gospel are ever desirable they are desirable novv, while 
you are beset by the perplexities, tribulations, and sorrows of life ; and to 
continue in the practice of sin when deliverance is offered to you on the most 
easy and honorable terms, is not only hazardous, but ungrateful and wicked. 
If th<"re are pleasures in religion inconceivably greater than any this world 
can aflbrd, of which you cannot doubt, we expect you as intelligent iiien and 
women to give up the latter, so far as they are sinful or worthless, in exchange 
for the fornier, and to do it without delay. If there is hope in Christ, not 
of a restoration to the divine favor at some distant period of eternity, when 
millions of years or of ages shall have been spent by you in torment, but of 
entering, as soon as you quit this mortal stage, into perfect and everlasting 
rest, we beseech you now to be reconciled with God ; for you need it while 
passing through the temptationsj and the dark and perplexing scenes of this 


world; and especially will you need it wlien called to pass through the dark 
valley of the shadow of death. 

You may have to part with some pleasures, or with some Ihings that you 
have been accustomed to regard as pleasures; but they are sinful gratifica- 
tions or mere illusions. They are at least unsubstantial and transitory. They 
will be followed by a sting, or elude your grasp like a phantom, leaving you 
mortified by disappointment, or tortured by remorse. The pleasures of religion 
are pure, substantia' and abiding — not suliject to change or fl. ctuation, except 
from the workings of your own wicked and deceitful hearts; and proceeding 
from the throne of God, though they may commence in rills here, as springs is- 
sue from tlie mountains, they will flow on, augmenting asyor. advance, until they 
will be lost in the boundless ocean of God's eternal love. At all events we 
wish you to make sure work for eternity, because, without present justifica- 
tion by faith in Christ, no man can be certain that he may not be mistaken, or 
go down to the grave with a lie in his right hand; and a mistake here may 
be fatal; for you cannot return to earth from the world of spirits that you may 
enjoy another season of the meansof grace, or that you may repent and do the 
works which appropriately belong to this stage of your existence. Those 
who preach to you the expiation of sin by your own sufferings in eternity, and 
a consequent restoration to the divine favor, dare not assure you that such 
will be the-fact ; for that they cannot do without a Thus sailh the Lord, and 
they cannot refer you to any such declaration within the lids of the Bible ; 
but we DO assure you, on the authority of Him who cannot lie, that the blood 
of Jesus Christ, his son, cleanseth from all sin ; and that if you repent and be- 
lieve the gospel, you shall escape the second dealh. 

We appeal therefore to your own good sense on this subject. There is no 
necessity for your suffering at all after you leave this world nor of running 
any risk of obtaining the divine favor by suffering the punishment due to your 
crimes, or by any other means, after you shall have passed the boundaries of 
time. The blood of Jesus Christ will now free you from condemnation, if 
applied to by faith, and the spirit of God will sanctify and lead you to glory ; 
but you do not know that the fires of hell, or the torments of the future world, 
will produce any such effect. Which then do you consider the safest and best 
plan — that of being restored to purity anci happiness at some distant period of 
eternity by your own sufferings, which, to say the least of it, is extremely un- 
certain; or tliat which we propose to you on the express authority of God 
him.-:clf, of a full and free pardon with the joys of redemption here, a complete 
deliverance from all evil at death, and an immediate entrance on perfect and 
everlasting bliss. The retributions of eternity are serious matters; and no 
wise man will approach them rashly, or unnecessarily jeopardize his soul. — 
The way of life is above to the wise, that he 7nay depart from hell beneath. — 
Can those be sincere friends to you, or to the cause of truth, who would send 
you to expiate your own sins by suffering the wrath of God in eternity, you 
know not, nor can they tell you how, much or how long, instead of directing 
you at once to the atonement of Jesus Christ for your present justification be 


fore God, and to the abounding grace of God in Christ for sanctification, com* 
fort, and every thing you need. But to dvvell longer on this subject, would 
be trespassing on your patience ; and I hope it is not necessary. The light 
of eternity will soon dispel all the errors and delusions of time, as the mists 
and phantoms of night vanish before the rising sun; and therefore we wish 
you to attend at once to the v.arning voice, and flee from the wrath to come, 
■while it is yet to come. Betake yourselves to the hiding place which God in 
his infinite mercy has provided. Make haste and delay not to keep his com- 
mandments. Hearken and your soul shall live. To day, if you will hear 
his voice, harden not your hearts, test he sioear in his wrath that you shall 
never enter into his rest. 


Academy, Liberty Hall, p. 193. Alamance, church of, organized, 24; Arcli- 
dale, John, Governor of N. C.,.59; Alamance, battle of, 149. 

Berkley, Sir William, 54, 81 ; Baptists, 90. 

Caldwell, David, — birth and parentage, 10 — education, 18 — licensure, 21— 
ordinanation, 22 — installation, 23; Caldvvells, Andrew, John, Alexan- 
der, 11; Charter of North Charolina, 52; Craighead, Rev. Alexander, 
27; Craighead, Thomas, 28; Culpepper, John, rebellion of, 56 ; Con- 
stitution, State, 190 ; Federal, 245. 

De Graffenreid, Chiistopher, 84. 

Ecclesiastical condition of North Carolina before the Revolution, 47; Ed- 
mundson, William, 56. 

PamilyofDr. Caldwell, afflictions of, 258; FanneR,CoI.^42; Fox, George, 56; 
French Huguenots, 84. 

Germans, 84, 89; Guilford volunteers, 224. 

Hufjuenots, 84; Husband, Harmon, his character, 167. 

Infidelity, 167, 252. 

Jackson, Doct, 240; Johnson, Sir Nathaniel, becomes governor of N. C, 6L 

Lee, Col., his services in Guilford, 227 ; Locke's Constitutions, 55; London, 
bishop of, 80. 

Marriage, laws respecting, 72 ; Martinville, battle of, 230; Moravians, 88 ; 
Methodists, 90. 

North Carolina settled, 51, 

Orange — Presbytery of Orange, 96. 

Palatmes, 84; Piles, Col. defeat of, 212; Presbyterian Ministers, licensure, 
&c., 92, 95 ; Printing press first brought into N. C, 78. 

Queen's College, 77; Quakers, 54, 56, 04, 83. 

^Raleigh, Sir Walter, attempts to settle N. C, 48 ; Regulation, 102 ; Regu- 
lators, their character, 163 ; Revivals of religion, 203. 

Scotch-Irish 86 ; Scotch 87 ; Statistical Report of Orange Presbytery in 
1784, 250. 

Tyrone and Tyrconnel, Earls of, 86. 

Williams, Lewis, 36. 

Yeamans, Sir John, 54. 


Page 21 — bottom line, for "nun," read num. 
" 28 — lOtli line from top, for "1776," read 1766. 
» 40 — ilth line from bottom, for "is but," read but is. 
" 79 — I3ih line from bottom, for "then at," read then and at. 
" 89 — 18th line from top, for "Tinzendort," (in some copies,) read Zin- 

« 89 — lOtb line Imm top, for "Greenville" read Granville, 
" 92 — 8th line from bottom, for "Poytlius!?," read Poythress. 
u 96 — 6lh line from bottom, for "1771." read 1770. 
" 97 — 16th line from top, lor "troublesome," (in some copies) read 

" 106 — 1.3th line from bottom, for "institutions," read instructions, 
li 107 — 7th line from top, for "indictment," read indictments. 
a 116 — 12th line from bottom, for "manner," read manners. 
(I 125 — 18th line from top, for "branches" read breaches, 
li 129 — 15th line fiom top, for "opposed" read oppressed. 
" 1:37 — 7th line from bottom, for "oration," read ovation. 
" 140 — 2nd line from bottom, for "Storh," read Storch. 
u 144— 6th line from top, for "Payffee," read Payne. 
" 173 — 17th line from top, for "Parish," (in a few copies) read Popish. 
a 278 — 8th line from bottom, for "High Commissioners," read High